September 22, 2019  
Press releases, events, publications released, etc. from Maine environmental organizations and agencies. Submit content.

Maine Outdoor Film Festival, Sep 29
Event - Posted - Sunday, September 22, 2019 

Opera House Arts hosts the Maine Outdoor Film Festival. At Stonington Ball Field, September 29, after sunset at approximately 8 pm, free but suggested $5 donation in support of Loon Echo Land Trust.
Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Saturday, September 21, 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
Birds of Prey, Sep 28
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 21, 2019 

Learn about the lives of Maine’s raptors. At L.C. Bates Museum, Hinckley, September 28, 1-2 pm.
Woodward Point Opening Celebration, Sep 28
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 21, 2019 

The Maine Coast Heritage Trust and Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust will celebrate the opening of the new Woodward Point Preserve in Brunswick, September 28, 1 pm
National Public Lands Day, Sep 28
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 21, 2019 

National Public Lands Day is the nation's largest single-day volunteer effort. A signature event of the National Environmental Education Foundation, it promotes both popular enjoyment and volunteer conservation of public lands. September 28.
People of a Feather, Sep 27
Event - Posted - Friday, September 20, 2019 

This film explores the impact of the development of hydropower on the traditional life of the Inuits in Canada’s Hudson Bay. A discussion addressing Central Maine Power’s transmission line through Western Maine and its impacts will follow. At 114 Main St, Kennebunk, September 27, 6:30 pm. Sponsored by Sierra Club Maine.
Learn about environmentally-friendly lawn care, Sep 26
Event - Posted - Thursday, September 19, 2019 

How to create a more resilient, beautiful lawn, without relying on chemical fertilizers or weed and bug killers. At Yarmouth Water District, September 26, 6 pm, pre-register.
Wilderness and Spirit, A Mountain Called Katahdin, Sep 26
Event - Posted - Thursday, September 19, 2019 

Film screening and discussion with filmmaker Huey (James Coleman). At Maine Historical Society, Portland,, September 26, 6-8 pm.
Cobbosseecontee Stream fish, Sep 26
Event - Posted - Thursday, September 19, 2019 

Stephen Brooke facilitates a discussion about restoring the native sea run fish to Cobbossee stream. At Gardiner Public Library, September 26, 6:30 pm.
LUPC to Hold Public Meeting on Approved Fish River Lakes Concept Plan, Sep 25
Event - Posted - Wednesday, September 18, 2019 

The Maine Land Use Planning Commission staff will hold an open house and public meeting regarding the Fish River Chain of Lakes Concept Plan. At Caribou Inn and Convention Center, September 25, Open House 6 pm; Public Meeting 6:30 pm.
Phenology Trail, Sep 25
Event - Posted - Wednesday, September 18, 2019 

The Schoodic Institute and Blue Hill Heritage Trust will hold a free citizen science training for Phenology Trail. Phenology, or nature’s calendar, is the study of plant and animal life cycle events. It includes tracking the timing of flowering and fruiting plants, emergence of insects, and bird migrations. At Carter Nature Preserve, Surry, September 25, 4-6:30 pm.
Public Comment Forum on Aerial Herbicide, Sep 24
Event - Posted - Wednesday, September 18, 2019 

Public meeting on aerial herbicide applications for managing forestland. At UMaine at Fort Kent, September 24, 2019, 6 pm.
The Ecology of the Heath, Sep 24
Event - Posted - Tuesday, September 17, 2019 

Naturalist Fred Cichocki will describe the ecology of the 12-acre heath at Cathance Rive Nature Preserve in Topsham and other sphagnum moss wetlands. At Topsham Public Library, September 24, 6 pm. Sponsored by Cathance River Education Alliance.
Oppose CMP's transmission corridor
Action Alert - Monday, September 16, 2019 

Ask Maine’s Congressional delegation to urge the Army Corps for an Environmental Impact Statement and public hearing on Central Maine Power’s proposal for a transmission corridor through Western Maine. ~ Nick Bennett, NRCM
No logging in the Tongass National Forest
Action Alert - Monday, September 16, 2019 

The Amazon is burning, yet Donald Trump wants to open the world's largest intact temperate forest to mining and logging exploitation. He is opening 10 million acres in the Tongass National Forest to brutal exploitation. Tongass retains more carbon than any forest in the U.S., provides habitat for iconic wild creatures and contains old-growth trees as much as 1,000 years old. Don't let Trump destroy it. ~ CREDO Action
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News Items
Column: Confronting the End of Everything — Why Can’t the Green Party Do Better?
Free Press - Thursday, September 5, 2019 

