November 20, 2017  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Monday, November 20, 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
Meditative walk, Nov 26
Event - Posted - Sunday, November 19, 2017 

Join Heather Goulette and Maria Castellano-Usery for a mindful meditative walk and some gentle stretching and breath work on the Heath Trail at the Cathance River Preserve, Topsham, November 26, 10-11:30 am.
Protecting the Nature of Maine Grants for Maine Middle Schools
Announcement - Friday, November 17, 2017 

The Natural Resources Council of Maine (NRCM) has eight $500 grants available to middle school teachers and club leaders (6th, 7th, or 8th grades) in Maine for projects that educate and engage students in Maine’s environment and the value of protecting it. Deadline is November 30.
Teddy Roosevelt Maine Conservation Award
Announcement - Wednesday, November 15, 2017 

The Teddy Roosevelt Maine Conservation Award given by Maine Woods Forever recognizes young people and youth organizations whose efforts are in the spirit of Roosevelt’s conservation ethic and achievements, and recognizes what Maine’s young people are doing to conserve our forest heritage, with an eye to their potential as future conservation leaders. Deadline for Nominations: January 31, 2018.
Block Trump's dangerous climate denier from the CEQ
Action Alert - Monday, November 13, 2017 

Kathleen Hartnett White, Trump's pick to lead the Council on Environmental Quality, isn't just your run-of-the-mill, extreme right-wing climate-denier. She's a senior fellow at the Koch brothers and Exxon-funded Texas Public Policy Foundation. She believes carbon dioxide is harmless "plant food," equates belief in climate change to "paganism," calls solar and wind power "unreliable and parasitic," and asserts that coal use in the 1800s ended slavery in the United States.
AMC Maine Chapter Annual Meeting, Nov 18
Event - Posted - Saturday, November 11, 2017 

Speakers: Steve Tatko, Appalachian Mountain Club’s Land Manager, will talk on the AMC’s Maine Woods Initiative. Jed Williamson will talk on Accidents in Outdoor Pursuits - Their Causes and Cures. At Portland, November 18.
Little Long Pond: A Field Guide to Four Seasons, Nov 16
Event - Posted - Thursday, November 9, 2017 

Author talk and book signing with Samuel Eliot and John Rivers. At Jesup Memorial Library, Bar Harbor, November 16, 7 pm.
Nature Based Fiction & Truth, Nov 16
Event - Posted - Thursday, November 9, 2017 

Sandra Neily will discuss novel ways to elevate conservation, nature based economics as well as outdoor-themed fiction. She will sign and read from her novel, "Deadly Trespass." At Curtis Library, Brunswick, November 16, 7 pm. Hosted by Maine Appalachian Mt. Club.
Conserving Maine’s Bats: A Workshop for Woodland Owners, Foresters and Loggers, Nov 16
Event - Posted - Thursday, November 9, 2017 

Piscataquis County Soil & Water Conservation District, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, and Maine Department of Transportation, will hold a workshop on Maine bats. At Dover-Foxcroft Congregational Church, November 16, 9-10:30 am.
Nature Based Fiction & Truth, Nov 15
Event - Posted - Wednesday, November 8, 2017 

Sandra Neily will discuss nature-based fiction as well as sign and read from her debut novel, "Deadly Trespass." At Shaw Memorial Library, Greenville, November 15, 6 pm.
Seeing the Future Forest Through the Trees: Potential Changes and Management Responses, Nov 15
Event - Posted - Wednesday, November 8, 2017 

Dr. Nicholas Fisichelli will discuss how can forest managers can respond to ongoing and projected changes. At UMaine at Machias, November 15, 6:30 pm.
Online sustainability journal ‘Spire’ invites submissions
Announcement - Tuesday, November 7, 2017 

Spire: The Maine Journal of Conservation and Sustainability invites submissions for the second issue of the online journal, slated for release in spring 2018. Deadline: Dec 10.
Oil Drilling Means Oil Spilling
Action Alert - Tuesday, November 7, 2017 

