January 23, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Wednesday, January 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). We have posted summaries and links to over 50,000 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
Browntail moth, Jan 30
Event - Posted - Wednesday, January 23, 2019 

Maine Forest Service Entomologist Tom Schmeelk and District Forester Morten Moesswilde explain how to identify and manage browntail moths. At Lewiston Public Works, January 30, 10 am - 2 pm.
Lake St. George Ice Fishing Derby, Jan 26
Event - Posted - Saturday, January 19, 2019 

Learn how to fish. All equipment and bait provided. Lunch, hot cocoa, and warming hut. At Lake St. George State Park, Liberty, January 26, 8 am - 2 pm.
Brown-tail moths, Jan 24
Event - Posted - Thursday, January 17, 2019 

Eleanor Groden, professor of entomology at the University of Maine, will discuss the health hazards presented by, and recommended management strategies of, brown-tail moths. At Palermo Community Library, January 24, 6:30 pm.
20th Anniversary Maine Farmland Trust Kick Off Event, Jan 24
Event - Posted - Thursday, January 17, 2019 

Join a festive hometown gathering to look back at Maine Farmland Trust's many milestones since 1999, and celebrate the founders and members who helped to shape the organization. At United Farmer’s Market of Maine, Belfast, January 24, 6 pm.
Explore Nature through photography, Jan 24
Event - Posted - Thursday, January 17, 2019 

Local photographers Michele Benoit, Donne Sinderson, and Richard Spinney will share their photographs, experience and tips for photographing the natural world. At Bangor, January 24, 6:30 pm. Sponsored by Bangor Land Trust.
Help pick BDN top issue
Action Alert - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 

This year, the Bangor Daily News opinion pages will focus attention on four issues that are critical to Maine’s future. We have picked three areas: economic development; referendum reform; and Maine’s rural, spread out population. Help pick the fourth topic. Climate change and the associated energy, land-use and conservation policies are the top concern so far.
Marching Backwards
Publication - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 

A report by the Environmental Defense Fund about how Andrew Wheeler and Donald Trump are endangering the health of American families by rolling back environmental safeguards.
Browntail Moth, Jan 22
Event - Posted - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 

Maine Forest Service Entomologist Tom Schmeelk and District Forester Morten Moesswilde explain how to identify and manage browntail moths. At Boothbay Regional Land Trust's Oak Point Farm, January 22, 3 pm.
Tree Appreciation Walk, Jan 20
Event - Posted - Monday, January 14, 2019 

Kids, adults, and families are invited on a walking exploration and appreciation of trees. At Thorne Head Preserve Bath, January 20, 1-2:30 pm. Co-sponsored by Kennebec Estuary Land Trust and Beth Israel Congregation.
Colonizing history of Wabanaki people, Europeans, Jan 20
Event - Posted - Sunday, January 13, 2019 

Maine-Wabanaki REACH and the Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Augusta hold an interactive story-telling experience about the colonizing history of Wabanaki (the Indigenous people of Maine) and Europeans and their descendants. At UU Church, Augusta, January 20, 1-3 pm, RSVP.
L.L.Bean Outdoor Discovery Programs
Event - Posted - Thursday, January 10, 2019 

Expert guides. Amazing scenery. Hundreds of new activities to learn. Plus, customized trips, all-inclusive adventures, kids’ camps and more. Starting at $25.
Ice Fishing the Downeast, Jan 17
Event - Posted - Thursday, January 10, 2019 

Gregory Burr, regional biologist for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, talks about “Ice Fishing the Downeast Region.” At Schoodic Institute, Winter Harbor, January 17, noon.
Nature Notes from Maine, Jan 17
Event - Posted - Thursday, January 10, 2019 

Ed Robinson shares interesting facts about some of Maine's most beautiful and fascinating wildlife. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, January 17, 6 pm potluck, 7 pm presentation. Sponsored by Appalachian Mountain Club.
Weekly Winter Adventure camp in Bethel begins Jan. 16
Announcement - Wednesday, January 9, 2019 

The UMaine 4-H Camp & Learning Center at Bryant Pond, in partnership with the Mahoosuc Land Trust and Mahoosuc Kids Association, is offering a six-week Winter Adventure course, beginning Wednesday, January 16.
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News Items
Portland task force takes on waterfront zoning
Forecaster - Monday, January 7, 2019 

