December 17, 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
Editorial: Single-use bags are a deadly habit we need to break
Journal Tribune - Friday, November 30, 2012 

The era of the plastic shopping bag is coming to an end, and not a moment too soon. Earlier this month, Brookline, Mass. became the second community in that state to ban plastic shopping bags, joining Nantucket, which instated a ban more than 20 years ago. Now a statewide ban is being sought, and we hope Maine considers following Massachusetts’ lead. Let’s take a cue from our neighbor to the south and embrace a plastic bag ban in Maine, to protect the environment and its wildlife and move away from this harmful throw-away culture.
BIW to resume Kennebec dredging
Coastal Journal - Friday, November 30, 2012 

Bath Iron Works has applied for multiple permits to resume dredging operations in the Kennebec River sometime in the next few months. According to the public notice released by the US Army Corps of Engineers, the permits are asking for permission to complete three separate projects.
Kennebec River barge crew bores test soil samples for Maine Natural Gas pipeline
Kennebec Journal - Friday, November 30, 2012 

A crew hired by Maine Natural Gas, one of the two firms competing to bring natural gas to customers in Augusta and the Kennebec region, took test borings in the Kennebec River this week to sample the soil below, determining the proper location and depth for its pipeline to cross the river. Officials with competitor Summit Natural Gas of Maine agree bringing natural gas to the region is fast becoming a reality, but they want to be the ones bringing the gas. Summit insists it will bring gas to far more people and will provide a larger financial boost to a much wider area.
Following public input, Searsport will decide next year whether tank can be built
Bangor Daily News - Friday, November 30, 2012 

While public hearings on DCP Midstream’s application to build a 138-foot-tall, 23-million-gallon liquid propane tank continued for a fifth night Friday, the planning board’s actual deliberations on the project won’t start until next year. Bruce Probert, longtime chairman of the volunteer town board, who has been praised by those on both sides of the contentious issue for being fair and forbearing, said he wants the general public to have a good understanding of the project.
Trans-Tech delivers pneumatic wood pellet truck to Maine Energy Systems
Bangor Daily News - Friday, November 30, 2012 

As Mainers use more wood pellets as an alternative to heating oil for their winter warmth, there is a growing demand for bulk deliveries of wood pellets. Bulk delivery has been problematic because of the amount of damage done to the product during the transport and delivery process, but a company in Brewer has designed a new kind of delivery truck for that purpose. Trans-Tech Industries of Brewer, which designed and created an air-driven prototype delivery system for a truck for Maine Energy Systems of Bethel that has been in use for more than a year, on Monday delivered a second, upgraded version of the pneumatic truck that is larger and faster.
Allagash crews accomplished much in 2012
Bangor Daily News - Friday, November 30, 2012 

In addition to several other projects, the 15-year management plan for the Allagash Wilderness Waterway has been moving forward. During the past year, Division of Parks and Public Lands staff have met with stakeholders and held public meetings on the plan. The plan has been revised several times in an effort to meet the concerns raised at these meetings. Hopefully, by the time this column is published, the new plan that will guide management of the waterway over the next 15 years will have been approved by the Commissioner of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry.
Electronic-Waste Recycling
Maine Environmental News - Friday, November 30, 2012 

A new case study has been issued by the Natural Resources Council of Maine of Maine’s Product Stewardship program, which recycles e-waste. The review says the producer-funded recycling program for electronics has kept millions of pounds of lead and other toxins out of Maine's air, land, and water. And it reduces local taxes, creates jobs, and spurs Maine’s clean-tech economy.
National Geographic scouts Maine for birding show
Bangor Daily News - Friday, November 30, 2012 

Rich MacDonald, a field ecologist and enthusiastic birdwatcher from Bar Harbor, is helping television producers find Maine birders who could end up appearing on a show planned for the National Geographic Channel. The show is still in development and does not have a name, MacDonald said Friday, but the concept is to feature enthusiastic birders as they go out looking for various types of birds.
U.S. Offers East Coast Waters for Wind Farms
Wall Street Journal - Friday, November 30, 2012 

The U.S. will offer up federal acreage off the coasts of Virginia, Massachusetts and Rhode Island for offshore wind farms during the first half of 2013 the Interior Department said Friday. The competitive lease sales will be the first held under an Obama administration initiative to fast-track permitting for offshore wind farms. None of the expensive projects have been built yet in the U.S.
New preserve takes shape at Harpswell Cove
Times Record - Friday, November 30, 2012 

