January 16, 2018  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Tuesday, January 16, 2018 

Thanks for visiting Maine Environmental News, a service of RESTORE: The North Woods. MEN is the most comprehensive online source available for links to Maine conservation and natural resource news and events. We have posted summaries and links to over 50,000 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
Feeding Maine Photography Exhibit, thru Feb 23
Event - Posted - Tuesday, January 16, 2018 

Feeding Maine: Growing Access to Good Food is a photo exhibit by Brendan Bullock, which seeks to document the many people working to address hunger in the state. Created by Maine Farmland Trust and Good Shepherd Food Bank. At University of Southern Maine Lewiston Auburn College, Atrium Art Gallery, January 16 to February 23, opening event January 19.
February Vacation Camps, Feb 20-23
Event - Posted - Tuesday, January 16, 2018 

Maine Audubon Vacation Camps at Fields Pond in Holden and Gilsland Farm in Falmouth, February 20-23.
Nominations for Source Awards due Feb 12
Announcement - Tuesday, January 16, 2018 

Maine Sunday Telegram Source Awards recognize the individuals, nonprofits, businesses and institutions in Maine working to safeguard the state’s spectacular natural environment. Deadline for nominations is February 12.
Apprenticeships at MCHT Preserves
Announcement - Tuesday, January 16, 2018 

Maine Coast Heritage Trust has paid apprenticeships at Aldermere Farm and Ericsson Fields in Rockport. Each apprenticeship will be up to 9-months starting in March and will include a monthly stipend, benefits, shared housing, training and supervision. Applications are due Feb. 5
Land-use history of Midcoast, Jan 23
Event - Posted - Sunday, January 14, 2018 

Forestry experts Lloyd Irland and Ken Lausten will explore the land-use history of Midcoast Maine. At Camden Public Library, January 23, 7 pm.
Friends of Casco Bay Annual Members Meeting, Jan 23
Event - Posted - Sunday, January 14, 2018 

Recognition for those who help protect the health of Casco Bay, an updated Casco Bay Health Index based on data collected by volunteer Citizen Stewards over the past 25 years, and new program directions. At DiMillo's, Portland, January 23, 5:30-8 pm.
Offshore drilling public meeting, Jan 22
Action Alert - Saturday, January 13, 2018 

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will hold a public meeting on a proposal to open Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) areas to oil and gas drilling off the Atlantic (and other) coasts. At Augusta Civic Center, Jan 22, 3-7 pm.
Scouting for Mammal Tracks and Signs, Jan 20
Event - Posted - Saturday, January 13, 2018 

Sandra Mitchell will follow up on the November tracks and signs class in the field. At Northeast Penjajawoc Preserve, January 20, 10-11:30 am.
Nature Journaling, Jan 20
Event - Posted - Saturday, January 13, 2018 

Andrea Lani will lead a nature journaling workshop at Viles Arboretum, Augusta, January 20, 10 am to 2 pm, $35 for Arboretum members, $45 for nonmembers.
Prowl for Owls, Jan 19
Event - Posted - Friday, January 12, 2018 

Maine Master Naturalist Kit Pfeiffer will lead a walk scouting for owls. At Carl and Barbara Segerstrom Preserve at Squam Creek, Westport Island, January 19, 6 pm. Sponsored by Kennebec Estuary Land Trust.
Futures of the Maine Waterfront, Jan 19
Event - Posted - Friday, January 12, 2018 

This forum will feature panel discussions on the future of our coastal and island economy, presented with trends and analysis by key coastal leaders. At The Westin, Portland, January 19, 2-8:30 pm, $35-150. Sponsored by the Island Institute.
Meet the Feet: Mammal Tracks and Sign, Jan 18
Event - Posted - Thursday, January 11, 2018 

Dorcas Miller presents an evening of hands-on learning about Maine mammals. At Belfast Library, January 18, 6:30 pm. Sponsored by Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition.
Connecting rivers, people and fish - by bike, Jan 18
Event - Posted - Thursday, January 11, 2018 

Alicia Heyburn spent five weeks on a solo bicycle tour from the source of the Rhine River in the Swiss Alps to the outlet at the North Sea near Amsterdam. Learn about Europe's extensive international network of bike trails, free cultural exchange and accommodation services, the stages and benefits of re-naturalizing a river, and how to travel alone without being lonely. At Curtis Memorial Library, Brunswick, January 18, 7 pm.
Growing Farm-Friendly Communities, Jan 18
Event - Posted - Thursday, January 11, 2018 

