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
A shot at progressive reform
Portland Phoenix - Monday, December 31, 2012 

With their sizeable majorities, the Democrats' reconquest of the Maine House and Senate could lead to a rebirth of progressive politics in the state. First off, they could roll back the reward-the-rich, hit-the-poor policies of the past two years of a Republican government. But rollbacks and other reforms are far from sure things. Environmental groups such as the Natural Resources Council of Maine and Environment Maine will push for additional energy-efficiency programs and, possibly, for a re-examination of the new mining-regulation law that Republicans (and some Democrats) pushed through last session. Environmentalists fear it could allow a great deal of water pollution.
Letter: Birds, noise vs. wind power
Portland Phoenix - Monday, December 31, 2012 

I was very disappointed that the Phoenix chose to endorse subsidizing the wind power industry. While I agree that the fossil fuel industry is environmentally destructive, using wind is little or no improvement. Those turbines slaughter huge numbers of birds. And, even if you don't care about birds, you may care about the ill human health effects of turbine noise, which research on the Mars Hill and Vinalhaven sites has established. Finally, even if you don't care about birds or people who live near wind farms, you still may not want public funds wasted on such an inefficient means of power generation. ~ Zachary Smith, Portland
Maine deer kill up 11 percent from 2011
Associated Press - Monday, December 31, 2012 

Wildlife officials say hunters killed more than 21,000 deer in Maine this fall, representing an 11 percent increase from 2011. Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife biologist Lee Kantar said the increase is due in large part to last winter's mild weather, resulting in a high survival of fawns. The deer kill has been low the past five years, with the state issuing fewer hunter permits to allow the population to recover following harsh winters in 2008 and 2009.
State Receives 500-Acre Island Easement
Maine Government News - Monday, December 31, 2012 

The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF) has received the donation of a conservation easement on a 500-acre, uninhabited island in Lobster Lake, considered by many to be the crown jewel of the Penobscot River Corridor. The newly named Leadbetter Island (formerly Big Island) defines the “claws” of the lobster shape of the lake, situated northeast of Moosehead Lake. The island is approximately two miles long and has more than six miles of undeveloped shoreline. The easement was donated by the Leadbetter family, which purchased the island in the 1960s from Great Northern Paper Company. The majority of the island has not been logged in at least 100 years. Mature stands of softwoods on Leadbetter Island have an average age of 162 years.
Record Number Participate in 5th Annual Polar Bear Plunge on East End Beach; Benefits NRCM
Bangor Daily News - Monday, December 31, 2012 

“It was a perfect day for the Plunge. The sky is so blue, the roads here are clear and there is no wind. It’s nice and cold,” said Lisa Pohlmann, executive director of the Natural Resources Council of Maine (NRCM). This was the second year that Pohlmann dipped in the East End Beach in Portland to benefit the non-profit that works state-wide to reduce climate change pollution. A sea of people crammed the beach to watch about 180 dippers take to the water at noon today, the warmest part of the day.
Portland Polar Bear Dip and Dash raises awareness of climate change
Bangor Daily News - Monday, December 31, 2012 

Winter dippers braved the frigid waters of Casco Bay at Portland’s East End Beach on Monday. The event was part of the Natural Resources Council of Maine’s annual New Year’s Eve Polar Bear Dip and Dash fundraiser which included a 5k run and a quick dunk in the water. [video]
LUPC welcomes comments on mining rule changes
Maine Environmental News - Monday, December 31, 2012 

Earlier this year, the Maine Legislature terminated the Land Use Regulation Commission (LURC) and replaced it with the Land Use Planning Commission (LUPC). Unlike LURC, LUPC does not have responsibility for issuing permits for metallic mineral mining in Maine's wildlands; the Department of Environmental Protection will do that. However, LUPC is responsible for rezoning for major mining projects. LUPC has extended the deadline for comments on its proposed rule change "to eliminate information relevant to the permitting process but not necessarily to the rezoning process." The new deadline is Feb 4.
Maine ocean plunge raises $ for advocacy group
Associated Press - Monday, December 31, 2012 

The Natural Resources Council of Maine is expecting about 200 people for its Polar Bear Plunge, held at noon Monday at Portland’s East End Beach. The event raises money and awareness for the group’s work on climate change issues. For those who aren’t up for a bone-numbing dip into the ocean, they can still raise money and take part in a 5-kilometer walk or run. Last year nearly 200 people took part, raising $18,000.
Bounty of sea grows in Maine waves
Portland Press Herald - Monday, December 31, 2012 

