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
Can the Appalachian Trail Survive ‘A Walk in the Woods?’
Other - Monday, August 31, 2015 

Outside - Three years ago, Jensen Bissell, the director of Baxter State Park, the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail, raised concerns to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy about the number of AT thru-hikers in the park. There were too many of them and many were flouting the rules—carrying open alcohol containers, camping illegally, forging service dog papers, you name it—and the sheer volume of foot traffic was wearing down the mountain's ecology and the trail's integrity. Since then, as traffic has continued to rise, the problems have only gotten worse. Meanwhile, state clubs are working frantically to prepare for the film release of Bill Bryson’s 1998 novel "A Walk in the Woods." Will those measures counter the wear and tear from thousands of hikers pounding along the trail each year? Probably not, says Karl Meltzer, a Red Bull-sponsored ultrarunner who assisted Scott Jurek on his trail run and who is planning a speed record attempt of his own next year. “If people keep having babies, the population will grow,” he says. “What does that mean? More people on the trail."
Lincoln Paper and Tissue laying off 25 employees
Portland Press Herald - Monday, August 31, 2015 

Lincoln Paper and Tissue is shutting down one of its three paper machines and laying off 25 people. The Maine Department of Labor confirmed Monday that the mill and its union have contacted the state agency to activate its Rapid Response team, which assists workers facing job losses. The mill employs about 215 people in Lincoln, who make consumer paper products like napkins and towels, and specialty products for health care and industrial uses. A 10-day shutdown at the mill occurred in September 2014 for maintenance and to manage inventory. A Labor Department spokeswoman said the workers will be laid off indefinitely.
Dam hearing Thursday morning
Ellsworth American - Monday, August 31, 2015 

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has scheduled a hearing Thursday Sept. 3, at Ellsworth City Hall to accept input from the public on an application by Brookfield Energy System for a new 30-year license to operate two dams on the Union River. The dams — located at Graham Lake and Leonard Lake — would generate hydroelectric power. Constructing fishways in these dams will result in more alewives, more eels, salmon, shad, smelt and other important fish — and more stable lake levels at Graham Lake. Last fall, evidence of substantial fish kills affecting both alewives and eels was discovered in the river.
Drop in Canadian tourists impacts Maine businesses
WGME-TV13 - Monday, August 31, 2015 

The Canadian dollar is hitting historic lows this summer and some Maine business owners are feeling the effects. Guy Coutu came to Old Orchard Beach from Quebec City for the Challenge Triathlon this weekend. But some of his friends couldn't afford it. He says the exchange rate is just too high. With the Canadian dollar at an 11-year-low, motel owners say many are opting for shorter trips less often. The Canadian dollar is only worth about 75 cents in American currency. So if someone books a room for $125 a night they're actually paying about $156 in Canadian currency.
Rescued hiker recounts three-day ordeal in Baxter State Park
Portland Press Herald - Monday, August 31, 2015 

As a veteran outdoorsman who has logged thousands of miles on trails, John Lyon was scratched up, bruised but still feeling confident during the first two days he was lost in the dense, mountainous forests of Baxter State Park last week. It was on the third day alone in Baxter, however, that the “What if?” questions began creeping into the 78-year-old’s mind. That was until he spotted another rescue helicopter circling overhead. “I prayed right before then, and I never pray,” Lyon said with a laugh Monday. Lyon said he would probably continue hiking – he tries to go twice a week – but would stick with his group and make sure he has a map.
Conservation groups eye protection for Cashes Ledge
Other - Monday, August 31, 2015 

Salem (MA) News - National groups this week plan to call for sprawling areas in the Gulf of Maine to be declared the first “marine national monument” on the Eastern Seaboard. A January 2009 presidential proclamation established three Pacific Marine National Monuments. Now the Conservation Law Foundation and partners, such as the National Geographic Society, Pew Charitable Trusts and the Natural Resources Defense Council, are seeking protections for the Cashes Ledge Closed Area and the New England Canyons and Seamounts off Cape Cod — areas CLF describes as “deep sea treasures.”
Do you remember these 11 former LePage administration commissioners?
Bangor Daily News - Monday, August 31, 2015 

Patricia Aho’s departure as head of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, announced Monday, makes her the 12th Cabinet-level commissioner to leave Gov. Paul LePage’s administration in the 4½ years since the governor took office. LePage had three of his commissioners depart in his first year on the job. Six LePage commissioners (out of 13 Cabinet-level agencies) have remained in their posts since the 2011 start of the administration. Here are the 11 LePage administration commissioners who have moved on.
Maine DEP Commissioner Aho Stepping Down
Maine Public Broadcasting Network - Monday, August 31, 2015 

