April 23, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Tuesday, April 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
Granite quarries of East Blue Hill, Apr 30
Event - Posted - Tuesday, April 23, 2019 

Bob Slaven will discuss what was a thriving granite industry in East Blue Hill. At Blue Hill Public Library, April 30, 6:30 pm. Sponsored by Blue Hill Heritage Trust.
Friends of Casco Bay Appreciation Celebration & Annual Meeting, Apr 30
Event - Posted - Tuesday, April 23, 2019 

At Harraseeket Inn, Freeport, April 30, 5:30-8 pm, suggested donation $20.
Return to Moose River, Apr 30
Event - Posted - Tuesday, April 23, 2019 

Registered Maine Guide Earl Brechlin will read from his collection of essays, “Return to Moose River: In Search of the Spirit of the Great North Woods” at Norway Memorial Library, April 30, 6:30 pm.
How to impact conservation lawmaking through your stories, Apr 29
Event - Posted - Monday, April 22, 2019 

Rep. Chloe Maxmin, of Nobleboro, and Kathleen Meil, director of policy and partnerships for the Maine Conservation Alliance, will speak about environmental and conservation lawmaking. At Newcastle Fire Department, April 29, 6:30 pm.
Hoping for a Harpswell Heron, Apr 28
Event - Posted - Sunday, April 21, 2019 

Learn about herons and the tracking project from Danielle D’Auria, project leader for the Heron Observation Network of Maine. At Harpswell Heritage Land Trust office, Harpswell, April 28, 3 pm.
Scarborough Marsh Clean Up, Apr 28
Event - Posted - Sunday, April 21, 2019 

Join Maine Audubon, Friends of Scarborough Marsh, Maine Inland Fisheries & Wildlife, and the Scarborough community to clean up the marsh, beaches, and Nature Center grounds for the new season. At Scarborough Marsh Audubon Center, April 28, 9 am - 12 pm.
Kennebec Land Trust celebrates new Pittston preserve, Apr 27
Event - Posted - Saturday, April 20, 2019 

The Kennebec Land Trust will celebrate its newest acquisition, 22-acre Eastern River Preserve. Judy Schuppien and Phil Brzozowski donated the land. At Pittston, April 27, 1 pm.
Maine Spring LIVE, Apr 27
Event - Posted - Saturday, April 20, 2019 

A day-long festival featuring live animal presentations, bird and nature walks, citizen science projects and opportunities, birdhouse construction demonstrations, solar energy tours, games, etc. At Maine Audubon's Gilsland Farm, Falmouth, April 27.
Feathers over Freeport, Apr 27-28
Event - Posted - Saturday, April 20, 2019 

A birdwatching weekend for all ages. At Bradbury Mountain and Wolfe's Neck Woods State Parks, April 27-28.
Birding Field Trip: Whiskeag Creek, Apr 27
Event - Posted - Saturday, April 20, 2019 

Explore Whiskeag Creek, Bath, where it empties into the Kennebec River at Thorne Head. April 27, 7:30am – noon. Sponsored by Merrymeeting Audubon and the Kennebec Estuary Land Trust.
Maine Bird Atlas Workshop, Apr 27
Event - Posted - Saturday, April 20, 2019 

Learn about the Maine Bird Atlas, a project to survey and map the distribution and abundance of breeding and wintering birds in Maine. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, April 27, 3-5 pm. Sponsored by Brunswick Topsham Land Trust.
Maine Association of Conservation Commissions Annual Conference, Apr 27
Event - Posted - Saturday, April 20, 2019 

Amanda Shearin, Habitat Outreach Coordinator, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, will discuss "Climate Change Impacts to and Adaptive Strategies for Coastal and Inland Communities." Fred Snow, president, Maine Association of Conservation Commissions, will discuss how conservation commission involvement in Comprehensive Plan updates can make a difference. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, April 27, 9 am.
Woodcock Watch, Apr 26
Event - Posted - Friday, April 19, 2019 

