May 22, 2018  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

Thanks for visiting Maine Environmental News, a service of RESTORE: The North Woods. MEN is the most comprehensive online source available for links conservation and natural resource news and events in Maine (and a bit beyond). 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
International Day for Biological Diversity, May 22
Announcement - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

The Convention on Biological Diversity is the international legal instrument for "the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources" that has been ratified by 196 nations. The United Nations has proclaimed 22 May as the International Day for Biological Diversity.
Join the fight for Maine's clean energy future
Action Alert - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

In Maine, we are seeing the damaging effects of climate change firsthand: tick borne illnesses like Lyme disease are on the rise, the warming Gulf of Maine threatens our marine economy, air pollution drives up asthma rates for kids and adults, and extreme weather impacts our outdoor recreation and farming industries. The technology to turn off dirty fossil fuels already exists. What is standing in the way of our clean energy future? Politicians who are bought and paid for by the oil and gas industry. ~ Maine Conservation Voters
Maine Calling: The Changing North Woods, May 22
Announcement - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

UMaine experts discuss the relationship between humans and forests, including environmental attitudes and behaviors; rural communities and the forest economy; and the role of ecotourism and recreation. Maine Public Radio, May 22, 1 pm.
Defining Wilderness: Defining Maine, May 29 - Jul 24
Event - Posted - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

The Maine State Library is offering a free reading and discussion group with copies of books available through the library. The series, Defining Wilderness: Defining Maine, runs for 5 sessions, May 29 - July 24, at the State Library in Augusta. Books to be discussed include "The Maine Woods" by Henry David Thoreau.
Bats, May 29
Event - Posted - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

Biologist Trevor Peterson will speak about local species of bats. At Topsham Public Library, May 29, 6 pm. Sponsored by Cathance River Education Alliance.
Sign-Up to Count Fish at Nequasset
Announcement - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

The annual alewife count at the Nequasset Fish Ladder in Woolwich is happening. Join the fun by signing up to count during any two 10 minute blocks within a two hour period.
Wilderness Under Siege, May 30
Event - Posted - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

Nationally known author and explorer George Wuerthner will discuss the challenges facing Wilderness, how people can better protect the Wildernesses in their backyards and around the country, and organizing against efforts to weaken or repeal the Wilderness Act. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, May 30, 6:30 pm.
Field Trip: Capt. Fitzgerald Preserve and Bay Bridge, May 27
Event - Posted - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

Explore two town-owned properties in Brunswick for breeding and migrant birds: Fitzgerald Preserve and Bay Bridge Wetland Park on the Androscoggin River. May 27, 6:30 – 11 am. Sponsored by Merrymeeting Audubon.
White Mountains Centennial exhibition, May 27
Event - Posted - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

The Museums of the Bethel Historical Society host a preview reception of the new displays, “White Mountain National Forest: A Centennial Exhibition” and “The White Mountains: Alps of New England.” At Robinson House, Bethel, May 27, 2-5 pm.
Farmer Talent Show & Open Mic, May 27
Event - Posted - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

The first annual Farmer Talent Show & Open Mic will benefit the Market’s Harvest Bucks program, which increases access to fruit and vegetables for low-income households. At East Madison Grange, May 27, 5-8 pm.
Walk on the Wild Side, May 26
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 19, 2018 

Turner Public Library’s summer programming begins with a nature walk. At Androscoggin Riverlands State Park, May 26, 2 pm.
Edible (and Poisonous) Plants, May 26
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 19, 2018 

Tom Seymour, author, botanist and edible plant enthusiast, will introduce you to many of the edible and medicinal plants that can be found in Maine’s woods and fields. At Head of Tide Preserve, Belfast, May 26, 10 am - noon.
Birding Extravaganza, May 26
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 19, 2018 

Ted Allen from Merrymeeting Audubon will lead birders through the Kennebec Estuary Land Trust’s Thorne Head Preserve in Bath, May 26, 8 am.
Alewife Day, May 26
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 19, 2018 

See the alewives swim upstream. Smoked fish, kid’s games, mills running, Machinery Hall open. At Maine Forest and Logging Museum, Bradley, May 26, 10 am - 1 pm, $3 per person ages 12+.
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News Items
Column: Lucas St. Clair should step out of the dark money shadows
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, May 10, 2018 

