October 16, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Tuesday, October 15, 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
A Citizen’s Guide to Helping the Birds of Maine, Oct 22
Event - Posted - Tuesday, October 15, 2019 

Laura Suomi-Lecker, Outreach Coordinator at Avian Haven, will show the effort and dedication required to rehabilitate eagles, owls, hawks, loons, and many species of songbirds. At Topsham Public Library, October 22, 6 pm. Sponsored by Cathance River Education Alliance.
Shells: Treasures from Maine Shores, Oct 21
Event - Posted - Monday, October 14, 2019 

Alison C. Dibble, conservation biologist, shares her passion for Maine shells ranging from clams and snails to slippers and whelks. At Moore Community Center, Ellsworth, October 21, 7 pm. Sponsored by Downeast Audubon.
Ocean Commotion 5k Run/Walk, Oct 19
Event - Posted - Saturday, October 12, 2019 

You and your friendly four legged running companions can participate in the 5th Annual Ocean Commotion 5k Race. At Hermit Island Campground, Phippsburg, October 19, benefits Marine Mammals of Maine.
Falling Leaf Fun, Oct 18
Event - Posted - Friday, October 11, 2019 

Friends of Sears Island will host a program for kids. At Belfast City Park, October 18, 2:30-4 pm.
NRCM's Annual Conservation Leadership Awards, Oct 16
Event - Posted - Wednesday, October 9, 2019 

Natural Resources Council of Maine 2019 Conservation Leadership Awards:
• Jon Lund, Hallowell, Lifetime Achievement Award
• Liz Caruso, Caratunk, tireless activist against the proposed CMP transmission corridor
• SolaRISE Student Activists, Portland, advocates for providing solar energy to local schools
• Sandi Howard for dedication to administering Say NO to NECEC
At Jewish Community Alliance of Southern Maine, Portland, October 16, 6-8 pm.
Bees and Blueberries: Where Does It Go From Here? Oct 16
Event - Posted - Wednesday, October 9, 2019 

Pollinator Biologist Eric Venturi will present this year's Roque Island Lecture on Environmental Conservation: The future of cultivating blueberries. At UMaine at Machias, October 16, 11 am.
Evening for the Environment, Oct 22
Event - Posted - Tuesday, October 8, 2019 

Keynote speaker Richard Louv, author of "Last Child in the Woods," speaks on nature-deficit disorder, the importance of exposure to nature for health, and the need for environmental protection. Also, celebrate policy wins for conservation and clean energy in Maine. At UNE's Innovation Hall, Portland, October 22, 5:30 pm. Sponsored by Maine Conservation Voters.
Fall Photography Walk, Oct 12
Event - Posted - Saturday, October 5, 2019 

Jim McCarthy will share secrets for creative nature photography. At Cathance River Education Alliance Ecology Center, Topsham, October 12, 9-11 am, limit 20, pre-register.
Kennebec Land Trust, Howard Hill Historical Park dedication, Oct 10
Announcement - Thursday, October 3, 2019 

Judy Camuso, Commissioner, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife; Howard Lake, KLT Director; Bill Bridgeo, Augusta City Manager; Augusta Mayor Dave Rollins; and Andrew Silsby, President of Kennebec Savings Bank, provide remarks October 10, 4 pm, at the historic Gannett treehouse overlook.
Insects in decline in Maine, Oct 9
Event - Posted - Wednesday, October 2, 2019 

Sarah Haggerty, Maine Audubon conservation biologist, talks about her research on Maine insect populations. At UMaine-Farmington, October 9, 7 pm. Sponsored by Western Maine Audubon.
Mitchell Lecture on Sustainability, Oct 8
Event - Posted - Tuesday, October 1, 2019 

E.J. Milner-Gulland, Professor of Biodiversity at the University of Oxford, UK, will speak on “An Optimistic Vision for a Sustainable, Wild, and Socially Just World.” Also, remarks by Senator George J. Mitchell. At UMaine at Orono, October 8, 2 pm, pre-register.
Fund for Maine Land Conservation seeking applications for grants to support future projects
Announcement - Tuesday, October 1, 2019 

The Fund for Maine Land Conservation, a component fund of the Maine Community Foundation, is accepting grant applications to support projects that encourage preservation of Maine’s land. Deadline: Oct. 15.
Pesticides disposal
Announcement - Tuesday, October 1, 2019 