Learn about the American Woodcock and experience one of spring's delights—the dazzling displays of courting woodcocks. At Fields Pond, Holden, April 26, 7 pm, Maine Audubon members $8, non-members $10.
The Messenger Film Screening, Apr 25
Event - Posted - Thursday, April 18, 2019 

This documentary explores our deep-seated connection to birds and warns that the uncertain fate of songbirds might mirror our own. At Frontier, Brunswick, April 25, 7 pm. Sponsored by Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust and Freeport Wild Bird Supply.
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News Items
Column: Land & Garden Preserve offers scenic views
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, April 7, 2019 

Outside of the 31,000 acres of Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island are a handful of other, much smaller conservation lands that are worth some leisurely exploration. Nine miles of trails crisscross the idyllic 1,165-acre landscape of the Land & Garden Preserve, which includes Thuya Garden, Asticou Garden and the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden. A dozen miles of carriage roads also are open for foot travel and equestrian use. ~ Carey Kish
Column: How eating sea bass and crab can help Maine lobstermen
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, April 7, 2019 

A group of Rhode Island fishermen who witnessed southern New England’s near-shore lobster fishery evaporate and its offshore fishery diminish dramatically in their time on the water came to last month’s Maine Fishermen’s Forum in Rockland to give lobstermen here a bit of seasoned advice: Embrace ecosystem change while you’re in a good position to do so. The two-species Rhode Island fishermen told their Maine counterparts they should be targeting are Jonah crab and black sea bass. ~ Christine Burns Rudalevige
Column: Learn to save native plants at symposium
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, April 7, 2019 

The New England Wild Flower Society is bringing some of the biggest names in native-plant research to Falmouth for an all-day symposium Friday at Maine Audubon Society’s Gilsland Farm. “We want to show how people in different areas can preserve these plants, whether they are from commercial nurseries or local land trusts,” said Courtney Allen, director of public programs for the society. There will be plenty of chances to get our wildflower fix. ~ Tom Atwell
Column: Dad’s advice provided valuable lessons – including about skiing
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, April 7, 2019 

It’s hard to think of any outdoor activity my dad, John Christie, didn’t love, but to me it was long obvious that skiing was his greatest love. Closing out my third ski season with Dad gone, I’ve been thinking about the lessons he taught me that I carry forward:
• Be fearless, and commit
• Keep your tips up
• It’s more fun with friends
• If you don’t fall, you’re not trying hard enough
• Enjoy yourself
~ Josh Christie
Column: Homer Simpson is in charge. Do’h!
Sun Journal - Sunday, April 7, 2019 

CMP’s plan to string new power lines from Quebec to carry electricity to Massachusetts has met growing opposition. Janet Mills opposed the plan during the campaign. So why did she flip and come out for the so-called New England Clean Energy Connect plan? Someone must have got her ear. As if to wave a red flag in front of her, voters in her hometown of Farmington voted 262-102 against the NECEC. In Wilton, where Mills had lived for several years, the vote, 162-1. She apparently didn’t hear them. Tone deaf. ~ Bob Neal
Letter: CMP plan would end ‘way life should be’
Morning Sentinel - Sunday, April 7, 2019 

Maine people should carefully consider the proposed Central Maine Power western Maine power line project heading to Massachusetts. It will create a vast scar on the landscape through our most remote and wild places. These are places tourists and Mainers love to come to and be able to hike, swim, raft, camp and just enjoy the “Maine Brand” experience. In order to maintain the line forever, it will have to be sprayed from the air yearly to deter tree growth with known carcinogenic herbicides like Round Up, which has been linked to cancer in humans and in wildlife. This is a bad deal for our land and waters, people and wildlife. ~ Kevin Flanagan, Solon
Maine Lawmakers Consider Breaking Up the Department Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry
Maine Public - Saturday, April 6, 2019 

