September 19, 2018  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

Thanks for visiting Maine Environmental News, a service of RESTORE: The North Woods. MEN is the most comprehensive online source available for links 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
Solar 101, Sep 26
Event - Posted - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

Join ReVision Energy to learn about the benefits of solar technology. At Scarborough Public Library, September 26, 2018 6:30 pm.
Activist Training for Maine's Environment, Sep 27-Oct 11
Event - Posted - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

Maine's environmental community is hosting a series of trainings. Learn skills to be a powerful activist and meet fellow environmentalists who want to make a difference in Maine. September 27, Biddeford; October 4: Auburn; October 11, Jefferson; October 18, Falmouth.
Naturalist's Notebook, Sep 26
Event - Posted - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

Bowdoin biology professor Nat Wheelwright will speak about the book he wrote with Bernd Heinrich, "The Naturalist's Notebook: An Observation Guide and 5-Year Calendar-Journal for Tracking Changes in the Natural World Around You." At Portland Public Library, September 26, 5:30-7:30 pm.
Weasels of Maine, Sep 26
Event - Posted - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

Shevenell Webb, Wildlife Biologist with IF&W, talks about weasel ecology and natural history. At Augusta Nature Club luncheon, at Capital Area Technical Center, Augusta, September 26, 11:30 am, $7 for lunch.
NRCM online auction, thru Sep
Announcement - Tuesday, September 18, 2018 

Online auction benefits Natural Resources Council of Maine, through September.
Evening for the Environment, Oct 3
Event - Posted - Tuesday, September 18, 2018 

A night of camaraderie, celebration, and inspiration for those who care about protecting Maine's environment. Keynote speaker Gina McCarthy, former EPA Administrator. At Brick South on Thompson's Point, Portland, October 3, 5:30-8:00 pm. Organized by Maine Conservation Voters.
Help wanted: Director of Media Relations and Advocacy Communications
Announcement - Monday, September 17, 2018 

The Natural Resources Council of Maine is seeking applications for the position of Director of Media Relations and Advocacy Communications. The position provides leadership in advancing NRCM and the organization’s advocacy work through the news media. Deadline: October 11, 2018.
MCV Action Fund 2018 Endorsements
Announcement - Monday, September 17, 2018 

A list of candidates endorsed by the Maine Conservation Voters Action Fund.
Bringing an ocean perspective to an urban estuary, Sep 24
Event - Posted - Monday, September 17, 2018 

Karina Nielsen, director of San Francisco State University’s Estuary and Ocean Science Center, will speak at the UMaine Darling Marine Center, Walpole, September 24, 12:15 pm.
Maine's Beaches are Public Property, Sep 24
Event - Posted - Monday, September 17, 2018 

Author and law professor Orlando E. Delogu speaks about public access to Maine’s beaches. At Curtis Memorial Library, Brunswick, September 24, 6:30 pm.
Why Natural History Matters, Sep 24
Event - Posted - Monday, September 17, 2018 

Tom Fleischner, Executive Director of the Natural History Institute, will describe how the practice of natural history provides the foundation for the natural sciences, conservation, healthy society, and our own well-being. At Gilsland Farm, Falmouth, September 24, 7 pm, Maine Audubon members $12, nonmembers $15.
Save our Shores Walk, Sep 23
Event - Posted - Sunday, September 16, 2018 

Learn how climate change may affect our shores and how CLF is working to ensure a resiliant Maine coast. At Ferry Beach, Saco, September 23, 2:30-5 pm. Sponsored by Conservation Law Foundation.
Help restore cottontail habitat, Sep 22, 28, 29
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 15, 2018 

The Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge will host a volunteer work day to help restore native scrubland habitat, home to many species including the New England cottontail rabbit. Volunteers needed. At Libby Field, Scarborough, Sep 22, 28, 29, 9 am - 2 pm.
Art is for the birds, Sep 22
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 15, 2018 

This arts workshop invites community members to collaborate on a sculpture that will provide winter shelter for birds. At Kingdom Woods Conservation Area, Blue Hill, September 22, 10 am-noon.
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News Items
Sky Lodge ribbon cutting to expand Made in Maine education for Unity College
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, September 4, 2018 

