May 24, 2018  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Thursday, May 24, 2018 

Thanks for visiting Maine Environmental News, a service of RESTORE: The North Woods. MEN is the most comprehensive online source available for links conservation and natural resource news and events in Maine (and a bit beyond). 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
Defend the Migratory Bird Treaty Act
Action Alert - Thursday, May 24, 2018 

The MBTA is a century-old law utilized by Republican and Democratic administrations to protect birds as they navigate the globe. The law has been consistently interpreted to hold individuals or organizations responsible if their actions harm migratory birds. Now, under the Trump administration, MBTA violations will only be issued if the individual or organization acted purposefully to harm or kill migratory birds — rendering the Act useless. ~ Eliza Donoghue, Maine Audubon
Growth in Land-Based Salmon Production, May 31
Event - Posted - Thursday, May 24, 2018 

Joseph Hankins, Director of The Conservation Fund’s Freshwater Institute will talk about why a national land conservation organization is involved in Recirculating Aquaculture Systems. At Schoodic Institute, Winter Harbor, May 31, 7 pm.
Slaughtering grizzly bears
Action Alert - Wednesday, May 23, 2018 

On May 23, Wyoming officials approved the first hunt in decades for grizzly bears that wander out of Yellowstone National Park. As many as 22 could be shot and killed this fall, including pregnant females. Yellowstone's grizzlies, famous around the world, are national treasures. Slaughtering them is like defacing the Statue of Liberty or filling in the Grand Canyon. ~ Center for Biological Diversity
Invasive fish, May 30
Event - Posted - Wednesday, May 23, 2018 

George Smith will discuss the impact invasive fish are having on Maine’s native fish. At Mount Vernon Community Center, May 30, 7 pm. Sponsored by 30 Mile Watershed Association.
Drowning with Others, May 30
Event - Posted - Wednesday, May 23, 2018 

John Anderson, Professor of Ecology/Natural History at College of the Atlantic, argues for developing a broad coalition to help conserve Maine’s seabird islands from sea level rise. At Wells Reserve at Lajudholm, May 30, 6 pm.
Join the fight for Maine's clean energy future
Action Alert - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

In Maine, we are seeing the damaging effects of climate change firsthand: tick borne illnesses like Lyme disease are on the rise, the warming Gulf of Maine threatens our marine economy, air pollution drives up asthma rates for kids and adults, and extreme weather impacts our outdoor recreation and farming industries. The technology to turn off dirty fossil fuels already exists. What is standing in the way of our clean energy future? Politicians who are bought and paid for by the oil and gas industry. ~ Maine Conservation Voters
Defining Wilderness: Defining Maine, May 29 - Jul 24
Event - Posted - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

The Maine State Library is offering a free reading and discussion group with copies of books available through the library. The series, Defining Wilderness: Defining Maine, runs for 5 sessions, May 29 - July 24, at the State Library in Augusta. Books to be discussed include "The Maine Woods" by Henry David Thoreau.
Bats, May 29
Event - Posted - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

Biologist Trevor Peterson will speak about local species of bats. At Topsham Public Library, May 29, 6 pm. Sponsored by Cathance River Education Alliance.
“Living within Limits” Teen Environmental Poster Contest
Announcement - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

The Teen Library Council of the Patten Library in Bath and Brunswick-based Manomet are sponsoring an environmental poster contest for middle and high school students. Posters should promote actions that help sustain the planet and reduce our environmental footprint. Deadline: June 1.
Sign-Up to Count Fish at Nequasset
Announcement - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

The annual alewife count at the Nequasset Fish Ladder in Woolwich is happening. Join the fun by signing up to count during any two 10 minute blocks within a two hour period.
Wilderness Under Siege, May 30
Event - Posted - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

