July 16, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Tuesday, July 16, 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; hey, we're all connected). 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
‘Acadia Files’ author Coppens, Jul 23
Event - Posted - Tuesday, July 16, 2019 

Author Katie Coppens will conduct fun science experiments with kids of all ages. At Turner Public Library, July 23, 2 pm. Each volume of “The Acadia Files” helps young readers learn about the scientific method in fun and innovative ways by following the adventures of Acadia, a young scientist.
Help Stamp Money Out of Politics
Action Alert - Monday, July 15, 2019 

The flow of cash into the pockets of politicians from lobbyists, oil and gas companies, and billionaires bent on protecting their wealth is the biggest barrier to our government's taking action on climate change, and it is up to us to put a stop to it. That is why we're asking you to join the movement protesting Big Money's death grip on our future by rubber-stamping our cash with the message "Stamp Money Out of Politics." ~ Ben & Jerry
Tell Your Representative: Invest in Clean Energy and Climate Action
Action Alert - Monday, July 15, 2019 

Congress must update and extend vital tax credits in four key green technology areas needed to meet our climate goals — electric vehicles, offshore wind, electric grid scale storage, and building efficiency. Without these updated credits, clean energy innovation could stall and our planet will be driven even closer to the brink of climate catastrophe. ~ Natural Resources Defense Council Action Fund
Hearing on CMP billing errors, service shortcomings, rate hikes, Jul 22
Action Alert - Monday, July 15, 2019 

Maine Public Utilities Commission public witness hearing concerning Central Maine Power’s request to increase residential rates by over 10%, and CMP billing errors and poor customer service. At PUC, Hallowell, July 22, 6 pm.
Greenhorns summer workshops
Event - Posted - Monday, July 15, 2019 

Hear from historians, restoration ecologists, entomologists, fishermen, foresters and master craftsmen, on a wide range of topics at the intersection of the human and non-human world. Greenhorns, in Pembroke, works to create a welcoming culture for new entrants in sustainable agriculture.
Crystal Spring Farm Bee Tour, Jul 21
Event - Posted - Sunday, July 14, 2019 

Beekeeper Ken Faulkner will explain the importance of honeybees, hive dynamics, beekeeping, honeybee history, and more. At Crystal Spring Farmers’ Market parking area, Brunswick, July 21, 10 am, free. Sponsored by Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust.
Kayak to Woodward Point, Jul 21
Event - Posted - Sunday, July 14, 2019 

Check out newly protected Woodward Point on the New Meadows River in Brunswick from the water. July 21, 2 pm, pre-register. Sponsored by Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust and Maine Coast Heritage Trust.
Climate Convergence Conference, Jul 20
Event - Posted - Saturday, July 13, 2019 

Explore the roots of science denial and change the nature of the public discourse regarding Climate Change. At George Stevens Academy, Blue Hill, July 20.
Loon counters needed, Jul 20
Announcement - Saturday, July 13, 2019 

Each year more than a thousand volunteer counters fan out across Maine’s lakes to help track the status of the state’s loon population. Volunteer counters are needed on a number of Hancock County lakes and ponds, July 20, 7-7:30 am.
Traveling the Northern Forest Canoe Trail, Jul 19
Event - Posted - Friday, July 12, 2019 

Nicole Grohoski, GIS Specialist, Cartographer, and State Representative for District 132 will share adventures from completing the Northern Forest Canoe Trail. At Gordon’s Wharf, Sullivan, July 19, 7 pm. Sponsored by Friends of Taunton Bay and Frenchman Bay Conservancy.
Yoga on the Brunswick Mall, thru Sep 6
Event - Posted - Friday, July 12, 2019 

Classes led by Sundara Yoga’s qualified instructors. At Brunswick Town Mall lawn in front of the gazebo, every Friday (weather permitting), July 19 - September 6, 7:30 – 8:30 am, free.
Hearing on CMP billing errors, service shortcomings, rate hikes, Jul 18
Action Alert - Thursday, July 11, 2019 

Maine Public Utilities Commission public witness hearing concerning Central Maine Power’s request to increase residential rates by over 10%, and CMP billing errors and poor customer service. At UMaine at Farmington, July 18, 6 pm.
Forestry for Maine Birds, Jul 17
Event - Posted - Wednesday, July 10, 2019 

Learn how to improve habitat for priority forest birds and a variety of other wildlife species; take care of your woodland; work with other forest management goals; and enhance the value and enjoyment of Maine woodlands. At Mt. Vernon Community Center, July 17, 9:30 am - 2 pm.
Revisioning the Earth, Jul 16
Event - Posted - Tuesday, July 9, 2019 

