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
Watchdog finds no proof that LePage punished sawmill owners who criticized him
Bangor Daily News - Monday, August 20, 2018 

A legislative watchdog found “no evidence” that Gov. Paul LePage’s administration diverted public timber from Maine millowners because they criticized the governor, though there was “very little documentation” to back that finding. Though the finding could be interpreted as an exoneration the governor, a defiant LePage appeared before a legislative oversight panel on Monday and called Sen. Tom Saviello, R-Wilton, who raised the controversy publicly, “the most repugnant human being I’ve ever seen” before leaving the hearing room after being ruled out of order.
Teen wants Maine town to ban helium balloons
Bangor Daily News - Monday, August 20, 2018 

CBS 13 - Kennebunk High School senior Will Jones says he believes his town should ban helium balloons. “It’s not just the mass balloon releases, it’s every single balloon that goes up is eventually going to come down and potentially put an animal at risk of death or suffering in general,” Jones said. “Ban or not, education is the most important thing I can do.”
It’s all about men in sportsman’s newspaper
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Monday, August 20, 2018 

Women were nowhere to be found – except in jokes – in the September 1956 edition of The Maine Outdoorsman and Conservationist. One article’s headline was “Warden Force Seeking Young Men Interested In Outdoor Careers.” Yup, women need not apply.
Missouri pork farmers breathe new life into an old Maine dairy farm
Bangor Daily News - Monday, August 20, 2018 

Despite looking so much at home on this land, both the pigs and the farmers at Singing Prairie Farms in Newcastle are brand new to this place. They all relocated to midcoast Maine from Missouri last month. Before that the farm had been empty while the last owners searched for a buyer. But prior to that, it was the Dyer Valley Dairy Farm, one of Maine’s family-owned dairy farms, a group that now seems to be something of an endangered species in the state. John Arbuckle, a ninth generation farmer originally from Illinois, said he’s looking forward to seeing what the land in Maine will provide, and how they will provide for it.
Public transit returns to a midcoast Maine city
Bangor Daily News - Monday, August 20, 2018 

For Steffanie Pyle, of Waldo Community Action Partners, having public transportation in a community isn’t just providing an essential service, it’s helping to further build that community. For the last two years, Rockland has been without public transportation. But since May, Mid-Coast Public Transportation has been offering a new bus service. The service, called DASH (Downtown Area Shuttle), runs Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Two buses run the same route, including 10 stops in all.
Kids in Maine are more likely to get cancer, and no one really knows why
Bangor Daily News - Monday, August 20, 2018 

more than 700 Maine children diagnosed with cancer between 2003 and 2014. Maine’s rate of cancer among patients under age 20 was significantly higher than the national average. Experts don’t know why Maine’s rate exceeds the national average, or what’s driving differences from region to region. “Is it because of environmental exposures?” said Dr. Nadine SantaCruz, a pediatric neuro-oncologist with Eastern Maine Medical Center Pediatric Oncology. “That might lead to the possibility that we can prevent pediatric cancer. If it’s an environmental exposure, is it something that we can remove from the environment? Is it something we can avoid?”
Letter: Global warming key to Lyme disease fight
Morning Sentinel - Monday, August 20, 2018 

Recent studies show that Lyme disease — a tick-borne illness with debilitating consequences — is on the rise. As global warming causes warm temperatures to extend deeper into the year, the season in which ticks are most likely to latch to a host is being extended. This is disastrous for Maine. There are ways that you can avoid picking up ticks — by avoiding long grass, and staying in the center of the trail, to name two. You can also used DEET-based repellents. However, they are harmful to cats, bees, fish, and aquatic insects. In the end, there is only one way that we may truly combat Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses: by combating global warming. ~ Sophie Davies, Nantucket, Massachusetts, and Moosehead Lake
Letter: Nice to hear from Poliquin
Bangor Daily News - Monday, August 20, 2018 

I’ve gotten two letters from Rep. Bruce Poliquin. They say he’s busy being involved and constructive in Washington. I’d love to hear he’s done an about-face on climate change. Farmers in Aroostook County are adjusting their crops and planting schedules. The Maine Department of Transportation is putting in larger culverts along the coast in anticipation of heavier rains. And the senior housing here in town is putting solar panels on the roofs. The representative writes nice letters. And because he’s in Congress, we pay for his postage. It’s always nice to hear from Poliquin. He’s always doing well. ~ Robb Cook, Lubec
Letter: Slow climate change
Bangor Daily News - Monday, August 20, 2018 

