February 23, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Friday, February 22, 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 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 Grain Conference, Mar 1
Event - Posted - Friday, February 22, 2019 

At University of Maine at Presque Isle, March 1, 8:30 am-5 pm.
Acadia Teacher Fellows application deadline, Mar 1
Announcement - Friday, February 22, 2019 

The National Park Service is recruiting six Acadia Teacher Fellows to spend the summer learning about Acadia National Park’s diverse natural and cultural resources, and ways to protect them. Apply online by March 1.
Future Farmers Scholarship application deadline, Mar 1
Announcement - Friday, February 22, 2019 

Graduating seniors from Maine high schools who are National Future Farmers of America organization members interested in pursuing a career in farming, agriculture or natural resources are invited to apply for the Ronald P. Guerrette $1,000 Scholarship through the Maine Community Foundation. Application deadline is March 1.
John Connelly book tour
Event - Posted - Thursday, February 21, 2019 

John Connelly was the first to paddle the Northern Forest Canoe Trail (740 miles) in northern New England and kayak the Maine Island Trail (375 miles), connecting them via the Saint John River and Bay of Fundy (385 miles) in New Brunswick. The grand total? 1,500 miles. He has written a book about his adventure. Here are book tour dates and locations.
Help Wanted: Island Caretakers
Announcement - Thursday, February 21, 2019 

The Maine Island Trail Association is seeking qualified seasonal island caretakers to help with the management of two islands in Casco Bay: Little Chebeague Island and Jewell Island (May to September). $8,500 stipend. Application deadline March 15.
LiDAR – Revealing Maine’s Secrets, Feb 28
Event - Posted - Wednesday, February 20, 2019 

Amber Whittaker, senior geologist for the Maine Geological Survey, will explain how LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) uses laser beams to produce a very accurate and detailed representation of the land surface. At Camden Public Library, February 28, 7 pm.
Restoring Great Rivers, Feb 27
Event - Posted - Tuesday, February 19, 2019 

Joshua Royte, conservation scientist for The Nature Conservancy in Maine and founding member of the World Fish Migration Foundation, will discuss “Restoring Great Rivers: Amazing Work in Maine and Around the World.” At Portland Public Library, February 27, 5:30 pm
North Pond Hermit talk, Feb 26
Event - Posted - Tuesday, February 19, 2019 

Maeghan Maloney, District Attorney for Kennebec and Somerset counties, will discuss the case of Christopher Knight, dubbed “The North Pond Hermit.” At Bailey Public Library, Winthrop, February 26, 6:30 pm.
Granges talk, Feb 26
Event - Posted - Tuesday, February 19, 2019 

Hundreds of grange halls once dotted the Maine landscape. They housed a secret society that served farmers’ economic, educational and social needs. Historian Doug Hodgkin will trace the history of the organization, with special reference to the Grange at Crowley’s Junction in Lewiston. At Androscoggin Historical Society’s Davis-Wagg Museum, Auburn, February 26, 7 pm.
Kennebec Land Trust historic cabin renovation, Feb 25
Announcement - Monday, February 18, 2019 

Recently, the Kennebec Land Trust renovated two historic cabins at the Wakefield Wildlife Sanctuary in West Gardiner. The project will be featured on the Maine Cabin Masters show on the DIY network, February 25, 9 pm.
Grants available for land conservation transaction costs
Announcement - Sunday, February 17, 2019 

Grant applications are available for the Great Bay Resource Protection Partnership’s Winter 2019 Land Protection Transaction Grant Program. The matching grants assist with costs for permanent land protection projects by donation and/or acquisition of full fee and conservation easements within the coastal watershed area of New Hampshire and Maine.
Owls at Hirundo, Feb 23-24
Event - Posted - Saturday, February 16, 2019 

Hirundo presents a two-part program for participants to get up close to three native Maine owls. At the Montessori School, Feb 23, 11 am- noon, and a nature walk from Old Town High School, Feb 24, 6-7 pm. $10 for one program, $16 for both for adults; $5 for one and $8 for both for youths.
‘Grasses and Rushes of Maine’ book release, Feb 22
Event - Posted - Friday, February 15, 2019 

Book release and signing by authors of “Grasses and Rushes of Maine.” At Stantec office, Topsham, February 22, 5-7 pm.
The Green New Deal
Publication - Monday, February 11, 2019 