There’s growing evidence of a huge, worldwide decline in insects — 40 to 80% over the past several decades. What does it mean for the ecosystem? Maine Audubon conservation biologist Sarah Haggerty said, “It basically can mean the end of everything.” What this pleasant-sounding scientist referred to is the possible end of much life on Earth — including us — given how biologically important insects are (pollination, food for birds and fish, decomposition of waste). Add the insect apocalypse to other human-caused disasters bearing down on us: accelerating global warming; vast pollution of the oceans with plastics; and a million plant and animal species vulnerable to rapid extinction. Historically, only one political party has been sounding the alarm long and loudly on environmental issues: the Green Party. Green presidential candidate Jill Stein proposed a Green New Deal in 2012. But Greens have not done well in this country. ~ Lance Tapley
How a plan to develop Belfast’s waterfront is coming together
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, September 5, 2019 

Developer Paul Naron is a lot closer to building a marina, restaurant and more on the Belfast waterfront after city councilors this week voted to move forward with the agreement he proposed. Naron and the city have been at odds over aspects of the plan to develop his Front Street properties. The initial sticking point? A permanent easement for the Harbor Walk to cross his land that city officials had demanded. The developer recently agreed, asking for certain concessions in return. Although some city staff initially seemed reluctant to grant everything he asked for, the council ultimately agreed with Naron.
Is it time to change land access policies for hunters?
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, September 5, 2019 

On Oct. 28, 2017, Karen Wrentzel headed into the woods on her own land. A hunter, Robert Trundy, showed up a bit later. Thought she was a deer. Shot her dead. Megan Ripley too, in 2006. And Karen Wood, in 1988. For years, Maine has been governed by a custom that allows hunters and other recreationists to use land that they do not own, so long as that land is not posted or the landowner does not otherwise prohibit the practice. For years, I’ve confidently supported that custom. I still love the unfettered access to vast tracts owned by forest products companies. But closer to home, I’m not likely to step onto land where I’ve not been officially granted permission to hunt. Your thoughts? ~ John Holyoke
Gould takes another step toward energy efficiency
Bethel Citizen - Thursday, September 5, 2019 

Gould Academy recently provided a tour of its new Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) System heat pump technology, using refrigerant as the cooling and heating medium. By operating at varying speeds VRF units work only at the needed rate, allowing for significant energy savings. The project will exceed a 60 percent energy reduction over traditional energy-efficient HVAC equipment.
While Bangor experienced its wettest summer on record, Caribou had its fifth driest
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, September 5, 2019 

According to the National Weather Service in Caribou, Bangor had its wettest summer on record, receiving 17.33 inches of rain. Caribou had its fifth driest summer on record, with only 7.91 inches of rain.
Opinion: Protect traditional fisheries’ access to ocean waters
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, September 5, 2019 

I’ve fished for 66 years and I’ve fished for just about everything up and down Casco Bay. I’ve seen a lot of things change over the years, but not this kind of pressure to take away the ocean from the public and put it into private hands. Aquaculture certainly has a place along the coast, but the scale of some of the proposals out there is just too big. It just doesn’t make sense to take it from one user group and allow it to be leased for another use. The leasing process comes down to one person who can give away the ocean bottom. That isn’t right. There needs to be another way to do this that protects what belongs to all of us. ~ Ernie Burgess, Chebeague Island
Letter: Why our world is in disarray
Kennebec Journal - Thursday, September 5, 2019 

Climate change has become the new religion of progressive choice, and environmental concern is the new moral issue demanding citizen involvement. We should be good stewards of God’s earth. But in no way does that diminish our grave responsibility to uphold and fight for the sanctity of human life in all its stages. When the killing of over 60 million unborn babies hardly gets our collective dander up, something is drastically wrong. This is what happens when we as a people try to negate God out of our lives. ~ Pat Truman, Hallowell
Letter: Worried about electric bikes on our hikes
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, September 5, 2019 

I am a 73-year-old woman and I own and love an electric bike. I read with concern, however, about President Trump’s new administrative order which looks to open trails used by regular bikes to electric bikes in our National Parks and public lands. Recently, my daughter and I and my 22-month-old granddaughter were enjoying a walk on a popular Carriage Road in Acadia National Park used by hikers and bikers alike. We found a dead snake and red squirrel, casualties of a bike strike. Most bikers are careful and watch for hikers and other critters. Some are not, using the serene roads of the park for speed trials. I strongly oppose the President’s ill-considered order. ~ Patricia Ryan, Mount Desert
Letter: NECEC clarifications
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, September 5, 2019 

In a recent letter about the New England Clean Energy Connect (NECEC) Urgel Pomerleau states that every Maine taxpayer needs to come forward to vote on a referendum about the NECEC or other transmission lines, and that a ‘yes’ vote would outline the permit process that would allow Canadian green power to cross our state. CMP is strictly following the regulatory processes in place to consider such projects – permits are required from several state and federal regulatory agencies. Each of these agencies has public input or hearing processes for Maine people to contribute opinions. ~ Doug A. Herling, President & CEO, Central Maine Power, Augusta
Rensenbrink’s Way: Topsham ecological center dedicates road to co-founder
Forecaster - Wednesday, September 4, 2019 

