August 21, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Tuesday, August 20, 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
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.
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.
Wabanaki artists, culture event, Aug 24
Event - Posted - Saturday, August 17, 2019 

40+ members of the Penobscot, Passamaquoddy, Micmac and Maliseet tribes will demonstrate traditional Wabanaki art forms, including basketmaking, stone carving, bark etching, beadwork and jewelry, in addition to performances of drumming, singing, dancing and storytelling. At Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village, New Gloucester, August 24, 10 am - 3 pm.
A Toxic Tale: Trump's Environmental Impact, Aug 23
Announcement - Friday, August 16, 2019 

According to the EPA's own analysis, the Trump administration's Affordable Clean Energy rule will result in up to 1,400 more premature deaths a year by 2030. Learn about the impacts of Trump's deregulation campaign on a CNN Special Report "A Toxic Tale: Trump's Environmental Impact." August 23, 10 pm.
Close Encounters of the First Kind, Aug 22
Event - Posted - Thursday, August 15, 2019 

Maine’s First Ship hosts Ken Hamilton for a discussion of the earliest European and indigenous people interactions, from 16th century Jacques Cartier and Basque fishermen to early 17th century French and English explorers. At Bath Freight Shed, Bath, August 22, 7 pm.
Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument Anniversary Celebration, Aug 23-24
Event - Posted - Thursday, August 15, 2019 

Dinner, music, silent auction, awards, and toast to commemorate the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument’s August 24th, 2016 proclamation. At New England Outdoor Center, T1 R8, August 23-24, $25.
Earth Day 2020
Announcement - Thursday, August 15, 2019 

Earth Day, the global environmental movement for a cleaner, greener, safer and more just world for all, turns 50 next year. Want to help?
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News Items
New test appears promising for catching Lyme disease early
Associated Press - Wednesday, August 16, 2017 

Diagnosing if a tick bite caused Lyme or another disease can be difficult, but scientists are developing a new way to do it early, using a “signature” of molecules in patients’ blood. It’s still highly experimental, but initial studies suggest the novel tool just might uncover early-stage Lyme disease more accurately than today’s standard test, researchers reported Wednesday. And it could tell the difference between two tick-borne diseases with nearly identical early symptoms.
Belfast becomes latest city to ban plastic bags, polystyrene
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, August 16, 2017 

Shoppers in Belfast will need to remember to bring their own bags from home, or get used to paper, because plastic is on the way out. Belfast city councilors approved a citywide ban on single-use plastic shopping bags and Styrofoam containers during a meeting Tuesday night. The ban takes effect on the first day of 2018, giving any businesses using them about four months to plan and find an alternative.
Portland attorney [who won a case for a landlord sued for lead poisoning] to serve as LePage’s senior adviser on labor
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, August 16, 2017 

Gov. Paul LePage announced the appointment of Madeline Malisa as his deputy counsel and senior policy adviser Thursday. Malisa will counsel LePage on a variety of policy areas, including regulations and legislation related to labor, workers’ compensation and professional and financial licensing and oversight. [Editor: Malisa recently won a case for a landlord who was sued by former tenants claiming that their children had suffered neurocognitive damage caused by exposure to lead paint in the property. One of the children had an elevated blood level high enough to trigger an environmental inspection by the state lead inspector, who found “lead hazards” in the form of deteriorated paint in the house and ordered an abatement.]
Deal Allows Poland Spring to Draw 150M Gallons a Year from Rumford Water District
Maine Public - Wednesday, August 16, 2017 

The Rumford Water District has signed a deal with Poland Spring Water Co., that will allow it to draw up to 150 million gallons of water per year for 15 years, from two district wells. Water District Superintendant Brian Gagnon says, under the deal, the town's needs will come first. Gagnon says in addition to estimated $200,000 to $300,000 in revenues a year from the sale of the water to Poland Spring, Rumford will also get just over $1 million from the company over the next four years, to use as it sees fit.
Moose’s flies all settled on me!
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Wednesday, August 16, 2017 

More true tales from Camp Phoenix. In this column, we’ll talk moose. In August, we would often hike from Big to Little Sourdnahunk, where Camp Phoenix keeps a couple of canoes, and then canoe Little Sourdnahunk Lake, enjoying the moose. We paddled up to within 15 feet of a large bull moose with a rack that was huge on one side and stunted on the other. Every time the moose dipped his head into the water, the flies would hover in the air over him, waiting for that head to emerge. Well, we paddled up too close to the bull, and when his head disappeared into the lake, those flies moved over onto me. I was covered in flies!
Trump Rolls Back Obama-Era Flood Standards For Infrastructure Projects
National Public Radio - Wednesday, August 16, 2017 

President Trump on Tuesday announced a new executive order with serious repercussions. Among other things, he is rolling back an Obama-era order that infrastructure projects, like roads and bridges, be designed to survive rising sea levels and other consequences of climate change. "This is climate science denial at its most dangerous, as Trump is putting vulnerable communities, federal employees, and families at risk by throwing out any guarantee that our infrastructure will be safe," Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune said of Trump's remarks.
Coastal Towns in Maine to Challenge FEMA's Flood Insurance Map
Maine Public - Wednesday, August 16, 2017 

