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
Letter: Give Maine’s monument a chance
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, December 9, 2017 

Opponents of Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument and all the various recreational and economic opportunities it offers thwart every effort to promote it, and then complain about being “underwhelmed” at the turnout in its first full year of operation. Let’s hear their brilliant proposals for improving economic opportunities in northern Maine. Until then, they should stop whimpering and give this generous gift the time and resources it deserves to grow its reputation as a destination worth visiting and preserving. ~ Kathy VanGorder, West Tremont
Patagonia Wars
Grist - Friday, December 8, 2017 

The public lands dispute heated up on Monday when outdoor clothing brand Patagonia turned its homepage into a call to arms against President Donald Trump’s decision to significantly shrink two national monuments in Utah. On Friday, the House Natural Resources Committee fired back, accusing the company of “hijacking the public lands debate” in an attempt to sell more products. It seems highly unusual for a House committee to traffic in conspiracy theories, but Patagonia’s website did see record traffic following the company’s stand against Trump. The Natural Resources committee will hold a hearing next Thursday to consider legislation proposed by a Utah Republican that would turn the remaining parts of Grand-Staircase Escalante National Monument into a national park. Democratic State Senator Jim Dabakis called the proposal a "trick” to divert attention from the plot to open up public lands for mineral extraction.
Solar and Wind Power Face Serious Threats From the Trump Administration
TIME - Friday, December 8, 2017 

During Trump’s presidential campaign, energy analysts were skeptical of his promise to preserve the coal industry at the expense of wind and solar. Even the most aggressive attempts at regulatory rollback couldn’t reverse the market forces driving the decline in coal, they reasoned. But the administration has not stopped at mere deregulation. From the threat of a subsidy for coal-fired power plants to a tax bill that hurts the financing of clean-energy projects, Republicans in Washington have launched a campaign against renewable energy that includes market interventions that alarm other industries, including oil and gas.
Companies risk a monumental fight
Associated Press - Friday, December 8, 2017 

Outdoor clothing giant Patagonia and other retailers have jumped into a legal and political battle over President Trump’s plan to shrink two sprawling Utah national monuments, a fight that would scare off most companies but galvanizes customers of outdoor brands that value environmental activism. Patagonia filed a lawsuit late Wednesday over Trump’s announcement this week cutting Bears Ears National Monument by 85 percent. The company was founded by Yvon Chouinard, a native of Lisbon, Maine.
Mining interest sought reduction of monument site in Utah
Washington Post - Friday, December 8, 2017 

A uranium company launched a concerted lobbying campaign to scale back Bears Ears National Monument, saying such action would give it easier access to the area’s uranium deposits and help it operate a nearby processing mill, according to documents obtained by The Washington Post. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and top Utah Republicans have said repeatedly that questions of mining or drilling played no role in President Trump’s announcement Monday that he was cutting the site by 85 percent. Trump also signed a proclamation nearly halving the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, which has coal deposits.
Anson to decide whether to accept Madison Paper’s landfill
Morning Sentinel - Friday, December 8, 2017 

Residents at a special town meeting Tuesday night will be asked to accept the closed Madison Paper Industries sludge landfill in Anson, along with more than $2 million from the paper mill’s former owners to maintain it. The mill landfill, located above the Kennebec River, would become town property, and the money that was set aside by MPI for maintenance would be delivered to town coffers if voters approve the measure. The Madison paper mill, which closed in May 2016 leaving 214 people without jobs, was sold in December 2016. One of the ideas for the property is using it to build a solar power facility.
To Help Save Right Whales, Scientists Look For Stress Hormones In Feces
Maine Public - Friday, December 8, 2017 

This was a bad summer for North Atlantic right whales, with 17 deaths in waters off Canada and the U.S. Some of those deaths happened when the whales were struck by ships, but others happened as a result of whales becoming entangled in fishing gear. There are only about 450 of the whales left in the world, and entanglement is now the leading cause of death for them. What happens to many whales after entanglement has been something of a mystery. Now, stress hormones found in the whales’ feces may be providing some clues.
Maine To Set Up New Collaborative To Research Lobster Fishery
Maine Public - Friday, December 8, 2017 

