November 18, 2018  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Saturday, November 17, 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 conservation and natural resource news and events in Maine (and a bit beyond). 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
Friends of Baxter State Park auction, thru Dec 5
Announcement - Friday, November 16, 2018 

Own a piece of Baxter State Park history: retired Park signs and other special items. Proceeds are split between Baxter State Park and Friends of Baxter State Park. Runs November 8 - December 5.
Northern Forest Canoe Trail auction, thru Dec 2
Announcement - Thursday, November 15, 2018 

Win paddles, tents, maps and more in the Northern Forest Canoe Trail online auction, thru December 2.
Petition: Restore the head of children's health protection
Action Alert - Thursday, November 15, 2018 

Dr. Ruth Etzel is the EPA's top expert on children's health. A pediatrician and epidemiologist, her job is to protect children from toxic chemicals, pesticides and lead in our environment. But a month ago with no explanation, Trump's acting EPA chief Andrew Wheeler abruptly put her on leave. Tell Wheeler: Restore Dr. Ruth Etzel to the Office of Children's Health Protection. ~ CREDO Action
Petition: Convert BIW to deal with climate change
Action Alert - Thursday, November 15, 2018 

Climate crisis would be addressed by conversion of Bath Iron Work's considerable industrial capacity to building public transportation and/or renewable energy infrastructure.
Petition: No coal exports from military bases
Action Alert - Thursday, November 15, 2018 

Interior Secretary Zinke is the subject of more than one dozen federal investigations. Despite this, he is continuing to make reckless decisions that threaten the country. Speak out against Zinke's plans to use military bases as export terminals for coal and natural gas.
Saving Thoreau’s Birthplace, Nov 18
Event - Posted - Sunday, November 11, 2018 

Lucille Stott, Brunswick, Maine, resident, former president of Thoreau Farm Trust, and former editor of The Concord Journal, presents her new book, “Saving Thoreau’s Birthplace: How Citizens Rallied to Bring Henry Out of the Woods.” At Thoreau Farm, Concord, MA, November 18, 2 pm.
Hike: Hatchet Mountain Preserve, Nov 17
Event - Posted - Saturday, November 10, 2018 

Scott Dickerson and Janet Readfield will lead a hike while sharing the history of the mountain with majestic views. At Hatchet Mountain Preserve, Hope, November 17, 9-11 am. Sponsored by Coastal Mountains Land Trust.
National Take a Hike Day, Nov 17
Event - Posted - Saturday, November 10, 2018 

National Take a Hike Day is observed annually on November 17. With over 60,000 miles of trails in the National Trail System across the 50 states, there is no lack of opportunity to take a hike.
Dawnland, Nov 16
Event - Posted - Friday, November 9, 2018 

Screening and panel discussion of the documentary Dawnland about how Maine government systematically forced Native American children from their homes and placed them with white families. At USM, Portland, November 16, 5:30 pm, free but get tickets in advance.
Raptors Program, Nov 15
Event - Posted - Thursday, November 8, 2018 

Birder and photographer Don Reimer will give a visual presentation on Maine raptors. At Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center, Rockland, November 15, 6:30 pm.
Rethinking Strip Redevelopment to Strengthen Your Community, Nov 15
Event - Posted - Thursday, November 8, 2018 

Learn how towns can improve the appearance and functionality of commercial corridors to bring in new residents, employees and activity. At Topsham Library, November 15, 4-7 pm. GrowSmart Maine members $10, public $20, students $5.
Atlantic Salmon Restoration, Nov 15
Event - Posted - Thursday, November 8, 2018 

Denise Buckley, US Fish and Wildlife Service senior staff biologist, will chronicle the response to the listing of Atlantic salmon in eight of Maine’s rivers as endangered under the Endangered Species Act in December 2000. At at Belfast Library, November 15, 6:30 pm.
The Land that Sustains Us: Stories from the Field, Nov 15
Event - Posted - Thursday, November 8, 2018 

A live storytelling night with 3 Maine farmers. At Maine Historical Society, November 15, 6-8:30 pm, $10 for Maine Historical Society and Maine Farmland Trust members, $15 general.
Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument management plan meeting, Nov 14
Event - Posted - Wednesday, November 7, 2018 

The National Park Service is developing a management plan for Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. Public meeting at Portland Marriott at Sable Oaks, South Portland, November 14, 6-8 pm.
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News Items
Don’t Be Too Excited by Zinke’s Potential Departure
Outside - Friday, November 16, 2018 

What could be worse than a laughably incompetent Secretary of the Interior who’s transparent in his desire to sell off our nation’s public lands to extraction industries? Well, how about someone with the experience and expertise to actually pull that feat off? Meet David Bernhardt, Zinke’s deputy and the man who will take over the Department of the Interior if Zinke is fired or resigns, as is rumored.
Regulators close Maine’s shrimp fishery for next 3 years
Associated Press - Friday, November 16, 2018 

