December 15, 2017  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Wednesday, December 13, 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
Maine Energy Planning Roadmap hearings, Dec 19, Dec 29, Jan 10
Event - Posted - Tuesday, December 12, 2017 

The Governor’s Energy Office is asking Mainers for input in developing an Energy Planning Roadmap. Public hearings:
• Dec. 19: University of Southern Maine, Portland
• Dec. 29: Energy, Utilities, & Technology Committee, Augusta
• Jan. 10: University of Maine, Presque Isle
Help wanted: Visitor Center Assistant
Announcement - Monday, December 11, 2017 

Seasonal position, May 1 - October 31, 2018, representing Audubon’s Seabird Restoration Program at the Project Puffin Visitor Center in Rockland.
Free Skiing & Learn-to-Ski Clinics, Dec 16
Event - Posted - Saturday, December 9, 2017 

Waterville Parks & Rec, with support from Friends of Quarry Road, will provide free trail passes, free rentals, and free learn-to-ski clinics at Quarry Road Trails, December 16.
Meadow Brook/Hurds Pond Preserve Hike, Dec 16
Event - Posted - Saturday, December 9, 2017 

Cloe Chunn will lead a hike of Meadow Brook/Hurds Pond, a preserve of Coastal Mountains Land Trust. Meet at Swanville Transfer Station, December 16, 10 am. Sponsored by Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition.
Tax bill would slam the brakes on solar and wind energy
Action Alert - Friday, December 8, 2017 

The tax bill passed by the Senate last Friday includes an obscure provision that could pull the rug out from under solar and wind power. The House version also takes aim at renewable energy by rolling back key tax credits. These provisions "would have a devastating ... impact on wind and solar energy," according to renewable energy industry leaders. ~ Environment Maine
Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, Dec 14
Event - Posted - Thursday, December 7, 2017 

Tim Hudson, Superintendent, will take you through the landscape of Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument with pictures. At Belfast Free Library, December 14, 6:30 pm. Sponsored by Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition.
Whales of the Gulf of Maine: A Naturalist’s Report, Dec 14
Event - Posted - Thursday, December 7, 2017 

Zack Klyver, chief naturalist for the Bar Harbor Whale Watch Company and founder of Flukes whale watch ecotours, will present an engaging review of the 2017 whale watch season. At Schoodic Institute, Winter Harbor, December 14, 12 pm.
Olive oil tasting, Dec 13
Event - Posted - Wednesday, December 6, 2017 

FIORE Artisan Olive Oils & Vinegars will host an evening to support the Brunswick Topsham Land Trust at its tasting room in Brunswick, December 13, 5-7 pm.
The Arctic Needs Your Help
Action Alert - Tuesday, December 5, 2017 

Buried deep within the Senate tax bill is a provision to open the pristine Arctic Refuge, a national treasure, to oil and gas drilling, which will cause widespread pollution and harm to the wildlife and people who call this place home. Express your disappointment to Senator Susan Collins and urge her to protect our natural legacy by working to remove this damaging language before the tax bill becomes law. ~ Maine Conservation Voters
Birds from the Footbridge in Belfast, Dec 9
Event - Posted - Saturday, December 2, 2017 

Join Ron Harrell and Gary Gulezian to watch ducks, loons and other birds in the harbor. At the Belfast Footbridge, December 9, 8-10 am. Organized by Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition.
Win $1,000 L.L.Bean shopping spree and an outing with David Sibley
Announcement - Friday, December 1, 2017 

Wildlife Acoustics, makers of the Song Sleuth bird identifying app, launched the Sibley Sweepstakes on December 1. Ends March 1. No purchase necessary to enter.
Baxter State Park sign auction, ends Dec 6
Announcement - Thursday, November 30, 2017 

Auction of retired Baxter State Park signs, plus the historic dinner bell from Kidney Pond Camps. Friends Baxter State Park will donate half the proceeds to Baxter State Park, and half will support FBSP programs. Ends December 6.
Blazing Ahead: the Rivalry that Built the Appalachian Trail, Dec 7
Event - Posted - Thursday, November 30, 2017 

Jeffrey Ryan tells the story of the unlikely creation of the Appalachian Trail. At Bangor Public Library, December 7, 6 pm. Sponsored by Appalachian Mountain Club Maine Chapter.
Celebrate CREA and the Season, Dec 7
Event - Posted - Thursday, November 30, 2017 

