August 24, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Friday, August 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; 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
Rangeley Outdoor Film Festival, Aug 30
Event - Posted - Friday, August 23, 2019 

The Rangeley Trail Town Festival features a variety of short films about the outdoors. At RFA Lakeside Theater, Rangeley, August 30, 7 pm, $6 for adults, $3 for Appalachian Trail hikers and children under 12.
LightHawk Paper Plane Contest
Announcement - Thursday, August 22, 2019 

Enter your best paper airplane design for a chance to have it mailed to thousands in LightHawk's 2019 Holiday Letter. Deadline: October 18, 2019.
BTLT Seeks Community Input on Future Conservation
Announcement - Tuesday, August 20, 2019 

The Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust is seeking community input on its current and future conservation work in Brunswick, Topsham, and Bowdoin. A community survey is available online until September 2.
Butler to speak on conservation, Aug 27
Event - Posted - Tuesday, August 20, 2019 

Conservationist Gil Butler will discuss his efforts to establish outdoor education programs and conservation projects in Maine and throughout North and South America. At College of the Atlantic, Bar Harbor, August 27, 9 am, free, parking on campus is by permit only.
Solo Paddle of Northern Forest Canoe Trail, Aug 27
Event - Posted - Tuesday, August 20, 2019 

Laurie Apgar Chandler will read from and discuss her book “Upwards,” which tells her story as the first woman to solo paddle New England’s 740-mile Northern Forest Canoe Trail. At Bailey Library, Winthrop, August 27, 6:30 pm.
Keeping Acadia Healthy With New Science, Aug 26
Event - Posted - Monday, August 19, 2019 

Abraham Miller-Rushing and Rebecca Cole-Will will discuss how Acadia National Park is facing a triple environmental challenge: global warming, acid rain, and increased visitation. At Bar Harbor, August 26, 5 pm.
Maine’s Seaweed Scene, Sep 26
Event - Posted - Monday, August 19, 2019 

Susan Hand Shetterly and Robin Hadlock Seeley will discuss the importance of protected wild habitats and the critical role of seaweed in the Gulf of Maine. At Moore Community Center, Ellsworth, September 26, 7 pm. Hosted by Downeast Audubon.
Bee apocalypse
Action Alert - Sunday, August 18, 2019 

U.S. agriculture today is 48 times more toxic to honeybees than it was 25 years ago—almost entirely because of neonicotinoid pesticides. It's part of an "insect apocalypse." But instead of taking action, the Trump administration is shredding protections for bees. Will you stand with me in the fight to save the bees? ~ Mayor Ethan Strimling, Portland, Maine
Maine Farmland Trust Gallery 20th Anniversary Retrospective Exhibit, thru Oct 11
Announcement - Sunday, August 18, 2019 

To celebrate Maine Farmland Trust’s 20th anniversary, a curated retrospective featuring a selection of works that have been exhibited at the MFT Gallery over the past 10 years is on view through October 11.
National Parks Free Entrance, Aug 25
Event - Posted - Sunday, August 18, 2019 

All National Park Service sites that charge an entrance fee will offer free admission to everyone to celebrate the National Park Service's 103rd birthday on August 25.
Brechlin reading, Aug 25
Event - Posted - Sunday, August 18, 2019 

Earl Brechlin, a Registered Maine Guide, will read from his book, "Return to Moose River: In Search of the Spirit of the Great North Woods," essays describing white-water canoeing, snowmobiling, and backpacking adventures in many parts of Maine. At Albert Church Brown Memorial Library, China, August 25, 2 pm.
Kennebec Land Trust annual meeting, Aug 25
Event - Posted - Sunday, August 18, 2019 

At Camp Androscoggin, Wayne, August 25. The trust has conserved more than 6,300 acres and constructed 44 miles of trails on KLT protected lands.
Maine Herpetological Society Reptile Expo, Aug 25
Event - Posted - Saturday, August 17, 2019 

50+ vendors, 1,000+ reptiles, plus Mr. Drew and His Animals Too. At Ramada Inn, Lewiston, August 25, 10 am - 4 pm, $7, kids under 12 free.
Families in the Outdoors, Aug 24
Event - Posted - Saturday, August 17, 2019 

