August 24, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Friday, August 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
Rangeley Outdoor Film Festival, Aug 30
Event - Posted - Friday, August 23, 2019 

The Rangeley Trail Town Festival features a variety of short films about the outdoors. At RFA Lakeside Theater, Rangeley, August 30, 7 pm, $6 for adults, $3 for Appalachian Trail hikers and children under 12.
LightHawk Paper Plane Contest
Announcement - Thursday, August 22, 2019 

Enter your best paper airplane design for a chance to have it mailed to thousands in LightHawk's 2019 Holiday Letter. Deadline: October 18, 2019.
BTLT Seeks Community Input on Future Conservation
Announcement - Tuesday, August 20, 2019 

The Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust is seeking community input on its current and future conservation work in Brunswick, Topsham, and Bowdoin. A community survey is available online until September 2.
Butler to speak on conservation, Aug 27
Event - Posted - Tuesday, August 20, 2019 

Conservationist Gil Butler will discuss his efforts to establish outdoor education programs and conservation projects in Maine and throughout North and South America. At College of the Atlantic, Bar Harbor, August 27, 9 am, free, parking on campus is by permit only.
Solo Paddle of Northern Forest Canoe Trail, Aug 27
Event - Posted - Tuesday, August 20, 2019 

Laurie Apgar Chandler will read from and discuss her book “Upwards,” which tells her story as the first woman to solo paddle New England’s 740-mile Northern Forest Canoe Trail. At Bailey Library, Winthrop, August 27, 6:30 pm.
Keeping Acadia Healthy With New Science, Aug 26
Event - Posted - Monday, August 19, 2019 

Abraham Miller-Rushing and Rebecca Cole-Will will discuss how Acadia National Park is facing a triple environmental challenge: global warming, acid rain, and increased visitation. At Bar Harbor, August 26, 5 pm.
Maine’s Seaweed Scene, Sep 26
Event - Posted - Monday, August 19, 2019 

Susan Hand Shetterly and Robin Hadlock Seeley will discuss the importance of protected wild habitats and the critical role of seaweed in the Gulf of Maine. At Moore Community Center, Ellsworth, September 26, 7 pm. Hosted by Downeast Audubon.
Bee apocalypse
Action Alert - Sunday, August 18, 2019 

U.S. agriculture today is 48 times more toxic to honeybees than it was 25 years ago—almost entirely because of neonicotinoid pesticides. It's part of an "insect apocalypse." But instead of taking action, the Trump administration is shredding protections for bees. Will you stand with me in the fight to save the bees? ~ Mayor Ethan Strimling, Portland, Maine
Maine Farmland Trust Gallery 20th Anniversary Retrospective Exhibit, thru Oct 11
Announcement - Sunday, August 18, 2019 

To celebrate Maine Farmland Trust’s 20th anniversary, a curated retrospective featuring a selection of works that have been exhibited at the MFT Gallery over the past 10 years is on view through October 11.
National Parks Free Entrance, Aug 25
Event - Posted - Sunday, August 18, 2019 

All National Park Service sites that charge an entrance fee will offer free admission to everyone to celebrate the National Park Service's 103rd birthday on August 25.
Brechlin reading, Aug 25
Event - Posted - Sunday, August 18, 2019 

Earl Brechlin, a Registered Maine Guide, will read from his book, "Return to Moose River: In Search of the Spirit of the Great North Woods," essays describing white-water canoeing, snowmobiling, and backpacking adventures in many parts of Maine. At Albert Church Brown Memorial Library, China, August 25, 2 pm.
Kennebec Land Trust annual meeting, Aug 25
Event - Posted - Sunday, August 18, 2019 

At Camp Androscoggin, Wayne, August 25. The trust has conserved more than 6,300 acres and constructed 44 miles of trails on KLT protected lands.
Maine Herpetological Society Reptile Expo, Aug 25
Event - Posted - Saturday, August 17, 2019 

50+ vendors, 1,000+ reptiles, plus Mr. Drew and His Animals Too. At Ramada Inn, Lewiston, August 25, 10 am - 4 pm, $7, kids under 12 free.
Families in the Outdoors, Aug 24
Event - Posted - Saturday, August 17, 2019 

