September 21, 2018  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Thursday, September 20, 2018 

Thanks for visiting Maine Environmental News, a service of RESTORE: The North Woods. MEN is the most comprehensive online source available for links conservation and natural resource news and events in Maine (and a bit beyond). We have posted summaries and links to over 50,000 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
Stand with Hunter in opposing Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court
Action Alert - Thursday, September 20, 2018 

Hunter Lachance, a 15-year-old Mainer with asthma, testified against the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court. He explained why Kavanaugh’s opposition to curbing air pollution that crosses state lines would harm Maine and people like him. Urge Senator Collins to vote “no” on Brett Kavanaugh. ~ Kristin Jackson, Natural Resources Council of Maine
Evening for the Environment, Oct 3
Event - Posted - Thursday, September 20, 2018 

A night of camaraderie, celebration, and inspiration for those who care about protecting Maine's environment. Keynote speaker Gina McCarthy, former EPA Administrator. At Brick South on Thompson's Point, Portland, October 3, 5:30-8:00 pm. Organized by Maine Conservation Voters.
Solar 101, Sep 26
Event - Posted - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

Join ReVision Energy to learn about the benefits of solar technology. At Scarborough Public Library, September 26, 2018 6:30 pm.
Activist Training for Maine's Environment, Sep 27-Oct 11
Event - Posted - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

Maine's environmental community is hosting a series of trainings. Learn skills to be a powerful activist and meet fellow environmentalists who want to make a difference in Maine. September 27, Biddeford; October 4: Auburn; October 11, Jefferson; October 18, Falmouth.
Naturalist's Notebook, Sep 26
Event - Posted - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

Bowdoin biology professor Nat Wheelwright will speak about the book he wrote with Bernd Heinrich, "The Naturalist's Notebook: An Observation Guide and 5-Year Calendar-Journal for Tracking Changes in the Natural World Around You." At Portland Public Library, September 26, 5:30-7:30 pm.
Weasels of Maine, Sep 26
Event - Posted - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

Shevenell Webb, Wildlife Biologist with IF&W, talks about weasel ecology and natural history. At Augusta Nature Club luncheon, at Capital Area Technical Center, Augusta, September 26, 11:30 am, $7 for lunch.
NRCM online auction, thru Sep
Announcement - Tuesday, September 18, 2018 

Online auction benefits Natural Resources Council of Maine, through September.
Help wanted: Director of Media Relations and Advocacy Communications
Announcement - Monday, September 17, 2018 

The Natural Resources Council of Maine is seeking applications for the position of Director of Media Relations and Advocacy Communications. The position provides leadership in advancing NRCM and the organization’s advocacy work through the news media. Deadline: October 11, 2018.
MCV Action Fund 2018 Endorsements
Announcement - Monday, September 17, 2018 

A list of candidates endorsed by the Maine Conservation Voters Action Fund.
Bringing an ocean perspective to an urban estuary, Sep 24
Event - Posted - Monday, September 17, 2018 

Karina Nielsen, director of San Francisco State University’s Estuary and Ocean Science Center, will speak at the UMaine Darling Marine Center, Walpole, September 24, 12:15 pm.
Maine's Beaches are Public Property, Sep 24
Event - Posted - Monday, September 17, 2018 

Author and law professor Orlando E. Delogu speaks about public access to Maine’s beaches. At Curtis Memorial Library, Brunswick, September 24, 6:30 pm.
Why Natural History Matters, Sep 24
Event - Posted - Monday, September 17, 2018 

Tom Fleischner, Executive Director of the Natural History Institute, will describe how the practice of natural history provides the foundation for the natural sciences, conservation, healthy society, and our own well-being. At Gilsland Farm, Falmouth, September 24, 7 pm, Maine Audubon members $12, nonmembers $15.
Save our Shores Walk, Sep 23
Event - Posted - Sunday, September 16, 2018 

Learn how climate change may affect our shores and how CLF is working to ensure a resiliant Maine coast. At Ferry Beach, Saco, September 23, 2:30-5 pm. Sponsored by Conservation Law Foundation.
Help restore cottontail habitat, Sep 22, 28, 29
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 15, 2018 

The Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge will host a volunteer work day to help restore native scrubland habitat, home to many species including the New England cottontail rabbit. Volunteers needed. At Libby Field, Scarborough, Sep 22, 28, 29, 9 am - 2 pm.
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News Items
Bills Seek to Protect Public Lands Culture Economy in Arizona
Other - Tuesday, June 30, 2015 

