July 16, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Tuesday, July 16, 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
‘Acadia Files’ author Coppens, Jul 23
Event - Posted - Tuesday, July 16, 2019 

Author Katie Coppens will conduct fun science experiments with kids of all ages. At Turner Public Library, July 23, 2 pm. Each volume of “The Acadia Files” helps young readers learn about the scientific method in fun and innovative ways by following the adventures of Acadia, a young scientist.
Help Stamp Money Out of Politics
Action Alert - Monday, July 15, 2019 

The flow of cash into the pockets of politicians from lobbyists, oil and gas companies, and billionaires bent on protecting their wealth is the biggest barrier to our government's taking action on climate change, and it is up to us to put a stop to it. That is why we're asking you to join the movement protesting Big Money's death grip on our future by rubber-stamping our cash with the message "Stamp Money Out of Politics." ~ Ben & Jerry
Tell Your Representative: Invest in Clean Energy and Climate Action
Action Alert - Monday, July 15, 2019 

Congress must update and extend vital tax credits in four key green technology areas needed to meet our climate goals — electric vehicles, offshore wind, electric grid scale storage, and building efficiency. Without these updated credits, clean energy innovation could stall and our planet will be driven even closer to the brink of climate catastrophe. ~ Natural Resources Defense Council Action Fund
Hearing on CMP billing errors, service shortcomings, rate hikes, Jul 22
Action Alert - Monday, July 15, 2019 

Maine Public Utilities Commission public witness hearing concerning Central Maine Power’s request to increase residential rates by over 10%, and CMP billing errors and poor customer service. At PUC, Hallowell, July 22, 6 pm.
Greenhorns summer workshops
Event - Posted - Monday, July 15, 2019 

Hear from historians, restoration ecologists, entomologists, fishermen, foresters and master craftsmen, on a wide range of topics at the intersection of the human and non-human world. Greenhorns, in Pembroke, works to create a welcoming culture for new entrants in sustainable agriculture.
Crystal Spring Farm Bee Tour, Jul 21
Event - Posted - Sunday, July 14, 2019 

Beekeeper Ken Faulkner will explain the importance of honeybees, hive dynamics, beekeeping, honeybee history, and more. At Crystal Spring Farmers’ Market parking area, Brunswick, July 21, 10 am, free. Sponsored by Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust.
Kayak to Woodward Point, Jul 21
Event - Posted - Sunday, July 14, 2019 

Check out newly protected Woodward Point on the New Meadows River in Brunswick from the water. July 21, 2 pm, pre-register. Sponsored by Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust and Maine Coast Heritage Trust.
Climate Convergence Conference, Jul 20
Event - Posted - Saturday, July 13, 2019 

Explore the roots of science denial and change the nature of the public discourse regarding Climate Change. At George Stevens Academy, Blue Hill, July 20.
Loon counters needed, Jul 20
Announcement - Saturday, July 13, 2019 

Each year more than a thousand volunteer counters fan out across Maine’s lakes to help track the status of the state’s loon population. Volunteer counters are needed on a number of Hancock County lakes and ponds, July 20, 7-7:30 am.
Traveling the Northern Forest Canoe Trail, Jul 19
Event - Posted - Friday, July 12, 2019 

Nicole Grohoski, GIS Specialist, Cartographer, and State Representative for District 132 will share adventures from completing the Northern Forest Canoe Trail. At Gordon’s Wharf, Sullivan, July 19, 7 pm. Sponsored by Friends of Taunton Bay and Frenchman Bay Conservancy.
Yoga on the Brunswick Mall, thru Sep 6
Event - Posted - Friday, July 12, 2019 

Classes led by Sundara Yoga’s qualified instructors. At Brunswick Town Mall lawn in front of the gazebo, every Friday (weather permitting), July 19 - September 6, 7:30 – 8:30 am, free.
Hearing on CMP billing errors, service shortcomings, rate hikes, Jul 18
Action Alert - Thursday, July 11, 2019 

Maine Public Utilities Commission public witness hearing concerning Central Maine Power’s request to increase residential rates by over 10%, and CMP billing errors and poor customer service. At UMaine at Farmington, July 18, 6 pm.
Forestry for Maine Birds, Jul 17
Event - Posted - Wednesday, July 10, 2019 

Learn how to improve habitat for priority forest birds and a variety of other wildlife species; take care of your woodland; work with other forest management goals; and enhance the value and enjoyment of Maine woodlands. At Mt. Vernon Community Center, July 17, 9:30 am - 2 pm.
Revisioning the Earth, Jul 16
Event - Posted - Tuesday, July 9, 2019 

