January 17, 2018  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Wednesday, January 17, 2018 

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
Feeding Maine Photography Exhibit, thru Feb 23
Event - Posted - Tuesday, January 16, 2018 

Feeding Maine: Growing Access to Good Food is a photo exhibit by Brendan Bullock, which seeks to document the many people working to address hunger in the state. Created by Maine Farmland Trust and Good Shepherd Food Bank. At University of Southern Maine Lewiston Auburn College, Atrium Art Gallery, January 16 to February 23, opening event January 19.
February Vacation Camps, Feb 20-23
Event - Posted - Tuesday, January 16, 2018 

Maine Audubon Vacation Camps at Fields Pond in Holden and Gilsland Farm in Falmouth, February 20-23.
Nominations for Source Awards due Feb 12
Announcement - Tuesday, January 16, 2018 

Maine Sunday Telegram Source Awards recognize the individuals, nonprofits, businesses and institutions in Maine working to safeguard the state’s spectacular natural environment. Deadline for nominations is February 12.
Apprenticeships at MCHT Preserves
Announcement - Tuesday, January 16, 2018 

Maine Coast Heritage Trust has paid apprenticeships at Aldermere Farm and Ericsson Fields in Rockport. Each apprenticeship will be up to 9-months starting in March and will include a monthly stipend, benefits, shared housing, training and supervision. Applications are due Feb. 5
Public Meeting on Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument Management Plan, Jan 24
Event - Posted - Sunday, January 14, 2018 

The National Park Service will host a public meeting to discuss winter use within the monument. At Katahdin Region Higher Education Center, East Millinocket, January 24, 6-8 pm.
Land-use history of Midcoast, Jan 23
Event - Posted - Sunday, January 14, 2018 

Forestry experts Lloyd Irland and Ken Lausten will explore the land-use history of Midcoast Maine. At Camden Public Library, January 23, 7 pm.
Friends of Casco Bay Annual Members Meeting, Jan 23
Event - Posted - Sunday, January 14, 2018 

Recognition for those who help protect the health of Casco Bay, an updated Casco Bay Health Index based on data collected by volunteer Citizen Stewards over the past 25 years, and new program directions. At DiMillo's, Portland, January 23, 5:30-8 pm.
Join the REAL public hearing to stop oil drilling in Maine waters, Jan 22
Event - Posted - Saturday, January 13, 2018 

The Trump Administration is hosting a sham ‘public meeting’ on January 22 in the Augusta Civic Center to hide Mainers’ vocal opposition to their plan to open up the Atlantic Ocean, including the Maine coast, to oil and gas drilling. Conservation groups will host a "real public hearing" at the Civic Center in the Aroostook Room where there will be a microphone and videographer to capture all public comments.
Offshore drilling public meeting, Jan 22
Action Alert - Saturday, January 13, 2018 

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will hold a public meeting on a proposal to open Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) areas to oil and gas drilling off the Atlantic (and other) coasts. At Augusta Civic Center, Jan 22, 3-7 pm.
Scouting for Mammal Tracks and Signs, Jan 20
Event - Posted - Saturday, January 13, 2018 

Sandra Mitchell will follow up on the November tracks and signs class in the field. At Northeast Penjajawoc Preserve, January 20, 10-11:30 am.
Nature Journaling, Jan 20
Event - Posted - Saturday, January 13, 2018 

Andrea Lani will lead a nature journaling workshop at Viles Arboretum, Augusta, January 20, 10 am to 2 pm, $35 for Arboretum members, $45 for nonmembers.
Prowl for Owls, Jan 19
Event - Posted - Friday, January 12, 2018 

Maine Master Naturalist Kit Pfeiffer will lead a walk scouting for owls. At Carl and Barbara Segerstrom Preserve at Squam Creek, Westport Island, January 19, 6 pm. Sponsored by Kennebec Estuary Land Trust.
Futures of the Maine Waterfront, Jan 19
Event - Posted - Friday, January 12, 2018 

This forum will feature panel discussions on the future of our coastal and island economy, presented with trends and analysis by key coastal leaders. At The Westin, Portland, January 19, 2-8:30 pm, $35-150. Sponsored by the Island Institute.
Meet the Feet: Mammal Tracks and Sign, Jan 18
Event - Posted - Thursday, January 11, 2018 