You still have time to stop the Trump Administration from paying for tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires by opening oil drilling in the Atlantic Ocean. Mainers have nothing to gain and everything to lose from this dangerous scheme. ~ Natural Resources Council of Maine
Mushing in Maine and Beyond, Nov 14
Event - Posted - Tuesday, November 7, 2017 

Polly Mahoney of Mahoosuc Guide Service will share her dogsledding experiences from the Yukon Territory to Maine to Nunavut and northern Quebec. She will bring a couple of her friendly sled dogs. At Bangor Public Library, November 14, 6 pm.
Maine Farmland Trust Annual Meeting, Nov 14
Event - Posted - Tuesday, November 7, 2017 

Speakers: Amber Lambke, Maine Grains; Rob Tod, Allagash Brewing Co.; and Sara Williams, Aurora Mills & Farm. At United Farmers Market Building, Belfast, November 14, 5:30-8 pm.
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News Items
Conserving Maine’s natural resources
Times Record - Wednesday, December 31, 2014 

More than 60 acres have been added to a conservation area in Georgetown and a culvert replacement is in the works for Phippsburg as part of a $1 million statewide wetland mitigation grant program. The Kennebec Estuary Land Trust received $146,780 to purchase a 62.6- acre parcel from landowner Constance Cummings, which abuts KELT’s Morse Pond Preserve. The preserve, which KELT started conserving in 2001, now protects six parcels totaling 278 contiguous acres and abuts a 193-acre conservation easement. The town of Phippsburg received a $40,000 grant for a culvert on Parker Head Road, by Mill Pond, that is slated for replacement.
State blueberry crop is second largest ever
Ellsworth American - Wednesday, December 31, 2014 

The blueberry harvest this year will exceed 100 million pounds, making it the second largest blueberry harvest in Maine’s history. That assessment comes from David Yarborough, wild blueberry specialist with the University of Maine. “The federal figures for the harvest won’t come out until Jan. 23 or so,” Yarborough said Wednesday, “but the more-than-100 million-pound figure is solid.” The largest wild blueberry crop was 110.6 million pounds in 2000. Yarborough said the final harvest total for 2014 might top out at 105 or 110 million pounds.
Clammers, wormers to rake up simmering controversy at DMR meetings
Ellsworth American - Wednesday, December 31, 2014 

Next week, the Maine Department of Marine Resources will address another gear conflict: between clam rakes and worm rakes. Last year, the Legislature passed LD1452, which gave towns the power to fine anyone caught cutting through predator nets laid down on the flats to protect clam conservation areas against marauding green crabs. Wormers from along the entire coast charged that the bill was just an attempt by the clam industry to take control of the flats for themselves and keep the worm diggers off the mud. The law also called on DMR to hold two “stakeholder meetings” with diggers and dealers to discuss the interactions between the soft shell clam and worm industries and to report back to the committee by the end of January with suggestions as to how it might deal with the controversy.
Local Authors Publish Nature Book on Best Seashore Hikes in Midcoast
Free Press - Wednesday, December 31, 2014 

"Best Seashore Nature Sites: Midcoast Maine," by Des Fitzgerald, Tony Oppersdorff, and Kyrill Schabert, just published by Waterline Books in Jefferson, is part hiking guide, part a collection of natural history essays, and part midcoast photo essay. The guide is not a comprehensive guidebook. It's more like a friend who is knowledgeable and excited about local nature and history that says: You want to go for a short hike? I know a great place just down the road. And off you go, on a small adventure with a local insider to a place you otherwise might have missed.
Outgoing chamber director discusses future plans
Mount Desert Islander - Wednesday, December 31, 2014 

Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Chris Fogg will leave his position at the end of January after more than eight years. Chamber president Stacey Smith announced last week that Fogg was taking a job as chief executive officer with the Maine Tourism Association. He will succeed Vaughn Stinson, who is leaving the association after many years as chief executive.
East-west highway project still on the shelf
Mainebiz - Wednesday, December 31, 2014 

