August 24, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Friday, August 23, 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
Rangeley Outdoor Film Festival, Aug 30
Event - Posted - Friday, August 23, 2019 

The Rangeley Trail Town Festival features a variety of short films about the outdoors. At RFA Lakeside Theater, Rangeley, August 30, 7 pm, $6 for adults, $3 for Appalachian Trail hikers and children under 12.
LightHawk Paper Plane Contest
Announcement - Thursday, August 22, 2019 

Enter your best paper airplane design for a chance to have it mailed to thousands in LightHawk's 2019 Holiday Letter. Deadline: October 18, 2019.
BTLT Seeks Community Input on Future Conservation
Announcement - Tuesday, August 20, 2019 

The Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust is seeking community input on its current and future conservation work in Brunswick, Topsham, and Bowdoin. A community survey is available online until September 2.
Butler to speak on conservation, Aug 27
Event - Posted - Tuesday, August 20, 2019 

Conservationist Gil Butler will discuss his efforts to establish outdoor education programs and conservation projects in Maine and throughout North and South America. At College of the Atlantic, Bar Harbor, August 27, 9 am, free, parking on campus is by permit only.
Solo Paddle of Northern Forest Canoe Trail, Aug 27
Event - Posted - Tuesday, August 20, 2019 

Laurie Apgar Chandler will read from and discuss her book “Upwards,” which tells her story as the first woman to solo paddle New England’s 740-mile Northern Forest Canoe Trail. At Bailey Library, Winthrop, August 27, 6:30 pm.
Keeping Acadia Healthy With New Science, Aug 26
Event - Posted - Monday, August 19, 2019 

Abraham Miller-Rushing and Rebecca Cole-Will will discuss how Acadia National Park is facing a triple environmental challenge: global warming, acid rain, and increased visitation. At Bar Harbor, August 26, 5 pm.
Maine’s Seaweed Scene, Sep 26
Event - Posted - Monday, August 19, 2019 

Susan Hand Shetterly and Robin Hadlock Seeley will discuss the importance of protected wild habitats and the critical role of seaweed in the Gulf of Maine. At Moore Community Center, Ellsworth, September 26, 7 pm. Hosted by Downeast Audubon.
Bee apocalypse
Action Alert - Sunday, August 18, 2019 

U.S. agriculture today is 48 times more toxic to honeybees than it was 25 years ago—almost entirely because of neonicotinoid pesticides. It's part of an "insect apocalypse." But instead of taking action, the Trump administration is shredding protections for bees. Will you stand with me in the fight to save the bees? ~ Mayor Ethan Strimling, Portland, Maine
Maine Farmland Trust Gallery 20th Anniversary Retrospective Exhibit, thru Oct 11
Announcement - Sunday, August 18, 2019 

To celebrate Maine Farmland Trust’s 20th anniversary, a curated retrospective featuring a selection of works that have been exhibited at the MFT Gallery over the past 10 years is on view through October 11.
National Parks Free Entrance, Aug 25
Event - Posted - Sunday, August 18, 2019 

All National Park Service sites that charge an entrance fee will offer free admission to everyone to celebrate the National Park Service's 103rd birthday on August 25.
Brechlin reading, Aug 25
Event - Posted - Sunday, August 18, 2019 

Earl Brechlin, a Registered Maine Guide, will read from his book, "Return to Moose River: In Search of the Spirit of the Great North Woods," essays describing white-water canoeing, snowmobiling, and backpacking adventures in many parts of Maine. At Albert Church Brown Memorial Library, China, August 25, 2 pm.
Kennebec Land Trust annual meeting, Aug 25
Event - Posted - Sunday, August 18, 2019 

At Camp Androscoggin, Wayne, August 25. The trust has conserved more than 6,300 acres and constructed 44 miles of trails on KLT protected lands.
Maine Herpetological Society Reptile Expo, Aug 25
Event - Posted - Saturday, August 17, 2019 

50+ vendors, 1,000+ reptiles, plus Mr. Drew and His Animals Too. At Ramada Inn, Lewiston, August 25, 10 am - 4 pm, $7, kids under 12 free.
Families in the Outdoors, Aug 24
Event - Posted - Saturday, August 17, 2019 

Learn about all kinds of Maine bugs – the good, the bad and the very strange looking. At Law Farm, Dover-Foxcroft, August 24, 9 am - noon.
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News Items
Column: Leaping ganoids on the Kennebec
Times Record - Friday, August 31, 2018 