Community leaders share policy approaches and practical ideas for ways communities and farmers can benefit from working together. At Windham Town Hall, January 18, 9 – 11 am, Maine Farmland Trust or GrowSmart Maine members $15, non-members $25.
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News Items
Editorial: LePage rightly opposes biomass subsidy bond
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, January 14, 2018 

Maine taxpayers are helping out-of-state companies buy wood chips that are burned to make electricity, which is then sold back to Maine people at higher-than-market rates. And now there is a bill before the Legislature requesting a $25 million bond to subsidize biomass infrastructure so this cycle can continue. Gov. LePage is against it, and so are we. There’s a lot that can be made with wood these days besides paper and two-by-fours, and Maine, with its 18 million-acre forest, is well situated to have a role in a new forest economy. It would be better to give direct aid to out-of-work loggers and woodlot owners during the transition than it would be to borrow money so taxpayers could prop up an industry that can’t stand on its own.
Opinion: What happened to the Groveton mill?
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, January 14, 2018 

The fate of the Groveton Papers Mill in New Hampshire should serve as a cautionary tale for future economic recovery. The millworkers could not control the uncontrollable global forces that have also doomed paper, textile and steel mills and automobile factories across the country in recent decades. Based on a hundred hours of conversation with former millworkers, I have devised a “Controlling the Uncontrollables” checklist for economic revitalization. ~ Jamie Sayen
Letter: Article about deer ticks, Lyme disease appreciated
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, January 14, 2018 

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention admits that the actual number of people diagnosed with Lyme disease could be as much as 10 times higher than the number of reported cases – meaning that 300,000 cases occur each year. Because of highly inaccurate diagnostic testing, people are left at the mercy of general practitioners and the many infectious-disease specialists who are unlikely to fully understand the many aspects of this complicated, horrible disease. I hope to see more articles on Lyme disease. It’s high time for more awareness of and education on this scourge. ~ Ann Roberts, Alfred
Letter: Cold snap showed why New England needs more natural gas supplies
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, January 14, 2018 

New England needs a significant increase in natural gas supplies. This need was demonstrated during the recent cold snap. Natural gas supplies were stretched to their maximum, forcing utilities to divert gas to meet residential and business heating demand and turn to burning high-emission oil in order to meet electric power demands. Wind and solar are intermittent resources that require natural gas generation to fill the gap. Until meaningful amounts of clean energy are developed, cleaner-burning natural gas is our only reasonable alternative. It is short-sighted to ignore the consequences of inadequate gas supplies. ~ Frank Stille, Shrewsbury, Mass.
Letter: ‘Global weirding’ comes to Maine
Morning Sentinel - Sunday, January 14, 2018 

Our New Year cold spell has elicited many comments in the media. But I hope not many took seriously the presidential comment that “we could do with a bit of global warming now.” Our current cold is all part of what might appropriately be called “global weirding,” which this year brought other strange weather events, including extra strong hurricanes and typhoons of September and October, our freak Halloween windstorm, and wildfires continuing to burn through November and December in the West. Science has shown clearly for decades that the current global warming is caused primarily by burning fossil fuels. A price on carbon fuels would level the playing field for the development of renewable energy. ~ Peter Garrett, Ph.D., Mid Maine group leader, Citizens’ Climate Lobby, Winslow
Letter: Cold snap brings thanks for global warming
Kennebec Journal - Sunday, January 14, 2018 

As I looked at the reading on my outdoor thermometer of minus-14 degrees, I thought that we should thank Al Gore. Just think how cold it would be if we did not have global warming. ~ M. Gerald Small, West Gardiner
Another country has banned boiling live lobsters. Some scientists wonder why.
Washington Post - Saturday, January 13, 2018 

Lobsters may be one of the most popular crustaceans in the culinary arts. But when it comes to killing them, there’s a long and unresolved debate about how to do it humanely, and whether that extra consideration is even necessary. The Swiss Federal Council issued an order this week banning cooks in Switzerland from placing live lobsters into pots of boiling water – joining a few other jurisdictions. The announcement reignited a long-running debate: Can lobsters even feel pain? “They can sense their environment,” said Bob Bayer, executive director of the University of Maine’s Lobster Institute, “but they probably don’t have the ability to process pain.” People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) applauded Switzerland’s new ban on boiling live lobsters.
Downeast Salmon Federation Purchases Smelt Brook Property in Sullivan
Maine Environmental News - Saturday, January 13, 2018 