A program manager for a proposed $2.1 billion east-west highway that would connect two Canadian provinces said the privately funded project is still alive, but not a high priority. Darryl Brown of Cianbro Corp. told the Bangor Daily News that while the company is still passionate about what he called a much-needed project, "there are other projects that Cianbro is involved in that take precedence." The newspaper noted that proponents and opponents of the controversial project consider it dormant.
Verso Purchase of NewPage Moves Step Closer
Maine Public Broadcasting Network - Wednesday, December 31, 2014 

Verso Paper Corp. has reached an anti-trust settlement with federal regulators that could allow it to move forward with the purchase of NewPage for about $1.4 billion. The proposed deal, which still awaits court approval, requires Verso to sell its mill in Rumford and another in Wisconsin. Verso announced back in October that it planned to sell those mills to a Canadian firm, in order to make the merger with NewPage possible. Verso just closed its mill in Bucksport, but says that move was not related to the NewPage deal.
Federal antitrust ruling adds new hurdle in legal effort to stop Bucksport mill sale
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, December 31, 2014 

The federal antitrust settlement allowing Verso Paper’s acquisition of competitor NewPage to move ahead could complicate efforts by the machinists’ union representing workers at Verso’s recently closed Bucksport paper mill to stop its sale and return the mill to papermaking. But the attorney for the union said their effort to stop the sale based on antitrust concerns will continue as planned.
State closes 2 Down East scalloping areas to secure stock
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, December 31, 2014 

Citing “intense fishing” and a need to protect scallops stocks, state officials have decided to close some scalloping areas in western Washington County. The targeted closures for Pleasant Bay off Harrington and Addison and for lower Englishman Bay off Roque Bluffs were announced last week and went into effect on Saturday, Dec. 27.
Dip and Dash participants take plunge into Portland Harbor
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, December 31, 2014 

Screams, whoops and primal hollers rang out over Portland Harbor on Wednesday as unseasonably-dressed swimmers hoofed it into the sea to raise money for the Natural Resources Council of Maine. The seventh annual Dip and Dash drew nearly 200 participants. Runners capped a 5k road race from Back Cove with the plunge at the East End Beach at noon, raising about $18,000 in the process. The money will help NRCM address climate change issues.
Opponents step in to test Iberdrola on wind power project in Maine
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, December 31, 2014 

Three groups have asked to challenge Central Maine Power Co. parent Iberdrola’s plan to build a wind farm in Somerset County, but not with the usual arguments against wind power. They argue such affiliations violate state law preventing companies distributing power, like CMP, from owning power generation assets. Atlantic Wind, indirectly owned by Iberdrola, asked regulators in December to approve an agreement for it to secure a connection to the distribution network for CMP, also indirectly owned by Iberdrola. Wind development opponents organized as Friends of Maine Mountains and two parties who argued against the Emera-First Wind partnership on Tuesday asked to intervene in the case.
Charlie Colgan Discusses the State of Real Estate and Economic Trends
Free Press - Wednesday, December 31, 2014 

University of Southern Maine economist Charles Colgan told real estate professionals in Camden that while the midcoast has a number of economic challenges including demographic trends and the recent mill closure in Bucksport, it is still not divorced from the national economy. Colgan noted that consumer confidence in 2014 has improved, but investment has been hindered by political dysfunction such as last year's federal government shutdown and threats by Republican members of Congress to default on the debt. "In the next couple of years if we can just retreat to the normal level of partisan bitterness that people have gotten accustomed to without actually threatening the destruction of the economy, that may work itself out," he said.
Verso-NewPage deal wins federal approval, with conditions
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, December 31, 2014 