Nationally known author and explorer George Wuerthner will discuss the challenges facing Wilderness, how people can better protect the Wildernesses in their backyards and around the country, and organizing against efforts to weaken or repeal the Wilderness Act. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, May 30, 6:30 pm.
Farmer Talent Show & Open Mic, May 27
Event - Posted - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

The first annual Farmer Talent Show & Open Mic will benefit the Market’s Harvest Bucks program, which increases access to fruit and vegetables for low-income households. At East Madison Grange, May 27, 5-8 pm.
Field Trip: Capt. Fitzgerald Preserve and Bay Bridge, May 27
Event - Posted - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

Explore two town-owned properties in Brunswick for breeding and migrant birds: Fitzgerald Preserve and Bay Bridge Wetland Park on the Androscoggin River. May 27, 6:30 – 11 am. Sponsored by Merrymeeting Audubon.
White Mountains Centennial exhibition, May 27
Event - Posted - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

The Museums of the Bethel Historical Society host a preview reception of the new displays, “White Mountain National Forest: A Centennial Exhibition” and “The White Mountains: Alps of New England.” At Robinson House, Bethel, May 27, 2-5 pm.
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News Items
Rare white lobster caught off Chebeague Island
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, August 31, 2017 

A rare white lobster that was caught off Chebeague Island last week is getting attention on social media. The Maine Coast Fisherman’s Association, a Brunswick-based nonprofit that supports and advocates for Maine’s community based fishermen, posted a contributed photograph and a short story about the catch on its Facebook page. The lobster caught by Alex Todd of Chebeague Island probably has a genetic condition called leucism, which is a partial loss of pigment. This is why some hints of blue on the shell and color on the eyes are visible, a post by the Maine Coast Fisherman's Association says.
The Water Level On This Maine Lake Has Plummeted, And The Fix Is Tied Up In A Legal Dispute
Maine Public - Thursday, August 31, 2017 

Suppose your family owned a house or camp on a quiet, largely undeveloped lake. Every year, you fished, swam and waterskied on the lake, which you shared with loons and other wildlife. But then, a privately owned dam at one end was breached, nearly half the water drained, the lake level dropped by more than four feet and the place you loved completely changed. That’s the situation facing property owners along Clary Lake in Lincoln County, where a six-year dispute with a now-bankrupt dam owner has left them high and dry.
The Legacy of the N.H.-Maine Lobster War and Why It May Wage On
Maine Public - Thursday, August 31, 2017 

Off the coast of New Hampshire are the iconic Isles of Shoals. Somewhere around the middle of those isles is a dotted line, the state border between New Hampshire and Maine. Here is look at life in and around New Hampshire's islands and the line that has been the cause of some intense disagreement over the years.
LePage Says Trump’s Lumber Tariffs On Canada Threaten Maine Jobs
Associated Press - Thursday, August 31, 2017 

Maine’s Republican governor is asking President Donald Trump’s administration to ease up stiff softwood lumber tariffs he says are leading to "devastating" job losses. Gov. Paul LePage this month asked U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to exempt Canadian provinces such as New Brunswick and Quebec from the tariffs. Softwood lumber like spruce, pine and fir is used for everything from construction to newsprint. The Trump administration has argued Canada unfairly subsidizes its industry. LePage said one company is moving production of shingles from Maine to British Columbia while a Maine picket fence mill could move to New Brunswick.
Mount Chase native returns to run sporting camp with new emphasis on monument
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, August 31, 2017 

In 2016, Lindsay and her husband Mike Downing bought Mt. Chase Lodge from her parents, Rick and Sara Hill. Adding to their optimism and serving as one of the catalysts of their decision to pursue their dreams here is the presence of the year-old Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument not far from their front door.
Maine’s Roadside Pollinator Study
Free Press - Thursday, August 31, 2017 

