March 20, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Wednesday, March 20, 2019 

Thanks for visiting Maine Environmental News, a service of RESTORE: The North Woods. MEN is the most comprehensive online source available for links to conservation and natural resource news and events in Maine (and a bit beyond). We have posted summaries and links to 60,000 news articles and announcements. We also post breaking stories and exclusives. Be sure to check not only today's news, but take a look at the headlines from the past several days as well. Articles often come to our attention a few days after they are published. Follow us on Twitter @MaineEnviroNews. ~ Jym St. Pierre, Editor
Why Going Native Matters, Mar 27
Event - Posted - Wednesday, March 20, 2019 

Heather McCargo, found and executive director of Wild Seed Project, presents "Why Going Native Matters: Beauty, Biodiversity and Resilience." At Portland Public Library, March 27, 5:30 pm.
Urge Maine's Agencies to Investigate and Halt PFAS Contamination
Action Alert - Tuesday, March 19, 2019 

Highly persistent and toxic chemicals known as PFAS may be lurking undiscovered in farmlands across Maine. State records show that at an Arundel dairy farm, PFOS was in milk at the highest level ever reported anywhere. Urge Maine Ag and DEP commissioners to test the fields, stop sludge spreading, and phase out PFAS products. ~ Environmental Health Strategy Center
Retired Game Warden Randall Probert, Mar 26
Event - Posted - Tuesday, March 19, 2019 

Author, raconteur, and retired game warden Randall Probert will speak to the Hebron Historical Society on “Maine Tales and More.” At Hebron Town Office, March 26, 7 pm.
The Forests of Lilliput: The Miniature World of Lichens & Mosses, Mar 26
Event - Posted - Tuesday, March 19, 2019 

Maine Master Naturalist Jeff Pengel talks about the natural history of lichens, mosses and similar plants. At Topsham Library, March 26, 6 pm. Sponsored by Cathance River Education Alliance.
Celebrating Maine’s Wild Creatures, Mar 26
Event - Posted - Tuesday, March 19, 2019 

Speaker: Ed Robinson, author of “Nature Notes from Maine: River Otters, Moose, Skunks and More.” At Curtis Library, March 16, 7 pm. Sponsored by Merrymeeting Audubon.
Ocean Acidification, Climate Change, and You, Mar 25
Event - Posted - Monday, March 18, 2019 

Friends of Casco Bay staff scientist Mike Doan talks about warning signs and Casco Baykeeper Ivy Frignoca shares the impacts to marine species and how Mainers are responding. At Southern Maine Community College, South Portland, March 25, 5:30 pm.
Mount Pisgah winter trek, Mar 24
Event - Posted - Sunday, March 17, 2019 

Kennebec Land Trust Stewardship Director Jean-Luc Theriault will lead an off-trail excursion on Mount Pisgah to visit special places that are typically less accessible. Meet at the Mount Pisgah Community Conservation Area parking lot in Winthrop, March 24, 1 pm.
Maine Maple Sunday, Mar 24
Event - Posted - Sunday, March 17, 2019 

Maine Maple Sunday is a long tradition where Maine’s maple producers open their doors to their sweet operations for a day of educational demonstrations, sugarbush tours, fun family activities and samplings of syrup and other great maple products. Many sugarhouses are open Saturday and Sunday, March 23 and 24, and throughout the season.
Winter Family Fun Day at Lily Bay State Park, Mar 23
Event - Posted - Saturday, March 16, 2019 

Ice fishing, snowmobile tote rides, winter camping demo, bonfire, scavenger hunt and free loan of cross-country skis, snowshoes, ice skates, snow tubes and sleds. At Lily Bay State Park, Moosehead Lake, March 23, 10 am - 3 pm.
Winter wildlife tracking workshop, Mar 23
Event - Posted - Saturday, March 16, 2019 

Naturalists and certified wildlife trackers Brendan White and Matt Dickinson lead a winter wildlife tracking workshop. At at Long Ledges Preserve, Sullivan, March 23, 9-11:30 am. Sponsored by Frenchman Bay Conservancy.
Maine Grass Farmers Network Conference, Mar 23
Event - Posted - Saturday, March 16, 2019 

Livestock producers are invited to learn about grass-based production and how grazing systems can become more profitable and environmentally sound. At Kennebec County Community College's Alfond Campus, Hinckley, March 23, 8:30 am - 3 pm.
Maine becomes a state, Mar 15
Announcement - Friday, March 15, 2019 

On this day in 1820, March 15, Massachusetts lost over 30,000 square miles of land as its former province of Maine gained statehood. Mainers had begun campaigning for statehood for years following the Revolution. The Massachusetts legislature finally consented in 1819. What no one foresaw, however, was that Maine's quest for statehood would become entangled in the most divisive issue in American history — slavery.
Maine Land Conservation Conference, Apr 5-6
Event - Posted - Friday, March 15, 2019 

