December 15, 2017  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Wednesday, December 13, 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 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 Energy Planning Roadmap hearings, Dec 19, Dec 29, Jan 10
Event - Posted - Tuesday, December 12, 2017 

The Governor’s Energy Office is asking Mainers for input in developing an Energy Planning Roadmap. Public hearings:
• Dec. 19: University of Southern Maine, Portland
• Dec. 29: Energy, Utilities, & Technology Committee, Augusta
• Jan. 10: University of Maine, Presque Isle
Help wanted: Visitor Center Assistant
Announcement - Monday, December 11, 2017 

Seasonal position, May 1 - October 31, 2018, representing Audubon’s Seabird Restoration Program at the Project Puffin Visitor Center in Rockland.
Free Skiing & Learn-to-Ski Clinics, Dec 16
Event - Posted - Saturday, December 9, 2017 

Waterville Parks & Rec, with support from Friends of Quarry Road, will provide free trail passes, free rentals, and free learn-to-ski clinics at Quarry Road Trails, December 16.
Meadow Brook/Hurds Pond Preserve Hike, Dec 16
Event - Posted - Saturday, December 9, 2017 

Cloe Chunn will lead a hike of Meadow Brook/Hurds Pond, a preserve of Coastal Mountains Land Trust. Meet at Swanville Transfer Station, December 16, 10 am. Sponsored by Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition.
Tax bill would slam the brakes on solar and wind energy
Action Alert - Friday, December 8, 2017 

The tax bill passed by the Senate last Friday includes an obscure provision that could pull the rug out from under solar and wind power. The House version also takes aim at renewable energy by rolling back key tax credits. These provisions "would have a devastating ... impact on wind and solar energy," according to renewable energy industry leaders. ~ Environment Maine
Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, Dec 14
Event - Posted - Thursday, December 7, 2017 

Tim Hudson, Superintendent, will take you through the landscape of Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument with pictures. At Belfast Free Library, December 14, 6:30 pm. Sponsored by Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition.
Whales of the Gulf of Maine: A Naturalist’s Report, Dec 14
Event - Posted - Thursday, December 7, 2017 

Zack Klyver, chief naturalist for the Bar Harbor Whale Watch Company and founder of Flukes whale watch ecotours, will present an engaging review of the 2017 whale watch season. At Schoodic Institute, Winter Harbor, December 14, 12 pm.
Olive oil tasting, Dec 13
Event - Posted - Wednesday, December 6, 2017 

FIORE Artisan Olive Oils & Vinegars will host an evening to support the Brunswick Topsham Land Trust at its tasting room in Brunswick, December 13, 5-7 pm.
The Arctic Needs Your Help
Action Alert - Tuesday, December 5, 2017 

Buried deep within the Senate tax bill is a provision to open the pristine Arctic Refuge, a national treasure, to oil and gas drilling, which will cause widespread pollution and harm to the wildlife and people who call this place home. Express your disappointment to Senator Susan Collins and urge her to protect our natural legacy by working to remove this damaging language before the tax bill becomes law. ~ Maine Conservation Voters
Birds from the Footbridge in Belfast, Dec 9
Event - Posted - Saturday, December 2, 2017 

Join Ron Harrell and Gary Gulezian to watch ducks, loons and other birds in the harbor. At the Belfast Footbridge, December 9, 8-10 am. Organized by Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition.
Win $1,000 L.L.Bean shopping spree and an outing with David Sibley
Announcement - Friday, December 1, 2017 

Wildlife Acoustics, makers of the Song Sleuth bird identifying app, launched the Sibley Sweepstakes on December 1. Ends March 1. No purchase necessary to enter.
Baxter State Park sign auction, ends Dec 6
Announcement - Thursday, November 30, 2017 

Auction of retired Baxter State Park signs, plus the historic dinner bell from Kidney Pond Camps. Friends Baxter State Park will donate half the proceeds to Baxter State Park, and half will support FBSP programs. Ends December 6.
Blazing Ahead: the Rivalry that Built the Appalachian Trail, Dec 7
Event - Posted - Thursday, November 30, 2017 

Jeffrey Ryan tells the story of the unlikely creation of the Appalachian Trail. At Bangor Public Library, December 7, 6 pm. Sponsored by Appalachian Mountain Club Maine Chapter.
Celebrate CREA and the Season, Dec 7
Event - Posted - Thursday, November 30, 2017 