While Team LePage undermines expanded public lands in Maine, elected officials in Arizona advocate for more public lands protection to better protect wildlife and ecosystems and to promote tourism.
After mill closure, Bucksport residents will see tax hike
Ellsworth American - Tuesday, June 30, 2015 

Due to the large loss in value at the local paper mill, which was closed late last year and sold to a firm that intends to demolish the plant, residents will soon see an increase in their tax bills. Last week, the Town Council approved a budget for the 2015 to 2016 fiscal year that’s dropped 4.47 percent from the current year’s.
Rare Turtles and Salamanders in Northeast Move Toward Endangered Species Act Protection
Center for Biological Diversity - Tuesday, June 30, 2015 

In response to a petition from the Center for Biological Diversity, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced that the green salamander, spotted turtle and Blanding’s turtle may qualify for protection under the Endangered Species Act. CBD first petitioned for these species — and dozens of other amphibians and reptiles — in July 2012 because habitat loss and other factors are threatening their survival. Today’s “90-day finding” is the first in a series of required decisions on the petition and simply required the Fish and Wildlife Service to determine whether the petition presents sufficient information to warrant further consideration, a process that requires few agency resources. The next step is a full status review of the species by the Fish and Wildlife Service.
Legislature Overrides Veto of Bill Calling for PUC to Develop Solar Policy
Natural Resources Council of Maine - Tuesday, June 30, 2015 

Today, the Maine House (119-28) and Senate (32-3) voted to override Governor LePage’s veto of a Resolve aimed at developing a comprehensive solar policy for Maine. The Resolve, LD 1263, directs the Public Utilities Commission to set up an open stakeholder process to try to develop a solar incentive proposal that the Legislature could vote on next year. The goal is to establish a solar approach that will significantly increase solar in Maine in a way that benefits all ratepayers.
Column: Governor Michael D. Thibodeau
Other - Tuesday, June 30, 2015 

The Notes - If they do impeach Gov. LePage he could be found guilty. Those on the far left are thinking, "This will take the governor out of office." However, being found guilty of "Improper Influence" is a Class D Crime. It is punishable by a two thousand dollar fine and up to 364 days in jail. It's not even a felony. If you did get him out of office, you would get Governor Michael. D. Thibodeau, the current President of the Senate. Thibodeau is a nice guy [but his positions are] sort of like the governor we have now. ~ Bill Green
Impeachment of Governor LePage considered by Maine legislators
Other - Tuesday, June 30, 2015 

MSNBC - Rachel Maddow reviews some of Maine Governor Paul LePage's more controversial moments and reports on the latest episode, in which LePage may have exposed himself to criminal charges.
Blog: Legislators can help working families by overriding bonds release bill veto
Other - Tuesday, June 30, 2015 

Governor LePage has it all wrong when he says LMF is only for the rich. LMF very specifically helps working families. In particular, it keeps farm lands in production and provides waterside access for commercial fishermen so they can bring in their catch. It helps hardworking farmers and fishermen retain their livelihoods and support their families. It generates economic activity and tax revenues when out-of-state visitors come to Maine to enjoy our natural wonders. ~ Jody Harris, Maine Center for Economic Policy
LePage vetoes Land for Maine’s Future bond bill
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, June 30, 2015 

As expected, Gov. Paul LePage vetoed a bill Tuesday aimed at forcing him to sell $11.4 million in bonds for the Land for Maine’s Future program that he has been using as political leverage with the Legislature. LePage sent the one-page bill back to lawmakers via a four-page veto letter that was as long as his veto of the state’s $6.7 billion budget. The governor laid out a host of constitutional concerns about the bill. It is unclear whether Legislature will override the governor’s veto.
Katahdin-area leaders: Rejection in polls won’t end national park debate
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, June 30, 2015 

Voters in two towns have rejected it, but don’t expect Katahdin region arguments over a proposed North Woods national park to end anytime soon, local leaders said. Park opponents said the votes send a strong message to dismiss the proposal. Anita Mueller, a park supporter, Millinocket Town Councilor and photographic art gallery owner, said that more park supporters voted in the East Millinocket and Medway referendums than ever before, which they found encouraging. It’s been a sometimes bruising debate, but Mueller hoped that St. Clair and Quimby wouldn’t quit. “I would hate to see [them] give up on the only viable proposal that’s on the table for the economic prospects for the region,” Mueller said.
Supporters continue to fight for proposed national park
WCSH-TV6 - Tuesday, June 30, 2015 

