October 16, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Tuesday, October 15, 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
A Citizen’s Guide to Helping the Birds of Maine, Oct 22
Event - Posted - Tuesday, October 15, 2019 

Laura Suomi-Lecker, Outreach Coordinator at Avian Haven, will show the effort and dedication required to rehabilitate eagles, owls, hawks, loons, and many species of songbirds. At Topsham Public Library, October 22, 6 pm. Sponsored by Cathance River Education Alliance.
Shells: Treasures from Maine Shores, Oct 21
Event - Posted - Monday, October 14, 2019 

Alison C. Dibble, conservation biologist, shares her passion for Maine shells ranging from clams and snails to slippers and whelks. At Moore Community Center, Ellsworth, October 21, 7 pm. Sponsored by Downeast Audubon.
Ocean Commotion 5k Run/Walk, Oct 19
Event - Posted - Saturday, October 12, 2019 

You and your friendly four legged running companions can participate in the 5th Annual Ocean Commotion 5k Race. At Hermit Island Campground, Phippsburg, October 19, benefits Marine Mammals of Maine.
Falling Leaf Fun, Oct 18
Event - Posted - Friday, October 11, 2019 

Friends of Sears Island will host a program for kids. At Belfast City Park, October 18, 2:30-4 pm.
NRCM's Annual Conservation Leadership Awards, Oct 16
Event - Posted - Wednesday, October 9, 2019 

Natural Resources Council of Maine 2019 Conservation Leadership Awards:
• Jon Lund, Hallowell, Lifetime Achievement Award
• Liz Caruso, Caratunk, tireless activist against the proposed CMP transmission corridor
• SolaRISE Student Activists, Portland, advocates for providing solar energy to local schools
• Sandi Howard for dedication to administering Say NO to NECEC
At Jewish Community Alliance of Southern Maine, Portland, October 16, 6-8 pm.
Bees and Blueberries: Where Does It Go From Here? Oct 16
Event - Posted - Wednesday, October 9, 2019 

Pollinator Biologist Eric Venturi will present this year's Roque Island Lecture on Environmental Conservation: The future of cultivating blueberries. At UMaine at Machias, October 16, 11 am.
Evening for the Environment, Oct 22
Event - Posted - Tuesday, October 8, 2019 

Keynote speaker Richard Louv, author of "Last Child in the Woods," speaks on nature-deficit disorder, the importance of exposure to nature for health, and the need for environmental protection. Also, celebrate policy wins for conservation and clean energy in Maine. At UNE's Innovation Hall, Portland, October 22, 5:30 pm. Sponsored by Maine Conservation Voters.
Fall Photography Walk, Oct 12
Event - Posted - Saturday, October 5, 2019 

Jim McCarthy will share secrets for creative nature photography. At Cathance River Education Alliance Ecology Center, Topsham, October 12, 9-11 am, limit 20, pre-register.
Kennebec Land Trust, Howard Hill Historical Park dedication, Oct 10
Announcement - Thursday, October 3, 2019 

Judy Camuso, Commissioner, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife; Howard Lake, KLT Director; Bill Bridgeo, Augusta City Manager; Augusta Mayor Dave Rollins; and Andrew Silsby, President of Kennebec Savings Bank, provide remarks October 10, 4 pm, at the historic Gannett treehouse overlook.
Insects in decline in Maine, Oct 9
Event - Posted - Wednesday, October 2, 2019 

Sarah Haggerty, Maine Audubon conservation biologist, talks about her research on Maine insect populations. At UMaine-Farmington, October 9, 7 pm. Sponsored by Western Maine Audubon.
Mitchell Lecture on Sustainability, Oct 8
Event - Posted - Tuesday, October 1, 2019 

E.J. Milner-Gulland, Professor of Biodiversity at the University of Oxford, UK, will speak on “An Optimistic Vision for a Sustainable, Wild, and Socially Just World.” Also, remarks by Senator George J. Mitchell. At UMaine at Orono, October 8, 2 pm, pre-register.
Fund for Maine Land Conservation seeking applications for grants to support future projects
Announcement - Tuesday, October 1, 2019 

The Fund for Maine Land Conservation, a component fund of the Maine Community Foundation, is accepting grant applications to support projects that encourage preservation of Maine’s land. Deadline: Oct. 15.
Pesticides disposal
Announcement - Tuesday, October 1, 2019 

Mainers can dispose of unusable and waste pesticides in October at four sites: Presque Isle, Jonesboro, Augusta and Portland. Registration deadline: October 7.
One Maine, One Health, Oct 8
Event - Posted - Tuesday, October 1, 2019 