Learn about all kinds of Maine bugs – the good, the bad and the very strange looking. At Law Farm, Dover-Foxcroft, August 24, 9 am - noon.
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News Items
Former L.L. Bean executive plans to make Maine Audubon a national leader
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, November 12, 2017 

More than a century ago, after it was founded in 1843, Maine Audubon was at the forefront of the land conservation movement in Maine. Now the organization’s newest executive director wants it to lead the nation. Andy Beahm wants to make Maine Audubon known for unique, not-to-be-missed outdoor festivals; for connecting more people across Maine to nature through statewide outdoor events for many more than just its seven chapters; and for inspiring Mainers to become wildlife advocates.
A celebration for all things conservation
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, November 12, 2017 

Once a year, the Maine environmental community celebrates conservation victories at An Evening for the Environment, a fundraiser for Maine Conservation Alliance and Maine Conservation Voters. The 15th annual event was held at Thompson’s Point on Oct. 26, with nationally recognized clean energy expert Brian Deese as the keynote speaker.
Maine lags in providing state park access to people with disabilities
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, November 12, 2017 

In many states, officials are helping people with physical disabilities to get outdoors by offering trails, cabins and fishing platforms that are accessible by wheelchair. Some routinely hold events to help those with physical disabilities to kayak, fish or bicycle. Funding and commitment to provide these amenities and services vary widely from state to state, even in New England. Maine is not among the leaders, despite promoting itself as a scenic outdoor playground and generating $500 million annually in recreational tourism. Only 10 of 48 state parks and historic sites in Maine are fully accessible by wheelchair.
Green Prescription: A zero-waste couple struggles to get on the same page
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, November 12, 2017 

Zero-waste living requires mindfulness above all, and if you lead by example, your partner may see the light.
Buy local now applies to your booze as well as your beer
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, November 12, 2017 

Maine craft distilleries, following in the footsteps of craft brewers, are using more local agricultural products in their spirits. It’s part of a national movement to link farmers with local distillers, but no hard data yet capture the trend, according to Alexandra Clough, spokesperson for the American Craft Spirits Association in Louisville. “It’s mimicking the craft beer and local food movement, where people want to know where ingredients are coming from,” she said.
Column: Even in winter, birds find a way to find food
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, November 12, 2017 

Birds perform marvelous feats: migrating from one pole to the other, raising multiple clutches of young in a single season, tolerating winter temperatures as low as 70 below zero. But each of these astounding activities comes with a big ‘if.’ If the birds can find enough food. Birds can be surprisingly resourceful in finding food. ~ Herb Wilson
Column: And just like that, deer season is over
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, November 12, 2017 

Early success in Maine’s deer season is a double-edged sword. It represents completion of a goal, validation for all your efforts in scouting and preparation, and meat in the freezer. But it also means a premature end unless you hunt the expanded archery season. You’re left to pine away inside while your family and friends are sitting in a pine tree on the back 40, waiting for their chance. ~ Bob Humphrey
Letter: It would be cheaper long term to just bury the lines
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, November 12, 2017 

The only way to avoid the physical risks and colossal expense of downed wires is to move key segments of CMP’s aerial plant underground. This publicly-regulated utility should be required to develop a capital plan to do so over a reasonable period of time. Naturally, CMP will try to make the case that the effort would be too expensive, but the cost of bringing hundreds of trucks and thousands of workers from out of state during every recovery effort must be staggering. The Brunswick section of the grid alone seems to lose power more often than Baghdad. It’s long past time to do something about it. ~ Ralph Dean, Freeport
Letter: Not seeing any birds either
Kennebec Journal - Sunday, November 12, 2017 

I am responding to the Oct. 20 letter to the editor headlined, “Has anyone seen were the birds went?” I would also like to know since I haven’t had a single bird at my bird feeder for at least six weeks. They can’t all have gone south. It is sad not to hear the bird song. ~ Jean Koller, Augusta
Column: Hillary, the horse with an attitude
Sun Journal - Saturday, November 11, 2017 

