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
Letter: Lynx need existing protections
Maine Sunday Telegram - Saturday, December 31, 2011 

I am appalled that our governor is backing a bill requesting a federal permit to allow incidental trapping of protected Canada lynx while in the process of trapping coyotes. Maine's wildlife department is paying hunters and trappers to kill coyotes. Their reasoning is that it will help the deer herd, which is struggling. This is uneducated thinking. The truth is: 1. The northern herd was decimated by the severe winter of 2009-2010. 2. Clear-cutting a deer yard is devastating. Gov. LePage, please don't throw our lynx under the bus like you are doing to the people of Maine. ~ Pete Gendreau, Saco
Grant funds trail accessibility work
Other - Saturday, December 31, 2011 

A popular trail at Thorne Head Preserve in Bath will be upgraded next summer to provide recreational opportunities for people with disabilities, thanks to recent funding from the L.L. Bean Land Trust Grant Program. The Kennebec Estuary Land Trust, owner of the preserve, received $5,000 to make the Overlook Trail accessible to people with mobility issues who want to be outside enjoying nature.
Warm weather, rains put damper on kickoff of Maine’s ice fishing season
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, December 31, 2011 

The arrival of the new year also marks the official start of Maine’s ice fishing season. But December’s roller coaster-like weather means many Maine fishermen hoping to spend their holiday on the ice may have to travel considerable distances — or resort to smaller ponds — to find ice thick enough to safely support them. Few, if any, of the larger lakes in Maine have developed a thick enough cap of ice to support fishermen,
Top 11 of 2011
Other - Saturday, December 31, 2011 

The top 11 highlights of 2011 for action on climate solutions according to 350.org.
Maine's ocean plunge focuses on global warming
Associated Press - Saturday, December 31, 2011 

Maine's largest conservation advocacy organization is using the frosty ocean waters to raise money in the name of global warming. The Natural Resources Council of Maine's annual Polar Bear Dip raises money to support the group's work to reduce pollution it says contributes to global warming. Saturday's plunge takes place at noon at Portland's East End Beach. It is preceded by a 5-kilometer walk and run that ends at the beach.
Maine gov says 2012 can be year of promise
Associated Press - Saturday, December 31, 2011 

"So, as the New Year approaches, let us ask ourselves what we would like from Augusta -- real solutions or rhetoric? It's up to Maine citizens. Demand more from your elected officials and insist they perform and keep your best interest in mind," Gov. Paul LePage said Saturday. In the Democratic response, Rep. Emily Ann Cain of Orono said since the governor's order to remove labor-themed murals from state offices in March the state has lost thousands of jobs. The House Democratic leader also questioned LePage's commitment to environmental protection and health care, and his vision for long-term economic development.
Maine 'Billboard Law' leader was among 2011 deaths
Associated Press - Saturday, December 31, 2011 

Prominent businessmen, legislative leaders and the leading force behind the state's pioneering billboard law are among the Mainers or those with Maine ties who died in 2011. Former Senate President Joseph Sewall and House Speaker Dan Gwadosky, who went on to serve as secretary of state, were perhaps best-known among state government leaders who died. Another former legislator, Marion Fuller Brown, who pushed the law that removed billboards from Maine roadways more than three decades ago, also died during the year.
Vinalhaven Fox Island Wind Neighbors: 2011 Year-end Update
Citizens Task Force on Wind Power - Saturday, December 31, 2011 

Here is a review of important events of the past year related to neighbors of the wind turbines on Vinalhaven. ~ Alan Farago
Recycling re-evaluation sought
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, December 31, 2011 

State environmental regulators are urging the Legislature to re-evaluate Maine's mercury recycling program after concluding that the state spent more than $2.5 million in the last 10 years to keep just over 400 pounds of mercury out of the environment. The report's conclusions drew heated objections Friday from Maine environmental groups, which say the program has succeeded by preventing hundreds of pounds of the toxic metal from contaminating the environment. Maine has led the country in setting up programs to require manufacturers and consumers to bear the cost of recycling toxic metals, electronics and other waste and keep them out of incinerator plants.
LePage sparks debate throughout 2011
Kennebec Journal - Saturday, December 31, 2011 