Maine Public Health Association's 2019 Annual Conference, "One Maine, One Health: Uniting Maine's people, environment and wildlife for better health and economy." At Augusta Civic Center, October 8, 8 am - 3 pm.
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News Items
President of Maine’s oldest fishermen’s organization to step down in March
Boothbay Register - Tuesday, February 13, 2018 

After 27 years as president of the Maine Lobstermen’s Association, the state’s oldest fishermen’s organization, lobsterman David Cousens of South Thomaston will step down at the MLA’s annual meeting on March 2 at the Samoset Resort in Rockport. Since Cousens began his tenure in 1991, the Maine lobster fishery has experienced dramatic changes.
Federal Land And Water Conservation Fund Under Threat
Other - Tuesday, February 13, 2018 

The Trump administration has proposed its budget for fiscal year 2019. It would once again gut funding for a multi-million-dollar federal conservation and outdoor recreation program. People joke the U.S. Land and Water Conservation Fund is the most important conservation program nobody knows about. It was created in 1965 and is funded almost entirely by fees on offshore oil and gas extraction. Up to $900 million per year is used nationwide to protect or purchase public land and water. The program has strong bipartisan support and last year, the Trump administration’s budget also attempted to gut it. But Congress funded its preservation.
Satellites show warming is accelerating sea level rise
Associated Press - Tuesday, February 13, 2018 

Melting ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica are speeding up the already fast pace of sea level rise, new satellite research shows. At the current rate, the world’s oceans on average will be at least 2 feet higher by the end of the century.
Benchmark study of lobsters begins
Other - Tuesday, February 13, 2018 

Newburyport News (MA) - In 2015, data collected in a benchmark assessment of New England lobster stocks showed record-high abundance for the combined stocks of the Gulf of Maine and Georges Bank and record lows for the lobster stock of southern New England. Now, about three years later, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission is beginning preparations for the next American lobster benchmark assessment that is expected to be completed about March 2020.
LePage unlikely to take his foot off the gas in final months as governor
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, February 13, 2018 

Fans and critics of Gov. Paul LePage can agree on one thing for certain: The firebrand Republican is unlikely to go quietly as he wraps up his final year as the state’s chief executive. In the last few months alone, LePage has flexed his executive muscles including by shutting down wind power development. On Tuesday, LePage will deliver his final State of the State address to the Legislature. What he says, how he says it and the goals he lays out will be a prelude for what Mainers can expect from their governor – a man who is seldom out of the headlines for long – in the months ahead.
Editorial: Legislature should probe UMaine power contract
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, February 13, 2018 

There are special risks that arise any time a government entity gets involved in a business deal. Because there is so much potential for abuse, everything has to be transparent. It’s not enough for the government entity to be fair – it has to appear to be fair. And when someone calls foul, the agency can’t credibly investigate itself. There is such a situation involving the University of Maine and two companies that unsuccessfully bid for a $150 million power contract that involved buying the abandoned paper mill in Old Town.
Opinion: Land trusts earn their tax breaks
Morning Sentinel - Tuesday, February 13, 2018 

Gov. Paul LePage has said he wants to remove the real estate tax exemption allowed for properties owned by nonprofit land trusts. Why are conservation land trusts, along with other nonprofits such as private colleges, given the right to apply for local real estate exemptions? What do land trusts provide to deserve it? Why not rely on the state alone to safeguard public land? Maine has protected only 6.5 percent of its total area, the lowest percentage among Eastern states. Properties such as Coburn Woods cost the local taxpayers nothing, but all are welcome to hike, ski, hunt or ride on 4 miles of mountain bike trails. ~ Jack Gibson and Nancy Williams, Somerset Woods Trustees
Letter: Maine PUC, Legislature let citizens’ electricity costs go higher
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, February 13, 2018 

Regarding the recent high Central Maine Power bills: I am not sure which is worse: the state Public Utilities Commission, whose members authorized an unconscionable 18 percent rate increase (in a period when inflation is less than 2 percent), or the Maine Legislature, which continues to oppose Quebec hydroelectricity, delivered to our homes and businesses at one-third the price we currently pay. Nothing is cleaner than hydro, using the Earth’s natural resources (water and gravity) to generate electricity. ~ Jim Means, Gorham
Letter: Protect the mountains forever
Sun Journal - Tuesday, February 13, 2018 

Congratulations to Gov. Paul LePage for introducing a bill to repeal the Expedited Windpower Act. The 2008 act was prepared by a top-heavy group of power companies, developers and conservation organizations. There is no mention in their report of preventing damage to the fragile mountains and the surrounding ecosystems. Wind power projects destroy those mountains by creating massive roads up the steep slopes, blasting huge holes in the ledges and clear cutting swaths of forest land for transmission lines. All of that destruction is done under the guise of providing renewable energy for states south of Maine. The energy may be renewable, but the mountains are not. ~ Fred Huntress Jr., Poland Spring
Rare ‘pterodactyl’ crane attracts crowds near Maine-NH border
Other - Monday, February 12, 2018 

