August 21, 2017  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Monday, August 21, 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 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
Geology Walk, Aug 28
Event - Posted - Monday, August 21, 2017 

Leader: Peter Goodwin. At Bowdoinham, August 28, 4:30-6 pm. Sponsored by Friends of Merrymeeting Bay.
Georges River Land Trust marks 30 years
Event - Posted - Sunday, August 20, 2017 

Georges River Land Trust invites members and friends to get out their boat togs and dancing shoes to celebrate 30 years of conservation along the Georges River. At Lyman-Morse Boatbuilding boatyard, Thomaston, August 27, 2:45 - 6:30 p.m, $40.
Bird Monitoring, Aug 26
Event - Posted - Saturday, August 19, 2017 

Join a marsh-wide survey of birds and help document all present species timed to catch the beginning of shorebird migration. At Scarborough Marsh, August 26, 7-10 am, free.
Head Harbor Passage Boat Trip, Aug 26
Event - Posted - Saturday, August 19, 2017 

A birding trip to Head Harbor Passage and the surrounding Canadian Islands. At Eastport, August 26, 10 am – 2 pm; Maine Audubon Members $60, Non-members $75.
Don’t let Trump censor climate science
Action Alert - Friday, August 18, 2017 

President Donald Trump may censor a comprehensive and alarming new report written by scientists from 13 federal agencies — research that confirms climate change is real, it’s caused by human activity and it’s already hurting people across the U.S. We deserve to know the truth about climate change — no matter how inconvenient it may be for Trump’s pro-fossil fuel agenda.
Life Happens Outside Festival, Aug 25-26
Event - Posted - Friday, August 18, 2017 

The Life Happens Outside Festival celebrates Maine's outdoors and its passionate outdoor community. Featuring 6 outdoor villages, 40+ vendors, interactive workshops, exhibits, gear demos, food, and live music. Free giveaways, competitions, outdoor presentations, and the ability to purchase outdoor gear directly from the brands. At Thompson's Point, Portland, August 25-26.
Life Happens Outside Festival, Aug 25-26
Event - Posted - Friday, August 18, 2017 

Celebrate active, outdoor lifestyles. At Thompson's Point, Portland, August 25 & 26. Sponsored by Teens to Trails.
Nature Detectives, Aug 24
Event - Posted - Thursday, August 17, 2017 

Join a scavenger hunt, make your own nature notebook, and learn how to use the tools of the trade. At Scarborough Marsh, Augoust 24, 1–2:30 pm; Maine Audubon Child Members $5, Child Non-members $7, pre-register.
Exploring Nature Through Art, Aug 22
Event - Posted - Tuesday, August 15, 2017 

Through various art forms children (age 6-10) will discover some of the secrets of Scarborough Marsh; August 22, 10:30 am – 12 pm; Maine Audubon Child Members $5, Child Non-members $7, pre-register.
Sierra Club Maine Climate Action Conference, Sep 16
Event - Posted - Tuesday, August 15, 2017 

The theme of this year's event is "Maine Community-Based Approaches to a Clean Energy Future and Climate Change Solutions." At University of Southern Maine Lewiston Campus, September 16.
Project WILD Educator Workshop, Aug 21
Event - Posted - Monday, August 14, 2017 

This 6-hour workshop introduces educators to Project WILD materials, activities, and strategies. At Bonny Eagle Middle School, Buxton, August 21, 9 am – 3 pm; Maine Audubon Members $23, Non-members $25.
Exploring Wabanaki/Maine History, Aug 20
Event - Posted - Sunday, August 13, 2017 

Maine-Wabanaki REACH offers an interactive learning experience, "Exploring Wabanaki/Maine History," a participatory presentation for adults and teens. At Reversing Falls Sanctuary, Brooksville, August 20, 4-6 pm.
CREAtive Walk, Aug 20
Event - Posted - Sunday, August 13, 2017 

For more than a year, poet Gary Lawless and photographer James McCarthy have guided monthly walks that inspire conversation among participants about nature. David Reed, a dragonfly/damselfly expert, will join Gary and Jim on this final CREAtive walk. At Cathance River Preserve, Topsham, Aug 20, 9-11 am.
Kayak Scarborough Marsh, Aug 20
Event - Posted - Sunday, August 13, 2017 

Discover the wildlife and plants of Scarborough Marsh as you paddle the Dunstan River. At Scarborough Marsh, August 20, 1–2:30 pm; Maine Audubon Members $13, Non-members $15, deduct $1.50 if you bring your own kayak, must be 16+.
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News Items
Key Parcel Added to Cathance River Conservation Effort
Other - Thursday, October 31, 2013 

