December 15, 2017  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Wednesday, December 13, 2017 

Thanks for visiting Maine Environmental News, a service of RESTORE: The North Woods. MEN is the most comprehensive online source available for links to Maine conservation and natural resource news and events. 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
Maine Energy Planning Roadmap hearings, Dec 19, Dec 29, Jan 10
Event - Posted - Tuesday, December 12, 2017 

The Governor’s Energy Office is asking Mainers for input in developing an Energy Planning Roadmap. Public hearings:
• Dec. 19: University of Southern Maine, Portland
• Dec. 29: Energy, Utilities, & Technology Committee, Augusta
• Jan. 10: University of Maine, Presque Isle
Help wanted: Visitor Center Assistant
Announcement - Monday, December 11, 2017 

Seasonal position, May 1 - October 31, 2018, representing Audubon’s Seabird Restoration Program at the Project Puffin Visitor Center in Rockland.
Free Skiing & Learn-to-Ski Clinics, Dec 16
Event - Posted - Saturday, December 9, 2017 

Waterville Parks & Rec, with support from Friends of Quarry Road, will provide free trail passes, free rentals, and free learn-to-ski clinics at Quarry Road Trails, December 16.
Meadow Brook/Hurds Pond Preserve Hike, Dec 16
Event - Posted - Saturday, December 9, 2017 

Cloe Chunn will lead a hike of Meadow Brook/Hurds Pond, a preserve of Coastal Mountains Land Trust. Meet at Swanville Transfer Station, December 16, 10 am. Sponsored by Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition.
Tax bill would slam the brakes on solar and wind energy
Action Alert - Friday, December 8, 2017 

The tax bill passed by the Senate last Friday includes an obscure provision that could pull the rug out from under solar and wind power. The House version also takes aim at renewable energy by rolling back key tax credits. These provisions "would have a devastating ... impact on wind and solar energy," according to renewable energy industry leaders. ~ Environment Maine
Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, Dec 14
Event - Posted - Thursday, December 7, 2017 

Tim Hudson, Superintendent, will take you through the landscape of Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument with pictures. At Belfast Free Library, December 14, 6:30 pm. Sponsored by Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition.
Whales of the Gulf of Maine: A Naturalist’s Report, Dec 14
Event - Posted - Thursday, December 7, 2017 

Zack Klyver, chief naturalist for the Bar Harbor Whale Watch Company and founder of Flukes whale watch ecotours, will present an engaging review of the 2017 whale watch season. At Schoodic Institute, Winter Harbor, December 14, 12 pm.
Olive oil tasting, Dec 13
Event - Posted - Wednesday, December 6, 2017 

FIORE Artisan Olive Oils & Vinegars will host an evening to support the Brunswick Topsham Land Trust at its tasting room in Brunswick, December 13, 5-7 pm.
The Arctic Needs Your Help
Action Alert - Tuesday, December 5, 2017 

Buried deep within the Senate tax bill is a provision to open the pristine Arctic Refuge, a national treasure, to oil and gas drilling, which will cause widespread pollution and harm to the wildlife and people who call this place home. Express your disappointment to Senator Susan Collins and urge her to protect our natural legacy by working to remove this damaging language before the tax bill becomes law. ~ Maine Conservation Voters
Birds from the Footbridge in Belfast, Dec 9
Event - Posted - Saturday, December 2, 2017 

Join Ron Harrell and Gary Gulezian to watch ducks, loons and other birds in the harbor. At the Belfast Footbridge, December 9, 8-10 am. Organized by Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition.
Win $1,000 L.L.Bean shopping spree and an outing with David Sibley
Announcement - Friday, December 1, 2017 

Wildlife Acoustics, makers of the Song Sleuth bird identifying app, launched the Sibley Sweepstakes on December 1. Ends March 1. No purchase necessary to enter.
Baxter State Park sign auction, ends Dec 6
Announcement - Thursday, November 30, 2017 

Auction of retired Baxter State Park signs, plus the historic dinner bell from Kidney Pond Camps. Friends Baxter State Park will donate half the proceeds to Baxter State Park, and half will support FBSP programs. Ends December 6.
Blazing Ahead: the Rivalry that Built the Appalachian Trail, Dec 7
Event - Posted - Thursday, November 30, 2017 

Jeffrey Ryan tells the story of the unlikely creation of the Appalachian Trail. At Bangor Public Library, December 7, 6 pm. Sponsored by Appalachian Mountain Club Maine Chapter.
Celebrate CREA and the Season, Dec 7
Event - Posted - Thursday, November 30, 2017 

