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
Column: Leeman's the name, outdoors writing has been the game
Sun Journal - Saturday, September 30, 2017 

Maine fishing writer Bob Leeman, alias “Mr. Trout,” has decided to put away his pen. Leeman has been writing a fishing column for the Northwoods Sporting Journal for almost two decades. His debut as an outdoor writer was a half century ago. ~ V. Paul Reynolds,
Cousins, Littlejohn islands offer year-round, drivable, Casco Bay bounty
Sun Journal - Saturday, September 30, 2017 

Bring your bike. Bring a camera. And pack a lunch.
How a Sangerville family farm has stayed relevant for a century
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, September 30, 2017 

Generation to generation, Stutzman’s Farm just outside of Dover-Foxcroft has changed, morphing to meet the needs of the family at the helm and the customers they serve. From a wholesale potato operation to it’s present state as a diversified vegetable farm and cafe, the farm has had many lives.
Letter: Fort Williams Park Foundation pays its own way
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, September 30, 2017 

The work of the Fort Williams Park Foundation has a positive impact not only on our town, but also on much of southern Maine and beyond. Cape Elizabeth is not the only governmental organization challenged by the arrival of invasive plants, insects and other species. The foundation coordinates and collaborates with other organizations to bring best management practices to the park as well as to share what we are learning with others. In all ways, we want to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. ~ Lynn Shaffer, president, Fort Williams Park Foundation, Cape Elizabeth
Thoreau wasn’t wrong: The Hundred-Mile Wilderness is no picnic
Boston Globe - Friday, September 29, 2017 

Compared with his bucolic Walden Pond, Thoreau decided that northern Maine — particularly a stretch of rugged forest known today as the Hundred-Mile Wilderness — was wild: “Vast, Titanic, inhuman.” Well, I wanted to see for myself.
J.D. Irving wins conservation award for 68 forest research projects
Other - Friday, September 29, 2017 

The Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc. (SFI) announced Thursday that J.D. Irving (JDI) is the 2017 winner of the SFI Leadership in Conservation Award. This award recognizes SFI Program Participants across Canada and the U.S. who are involved in strong partnerships focused on conservation. In 2016, SFI Program Participants reported on 420 different audited research projects with more than 500 unique partner organizations. JDI collaborated in 68 forest research projects, the highest number of any SFI Program Participant.
Algae bloom in Casco Bay poses increasing threat to some marine life
Portland Press Herald - Friday, September 29, 2017 

Fishermen and others who make their living from the sea were warned Friday about the increasing threat to some marine life from a large algae bloom in Casco Bay. Officials at the Maine Department of Marine Resources, which first announced discovery of the bloom Tuesday, said Friday that the risk to immobile marine life from the bloom may be at its peak. The bloom, made up of the phytoplankton Karenia mikimotoi, was first announced to the public Tuesday.
Fairfield enters partnership to explore solar array on closed landfill
Morning Sentinel - Friday, September 29, 2017 

A developer is proposing to build a solar array in Fairfield large enough to power 750 homes. Falmouth-based Gizos Energy LLC has been working with the town for the past eight months to site the array on a closed landfill, according to Garvan Donegan, a development specialist with the Central Maine Growth Council. Last week, the town formalized an agreement with Gizos to begin evaluation and research development of the solar facility.
Maine Astronaut To Bike Across Amazon In Climate Change Film
Associated Press - Friday, September 29, 2017 

An astronaut who hails from Maine is biking 600 miles across the Amazon to raise awareness about climate change. Chris Cassidy is traversing the Amazon with a team of environmental scientists to record the effects of climate change in the region as part of a documentary. The team will bike across the Trans Amazon highway.
Fire destroys buildings at Dedham wild blueberry farm
Bangor Daily News - Friday, September 29, 2017 

A fire broke out at Peaked Mountain Farm and Native Pollinator Sanctuary on Friday morning in Dedham that destroyed the homestead and another building and spread into the woods. The 180-acre farm is a Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) Certified Organic Wild Blueberry Grower and Processor, as well as a National Wildlife Federation Certified Wildlife Habitat and Monarch Waystation. The farm is owned by Gail and Daniel VanWart, who also operate the Naked Blueberry gift shop in Bar Harbor.
Scientists Say Casco Bay’s Algae Bloom Is Retreating
Maine Public - Friday, September 29, 2017 