In the waning days of his commercial fishing career, when Tom Roth needed to justify his purchase of another boat, he decided to harvest rockweed, which lobster businesses use for packing. Six years later, Roth and his wife, Kelly, preside over an expanding business. VitaminSea's offerings now include energy bars studded with blueberries, dark chocolate and kelp, supplements for animals, a seasoning mix, and sea vegetables like alaria, konbu and dulse. "This plant, there's so much you can do with it if you just keep an open mind," Tom Roth said.
Biddeford says good-bye to Trashtown
Portland Press Herald - Monday, December 31, 2012 

From his office at City Hall, Mayor Alan Casavant has a clear view of the "big blue obstacle" he feels has long stood in the way of economic development. There, in the heart of the downtown mill district, sits Maine Energy Recovery Co., the trash incinerator that for nearly three decades has generated complaints about odor, pollution and truck traffic. The facility will close this week, ushering in what downtown leaders hope is a new era of economic development and vibrancy for an old mill town once dubbed "Trashtown USA."
Wind industry: Tax breaks key
Portland Press Herald - Sunday, December 30, 2012 

Maine's six major wind-energy projects are generating power at about a quarter of their capacity -- a performance level that illustrates why wind-power developers are pushing Congress to extend the tax breaks that are critical to the industry's survival. While that power output may seem low, it reflects regional wind conditions and technology limitations. The U.S. Department of Energy found that wind farms in New England operated at an average capacity of 28 percent in 2011, the second-lowest in the country. The sporadic nature of wind generation is a key reason the industry is pushing hard for Congress to extend a tax break that wind-farm owners receive on the amount of electricity they generate.
Parkman calls for special town meeting on First Wind proposal
Piscataquis Observer - Sunday, December 30, 2012 

Parkman selectmen agreed to hold a special town meeting on Saturday, Feb. 2, to ask residents to approve First Wind’s request for establishing a power line corridor along Crow Hill Road in Parkman to Gael’s Road in Abbot. First Wind LLC — a wind energy company based in Boston — wants the corridor as part of its Bingham Project, which has windmills in Bingham, Kingfield and Mayfield Township. First Wind plans on transporting electricity produced by its Somerset County wind farms to Central Maine Power Co.’s Parkman substation and then on to Greenville.
Snowmobile trails groomed at start of promising season
Morning Sentinel - Sunday, December 30, 2012 

The winter of 2011-2012 was one of the mildest in memory and thousands of snowmobile trails in Maine were effectively closed. This season is showing signs of improvement. Last week, two major winter storms brought several inches of snow to the region, blanketing the state's vast network of groomed trails.
Agriculture committees work out deal to avert milk price spike
Reuters - Sunday, December 30, 2012 

Farm-state lawmakers have agreed to a one-year extension of the expiring U.S. farm law that, if enacted, would head off a possible doubling of retail milk prices to $7 or more a gallon in early 2013. The extension would end a 32-month attempt to update farm subsidies dating from the Depression era, when farmers were crushed by low prices and huge crop surpluses, to meet today’s high-wire challenges of tight food supplies, high operating costs and volatile markets. House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, an Oklahoma Republican, said on Sunday he hoped the legislation would be passed by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama by Tuesday to avoid higher prices for milk in grocery stores.
Wood pulp and cattle shipments expected to generate $1.5 million in Eastport in 2013
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, December 30, 2012 

The Port of Eastport handled shipments of 417,448 tons of wood pulp during 2012 and shipped 7,355 cows. Cattle shipments were significantly down from the more than 20,000 head shipped to eastern Europe from Eastport in 2011, which accounts for the port handling 50-plus ships in 2012 as compared to 70 in 2011, which was a record year. “The company we work with on cattle had been using our port exclusively, but now uses both Eastport and a port in Eddystone, Pennsylvania. We’re taking a look at what we can do to entice more cows back to our port," said Executive Director Chris Gardner.
Washington County lobstermen fish around centuries-old boundary dispute with Canada
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, December 30, 2012 

A nautical “no man’s land” off the coast of Washington County sees Down East and Canadian lobstermen pulling traps side-by-side in waters that have been the focus of an on-again, off-again territorial dispute that dates to 1621. Nearly 70 square miles of the Gulf of Maine that surround the treeless, 20-acre Machias Seal Island are claimed by both the U.S. and Canada. The so-called “gray zone” encompasses waters where lobster fishermen from both countries set traps, despite the fact that Maine and Atlantic Canada lobstering regulations differ significantly. The territorial dispute is a contemporary artifact of the treaty that resolved the Revolutionary War.
Sebago Lake Derby: Looking for a hot time on ice
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, December 30, 2012 

