December 11, 2018  
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News Items
The unique nature of Maine's North Woods
Maine Audubon - Monday, December 10, 2018 

Look down at Maine from the sky, and you see a massive dark spot, one of the few remaining on the night sky map. This makes it the heart and soul of the Northern Appalachian/Acadian Forest—the largest intact temperate forest in North America, and perhaps the world. It is myriad puzzle of ecosystems across a climate gradient as divers as all of Europe, a gem akin to some of the most important remaining intact tropical forests of the southern hemisphere.
Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust Launches Online Wellness Resource
Other - Monday, December 10, 2018 

Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust recently launched an online wellness resource, designed as a “one stop shop” for individuals to find outdoor, indoor, and/or kid-friendly opportunities for physical wellness in the greater-Brunswick community.
Science Under Siege at the Department of the Interior
Other - Monday, December 10, 2018 

Union of Concerned Scientists - During the first two years of the Trump administration, Secretary Ryan Zinke and his political team have unleashed constant—and ongoing—attacks on science, from sidelining the work of the agency's own scientists to systematically refusing to acknowledge or act on climate change. These actions have far-reaching and serious implications for our health, the environment, and the future of our public lands. Science under Siege at the Department of the Interior reviews nearly two years of actions by the DOI under Secretary Zinke and identifies the most damaging and egregious examples of anti-science policies and practices.
No resting on its laurels as Green Thumb Farms seeks new markets for its potatoes
Mainebiz - Monday, December 10, 2018 

Mike Hart, director of sales and marketing at Green Thumb Farms in Fryeburg, has helped develop innovative products for both wholesale and retail markets. The Cold River Gold potato is featured at several Maine restaurants, including Portland's Duckfat, which uses them in its fries. Hart worked at Birds Eye Fresh for 13 years. Before that was a produce buyer and then a meat buyer at Shaw's Supermarkets. Mainebiz caught up with him recently.
Land for Maine’s Future needs money
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Monday, December 10, 2018 

Governor Paul LePage hated public land and did everything he could to stop us from acquiring more of it, including refusing to support a bond issue for the Land for Maine’s Future, throughout his 8 years as governor. A reliable, well-funded LMF program remains essential to permanently protecting working waterfronts, farmland, water access and hunting sites, working forests, habitat, and conservation land in your community. There’s talk of a $75 to $100 million bond for LMF, but I expect it will not be that much. At the Land Conservation Task Force’s public listening sessions last month, people affirmed their strong support for the LMF program. Tell the Task Force about your priorities for land conservation in Maine.
Maine land grant program looks to preserve fishing access
Associated Press - Monday, December 10, 2018 

The Land for Maine’s Future Board is looking for the proposals for its Working Waterfront Access Protection Program projects. The board says it’ll make as much as $2 million in bond funds available for awards. The waterfront access program is designed to provide money to secure commercial fishing access in Maine, where fisheries are a key employer and driver of the economy. The grants require future development of properties retain their use for commercial fishing and related activities. Land For Maine’s Future has been used by the state for more than 30 years to fund conservation projects. Letters of intent are requested by Jan. 4.
Deer stranded on thin ice rescued by Maine game wardens
Bangor Daily News - Monday, December 10, 2018 

CBS 13 - Neighbors along Highland Lake in North Windham say a deer was spotted on thin ice Sunday morning and was stranded for several hours. The Maine Warden Service responded Sunday evening with a fan boat and were able to rescue the stranded doe. Witnesses said once wardens got the deer off the ice it quickly ran off into the woods.
2018 had the highest carbon emissions on record so Trump wants to build more coal plants
Sierra Club - Monday, December 10, 2018 

A second report just showed 2018 as having the highest carbon emissions on record. Donald Trump's response? Build more coal plants! That's right—despite even his own administration's report that climate change is causing catastrophic damage to the U.S, Trump's rolling back regulations to make it easier to build new coal-fired power plants. And this holiday gift to Big Coal comes right on the heels of Trump's approval of seismic gas and oil exploration in the Atlantic and his attempt to fast-track offshore drilling in the Arctic just north of Alaska.
DIFW Should Unlock The Door
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Monday, December 10, 2018 

