November 20, 2017  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Monday, November 20, 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
Meditative walk, Nov 26
Event - Posted - Sunday, November 19, 2017 

Join Heather Goulette and Maria Castellano-Usery for a mindful meditative walk and some gentle stretching and breath work on the Heath Trail at the Cathance River Preserve, Topsham, November 26, 10-11:30 am.
Protecting the Nature of Maine Grants for Maine Middle Schools
Announcement - Friday, November 17, 2017 

The Natural Resources Council of Maine (NRCM) has eight $500 grants available to middle school teachers and club leaders (6th, 7th, or 8th grades) in Maine for projects that educate and engage students in Maine’s environment and the value of protecting it. Deadline is November 30.
Teddy Roosevelt Maine Conservation Award
Announcement - Wednesday, November 15, 2017 

The Teddy Roosevelt Maine Conservation Award given by Maine Woods Forever recognizes young people and youth organizations whose efforts are in the spirit of Roosevelt’s conservation ethic and achievements, and recognizes what Maine’s young people are doing to conserve our forest heritage, with an eye to their potential as future conservation leaders. Deadline for Nominations: January 31, 2018.
Block Trump's dangerous climate denier from the CEQ
Action Alert - Monday, November 13, 2017 

Kathleen Hartnett White, Trump's pick to lead the Council on Environmental Quality, isn't just your run-of-the-mill, extreme right-wing climate-denier. She's a senior fellow at the Koch brothers and Exxon-funded Texas Public Policy Foundation. She believes carbon dioxide is harmless "plant food," equates belief in climate change to "paganism," calls solar and wind power "unreliable and parasitic," and asserts that coal use in the 1800s ended slavery in the United States.
AMC Maine Chapter Annual Meeting, Nov 18
Event - Posted - Saturday, November 11, 2017 

Speakers: Steve Tatko, Appalachian Mountain Club’s Land Manager, will talk on the AMC’s Maine Woods Initiative. Jed Williamson will talk on Accidents in Outdoor Pursuits - Their Causes and Cures. At Portland, November 18.
Little Long Pond: A Field Guide to Four Seasons, Nov 16
Event - Posted - Thursday, November 9, 2017 

Author talk and book signing with Samuel Eliot and John Rivers. At Jesup Memorial Library, Bar Harbor, November 16, 7 pm.
Nature Based Fiction & Truth, Nov 16
Event - Posted - Thursday, November 9, 2017 

Sandra Neily will discuss novel ways to elevate conservation, nature based economics as well as outdoor-themed fiction. She will sign and read from her novel, "Deadly Trespass." At Curtis Library, Brunswick, November 16, 7 pm. Hosted by Maine Appalachian Mt. Club.
Conserving Maine’s Bats: A Workshop for Woodland Owners, Foresters and Loggers, Nov 16
Event - Posted - Thursday, November 9, 2017 

Piscataquis County Soil & Water Conservation District, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, and Maine Department of Transportation, will hold a workshop on Maine bats. At Dover-Foxcroft Congregational Church, November 16, 9-10:30 am.
Nature Based Fiction & Truth, Nov 15
Event - Posted - Wednesday, November 8, 2017 

Sandra Neily will discuss nature-based fiction as well as sign and read from her debut novel, "Deadly Trespass." At Shaw Memorial Library, Greenville, November 15, 6 pm.
Seeing the Future Forest Through the Trees: Potential Changes and Management Responses, Nov 15
Event - Posted - Wednesday, November 8, 2017 

Dr. Nicholas Fisichelli will discuss how can forest managers can respond to ongoing and projected changes. At UMaine at Machias, November 15, 6:30 pm.
Online sustainability journal ‘Spire’ invites submissions
Announcement - Tuesday, November 7, 2017 

Spire: The Maine Journal of Conservation and Sustainability invites submissions for the second issue of the online journal, slated for release in spring 2018. Deadline: Dec 10.
Oil Drilling Means Oil Spilling
Action Alert - Tuesday, November 7, 2017 

You still have time to stop the Trump Administration from paying for tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires by opening oil drilling in the Atlantic Ocean. Mainers have nothing to gain and everything to lose from this dangerous scheme. ~ Natural Resources Council of Maine
Mushing in Maine and Beyond, Nov 14
Event - Posted - Tuesday, November 7, 2017 