Verso Paper Corp. has cleared a regulatory hurdle that will allow it to acquire rival NewPage Holdings Inc. in a $1.4 billion deal that will make it the largest producer of glossy paper in North America. The U.S. Department of Justice has been scrutinizing the deal for months over antitrust concerns. Combined, the two companies control more than 50 percent of the North American market for coated paper, the kind used in magazines and catalogs. Verso said Wednesday it had reached an agreement with the justice department that requires it to follow through on a plan to sell its paper mills in Rumford and Biron, Wisconsin. The settlement mitigates the antitrust concerns and paves the way for Verso to acquire NewPage this month.
Got a favorite Maine Sporting Camp? Tell me about it
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Wednesday, December 31, 2014 

Down East Books has asked me to write a book about Maine sporting camps, to be published early next year. Our state once boasted more than 300 sporting camps, but now has less than 100, and many of those are not the traditional in-the-woods sporting camps, but new camps on lakes and on the coast. If you have a favorite sporting camp, let me know! And please tell me why.
Verso reaches settlement to buy NewPage in $1.4 billion deal
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, December 31, 2014 

Verso Paper Corp. reached a settlement with federal antitrust regulators to buy its larger competitor NewPage for about $1.4 billion, putting a long-sought deal to restructure both companies that produce coated paper near completion. The company said it plans to close the merger with NewPage in January 2015. It would sell New Page's mill in Rumford the Canadian company Catalyst Paper Corp. as part of that merger and continue to operate the mill in Jay operated by Verso, which closed its Bucksport mill earlier this year.
Harpswell, Brunswick float clamming fee hikes to fix labor issues
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, December 31, 2014 

Brunswick and Harpswell are proposing higher fees for commercial shell-fishing licenses in an effort to preempt possible legal action by the U.S. Department of Labor. Although the proposed town ordinances would increase fees significantly, the cost will be offset if harvesters complete annual conservation activities, including shoreline clean-ups, shellfish surveys and trapping of green crabs. Requiring licensed harvesters to work on specified conservation projects each year isn't new for many municipalities. But the DOL has warned that the practice violates federal labor laws.
Elver fisherman starts serving 90-day jail term for evading $60,000 tax bill
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, December 31, 2014 

Nine months after pleading no contest to tax evasion for underreporting his income from elver and lobster fishing, a local man has begun serving his 90-day jail sentence for the crime. Danny Deraps, 43, who caught more than $700,000 worth of elvers in 2012, was found guilty of theft and three counts of tax evasion after reaching a plea agreement with prosecutors last March. At his sentencing this past June, Deraps received an overall sentence of 364 days in jail with all but 90 days suspended. He also was ordered to serve two years of administrative release in addition to the jail time.
Scientists identify dead humpback whale found on Little Cranberry Island; cause of death remains unknown
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, December 31, 2014 

Scientists from the College of the Atlantic have identified the carcass of a 36-foot humpback whale that washed ashore on Little Cranberry Island on Christmas Day as Triomphe, a nearly 7-year-old male. “The pigmentation on the flukes was sufficient to identify the individual,” said Rosemary Seton, research associate and Marine Mammals Stranding Coordinator at the college’s Allied Whale Program. “He was in our catalog, born in 2008 to a female humpback named Spar.” The whale was discovered on the afternoon of Dec. 25 and showed some signs that it had been entangled in fishing gear.
North Woods national park proponents hiring outreach coordinator to promote plan
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, December 31, 2014 

The effort to create a North Woods national park adjacent to Baxter State Park soon will have a local voice to answer people’s questions and enlist their support. David Farmer, a spokesman for leading park advocate Lucas St. Clair and Katahdin Woods and Waters, said that the outreach coordinator position is “a continuation of what we have been working on.” “That’s having one-on-one conversations with people,” Farmer said Tuesday. The coordinator will help form a local “Friends of” group and compile a database of park and recreation area supporters.
Maine Marine Patrol chief bids storied career farewell
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, December 31, 2014 