Meet new Executive Director Wendy Van Damme, hear about new programs and plans, and contemplate the joy of winter activity at the Cathance River Education Alliance’s 235 acre nature preserve in Topsham. At Frontier Cafe, Brunswick, December 7, 4:30 to 6:30 pm, RSVP.
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News Items
Wildfire Episode 16 – New Hunting Laws/Enforcement
Maine Audubon - Monday, September 30, 2013 

Hosts George Smith and Harry Vanderweide discuss a raft of new hunting laws plus enforcement. Maine Audubon Executive Director Ted Koffman joins for further discussion.
Deal that would launch Millinocket pellet project delayed despite LePage’s urging
Bangor Daily News - Monday, September 30, 2013 

A proposal for the state of Maine to guarantee a $25 million loan to create wood products jobs in Millinocket was tabled Monday by the Finance Authority of Maine board of directors, the majority of whom were unwilling to take the risk without stronger financial assurances from the applicants. Gov. Paul LePage attended Monday’s meeting to urge support for the proposal. While he acknowledged the financial risk involved, LePage said the potential return to one of the state’s most economically depressed areas is worth it. At issue is a plan by a firm called Thermogen Industries LLC, to build a torrefied wood pellets plant on the former paper mill site on Katahdin Avenue in Millinocket. Torrefied wood pellets, otherwise known as “black” wood pellets, are an emerging product used extensively throughout Europe by commercial entities, many of which seek to scale back their use of coal.
Sandy River work on schedule, Whittier Road to open Wednesday
Kennebec Journal - Monday, September 30, 2013 

The portion of the Whittier Road in Farmington closed for construction on a bank stabilization project is expected to re-open by Wednesday at the latest. The portion of construction that took place in the river is finished. Federal regulations stipulate construction in the river needed to be finished before Oct. 1 in order to minimize the effects on the endangered Atlantic Salmon.
Commissioner backs away from blast at Land for Maine’s Future
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Monday, September 30, 2013 

Walt Whitcomb, Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry, was recently quoted in the The Downeast Coastal Press blasting the Land for Maine’s Future Program. Today, I spent an hour with Commissioner Whitcomb to get a better understanding of just what he meant. He was speaking to the Washington County Republican Committee, dominated by the tea party, and its members were giving him a rough time. Clearly, the hostility in the audience had an impact on the way the usually cautious Whitcomb responded. He regrets some of the words he used. “I have not seen anything approaching dishonesty,” in the LMF program, he told me. With conservation programs under fire and funding sources threatened, it’s time for all of us to step up and remind political and government officials of how important these programs are to us.
Prosecutor won’t charge Linda Bean, lobster plant for animal cruelty
Bangor Daily News - Monday, September 30, 2013 

Knox County’s top prosecutor said he will not pursue animal cruelty charges in connection with the processing of lobsters at Linda Bean’s plant in Rockland. District Attorney Geoffrey Rushlau issued a statement Monday afternoon in response to a complaint filed by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. PETA asked that Bean be investigated for possible criminal charges of cruelty to animals for the way her facility processes lobsters. Rushlau said his research shows that the state’s animal cruelty laws never were intended to cover invertebrate species — animals without backbones.
Long-Time Acadia Concessioner Shaken by Park Service Rejection
Maine Public Broadcasting Network - Monday, September 30, 2013 

An era will likely come to an end when concession stands and a restaurant at Acadia National Park close for the season later this fall. Since 1933, a local company, Acadia Corporation, has run these businesses inside the park. But earlier this month, the National Park Service chose not to renew the firm's contract, offering it instead to a concessioner based in New Mexico. Officials with Acadia Corp say they're disappointed by the move.
Maine lawmakers want Greenpeace crew freed
Associated Press - Monday, September 30, 2013 

Forty-one members of the Maine House are petitioning the Russian government to release a Greenpeace ship captain and crew that tried to climb aboard a drilling platform in the Arctic. State Rep. Deane Rykerson of Kittery said he’s friends with the ship’s captain, Peter Willcox, who this year married a woman from Islesboro off the coast of Belfast. He said that he began soliciting signatures on Friday and that he had 41 by Monday. The signatories said they are “deeply troubled” by the Russians’ actions in capturing the ship.
‘North Woods Law’ cast attracts fans to Maine Wildlife Park
Aislinn Sarnacki Act Out Blog - Monday, September 30, 2013 