When the Edwards Dam in Augusta was removed in 1999, the Kennebec became a free flowing river from Winslow to head of tide in Augusta. Now a fast flowing section of river, it is largely undeveloped with an abundance of wildlife. Recently, a retired friend and I decided to revisit the paddle we had completed shortly after the dam was removed. Sturgeon encounters were the undisputed highlight of the trip. ~ Ron Chase
Discover Hope Woods in heart of Kennebunk
Other - Friday, August 31, 2018 

In the heart of Kennebunk, there is a hidden, and threatened, treasure nestled behind Kennebunk Free Library and the Unitarian Church. Hope Woods, 72 acres of undeveloped forest and open meadows containing a network of trails and an abundance of wildlife, provides a natural oasis of open space adjacent to Kennebunk’s downtown area. It is a recreational area with about 2 miles of meandering trails through a conglomerate of giant cedars, copper beech trees, a large hemlock grove and many towering pines.
Record traffic expected in Maine for holiday weekend
Associated Press - Friday, August 31, 2018 

Transportation officials are expecting a record number of cars and trucks to travel in the state this holiday weekend. Turnpike officials are expecting close to 1.2 million transactions.
Dozens ‘horrified’ witnessing humpback whale thrashing to escape fishing net in Gulf of Maine
Bangor Daily News - Friday, August 31, 2018 

Portsmouth Herald - A group of 85 whale watchers witnessed humpback whale “Owl” thrash for 50 minutes while caught in a fishing net Thursday afternoon off the Isles of Shoals. Humpback whales are a protected species listed as endangered. The crew on the whale watch boat had a combined 65-plus years of whale-watching experience, including three Coast Guard licensed captains on board, and they had “never seen such a blatant whale harassment case.” The incident was reported and is under investigation by NOAA Law Enforcement. The fishing boat eventually dropped part of its net “and the humpback whale eventually fled at a rapid rate of speed.”
About a thousand dead fish wash up onto Old Orchard Beach
Portland Press Herald - Friday, August 31, 2018 

About a thousand dead fish washed up onto a section of Old Orchard Beach on Friday afternoon, even as the popular resort town began a busy holiday weekend, authorities said. The Maine Department of Marine Resources says the fish are likely menhaden, also called pogies. The cause of the die-off is not yet known, but the department said the fish were either killed in a feeding frenzy by another fish, or killed by a commercial fishing operation that couldn’t get all of them into a boat.
NOAA declares Maine seal die-off as ‘unusual mortality event’
Associated Press - Friday, August 31, 2018 

The federal government is declaring the deaths of hundreds of seals off the New England coast this summer to be an “unusual mortality event.” The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has said tests indicate dead seals found in New England tested positive for avian flu and phocine distemper. More than 240 seals have been found dead off the Maine coast in July and August, while more than 80 have been reported off New Hampshire and Massachusetts in those months. The agency says that declaring a marine mammal die-off as an “unusual mortality event” means the deaths will be prioritized for investigation and response.
Maine farmers are memorializing beloved animals by turning them into compost
Bangor Daily News - Friday, August 31, 2018 

There are few things as heart wrenching as saying that final goodbye to a beloved pet. And when that animal tips the scales at more than 1,000-pounds, few things are as logistically complicated. That’s we’re Michelle Melaragno comes in. Owner of Compassionate Composting in Auburn, Melaragno is fully equipped to remove a recently deceased large animal. She then transforms it into something the owners can choose to reclaim.
Crews extinguish dust-fueled fire at Athens wood pellet factory
Morning Sentinel - Friday, August 31, 2018 

A small fire broke out at a wood pellet factory in Athens early Friday morning when dust ignited, but flames were extinguished before causing any major damage. Multiple fire departments were called about 2:30 a.m. to the Maine Wood Pellet factory in Athens in response to a report of a structure fire. Robert Linkletter, one of the owners of the factory, said late Friday morning that damage was minimal and he hoped the factory would be up and running again by the afternoon following cleanup.
Aggressive invasive plant found on boat in Maine
Bangor Daily News - Friday, August 31, 2018 

