March 20, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Wednesday, March 20, 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). 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
Why Going Native Matters, Mar 27
Event - Posted - Wednesday, March 20, 2019 

Heather McCargo, found and executive director of Wild Seed Project, presents "Why Going Native Matters: Beauty, Biodiversity and Resilience." At Portland Public Library, March 27, 5:30 pm.
Urge Maine's Agencies to Investigate and Halt PFAS Contamination
Action Alert - Tuesday, March 19, 2019 

Highly persistent and toxic chemicals known as PFAS may be lurking undiscovered in farmlands across Maine. State records show that at an Arundel dairy farm, PFOS was in milk at the highest level ever reported anywhere. Urge Maine Ag and DEP commissioners to test the fields, stop sludge spreading, and phase out PFAS products. ~ Environmental Health Strategy Center
Retired Game Warden Randall Probert, Mar 26
Event - Posted - Tuesday, March 19, 2019 

Author, raconteur, and retired game warden Randall Probert will speak to the Hebron Historical Society on “Maine Tales and More.” At Hebron Town Office, March 26, 7 pm.
The Forests of Lilliput: The Miniature World of Lichens & Mosses, Mar 26
Event - Posted - Tuesday, March 19, 2019 

Maine Master Naturalist Jeff Pengel talks about the natural history of lichens, mosses and similar plants. At Topsham Library, March 26, 6 pm. Sponsored by Cathance River Education Alliance.
Celebrating Maine’s Wild Creatures, Mar 26
Event - Posted - Tuesday, March 19, 2019 

Speaker: Ed Robinson, author of “Nature Notes from Maine: River Otters, Moose, Skunks and More.” At Curtis Library, March 16, 7 pm. Sponsored by Merrymeeting Audubon.
Ocean Acidification, Climate Change, and You, Mar 25
Event - Posted - Monday, March 18, 2019 

Friends of Casco Bay staff scientist Mike Doan talks about warning signs and Casco Baykeeper Ivy Frignoca shares the impacts to marine species and how Mainers are responding. At Southern Maine Community College, South Portland, March 25, 5:30 pm.
Mount Pisgah winter trek, Mar 24
Event - Posted - Sunday, March 17, 2019 

Kennebec Land Trust Stewardship Director Jean-Luc Theriault will lead an off-trail excursion on Mount Pisgah to visit special places that are typically less accessible. Meet at the Mount Pisgah Community Conservation Area parking lot in Winthrop, March 24, 1 pm.
Maine Maple Sunday, Mar 24
Event - Posted - Sunday, March 17, 2019 

Maine Maple Sunday is a long tradition where Maine’s maple producers open their doors to their sweet operations for a day of educational demonstrations, sugarbush tours, fun family activities and samplings of syrup and other great maple products. Many sugarhouses are open Saturday and Sunday, March 23 and 24, and throughout the season.
Winter Family Fun Day at Lily Bay State Park, Mar 23
Event - Posted - Saturday, March 16, 2019 

Ice fishing, snowmobile tote rides, winter camping demo, bonfire, scavenger hunt and free loan of cross-country skis, snowshoes, ice skates, snow tubes and sleds. At Lily Bay State Park, Moosehead Lake, March 23, 10 am - 3 pm.
Winter wildlife tracking workshop, Mar 23
Event - Posted - Saturday, March 16, 2019 

Naturalists and certified wildlife trackers Brendan White and Matt Dickinson lead a winter wildlife tracking workshop. At at Long Ledges Preserve, Sullivan, March 23, 9-11:30 am. Sponsored by Frenchman Bay Conservancy.
Maine Grass Farmers Network Conference, Mar 23
Event - Posted - Saturday, March 16, 2019 

Livestock producers are invited to learn about grass-based production and how grazing systems can become more profitable and environmentally sound. At Kennebec County Community College's Alfond Campus, Hinckley, March 23, 8:30 am - 3 pm.
Maine becomes a state, Mar 15
Announcement - Friday, March 15, 2019 

On this day in 1820, March 15, Massachusetts lost over 30,000 square miles of land as its former province of Maine gained statehood. Mainers had begun campaigning for statehood for years following the Revolution. The Massachusetts legislature finally consented in 1819. What no one foresaw, however, was that Maine's quest for statehood would become entangled in the most divisive issue in American history — slavery.
Maine Land Conservation Conference, Apr 5-6
Event - Posted - Friday, March 15, 2019 

