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
Maine-based Coast Guard crew rescues 3 sea turtles (and seizes 6 tons of cocaine,)
Portland Press Herald - Friday, June 15, 2018 

A Maine-based Coast Guard cutter returned to Kittery Friday after seizing 12,000 pounds of cocaine and rescuing three sea turtles during an 80-day patrol in the Caribbean Sea and eastern Pacific Ocean. The crew of the cutter Campbell disrupted six narcotic smuggling ventures, detained 24 suspected smugglers and seized the cocaine, which was valued at $209 million, according to the Coast Guard. The crew was also able to help three sea turtles that were found entangled in loose fishing gear.
Protection of U.S. wetlands in peril
Associated Press - Friday, June 15, 2018 

Mitigation banks are the government’s preferred method of protecting wetlands from damage from development, a long-standing mitigation program that has appealed to capitalists and conservationists alike. However, Administrator Scott Pruitt’s Environmental Protection Agency has completed a proposal for implementing President Trump’s executive order to replace the Waters of the United States rule with a much more limited definition of what constitutes a protected federal waterway. "We’re proposing that groundwater is not water of the United States,” Pruitt said. “That’s how you save the economy a billion dollars.”
Regulators want reports from lobstermen to fill ‘giant black hole of data’ on offshore fishery
Portland Press Herald - Friday, June 15, 2018 

The National Marine Fisheries Service wants all Maine lobstermen who haul traps in federal waters to share their fishing data. Currently, only lobstermen who fish for something else, such as groundfish, must share their data with federal authorities, but the service wants to start collecting better data on the growing offshore fishery. It has announced its plan to draft a new rule that will require all those who lobster in federal waters to report exactly when, how and where they fish.
Northern Maine residents concerned about development in unorganized territories
The County - Friday, June 15, 2018 

Several people expressed concerns about a proposal that could lead to more commercial development in unorganized territories of Aroostook County and the state during a public informational meeting held at the Bigrock Ski Lodge. The Land Use Planning Commission has proposed zoning changes that would allow new subdivision or commercial development in Maine’s 1.8 million acres of Unorganized Territory. Under the proposal, development could occur within 10 linear miles of designated “rural hub” communities. Under the commission’s current one-mile adjacency rule, any new development in unorganized townships has to be within one road mile of existing similar development.
Lobster lands on China’s list of retaliatory tariffs, and that’s bad news for Maine
Associated Press - Friday, June 15, 2018 

A set of retaliatory tariffs announced by China on Friday includes a plan to tax imports of American lobster, potentially jeopardizing one of the biggest markets for Maine’s signature seafood. Chinese officials announced the planned lobster tariff along with hundreds of others amid the country’s escalating trade fight with the United States. China said it wants to place new duties on items such as farm products, autos and seafood starting July 6. Maine’s four members of Congress expressed their concerns and wrote to President Trump last month about how the administration’s trade policies could hurt the state’s $1.5 billion-a-year lobster industry.
Maine ranked worst state for Lyme disease in entire country
WMTW-TV8 - Friday, June 15, 2018 

Maine has been ranked the worst state for Lyme disease in the country. Website 24/7 Wall Street looked at data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and then ranked every state based on incidence of Lyme. Data shows Maine has a Lyme disease rate of 86.4 per 100,000 residents, with more than 1,100 confirmed cases of Lyme. The website points out the data is only from confirmed Lyme cases. "Maine's incidence of confirmed Lyme disease cases of 86.4 per 100,000 residents in 2016 was by far the highest of any state," the website states.
Report: Logging History Of Maine's Allagash Wilderness Waterway Should Be Preserved
Maine Public - Friday, June 15, 2018 

Preserving the Allagash Wilderness Waterway's logging history, while keeping the area wild, is one priority to come from a new report released Friday. The report was released by the Allagash Wilderness Waterway Foundation and the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands, which manages the area. The 92-mile ribbon of water and woods in Northern Maine has been known as a scenic spot since it was added to the state parks system in the 1960s. But, says foundation president Bob McIntosh, before that, it was home to logging families who lived in remote settlements along the corridor. "We just think it's a great story and we want that story to be available to be told into the future," McIntosh says. Not much remains of those settlements, but McIntosh says the idea now is to preserve what does.
Local partnership nets national grant award
Bangor Daily News - Friday, June 15, 2018 

A winged ally of Maine farmers is the focus of a new partnership between the Somerset County Soil & Water Conservation District and the Damariscotta River Association. A $5,000 grant from the 2018 Cornell Land Trust Small Grants Program will support the Ag Allies program, a project to educate Maine citizens and work with local farmers and land trusts to provide much-needed safe nesting habitat for steeply declining populations of grassland bird species, including Bobolinks, meadowlarks and sparrows.
Maine’s maple syrup, honey producers caught in sticky labeling mess
Bangor Daily News - Friday, June 15, 2018 

