March 19, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Tuesday, March 19, 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). 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
Urge Maine's Agencies to Investigate and Halt PFAS Contamination
Action Alert - Tuesday, March 19, 2019 

Highly persistent and toxic chemicals known as PFAS may be lurking undiscovered in farmlands across Maine. State records show that at an Arundel dairy farm, PFOS was in milk at the highest level ever reported anywhere. Urge Maine Ag and DEP commissioners to test the fields, stop sludge spreading, and phase out PFAS products. ~ Environmental Health Strategy Center
Retired Game Warden Randall Probert, Mar 26
Event - Posted - Tuesday, March 19, 2019 

Author, raconteur, and retired game warden Randall Probert will speak to the Hebron Historical Society on “Maine Tales and More.” At Hebron Town Office, March 26, 7 pm.
The Forests of Lilliput: The Miniature World of Lichens & Mosses, Mar 26
Event - Posted - Tuesday, March 19, 2019 

Maine Master Naturalist Jeff Pengel talks about the natural history of lichens, mosses and similar plants. At Topsham Library, March 26, 6 pm. Sponsored by Cathance River Education Alliance.
Celebrating Maine’s Wild Creatures, Mar 26
Event - Posted - Tuesday, March 19, 2019 

Speaker: Ed Robinson, author of “Nature Notes from Maine: River Otters, Moose, Skunks and More.” At Curtis Library, March 16, 7 pm. Sponsored by Merrymeeting Audubon.
Ocean Acidification, Climate Change, and You, Mar 25
Event - Posted - Monday, March 18, 2019 

Friends of Casco Bay staff scientist Mike Doan talks about warning signs and Casco Baykeeper Ivy Frignoca shares the impacts to marine species and how Mainers are responding. At Southern Maine Community College, South Portland, March 25, 5:30 pm.
Mount Pisgah winter trek, Mar 24
Event - Posted - Sunday, March 17, 2019 

Kennebec Land Trust Stewardship Director Jean-Luc Theriault will lead an off-trail excursion on Mount Pisgah to visit special places that are typically less accessible. Meet at the Mount Pisgah Community Conservation Area parking lot in Winthrop, March 24, 1 pm.
Winter Family Fun Day at Lily Bay State Park, Mar 23
Event - Posted - Saturday, March 16, 2019 

Ice fishing, snowmobile tote rides, winter camping demo, bonfire, scavenger hunt and free loan of cross-country skis, snowshoes, ice skates, snow tubes and sleds. At Lily Bay State Park, Moosehead Lake, March 23, 10 am - 3 pm.
Winter wildlife tracking workshop, Mar 23
Event - Posted - Saturday, March 16, 2019 

Naturalists and certified wildlife trackers Brendan White and Matt Dickinson lead a winter wildlife tracking workshop. At at Long Ledges Preserve, Sullivan, March 23, 9-11:30 am. Sponsored by Frenchman Bay Conservancy.
Maine Grass Farmers Network Conference, Mar 23
Event - Posted - Saturday, March 16, 2019 

Livestock producers are invited to learn about grass-based production and how grazing systems can become more profitable and environmentally sound. At Kennebec County Community College's Alfond Campus, Hinckley, March 23, 8:30 am - 3 pm.
Maine becomes a state, Mar 15
Announcement - Friday, March 15, 2019 

On this day in 1820, March 15, Massachusetts lost over 30,000 square miles of land as its former province of Maine gained statehood. Mainers had begun campaigning for statehood for years following the Revolution. The Massachusetts legislature finally consented in 1819. What no one foresaw, however, was that Maine's quest for statehood would become entangled in the most divisive issue in American history — slavery.
Maine Land Conservation Conference, Apr 5-6
Event - Posted - Friday, March 15, 2019 

Maine’s robust land conservation community comes together to train on best practices in all aspects of land trust work, connect with peers, and grapple with the most pressing issues facing land conservation today. At Topsham area, April 5-6.
Thoreau Society & Thoreau Farm Trust online auction, thru Mar 29
Announcement - Friday, March 15, 2019 

This auction contains many rare books written about Henry David Thoreau and other items for every Thoreauvian.
MITA Open House and Getch Celebration, Mar 22
Event - Posted - Friday, March 15, 2019 

Toast the extraordinary life of MITA founder Dave Getchell, Sr. At Maine Island Trail Association, Portland, March 22, 5:30-7:30 pm.
Call for Artists: Paint for Preservation 2019
Announcement - Friday, March 15, 2019 

The Cape Elizabeth Land Trust is accepting artist submissions for Paint for Preservation 2019, the organization’s twelfth annual juried Wet Paint Auction and one of Maine’s premiere art auction events. This 3-day (June 28-30) plein air event raises money for land conservation in Cape Elizabeth. Deadline is March 22.
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News Items
Letter: Planet’s cry for help shouldn’t be ignored
Portland Press Herald - Monday, March 18, 2019 

