September 16, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Monday, September 16, 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
York Beach Clean Up, Sep 23
Event - Posted - Monday, September 16, 2019 

Join a beach clean up & attempt to set a world record spelling the largest "NO PLANET B" ever in the sand. The goal is 500 people At Long Sands Beach, York, September 23, 9 am - 12:30 pm.
Tumbledown trail maintenance, guided hike scheduled, Sep 22
Event - Posted - Sunday, September 15, 2019 

A 4.7 mile round-trip guided hike up Tumbledown Mountain will include discussion of geology, trees and plants, history, wildlife and issues facing the mountain. Meet at Brook Trailhead on Byron Road, Weld, September 22, 9 am - 2 pm.
Life Happens Outside Festival, Sep 21
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 14, 2019 

L.L. Bean Discovery Park, Freeport, 10 am - 4 pm, climbing wall and games ; 6:30 pm, Food Trucks, 7:15 pm, Maine Outdoor Film Festival. Free but donations benefit Teens To Trails.
Portland Electric Car Ride & Drive, Sep 21
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 14, 2019 

Learn about electric cars during the 5th annual EV Expo. At Back Cove parking area off Preble Street, Portland, September 21, 12-4 pm, free pizza & coffee. Hosted by Natural Resources Council of Maine and ReVision Energy.
Smithsonian Museum Day, Sep 21
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 14, 2019 

An annual celebration of boundless curiosity hosted by Smithsonian magazine. At L.C. Bates Museum, Hinckley, September 21, 10 am - 4:30 pm.
Global Climate Strike, Sep 20
Event - Posted - Friday, September 13, 2019 

Take to the streets for the Global Climate Strike to make sure elected officials and candidates for office in 2020 hear us loud and clear. Strikes in Maine at Farmington and Bar Harbor, September 20. ~ 350 Action
Bryant Pond 4-H Camp and Learning Center, Sep 20
Event - Posted - Friday, September 13, 2019 

Ron and Deidre Fournier will speak about the Bryant Pond 4-H Camp and Learning Center. At meeting of the Oxford County Educators Association-Retired, Universalist Church, West Paris, September 20, 1 pm.
Pollinator plantings workshop, Sep 20
Event - Posted - Friday, September 13, 2019 

Learn about the pollinators and beneficial insects helping to make our food systems work with Eric Venturini of the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation. At Hooker Family Farm, Oxford, September 20, 10 am - 12 pm, $10/family.
Common Ground Country Fair, Sep 20-22
Event - Posted - Friday, September 13, 2019 

More than 750 varied events at this annual celebration of rural living with a mix of workshops, demonstrations, music, vendors, farmers’ markets, fantastic food and more. At Unity, September 20-22, gates open daily at 9 am.
Exploring Invasive Species, Sep 19
Event - Posted - Thursday, September 12, 2019 

Mike Hanks of Cape Elizabeth Land Trust talks invasive plants. At Thomas Memorial Library, Cape Elizabeth, September 19, 1 pm; he will lead a walk at Gull Crest Field to identify invasive plants at 2 pm.
Untrammeled — The Case for Wild Nature in a Changing World, Sep 17
Event - Posted - Tuesday, September 10, 2019 

Conservation leaders Tom Butler and Mark Anderson of the Northeast Wilderness Trust will address the science and spirit of forever-wild conservation. Q&A to follow. At Maine Audubon, Gisland Farm, Falmouth, September 17, 7 pm.
10th Great Maine Outdoor Weekend featuring 130 events, Sept. 16-18
Event - Posted - Monday, September 9, 2019 

The 10th Great Maine Outdoor Weekend will be the biggest yet, with more than 130 events planned throughout Maine, September 16-18.
Nature Cruise on the Kennebec River and Merrymeeting Bay, Sep 15
Event - Posted - Sunday, September 8, 2019 

Join Cathance River Education Alliance for a nature cruise from Bath up the Kennebec River to Merrymeeting Bay. September 15, 3-6:30 pm, $42 for adults, $30 for children 6 to 12, $6 for kids under 6.
Landowner Appreciation and Clean Up Day, Sep 15
Event - Posted - Sunday, September 8, 2019 

Landowner Appreciation and Clean Up Day, sponsored by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and the Maine Forest Service, is September 15.
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News Items
Letter: Climate change is for real
Sun Journal - Saturday, December 15, 2018 