With the next legislative session set to start Wednesday, here's a recap of some notable events in Maine politics in 2011.
Member parts ways with gun club over NRA
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, December 31, 2011 

Warren Roos likes trap and target shooting. He owns rifles and handguns. He seems like an ideal member of the National Rifle Association. "I think the NRA does some good things, but I part company with them on some of their more extreme beliefs," said Roos, who has been in the Spurwink Rod & Gun Club for more than 20 years but won't renew his membership because of a new rule requiring NRA membership.
Opinion: In Maine and around the world, oceans, shores filling with plastic
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, December 31, 2011 

How do we clean up the ocean and get a fresh start? We don't. There is no "plastic magnet." There's no vacuum that will suck up plastic but spare the planktonic base of the global food web. In time, the ocean may spit its filth back onshore for us to collect and dispose of properly. But that works only if we stop force-feeding it. And that will happen only if we commit to using less plastic. Our gross overuse of them has polluted nearly every last pristine, remote place left in the world, as well as our own backyard. It's time to change the game. ~ Harold Johnson, Saco
Letter: Cutting energy use is best response to loss of aid
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, December 31, 2011 

Gov. LePage's plan to use winterization funds for low-income energy assistance seems to be a temporary fix. Many of us could benefit from a home inspection, but the money ($85 an hour or more) only tells me what the problem is. Then I need to spend for materials and possibly a contractor. Train unemployed workers willing to learn to do home assessments and lower the cost (perhaps to $25 an hour). ~ Richard Roberge, Saco
Letter: Maine workers suffer from free trade agreements
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, December 31, 2011 

This year several new free trade agreements were passed. These agreements are just the beginning. President Obama is in negotiations with as many as a dozen countries to hammer out a deal on a Pacific Area Free Trade Agreement. Maine is a leader among states that have passed chemical regulations aimed at preventing exposure to toxic chemicals in consumer products. Due to free trade agreements, these laws can be challenged by foreign corporations that want to sell toxic toys containing BPA. Ask Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins to oppose PAFTA and to support our state's right to pass ground-breaking chemical policy and other reforms. ~ Anthony Zeli, Portland
150 acres protected in Otisfield
Sun Journal - Friday, December 30, 2011 

Three new easements, which together protect approximately 150 acres in the historic Pugleyville neighborhood (aka East Otisfield) will form the core of what promises to be a significant conservation corridor. A total of 56 acres and 1,900 feet of shoreline on Thompson Lake in Otisfield were donated by Ethel Bean Turner of Otisfield to the Western Foothills Land Trust. The trust has also closed on two other easements: 49.6 acres of working field and forest easement by donors Elizabeth and David Watson, whose forest land is off the Bean Road in Otisfield, and Callie and Joe Zilinsky, whose farm is adjacent to the Watson property.

Quebec on the verge of catastrophic climate change, expert say
Other - Friday, December 30, 2011 

Montreal Gazette - Record floods, melting permafrost, shoreline erosion and intense winds caused havoc for thousands of Quebecers as 2011 proved to be yet another year of higher than normal temperatures. These higher temperatures add to the credibility of climate models that have predicted the march of global warming will accelerate the more greenhouse gases we pump into the atmosphere, scientists say. A study released in November called Paying the Price: The Economic Costs of Climate Change for Canada, warns that annual costs could rise to $43 billion by the 2050s.
Opinion: How to kick the oil addiction
Village Soup Journal (Waldo County) - Friday, December 30, 2011 

It has been stated that in my generation (I'm 16) we'll see the end of oil drilling because of the lack of oil. Coal may not be the best for the environment, but still gets the job done. This may be disappointing, but the combined total output of solar and wind energy in optimal conditions is less that 5 percent of the total consumed energy of the U.S. Probably the most promising option is biomass. Wood is just the tip of the iceberg. Just about any organic material that can be used as energy falls. Nuclear energy is also an efficient way to obtain energy. ~ Kyle Blake, student at Searsport District High School
Young engineer bucks Maine’s ‘brain drain’ trend
Bangor Daily News - Friday, December 30, 2011 