CBS 13 - A boat inspector found an invasive plant on a boat that was about to be launched into Long Lake in Bridgton. Addie Casali, with the Lakes Environmental Association, inspected the boat from Lake Champlain in Vermont last Saturday, as it was about to be put in at the Harrison launch. She found Eurasian milfoil, a highly aggressive and invasive plant, trapped around the boat’s propeller. Boaters should always inspect their own boats to make sure they have no plants on their boat, motor or trailer.
More Than A Dozen Windjammers Sailing Into Camden
Associated Press - Friday, August 31, 2018 

More than a dozen windjammers are headed to Camden Harbor. The 25th annual Camden Windjammer Festival kicks off Friday with the arrival of more than a dozen windjammers and an evening capped by fireworks on the waterfront. Organizers say the event celebrates Camden's maritime heritage, including clipper ships and coastal schooners built in the harbor. It's billed as the largest gathering of windjammers in the Northeast.
The inside scoop on how to dig for clams in Maine
Bangor Daily News - Friday, August 31, 2018 

At low tide, the waves retreat, revealing the clam flats scattered along the Maine coast. And like clockwork, the diggers emerge. With a pail in one hand and a rake in the other, they roam the sand, searching for tiny clam-made holes in the ground that show them where to dig. In Maine, clam digging has long been a piece of coastal culture, and in many towns, visitors are welcome to give it a try. All you need is a little insider knowledge and in most places a low-cost license.
Maine largely escapes China tariff brunt, but US ports fear effects on ship traffic and jobs
Associated Press - Friday, August 31, 2018 

Ports and ground terminals in nearly every state handle goods that are now or will likely soon be covered by import tariffs. Port executives worry that this could mean a slowdown in shipping that would have ripple effects on truckers and others whose jobs depend on trade. So far, Maine’s ports on land, sea and air have largely escaped the brunt of the tariffs that already are in effect, as well as estimates for the damage of threatened tariffs. Based on 2017 export data, the tariffs stand to affect up to $14.8 million in paper exports, or 8.4 percent of the total exports of paper and paperboard from the Portland district to China.
Column: Bird migration a combination of order and chaos
Bangor Daily News - Friday, August 31, 2018 

Birds migrate. This fact is universally understood, yet universally underappreciated. The science actually gets pretty complicated. Migration is neither a smoothly running event, nor a thoughtless occurrence. It’s a fascinating combination of order and chaos. The birds can read the signs in nature, and with a little practice, so can you. ~ Bob Duchesne
State issues emergency bear-trapping rule to protect Canada lynx
Bangor Daily News - Friday, August 31, 2018 

On Wednesday, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife issued an emergency rule that further delineated legal practices by the state’s bear hunters. The impetus for that decision: Wildlife officials had become aware of a device they are concerned could harm federally protected Canada lynx. Trapping in parts of Maine where lynx live is governed under that federal Incidental Take Permit, which was finalized in 2014 after years of study and work. The permit allows the state’s trapping program to continue so long as special care is taken to protect lynx, which are listed as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act.
At Two Lights State Park, minke whales put on an unexpected show
Portland Press Herald - Friday, August 31, 2018 

At least one minke whale has made the waters near Two Lights State Park’s rocky shoreline a favored feeding ground this summer, and has often been spotted cruising a short distance from the shore in the midafternoons. While a solitary whale is often seen swimming along the surface, some lucky visitors have seen as many as three whales at a time.
Letter: Climate change does occur slowly – until human actions overpower nature
Portland Press Herald - Friday, August 31, 2018 

David W. Knudsen’s letter on climate change (Aug. 28), inasmuch as it flies in the face of both science and common sense. He states that it is happening so slowly that it “is likely that the great majority of people in the world will not perceive the effects of climate change during their lifetimes.” An interesting twist on climate change denial that would make the president proud. Sadly, since the onset of the Industrial Revolution, we have burned so much fossil fuel that the impact of the ensuing greenhouse gases has overpowered the slow, naturally occurring processes of climate change. It is at our peril that we fail to acknowledge our responsibility for global warming, and the rapid pace at which human-induced climate change is occurring on this planet. ~ Joe Hardy, Wells
A trust in land and sea: Ben Emory’s commitment to the Maine coast
Working Waterfront - Thursday, August 30, 2018 