Learn about all kinds of Maine bugs – the good, the bad and the very strange looking. At Law Farm, Dover-Foxcroft, August 24, 9 am - noon.
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News Items
Tired of slipping on ice? Here’s the lowdown on ice cleats
Aislinn Sarnacki Act Out Blog - Tuesday, January 30, 2018 

Since this winter has been especially icy, I thought it would be a good time to share what I’ve learned over the years about ice cleats, also known as crampons or ice grippers or Stabilicers.
Environmental group sues LePage over new wind turbine rules
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, January 30, 2018 

Last week, the Republican governor issued an executive order placing a moratorium on new wind turbine development except for eastern Aroostook County and creating a new commission to study turbines’ impact on the environment, property values and tourism. A lawsuit from the Conservation Law Foundation, which was filed in Cumberland County Superior Court on Tuesday, asks the court to strike down the order as unconstitutional, saying it violated provisions granting separate powers to Maine’s executive and legislative branches.
Environmental group sues LePage, says wind farm ban is unconstitutional
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, January 30, 2018 

In a suit filed Tuesday in Cumberland County Superior Court, the Conservation Law Foundation charges that a moratorium Gov. Paul LePage imposed last week on most new wind energy projects in Maine is unconstitutional because it violates the separation of powers. The Maine Legislature has passed laws for the permitting of wind energy, the group says in its complaint, and the governor can’t change that by executive order. The group is asking a judge to declare the ban unconstitutional and void the governor’s order. “There’s nothing wrong with our governor being responsive to citizens concerned about the expansion of wind development,” said Richard McDonald, a leader of the Moosehead Region Futures Committee and the Saving Maine anti-wind group.
Maine Calling: Governor Paul LePage
Maine Public - Tuesday, January 30, 2018 

Governor Paul LePage discusses his legislative priorities for his final year in office, including conservation, environmental and energy issues.
Win For Northern Pass In Mass. Could Signal Shift Away From Smaller Renewables
Maine Public - Tuesday, January 30, 2018 

Massachusetts opted last week for one large power line to cover a big chunk of its energy needs for the next 20-plus years. The Northern Pass proposal beat out other big transmission projects and dozens of smaller options for the right to supply all renewable power the Commonwealth wants. This has analysts and developers wondering what role smaller projects will play in the future of the grid.
Norwegian company to build large, land-based salmon farm in Belfast
Republican Journal - Tuesday, January 30, 2018 

A Norway company intends to build a land-based salmon farm in Belfast, initially investing $150 million and creating 60 jobs within two years. Nordic Aquafarms, an international developer of land-based aquaculture, has signed agreements to purchase 40 acres on the outskirts of Belfast, where it will build one of the world’s largest land-based salmon farms.
European company plans $150M salmon farm in Maine
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, January 30, 2018 

A Norwegian aquaculture company plans to build one of the world’s largest indoor salmon farms on the Maine coast. Nordic Aquafarms wants to build a $150 million facility on 40 acres off Route 1 on the outskirts of Belfast. It would be the most significant investment Waldo County has seen in decades. Total investment through all phases of the project could top $500 million, according to the company.
Snowy owls and their admirers causing problems at Maine airport
Associated Press - Tuesday, January 30, 2018 

Officials at the Portland International Jetport say they’ve seen an increase in snowy owls migrating from Canada, and birders are spreading news about their sightings quickly through social media. Birders coming to the airport are blocking emergency access points and illegally parking on the roads. Airport Director Zach Sundquist says he also doesn’t want people to scare the birds into the paths of oncoming jets, saying the airport wants the owls to be left alone. Sundquist says there is an observation area with parking south of the airport nearby a hanger.
Anglers break more laws than hunters
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Tuesday, January 30, 2018 

In the 8-year period 2007 – 2015, Maine game wardens gave more citations to anglers than to hunters. Anglers received a total of 4,192 citations while hunters received 2,869. More than half of the citations given to anglers were for fishing without a license. It is particularly alarming to learn that so many anglers (573) are using live bait in waters where that is illegal. That is just how so many of our native fisheries have been damaged by competing species.
Opinion: Land trusts work for Maine
Boothbay Register - Tuesday, January 30, 2018 