It is hard to believe the Democratic 2nd District candidate, a critic of dark money contributions, doesn't know who is behind an ad campaign touting his role in creating Maine's new national monument. ~ Bill Nemitz
Letter: Belfast ignores concerns over salmon farm
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, May 10, 2018 

Last month, the Belfast City Council, under overwhelming opposition, approved in lockstep a zoning change for a massive monoculture salmon farm placed tight against the beloved Little River Trail, paving the way to clear cut a de facto forested greenbelt. The public was told that we were ill informed. Their applicant’s information was “facts.” The public’s questions were “fears.” How about a discussion on removing dams, protecting habitat and returning wild fish stocks? We could create a Little River greenbelt and grow organic fruits and vegetables on the already cleared land. My guess is that they now have a fight on their hands. ~ James Merkel, Belfast
When It Comes to Climate Change, the Kids are Alright
Conservation Law Foundation - Wednesday, May 9, 2018 

n Maine, 33 elementary- to high-school-age kids have forced the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to consider regulating climate-damaging emissions. These kids, joined by CLF, hundreds of registered voters, and other environmental organizations, filed a petition that requires the DEP to hold a public hearing – scheduled for May 15, 2018 – on the need for and scope of such regulations.
Got Too Much Milk? Dairy Dumping Highlights Production Bottlenecks, Northeast Surplus
Maine Public - Wednesday, May 9, 2018 

In yet another sign of the chronic milk glut that’s forced down prices paid to farmers, the federal government has allowed Northeast dairy co-ops to dump milk if they can’t find a market. Nobody likes to dump milk, but sometimes it is necessary says Bob Wellington, a dairy economist and senior vice president with Agri-Mark, New England’s largest dairy co-op.
Study finds marine protected areas help coral reefs
Other - Wednesday, May 9, 2018 

Reports in recent years that marine protected areas (MPAs) aren't effective in saving coral reefs from the damaging effects of global climate change have led some to argue that such expensive interventions are futile. But a study that spanned 700 kilometers of the eastern Caribbean reveals that MPAs can, indeed, help coral reefs. Robert Steneck, a professor of marine biology at UMaine, has spent much of his 40-year career studying coral reefs. He led the team that conducted research on the leeward islands of the Caribbean and discovered that local reef protection efforts can work -- contradicting several previous studies.
Trump White House quietly cancels NASA research verifying greenhouse gas cuts
Other - Wednesday, May 9, 2018 

Science - In recent years, satellite and aircraft instruments have begun monitoring carbon dioxide and methane remotely, and NASA's Carbon Monitoring System (CMS), a $10-million-a-year research line, has helped stitch together observations of sources and sinks into high-resolution models of the planet's flows of carbon. Now, President Donald Trump's administration has quietly killed the CMS.
Editorial: It’s not jobs or clear air. We can have both.
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, May 9, 2018 

The Trump administration is working on many fronts to rollback air pollution standards and other environmental regulations. As usual, the administration argues that rigorous regulations are harmful to business and that easing such standards will lead to job creation and a more prosperous economy. What the president and other officials fail to mention is that strict air pollution standards exist to protect our health. If companies were allowed to spew pollution and dump toxins without little oversight, more Americans will suffer and die.
Maine has a new plan to manage its ‘big-game’ species. The rising bear population is a top concern.
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, May 9, 2018 

State wildlife officials have unveiled Maine’s latest long-range management plan for four crucial “big game” species, and has invited the public to view and comment on the document for the next month. The plan, which covers moose, deer, bear and turkeys, will guide biologists and wildlife managers in decisions for the next 10 years, and has been in the works for the past three years — ever since the previous 15-year planning document expired.
As tick-bite illnesses spread, Mainers warned against ignoring symptoms
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, May 9, 2018 