The science regarding climate change and its accelerated cause couldn’t be more objective:
• Core ice samples going back five million years provide indisputable evidence that the world’s conversion to coal and oil have significantly changed the molecular carbon dioxide ratio in the Earth’s troposphere.
• The last natural age of extinction on Earth related to carbon dioxide in the atmosphere took more than 1,000 years to develop. The current rate is on a scale to 100 years reaching the same point.
• Anyone who thinks the planet can burn 100.1 million barrels of oil daily, year in and year out, and not increase the CO2 content of the troposphere and not face a consequence, deserves a pat on the head from Donald Trump and a job in his Environmental Protection Agency.
~ Robert Moorehead, Paris
Decade of Climate Evidence Strengthens Case for EPA's Endangerment Finding
Inside Climate News - Friday, December 14, 2018 

Scientific understanding of the risks greenhouse gases pose to public health and welfare has strengthened and broadened in the decade since the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency made its landmark "endangerment finding," according to a new review of the latest science published Thursday. From the worsening of chronic disease to the perils hurricanes and wildfire, the peer-reviewed paper published in the academic journal Science found new evidence of risk in all eight of the areas cited in the EPA finding, which focused on carbon dioxide and five other heat-trapping gases.
Despite progress, climate summit appears to fall short
Washington Post - Friday, December 14, 2018 

Negotiators from nearly 200 nations drew close to a deal Friday that would nudge the world toward stronger targets for reducing emissions and enshrine a clearer set of rules for how to get there. But even amid the glimmers of progress at this year’s climate summit, where more than 25,000 people have gathered in the heart of Poland’s coal mining region, there was a deeper undercurrent of dismay. The world’s best efforts, some participants concluded after two weeks of nonstop talks, would not nearly match the urgency of a problem that scientists have said will bring catastrophic consequences without major action over the next 12 years.
Mislabeled seafood still turning up in stores
Associated Press - Friday, December 14, 2018 

The New York attorney general says more than one-fourth of the seafood her office sampled in a statewide supermarket survey was mislabeled, typically as a more expensive or more sustainably fished species.
Maine grown grains a staple for 40 brews sold at Skowhegan restaurant
Morning Sentinel - Friday, December 14, 2018 

Beer is good food. That’s part of the message these days in central Maine, where one of the best selections of craft beer can be found served at the Miller’s Table, a restaurant in managing owner Amber Lambke’s Maine Grains grist mill in downtown Skowhegan. About 10 percent of all the grains milled at the Maine Grains — or about 120 tons annually — are used to make the Maine beers. The other 1,080 tons go to bakers, chefs and shops from Maine to New York City.
ReVision Energy launches fund to help nonprofits tap solar energy
Mainebiz - Friday, December 14, 2018 

ReVision Energy has started an impact investment fund business, ReVision Solar Impact Partners, to help nonprofits and municipalities acquire cost-effective solar energy. The new company will allow nonprofits to acquire solar energy despite the fact they can't take advantage of the 30% federal tax credit and an approximately 20% depreciation benefit available to tax-paying entities and homeowners, company co-founder Phil Coupe said. ReVision Solar Impact Partners "solves this problem by attracting tax equity investors who can 'monetize' the tax benefits in a way that benefits nonprofits and municipalities," he said.
FAME financing to boost restart of Old Town mill, two other projects
Mainebiz - Friday, December 14, 2018 

The Finance Authority of Maine approved financing to advance the restart of the closed Old Town mill. Another project approved for financing by FAME's board involves an anaerobic digester renewable energy facility at Brunswick Landing. The Old Town project involves financing through the Maine New Markets Capital Investment Program for approximately $31.8 million in investments at the Old Town mill. In Brunswick, Genesis Industrial Group is buying and renovating the existing digester and building an additional one to double the facility's capacity and improve performance. Bonds to be issued for the project may not exceed $18 million.
DIFW must help market hunting and fishing
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Friday, December 14, 2018 

DIF&W used to work with the outdoor industry, including guides and sporting camps, to market hunting and fishing in our state. But they don’t do that today. It is critical that DIF&W work with the industry to market hunting, fishing, and other outdoor activities in Maine. This is one of many recommendations I’ve given to our new governor, Janet Mills.
Anti-hunger groups say Farm bill will help low-income Mainers
Associated Press - Friday, December 14, 2018 

A coalition of Maine anti-hunger groups says the Farm Bill passed by Congress this week is a win people in the state who experience food insecurity. The groups say nearly 15 percent of households in Maine lack access to enough nutritious food.
Meet Maine’s newest winter pest
Bangor Daily News - Friday, December 14, 2018 