The growth of the R.M. Beaumont Corp. into a niche market was all sort of an accident, according to its 29-year-old founder, Ryan Beaumont. A lot of its work has been on the cutting edge of green energy technology in the state. His firm has been involved in testing and development of the offshore wind turbines under development by a consortium of businesses and an experimental tidal energy project in Eastport, which is being led by Portland-based Ocean Renewable Power Co.
Mild weather redefines winter landscape
Washington Post - Friday, December 30, 2011 

In Maine’s Acadia National Park, lakes still have patches of open water instead of being frozen solid. It’s not in your imagination. The unusually mild temperatures across several regions of the country in the past few months are disrupting the natural cycles that define the winter landscape. What began as elevated temperatures at the start of fall in parts of the United States have become “dramatically” warmer around the Great Lakes and New England, according to the Climate Monitoring Branch at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Climatic Data Center.
Opinion: The myths of 2011
Times Record - Friday, December 30, 2011 

The end of the year is a good time to correct some myths. For instance, the myth that Maine should buy cheap electricity from Quebec. Electric rates in Quebec may seem cheap compared with rates in Maine. That’s because Quebec generates most of its power from huge hydro dams, so there is no fuel cost. The utility is owned by the provincial government, which develops dams as a way of creating jobs. The government also can have electric rates set at low levels that are politically popular. But when Hydro Quebec sells power to New Englanders, it wants to get the regional market price, which is higher than its own rates. The profit it gains helps keep rates low back in Quebec. So it has no reason to give Maine the same break it gives its own people. ~ Gordon L. Weil, Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting
Opinion: Land trust reviews full, exciting year
Times Record - Friday, December 30, 2011 

From completing a spectacular coastal project to planning a community garden at Crystal Spring Farm, nothing the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust accomplished in the past 12 months was possible without broad public support and the help of countless dedicated volunteers. ~ Angela Twitchell and Brad Babson
Campground One Possibility for Schoodic Land
Ellsworth American - Friday, December 30, 2011 

The company that bought 3,200 acres of forestland on the Schoodic Peninsula may consider allowing a campground on part of the land that will not be conserved. “We believe there is interest on the part of the National Park Service to see more campground opportunity in this area,” Peter Stein, managing director of Lyme Timber Co., which announced last week it had purchased 3,200 acres from Winter Harbor Holdings of Milan, Italy. Maine Coast Heritage Trust has an option to purchase about 1,000 of the acres that abut Acadia National Park. The sale was a relief to conservationists who were worried that Modena’s proposal to build a resort with a golf course, hotels and luxury homes, would disrupt the ecosystem in the area.
Hancock County adopts 2012 budget
Bangor Daily News - Friday, December 30, 2011 

In the next couple of years there are initiatives that could have noticeable effects on the county budget. One is the possible development of the Bull Hill wind farm project in Township 16, which was approved by the state’s Land Use Regulation Commission in October. The 19-turbine, $78.5 million project would provide the county with $400,000 in annual revenue, which the county would have to split evenly between Unorganized Territory expenses and other county costs.
Opinion: Birders begin new year with lists to make
Bangor Daily News - Friday, December 30, 2011 

The act of starting a life list, a record of all the birds you’ve seen in your life, is nature’s way of telling you that a pastime has become an addiction. My life list started as a young teenager and for that I blame none other than Roger Tory Peterson. ~ Bob Duchesne
Much of Cobscook Bay to be closed to scallop fishing
Bangor Daily News - Friday, December 30, 2011 

The Maine Department of Marine Resources announced Friday that much of Cobscook Bay is being closed to scallop boats through the end of the 2011-12 season, which runs through March. “It’s going to be a bleak season,” Pat Keliher, the acting DMR commissioner, said Friday. “In fact, it already is. But our research along the coast shows the resource is in very, very rough shape.”
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