September 19, 2018  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Wednesday, September 19, 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
Solar 101, Sep 26
Event - Posted - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

Join ReVision Energy to learn about the benefits of solar technology. At Scarborough Public Library, September 26, 2018 6:30 pm.
Activist Training for Maine's Environment, Sep 27-Oct 11
Event - Posted - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

Maine's environmental community is hosting a series of trainings. Learn skills to be a powerful activist and meet fellow environmentalists who want to make a difference in Maine. September 27, Biddeford; October 4: Auburn; October 11, Jefferson; October 18, Falmouth.
Naturalist's Notebook, Sep 26
Event - Posted - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

Bowdoin biology professor Nat Wheelwright will speak about the book he wrote with Bernd Heinrich, "The Naturalist's Notebook: An Observation Guide and 5-Year Calendar-Journal for Tracking Changes in the Natural World Around You." At Portland Public Library, September 26, 5:30-7:30 pm.
Weasels of Maine, Sep 26
Event - Posted - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

Shevenell Webb, Wildlife Biologist with IF&W, talks about weasel ecology and natural history. At Augusta Nature Club luncheon, at Capital Area Technical Center, Augusta, September 26, 11:30 am, $7 for lunch.
NRCM online auction, thru Sep
Announcement - Tuesday, September 18, 2018 

Online auction benefits Natural Resources Council of Maine, through September.
Evening for the Environment, Oct 3
Event - Posted - Tuesday, September 18, 2018 

A night of camaraderie, celebration, and inspiration for those who care about protecting Maine's environment. Keynote speaker Gina McCarthy, former EPA Administrator. At Brick South on Thompson's Point, Portland, October 3, 5:30-8:00 pm. Organized by Maine Conservation Voters.
Help wanted: Director of Media Relations and Advocacy Communications
Announcement - Monday, September 17, 2018 

The Natural Resources Council of Maine is seeking applications for the position of Director of Media Relations and Advocacy Communications. The position provides leadership in advancing NRCM and the organization’s advocacy work through the news media. Deadline: October 11, 2018.
MCV Action Fund 2018 Endorsements
Announcement - Monday, September 17, 2018 

A list of candidates endorsed by the Maine Conservation Voters Action Fund.
Bringing an ocean perspective to an urban estuary, Sep 24
Event - Posted - Monday, September 17, 2018 

Karina Nielsen, director of San Francisco State University’s Estuary and Ocean Science Center, will speak at the UMaine Darling Marine Center, Walpole, September 24, 12:15 pm.
Maine's Beaches are Public Property, Sep 24
Event - Posted - Monday, September 17, 2018 

Author and law professor Orlando E. Delogu speaks about public access to Maine’s beaches. At Curtis Memorial Library, Brunswick, September 24, 6:30 pm.
Why Natural History Matters, Sep 24
Event - Posted - Monday, September 17, 2018 

Tom Fleischner, Executive Director of the Natural History Institute, will describe how the practice of natural history provides the foundation for the natural sciences, conservation, healthy society, and our own well-being. At Gilsland Farm, Falmouth, September 24, 7 pm, Maine Audubon members $12, nonmembers $15.
Save our Shores Walk, Sep 23
Event - Posted - Sunday, September 16, 2018 

Learn how climate change may affect our shores and how CLF is working to ensure a resiliant Maine coast. At Ferry Beach, Saco, September 23, 2:30-5 pm. Sponsored by Conservation Law Foundation.
Help restore cottontail habitat, Sep 22, 28, 29
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 15, 2018 

The Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge will host a volunteer work day to help restore native scrubland habitat, home to many species including the New England cottontail rabbit. Volunteers needed. At Libby Field, Scarborough, Sep 22, 28, 29, 9 am - 2 pm.
Art is for the birds, Sep 22
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 15, 2018 

This arts workshop invites community members to collaborate on a sculpture that will provide winter shelter for birds. At Kingdom Woods Conservation Area, Blue Hill, September 22, 10 am-noon.
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News Items
Bees, bears, buckwheat: A beekeeper’s busy summer
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, September 5, 2018 