Dorcas Miller presents an evening of hands-on learning about Maine mammals. At Belfast Library, January 18, 6:30 pm. Sponsored by Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition.
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News Items
Letter: Stop bear baiting
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, December 28, 2017 

One of the worst things that can be done to manage a bear population is to artificially increase the amount of available food in the environment and accustom them to human food and smells, which is exactly what happens when mounds of doughnuts, pizza, candy, popcorn and grease are dumped into the woods to attract bears for an easy trophy kill. Wildlife biologists and management professionals warn that baiting alters bear behavior by habituating bears to human food, which increases the likelihood of conflicts. It’s time to stop doing the same thing over and over and expect a different result. It’s time to stop feeding the bears. ~ Kathleen Waugh, Newport
Letter: Acadia park fee increase
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, December 28, 2017 

I look forward to visiting Acadia National Park each summer and enjoying the various scenes and activities it provides. As a lover of the park, the price increase in passes for entrance to Acadia upsets me and will likely sadden many frequent visitors of the breathtaking park. Instead of raising the weekly vehicle pass from $25 to $70 at Acadia, for example, the cost could increase less radically and would allow for the country as a whole to solve the maintenance backlog in the park system. ~ Lauren Ismail, Glenburn
Meteor flashes through Maine sky, lights up social media
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, December 27, 2017 

Social media was lighting up Tuesday night with reports of a meteor seen across the Northeast. A bright bluish streak creased the sky around 5:52 p.m. Tuesday, caught on the Mount Agamenticus Conservation Program web camera located on Mount Agamenticus in York County.
More farmland protected as 2017 comes to a close
Maine Farmland Trust - Wednesday, December 27, 2017 

In the final weeks of 2017, Maine Farmland Trust worked with farmers to protect six more Maine farm properties with agricultural easements:
• Ecko Farms in Corinna and St. Albans
• Bo Lait Farm in Washington
• Sunkhaze Wild Blueberry Farm in Township 23
• Metcalf-Ferguson Farm in Northport
• Curran Farm in Sabattus
• Chellis Brook Farm in Newfield
Lawmaker to Propose Bill Reducing All Liquor Bottle Deposits from 15 to 5 Cents
Maine Public - Wednesday, December 27, 2017 

Advocates of Maine’s 40-year-old bottle deposit law are concerned about a proposal to lower the deposit on liquor bottles from 15 cents down to five cents. The lawmaker behind the bill, Rep. Ellie Espying (R) of New Gloucester, says she’s simply trying to make the state law more consistant and fair. “It seems to be an onslaught of attacks year after year,” says Sarah Lakeman, Director of the Sustainability Project at the Natural Resources Council of Maine. “You know I am glad that this one isn’t trying to remove containers from the bottle bill but I definitely see it as another attempt to weaken it.”
Opinion: Actions of select few unfairly portray hunters as careless, inhumane
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, December 27, 2017 

As a teenage girl, an avid hunter and a Mainer, it has come to my attention that there have recently been many unfair generalizations regarding hunters and their ability to hunt safely. Most of these generalizations are posted as comments on social media and news websites. Unfortunately, hunting is usually covered only when something has gone horribly wrong, stereotyping hunters as reckless and irresponsible. Hunting unites Mainers and is a way of meeting new people and making memories. I have never been more proud to say that I am a Maine hunter. ~ Taylor Laflamme, North Yarmouth, a student at Greely High School
Letter: Put workers and banks on equal footing
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, December 27, 2017 

It seems so completely wrongheaded that under the law the workers from the bankrupt Great Northern Paper Co. in Millinocket face poverty while other creditors are paid off. Why on earth should workers be considered unsecured creditors when banks have the advantage of being first in line as secured creditors? We should revisit the law books and at least put workers and banks on equal footing. ~ Michael Grunko, Chebeague Island
Yarmouth delays decisions on solar energy
Forecaster - Tuesday, December 26, 2017 

Town councilors Dec. 21 were prepared to endorse a group purchasing program for solar energy systems. But the vote was postponed until Councilor Timothy Shannon could be present. Chairwoman Pat Thompson said Shannon couldn’t attend the meeting because of an unexpected death in his family.
Botanical gardens sues town of Boothbay over permit dispute
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, December 26, 2017 