The Harpswell Land Trust will proceed with a comprehensive plan to establish a multi-acre conservation area and wildlife preserve on a portion of Hildreth Road overlooking Harpswell Cove. Members of the Harpswell Board of Selectmen gave the organization its approval Thursday night.
Opinion: Maine needs leaders in Washington to support the Safe Chemicals Act
Portland Press Herald - Friday, November 30, 2012 

The outdated Toxic Substances Control Act stacks the deck against people and the environment by hamstringing the federal government's ability to get information about chemical safety and to protect us from the most harmful chemicals. Maine has been a leader in passing laws to get toxic chemicals out of products in our state. But we still need federal chemicals policy reform to really make substantial progress, and such a bill has been introduced in Congress: the Safe Chemicals Act. Now we need lawmakers who will work together to protect people and the environment, and who will not cater to the influence of powerful chemical companies. ~ Lisa Pohlmann, Natural Resources Council of Maine
Maine scientist relishes discovery of lobster-eat-lobster world
Portland Press Herald - Friday, November 30, 2012 

One minute, Noah Oppenheim was firing up his camera on the ocean floor just off Pemaquid Point in the midcoast of Maine. The next, he was the first human witness to an underwater crime in progress. "I was blown away," Oppenheim, 25, said during a break this week at The American Lobster in a Changing Ecosystem, a four-day symposium of marine scientists at the Holiday Inn by the Bay in Portland. "I had no idea this was coming -- absolutely no idea." He's talking about lobsters eating their young. At night, when nobody's looking.
Letter: Fishy info about salmon?
Bangor Daily News - Friday, November 30, 2012 

The Yankee Chef in the BDN on Nov. 21 states that he uses “wild Atlantic salmon because the flavor is twice that of farm-raised.” Wild Atlantic salmon in Maine are an endangered species. Commercial harvest of sea-run salmon (Salmo salar) in Maine ended in 1947, when weir fishermen in the Penobscot River caught a grand total of 40 fish. Recreational angling for salmon is prohibited because of their endangered status. Commercial salmon fishing is banned in Atlantic Canada and Greenland. Wild Atlantic salmon are not available in retail markets. Salmon available to Maine consumers is either farm-raised Atlantic salmon (some of which is grown in Maine and eastern Canada) or wild Alaskan salmon. ~ Catherine Schmitt, Maine Sea Grant College Program, Bangor
Study: Like a tree, growth rings show lobster age
Associated Press - Friday, November 30, 2012 

For the first time, scientists have figured out how to determine the age of a lobster — by counting its rings in the eyestalk, like a tree. Nobody knows how old lobsters can live to be; some people estimate they live to more than 100. But knowing — rather than simply guessing — their age and that of other shellfish could help scientists better understand the population and assist regulators of the lucrative industry.
Letter: Nothing to lose by acting as if warming a real threat
Portland Press Herald - Friday, November 30, 2012 

In a letter to the editor ("Proactive view of climate change needed," Nov. 12), Lee Chisholm of Freeport asks, "Should we not now be demanding a clarion call from our political leaders ... to come together and act so as to steer clear of a future full of further droughts, fires, floods and Hurricane Sandys? At the very least, should we not be talking?" Whether you accept the reality of climate change or not, what do we have to lose in reducing greenhouse gas emissions now in order to alleviate future deleterious impacts to humans, other life forms and the planet? ~ Bronda Niese, Woolwich
Legendary guide introduced hundreds to Allagash wilderness
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, November 29, 2012 

Over 24 years — until his retirement from teaching in 1994 — Gil Gilpatrick taught scores of high school-age students how to build things like strip canoes, snowshoes, and snowshoe-themed furniture. Each year, he took a group of his senior on a weeklong adventure in the Allagash Wilderness Waterway. He wrote books explaining how to do the many things he had mastered, which were absorbed by generations of outdoors enthusiasts. During his summers off, he guided paying customers down the Allagash, sometimes with his wife, other times with one of his daughters. Eventually, Gilpatrick’s name became inexorably linked with that special northern Maine waterway that he loves.
Salmon returns ‘dismal’ on Penobscot, elsewhere
John Holyoke Out There Blog - Thursday, November 29, 2012 

Those who keep an eager eye turned toward the Veazie Dam were left shaking their heads as Atlantic salmon returns to the Penobscot River lagged far behind the pace set during a banner 2011 season. The final Penobscot salmon total: 624 fish — the second lowest since the trap went into operation in 1978.
Residents, property owners share worries about property value loss if Searsport tank is built
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, November 29, 2012 