Maine’s maple and honey producers are hoping the federal government backs off proposed new labeling requirements that they fear could undo decades of industry marketing of the natural sweeteners. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is proposing that labels on pure maple sugar and pure honey contain the language “added sugar,” despite acknowledging no added sugar is present in either product beyond what naturally occurs.
Maine Voters Overrule Their Leaders
Other - Friday, June 15, 2018 

With support from Governor Paul LePage, the legislature nullified a statewide referendum approving ranked-choice voting. On Tuesday, the citizens got the final word and enacted it again.
Climate change is moving fish around faster than laws can handle, study says
Washington Post - Friday, June 15, 2018 

In response to climate change, vital fisheries stocks such as salmon and mackerel are migrating without paperwork. According to a new study being published Friday in Science Magazine, coastal countries need to collaborate even more on international fishing regulations to prevent misuse of resources. Food, environmental and economic securities are at stake, it warns.
As Nuclear Struggles, A New Generation Of Engineers Is Motivated By Climate Change
National Public Radio - Friday, June 15, 2018 

The number of people graduating with nuclear engineering degrees has more than tripled since a low point in 2001, and many are passionate about their motivation. "I'm here because I think I can save the world with nuclear power," Leslie Dewan told the crowd at a 2014 event as she pitched her company's design for a new kind of reactor. Dewan says climate change, and the fact that nuclear plants emit no greenhouse gasses, is the big reason she became a nuclear engineer. And she's not alone.
DIFW proposes to manage for fewer moose in new management plan
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Friday, June 15, 2018 

Moose hunting ended in 1936 and was reopened in 1980. A group tried to end the hunt with a referendum question, but we defeated that ballot measure. An increase in the deer population caused a decline in moose numbers, partly due to a meningeal worm that was transmitted to moose. Ironically the spruce budworm outbreak of the 1970s and 1980s increased moose populations. 2012 aerial surveys estimated that moose populations had reached 76,000. Interest in moose hunting has declined. From 2006 to 2016 annual moose permit applicants dropped 40%. Maine's new moose management plan recognizes that we must consider the public’s non-consumptive appreciation of moose.
Column: Down East coast provides productive setting for Maine birding festivals
Bangor Daily News - Friday, June 15, 2018 

You learn a lot while attending a birding festival. From Stonington to Lubec, Maine has just hosted three consecutive festivals along the Down East coast. One of the first things I learned this year is that Mainers aren’t too precise about where “Down East” starts. I learned from another co-leader that poop matters. I learned that a lot of people don’t really know how to use their binoculars. I learned that puffins are still the sexiest birds in Maine. I learned that warblers have personalities. Finally, I learned that some birds are clowns. ~ Bob Duchesne
Letter: Broken coastal food chain
Bangor Daily News - Friday, June 15, 2018 

There are no seabirds. No ducks. Gone. No more loons. All gone. The only thing I see are crows. If you’re a tourist looking for seabirds, forget it. I’m sure other coastal sea towns will say the same thing, the shorebirds are gone along with our foot-sized alewife and smelts. I can attest to all of this, and I blame it on the cutting of our seaweed. When you cut that seaweed, it is the same as taking the topsoil from our gardens. One game warden told me that the courts could come up with something the landowners could “put their teeth into” to stop them. But you know something folks, it’s too late. The food chain has been broken, and there’s not one thing any of us can do. ~ Cheryl Sawtelle, Lubec
Letter: Development in Unorganized Territory
Bangor Daily News - Friday, June 15, 2018 

I’m concerned about Land Use Planning Commission’s proposed changes to the adjacency principle to expand the current “one-mile rule” governing subdivision and development in Maine’s Unorganized Territory. It proposes to expand development to a larger footprint, 2 to 5 miles wide and up to 10 miles from retail hubs. The commission’s map scheme looks like a “business park and subdivision plan” for Maine’s Unorganized Territory. It has yet to explain what’s emerging in the rural economy that warrants this level of expansion. What and who is driving this change? People are not coming to Maine to view wind farms and power lines. ~ Roger Merchant, Glenburn
Brunswick cop helps ailing osprey
Maine Environmental News - Thursday, June 14, 2018 

Brunswick Police Officer Tompson responded to Brunswick Landing for a report of an injured bird. Upon arriving he located an Osprey that could not fly. The bird was transferred to the Avian Haven for recovery.
Maine deer hunters had big year in 2017 as the herd grows
Associated Press - Thursday, June 14, 2018 