Maine’s robust land conservation community comes together to train on best practices in all aspects of land trust work, connect with peers, and grapple with the most pressing issues facing land conservation today. At Topsham area, April 5-6.
Thoreau Society & Thoreau Farm Trust online auction, thru Mar 29
Announcement - Friday, March 15, 2019 

This auction contains many rare books written about Henry David Thoreau and other items for every Thoreauvian.
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News Items
Column: Climate change is hardly proven science
Sun Journal - Monday, June 30, 2014 

People who refuse to drink the Kool-Aid known as global warming-climate change are not just "deniers"; we are guilty of a "nihilistic refusal" to address the issue. So says a Washington Post editorial commenting favorably on Monday's Supreme Court ruling that allows the Environmental Protection Agency, under certain limits, to proceed under the Clean Air Act to regulate major sources of greenhouse-gas emissions. The actual nihilists are those who refuse to accept any scientific information that undermines their claim that the globe is warming and humans are responsible for it. ~ Cal Thomas
Maine becomes first east coast state to study, plan, and prepare for ocean acidification
Maine Insights - Monday, June 30, 2014 

Researchers say ocean acidification is one of the biggest challenges Maine will face in the coming years. Maine’s economy is the most dependent on marine resources than any other northeastern state. Many of the commercially important species in Maine live in coastal and estuarine regions, which are particularly vulnerable to acidification. And scientists believe the Gulf of Maine is more susceptible to ocean acidification and could reach critical thresholds more quickly than the southeastern seaboard or Gulf of Mexico because it is less buffered and because cold water holds more carbon dioxide.
After the Trees Disappear
New York Times - Monday, June 30, 2014 

Even before the past severe winter, scientists had come to the glum conclusion that they were going to lose the decade-long battle against the ash borer. Now they are assessing the cascade of consequences for Midwestern and Northeastern forests, both urban and wild. The effects will go far beyond what you see on a hike or how you feel about the loss of a tree on your property. They will ripple through forest ecosystems, affecting other plants, animals and water supplies.
Without Edwards Dam, fish and birds thrive on the Kennebec
Kennebec Journal - Monday, June 30, 2014 

Environmental and fisheries advocates say the Kennebec River has been looking better and getting healthier ever since the 917-foot-long dam was removed on July 1, 1999, returning 17 miles of upstream water to free-flowing after they were blocked by the dam for the previous 172 years. With the removal of Fort Halifax Dam in Winslow in 2008, the Kennebec now has the largest run of alewives and river herring on the eastern seaboard.
‘Tired of being pushed around,’ Millinocket sets property-tax deadline for Great Northern Paper
Bangor Daily News - Monday, June 30, 2014 

Millinocket town leaders said Monday that Great Northern Paper Co. has until 2 p.m. Thursday to pay its $1.18 million net personal property tax bill or they will re-apply a lien to the company’s papermaking equipment. Saying they were tired of waiting for the check, Town Council members voted 7-0 in a 15-minute special meeting on Monday to reapply. The lien would keep Great Northern Paper equipment on the property until the tax debt is paid.
Maine elver fishers worry about proposed catch regulations, call for more research into eel numbers
Bangor Daily News - Monday, June 30, 2014 

Maine’s elver fishers want to continue to be responsible participants in the fishery but fear a regulatory agency might reduce their catch so other states can cut in on the tiny-eel-harvesting industry. More than 50 fishers from across the state gathered on Monday afternoon at Jeff’s Catering in Brewer to learn more about what the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission is considering and offer its opinions. The Commission offered 10 ideas for conserving the elver fisheries.
Maine beaches exceeding fecal bacteria limits more often
WMTW-TV8 - Monday, June 30, 2014 

Beachgoers, beware: the number of beaches testing positive for fecal bacteria rose slightly from 2012 to 2013, according to Maine environmental protection officials. In 2012 beaches in Maine exceeded the enterococcus bacteria limit 156 times. In 2013 it was 176 times.
Elver Conservation Proposals Meet Maine Industry's Resistance
Maine Public Broadcasting Network - Monday, June 30, 2014 

An analysis by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission finds that American eel stocks are being depleted. The group was in the state today, taking testimony on ways to preserve the species over the long term. But Elver fishermen and dealers say strict measures like additional quotas aren't needed to protect eels along the eastern seaboard.
Elver Conservation Proposals Meet Maine Industry's Resistance
Maine Public Broadcasting Network - Monday, June 30, 2014 