Two days after the Boothbay Board of Appeals upheld a decision to revoke a permit granted to Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens to allow a $30 million expansion, attorneys for the gardens sued the town charging violation of the Civil Rights Act. In a complaint filed Dec. 20 in U.S. District Court, Portland attorney George F. Burns, representing the botanical gardens, alleged the town of Boothbay violated the gardens’ 14th Amendment rights to due process of law. Citing bias and violation of due process, the gardens asked the court to reverse the Board of Appeals’ decision.
U.S. fishermen fear forests of wind turbines
Associated Press - Tuesday, December 26, 2017 

East Coast fishermen are turning a wary eye toward an emerging upstart: the offshore wind industry. Fishermen dread the possibility of navigating a forest of turbines as they make their way to the fishing grounds.
Solution in the offing for water level problem in Fayette’s David Pond
Kennebec Journal - Monday, December 25, 2017 

The water level in Fayette’s David Pond should be a little more consistent in the coming year. Shorefront property owners last summer had worried that falling water levels could affect wildlife, recreation and the ecology and depress property values. In the past, the impoundment has been rebuilt by some people to raise the water level and then dismantled by others who want a lower level. “Where we’re going to is toward a permitted dam,” said said Elizabeth Hicks, vice president of the Basin David and Tilton Ponds Association.
Lobsterman’s gift at Christmas: Free lobsters for the needy
Associated Press - Monday, December 25, 2017 

A lobsterman in Maine is carrying on his tradition of giving away lobsters to those in need on Christmas. Noah Ames set up his pickup truck in a parking lot in Thomaston on Sunday with a sign that read “Free lobsters today for families truly in need.” Ames started the tradition four years ago to demonstrate to his children that Christmas is about more than present wish lists.
South Portland to study Portland Street Pier for aquaculture potential
Portland Press Herald - Monday, December 25, 2017 

There are 50 experimental or limited-purpose aquaculture sites within 10 miles of the city-owned Portland Street Pier. Maine’s aquaculture industry is booming, experts say, and some city officials see a business development opportunity for the long-neglected municipal pier as farming of mussels, oysters and other ocean produce increases in nutrient-rich Casco Bay. But before the city invests $50,000 to fix up the pier – let alone as much as $2 million to fully redevelop and expand it – a feasibility study is being done to gauge interest in and need for improved access on South Portland’s working waterfront.
Blog: Preparing for Your First Outdoor Adventure
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, December 24, 2017 

Preparation is essential to comfortably enjoy outdoors activities, especially if you love spending time in remote areas with few modern conveniences. Basic supplies like shelter and food are among the most important things to consider before heading into nature for your first adventure. ~Adam Richards
Downeast Salmon Federation accomplishments in 2017
Maine Environmental News - Sunday, December 24, 2017 

Downeast Salmon Federation works to improve river ecology, restore Atlantic salmon populations, increase fish passage, run educational programs, and advocate for the environmental health of our rivers and communities. Here are some of DSF's accomplishments in 2017.
Ellsworth wants the feds to plug Acadia’s $71M maintenance hole
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, December 24, 2017 

Ellsworth City Council approved a resolve this week that asks Congress to find a sustainable income and reasonable payment mechanism for the National Park System’s $11.33 billion maintenance backlog. The backlog drew national attention when Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke proposed creating a new set of visitor-pass fees at 17 national parks, including Acadia, to address the backlog. The steepest would increase Acadia’s weekly vehicle pass from $25 to $70 between June 1 and Oct. 31. Acadia’s maintenance backlog totals $71 million.
In a hard year for sustainability, here are some of the bright spots for 2017
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, December 24, 2017 

When it comes to protecting the planet and fighting to turn back the ticking clock on climate change, 2017 has not been pretty. In fact, if we listed everything that happened that will likely harm the environment, you’d get depressed. But around Maine in the course of this year, there were many positive actions and events in the world of sustainability. [Editor: Caution: The statement that the Trump Administration will not push for logging in the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument is not accurate. President Trump has not made a definitive declaration about this yet.]
UMaine’s Old Town mill project will ensnare taxpayers, companies warn
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, December 24, 2017 