The Green New Deal will convert the decaying fossil fuel economy into a new, green economy that is environmentally sustainable, economically secure and socially just. The Green New Deal starts with transitioning to 100% green renewable energy (no nukes or natural gas) by 2030. It would immediately halt any investment in fossil fuels (including natural gas) and related infrastructure. The Green New Deal will guarantee full employment and generate up to 20 million new, living-wage jobs, as well as make the government the employer of last resort with a much-needed major public jobs program.
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News Items
PaintCare wins Environmental Sustainability Leadership Award
Maine Environmental News - Wednesday, October 31, 2018 

The Northeast Recycling Council has presented its 2018 Environmental Sustainability Leadership Awards. One award went to PaintCare, a paint manufacturer stewardship program that provides end-of-life management of leftover paint. In the NERC region, PaintCare has programs in Maine and other New England states. The program has processed more than 326,000 gallons of old paint in Maine.
Kittery-based dehydrated meal startup poised for growth
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, October 31, 2018 

Kittery-based gourmet dehydrated meal startup Good To-Go is laying the groundwork for future growth with five new hires and a 900-square-foot expansion. The company also is undergoing an inspection by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Climate Change Isn't Leading This Election Season, But Some Voters Say It Should Be
Maine Public - Wednesday, October 31, 2018 

Climate change and environmental policy has historically broken along party lines, with Democrats pushing more aggressive action, and Republicans raising skepticism about the real risks. Climate change doesn’t seem to be a key political issue this campaign season. It’s eclipsed by others, including the cost of energy and healthcare, and things like the opioid crisis. That’s frustrating to some voters.
USDA issues safety-net and conservation payments to Maine farmers
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, October 31, 2018 

Approximately $1,524,159 will be paid to Maine farms that enrolled in Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage for 2017 market downturns. Additionally, Maine FSA will distribute $158,563 in Conservation Reserve Program rental payments to landowners for their commitment to conservation stewardship.
Column: Future of conservation raises a lot of questions
Kennebec Journal - Wednesday, October 31, 2018 

Last week I told you about a new task force of 20 diverse groups and individuals working on a new conservation plan. And I encouraged you to let them know your thoughts about this. Today I’m going to share my responses to their six questions. Here they are. ~ George Smith
Column: Why Wind Power Isn’t the Answer
Other - Tuesday, October 30, 2018 

City Journal (NY) -A new study by Harvard researchers shows that wind energy’s Achilles heel is its paltry power density. “We found that the average power density...was up to 100 times lower than estimates by some leading energy experts,” said lead author Lee Miller, a postdoctoral fellow who coauthored the report. The problem is that most estimates of wind energy’s potential ignore “wind shadow,” an effect that occurs when turbines are placed too closely together: the upwind turbines rob wind speed from others placed downwind. Wind energy has been sold as a great source of “clean” energy. The reality is that wind energy’s expansion has been driven by federal subsidies and state-level mandates. Wind energy, cannot, and will not, meet a significant portion of our future energy needs. ~ Robert Bryce
Public art unveiled by Tree Streets community
Sun Journal - Tuesday, October 30, 2018 

Six panels created by artist Lis Janes for the green space at 198 Birch St. in Lewiston were unveiled on Tuesday. The installation, titled “Pollinating the Tree Streets,” depicts local architecture, with pollinators such as honeybees and lunar moths forming unique patterns.
World has lost 60 percent of its wildlife over the last 40 years, group says
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, October 30, 2018 

Tribune News Service - The World Wildlife Fund has released a report saying it has found an “astonishing” 60 percent decline in wildlife populations globally over the last 40 years, mostly due to human activity, including climate change and habitat loss. The group’s biennial report, released Monday, said it measured trends in 16,704 populations of 4,005 species of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and fish. The biggest declines were among creatures that live in fresh water, which faced an even bigger 83 percent drop.
Candidates disagree on climate change, immigration in polite 1st District debate
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, October 30, 2018 

