July 19, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Thursday, July 18, 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
Help Wanted: Communications & Research Assistant
Announcement - Thursday, July 18, 2019 

The North American Megadams Resistance Alliance is hiring a Communications & Research Assistant, based at Sierra Club Maine, to work on a campaign opposing Canadian hydropower dams and transmission corridors planned for the U.S.
Support Island Stewardship
Announcement - Thursday, July 18, 2019 

Maine Island Trail Association volunteers will make 1,400 boat landings on Trail sites this summer to provide care for these special places and assure they can remain open to explorers. Support the Float Their Boats campaign to strengthen MITA's 30-year tradition of volunteer stewardship of the Trail.
Fur, Feathers & Feet, Jul 24
Event - Posted - Wednesday, July 17, 2019 

An introduction to birds and mammals. At Orr's Island Library, Harpswell, July 24, 10 am. Presented by Chewonki Foundation.
Thoreau-Wabanaki Trail Festival, Jul 24-26
Event - Posted - Wednesday, July 17, 2019 

The festival celebrates the Wabanaki Native American people and naturalist writer Henry David Thoreau’s three journeys into the Maine Woods. At Center for Moosehead History, Greenville, July 24-26.
‘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.
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News Items
Unity College receives another gift from Couri Foundation
Morning Sentinel - Friday, June 28, 2019 

The benefactors who enriched Unity College’s offerings with a historic hunting lodge and 150 acres a year ago have added a welcoming center to Sky Lodge that, according to Elaine and John Couri, of the Couri Foundation, will serve as a starting point for all visitors to the Moose River property. The Elaine and John Couri Welcome Center stands directly across from Sky Lodge.
Maine Strawberry Season Will Likely Be Delayed, But Delicious
Maine Public - Friday, June 28, 2019 

This year's Maine strawberry season is expected to be late and short, but it looks like the flavor and size will be good. David Handley, with UMaine Cooperative Extension, says this year's rainy, cool weather has delayed the season in most of Maine by 10 to fourteen days. If temperatures warm up, the season could only last two and a half to three weeks for most varieties, but longer in northern Maine where temperatures have been a little cooler. Handley says 90 percent of Maine’s strawberry crop is sold to customers who pick their own.
Nearly 10,000 alewives die after Stillwater Dam malfunction
Bangor Daily News - Friday, June 28, 2019 

About 135 bushels of river herring died Wednesday when they were able to swim beyond a device designed to keep debris out of the Stillwater Dam and were chewed up by the turbines. Brookfield Renewable, which owns the dam, said the fish were heading from fresh water back to the sea after spawning. The approximately 66 bushel of river herring (~135 per bushel) were provided to the Ellsworth Alewife Harvester to be used as lobster bait.
DIFW Award Winners
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Friday, June 28, 2019 

Kendall Marden, a wildlife biologist, was honored with one of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s highest honors, the Kenneth Anderson award, given annually to the member of the department who has made exemplary contributions towards the enhancement of the state’s inland fisheries and wildlife. Kelsey Sullivan, a wildlife biologist who oversees the department’s game bird management program, was honored as the wildlife division’s employee of the year. Katie Yates, MDIFW’s Recruitment, Retention and Reactivation Coordinator received MDIFW’s Employee of the Year award in the Professional/Technical category.
Ex-Gov. Baldacci, board member of CMP’s parent, says company should make customers whole
Portland Press Herald - Friday, June 28, 2019 

Former Maine Gov. John Baldacci, who serves on the board of Central Maine Power Co.’s parent company, said Friday that if systemic problems led to the utility over-billing customers, it should act immediately to “make those customers whole.” Baldacci’s statement about making sure customers are made whole went beyond what CMP officials have said about the controversy that was documented in a recent Maine Sunday Telegram investigation of how the utility mismanaged the 2017 roll-out of a new $56 million billing system.
Maine CDC Congratulates Winners of the 2019 Lyme Disease Awareness Poster Contest
Maine Government News - Friday, June 28, 2019 