Dana Sawyer, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and Religion at the Maine College of Art, will speak about Revisioning the Earth. At Harpswell Heritage Land Trust Annual Meeting, Orr’s Island Schoolhouse, July 16, 6:30 pm.
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News Items
Piping Plover’s sudden surge baffles biologists
Journal Tribune - Wednesday, June 26, 2019 

Biologists are baffled by a record number of Piping Plover nests along the York County coastline this year and are working to keep the nests and chicks safe as thousands of beachgoers will descend upon plover nesting areas this summer. A count of 87 nests along 26 beaches in 11 different southern Maine coastal communities hosting nesting piping plovers has shattered last summer’s all-time record of 68 nests by more than 20. It’s a mystery why Maine is experiencing such a surge in nesting plovers compared to surrounding states which are not reporting increases.
State says Maine milk passes tests for ‘forever chemicals’
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, June 26, 2019 

A state agriculture official said Wednesday that initial tests of Maine milk for the presence of “forever chemicals” showed “excellent” results, with all the samples testing below the state’s reporting limit for the substances that are causing health concerns nationwide. But members of a task force acknowledged that additional testing – and a lot more financial resources – will be needed to deal with potential PFAS contamination on farms, in drinking water and in the waste inevitably produced by society.
Hikers, bear in mind recent rescues
WCSH-TV6 - Wednesday, June 26, 2019 

Injured and stranded hikers kept the Maine Forest Service busy recently. "We want people to have fun, we want them to have adventures but really keeping their eyes on the idea of your destination is to really get back safely,” said Rex Turner, the outdoor recreation planner at the Bureau of Parks and Lands. “Nature is the boss. It’s okay to turn around. It’s okay to change your plans to not reach that peak or to turn around when the weather forces you to do so.” If you are going on a hike, wear good moisture wicking clothing, wind blocking layers, warm fleece, and dress for elevations.
Column: Cleanliness is next to spiderliness
Morning Sentinel - Wednesday, June 26, 2019 

I know a question that’s on everyone’s mind this summer is: Do spiders defecate? Well, the answer is yes, they do. You might not be surprised to learn there hasn’t been a whole lot of research into this phenomenon, but a couple of studies have shown that some spider species, at least, go out of their way to keep their surroundings clean. ~ Dana Wilde
Top Clean-Air Official Plans To Step Down From EPA Post Amid Ethics Probe
National Public Radio - Wednesday, June 26, 2019 

Bill Wehrum is stepping down as the Environmental Protection Agency's chief air quality official at the end of the month, amid mounting scrutiny over possible ethics violations. Since 2017, he has been regarded as the architect of some of the Trump administration's most controversial climate policies, overseeing efforts to roll back regulations that limit air pollution. Allegations of ethical violations dogged Wehrum throughout his EPA tenure, related to his former work as a lawyer and lobbyist for a number of the same companies the agency regulates — including some of the country's largest coal, oil and petrochemical companies. Wehrum is the latest Trump administration official to leave the environmental agency under a cloud of scrutiny.
Gov. Mills signs sweeping renewable energy bills
Associated Press - Wednesday, June 26, 2019 

Gov. Janet Mills signed three bills aimed at ushering in renewable energy on Wednesday, moving Maine another step forward in taking on climate change. The Democrat signed the bills in Pittsfield in front of the state’s largest solar array. The new laws, effective in September, would boost solar incentives and reduce Maine greenhouse gas emissions by 45 percent by 2030 and 80 percent by 2050. Lawmakers also passed legislation to increase Maine’s renewable portfolio standard from 40 percent now to 80 perent by 2030 and 100 percent by 2050.
State gets to work on new economic development plan
Sun Journal - Wednesday, June 26, 2019 

Bruce Wagner, chief executive officer of the Finance Authority of Maine, is chairman of a new effort to create a 10-year economic development plan for the state that aims to identify steps Maine can take to fend off the demographic crisis and spur growth throughout the Pine Tree State. The 20-person strategic planning group Wagner heads was created this spring by Gov. Janet Mills “to work collaboratively with government agencies and private businesses to develop a long-term strategic plan that drives economic growth, addresses our workforce challenges and results in a strong, sustainable and diversified economy.”
How to stop the infernal itching caused by brown tail moth caterpillar
Penobscot Bay Pilot - Wednesday, June 26, 2019 

Spring/Summer 2019 is worse for the brown tail moth infestation than even the year before say pharmacists, entolomogists, and particularly the victims in the Midcoast, who are suffering from the poison-ivy-like itchy rash. Home remedies provided by readers include this one.
Massachusetts regulators OK key contracts for proposed CMP hydropower project
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, June 26, 2019 