The Maine Department of Transportation is currently in the middle of a two-year study of roadside habitats along state highways in cooperation with the Maine Natural Areas Program that will define various habitats occurring in roadside areas and how they are used by pollinators. This information will provide a baseline of typical roadside habitats and plant species that can be used to improve vegetation management decisions that will benefit these insects, especially the rusty patched bumble bee, which was listed as an endangered species in March.
Letter: Maine aquifers losing mind-boggling amount of water
Kennebec Journal - Thursday, August 31, 2017 

I read a letter from Embden’s Jane Mullin voicing her concerns about the amount of water being sucked from the area aquifer. I agree 100 percent with her observations, and I see the same things and feel the same concerns. The number of trucks coming from the Dead River area, combined with the number coming from the Kingfield pumping station as they pass through the junction of North New Portland, is mind boggling. ~ Arlene Trudel, North New Portland
Alan Hutchinson, ‘champion’ of land conservation in Maine, dies at age 70
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, August 30, 2017 

the names of the places that Hutchinson quietly helped to protect – such as the West Branch of the Penobscot River, Big Spencer Mountain and the northern shorelines of Moosehead Lake – will be known to generations of people who hike, hunt, fish, paddle or work in the vast forestlands of Maine. A “champion” of land conservation, Hutchinson died unexpectedly Sunday at his home in Orono. He was 70. During his 20 years as executive director of the Forest Society of Maine, Hutchinson played a major role in conserving more than 1 million acres in Maine at a time when the state’s timber industry, land ownership and outdoor recreation trends were changing dramatically. He also built the Bangor-based Forest Society of Maine from a small nonprofit into one of the nation’s largest land trusts. A memorial service for Hutchinson is slated for Sept. 5 from 5-7 p.m. at Brookings-Smith Family Reception Center at 163 Center Street in Bangor.
Alan Hutchinson, leading land conservationist, dies at age 70
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, August 30, 2017 

Alan Hutchinson, 70, died at his Orono home on Sunday, according to an official at Brookings-Smith Funeral Home of Bangor. As the first executive director of the Forest Society of Maine, Hutchinson for about 20 years helped conserve close to 1 million acres of the North Maine Woods, said the society’s acting executive director, Karin Tilberg. In doing so, he helped facilitate the transition of land ownership in the north woods from paper-company domination to the more individualistic, conservationist crop of landowners today, she said. “Alan’s devotion to doing it in a way that was practical and in harmony with Maine values was really admirable,” Tilberg said. “His death is an enormous loss to Maine.”
Woodland Pulp says dam's cost outweighs its benefit
Mainebiz - Wednesday, August 30, 2017 

Woodland Pulp, the paper mill in Baileyville adjacent to the St. Croix River, is petitioning the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to allow it to transfer ownership of the U.S. portion of the Forest City dam to the state. Among the reasons for that request is that it will cost at least $6 million more to operate the dam over the new 30-year license than the generation benefits accrued over that term, according to the company's attorney.
Federal judge says pipeline case against South Portland can continue
Forecaster - Wednesday, August 30, 2017 

The city has lost the first procedural battle in its attempt to defend the Clear Skies Ordinance in court. The ordinance, which was passed by voters in the summer of 2014, effectively bans the importation of bulk crude oil into South Portland. Although the local rule makes no reference to it, the purpose of the ordinance is to prevent tar sands oil from being piped from Canada to the city by Portland Pipe Line Corp. Residents objected on a variety of environmental and health concerns to the possibility of tar sands coming through the city. Several months after the ban was approved, Portland Pipe Line sued.
Brunswick Landing closer to becoming energy 'island'
Forecaster - Wednesday, August 30, 2017 

A goal of producing all energy on-site through renewable sources is two steps closer at Brunswick Landing. About a month ago, the business campus signed a lease and power-purchase agreement with Revision Energy to install solar panels on 5 acres of land, Steve Levesque, executive director of the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority, said Tuesday. Meanwhile, MRRA announced it is searching for a partner to make enhancements to its electric microgrid, what Levesque called a move toward optimizing the campus’ goal of functioning as an independent “island” of renewable energy. He said the improvements are aimed at attracting businesses in the market for green, reliable power that is safeguarded against failures in the outside electric grid.
Panel: Make Brunswick-Topsham bridge bike, pedestrian friendly
Forecaster - Wednesday, August 30, 2017 