For over 10 years, Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust has been working with many partners to conserve a recreation-conservation corridor for the public’s use along one of our region’s hidden gems — the Cathance River. The Cathance provides a very different riparian and recreational experience from the wide open Androscoggin River. It feels intimate and remote despite the relative proximity to busy neighborhoods and intersections, and includes everything from Class-4 rapids to gentle meanders along its 12 mile journey to Merrymeeting Bay. The Flannery property, a 29-acre parcel on the western shore of the Cathance River’s tidal section, adds over 900 feet of shore frontage to the Cathance Conservation corridor. The property contains hemlock forest, oak, northern hardwoods, and a small but rare hardwood seep. It is valued by US Fish and Wildlife Service and Maine Department of Inland Fisheries for providing tidal waterfowl and wading bird habitat and a large block of undeveloped forest habitat.
Scientists fear fungus poses renewed threat to white pine trees
Associated Press - Thursday, October 31, 2013 

A fungus targeting white pine forests has mutated and poses new threats more than a century after it first hit the United States, American and Canadian scientists said Thursday. A mutant form of white pine blister rust was discovered by Cornell University researcher Kerik Cox in 2011 in Connecticut. After two years of study, scientists now believe a large number of host plants, called ribes, previously thought to be immune to the fungus are susceptible. Ribes include valuable niche crops like black currants and gooseberries that are used in products from jam to vodka. Spores from infected ribes are carried by wind to the pines where the fungus invades the tree, eventually killing it.
Obama will use executive powers to conserve lands: Interior secretary
Reuters - Thursday, October 31, 2013 

President Barack Obama will use his executive powers to protect more mountains, rivers and forests from development if Congress does not act to preserve such wild spaces, the U.S. Interior Secretary said on Thursday. The 1906 Antiquities Act gives the president broad authority to put natural terrain and historic sites under federal protection. Lawmakers have proposed roughly two dozen sites for federal protection, but partisan divisions have helped stall many of those plans. Jewell said proposals that have backing in Congress — including planned designation of coastal regions of California and Maine as well as a swath of the Arizona desert — are among the first that could be considered.
Maine legislators try to end missed dam deadlines
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, October 31, 2013 

Lawmakers want to impose firmer oversight of the Department of Environmental Protection’s handling of dam relicensing after the state missed deadlines for three projects. House Democrats are advancing a bill that “would require DEP to have a plan to address dam relicensing deadlines and share it with legislative committees of jurisdiction,” said a statement they released Thursday. The measure was unanimously endorsed by the Legislative Council, so it can be introduced in the legislative session that starts in January. Under Commissioner Patricia Aho, the DEP has missed deadlines for three dam projects, irrevocably waiving the state’s authority to set terms for water levels in reservoirs and rivers that affect waterfront property owners, fish spawning and passage, and recreation for a generation.
Maine agrees to reduce lucrative elver landings
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, October 31, 2013 

Federal regulators have agreed to delay taking action on possible new management rules for the American eel fishery until next spring, which means Maine’s annual spring elver fishery will be allowed to proceed next March. In exchange for the delay, however, Maine regulators have promised the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission that it will develop a plan to reduce the 2014 statewide elver harvest by 25 to 40 percent. Elvers are juvenile American eels.
City to appeal after judge allows petition drive against Portland sale of Congress Square Plaza
Forecaster - Thursday, October 31, 2013 

A petition challenging the sale of most of Congress Square Plaza to hotel developers will be allowed to proceed, Cumberland County Superior Court Justice Joyce Wheeler ruled Thursday. Wheeler also refused to issue a stay pending appeal in the case, as sought by the city, which would have prevented petitioners from collecting signatures until the city appeals the ruling to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court. That allows the citizens group Friends of Congress Square Park to take advantage of the foot traffic at the polls on Tuesday, Election Day, in circulating petition forms. Danielle West-Chuhta, corporation counsel for Portland, Thursday afternoon said the city will appeal.
Judge allows petition drive against Portland sale of Congress Square lot to move forward
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, October 31, 2013 

A petition drive seeking to challenge the controversial sale of Portland’s Congress Square Park to hotel developers will be allowed to proceed, Cumberland County Superior Court Justice Joyce Wheeler ruled Thursday. Wheeler also refused to issue a stay pending appeal in the case, as sought by the city of Portland, which would have prevented petitioners from collecting signatures until the city appeals the ruling to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court. That allows the citizens group Friends of Congress Square Park to take advantage of the foot traffic at the polls on Tuesday, Election Day, in circulating petition forms.
Industry Reps Discuss the Future of Petroleum Use in Maine
 - Thursday, October 31, 2013 

Last week representatives from the oil and gas industry gathered in Portland for a forum on the economics, technology and infrastructure of Maine's petroleum market sponsored by the Maine Energy Marketers Association and the Environmental and Energy Technology Council of Maine (E2 Tech). Maine is currently the least densely populated state east of the Mississippi River, with over 95 percent of the passenger movement by road. With 68 percent of all homes heated with oil (the national average being just 6 percent), Maine is particularly vulnerable to the volatility of oil markets.
Deer projections good around the state
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, October 31, 2013 

Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife biologists are preparing reports that may help hunters in the weeks ahead. Here’s the most recent report.
Opinion: Good news in Maine points to a brighter future on several fronts
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, October 31, 2013 

We’ve had some terrific good news in Maine over the last few weeks. In the Katahdin region of the North Woods, a breakthrough is occurring in what has long been a region conflicted about its future and given little to cheer about. The Katahdin area, like most of western and northern Maine, has been hard hit by steady declines in jobs in the rural and forest economy and the devastating loss of paper mills in Millinocket. Divisions over how the next economy of the region will be built, and what it will include, have been deep and oftentimes angry. A new and important conversation has begun in the region, in which all the options are on the table, including ones that have been long resisted. One idea that seems to be gaining traction is a new national park and recreation area that would utilize the area’s abundant natural resources in new ways, and perhaps become a foundation block of the region’s future economy. ~ Alan Caron
Maine moose herd ‘robust’ while population falls elsewhere
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, October 30, 2013 

Maine’s moose population is healthy and not experiencing the same conditions that are causing problems with moose herds in other states, according to a state wildlife biologist. Lee Kantar, a wildlife biologist and moose specialist with the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, said Maine’s moose population is “healthy and robust” with plenty of habitat on commercial forestlands. There are about 70,000 moose in Maine, one of the highest densities in the lower 48 states, he said. Despite the trend in Maine, moose in other parts of the northern United States are dying in what some scientists say may be the start of climate shock to the world’s boreal forests.
As natural gas companies snatch up customers, oil providers offer ways to reduce bills
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, October 30, 2013 

With the winter freeze approaching, natural gas companies are scrambling to hook up their last new customers of 2013, while Maine oil and propane dealers are trying to give their users money-saving options in hopes they won’t convert.
Skowhegan’s Whitten Brook cleanup underway
Morning Sentinel - Wednesday, October 30, 2013 

By the time a Portland environmental group and the town’s economic development officials are done with the restoration of Whitten Brook watershed, the water will be clean enough to support a threatened brook trout population — right in the middle of town. Whitten Brook, which flows from Russell Road, through neighborhoods, under streets and back yards and finally into the Kennebec River at Elm Street, is one of only two or three urban wild brook trout streams in Maine.
Bill threatening national park in the Katahdin region rejected
Maine Environmental News - Wednesday, October 30, 2013 

The Maine Legislative Council today rejected a bill proposed for the 2014 regular session of the Maine Legislature by Rep. Steve Stanley (D-Medway), which could threaten the establishment of a new national park in northern Maine. The bill title suggests that it may be intended to stymie efforts by Elliotsville Plantation Inc. (EPI) to donate lands along the East Branch of the Penobscot River for a national park and national recreation area. Stanley’s proposed bill failed 4 to 6 to get approval by the Legislative Council on Wednesday. There will be an opportunity on November 21 for legislators to appeal rejected bills.
Maine elver fishery to face harvest cuts in 2014
Associated Press - Wednesday, October 30, 2013 

Maine’s lucrative glass eel fishery will be allowed to remain open next year as long as state officials devise a plan to cut its 2014 catch by at least 25 percent, regulators agreed Wednesday. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s eel management board voted to postpone passing new regulations that would go into effect in 2014, opting instead to vote on new rules next spring that would be effective in 2015. In the interim, state officials will work with eel fishermen and dealers in Maine to create a plan that results in next spring’s catch being 25 percent to 40 percent smaller than this year’s spring harvest.
Judge will rule on lawsuit over Portland’s Congress Square Park by noon Thursday
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, October 30, 2013 

A Cumberland County Superior Court justice said she will rule by midday Thursday whether she’ll allow the advancement of a petition effort seeking to, as the city of Portland contends, “nullify” the controversial sale of Congress Square Park to a private hotel developer. The City Council voted 6-3 on Sept. 16 to sell 9,500 square feet of the publicly owned park to RockBridge Capital LLC. The proposed sale touched off a firestorm of debate, with supporters saying the project would revitalize a long underused part of the city downtown. But opponents said the deal sets a bad precedent of selling public space to private entities and that the park was only underused because the city let it fall into disrepair.
Hike: Hogback Mountain, Montville
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, October 30, 2013 

Hogback Mountain rises 1,115 feet above sea level in Montville, Maine, just west of Frye Mountain (1,139 feet in elevation), the more popular of the two for hiking. The long ridgelines of these mountains, oriented from southwest to northeast, offer several outlooks for hikers. The trail that climbs both of these mountains is a part of the Georges Highland Path, 40 miles of connected, low-impact hiking trails in Midcoast Maine.
Chesterville voters to consider water protection ordinance
Sun Journal - Wednesday, October 30, 2013 