The candidates seeking to represent to Maine’s 1st Congressional District divided on humans’ role in climate change during a debate Tuesday night. U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, a Democrat, and independent state Rep. Marty Grohman agreed that human action has played a role in the earth’s shifting climate and that government regulation has a role in combating it. Pingree said that she supports a tax on carbon emissions, while Grohman said “I would support a carbon tax but I don’t believe that it will cut fairly across the economy.” Republican Mark Holbrook, on the other hand, said that the body of scientific research supporting the idea that humans have affected the climate is actually “far from settled and fraught with a lot of bias.” He said he opposes a carbon tax.
Indoor Salmon Farm’s Future Hinges On Whether Supporters Retain Control Of Council In Election
Maine Public - Tuesday, October 30, 2018 

Next week’s election could spell the fate of a high-tech, indoor salmon-growing operation proposed for midcoast Belfast, a development proposal that has torn a rift in the tight-knit community. The city council has been a strong backer of Nordic Aquafarms’ proposal, over repeated objections from opponents who are vocal — and organized. Now, a majority of the council’s voting seats are up for grabs, and some see Tuesday’s vote as a referendum on the project.
Maine tribes are skeptical of federal move to revisit river water standards
Associated Press - Tuesday, October 30, 2018 

The Penobscot Nation and Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians are involved in a legal struggle over water quality on Maine rivers that also involves the EPA and the Maine DEP. The EPA imposed stricter criteria for a pair of Maine rivers at the end of former President Obama’s administration, but court documents filed this month show that under Trump the EPA wants to revisit those standards. The tribes fear that could mean weaker protections for the Penobscot and the Meduxnekeag rivers where they maintain fishing rights.
Landfill solar panels to cover 95 percent of Maine town’s electricity needs
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, October 30, 2018 

Portsmouth Herald - Dark skies and cold rain Monday morning did not hinder the progress of work on Eliot’s newest solar array. Trucks poured concrete into ballasts that will support 384 345-watt photovoltaic solar panels in three ranks at the town’s former landfill. This is the town’s second solar power array. A system on the DPW garage roof, also built by ReVision Energy, was commissioned in 2013. It has 165 250-watt solar panels and supplies power for the DPW and transfer station. The town will buy the DPW solar array next year for $42,000. Over 25 years, the town will save almost $90,000 over paying for power from Central Maine Power with that array.
Maine environmental commissioner stepping down
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, October 30, 2018 

Paul Mercer, who has headed the DEP since January 2016, is the latest Cabinet-level departure from the LePage administration as voters prepare to elect a new governor. Mercer is an engineer who specialized in energy and waste issues in the private sector as well as a former professor and administrator at Maine Maritime Academy. He was the third DEP commissioner during LePage’s nearly eight years in office and took over leadership of the agency after a tumultuous, four-year term by predecessor Patricia Aho.
Judge: Feds Failed to Protect Endangered Canada Lynx
Other - Tuesday, October 30, 2018 

Courthouse News Service - U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy has ruled that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service illegally allowed incidental harvest of lynx in violation of the Endangered Species Act. The United States participates in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), an international treaty aimed at clamping down on illegal exports. The service said that the CITES export program has no connection to the frequency or methodology of trapping nationwide or at the specific locales where plaintiffs claim to have experienced adverse consequences from trapping. However, Molloy wrote that comments provided by state agencies, including the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, and individual trappers support the relationship between the CITES program and trapping harvest.
Acadia National Park visitor services hosted in collaboration with Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, October 30, 2018 

Beginning on Nov. 1, information and orientation to Acadia National Park will be available at the Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center during the winter and spring season. Visitors will be able to talk with park rangers about Acadia National Park and talk with chamber of commerce staff to learn about local businesses, services, and recreational opportunities. Also, the Acadia Annual Pass that normally sells at $55 will be on sale at “almost-half-price” for $28 on November 10 from 6 am to 12 pm at the Village Green in Bar Harbor. Passes must be obtained in person.
Zinke’s own agency watchdog just referred him to the Justice Department
Washington Post - Tuesday, October 30, 2018 

The Interior Department’s Office of Inspector General has referred one of its probes into the conduct of Secretary Ryan Zinke to the Justice Department for further investigation, according to two individuals familiar with the matter. Interior Deputy Inspector General Mary L. Kendall, who is currently serving as acting inspector general, is conducting at least three probes that involve Zinke.
Letter: City should lead on plastic problem
Morning Sentinel - Tuesday, October 30, 2018 