Maine’s robust land conservation community comes together to train on best practices in all aspects of land trust work, connect with peers, and grapple with the most pressing issues facing land conservation today. At Topsham area, April 5-6.
Thoreau Society & Thoreau Farm Trust online auction, thru Mar 29
Announcement - Friday, March 15, 2019 

This auction contains many rare books written about Henry David Thoreau and other items for every Thoreauvian.
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News Items
Clients of former Brunswick lawyer accused of embezzlement likely to be reimbursed
Sun Journal - Monday, December 31, 2018 

Clients of a former Brunswick lawyer, ames Whittemore, who allegedly embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars of their money are likely to be reimbursed, at least in part, by a statewide lawyers fund aimed at bolstering public confidence in the legal profession, according to a lawyer at the Maine Board of Overseers of the Bar. Among other violations, Whittemore is alleged to have misappropriated $15,000 sent by a donor to the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust to be held in escrow for an easement purchase.
Maine’s New Attorney General Is Looking At More Joint Actions With Other States
Maine Public - Monday, December 31, 2018 

Bangor lawyer Aaron Frey will take over as Maine’s Attorney General this week. Frey says he will bring his own set of priorities to the office, but he will continue to look for opportunities to join with other states in lawsuits targeting federal agencies and private companies that are taking unfair advantage of Maine people. Frey says the state is already involved in suits joined by other states that are challenging federal policies, including those of the Environmental Protection Agency. He says any decisions about joining other multi-state lawsuits will be based on three broad criteria: remediation, transparency and accountability.
Augusta to consider $500 fine for non-residents violating recycling rules
Kennebec Journal - Monday, December 31, 2018 

Augusta city councilors will consider a proposal to institute a $500 fine for any non-residents putting items, whether they are recyclable or not, in recycling collection bins meant for use by residents.
NBC’s Meet the Press Devotes Entire Show to Climate Change With No Time for Deniers
Other - Monday, December 31, 2018 

EcoWatch - In an unusual move for the Sunday talk show circuit, NBC's Meet the Press with Chuck Todd devoted its entire program Sunday to discussing climate change. Florida Republican Representative Carlos Curbelo said, "We need to stop covering the debate and start covering the story, so that people see that this is real, and so that politicians take a more-pragmatic approach and find solutions that are actually achievable."
Boothbay Harbor waterfront zoning proposal could spark development
Mainebiz - Monday, December 31, 2018 

oothbay Harbor residents will consider zoning changes that would protect a working waterfront portion on the east side of the harbor while opening up other parts of the waterfront to development, including the addition of hotels. Planning Board Chairman William Hamblen said the town needs both to encourage investment along the waterfront while still providing protection of areas related to the commercial fishing industry.
Cold storage facility may have new life with Port Authority proposal
Mainebiz - Monday, December 31, 2018 

Maine Port Authority hopes to leverage $8 million in state funding and use federal tax incentives to spur another $8 million in private investment to erect a cold-storage warehouse that would enhance Portland's competitiveness as an international and domestic port.
EXCLUSIVE: Chief of Maine AG's Natural Resources Division tapped to lead DEP
Maine Environmental News - Monday, December 31, 2018 

According to sources close to the transition team helping select appointments for incoming Maine Governor Janet Mills, Gerald Reid is being tapped to head the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. A 1991 graduate of Wesleyan University, Jerry Reid received his J.D. cum laude from the University of Maine School of Law in 1994. He joined the Office of the Attorney General in 1994 and was named Chief of the Office’s Natural Resources Division in 1997.
Chris Silsbee takes over Bradbury Mountain State Park
Sun Journal - Sunday, December 30, 2018 

At his last post, in the Allagash Wilderness Waterway, Caribou native Chris Silsbee had a four-hour commute to work, left his family for nine days at a time to live in the woods and might see more deer than people on any given day. Two years ago, deciding his family was ready for a change, they moved the farthest south they’ve ever lived, to Bradbury Mountain State Park. On Jan. 1, he’ll lead his second First Day Hike as the park manager.
Winter recreation off to a mixed start
Other - Sunday, December 30, 2018 