In June, Unity College received a game-changing gift of Sky Lodge, a historic sporting camp and 16 other buildings sitting on more than 150 acres in the Moose River Valley that will help the college expand its real-world learning experiences for students. On Friday, Sept. 7, hundreds of Unity College students, faculty and staff, elected officials, and community members will get to explore the site for the first time since it became a Unity College property. All are invited, as the College and Moose River Valley community will celebrate Unity College: Sky Lodge with a ribbon cutting.
Sale to Canadian company will give Portland-based Ready Seafood ‘a much bigger tool box’
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, September 4, 2018 

A Canadian specialty foods company has signed a deal to buy Ready Seafood, one of Maine’s largest lobster dealers and processors. The acquisition will give Ready access to Premium Brands’ growing worldwide market of almost 2,200 buyers, Ready said. He believes that will enable Ready to grow beyond the parent company’s seafood group, which was formed in 2008, and venture into its bakery and specialty sandwich lines, which Ready said are new and relatively untapped markets for lobster.
Trump’s National Park Service Superintendent Is a Win
Outside - Tuesday, September 4, 2018 

On Friday, the Trump Administration announced its plan to nominate Raymond David Vela, the current chief of Grand Teton National Park, to lead the National Park Service. If Congress signs off, David Vela would become the first Latino superintendent of the NPS, with a resume that's extraordinarily encouraging for champions of public land.
EPA’s internal watchdog finds no reason for $3.5 million in extra security for former chief
Associated Press - Tuesday, September 4, 2018 

The Environmental Protection Agency had no proper justification for spending more than $3.5 million on round-the-clock security for former head Scott Pruitt, including nearly $1 million in travel costs for his bodyguards, the agency’s internal watchdog concluded on Tuesday. The EPA allowed Pruitt and his team to increase the security detail from six agents for Pruitt’s predecessor to 19 for Pruitt without proving the need, “an undocumented decision (that) represents an inefficient use of agency resources,” the EPA Office of the Inspector General concluded.
Appalachian Trail leads Texas woman to the duck
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, September 4, 2018 

Karen Kuhlmann of Fredericksburg, Texas finished her hike on the Appalachian Trail in just a few days short of five months. Most of her trip was spent solo hiking. After her epic journey there was only one thing left to do-and you might think it was to come see the world’s marginally famous Bangor Police Department Duck of Justice, but you are wrong. She went Eastport, Maine to have as much lobster as possible.
The missing ‘unicorn' plant has returned to Maine for the first time in over 130 years
Other - Tuesday, September 4, 2018 

Lonely Planet - A plant that was presumed to be eradicated has returned to Maine for the first time in over 130 years. About 300 flowering stems of the Unicorn Root, also known as white colic-root or by its official name, Aletris farinosa, were discovered in a damp field on privately-held land in Bowdoin this summer. According to Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, the plant hasn’t been seen since 1887, when it was found in Lewiston. The specimens before that were collected by Maine botanist, Kate Furbish, in Wells in 1879 and Brunswick in 1874.
Southern Maine schools celebrate success, relevance of gardens
Forecaster - Tuesday, September 4, 2018 

School gardens do more than teach kids about the importance of healthy eating and where food comes from; they can also help teach vital skills such as cooperation, responsibility and patience. The Maine School Garden Network is holding an event to celebrate the most successful school gardening programs in southern Maine. Called the Summer Success Garden Tour, the event Sept. 15 and 16 will allow participants to meet and talk with local school garden educators, experience how these programs work first hand and learn about ways to enhance the school garden experience for students.
If Jimmy Fallon was an Environmentalist, here is what he’d sing
Other - Tuesday, September 4, 2018 

I think it is time that we commission Jimmy Fallon to perform an updated version of “The Times They Are A-Changin’,” and another Dylan song, “Blowin in the Wind.” Here are versions. ~ Visiting Professor Jeff Thaler, University of Maine School of Law
The codless cape: fishermen in Maine feel the pinch
Other - Tuesday, September 4, 2018 