An advisory panel tasked with providing design suggestions for a crossing to replace the Frank J. Wood Bridge is advocating for a mix of safety and aesthetic features, including two spacious sidewalks and bike lanes. The panel’s report culminates a year’s worth of meetings with stakeholders from Brunswick and Topsham. The Design Advisory Committee was formed last summer, shortly after the Department of Transportation made public its intention to replace the 85-year-old truss bridge, which carries Route 201.
Coastal Mountain Land Trust kicking off community phase of Round the Mountain Collaboration
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, August 30, 2017 

Coastal Mountain Land Trust is kicking off the community phase of the $4.2 million Round the Mountain Collaboration to conserve 1,400 acres of land surrounding the community’s water supply by producing a star-studded evening of local talent presenting their stories, art, or music that is inspired by and in honor of Ragged Mountain. “Our Mountain Voices: A Celebration of Land Conservation through Story, Art, and Song” will feature more than 15 performers including poets, dancers, musicians and artists and begin at 6:45 p.m. Friday, Sept. 22, at Camden Opera House.
Why your adorable pet turtle may make your child sick
Washington Post - Wednesday, August 30, 2017 

Investigators trying to figure out why dozens of people across 13 states have been stricken with salmonella poisoning have stumbled on the reason behind the outbreak: Adorable tiny pet turtles. Doctors and researchers started asking questions of the victims and found that six had bought a turtle from a flea market or a street vendor – or had received a turtle that turned out to be a salmonella-harboring gift.
LePage calls for emergency legislative session after feds balk at Maine food sovereignty law
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, August 30, 2017 

Gov. Paul LePage has told legislative leaders that he will call an emergency legislative session to amend a food sovereignty bill that the federal government has criticized as unlawful. The food sovereignty bill, LD 725, proposed by Senate Minority Leader Troy Jackson, D-Allagash, received strong support in the Legislature and was signed into law by LePage in June. It allows municipalities to regulate local food systems, including production, processing, consumption and direct producer-to-consumer exchanges, which are currently regulated at the state and federal levels. A separate issue LePage says needs fixing during a special session is a funding snafu involving the Maine Office of Geographic Information System. LePage did not say when he would call a special session.
Brunswick residents continue court fight to force referendum on waterfront land sale
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, August 30, 2017 

A group of Brunswick residents has filed an appeal of a lower court decision that denied their right to petition for a vote on the town’s sale of waterfront land at Mere Point. Brunswick Citizens for Collaborative Government formed after the Brunswick Town Council rejected a petition signed by over 1,100 residents that called for a referendum vote on the sale of 946 Mere Point Road, a roughly 4-acre piece of waterfront property. The town-owned property was sold after a 5-to-4 decision by the council, which made the decision based on legal advice that a petition could not influence council decisions or orders. Justice Lance E. Walker ruled in early August that the petition was moot because the land was sold, but criticized the council for not holding another public hearing after residents filed a petition. The land was sold on June 15 to Daniel and Kathryn Frost of Irvine, California.
Editorial: How the Bangor region can spur economic growth
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, August 30, 2017 

The Bangor region has a few key economic strengths, and it makes sense for people here to focus on how to grow them — urgently. Figuring out how to accelerate the growth of industries such as forestry support and metal products in the Bangor region should be a priority.
Family celebrates 20 years in Baxter State Park, dinosaurs and all
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, August 30, 2017 

