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
Blue whale seen off MDI
Mount Desert Islander - Wednesday, September 30, 2015 

A female blue whale seen on Bar Harbor Whale Watch tours last week was a first for the company in its 33-year history. Meanwhile, more sightings of the rare sperm whales seen last week added to the excitement.
E.O. Wilson explains why parks and nature are really good for your brain
Washington Post - Wednesday, September 30, 2015 

Wilson fully agrees with the modern research suggesting that it’s good for our health and well-being to spend time in natural environments — a finding that has large implications for the global trend towards urbanism, city planning, and much more. As for the science showing that this is good for you? “When people state the common belief that being in nature relaxes them, that it helps them recover from stress and tragedy, that it’s a healing process to be in nature, we now know there’s a solid basis for that,” Wilson says. “The research has been done and it is true that it’s good for the human mind to be able to live and experience in really natural situations.”
Greens' hopes for quick win on New England monument fade
E&E/Greenwire - Wednesday, September 30, 2015 

One month ago, environmental groups were strategizing over their latest bid: Get the Obama administration to create its first marine monument off New England. They had talks with fishing groups, lawmakers and think tanks. At the end of August, they exchanged emails over their progress -- and in one, the president of the Conservation Law Foundation warned everyone to keep quiet about the possibility of a breakthrough at the upcoming Our Ocean Conference in Chile. But Shelley, in an interview today, said the email was just hopeful speculation. With the conference coming up, environmental groups had hoped to convince the Obama administration that the New England marine monument was shovel-ready and ideal for a conference announcement.
Cod population on Georges Bank thinner than previously thought
Associated Press - Wednesday, September 30, 2015 

One of the two critical areas where New England fishermen search for cod may be in even worse shape than suspected. Fishing managers already knew that cod stocks on Georges Bank were thin, but new data from the Northeast Fisheries Science Center says research boats caught less of the fish this spring than in all but one spring dating back to 1968. Regulators and marine scientists have said overfishing hit the stock hard and warming oceans could be making it worse.
Brunswick, other coastal towns forming clam lobby
Forecaster - Wednesday, September 30, 2015 

After suffering several legislative defeats in Augusta, town officials charged with regulating marine resources are setting up a lobby to push their agenda through the Statehouse. Their goal is to end a power struggle between clam harvesters and marine worm harvesters over access to the town’s mud flats. Members of the Brunswick Marine Resources Committee, as well as the town’s harbor master, say that important clam conservation closures are being destroyed by worm harvesters, and they have no authority to stop it. Brunswick leaders called a meeting with elected representatives from 10 other coastal towns to discuss the issue.
GMRI gets $500,000 federal grant
Forecaster - Wednesday, September 30, 2015 

The Gulf of Maine Research Institute will be creating new digital learning opportunities about sea level rise after receiving a $500,000 grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The Institute will use the grant over the next three years to develop interactive learning platforms using NOAA data and tools to teach scientific concepts and principles behind predicted changes in sea level and storm frequency. The data and weather forecasts will be accessible to Maine communities and students.
Editorial: Key Allagash Wilderness Waterway parcel acquired
Maine Environmental News - Wednesday, September 30, 2015 

According to Don Hudson of the AWW Foundation, the Allagash Wilderness Waterway finally is complete. After 49 years, the last private inholding along the watercourse in Maine's famous wild river, the Lock Dam lot, has been acquired and given to the people of Maine. There are important lands within the AWW Mile Zone that should be acquired by the public, but at a time when most conservation deals in Maine are frozen, it is great news that the last piece of the puzzle in the Allagash Wilderness Waterway Restricted Zone has been brought into public ownership.
Watch out for turtles crossing roads on rainy autumn days
Aislinn Sarnacki Act Out Blog - Wednesday, September 30, 2015 

Maine is currently home to at least 39 species and subspecies of reptiles and amphibians. Of the seven turtle species that live in Maine (six native species and one exotic species), two species — the Blanding’s turtle and spotted turtle — are protected under Maine’s Endangered Species Act. Upon seeing the snapping turtle in the road this morning, my first instinct was to put on my hazard lights and get out of the car to hurry the turtle along. But when I approached the turtle, it froze. I got back into my car and waited. After just a couple minutes, the turtle poked its long head out of its shell, stretched its legs, lifted itself off the wet pavement and continued to cross the road, one slow step at a time.
Managers to Gauge Herring Fishing's Impact on Other Species
Associated Press - Wednesday, September 30, 2015 

Federal fishing managers are gathering information to assess the impact of the herring fishery on other species and the ecosystem. The New England Fishery Management Council is working on an amendment to the herring fishery that it says will account for the role of fishery within the ecosystem. It will also address the issue of localized depletion, which is what happens when fishing takes more fish than can be replaced locally or through migration. Atlantic herring are used as both bait and food. Federal figures say the fishery was valued at about $31.9 million in 2013.
Maine loggers unveil program to boost ranks
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, September 30, 2015 