Opossums are fairly new to the state, having expanded its territory north into southern Maine over the past decade. More and more, Mainers are encountering this highly adaptable marsupial. Whatever you decide — pest or guest — it looks like the opossum is here to stay.
It’s time for Maine to take brook trout protection seriously
Bangor Daily News - Friday, December 14, 2018 

The Legislature made it clear that there was a desire to enhance protection for brook trout, said Francis Brautigam, the DIF&W’s fisheries and hatcheries director. One tactic often used in cases like that is to prohibit the use of live fish as bait. “We’re saying, ‘We’re going to actively manage the bass in the [southern] part of the state where they’re well-established, where there’s already been a displacement of native populations, [where trout] are already disturbed,’” Brautigam said. “But hey, we’ve still got a big part of the state that’s still healthy, it’s still intact [as trout habitat]. We can make more of a concerted effort to keep it that way."
Solar power achieved a New England milestone on chilly Thanksgiving
Portland Press Herald - Friday, December 14, 2018 

On last month’s historically cold Thanksgiving Day, New England turkeys were being roasted by the sun. For the first time, according to the region’s electric grid operator, thousands of solar panels offset the midmorning peak demand for power from millions of homes and businesses cooking the holiday birds. The renewable energy milestone was noted this week by ISO-New England. It highlights the growing role of solar energy on the grid and counters lingering myths about the technology not working in cold climates.
Editorial: In Quebec, clean energy goes to waste. Let’s use it.
Boston Globe - Friday, December 14, 2018 

Zero-carbon hydropower from Quebec offers a realistic way for Massachusetts and the rest of New England to reduce greenhouse gas emissions — fast. The Massachusetts Legislature passed a law in 2016 that authorized utilities to import huge amounts of Canadian hydropower. But the first winner of the state’s contract, the Northern Pass transmission line through New Hampshire, stalled because of opposition from fossil fuel generators, environmentalists, and one New Hampshire regulatory body. Now Massachusetts’ second choice, a 145-mile power line through western Maine, has met with a lukewarm reception from Maine Governor-elect Janet Mills. The opposition of some environmental groups who say it won’t really add new clean power, such as the Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Council of Maine, is simply bewildering.
Letter: Pro-fossil fuel policies
Bangor Daily News - Friday, December 14, 2018 

The agenda of the Trump administration with respect to the coal industry is easily the most counterproductive feather in the cap of his energy and climate policy alongside his refusal to work with U.S. allies on the Paris Climate Accord. The decision to nominate Bernard McNamee to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is another futile attempt to save the drowning coal industry that is no longer price competitive with natural gas, solar and wind generated electricity. His appointment is a loss in the short term for the fight against climate change and for sensible, fact-based regulation and public policy formulation. ~ Matt Gonya, South Berwick
Letter: Why are Massachusetts power needs prioritized over Maine’s?
Portland Press Herald - Friday, December 14, 2018 

Even as Maine’s Public Utilities Commission approves an electricity price increase for Central Maine Power’s customers, CMP is seeking approval to build new power lines through Maine to Massachusetts – a state which, because it is holding up the construction of a larger gas pipeline to Maine, is helping to keep electricity rates higher for Maine consumers. Why is Maine being asked to do so much for Massachusetts? Just another reason to oppose CMP’s request to build new power lines through the state. ~ Richard J. Kessler, Bath
Patagonia is in business to save our home planet
Other - Thursday, December 13, 2018 

This week, Yvon Chouinard, the 80-year-old founder of Patagonia informed employees that the company’s mission statement has changed to be direct, urgent, and crystal clear: “Patagonia is in business to save our home planet.” Chouinard says the shift is an expression of urgency, to signal to everyone inside the company and out, that this isn’t just about climate change, it’s a climate crisis.
Those five states' underperformance is in part a reaction to 2017 GOP tax cuts. me states are facing budget shortfalls after Trump’s tax cuts
Other - Thursday, December 13, 2018 

Most states have shown strong revenue performances throughout fiscal year 2019, but five states, including Maine, are experiencing shortfalls, according to a report from the National Association of State Budget Offices. Those five states' underperformance is in part a reaction to 2017 GOP tax cuts.
Farm bill includes benefits for Maine
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, December 13, 2018 