Polly Mahoney of Mahoosuc Guide Service will share her dogsledding experiences from the Yukon Territory to Maine to Nunavut and northern Quebec. She will bring a couple of her friendly sled dogs. At Bangor Public Library, November 14, 6 pm.
Maine Farmland Trust Annual Meeting, Nov 14
Event - Posted - Tuesday, November 7, 2017 

Speakers: Amber Lambke, Maine Grains; Rob Tod, Allagash Brewing Co.; and Sara Williams, Aurora Mills & Farm. At United Farmers Market Building, Belfast, November 14, 5:30-8 pm.
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News Items
How New Englanders invented the wilderness
Boston Globe - Sunday, August 31, 2014 

Fifty years ago this week, on Sept. 3, 1964, Lyndon Johnson signed the Wilderness Act, one of the landmark achievements of the Great Society. Most of the land set aside was in the West, and it remains so — more than half in Alaska. But New Englanders had done much over the centuries to sharpen the definition of the wilderness, beginning with their earliest encounters with a “New England” that was neither new nor English. Along the way, they completely revised their outlook. Their willingness to adapt and think anew may guide us as we enter what many scientists consider a new geological epoch — the Anthropocene — and confront an environment that is changing more quickly than we are.
Lobster industry grateful for ‘normal’ summer
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, August 31, 2014 

If there is anything commercial fishermen in Maine have learned over the past several years, it is that things aren’t the way they used to be. Scallop catches are creeping back up as prices have hit an all-time high. Elver prices have come down a bit but remain historically high after shooting into the stratosphere — along with statewide landings totals — in the past two years. Urchin landings, however, continue to slide while the populations of cod and northern shrimp in the Gulf of Maine have sunk to their lowest levels on record. But nothing touches the upheaval Maine’s lobster fishery, by far the biggest in the state, has experienced.
Mosquito pool in York tests positive for EEE
WGME-TV13 - Sunday, August 31, 2014 

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention said a mosquito pool in York tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis. The exact location isn’t being revealed. This is the first positive test for EEE in Maine this year.
Summer 2014: A tale of two tourist seasons
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, August 31, 2014 

The summer tourist season thus far has been a story of contrasts — a slow start followed by a blazing-hot second half.
Brand building in the Maine #blueberry barrens
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, August 31, 2014 

On a cloudy August day on the blueberry barrens, about a dozen female bloggers from around the country, most of them registered dietitians, picked up metal blueberry rakes and obligingly stooped to conquer Maine’s wild blueberry. “Great workout!” The Bikini Chef said approvingly. Sugar-Free Mom took three swipes through the low bushes and agreed emphatically. Meanwhile the Nutrition Twins, smartphones at the ready, leaned in for closeups of the berries. The wild blueberry now has for a reputation as a “superfood,” a tiny package jammed with startling amounts of nutrients and antioxidants. And this three-day Blog the Barrens junket for social media types, sponsored by the Wild Blueberry Association of North America, was devised to take that reputation even further.
Can the World Really Set Aside Half of the Planet for Wildlife?
Other - Sunday, August 31, 2014 

Smithsonian - The eminent evolutionary biologist E.O. Wilson has an audacious vision for saving Earth from a cataclysmic extinction event. He recently calculated that the only way humanity could stave off a mass extinction crisis, as devastating as the one that killed the dinosaurs 65 million years ago, would be to set aside half the planet as permanently protected areas for the ten million other species. “Half Earth,” in other words — half for us, half for them. The new challenge, as Wilson sees it, is to link up national parks and wilderness reserves and restored landscapes to “protect in perpetuity entire faunas and floras.” New England would seem to be a Half Earth slam dunk.
Yarmouth trail takes shape, recruits users
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, August 31, 2014 

Last fall Lincoln Merrill learned that he needed to lower his cholesterol and take medicine. Merrill refused. He told his doctor he would lose the weight needed: more than 30 pounds. So Merrill, the president of Patriot Insurance Co. in Yarmouth, began walking at lunchtime, leaving his office and wandering into the woods. He discovered a trail extending through the forest and running more than five miles to the coast. He walked it each weekday. Merrill said, “From September to December, I lost 34 pounds. My doctor told me to get down to 190. I got down to 189.” The 6.2-mile West Side Trail that Merrill discovered officially opens next week with two new kiosks stocked with newly designed maps.
Column: Q&A with Jim McMahon
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, August 31, 2014 

