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
Activists Stage Protest at PUC Over Natural Gas Expansion
Maine Public Broadcasting Network - Tuesday, September 13, 2016 

About two-dozen environmental activists staged a sit-in at the Maine Public Utilities Commission Tuesday afternoon to protest the agency’s decision to have electricity ratepayers finance a potential expansion of natural gas capacity. The protest, by the group Maine Students for Climate Justice, was meant to get the attention of the three commissioners of the PUC. Specifically, it was designed to oppose the commission’s decision in July to have ratepayers underwrite natural gas pipeline capacity. The activists said the sit-in was also a show of solidarity for Standing Rock Sioux, the tribe protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Baxter Park director frets about new monument next door
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, September 13, 2016 

The director of Baxter State Park has concerns with his new neighbor, the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, and how the two entities’ differing management philosophies might cause problems for his park. In order to preserve its wilderness as much as possible, Baxter strives to limit access to about 75,000 visitors annually. The National Park Service’s goals, however, include “continuing expanded use,” says Baxter Park’s Jensen Bissell. That’s why he hasn’t waited for a series of public meetings due to start Thursday to publicly voice his concerns about the new monument property.
Maine PUC proposing to phase out incentives for home solar panels
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, September 13, 2016 

The Maine Public Utilities Commission is proposing new rules that would phase out incentives for homeowners with solar electric panels. Meeting on Tuesday, commissioners proposed a change that would grandfather incentives for 15 years for residents who already have solar panels installed at their homes, and would limit benefits for new solar owners to 10 years. Dylan Voorhees, clean energy director at the Natural Resources Council of Maine, said that overall, the PUC’s proposals weaken net metering and move the discussion around solar in the wrong direction.
Opinion: The old waste hierarchy is dead; use technology, treat waste as a resource
 - Tuesday, September 13, 2016 

Energy recovery, or waste-to-energy, has been with us for quite some time. Twenty-first century technology, however, has taken it a giant step forward. Companies such as Fiberight and Wastaway in the U.S. and Enerkem in Canada use technologies that turn trash into energy, bio-fuels and building products. They turn the whole hierarchy on its head — because these technologies mean that trash management is in itself a way to recycle and reuse a resource. ~ Ron Deprez, Public Health Research Institute, Deer Isle, and Luisa S. Deprez, University of Southern Maine
Controversy over metal mining in Maine rekindled
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, September 13, 2016 

A decades-long debate over the prospect of a metal mine in the mountains of Aroostook County will be rekindled Thursday as another proposed overhaul of state mining regulations receives a public hearing. Opponents again are gearing up to voice their concerns about the potential for mining operations to release waste materials and naturally occurring toxins, such as arsenic and cadmium, from the soil into the surrounding waters and environment. The Department of Environmental Protection is proposing revised regulations governing large-scale metal mining in Maine under legislation passed in 2012 to replace a 1990 law. Though the 2012 law was prompted by a proposal to mine gold, copper, zinc and other metals at Bald Mountain in Aroostook County, the rules would apply to the entire state. Before any mining operations can be created, however, the debate over the proposed regulations must wind its way through the Board of Environmental Protection and the Legislature.
Letter: Right whale reproductive decline not likely caused by lobstermen
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, September 13, 2016 

The Maine Lobstermen’s Association has been engaged in whale conservation since 1997. Maine lobstermen now use modified gear to reduce the risk of whales becoming entangled, including the costly switch to sinking groundlines; incorporating weak links in buoy lines; marking traps, rope and buoys; and reducing the number of endlines fished in our offshore waters, where whales are most prevalent. In the years since these changes began, the right whale population has rebounded significantly, from 295 in the 1990s to 526 whales in 2015, a 78 percent increase. A recent study suggests a link between fishing gear entanglements and the recent reproductive decline in right whales. However, the study provides no evidence to substantiate this link. ~ Patrice McCarron, Maine Lobstermen’s Association, Kennebunk
Two midcoast lobstermen accused of running illegal fishing operation
Portland Press Herald - Monday, September 12, 2016 

Duston Reed, 34, of Waldoboro was arrested Aug. 18 and charged with fishing lobster traps that were not marked by a buoy, fishing untagged lobster traps, falsifying physical evidence and tampering with a witness, the Maine Marine Patrol said in a news release Monday. Jeremy Yeaton of Friendship, Reed’s sternman, was arrested Aug. 28 and charged with falsification of physical evidence. Yeaton removed marine electronics used to navigate and locate fishing gear from Reed’s vessel, Outer Limits, the marine patrol said.
Northern, eastern Maine see above-normal temperatures this summer
Bangor Daily News - Monday, September 12, 2016 