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention congratulates the winners of the 2019 Lyme Disease Awareness Month poster contest. Maine students (K-5th grade) designed posters on the theme, "Tick Aware and Tick Alert." The winning posters are available on Maine CDC's website (www.maine.gov/lyme). Each winner received a Maine State Parks family day pass, a certificate, and tick-removal kits for their classroom. The poster contest winners:
• Addie Knieser, 1st grade, Stratton School
• Alaina Kachnovich, 3rd grade, Spruce Mountain Elementary School
• Natasha McDonald, 4th grade, Spruce Mountain Elementary School
• Patrick Libby, 3rd grade, Spruce Mountain Elementary School
Conservationists celebrate key Maine dam removal 20 years on
Associated Press - Friday, June 28, 2019 

Environmentalists in Maine say the removal of a dam on the Kennebec River remains a pivotal moment in the state's conservation movement 20 years later. Supporters will gather in Augusta on Monday to celebrate the removal of the Edwards Dam. The dam removal allowed fish to return to the river and improved habitat for birds such as bald eagles and ospreys. Natural Resources Council of Maine says the removal of the dam was the beginning of a movement toward river restoration around the country. 1,200 dams have been removed since. The former dam site is now a park that includes a boat launch. The July 1 anniversary event will be held at the park.
Maine’s abnormally wet spring could mean smaller, rotting crops at local farms
Bangor Daily News - Friday, June 28, 2019 

Maine farmers’ spring plantings and field maintenance have been delayed by two to four weeks this year due to fields that are too wet and soft to handle heavy machinery. This threatens the profitability of this year’s crop for farmers already suffering from low market prices and high transportation costs. The delay could mean smaller vegetable plants, a delayed harvest and increased chances of crops fouled by rot, disease or predators, said Ellen Sabina, a spokeswoman for Maine Farmland Trust.
When blueberry prices bottomed out, 2 men tossed them in a barrel and made brandy
Bangor Daily News - Friday, June 28, 2019 

One day, Jeremy Howard, a seventh generation blueberry farmer from Hope, was having a beer at a Scottish pub owned by his friend Andrew Stewart. Maine’s blueberry farmers were facing a 26 percent price drop in the market. Howard was wondering how he could keep his family’s business, Brodis Farm, viable with decreasing profits. “If blueberries are so cheap, why don’t we just distill them?” Stewart asked Howard. In December, after years of conversations and research, Howard and Stewart began production on Blue Barren Distillery’s signature spirit, an unaged fruit brandy called eau de vie, made entirely from Brodis Farm blueberries.
How one woman’s 30-year career changed the way Mainers think about the outdoors
Bangor Daily News - Friday, June 28, 2019 

When Lisa Kane accepted a job with the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife in 1989 as natural science educator the department had no plan. "They’re like, ‘We really want to educate people about wildlife. Go do it.” Kane has been a point person on education ever since, teaching groups at the Maine Wildlife Park in Gray and working with educators to show them how the state’s wildlife and wild places can play a role in the classroom.
How a Maine bass fishing tournament is helping fight global water woes
Bangor Daily News - Friday, June 28, 2019 

The first Schoodic Lake Bass Fishing Tournament is trying to share something that Maine has plenty of — fresh water — with countries that simply don’t have enough of it. The tournament is scheduled for Sunday, July 14, at the boat launch in Lakeview Plantation. In some countries, one child dies every 21 seconds as a result of drinking contaminated water said Rachel McMannus, a senior at Penquis Valley High School in Milo. The cost of a well in a developing country is estimated at $12,000, and that’s the total the Penquis Key Club is trying to raise.
Column: When it comes to birds, elevation changes everything
Bangor Daily News - Friday, June 28, 2019 