The “elephant in the room” made quite a splash in City Hall Jan. 3 when the Waterfront Working Group met for the first time. The “elephant,” as it was called by City Manager Jon Jennings, is a mixed-use project, with a 93-room hotel, planned by Bateman Partners at Fishermen’s Wharf. At the meeting, Jennings said city staff would immediately begin work on zoning revisions that would make the project impossible, rather than merely unlikely. “We want it to go away,” lobsterman and group member Keith Lane said.
Trump Tests Legal Boundaries In Redirecting Fee Monies To National Park Garbage Collection
National Parks Traveler - Monday, January 7, 2019 

Determined to keep national parks open regardless of the impacts, top Interior Department officials moved in a legally questionable direction to redirect fees generally dedicated for specific uses in parks for use in cleaning restrooms and removing trash and human waste at parks unable to deal with those issues during the ongoing partial government shutdown. That move Sunday, done apparently without any consultation with National Park Service regional directors or superintendents, was quickly criticized by members of Congress as well as the National Parks Conservation Association.
Travel, hospitality businesses will be guided by Gen Z, WEX report says
Mainebiz - Monday, January 7, 2019 

An increasing focus on technology and the preferences of Generation Z — those age 20 and under — will drive travel trends in the future, according to the 2019 Travel Trends and Expectations report from South Portland-based WEX. Travel trends in 2018 broke down along generational lines, with younger travelers more likely to use online travel agencies, travel with a purpose and pay for it with a debit card rather than a credit card, the report said. But more focus on technology as a resource crosses all generational lines.
Roy Dudley’s Chimney Pond tales are great
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Monday, January 7, 2019 

Roy Dudley was a real Maine character who hung out at Chimney Pond just below Mount Katahdin from 1890 to 1942. And Roy was well known for his very entertaining stories, many of them focused on a very strange character called Pamola. Pamola was a giant with wings and antlers and the illustration showing him on the front of the book, "Chimney Pond Tales," is amazing. The book is a collection of Roy’s tall tales, and it has a very interesting history.
Acadia is weathering the worst of the shutdown, but a prolonged closure raises concern
Bangor Daily News - Monday, January 7, 2019 

The ongoing shutdown of the federal government, which is now entering its third week, has not had much impact in Acadia National Park compared to other National Park Service properties, but there is concern that its effects could become more pronounced if it lingers on much longer. Since the federal government shut down on Dec. 22, spurred by another showdown between President Donald Trump and Congress over funding for a wall Trump wants built along the border with Mexico, problems have arisen at several national park sites. David MacDonald, head of Friends of Acadia, said the longer the shutdown lasts the more likely its impact will be felt in Acadia.
What to expect from Maine’s economy in 2019
Bangor Daily News - Monday, January 7, 2019 

Maine’s economy is the best it has been since the Great Recession of 2007-2009 as the Pine Tree State enters 2019. But upbeat predictions by economists and financiers were darkened somewhat by the partial federal government shutdown early in the new year and ongoing international trade tensions. Also clouding the financial outlook are the potential global economic slowdown, volatile stock markets, and an oversupply of oil. Events in China, including trade negotiations between the U.S. and Chinese governments currently underway, have the potential to affect selected Maine economic sectors, especially the agricultural and fisheries sectors. Stefan Iris, chief investment officer at Camden National Wealth Management, sees job growth in the tourism and technology sectors but expects more job losses in manufacturing.
3 Maine cross-country ski trails to explore this winter
Bangor Metro - Monday, January 7, 2019 

• Witch Hole Pond Loop in Acadia National Park
• Bangor Municipal Golf Course in Bangor
• Quarry Road Trails in Waterville
South Portland forming municipal coalition to back pro-solar legislation, energy-saving construction
Portland Press Herald - Monday, January 7, 2019 

A new coalition being organized by officials in South Portland would push for an overhaul of "outdated energy policies at the state level that have not kept pace with progress" when it comes to practices that reduce energy costs and carbon emissions.
Column: Farewell to failure
Forecaster - Monday, January 7, 2019 