The National - From a shortage of cod in Cape Cod to Maine’s lobster industry being battered by Chinese tariffs, life is tough for New England’s fishermen. With manufacturing and other traditional industries long in decline, the value of those seeking a catch has taken on outsized importance. Stephanie Nadeau, a lobster trader from Arundel, Maine, is feeling the pinch. "I shipped my last lobsters to China on July 5, then I lost 100 per cent of my business to mainland China for eight weeks," she said. She picked up some orders when Canadian supplies ran out, but the long-term prospects are grim, with her business set to lose $10 million in sales this year due to Trump’s tariff war with China.
Blog: What’s the story with Maine’s CD2 Race?
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, September 4, 2018 

Blanketed in pine forests that stretch for hundreds of miles, interspersed with old mill towns and a few formerly industrial small cities, Maine’s second district covers nearly 80% of the state’s land area. Until fairly recently, the district was a Democratic stronghold of blue collar union members. In the last few years, things have changed, with the district electing Poliquin, a Republican, in 2014, and then swinging even harder to the right in 2016, supporting Trump by around ten points. Today it is the only GOP-held congressional district in New England. The race pits challenger Jared Golden, a young Democratic populist and former US Marine, against Bruce Poliquin, a staunch Republican and former Wall Street financier who has held the seat for the last two terms. ~ Rob Korobkin
With industry in decline, wild blueberries sing the blues
Associated Press - Tuesday, September 4, 2018 

The Maine wild blueberry industry harvests one of the most beloved fruit crops in New England, but it’s locked in a downward skid in a time when other nutrition-packed foods, from acai to quinoa, dominate the conversation about how to eat. The industry is dealing with a long-term price drop, drought, freezes, diseases and foreign competition, and farmers are looking at a second consecutive year of reduced crop size. Questions linger about when, and if, the berry will be able to make a comeback. North America’s wild blueberry industry exists only in Maine and Atlantic Canada.
Maine’s fall foliage is popping up early this year
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, September 4, 2018 

Some trees are displaying bright fall colors early in Maine this year, which may mean an extended fall foliage season. These pops of color in late August are being attributed to the drought that has affected much of Maine this summer.
Hot and dry weather apparently hampering ticks that carry Lyme disease
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, September 4, 2018 

The number of Lyme disease cases has declined so far this summer from last year, and experts say the recent hot and dry weather may be responsible, by causing the ticks that carry the disease to go into a dormant, hibernation-like state. It doesn’t mean they’ve died — most likely the arachnids have burrowed under leaves or in the dirt.
Effort to protect Maine’s piping plovers pays off with record number
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, September 4, 2018 

It was a banner year for piping plovers in Maine. A record number of the endangered shorebirds nested on beaches from Ogunquit to Georgetown and produced a record number of fledglings, according to Maine Audubon. Maine beaches hosted 68 nesting pairs that fledged 128 birds, continuing a decade of steady growth in their population.
Letter: Children deserve safe water
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, September 4, 2018 

There’s a threat that our children face every day when they go to school: lead in drinking water. Lead is a potent neurotoxin that impairs how children learn, grow and behave. Maine’s particularly corrosive water can more readily dissolve lead from plumbing systems, and deposit this toxin into the water our children consume every day. Let’s work together to get the lead out. We can start by immediately installing filters. We’ll also need to replace the lead solder and fixtures containing lead that cause the contamination in the first place. Meanwhile, let’s shut off taps where lead in water exceeds 1 part per billion, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. ~ Emma Dietz, Portland
Letter: Creating a public power utility in Maine is worth serious study
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, September 4, 2018 

I support the proposal to create a public power entity for Maine. Having represented all New England public power entities on the New England Power Pool Operations Committee, I know firsthand how focused on customer service and reliability the public power utilities are. Public power entities are more reliable because many of them use stronger and insulated distribution wires. They have lower rates because they don’t have to earn a profit. In addition, public power entities maintain sufficient staff to service their lines in the event of a disruption. It would be great if, in November, we elected legislators who’d give serious consideration to this proposal. ~ Bill Dunn, Yarmouth
Letter: Reject the CMP proposal
Sun Journal - Tuesday, September 4, 2018 

I am greatly concerned about Central Maine Power’s proposal to build a high voltage transmission line through the heart of Maine. The building of about 53 new miles of transmission corridor will require clearing of a large, currently undisturbed, swath of Maine’s North Woods. The line would negatively affect 263 valuable wetlands, 115 streams and 12 inland waterfowl and wading bird habitat areas. That indicates CMP is putting its profit ahead of Maine’s environment. I urge the Maine DEP and Land Use Planning Commission to reject permits for that project. ~ Nancy Prince, Wilton
LBJ signs Wilderness Act, Sept. 3, 1964
POLITICO - Monday, September 3, 2018 