An analysis by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission finds that American eel stocks are being depleted. The group was in the state today, taking testimony on ways to preserve the species over the long term. But Elver fishermen and dealers say strict measures like additional quotas aren't needed to protect eels along the eastern seaboard.
Assets of bankrupt MMA Railway sold in Canada after clearing regulatory approval
Bangor Daily News - Monday, June 30, 2014 

Sale of the Canadian assets of the former Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway closed Monday, about one year after a fiery derailment killed 47 people in the Quebec town of Lac-Megantic and forced the railroad into bankruptcy. Bankruptcy trustee Robert Keach said he is working with people who have liabilities to establish a settlement fund he hopes will allocate hundreds of millions of dollars to compensate victims of the accident. The railroad faces civil lawsuits in the United States and a class-action lawsuit that awaits certification in Canada. The government of Quebec also has entered a $409 million claim against the bankrupt railroad for cleanup and reconstruction in Lac-Megantic.
Obama signs algae bloom bill
Maine Environmental News - Monday, June 30, 2014 

President Obama signed a bill Monday that combats toxic algal blooms. Toxic algae blooms — also called red tides or brown tides — can harm lakes, streams and oceans, affecting fish, manatees, dolphins, sea lions, and birds. People swimming in contaminated areas have gotten sick as a result, and some of their pets have even died. The national cost of algae blooms is $100 million a year, Ocean Champions estimates. The bill will improve the nation’s ability to predict and respond to algal blooms, helping scientists find ways to reduce their intensity and frequency, which have been increasing across the U.S.
Acadia National Park Bus System Carries 5 Millionth Passenger
Maine Public Broadcasting Network - Monday, June 30, 2014 

Marissa Gray of Mount Desert Island stepped off an Acadia National Parks Island Explorer Bus to discover that she was the system's 5 millionth passenger. Park representatives, along with officials with retailer L.L. Bean, the Maine Department of Transportation, the group Friends of Acadia, and Downeast Transportation presented Gray with a goodie bag and an L.L. Bean gift card, along with a membership to Friends of Acadia.
Maine wildlife officials deny Harpswell woman’s appeal to reunite with flightless blue jay, neutered squirrel
Bangor Daily News - Monday, June 30, 2014 

An appeal by a 67-year-old Harpswell woman hoping to convince Maine wildlife officials to return the pet gray squirrel and blue jay seized in March has been denied, and the 47 koi fish she kept as pets, which the state deemed illegal, have been euthanized. Georgette Curran fought with the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife for two years to keep the koi, a subspecies of carp, which Maine law classifies as an invasive species.
Opinion: The dredge report: Criticism of Searsport harbor project is overblown
Bangor Daily News - Monday, June 30, 2014 

The Islesboro Island Trust, in its latest attempt to stall Searsport’s harbor deepening project, commissioned Dawson & Associates, a Washington, D.C., lobbying firm, to review the project. To no one’s surprise, the Dawson report echoes previously held views of the trust and recommends a “nonstructural” solution that would limit the channel depth to 35 feet rather than the 40 feet that would bring the port in compliance with modern safety standards. Residents of Searsport should base their decisions on input provided by knowledgeable experts rather than self-serving reports or alarmist claims aimed at undermining public confidence in the permitting process. ~ Andrew E. Sturgeon, Action Committee of 50, Bangor
Major Grant Award Supports Sustainable Economic Development Strategy
Environmental Health Strategy Center - Monday, June 30, 2014 

This week, the Elmina B. Sewall Foundation awarded a $100,000 grant for an innovative project to promote biobased manufacturing in Maine, which aims to convert sustainably harvested wood chips and agricultural waste into value-added renewable chemicals, biobased plastics, and advanced biofuels. “We applaud the foundation for investing in Maine’s future – good jobs, safer products, healthier communities, and environmental sustainability,” said Mike Belliveau, executive director of the Environmental Health Strategy Center, nonprofit organization that leads the “Plants to Products” initiative. The grant will be used to work with Biobased Maine, the University of Maine, and other stakeholders to develop a road map to accelerate biobased manufacturing in the state.
Maine Democratic legislative leaders call LePage ‘irresponsible’ for meeting with ‘delusional’ group that accused them of treason
Sun Journal - Monday, June 30, 2014 

A new book by progressive blogger and columnist Mike Tipping asserts that Gov. Paul LePage met regularly with a group that believed it could arrest both Maine Speaker of the House Mark Eves and state Senate President Justin Alfond and put the pair on trial for high treason. LePage also attended a talk by Michael Coffman in Naples at which LePage gave opening remarks and then stood by as Coffman presented information that alleged a United Nations takeover of the U.S.
How Garlic May Save the World
National Geographic - Monday, June 30, 2014 