Mainers can dispose of unusable and waste pesticides in October at four sites: Presque Isle, Jonesboro, Augusta and Portland. Registration deadline: October 7.
One Maine, One Health, Oct 8
Event - Posted - Tuesday, October 1, 2019 

Maine Public Health Association's 2019 Annual Conference, "One Maine, One Health: Uniting Maine's people, environment and wildlife for better health and economy." At Augusta Civic Center, October 8, 8 am - 3 pm.
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News Items
Now is the time to go to Maine for some leaf peeping
Boston Globe - Saturday, October 14, 2017 

If you’re hoping to get outdoors and soak up the fall foliage, the National Weather Service in Maine recommends making a trip up to the Vacation State for some leaf peeping. Maine’s fall foliage spokesperson, Gale Ross, said, “The entire state of Maine is now ablaze with color, but with plenty of green in the oaks to create a beautiful contrast.”
Feds to prepare environmental report on burned Sanford mill site
Journal Tribune - Saturday, October 14, 2017 

Federal environmental officials are awaiting the results of testing conducted at the burned out rear portion of the Stenton Trust Mill in Sanford. The results of the various tests, conducted in mid-September, will determine whether the federal Environmental Protection Agency will take part in efforts to demolish the structure. On Thursday, two boys each admitted to one charge of misdemeanor criminal mischief in connection with the fire in June and were sentenced to one year probation. A felony arson charge against each boy will be taken up in January.
Aging Maine couple fights city to sell beach lot they counted on for retirement
Journal Tribune - Saturday, October 14, 2017 

In 1980, George and Nancy Driscoll acquired lots 200 and 201 of the Kinney Shores subdivision in Saco. The subdivision, established in 1914, created a seashore neighborhood of 50 foot by 100 foot lots between Seaside Avenue and the beach. The retired couple said they planned to sell the vacant property next to their summer home, and use the money toward their retirement. The local zoning board of appeals and the courts have declared that lots have merged into one.
Letter: Bethel wind ordinance
Sun Journal - Saturday, October 14, 2017 

The Review Committee still has restrictions against allowing a commercial wind energy company building a farm in Bethel. The committee members are listening to the anti-wind people and their scare tactics used in other western towns. ~ Richard McInnis
Letter: A silent spring
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, October 14, 2017 

Ray Clemons of Hermon wrote in an Oct. 10 BDN letter to the editor asking where all the birds have gone. Here in Caribou, I have experienced the same phenomenon. For more than four weeks, I have had no birds at my feeders. Usually, I refill the feeders with sunflower seeds every two days for an abundance of finches, nuthatches and chickadees year round. I have lived here 35 years and have never seen this happen before. Does this predict a Rachel Carson “Silent Spring”? ~ Dale J. Gordon, Caribou
The Atlantic sturgeon's sojourn
Other - Friday, October 13, 2017 

Phys.org - Atlantic sturgeon that summer in Maine's Penobscot River estuary can be found in the fall and winter in waters as far away as Nova Scotia and New York City, according to a seven-year University of Maine study of the fish that is one of the planet's living fossils. Results of the study are helping identify the fish's critical habitats, and inform management decisions concerning the species.
South Portland set to flip the switch on Maine’s largest municipal solar array
Portland Press Herald - Friday, October 13, 2017 

City officials on Tuesday will start operating the largest municipal solar project in Maine. A switch-flipping ceremony will be held at 8:30 a.m., when Mayor Patti Smith is expected to turn on the system that was built on the city’s capped former landfill. Members of the public will be invited to walk through the facility afterward and learn how it works. Portland-based ReVision Energy installed the 2,944 photovoltaic panels on the 34-acre former landfill, which is behind the city’s solid-waste transfer station and the public services facility that’s being built at 929 Highland Ave.
Regrowing the Forest Economy
Other - Friday, October 13, 2017 

When the Kennebec Land Trust acquired the Curtis Homestead in Leeds the idea of cutting trees provoked a debate. In 2000 the Curtis family donated the land, which was the childhood home of former governor Kenneth Curtis, but they didn’t make a contribution to pay for its ongoing stewardship. Instead, the governor suggested they cut some wood to cover the costs, like his dad did. At the time most of the land trust’s board was opposed to harvesting any timber on their preserves. They were in business to conserve land, not to log it.n Nat Bell, who lives near the Curtis property, suggested that they could do both. He approached the land trust with an idea — to use the Curtis Homestead as a demonstration woodlot to educate students and the public about sustainable forestry.
Resort project headed by famed Maine ski mogul hits delays
Associated Press - Friday, October 13, 2017 