There has been increased scrutiny of Maine’s land trusts. Boothbay Region Land Trust has provided public access to a diverse range of preserves from woodlands to shorelines, islands to meadows, which permit public use of docks and moorings, year-round outdoor recreation from fishing and hunting, to snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, hiking, and mountain biking. Our programming, which has always been free and open to the public, offers a wide variety of educational and recreational opportunities for all ages and levels of mobility. Thanks to Maine’s network of eighty land trusts, other regions of the state are seeing similar benefits. As a bonus, more than 94.5% of all lands conserved by land trusts in Maine remain on the tax rolls. These properties are also indirectly generating tax revenue by supporting local economies. ~ Nick Ullo, Boothbay Region Land Trust
Coral protections in Atlantic Ocean up for key vote
Associated Press - Tuesday, January 30, 2018 

Federal fishing regulators are set to vote on a proposal that could protect nearly 90 percent of the coral habitat in a key commercial fishing area off New England. The New England Fishery Management Council is expected to vote on the proposal on Tuesday. The council approved protections in another key fishing area, the Gulf of Maine, in June. The same council has held off on voting on protections for an area south of Georges Bank until it could get more information about how the protections would impact commercial fisheries.
Opinion: Climate change under Trump: A perfect storm
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, January 30, 2018 

The “proof in the pudding” of climate change in Maine is lost income, lost jobs and disrupted lives. We have a perfect storm of climate change and an administration that refuses to acknowledge its reality. The Trump administration has repealed greenhouse gas regulations, wiped its websites clean of the very words, as well as the data, purged independent scientists from its advisory committees, pumped up fossil fuel production and plans to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, making the U.S. the only country in the world to refuse to join the effort to solve this problem. The most important thing we can do is to vote, and to often let our politicians know how we feel. ~ Sharon S. Tisher, Scholars Strategy Network, and Harold W. Borns Jr., professor emeritus, Climate Change Institute, UMaine
Opinion: Maine is not as vulnerable as Florida, but the toll of climate change still will be high
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, January 30, 2018 

Mainers are likely to pay a heavy toll as the climate continues to change. A recent climate assessment by federal scientists concluded that the largest increase in intensity and frequency of heavy precipitation will be in the Northeast. Sea levels already have risen 7 to 8 inches globally since 1900, with 3 inches of that probably since 1993. That is a rate not seen in any century for at least 2,800 years. The Northeast has and will experience sea level rise greater than the global average, scientists say. The Gulf of Maine’s lobster population is likely to plunge by 40 percent to 62 percent over the next 30 years. If a commodity becomes more expensive, we use less of it. So if Congress enacted a royalty on carbon emissions, Americans would consume less coal and other fossil fuels. That would speed up the vital transition to wind energy and other clean sources. ~ William C. Eacho, Seal Harbor, co-founder, Partnership for Responsible Growth
Maine coastal gardens’ neighbors join legal fight over expansion
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, January 30, 2018 

The legal battle over Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens’ proposed $30 million expansion has deepened. One month after CMBG filed suit in U.S. District Court, objecting to a decision by the Boothbay Board of Appeals to overturn the permit allowing part of the expansion, neighbors of the gardens filed suit against the town — this time in superior court — seeking damages for what they claim was a faulty appeals process.
Getting the jump on invasive pests before they spread in Maine
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, January 30, 2018 

Invasive species cause more than $100 billion in harm nationwide to agriculture, natural resources and human health. So it makes sense those working closely with those industries in the state want to stop invasive species in their tracks before they get into Maine, or control further spread if they step over state lines. At the state level, Maine’s agriculture, forestry and natural resource agencies work with staff from the University of Maine Cooperative Extension with agents from the federal United States Department of Agriculture to conduct pest surveys.
Letter: LePage right to block wind energy
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, January 30, 2018 

It was with a sense of relief that I read the news that Gov. Paul LePage has put the brakes on further wind energy development in Maine. Turning our beautiful state into an industrial wasteland in the name of fueling the unsustainable energy consumption of our southern neighbors is neither “green” nor a wise investment of our own dwindling resources. ~ Larry Balchen, Jonesport
Letter: Too soon to write off puma?
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, January 30, 2018 