State marine officials say an unusual algae bloom in Casco Bay may be retreating, but they say it still poses a toxic threat to fish. Department of Marine Resources biologist Bryant Lewis sampled water up and down the coast. He’s measuring oxygen levels and the prevalence of an invasive Asian algae — Karenia mikimotoi — that has turned parts of the bay an unusual brown and unleashed an unpleasant, rotting fruit smell. He says levels have dropped since last week. But he adds that as the plankton dies off and falls down the water column, it will be consumed by bacteria, taking up oxygen and potentially suffocating fish and bivalves. DMR officials say the potential for die-offs may now be at its highest.
Maine potato growers trying to make up for lost time
Associated Press - Friday, September 29, 2017 

Maine’s potato growers are hustling to make up for lost time after the September harvest was brought to a virtual standstill by record-breaking heat last week. Hot temperatures can cause quality problems for potatoes going into storage, and the region basked in temperatures in the 80s for four consecutive days, the hottest stretch ever recorded this late in Caribou. The stretch included back-to-back days of 88-degree heat.
Opinion: Portland officials should address health effects of wood-burning fire pits
Portland Press Herald - Friday, September 29, 2017 

Wood smoke is the most toxic type of pollution in most cities, more dangerous than auto pollution and most industrial pollution. The lifetime cancer risk from exposure to wood smoke may be 12 times greater than from exposure to an equal volume of secondhand cigarette smoke. Burning 10 pounds of wood for one hour releases as high a level of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons as 6,000 packs of cigarettes. Wood smoke is the third largest source of dioxins, one of the most intensely toxic compounds known to science. I urge Mayor Ethan Strimling, City Council members and City Manager Jon Jennings to make it a priority to address the deleterious health consequences of wood-burning fire pits on Portland residents, and direct city agencies to strictly enforce “nuisance” regulations. ~ Jane Sloven, Portland
Letter: Hurricane policy result of climate-change denial
Morning Sentinel - Friday, September 29, 2017 

Hurricane Harvey is not the first flood in Houston recently. Houston has had three “once in 500 years” floods in the last decade. As president, Barack Obama mandated that if federal money is used to rebuild after flooding, rising sea levels and stronger storms from a warmer ocean had to be factored into building plans. But Donald Trump has rescinded that order. Now if people in Houston want federal funding they have to rebuild exactly as everything was before the hurricane. Trump says this makes rebuilding cheaper and this creates jobs. We know why this madness is happening. The Koch brothers have essentially bought Washington. ~ Richard Thomas, Waterville
Letter: Renegotiating a fair NAFTA
Bangor Daily News - Friday, September 29, 2017 

While we have all been distracted by what seem like daily crises, something else very important is happening — the North American Free Trade Agreement is being re-negotiated. The original free trade agreement, which went into effect in 1994, did tremendous harm to Maine. More than 25,000 Maine workers have lost their jobs to offshoring or competition with imports since NAFTA. The true total is assuredly much higher. Maine needs trade agreements that help us, not harm us. One particularly dangerous section of NAFTA is its investor-state dispute settlement provisions. Corporations only need to convince a tribunal that a law protecting public health, workplace safety or our environment violates their special NAFTA rights. ~ Jonathan Falk, Carmel
We’re losing lots of forests and farmland
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Thursday, September 28, 2017 

The Harvard Forest, Highstead Foundation, and co-authors from around New England released a new report called “Wildlands and Woodlands, Farmlands and Communities” on September 19. The report shows that New England lost an average of 24,000 acres of forest and farmland per year between 1990 and 2010. It reports that public funding for conservation dropped by 50% from the peak in 2008 to 2010 and is now slightly below 2004 levels. The authors also calculate that, at the 2010 rate, we would lose another 1.2 million acres of forest and farmland over the next 50 years. With that in mind, they argue that the threat of land use to forests is greater than the threat of climate change to forests.
Travel site names Wells Maine’s top nature destination
York County Coast Star - Thursday, September 28, 2017 

This coastal community was recently named the top spot in Maine on Expedia.com’s list of best destinations for nature lovers. Expedia called out Wells Harbor in the recognition. Expedia.com mentioned the hiking trails at Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge and Wells Reserve at Laudholm as other reasons to visit the town.
Maine SFI Implementation Committee Wins Award For Community Leadership, Education Outreach And Growth
Other - Thursday, September 28, 2017 