On this day in 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the Wilderness Act, protecting some 9.1 million acres of federal land from development. Currently, the National Wilderness Preservation System encompasses about 5 percent of the land in the United States. The wilderness designation amounts to a protective overlay Congress applies to selected portions of national forests, parks, wildlife refuges and other public lands. The Wilderness Society has charged that the system, as first enshrined in 1964, is currently “under an unprecedented attack from [President Donald] Trump and anti-conservationists in Congress.”
Climate march, rally set for Sept. 8 in downtown Portland
Forecaster - Monday, September 3, 2018 

The Rise for Climate, Jobs and Justice March will be held at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 8, at Lincoln Park. The goal of the march, sponsored by 350 Maine, the Sierra Club, Maine Conservation Voters, and the Poor People’s Campaign, is to “energize local, state, and national efforts and lay the foundation for a long-lasting, sustainable climate movement,” according to a press release. The march also includes a rally at Portland City Hall.
Coal country to pay a price under Trump’s planned clean-air rollback
Associated Press - Monday, September 3, 2018 

Mining jobs could be saved if President Trump eases pollution restrictions, but the EPA says more deaths and illness will result. Nationally, the EPA said, 350 to 1,500 more people would die each year under Trump’s plan. But it’s the northern two-thirds of West Virginia and the neighboring part of Pennsylvania that would be hit hardest, by far.

Maine’s night sky beckons stargazers to Acadia
Associated Press - Monday, September 3, 2018 

There are few places in the country to get a better look at the night sky than Acadia National Park, and stargazers will meet there to do just that in a few days. The Acadia Night Sky Festival is scheduled to begin Wednesday. The event bills itself as “the premier night sky event on the Eastern seaboard” and it happens all over Mount Desert Island, Bar Harbor and the Schoodic Peninsula.
500 new students arrive at University of Maine at Farmington
Morning Sentinel - Monday, September 3, 2018 

About 500 new students who arrived on the UMF campus over the weekend, including a freshman class of about 400 and about 100 transfer students. More than 100 of those students participated in a range of outdoor orientation activities on Monday geared towards getting them familiar with their surroundings and some of the outdoors opportunities in western Maine. They included white water rafting, canoing and kayaking, a hike up Bald Mountain and mountain biking around Farmington
Invasive plant takes over County hay fields
WAGM-TV - Monday, September 3, 2018 

Extreme dry weather is largely to blame for this year's hay shortage. This according to Dr. Randy Martin, with the Central Aroostook Soil & Water Conservation District. He says the dry conditions also proved ideal for the spread on an invasive plant species called bedstraw. "People think it just now came in, but it's been here forever," said Martin. "It does not like cultivation, and if you cut it before it goes to seed, typically there's not an issue with it. But this year, with the dry weather, the Timothy and the other grasses didn't get hold as quick as normal, and the weeds...have kinda taken over." Careful consideration is needed when using herbicides. "There are a lot of organic dairy farmers now, and if they want to buy hay, you can't have sprayed your hay fields with herbicide," said Martin. Bedstraw has little nutritional value, making it unsuitable for feed.
Hiker rescued on mountain in Acadia National Park
Portland Press Herald - Monday, September 3, 2018 

Maine Forest Rangers rescued a woman late Monday morning who had injured her leg and was hiking on Dorr Mountain in Acadia National Park, according to a post on the Rangers’ Facebook page. The rangers used a helicopter to bring her to the Bar Harbor Fire Department, where she was transported to an area hospital. “This helicopter short haul rescue method saved rescuers a dangerous and arduous carry down of the victim,” the post said.
NOAA funds technology research projects to reduce fisheries bycatch
Associated Press - Monday, September 3, 2018 

A group of organizations is getting more than $2 million in grants to use engineering to try to reduce bycatch in fisheries Bycatch is the term for when fish and other animals are accidentally caught with gear that was seeking a different species. Bycatch poses problems for rare species of dolphins, turtles, sharks and other animals. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is awarding more than $2.3 million to 14 projects as part of its 2018 Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program.
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