May 22, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Tuesday, May 21, 2019 

Thanks for visiting Maine Environmental News, a service of RESTORE: The North Woods. MEN is the most comprehensive online source available for links to conservation and natural resource news and events in Maine (and a bit beyond; hey, we're all connected). We have posted summaries and links to 60,000 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
Climate action
Action Alert - Tuesday, May 21, 2019 

Urge legislators on the legislature's Environment & Natural Resources Committee to support climate action via the governor’s bill, LD 1679. ~ Natural Resources Council of Maine
Ban Aerial Herbicide Spraying for Deforestation
Action Alert - Tuesday, May 21, 2019 

Before May 23, urge legislators on the Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry Committee to support LD 1691, An Act To Ban Use of Aerial Herbicide Spraying for the Purpose of Deforestation. ~ Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
Oyster Farms & Seal Watching Tours, May 25-27
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 18, 2019 

Oyster Farms & Seal Watching Tours will run every day, 2-4 pm, during Memorial Day weekend. At Damariscotta. Benefits the Fish Ladder Restoration Project.
Birding for Kids, May 25
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 18, 2019 

A hands-on workshop for families. At Curtis Farm Preserve, Harpswell, May 25, 9 am. Sponsored by Harpswell Heritage Land Trust.
L.L.Bean & Maine Audubon Birding Festival, May 24-26
Event - Posted - Friday, May 17, 2019 

Boat trips, guided walks, live bird presentations, workshops, kid’s crafts, and activities with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. At Freeport vicinity, May 24-26.
Forestry for Maine Birds, May 23
Event - Posted - Thursday, May 16, 2019 

Free workshop on forestry management for bird conservation. At Head of Tide Preserve, Belfast, May 23, 12-3 pm.
Tell the EPA to Follow Science on Air Quality
Action Alert - Wednesday, May 15, 2019 

As chair of the EPA’s Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee, Tony Cox—a former consultant for the American Petroleum Institute, the mining industry, and a tobacco company—is questioning if soot, causes premature death and other health issues. The science is clear that this type of pollution is very dangerous. ~ Sierra Club
Environmental Trivia Night, May 21
Event - Posted - Tuesday, May 14, 2019 

Maine Conservation Voters and the Immigrant Welcome Center are hosting an environmental-themed trivia night. At Maine Beer Company, Freeport, May 21, 6-7:30 pm.
Maine’s Tree City Celebration, May 20
Event - Posted - Monday, May 13, 2019 

The Maine Forest Service will present the 2019 Excellence in Community Forestry Award. At Camden Public Library, May 20, 1 pm. A tree will be planted in Harbor Park in honor of Earth Day.
How fish and wildlife are responding to climate change, May 20
Event - Posted - Monday, May 13, 2019 

This talk will explore phenological responses to seasonal climate drivers from the base of the food chain to higher trophic level species such as fish, seabirds and marine mammals. At Schoodic Institute, Winter Harbor, May 20, 7 pm.
Brunswick Town Commons 300th anniversary, May 19
Event - Posted - Sunday, May 12, 2019 

On May 19, 1719, the Pejepscot Proprietors voted to set aside 1,000 acres in Brunswick as a commonage, one of the first public lands established in Maine. It is an example of early community planning in the state and is habitat for rare pitch pine woodlands. In 2019, Brunswick celebrates the 300th anniversary of its Town Commons before, on, and after May 19.
Plogging in L/A, May 19
Event - Posted - Sunday, May 12, 2019 

Join others for a fun morning of blogging (picking up litter and walking/jogging) in Lewiston/Auburn. At Baxter Brewing, Lewiston, May 19, 10:45 am - noon, followed by the documentary "Plastic Ocean" and a talk about reducing plastics in Maine. Sponsored by Natural Resources Council of Maine, Baxter Brewing, and Lamey Wellehan.
International Migratory Bird Day, May 19
Event - Posted - Sunday, May 12, 2019 

The Augusta Bird Club will celebrate International Migratory Bird Day. At Arboretum, Augusta, May 19, 8 am.
Hike East & West Royce Mountains, May 19
Event - Posted - Sunday, May 12, 2019 

Hike to East Royce and West Royce mountains in Evans Notch, 6.2 miles round trip, May 19, pre-register. Sponsored by Appalachian Mountain Club.
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News Items
Maine to prohibit sale of invasive plants
Associated Press - Sunday, December 31, 2017 

