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
Opinion: Acting Our Age: Reflections on Earth Day
Free Press - Thursday, April 19, 2018 

Here are three things that can make a difference: 1. Get active in town government and insist that best practices be followed that protect lakes and streams from malfunctioning septic systems, inadequate culverts and poorly designed and maintained roads — even if it costs money. 2. Email or call your legislator every month in support of an environmental issue important to you. 3. Make sure you have the most energy-efficient house on your block. If we can take responsibility, Earth Day 50 years from now will continue to have important things to celebrate. ~ Lloyd Irland
Opinion: Protect What You Love — Maine’s Dark Skies
Free Press - Thursday, April 19, 2018 

I offer this possibility: that the communities, counties and representatives associated with the Moosehead Region and the Upper Moose River Basin get together to talk about these quickly eroding scenic values, to seek agreements and draw up documents that officially declare and circumscribe the Moosehead and Upper Moose River Basins as “Wind Farm and Power Transmission Line Free Zones” in Maine. This is about acting to protect the value of our natural rural assets that support the rural small business and tourism economy and that feed our hearts and souls by the edge of a quiet lake on a starlit night. To do nothing is simply to let the big boys pave paradise and put up the parking lot, with lights. ~ Roger Merchant
Former senator blasts Bruce Poliquin’s push for fresh produce substitutes
Sun Journal - Thursday, April 19, 2018 

The retired U.S. senator from Iowa who created the national Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program is accusing Maine Republican U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin of taking steps that could destroy it. Former U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, who served for three decades until his 2015 retirement, said, “This character from Maine” is so determined to let schools buy more frozen blueberries from 2nd District farms that he’s willing to undermine the entire rationale for a program that gives more than 4 million low-income schoolchildren fresh produce.
Zoning change advances Nordic Aquafarms' $150M project in Belfast
Mainebiz - Thursday, April 19, 2018 

Belfast City Council unanimously approved a zoning ordinance change on Tuesday night that allows Nordic Aquafarms to move forward on its $150 million Phase 1 project to build one of the world's largest indoor salmon farms on a 40-acre site off Route 1.
Opinion: In Defense of Plastic Bags
Free Press - Thursday, April 19, 2018 

There has been much written about the negative impact of plastics on the environment, and I assure you that I too feel frustrated by a world that seems to be drowning itself in plastic. I do not need to be convinced that plastic pollution is a problem. But when you look at the full life cycle analysis and production chain of both plastic bags, and their alternatives, it’s clear that there are no perfect solutions. I am not eager to see Camden jump on board the bandwagon of banning plastic shopping bags. I support placing fees on both both paper and plastic bags. ~ Alison McKellar, Camden
Opinion: It’s critical that we reduce our carbon footprints to slow our changing climate
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, April 19, 2018 

When Earth Day was first celebrated in 1970, a major focus was on reducing air and water pollution. On Earth Day this year, a major focus should again be on air pollution, with reducing carbon dioxide emissions being a critical need. We need to elect candidates who strongly support programs that fight climate change. All of us should also consider our own contribution to carbon dioxide pollution in the atmosphere. One possibility is to purchase Maine Green Power and offsets for our personal carbon footprint. For all of us, we might consider using part of our tax cuts to improve the energy efficiency of our houses and to purchase carbon offsets. ~ John Tjepkema, University of Maine
Unanswered Questions About CMP Bid To Cross Maine to Bring Clean Power From Canada To Massachusetts
Free Press - Thursday, April 19, 2018 

Questions are being asked as to whether a $950 million electricity tranmission line that Central Maine Power proposes to build across a remote part of Maine will reduce greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere, as intended. The proposed project is a joint effort by CMP and Hydro-Québec to deliver renewable power directly to Massachusetts to comply with a 2016 state law that requires 1,200 megawatts of power used in Massachusetts to come from clean energy sources. Watchdog groups are concerned about the environmental impacts. At the top of the list of concerns is whether this is really a clean power deal at all.
Letter: Climate Change a National Security Threat
Times Record - Thursday, April 19, 2018 