Maine’s wildlife officials say deer hunters in the state had their most successful season in the last 10 years in 2017, in part because of a growing deer herd. The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife said hunters killed 27,233 deer last year. That’s an increase of 15 percent from 2016.
Standish wades into Presumpscot dam dispute
Keep Me Current - Thursday, June 14, 2018 

At a June 7 special meeting, Standish town councilors voted 5-0 to authorize Town Manager Kris Tucker to file a motion to intervene in the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s review of the Saccarappa Agreement. The agreement would remove the Saccarappa dams in Westbrook and create fish passages with an aim of restoring anadromous fish populations such as river herring, shad and salmon that spawn in fresh water but spend most of their time in the ocean. Standish joins two conservation groups, the Friends of Sebago Lake and Friends of Merrymeeting Bay, in objecting to the agreement based on concerns that it doesn’t go far enough or act soon enough in requiring fish passages at two of the dams further up the Presumpscot.
Small Maine Town Feels Loss Of High Achieving Seniors To The City
Maine Public - Thursday, June 14, 2018 

Last week was one of celebration at Mountain Valley High School in Rumford. The Rumford area used to be a hub for pulp and paper. But automation and a declining paper industry have prompted round after round of layoffs to the Rumford Mill. The downtown is now dotted by vacant buildings and storefronts. Over the last decade, Mountain Valley has lost more than one-third of its students. Nearly 70 percent of those remaining are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch. Principal Matt Gilbert says the increasing economic hardship has had a noticeable effect on students' college aspirations.
CMP inks deal crucial to $950M plan to pipe hydropower through western Maine
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, June 14, 2018 

Central Maine Power Co.’s plan to build a transmission line from the Canadian border through western Maine to bring hydropower to Massachusetts passed a critical step Thursday, when the Maine utility and Massachusetts electricity distributors said they had signed a contract. The contract was not made public but reportedly Massachusetts ratepayers ultimately will foot the bill for CMP’s $950 million New England Clean Energy Connect project. “The Natural Resources Council of Maine and many other organizations are deeply concerned that the proposed New England Clean Energy Connect will not result in a reduction in carbon emissions and may even contribute to an increase,” Dylan Vorhees, clean energy director at the the NRCM, said.
CMP Finalizes Contract For Transmission Line Near Kennebec River Gorge
Maine Public - Thursday, June 14, 2018 

Central Maine Power and utilities in Massachusetts are announcing the finalization of a contract for CMP to build a new transmission line through western Maine. The 20-year contract would bring hydro-electricity from Canada to customers in Massachusetts. The proposal is controversial as it is in the area of the Kennebec River Gorge, where CMP wants to site the high-voltage, direct-current power lines. The 145-mile project still must win state permits in Maine and Massachusetts, and faces federal review as well.
State May Increase Number Of Deer Permits For Hunters
Maine Public - Thursday, June 14, 2018 

Maine deer hunters scored their highest annual harvest in a decade during last year's hunting season, and state wildlife regulators say those numbers support a proposal to increase the number of any-deer permits. Last year's harvest of about 22,200 deer represented a 15 percent increase over 2016. “An increasing deer population means more car-deer vehicle accidents, also higher incidences of lyme disease, so we'll issue a lot more doe permits or any deer permits in order to control the population in southern and central Maine,” Mark Latti, spokesperson for the state Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. On June 26, the IF&W Advisory Council will hold a public hearing at the Augusta Armory to receive comments on a proposal that would increase the number of any-deer permits for this year's season to 84,745, an increase of 28 percent.
Return of ‘gross’ caterpillars to Maine spurs fears of infestation Caterpillars swarm Maine town
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, June 14, 2018 

It seems everyone who lived in northern Maine in the late 1970s to early 1980s — the time frame of the last major tent caterpillar infestation — has their own creepy-crawly story of caterpillar encounters. Some talk of hosing down entire sides of homes covered with the caterpillars. Others remember using snow shovels to fill barrels with them as they crawled across driveways. And, once heard, no one can forget the “popping” sound made when they are stepped on or driven over. These stories crept to the surface this week after reports of a fresh invasion in Blue Hill where so many of the Malacosoma disstria are congregating along a 2-mile stretch of Minds Road — also known as Route 176 or Route 15 — that they have created a driving hazard.
Massachusetts utilities sign deal key to CMP power line project through Maine
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, June 14, 2018 

Massachusetts utilities signed an agreement Thursday to bring hydropower from Quebec through Maine via a new 145-mile transmission corridor. The agreement is a necessary step for Central Maine Power Co.’s New England Clean Energy Connect transmission project. The $950 million project is controversial in Maine, where environmentalists and others warn of natural vistas ruined by the sight of high-power transmission lines, especially around the Kennebec River Gorge, over which the corridor is expected to pass.
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