After 40 years policing Maine’s commercial fishing industry, Marine Patrol Col. Joe Fessenden probably has enough fish tales to fill the book he hints could be part of his retirement plans. Like the time a fisherman snagged an unexploded bomb weighing several hundred pounds in his net and, unsure what to do, brought it right into Portland’s busy harbor. Or the night a fisherman tried to pick a fight with the linebacker-sized officer on the dance floor after the man’s son was busted for poaching lobster. But as Maine’s top Marine Patrol officer prepares to retire next month, Fessenden says it is the relationships he built within the fishing industry and the times he could act as facilitator – not just a law enforcement officer – that he reflects on with pride.
Letter: Ruling opens door to full settlement on Goose Rocks Beach access
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, December 31, 2014 

Six years ago, a lawsuit was filed by one-third of the shorefront property owners at Goose Rocks Beach with the intent of affirming ownership of the beach. Over $2 million in collective legal fees later, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court has now sent the issue of ownership – and the issue of beach use – back to the Superior Court for further findings and determinations. In this season of “happy holidays,” perhaps the decision of the state supreme court should be viewed as a gift to all those involved in this contentious matter. In essence, there is a “time-out” for all parties to rethink their strategies before resuming battles in the courtroom. A peaceful settlement between the plaintiffs and the town would be a timely gift to us all. ~ Bob Sherman, Kennebunkport
How could a woman just vanish?
Boston Globe - Tuesday, December 30, 2014 

On July 22, 2013, Geraldine Largay stepped into the Maine woods and disappeared without a trace. The ongoing search to find Gerry defies everything in the long experience of the agency in charge of it, the Maine Warden Service. About two dozen Appalachian Trail hikers go missing in the state each year, but the vast majority are found within 48 hours. Wardens oversee all of these searches, and they can count the number of cold case files on one hand. “We always find people,” says Lieutenant Kevin Adam, the state’s search coordinator. “Always.”
Declined CEO bonuses aren’t always as heartwarming as they appear
Other - Tuesday, December 30, 2014 

Plum Creek Timber CEO Rick Holley was contrite this month when he returned a stock award, as a show of solidarity with shareholders who’ve suffered this year from a decline in the value of their investment in the Seattle-based company. Such acts of repentance by a CEO — more common during the recession, but less so now — are a way of signaling to the market that management is serious about turning things around. But for companies and shareholders, the savings from a bonus forgone or repaid are rarely significant in an environment where the norm for executive pay has gotten so incredibly high and often divorced from performance. Holley's returned bonus of $1,860,000 was a fraction of his total compensation of $8,161,257.
Irving files plan with land use commission to rezone 51,000 acres around Fish River chain
St. John Valley Times - Tuesday, December 30, 2014 

More than 51,000 acres of land around the Fish River Chain of Lakes in the St. John Valley could be rezoned if the Maine Land Use Planning Commission approves a plan submitted Wednesday, Dec. 24, by J.D. Irving subsidiaries - Allagash Timberlands LP, Aroostook Timberlands LLC and Maine Woodlands Realty Company. The "Petition for Rezoning" is the formal first step in rezoning lands the company owns in six separate townships in northern Maine. In past years, Irving has leased land in these areas to individuals who have built seasonal or year-round homes on the lakes. As leaseholders, these people own the buildings on their properties and have rights to access their lots, but Irving owns the land on which the structures are built. Irving had indicated during this process that getting out of the land-leasing business is its intention. That would mean leaseholders would have to purchase the land on which their homes stand.
Caterpillar Clash: The Budworm Returns
Northern Woodlands - Tuesday, December 30, 2014 

Though the budworm is native and has been documented as far back as the sixteenth century, it’s viewed as an enemy combatant in Maine because much of the northern third of the state is dedicated to growing trees for paper and lumber production. During the most recent outbreak, an estimated 20 to 25 million cords of spruce and fir were killed between 1975 and 1988. The ferocity of the outbreak led to an equally ferocious response. With millions of acres — and millions of dollars worth of timber — at the front lines, industry aligned with state and federal government to initiate the largest, most expensive spray program in the United States. Jym St. Pierre, of RESTORE: The North Woods, said he and others will keep a much closer eye on any spraying or salvage proposed. “In the midst of that war, we swept aside a lot of important environmental issues,’” he said. “But this time will be different.”
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