The National Weather Service Caribou office said Monday that the temperatures and rainfall this summer were not attributable to any particular weather pattern. The weather service said that most locations averaged one to two degrees above the average high temperature over the last 30 years, with consistency of warmth rather than episodes of extreme heat being the norm throughout the summer. Rain was plentiful in northern Maine, with Caribou receiving 15.18 inches of rain during the three-month period, 3.86 inches above the normal of 11.32 inches. It was the 11th wettest June-through-August period since records began in 1939. Bangor picked up 7.78 inches of rain, the 21st lowest since records began there in 1925.
Wind Power Developers Look to Water Companies' Reservoirs
Maine Public Broadcasting Network - Monday, September 12, 2016 

Wind power is about to go big-time in New England, with the opening of the first offshore wind farm in the U.S., located off the Rhode Island coast. Onshore wind projects already dot the region, but Connecticut hasn’t joined the movement. The state doesn’t have a lot of wind or a lot of available space, and only recently lifted a ban on wind turbine projects. Go to the tiny town of Colebrook, Connecticut, to find out why wind power hasn’t taken off yet, and whether another natural resource — water reservoirs — might be the solution.
Maine's Final LNG Proposal Tossed by Federal Regulators
Associated Press - Monday, September 12, 2016 

The final proposal for a liquefied natural gas terminal in Down East Maine has quietly faded away. Federal regulators have terminated the application by Downeast LNG because of inactivity. The proposal could be resubmitted later, but it'd have to start over from the beginning. The proposal's demise shows just how much the energy picture has changed in little more than a decade. Back then, about a dozen informal proposals were floated for LNG terminals in Maine. One of them, a joint partnership with the Passamquoddy Indians, was rejected by federal regulators in 2008. Another one, Calais LNG, was rejected in 2012. Downeast LNG proposed an import-export terminal in Robbinston.
Revitalized Patten mill gives hope to town
Bangor Daily News - Monday, September 12, 2016 

The brothers Adam and Matthew Fronczak sit astride three industries dear to the town of Patten — forestry, farming and milling — and it can make for some scattershot workdays. The very versatile brothers, who are are actually former lobstermen, are general managers to Haymart, a $5 million farming and milling operation that town officials hope will be a great boost to the upper Katahdin region economy. [video]
New garden in Cape Elizabeth beckons children back to nature
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, September 11, 2016 

The Children’s Garden of the Arboretum at Fort Williams Park in Cape Elizabeth is a throwback – not to gardens of the past but to a type of childhood that has largely disappeared. “When we were younger we would spend time wandering through woods and creeks, and children don’t do that as much now,” said James McCain, arboretum director. “Kids have so many organized activities that they don’t have time for unstructured play. This site has lots of areas to roam and play and enjoy a natural setting.”
A 19th-century Brunswick botanist gets her due with book of flora paintings
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, September 11, 2016 

After nearly four decades of intense work, almost all of it as a volunteer, Kate Furbish completed 1,326 paintings and sketches of the flora of Maine. When she gave them to Bowdoin College in 1908, bound in 14 Moroccan leather volumes, she claimed no “artistic merit” in a letter to Bowdoin President William DeWitt Hyde, only “truthful representation” of the plants she’d found around the state. She lived until 1931 having no idea that her work would alter Maine environmental history or of the spell of intrigue it would cast over a unique group of individuals over the next century and beyond.
The ‘lobster capital of the world’ faces a crucial question
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, September 11, 2016 

Imposing a license wait-list divides those protective of a prized natural resource and others who see a growing fleet as key to a thriving regional economy.
Scientists put underwater drones to work during Hermine to research hurricanes
Portland Press Herald - Sunday, September 11, 2016 

Researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the University of Maine are part of a team that is collecting data on what sustains and strengthens the storms.
Leg Work: Down East trail expands as it supports assortment of uses
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, September 11, 2016 

The 85-mile Sunrise Trail is used most by motorized vehicle riders, according to a new report, and the mostly gravel surface makes it a challenge for cyclists and walkers. A new 2-mile section near Ellsworth and an adjoining four miles have a crushed concrete surface, which makes for much easier cycling.
Wildlife Center spreads awareness of how to live with animals
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, September 11, 2016 

