July 21, 2018  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Saturday, July 21, 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
Protect the Endangered Species Act from Republican attacks
Action Alert - Saturday, July 21, 2018 

The Endangered Species Act itself is now as threatened as the wildlife that it's meant to protect. Republicans in Congress and the fossil fuel industry recently proposed new legislation to severely weaken the decades-old law that has saved dozens of endangered species and helped the recovery of hundreds more. What's more, the Trump administration just announced its own plans to roll back protections in the ESA to make it easier to de-list species. Sign the petition. ~ CREDO Action
Moonlight Paddle on Babassus Lake, Jul 27
Event - Posted - Friday, July 20, 2018 

July full-moon paddle in the heart of the Downeast Lakes Community Forest. Boats launch from Babassus Landing, campfire at Dawn Marie Beach, July 27, 7:30 pm. Sponsored by Downeast Lakes Land Trust.
Fund for Maine Land Conservation
Announcement - Thursday, July 19, 2018 

The Fund for Maine Land Conservation of the Maine Community Foundation seeks grant proposals to support land preservation.
Sears Island Tree Identification Workshop, Jul 26
Event - Posted - Thursday, July 19, 2018 

Natural science educator Kevin Doran will lead a tree identification workshop on Sears Island, July 26, 3-5 pm.
Urge Poliquin to VOTE NO on Biggs’ amendment #129
Action Alert - Wednesday, July 18, 2018 

Urge Rep. Bruce Poliquin to VOTE NO on Rep. Andrew Biggs’ amendment #129. It would take funds for the National Park Service maintenance backlog from the Land and Water Conservation Fund. A vote is expected July 18 about 2 pm. Poliquin's offices: Lewiston (207) 784-0768; Bangor (207) 942-0583; Caribou (207) 492-1600; DC (202) 225-6306.
Protect Our National Monuments
Action Alert - Wednesday, July 18, 2018 

The Trump administration is waging an all-out assault on some of America’s most cherished national lands. Tell President Trump and Interior Secretary Zinke to keep their hands off of our spectacular national monuments.
Great Old Broads for Wilderness meet, Jul 25
Event - Posted - Wednesday, July 18, 2018 

Great Old Broads for Wilderness, a national grassroots organization led by women who believe strongly that we need to act now to protect our wild natural areas, will be planning outdoor activities, service projects and social events for the next few months. At Rockport Public Library, July 25, 4:30 pm.
Nominate someone for lifetime outdoor achievement award
Announcement - Wednesday, July 18, 2018 

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is seeking nominations for its annual Lifetime Outdoor Achievement Award. Deadline: August 8.
Climate Communications Report
Publication - Wednesday, July 18, 2018 

This report from the Land Trust Alliance and the Open Space Institute aims to provide helpful guidance on how to talk about climate change.
Maine Open Farm Day, Jul 22
Event - Posted - Sunday, July 15, 2018 

Open Farm Day is an annual family adventure in which farms throughout all 16 counties open their gates to offer the public an opportunity to learn about the business of agriculture. July 22.
Hike Number 4 Mountain with Moosehead Trails, Jul 22
Event - Posted - Sunday, July 15, 2018 

Join local volunteers from Moosehead Trails at Number 4 Mountain for a day of hiking and trail work. Near Greenville, July 22, 2018 9 am - 4 pm.
Hike-the-Guide: Penobscot Shore Preserve Hike, Jul 21
Event - Posted - Saturday, July 14, 2018 

Join Coastal Mountains Land Trust for a Hike-the-Guide outing. At Penobscot Shore Preserve, Prospect., July 21, 9-11 am.
Redneck Regatta, Jul 21
Event - Posted - Saturday, July 14, 2018 

Join this wacky race of “boats” constructed of cardboard and duct tape. At Prince Thomas Park, Lincoln, part of the Loon Festival, July 21, 1-2:30 pm.
Thoreau-Wabanaki Trail Festival, Jul 18-21
Event - Posted - Wednesday, July 11, 2018 

The festival is a celebration of the Maine Woods and commemorates the history of the Wabanaki people and poet, philosopher, and naturalist Henry David Thoreau’s three trips into the Maine Woods.
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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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