It’s finally full-blown spring in Maine. For many residents of the Pine Tree State, it’s time to get out into the natural world. Unfortunately, the advent of warmer weather brings its own problems. Among these is the growing geographic range of ticks, those tiny arachnids, and the dangerous human diseases they transmit. In addition to rising rates of Lyme disease, the best-known of these tick-borne diseases, Maine is seeing a smaller but growing caseload of anaplasmosis, babesiosis, ehrlichia and Powassan virus, all potentially serious and even deadly infections that should be of concern to anyone who works or plays outside.
NOAA Considering Letting Fishermen Take Endangered Skate
Associated Press - Wednesday, May 9, 2018 

Federal fishing managers are considering allowing commercial fishermen to take a species of endangered skate that is currently prohibited. Fishermen catch skates for use as food and bait. They are currently prohibited from possessing barndoor skates, or bringing them to shore. Barn door skates, which are considered endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, are found from Canada to North Carolina. Their populations declined heavily decades ago due to overfishing, but they have recovered somewhat since.
New Farm Bill Full of Merde
Sierra Club - Wednesday, May 9, 2018 

It's hard to exaggerate how brazenly anti-environmental the farm bill now wending its way through the U.S. House of Representatives truly is. It exempts pesticides from the Endangered Species and Clean Water Acts. It boosts logging, removes environmental reviews, and makes it easier to build roads in national forests. It undermines sustainable agriculture, makes it tougher for people to qualify for nutrition assistance, and tips the scales toward corporate interests and away from small farmers. The bill is likely to come up for a full House vote this month.
Michigan Company's Purchase of Six Ski Resorts including 2 in Maine Now Complete
Associated Press - Wednesday, May 9, 2018 

Michigan-based Boyne Resorts has completed its purchase of six ski resorts it was operating under long-term lease agreements. Boyne now owns Sugarloaf and Sunday River in Maine as well as resorts in half a dozen other states and British Columbia.
Sale of Rockefeller art, Maine estate raises more than $650M
Associated Press - Wednesday, May 9, 2018 

A collection of artwork put together by billionaire David Rockefeller that includes pieces from Pablo Picasso, Claude Monet and Georgia O’Keeffe brought in more than $646 million on the first night of an auction. The Mount Desert Land and Garden Preserve will receive $20 million from Rockefeller’s estate. In 2015, just before his 100th birthday, he also gave approximately 1,000 acres of contiguous land on Mount Desert Island to the land and garden preserve. Rockefeller also left $5 million to land conservation group Maine Coast Heritage Trust.
Poliquin To Propose Including Frozen And Canned Foods In Fresh Produce Program
Associated Press - Wednesday, May 9, 2018 

A Maine congressman says he plans to go forward with a proposal to include frozen and canned foods in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program despite criticism from the program's founder. The proposal by Republican U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin is part of the federal Farm Bill that's wending its way through approvals. Poliquin cites Maine blueberries as an example of a frozen food that could help the program. Retired Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin, of Iowa, who initiated the program in 2002, has criticized Poliquin's plan to alter it.
Maine Seeks New Management Plan For Public Lands In Far North
Associated Press - Wednesday, May 9, 2018 

Maine officials are looking at potential changes to the Northern Aroostook Region Public Reserved Lands Management Plan, which was adopted more than 10 years ago. The Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands is holding a meeting on the subject in Ashland on Wednesday. Changes could include developing new campsites and making an existing campsite accessible to all-terrain vehicles. The state is taking written comments on the plan until May 23.
Marine cleanup team tangles with 2 tons of ‘ghost gear’ off Cape Elizabeth
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, May 9, 2018 

A two-ton, decades-old ball of underwater marine debris measuring 15 feet in diameter was pulled from Dyer Cove off Cape Elizabeth on Tuesday, the biggest example of derelict fishing gear recovered from the Gulf of Maine in at least a decade. The Gulf of Maine Lobster Foundation has been ridding local waters of so-called “ghost gear” for a decade, culling state waters of more than 5,000 traps during that time, but it is usually done trap by trap, said Executive Director Erin Pelletier. This ball will likely top out at between 4,000 and 5,000 pounds. Ghost gear poses a threat to marine life, fishermen and boaters.
‘Great food and beer’: Maine Tourism hosting annual meeting in Lewiston
Sun Journal - Wednesday, May 9, 2018 