In the good old days, anyone could walk into DIF&W and meet with staff. Today you must check in downstairs, wear a numbered badge around your neck, and the door upstairs is locked, so you only get in when someone notices you standing outside the door. DIF&W staff has no reason to fear us – unless they just don’t want to hear our opinions. It’s time to unlock that door!
Sledding The County: Opening Date
WAGM-TV - Monday, December 10, 2018 

Mike McNulty is embracing his role as the new Northern Region Vice President for the Maine Snowmobile Association. With the early snow, many riders have been itching to get out on the trails. He said, "There is really no law or statute on the books saying when, quote on quote, when the trails actually open. They just use the December 15th date as kind of like an agreement between landowners and state and stuff for years now. Things are very soft. If you took a 12,000 pound groomer out into the woods right now, you'd sink it right up to the axles." Preventing damage to landowner property is a primary focus of John Bott, spokesman for the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, who says Maine has one of the greatest networks of trails in the country.
Cape Elizabeth native returns to Maine to open largest Luke’s Lobster
Portland Press Herald - Monday, December 10, 2018 

The Maine-themed restaurant group Luke’s Lobster is building a new location at the end of Portland Pier that is destined to become one of the Portland waterfront’s most prominent eateries. The restaurant at 60 Portland Pier will be the seafood chain’s largest by far, with 175 indoor seats and a patio that seats 25, according to company founder Luke Holden, a native of Cape Elizabeth. Set to open at the beginning of summer 2019, the Portland Pier location will be Luke’s second in Maine. It also will be one of the largest restaurants on the Portland waterfront.
Letter: Political climate right for cutting emissions
Portland Press Herald - Monday, December 10, 2018 

A full survey of congressional Republicans by the nonpartisan Citizens’ Climate Lobby reveals a sea change among Republican members: Nine times as many members are willing to address climate change as there were four years ago. Also, six U.S. representatives (three Republicans and three Democrats) recently co-sponsored the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (HR 7173), a revenue-neutral bill that would put a price on emissions. It’s a market solution that economists conservatively project would flip pollution incentives, create 2.1 million jobs and exceed our Paris protocol goals. ~ Peter Dugas, Citizens’ Climate Lobby volunteer, Portland
Letter: Loon count clarity
Bangor Daily News - Monday, December 10, 2018 

I am writing in response to the Dec. 5 letter from Karen Holmes about the 2018 annual Loon Count. Count data from the Down East region is indeed included in our estimate of Maine’s loon population. Maine Audubon’s annual estimate of the loon population is based on a statistical analysis and extrapolation of data collected by volunteers during the count. In addition to our annual estimate, we also record all data submitted from every lake in a master database that shows the number of adults and chicks counted each year since 1984. The full count data are available for review by anyone on the Lakes of Maine website. ~ Sally Stockwell, Director of Conservation, Maine Audubon
Former U.S. Science Envoy: The Tone Of Climate Talks Is Now 'Quite Grim'
National Public Radio - Sunday, December 9, 2018 

NPR's Michel Martin talks with Daniel Kammen, former science envoy to the State Department, about the U.N. climate talks being held in Poland.
State To Review Application For Wind Farm
Associated Press - Sunday, December 9, 2018 

Maine is reviewing an application to build a new wind farm in a proposal that critics warned could kill birds and bats. The review process could take at least six months. DEP official Mark Bergeron said the department determined Longroad Energy's application is complete. Longroad Energy is proposing to build a 22-turbine wind farm in the small communities of Eastbrook and Osborn. The Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife opposed the original proposal over concerns of harm to birds and bats.
A look back at the industry that left big holes in the ground and gave Rockland its name
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, December 9, 2018 

For more than a century, lime kilns lined Rockland’s harbor, burning limestone mined from a maze of quarries located on the other side of the city. The limestone was shipped down the Eastern Seaboard, where it would be used for mortar and plaster, helping build cities like New York and Boston. But in 1958, the last of Rockland’s kilns went dark. “Limestone is really what made Rockland,” Rockland Historical Society member Gil Merriam said. “A lot of people don’t know a thing about it.”
Why some Maine coastal communities are up in arms about aquaculture
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, December 9, 2018 