Saying the recent Gwynne Dyer column “This is our last chance to avoid a ‘hothouse Earth’” was shocking would be the understatement of the century. It is horrifying to think that we are on the brink of such devastation, but we cannot let fear paralyze us. We still have the opportunity to curb our greenhouse gas emissions by stopping our use of fossil fuels and by moving to clean, renewable energy. Environment Maine and its national partner, Environment America, are working to transition colleges and universities to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050. We have to do what we can to slow the effects of climate change. ~ Audrey Davis, Portland
Letter: Stormwater ditch defies definition as stream
Portland Press Herald - Monday, August 20, 2018 

Do you have a ditch in your backyard? Maine stream standards say it has a good chance of being called a stream by the Department of Environmental Protection. If so, it would be subject to the same laws, regulations and restrictions applied to any Maine river, stream or brook. Sound crazy? Yes, but it happened on my property. And it can happen to you. ~ Tony St. Peter, Hallowell
Letter: A sorry excuse from CMP about substandard service
Portland Press Herald - Monday, August 20, 2018 

Central Maine Power is embarking on an “I’m Sorry Tour” of sorts, with the embattled electric utility running new ads in which CEO Doug Herling promises to fix problems and address customer concerns. Unfortunately, the damage for CMP has been done. A class-action lawsuit is poised to again bring statewide attention to the company, for all the wrong reasons. While the apology may be a nice gesture, it will ultimately be ineffective, and the company should brace for the upcoming firestorm of negative press. ~ Jacob Favolise, Sanford
Letter: Circular economics offers solution to linear problems
Portland Press Herald - Monday, August 20, 2018 

Kate Raworth, economist and author of “Doughnut Economics,” writes, “Putting blind faith in markets – while ignoring the living world, society and the runaway power of banks – has taken us to the brink of ecological, social and financial collapse.” To thrive, humans need loving connection, personal autonomy, education, health care, clean water, food, shelter and a reliable source of heat. Wealth is an energy that needs to flow throughout society, just as blood needs to circulate continuously in order to support all systems of the body. ~ Sable Knapp, Portland
National Parks: Core Reserves Of The Eastern Wildway
National Parks Traveler - Sunday, August 19, 2018 

Ecologists have long recognized the importance of linkages between critical wildlife habitat regions. Now the Wildlands Network has emerged as a leader in establishing north-south corridors in the United States and Canada. If fully connected, the Eastern Wildway would link nearly half of land and water in eastern North America, encompassing habitats of black bear, bobcat, timber rattlesnakes, and box turtles in the southern Appalachians, eastern diamondback rattlesnakes, red wolves, Florida panthers, and gopher tortoises in the Southeastern coastal plain, as well as moose, lynx, fishers, martens, and eastern wolves in the northern Appalachians.
Water stories wanted for Freeport woman’s online exhibit
Portland Press Herald - Sunday, August 19, 2018 

Pam Ferris Olson is collecting videos and another accounts for her project, Women Mind the Water. “Nobody is celebrating the water resources in Maine,” Olson said. “Women, who have long been underappreciated stewards of natural resources, should be the ones to speak out about how water resonates in their life.”
Conserving oil no longer a U.S. priority
Associated Press - Sunday, August 19, 2018 

Conserving oil is no longer an economic imperative for the U.S., the Trump administration declares in a major new policy statement that threatens to undermine decades of government campaigns for gas-thrifty cars and other conservation programs. President Trump has questioned the existence of climate change, embraced the notion of “energy dominance” as a national goal, and called for easing what he calls burdensome regulation of oil, gas and coal, including repealing the Clean Power Plan.
Wildfire smoke creates hazy sky in northern Maine
WCSH-TV6 - Sunday, August 19, 2018 

Some Mainers may have noticed a milky appearance to the sky Sunday. Smoke from wildfires in Canada and parts of the United States seems responsible for drowning out what otherwise would have been a mostly sunny day. The veil of smoke was visible on satellite imagery during the day. The smoke is far enough aloft that in Maine, it is not impacting air quality at the surface.
Kennebec Land Trust seeking to create cemetery for conservation burials
Kennebec Journal - Sunday, August 19, 2018 

Kennebec Land Trust members learned, at the conservation group’s 30th annual gathering, of trust plans to create a new cemetery for conservation burials where the deceased could take their desire to protect nature to the grave with them. The Winthrop-based nonprofit land conservation organization is close to a deal with an as yet unnamed landowner to secure more than 60 acres where it hopes to develop a “green” cemetery where bodies would be placed in biodegradable coffins or shrouds and buried in the ground, without a cement burial vault, embalming fluids or a treated casket, which can all be harmful to the environment, Theresa Kerchner, executive director, told roughly 100 trust members Sunday.
Land and Garden Preserve hires natural lands director
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, August 19, 2018 