PR Newswire - The Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc. (SFI) announced today that the Maine SFI Implementation Committee is the winner of the 2017 SFI Implementation Committee Achievement Award. This award recognizes the exceptional work of the grassroots network of 34 SFI Implementation Committees across the U.S. and Canada. "The Maine committee exemplifies SFI's connection with environmental education, community engagement, and outdoor recreation for all," said Kathy Abusow, President and CEO of SFI Inc.
LePage wants to develop a new gas pipeline from Quebec
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, September 28, 2017 

Frustrated by failed attempts to greatly expand natural gas capacity in New England, Gov. Paul LePage said Thursday that he wants to develop a new pipeline from Quebec into Maine. LePage said he plans to meet with officials in Quebec in the next month or so. He said the province is interested in a new gas line that could bring supply from western Canada through Maine. At the same time, environmental groups in Maine have been fighting pipeline expansions, favoring investments in efficiency, wind and solar. Any new pipeline would take hundreds of millions of dollars in investment, commitments from end users and years of studies and permits, leading some experts to say the governor’s idea is unrealistic.
Maine conservation lands targeted again
Maine Environmental News - Thursday, September 28, 2017 

Maine has one of the lowest proportions of public conservation land in the United States. Land trusts in Maine have stepped in to pick up the slack in land conservation dropped by public agencies. According to the Maine Land Trust Network, 96 land trusts and conservation organizations own barely 2.3% of the land in Maine. Those lands provide enormous ecological and recreational benefits to the public. However, that has not stopped anti-conservation interests from perennially targeting them. Buried in the state budget is a section calling for “a study of the financial and nonfinancial aspects of conserved lands owned by nonprofit conservation organizations.” The first meeting of the committee studying nonprofit conserved lands is scheduled for October 12 in Augusta.
Death by 1,000 Cuts: Why the Forest Carbon Sink Is Disappearing
Inside Climate News - Thursday, September 28, 2017 

The clear-cutting of giant swathes from the globe's tropical forests has long been understood to be a major force behind global warming, but new research finds that smaller-scale forest loss—from minor logging and fires—is an even more powerful driver of climate change. On Thursday, scientists at the Woods Hole Research Center and Boston University published a study that says the planet's tropical forests are releasing more carbon dioxide than they can store, mostly due to "fine scale" degradation and disturbance that previous studies haven't captured. The finding means tropical forests may not act as carbon "sinks" unless both deforestation writ large and this more subtle degradation is stopped or slowed.
Blog: Birders flock to Monhegan, but the birds stayed away
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, September 28, 2017 

Monhegan. If there is one birding site in Maine where anything can happen, this island is it. For most of the summer, it is a quiet island, allowing vacationers to get away from it all. But in spring and fall, it’s Maine’s premier birding hot spot. Even when it isn’t. I spent last weekend there. The truth is, I saw more birders than birds. ~ Bob Duchesne
Scarborough waste-reduction project fails real-world test
Forecaster - Thursday, September 28, 2017 

Based on preliminary results from a pilot food waste collection program, the town is unlikely to roll out the program town-wide. But although residential pick-up service will be discontinued, Sustainability Coordinator Kerry Strout Grantham said, food waste will continue to be collected at several locations. Scarborough will also continue to work on food waste diversion efforts. Scarborough and South Portland each launched food waste disposal programs in May. While Scarborough’s pilot wrapped up earlier this month, pick-up continues in South Portland, where a year-long pilot program is being conducted.
Rare steer that escaped Common Ground fair is found, returned to owner
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, September 28, 2017 

A rare steer that escaped its pen at the Common Ground Country Fair in Unity last week and eluded capture in the days since has reportedly been found and returned to its owner. The Wagyu steer was found in a barn Wednesday evening. The wayward steer, known as “970” by the tag on its ear, has since been returned to its owner, Jason Stutheit, of Brooks. Stutheit said that to his knowledge, the two Wagyu steers he owns are the only ones in Maine.
Opinion: Shaky legal ground is no place for a national monument to forever stand
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, September 28, 2017 

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has finally completed a months-long review of dozens of controversial national monuments. It is only a matter of time before the litigation floodgates open. Opponents of the president have seized on a politically convenient legal argument to deny Trump the power to revoke or modify existing monuments. But there is very little to it. Nothing in the Antiquities Act forbids the president from revoking or shrinking a national monument. ~ Jonathan Wood, Pacific Legal Foundation and Property and Environment Research Center
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