Every 1,000 feet of elevation gain is the equivalent of traveling north 300 miles. Perhaps you’ve been on a mountaintop, admiring the view, and thought to yourself, “Hey, the birds are different up here.” You’re correct. Elevation changes everything. Generally, the temperature decreases three degrees for every 1,000 feet of elevation gain. Summits also get more than their share of moisture, and the earth dries out more slowly up there. As habitat changes, so do the birds. So go climb a mountain, and report back to me. I’ll wait here. ~ Bob Duchesne
Opinion: Trump administration’s efforts to save coal are a slap in the face to humanity
Portland Press Herald - Friday, June 28, 2019 

Two reports – the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change survey and the United States’ Fourth National Climate Assessment – describe the causes of climate change and warn about current and future impacts. According to the IPCC, current greenhouse-gas emissions must be reduced by 100% by 2050. The U.S. report is the work of over 300 experts, guided by a 60-member Federal Advisory Committee. It urges us, as a nation, to take action to address climate change. Despite these reports, President Trump took action to protect the coal industry and make climate change worse. Our morals guide us to conclude that younger generations should not be hurt by the mistakes of older generations. Climate change will most assuredly harm future generations. ~ The Rev. Richard Killmer (retired), Yarmouth
Opinion: Climate change is scary. Claims of ‘horns’ from smartphone use aren’t
Portland Press Herald - Friday, June 28, 2019 

Recently, some news outlets fell for the claim that looking down at smartphones was causing young people’s skulls to sprout “horns.” The whole smartphone claim was backed by no evidence. This spring, at a meeting at the Columbia School of Journalism, reporters were urged to more aggressively scare people about human-induced climate change. Fake news? Not at all, because there is ample evidence that it’s happening, and that it’s likely to get a lot worse. Fair and balanced reporting on the climate should be really scary. But the efforts of the environmental journalists are being undermined by the health journalists. ~ Faye Flam
Letter: Maine has water rights all wrong
Kennebec Journal - Friday, June 28, 2019 

In the 1980s, Maine’s law court used a 1647 Massachusetts ordinance which stated that “the Proprietor of the land adjoining [the sea] shall have proprietie to the low water mark” to declare private coastal land owners owned the intertidal zone. They claimed that “propriety” meant a “fee simple deed.” That definition is wrong. Recent research of several hundred Massachusetts deeds and all extant Maine deeds before 1760 revealed all grants to coastal properties deeded the property with “liberty” or “propriety” to the low water mark. A propriety was essentially an easement. There was not one example that deed, grant, etc. was ever equated with “propriety.” ~ Edwin A. Churchill, Ph.D., historical consultant, Augusta
Letter: Maine lobstermen a convenient target
Ellsworth American - Friday, June 28, 2019 

I have been writing to defend the lobster industry since 1997. I wrote this in an open letter to Governor King, Sens. Snowe and Collins and Reps. Baldacci and Allen: “...The right whale is the spotted owl of [the lobster] industry. Even though the proposed gear regulations (sinking instead of floating lines) are ostensibly aimed at protecting an endangered species, the right whale is only a surrogate for the actual target, you, the lobster industry itself." In the interim since the switch from floating to sinking lines the lobster fishery has enjoyed monumental increases in landings and incomes, irrespective of fuel, bait and other challenges over this 22-year period. Once NOAA gets done with its new regulations on trap lines etc., ad nauseam, tariffs will not matter because you will have been put out of business. ~ Dudley Gray, Rangeley Plantation
Showdown Over the Land and Water Conservation Fund Continues
Other - Thursday, June 27, 2019 

Outdoor Life Magazine - Earlier this spring, President Trump signed a massive public lands bill which permanently reauthorized the Land and Water Conservation Fund. But passing that bill didn't actually secure any real money for LWCF, that battle would be fought later. Well, later is now. Trump’s initial budget has no funding for land acquisition. "To the extent we're siphoning off these funds for other entirely different purposes, that's really not appropriate," Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) told The Hill. Both the House and Senate have countered with bills that would provide full funding of $900 million annually to the LWCF.
Rumford man investigated for cutting off opossum’s tail
Sun Journal - Thursday, June 27, 2019 