After leading the state's Department of Environmental Protection for the past four years, Commissioner Patricia Aho is stepping down to take a position as a state office representative for Sen. Susan Collins in Augusta. A former lobbyist for chemical and drug companies, Aho presided over the DEP at a time when the state was challenging federal water quality standards, re-evaluating the use of toxic chemicals in many products and reforming a wide range of regulatory standards. Rockport Rep. Joan Welsh, the Democratic chair of the Legislature's Environment and Natural Resources Committee, said, "She's been a pretty good communicator with the chairs of the committee, but given this administration and given the governor...we do have some differences," Welsh said.
Response to Stephen Corry's criticism of parks and wildlands protection
Other - Monday, August 31, 2015 

Stephen Corry is the founder and director of Survival International, an organization that seeks to protect tribal people’s rights. While a worthy goal, Corry, unfortunately, seeks to blame conservation for many of the ills facing tribal people, rather than recognizing that conservation is ultimately the best way to retain and protect native culture from the rapacious indulgences of modern industrial society. In his essay attacking the national park ideal, “The Colonial Origins of Conservation,” Corry repeats factual errors of both omission and misinterpretation. Ultimately we are not establishing parks simply for people. And that is one of fundamental conflicts with Corry’s position and others who place humanity at the center of the stage. Parks and wilderness reserves serve as the great legacy for all living beings and are one of the great ideas of our civilization, right up there with equal rights for all people. ~ George Wuerthner
Attorney: Appalachian Trail Record-Setter to Contest Summonses
Maine Public Broadcasting Network - Monday, August 31, 2015 

An attorney for record-setting hiker Scott Jurek who completed the Appalachian Trail in just 46 days, says his client will contest three summonses issued by Baxter State Park. Jurek was cited for "littering, hiking with a group larger than 12 people and consuming alcohol" after his celebration atop Mt. Katahdin on July 12. Park officials say he violated park rules. Attorney Walt McKee says, "He's somebody who thinks very much about leaving no trace." The case is set for another conference on Sept. 9. If an agreement is not reached, McKee says there will be a trial.
Maine May Benefit from Hydro Quebec Decison
Maine Public Broadcasting Network - Monday, August 31, 2015 

Hydro Quebec has announced plans to team with Eversource, a major energy distribution company based in Massachusetts, to build a 1,000-megawatt transmission line to New England. Maine Energy Office Director Patrick Woodcock says there are competing routes for the lines, which Maine Gov. Paul Lepage believes could benefit ratepayers. Woodcock says a decision on the final route is at least some months away and construction of the line will take years.
Appalachian Trail runner wants trial if Baxter park complaints not settled
Bangor Daily News - Monday, August 31, 2015 

Ultramarathon runner Scott Jurek, who on July 12 set a new record for his run on the Appalachian Trail, will go to trial if he can’t resolve three pending citations issued July 12 by rangers at Baxter State Park, his attorney said Monday. Walter McKee said that in late July he entered not guilty pleas on Jurek’s behalf. A dispositional conference is set for 10 a.m., Sept. 9, in Millinocket District Court. The attorney declined to say what would be a satisfactory resolution to the case for his client. If a settlement is not reached on Sept. 9, a decision will be made whether to seek a jury or a jury-waived trial, McKee said.
Scientists Battle to Save Maine's Eelgrass from Destructive Invasive Crab
Maine Public Broadcasting Network - Monday, August 31, 2015 

The ubiquitous, invasive European green crab is blamed for wreaking havoc on Maine's shellfish populations in recent years, and now it's also suspected of having another negative impact on Maine's marine ecosystem: Researchers suspect that the crabs are responsible for a decline in eelgrass, and they're trying to do something about it. One experimental eelgrass restoration project is underway in Midcoast Maine at Simpson's Point in Brunswick
Lost Baxter hiker sparks dialogue on safety, responsibility
Aislinn Sarnacki Act Out Blog - Monday, August 31, 2015 

On Sunday, after 72 hours lost in the woods, John Lyon was spotted by a helicopter on a rockslide near Fort Mountain in Baxter State Park. While dehydrated and a bit beat up, he was in pretty good physical condition — and he was in high spirits, according to the report. The helicopter pilot spotted Lyon because he was in an open area and he was waving a stick, capped by one of his hiking socks. He was smart, but he was also quite lucky. Not every hiker lost in the vast wilderness of Baxter State Park is found in time. Here are a few lessons I’ve taken away from Lyon’s ordeal, reflecting on his mistakes and my own.
DEP Commissioner Steps Down to Join the Office of Senator Collins
Maine Government News - Monday, August 31, 2015 

Governor Paul R. LePage announced Monday that Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Patricia Aho is stepping down. After four years serving in the LePage Administration, Aho has accepted a position within the Office of Senator Susan Collins. Avery Day will serve as acting commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection effective Monday, September 7. Day now serves as Governor LePage’s Senior Policy Advisor on environmental protection; agriculture, conservation and forestry; inland fisheries and wildlife; and marine resources-related legislation and regulation. He will remain active in his role within the Governor’s Office while serving as acting commissioner.
Maine’s fish and game records plotted out on one interactive map
Bangor Daily News - Monday, August 31, 2015 