Downeast Salmon Federation has acquired a 6.7 acre parcel on Ocean House Road in Sullivan that surrounds the head of tide of Smelt Brook, which has been blocked by a stone dam for over fifty years. This is a multi-faceted land conservation and habitat restoration project, which will reconnect Smelt Brook to Smelt Cove and open up habitat for sea-run fish like Brook Trout and Rainbow Smelt. Other aims of the project are to restore ecosystem productivity by providing space for the salt marsh to re-establish, and provide an outdoor classroom for the nearby high school.
Opinion: The climate is America’s most pressing national security threat
Bloomberg News - Saturday, January 13, 2018 

The newest U.S. National Security Strategy released last month hits most of the mainstream concerns facing the U.S. But it misses the mark in one particularly worrisome area: the threats related to climate change and global warming, which were all but ignored. What makes climate change so pernicious is that while the effects will only become catastrophic far down the road, the only opportunity to fix the problem rests in the present. Both the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations understood the reality of climate change and that it poses a major national security threat. If the Trump White House insists on ignoring the inevitable, the professionals at the relevant agencies have to take it upon themselves to develop strategies, and put resources, into keeping the U.S. and its global interests secure far into an uncertain future. ~ James Stavridis, retired U.S. Navy admiral and former military commander of NATO
Despite potential negative consequences, many still try to ‘help’ by feeding deer during the winter
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, January 13, 2018 

Last year alone, Hilton Hafford will tell you, he distributed 25,000 pounds of feed for a herd of whitetail deer that takes up residence in town every winter. Add in the grain spread by other Allagash residents, and you’ve got the makings of a major feeding operation that began more than 30 years ago. Similar efforts exist in other rural Maine communities, as townsfolk address what they see as a serious problem: Deer which, according to localized reports, would starve without human intervention. Those actions fly in the face of the stated official position of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, which advises Mainers to avoid feeding deer supplemental grains for a number of reasons.
A century of national park conflict
Maine History - Saturday, January 13, 2018 

Essay about "Class, geography and the changing values of conservation discourse in Maine" by Adam Auerbach.
Letter: Sen. Collins should reject poor choice for BLM chief
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, January 13, 2018 

I urge Sen. Susan Collins to reject the nomination of Karen Budd-Falen to run the federal Bureau of Land Management. She is an anti-government, anti-environment ideologue and should not be at the helm of this important bureau. Budd-Falen has represented rancher Cliven Bundy, the anti-government extremist who led an armed standoff on public lands. As a lawyer, Budd-Falen worked to reject the conservation of endangered species, lift protections on lands and undermine and sue BLM staff. Is Congress insane? Is their goal to completely immobilize and undermine our government institutions? ~ Sarah Mae Brown, Kittery
Letter: Trump’s reckless drilling order
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, January 13, 2018 

President Donald Trump’s recent announcement to open up over 90 percent of the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf to drilling is reckless and an enormous threat to the Gulf of Maine, endangering to our coastline and our economy. Gov. Paul LePage probably applauds this move. He chairs the Outer Continental Shelf Governors Coalition, a pro-drilling task force that advocates expanding areas available for offshore energy development, shortening the wait time for approval for drilling projects and accelerating the pace of permitting for those projects. LePage supports the efforts of a president who clearly intends to undermine or destroy all that protects our country from environmental threats. That is unacceptable. ~ Beverly Roxby, Belfast
What's Next For Cliven Bundy?
Other - Friday, January 12, 2018 

Rancher Cliven Bundy and his family have essentially won their fight against the federal government — at least for now. They came out of two federal trials free men after the 2014 armed standoff in Nevada, and the 2016 occupation of a wildlife refuge in Oregon. Amanda Peacher reports on what's next for the Bundy movement and their opponents.
Bond would boost biomass industry
The County - Friday, January 12, 2018 

Sen. Troy Jackson, D-Allagash, introduced a bipartisan bond package to stabilize the biomass energy industry and harness its economic potential in northern Maine. The bond package would provide low-interest loans to biomass facilities for capital investment and related thermal energy projects. Maine has six stand-alone biomass power facilities, primarily located in Aroostook County.
Study: Crop pesticides threaten wildlife
Associated Press - Friday, January 12, 2018 

Federal scientists have determined that a family of widely used pesticides poses a threat to dozens of endangered and threatened species, including Atlantic sturgeon. The National Marine Fisheries Service issued its new biological opinion on three organophosphate pesticides – chlorpyrifos, diazinon and malathion – after a yearslong court fight by environmental groups. At the urging of pesticide manufacturers, the Trump administration had sought a two-year delay of a court-ordered deadline to issue the findings by the end of 2017, but it was unsuccessful.
Study finds high survival rate for moose in northern Maine, but not western
Associated Press - Friday, January 12, 2018 