Cows, of which there are some 1.5 billion on the planet, are greenhouse-gas machines. The average cow produces somewhere between 200 and 500 liters of methane a day, a gas some 23 times more potent than carbon dioxide in terms of trapping heat and exacerbating global warming. Cows, according to the EPA, are top of the charts in terms of methane emissions, outpacing such sinners as the natural gas industry, landfills, and coal mining. The solution to the problem may be as simple as garlic.
Environmental Group Backs Republican in 2014
Other - Monday, June 30, 2014 

Roll Call - The League of Conservation Voters Action Fund, an environmental organization, has thrown its support behind a Republican, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, who is seeking re-election in 2014. The Collins race is uncompetitive at this point in the cycle. But she is the first Republican to pick up the group’s nod this cycle. LCV Action Fund endorsed Collins in 2008, which was a more competitive race for the senator.
Ogunquit Conservation Commission to meet to find solution for pesticide ban blunder
Seacoast Online - Monday, June 30, 2014 

The Ogunquit Conservation Commission will hold a special meeting at 6 p.m. July 10 at the Dunaway Center to discuss with the town clerk establishing a procedure to resubmit the resident approved pesticide ban ordinance so that it meets with Maine state regulations. The ban, which looks to encourage town residents to stop using chemical weed-killers, fertilizers and other lawn and garden treatments, was voided by the Maine Board of Pesticide Control due to largely administrative mishaps on the part of the town.
Excerpt from "As Maine Went: Governor Paul LePage and the Tea Party Takeover of Maine" by Mike Tipping
Other - Monday, June 30, 2014 

The members of the Constitutional Coalition informed LePage that the United Nations and the Rockefellers were plotting to take over Maine’s North Woods....Why would a governor value the support of a group when an association with their violent, antigovernment, anti-Semitic conspiracy theories could damage him politically? How could he think that discussing how best to arrest and execute his political opponents with a group of Sovereign Citizen extremists was a good idea? Two answers seem most likely.
Editors Note: Energy is a cost of doing business anywhere you're located
Mainebiz - Monday, June 30, 2014 

But in Maine the issue is particularly vexing, as everyone here knows, because the heating season seems so, um, enduring. I was reminded of that on a chilly morning in early June when I heard the furnace kick on. Since moving to Maine, I've heard more than once how projected energy costs are among issues the businesses scrutinize before moving to or investing in Maine. For our energy focus section, we take a look at the ways Mainers are dealing with the cost of energy, but also how Maine companies would fare under proposed federal limits on carbon emissions. ~ Peter Van Allen, Editor, Mainebiz
The wind industry's relative youth means fewer traditional barriers for women in Maine
Mainebiz - Monday, June 30, 2014 

Maine leads New England in the amount of power it generates from wind. But there remain substantial obstacles here. The high cost of and environmental impact of running transmission lines to connect far-flung wind farms to the electrical grid is one. Another is a thicket of regulation that contributes to the fact that only one in five projects in the Northeast actually ever gets built, according to the Wakefield, Mass.-based consulting firm Energy Security Analysis Inc. In addition to being an evangelist for alternative energy, there's something else Katherine Joyce, an attorney at Bernstein Shur in Portland who specializes in the complex permitting process needed to harness wind for power, represents: She's one of a surprising number of women in Maine prominent in the fast-growing industry.
Maine businesses move forward to the future with reusable energy sources
Mainebiz - Monday, June 30, 2014 

Today, solar leads the uptick in behind-the-meter renewables, largely due to a 75% drop in the initial capital investment, said Phil Coupe, owner of ReVision Energy, a leading installer of solar systems. The payback period has fallen from 20 years to nine years.
Should Maine be smug about smog?
Mainebiz - Monday, June 30, 2014 

Maine environmentalists say the state already is well positioned to meet the first national carbon emission limits, proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in early June, but upon further examination by local regulators and companies, there is some devil in the plan's details that could prove to be a headache, or at least a source of confusion, to those preparing to comply. The PUC, DEP and industry are meeting to try to understand the EPA proposal and to check that there are no unintended negative impacts on the state.
Take a dip at some of Maine’s top family-friendly swimming areas
Bangor Daily News - Monday, June 30, 2014 

Last year was our first summer in Maine, and we quickly realized that soaking up every warm day was easy considering you can throw a rock from almost anywhere and hit a body of water. Not all swimming holes, however, are created equal. I prefer easy access, sandy bottoms, clear water and if it’s surrounded by mountains, all the better. I polled friends and lifetime Mainers, and compiled a list of their top recommendations. Most of these areas are free or cost a few dollars per person, and only a handful are staffed with lifeguards.
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