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: A mountain or a molehill?
Times Record - Friday, January 11, 2019 

Whether it’s a mountain or a molehill, Morse Mountain in Phippsburg provides one of the finest easy hikes in the mid-coast area. Located 12.6 miles south of Bath on Route 209, the excursion entails a four-mile roundtrip trek over the “mountain” to Seawall Beach offering exceptional views from an overlook. Rare fragile plants and endangered birds can often be observed. The trip can be extended with a walk on the beach. It’s a great choice for us old geezers in search of a relatively benign hiking option or someone looking for a brief outing. ~ Ron Chase
Opinion: Lobstering is threatened by factors far bigger than aquaculture leases
Times Record - Friday, January 11, 2019 

The conflict between lobster harvest and formal aquaculture leases is a key issue that DMR must resolve as it assesses lease applications, in Maquoit Bay and elsewhere. Lobster harvesters have had de facto bottom leases for generations, and now fisheries managers must figure out how the bottom can be shared equitably and fairly. A key to this calculation is determining which habitats are optimal for each of these competing industries. If DMR determines that the lease site is indeed valuable lobster habitat, perhaps the solution is as simple as expanding the lease footprint and mandating that in-holdings be made available to lobster harvesters when they might be fishing there in the summer, while the oysters are on the surface. Lobstering is threatened by factors far bigger than aquaculture leases. We are losing productive Gulf of Maine lobster habitat to warming waters and acidification. ~ Ralph Keyes, Brunswick
Opinion: Maine’s rural communities have always been at the edge of the global economy
Portland Press Herald - Friday, January 11, 2019 

As one critically assesses corporate-driven globalization’s impact on Maine’s logging, textile, tanning, agriculture, fishing, shoe shops and other industries, it is easy to see that Maine’s rural people often have more in common with immigrants from poor regions than they do with owners of the corporate chain stores where they shop. The corporate elite spend summers on Maine’s coast, often in communities where struggling fishermen and displaced paper mill workers suffer because banks and manufacturers seldom reinvest in their communities. Much can and needs to be done. But I wonder how much further along these promising initiatives would be if the newest infrastructure – the internet – had been equally available to Maine’s rural and working people two or three decades ago. ~ John Ripton is a Cape Porpoise resident and Hartland native
Letters: Reid’s nomination should be lauded
Times Record - Friday, January 11, 2019 

I dispute the allegation made in a letter that Jerry Reid, chief of the Natural Resources Division of the Maine Attorney General’s Office, “exemplifies the racist principles our country was founded on.” I served in the AG’s Office under five different Attorneys General, from 1989 to 2010. I had the good fortune to be a colleague of Reid for many of those years, and during the last three years I was there, he was my immediate supervisor. Reid is a knowledgeable, hard-working, personable and thoughtful lawyer. His nomination for Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection by Gov. Mills should be lauded. ~ Lucinda E. White, Freeport
Letter: More study needed on plant antibiotics
Bangor Daily News - Friday, January 11, 2019 

In a process that did not include full scientific analysis, the Environmental Protection Agency has approved the annual spraying of up to 650,000 pounds of streptomycin and oxytetracycline on nearly half a million acres of citrus groves. Both the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization have warned against antibiotic overuse in agriculture. The European Union has banned the use of streptomycin and oxytetracycline on crops. As residents of a state whose economy relies in part on agriculture, we can sympathize with Florida growers’ desire to guard their crops from pests and disease. But for the EPA to approve this method of doing so without full consideration of its cost to our land, our waters and our people is shortsighted and dangerous. ~ Mary Dickinson Bird, Orono
Augusta council express interest in per-plastic bag fee
Kennebec Journal - Thursday, January 10, 2019 

Augusta city councilors expressed more interest in requiring a per-bag fee to use plastic shopping bags, rather than banning them. The council didn’t vote on the proposal Thursday, but a majority of councilors appeared to favor, instead of a straight ban, requiring customers to pay a fee, such as 5 cents per bag, to get a bag at retail stores. That, councilors said, could serve as a disincentive to encourage people to bring their own reusable bags to stores, rather than get more new plastic bags and throw them away.
North Woods redevelopment fight reaches new heights with final public comment period
WCSH-TV6 - Thursday, January 10, 2019 

They came back to the table for the first time since June. On one side is a council, and others, who don’t want the uninhabited, undeveloped land in Maine’s North Woods to become urbanized. On the other side is a commission, which is looking to evolve with Maine's economy, especially when it comes to tourism in Vacationland. "This would completely change the character of Maine's North Woods,” said Natural Resources Council of Maine’s Forest and Wildlife Project Director, Cathy Johnson.
Maine Audubon Spoke Up Today to Protect the Maine Woods
Maine Audubon - Thursday, January 10, 2019 