A Sandhill crane arrived in Rollinsford, NH, last summer, quickly winning everyone over with its indifference toward people and its preference for pickup trucks — the bird loves to stare at itself in the vehicles’ reflection. Sandhill cranes don’t typically venture this far east. The birds are more likely to be found in the Midwest and Canada during warmer months, before migrating south come winter.
How Wyman’s Carved Out A Global Market For One Of Maine’s Iconic Crops
Maine Public - Monday, February 12, 2018 

“This is a million and a half pounds, and our one in Deblois, our main cold storage is 12.1 million where we store most of our finished packs, and we’ve got one in Jonesboro for 10 million pounds,” says Wyman’s of Maine manufacturing manager Adam West, inside what he describes as a “teeny tiny” freezer. These facilities, coupled with a few in Canada, will store the fruits from 17,000 acres of blueberry fields. All the crates and cartons at this facility in Cherryfield will be gone in a matter of hours, on their way to school cafeterias, boxes of Betty Crocker muffin mix and retail freezers across the U.S. and beyond.
Dock manager suspected of large-scale theft from Rockland seafood dealer
Courier-Gazette - Monday, February 12, 2018 

State and local law enforcement agencies are investigating a suspected large-scale fraud and theft case that targeted a local seafood dealer. Chad W. Salvas, 39, of Rockland was arrested last May and charged with two counts of felony theft and two counts of felony forgery. The owner of J&J Lobster told police he suspected that Salvas, his dock manager, had stolen the money.
South Portland seeks redevelopment proposals for former public works site
Portland Press Herald - Monday, February 12, 2018 

The 6-acre parcel in the Meeting House Hill neighborhood is on the market and available for mostly residential, eco-friendly development.
President's Budget Gouges LWCF
Appalachian Mountain Club - Monday, February 12, 2018 

The Trump Administration’s budget proposal for FY19 released today basically axes the Land and Water Conservation Fund in its entirety, with an overall cut of 98% from the enacted FY17 level. This is even worse than the ruinous proposal for FY18 that came out last spring, and then was promptly rejected by Congress on a bipartisan basis. It basically eliminates the entire program.
Maine environmental groups express concerns over Trump budget
Bangor Daily News - Monday, February 12, 2018 

Maine environmental groups and the state’s Congressional representatives said Monday they have serious concerns about a proposal from President Trump to cut the Environmental Protection Agency budget for next year by 34 percent. Lisa Pohlmann, executive director of the Natural Resources Council of Maine, said Monday, “This says volumes about [Trump’s] disregard for clean air and clean water, his disrespect for the bipartisan efforts that have helped to protect our environment over the past 50 years, and his lack of understanding of the irrefutable reality of climate change.”
Trump budget would kill funds for many programs in Maine
Portland Press Herald - Monday, February 12, 2018 

President Trump released a proposed budget for the next fiscal year Monday that, if enacted, would have serious consequences across Maine. The sweeping plan again proposes to stop federal funding for the University of Maine’s Sea Grant research program, and the Wells Reserve at Laudholm, which would face closure. At the Department of the Interior, the fund that helps compensate local communities for lost tax revenue from land included in National Wildlife Refuges will be closed. In northern Maine, the Northern Border Regional Commission also would be eliminated. Rep. Chellie Pingree said Trump’s proposal “spells disaster for rural states like Maine and demonstrates how out of touch his administration is with the needs of the country.” Republican Rep. Bruce Poliquin said he was pleased the budget request strengthened national security, but was opposed to eliminating Sea Grant and Wells.
Democrats target New England’s GOP House holdout
Boston Globe - Monday, February 12, 2018 

As the lone New England Republican in the House, Representative Bruce Poliquin of Maine has grown accustomed to being the last of an endangered species. Now his fight against extinction is looking more dire. Energized Democrats leaders looking to make New England a clean sweep in 2018 are training their fire on Poliquin, a former investment manager running for his third term, in a race that will test whether a national backlash against President Trump will spread to the far northeastern corner of the nation. Voters in the blue-collar Second Congressional District filled with forests, lobsters, and blueberries swung heavily for Trump in 2016. This year they could reverse course and help fuel the Democratic wave that threatens to swamp dozens of House Republicans across the country.
Woodlot Project Needs Your Support
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Monday, February 12, 2018 