Organizers are looking forward to the Feb. 16-17 event after last year's ice fishing derby was canceled by a lack of ice.
Column: When deer are a dream come true
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, December 30, 2012 

For days after the doe arrived, I walked through my life as if in a dream, unable -- and unwilling -- to relinquish the fleeting hold my mind had on the memory. ~ North Cairn
Column: On frozen pond, hockey the way it was played before the rinks
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, December 30, 2012 

Pond hockey in Maine dates back generations, and among aging puck nuts is still considered a time of celebration. But so far few tournaments exist in the state. Well, Patrick Guerrette, for one, can't figure out why, so he is organizing the first Maine Pond Hockey Classic. ~ Deirdre Fleming
Column: Just resolve to hit the slopes soon
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, December 30, 2012 

As skiers and snowboarders in Maine, we have it pretty darn good. We have resorts lauded by the national press, with Sugarloaf, Sunday River and Saddleback noted as three of the Northeast's best. Skiing is easy to get to, with community slopes less than an hour from each of Maine's urban centers. This fall, as it does every year, the Ski Maine Association sent a press release detailing the dozens of improvements to snowmaking, terrain and facilities. It isn't enough. I still want more. Rather than making resolutions for 2013, I'm making a wish list for skiing here in Maine. ~ Josh Christie
Column: Guided hunt still calls for preparations
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, December 30, 2012 

This is it. You've finally decided on that out-of-state guided hunt. You've picked an outfitter, booked the hunt and now face months of anticipation. Fortunately, there's much you can do in the interim and on the hunt to improve your experience by avoiding some of the more common mistakes. I speak with authority because I've certainly made my share, but managed to learn from at least some of them. ~ Bob Humphrey
Column: Lampreys aren't monsters from the deep
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, December 30, 2012 

Sea lampreys, a parasitic, cartilaginous, snake-like species, needs plenty of positive publicity to offset two strikes against them. Sea lampreys look like a creature from a horror movie, giving them a bad rap. However, as a general rule, sea lampreys don't prey on inland salmonids and have a symbiotic relationship with trout and salmon that serves an integral, multipurpose function. ~ Ken Allen
Column: Looking back
Sun Journal - Sunday, December 30, 2012 

Let's check the backtrack for the Maine outdoors, circa 2012. Maine experienced a deer hunting season that was close to exceptional, if it were not for low deer numbers. It was also an excellent bear season. The additional good news is: coyote control. From all reports, anglers from all areas of the state, from competitive bass fishermen to salmon trollers and brook trout acolytes, found plenty of action at their favorite fish haunts. It was a year of mixed news in outdoor politics. America elected a president who is no friend of the Second Amendment. The Penobscot Nation is taking the state to civil court and will argue that it has full enforcement jurisdiction of fish and wildlife activities on the Penobscot River watershed. Although the jury is still out, there is seemingly good news in the fact that environmentalist Roxanne Quimby has abandoned her high-visibility quest to transform her vast Maine wild-land holdings into a National Park. ~ V. Paul Reynolds
New Leadership at NWT
Maine Environmental News - Saturday, December 29, 2012 

The Northeast Wilderness Trust has selected Daryl Burtnett to become the organization’s new Executive Director in February. Burtnett has been the State Director of the New Hampshire Chapter of The Nature Conservancy for the past 13 years. An avid outdoorsman, he previously worked for the National Outdoor Leadership School as Director of the Southwest Region. Since its founding in 2002, the Northeast Wilderness Trust has protected more than 10,000 acres of wilderness in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, and Connecticut.
Opinion: When will coyote hunters know they’ve killed enough?
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, December 29, 2012 

To the coyote hunters of Maine: I walk your trails, and you walk mine, but we do not walk the same path. Every trap you set is a threat to my security. Let me know where you have placed them. Every coyote killed is an attack on my freedom. I want to know where you killed it, what it was doing before you ended its life, what you knew about it before you decided it was your right to take it. I want to know exactly how you killed it. Tell me the whole story: How did you become a killer of coyotes? How can I help you to stop? When will you know you’ve killed enough? ~ Joshua O’Donnell, Brunswick
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