March 19, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Tuesday, March 19, 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
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.
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.
MITA Open House and Getch Celebration, Mar 22
Event - Posted - Friday, March 15, 2019 

Toast the extraordinary life of MITA founder Dave Getchell, Sr. At Maine Island Trail Association, Portland, March 22, 5:30-7:30 pm.
Call for Artists: Paint for Preservation 2019
Announcement - Friday, March 15, 2019 

The Cape Elizabeth Land Trust is accepting artist submissions for Paint for Preservation 2019, the organization’s twelfth annual juried Wet Paint Auction and one of Maine’s premiere art auction events. This 3-day (June 28-30) plein air event raises money for land conservation in Cape Elizabeth. Deadline is March 22.
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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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