Using the fish and game records kept in part by the state and further tracked by publications like The Maine Sportsman, we produced this interactive map of where all of Maine’s biggest fish and game have been caught.
Company chosen to build, operate Portland cold storage facility
Bangor Daily News - Monday, August 31, 2015 

The Maine Department of Transportation has picked Atlanta-based Americold to construct and operate a refrigerated storage facility at Portland's International Marine Terminal where Icelandic shipper Eimskip operates. The DOT said Americold operates 175 different facilities in six countries, with 145 of those facilities across 38 U.S. states, and does business at other locations with shipper Eimskip.
Lincoln mill to shut down tissue machine, lay off 20-25 workers
Bangor Daily News - Monday, August 31, 2015 

One of three tissue-making machines will be shut down and 20 to 25 workers laid off indefinitely at Lincoln Paper and Tissue LLC within the next few days, officials said Monday. Lincoln Paper and Tissue produces an estimated 200 tons of tissue per day with its three machines. It advertises itself as the largest producer of deep-dyed tissue in the United States. Its tissue products are used by many of the nation’s party goods producers, airlines and food service companies to create napkins, towels, table covers and other specialty products. It also manufactures specialty tissue stock for health care products such as medical draping, disposable gowns and beauticians neck strips, and for industrial applications including electrical tissue.
DEP commissioner quits LePage Cabinet to work for Susan Collins
Bangor Daily News - Monday, August 31, 2015 

Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Patricia Aho has resigned to take a job with Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, according to Gov. Paul LePage. Aho served as commissioner since 2011 after having served as the agency’s deputy commissioner. Aho will become Collins’ state office representative in Augusta, covering Kennebec, Lincoln and Knox counties. “I have known Pattie for a long time and I’m very happy to have her joining the staff,” said Collins.
Patricia Aho, Maine’s top environmental official, is stepping down
Portland Press Herald - Monday, August 31, 2015 

Gov. Paul LePage’s top environmental official is stepping down. Patricia Aho, commissioner of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, will join the staff of Maine Sen. Susan Collins as her office representative in Kennebec, Lincoln and Knox counties, directing constituent service and managing staff in the Augusta office. Aho, a former corporate lobbyist, has served as DEP commissioner since September 2011. Avery Day, the governor’s senior policy adviser on environmental and natural resource issues, will serve as interim commissioner.
DEP Commissioner Steps Down to Join the Office of Senator Collins
Maine Government News - Monday, August 31, 2015 

Governor Paul R. LePage announced Monday that Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Patricia Aho is stepping down. After four years serving in the LePage Administration, Aho has accepted a position within the Office of Senator Susan Collins. Avery Day will serve as acting commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection effective Monday, September 7. Day now serves as Governor LePage’s Senior Policy Advisor on environmental protection; agriculture, conservation and forestry; inland fisheries and wildlife; and marine resources-related legislation and regulation. He will remain active in his role within the Governor’s Office while serving as acting commissioner.
CES, Inc.’s Project Awarded Top State Environmental Excellence Award
Bangor Daily News - Monday, August 31, 2015 

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection announced that the Presque Isle Landfill Design/Build Project has been named as the 2015 Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence in the Public Sector. CES, Inc., a Maine based firm of engineers, environmental scientists, and professional surveyors, is the City’s environmental and engineering consultant for this project.
In letter to Obama, LePage objects to 2 national monument proposals
Portland Press Herald - Monday, August 31, 2015 

Gov. Paul LePage has written to President Barack Obama and the state’s congressional delegation to oppose the idea of establishing two national monuments in Maine. LePage wrote to Obama Friday to express disapproval of a proposal to design.ate areas within the Gulf of Maine as a national maritime monument. LePage also sent a letter Friday to the four members of Maine’s congressional delegation saying some proponents of creating a national park in the Millinocket area are considering seeking national monument designation. Obama has the authority to establish national monuments under the Antiquities Act.
Save the bees, save ourselves
Ellsworth American - Monday, August 31, 2015 

If there are bees in your car, the smart thing is to pull over, open the doors and let them out. Everyone will be happy. In the long history of negotiations between man and bee, that’s a simple one. Others have been more complex. We had to learn to take their precious honey without getting stung or doing harm to their colonies. We figured out that bees pollinate our food crops, and it’s in our interest to keep them healthy. We bring in hives of migrant worker bees when local populations aren’t high enough for the job. We haven’t honored our bargain with the bees, though, and now they’re in trouble.
Maine universities to buy 20 percent of food locally by 2020
Bangor Daily News - Monday, August 31, 2015 

The University of Maine System announced Monday that it has committed to purchasing 20 percent of food served on its campuses from local producers within the next five years. That 20 percent equates to about $1.7 million in local food purchases, according to the system, which spends about $8.6 million per year feeding students and staff. This is in line with what a coalition of Maine growers, harvesters and agricultural organizations, calling itself Maine Food for the UMaine System, called for in a report issued earlier this summer.
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