I’m voting yes on Question 1 on the local Waterville ballot because a move away from single-use plastic is a move toward a better future. Single-use plastic bags are a waste of resources. It seems ridiculous to me that we are still using something that is made from million-year-old petroleum and used for roughly 20 minutes between the store and your house, then leeches chemicals into the earth as it degrades but never truly disappears. ~ Willow Grinnell, Waterville
Animals Are Riding an Escalator to Extinction
Other - Monday, October 29, 2018 

The Atlantic - In 1985, John Fitzpatrick hiked up a ridge in the Peruvian Andes in search of birds. On an eight-kilometer uphill walk, his team meticulously documented all the birds that lived on the mountainside. They found dozens of species. Thirty years later, an ecologist and former student of Fitzpatrick’s, decided to retrace the same hike. As the team wrote, “In the timespan of just one and a half human generations, warming of less than 0.5 degrees Celsius has set in motion an escalator to extinction for Andean birds.”
Sandy River Farms: Fewer cows, but farm milks on
Sun Journal - Monday, October 29, 2018 

In a single day last month, Bussie York’s wife, Brenda, was rushed to the hospital with a stroke, Sandy River Farms sold off 60 dairy cows, and a half-dozen Secret Service agents fanned out over York’s Farmington property for a visit by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. One of roughly 8 Maine producers that recently lost their commercial buyer, York says they are wooing new customers and are not ready to give up.
Search warrant that led to pig exhumation at Maine farm challenged
Bangor Daily News - Monday, October 29, 2018 

Last March, state animal welfare agents executed a search warrant and exhumed the corpses of several dead pigs that a Swanville farmer allegedly shot to death and buried a day before the agents were scheduled to inspect the farm and check on the animals. The dead pigs that agents also seized from Jerry Ireland’s Ireland Hill Farms became evidence that led to the farmer eventually being charged with 13 counts of cruelty toward animals. But on Monday, his defense attorney argued at a Superior Court hearing that the search warrant was defective and the evidence turned up after it was executed by state agents should be suppressed by the court.
$2 Million Horse Rehab Facility In Windham Opens Doors
Maine Public - Monday, October 29, 2018 

The Maine State Society for the Protection of Animals has opened a new $2 million equine rehabilitation facility on its campus in Windham.
Rabid skunk found in Bath
Times Record - Monday, October 29, 2018 

Bath police confirmed Monday that a skunk found on Whiskeg Road near the Bath Golf Course has tested positive for rabies. This is the first animal found in Bath to test positive for rabies this year according to state records, but not the first in the Midcoast. Although less concentrated than the spate of reports in Brunswick from June through August, other Midcoast communities have reported several interactions with rabid animals over the summer and into the fall.
Forest Society of Maine works with Maine Land Conservation Task Force
Piscataquis Observer - Monday, October 29, 2018 

This year, the Maine Land Conservation Task Force formed to review the accomplishments and challenges of land conservation during the 30 years since the creation of the Land for Maine’s Future Program, and to lay groundwork for the future. The Forest Society of Maine is a statewide land trust focused on the North Woods — roughly 12 million acres with few public roads and an abundance of woods, wildlife, and clean fresh water. FSM participated in a panel convened by the task force. We reported that forestland owners continue to seek out the Forest Society of Maine and other partners to explore conservation options.
Workforce issues spur new interest in public bus transportation in Maine
Mainebiz - Monday, October 29, 2018 

When Western Maine Transportation Services took over the Brunswick Express in 2016, at first it was just a way to keep the in-town route alive. Coastal Trans had reduced routes then ended it because of decreasing revenues. Auburn-based WMTS was relatively close — its Lisbon Connection runs from Lewiston-Auburn to Lisbon, 12 miles from Brunswick — so the state Department of Transportation asked the agency to step in. In less than a year, ridership increased 35%, reliability improved and new routes were added. The Lisbon Connection will extend to Brunswick and Topsham beginning early next year. WMTS may also provide commuter runs from Lewiston-Auburn up Route 4 to Farmington.
Has Maine conserved enough land?
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Monday, October 29, 2018 

A new task force of 20 diverse groups and individuals is now working on a new conservation plan for Maine. And it’s time for you to let them know your thoughts about this. Today I’m going to share with you questions they have posed, hoping you will join me in submitting your responses to the task force, which you can do at their website www.maineconservationtaskforce.com/
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