From oyster farms to cultivated seaweed and farm-raised salmon, aquaculture is often described as essential to the economic future of Maine’s fisheries in the face of a changing ecosystem. Warming waters from climate change are pushing lobster farther Down East and have shut down the shrimp fishery, and threats such as ocean acidification and invasive green crabs are harming Maine’s natural fisheries. But opposition to several proposed projects suggests the hardest part of getting into aquaculture might be getting past the neighbors.
New England falconry centers teach old practice based on a rare bond
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, December 9, 2018 

Falconry, a form of hunting that dates back more than 5,000 years, is practiced today by only about 6,000 hunters in the United States, according to the North American Falconers Association. Since the nation’s first falconry school opened in 1996 in Manchester, Vermont, three more have opened in New England. Scott McNeff of Kennebunk, a falconer of 25 years, said 26 of the 33 licensed falconers in Maine all hunt frequently with wild birds.
As Wreaths Across America has grown, so has scrutiny about its practices
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, December 9, 2018 

A Maine nonprofit that places wreaths on veterans’ graves has seen explosive growth in donations over the past decade, its revenues growing from $227,000 in 2011 to $14.6 million last year. As Wreaths Across America has grown, the company from which it buys all of its wreaths has reaped similar rewards. But the nonprofit and the company, Worcester Wreath Co., are run by the same family, and that arrangement is drawing more criticism as the two entities have become more successful.
Trevanna Frost Grenfell is teaching ancient skills in ‘an interesting time to live’
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, December 9, 2018 

When we saw that the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) was hosting a hide tanning workshop this week, we wanted to know more about the people with the expertise to teach such a class. We called up Trevanna Frost Grenfell, one of the two teachers running the workshop, and learned about her path to teaching truly ancient wilderness skills, the work she does with The Wildwood Path and how a background in conflict resolution led her back to the woods of Maine. Another question we wanted her to answer was, who goes to hide tanning classes?
Back County Ranger Alana-Marie Pulkkinen of Turner
Sun Journal - Sunday, December 9, 2018 

Turner native Alana-Marie Pulkkinen has always loved the outdoors. As she put it, “My favorite activities as a child consisted of hunting, fishing, camping and four wheeling – pretty much anything that had to do with the outdoors. It was my playground.” So it’s no surprise that her outdoor passion would find her working in one of the most beautiful and popular national parks in the nation on foot and horse patrol as a back country ranger. The Leavitt Area High School graduate has been moving toward a career in the outdoors since leaving the area to attend Washington County Community College in Calais, with its special Adventure Recreation program. Let her tell you.
Column: Unusual hawk, familiar nuthatches spell a fine time for birders
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, December 9, 2018 

The big birding news in Maine has been the reappearance of the great black hawk in Portland’s Deering Oaks Park. Since arriving on Nov. 29, hundreds of birders have come to see this rarity. This hawk, native to Central and South America, is the first of its species on record in the United States. Meanwhile, the northern finch irruptions continue. ~ Herb Wilson
Column: Getting ‘unlost’ is a skill every hunter needs
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, December 9, 2018 

Hunters joke about getting lost any time someone is a little late getting back to the road, camp or home, but it can be a very serious matter when someone gets legitimately lost. In addition to the immediate and direct threat to the hunter’s own personal safety, there’s the recovery effort. Depending on circumstances, it could require considerable time, money and resources, taking wardens away from the job they should be doing and putting rescuers at risk as well. Being properly prepared can go a long way toward keeping you from getting lost, helping you get found, and ensuring your comfort and safety should you have to spend an unexpected few hours, a night or several days in the woods. ~ Bob Humphrey
Column: Carpets could be causing trouble underfoot
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, December 9, 2018 

We know that synthetic clothing, like nylon and polyester fleece, sheds microfibers in the wash, where a single load can release tens of thousands of miniscule plastic threads that pass through water treatment systems and enter waterways. Scientists are finding these pernicious microfibers throughout the ocean’s food chain, raising contamination concerns for marine organisms and for ourselves. We know that new carpet, most of it made from nylon or polyester, is a Vesuvius of volatile organic compounds. One lingering mystery is why there’s no focused study of a public health threat that could turn out to be as widespread, severe and costly as asbestos has proven to be. ~ Marina Schauffler
Column: Cut down on plastic by covering food in cloth? Now, that’s a wrap
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, December 9, 2018 

Take a T-shirt and bake it in beeswax for a storage sheet you can reuse. ~ Christine Burns Rudalevige
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