I’m 12 years old and I’m a seventh-grader at the Friends School of Portland. Almost everyone I know – my parents, my teachers, friends and family – as well as some politicians and newspapers all agree that climate change is a crisis. Yet none of them act like it. Before I am my grandparents’ age, animals beloved from childhood picture books are predicted to go extinct. Why are we ignoring our planet’s cries for help? I propose action from all of us, including you, the newspaper. We need to treat climate change as a crisis. We need the mindset that we can do something and it will matter. There is still hope. We have 12 years to get our act together or else we’ll be led down a path of no return. ~ Ben Medd, Portland
Letter: Inevitable climate consequences
Bangor Daily News - Monday, March 18, 2019 

Of course, the people who bear the greatest responsibility for global warming will be dead before the worst of it hits earth. But global warming will present earth with the gravest catastrophe since the meteor hit water off the Yucatan Peninsula. Today’s willfully ignorant champions of blind corporate capitalism will not be here for the end game, but their children and grandchildren will die miserably. No amount of money in the market or the bank will protect them from the inevitable consequences of deliberate ignorance and superstition. ~ William Leavenworth, Searsmont
Letter: Local effects of climate change
Bangor Daily News - Monday, March 18, 2019 

Climate change. It’s here, happening now and the future doesn’t look good unless Congress acts quickly and decisively to reduce the causes. A bill that would do that, The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, HR 763, has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives with bipartisan support. This bill is effective, good for people, good for the economy, bipartisan, and revenue neutral. Please educate yourself about this bill then contact your representatives. ~ William Lee, Waterville
Kennebec Savings Bank donates to Wolfe’s Neck Ag Center
Turner Publishing - Sunday, March 17, 2019 

Kennebec Savings Bank has made a gift of $25,000 to Wolfe’s Neck Center for Agriculture and the Environment in Freeport to support significant enhancements at the 62 acres of preserved coastal land. The investment will enhance Wolfe’s Neck Center’s ability to provide campers, farmers, researchers and visitors the opportunity to engage in hands-on learning about regenerative agriculture.
America’s Last Vast Forest: Maine’s Appalachian Mountain Corridor
Other - Sunday, March 17, 2019 

The largest intact forest in the eastern U.S. is also wedged between the largest metro regions in the U.S. and Canada. Its people and communities are closely tied to this landscape where conservation, recreation, forestry, and connection to place are all linked together. Join us in conserving this American treasure.
Maine cod fishery plummets to least valuable year since 1960s
Associated Press - Sunday, March 17, 2019 

Maine’s cod fishery, once one of the most lucrative in the Northeast, has declined to the point that it had its least valuable year in more than a half-century in 2018. The state’s industry harvesting the fish-and-chips staple goes back centuries, and it once brought millions of pounds of the fish to land year after year. But the state’s cod were worth just over $200,000 at the docks last year, a fraction of the $2 million to $16 million worth of cod fishermen routinely brought to land in Maine in the 1980s and ’90s. The volume of last year’s catch was also the second-lowest in recorded history, barely edging out last year at about 89,000 pounds.
Tiny Maine town to celebrate smelt with annual fish fry bash
Associated Press - Sunday, March 17, 2019 

A tiny town in Down East Maine will once again welcome hundreds of people this year to celebrate a little fish and the arrival of spring. Organizers of the Downeast Salmon Federation’s Annual Smelt Fry and Fisheries Celebration said this year’s event will take place in Columbia Falls on April 13. The festival includes activities and displays about fisheries and conservation, and it’s also a celebration of local food. The salmon federation said this year’s menu will include fried smelt, smoked mackerel, moose stew and local blueberries. The event takes place in the town of about 560 [people] every spring.
MDI High School to have more than 1,300 solar panels installed on roof
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, March 17, 2019 

By the time the 2019-20 academic year gets under way, more than 1,300 solar panels are expected to be installed on the roof of Mount Desert Island High School. The MDI Regional School System has a power purchase agreement with Sundog Solar of Searsport to install the panels on the roof sometime this summer. As part of the agreement, the school district will purchase power generated by the panels from the solar company for roughly six years and then will have the option to purchase the array. The solar project is similar to another that helps provide power to both the town office and the local school in Tremont.
Farms aren’t tossing perfectly good produce. You are
Washington Post - Sunday, March 17, 2019 

If food waste were a country, it would be the world’s third-largest emitter of CO2, after China and the United States. In our nation alone, we throw away some 63 million tons of food a year, even as 40 million Americans are considered food insecure. Advocates of the “ugly produce” movement say they have a way to radically reduce this waste: cutting the price of fruits and vegetables that normally go uneaten because they look too weird. The single biggest source of U.S. food waste, accounting for 43 percent of the problem, is our own homes.
‘Axe Women’ logging show makes a pitch for Maine’s forestry heritage
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, March 17, 2019 