A massive, multi-year farm bill headed to President Trump’s desk contains provisions that could benefit Maine’s growing agricultural sector:
* Up to $50 million in dedicated annual funding for organic farming research.
* Up to $350 million per year (compared to $25 million annually in the current farm bill) to help deploy high-speed, broadband internet services in rural areas.
* Creation of a “Next Generation in Agriculture” program to assist young or beginning farmers, which could help in Maine where the number of farms and young farmers is growing.
* $80 million per year in grants to support farmers’ markets, farm-to-retail marketing, agritourism and other programs.
* Legalize the production of hemp nationwide. While hemp production is already legal in Maine, hemp farmers still faced federal restrictions on sales, transportation, marketing, banking and other issues.
* Additional support for research and development of “cross-laminated timber” and other engineered wood in construction.
Chinese firm to receive $12 million in Maine tax credits
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, December 13, 2018 

The Finance Authority of Maine has approved $12 million in Maine New Markets Capital Investment Program tax credits for a Chinese paper company to restart pulp manufacturing operations inside the shuttered Old Town mill. The deal also includes additional financing for Nine Dragons Paper Ltd. for a total investment of $31.8 million, according to FAME. The tax credits will be awarded over the next seven years. In October, OTM Holdings sold the mill to ND Paper, which operates three pulp and paper mills in North America, including the former Catalyst paper mill in Rumford. ND Paper pledged to invest $111 million in the Rumford mill.
Column: Janet Mills vs. Paul LePage
Times Record - Thursday, December 13, 2018 

Governor-elect Janet Mills has now enthusiastically embraced a position of concern for Maine’s original inhabitants’ cultural identity and tribal stewardship of their environment, the very two things the state’s victory in Penobscot Nation v. Mills denies as a right. Here in Maine and countrywide, America’s injustice to its native peoples is finally gaining broad awareness. The traditional two-party system can no longer continue to run away from, or continue, that dark history if it’s to be part of an enlightened future. The forward momentum of Janet Mills’s own culturally corrective political victory needs to quickly and decisively set public perception straight on the believed correctness of Penobscot Nation v. Mills. ~ Gary Anderson, Bath
Off-trail snowmobilers advised to use courtesy, discretion
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, December 13, 2018 

Early snowfall and cold temperatures have set the stage for an influx of snowmobilers heading out onto Maine’s 14,500 miles of trails, but the Maine Snowmobile Association urges riders to respect the generosity of landowners while doing so. The state is seeing a sharp increase in off-trail riding, and while this activity is allowed unless prohibited by a specific landowner’s policy, the MSA said in a news release that riders should always consider themselves guests, and use common sense and courtesy as their core principles.
Lobsters still topped the nation in fishery value last year
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, December 13, 2018 

Despite a nationwide decline last year in the volume and value of American lobster landings, the fishery remains the most valuable single-species fishery in the country, according to a report released Thursday by federal regulators. More than $550 million worth of American lobster was caught in the United States last year, with $423 million of that total — more than three-quarters of the national harvest — brought ashore in Maine. Overall, Maine fishermen harvested $511 million dollars worth of seafood in 2017, putting the state third behind Alaska and Massachusetts.
Column: How a great black hawk became a Maine celebrity
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, December 13, 2018 

Not all who wander are lost. There is a great black hawk in Portland that has become quite famous — but only he knows if he left Mexico because our squirrels taste better. The big danger is that we treat celebrity birds like we treat celebrity people, surrounding them with paparazzi and interrupting public dining. Even if a bird seems unaffected by people, the admiring crowd can drive away its food. Fortunately for this hawk, gray squirrels in a downtown Portland park are not very shy of people. I do worry about a tropical hawk surviving a Maine winter, but on the other hand, we have a lot of squirrels. ~ Bob Duchesne
Hunter films rare albino porcupine waddling in the Maine woods
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, December 13, 2018 

It was just before sundown on Dec. 6 when hunter Greg Strand heard a commotion nearby in the trees. Strand, who was out in the Windham woods, ducked out of sight to see what was moving among the trees. A large dark-colored porcupine was moving through the trees, and following close behind it was another porcupine — apparently albino — that blended in with the snow. “I knew it was special,” Strand said after he captured his encounter with the albino porcupine on video.
Building a Stronger Maine
Other - Thursday, December 13, 2018 

Acadia Center recently convened businesses, advocates, community members, and policymakers for a lively forum exploring Maine’s pathways to increase stability and growth through a clean energy future. Presentation slides from the forum are available online.
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