Meet new Executive Director Wendy Van Damme, hear about new programs and plans, and contemplate the joy of winter activity at the Cathance River Education Alliance’s 235 acre nature preserve in Topsham. At Frontier Cafe, Brunswick, December 7, 4:30 to 6:30 pm, RSVP.
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News Items
Opinion: LURC is not adequate protection for world class forest assets
New Maine Times - Wednesday, November 30, 2011 

Thanks to David Platt for an important reminder (That dam on the West Branch, NMT, Nov 30). Nick Albans and I in 1980 organized the West Branch Coalition to Save the Penobscot River and then went looking for allies. Without the diligence and sacrifice of NRCM, Maine Audubon, the Appalachian Mt. Club and the Conservation Law Foundation the last wild stretch of the Penobscot would have drowned. But in Maine the project did not die because of Great Northern's inability to prove it needed more power. The project died because after the LURC approval one courageous state staffer refused to sign off on the new lake-to-be's water quality certification. The Big A is a lesson that few have learned. A legislature that could create an expedited wind power program without understanding the potential economic loss is no different from a legislature that gutted protections for all Maine rivers so developers could destroy the Penobscot. ~ Sandra Neily, Greenville
Opinion: Venturing: That dam on the West Branch
New Maine Times - Wednesday, November 30, 2011 

The 25th anniversary of the Big A Dam controversy is coming up. Big A was a big deal in its day. It was to be the 17th dam built on the east and west branches of the Penobscot River; it was to be part of what was at the time the world’s largest private hydroelectric system, owned and operated by Great Northern Paper Co. But the environmental movement had transformed Mainers’ attitudes toward the North Woods. Groups like Maine Audubon, the Conservation Law Foundation and the Natural Resources Council of Maine were determined to stop big hydro projects. In the end the company got its permit from LURC but stumbled along the way to its water-quality certification. What killed Big A? I think the real culprit was energy: the too-cheap-to-meter kind that Great Northern had in abundance from its huge “free” hydro system. ~ David D. Platt
Environmentalists pressure U.S. to help more at climate talks
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, November 30, 2011 

McClatchy - Is the United States leading or blocking progress toward stopping global warming? It’s a key question this week as officials from more than 190 countries begin the latest round of negotiations seeking an eventual global climate-protection plan. Environmentalists say that one of this round’s main accomplishments could be the creation of a new “green climate fund” to help developing countries adjust in the 2020s. Another might be an agreement that all major countries slash emissions, even if the details get left until later. Environmental activists want the U.S. to stop blocking progress on both issues, said Kevin Knobloch, the president of the Union of Concerned Scientists.
Frankfort to vote Thursday on divisive wind ordinance
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, November 30, 2011 

The town’s proposed wind ordinance has pitted neighbor against neighbor, sparked debates and livened up morning coffee at the local convenience store. Not always in a good way, according to Tony Fucillo, owner of the Family Country Market in Frankfort. “This has really turned into a town-splitting activity. I’ve been here for eight years and I’ve never seen such arguments,” he said.
FAME grants $1 million loan to East Millinocket, Millinocket paper mills
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, November 30, 2011 

The new Great Northern Paper Co. LLC will make its first property tax payments to East Millinocket and Millinocket shortly thanks to a $1 million loan from the Finance Authority of Maine. The FAME board approved a direct loan of $1 million to help the fledgling papermaker make personal property tax payments due the towns by the end of 2011. “We found them very easy to work with, very pro-business and very use-friendly,” company spokesman Scott Tranchemontagne said of FAME.
FAME loans $1 million for mill restart in Maine
Associated Press - Wednesday, November 30, 2011 

The Finance Authority of Maine says it has done its part to assist in the restart of one of the two paper mills in the Katahdin region. FAME's board approved a direct loan of $1 million to help the company make personal property tax payments due to the towns by the end of 2011. Richard Cyr, CEO of Great Northern Paper, says the paper company is appreciative of FAME's "swift and flexible actions."
Maine delegation asks for disaster declaration
Associated Press - Wednesday, November 30, 2011 