As a key force behind the Cathance River Nature Preserve’s creation two decades ago, and a steward since then of the Cathance River Education Alliance, John Rensenbrink has been an untiring advocate for immersing local youth in the world of nature. CREA celebrated its co-founder Aug. 27 with the dedication of its access road to Rensenbrink. Naming the path to the education center paid tribute to the man who, with developer John Wasileski, founded CREA nearly 20 years ago. Rensenbrink also helped to found the state and national Green parties, as well as Merrymeeting Community Action, and he taught history and political philosophy at Bowdoin College.
Fans of Fort Gorges cast votes for preservation, not commercialization
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, September 4, 2019 

A public forum on the future of Fort Gorges drew a large crowd of passionate supporters Wednesday night, most of whom oppose the kind of commercial plan that a developer would like to introduce to Portland’s historic island park. The meeting hosted by the Portland Parks Conservancy and Parks Commission wrapped up with a paper ballot vote on what the audience would like to see happen at the 2-acre city park on Hog Island ledge in Casco Bay. The results: 76 would approve a combination of public and private funding to support preservation, but no commercial funding; 59 would allow limited or temporary activities with minimum impact to support the fort; 10 would allow commercial development to pay for full restoration of the fort.
Saving Birdland
Down East - Wednesday, September 4, 2019 

By conserving more than 150,000 acres for wildlife and recreation, Maine Coast Heritage Trust helps ensure that Maine remains for the birds (and the birders).
Maine Lobstermen's Association Withdraws Initial Support On Controversial Gear Rules
Maine Public - Wednesday, September 4, 2019 

The Maine Lobstermen's Association says it is reversing its initial support for a proposal to reduce the risk that lobster-fishing gear will entangle critically endangered North Atlantic right whales. This spring, the MLA delegation to a federal panel agreed to a proposal that would reduce by 60 percent the lobster industry's contribution to the whale's risk of injury or death. That consensus agreement won approval from a wide array of stakeholders. The proposal is now the subject of a federal rulemaking process and could mean that Maine lobstermen will be forced to remove half of their trap-rope from the water and reduce the number of traps they fish. Now some previous supporters of the prospect have changed their minds.
Democratic candidates unveil sweeping climate proposals ahead of CNN town hall
CNN - Wednesday, September 4, 2019 

A series of top Democratic presidential candidates have released sweeping plans to combat climate change over the last two weeks, putting the issue front and center ahead of CNN's climate crisis town halls on Wednesday night. Although the overarching themes of each plan are similar—all candidates lay out how they believe combating climate change is one of the most pressing issues facing the country—there are marked differences within each proposal, as the candidates compete to distinguish themselves as the most focused and most willing to spend trillions to stop and reverse global warming.
Whole Oceans adds processing facility to its plans for an Atlantic salmon farm in Bucksport
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, September 4, 2019 

The company planning to build an Atlantic salmon farm at the former Verso Paper site announced on Tuesday plans to construct a fish processing facility across town that would employ 40 to 50 workers. Speaking hours before the Bucksport Planning Board approved a local building permit for Whole Oceans’ proposed $180 million fish farm, CEO Jacob Bartlett said his company plans to process grown salmon for wholesale and retail sales at the Buckstown Heritage Industrial Park within four years — in addition to raising the fish at the former paper mill site.
Summit to Shore: A Look at Maine’s Climate Research, Part 1
WVFX Fox Bangor - Wednesday, September 4, 2019 

From the shores to the summits, Maine has a lot to offer, but the views as we know them are changing. Climate change researchers say current warming conditions are alarming. That’s why a team of researchers from the University of Maine made their way to the Himalayas to take a look at the earth’s history.
Golden Skeptical of Trump Rollbacks on Light Bulb Efficiency Standards
Maine Public - Wednesday, September 4, 2019 

The Trump Administration has announced new rules to roll back energy efficiency standards for light bulbs that were set to take effect in January. But, 2nd District Congressman Jared Golden says he doubts the move will have much of an effect on the industry or the public. “I’m skeptical that the industry will follow, because consumers want more energy efficient light bulbs,” he says. “They want to pay less for their energy, not more. I don’t see consumers clamoring for less efficient light bulbs, any more than they were clamoring for less efficient, fuel efficient cars,” says Golden. “And so while he rolled back fuel efficiency standards, I don’t see the auto industry rushing to follow him down that road.”
Maine backs away from whale rules
Gloucester (MA) Daily Times - Wednesday, September 4, 2019 