Several southern Maine communities are banding together to challenge new flood zone maps issued by the federal government. Jon Carter is town manager in Wells. He says there are more than 800 local properties within the existing flood zone, while new maps the Federal emergency Management Agency issued this spring would capture some 60 more properties. He says some of those he believes should not be included at all. And that FEMA’s new modeling overstates the overall likelihood of flooding in the expanded zone. Result: property owners there will pay higher insurance premiums. Wells, Kittery, Kennebunkport, Old Orchard Beach and Harpwswell are jointly funding an independent engineering consultant’s $220,000 study of their flood zones.
Letter: Climate change in Maine
Sun Journal - Wednesday, August 16, 2017 

A recent article detailed current and potential impacts of climate change in Maine. These issues inspired me to visit Washington, D.C., to learn how people can address this important problem. In order for political action to be fully effective, the issue of climate change must be addressed with bipartisan efforts. That is why I urged Rep. Pingree to join the Climate Solutions Caucus, a bipartisan group of legislators who are committed to advancing climate solutions, with Republican Rep. Bruce Poliquin. This would better enable them to protect Maine’s environment and economy. ~ Graham Bonnell, Lewiston
Letter: Maine needs strong EPA
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, August 16, 2017 

The first time I visited Maine was in the early 1970s. I remember seeing the signs along the rivers, “water not safe for swimming.” Now, I see people playing and swimming in these same spots. We can thank the environmental movement of the 1970s that gave rise to the Environmental Protection Agency for this night-and-day difference. Sadly, President Donald Trump’s extreme anti-environmental agenda threatens this great achievement. His proposed budget would slash the EPA’s funding by nearly a third. Join me in calling on our senators to vote down this dirty budget proposal and to move forward with a strong, clean-energy-driven and environmentally sustainable agenda for our country. ~ Don Marietta, Portland
After near extinction, seals swimming strong again off southern Maine coast
WCSH-TV6 - Tuesday, August 15, 2017 

Seals frequently get tangled in plastic and netting out in the ocean. Not long ago, fishermen, worried about their catch, would kill them at sea. And that threatened several species. But times have changed, and seals have made a comeback in the Isle of Shoals. On a shelf called Mingo rock, six miles from the mainland, gray seals, harbor and harp seals bob up and down in the water, catching waves, while others pull themselves onto the rocks to sunbathe. Researchers report counting anywhere from 500 to 700 seals gathered at Mingo. For Jack Farrell, the seals represent an opportunity: to educate and inspire tourists looking for an up close encounter.
Hike: Orin Falls in Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument
Aislinn Sarnacki Act Out Blog - Tuesday, August 15, 2017 

The hike — or bike ride — to Orin Falls was one of the first day trips established in the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. Most of the 6-mile, out-and-back hike follows an old logging road, with the last leg of the hike turning onto a narrow woodland trail that leads to the edge of Wassataquoik Stream at Orin Falls, a series of cascades and rapids tumbling around large granite boulders.
Scientists to meet with fishers of cod, sole about future of fish
Associated Press - Tuesday, August 15, 2017 

Fishery regulators are meeting Thursday in Portland with commercial and recreational fishermen to talk about the assessments of 20 groundfish stocks. Groundfish are commercially significant fish species such as cod, haddock and sole that live near the ocean floor.
Groups file brief challenging Maine’s new solar rules
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, August 15, 2017 

The Conservation Law Foundation, ReVision Energy, Industrial Energy Consumer Group and Natural Resources Council of Maine, filed a brief Tuesday in the appeal at the Maine Supreme Court challenging the PUC’s amended solar rule, which phases out certain incentives for homeowners and businesses that install rooftop solar arrays. The brief was filed 12 days after the Maine Legislature failed to override a veto from Gov. Paul LePage on a bill that would have continued the incentives and direct the PUC to study the costs and benefits of solar.
Invasive plant found in Long Lake
WGME-TV13 - Tuesday, August 15, 2017 

Environmentalists are working to remove and stop the spreading of an estimated half an acre of milfoil, an invasive aquatic plant, found in Long Lake earlier this month. Milfoil has reportedly infested the neighboring Brandy Pond and the Songo River for years but was found growing in Long Lake, which had been thought to be safe from the plant.
Opinion: Zinke has only one legal option for Katahdin Woods and Waters: retain its monument status
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, August 15, 2017 

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke will soon send recommendations to President Donald Trump that could do one of three things to the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument: revoke, diminish, or retain its designation as a national monument. Only one of those options, however, is legally and equitably permissible — the monument status must be retained. ~ Anthony Moffa and Sarah Schindler, University of Maine School of Law, Portland
Island communities band together to save historic lighthouses
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, August 15, 2017 