Maine is in the fifth year of the Maine Moose Study, which is designed to help understand moose reproduction and survival. The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife says research focuses on moose calves and adult female moose in northern and western Maine. State moose biologist Lee Kantar says survival rates for moose calves and adults in northern Maine and adult moose in western Maine are very high. Survival of calves in western Maine is low.
Video promotes logging course, targets students
The County - Friday, January 12, 2018 

The Professional Logging Contractors of Maine has launched a promotional video charting the success of the new Mechanized Logging Operations Program as recruitment for its next class ramps up. Despite the loss of pulp and paper mills, the demand for skilled operators of feller bunchers, harvesters, grapple skidders, forwarders, delimbers and other mechanized logging equipment is strong, said PLC officials.
National Park Service to Hold Public Meeting on Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument Management Plan
Maine Environmental News - Friday, January 12, 2018 

National Park Service to Hold Public Meeting on Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument Management PlanKatahdin Woods and Waters National Monument Superintendent Tim Hudson announced today that the National Park Service will host a public meeting on January 24 to discuss winter use within the monument. The meeting is designed to help the NPS better understand the diversity of opportunities and concerns related to winter activities and to help inform the development of a management plan for the newly created national monument.
Looking To Ax Vacation For Potato Harvest, Presque Isle May Bring It Into Classrooms
Maine Public - Friday, January 12, 2018 

For generations, high school students in northern Maine have taken a three-week break from classes every fall to harvest potatoes. But the acreage has shrunk over the past 50 years, and technology has reduced the demand for labor, which means far fewer teenagers are working in the fields of Aroostook County. In the town of Presque Isle, the school board is looking at a new approach that could end the tradition of the October break and bring the harvest into the classroom. Potato grower Cole Staples says he believes it’s a tradition that must be preserved.
Maine Calling: George Smith and ALS
Maine Public - Friday, January 12, 2018 

Guests: George Smith writes about hunting, fishing and other outdoor activities, current events and issues, book reviews, and travel, and has been honored with awards from the Maine Press Association. He was the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine for 18 years. Nell Davies, Care Services Coordinator with the ALS Northern New England Chapter. [audio]
Grassroots effort to create ‘roadmap’ for revitalizing Katahdin Region
Mainebiz - Friday, January 12, 2018 

A grassroots effort calling itself the Katahdin Collaborative is kicking off a year-long regional visioning process in February to look for ways to revitalize the Katahdin Region. The collaborative, comprising municipalities, community groups, businesses, clubs and organizations, hired Future iQ, a global consulting firm, to facilitate the process, which will be the first regionwide initiative to create a long-term vision and action plan for the future. The Katahdin Region has suffered population loss and unemployment due to collapse of the paper industry and other factors.
Editorial: Maine blew it once on offshore wind; It shouldn’t do it again
Bangor Daily News - Friday, January 12, 2018 

Five years ago, Gov. Paul LePage, an avowed critic of alternative energy, was determined to drive Statoil, a major energy company, out of Maine. He succeeded in quashing the company’s plans for $70 million investment in wind energy development here. In exchange, he threw his support behind a University of Maine offshore wind project. Now, the Maine Public Utilities Commission, all the members of which were appointed by LePage, has added unneeded uncertainty and delay to the university project, putting at risk $40 million in federal money that is destined for Maine.
Maine eel fishermen hopeful for more quota as lottery nears
Associated Press - Friday, January 12, 2018 

Maine will soon let new people into its valuable baby eel fishery for the first time in several years, and fishermen are hopeful they could soon be allowed to catch more of the wriggling critters. The baby eels, called elvers, are often worth more than $1,000 per pound to fishermen. Maine limits the number of elver fishing licenses to 425. The state is holding a lottery to give away 13 licenses, which will be the first new licenses distributed since 2013, officials said. The deadline to apply is Jan. 15. Maine fishermen are allowed to harvest a total of about 9,700 pounds of elvers in a short fishing season every spring. However, fishermen are primed to ask for a bump in quota.
New solar farms go online in Brunswick, Woolwich
Coastal Journal - Friday, January 12, 2018 

During the darkest days of the year, both Brunswick Landing and the Town of Woolwich just completed projects to harvest energy from the sun. A $2.5 million solar array project, constructed by ReVision Energy, had a ribbon cutting on Jan. 9 at Brunswick Landing. With its completion, the solar array – containing over 4,500 photovoltaic panels – is providing power to over 100 businesses at the former naval air base. In addition to the Brunswick Landing project, a smaller project at the former Woolwich landfill on Middle Road has also powered up, generating electricity for the town office and other municipal buildings.
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