For bees to make honey, it’s all about location, location, location — and some good weather. For the past month honeybees in the region have been frustrated by the annual dearth. During this time many plants are in flower, but very few of them produce much nectar. This means most hives have been losing weight as they consume honey stores made earlier in the summer. Bears love honey and will also eat the combs full of protein rich bee larvae. Electric fence around the apiary works.
Bees, bears, buckwheat: A beekeeper’s busy summer
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, September 5, 2018 

For bees to make honey, it’s all about location, location, location — and some good weather. For the past month honeybees in the region have been frustrated by the annual dearth. During this time many plants are in flower, but very few of them produce much nectar. This means most hives have been losing weight as they consume honey stores made earlier in the summer. Bears love honey and will also eat the combs full of protein rich bee larvae. Electric fence around the apiary works.
Why Maine roadways are littered with squirrel carcasses this year
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, September 5, 2018 

DIF&W wildlife biologist Kendall Marden said Wednesday a combination of factors is leading to more roadkill squirrels than normal. “Last year was such a phenomenal seed year for a whole multitude of species, from hardwood mast to softwood trees, maple, cedar, ash, pine cones, cedar cones. All of the abundant food provided a lot for the squirrels,” Marden said. All of that food led to a bunch of fat and happy squirrels heading into the winter, and those animals fared well through the coldest months. Then, they’ve enjoyed another banner food year this summer.
Lake Auburn closing temporarily to boaters for algaecide dose
Sun Journal - Wednesday, September 5, 2018 

City officials announced Wednesday that Lake Auburn will be closed to boating for at least one day next week while algicide is applied to prevent algae blooms that could threaten drinking water quality. The Auburn Water District and Lewiston Water Division has permission from the state to apply the low dose of algicide, which officials say is necessary because of a warm summer with lots of sunshine.
Opinion: Restoring our national parks would be a bipartisan win for Congress
Other - Wednesday, September 5, 2018 

There comes a time when homeowners can no longer ignore the leaky roof, outdated plumbing system, or sagging floorboards in their house. Congress seems to be reaching this point with the much-needed repairs within national park units across the country with strong bipartisan support for legislation in the Senate and House of Representatives. The Restore Our Parks Act in the Senate and the similar Restore Our Parks and Public Lands Act in the House would begin to address the backlog in our National Park System by directing $6.5 billion in dedicated annual funding over five years to priority deferred maintenance needs. ~ Tom Wathen and Marcia Argust, The Pew Charitable Trusts
Lawmakers reject former LePage aide for turnpike board position
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, September 5, 2018 

A legislative panel on Wednesday opposed Gov. Paul LePage’s nomination of one of his former advisers to the board of the Maine Turnpike Authority. Jonathan Nass is the deputy commissioner of the Maine Department of Transportation and will become CEO of the quasi-state Maine Port Authority later this month. Six Democrats and Sen. Ronald Collins, R-York, the committee’s co-chair, also voted against former state Sen. Doug Thomas, R-Ripley, who was nominated for a position on the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority. The Maine Senate will still have to consider both nominations, but Wednesday’s committee vote virtually sinks them.
Full-fat dairy might not be as unhealthy as feared
Washington Post - Wednesday, September 5, 2018 

Full-fat milk, also known as whole milk, has a bad reputation because it contains saturated fat, and saturated fat raises LDL – or “bad” – cholesterol. But when looking at associations between actual dairy fat and health, results are mixed. That’s why, despite continuing to recommend limiting saturated fat, the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee in 2015 called for more research examining the effects of saturated fats from different food sources, because they may affect cholesterol and health differently.
Watch: South Portland gets a herd of hungry goats to clear park of invasive weed
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, September 5, 2018 

A herd of goats was delivered to the Pleasantdale neighborhood Wednesday morning, on an eco-friendly mission to help make a little-used waterfront park more inviting to the public. The city has hired Scapegoats of Kennebunk to clear Yerxa Park of unwanted vegetation, including Japanese knotweed, a hard-to-kill invasive plant. The small park is off Broadway, at the end of Bagley Avenue, between the city’s greenbelt path and the Fore River.
Maine ranks highest in New England for food insecurity
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, September 5, 2018 

Every day more people go hungry in Maine than in any other New England state. Nationwide, Maine is ranked as the seventh most food insecure, a designation that means residents lack access to the quantity and quality of food necessary for an active and healthy lifestyle. These numbers mean that 16 percent of the state’s population is food insecure, including one out of every five children.
What Brett Kavanaugh on Supreme Court Could Mean for Climate Regulations
Inside Climate News - Wednesday, September 5, 2018 