Maine’s lighthouses are no longer manned by loyal custodians dedicated to keeping the light shining and bells ringing to guide sailors safely into harbor. Now, they’re all automated, turning on and off at the right times, and need far less hands-on attention than in the past. Today’s fishing vessels rely more on global positioning devices than on beacons of light on the horizon. Still, these spires remain key pieces of Maine coastal communities, which are fighting to preserve them and future generations remember the role they played. Residents of two Maine islands, Isle au Haut and Swan’s Island, have joined forces to bring new life to their historic lighthouses.
Endangered piping plovers held their own on Maine beaches this summer
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, August 15, 2017 

Maine beaches hosted at least 64 piping plover nests that yielded more than 100 fledged chicks this summer, a healthy showing despite initial concerns that a Caribbean hurricane might have killed some of the endangered birds.
Westbrook reverses decision to charge impact fees
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, August 15, 2017 

Westbrook will not charge fees based on a development’s impacts to the school and sewer system. The decision is a reversal from last fall, when the Westbrook City Council expressed interest in the idea and planned to charge impact fees on all building projects with permits issued since Oct. 3. The fees were popular among residents and officials concerned about the pace of growth in the city at a time when hundreds of housing units were proposed for Westbrook. But when the final proposals for those fees came before the City Council last week, the group rejected them. A majority of councilors said they were worried the fees would discourage families and businesses from moving to Westbrook.
Opinion: Protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge because it’s God’s creation
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, August 15, 2017 

At more than 19 million acres, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska is the crown jewel of the National Wildlife Refuge System. It is one of the last intact landscapes in America, and home to 37 species of land mammals, eight marine mammals, 42 fish species and more than 200 migratory bird species. Established in 1960 to protect its extraordinary wildlife, wilderness and recreational qualities, the Arctic Refuge is a place where natural processes remain mostly uninfluenced by humans. But President Trump has proposed to open the coastal plain of Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to petroleum drilling. As people of faith, we are called to care for God’s people – especially the most vulnerable. A clear way to see God’s creation is through the beauty and majesty of public lands like the Arctic Refuge. ~ The Rev. Richard Killmer, Yarmouth, former director of environmental justice for the National Council of Churches
Letter: Protect national monuments
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, August 15, 2017 

The U.S. Department of the Interior is currently reviewing the designations for 27 of our national monuments. This unprecedented action could revoke the monuments’ protected status or change its borders, opening up our public lands to drilling, mining and other development. Some of our country’s most beautiful and culturally significant places are protected as national monuments. Among these is Maine’s Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, which protects a swath Maine’s northern woods. We have a duty to each other and future generations to protect these public lands and waters from destruction and degradation. ~ Nicole Larson, Environment Maine, Portland
Letter: Poliquin votes favorably on climate change
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, August 15, 2017 

It’s encouraging to see Rep. Bruce Poliquin voting favorably on climate issues. In July, he voted to maintain language and funding for continued research on climate change in the national defense authorization bill. His vote along with 45 other Republican votes successfully defeated the amendment that would have blocked further climate change research by the Defense Department. And he voted on another bill to maintain tougher ozone standards by the Environmental Protection Agency. Despite that bill being defeated, it signifies Poliquin’s commitment to air quality and the environment. ~ Connie Potvin, Bangor Citizens’ Climate Lobby
Freeport seeks help repairing walking trails, bridges
Forecaster - Monday, August 14, 2017 

The Freeport Conservation Commission is looking for volunteers to help with trail maintenance at Florida Lake. According to Mike Stumbo, the conservation steward of Florida Lake, the commission built trails and bridges around the lake more than 15 years ago and, since then, the bridges have decayed and fallen apart. L.L. Bean will provide building materials and volunteers. The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry also supplied the commission with $11,000 in grant funding for additional materials. An additional $4,800 will be matched by the town. The commission needs assistance taking decayed bridges down on Aug. 25, so the trails will be ready for L.L. Bean to come on Sept. 16 to help build new ones.
The modern day Appalachian Trail turns 80
WCSH-TV6 - Monday, August 14, 2017 

It was 80 years ago in August that the final piece of work was done to connect the entire length of the Appalachian Trail, from Georgia to Katahdin. To celebrate, Downeast Magazine devoted its cover story this month to that anniversary. In the issue, we meet five characters that make the trail what it is today.
Hedge fund that owns Sunday River, Sugarloaf under scrutiny in New Hampshire
Associated Press - Monday, August 14, 2017 

New Hampshire state officials are holding a public information session about the Mount Sunapee Resort to address questions about its new operator. That lease was sold recently to New York hedge fund Och-Ziff as part of a deal involving a number of other ski areas, including Sunday River and Sugarloaf in Maine. The Attorney General’s Office asked the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources to hold a public information session after getting questions about the company, which was fined $412 million last year for its alleged involvement in bribery schemes in Africa.
Neighbors in heated debate over waterfront access in Cape Elizabeth
WGME-TV13 - Monday, August 14, 2017 

Against the background of Cape Elizabeth’s beautiful shoreline, an ugly issue is at the surface in the Shore Acres neighborhood. A tense debate over oceanfront access has neighbors pitted against neighbors.
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