June 19, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Wednesday, June 19, 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
Save Right Whales
Action Alert - Wednesday, June 19, 2019 

New England’s iconic whale is on the brink of extinction. A bill in Congress called Scientific Assistance for Very Endangered (“SAVE”) Right Whales could help this key species recover. ~ Conservation Law Foundation
Water: What is has to teach us, Jun 25
Event - Posted - Tuesday, June 18, 2019 

Learn about fresh water ecosystems and new aquaculture operations in the MidCoast region. At Topsham Public Library, June 25, 6 pm. Sponsored by Cathance River Education Alliance.
Proposed Coyote Center, Jun 24
Event - Posted - Monday, June 17, 2019 

Biologist Geri Vistein will share an informative film about the future Coyote Center in Maine, followed by a discussion of Maine’s coyotes. At Lithgow Public Library, Augusta, June 24, 6:30 pm.
Teen Wilderness Expedition, July 23-25
Announcement - Sunday, June 16, 2019 

The Teen Wilderness Expedition is a 3-day, 2-night, all-inclusive adventure for 12-16 year olds at Little Lyford Lodge, July 23-25. Offered by Piscataquis County Soil and Water Conservation District and Appalachian Mountain Club.
Maine State Museum hosts Bike Day, Jun 22
Event - Posted - Saturday, June 15, 2019 

Join the Maine State Museum, Bicycle Coalition of Maine and the Maine State Library in a free family event to commemorate the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote and learn about the benefits of safe, relaxed bike riding. At Maine State Museum, June 22, 10 am - 1 pm.
Woodland Management with Birds in Mind, Jun 22
Event - Posted - Saturday, June 15, 2019 

A Forestry for Maine Birds workshop for landowners, foresters and loggers interested in learning how they can support Maine’s forest songbirds. At Somerset County Cooperative Extension office, Skowhegan, and on the adjacent Yankee Woodlot Demonstration Forest, June 22, 9 am - noon.
Hike Puzzle Mt., Jun 22
Event - Posted - Saturday, June 15, 2019 

A moderate to strenuous hike of 8.5 miles. Cross several exposed granite boulders and ledges offering views of the Sunday River ski area, Grafton Notch, and the Presidentials, June 22, pre-register. Sponsored by Appalachian Mountain Club.
Androscoggin River Canoe & Kayak River Race, Jun 22
Event - Posted - Saturday, June 15, 2019 

This event is open to all to launch canoes, kayaks, paddle boards, (and more) into the Androscoggin River and complete one of three courses of varying length and challenge. At Festival Plaza, Auburn, June 22, 9 am, $15 for single paddler, $25 for a double, benefits Androscoggin Land Trust.
Plants of Corea Heath, Jun 22
Event - Posted - Saturday, June 15, 2019 

Join Jill Weber, botanist and co-author of The Plants of Acadia National Park, to learn about carnivorous plants, orchids, stunted trees and shrubs and cotton-grass. At Corea Heath, Goldsboro, June 22, 8:30 am. Sponsored by Downeast Audubon.
Maine Wildlife Park open house, Jun 21
Event - Posted - Friday, June 14, 2019 

The Maine Wildlife Park in Gray will hold an open house with free admission, June 21, 5-8 pm. Feeding times for moose, lynx, foxes, cougars, vultures and bears will be posted.
Call for a presidential primary debate on climate change
Action Alert - Thursday, June 13, 2019 

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez has rejected a presidential primary debate on climate change. 15 Democratic presidential candidates have joined the call. So can you. ~ CREDO Action
Trekking through Time
Announcement - Thursday, June 13, 2019 

From June through October, Lakes Environmental Association, Loon Echo Land Trust, Greater Lovell Land Trust, Upper Saco Valley Land Trust, and Western Foothills Land Trust will host the Trekking through Time Series. Once a month throughout the summer and early fall, each organization will host a historical tour of one of its conservation properties.
Help document impact on shell middens, Jun 18
Announcement - Tuesday, June 11, 2019 

Many cultural artifacts of Maine's first coastal residents are preserved in shell middens, but these sites are disappearing as sea levels rise, collectors dig into the middens, and visitors walk on them. Maine Midden Minders is developing a database of erosion conditions at middens. Volunteer training at Coastal Rivers’ Education Center, Damariscotta, June 18, 3-7 pm.
“Dog-Friendly Hikes in Maine” book launch, Jun 18
Event - Posted - Tuesday, June 11, 2019 