Regulators voted Friday to close the Gulf of Maine winter shrimp season for another three years, raising fears that the fishery decimated by rising water temperatures may never bounce back. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission has been taking a year-to-year approach in determining whether to allow a winter season, but the panel decided to shut it down for 2019, 2020 and 2021 after receiving a dismal report. The warming ocean and predation have decimated the shrimp fishery.
Column: A look at the works of Brunswick legendary botanist, Kate Furbish
Times Record - Friday, November 16, 2018 

A small often solitary woman and a trail breaker of a botanist collector and illustrator, Kate Furbish is enjoying a renaissance, both in name and in attention to her huge collection of illustrative paintings. Bowdoin’s museum, which holds Furbish’s paintings and is working to preserve them, is open every day but Monday. I recalled what Kat Stefko, the director of Bowdoin Library’s Department of Special Collections and Archives had said of Furbish: “I imagine her as a force of nature. She was described as a very small woman, fiery, determined. Nothing escaped her view or attention.” That summoned a Furbish contemporary, Henry David Thoreau. Thoreau was a little larger of frame, but the rest suits him perfectly. As does the scientific bent at the core both artists’ minds. ~ Sandy Stott
Trump will nominate former lobbyist to lead environmental agency
Associated Press - Friday, November 16, 2018 

Andrew Wheeler, a former congressional aide and lobbyist who has led the Environmental Protection Agency since his scandal-plagued predecessor resigned this year, got President Trump’s nod Friday for the permanent job. Wheeler, who has been acting EPA administrator, has been a methodical steward of Trump's deregulatory mission. Wheeler worked from 1995 to 2009 as a staffer for Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, a fervent denier of man-made climate change. Wheeler later worked as a lobbyist, including for coal giant Murray Energy Corp., which pushed hard at the outset of the Trump administration for coal-friendly policies from the EPA and other agencies.
Oyster company lays out plans for 40-acre expansion at start of marathon two-day hearing in Brunswick
Times Record - Friday, November 16, 2018 

The marathon public hearing over Mere Point Oyster Co.’s proposed 40-acre lease on Maquoit Bay will carry over into Monday after nearly four hours of discussion and debate Thursday night. Next week, opponents of the expansion will chime in. The Department of Marine Resources is holding the hearing to determine if Mere Point Oyster Co.’s proposed expansion, which would increase their annual oyster harvest from about 60,000 to up 1.5 million in the next three years, meets state requirements.
This biotech company is trying to grow bluefin tuna meat in a lab
Washington Post - Friday, November 16, 2018 

Where are the Silicon Valley start-ups promising to free us from the guilt of gobbling down a finger of otoro sushi, the rich bluefin belly meat, without contributing to the decline of the fish or the decline of our own health via mercury that accumulates in the flesh of this apex predator? Well, there is at least one scientific pilgrim: Brian Wyrwas is the co-founder and chief science officer for Finless Foods, a biotech dedicated to growing bluefin tuna in a lab. Growing stem cells into something that precisely mimics the fatty flesh of bluefin tuna is not considered possible yet. The technology for such a textured product is still years away from a commercial application.
Waterville recount flips plastic bag ban to rejection by 7-vote margin
Morning Sentinel - Friday, November 16, 2018 

A citywide ban on plastic shopping bags is headed to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court after a recount of the referendum reversed Election Day results, defeating the controversial measure by seven votes. In the recount Friday, the ban on bags was defeated 2,918-2,911, with five disputed ballots, 64 blanks and 164 challenged ballots not counted. It originally passed 3,052-2,906 and now will head to the court to determine if the challenged ballots are valid.
Driving Deer to Distraction
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Friday, November 16, 2018 

Bang! The new gun felt good. I glanced up, glanced left, glanced right. Where did he go? Then I saw him, on the ground, flopping around. I moved quickly and took a finishing shot. In a matter of seconds our deer drive – in reverse – had worked. Before me was the biggest deer I’d ever shot, with a gorgeous eight point rack. I hollered, “Dad! We got him!” The planned hunt – the deer drive – had worked, not as planned, but it worked, nonetheless. Dad jumped the deer and pushed them back to me. The buck weighed 214 pounds, my second “Biggest Bucks” patch in twenty years.
Maine farmers bundle up, gear up for winter markets
Bangor Daily News - Friday, November 16, 2018 

Once a sign of spring and the new growing season in Maine, farmers markets are becoming a year-round tradition in the state with communities from Houlton to Biddeford extending the season by hosting winter farmers markets. And not even the nastiest of Maine winter weather can keep the diehard market fans away. There are 35 winter markets listed on the Maine Federation of Farmers Markets website [www.mainefarmersmarkets.org]. They span all counties except Lincoln.
Ag in the classroom
WAGM-TV - Friday, November 16, 2018 