An opossum is recovering at an Auburn wildlife rescue facility after a man cut off its tail and left him for dead last week. The opossum is popular among some residents in the Rumford neighborhood he has roamed for at least a couple of years. One family there named him Percy. The man told the investigating warden that the opossum attacked him. Because he no longer has a tail, Percy can never be returned to the wild. Jennifer Marchigiani, a wildlife rehabilitator at Misfits Rehab in Auburn, plans to keep him.
CMP’s president and owner are named as defendants in lawsuit claiming fraud
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, June 27, 2019 

Lawyers representing frustrated ratepayers expanded a lawsuit against Central Maine Power on Thursday, naming the company president, Douglas Herling, and the Spanish holding company, Iberdrola, that owns it as defendants and accusing them of fraud and racketeering.
New lobstering rules may be implemented by 2021
Associated Press - Thursday, June 27, 2019 

Changes to the Maine lobster fishery designed to help a critically endangered species of whale might arrive in 2021 after a lengthy rulemaking process. A team assembled by the federal government has called for the removal of half the vertical trap lines from the Gulf of Maine to reduce risk to North Atlantic right whales. The Maine Department of Marine Resources has been meeting with lobstermen around the state to begin crafting rules to achieve that goal.
Maine utility regulators agree to more tests of CMP’s billing system
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, June 27, 2019 

Staff at the Maine Public Utilities Commission on Thursday granted a request from the Maine Office of the Public Advocate to conduct more tests of Central Maine Power’s error-prone billing system, as complaints continue to come in from electricity customers. More than 100,000 customers received inaccurate bills after the company rolled out its new SmartCare billing system in October 2017. But advocates for overbilled ratepayers suggest the number may be much higher and are pursuing a class-action lawsuit against the company.
Goat restrained, returned to owner after chasing woman down street in Oakland
Morning Sentinel - Thursday, June 27, 2019 

A goat has been chastised after Oakland police found the creature to blame for chasing a woman down a street. Officer Jacob Earle responded to the call around 9 a.m. Sunday. It took some effort to coax the feisty goat into submission. “Despite assaulting our officer a few times the suspect was ultimately restrained,” officials said. The goat was returned to its owner by 9:15 a.m. and the woman it chased said she will not press charges.
Enviros angered by Angus King biomass provision in renewable energy bill
Maine Environmental News - Thursday, June 27, 2019 

On Wednesday, Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) introduced legislation in Congress to create a national “Renewable Energy Standard.” Shortly before the bill was unveiled, to get Sen. Angus King (I-ME) to sign on as a cosponsor, language was added that would provide subsidies for polluting and inefficient wood-burning power plants. The Renewable Energy Standard Act contains important provisions. Before the problematic biomass wording was inserted, dozens of groups and renewable energy businesses endorsed the bill, including half a dozen groups active in Maine. However, the King biomass provision has triggred a backlash. A coalition of regional and national environmental groups expressed outrage at the King biomass provision in the Udall proposal.
Twenty years of dam removal successes – and what's up next
Other - Thursday, June 27, 2019 

Twenty years ago, the annual run of alewives (a migratory fish essential to the marine food web) up Maine’s Kennebec River was zero. Today, it’s five million — thanks to the removal of Edwards Dam and additional restoration measures upstream. The Kennebec and its web of life have rebounded in many ways since Edwards Dam came down in 1999. The removal of Edwards Dam was significant because it was the first time the federal government ordered a dam removed because its costs outweighed its benefits. The restoration of the Kennebec sparked a movement for free-flowing rivers in the U.S. and around the world.
Maine settles with logger over harvesting violations
Associated Press - Thursday, June 27, 2019 

The Maine Forest Service reached an administrative settlement with David Roy, who owns Roy’s Logging and was charged with violating Maine’s Forest Practices Act in Hartford. Roy created a 24-acre clear cut without a plan as required by Maine rules. He has agreed to pay a $2,000 civil penalty for the violation. All but $400 of the penalty has been sent to the state’s Community Forest Fund.
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