The group trying to bring a national park to the Katahdin region continues to sell the idea despite resounding defeats in two local referendums. East Millinocket voters rejected a national park by a vote of 320 to 191 Monday night. This comes after Medway residents voted against the proposed park last week. But supporters are back to square one, talking to people about the benefits the park would bring the area. "We start back and continue our conversations and talking to people about the national park and the 450 to one thousand jobs we believe it will crease," said Elliotsville Plantation spokesman, David Farmer.
State to study new way to reimburse small-scale solar power generators
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, June 30, 2015 

Lawmakers on Tuesday directed state utilities regulators to study and create a new way to reimburse homeowners or businesses that generate a portion of their own electricity. LD 1263 picked up the two-thirds majorities in the House and Senate Tuesday afternoon to override a veto from Gov. Paul LePage.
Unity College President Announces Retirement
Maine Public Broadcasting Network - Tuesday, June 30, 2015 

The president of Unity College has announced that he intends to retire from that position effective Dec. 31. Dr. Stephen Mulkey wants to concentrate on some of his research interests, including studies of ecosystems and climate change. The board, along with the other Unity stakeholders, will be conducting a search for a new president to carry on the school's trajectory.
Nature Conservancy Buys 6,500 Acres of Forest Land Near Jackman
Maine Public Broadcasting Network - Tuesday, June 30, 2015 

The Nature Conservancy in Maine has purchased more than 6,500 acres of diverse forestland, including old growth and sub-Alpine fir forest, southwest of Jackman. The purchase from Plum Creek Timber Co. will allow the Nature Conservancy to expand its Leuthold Forest Preserve to more than 16,000 acres. The property includes remote ponds and nearly 15 miles of streams that provide habitat for Eastern brook trout as well as waterfowl and wading birds. Tom Rumpf of the Nature Conservancy says it’s an important parcel for biological diversity as well as for recreation.
Humans causing catastrophic ecosystem shifts, study finds
Reuters - Tuesday, June 30, 2015 

Never before has a single species become the top predator on land and sea, and human dominance over the natural environment has caused shifts in world ecosystems unprecedented in the last 500 million years, researchers said on Tuesday. Human activity is leading to an international decline in the variety of plants and animals through extinction, as organisms not useful to human needs are killed off by ecosystem changes or over-exploitation. Since 1900, extinction rates for vertebrates have been between 10 and 100 times higher than normal levels. At least 468 creatures have been eliminated from the planet since then. Human-caused environmental changes have accelerated rapidly since the end of World War Two, as technology has advanced and resource use intensified.
Two Of The World’s Largest Countries Are Joining Forces To Fight Climate Change
Climate Progress - Tuesday, June 30, 2015 

On Tuesday, Brazil and the United States announced a joint effort to address climate change and boost renewable energy during a visit by Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff to the White House. Specifically, both countries pledged to increase renewable energy targets to 20 percent by 2030. The target excludes hydropower, an especially contentious power source in Brazil, where large and valuable ecosystems can be flooded out to make way for reservoirs. Brazil also committed to restore and reforest 12 million hectares — an area roughly the size of Pennsylvania — and to eliminate illegal deforestation.
Boston University signs deal to serve organic Maine oats
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, June 30, 2015 

Aurora Mills and Farms in Linneus just signed a deal with Boston University to supply the school with Maine oats for the upcoming school year. It’s a big win for The County and the state’s burgeoning food economy. “It’s exciting that they are looking at local grains,” said Sara Williams, whose father Matthew Williams opened the operation, where grain is milled on the farm, in 2001 to supply bakers with all Maine ingredients.
Freeport forum examines farming from a female perspective
Forecaster - Tuesday, June 30, 2015 

A panel discussion Monday at Wolfe's Neck Farm had federal officials, politicians, and local farmers talking about challenges women face in farming.U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, led the discussion, which included USDA Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden. The panel also featured Laura Neale, owner of Black Kettle Farm in Lyman; Alice Percy of Treble Ridge Farm in Whitefield; Jean Koons of Kennebec Creamery; Gina Simmons, operator of Common Wealth Poultry Co. in Gardiner, and Marada Cook of Crown of Maine in Vassalboro.
Hike: Reid State Park
Aislinn Sarnacki Act Out Blog - Tuesday, June 30, 2015 