The Maine legislature is considering a measure that would undo the consolidation of the state departments of Agriculture and Conservation carried out during the lepage administration. The Maine Farm Bureau believes that agriculture deserves the attention of a separate agency. Gov. Janet Mills says she’s against breaking up the Department Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, but is open to suggested improvements. Bob Meyers, speaking for the Maine Snowmobile Association, Maine Aquaculture Association and Maine Forest Products Council, said, “We are asking you to not abandon this effort...to implement the merger as planned.”
Jared Golden among a trio of Democrats most likely to side with Trump
Sun Journal - Saturday, April 6, 2019 

Maine’s 2nd Congressional District, Democrat Jared Golden of Lewiston has shown a willingness to break ranks from his party. Only two Democrats in the U.S. House have voted with President Donald Trump more than Golden. He repeatedly showed an aversion to squandering his time on idealistic measures that aren’t going to happen anytime soon. He said he doesn’t support the Green New Deal even though he is committed to doing what he can for the environment. The Democrat most likely to side with Trump is a lawmaker widely touted as the champion of the party’s left wing, U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York.
Column: GOP deploys political “bluff” on Green New Deal
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, April 6, 2019 

In January, newly elected House Democrats launched “the Green New Deal.” The proposals were ambitious and idealistic, reflecting deep concern about the deterioration of the environment and the income gap. Critics claimed they were impractical or would harm the economy. Senate Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell himself proposed the Green New Deal bill in the Senate. Republicans staged a symbolic floor debate to exaggerate and lampoon it. There were no committee hearings and no possibility for other senators to amend it. He then scheduled his bill for a “bluff vote.” No news reports noted the lack of the normal legislative consideration that would happen if the bill was taken seriously. The media allowed the GOP to get away with its bit of theater. ~ Gordon L. Weil
Opinion: In the face of climate change, workers need access to intertidal property
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, April 6, 2019 

With the Maine Supreme Judicial Court’s recent ruling affirming that rockweed growing in the intertidal zone is private property, it is incumbent for coastal towns to levy property taxes and the state to develop tax policies that incentivize intertidal industries. Intertidal lands are owned; they need to be taxed. Central to intertidal land disputes is the rockweed fishery. Contrary to the vocal and misleading campaign against it by a small group of shorefront landowners opposing its harvest, marine algae extraction is the most sustainable industry in Maine’s waters. Not only is it freakishly regenerative and abundant, but it also has direct impacts in combating climate change: It is extracting nitrogen and carbon dioxide from the ocean and sequestering it in soils, and as an animal feed supplement, it reduces cattle methane emissions by up to 80 percent. ~ Dave Olsen, Columbia
Letter: Lake trout article misses important point
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, April 6, 2019 

“Thinking big,” an article about fishermen catching large lake trout on Sebago Lake, only told part of the story. After lake trout were intentionally stocked in the mid-1970s, the population began to spawn and grow. The voracious predators soon began to impact native fish, including cusk and brook trout, and by the 1990s had overpopulated. They decimated the smelt population. And they ate the young salmon, causing further decline in salmon numbers. Since then, the salmon have struggled to maintain the wild population that evolved in these waters. There are still too many lake trout. Killing those less than 26 inches is the best thing for the lake ecology, the salmon and the lake trout, too. ~ Chris Ricardi, New Gloucester
Letter: Climate change issues transcend borders
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, April 6, 2019 

I support Gov. Mills in the push forward she announced in her recent address to help Maine communities adapt to changes in the climate. The problem of global warming goes beyond borders to be global and planetary. As a resident of an African country (Burundi) currently living in Maine, I have experienced first-hand the adverse effects of climate change through droughts and famines, on the one hand, and sudden brutal, out-of-season downpours that inundate crops, on the other hand. I will ensure that my organization, Africa Action against Climate Change, will take responsibility for echoing and disseminating to African countries the good solutions developed here. ~ Adolphe Wakana, Portland
Letter: Cleanup collaboration helped pave way for Biddeford’s revival
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, April 6, 2019 