Dana Sawyer, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and Religion at the Maine College of Art, will speak about Revisioning the Earth. At Harpswell Heritage Land Trust Annual Meeting, Orr’s Island Schoolhouse, July 16, 6:30 pm.
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News Items
Farmington dairyman struggles with how to save his farm
Sun Journal - Saturday, June 30, 2018 

With no buyer for his milk after Aug. 31, Farmington’s Bussie York struggles with how to save Sandy River Farms. Nationally, there’s too much milk, and trade war talk isn’t helping, according to an official with the Maine Milk Commission.
CMP Proposing $2.5 Billion Effort To Improve Services In Maine — And Consumers Might Foot The Bill
Maine Public - Saturday, June 30, 2018 

The parent company of Central Maine Power is proposing a $2.5 billion effort to "harden" its electricity distribution systems in Maine and New York, following major storms and outages over the past year — and the company would like to have consumers to pay some or all of the bill. Avangrid Inc. says storms are increasing in frequency and intensity, as it learned in Maine's October 2017 windstorm, which left hundreds of thousands of customers in the dark for days. Avangrid says the company is responding with a 10-year program to improve the system's resiliency.
Valley Cove tops backlog of work on Acadia trails
Acadia On My Mind Blog - Saturday, June 30, 2018 

Acadia National Park weighs in with nearly $60 million of backlogged maintenance, including more than $9 million on hiking trails alone. This year, the Acadia trails crew is involved in a major effort to reduce the maintenance backup, topped by a current overhaul of the Valley Cove Trail, which is located on the east side of St. Sauveur Mountain and runs along the west shore of Somes Sound, a 5-mile-long inlet that carves into Mount Desert Island.
Kennebec River Day in Mill Park pulls in crowd
Kennebec Journal - Saturday, June 30, 2018 

Kennebec River Day in Mill Park drew hundreds of people Saturday to the waterfront park north of downtown Augusta. The annual event is part of the Whatever Family Festival, which encompasses a wide range of summer activities from mid-June to the Fourth of July.
Editorial: Maine’s lobster industry depends on Trump’s dealmaking. That’s worrisome.
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, June 30, 2018 

China’s proposed retaliatory tariffs on U.S. lobster leave the fate of that major export market trapped in the hands of America’s dealmaker-in-chief, Donald Trump. There’s reason the industry in Maine should be frightened at the prospect. Maine lobster exports to China are up 187 percent this year. In 2017, China spent $55 million on live, fresh or chilled lobster from Maine. Matt Jacobson, head of the Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative, said China’s announcement of retaliatory tariffs set to take effect July 6 “isn’t good news at all.” Trump has not shown an aptitude for negotiations. He has consistently chosen style over substance, seeking to accomplish something he thinks looks good, no matter the cost.
Maine lobster industry braces for looming bait shortage
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, June 30, 2018 

Maine’s lobster industry is on watch as fisheries regulators weigh whether to make significant cuts to herring catch limits, which could drive up bait costs that have already seen a sharp increase over the past decade. Over the past decade, herring catches have dropped about 40 percent. The price of the bait fish has climbed about 80 percent during that same period, according to Patrice McCarron, the Maine Lobstermen’s Association executive director.
Rescue animals live out their best lives at this Maine farm
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, June 30, 2018 

It was a bucolic scene. And for most of the animals here, it’s dramatically different from the way they had been living before Scott Barbour and his girlfriend, Michelle Atwood-Beaudoin, plucked them from bad situations and grim futures. Now, they live the good life at the 3-acre hobby farm in Jefferson. In turn, the animals’ presence makes the farm, which they call the “Hobbit Farm,” a happy place for the people who live there.
Letter: We don't want these wind towers in Maine
Sun Journal - Saturday, June 30, 2018 

It seems to me that if Massachusetts has an insatiable need for power that it should produce it there instead of expecting Maine towns and people to ruin their quality of life. We don’t want 600-foot wind towers and neither does the U.S. government, which subsidizes these things. Don’t be mislead about financial benefits as there will also be financial drawbacks. Think about long-term losses in lifestyle while living in close proximity to an industrial park of 600-foot towers covering three mountains and hovering over all of us. ~ Dwight L. Mills, Greenwood
Letter: Maine should dive into seafood farming
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, June 30, 2018 

I sure hope Maine’s economic development authorities read the June 24 article “U.S. imported more seafood in 2017 than any prior year.” Here’s the opportunities this presents: 2018 imports will likely beat 2017 imports. You seek job and investment opportunities? Maine-farmed seafood (fish, oysters, clams) can become a truly world-class brand. Target Maine investors first. ~ Charlie Galloway, Kennebunk
Column: The Greenland Salmon Pact gives Maine fishermen hope
Piscataquis Observer - Friday, June 29, 2018 