The Maine Lobstermen's Association, citing flawed data from NOAA Fisheries and other fishing threats to North Atlantic right whales, is withdrawing its support for the right whale protection plan that it says unfairly targets the Northeast lobster industry. The move by the nation's largest lobster trade group is the most recent example of mounting pushback from Maine state officials and lobster stakeholders to the plan approved by the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Team. It could force a review of the plan and the process that led to it.
BikeMaine event bringing 450 cyclists to Waterville this weekend
Morning Sentinel - Wednesday, September 4, 2019 

Head of Falls in Waterville is set to be transformed this weekend into a bike village for 450 cyclists and more than 100 volunteers for the start of the 7th annual BikeMaine event. The cyclists, 339 of whom come from out of state, will take off on their 324.6 mile ride from the banks of the Kennebec River around the midcoast at 7:30 a.m. Sunday. Along their six-day journey, the riders will roll through 35 towns and will return to Head of Falls on Saturday, Sept. 14. The ride has brought about $3 million to Maine since its inauguration in 2012. The ride was started to promote Maine as a bicycling destination and to use that as an economic development tool for the state’s communities.
Top Interior official who pushed to expand drilling in Alaska to join oil company there
Washington Post - Wednesday, September 4, 2019 

Last summer, Scott Pruitt left his job heading the Environmental Protection Agency and within a few months had started consulting for coal magnate Joseph W. Craft III. Three weeks after leaving the Interior Department, energy counselor Vincent DeVito joined Cox Oil Offshore, which operates in the Gulf of Mexico, as its executive vice president and general counsel. Now, Joe Balash – who oversaw oil and gas drilling on federal lands before resigning from Interior on Friday – is joining a foreign oil company that’s expanding operations on Alaska’s North Slope.
Williamson suggests using ‘power of the mind’ to change hurricane’s course; Trump wants to nuke storms
Washington Post - Wednesday, September 4, 2019 

Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson offered an unorthodox suggestion Wednesday to will Hurricane Dorian elsewhere. “Millions of us seeing Dorian turn away from land is not a wacky idea," she tweeted. Late last month, Axios reported that President Donald Trump had suggested repeatedly to Homeland Security and other officials that they explore using nuclear weapons to disrupt hurricanes that were heading toward the United States. Trump has denied making such a suggestion.
Public advocate’s study of high bills blames CMP’s meter and billing systems
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, September 4, 2019 

The state’s utilities watchdog will present a report to regulators Friday that says Central Maine Power’s meter and billing systems continue to suffer from multiple defects that are leading to errors on customer bills, contradicting an analysis released Tuesday by the staff of the Public Utilities Commission. The PUC staff’s analysis found that high electric bills experienced by thousands of customers in the winter of 2017-18 were directly linked to high usage in cold weather, not technical problems with CMP’s new billing system. The PUC staff didn’t wait for the results of a meter-testing study being completed this week.
Opinion: Trump’s crucial decision on nuclear power
Washington Post - Wednesday, September 4, 2019 

In the ongoing mash-up of the tragic and the trifling that is the modern news cycle, one crucial story getting far too little attention is President Donald Trump’s effort to revive the U.S. nuclear power industry. The nuclear fuel cycle is vital to our nation in terms of the power that nuclear energy can provide (without which there is no hope for significant reductions in carbon output) and the security guaranteed by our nuclear weapons. If people are serious about significant slowing of carbon emissions, they have to be for safe nuclear power production. If they are serious about maintenance of our nuclear deterrent, they have to be for domestic production and enrichment of uranium. Yet both are imperiled by neglect. ~ Hugh Hewitt, Nixon Foundation
Snorkeling in Maine is like ‘going through the looking glass’ to find a fascinating new world
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, September 4, 2019 

Lobsters, giant fish, snapping turtles and sunken ships. Maine’s underwater world is filled with wonders, according to those who snorkel. A niche activity in the Northeast, snorkeling is fairly easy to learn. The equipment required — a mask, snorkel and fins — is inexpensive and low tech. And given the region’s numerous lakes, rivers and ocean coves, there are many places to explore.
As the Gulf of Maine warms, Mainers are seeing more tropical ocean sunfish
Mount Desert Islander - Wednesday, September 4, 2019 

Ask a boat cruise naturalist, or just about anyone else who spends time on the water, and he or she will tell you that Mola mola sightings are on the rise this summer. “I had 10 the other day,” said naturalist Bill Townsend. “We usually see one or two,” he said. “They lay on their side because they’re tropical fish, and they lay in the sun,” he said. That behavior earned the species its common name, ocean sunfish. Bar Harbor naturalist and educator Megan McOsker agreed. “Yes, there are more Mola mola sightings in the Gulf of Maine. This goes along with a greater presence of one of their major foods, jellyfish. Our warming waters are making it harder for some species to thrive,” she said, “and expanding ranges of some species.”
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