An ongoing resort redevelopment project in the New Hampshire town of Dixville has been delayed because of updates on an appraisal. The ambitious Balsams Grand Resort project, centered around an 1866 luxury hotel that had fallen into disrepair, is headed by former Maine gubernatorial candidate and ski mogul Les Otten.
Congressional bill threatens national monuments
Sierra Club - Friday, October 13, 2017 

House Natural Resources Committee just passed the "No More Parks" policy that threatens Muir Woods, the Grand Canyon, and other iconic landmarks. This egregious handout to the Trump administration's fossil fuel backers essentially guts the Antiquities Act.
Maine's Paper Industry
Maine Public - Friday, October 13, 2017 

Paper has shaped Maine’s economy, molded individual and community identities, and affected Maine’s environment. Steve Bromage, Executive Director of the Maine Historical Society, and Donna Cassese, Managing Director Wood Resource Strategy at Sappi North America, discuss the Historical Society’s exhibition “Making Paper, Making Maine,” and the historic transition taking place in Maine’s paper industry.
Maine Lawmakers Get High Marks In Annual Environmental Scorecard
Maine Public - Friday, October 13, 2017 

Maine Conservation Voters have released their annual environmental scorecard of Maine lawmakers for 2017. The group’s political director, Beth Ahearn says the scorecard showed that conservation is a bipartisan issue. More legislators than ever got high marks for their voting records on seven key issues, including mining protections, awareness about safe drinking water and a solar energy bill. Aheard says the single biggest disappointment of the session was the defeat of the solar bill.
Support for Maine Specialty Crops
Maine Government News - Friday, October 13, 2017 

Agriculture Commissioner Walter Whitcomb announced that Maine is partnering with USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Program to invest $529,722.59 to support Maine Specialty Crop Producers. Funding will allow Maine to pursue 8 initiatives that will strengthen and enhance Maine specialty crops. Projects include: Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) assistance for farmers, landscape and nurseries marketing, the branding and quality of Maine maple products, and support for wild blueberry and potato growers.
Nature Moments: Swimming with Leeches
Maine Audubon - Friday, October 13, 2017 

I used to be afraid of leeches until I tried a simple experiment which showed that they much prefer frogs. Now I’d much rather swim in a natural pond than a sterile chlorinated pool. [video]
Quebec company buys second chunk of northern Maine forest
Bangor Daily News - Friday, October 13, 2017 

Solifor on Wednesday announced the purchase of the Ste-Aurelie Timberlands in Somerset County, 62,000 acres, or 96 square miles of forest, for $30 million. Solifor last May paid $25 million for 69,000 acres of forest slightly north of the recently purchased land, which abuts the Canadian border. A spokesman said, “It is primarily softwood lumber that we supply to Quebec processors and that is used for building in Quebec. We want to save shipping costs but do send some back to Maine.” The land is mixed forest of coniferous and hardwood trees. The forest is also is known for maple syrup.
Ignorance is bliss at the EPA
Other - Friday, October 13, 2017 

Environment America - Scott Pruitt's Environmental Protection Agency just put a political operative in charge of the agency's grant-making process. John Konkus, a former campaign aide with no environmental background, now has the final say on not only what type of grants are awarded by the EPA, but also who receives them. And one of Konkus' first acts in his new role was to instruct agency employees to strike all grants containing the words "climate change."
Susan Collins says she won’t run for Maine governor in 2018
Bangor Daily News - Friday, October 13, 2017 

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins said Friday that she won’t run for governor in 2018, avoiding what may have been the fight of the moderate Republican’s political life against a primary base that looks to have grown more stridently conservative. It all but guarantees that her mark on Maine’s political history will be stamped in the Senate, where she’ll have served for 24 years at the end of this term in 2021. After Collins refused to support Donald Trump for President, Gov. Paul LePage said she was “done in Maine.” Collins isn’t “done,” but her standing with hard-line Republicans may be damaged.
Collins Not Running for Governor, 'More To Be Done in Senate'
Maine Public - Friday, October 13, 2017 