Head to Hilltop Boilers in Newfield for Maine Maple Sunday next weekend and you’ll be in for a treat. Sure, you’ll find the usual syrup and other maple products, farm tours and barnyard animals. But on Saturday, you’ll also have a chance to watch the Axe Women Loggers of Maine – possibly the country’s only all-women logging show – demonstrate their rapid-fire precision ax throwing, wood cutting and chainsaw skills.
Column: Spring holds many charms for the die-hard Maine skier
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, March 17, 2019 

In many ways, spring is the reward to skiers for suffering through the cold indignity of winter. Skiing in spring is a different sport than in the mid-winter, and it’s worth adjusting your expectations going into a late-season ski day to get the most of it. With freezing nights and warm days, conditions vary wildly, often with frozen hardpack in the morning and sloppy slush by the time the last chair rolls around. Bridgton’s Shawnee Peak kicks off spring with its 35th annual Spring Fling on March 23. Sunday, March 31, Auburn’s Lost Valley follows with its Beach Bash. Sunday River has Pond-A-Palooza on April 13 and and Sugarloaf has the East Coast Pond-Skimming Championships on April 20. ~ Josh Christie
Column: A new guide offers a simpler way to name that gull
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, March 17, 2019 

With 10,000 bird species in the world, one inevitably encounters groups of birds that are difficult to distinguish. A book from Princeton University Press – “Gulls Simplified: A Comparative Approach to Identification” by Pete Dunne and Kevin Karlson – covers the 20 regularly occurring species in North America as well as five rare gulls. “Gulls Simplified” is a great addition to the wealth of bird guides. ~ Herb Wilson
Opinion: The discussion we should be having around the CMP corridor
Sun Journal - Sunday, March 17, 2019 

Central Maine Power’s proposed NECEC transmission line has Mainers concerned about the cost and benefits for the environment and for the state’s economy. Ensuring that we have enough power to meet demand is critical to our lifestyle, our economy and our security, but that does not come without a price. While Maine may be better off without the NECEC corridor, it does not serve our need to simply yell “no” to every option. We must decide what burden we are willing to bear in order to meet our energy needs. To address our fragmented and unsatisfactory system, we need an energy plan that meets Mainers’ expectations for price, reliability and respect for the environment. ~ Rep. Tina Riley (D), Jay
Opinion: Give careful thought to ramifications of CMP transmission line
Sun Journal - Sunday, March 17, 2019 

Maine, and particularly in my neck of the woods, has been consumed with the debate about whether CMP should build a huge transmission line through Western Maine. Maine should say no to this corridor because it is a bad deal. For those people who haven’t made up their minds yet, let me put the debate in some context. Central Maine Power and Hydro-Quebec city slickers will make more than $400 million per month while Mainers will get .38 cents per month and some heat pumps and electric vehicle charging stations for the well-off among us. That is pretty clearly a bad deal. ~ Tom Saviello, PhD., selectperson for Wilton, former state senator (R) for Franklin County
Letter: IF&W inert on nongame concerns
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, March 17, 2019 

The new commissioner of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife, Judy Camuso. may have the ability to unify Maine’s game and nongame constituents, but does she really have the will? IFW officials follow the money. Look at IFW’s website. Note the prominent tabs for hunting, trapping, fishing, boating, ATVs and snowmobiles; these are all revenue-generating activities. To find IFW’s endangered and threatened species responsibilities, I had to do a keyword search. Emails and calls pertaining to nongame issues have never been followed up, if I could even figure out whom to contact. The non-revenue-generating, now nearly invisible duties of IFW get short shrift. Camuso’s overt participation in the so-called “bear referendum” in 2014 spoke volumes. ~ Susan A. Bloomfield, West Kennebunk
Letter: Allow Mainers to vote on public utility, CMP plan
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, March 17, 2019 

The Maine Legislature should initiate two new referendum questions for the voters to decide in the next general election: First: “Shall the people of Maine allow Central Maine Power to cut a 53-mile swath through the Maine woods to bring electric power from Quebec to Massachusetts?” “Yes” or “no.” Second: “Shall the people of Maine replace Central Maine Power and Emera Maine with a Public Power Authority accountable to the citizens of Maine, funded through the public bonding process?” “Yes” or “no.” These are important questions that ought to be answered directly by all the voters in Maine. ~ Jeff Dunlop, North Windham
Column: Hunting access issues have received little attention
Sun Journal - Saturday, March 16, 2019 