Retired marine corps General Anthony Zinni, speaking at Bowdoin on April 9, identified that the military has for decades identified climate change as a major security threat, and in some instances, as the major security threat. In December 2017, a new National Security Statement was released, under our current commander in chief, which did not include climate change as a security threat, in contrast to many previous Pentagon assessments. The National Security Statement is primarily a political document, issued from the White House, not the Pentagon. It is time for our commander in chief to listen to his generals on this topic. ~ Dodie Kaloust, Brunswick
Letter: Another Response to Rep. Jeff Pierce
Times Record - Thursday, April 19, 2018 

I question the reasoning of State Rep. Jeff Pierce, who maintains that the use of solar power adds cost to other electric customers. How odd that he voted yes on LD 1444 initially, and then changed his vote when the effort was made to override LePage's veto; he did the same in 2017. What explanation does he offer for his yes votes if he is convinced the development of solar power is bad for Maine? I urge Mainers to educate themselves about the many benefits of solar, and other methods of alternative energy sources. ~ Adair DeLamater, Bath
Casco Bay, Katahdin high school students form collaborative
The County - Wednesday, April 18, 2018 

Students from Casco Bay High School in Portland joined forces with Katahdin Area High School on several community service projects last week as part of a collaborative effort between the two schools.
Kala Rush, an English and outdoor education instructor for KAHS, said the collaboration came together rather quickly. “I started working as a place-based educator for the Katahdin Woods and Waters Monument,” Rush explained. “That led to a bunch of connections with service learning and place-based projects.” Those projects included a video production of a Katahdin Woods and Waters Monument seminar that was held on April 11.
Conservation group aims to save one deer at a time
Fiddlehead Focus (St. John Valley, Aroostook County) - Wednesday, April 18, 2018 

The Aroostook County Conservation Association is celebrating its 10th year of conservation-related activities in The County and will hold its next public meeting Friday, April 20, in Presque Isle. The group’s primary mission is to enhance and preserve the whitetail deer herd in Aroostook County; however, all species of wildlife benefit from its habitat improvement projects and the wise use of renewable resources. The group has planted nearly 440 acres of food plots. In addition, ACCA members have planted 16,000 maple, oak, hemlock and cedar trees to improve the winter browse available within the habitat.
Forster Mill demolition opens up Wilton development possibilities
Mainebiz - Wednesday, April 18, 2018 

The massive Forster Mill complex on Depot Street is finally coming down after years of issues, and the town is looking forward to development opportunities. "It'll make a big difference," said Town Manager Rhonda Irish. Vacant since 2010, the 232,000-square-foot, four-story brick building went through a botched partial demolition in 2011 that was halted by a fire, a foreclosure and a major brownfields cleanup.
Earth Day hacks for everyday living
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, April 18, 2018 

“As America’s Environmental College, Earth Week and Earth Day mean a lot to our students, faculty, and staff,” said Dr. Melik Peter Khoury, President of Unity College. “We want to take that excitement and passion that we all have for the environment and share it with the community, so that they can also adopt a more sustainable lifestyle, and pass ideas and practices on to their friends and family.” Throughout the weekend of April 21-22, Unity College will host Nourish! A Sustainability Fair, where community members are encouraged to take part in activities to discover these hacks that will benefit themselves, and the environment.
Buying local is a growing movement benefiting young farmers
WCSH-TV6 - Wednesday, April 18, 2018 

While the USDA 2012 Census of Agriculture shows the number of farms declining nationwide, farms in Maine and New England have increased, and the market value of what they're producing has increased by about 24% in five years.
Belfast salmon farm clears first hurdle despite pleas to ‘slow down’
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, April 18, 2018 

A Norwegian aquaculture company planning one of the world’s largest indoor salmon farms in Belfast cleared its first hurdle Tuesday night, but not without controversy. Following a heated, nearly four-hour meeting, Belfast city councilors unanimously approved a zoning ordinance change that will allow Nordic Aquafarms to advance to the next stages. The company is now clear to iron out plans for the site, pursue reviews and approvals from state and federal agencies, and apply for local development permits.
American Lung Association: Maine air quality is improved
Forecaster - Wednesday, April 18, 2018 

Breathing may be easier, but it can still be a risky proposition. That is the finding of a statewide report card issued Wednesday by the American Lung Association. “The 2018 ‘State of the Air’ report finds that Maine has taken some big leaps this year, with significantly less ozone than in years past,” American Lung Association Chief Division Officer Jeff Seyler said in a press release.
Baby goats make great hiking companions at Frankfort farm Hiking with goats experience offered by Frankfort farm
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, April 18, 2018 