The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities has approved power purchase agreements that are key to the proposed $1 billion hydropower transmission line through western Maine. Central Maine Power said that “the Massachusetts regulators concluded that NECEC will lower carbon emissions in the region by removing 3 to 3.6 million metric tons of greenhouse gases per year – the equivalent of removing annual emissions created by 700,000 cars – while providing direct savings to ratepayers for decades to come.” Opponents of the project in Maine have questioned those projections.
How climate change helped force a beloved Maine brew pub to close
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, June 26, 2019 

In January and again in March high tides and flooding twice came into the low-lying Three Tides & Marshall Wharf Brewing Co. in Belfast, ravaging the contents and leaving destruction in its wake. Without beer, David and Sarah Carlson could not successfully run the bar. One key employee quit, and then they had to let the rest of their employees go and close the bar and brewery. The couple still owe a handful of their employees for their last week’s paycheck — a sharp reversal of fortune for a business that has been doing about $1 million in gross sales annually. The intensity and frequency of the flooding events have gotten more intense since 2000. “Climate change and ocean level rise is real. It’s happening,” Carlson said.
KLT launches campaign to conserve Surry Hill
Kennebec Journal - Wednesday, June 26, 2019 

The Kennebec Land Trust has announced its newest project of purchasing and permanently conserving 330 acres in Fayette, including the top of 600-foot Surry Hill. This extensive property features more than 250 acres of forestland, streams flowing into local lakes and ponds, valuable wetlands, and scenic views. Members and supporters have already pledged or donated $188,680 as of June 12. In order to complete this conservation project by the end of October, KLT needs to raise an additional $102,000 through private donations and grants.
Atlantic salmon returns to Penobscot River now highest since 2011
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, June 26, 2019 

After a record-setting 107-fish day earlier this month, solid Atlantic salmon returns have continued at Milford Dam, according to marine resources scientist Jason Valliere of the Maine Department of Marine Resources. Valliere said the total number of salmon counted at Milford had reached 597. Another 18 salmon have been captured at the Orono fish lift, bringing the total count this year to 615, the highest recorded since 2011. Crews have also counted 1,583 American shad and 29 striped bass at Milford.
Opinion: Local pesticide bans are a mistake
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, June 26, 2019 

Integrated pest management is the most effective tool we have available to protect our health and that of crops and the environment. It is the policy of the state of Maine. But several towns and cities are attempting to take away a key element of integrated pest management by passing or voting on municipal ordinances that preclude the use of synthetic pesticide applications not just on town owned property, but also on privately owned residential lawns and lawns and gardens. This is a misguided solution in search of a problem and an infringement on our private property rights. ~ Dean Cray, Somerset County commissioner and former state representative
Where to find the best Maine swimming holes
Sun Journal - Wednesday, June 26, 2019 

If you're looking for a hidden swimming hole, a natural water slide or a place to splash with the kids, check out these places in western Maine this summer.
• Smalls Falls, Route 4, south of Rangeley
• Range Pond State Park, Poland
• Lake Pennesseewassee Park, Norway
• Frenchman’s Hole, Riley Township
• Outlet Beach, New Gloucester
• Beaver Park, Lisbon
• Richardson Public Lands, Rangeley Lakes region
• Little Concord Pond, Woodstock
• Porter Lake, Strong
• Oversett Pond, Greenwood
• Mountain Pond, Rangeley
• Step Falls Preserve, Newry
New faces at BRLT this summer
Boothbay Register - Wednesday, June 26, 2019 

Boothbay Region Land Trust is pleased to introduce three new summer staff members — stewardship intern Brooklyn Washburn, and Damariscove caretakers, Ed Vleck and Bailey Romaine.
Acadia visitor center reopens with real-time information added, asbestos and theater removed
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, June 26, 2019 

After months of renovations, the Acadia National Park Visitors Center in Hulls Cove has reopened for the 2019 season. Among the improvements are interior displays and exhibits that convey real-time information to help tourists plan their Acadia visits, several oversized maps and a new public display of pieces from the Acadia Artist-in-Residence program.
New Bangor factory producing tissue products will receive $250K loan from city
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, June 26, 2019 

The Bangor City Council has agreed to provide $250,000 in loans to Soft Touch Tissue & Paper, a new manufacturing business that’s opening on outer Hammond Street with the goal of producing toilet paper, tissues and other finished paper products. The city is awarding the loans from a set of grant funds that it receives every year through a federal program that’s meant to drive investments in community development.
This Maine man is hiking the Appalachian Trail with his cat as his companion
York Weekly - Wednesday, June 26, 2019 