In the midst of a bad week for Maine’s pulp and paper mills, logging industry leaders on Wednesday announced a new community college program aimed at attracting new workers for their businesses. The Professional Logging Contractors of Maine has joined forces with three Maine community colleges to create a Mechanized Logging Operations Training Program, which is expected to start in early 2016 with about 36 students, according to Dana Doran, the logging organization’s executive director. The announcement came the day after the owner of a pulp mill in Old Town announced it would close by the end of the year, and two days after a tissue mill in Lincoln filed for bankruptcy.
Brunswick selects ReVision Energy for solar energy program
Forecaster - Wednesday, September 30, 2015 

Brunswick has selected ReVision Energy of Portland as its partner for the Solarize Brunswick program. The Solarize program, which was launched this summer, is a way for residential and commercial customers to purchase solar energy equipment at a lower cost through a town-facilitated bulk purchase. The discount through the Solarize program makes buying a solar array “a little more attractive.” What really makes the purchase competitive is the 30 percent federal tax credit customers are eligible for to cover the upfront costs of buying solar equipment. That tax credit expires in December 2016.
Editorial: Organic farming: Maine’s small economic bright spot
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, September 30, 2015 

For many sectors of the Maine economy, the story is one of decline and stagnation. But for Maine’s organic farms, growth is the theme. Maine added the most new organic farms — 139 — of any state in the nation between 2008 and 2014, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s 2014 Organic Survey found. Maine had 517 organic farms last year. Maine’s organic farm growth shows there is no one answer to drawing people to Maine or to a specific industry. By working together to provide training, financing, land, market access and technical and moral support, Maine’s farm sector offers one model for success.
Becoming a certified Mainer
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Wednesday, September 30, 2015 

Good news. Maine comedian Gary Crocker and I are working on a Community College course that “people from away” can take to be certified as Mainers. I will let you know when it is available.
Moose hunting memories, meat part of a Maine tradition
John Holyoke Out There Blog - Wednesday, September 30, 2015 

Last week Lee Kantar, the moose biologist for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, sat down to talk about the state’s largest land mammal. Kantar said the animal’s iconic status in Maine contributes to its popularity, whether it’s being watched by photographers, pursued by hunters, or ogled at a tagging station. For those who annually apply to win an opportunity to hunt a moose, the excitement takes on another dimension when the hunt — often their first — finally takes place.
Lincoln mill to continue operating until bankruptcy auction
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, September 30, 2015 

The Lincoln Paper and Tissue mill will continue operating under a $2.3 million extension of its credit line and has lined up an initial bidder for a sale it hopes to close by the end of November, according to the mill’s CEO and court documents. A bankruptcy judge on Tuesday approved the extended credit line, which mill CEO Keith Van Scotter said means it’s business as usual for employees, customers and vendors, as the specialty tissue mill moves toward an auction. The mill filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Monday.
State of the Trout
Maine Environmental News - Wednesday, September 30, 2015 

According to a new report from Trout Unlimited, native trout historically occurred in 38 of the 50 United States stretching in the East from the southern tip of the Appalachian Mountains to Maine. These fish are prized for their beauty, ecological role in the broader ecosystem, spiritual and recreational value, and the economic stimulus that anglers bring to many communities. Unfortunately, neither the status of native trout nor their habitat is secure. Trout have declined as a result of land development, overfishing, water pollution, poor timber and livestock grazing practices and the introduction of non-native species. In Maine, Trout Unlimited has worked with a collation of conservation groups, state and federal agencies, tribes and utility companies to come to an agreement that led to the removal of three dams and restoration that will re-open over 1,200 miles of habitat.
Congressman Vows to Kill America’s Top Conservation Program
Climate Progress - Wednesday, September 30, 2015 

Barely 24 hours after Pope Francis appealed to U.S. lawmakers to help protect “our common home,” Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT) announced that he intends this week to kill the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), which is known as America’s best parks program. The move, which is expected to succeed, places dozens of U.S. national parks at heightened risk of commercial development. In addition to helping create national parks, LWCF has funded tens of thousands of local parks and outdoor recreation projects. While there appears to be support for reauthorizing LWCF, Bishop’s statements make it unlikely that the program will be renewed by Wednesday as part of an agreement to prevent a government shutdown.
Howland Dam Bypass Construction Progresses
Maine Environmental News - Wednesday, September 30, 2015 

