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
Maine Outdoor Achievers to be recognized at SAM banquet
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Friday, September 9, 2016 

Three of Maine’s outstanding outdoor leaders will be recognized at tomorrow night’s SAM banquet. It will be particularly great to be there when DIF&W Commissioner Chandler Woodcock presents Lifetime Outdoor Achievement awards to Oscar Cronk of Wiscasset, Gary Cobb of North New Portland, and Jim Martin of Bangor.
Editorial: Communities will pay for Maine’s shortsighted solar policy
Portland Press Herald - Friday, September 9, 2016 

Here’s the good news: Portland officials decided unanimously this week to proceed with a municipal solar project that could save taxpayers millions of dollars and diversify the local energy mix at the same time. Here’s the not-so-good news: Augusta’s refusal to support expanding solar development makes it more risky for other Maine cities and towns to tap the sun’s potential themselves.
Lobster council votes to close Maine’s last open zone
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, September 8, 2016 

Local fishing authorities in Maine’s busiest lobster region say newcomers must wait for someone else to give up their license before they can set traps in local waters. The lobster council that oversees the area that includes Stonington and Vinalhaven, the top two lobster ports in Maine, voted 6-1 Thursday night to close the state’s last open lobster zone. The state’s other six regions already require apprentices who complete their training to wait, sometimes for as long as a decade, for others in their area to give up their licenses before they can fish.
South Portland Council Approves Pesticides Ban
Maine Public Broadcasting Network - Thursday, September 8, 2016 

South Portland's City Council voted yes Wednesday on a largely symbolic ban on certain landscape pesticides. The new ordinance doesn't carry any penalties, but it asks residents not to use - and retailers not to sell - an array of products, including Roundup and a class of pesticides called neonicitinoids, linked to a decline in the honeybee population. The ordinance also has a significant education portion.
Last of LNG import terminals proposed in Maine dismissed by feds
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, September 8, 2016 

In a part of the state where developers once feverishly competed for approval to build liquefied natural gas import terminals, the last of these proposals has been rejected by federal regulators. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission last month fully dismissed an application from Downeast LNG to build such a terminal in Robbinston. Other proposals in Washington County included a bid from Oklahoma-based Quoddy LNG to build a terminal on land owned by the Passamaquoddy Tribe at Pleasant Point. That project surfaced in 2004 but disintegrated in 2010 after the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs canceled its lease contract with the tribe. A third proposal, from Calais LNG, materialized in 2005 but was rejected by FERC in 2012.
Maine Drought Task Force Sees Worsening Conditions
Maine Government News - Thursday, September 8, 2016 

The State’s Drought Task Force met today to discuss the current drought conditions across the state. The National Weather Service reported that northern Maine is above average with precipitation, but most other counties are seeing a deficit. The U.S. Geological Survey reported that groundwater basins in northern Maine are at normal or close to normal levels. Those in the southern and down east portions of the state are continuing to drop and are low or very low. Representatives from the Department of Agriculture reported that the State’s blueberry and potato crops are doing well, but smaller farming operations are experiencing some difficulties. The Maine Forest Service stated that although the drought situation has little effect on fire danger conditions, it can hamper fire suppression efforts due to lower water source levels.
Expanded US habitat protection ordered for rare lynx
Reuters - Thursday, September 8, 2016 

A federal judge ordered U.S. wildlife managers on Wednesday to enlarge habitat protections in Idaho, Montana and Colorado for the Canada lynx, a rare wild cat that roams the Rockies and mountain forests of several other states. Chief U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen in Missoula, Montana, ruled that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service erred in 2014 when it revised its critical habitat designations for the lynx with little or no expansion beyond the original plan issued five years earlier. In 2014, the Fish and Wildlife Service identified 38,954 square miles in Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Washington state, Maine and Minnesota as critical habitat for the lynx, a decision that triggered yet another lawsuit by conservationists seeking greater protections.
Camaraderie, teamwork marks Maine bear camp experience
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, September 8, 2016 

“I want [the bear camp experience] to be like it’s a group of friends going out hunting,” said 55-year-old Matt Whitegiver of Eagle Mountain Guide Service, who has been guiding bear hunters for 17 years. He doesn’t want to play the role of a seemingly distant head guide. He’s often in the middle of conversations with the hunters, helping ensure they’re having a good time.
Biologist expects bears to start hitting bait sites soon
John Holyoke Out There Blog - Thursday, September 8, 2016 

“Everybody [I’ve talked to] is having a slow start,” bear guide Matt Whitegiver said earlier this week. The season for hunting bears over bait started on Aug. 29, and runs through Sept. 24. According to wildlife biologist Randy Cross of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, the success rate of hunters should increase during that span.
How outdoorsy women throw a bachelorette party in Maine
Aislinn Sarnacki Act Out Blog - Thursday, September 8, 2016 