Today, Maine Audubon stood with over 25 individuals and organizations before the Land Use Planning Commission in Brewer to express our deep concern about their proposed rules that would dramatically change how new development is located in Maine’s unorganized territories — better known as Maine’s North Woods.
State panel told to protect Maine woods from development sprawl
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, January 10, 2019 

A proposal to change how development is allowed in Maine’s Unorganized Territory still is being met with some vocal opposition, despite some minor changes that a state planning body has made to the draft policy. Many of the roughly three dozen people who spoke Thursday at a public hearing on the proposed development rules opposed the concept, saying it would allow for too much development sprawl in Maine’s woods and could fragment wildlife habitat. More than 100 people attended the public hearing of the Land Use Planning Commission held in Brewer.
NRCM Testimony on LUPC’s Proposed Revised Adjacency Principle & Subdivision Standards
Natural Resources Council of Maine - Thursday, January 10, 2019 

The current adjacency principle requiring development to be “one mile by road from existing, compatible development" may need to be strengthened, but the principle that future development should be near existing, compatible development by road should be retained. Set this rule aside, gather up-to date data about the location of existing development in the unorganized territories, and engage in regional planning with towns that border the UT in order to guide development into those towns that want it. Only then, would it be appropriate to consider revising the current adjacency principle.
Land Use Planning Commission holds public hearing
Fox News - Thursday, January 10, 2019 

Extra chairs had to be brought in for a public hearing on a proposal that would allow development on more than a million acres of land. "The package that we're working on is intended to do three key things," Nick Livesay, director of the Land Use Planning Commission explained. "One is intended to better guide locations for new zones near existing communities. It's intended to better protect the environment, particularly some of the interior and more remote areas," he said. "It's also intended to evolve and really recognize changes in our natural resource-based economy." Not everyone is happy about the proposal.
Auction postponed, giving developer more time to get $40 million Saco Island project approved
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, January 10, 2019 

A public auction of land on the east side of Saco Island has been postponed to give a developer more time to secure approvals for a $40 million mixed-use project. Joan Kurker, who holds a $350,000 mortgage on the parcel, had scheduled the sale for Friday to foreclose on the mortgage, but she decided to postpone the sale until 3:30 p.m. March 15 to give Saulnier’s group more time to secure necessary project approvals.
Friends of Baxter State Park Invites Applications for Youth Wilderness Leadership Program
Free Press - Thursday, January 10, 2019 

Friends of Baxter State Park invites current Maine high school sophomores and juniors to submit an application to participate at no cost in the 11th annual Maine Youth Wilderness Leadership Program, which includes a nine-day wilderness experience in Baxter State Park, scheduled for early August. The application deadline is February 8.
The Cat has set sail from Portland but still hasn’t locked up a new home port
Mount Desert Islander - Thursday, January 10, 2019 

Bay Ferries is momentarily without a U.S. port, as one lease has expired and another is not ready to be signed. Former Gov. LePage held up Bar Harbor's purchase of its ferry terminal, and the federal government shutdown has gotten in the way of a lease for Bay Ferries. “There is always uncertainty and there will be challenges, but Bar Harbor is the future, and it is best for the ferry service if the future begins now,” Bay Ferries President and CEO Mark MacDonald said.
Western Maine transit service adds routes to ski mountains, and plans more
Sun Journal - Thursday, January 10, 2019 

Western Maine Transportation Services has added three new commuter runs in the last six weeks and more are expected as soon as it has the buses, Craig Zurhorst told the Lewiston Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce on Thursday. On Dec. 1, Mountain Express commuter routes started from Lewiston-Auburn to Sunday River and from Dixfield-Mexico-Rumford to Sunday River. On Dec. 17, the new Sugarloaf Express commuter route started from Stratton to Sugarloaf.
Legislature will consider lots of gun bills
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Thursday, January 10, 2019 

The Maine legislature will debate lots of gun bills this session. So far, all we have are titles and sponsors, and I will share those with you today. As the details of each bill emerge, I will write about them. Here is the list of titles and sponsors.
Lawmakers move to boost seaweed against ocean acidification
E&E/Greenwire - Thursday, January 10, 2019 

A push to promote seaweed as a tool against climate change appears poised to move forward in Congress — once lawmakers resolve the dispute that's holding up annual appropriations. The fiscal 2019 appropriations bill for agriculture proposed by House Democrats calls for a working group on ocean agriculture, which would explore seaweed and kelp forests as a way to reduce ocean acidification and provide food ingredients and feedstocks. The bill, H.R. 265, could come up for a vote today. In Maine, the National Institute of Food and Agriculture has awarded VitaminSea LLC two grants totaling $700,000 to study the use of dried kelp flakes as a supplement in baguette-style bread. The bread contains twice as much potassium and three times as much fiber as regular bread.
626 Groups Urge Congress to Phase Out Fossil Fuels, Build Green Economy
Maine Environmental News - Thursday, January 10, 2019 