The story of Biddeford’s revitalization, as told in a March 10 article provides a model for how old mill towns around the region can become thriving, young cities. Thanks to a visionary local government, a supportive state and committed citizens, a community with an aging population and housing stock was able to turn itself around and become a hub for youth and development. The progress made in Biddeford represents just the kind of results the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Maine Department of Environmental Protection envision as a consequence of their investment in abandoned and potentially contaminated properties through their brownfields programs. ~ Deborah Szaro, acting regional administrator, U.S. EPA, New England Regional Office
Maine River Flow Advisory Commission Meets in Caribou
Maine Government News - Friday, April 5, 2019 

The State's River Flow Advisory Commission met in Caribou Friday morning to discuss flood conditions across the state, with a focus on northern Maine, where the threat continues to be greater than the rest of the State. The group reviewed streamflow conditions on Maine's lakes, rivers and streams, snowpack, groundwater levels, and weather conditions. "Based on todays discussions, the next seven to ten days don't show a significant risk for flooding across the state," said Maine Emergency Management Agency Director Suzanne Krauss. "But we can't let our guard down, because there is a potential for flooding well into May."
A possible use for invasive green crabs? Dog biscuits
Mainebiz - Friday, April 5, 2019 

A team at University of Maine's School of Food And Agriculture is looking into the potential for using green crabs as an ingredient in dog biscuits. Angela Myracle hit upon the idea when she was shopping for a present for her partner's new dog. Myracle is an assistant professor of human nutrition at UMaine's School of Food and Agriculture and a scientist with the Sustainable Ecological Aquaculture Network, which is a program of UMaine's Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research. Green crabs are a voracious invasive species that's decimating Maine's clam populations, threatening the livelihoods of clammers and clogging lobster traps.
Thoughts from the reel end of the fishing rod
Sun Journal - Friday, April 5, 2019 

In the mid and late 1800s, it was wealthy anglers from places like Boston and New York that first put the Rangeley Lakes Region, on the map. They came willing to spend considerable time and money in pursuit of the huge native brook trout that filled the lakes. To cater to the influx, railroads were built, rustic but well-appointed camps constructed and a fleet of iconic Rangeley boats launched. Local men, and later one rather famous woman, served as guides. Captain Fred Barker built a half dozen steam powered ferries to transport gear and passengers from the railhead in Bemis to his various camps. With this infrastructure in place, tourist flocked to the region and the Gilded Age was on. Rustic camps were replaced by grand hotels, rail service blossomed and golf courses were built. Thus, the history of the Rangeley Lakes Region and sport fishing are inexorably connected.
Lawmakers endorse ban on oil and gas drilling off Maine’s coast
Portland Press Herald - Friday, April 5, 2019 

A legislative committee Friday endorsed a bill that aims to send a message to federal officials by prohibiting exploration or drilling for oil and gas in Maine’s state-owned waters. Members of the Legislature’s Environment and Natural Resources Committee voted 7-4 to support a ban on “any oil and natural gas exploration, development or production in, on or under the waters of the state.” But committee members heard that the Gulf of Maine is “devoid” of the conditions needed to create oil and gas reserves because the bedrock has been “overcooked” by geological events. Several lawmakers cited that testimony Friday in explaining their opposition to a bill they said was primarily symbolic.
Collins Pushes HUD Secretary To Release Money For Lead Remediation Program
Maine Public - Friday, April 5, 2019 

Maine Senator Susan Collins is asking the Trump Administration for the prompt release of funds for a new lead remediation program. At a hearing of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Collins reminded Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson that Maine has among the oldest housing stock in the country. Collins said, “We expect those funds to be made available by summer.”
Federal Regulators May Close Off Gulf Of Maine To Protect Right Whales, Worrying Lobster Harvesters
Maine Public - Friday, April 5, 2019 

Amid uncertainty around new rules that would try to protect the endangered North Atlantic right whale, Maine's top fisheries regulator is canceling meetings he'd planned for next week with lobster harvesters around the state. Department of Marine Resources Commissioner Patrick Keliher says that federal regulators have raised the possibility of closing large areas of the Gulf of Maine to lobster fishermen when whales might be passing through. And he says the feds also could require use of so-called “rope-less gear” technology in certain areas to reduce the risk of whale entanglements — technology that Keliher says is at least five years away from being effective. Keliher says he will try to meet with industry members in early May, after the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration clarifies what regulations it wants to impose.
Loons in Maine
Maine Public - Friday, April 5, 2019 