Stars of “North Woods Law,” a reality TV show focusing on Maine’s game wardens, spent the day mingling with fans at the Maine Wildlife Park on Sept. 28 for “North Woods Law Day.” About 1,400 people visited the park that day. Young and old, fans lined up to take photos with the famous game wardens and have a variety of memorabilia signed, from hunting caps to free posters available at the event.
Federal government shutdown would imperil key Acadia tourism season
Bangor Daily News - Monday, September 30, 2013 

A federal government shutdown remained likely late Monday as lawmakers in Washington were at a stalemate over a government spending resolution. Mail carriers, military personnel and air traffic controllers are among the federal employees who will continue working through a government shutdown. However, Acadia National Park, one of the state’s top attractions, would be closed during a crucial fall stretch for tourism.
Opinion: Let’s make paper, not a national park
Bangor Daily News - Monday, September 30, 2013 

Lucas St. Clair appears to have a new plan for a national park. But a national park is not what northern Maine wants or needs. The northern Maine woods don’t meet the criteria for a national park. The national park proposal lacks the support of a key business in the area, Great Northern Paper. Maine’s forest products industry is not dying. It’s thriving. Our answer has always been “no” and will remain “no!” ~ Mark Marston, East Millinocket
Plan to log Georgetown preserves scrutinized
Times Record - Monday, September 30, 2013 

A plan for managing two town-owned forest preserves met with loud opposition Thursday on the question of whether to remove most or all of the mature spruce at Ipcar Preserve. Forester Barrie Brusilla of Warren said that while the Round the Cove parcel, on the west side of Robinhood Cove, mostly requires removal of some invasive species and repair of a road that is being washed away, the Ipcar Preserve, near the tip of Five Islands, is in danger of “blow downs” with spruce trees that cannot withstand ocean winds. Most of the 40 or so attendees at Thursday’s meeting were unconvinced.
Local state reps earn perfect scores on environmental votes
Foster's Daily Democrat - Monday, September 30, 2013 

Maine State Reps. Roberta Beavers, D-South Berwick, Paul McGowan, D-York, and Deane Rykerson, D-Kittery, received perfect ratings for 2013 from Maine Conservation Voters, a statewide environmental advocacy group.
Give ‘em enough rope
Bangor Daily News - Monday, September 30, 2013 

More old fishing rope from Maine is being repurposed by artist Orly Genger. Laura Ludwig, formerly of the Gulf of Maine Lobster Foundation and now of the Center for Coastal Studies in Provincetown, Mass., was in Maine last month collecting old rope for Genger’s project, paying out 50 cents per pound to fishermen who brought her their old groundlines. One objective of the program is to help Maine fishermen pay for replacing their old float rope, which has been banned more than a few miles from shore because of the threat it poses to diving whales.
Microsoft, Google Put Analytics Muscle Behind Conservation Research
Other - Monday, September 30, 2013 

Forbes - Both Microsoft and Google are investing seriously in massive databases that can be used for conservation and research purposes. Microsoft technology, for example, is behind an ambitious project to protect 60 percent of Earth’s plant species by protecting just 17 percent of its land surface. Google is likewise applying its considerable Big Data analytics, mapping and visualization capacity to various conservation projects around the world, particularly ocean-related ones.
The Fryeburg Fair: Last but not least
Portland Press Herald - Monday, September 30, 2013 

The 163rd Fryeburg Fair kicked off Sunday with displays of agriculture and thrill rides. The fair showcases more than 3,000 animals and has the usual fall offerings: harness racing, pig scrambles, exhibition halls and more than 50 rides on the midway. The event typically draws about 200,000 people a year. The fair is Maine's final agricultural show of 2013.
Letter: Well-funded critics fighting South Portland ordinance
Portland Press Herald - Monday, September 30, 2013 

Matt Byrne's article about South Portland's citizen initiative ("Rival camps dig in on South Portland waterfront zoning," Sept. 15) quotes a city councilor saying this is going to be a "fair fight." He then describes the opposition's six-figure budget, its team of professional advisers and media consultants, its glossy direct-mail and robocalling initiatives, its radio, print and television ads and, of course, its lawyers — from Maine's biggest firms and beyond. This is the army lined up against volunteers who plan to spend their Saturdays and Sundays walking the city, knocking on doors, armed only with facts and their unremunerated concern. I question which aspects of this match-up strike anyone as balanced. ~ Susan Hasson, South Portland
Letter: Snorkeler's Fort Gorges visit reveals sad ecological decline
Portland Press Herald - Monday, September 30, 2013 