While the ski slopes and cross country trails are in relatively good shape going into the new year, Mother Nature has been asking snowmobilers to be patient this winter. The rain and thaw around the winter solstice followed by frigid temperatures left Aroostook County’s snowmobile trails in difficult shape. “Most places need more than five inches of snow, and we don’t need any rain,” said Steve Dobson, owner owner of the Aroostook Hospitality Inns in Washburn and in Van Buren. “I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s had a bunch of cancellations.”
Gov. LePage reflects on his successes, regrets, as he prepares to leave office
Morning Sentinel - Sunday, December 30, 2018 

Gov. Paul LePage will leave office Jan. 1 after eight years, but he is not going quietly. He wishes he could have done more on some fronts during his eight years in office, including lowering energy costs in Maine. “We put legislation after legislation after legislation upstairs to try to lower the energy cost, and the Democratic party stopped me every single way." Natural gas and heat pumps are the way to go, he contends. He is not a fan of windmills for Maine and says they disrupt the scenic beauty and the environment. He thinks entities such as land trusts, which own millions of dollars’ worth of property but don’t pay taxes, should pay a fee in lieu of taxes or pay part of the value of the property.
What Maine farmers can expect in 2019
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, December 30, 2018 

For farmers, there’s been an important change here in the Pine Tree State in recent years: Maine’s growing season is, well, growing. According to the University of Maine Climate and Agriculture Network, the average length is 12 to 14 days longer than it was in 1930 and is expected to continue to increase by 2 to 3 days per decade. Meanwhile, farmers in 2018 experienced hot, dry conditions that meant they had to triage watering to keep their plants growing. Until recently, irrigation systems weren’t really necessary. But with northern Maine farmers having to cancel strawberry orders they couldn’t fill and dry conditions also affecting crops like potatoes and apples, that seems to be changing. So what can farmers expect from the 2019 growing season?
Here’s how to reduce your use
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Sunday, December 30, 2018 

We can all improve our environment by reducing our use. And thankfully, the Natural Resources Council of Maine has created a brochure called Reduce Your Use, to help us do just that. The Reduce Your Use brochure contains lots of good advice from being a smarter shopper to breaking wasteful habits. And they also have good suggestions for ways to avoid using disposable plastic and polystyrene.
Maine sea duck hunt draws hunters from far and wide
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, December 30, 2018 

Sea duck hunts are coveted by hunters from across the country who come to Maine in winter to hunt from rock ledges or low-lying boats in pursuit of birds that summer in the Arctic. Sea ducks can be hunted in other states along the Atlantic flyway and are harvested in greater numbers elsewhere. However, Andreotti, the owner of Thornehead Guide Service, said about 85 percent of his clients are first-time sea duck hunters who come for this bucket-list hunt that is more rugged in Maine, where the climate is colder.
Column: The differences between mallards and eiders
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, December 30, 2018 

Mallard numbers had been rising for decades while eiders were on a slow decline. ~ Bob Humphrey
Column: Can blueberry wines with bubbles give Maine farmers a meaningful outlet for sales?
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, December 30, 2018 

Since 2012, Michael Terrien, a California-based vintner with an international reputation, and Eric Martin, a writer based in North Carolina—friends who met at Waynflete School in Portland decades ago—have been making very small batches of a sparkling wine made with fresh wild blueberries from Maine. They hit the market with Bluet in 2015, with a wine made in a method that mimics Champagne. Each year since, they’d sold out. This year they added a second Bluet to the lineup. ~ Mary Pols
Column: Can we survive this year of unprecedented change?
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, December 30, 2018 

Why is there so little outcry as we watch the fuse to our planet burn? The human brain is poorly equipped to respond to complex, gradual threats, admittedly, but we’re now confronting irrefutable evidence. Fortunately, political will is starting to build for a Green New Deal, which Rep. Chellie Pingree endorsed last month (along with roughly 40 other members of Congress) as “an important blueprint for us to fight this crisis on all fronts.” ~ Marina Schauffler
Column: Climate change dominated this year’s Maine Gardener
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, December 30, 2018 

It’s beginning to feel like I am as much an environmental writer as a gardening columnist. Almost half of my columns in the past year involved climate change to some extent or actions people could take to make the world a better place. Todd May, a professor of philosophy at Clemson University, says, “It may well be, then, that the extinction of humanity would make the world better off and yet would be a tragedy.” On that bright note: Happy New Year. ~ Tom Atwell
Opinion: Don’t let Greater Portland Metro off the hook when it comes to improving public transit
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, December 30, 2018 