Sean and Sonja Twombly care for a herd of about 40 milk goats on their homestead, Lally Broch Farm, where they produce a wide variety of products, from fresh goat cheese to mosaic pendants crafted from painted chicken egg shells. They also offer classes in how to make cheese and soap, and this year, they’re offering a new experience: hiking with goats. In early January, they posted a list of a dozen dates throughout the spring, summer and fall for hiking with goats experiences. In no time, these private group hikes — $75 for a group of up to six people — were sold out.
Letter: Solution to dysfunction ignored
Sun Journal - Wednesday, April 18, 2018 

In his column April 5, Cal Thomas complained that “climate change appears to remain an unchallengeable doctrine for the left.” Yet only 3 percent of climate scientists oppose the overwhelming consensus that global warming is real. And those 3 percent are not holding up well on closer scrutiny. Climate change denial is a Republican phenomena. Public figures and those with influence, such as Thomas, have a moral obligation to seek the truth. ~ Richard Brown, Turner
Potential conflict delays Yarmouth solar energy proposal
Forecaster - Tuesday, April 17, 2018 

Progress on a town solar energy proposal was delayed last week because of a potential conflict of interest. During Town Council discussion April 12 about establishing a Renewable Energy and Sustainability Task Force to be charged with several tasks – including a group solar purchasing program – Councilor Jim MacLeod questioned whether a disclosure should be required after learning Councilor April Humphrey’s brother works for ReVision Energy, a company that frequently works with municipalities on group solar purchasing agreements.
Michael Michaud Walking and Biking Trail in Millinocket
Aislinn Sarnacki Act Out Blog - Tuesday, April 17, 2018 

The Michael Michael Walking and Biking Trail is a paved path that travels along Millinocket Stream, connecting two schools, two parks, the Millinocket Historical Society and nearby residential neighborhoods. Completed in summer of 2011, the trail can be enjoyed in sections or as a 1.65-mile loop if you combine it with a few sidewalks.
Report: Greenhouse Gas Initiative Gave $4 Billion Back To Participating States' Economies
Maine Public - Tuesday, April 17, 2018 

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, the nine-state carbon-pricing program known as RGGI, has continued to bolster Northeast economies even as its environmental goals grew more ambitious, according to the latest three-year report on RGGI by the Analysis Group. The report was commissioned by a group of charities and environmental foundations that wants to show whether the nearly decade-old program is working. Co-author Sue Tierney says RGGI has now put $4 billion back into its nine participating states’ economies.
Maine Audubon, foresters work to protect critical bird habitat
Forecaster - Tuesday, April 17, 2018 

The populations of many forest birds in Maine have been steadily declining as threats to their existence continue to grow, including habitat fragmentation, encroaching development, air pollution and climate change. That’s why Maine Audubon has created the Forestry for Maine Birds program, which is specifically designed to integrate bird conservation methods with forest management and planning, said Jeremy Cluchey, Audubon spokesman.
Legislature Nixes Constitutional Amendment to Change Citizen Initiative Requirements
Maine Public - Tuesday, April 17, 2018 

A measure that would have given voters the chance to amend the state constitution and change how citizen initiative questions get on the ballot is dead — at least for this session. Proponents of the amendment have argued that it will reduce the chance of voters in the state’s more populous 1st District, bringing questions to the ballot that don’t have popular statewide support [such as a ban on bear baiting].
Falmouth residents submit petitions to remove growth districts
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, April 17, 2018 

The Falmouth Town Council will hold a special meeting Wednesday to discuss a recently submitted petition to roll back rules for high-density residential zoning adopted in 2016. Residents have been circulating a petition calling for the town to roll back 2016 changes to the town’s zoning ordinances that encouraged high-density development in certain growth districts.
Broadcaster Bill Green to speak at UMF graduation
Sun Journal - Tuesday, April 17, 2018 

The University of Maine at Farmington has announced that award-winning broadcast journalist Bill Green will be this year’s commencement speaker and will receive an honorary degree. The commencement ceremony is at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, May 12, when Green will receive an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.
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