The pull of legacy and a chance to take the reins of state government were not enough to convince Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins to run for governor. Collins told a crowd of roughly 100 business leaders and a throng of local and national media at the Samoset Resort in Rockport on Friday that she will not seek the Republican nomination to run for governor next year. Instead, Collins said she will remain in the Senate at least until her current term ends in 2020. LePage’s style and ideological bent is in sharp contrast with the more pragmatic, measured Collins. A Collins governorship could have arguably reversed that trend. Prior to her announcement, she said she wanted to “heal Maine,” a comment read by some as a swipe at LePage’s polarizing style.
Sen. Collins says she will not run for governor
Portland Press Herald - Friday, October 13, 2017 

Sen. Susan Collins ended more than two years of political speculation Friday and announced she would not run for governor in 2018, a decision that opens up the race for the Blaine House and keeps Collins’ moderate voice in the thick of national politics. In the Senate, Collins has become a key swing vote and a check to the far right and Republican President Donald Trump. A self-described “fanatical moderate,” Collins is four years into her fourth, six-year term.
These 90 second Nature Moments are fascinating
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Friday, October 13, 2017 

Nat Wheelwright has started a fascinating series of 90 second videos titled “Nature Moments.” Nat is a Natural Science Professor at Bowdoin College and a Maine Audubon Trustee. His videos are posted on Maine Audubon’s website. Nat has also written a book, in partnership with Bernd Heinrich, titled The Naturalist’s Notebook. It’s an observation guide and 5-year calendar-journal for tracking changes in the natural world around you.
Potential investor in troubled West Enfield biomass plant pulls out
Bangor Daily News - Friday, October 13, 2017 

The prospective investor in a troubled West Enfield wood-to-energy plant has backed out of an offer to lend the company $5 million if a state agency insures most of the loan. Bill Norbert, spokesman for the Finance Authority of Maine, confirmed that the Boston-based Arctaris Royalty Ventures Co-Investment LP rescinded its request for the finance agency to insure 90 percent of its proposed loan to Stored Solar LLC. The move followed reports of the company’s unpaid bills and prolonged outages at its two biomass power generators.
Backers of biomass project say they are paying bills, back taxes and ‘not going anywhere’
Portland Press Herald - Friday, October 13, 2017 

The husband and wife behind an ambitious vision of transforming Maine’s forest industry into a fuel- and food-based bioeconomy say they have spent more than $17 million of their own money to refurbish and diversify two ailing wood-fired power plants, are committed to completing the projects, and are working to settle unpaid bills and back taxes. “We’re all in,” said Kimberly Samaha, chief executive officer of Born Global, an entity associated with Stored Solar LLC, which bought the plants in West Enfield and Jonesboro last year. “We’re not going anywhere. And we want to get our money back from our investments.” In a wide-ranging interview, Kimberly Samaha and her husband, Fahim, also said they have signed a contract with a New York-based shrimp farm – Eco Shrimp Garden – for a pilot aquaculture project that would use waste heat from the West Enfield plant. They believe revenue from the shrimp farm will help make the power plant profitable.
Sustain Mid-Maine: Making the most of Maine produce
Morning Sentinel - Friday, October 13, 2017 

There are requirements for much of the produce that is sold at supermarkets. Those that don’t meet this standard are often left on the ground to rot. One solution to this inequity is gleaning, an effort to reduce food waste and increase access to healthy food for all. Some vegetables may look ugly, but they can still taste pretty good, especially to families that struggle with food insecurity. The goal of the Maine Gleaning Network is to “ensure that Maine’s food system can count on professionalized gleaning and food rescue services to support local farms, community food security, and living economies.” ~ Matt Huck, Sustain Mid Maine Coalition
Editorial: Drilling plan amounts to an assault on our oceans
Portland Press Herald - Friday, October 13, 2017 

Though lawmakers, Cabinet members and White House staff have gone in and out of favor with President Trump in his short time in office, he’s consistently been best buddies with Big Oil – and now that he’s pushing hard for exploration and drilling in the Atlantic Ocean, Maine’s congressional delegation should be just as intent on stopping this ruinous plan in its tracks.
Column: Tale of two climate strategies
Other - Friday, October 13, 2017 

The Trump administration has decided to move into a new century: the 19th century. Coal has been in decline for at least seven decades. The reason utilities are shedding coal is economics — the price of natural gas has plummeted in recent years, and its share of U.S. electricity generation has nearly tripled since 1990. In addition, costs are falling dramatically for wind and solar energy. And, of course, coal is the dirtiest form of energy in use. That's one of the reasons why China, which suffers over a million deaths a year because of poor air quality, is making huge investments in clean energy. ~ Fareed Zakaria
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