At USDA offices and Soil and Water Conservation Districts around the County, professionals are reaching out to teachers about agriculture. Kelsey Ramerth, Soil Conservationist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service out of Fort Kent, said, "We have lots of materials that are good for all age groups. We're in a really interesting time right now where people are interested in where their food is coming from and how it gets there."
Opinion: Why we can’t agree on gun control
Washington Post - Friday, November 16, 2018 

Researchers have identified one key reason that people deny social problems: They don’t like the proposed solutions. For instance, concerning gun control and the environment, researchers found a similar “solution aversion” effect for conservatives. When self-identified Republicans read a blog about the problem of air pollution, they were reluctant to say that air pollution creates a health risk when the proposed solution was government regulation. However, when the proposed solution to air pollution was to rely on the free market, conservatives were significantly more likely to agree that air pollution was a problem. Anyone serious about building consensus needs to be slower to judge and quicker to listen to those who disagree. ~ Jen Zamzow
Residents, Fishermen Spar Over Proposal For Oyster Farm In Maquoit Bay
Maine Public - Friday, November 16, 2018 

Controversy over aquaculture’s expanding footprint in Maine continues to flare around the state, often putting long-time friends, neighbors and fishermen at odds with each other. The latest flashpoint is in Brunswick, where well more than one hundred residents turned out for a hearing Thursday night on a proposed 40-acre oyster farm in Maquoit Bay, which would be one of the largest in the state.
Introducing a young hunting buddy to the woods
Bangor Daily News - Friday, November 16, 2018 

Rarely have I had the chance to introduce others to hunting. My stepchildren, I figured, would let me know if they ever wanted to go. Careful not to push, I was always willing to explain how hunting works and why many of us love to spend days in the woods, looking for critters that rarely show up. Unexpectedly, in October my 15-year-old stepdaughter, Georgia, said. “What if I decided I wanted to go hunting?” “Wanna go hunting?” I said Monday. “Yup,” she said. “Let’s go. I’ll be your good luck charm.” I would love to be able to tell you that Georgia changed my luck that day and that I finally shot a buck. Alas, I cannot. I can tell you that she seemed to enjoy the experience, especially when she had the chance to try out various calls and spent a bit of time “clinking the antlers” together to simulate a buck battle. ~ John Holyoke
Fiberight now expects Hampden waste plant to start up in April, a year after scheduled start date
Bangor Daily News - Friday, November 16, 2018 

The company developing a state-of-the-art waste processing facility in Hampden says the project will probably be completed by the end of March — nearly a full year after the facility was supposed to begin receiving waste from more than 100 Maine towns and cities. Officials have attributed the delay to multiple factors, including weather that slowed construction last winter, a legal challenge to the project’s environmental permits and a changing market for recycled goods.
MDI town latest Maine municipality to ban plastic shopping bags
Bangor Daily News - Friday, November 16, 2018 

Southwest Harbor is the latest town in Maine to adopt a ban on the distribution of single-use plastic bags by local retailers. The Mount Desert Island town held a special town meeting on Tuesday, a week after the statewide midterm elections, to consider whether to ban the distribution of such bags, which have been partially blamed for the increasing amount of plastic pollution in the oceans. By a vote of 75 to 4, local residents approved the ban. In a separate 73-to-4 vote, they also approved a ban on the distribution of polystyrene — also called Styrofoam — food containers.
Interactive map: These are the Maine towns that have banned plastic bags
Bangor Daily News - Friday, November 16, 2018 

Use the map above to see which towns in Maine have put restrictions on plastic bags.
Opinion: Profits, not climate benefits, are driving CMP transmission proposal
Portland Press Herald - Friday, November 16, 2018 

Climate disruption is the most serious threat to the environment in Maine, the nation and the world, and scientists are clear that the warming we are already experiencing is caused by human pollution. It will harm Maine’s environment, economy and way of life and do nothing to reduce climate-disrupting pollution. It’s a bad deal for Maine. Maine needs a plan to meet our existing state goal of reducing climate-disrupting pollution by 80 percent by 2050. We can achieve such reductions by taking advantage of rapidly expanding energy efficiency and clean energy technologies. ~ Dylan Voorhees, Natural Resources Council of Maine
A Climate to Thrive lays out policy agenda
Mount Desert Islander - Thursday, November 15, 2018 