Maine's environment is fragile. I've spent a lot of time this summer snorkeling in and around Portland. I'm surprised and dismayed at how dirty the water is and how relatively lifeless the seabed is. I recently went out to Fort Gorges to take a look. I thought there might be a good deal of interesting life to see around the island. It was depressingly murky, dirty and dead, aside from a few fiddler crabs. The myth of the pristine Maine environment is quickly disappearing right under our noses, unless you pay attention. When it's gone, it will be gone for a very long time. ~ Benson Dana, Cape Elizabeth
Letter: Monson No. 1
Bangor Daily News - Monday, September 30, 2013 

On Sept. 4, 2012, the town of Monson passed a “Moratorium Ordinance Regarding Private Corridors To Include Paved Highways, Pipelines and High Tension Transmission Lines.” During the pursuing year, the planning board worked on amendments to the land use ordinance with the help of a consultant to protect the inhabitants’ welfare, health and safety. This amended Land Use Ordinance and Natural Resource Extraction Ordinance is the first in the state to pass language limiting the passage of the “east/west corridor.” ~ Cynthia Turner, Monson
Letter: Managing the black bear
Sun Journal - Monday, September 30, 2013 

Without baiting, hounding and trapping, the bear population will rise sharply, and we will be paying agents to shoot them to keep them in control. Just this week a sow was spotted in Topsham along with three cubs. There will be many more bear and human contacts without these methods to keep them in check. We do not need out-of-town interests to tell us how to manage our wildlife. ~ Kenneth Scribner, Durham
Column: As Maine skies darken earlier, drivers must watch out for the wild things
Morning Sentinel - Sunday, September 29, 2013 

When driving at night, scan for deer and if you see one, look behind it for another one. If one crosses your path, expect another one to be right behind it. Last year, the number of vehicle-deer accidents reported in Maine was 2,837, up from 2,744 in 2011 and 2,626 in 2010, according to statistics from the state Department of Transportation. ~ Amy Calder
Maine coyotes: Dangerous wild pests or important members of the ecosystem?
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, September 29, 2013 

According to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife, at least 12,000 coyotes live in Maine. The medium-sized canines expanded their range into the state in the 1930s, after the demise of the wolves, which used to be the area’s largest canine predator. “These intelligent and adaptable animals now occupy almost every conceivable habitat type, from open agricultural country to dense forest to downtown urban areas,” the department’s coyote fact sheet states. Geri Vistein of Brunswick, a Maine wildlife biologist, said that coyotes are important in the ecosystem, but they are so new to Maine that most people don’t know how to live with them.
Critics Pan Pandora's Promise
Other - Sunday, September 29, 2013 

The final movie of the 2013 Camden International Film Festival, to be shown on Sunday, September 29, at 7:30 p.m. in Camden, Maine, is Pandora's Promise. Many critics are giving the pro-nuclear power film two thumbs down.
Waterkeeper movement thrives from Maine to Nepal
Associated Press - Sunday, September 29, 2013 

For 22 years, Joe Payne has patrolled the waters of Casco Bay, improving water quality, restoring clam flats, protecting young lobsters and mobilizing oil spill cleanup efforts. This month, he was honored for his work as Casco Bay baykeeper with a new 28-foot vessel christened in his name. But he says he’s equally proud of the increased numbers of waterkeepers who oversee and protect bays, rivers, sounds, channels, inlets, lakes and creeks in 23 countries, on six continents.
Capitol eerily quiet as government shutdown nears
Reuters - Sunday, September 29, 2013 

With just a day to go before a midnight Monday deadline to avoid a federal government shutdown, the U.S. Capitol building was eerily quiet on Sunday, with meeting rooms locked and no lawmakers to be found inside. Senate Democrats decided on Sunday not to take up a measure approved in the early hours of Sunday by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives that ties funding governmental agencies with a one-year delay of President Barack Obama's landmark healthcare law. As government agencies edge toward closing their doors, the standoff is a harbinger of the next big political battle: a far-more consequential bill to raise the federal government's borrowing authority. Failure to raise the $16.7 trillion debt ceiling by mid-October would force the United States to default on some payment obligations — an event that could cripple the U.S. economy and send shockwaves around the globe.
Destination Maine
Sun Journal - Sunday, September 29, 2013 

Restaurant sales were up as much as 7 percent across western Maine, up 3.65 percent across the state as a whole. Visits were up 5.3 percent at Acadia National Park from July and August 2012. Hotel nights throughout Maine were up 3 percent in August, according to Smith Travel Research. Signs look good that this summer will go down in the books as a success for one of Maine's largest industries, with optimism for fall — Maine's second-largest tourist season — and for winter beyond.
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