Maine’s first state-owned saltwater beaches are located at Reid State Park, which was donated to the state by Georgetown resident and successful businessman Walter E. Reid in 1946. Short, easy walking trails are located near each of the three beaches.
East Millinocket votes against creating national park
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, June 30, 2015 

In a nonbinding referendum, a majority of East Millinocket residents on Monday rejected a proposal to create a national park in Maine’s north woods. In a 320-191 vote, they opposed the idea of creating a national park on 75,000 acres between Baxter State Park and the East Branch of the Penobscot River, with another 75,000-acre recreation area on the other side of the river. The land is owned by Eliotsville Plantation Inc., the foundation formed by Roxanne Quimby, the founder of Burt’s Bees and one of Maine’s most ardent conservationists. Eliotsville Plantation is already operating the area as a park, known as the Katahdin Woods & Waters Recreation Area. David Farmer, a spokesman for the effort to create the national park and recreation area, said the results of the votes have not altered the campaign’s efforts.
LePage signs wind power bill
Maine Environmental News - Tuesday, June 30, 2015 

Despite promising to veto all bills, on Monday Maine Governor LePage put his signature on LD 828. The bill establishes a process to allow residents of the Unorganized Territory to petition for removal of their communities from the expedited wind power permitting area. It does not prohibit wind power development. Rather, it just makes it restores the voice UT residents had in their communities' futures prior to the 2008 Maine Wind Energy Act.
Opinion: Encyclical reveals Vatican is ill-equipped to assess environmental issues
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, June 30, 2015 

The Vatican’s new papal encyclical on the environment is a highly political discussion of the theology of the environment. Pope Francis mixes heartfelt concern for ecology with an often limited or confused understanding of the problem of pollution and the meaning of markets. Unfortunately, the document’s policy prescriptions sound like they were written by an advocate. The resulting factual and philosophical shortcomings undercut the larger and more profound theological discussion. The Vatican is ill-equipped to assess environmental problems and develop policy solutions. ~ Doug Bardow, Cato Institute, and author of “Beyond Good Intentions: A Biblical View of Politics”
Opinion: ‘Fast track’ trade vote represents an abdication of Congress’ duty
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, June 30, 2015 

After a series of bumps in the road, the Trade Promotion Authority bill now heads to President Obama’s desk, where he will almost certainly sign it. We have a moral obligation to oppose these trade deals. We can’t allow multinational corporations to profit off lax environmental laws, pay workers pennies on the dollar and force work in cheap, inhumane conditions. Unregulated trade that allows and incentivizes these practices must be rejected. Congress owed it to us to reject Trade Promotion Authority so we can at least debate the merits of free trade policy, just as we would any other economic policy. ~ Alex Jackimovicz, Boothbay Harbor
Letter: Lawmakers should stand up to LePage
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, June 30, 2015 

As a former four-term Republican state representative, I urge my colleagues of either party, to speak up about what has happened to House Speaker Mark Eves, D-North Berwick. In the Maine Legislature, members address their fellow legislators with respect. The content of floor speech is limited to the merits or faults of the issue, and never the motives of the supporters or opponents. Your fellow legislators may be your opponent, but they are not your enemy. This is where our governor has failed us. I challenge former legislators, especially my fellow Republicans, to show moral courage and demonstrate allegiance to the body in which we once served. Call what is wrong, wrong! ~ Robert Daigle, Arundel
Letter: Help LePage
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, June 30, 2015 

It is obvious that Gov. Paul LePage is a very sick man. Sad also is his being our governor. I suggest we pray for him and for our state. He needs our help. But our help is not enough on its own. He himself must seek the necessary therapy to help him deal with his abusive childhood experience that has led to his pleasure in bullying institutions, other people and families. During this time he must step aside for his own sake and for the sake of the people he is supposed to serve. ~ Ted Little, York
Northern Lights on Moosehead Lake
Bangor Daily News - Monday, June 29, 2015 

Last Monday, Mike Taylor of Taylor Photography had news that a Northern Lights display was to take place near Moosehead Lake that night, and boy was it ever. Taylor set up right on the edge of the lake, which is Maine’s biggest, and recorded a time-laspe video from about 10 pm to nearly 3 am. [video]
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