My project to donate my woodlot to the Kennebec Land Trust, with a focus on using it to teach kids about wildlife habitat, is off to a great start. Thanks to many generous friends, we’ve raised $14,000 of the $20,000 needed for the project. If you have not yet donated, please consider doing that.
Column: A lesson in political suicide
Daily Bulldog (Franklin County) - Monday, February 12, 2018 

As a legislator, Nutting earned a reputation as a staunch environmentalist and an advocate for expanded health care. But he skewed to the conservative side on labor issues. After losing the 2010 election, then- state Sen. John Nutting disparaged his victorious opponent and the people who voted for him. Not the sort of thing one does if one is holding out the prospect of ever running for office again. But here it is nearly eight years later, and Nutting, a moderate Democrat from Leeds who had served several terms in both the state House and Senate, must have come to believe everybody has forgotten about his little hissy fit. So, he’s announced he’s a candidate for his old seat as a state representative. ~ Al Diamon
Opinion: Maine’s economy and land conservation are deeply intertwined
Bangor Daily News - Monday, February 12, 2018 

Mainers are surrounded by unparalleled natural resources that enrich our lives every day. Even better, Maine’s economy works together with its ecology in a way that is truly unique — an “eco/eco” partnership that sits at the heart of who we are. Maine’s legacy of land conservation is a key part of why this partnership works. Protecting our wild places has long been a core, nonpartisan value in Maine. That’s why recent political attacks taking aim at land conservation are so troubling. Critiques of land conservation that don’t account for these benefits simply aren’t telling the whole story. They misunderstand the special relationship Maine’s economy and ecology have always enjoyed, working not in opposition but in concert, each relying on and benefiting from the vitality of the other. Maine’s unique “eco/eco” partnership is something to treasure. ~ Andy Beahm, Maine Audubon.
Climate Change Could Mean Less Maple Syrup For Your Pancakes
National Public Radio - Monday, February 12, 2018 

Maple syrup might be ubiquitous in pantries and pancake houses now, but new research suggests that might not always be the case. Climate change could eventually render the sticky stuff extinct. A study published last month in the journal Ecology examined assessed how environmental conditions impacted the growth of maple trees. The findings were sobering: Climate change has led to warmer, drier growing seasons, stunting the growth of sugar maples.
Letter: Pruitt a threat to environment
Bangor Daily News - Monday, February 12, 2018 

Since his first day in Trump’s Cabinet, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has slashed environmental safeguards with gusto. He’s shown time and time again that he’s not loyal to the people but to the dirty energy interests that have funded his ambitions and dictated his policy. In 2016, Pruitt said then-candidate Trump would be “abusive to the Constitution” with unilateral overreach and called him an “empty vessel” on the rule of law. But now he’s the one carrying out the attacks on our environment and health. He’s the abuser. Pruitt is under three different investigations for misusing taxpayer money. He is working to advance his own career at the expense of our health and the environment. ~ Ryan Kittle, Portland
Blog: What’s up with our oceans?
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, February 11, 2018 

Sea level rise is tied to global warming. We have been setting records for warm years now year after year according to the climate scientists. Because the earth is warming, our oceans are absorbing a lot of this heat. Last year our oceans were warmer than they ever have been, and the last 5 years have been the five warmest on record. When water is warmed up, it expands. There’s more. As the temperatures rise, some glaciers and ice sheets are melting into the ocean. Since the ocean’s warming, some of the sea food we love no longer thrives offshore. Gone are our sweet Maine shrimp, for example. ~ Bill Baker
Lobster Industry Ensnared in North Atlantic Right Whale Deaths
Sierra Club - Sunday, February 11, 2018 

Last year, 17 North Atlantic right whales were discovered to have died, about 4 percent of a total population of 455. If the current trend continues, the North Atlantic right whale, one of the most endangered marine mammals in the world, could go extinct by 2040. In response, the Center for Biological Diversity, Defenders of Wildlife, and American Humane Society are suing the U.S. Department of Commerce, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association Fisheries, and the National Marine Fisheries Service. According to their complaint, entanglements from lobster trap lines and other commercial fishing gear unduly jeopardize the dwindling whale populations and breach the species’ right to protection under the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act.
Letter: Land Trusts work for Maine
Seacoast Online - Sunday, February 11, 2018 

The recent increase in scrutiny of land trusts by policy makers is an opportunity to highlight our work. As Coordinator of the Mount Agamenticus to the Sea Conservation Initiative (MtA2C) - an effort by 10 partner organizations to connect an expanse of open space in southern York County - I want those on the Seacoast who benefit to understand its value. York, Kittery, and Great Works Regional Land Trusts and other partners conserve land for community recreation and enjoyment as well as for clean water, scenery, heritage, wildlife habitat and more - all of which strengthens our communities and economy. ~ Karen Young, Kittery Land Trust
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