Meet new Executive Director Wendy Van Damme, hear about new programs and plans, and contemplate the joy of winter activity at the Cathance River Education Alliance’s 235 acre nature preserve in Topsham. At Frontier Cafe, Brunswick, December 7, 4:30 to 6:30 pm, RSVP.
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News Items
Romney states' rights plan scores with his base
Other - Friday, August 31, 2012 

Energy & Environment - Romney's team has said he would allow the production tax credit for wind and solar power to expire on schedule at the end of this year and criticized the ramp-up in fuel efficiency standards that the White House finalized during this week's convention. In addition to handing states oversight of energy development on federal lands, Romney would form an alliance with Canada and Mexico aimed at speeding infrastructure development on the continent -- led by the Keystone XL pipeline. The GOP nominee's plan also calls for broad limits on regulatory reviews under EPA rules and the National Environmental Policy Act.
Mocking the Earth
Other - Friday, August 31, 2012 

Forbes - Mitt Romney stated in his Republican nomination acceptance speech, “President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans,” implying that healing the planet would not help families in need. Between January and July of this year, the Northeast United States (Romney’s Massachusetts included) experienced its hottest period since such data was first documented in 1895. This may be the hottest period in over a half-million years in North America. In the Arctic, sea ice has also disappeared faster this year, indeed, this month, than ever in documented history. The drought afflicting half of the United States is the worst since the mega-droughts of the 14th century that drove whole North American cultures to extinction. The Republican National Convention did not appear to show the least concern about such matters. ~ Michael Charles Tobias
Game wardens looking for more order in Summerhaven shooting pits
Kennebec Journal - Friday, August 31, 2012 

Game wardens this summer put up a sign in the Summerhaven pits area, a longtime favorite for target shooting, saying it's a public shooting range and asking those who use it to "carry in, carry out." The sign is now riddled with bullet holes and the effort to clean up debris left by some of the shooters — some of which has been there for years — is an ongoing effort. The Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, and Sportsman's Alliance of Maine, see the value of safe shooting ranges so much the state agency and private advocacy organization are working together to secure some $750,000 in federal funding to make safety improvements to shooting ranges across the state.
Self-Propelled Journal: August 21-22 Baxter Peak
Bangor Daily News - Friday, August 31, 2012 

When my mountain bike left the pavement of the Elliotsville Road on August 14, I started a unique part of this journey. From that point, and until I step out of the canoe in Fort Kent, I will travel over 200 miles without touching or crossing a paved public roadway. This kind of thing is not possible in any other state east of the Mississippi River. The Maine Woods comprise the biggest dark spot on any night-time aerial view of the eastern U.S. The darkest spot may well be Baxter State Park, where I have been hiking for the last two days. ~ Jim Andrews
MDI Man Helping to Assess Ocean Health
Mount Desert Islander - Friday, August 31, 2012 

About four years ago, Mount Desert Island resident Steven Katona hit a stumbling block while working on a project for the environmental organization Conservation International (CI). The former president at College of the Atlantic had been contracted by the nonprofit to help develop its program on marine environments. Conservation International, which sponsors projects all over the world, wanted a comprehensive perspective on issues in the world’s oceans, he recalled. But Katona found there were few grounds for comparing them. There were scattered studies and surveys, but these were based on approaches that varied widely between locations. For the next four years, Dr. Katona developed the Ocean Health Index.
Monson residents to consider moratorium that would block east-west highway
Bangor Daily News - Friday, August 31, 2012 

Monson residents will be asked next week to consider imposing a six-month moratorium on private corridors, including the proposed east-west highway, during a special town meeting.
Bull Hill wind project nearing completion
WLBZ-TV2 - Friday, August 31, 2012 

The Bull Hill wind turbine project in Aurora, east of Bangor, is in the final stages of construction. Work began in February, and 16 of the 19 turbines are now standing. The project superintendent said it will be about another 3-4 weeks before the remaining three wind turbines are standing. First Wind is developing the project and it said wind energy can be a beneficial source of energy, but the Citizens' Task Force on Wind Power disagrees.
Stream Restoration Initiative
Maine Public Broadcasting Network - Friday, August 31, 2012 

Lots of attention has been paid to the removal of old dams in recent years, a trend conservationists say has helped restore sea-run fish to some rivers. Much less focus has been placed on the tens of thousands of stream crossings in Maine and on the culverts that have been built to prevent water from washing out roadways in the Spring. A new initiative is underway to get engineers to consider fish passage when they design culverts and bridges.
Editorial: A natural gas solution
Bangor Daily News - Friday, August 31, 2012 