Maine state officials say that the Maine landscape is being invaded by otherwise lovely plants like "Crimson King" Norway maple, burning bush and Japanese barberry. The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry says such plants crowd out native plants and eliminate the food source for other species like caterpillars, an essential food for baby birds. Starting Jan. 1, it will be illegal to sell, import, export or buy 33 invasive plants. The state recommends gardeners plant native species like native red maples, red chokeberries and staghorn sumac.
Trail Stewardship in the Modern Environment
Other - Sunday, December 31, 2017 

Senior Hiker - Changes in our climate are exacerbating hikers' impact on trail erosion, and are contributing to the frequency and ferocity of storms, forest fires, blowdowns, and other destructive natural forces. Baxter State Park officials, the number of hikers arriving at the northern terminus on Katahdin is doubling every four years. Appalachian Trail campsites have become so crowded that some traditional pit toilets are filling up in just a single season. Increasing traffic on the trail is outpacing our ability to maintain it, given the environmental conditions we face today.
Trail Stewardship in the Modern Environment
Other - Sunday, December 31, 2017 

Senior Hiker - Changes in our climate are exacerbating hikers' impact on trail erosion, and are contributing to the frequency and ferocity of storms, forest fires, blowdowns, and other destructive natural forces. Baxter State Park officials, the number of hikers arriving at the northern terminus on Katahdin is doubling every four years. Appalachian Trail campsites have become so crowded that some traditional pit toilets are filling up in just a single season. Increasing traffic on the trail is outpacing our ability to maintain it, given the environmental conditions we face today.
Impacts of Climate Change: Acadia Prepares and Responds
Other - Sunday, December 31, 2017 

Senior Hiker - Not yet online. See Senior Hiker magazine, Issue 4, 2017, pages 48-55.
Last Hike
Other - Sunday, December 31, 2017 

Do I have to take another trip across the Knife Edge? Or is it OK to know when a hike is your last? [Senior Hiker magazine, Issue 4, 2017, pages 70-75]
Opinion: We don’t need oil from the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, December 31, 2017 

Los Angeles Times - Conservationists have won the fight to keep oil drilling out of the Arctic refuge more than 50 times. But in conservation, you only get to lose once. The tax bill passed by Congress circumvents environmental laws and expedites oil drilling in the Arctic refuge. We all have our sacred places: the Taj Mahal, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Grand Canyon, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. We may never set foot in them, but these places offer us spiritual refuge even from a great distance. The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is still here for you, but Congress just gave away the keys to the sanctuary. ~ Brad Meiklejohn
Superheroes might save the world, but they’d totally wreck the environment
Washington Post - Sunday, December 31, 2017 

Three scientists have calculated the carbon footprint for nine heroes from the comic book canon – and realized that Earth might be better off if they stopped trying to save it.
Wildlife watching in Maine draws fans for a reason
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, December 31, 2017 

Tourism in Maine attracts 38 million visitors a year and in 2016 had an overall economic impact of more than $8.8 billion, according to the Maine Office of Tourism. Moreover, of 1,407 tourists queried by the state in 2016, almost a third (or 28 percent) said they preferred wildlife watching to all other touring activities. Why not? Maine is home to some of the largest populations of iconic wildlife species in the Northeast and, in some cases, the country, including moose, puffins, loons, and brook trout.
An oyster’s journey from sea to table
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, December 31, 2017 

Maine’s local oyster market is booming like never before. According to the Department of Marine Resources, Maine has somewhere between 75 to 90 mid-sized and large-sized oyster farms. There are also roughly 325 small – 400 square feet – experimental farms. At least 40 more applications are pending across categories, according to the Department of Marine Resources.
Column: Pros and cons for planting native plants
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, December 31, 2017 

If doing what is best for the environment is foremost to you, the answer is clear: Grow seed-grown natives in the soil that existed in your garden before your home was even built. You won’t be adding fertilizer and other soil amendments, and the plants will feed native insects, birds and other wildlife. It sounds like paradise. The result may not make you happy, though. ~ Tom Atwell
Column: Deer poaching is a problem we should all pitch in on
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, December 31, 2017 

