March 20, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Wednesday, March 20, 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). 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
Why Going Native Matters, Mar 27
Event - Posted - Wednesday, March 20, 2019 

Heather McCargo, found and executive director of Wild Seed Project, presents "Why Going Native Matters: Beauty, Biodiversity and Resilience." At Portland Public Library, March 27, 5:30 pm.
Urge Maine's Agencies to Investigate and Halt PFAS Contamination
Action Alert - Tuesday, March 19, 2019 

Highly persistent and toxic chemicals known as PFAS may be lurking undiscovered in farmlands across Maine. State records show that at an Arundel dairy farm, PFOS was in milk at the highest level ever reported anywhere. Urge Maine Ag and DEP commissioners to test the fields, stop sludge spreading, and phase out PFAS products. ~ Environmental Health Strategy Center
Retired Game Warden Randall Probert, Mar 26
Event - Posted - Tuesday, March 19, 2019 

Author, raconteur, and retired game warden Randall Probert will speak to the Hebron Historical Society on “Maine Tales and More.” At Hebron Town Office, March 26, 7 pm.
The Forests of Lilliput: The Miniature World of Lichens & Mosses, Mar 26
Event - Posted - Tuesday, March 19, 2019 

Maine Master Naturalist Jeff Pengel talks about the natural history of lichens, mosses and similar plants. At Topsham Library, March 26, 6 pm. Sponsored by Cathance River Education Alliance.
Celebrating Maine’s Wild Creatures, Mar 26
Event - Posted - Tuesday, March 19, 2019 

Speaker: Ed Robinson, author of “Nature Notes from Maine: River Otters, Moose, Skunks and More.” At Curtis Library, March 16, 7 pm. Sponsored by Merrymeeting Audubon.
Ocean Acidification, Climate Change, and You, Mar 25
Event - Posted - Monday, March 18, 2019 

Friends of Casco Bay staff scientist Mike Doan talks about warning signs and Casco Baykeeper Ivy Frignoca shares the impacts to marine species and how Mainers are responding. At Southern Maine Community College, South Portland, March 25, 5:30 pm.
Mount Pisgah winter trek, Mar 24
Event - Posted - Sunday, March 17, 2019 

Kennebec Land Trust Stewardship Director Jean-Luc Theriault will lead an off-trail excursion on Mount Pisgah to visit special places that are typically less accessible. Meet at the Mount Pisgah Community Conservation Area parking lot in Winthrop, March 24, 1 pm.
Maine Maple Sunday, Mar 24
Event - Posted - Sunday, March 17, 2019 

Maine Maple Sunday is a long tradition where Maine’s maple producers open their doors to their sweet operations for a day of educational demonstrations, sugarbush tours, fun family activities and samplings of syrup and other great maple products. Many sugarhouses are open Saturday and Sunday, March 23 and 24, and throughout the season.
Winter Family Fun Day at Lily Bay State Park, Mar 23
Event - Posted - Saturday, March 16, 2019 

Ice fishing, snowmobile tote rides, winter camping demo, bonfire, scavenger hunt and free loan of cross-country skis, snowshoes, ice skates, snow tubes and sleds. At Lily Bay State Park, Moosehead Lake, March 23, 10 am - 3 pm.
Winter wildlife tracking workshop, Mar 23
Event - Posted - Saturday, March 16, 2019 

Naturalists and certified wildlife trackers Brendan White and Matt Dickinson lead a winter wildlife tracking workshop. At at Long Ledges Preserve, Sullivan, March 23, 9-11:30 am. Sponsored by Frenchman Bay Conservancy.
Maine Grass Farmers Network Conference, Mar 23
Event - Posted - Saturday, March 16, 2019 

Livestock producers are invited to learn about grass-based production and how grazing systems can become more profitable and environmentally sound. At Kennebec County Community College's Alfond Campus, Hinckley, March 23, 8:30 am - 3 pm.
Maine becomes a state, Mar 15
Announcement - Friday, March 15, 2019 

On this day in 1820, March 15, Massachusetts lost over 30,000 square miles of land as its former province of Maine gained statehood. Mainers had begun campaigning for statehood for years following the Revolution. The Massachusetts legislature finally consented in 1819. What no one foresaw, however, was that Maine's quest for statehood would become entangled in the most divisive issue in American history — slavery.
Maine Land Conservation Conference, Apr 5-6
Event - Posted - Friday, March 15, 2019 

Maine’s robust land conservation community comes together to train on best practices in all aspects of land trust work, connect with peers, and grapple with the most pressing issues facing land conservation today. At Topsham area, April 5-6.
Thoreau Society & Thoreau Farm Trust online auction, thru Mar 29
Announcement - Friday, March 15, 2019 

This auction contains many rare books written about Henry David Thoreau and other items for every Thoreauvian.
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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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