Jim McMahon stepped away from a full-time career as a radiologist at York Hospital in January. And McMahon, 67, decided to spend the start of his retirement helping outdoor organizations, becoming one of the many volunteer trail crew members who cover the state. The problem was choosing which outdoor group to help. McMahon’s lifelong interest in trains led him to the Seashore Trolley Museum in Arundel, not far from his Kennebunkport home. He put his name on the museum’s list to receive more information. And when he got a call for a volunteer workday, his new career began. ~ Deirdre Fleming
Column: Even with baiting, the bear’s only rarely out at the plate
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, August 31, 2014 

Hunting is a sport, and while the overall objective of rules and regulations includes maintaining healthy, renewable wildlife resources and keeping participants safe, they’re also designed to preserve the element of fair chase. Are they succeeding? ~ Bob Humphrey
Column: Finding songbirds during fall migration requires effort
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, August 31, 2014 

We delight in the spring arrival of migrating birds and claim them for our own. But when you think about it, the many species of birds that migrate from the tropics to nest in temperate North America spend only a minority of their time on our continent. Population numbers of many migratory songbirds are declining, notably due to the cutting of tropical forests. Rainforest Connection has developed a way to repurpose old smartphones to detect illegal timber activities quickly. ~ Herb Wilson
Column: Portland bicycle map inspires a ride
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, August 31, 2014 

While it’s one thing to look at a printed map, it’s another to find one that actually inspires you to travel. I’ve recently found this inspiration in the Portland, Maine, Bike Map produced by The Vigorous North Publishing. It’s a beautiful piece of work that’s inspired me to get out on my bike in and around Portland. Vigorous North isn’t alone in the world of local cartography. Peaks Island’s Steve and Angela Bushey founded Map Adventures in 2004. And of course I can’t forget the behemoth DeLorme. ~ Josh Christie
Opinion: Look beyond tank cars to prevent tragedies like Lac-Megantic
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, August 31, 2014 

Focusing on the tank cars that carry crude oil, ethanol and other commodities by rail as the sole solution to preventing derailments is misplaced and inaccurate. No tank car, including a DOT-111, has ever caused a derailment. If we are to keep communities safe and trains on the track, federal regulators must take a holistic approach that looks at the prevention of train derailments through examining operational procedures and practices, and ensuring that hazardous materials are properly classified and packaged. ~ Thomas D. Simpson, Railway Supply Institute
Letter: Proposed national park excites Millinocket native
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, August 31, 2014 

I am studying for my bachelor of science in parks, recreation and tourism while also pursuing a minor in psychology at the University of Maine. The community that raised me was dying, and I silently had been watching it crumble since I was born. Something needs to change before there is nothing left. There can be a balance between forest products and the human dynamics present in recreation and tourism. The proposed national park I believe is not the golden answer, but it is an opportunity we need to grasp because it is going to bring more people who will spend money in the area. We need to bring our Millinocket pride back by teaching ourselves, but also teaching each other. We need to be open to experience. ~ Cody Ray McEwen, Millinocket
Elite bass anglers converge on central Maine
Kennebec Journal - Saturday, August 30, 2014 

The biggest names in fishing, and the roughly 100-person-strong television production team that follows their every move and later broadcasts the action on national cable and network television, plied the waters of central Maine for bass over the last several days. “Major League Fishing” brought 30 of the nation’s elite competitive anglers to the area to fish Long Pond, Great Pond, Messalonskee Lake and China Lake. However, in the league’s unique format, none of the anglers knew what bodies of water they were fishing until the morning of each day, so they wouldn’t have time to research the best places to fish.
Column: Save the St. Croix Fishery
Sun Journal - Saturday, August 30, 2014 

You have to hand it to the Downeast Maine Guides and the Grand Lake Stream Guides Association. These folks keep on fighting even after they have been knocked down. What's the fight about? The issue is the Federally mandated introduction of anadromous alewives into the St. Croix River. ~ V. Paul Reynolds
It Takes Just One Road to Destroy a Forest
Other - Saturday, August 30, 2014 

95% of forest loss occurs within 50 km of a road. Roads are penetrating deep into the wilderness. Roads fragment natural habitats, degrade forest ecosystems, and put local communities and wildlife at risk.
Maine DEP chief requests oversight of Amtrak plan for Brunswick layover facility
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, August 30, 2014 