Gov. Paul LePage is right to say Maine needs natural gas. But getting more of the clean-burning, affordable fuel into the state will require a continued long-term effort on the part of not just the government, but also businesses, industrial operations and residents. Natural gas pipeline networks are market-driven and will be built only where there is the demand to justify the cost of building them.
RLHT hires new executive director
Daily Bulldog (Franklin County) - Friday, August 31, 2012 

Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust is pleased to announce the hiring of Chris Devine from Holderness, NH, as new executive director to replace Nancy Perlson upon her retirement. Devine served as the Executive Director of the Squam Lakes Association.
Fly Rod Crosby Trail dedicated in Phillips
Daily Bulldog (Franklin County) - Friday, August 31, 2012 

The first 20 miles of the Fly Rod Crosby Trail was dedicated in Phillips Saturday, Aug. 25. Fifty people came out to participate in a guided history walk of the downtown area, short ceremony, guided hikes on the new heritage hiking trail and a free cookout. The Fly Rod Crosby Trail will eventually stretch 45 miles from Strong to Oquossoc and is based on the life and times of Maine’s first registered guide: Cornelia “Fly Rod” Crosby.
Tribes fear loss of public funds with plan for new Moosehead tribe
Bangor Daily News - Friday, August 31, 2012 

The man who represents the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians in the Maine House is seeking recognition for another band of Maliseets in Maine, a move that he says will bring economic development to the Greenville area and acknowledge the Moosehead Lake region’s long Native American history. Rep. David Slagger’s effort to secure state and federal recognition for the Kineo Band of Malcites — who have also been known as the Moosehead Lake Indians — promises to be lengthy and complicated, and it’s not likely to attract enthusiastic support from the four Maine tribes currently recognized by the federal government.
State gives Aroostook couple permit to keep pet wallaby, with conditions
Bangor Daily News - Friday, August 31, 2012 

The couple who unknowingly broke state law by acquiring a wallaby and bringing it home as a pet have reached an agreement with the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. Michelle Charette and Jay Batchelder have been granted a permit by IF&W, Batchelder said Thursday, with a handful of conditions. Those conditions include getting the animal vaccinated against rabies when it is old enough, probably sometime in mid-September.
Deal to cut mill’s valuation by millions will have ‘significant impact’ on Madawaska budget
Bangor Daily News - Friday, August 31, 2012 

Municipal and school officials can now roll up their sleeves and begin working on their respective budgets in the wake of Twin Rivers Paper Company’s tax abatement request. The mill, formerly Fraser Paper Inc., had already received a $25 million valuation reduction for the previous fiscal year and had been looking for an additional $130 million reduction, bringing the mill’s overall valuation to $40 million. Instead, the Madawaska Board of Selectmen agreed to assess a valuation of $105 million for the current fiscal year and reduce that assessment to $85 million for FY 2013-2014.
Once in a Blue Moon
Maine Environmental News - Friday, August 31, 2012 

A blue moon may grace the night sky tonight. Some people believe the second full moon in a month is the blue moon. Some believe the third full moon in a season is the blue moon. Depending on what galactic coincidence you prefer to believe, maybe the moon tonight is a blue moon, maybe not. In any case, it is curious that the rare moon is happening on the day Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, is laid to rest.
Letter: DEP ignored the rules
Sun Journal - Friday, August 31, 2012 

The Sun Journal appeared as though it were soliciting an advertising contract rather than acting as an independent community newspaper in its July 25 editorial about a superior court’s recent decision overturning the Oxford Casino’s environmental permits. In that suit, brought by the Androscoggin River Alliance, the court ruled that the Maine Department of Environmental Protection violated its own rules by granting permits to Black Bear Development for the construction of Phase I of the Oxford Casino without considering the environmental impacts of the entire project. The Sun Journal should do a better job at editorializing over what the courts have found is plainly illegal behavior by state government. Instead, it attacked the messenger. ~ Laurence A. Faiman and Neil A. Ward, Androscoggin River Alliance
Solar panels blocked after Manchester airport controllers complain of glare
Bangor Daily News - Friday, August 31, 2012 

Union Leader (NH) - About 25 percent of a solar-panel array at the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport has been temporarily shut down after air-traffic controllers started complaining about glare, an airport official said. Officials recently draped tarps over the troublesome panels, which are part of the 2,200-panel solar field installed on top of the airport parking garage this year. It went online early this month.
Letter: Park proposal
Bangor Daily News - Friday, August 31, 2012 