When my sister, Jillian, asked me to be her maid-of-honor for her wedding this fall, I was overjoyed when she instructed me to plan an “outdoorsy” bachelorette party, a getaway weekend that would be anything but traditional. And If anyone can plan a fun, outdoorsy trip in Maine, it’s me.
Column: Now is the time for a rare sighting of a golden eagle
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, September 8, 2016 

The golden eagle is the most widespread eagle in the world. It resides across North America, Europe and Asia. Its breeding range even reaches into North Africa. It’s the official bird of countries as far apart as Mexico and Kazakhstan. It could be considered Maine’s rarest breeder, since a pair nested in Maine for much of the 20th century. Wabanaki tribal lore identifies another site in Maine where golden eagles nested for centuries. However, the most recent pair gave up on the state in 1997. ~ Bob Duchesne
Opinion: My canoe trips down the East Branch have shown me visitors will love the monument land
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, September 8, 2016 

This year, by coincidence, my son, Tom, and I were the first people to paddle the East Branch of the Penobscot River after much of the surrounding area was designated by President Barack Obama as the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. I’ve been involved with rural economic, conservation and cultural issues in the Maine woods for the past 20 years, and I have run the upper stretch of the East Branch once before and the lower portions several times. What I noticed this year was that the national monument designation hadn’t changed anything, at least not yet. The portages still were grueling. The rapids just challenging enough. The wildlife still was abundant (we recorded 22 different species, including moose, eagles and a luna moth caterpillar). The fish still were biting, and we had that quietly beautiful landscape all to ourselves. ~ Mike Wilson, South Portland
Trans-Acadia trek: COA president, board member hike 20 peaks in one day
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, September 8, 2016 

It was no ordinary day hike. Starting on the west side of Mount Desert Island, Darron Collins, president of the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, teamed up with COA board member Winston Holt on Labor Day, Sept. 4, to trek clear across Acadia National Park. Navigating park trails from west to east, the two men hiked 20 major peaks and crossed Somes Sound by kayak, covering more than 31 miles in less than a day. “It’s an interesting perspective, seeing the island as a complete journey like that,” said Holt, 52, of Seal Harbor. “To me it was very much an eye-opening experience.”
Portland Councilors OK Solar Array at Landfill
Maine Public Broadcasting Network - Thursday, September 8, 2016 

Portland City Councilors voted last night to proceed with development of a solar-power array atop an old landfill in the city. The measure would authorize the city manager to negotiate an agreement with ReVision Energy for installation of a 660 kilowatt solar power array on the closed and capped Ocean Avenue landfill. Under the plan, ReVision would own the array and that the city would purchase all of the power. After 6 years, the city would have the option, but not the obligation, to purchase the array. The solar array would just about match the power needs of Portland City Hall with its Merrill Auditorium performance space.
Generating Controversy
Earth Island Journal - Thursday, September 8, 2016 

The US has roughly 200 woody biomass power facilities that generate only about 11 percent of the country’s biomass energy. Because of their large scale and limited efficiency (roughly 75 percent of heat energy is lost during electricity generation), these facilities can, by some estimates, require access to thousands of acres of forestland per year, which many conservationists see as a threat to ecosystem protection. Another, perhaps greater, question surrounding biomass energy is how it contributes to global climate change, and specifically, how to account for biomass carbon emissions.
The bidders in Maine’s biomass bailout remain secret, but one stands out
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, September 8, 2016 

Maine regulators are considering whether to hand out up to $13.4 million in tax dollars to prop up the state’s biomass generators. The plants, which generate electricity by burning low-grade wood, have buoyed the logging industry but struggle to compete in the face of falling oil prices.
Regulators have refused to say which generators want the bailout while negotiations continue. Multiple signs suggest only one Maine-based company, ReEnergy, submitted a bid. That would leave regulators in the position of either justifying that the process was fair or scrapping the contract altogether.
Opinion: Burning trees for electricity is a bad idea
Grist - Thursday, September 8, 2016 

Climate change is such a vast and systemic problem that almost every large industry has tried to figure out how to make some money off it in the last couple of decades. That’s OK — money is one motivator, but that also leads to some very bad ideas. The latest of these sad sagas involves burning trees for electricity. Soon, the U.S. Senate may vote to force the EPA to count industrial biomass operations as carbon-neutral: that is, the government would be forced to conclude that an industrial-sized wood-fired power plant is just like a solar panel or a wind turbine, a way to generate electricity without contributing to climate change. The trouble with the theory is, it turns out to be wrong. ~ Bill McKibben
Letter: Climate change blame lies with us
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, September 8, 2016 