Maine's congressional delegation is supporting Gov. Paul LePage's request seeking a federal fisheries disaster declaration to provide aid to Maine's groundfishing fleet. LePage sent a letter to Commerce Secretary John Bryson calling for a federal fisheries disaster declaration for Maine's fleet. His request followed a recent report documenting a sharp decline in Maine's fishing fleet due to changes in federal fishery management plans. Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, along with U.S. Reps. Mike Michaud and Chellie Pingree, have written a letter of their own asking Bryson to declare a disaster. They say between 2009 and 2010, there was a 33 percent decline in the number of Maine-based boats that made money from fishing for haddock, cod, flounder and other so-called groundfish.
Thawing permafrost vents gases to worsen warming
Associated Press - Wednesday, November 30, 2011 

Massive amounts of greenhouse gases trapped below thawing permafrost will likely seep into the air over the next several decades, accelerating and amplifying global warming, scientists warn. Those heat-trapping gases under the frozen Arctic ground may be a bigger factor in global warming than the cutting down of forests, according to a group of permafrost experts. The gases won’t contribute as much as pollution from power plants, cars, trucks and planes, though.
Federal Researchers Probe Mystery of Starving Maine Seabirds
Maine Public Broadcasting Network - Wednesday, November 30, 2011 

If you're a tern chick, there's nothing better than the sight of mama, arriving with a beak full of fish. To grow, and ultimately survive, these baby shorebirds need steady access to the Atlantic herring that swim the cold waters of the Gulf of Maine in schools. Even with a steady diet of herring, only about half of all tern chicks born annually on Maine islands survive. This past year, though, something went wrong. About two-thirds of all baby terns died, many from starvation.
Bigelow lab launches corporate partnership program
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, November 30, 2011 

The nonprofit Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences announced Wednesday that it has moved forward with its plan to create harder ties between its research activities and private industry. The laboratory, which is in the midst of a major expansion and construction of new headquarters, has for 37 years employed dozens of scientists focused on climate change and ocean health. Sometimes that work leads to innovations that can benefit the private sector. To foster more mutually beneficial relationships between itself and other organizations, Bigelow has launched a Corporate Affiliate Program.
Portland wants to set limits on wind power to keep turbines out of the skyline
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, November 30, 2011 

Maine’s largest city is considering an ordinance to regulate, but not ban, wind power. Many smaller Maine communities are considering moratoriums on wind power due to concerns about the environmental, economic and health impacts of the large spinning turbines. The Portland city council is due to discuss a 16-page wind ordinance in a workshop in early 2012. “It’s really our first alternative energy ordinance, and we’re hoping to move on to solar power and other types of resources in the future,” said Jean Fraser, city planner.
UMaine, research institute to share nearly $1.8M for weather buoys
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, November 30, 2011 

Mariners have credited the network of buoys that provides ocean weather data with helping to save lives and money by alerting them to treacherous ocean conditions when they had been planning to head out on the water. The Northeastern Regional Association of Coastal Ocean Observing Systems, which now includes the buoys that have been part of the Gulf of Maine Ocean Observing System, recently won a competitive funding award of $1.77 million from NOAA to help keep the system operating.
Cape Elizabeth inn joins effort to save the cottontail rabbit
Keep Me Current - Wednesday, November 30, 2011 

On Monday, the Inn by the Sea in Cape Elizabeth launched a project designed to help save the New England cottontail rabbit from extinction. The inn will pay to rehabilitate two acres of Crescent Beach State Park situated between the inn and the ocean, converting a tangle of non-native bamboo into the natural state of brushland and berries the bunnies need to live and breed in peace from predators.
Bangor: The Miami of the North?
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, November 30, 2011 

It’s unusual for Bangor’s temperature readings to beat those at locations such as Miami in late November, but on Wednesday the Queen City had an 8 a.m. reading of 63 degrees, compared with 59 in south Florida at that same hour. The National Weather Service confirmed that the balmy temperatures broke the Bangor's old record of 61 for this date, set in 1963. The normal high for late November is 32 degrees with a low of 18.
Opinion: Correcting PETA's myths about deer
Kennebec Journal - Wednesday, November 30, 2011 

On Friday morning, Nov. 18, I nearly choked on my breakfast when I opened the Kennebec Journal and saw the diatribe against deer hunters by Paula Moore of PETA. Her column was riddled with incorrect information, myths, and lies, and three hours later, sitting in my tree stand, I was still steaming while thinking about a response. Here it is. ~ George Smith
Sturgeon hunters
Kennebec Journal - Wednesday, November 30, 2011 