A near-capacity crowd listened carefully Thursday night as panels composed of project neighbors, business owners and Islesboro residents outlined their deep concerns about the proposed liquid propane gas terminal and storage tank that a Denver company wants to build at the Mack Point industrial zone. It was the Searsport Planning Board’s fourth of five public hearings scheduled to take place this week. The worries that some of those neighbors and residents discussed Thursday included a major anticipated drop in property value, a depressed housing market, far fewer tourists than usual, safety concerns, light pollution and more. The $40 million, 23 million-gallon project would include a tank that would stretch 138 feet high and about 200 feet wide.
Chefs, fishermen help with events to promote Maine’s under-loved fish
Reuters - Thursday, November 29, 2012 

What would it take to turn mackerel into a household name? Or whiting? That’s what scientists at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, in partnership with local fisherman and area chefs, are hoping to find out. To start, they will be tempting New England diners in the months ahead with lesser-known Maine species. Researchers spent the summer and fall organizing “Out of the Blue” test events at several dozen regional restaurants and colleges, including Bowdoin, Bates and Boston University.
Portland symposium addresses climate change’s effects on lobster fishery
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, November 29, 2012 

Scientists from throughout the northeastern United States and Atlantic Canada, and even a few from Europe, are gathered in Portland this week to discuss the venerable Homarus americanus, also known as the American lobster. According to Rick Wahle, a research associate professor in UMaine’s School of Marine Sciences and one of the co-chairmen of the symposium’s steering committee, “We’re at a remarkable juncture in the history of the lobster resource right now. On the one hand, we have this surge in lobster population we’ve never seen before in the Gulf of Maine, [but] as you go to southern New England, it’s a collapsing fishery — and the causes may be the same.” One of those causes, Wahle said, may be climate change.
Lincoln shavings mill to get $200,000 grant for air cleanup
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, November 29, 2012 

One of the town’s oldest businesses will get a $200,000 federal grant by January to help it diversify its manufacturing base and end a smoke problem that has bedeviled neighbors. Haskell Lumber Inc. and its manufacturing arm, LMJ Enterprises LLC, has qualified for a federal Community Development Block Grant. The grant will pay half of the estimated $300,000 to $500,000 cost of installing a filtration unit that will clean the air coming from LMJ’s wood-shavings mill.
CMP: No Negative Effects from Iberdrola Credit Downgrade
Maine Public Broadcasting Network - Thursday, November 29, 2012 

Central Maine Power says its finances - and its customers - will be spared any negative fallout from the recent credit downgrade suffered by Spanish parent company Iberdrola. Standard and Poor's, one of the three big ratings agencies, lowered Iberdrola's credit grade late Wednesday to two notches above junk bond status, due to turmoil in Spain's economy and the company's ongoing debt struggles. But at the same time, the ratings agency has also affirmed CMP's credit rating.
Harsh Weather, Knee Injuries Didn't Stop Filmmaker from Chasing Glaciers
Other - Thursday, November 29, 2012 

PBS - After five years spent documenting the behavior of glaciers, photographer James Balog has concluded that the term "glacial pace" is an oxymoron. "Glaciers are very fast-moving characters," Balog said. "They respond on an hourly, daily and weekly basis to the weather conditions around them." In his documentary, "Chasing Ice," Balog chronicled the effect of climate change on glaciers, using 34 time-lapse cameras at 16 glaciers in Greenland, Iceland, the Nepalese Himalaya, Alaska and the U.S. Rocky Mountains. The pictures are stunning and provide a vivid picture of what's occurring in the icy part of the world.
First Wind seeks Monson’s input on pending energy project
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, November 29, 2012 

A representative of First Wind, a wind energy company based in Boston, met with municipal officials on Nov. 20 about the company’s plans to run an electrical transmission power line through the town. Project Engineer David Fowler discussed with the planning board and selectmen the company’s plan to link high-tension transmission lines from its wind towers in Bingham, Mayfield and Kingsbury to a Central Maine Power substation in Parkman. First Wind’s plan calls for the transmission lines to run through Monson. The firm needs to obtain a right-of-way through town in order to achieve its goal. The town currently has a moratorium against such power projects.
How New England Can Eliminate Oil Use For Single Family Homes for Less Than We're Spending on Solar PV
Other - Thursday, November 29, 2012 

Alt Energy Stocks - We can use simple, effective, and proven policies that have been used to supercharge the New England solar PV industry to incentivize renewable thermal technologies and eliminate oil use for single family homes. Here's the best part, the policies will be cheaper than solar PV, they will create more local jobs per kW installed and displace more expensive fuel. ~ Chris Williams
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