We are pleased by the decision of the Penobscot County Commissioners to oppose a national park and create a committee to meet on equal footing with any federal agency that might advocate for a park. ~ Anne Mitchell, Maine Woods Coalition, Rockwood
Conserved land raises local property values—and property taxes
Maine Wire - Thursday, August 30, 2012 

The land conservation community has long heralded conserving lands as a way of adding jobs, increasing tourist revenue and insuring watershed protection throughout Maine and the United States. Now, the movement has shifted to describing the non-market values of conserved lands with monetary figures. With monetary values estimated for attributes of land types purchased with LMF funds, a recent study concluded that for every $1 invested in public land, an $11 return in “natural goods and services” is returned to the Maine economy. One glaring gap in understanding the practical aspect of living in Maine is exemplified by the both the report: the promotion of increased property values as a benefit to communities. Are there concerns that increasing municipal valuations will cause the property tax burden to be too great for those living in municipalities whose land base has been aggressively targeted for acquisition?
Self-Propelled Journal: August 18-20, The Appalachian Trail – My Way
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, August 30, 2012 

If you only do one long hike on the AT in your lifetime – the section from Nahmakanta Lake to Katahdin should be on your short list. Go in the late summer or early fall when the air is dry and the nights just begin to cool off. Expect the section along Rainbow Stream to take your breath away. It’s not just the waterfalls, its the soft trail through old-growth spruce and pine that keeps pulling you along. ~ Jim Andrews
Opinion: Everyone is trying to get a piece of the Acadia action
Mount Desert Islander - Thursday, August 30, 2012 

The advocacy group Environment Maine, which seems primarily in the business of keeping itself in business, has been going door-to-door on Mount Desert Island recently raising the alarm about development threats in Acadia. They are soliciting members and taking donations in the process. One wrinkle: there is no imminent threat of development and protections to prevent it are in place. They’ve done the same thing before all across Maine, usually about the time when their funds are running low. ~ Earl Brechlin
Environmental Group Claims Acadia 'At Risk'
Mount Desert Islander - Thursday, August 30, 2012 

Environment Maine, a Portland-based environmental advocacy organization, is claiming in a statewide, door-to-door membership drive that the roughly 1,000 acres of privately owned land within Acadia National Park’s boundaries are “at risk of development.” But Acadia Superintendent Sheridan Steele says making such a claim “probably would not be accurate.” While about 1,000 acres within the boundaries of the park are privately owned, a majority of that land is not considered vulnerable to development because it is already developed – as house lots, primarily – or is owned by conservation groups such as the Audubon Society. The park has identified 41 parcels totaling about 400 acres as high priority for acquisition because they are not currently developed or protected.
Buzzing From Fisheries Center Bugs Neighbors in Franklin
Ellsworth American - Thursday, August 30, 2012 

Peter and Catherine Latson bought land in the Taunton Bay Shores subdivision in 2002 with the intent of building a retirement home. Today they say their more than $200,000 investment is worthless because of a buzzing sound emitted by two chillers at the neighboring Center for Cooperative Aquaculture Research, which is owned by the University of Maine. The state said it addressed the problem by installing a padded stockade fence supplemented by a plywood form, but some neighbors say the sound, which varies in intensity with the time of day and wind direction, is still very audible.
Oakland Logger Pleads Guilty to Forest Violations
Maine Government News - Thursday, August 30, 2012 

An Oakland logger has pleaded guilty to unlawful cutting of trees and operating a motor vehicle on the land of another during a logging operation in Newport, according to Maine Forest Service (MFS) officials. Logger Charles Stratton pleaded guilty on Wednesday, Aug. 15, in Maine District Court in Newport, according to Matt Gomes, MFS regional forest ranger, with the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. The logger agreed to pay restitution of $2,376.39 to the landowner, Christiana Olmstead, whose property he violated.
Tie Me Wallaby Down Boys
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Thursday, August 30, 2012 

You’ll have to tie me wallaby down boys – if you want to keep him. Officials at Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife decided to allow Michelle Charette and her family of Island Falls to keep their wallaby, with severe restrictions. Michelle ran afoul of the law by accepting the gift of a wallaby. Title 12 of Maine State Law, section 7235-A, spells out the requirements to obtain a permit to possess, propagate, and sell wild birds and animals. The law also covers exotic animals.
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