Maine’s Department of Marine Resources is launching a half-million-dollar project to get a more comprehensive scientific assessment of one of the state’s most valuable resources — lobster. The new Maine Lobster Research Collaborative will focus on the lobster fishery’s biological, physical and social dynamics, as the request for proposals puts it.
Wayne officials to monitor dam after reports of leaks
Kennebec Journal - Friday, December 8, 2017 

For the next couple years, officials in Wayne will be monitoring the North Wayne Dam after water was seen leaking through the joints at its base. The dam, which the town owns, underwent about $130,000 worth of repairs five years ago, in part to address water that was coming through it. It’s not clear whether the current leakage is related to those repairs or the damage it was trying to address, but an engineer has looked at the dam and determined its structural integrity isn’t compromised.
Saco Island developer faces possible fine for tree cutting
Portland Press Herald - Friday, December 8, 2017 

The developer behind a proposed development on Saco Island was issued a notice of violation and stop work order after he clear-cut trees on the property in violation of shoreland zoning regulations. The notice of violation was by the code enforcement officer after trees were cleared from 30,000 to 70,000 square foot of the 6-acre lot adjacent to the Saco River in downtown Saco. The stop work order has since been lifted to allow property owner Bernie Saulnier to do erosion control work. Saulnier in July announced plans for a $40 million mixed-use project on Saco Island that will include apartments, hotel, restaurant, marina and a connection to the city’s river walk.
Despite fire at Ashland mill, fuel pellet prices, supply stable in Maine
Bangor Daily News - Friday, December 8, 2017 

The Aug. 30 fire at Northeast Pellets in Ashland destroyed the main production building. Owner Matt Bell said at the time that the fire destroyed 500 tons of bulk pellets stored in two silos and shut down the operation indefinitely. Bill Bell, executive director of the Maine Pellet Fuels Association, said he believed that the fire had no impact on statewide prices. Northeast Pellets has been able to fill its orders for retail and bulk customers, such as Wal-Mart and the University of Maine at Fort Kent, by subcontracting with other pellet manufacturers like Corinth Pellets.
State Removes 44 Animals From Farmer's Home, Citing Condition
Associated Press - Friday, December 8, 2017 

Maine animal welfare investigators say they've removed dozens of animals from a farmer's home for allegedly inhumane living conditions. A state spokesman said Thursday that veterinarians are evaluating the 14 sheep, 22 pigs and eight rats for malnutrition and other health problems after officials seized the animals. Investigators have issued a summons to Marc Calcia of Sorrento on animal cruelty charges.
Jeff Marks stepping down as E2Tech executive director to pursue animal rescue work
Portland Press Herald - Friday, December 8, 2017 

Jeff Marks is stepping down as executive director of E2Tech, ending nearly six years at the helm of the environment and energy group to pursue animal and wildlife rescue volunteer work abroad. Marks was hired in 2012 to help E2Tech grow, both operationally and financially. In that time, he has landed grants and led special projects to promote and support the energy and environmental sector in Maine.
Nasa map of Earth's seasons over 20 years highlights climate change
Other - Friday, December 8, 2017 

NASA has captured 20 years of seasonal changes in a striking new global map of the home planet. The visualization shows spring coming earlier and the Arctic ice caps receding over time.
Nature Moments: A Close Look at Mosses
Maine Audubon - Friday, December 8, 2017 

Have you ever taken a close look at mosses? They’re simply elegant, and you can find them almost anywhere. They’re not that hard to tell apart, so why not get to know them? All you need is a hand lens and Ralph Pope’s Mosses, Liverworts, and Hornworts. [video]
This Is How the Trump Administration Gives Big Oil the Keys to Public Lands
Other - Friday, December 8, 2017 

The Nation - In its push to expand energy development, the Bureau of Land Management’s state offices are eviscerating the processes that allowed for development while protecting environmentally vulnerable and valuable lands. Many of these changes are happening at the state or field office level where they are largely out of public view. A BLM employee who asked not to be identified summed up the result: “They’ve taken a corrupt oil-and-gas-leasing process and made it substantially worse.”
Maine West launched
Other - Friday, December 8, 2017 

Maine West is a partnership of local and regional organizations dedicated to addressing systemic rural challenges and enhancing community well-being in western Maine through increased collaboration across the economic, education, health, and conservation sectors. Focused in the Oxford Hills, River Valley, and Bethel areas, Maine West advances its mission through network-based, collaborative approaches.
Recommendations to improve Maine’s fish and wildlife management were ignored
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Friday, December 8, 2017 