The increasingly political fight over plans to build an Amtrak maintenance facility near a Brunswick neighborhood ratcheted up a notch this week when the commissioner of Maine’s Department of Environmental Protection moved to take personal oversight of the project’s approval. Commissioner Patricia Aho sent a letter to Amtrak requesting information on the project and directed the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority, which oversees passenger rail services in Maine, to send any correspondence with the DEP about the project to her office.
Downeaster ridership rises in spite of delays
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, August 30, 2014 

Ridership on Amtrak’s Downeaster increased 4.6 percent in the fiscal year that ended on June 30, even though the service posted its worst-ever on-time performance, according to a preliminary report. Passengers made a record 537,000 one-way trips on the Downeaster, which operates 10 trains daily between Portland and Boston and four daily trains between Brunswick and Boston. But the service’s on-time performance was dismal. Only 58 percent of the trains arrived at their destination on time, a significant decline from on-time performance of 82 percent in fiscal 2013.
EPA staff says smog standards need tightening 7 to 20 percent
Associated Press - Saturday, August 30, 2014 

The Environmental Protection Agency’s staff has concluded that the government needs to tighten smog rules by somewhere between 7 and 20 percent. Industry representatives criticized the recommendation as way too costly, while environmental activists hailed it as a public health measure.
Mile 124 Waterville-Sidney interchange clears environment hurdle
Morning Sentinel - Saturday, August 30, 2014 

The proposed Interstate 95 exit would be three miles south of the Kennedy Memorial Drive exit and would ease expected future congestion there.
Opinion: Greed and shortsightedness could mean that cod is not so sacred
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, August 30, 2014 

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries has released data showing cod in the Gulf of Maine have declined to just 3 percent of what is needed for a healthy population. Atlantic cod is headed toward “commercial extinction” in New England waters. The decline is the result of bad decisions by federal fisheries managers (under pressure from powerful fishing interests) that encouraged overfishing for decades and failed to protect the habitat cod need to thrive. Sadly, NOAA Fisheries and the New England Fisheries Management Council are considering a plan to further reduce habitat protection by as much as 70 percent, eliminating protection in nearly 5,000 square miles of ocean. We need more conservative catch quotas, but we also need to protect the habitat where cod feed and reproduce. ~ Roger Fleming, Earthjustice
Letter: Environmental protection demands real democracy
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, August 30, 2014 

We are not able to protect the environment and combat climate change if we don’t have a working democracy to work with. The big corporations and big money hold all the cards: the right to almost unlimited “free speech” in the form of campaign contributions, which privilege comes from corporations themselves having been granted “personhood” in Supreme Court cases. There is citizen initiative circulating in Maine that strikes at the root of the problem. The We The People Maine citizen initiative calls for a constitutional amendment to reverse “corporations as people” and “money as speech.” ~ Beedy Parker, Camden
Letter: Common sense vote
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, August 30, 2014 

I recently noticed new political signs. The signs say, “Trust your wildlife biologist.” The signs encourage you to vote no on the upcoming bear hunting referendum. nI strongly suspect that our wildlife biologists are not free to give their real opinion about the bear population and baiting, but they are instead told what their public opinion will be. If they value their job, they will do what they are told. I’ve lived in two areas of the state with large bear populations, had livestock in both places and I’ve never had a problem. I am again voting to outlaw bear baiting. I hope you will use common sense and fair play when you cast your vote. ~ Donna J. Runnels, Burnham
Letter: Holding the bag
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, August 30, 2014 

Single-stream recycling is just another “recycling” process that does not deliver as promised. It cannot sort as efficiently as source sorting. Single-stream recycling uses large amounts of energy and ends up with larger amounts of mixed materials that have to be sold at lower prices or that have to be disposed off in landfills. It is time to stop making rash decisions that solve nothing but that result in the residents of Rockland being the ones holding the bag — albeit it being filled with recyclables. ~ David E Myslabodski, Rockland
Letter: Green Maine?
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, August 30, 2014 

Recently, I walked through a hospital parking lot only to discover hundreds, if not thousands, of waste cigarette butts thrown among the rose bushes. Every time a new wind energy product is fastened to the earth, the environmentalists shout with joy. The only thing green is the color of extra money the electric companies will collect. What’s with the monster pickup trucks? They’re green because many business owners deduct them on the income forms. What’s with our green lawns? How much carbon do gasoline mowers without pollution controls create? Bill Clinton designed a program to make millions of older homes highly efficient that would not cost the owners a single penny. Has not a single green person in Maine read the book? ~ Robert Fournier, Bangor
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