Ben Emory joined the staff of the fledgling Maine Coast Heritage Trust in 1971. There he would become a master of negotiating conservation easements, a relatively new concept that would prove to be a major focus of land trust work in Maine and across the U.S. A good part of the book consists of a history of the conservation movement in Maine over the past 50 or so years, and Emory is the perfect narrator. He has been a part of a lot of that history. Emory also underscores the challenges facing conservation in Maine, from negative PR to “massive failures of political leadership.”
To Predict Effects of Global Warming, Scientists Looked Back 20,000 Years
National Public Radio - Thursday, August 30, 2018 

A warming world could eventually make some of our most familiar ecosystems — deciduous forests, grasslands, Arctic tundra — unrecognizable. That's the conclusion of a team of over 40 scientists who took a novel approach to predicting the effects of how human-caused global warming will alter ecosystems. They looked about 20,000 years back in time.
Residents voice support, worry about proposed Norridgewock landfill expansion
Morning Sentinel - Thursday, August 30, 2018 

Thursday’s meeting, hosted by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, served to gather feedback from residents on the public benefit of a proposed landfill expansion at Waste Management’s Crossroads Facility in Norridgewock. The expansion, which would add about 15 years of capacity to the landfill, also would include upgrades to a public transfer station and the addition of a composting and textile recycling program. The majority of attendees voiced support for Waste Management, though they did not expressly state support for the landfill expansion. A handful of people raised concerns and questioned the plan to add another 51 acres to the landfill at the facility.
Editorial: Our national monuments deserve better
Washington Post - Thursday, August 30, 2018 

Large cuts to national monuments appear never to have been in doubt. Indeed, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has recommended substantial reductions to national monuments across the country, reductions that President Trump claims he can make unilaterally under the American Antiquities Act of 1906. Environmental groups challenge that claim, but they will have a hard time winning their case, because the act gives the president wide discretion. These unique, irreplaceable sites deserve better than the Trump administration’s determined campaign to abolish environmental protections.
Campground allows access to Annabessacook Lake after milfoil prompts closure of Monmouth boat ramp
Kennebec Journal - Thursday, August 30, 2018 

People who want to put boats into Annabessacook Lake will need to use the ramp at the Augusta West Kampground in Winthrop for the foreseeable future, after the rampant growth of an invasive water plant led to the closure a different ramp in the neighboring town of Monmouth. On Wednesday night, Monmouth selectmen voted to continue the closure of the boat ramp on Waugan Road, at the southwest corner of Annabessacook Lake, after first voting in early August to close the ramp temporarily.
Animals Are Trying To Adapt To The Gulf Of Maine's 'Marine Heatwave'
Maine Public - Thursday, August 30, 2018 

Water temperatures in the Gulf of Maine are on course to be some of the warmest on record, and the "marine heatwave" is being associated with disruptions in the gulf's ecosystem. Some animals in the Gulf, though, seem to be adapting to the changes.
Selectman, business leader push back against teen’s balloon ban proposal
York County Coast Star - Thursday, August 30, 2018 

Kennebunk High School senior Will Jones has been working tirelessly since he was 12 years old to educate the community about the dangers to marine life from balloons and trash in the ocean. Now, Jones is bringing forward a proposal to ban balloons in Kennebunk, appearing before the Board of Selectmen Tuesday. "I would be in total support of a ban on the mass release of balloons, but I have a real problem with banning individual items for sale,” said Bill Gallant from Mail-It, which sells balloons. Selectman Blake Baldwin agreed. He is owner of Video Creations and he offered to create a PSA video on the proper use and disposal of balloons.
Maine Denies Animal Rights Group's Lobster Memorial Request
Maine Public - Thursday, August 30, 2018 

The Maine Department of Transportation (DOT) has denied a request by an animal rights group to erect a tombstone on Route 1 in Brunswick where several thousand lobsters died in a truck crash last week. Ted Talbot, a spokesperson from DOT, says that the memorial sought by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) would create a safety issue on the controlled access highway.
Waters off New England in midst of record year for warmth
Associated Press - Thursday, August 30, 2018 

The waters off New England are already warming faster than most of the world’s oceans, and they are nearing the end of one of the hottest summers in their history. That is the takeaway from an analysis of summer sea surface temperatures in the Gulf of Maine by a marine scientist with the Gulf of Maine Research Institute in Portland. The average sea surface temperature in the gulf was nearly 5 degrees Fahrenheit above the long-term average during one 10-day stretch in August, said the scientist, Andy Pershing, who released the work Thursday.
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