Metro cannot provide door-to-door service to the sprawling industrial parts of Portland, but there is still a lot of room for improvement. The majority of people who use Metro are those who do not own vehicles and depend on it for transit. Increasing the frequency of the buses would encourage more ridership and allow for car-free commuting in the Portland area. ~ Maya Lena, Portland
Opinion: Maine and the Delicate Sustainabile Developmental Situation
Other - Sunday, December 30, 2018 

Realty Biz (TN) - Central Maine Power is about to destroy a legacy that cannot be replaced. Maine, which is almost 90% forested, is not just a woodsy vacation wonderland, it’s a safe haven for hundreds of animal species and inestimable worth for a world in the battle to balance carbon and climate change. A $950 million dollar power corridor project connecting Canada hydropower to Massechussets in the works will forever destroy millions of acres of Maine forests. The CMP project is a pure for-profit venture that will fill CMP coffers to the tune of $60 million a year. The project highlights brilliantly the way today’s leadership focuses on short-term profit, to leave a real value wasted. Maine’s new administration must consider the long-term and the famous forests that represent the soul of the people there. ~ Phil Butler
Letter: Carbon tax has too many side effects
Kennebec Journal - Sunday, December 30, 2018 

Supports of a carbon tax and dividend program say it will be a great thing and save us from climate change. Those speaking for a carbon tax do not consider all the side effects. What is the guy that is barely getting by supposed to do when the price of gas doubles and he can no longer afford to drive to work? What about people on fixed income that heat their homes with carbon fuels? When the price of those fuels doubles, are they going have to start burning their furniture? Taxing carbon emissions will increase the cost of everything. Cleaning up our environment is a good idea, but a carbon tax is not. ~ M. Gerald Small, West Gardiner
Letter: Electric cars carry their own climate change costs
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, December 30, 2018 

All the lefties want us to buy politically correct electric cars, so we can stop the sky from falling in. Let’s look at a simple fact: Unless your electric ride is being charged by a solar panel in your backyard, it’s being fueled by the coal, propane or natural gas used by electric companies to produce your “fuel.” Add to that, all your car batteries will end up as pollution in a landfill in a few years. I find it hard to believe, but not surprising that some of you are arrogant enough that you actually think that the public should pay to set up free fueling places for you. As for me, I think I’ll stick with my Mustang muscle car and hope a piece of the sky doesn’t fall on me. ~ John Call, Standish
Letter: Fish farm’s carbon footprint should not be ignored
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, December 30, 2018 

Your Dec. 16 editorial suggests that corporate aquaculture will “contribute to a lower carbon profile than other methods” in order to feed a hungry world, and it contains a link to the U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit on Aquaculture that applies only to “water environments, including ponds, rivers, lakes and the ocean.” However, the Nordic Aquafarms salmon farm proposed for Belfast would be land-based. A peer-reviewed scientific paper published in 2016, titled “Comparative economic performance and carbon footprint of two farming models for producing Atlantic salmon,” states that salmon produced on land has twice the carbon footprint of salmon produced in sea pens. ~ George Aguiar, Lincolnville
Letter: Aquaculture, environment can and will coexist
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, December 30, 2018 

The Dec. 16 editorial, “Our View: Aquaculture wrong target for protests,” made a compelling case for new aquaculture projects. Too often arguments around aquaculture are framed by a false dichotomy, whereby we are asked to choose between maintaining our pristine environment and economic development in industries beyond tourism. But new technological developments allow modern aquaculture, including land-based recirculating systems, to be both environmentally sustainable and economically viable. ~ James D. Herbert, University of New England, Biddeford
Column: Tom Hennessey made art of the outdoors
Sun Journal - Saturday, December 29, 2018 

Tom Hennessey — a gifted sporting artist, meticulous writer and friend to sportsmen — epitomized the self-made man. Always an avid outdoorsman with a creative bent who lived to fish and hunt, the Brewer native parlayed his artistic passion and skill into a successful career as a nationally known sporting artist and author. ~ V. Paul Reynolds
Opinion: Trump threatens to kill incentives for electric cars. They should be extended
Kennebec Journal - Saturday, December 29, 2018 

As the Trump administration does all it can to ignore the real danger of climate change, it is threatening to exacerbate the problem by eliminating a tax credit designed to bolster electric-car sales. Incoming Democrats should take the lead in keeping the subsidies in place for this still-struggling market. And if President Donald Trump really wants to defend American workers, he should recognize the job-growth potential in sustainable technologies instead of trying to kill them. ~ Editorial by St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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