Book signing and presentation for “Dog-Friendly Hikes in Maine” by Aislinn Sarnacki, which contains detailed descriptions and maps of 35 hikes across Maine that are ideal for dogs and their owners. At Epic Sports, Bangor, June 18, 5-7:30 pm.
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News Items
Mills signs executive order reversing LePage moratorium on wind energy permits
Portland Press Herald - Friday, February 15, 2019 

Gov. Janet Mills has signed an executive order effectively ending a moratorium on wind turbine permits issued by her predecessor, Gov. Paul LePage. The order by Mills, a Democrat, clarifies that state agencies with the legal authority to issue permits can again work with Maine’s local communities and stakeholders to determine which projects should go forward. “It is time for Maine to send a positive signal to renewable energy investors and innovators – ‘We welcome you,'” Mills said.
Maine Wildlife Park’s ‘most excellent moose’ dies at the ripe old age of 15
Portland Press Herald - Friday, February 15, 2019 

Maine’s “most excellent moose” died this week at the Maine Wildlife Park in Gray, where he had lived since 2004. George, who was nearly 15 when he died of old age, was seen by over 1.6 million visitors from around the world, the park announced in a Facebook post that included an album of photos of the animals. George lived with seven other moose during his tenure at the park.
Kennebunk Land Trust names Sarah Stanley director
Portland Press Herald - Friday, February 15, 2019 

The Kennebunk Land Trust has named Sarah Stanley director. Stanley previously worked as the land trust’s development and administrative manager. She is a Registered Recreational Maine Guide, is certified in CPR and wilderness first aid, and holds a private pilot’s license and seaplane rating.
Protecting human heritage on the moon
Other - Friday, February 15, 2019 

The nonprofit For All Mankind is the only organization committed to making sure the Apollo 11 landing and similar sites in outer space are recognized for their outstanding value to humanity and protected for posterity by the international community as part of our common human heritage.
Outdoor Channel to air mid-Maine bass fishing action
Bangor Daily News - Friday, February 15, 2019 

Outdoor Channel will debut Major League Fishing tournament action that was filmed in Maine last year on Saturday at 2 p.m. The traveling bass tourney first came to Maine back in 2015 and returned in 2018 for a second week of filming. The assorted anglers — a who’s who of the sport’s stars — fished China Lake, Messalonskee Lake and Great Pond during their visit. The results of that week of fishing will air in sequence, finishing with a final episode that determines the champ.
State to expand promotion of heat pumps to help consumers and climate
WCSH-TV6 - Friday, February 15, 2019 

Gov. Janet Mills' administration is hoping to persuade thousands of Mainers to invest in heat pump systems to heat their homes. The governor revealed the plan in her budget speech Monday night, saying the goal will be to install heat pumps in 100,000 more homes an businesses over the next six years. The goal, said Gov. Mills, is to save money for consumers and reduce carbon emissions from oil and gas, which contribute to climate change.
Column: Just when you think you have hawks figured out, a new one shows up
Bangor Daily News - Friday, February 15, 2019 

Almost every winter hawk along I-95 is a red-tail. When you spy a whitish blob on a road-side tree limb in the distance, call out “red-tail!” and impress your friends. You won’t be wrong often. I can say with complete confidence that every hawk you see near the backyard bird feeder in winter is a Cooper’s hawk. Unless it’s a sharp-shinned hawk. ~ Bob Duchesne
Those of us who fished Atlantic salmon may never have another chance in our lifetimes
Bangor Daily News - Friday, February 15, 2019 

The final recovery plan for Atlantic salmon in Maine rivers projects a 75-year timeframe to achieve delisting of the [Gulf of Maine distinct population segment] of Atlantic salmon. That’s 75 years for salmon in Maine waters to be totally removed from Endangered Species Act protection. If everything goes according to plan. If enough funding can be found. Will any of us who have ever wet a line for Atlantic salmon in the past live long enough to do so again? Some recreational fishing could return as soon as the ESA listing is downgraded from “endangered” to “threatened.”
Column: Climate planning in an increasingly unpredictable world
Times Record - Friday, February 15, 2019 