For Auburn Mayor Jason Levesque, it’s a “validation of our past efforts” that the Twin Cities will host the Maine Tourism Association’s annual meeting Friday. The Agora Grand Event Center in Lewiston will host the association’s 97th annual meeting on May 11 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Column: A diary of spring 2018
Kennebec Journal - Wednesday, May 9, 2018 

From 7-foot high snowbanks to dandelions, the slow dawning of spring has come after a paralyzing winter, Dana Wilde writes.
Letter: Tell DEP you want action on limiting greenhouse-gas emissions
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, May 9, 2018 

In this country, climate change has been making headlines for all of the wrong reasons. Its effects are being seen in the collapse of the Maine shrimp fishery and in historic wildfires that struck much of the western part of the country last year. The federal government is moving backward on this issue, pulling out of the Paris climate accord, opening the East Coast of the U.S. to oil drilling and fast-tracking new pipeline projects. But on May 15 in Augusta, Maine voters and young people have an opportunity to talk to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection about regulating greenhouse gases at a hearing to discuss regulations proposed by a citizen petition. Written comments on regulating greenhouse gases in Maine may also be submitted to the DEP on their website through June 29. ~ Mako Bates, Portland
Letter: Poison berries
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, May 9, 2018 

While walking in a cemetery near me, I noticed many small pebble-like white spheres on the ground. Upon closer look, I noticed these were “berries” from artificial flower arrangements in the cemetery; these “berries” are actually made out of foam. Birds and other species were picking these foam “berries” out of the artificial flower arrangements. Please do not choose these arrangements in the future. They are poisonous, and birds and other species that frequent cemeteries and other “flowering” places can’t safely digest them. ~ Jackie Freitas
Democratic congressional primary begins to heat up
Sun Journal - Tuesday, May 8, 2018 

Thanks to some mostly innocuous television advertisements from an outside group, things are heating up among the three candidates in the June 12 Democratic congressional primary for Maine’s 2nd District seat. The commercials, from a nonprofit social welfare group called the Maine Outdoor Alliance, tout the wonders of the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, and call on viewers to help protect it. But some see an ulterior motive behind the $300,000 advertising campaign.
Fiberight CEO says Hampden waste processing facility ‘will work’
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, May 8, 2018 

About a month after the Municipal Review Committee announced the new Fiberight waste processing facility wouldn’t be ready by its April deadline — temporarily pushing waste from 115 communities to landfills — company officials say they want member communities to trust that they aren’t going anywhere. Fiberight CEO Craig Stuart-Paul and colleagues held what they described as the “first in a series” of town hall meetings on Tuesday at the Bangor Public Library to talk about the delays in constructing the Hampden waste processing facility. “It will work,” Stuart-Paul said of the unfinished waste-to-biofuel facility, which will eventually process solid waste from 115 municipalities.
Wildfire danger moderate to high across northern Maine
Fiddlehead Focus (St. John Valley, Aroostook County) - Tuesday, May 8, 2018 

Despite much rain and flooding in parts of Aroostook County over the past two weeks, the wildfire danger for much of northern Maine is at moderate to high levels. John Bott, director of communications for the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, said Tuesday that firefighters across the state have been “really active in the last few weeks.”
Hike: Schoodic Mountain near Sullivan
Aislinn Sarnacki Act Out Blog - Tuesday, May 8, 2018 

Rising 1,069 feet above sea level in eastern Maine, Schoodic Mountain is a popular hiking destination. A 2.8-mile loop trail on the mountain travels through a mossy forest filled with boulders and up rocky slopes to the mountain’s bald summit, which offers a 360-degree view of the region. The hike also visits the beautiful, sandy shore of Donnell Pond, a location known as Schoodic Beach.
Rockland considers referendum ban on large cruise ships
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, May 8, 2018 

In response to residents calling for a moratorium on large cruise ships coming into Rockland Harbor, the Rockland City Council is considering placing an advisory referendum on the November ballot. The referendum would seek to gauge Rockland residents’ feelings about large cruise ships, and how they believe the ships should be regulated, if at all. Councilor Ed Glaser suggested the referendum at Monday’s city council meeting. At the meeting, city councilors received a petition signed by about 100 Rockland residents that asked the city to place a moratorium on allowing cruise ships with more than 250 passengers from coming into port.
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