A proposal worth more than $100 million to power the University of Maine’s Orono campus with wood-fired steam and electricity from an abandoned paper mill is a risky bet for Maine taxpayers, according to two energy-services companies that were competing for the job. After an 18-month bidding and review process, the University of Maine System decided last summer to negotiate with New York-based ConEdison Solutions on its plan to generate renewable energy at the vacant paper mill in neighboring Old Town and send it via pipeline and wires to UMaine. But soon thereafter, two runners-up— Honeywell Energy Services Group and Ameresco Inc.—formally protested the decision and filed appeals with the university.
Greatest outdoor gifts just keep on giving
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, December 24, 2017 

When we asked several Mainers to share their best outdoor gifts ever, most responded instantly. They spoke of presents that were whimsical, unexpected and life-changing. They listed an ingenious camping oven, a pair of socks…and even bacon. Many, like Bullen, said the best outdoor gift was the introduction to a new outdoor sport. In fact, in nearly every case they said these were not just their favorite outdoor gifts, but the best gifts they ever received. Here are their stories.
Column: For a strong deer herd, factor in the winter habitat
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, December 24, 2017 

Predators are only one leg of the stool that impacts or supports our deer herd. They’re the easiest to identify and blame. There are others. In Maine, the principal limiting factor for deer is suitable winter habitat. Currently 92,000 acres of over 100,000 acres that MDIFW’s Wildlife Management Section is responsible for, and 571,000 acres of another 600,000 acres managed by the Bureau of Parks and Lands, is not being managed for winter deer habitat. If properly managed, maybe 30, 50 or 75 years from now, a healthy proportion of that land could be converted to deer wintering areas. That, combined with Maine’s substantial land trust lands, could provide a substantial boost to our dwindling deer herd. ~ Bob Humphrey
Column: Trees can teach us to value a world of connection
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, December 24, 2017 

Biologist David George Haskell illuminates the unmistakable conscious presence of a forest in his lyrical new book, “The Songs of Trees: Stories from Nature’s Great Connectors.” Their vast and complex network of reciprocity is right under our noses, even if we don't often notice. ~ Marina Schauffler
Column: They’re from away but still count
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, December 24, 2017 

The 118th Audubon Christmas Bird Count is under way, ending Jan. 5. The data provides a valuable tool to gauge changes in our winter bird populations. Four species are found, often abundantly, on most Maine counts: rock pigeon, european starling, house finch and house sparrow. None of these species was present in eastern North America 500 years ago.
Fire extinguished at wood shavings silo in Dixfield
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, December 23, 2017 

Firefighters extinguished a fire that broke out Saturday in a wood shavings silo at Irving Forest Products in Dixfield. The fire may have been started by an electrical spark that ignited some wood sawdust, according to Scott Dennett, the fire chief of Dixfield Fire Company.
Funding to expand gas collection at Hatch Hill landfill approved
Kennebec Journal - Saturday, December 23, 2017 

Augusta is moving forward with spending $350,000 to capture methane gas in the currently active portion of the Hatch Hill landfill, to provide more fuel for a planned system to use gas to make electricity. The city already collects methane gas, produced by decomposing garbage in closed-off sections of the city-owned regional landfill, to prevent it from escaping into the environment. For now the collected gas is burned off by a flare. But city officials now are working with consultants to design and, potentially within a year, begin operating a system to use the gas produced and captured at Hatch Hill to make electricity that would be fed into the electrical grid and help offset the city’s electricity costs.
Opinion: Fight to save Arctic refuge from oil drilling isn’t over
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, December 23, 2017 

Drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is an issue that deserved scrutiny independent of the contentious tax plan. Effectively, Republican leaders just used one of the nation’s last undisturbed wildlife habitats as a bargaining chip to push through a fiscally dubious tax package. It’s regrettable that Congress would barter away pristine natural resources in this manner. Next year, U.S. domestic oil production is forecast to reach an all-time high, driven by the rise of less costly shale drilling in Texas. While cutting the corporate tax rate is expected to cost about $1.5 trillion over 10 years, selling oil and gas leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge’s coastal plain will do little to offset that sticker shock. environmentalists vowed to shift the fight from the halls of Congress to the courts. ~ Seattle Times
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