A recent report by the University of Maine Climate Change Institute offers a vivid reminder not to overlook the power of ecological connections. Clear links, like lobster populations responding to warming sea water, are easy to grasp. But this “Coastal Maine Climate Futures” report portrays more subtle and complex dynamics, such as correlations between annual blueberry yields and atmospheric pressure changes at the Gulf of Maine’s surface. The institute published a more in-depth report on “Maine’s Climate Future” in 2015, and an update is underway. From climate data, we can learn about vital ecological connections. But to act on that science, we’ll need to forge stronger alliances between academia and communities. ~ Marina Schauffler
Letter: Access to Hydro-Quebec power would be boon to Maine customers
Portland Press Herald - Friday, February 15, 2019 

The Public Utilities Commission needs one more prerequisite for its approval of the Hydro-Quebec transmission line: direct and unmitigated access to Hydro-Quebec power for Maine electrical energy customers. It would greatly benefit the Maine power customer. It would be an economic coup for Maine to have the regional energy advantage. ~ Stephen Gorden, North Yarmouth
Letter: Green New Deal, green jobs
Bangor Daily News - Friday, February 15, 2019 

The Gulf of Maine is warming up, and the latest report from the United Nations says we have only 12 years to transform our economy to save the world. Thankfully there’s a plan: the Green New Deal. The Green New Deal would create a massive mobilization to keep us safe from climate change and create millions of green jobs. That means thousands of good jobs here in Maine, just like mine. So why haven’t Sens. Angus King or Susan Collins voiced their support? Why hasn’t Rep. Jared Golden signed on? The Green New Deal is common-sense policy that is overwhelmingly popular among the American people. ~ Nick Googins, Belfast
Waterfront group seeks money for Portland harbor dredging
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, February 14, 2019 

After years of work, a plan is taking shape to dredge contaminated sediment from the Portland waterfront and deposit it in an underwater pit. Short-term, the group needs $200,000 to finish site tests and prep work, and longer-term it needs $30 million for the whole dredging project.
Ambitious new plan to save Atlantic salmon has big price
Associated Press - Thursday, February 14, 2019 

The federal government outlined an ambitious, potentially costly new plan to restore Atlantic salmon in the United States, where rivers teemed with the fish before dams, pollution and overfishing decimated their populations. The Atlantic salmon has declined in the U.S. to the point where the last remaining wild populations of in the U.S. exist only in a handful of rivers in Maine. But the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are offering a new recovery plan to bring back those fish, which are listed under the Endangered Species Act. The estimated cost is about $24 million per year, not including money federal departments already spend on salmon recovery work.
Attempted breaking and entering by owl in Old Orchard Beach
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, February 14, 2019 

After hearing repeated loud crashes, an Old Orchard Beach resident found a large owl at her window peering in at her three parakeets. [video]
Mills Met With Head Of CMP’s Parent Company As Transmission Line Controversy Continues
Maine Public - Thursday, February 14, 2019 

Democratic Gov. Janet Mills and members of her staff on Wednesday met with the head of the massive Spanish power company that owns Central Maine Power, a utility which is under investigation by state regulators for ongoing billing problems and which is also engaged in a public relations campaign as it seeks approval of a 145-mile transmission line to send hydropower from Quebec to Massachusetts. The meeting between Mills’ staff and Iberdrola CEO Ignacio Galán took place one day after the governor suggested on Maine Public Radio that she’s pleased with CMP’s efforts to sweeten its offer to Maine ratepayers and appease stakeholders for the controversial transmission line project.
Amid Turmoil In Washington, Senate Passes Historic Public Lands Package
Maine Public - Wednesday, February 13, 2019 

Members of Maine's congressional delegation and environmental and outdoor groups are praising Senate passage this week of a historic public lands package that includes permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The legislation is expected to win strong support in the House, and it comes after President Trump has pushed to scale back protections for public lands. In Maine, the Land and Water Conservation Fund has helped protect some of Maine's most treasured landscapes such as Acadia National Park, the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge and the Bigelow Mountains. It also provides public access for recreation including hunting and fishing and funding for working forests.
National Park Service chooses Southwest Harbor man’s photo for Acadia park pass
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, February 13, 2019 

The National Park Service has selected a photograph by J.K. Putnam of Southwest Harbor as the winner of Acadia National Park’s 2019 annual entrance pass contest. The photograph portrays a pair of barred owls photographed in Acadia National Park. The photograph will appear on thousands of annual entrance passes purchased by visitors from all over the country. The NPS retains 80 percent of the fees collected from entrance pass sales to invest in critical improvements that directly benefit visitors at Acadia National Park.
Feds award $1.6 million grant for mouse food facility in northern Maine
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, February 13, 2019 