Maine Department of Marine Resources biologists Gail Wipplehauser, Jason Valliere and Jason Bartlett used sonar to track fish on the Kennebec River between Gardiner and Randolph on Monday. The scientists were hoping to determine why the shortnose and Atlantic sturgeon tagged with transmitters had not migrated to their winter terrain in the Kennebec River.
Letter: A rotten deal for animals and Mainers
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, November 30, 2011 

Some Maine residents were happy to hear that Austin “Jack” DeCoster, infamous for numerous animal abuse scandals and environmental violations, is leasing one of his egg factory farms to Moark, LLC, a subsidiary of Land O’ Lakes. Unfortunately, Moark has its own terrible track record of corruption and cruelty. Sadly, it looks like it will be business as usual for the corrupt egg industry, which means a rotten deal for animals, the environment and the residents of Maine. ~ Nathan Runkle, Mercy For Animals, Chicago
Letter: Under their thumb
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, November 30, 2011 

I am grateful the LURC study group has traveled across Maine to hear from residents most affected by LURC. Thank you to Gov. LePage and all those who traveled across Maine to hear the voices of rural Mainers. It has been a long time since Maine state government listened to the voices of “both Maines.” ~ Wanda Lincoln, Old Town
Letter: Merry about mercury
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, November 30, 2011 

Families in Maine have more than one reason to celebrate this holiday season. This December the Environmental Protection Agency is slated to finalize a rule limiting mercury pollution from power plants, the largest industrial source of such pollution, for the first time in history. Sens. Collins and Snowe should defend this important rule from any attacks in Congress. ~ Anika James, Portland
Letter: Support Frankfort ordinance
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, November 30, 2011 

We have lived for 48 years in a part of town where we would generally not see or hear the wind turbines. Initially we also could not believe that the quietness of the wind could harm anyone. We listened to the stories of the people in Freedom and other communities who do live near the turbines. They tell a very different story of disruption and discomfort. ~ Norris and Judy Staples, Frankfort
Royal River trust selects Stearns
Forecaster - Tuesday, November 29, 2011 

Alan B. Stearns of Hallowell was selected from among 26 applicants to become executive director of the Royal River Conservation Trust. Stearns was deputy director of the state Bureau of Parks and Lands from 2007 until this year, and previously worked in the governor's office and the state Department of Transportation. He also has experience in conservation land acquisitions, forest and recreational planning and easement stewardship. RRCT is a regional land trust that holds conservation land and easements in a half a dozen towns in the Royal River watershed, extending from Yarmouth to Auburn.
Hearings set for kelp farms sought near Chebeague, Jewell islands
Forecaster - Tuesday, November 29, 2011 

Proponents and opponents of two experimental three-year leases of the waters off the coasts of Chebeague and Jewell islands are preparing to make their cases to the state Department of Marine Resources. Ocean Approved LLC, which maintains a kelp farm near Little Chebeague Island, want to use the additional locations to grow several varieties of kelp to sell as food. The project has been funded largely by a $300,000 grant the company received in September from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Small Business Innovative Research program.
Family Runs Sustainability-Minded Mussel Farm
Working Waterfront - Tuesday, November 29, 2011 

Gary and Matt Morettis, father and son, formed Wild Ocean Aquaculture, LLC., and purchase Bangs Island Mussels from Tollef Olsen and Paul Dobbins, who had run the aquafarm for 10 years. They were attracted to blue mussel aquaculture, Gary says, because “Sustainably, it is the perfect use. Nothing is added; you use the best husbandry possible for growing a high quality product.”
MPBP Calls On Democrats, Green Independent Political Leaders To Call Off Operatives In Occupy Movement
Maine People Before Politics - Tuesday, November 29, 2011 

In light of the recent arrests of the so-called “Occupy” protesters at the Blaine House, Maine People Before Politics feels compelled to condemn these recent actions. A cursory examination of the political activities, public statements and professional positions of these so-called “protesters” show that they are not simply concerned citizens taking direct action to influence public policy or public opinion. They are partisan extremists who place Maine’s hard-working families – and the need to create jobs in Maine – a distant third behind political party and radical ideology. ~ Jason Savage
Environmental programs fall victim to budget cuts
Associated Press - Tuesday, November 29, 2011 

Conservation programs and environmental regulations have been pared back significantly in many states that have grappled with budget deficits in recent years. Because environmental programs are just a sliver of most state budgets, the cuts often go without much public notice. A 24-state survey by the Environmental Council of States, the national association of state environmental agency leaders, showed agency budgets decreasing by an average of $12 million in 2011.
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