In 2001, the legislature created a committee due to concerns about the long-term survival of our fish and wildlife heritage. The committee determined that our tradition of outdoor recreation was at risk because of the threats to the fish and wildlife resources from a variety of sources including loss of habitat, competition from exotic and invasive species, the presence of pollution and toxins in the environment, pressure from intense outdoor recreation activities, and lack of public awareness of wildlife management needs. The committee identified a series of strategies to address high priority fish and wildlife needs. The committee’s recommendations were largely ignored,
Editorial: Undermining America’s lands
Washington Post - Friday, December 8, 2017 

President Donald Trump entered the Oval Office an avowed enemy of environmental protection. This week the degree of his shortsightedness became clearer, with announcements suggesting he will aggressively undermine the measures his predecessors took to preserve precious lands and resources. Trump withdrew some 2 million acres of spectacular landscape from two national monuments in southern Utah. This single move constituted the largest ever reduction in protected federal lands. Then on Tuesday it emerged that Ryan Zinke, Trump’s fox-in-henhouse interior secretary, will recommend paring back or loosening restrictions on 10 more national monuments [including Katahdin Woods & Waters in Maine].
Letter: Belfast bag ban is here
Bangor Daily News - Friday, December 8, 2017 

Spurred by a local grass-roots effort and by a city council that has shown a progressive outlook concerning the environment and health of residents, Belfast thus becomes the 10th Maine city to either ban or charge for single-use plastic bags. Food retailers will still be able to use plastic bags for packing meat, fish, vegetables and so on. And while polystyrene food and drink containers for takeout are prohibited, there’s an exception for trays used to package meats and fish. The new ordinances will take some getting used to. But, along with parallel efforts to reduce plastic use at local schools and at the hospital cafeteria, 2018 truly will be a new year in Belfast. ~ Jeff Shula, Belfast
Letter: Killing elephants wrong
Bangor Daily News - Friday, December 8, 2017 

Once again, it is time to call out those like Bangor safari owner Tim Farren who justify their Darwinism with excuses like, “How do you manage a population of 10,000-12,000 pound [elephants] that eat 100-200 pounds of food a day and decimate everything in their path?” Even if Farren’s justification for shooting animals that “decimate[s] everything in their path” were true, which it is not (only 20 percent of male elephants are crop raiders), the question is still begged: Who are the greater decimators, men or elephant? ~ Bruce Brown, Brewer
Maine Delays ‘Disastrous’ Solar NEM Rollback
Other - Thursday, December 7, 2017 

On Tuesday, the Maine Public Utilities Commission decided to delay the implementation of its controversial net energy metering changes for new rooftop solar customers from Jan. 1 to April 30, 2018. Solar advocates have welcomed the reprieve as they gear up for an upcoming fight against the NEM changes, which they claim are “disastrous,” in the Maine Supreme Court.
Blog: Beware of the Canada Mountain Bob-Lynx Lion
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, December 7, 2017 

More and more Mainers are reporting sightings of mountain lions. Are they really here? Some folks emphatically say yes. While the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife does not officially recognize a mountain lion population in Maine, recent news stories should make even the harshest of skeptics think twice. Do I think cougars are prowling the forests of Maine? I don’t really know. What I do know is that they were once here and habitat in the north and east is prime territory for a mountain lion population. I do agree with some skeptics who demand to see proof. ~ John Floyd
Blog: The Chewonki Foundation George River Expedition: A Subarctic Leadership Adventure
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, December 7, 2017 

Caribou herds. Wolves. Evidence of native encampments. When youngsters embark on the Chewonki Foundation’s pinnacle wilderness trip to Northern Quebec and Labrador they see a whole different world. The George River Expedition first set out in the summer of 1991, a challenging canoe adventure through subarctic terrain. It’s a life-changing leadership opportunity, says Greg Shute, vice president of the Chewonki Foundation. ~ Kristine Millard
Already on Brink, Right Whales Are Pushed Closer to the Edge
Other - Thursday, December 7, 2017 

Yale Environment 360 - North Atlantic right whales, decimated by centuries of whaling, had staged a tentative comeback in recent decades. But the whales’ recovery is now imperiled by collisions with ships and entanglement with fishing lines — threats that could be mitigated with long-overdue controls.
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