Michael Beaumier is hiking the Appalachian Trail with Rico the Hiking Cat. Michael is the 23-year-old son of York Middle School teacher Tony Beaumier, who made Michael and Rico’s travels a learning experience for his sixth-grade class. Tony set up a map of the trail, and he and the students would track the duo’s progress. “It’s epic that he is bringing a cat on such a hard journey,” said James Stack.
Column: Former Gov. Baldacci, a board member, hides from questions about CMP
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, June 26, 2019 

Central Maine Power Co.’s stupefying dysfunction, coupled with the unforgivable distress it has caused more than a few everyday Mainers as they struggle to keep the lights on, raise the question: Can someone with a little clout talk some sense to this runaway utility? It turns out we know a guy. His name is former Gov. John Baldacci. Since 2014, the former two-term Democratic governor has sat on the board of Avangrid, Inc., which owns CMP under the corporate umbrella of the Spanish multinational energy giant Iberdrola. He currently serves as vice chairman of the board. He refuses to be interviewed about what, if anything, he’s done to advocate for Maine people now that he’s beholden not to them, but to their profitable, foreign-owned electricity supplier. ~ Bill Nemitz
Column: Take time to visit Downeast Maine
Kennebec Journal - Wednesday, June 26, 2019 

Rich Bard's exceptional book, “Beyond Acadia – Exploring The Bold Coast Of Down East Maine,” is not a normal travel book focused just on inns and restaurants. Bard covers it all from birds and wildlife to festivals and seasonal events. He tells you about all the amazing hikes that are available and the scenic drives. There’s information about lighthouses, boat tours, ferries, stunning coastline and beaches. ~ George Smith
Editorial: Give Mount Katahdin the respect it requires
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, June 26, 2019 

Three hikers found out last weekend just how quickly a Katahdin hike can take a turn for the worse. On Saturday, forest rangers dropped overnight provisions for a pair of hikers stuck “off trail” near the difficult Knife Edge, after rescuers were unable to reach or extract the hikers. The pair made it safely off the mountain the next day. Also on Saturday, a 61-year-old man from Utah was hurt in a fall on Cathedral Trail. Regardless of your route, Katahdin is a long day hike, and its trails are often arduous and steep. The weather can vary wildly from day to day and place to place, and wind, rain and even snow can come on unannounced. Mount Katahdin is there for people to enjoy and experience. But first, it should be respected.
Letter: Lobstermen, right whales need better leadership from Reps. Golden, Pingree
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, June 26, 2019 

The support of U.S. Reps. Jared Golden and Chellie Pingree for the Maine lobster industry was recently described. While Rep. Golden received praise from state officials and some lobstermen, their appropriations rider would remove the ability of states to make their own determination about what steps to take to provide protections for whales and would force them to agree to a stricter standard. Maine representatives should propose solutions that can reduce information gaps rather than establish temporary roadblocks. Reducing gear in deeper offshore waters is what is needed to reduce risk. ~ Roger Fleming and Zack Klyver, Blue Planet Strategies, Hallowell
Letter: New law highlights impact of sea-level rise on Maine communities
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, June 26, 2019 

In light of federal inaction on the impacts of climate change, it is ever more important that state officials step in to ensure that their communities are protected. Lawmakers have a responsibility to take action to reduce human impacts on our planet, and mitigate the effects of climate change as much as possible. In signing L.D. 563, An Act to Help Municipalities Prepare for Sea Level Rise, Gov. Mills has demonstrated her commitment to helping her state prepare for the rising seas, coastal erosion and flooding that are already occurring and will continue if global climate change is not stopped. The power in this law lies with municipalities to determine what exactly they need and what defenses best fit their situations. ~ Carissa Maurin, Biddeford
Paddle: Wight Pond in Penobscot
Aislinn Sarnacki Act Out Blog - Tuesday, June 25, 2019 

Covering just under 200 acres, Wight Pond is a long, narrow body of freshwater on the Blue Hill Peninsula. With a public boat launch at its south end, the pond is a great paddling location. The pond’s shoreline is mostly undeveloped, and its calm waters, filled with aquatic plants and warm water fish, attracts an abundance of wildlife. We paddled all the way to the north end of the pond and back, for a trip that was about 5 miles long. We observed a great blue heron wading through the tall grasses along the shore; a cormorant perched on a half-submerged log; a mother goose followed by a line of grey, fuzzy goslings; an osprey diving for fish; and two loons fishing in the wider section of the pond.
King Speaks Out Against Proposed Cut To Land And Water Conservation Fund
Maine Public - Tuesday, June 25, 2019 

President Trump’s proposed budget diverts nearly all the revenue usually used for the Land and Water Conservation fund. Maine Senator Angus King made his opposition to the budget heard at a meeting of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. "We just reauthorized, permanently, the Land and Water conservation fund but if we don’t fund it, it doesn’t mean anything,” King says.
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