In his dozen years on the federal appeals court that hears the most disputes over government regulatory power, Judge Brett Kavanaugh has compiled an extensive record of skepticism toward the government's powers to act on climate change. In particular, while Kavanaugh has repeatedly voiced the belief that global warming is a serious problem, he has challenged the argument that Congress has given the Environmental Protection Agency authority to do something about it.
Maine College Joins University of the Arctic Network
Associated Press - Wednesday, September 5, 2018 

A university in southern Maine is the newest member of a network of institutions called the University of the Arctic that seeks to promote the economy of the world's northern reaches. University of New England officials say the move will help the university engage with North Atlantic and Nordic states. The university became a member of the group Monday. University of the Arctic launched in 2001 and has more than 100 member institutions.
2 new seafood processing businesses are moving to Bucksport
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, September 5, 2018 

Two seafood processing facilities are opening at the Bucksport’s industrial park that promise to create about 60 jobs. They will be the third and fourth seafood plants at Buckstown Heritage Park, said Richard Rotella, who is town’s economic development director. Couple them with Whole Oceans’ seeking permits to build a $250 million salmon farm at the town’s former paper mill site, and the town could become a haven for all sorts of seafood, Rotella said.
Column: You don’t need to worry about rabies
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Wednesday, September 5, 2018 

There’s been a lot of panic – especially in in southern Maine – about rabies this summer. Much of the worry was driven by rabid fox attacks on seven people in Brunswick. In northern Maine, the U.S. Department of Agriculture distributed more than 351,000 doses of oral rabies vaccine bait, an initiative to reduce the occurrence of raccoon rabies. Please don’t lose the excitement of seeing one of Maine’s wild critters, even if it is in your yard. You need not be concerned unless that wild critter you are looking at is acting strangely. The best thing you can do is call your local police department or local game warden. And never approach a wild animal, even if it appears normal.
Letter: Speak up for clean air
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, September 5, 2018 

We all deserve to breath clean air but many Maine residents just let President Donald Trump propose to weaken our clean air standards, and take no action. So few of us that want future generations to be healthy are not taking any action. I ask you to at least let your representatives know your opposition to dumping our clean car standards. ~ Ann Pedreschi, Holden
Letter: Lower mileage standards will lead to pollution
Kennebec Journal - Wednesday, September 5, 2018 

The Trump administration’s intent to roll back the Environmental Protection Agency’s fleet gas mileage standards makes no sense, except if we want to increase oil company profits. As the mother of three children who suffer from asthma, I do not want increased air pollution, which would worsen their conditions, but this is exactly what we will get if gas mileage standards are reduced. Cutting fuel efficiency standards will only intensify the effects of climate change we are already feeling. This ill-conceived plan to roll back EPA gas mileage standards should be abandoned as soon as possible. ~ Philippa Solomon, Readfield
Letter: Sen. Collins should see Kavanaugh as she did Pruitt – as an environmental threat
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, September 5, 2018 

Last year Sen. Susan Collins was right to vote against the confirmation of Scott Pruitt to the position of administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, citing his opposition to numerous environmental protections that the state of Maine relies on for livelihood, conservation and public health. Now Collins has another opportunity to protect our environment by voting against the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Sen. Collins, please stand up for a healthy environment once again and put the people of Maine ahead of party or politics. Protect our environment by voting against Judge Brett Kavanaugh. ~ Charles Skold, Freeport
Letter: Creating a public power utility in Maine is worth serious study
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, September 5, 2018 

I support the proposal to create a public power entity for Maine. Having represented all New England public power entities on the New England Power Pool Operations Committee, I know firsthand how focused on customer service and reliability the public power utilities are. Public power entities are more reliable because many of them use stronger and insulated distribution wires. They have lower rates because they don’t have to earn a profit. In addition, public power entities maintain sufficient staff to service their lines in the event of a disruption. It would be great if, in November, we elected legislators who’d give serious consideration to this proposal. ~ Bill Dunn, Yarmouth
Letter: PETA's roadside folly
Sun Journal - Wednesday, September 5, 2018 