The Land & Garden Preserve has announced Taylor “Tate” Bushell as its natural lands director. He will manage the Preserve’s natural lands in Northeast and Seal Harbors. In this newly created position, Bushell is responsible for leading all aspects of management, conservation, restoration, adaptation, and research for more than 1,000 acres of natural lands within the Preserve. He also will develop new educational programs and manage trail volunteers.
Road signs en route for Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument
Associated Press - Sunday, August 19, 2018 

At long last, Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument will soon have highway signs directing motorists to the federal recreation area, which boasts hiking, canoeing and camping, along with stunning views of Maine’s tallest mountain, Mount Katahdin. The road signs won’t be installed before the monument’s second anniversary Friday, but the process is underway, Superintendent Tim Hudson says. Sixteen secondary road signs that will be installed before year’s end, along with six large signs for Interstate 95 that will likely be installed in the spring. The LePage administration balked at installation of the signs. About 8,000 people have visited this summer season so far. The Friends of Katahdin Woods and Waters are hosting a celebration Saturday at Shin Pond Village in Mount Chase.
OPEGA To Investigate LePage Administration Over Diversion Of State-Owned Timber
Maine Public - Sunday, August 19, 2018 

The Legislature’s watchdog agency will be briefed Monday on the LePage administration's decision to divert wood that has been harvested on public lands from a company critical of the governor's position on tariffs. The Office of Program Evaluation and Government Accountability is investigating the timber diversion that took place earlier this year. What motivated the administration's decision to send lumber shipments that were supposed to go to mills owned by Jason and Chris Brochu to mills owned by a Canadian company? LePage has said he diverted the lumber because the Canadian-owned mill was in danger of shutting down, but the owner of the mill said his company never requested those shipments.
Opinion: Maine can’t go it alone when it comes to air pollution
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, August 19, 2018 

Maine’s air has been dangerously unhealthy this summer. The Maine Department of Environmental Protection has issued more than two dozen notices for high ozone and unhealthy conditions since April. These air quality warnings expose the danger lurking behind last month’s proposal by the LePage administration that Maine withdraw from the Ozone Transport Region. More than most Northeast states, Maine needs and benefits from a strong Ozone Transport Region. We urge the Department of Environmental Protection to take its own air quality warnings to heart and reconsider this short-sighted proposal that would jeopardize the health of so many Maine kids and adults. ~ Dr. Marguerite Penner, vice chair, American Lung Association in Maine Leadership Board
Get busy learning about environmental issues facing Maine’s coast
Maine Environmental News - Sunday, August 19, 2018 

As summer winds down and election season moves into the forefront, the head of the Natural Resources Council of Maine is giving a talk this Wednesday at 7 to 8:30 p.m. on the policy challenges facing Maine’s coastal waters. It’s serious stuff, but Lisa Pohlmann will be speaking in one of the prettiest spots in Maine, the Camden Yacht Club.
Creatures cured, comforted at Cape Neddick’s Center for Wildlife
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, August 19, 2018 

The Center for Wildlife, tucked into the woods off Mountain Road in Cape Neddick, can care for up to 200 animals at a time and, during peak season, fields 30 to 40 calls a day from people who have found animals. The nonprofit organization treats more than 190 species and last year cared for 2,200 mammals and birds found injured or orphaned within a 100-mile radius of the center. This year, the center is on track to treat even more animals.
Decades of chemical pollution suspected in Maine’s seal die-off
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, August 19, 2018 

Since the beginning of the year, over 400 dead and stranded seals have been reported in Maine. As the number of dead and stranded seals washing up on southern Maine beaches rises by the day, researchers are linking the sudden die-off to decades of chemical pollution that made the seal population vulnerable to toxins and disease.
Baxter State Park’s new director keeps focus on ‘wild’
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, August 19, 2018 

At 35, Eben Sypitkowski has become just the fourth director of the park since 1975. He takes over at a time when Baxter Park faces pressures from an increase in visitors and traffic, and demands for conveniences such as Wi-Fi – all of which clash with the ideals to keep the park a wilderness sanctuary. Sypitkowski, who took over as Baxter Park director in June, freely admits he doesn’t have a grand plan. But he is certain of one thing. He will follow Percival Baxter’s directives as laid out in the 28 deeds associated with his 12 land gifts.
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