One of the beloved symbols of Maine, the loon is categorized as a “species of greatest conservation need.” Hear why the loon is such an iconic Maine species, how the loon population is doing in Maine, and what conservation efforts are underway to protect this aquatic bird and its habitat. Guests: Danielle E. D'Auria, wildlife biologist, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife; Susan Gallo, executive director, Maine Lakes Society; James Paruk, biology department, St. Joseph's College; Dave Evers, chief scientist, Biodiversity Research Institute.
Micmac Fish Farm promotes sustainable aquaculture
WAGM-TV - Friday, April 5, 2019 

A concern over the long-term sustainability of wild brook trout in Maine has evolved into a growing business. The Micmac Fish Farm, on the Caribou Road, using a method called recirculating aquaculture, using clean ground water. Natural Resource Director Fred Corey says fishing and aquaculture are among the top three economic enterprises for the new century. Corey says the Micmac Fish Farm sustainable model fits well with Maine's natural resource-based economy.
Whither Maine Char?
Sun Journal - Friday, April 5, 2019 

As the last glacier retreated, streams and lakes of what are now the contiguous United States were invaded from the sea by anadromous fishes such as salmon, smelt and char. As recently as 5,000 years ago, when the ice sheet still lingered in Maine, Arctic char abounded in the Northeast. Today you’d be more likely to encounter an Atlantic walrus or a polar bear in New England than an anadromous Arctic char. But that doesn’t mean the species isn’t present. At their southernmost range on the planet, 12 or 11 (one is in doubt) relict populations persist in deep, cold lakes in Maine (where they’re called blueback trout). The work of Dr. Michael Kinnison of the University of Maine and his students provides evidence that Maine’s Arctic char are priceless, national treasures that we need to get serious about protecting and restoring. ~ Ted Williams
Maine Breweries Join NRCM to protect Maine waters
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Friday, April 5, 2019 

The Natural Resources Council of Maine and 13 Maine brewers have joined together to protect our state’s clean waters, a very important goal. Their announcement said they are doing this to “make our state a great place to live, work, brew, and enjoy great beer.” Of course, we are already that great place! But it’s great that they will work together to keep Maine great. Alliance members have pledged to support the protection of watersheds that are critical to Maine’s renowned microbrews. You can help by drinking the fabulous beers produced by these brewers.
Opinion: CMP corridor’s climate claims don’t hold up to scrutiny
Portland Press Herald - Friday, April 5, 2019 

Many people may have initially been inclined to favor the New England Clean Energy Connect project being proposed by Central Maine Power and Hydro-Quebec. But according to testimony on behalf of the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, as well as a study by the international consulting firm Energyzt, the contracts that Massachusetts utilities have signed with Hydro-Quebec contain no legal stipulations that would require Hydro-Quebec to deliver all incrementally clean power all the time. Maine voters should support LD 640, which would require the Maine DEP to conduct an independent investigation of CMP’s claims that the proposed transmission line would have benefits for the climate through reduced greenhouse-gas emissions. ~ J. Mason Morfit, Freeport [former head of The Nature Conservancy in Maine]
Letter: Wage war on climate change
Bangor Daily News - Friday, April 5, 2019 

It is heartening that polls are showing that a greater majority of Americans, including Republicans, believe in global warming. There is, however, precious little consensus on what to do and even less political will to do it. You would think that curbing one of the greatest carbon polluting entities on earth, the U.S. military, might be on the list. But no, we go on increasing its budget and christening another warship built at Bath Iron Works on April 27. When are we going to come to our senses? Ask our state and federal delegations to advocate for conversion to more life-affirming and helpful products, like non-carbon cargo ships and underwater turbines. ~ Peter Baldwin, Brooks
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