Re: “PETA wants tombstone for lobsters that died in crash.” The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals group wants a fancy five-foot granite tombstone to be placed at the crash site to honor the accidental deaths of some bottom-feeding crustaceans that were on their way to their demise in the first place. The impetus behind such emotionally-driven misdirection is to portray mankind as the enemy of the planet. That fallacy can progress into increasingly radical mindsets, such as animal and even plant rights superseding human rights, eco-terrorism, human depopulation, eugenics and genocide. ~ David Theriault, Rumford
I’m writing a guidebook to dog-friendly trails!
Aislinn Sarnacki Act Out Blog - Tuesday, September 4, 2018 

I’m publishing a third guidebook! “Dog Friendly Hikes in Maine” will be similar to my first two guidebooks — “Family Friendly Hikes in Maine” (2017) and “Maine Hikes Off The Beaten Path” (2018) — but with a little extra information about dog-friendly lodging, restaurants and businesses near the trails that are highlighted in the book.
Youth Conservation Corps key to central Maine lake, pond health
Turner Publishing - Tuesday, September 4, 2018 

Young adults from Vienna, Manchester and Livermore took part this summer in installing low-cost erosion control projects for the 30 Mile River Watershed Association. The association is a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting the lakes, ponds and streams spanning the area from New Sharon to Leeds. It includes Chesterville, Fayette, Mount Vernon, Readfield, Vienna and Wayne. For nearly a decade, 30MRWA’s Youth Conservation Corps has been working hard to keep these beautiful waters — so important to these communities — clean and healthy, the organization said.
REPORT: 49 Scientists Propose a Global Deal for Nature, Calling for 50% of the Earth's Resources to Be Conserved
Other - Tuesday, September 4, 2018 

Last year, those 49 scientists published a paper that was based on a book called Half Earth. That book explored the idea that in order to combat global warming and decay, that half of the earth must be set aside in various types of reserves. Edward Barbier, an economist with Colorado State University, said, “It will take around $100 billion a year to protect the earth’s broad range of animal and plant species, and current funding fluctuates around $4-10 billion annually.” The actions of the Trump administration serve to reinforce the notion that successful efforts at conservation and combating climate change requires global participation and cooperation.
Wayne delays action on town-owned property after rush of local feedback
Kennebec Journal - Tuesday, September 4, 2018 

Wayne officials have decided to postpone a decision about the future of a town-owned, 118-acre piece of land until next year, after a well-attended public forum last month highlighted a split in the town’s opinion about how the property should be treated. Some residents want to see the land all or partly preserved, while others would like it to be sold for the highest value. The Select Board plans to whittle down the various options presented by the Open Space Committee into a concise choice that can go to voters in November.
Gulf of Maine suffers an ocean “heat wave”
Ellsworth American - Tuesday, September 4, 2018 

If you think this has been a hot summer on land, scientists say that the Gulf of Maine is suffering a heat wave and that could be bad news for fish populations and the fishing industry. The Gulf of Maine is one of the fastest-warming ocean ecosystems on the planet, according to scientists at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI). Over the past 15 years, this region has warmed at a rate more than seven times the global average.
Maine’s booming squirrel population is all around us – and so is the roadkill
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, September 4, 2018 

It’s not your imagination: there really are more squirrels scampering around Maine this summer.
And a lot of them are ending up dead on the sides of Maine roads. There have been so many squirrels, in fact, that motorists have taken to social media to ponder whether some unseen force of nature is at work. The explanation, it turns out, is not all that mysterious. A bumper crop of acorns, pinecones and other nuts last year led to a bit of a population boom for small rodents, including squirrels. And it’s that time of year when the young mammals are setting out on their own in search of new territory and food.
Opinion: We need to protect our cultural heritage — our public lands
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, September 4, 2018 

Since its establishment by Congress in 1964, the Land and Water Conservation Fund has been a bipartisan commitment that safeguards our natural areas, water resources and cultural heritage. It draws on funds from offshore oil and gas royalties, not taxpayers. But now the fund is in jeopardy of not being reauthorized. The U.S. Senate recently voted to pass the needed legislation, which now awaits a signature or veto from the president. While Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has publicly expressed his support for the fund, he has also proposed a 95 percent cut to the fund’s budget. We can’t afford to lose our cultural heritage — our public lands. ~ Rep. Robert Alley
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