In response to the Jan. 22 article on extinction of the eastern puma: In October, several people on Mount Desert Island reportedly saw a puma. One described it as the size of a large dog, the color of a yellow lab, long thin tail and a cat face. Deer hunting is not allowed on MDI, and I can believe that a puma was wandering through. ~ Tom Adams, Southwest Harbor
Letter: Trump is a great president
Sun Journal - Tuesday, January 30, 2018 

I, for one, am so glad Donald Trump is president of this great country. He gave up his billionaire lifestyle to work for the people, forgoing his salary, as most of his appointees do also. Donald Trump is a true leader — a man who really cares for and about his country. He is real. He is America and I am proud to claim him as my president. ~ Mary Jane Newell, Oxford
Letter: Gov. LePage values state’s beauty – when it fits with his agenda
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, January 30, 2018 

Not too long ago, Gov. LePage was practically the only governor on the Eastern Seaboard who was in favor of oil exploration along the East Coast all the way from Florida to our pristine Gulf of Maine waters. He wasn’t concerned about the “natural beauty” along the Maine coast or even concerned about a multimillion-dollar fishing industry at that time. LePage apparently now is concerned about our environment. In an article dealing with new wind turbine projects, he stated that “we must act judiciously to protect our natural beauty.” The bottom line is that he is not concerned about the environment of this great state. ~ Steven C. Pomelow, Gorham
Cumberland eyes landfill for solar energy array
Forecaster - Monday, January 29, 2018 

A brown field may soon help the town be a lot more green. Officials are looking into installing a solar array on top of the town’s capped landfill, a project they say could allow Cumberland to generate cleaner energy from the sun while reducing its carbon footprint and shrinking expenses in the long run.
LePage bill would gut streamlined permitting process for most wind power projects
Portland Press Herald - Monday, January 29, 2018 

Last week, Gov. Paul LePage announced a moratorium on new wind turbine permits in western and coastal Maine, and also vowed to seek changes to the “expedited permitting” process utilized by many developers of the state’s wind farms. A bill from the governor, which was printed Monday, would essentially gut the controversial, streamlined review process that has been in place during the decade of growth in Maine’s wind power industry. But the bill, L.D. 1810, would maintain fast-track permitting for more than a dozen towns, plantations and townships in Aroostook County, an area long in the sights of wind power developers.
Executive director of Maine organic farmers association to retire in late August
Portland Press Herald - Monday, January 29, 2018 

Ted Quaday, executive director of the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, said Monday he’ll be retiring from the position in late August. He informed the membership this month at the group’s annual meeting. Quaday will have led the group for almost five years when he retires. MOFGA has hired a search firm to look for his replacement and is seeking input from the community and its 11,000 members on what qualities are important for the next leader.
Greenville’s 100-mile Wilderness Sled Dog Race canceled
Bangor Daily News - Monday, January 29, 2018 

The annual 100-mile Wilderness Sled Dog Race in the Moosehead Lake Region scheduled for Feb. 3 has been canceled due to unsafe trail conditions. Recent warm weather and rain, followed by freezing temperatures, has caused ice to develop on portions of the race route, which could spell disaster for mushers and their sled dogs.
New emails reveal Scott Pruitt was personally involved in erasing climate data from EPA website
Climate Progress - Monday, January 29, 2018 

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt was personally involved in the purging of information from the agency’s website in the early months of the Trump administration, according to documents obtained by the Environmental Defense Fund. Soon after President Donald Trump took office, pages on the EPA’s website about climate change started disappearing or getting redirected to sites touting the president’s fossil fuel agenda. Along with webpages about climate change and climate science, the purge removed the agency’s webpage about the Clean Power Plan. The removed webpages may still be accessible through various EPA archives, but they do not appear in a search of the EPA website.
Feds reschedule Augusta meeting on controversial ocean drilling plan for March 7
Portland Press Herald - Monday, January 29, 2018 

The U.S. Department of the Interior has rescheduled an Augusta public meeting on potential oil and gas exploration in the North Atlantic for March 7. A Jan. 22nd meeting by the Interior Department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management was postponed because of the disruption caused by the recent three-day federal government shutdown. The bureau now plans to hold the open forum-style meeting from 3 to 7 p.m. on March 7 at the Augusta Civic Center. On Jan. 4, the Trump administration signaled a major shift in energy policy when it proposed allowing exploration for oil and gas all along the Atlantic and Pacific coastlines for the first time in decades.
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