Paul LePage’s record is a record of failure. Because of his opposition to sustainable energy, LePage failed to invest in the future, driving away millions of dollars in wind power projects. As to LePage’s political future, if any, I’m guessing he might end up in Washington. With Trump scraping the bottom of the barrel to find people willing to work for him, don’t be surprised if LePage turns up as a butt-kisser in some department where he will draw a fat check and continue his failure to serve the American people. ~ Edgar Allen Beem
Column: Going under
Forecaster - Monday, January 7, 2019 

You may not believe in global warming, but regardless of your propensity for ignoring reality, sea levels along the Maine coast are rising. You could check out Surf Street in Camp Ellis in Saco. Or you could if Surf Street still existed. In the last couple of decades, big storms have caused it to be washed into the Atlantic. That debacle ought to serve as a warning for what’s coming. But it hasn’t. An assessment done by the group States at Risk puts it bluntly. “Maine faces considerable and significantly increasing threat levels from extreme heat, drought, inland flooding, and coastal flooding between now and 2050,” the reports states. “However, the state has taken limited action to plan and implement climate change adaptation strategies.” ~ Al Diamon
New Trump Executive Order Could Open Forests in National Parks to Logging
National Parks Traveler - Sunday, January 6, 2019 

An executive order issued by President Trump and expected to be posted Monday in the Federal Register is somewhat open-ended in directing the Interior and Agriculture departments to actively manage forests to reduce the risk of wildfires. While the order does not specifically mention National Park System lands, the Trump administration has already shown its willingness to open up national monuments to drilling and mining.
Residents recycled over 1,000 Christmas trees at Westbrook farm
Portland Press Herald - Sunday, January 6, 2019 

Area residents donated more than 1,000 Christmas trees to Smiling Hill Farm in Westbrook by Sunday’s dropoff deadline, a supply that should keep the farm’s goat herd fed through next summer.
Wild blueberry crop may be about to make a comeback in Maine
Associated Press - Sunday, January 6, 2019 

Growers in the No. 1 wild-blueberry state suffered another bad year, but agriculture officials say there are reasons to believe Maine’s historic and troubled industry is about to turn a long-awaited corner. Maine farmers collected about 57 million pounds of the wild fruit in 2018, down nearly 11 million pounds from the previous year, UMaine horticulture professor David Yarborough said. Prices to farmers, which topped out at more than $1 per pound in 2007, also do not appear to have improved significantly from recent years in which they lagged below historic levels. Prices fell to 25 cents per pound in 2017 and appear to be returning from the bottom, but reached only 30 or 35 cents per pound in 2018. But excess inventory has held back blueberry prices in recent years, and Yarborough said that is likely to start changing in 2019 because of two straight years of modest harvest sizes.
Park Service dips into entrance fees to keep operating
Washington Post - Sunday, January 6, 2019 

The National Park Service will take the unprecedented step of tapping entrance fees to pay for operations at its most popular sites, officials said Sunday, as the federal government shutdown threatens to degrade some of the nation’s iconic landmarks. Under a memorandum signed Saturday by the Interior Department’s acting secretary, David Bernhardt, park managers will be permitted to bring on additional staff to clean restrooms, haul trash, patrol the parks and open areas that have been shut during the more than two-week budget impasse.
Maine prioritizes sales with ag grants
Associated Press - Sunday, January 6, 2019 

The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry is looking for applications for the agricultural grants the state uses to increase sales for farms. The development grants are used for things like market promotion, market research and value-added processing. Public agencies, farms, private firms and non-profit organizations are all eligible to apply. Proposals are due by Jan. 31. The department says its priorities for the grants include improving sales to local buyers and assisting farms in increasing sales to institutions.
Maine man dies in 1st snowmobile fatality of 2019
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, January 6, 2019 

Bryan Sylvester, 57, left for a snowmobile ride from his Long Pond Road home Saturday about 2 p.m., and after driving for about 1.5 miles onto Long Pond near Parlin Stream he struck a large snow drift and was ejected from his 2008 Ski Doo snowmobile. Sylvester had been riding alone at the time of the crash, and was not wearing a helmet.
Audit fails to quell anger over CMP bills
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, January 6, 2019 