[Part 1] Not until I took some lessons in riding and horse handling from Nichole Rackcliff at M&N Ranch in Dedham did I dare undertake a horse rental for my elk hunt. A patient horse lady, who taught me much in a short period of time, her horse knowledge proved invaluable during an incident that I will relate. ~ V. Paul Reynolds
International Rights of Nature Tribunal
Other - Saturday, November 11, 2017 

The current ecological crisis requires that we transform our international and domestic legal systems to nurture, rather than allow the destruction of the Earth community.
Succession: How A Forest Can Create and Re-Creates Itself
Other - Saturday, November 11, 2017 

A few years ago, I started an observational experiment in forest succession on a couple of acres where we once pastured sheep and goats. Rocky and wet, without livestock it was hard to keep cleared. So, I let the forest recreate itself and just watched the process unfold. It’s a process that has taken place across much of the Northeast since the mid-1800s.
Mountain biking takes off in the Bangor area
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, November 11, 2017 

A nurse, an attorney, an engineer and a high school teacher were among the 15 women who gathered in the morning sun on Saturday, Nov. 4, on the gravel road leading into Bangor’s Rolland F. Perry City Forest. The women, ranging widely in age and occupation, all had one thing in common — a love for mountain biking. The group, Slipping Gears Ladies Rides, was established in April, and since then, has grown to more than 70 active members. This thriving group is just one example of how mountain biking is gaining momentum in the Bangor area.
Maine plans swifter protocols for shellfish monitoring
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, November 11, 2017 

No one knows the origin of an algae bloom that closed hundreds of miles of Maine coastline to shellfish harvesting this fall. Or why the microscopic phytoplankton responsible for it suddenly became so bountiful in the Gulf of Maine. Or even why it produces toxins in the first place. What is known is that a toxic bloom of Pseudo-nitzschia phytoplankton caused a recall of 58,500 pounds of blue mussels in September – only the second shellfish recall in Maine’s modern history. To prevent another recall, the state is drastically reassessing its shellfish monitoring practices. Changes in Maine waters may be driving new blooms. The Gulf of Maine is one of the fastest-warming bodies of water on the Earth, and observers have warned about the ecological changes driven by a warming planet.
America’s Wildest Place Is Open for Business
Other - Friday, November 10, 2017 

Roman Dial is a professor of biology and mathematics at Alaska Pacific University in Anchorage, and a National Geographic explorer. He decided to figure out the most remote place in the entire nation. His calculations led him to the northwest corner of Alaska, where the continent tilts toward the Arctic Ocean. He decided to walk there. On the journey he and his companion didn’t see anyone else for 24 days. Their destination lay within the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska. NPR-A, as it is known, is the single largest parcel of public land in the United States. The reserve sprawls across nearly 23 million acres, which makes it larger than Maine or 10 other states.
Western members of Congress to Trump: Erase Utah’s Bears Ears, 8 other monuments
Other - Friday, November 10, 2017 

A group of Republican congressional members is pressuring the White House to eliminate or shrink most of the 27 national monuments under review by the Trump administration, including Utah’s Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante. The lawmakers, led by Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona, chairman of the Congressional Western Caucus, are calling on the president “to think big and act big-league,” rescind nine of the 22 land monuments, including the Utah sites, being examined by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and make severe reductions to nine others.
Blog: Many National Parks Arose From National Monuments
Other - Friday, November 10, 2017 

The originations of 25 of our 59 national parks, totaling 39.6 million acres, were first seeded by the establishment of a presidentially proclaimed national monument. Fourteen of these monumental 25 were established from more than one national monument proclamation. Bills in Congress would eliminate the ability for a President to proclaim national monuments. The elegance of the National Monuments Act of 1906 places the national long-term interest over short-term local interests. If the legislative language modifying the National Monuments Act of 1906 had been the language enacted into law by Congress in 1906, how many national monuments (and national parks) would we have today. The answer is near zero. ~ Andy Kerr
Profound shift taking place at EPA under Pruitt’s leadership
Washington Post - Friday, November 10, 2017 