Over the years, more and more rural open land is being posted. No doubt it is partly responsible for the decline of recreational hunting in Maine. Has any real progress been made in educating landowners and land users? Maine’s newly appointed commissioner of MDIF&W, Judy Camuso, says one of her early goals is to upgrade and invigorate IF&W’s landowner relations program. George Smith had some good advice that is still timely: Install a landowner relations program within the Information & Education Office. And take a lesson from the Maine Snowmobile Association, which has demonstrated a winning model based on some real know-how in cultivating good relations with landowners. ~ V. Paul Reynolds
Hallowell conservation group weary of growing browntail moth caterpillars population
Kennebec Journal - Saturday, March 16, 2019 

Browntail moths are found at varying population densities over more than 6,500 square miles in Maine, most highly concentrated in Brunswick, Bath and Topsham. But the high-risk exposure area has expanded as far west as Turner, south to Falmouth and east to Jefferson. The Hallowell Conservation Committee is urging residents to clip out potentially hazardous browntail moth caterpillar nests ahead of summer.
Opinion: Offshore wind industry could come to Gulf of Maine
Boston Globe - Saturday, March 16, 2019 

In 2017, when Trump first took office, one of the first things to change was the removal of any mention of climate change from the EPA website. Two years later, the EPA has a new Administrator under Andrew Wheeler, a former coal lobbyist who’s following in Scott Pruitt’s footsteps to ensure the agency covers up the role of the fossil fuel industry in covering up the climate crisis. But deleting climate change from the EPA’s website won’t erase what many in the U.S. know: climate change is real and we need to move rapidly to a 100% renewable energy future now. Yesterday, over 1 million young people joined school strikes demanding urgent action on climate change. ~ Avery Raines,
This is what the future's sustainable cities could look like
National Geographic - Saturday, March 16, 2019 

By 2050, the world’s population is expected to reach 9.8 billion. Nearly 70% of those people—6.7 billion—are projected to live in urban areas. Remaking healthy urban areas means repairing damage done to communities that were blown apart to serve the automobile.
Verso site owner sells former mill buildings
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, March 16, 2019 

AIM Development, a subsidiary of a Canadian scrap metal firm, bought the former Verso Paper mill in Bucksport for $58 million in 2015. AIM has sold two former mill buildings to Bucksport United Methodist Church and prepares to close purchase-and-sale agreements for lots with Maine Maritime Academy, which plans to build a continuing education annex, and Whole Oceans’ $250 million indoor salmon farm.
From beer to salsa to ‘crapple’ sauce, Maine sugarhouses are getting creative with maple products
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, March 16, 2019 

With Maine Maple Sunday just around the corner on March 25, dozens of sugarhouses throughout the state are preparing to open their doors to the public and share their love of everything maple, from syrup to some truly inventive maple-based products. Maple syrup is certainly the product of the day, but many producers don’t stop there. To diversify their offerings and stretch their sap supply, sugarhouses offer a variety of value-added maple products, from cotton candy to barbeque sauce, and the selection is only growing.
Opinion: EPA plan to gut airborne-toxin protections puts our children and planet at risk
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, March 16, 2019 

The Environmental Protection Agency has presented its plan to revamp the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, which puts the health of pregnant women, infants, children and communities of color in jeopardy. Many people, including numerous leaders in the faith community, are profoundly concerned by the Trump administration’s proposal to roll back protections from mercury and other air-borne toxins. The EPA will hold a hearing Monday on its proposed new standards, and public comments on the proposal will be accepted through April 17 via I agree with Sen. Susan Collins that there is no reason why we should weaker standards that have served our country well. ~ The Rev. Richard Killmer, retired Presbyterian minister, Yarmouth
Letter: Allow state park rangers to enforce laws
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, March 16, 2019 

In 2018, nearly 3 million people visited Maine state parks. By statute, the Bureau of Parks and Lands has the authority to designate its rangers to enforce state laws and regulations. Yet the bureau refuses to either adequately train their staff in effective law enforcement or authorize park rangers to issue summonses or make arrests. L.D. 527 – introduced by Rep. Thomas Skolfield, a respected retired regional park supervisor – requires BPL to establish a law enforcement training program for park managers and rangers. Parks experience the same safety issues as small villages, such as opioid crises, sexual predators and meth labs. When it comes to providing public safety and resource protection in our magnificent state parks and historic sites, our own Bureau of Parks and Lands has left visitors and rangers out in the cold. ~ Tim Caverly, retired park ranger, Millinocket
Letter: Why not use Kibby Mountain corridor?
Morning Sentinel - Saturday, March 16, 2019 

After looking at the map of the proposed Central Maine Power transmission corridor, I can’t help but wonder why the existing Kibby Mountain corridor is not being used. Where the proposed line crosses the border cannot be more than 20 miles from Kibby Mountain. This existing transmission line already connects to the grid, and widening it must certainly be less expensive than constructing an entirely new line. ~ Richard Roberts, Solon
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