According to the Penobscot River Restoration Trust, the Piscataquis River is now flowing through the bypass past the Howland Dam as initial testing of watering the Howland bypass channel took place this week. Although there remains work to be done, the bypass is well on the way to being fully operational for the spring migrations. The PRRT purchased the Howland Dam in 2010 along with the Great Works Dam (removed in 2012) and the Veazie Dam (removed in 2013). Construction of a fish bypass at the Howland Dam is a key element of the Penobscot River restoration, which aims to significantly improve access to nearly 1,000 miles of historic habitat for 11 species of native sea-run fish while maintaining or increasing energy generation on Maine's Penobscot River system.
Opinion: LePage’s plan to use timber resources to lower heating costs based on sound science
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, September 30, 2015 

Gov. Paul LePage continues to propose better utilization of Maine’s renewable timber resources to effectively lower the energy bills of low-income households. The LePage administration is able to achieve this goal by harvesting timber at a rate that is well under its annual growth rate, in a manner that is Forest Stewardship Council- and Sustainable Forestry Initiative-certified and based on sound science and proper forest management practices. The recent BDN editorial, “Reason, science and the law: Where LePage’s public forest plans fall short,” on Sept. 25 fails to share the facts of the governor’s comprehensive plan, which provides significant opportunity to lower energy costs through modern heating systems and increased efficiency. The Maine people own this land, and they should benefit from increased timber revenue. ~ Doug Denico, Maine State Forester
Award spotlights solar efforts
Keep Me Current - Wednesday, September 30, 2015 

Maine Beer Co., which is generating half its energy from solar power, and the town of Freeport, which has helped residents with the price of installing solar panels, both received awards Monday for their leadership and achievements in solar energy. The Maine Conservation Alliance presented Maine Beer Co. and the town with its Community Climate Champion Awards during a late-morning ceremony. Daniel Kleban, co-founder, represented Maine Beer Co., while Planner Donna Larson accepted the award for the town. State Rep. Sara Gideon, D-Freeport, who has championed solar energy in the Legislature, also was on hand. Beth Ahearn, program director of the Maine Conservation Alliance, made the presentations.
Awards Presented at Sierra Club Maine annual dinner
Sierra Club - Wednesday, September 30, 2015 

Award presented at the recent Sierra Club Maine annual dinner included: Business Leaders for the Environment: Daniel and David Kleban, owners Maine Beer Company; Public Service for the Environment: David Littell, former DEP Commissioner and PUC Commissioner; and Leadership from a Local Grassroots Group: Stephen Miller, Islesboro Islands Trust. Volunteers awards went to: Outstanding Chapter Volunteer: Tara Hollander; Chapter Volunteer of the Year: Miriam Rubin; and Excellence in Environmental Reporting: Jim Frick.
Opinion: We’re not giving them smallpox blankets, but we’re taking Penobscots’ river
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, September 30, 2015 

When I was growing up, manifest destiny was a concept we learned about with pride. The Americans — which meant white Europeans — bravely made their way across the continent, turning this wild land into a great country. We learned about agreements made between the people who lived here and the new people. On the other hand, we also were taught that white people came to this land and rounded up the native people and made them live on “reservations.” We learned about smallpox blankets killing many native people, and we knew the white Europeans did things that were unfair. Maybe we’re a little bit more informed. But, what I didn’t realize was that the people of the state of Maine are still trying to take territory away from the people whose families have lived here for more than 10,000 years. We should let our elected officials know that we non-Penobscots don’t want steal the river of the Penobscot people. ~ Heather Denkmire, Portland
Arundel aims to become seasonal destination with cottage project
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, September 30, 2015 

The development of 259 cottages at Cape Arundel Cottage Preserve is expected to bring in hundreds of part-time residents to the town, which is mostly rural and residential. Cape Arundel seeks to emulate the seasonal housing developments often seen in beach towns but despite its name, Cape Arundel isn’t on the shore. It sits atop a forested hill of about 200 acres, which is being sculpted into clusters of small homes of roughly 900 square feet with amenities like a clubhouse and pool. The ocean is at least 3 miles away as the crow flies.
This year, it’s an apple bonanza at Maine orchards
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, September 30, 2015 

Maine’s apple crop is so good this year that at some orchards the trees can’t even keep their branches off the ground. Experts and apple orchard owners say a combination of factors is likely behind this year’s bumper crop. Apple trees tend to be cyclical, so this year’s higher yield follows a lighter harvest last year. Good spring and summer weather also played a role, although the warm late-summer conditions have pushed back the ripening for some popular varieties by a week or two.
Editorial: Use heating oil savings to keep winter outside
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, September 30, 2015 

The statewide average price for heating oil is the lowest it’s been in more than 10 years, which should save Maine residents and businesses more than $300 million from just two years ago. When oil prices rise yet again – as they always do – Mainers will return to spending an outsized portion of their paychecks on staying warm, unless more is done to prepare their homes for cold weather. To make this time of low costs count, then, residents should take the long view. The savings should be used to weatherize homes and replace old heating systems, projects that pay out year after year for the life of a home, and help cut down on the use of fossil fuels as well.
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