More than 600 environmental groups today called on the U.S. House of Representatives to pursue ambitious climate legislation that matches the scale and urgency of the climate crisis. The groups’ letter calls for a thoughtful phaseout of fossil fuel production, a transition to 100 percent renewable energy by 2035, complete decarbonization of the transportation system, use of the Clean Air Act to reduce greenhouse gas pollution, a just transition to a new green economy and the adherence to treaties upholding Indigenous rights when pursuing these actions.
Opinion: Orono should join Maine municipalities investing in solar power
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, January 10, 2019 

As a resident and town councilor, I believe it’s time for Orono to create a bold new vision for the future and to begin implementing that vision in 2019. Orono must make smart investments to lower the cost and impact of our future energy use and lead the state into a lower carbon future. That’s why I am advocating that Orono investigate installing solar photovoltaic panels on municipal buildings and/or grounds. ~ Laurie Osher, Orono
Maine club tracks Maine’s biggest game animals, one rack at a time
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, January 10, 2019 

The Maine Antler & Skull Trophy Club, which was formed in 1978 by brothers Dick and Jean Arsenault, serves as both the judging body and the clearing house for some of the state’s most impressive game animals. The judging is done by trained professional scorers who examine the racks of moose and deer, the skulls of bears, and the vital stats of wild turkeys. A bound volume, which includes all of the hunters who’ve met the minimum standard over the previous two years, in addition to the top 500 all time in each category, serves as a desk reference and brag book for those who’ve earned their way into its pages.
She spent 28 years shaping Maine’s environmental policy. Now she’s ready to enjoy it firsthand.
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, January 10, 2019 

After 28 years handling communications for the Natural Resource Council of Maine, Judy Berk stepped down effective Jan. 1. She’s now looking forward to enjoying the Maine outdoors that she’s helped protect for nearly three decades.
Millinocket group ‘turning over every rock’ to eliminate $1.4M tax debt that scuttled factory
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, January 10, 2019 

A volunteer economic development group that’s trying to revive Millinocket’s former paper mill site is continuing to challenge a federal tax lien that has hampered its efforts. The lien most recently dissuaded a North Carolina forest products company from launching a $30 million factory on the site. The group, Our Katahdin, filed a third appeal of the $1.4 million tax lien with the Internal Revenue Service last Friday — although the ongoing federal government shutdown will delay the IRS’ consideration of that appeal. Our Katahdin is also seeking a more accurate appraisal of the mill site’s property value and looking at other options for getting rid of the tax lien, which the group inherited two years ago when it bought the 1,400-acre site for $1.
Deadline looms to buy land that would add public access near Maine island beach
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, January 10, 2019 

A nonprofit organization has until Monday to finish raising $800,000 to purchase a waterfront property in Southport that abuts a public beach. The group, Land for Southport’s Future, is hoping it can meet its fundraising goal in order to preserve the 3-acre property for public use. Nancy Prisk, president and co-founder of Land for Southport’s Future, fears that if the group does not meet its goal on Monday, the uniqueness of the property could be lost to future development.
Column: What's the point of a carbon tax rebate?
Sun Journal - Thursday, January 10, 2019 

The Irish government is proposing rebates to a carbon tax it recently imposed. I’m doubtful. People don’t like governments forcing them to accept a lesser lifestyle. So strong is the faith of the climate change cult that McDonald’s is considering “meat alternatives” because of alleged environmental damage. Roy Spencer, U.S. Science Team Leader on NASA’s Aqua satellite, says “2018 marked the second straight year when global temperatures declined." Plastics may soon eclipse climate change as the latest “crisis” only government can solve. Democrats are backing a “Green New Deal” to force everyone to buy only renewable energy. On Fox News, Marc Morano, creator of climatedepot.org, said of the New Green Deal: “We’re going to treat now carbon dioxide a trace essential gas — humans inhale oxygen and we exhale CO2 — as somehow akin to the Nazi party and World War II initiative." ~ Cal Thomas
Opinion: New leadership will protect way of life
Biddeford-Saco-OOB Courier - Thursday, January 10, 2019 

Our economy, personal health and quality of life are all dependent on how we treat our natural resources. If we don’t have clean air and clean water, there isn’t much else that matters after that. Fighting for the environment might not be the sexiest issue to tackle, but it’s critically important. It’s a fundamental need for human survival. When Senate President Troy Jackson appointed me to serve on the Environment & Natural Resources Committee, I knew this appointment was a reflection of my work in the legislature so far. I have consistently earned high marks and endorsements from environmental groups such as Maine Sierra Club and Maine League of Conservation Voters. ~ Sen. Justin Chenette
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