We had all sorts of ideas of what we’d do for our family’s 20th anniversary camping and hiking in Baxter State Park. We planned to make special T-shirts and cook special meals. But life got busy — as it tends to do — and most of those things fell through. Nevertheless, the annual Baxter trip is always special, just as it is. That’s why so many of us have stuck with the tradition, returning to the park each year to cook and camp and hike and fish. And though we dropped the ball on the T-shirts, a few campers had some surprises up their sleeves to celebrate the trips 20th consecutive year. Dinosaurs, for instance, made a special appearance to delight children and park rangers alike.
Fire destroys Northeast Pellets production building
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, August 30, 2017 

For the second time in its 11-year history, Northeast Pellets has suffered a catastrophic fire and is again planning to rebuild. A bulldozer operator at the nearby ReEnergy biomass plant reported the fire at Northeast Pellets’ main production building shortly after 3 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 30, drawing more than 20 firefighters from four towns to extinguish the blaze. No one was injured and no one was at the mill at the time of the fire.
Kill more bass and protect more brook trout
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Wednesday, August 30, 2017 

A lot of interesting issues were discussed at the most recent meeting of the Fish and Wildlife Advisory Council, the group that must approve all new rules governing hunting, fishing, and trapping. Councilor Lawrence Farrington of Piscataquis and Somerset Counties lamented “There’s probably more bass boats on Moosehead Lake than trout and salmon boats.” Bass were illegally introduced to Moosehead Lake some years ago. “I hate bass in Moosehead Lake,” said Farrington, arguing for more protection of trout by placing more trout ponds on the state’s Heritage list. “If you are going to make a mistake, I’d prefer to make it on the conservation side,” he said. “The brook trout is the one thing that anglers come to Maine to catch.”
Blog: A year worth celebrating at Katahdin Woods and Waters
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, August 30, 2017 

Turning left down Penobscot Avenue in Millinocket on Friday, there were cars lining the street. Storefronts were open for business, and there were people strolling around. Not so long ago, it would take a contentious public meeting at town hall to draw so many cars. But that’s in the past. There’s a new air about town. People were lined up a couple deep at the office for the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, as a volunteer patiently explained the best way to visit the property. Make your plans to visit now for the fall. People are coming. And, if you’re already thinking about where you want to be for the next eclipse in 2024, I have a suggestion. For me, it’s in the shadow of moon and Katahdin. ~ David Farmer
How ‘oyster condos’ helped save a Maine town’s shellfish legacy
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, August 30, 2017 

For two years, Brunswick Marine Resources Officer Dan Devereaux has worked with local harvesters and consultant Darcie Couture of Fair Winds Inc., to grow oysters using two methods — “flip bags” and floating “oyster condos” — to determine which is more successful. The project, with funding from the town of Brunswick, was designed to explore alternative methods of aquaculture to allow lifelong harvesters to continue to earn a living despite a drastic decline in landings of softshell clams. Unable to make a living, even second- and third-generation clammers are looking for work elsewhere. Devereaux declared the project a success.
The backache behind your Maine blueberries
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, August 30, 2017 

As I scanned hundreds of individual blueberries that rolled past me on a conveyor belt at Spruce Mountain Farm, I felt dizzy and the faintest bit of nausea. I had been warned by the owner, Molly Sholes, that feeling “seasick” was a side effect from working on the belt, known colloquially as the “pickover belt,” named for the fact that workers “pick over” the blueberries on it. The feeling of being seasick comes from the constant motion of the pickover belt — similar to a conveyor belt at a grocery store cash register — while trying to scan hundreds, maybe even thousands, of individual blueberries as they moved past me.
Hobarts of Blanchard to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, August 29, 2017 

Steve and Diana Hobart have exemplified land stewardship through forestry and farming practices at their farm in Blanchard, Breakneck Ridge Farm. In addition, they have worked tirelessly to educate others and to help shape conservation management decisions at the local, state and federal level. The Piscataquis County Soil and Water Conservation District will present the Hobarts with a Lifetime Achievement Award on September 16th for their contributions to natural resource stewardship and for sharing their knowledge and guidance with so many over the decades.
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