A Climate to Thrive, a grassroots citizens’ organization based on Mount Desert Island, planned a meeting Tuesday develop a comprehensive statewide energy policy proposal for the new administration of governor-elect Janet Mills. A statement from the group said, “Leaders will develop a proposal to make Maine energy independent by 2030 and revitalize the state’s economy by creating thousands of jobs in the fast-growing, innovative, energy technology sector.” “Last month, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reported that we had a dozen years to turn the planet around by substantially reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” says Gary Friedmann, Chair of both A Climate to Thrive and the Bar Harbor Town Council. “It’s time for Maine to commit to this vision of energy independence.”
RI Renewable energy bids
Other - Thursday, November 15, 2018 

Rhode Island electric customers are already using power from the first offshore wind farm in the nation. Now, a total of 41 bids have been made in response to an RFP for 400 megawatts of new renewable energy that was released by the state in September as part of a push to increase the supply of power from wind, solar and the like to 1,000 megawatts by 2020. Some of the bids would have Rhode Island buy power from land-based wind farms of up to 350 megawatts proposed by EDP Renewables and Apex Clean Energy in Maine, large solar projects of up to 170 megawatts proposed by EDF Renewables in undisclosed locations and a host of smaller solar proposals of 20 or 50 megawatts proposed by Freepoint Solar in Maine, New Hampshire, Connecticut and Vermont.
Conservation award winners
Penobscot Bay Pilot - Thursday, November 15, 2018 

Knox-Lincoln Soil & Water Conservation District honored several people at the Knox-Lincoln SWCD 71st Annual Awards Banquet at Camp Wavus in Jefferson:
• Conservation Farm of 2018: Cooper Funk & Marina Sideris of Dooryard Farm in Camden
• Lifetime Service Award: William Laflamme of Sidney
• Special Appreciation Award: North Nobleboro Community Association
• Volunteer of the Year: Gail Presley of Rockland
• Woodland Stewardship Award: Dick Koubek of Bremen
• Excellence in Conservation Education: Coral Coombs, Lincolnville Central School; Ferolyn Curtis, South School in Rockland; and Pamela Walton, Gilford Butler School in So Thomaston
Jared Golden wins Maine’s 2nd District race, flips another seat in U.S. House to Democrats
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, November 15, 2018 

Democrat Jared Golden emerged as the winner of Maine’s 2nd Congressional District race Thursday, upsetting Republican incumbent Rep. Bruce Poliquin following a historic runoff that used ranked-choice voting. Golden captured 50.5 percent of the vote to Poliquin’s 49.5 percent to become the first challenger to defeat an incumbent in Maine’s sprawling 2nd District in a century.
Column: Birder spots an odd hybrid
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, November 15, 2018 

In May, a Pennsylvania birder noticed an odd warbler in his backyard. It looked like a Brewster’s warbler, but with some characteristics that resembled a chestnut-sided warbler. When it matured enough to start singing, it sang the chestnut-sided song. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology investigated. Sure enough, it was the offspring of a hybrid Brewster’s female and a chestnut-sided warbler male. It was the genetic product of three different species. If crossbreeding is so possible, why doesn’t it happen more often? The singing ability of males is typically more important than appearance in mate selection. That would also explain how Mick Jagger fathered eight kids. ~ Bob Duchesne
New England’s shuttered shrimp fishery faces key decisions
Associated Press - Thursday, November 15, 2018 

Two days of meetings will determine if there’s going to be a shrimp fishing season in New England next year, and it doesn’t look promising. The fishery, based mostly in Maine, has been shut down since 2013 over concerns about a depleted population of the shrimp. An advisory panel that reports to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission meets Thursday in Portland to make a recommendation about having a season in 2019. Recent scientific materials released by the Atlantic States commission say the shrimp population remains in poor shape despite several years without fishing pressure. The warming of the Gulf of Maine is often cited as a problem.
Farm animals could soon get new features through gene editing
Associated Press - Thursday, November 15, 2018 

Cows that can withstand hotter temperatures. Cows born without pesky horns. Pigs that never reach puberty. A company wants to alter farm animals by adding and subtracting genetic traits in a lab. It sounds like science fiction, but Recombinetics sees opportunity for its technology in the livestock industry. But first, it needs to convince regulators that gene-edited animals are no different than conventionally bred ones.
Column: Matthew Whitaker is steeped in time travel and Bigfoot. He’s the right man for the job.
Washington Post - Thursday, November 15, 2018 

In addition to his exotic legal views and his lack of relevant experience, Matthew G. Whitaker was already known to have hawked hot-tub seats for a business that shut down this year after reaching a $26 million settlement with the Federal Trade Commission for defrauding customers. But that’s just the beginning of the crackpottery. Only a man steeped in time travel and Bigfoot could successfully sell the notion that special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s inquiry is a “hoax” that should be shut down. In tapping, as the nation’s top law enforcement officer, a man with experience with hucksterism and conspiracy theories, President Trump has embraced his inner crackpot. ~ Dana Milbank
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