Chesterville residents will consider adopting an ordinance to protect water quality in the town in a referendum Tuesday, Nov. 5. The town’s Water Resources Protection Committee developed a proposed ordinance that sets guidelines on commercial water extraction and mineral extraction but does not prohibit them.
EXCLUSIVE: Irving spends more than $226,000 on lobbying to facilitate mining
Maine Environmental News - Wednesday, October 30, 2013 

J.D. Irving Ltd., Maine's largest landowner, has spent well over $200,000 on corporate lobbyists to push for changes to Maine's mining laws, according to state lobbyist disclosure records. Three lobbyists — Tom Doyle of the Pierce Atwood law firm, Jim Mitchell of the Mitchell Tardy lobbing firm, and Anthony Hourihan of Irving — collectively were paid or reimbursed $226,691 for working in behalf of Aroostook Timberlands LLC to successfully pass LD 1853 during Maine’s regular legislative session last year and to fend off an effort to amend that bill this year. Aroostook Timberlands is a subsidiary of J.D. Irving, which was set up to pursue development of a large-scale open-pit mine at Bald Mountain in Aroostook County.
Maine biologist: State’s moose herd is thriving, national population concerns complex
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, October 30, 2013 

A recent story in the Washington Post story said, “Moose in the northern United States are dying in what scientists say may be the start of climate shock to the world’s boreal forests.” The report goes on to mention parasitic worms that seem to be laying Minnesota moose low. In Wyoming, an artery-blocking worm is the culprit. In New Hampshire, tick infestations are suspected. Lee Kantar, the moose biologist for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, said, “The whole issue with moose populations across the lower 48 is complex, and you have to look at it state by state [to understand] what’s going on. Maine’s northern forests are essentially perfect for moose, thanks to the timber industry, according to Kantar.
Plantings protect South Portland park pond
Forecaster - Wednesday, October 30, 2013 

Greater Portland Christian School fourth-graders planted vegetation at Hinckley Park in South Portland on Wednesday morning as part of the Trout Brook watershed improvement program. Students, school staff and volunteers joined city Stormwater Program Coordinator Fred Dillon and Jon Dore of the South Portland Land Trust to plant vegetation at the lower end of the park pond to help stabilize the shore and reduce erosion into Kimball Brook, a Trout Brook tributary. Contractors earlier built a cement stairway to the pond and installed a split rail fence. The work project was funded with a $20,000 grant from Royal Bank of Canada’s Blue Water Project.
How Much Water Actually Goes Into Making A Bottle Of Water?
National Public Radio - Wednesday, October 30, 2013 

Environmental activists have long claimed that bottled water is wasteful. Usually, they point to the roughly 50 billion (mostly plastic) bottles we throw away every year. The International Bottled Water Association, ever sensitive to criticism that it's wasting precious resources, has commissioned its first ever study to figure out how much water goes into producing one liter. The results, released this month, show that for North American companies, it takes 1.39 liters to make one liter of water. Activists say the IBWA study highlights a problem throughout the beverage industry: Few companies take the whole water-use picture into account when calculating their water use.
Maine Audubon plans next-generation solar energy array in Falmouth
Forecaster - Wednesday, October 30, 2013 

Ted Koffman, the executive director of Maine Audubon, stood in the shadow of a 150-year-old apple tree and pointed toward the nonprofit group's headquarters – a passive-solar building constructed at Gilsland Farm in 1976. The stark, angular structure was state of the art at the time, but now it shows its age. "It's kind of like the Model-T of solar," Koffman said. "It works, but we can do better." Someday soon, perhaps, the pastoral setting will be home to the next generation of solar power. Maine Audubon plans to install eight solar panels, including half a dozen 18-foot-tall freestanding arrays. The panels will cost an estimated $225,000 and may produce 70 percent of the facility's energy.
North Yarmouth selectmen uphold limited hunting in town park
Forecaster - Wednesday, October 30, 2013 

The North Yarmouth Board of Selectmen voted 3-1 Tuesday to keep a limited hunting and trapping policy in Old Town House Park. The vote came despite a Recreation Commission recommendation that hunting be prohibited in the park.
Maine’s scallop season to open Dec. 2
Associated Press - Wednesday, October 30, 2013 

Maine fishermen are being given a 70-day scallop season along most of the coast. Regulators say the upcoming season will begin Dec. 2 and continue through late March from Kittery to Lubec. Fishermen in the scallop-rich waters of Cobscook Bay along the Canadian border in far eastern Maine have been given a 50-day season. Fishermen last year hauled in 2.4 million pounds, the best harvest in a decade. The catch was worth $3.2 million.
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