The days of recreational fishing for this King of Game Fish in North America may be gone forever. Less than two percent of the salmon smolts released in the Canadian maritime rivers have returned. Although a National Academy of Science report in 2005 showed that 80 percent of Atlantic salmon runs came into the Penobscot, the salmon count in this river so far this spring has been below 1,000. It is little wonder that the fish is federally listed as an endangered species. Nonetheless, there is still a glimmer of hope. The Atlantic Salmon Federation and the North Atlantic Salmon Fund have signed a 12-year deal with Greenland’s commercial fishermen to protect North Atlantic salmon from commercial nets. The other good news is that the Penobscot River restoration is on the move. ~ V. Paul Reynolds
Climate becoming top spiritual priority
Washington Post - Friday, June 29, 2018 

Off the Greek island of Spetses, the leader of 300 million Christians worldwide told a group of nearly 200 religious leaders, academics and activists that they needed to move beyond intellectualism when it came to the environment. “What remains for us is to preach what we practice,” said Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, turning a traditional phrase on its head. In 1989 his predecessor, Patriarch Dimitrios I, designated Sept. 1 as a day of prayer for the welfare of all creation, and Barthlomew has expanded upon this initiative. [Maine poet Gary Lawless and photographer Beth Leonard, who own Gulf of Maine Books, participated in the conference.]
Rumford mill sale completed
Sun Journal - Friday, June 29, 2018 

The Catalyst paper mill officially has a new owner and a new name. ND Paper, a subsidiary of Nine Dragons Paper of Hong Kong, announced Friday that it had completed the purchase of paper mills in Rumford and Biron, Wisconsin, and an operations center in Ohio from Catalyst Paper Corp. for $175 million. They’re Nine Dragons’ first mills in the U.S. Nine Dragons Paper is the largest containerboard producer in China. Containerboard is commonly used in cardboard boxes. A national paper industry analyst said last month that he was already hearing talk about Nine Dragons converting Rumford from coated paper production to containerboard, for which there is a growing market.
Price of Maine wild blueberries tumbles to lowest point in more than 30 years
Portland Press Herald - Friday, June 29, 2018 

The per pound price of Maine’s wild blueberries sank to its lowest point in more than three decades last year, as growers struggled with competition from cheaper Canadian producers and a thriving cultivated blueberry industry. Maine berries fetched 26 cents per pound last year, the lowest price since 1985, according to University of Maine data. The estimated value of the harvest was $17.6 million, a 37 percent fall from 2016.
Watchdog group, owner spar over fish kill at Ellsworth dam
Bangor Daily News - Friday, June 29, 2018 

The Downeast Salmon Federation is monitoring what its biologist calls “a massive fish kill” on the Union River below a Brookfield Asset Management dam in Ellsworth. The fish kill apparently began Tuesday, as thousands of baby alewives and other species unsuccessfully tried to swim downstream through or over the dam, said Brett Ciccotelli, a fisheries biologist for the federation. “The flow of the river has been full of dead or dying baby river herring, their scales, their fins, their eyeballs,” Ciccotelli said Friday. A spokeswoman for Brookfield said that Downeast exaggerates the number of fish killed and that the dam owner is working with several agencies to limit environmental damage.
Scandals haven’t beaten Pruitt, but a biofuel policy fight might
Bloomberg News - Friday, June 29, 2018 

A deluge of political scandals hasn’t sunk EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. But a wonky debate over the nation’s biofuel policy just might. Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley bluntly warned last month he would call for Pruitt’s resignation if the Environmental Protection Agency continued exempting small oil refineries from a mandate to use renewable fuels such as ethanol made from corn, a staple crop in his home state of Iowa. When Pruitt moved to do what Grassley wanted — with a plan that would force larger refineries to make up for the waivers by using more biofuel — he sparked an angry uproar among oil executives and allied lawmakers who telephoned top Trump administration officials to warn: Pruitt’s job was on the line.
Town’s plan to slow down tourist drivers hits ‘a dead end’ with state officials
Other - Friday, June 29, 2018 

Kittery’s pursuit of lower speed limits to slow down summertime drivers cutting through Kittery neighborhoods has hit a roadblock. Town Manager Kendra Amaral told the Town Council Monday night, that the DOT’s Randy Illian told her most speed changes require a speed study to be conducted, and Kittery likely would not be successful in lowering the speed limits based on the department’s manual of how it determines speed and applicable engineering principles. If studies were conducted, some posted speeds on Kittery roads may actually increase — the opposite of the town’s intentions.
Letter: Maine's game plan is for profit, not conservation
Forecaster - Friday, June 29, 2018 