We really don’t know how much of an impact it has on Maine’s deer population, but some sources estimate deer mortality from illegal kills to be equivalent to that from legal hunting. Let that sink in for a moment. Maine’s deer herd is estimated at around 300,000, give or take. Hunters take around 20,000 a year. ~ Bob Humphrey
Column: Resolving to make the most of 2018 on the slopes
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, December 31, 2017 

Why not make resolutions about having your best ski season ever? In 2018, I resolve to…
• Take a lesson
• Make first tracks on a power day
• Go cat skiing
• Ski more with friends
• Do some good on skis
• Race my friends and family
~ Josh Christie
Opinion: This fish(erman) didn’t get away
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, December 31, 2017 

I recently confessed to my wife that she’s married to a small-time criminal. I made a bad decision one autumn morning, moving from one body of legal fishing water to another body of illegal fishing water without checking the season limits or otherwise thinking too much about what I was doing. Like most clueless, small-time criminals, I was caught with my pants down, metaphorically speaking: A game warden spotted me within minutes of dropping my line in the water. He was pleasant enough about the whole sordid business, but it was evident from our clipped conversation that he was going to write me up. No fish were killed in the commission of this crime. ~ Steven Price, Kennebunkport
Letter: Praise for what president accomplished in first year
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, December 31, 2017 

I’d like to celebrate the accomplishments of President Trump’s first year. Among the long list he has:
• Opened the Keystone and Dakota Access pipelines.
• Withdrawn the U.S. from the Paris climate accord.
• Removed climate change from the national security threat list.
• Stacking federal courts with conservatives.
~ Crystal Martell, Sanford
Community Ag Alliance: Partners program benefits ‘species of interest’
Other - Saturday, December 30, 2017 

In a time when tension seems to be the norm for relationships between agriculturalists and the federal government, the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program stands as an encouraging example of cooperation and success on the ground. The 30-year-old program is the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's partnership program that enables cooperative projects on the ground to benefit "species of interest." Nationwide, private landowners own 73 percent of the landscape, and over 75 percent of fish and wildlife species are dependent on private land for part of their habitat. The program is voluntary and brings together federal, private and other resources to benefit both people and wildlife. In Maine, Partners cooperates with private landowners, NGOs and logging companies to maintain bird habitat in the North Woods.
Federal regulators question Maine company’s plan for East Grand Lake dam
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, December 30, 2017 

Federal regulators this month challenged a Maine pulp company’s plan to get out of federal requirements by having the state take over one of its dams. The dam straddles the U.S.-Canada border, and its future has attracted a flurry of attention from the Canadian government, environmental groups and homeowners on East Grand Lake. Maine Gov. Paul LePage traveled to D.C. to argue that federal regulations for such dams stifle business, and recently signed a law to have the state potentially own the U.S. side of the dam. The dam’s owner, Woodland Pulp LLC, says the 30-year Federal Energy Regulatory Commission license it received in 2015 is too costly and unnecessary. The company said those requirements shouldn’t apply if Maine owns the dam. But federal regulators said the dam would need licensing even if Maine owns it.
Fascinating stories and stunning photos of species hundreds of millions of years old
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Saturday, December 30, 2017 

Kimberly Ridley’s book, Extreme Survivors, Animals That Time Forgot, published in November by Tilbury House Publishers, is fascinating, full of stunning photos and stories about species that have somehow survived for hundreds of millions of years. Did you know that some dinosaurs became birds?
Meet the Maine fur company that outfits ‘Game of Thrones’ and other Hollywood productions
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, December 30, 2017 

When temperatures dip below zero and the cold seeps into your bones, Glacier Wear of Greenville has you covered — with fur, if you’re not opposed. The family owned and operated company is home to a giant inventory of fur, from silky rabbit hides to rough grizzly bear pelts. And with these furs they craft a wide variety of products for an even wider variety of customers, from superstars to the hunting guide down the road. “We carry the largest inventory of tanned furs and leathers in North America,” said Randy Richard, who owns the company with his wife, Colleen Richard.
Eastern Trail completes $4.1 million ‘Close the Gap’ campaign
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, December 30, 2017 