There is a profound shift unfolding in the EPA under President Trump, in which the agency has reassessed its own data and analyses at the prompting of corporations. On pesticides, chemical solvents and air pollutants, Pruitt and his deputies are using industry figures to challenge past findings and recommendations of the agency’s own scientists. Such change has drawn praise from longtime EPA critics. But environmentalists contend Pruitt is sidelining agency scientists on key decisions.
Blog: Let Us Now Praise the Birds and the Bees and the Bats and the Bugs
Bangor Daily News - Friday, November 10, 2017 

An article last year noted that “Maine’s Little Brown Bat has seen a 97 percent decline in population.” Now comes Michael McCarthy to tell us that it’s not only the bats we’re losing — it’s also the bugs. “Insect abundance has fallen by 75% over the last 27 years,” McCarthy writes, in the Guardian (of Britain). ~ Nick Mills
Ga. coast globally important for shorebirds
Other - Friday, November 10, 2017 

SavannahNow - Georgia’s 100 miles of coastline recently became the 100th region designated as a “Landscape of Hemispheric Importance” by the Western Hemispheric Shorebird Reserve Network. “Georgia’s a big deal because in other places on the Atlantic seaboard we’ve created habitat conditions that are less conducive and don’t support sea birds,” said Brad Winn, director of shorebird habitat at Manomet, a Maine-based conservation nonprofit.
Boothbay board pulls permit for botanical gardens expansion
Bangor Daily News - Friday, November 10, 2017 

Months after work commenced on a $30 million expansion of Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, the Boothbay Board of Appeals on Thursday voted to rescind a permit allowing the project. The board voted 3-2 in favor of an appeal filed by abutters of CMBG, who argued the project would further degrade the water quality of nearby Knickerbocker Lake, already listed by the state as “most at risk from new development.”
Community garden at Togus providing fresh produce to veterans
Kennebec Journal - Friday, November 10, 2017 

Harold Massey said working every day in the community garden at the federal veterans’ facility in Chelsea is his therapy. Massey, 56, is a U.S. Army veteran who came to Maine about six years ago. He’s spent most of his time the past two years tending to the VA Maine Healthcare Systems-Togus garden, which has been providing fresh fruit and produce to veterans for about five years. During this year’s growing season, Massey has harvested about 750 pounds of fresh tomatoes, kale, lettuce, green beans, spinach, cucumbers, carrots, summer squash, radishes, Swiss chard and herbs that have been used in the Togus kitchen and by health care providers on campus.
10 Senators Call for Investigation into EPA Pushing Scientists Off Advisory Boards
Inside Climate News - Friday, November 10, 2017 

A group of Senate Democrats is calling for an expanded investigation into efforts by the Trump Environmental Protection Agency to effectively push independent scientists off key EPA advisory boards and replace them with scientists from the fossil fuel and chemical industries. In a letter sent to the Government Accountability Office on Thursday, the 10 senators asked the GAO to investigate a new directive, issued by EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt on Oct. 31, that restricts any scientist who has received EPA funding from serving on the agency's scientific advisory panels. Scientific groups, academics and advocacy organizations have all pointed out that it will mean the most experienced scientists—whose qualifications earn them government grants in the first place—will no longer be able to serve in these roles.
Maine Blueberry Harvest Down As Industry Looks For Buyers
Maine Public - Friday, November 10, 2017 

A trade group says Maine’s wild blueberry crop fell sharply this summer to below 100 million pounds for the first time in four years. Wild Blueberry Commission of Maine Executive Director Nancy McBrady says preliminary industry figures show the crop coming in at about 65 million pounds. Among factors for the decline were bad growing conditions. Surplus supplies of blueberries from recent years have motivated some growers to scale back. Prices are also down.
Maine’s Forest Products Industry Is Not Dead
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Friday, November 10, 2017 

Maine’s forest products industry is not dead, and you don’t have to take my word for it. An excellent report on our state’s secondary wood manufacturing economy is now available. The subtitle of the report says it all: $1.8 billion industry is ‘almost invisible.’
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