Maine’s 15-year Game Management Plan for the four big game species – black bear, deer, moose, and turkeys – was released in May. It recommends is more hunting of deer in central and southern Maine. It should come as no surprise, since Maine has had an ongoing war against predators with hunting, trapping, and hounding of bobcats and coyotes for years, ensuring that the deer population and hunting revenue remains high. The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife would like to expand “any-deer” permits this year to nearly 85,000. This cruel attack on Maine’s wildlife would leave many fawns to fend for themselves over the winter. This reckless proposal seems more geared toward profit rather than conservation. ~ Val Philbrick, Scarborough
Terry Hayes makes lots of commitments on environmental and conservation issues
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Friday, June 29, 2018 

Terry Hayes is an independent candidate for governor. Today I am sharing her comprehensive responses to a lengthy survey by Maine Audubon. On June 27 I posted the survey responses from Alan Caron, another independent candidate for governor. Neither the Republican nor the Democratic nominees completed the survey, but I am urging them to do so, and if they do, I will share their responses with you. Here’s what Terry Hayes had to say.
How to protect your livestock from wildlife
Bangor Daily News - Friday, June 29, 2018 

Pretty much anyone who farms or raises livestock in Maine has a story about a too close for comfort wildlife encounter. Or worse. “It’s a big issue,” Cindy Kilgore, livestock specialist with the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, said. “It depends on what you’ve got for livestock and what is going to eat it.” Under Maine law, a wild animal or wild turkey can be killed if found in the act of “attacking, worrying or wounding that person’s domestic animals or domestic birds, or destroying that person’s property.” The incident must be reported to the Maine Warden Service. But according to Kilgore, when it comes to wildlife and livestock, an ounce of prevention can be worth a pound of cure.
Where There’s a Whale, There’s a Way
Other - Friday, June 29, 2018 

Daily Nexus - With estimated numbers of 500, the North Atlantic right whale is highly endangered. Due to anthropogenic warming, availability of their main food source in the Gulf of Maine has been low since 2011 and is expected to further decrease, causing speculation of a shift of the right whale’s habitat range and a decline in their numbers. The right whale’s low rate of calving — with only five calves born in 2017 and none yet sighted in 2018 — reflects the decline in prey in their traditional feeding grounds. Right whales also face high mortality rates due to ship strikes and entanglement in fishing gear.
Letter: Where is farm bill's logic?
Sun Journal - Friday, June 29, 2018 

Rep. Poliquin supports funding the purchase of frozen blueberries for snacks for school children. Frozen blueberries will not work as snacks for school kids, unless they are combined with a generous dose of sugar. How does that fit with another federal program to discourage the consumption of maple syrup because of unhealthful levels of sugar in American diets? The real cause of the collapsing price for wild blueberries has been the promotion of the herbicide Velpar by UMaine, which greatly increased production. Organic blueberry growers, who must control weeds with hand labor, have not seen a price reduction. ~ Arthur Harvey, Hartford
Rockweed harvest continues to provoke debate
Mainebiz - Thursday, June 28, 2018 

Landowners around Cobscook Bay in Washington County are raising concerns that rockweed harvesting operations there are destroying the habitat for other marine organisms and shorebirds. The landowners expressed concern that the rockweed harvesting is destroying the shoreline habitat. Cheryl Sawtelle, who lives on the North Lubec Road, said that shorebirds, ducks, kingfishers and other marine-dependent organisms are gone because of rockweed cutting. "I feel the food chain's been broken and we're out of time," she said. Earlier this year, residents of Stonington and Deer Isle expressed concern about noise from the machinery used to harvest rockweed in their area, as well as the potential for bycatch and the impact of harvesting on biodiversity.
Messalonskee teacher is Maine Agriculture in the Classroom teacher of year
Turner Publishing - Thursday, June 28, 2018 

Beth Prelgovisk, a health teacher from Messalonskee High School in Oakland, was recognized as the Maine Agriculture in the Classroom Teacher of the Year for 2018. She was presented the award at the National Agriculture in the Classroom Organization’s Conference “Agriculture for ME on Land and Sea.” Prelgovisk was chosen because of her program that provides high school students with education around the production of food.
Jay water district lifts boil-water order
Sun Journal - Thursday, June 28, 2018 

Jay Village Water District lifted its boil-water order Thursday, three days after it was announced because of a water line break. Customers on School Bus Road, Ludden Drive and Barker Street who lost water during the break Monday can now use the water as normal.
Conservation Groups Partner With Navy To Protect Land Near Appalachain Trail In Rangeley
Maine Public - Thursday, June 28, 2018 

An unusual partnership between the Trust for Public Land, the Maine Appalachian Trail Land Trust and the U.S. Navy has led to the protection of more than 10,000 acres near the Appalachian Trail in Rangeley. The area is popular for hiking, fishing, snowmobiling and hunting. It's also home to a wilderness training school run by the Navy, which provided much of the funding for the purchase of conservation easements. Betsy Cook of the Trust for Public Land says the project will ensure that scenic views, wildlife habitat and public access are protected.
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