The Eastern Trail Alliance has reached its $4.1 million fundraising goal for the “Close the Gap” campaign to build two bridges in Scarborough that will complete 16 miles of uninterrupted, off-road trail from downtown Saco to Bug Light Park in South Portland. The “Close the Gap” funds will be used to build two bridges – one over the Nonesuch River near Eastern Road and the other over the Pan Am Railways tracks near Pleasant Hill Road – that will complete a 1.6-mile section of the off-road recreational trail as it passes through Scarborough. Pending regulatory approvals, construction is expected to begin next summer.
USDA school foods program boosts Maine wild blueberry sales
Mainebiz - Friday, December 29, 2017 

A program to get Maine wild blueberries into public schools increased sales by 57% in 2017, despite a crop shortfall this year, and the news has energized a 2018 marketing push. Maine Wild Blueberries are available in 22 U.S. states through the USDA's National School Lunch Program, up from 13 in 2016. The Wild Blueberry Commission of Maine's national Wild Blueberry School Foodservice Program expanded from 1.18 million pounds sold in 2016 to 2.78 million pounds sold in 2017. The commission represents more than 500 wild blueberry growers in Maine, which is the world's largest producer of wild blueberries.
Maine Energy Office Report Due Next Month
Maine Public - Friday, December 29, 2017 

Gov. Paul LePage’s Energy Office has been holding listening sessions around the state in advance of a state energy plan due out next month. Office Director Steve McGrath has only been on the job a few months, but says he is learning a lot about the energy sources used by Maine people. He says the listening sessions have been helpful in developing the forthcoming state energy plan. McGrath says the plan will take a broad look at state energy policy, at where we get our electricity and also look at how we heat our homes and businesses. He says the goal will be to reduce demand for energy by using more fuel-efficient lighting and heating systems.
Too Cold For Polar Bears? Organizers Cancel, Postpone Popular New Year’s Eve Dips
Maine Public - Friday, December 29, 2017 

Frigid temperatures forecast this weekend are proving too much even for rugged Mainers. Popular polar dips planned for New Year’s Eve and Day are being canceled or rescheduled due to organizers’ concerns for participants’ safety. The biggest concern is putting dippers at risk for hypothermia. That was the conclusion reached by the Natural Resources Council of Maine, which has been sponsoring a polar bear dip on New Year’s Eve for the past decade as a way to highlight climate change in Casco Bay. While the dip is off until next year, the Polar Bear 5K planned for Sunday morning is still on. Extra warm hats, mittens and socks are definitely in order.
South Portland wins round in court fight over oil pipeline
Bangor Daily News - Friday, December 29, 2017 

A federal judge on Friday rejected all but one of Portland Pipe Line Corp.’s arguments in its efforts to overturn a South Portland ordinance that prevents it from piping in crude oil from Canada. In a 229-page ruling, U.S. District Judge John Woodcock dismissed claims that the local law is preempted by federal law, but he left open the question of whether it interferes with interstate and international commerce. A trial most likely will be scheduled next year to resolve that issue.
Federal judge narrows Portland Pipe Line case against South Portland ordinance
Portland Press Herald - Friday, December 29, 2017 

A federal judge on Friday largely rejected arguments from Portland Pipe Line Corp. challenging the legality of South Portland’s municipal ban on crude oil exports. But U.S. District Judge John A. Woodcock Jr. did not reach a conclusion about whether South Portland’s ordinance violated federal commerce laws, thereby keeping alive a central part of Portland Pipe Line’s lawsuit.
Extreme cold smashes records, freezes car batteries, postpones ‘polar dips’
Portland Press Herald - Friday, December 29, 2017 

Early Friday morning, temperatures ranged from 5 to 30 degrees below zero, according to the National Weather Service in Gray. By afternoon, temperatures in southern Maine rose into the single digits. A fundraiser, the annual Polar Bear Dip at East End Beach in Portland, scheduled for noon on Sunday, has been called off because of the cold, but a 5K race will still be held, said Stacie Haines of the Natural Resources Council of Maine. Meteorologist Mike Cempa blamed the sustained freezing temperatures on a so-called polar vortex that’s hovering over Canada.
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On May 8, 1719, the Pejepscot Proprietors 
voted to grant 1,000 acres in commonage 
forever to the residents of Brunswick, 
one of the earliest dedicated 
public lands in Maine.

The 300th anniversary is celebrated 
on May 19, 2019, due to the change 
from Julian to Gregorian calendars.

Photo © Jym St. Pierre

 


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