An eight-month independent audit of Central Maine Power’s billing and metering systems offered hope that ongoing anger and confusion about high electric bills for tens of thousands of customers finally would be cleared up. That didn’t happen. About 97,000 CMP customers saw their bills increase last year by 50 percent or more in three winter months when compared with the same period a year earlier. And while the audit focused on what happened in the past, the PUC continues to hear from customers who are reporting new problems. More than 30 new public comments were filed on the PUC’s case docket in the first three days of the new year.
Mushers can be a dog’s best friend
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, January 6, 2019 

More than a third (36%) of U.S. households have dogs, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. And few people have keener insights into dogs than mushers, who spend most days biking, skiing or driving sleds with dogs as part of a team. Maine has two sled dog clubs with about 100 members between them.
Column: Three ideas to make Maine a bit greener
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, January 6, 2019 

Maine is a green state, both figuratively and literally (being the most heavily forested state in the union). As a new gubernatorial administration takes hold, and as climate change causes our ocean to creep up our beaches, I offer a few millennial’s-eye solutions for reducing greenhouse-gas emissions:
• create a program, administered through local banks and credit unions, of subsidized, low-interest car loans specifically for purchasing electric or hybrid vehicles
• create a contest for best industrial-park climate garden
• encourage carpools and ride-sharing in rural areas
~ Victoria Hugo-Vidal
Column: Turkey hunting decisions have worked
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, January 6, 2019 

Restoration of Maine’s wild turkey population has to be among the top wildlife management success stories of the last century. State biologists and volunteers from the National Wild Turkey Federation should be commended for the careful and responsible approach they took, and consistently maintained in bringing the king of North American game birds back to our state. But even success is not without its detractors, and there are already those calling for still more effort directed toward increasing both hunting opportunity and harvest. We need to proceed slowly, responsibly, and according to recommendations of trained wildlife professionals. ~ Bob Humphrey
Column: Great black hawk sighting highlights first Christmas Bird Counts
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, January 6, 2019 

This column is the first of three reviewing the highlights of the Maine Christmas Bird Counts. This count season spans Dec. 15 through Jan. 5. The Greater Portland count was held Dec. 15 and yielded 102 species. The highlight was a great black hawk, still present on count day in the Deering Oaks park area in downtown Portland. This record represents not only a first for Maine Christmas Bird Counts, but for the United States! The Augusta Count was also held Dec. 15, yielding 52 species. The Unity Count on Dec. 15 produced 47 species. The Moose Island-Jonesport count, conducted Dec. 15, produced 65 species. ~ Herb Wilson
Letter: Efficiency Maine Trust a burden to needy electricity customers
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, January 6, 2019 

Efficiency Maine is playing the ISO-New England Forward Capacity Market to enrich itself with an additional $13.89 million while the poorest among us struggle with a crippling $150-per-year addition to their bills? The $13.89 million is what the market saves when Efficiency Maine clients use more-efficient electrical devices; this money is remitted not to the clients, but to Efficiency Maine Trust. The right thing to do now is to eliminate the system benefit charge. Allow Efficiency Maine to retain the $13.89 million to administer programs that will benefit the poor, who need help with energy poverty. ~ Clayton McKay, Dixfield
Letter: Ocasio-Cortez’s ‘Green New Deal’ a godsend
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, January 6, 2019 

On first reading about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s primary win, I became ecstatic, even though much of the media saw it as a flash in the pan. Now she has, as per the headline on the Dec. 23 Katrina Vanden Heuvel column, proposed an economic incentive that “might just save the world.” Vanden Heuvel writes that “a new Yale survey found that a Green New Deal is supported by a staggering 81 percent of registered voters.” Yes, I am ecstatic! ~ Eliot Chandler, Augusta
Silencing Science
Other - Saturday, January 5, 2019 

Center for Investigative Reporting - President Donald Trump says he doubts humans have much of a role in climate change. His administration has downplayed the science of climate change and sought to silence scientists working for the federal government. This podcast details the pressures one researcher faced as she worked on a project for the National Park Service.
Maine Bird Superlatives
Maine Audubon - Saturday, January 5, 2019 

In celebration of #NationalBirdDay today, Maine Audubon has compiled a list of "Maine Bird Superlatives." Which bird is Maine's fastest? Largest? Most numerous? And which is our class clown??
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