Have you ever wanted to see a porcupine move like it’s dancing, or a peregrine falcon take flight, or nature’s artwork on an Eastern painted turtle? You can do so at the Center for Wildlife on Sunday, when the public will meet the center’s wildlife ambassadors. The center’s annual open house runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. These wildlife ambassadors are animals that were treated for injuries at the center but could not be released into the wild because of a permanent injury or because they lost their inhibition to humans. Each year, the center treats more than 1,500 wild animals, with the hope of releasing each back into the wild. But over the 27 years the center has existed, 25 animals have found a permanent home here and now help teach visitors how to coexist with wildlife.
Grace Pease brings a college degree home to the farm
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, September 11, 2016 

We approached Grace Pease at the Portland Farmers’ Market last week to ask about Merrifield Farm’s cheap tomatoes. $1 a pound! Was she crazy? Doesn’t she know farmers markets have a reputation for being pricey? We grabbed a bench and sat down with the 24-year-old to talk about the harvest, curing squash and how she’s bringing a college degree in medical anthropology to work on the farm.
Column: Katahdin Loop Road has so much to offer
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, September 11, 2016 

While a lot has been written about the conservation purposes of the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, relatively little has been said about recreation. The intent of this column is to provide first-time visitors with an introduction to this national monument. ~ Josh Christie
Column: Hunters helping control goose population
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, September 11, 2016 

A good many Mainers and quite likely a healthy majority of the folks reading this paper don’t live in bear country, so the fact that bear season is now open is of little consequence to them. But while Nimrods of the north woods are doing their best to thin what wildlife biologists say is a bear population that could use a little extra paring, waterfowlers much closer to home are trying to trim another population that has exceeded what the average non-hunting public will tolerate – resident Canada geese. ~ Bob Humphrey
Opinion: Clean environment key to public health
Courier-Gazette - Saturday, September 10, 2016 

This time of year especially, it’s easy to appreciate our state’s natural beauty. Our environment and natural resources give Maine its unique character. As a family nurse practitioner and state representative, I believe maintaining a clean environment is one of the most important ways we can protect the public’s health and well-being. From the quality of the air we breathe and the water we drink to our opportunities to recreate in the Maine outdoors, our relationship with the environment around us has a big impact on our health. That’s why I was so proud to receive a perfect score on the Maine Conservation Voters scorecard. ~ By Rep. Christine Burstein
New Michigan Environmental Chief Enters Through Reverse Revolving Door
Other - Friday, September 9, 2016 

American Prospect - When she read that Michigan Republican Governor Rick Snyder appointed a former oil company lobbyist as Michigan’s top environmental official, one Flint activist thought that she’d just read an article from The Onion, the online news satire website. But the story was not a joke. Criticism rained down on Maine Republican Governor Paul LePage when he appointed Patricia Aho, a chemical industry lobbyist, to head the state’s Department of Environmental Protection in 2011.
First an Arctic luxury cruise; now comes Arctic shipping
Washington Post - Friday, September 9, 2016 

The route could save a great deal of time and money for companies currently using the Panama and Suez canals for transits between Asia and the U.S., or Asia and Europe. The Crystal Serenity began its voyage in Seward, Alaska, on Aug. 15, and reached Ilulissat, Greenland, on Sept. 6. It will make a port of call in Bar Harbor on Sept. 12 en route to its final destination of New York City on Sept. 16.
State sues owner of Greenville ski area
Portland Press Herald - Friday, September 9, 2016 

The state has filed a lawsuit against the owner of Big Squaw Mountain ski resort in Greenville, claiming that the owner, Moosehead Mountain Resort Inc., illegally harvested timber on Moose Mountain and failed to maintain the ski area as required under terms of the sale two decades ago. The sale in 1995 required James Confalone to maintain the local ski area, the Maine Attorney General's Office says in its complaint.
Software Teaches Your Basement Water Heater To 'Store' Renewable Energy
Maine Public Broadcasting Network - Friday, September 9, 2016 

Even as wind and solar energy have grown to nearly 10 percent of New England’s energy mix, they’re still not a reliable power source. Wind and sunshine can’t simply be turned on and off with a switch. A new software company is hoping to use a simple appliance in your basement — your water heater — to store that sporadic renewable energy and transform the way the electricity grid works.
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