2016 is on track to be hotter than 2015, which was hotter than 2014, and 13 of the hottest years on record have occurred since 2000. The Earth’s oceans are nearly 1.5 degrees above the 20th-century average. And just this past week, according to NOAA, weather stations around the globe announced temperature records. The media in general (especially in its weather reporting) need to better connect the dots so that people realize that these record temperatures are not by chance. Neither is the northward spread of the Zika virus. Or the loss of marine species and habitat in the Gulf of Maine. Or the frequency of forest fires and floods. Or the melting of glaciers. Until we recognize and accept responsibility for our actions, things are not going to change in a significant way. ~ Joe Hardy, Wells
Blog: 7 Safe indoor hikes because ticks and mosquitoes suck
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, September 8, 2016 

Last week I awoke to the sight of a doe and her fawn frolicking in our backyard. My initial reaction was, ‘Oh, how adorable’ but once they disappeared into the woods, I exclaimed, “Now even our lawn doesn’t cut it as a tick-free zone!” Not one to be oppressed by fear of lyme disease and mosquito-borne viruses like Zika, I knew I had to become an advocate for safe, indoor recreation. For people who cannot imagine playtime without tents, hiking boots, and DEET, here are a few ideas. ~ Molly Stevens
Letter: How to not pay property taxes in Maine
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, September 8, 2016 

Our governor has said that Roxanne Quimby’s gift of more than 87,500 acres to the American public is “one way to get out of paying taxes” on the land. Perhaps she should have checked with Rep. Bruce Poliquin about the more acceptable ways to go about this in Maine. ~ Rick Brown, Winter Harbor
South Portland passes pesticide ban that puts education over enforcement
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, September 7, 2016 

The City Council gave final approval Wednesday to a revised landscape pesticide ban that will be penalty-free when it takes effect but could result in fines in the future. The council voted 6-1 for the ordinance, which will rely on education and outreach to encourage property owners not to use certain lawn-and-garden pesticides and herbicides.
Portland council opts to negotiate deal to build solar array at landfill
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, September 7, 2016 

The Portland City Council voted unanimously Wednesday night to authorize an agreement to build one of the state’s largest municipal solar power arrays on the Ocean Avenue landfill. The vote will allow City Manager Jon Jennings to negotiate an agreement with ReVision Energy LLC at a cost to the city of $150,000 over its first six years. The project would reduce the city’s reliance on fossil fuel-based electricity by 25 percent over the next decade, Mayor Ethan Strimling said. Steve Hinchman, a spokesman for ReVision Energy, said the project will still require approval from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection once a contract has been finalized and ratified by the City Council.
Triathletes to swim in waters where Wessie might lurk
Associated Press - Wednesday, September 7, 2016 

Organizers of a triathlon aren’t letting a giant snake keep athletes out of the water. The Major League Triathlon is this weekend in Westbrook and the swimming portion is going to be held in the Presumpscot River where a large snake was spotted earlier this summer. The snake was dubbed “Wessie” after it was seen eating a beaver and swimming across the river in June. The snake was initially believed to be a python, but DNA tests on a 8- to 9-foot snakeskin found in the woods indicate it’s actually an anaconda. Major League Triathlon is offering a “swimwithwessie” discount promo code for athletes who want to participate on Saturday.
Lewiston Council Votes to Allow Backyard Chickens
Maine Public Broadcasting Network - Wednesday, September 7, 2016 

After a City Council vote Tuesday night, Lewiston will be joining several other cities in Maine that allow backyard chickens in their more urban residential zones. Bangor prohibits chickens except in the city's rural residence and agricultural zones. But Lewiston's neighboring city of Auburn also allows hens, with some restrictions, as do Portland and South Portland, among others. Lewiston will allow egg-laying hens on properties of about seven-tenths of an acre and more.
Enbridge plans $28 billion takeover of Maine natural gas pipeline operator Spectra
Bloomberg News - Wednesday, September 7, 2016 

Is the North American pipeline sector about to be consumed by merger mania? With Enbridge Inc. planning a $28 billion takeover of Spectra Energy Corp., some investors say the industry’s in store for more deals as pressure mounts on the likes of Enterprise Products Partners and Kinder Morgan to follow suit. The biggest pipeline deal of the year foreshadows a feeding frenzy as those companies that survived the collapse in oil and natural gas prices step up the hunt for bargains. TransCanada Corp. got the ball rolling with the $10.2 billion purchase of Columbia Pipeline Group Inc. earlier in the year.
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