A federal agency is awarding a $1.6 million grant to the Southern Aroostook Development Corp. to help build a processing and testing facility in Houlton to produce food for laboratory research mice. The 12,000 square-foot facility is to be constructed on five acres of land in the Houlton Industrial Park, near the town’s airport. It is expected to manufacture 4 million pounds of laboratory research food annually for large research laboratories in Maine and California. The building will be leased to Laboratory Feeds of Maine.
Forget Katahdin – Lots of better Baxter hikes
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Wednesday, February 13, 2019 

I’ve hiked most of Mt Katahdin’s trails but I think there are better and more enjoyable hikes throughout Baxter State Park. We always found the northern half of the park much less crowded than the southern half. Favorite hikes include the trail to Wassataquoik Lake, the magnificent waterfall about 1 mile up the Katahdin Stream Trail, the Owl, Mount Coe, North and South Brother, Fort Mountain, Trout Brook Mountain, Double Top and North Traveler. And be sure to take the 1-mile trail from Dacey Pond to Big Niagara Falls.
‘Climate change is hammering our state,’ Janet Mills says
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, February 13, 2019 

A new report released by Environment America outlines ways that United States governors can immediately address climate change and protect the environment, something that Maine’s new governor, Janet Mills, considers to be a “top priority.” “From warming seas and rising ocean waters to an increase in the tick population, climate change is hammering our state and will have a significant impact on our environment and our economy,” Mills said. “That’s why fighting climate change is one of my top priorities as governor."
Opinion: Shutdown’s toll on parks shows rangers should be deemed essential
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, February 13, 2019 

During the recent federal shutdown, our national parks were left unsecured – causing years of damage – because National Park Service staff were furloughed. Though a tentative border deal was reached late Monday, Congress and President Trump still have to approve new spending legislation by midnight Friday to prevent a second shutdown. In the event of another shutdown, our national parks would be a free-for-all without Park Service staff there to protect them. Our national parks are home to some of the most beautiful places on Earth. It is our duty to protect them. Forget the furlough – reclassify National Park Service staff as essential government personnel. ~ Mira D’Amato, Portland, University of New England senior
Letter: CMP’s service issues should undercut case for transmission line
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, February 13, 2019 

Too often, I see an article about Central Maine Power’s mistreatment of its ratepayers (“State regulators threaten to fine CMP over issues”) next to an article about their parent company’s desire to build new transmission lines in Maine (“Parties sweeten the deal for CMP line”). I can’t believe we are even considering letting them expand. The Public Utilities Commissions should tell CMP, “Suck less. Then we’ll talk.” ~ Chris Brown, Portland
Letter: Scarborough should prioritize preservation of working waterfront
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, February 13, 2019 

We are thankful for our Pine Point waterfront. The water is our workplace. We work hard maintaining boats, repairing traps or nets, hoping for a good catch each day. Yes, we are thankful for the support we have received over the years. But, right now, we are worried. The Scarborough Town Council is considering a sale of the Pine Point Fisherman’s Co-op, which would affect us and change the Pine Point landing area forever. Preliminary agreements appear to entirely favor the buyer. Specific protections to maintain the town’s working waterfront, as well as the fishermen who keep it alive, are lacking. ~ Pauline Levin, Scarborough
Letter: CMP scapegoats low-level employee for big-time blunder
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, February 13, 2019 

In the latest Central Maine Power billing system debacle (“CMP error: 62,000 told they would get refunds”), Catharine Hartnett, spokeswoman for CMP, “blamed the mistake on human error, specifically a computer programmer in the company’s Customer Service Department.” A well-run company does not blame their business mistakes on technicians. Best practices in management of IT services have been established by decades of experience. Not using them, and then blaming a low-level employee for the inevitable consequences, is the cowardly way out. ~ Jeffrey Hotchkiss, Portland
Letter: Tell LUPC to save Maine woods
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, February 13, 2019 

Central Maine Power plans to profit from our loss by carving up the Maine woods. Are we supposed to sit back and essentially say that it’s not going to be that awful? The North Woods is a treasure that belongs to all of us. Our rights are protected in part by the Land Use Planning Commission and specifically the nine appointed commissioners. Just because Central Maine Power has already purchased the land necessary for this invasive project does not give them the right to destroy our environment. Here is the list of commissioners to contact and express your opinion. ~ Wendy Mae Chambers, Jackman
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