September 22, 2019  
Announcements               
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
First parts of Lincoln’s $7.5M natural gas pipeline start to arrive
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, February 27, 2014 

Truckloads of steel pipe destined to become part of a 4-mile, $7.5 million natural gas pipeline connecting Bangor Gas Co. to Lincoln Paper and Tissue LLC began arriving this week, officials said Thursday.
Opinion: With wind, Maine has obligation to generate clean energy locally, export it, grow economy
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, February 27, 2014 

Any form of energy has an impact on the world we live in. We are part of the cause of those impacts each time we flip the switch or fuel up. We have been receiving the impacts from energy in Maine for years in the form of acid rain, mercury pollution, poor air quality and lost investment. Every form of energy also has subsidies. Let’s be clear on the issues. Wind energy is highly visible. That is the impact. There is no hidden poison after the fact that affects our rivers, streams and drinking water. Peer-reviewed studies have shown that wind has no measured adverse health effect, no impact on real estate values, and no measured negative impact on tourism. ~ Paul Williamson, Maine Ocean and Wind Industry Initiative
Expansion of cargo facility in Portland a giant step for port
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, February 27, 2014 

State officials plan to expand the shipping-container terminal in Portland to more than double its current size and link it directly with a rail line, allowing the terminal to compete for business with other major ports along the East Coast. The expanded International Marine Terminal would significantly lower costs for its commercial customers, make shipping faster and more efficient, and attract new international and domestic cargo business to Maine, officials said.
Cape Elizabeth man's long, winding trail leads to the outdoors
Forecaster - Thursday, February 27, 2014 

When John Mylroie decided on a whim last July to spend a weekend volunteering with the Maine Conservation Corps at Bradbury Mountain State Park, he didn't consider himself an outdoors person. Fast forward seven months, and now Mylroie, 28, is beginning his second term of national service as an Americorps volunteer with the MCC. He'll spend the next 11 weeks in the Trail Training Academy, and throughout much of the summer and fall he'll serve as a team leader, teaching field team volunteers the ins and outs of recreational trail construction and rehabilitation.
More improvements planned at Fort Williams Park in Cape Elizabeth
Forecaster - Thursday, February 27, 2014 

The Fort Williams Foundation on Monday presented plans for a $150,000 project to improve views of Portland Head Light. The lighthouse view project includes a new pedestrian pathway, picnic tables, parking, bus drop-off, a relocated food vendor area and an information building, in addition to stone seating and landscape adjustments. Half of the project will be funded by an anonymous donor, while the other half will come from money raised through the Portland Head Light museum and gift shop.
Governor LePage files false Medicaid claim
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Thursday, February 27, 2014 

“Because Maine already expanded welfare a decade ago, Medicaid is now cannibalizing funding from all other state agencies. That means the state cannot adequately promote fishing and hunting programs or conduct research on our fisheries.” The truth is that Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife gets no public funding, doesn’t, hasn’t, won’t. It’s impossible that the Governor doesn’t know this.
Letter: What if we reduce pollution and it’s all for nothing?
Morning Sentinel - Thursday, February 27, 2014 

I don’t understand why you subject your readers to M.D. Harmon’s hare-brained opinions every Saturday. His rambling climate-change-denial column this week (Feb. 22, “Statistics about global warming not in dispute, just interpretation”) reminded me about a cartoon in which someone stands up at a conference about reducing greenhouse gases, and says, “But what if it’s all a big hoax, and we end up reducing air pollution, water pollution, oil dependency and urban congestion for nothing?” ~ Claire Prontnicki, Waterville
Letter: Smoke dangers
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, February 27, 2014 

In regards to woodstove and smoke dangers, I have been burning wood all my life except for two years of military service during the Korean war, four years of college education and three years as a carpenter in New York. I am now 82-years old. I still work my six days a week, 52 weeks a year. I pay my taxes and support government programs. With all the negative talk about burning wood, maybe I am sick after inhaling all that poison. ~ Wil Labbe, Caribou
L.L. Bean gives $20,000 to AT organization
Times Record - Wednesday, February 26, 2014 

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy recently received a $20,000 grant from Freeport outdoor retailer L.L. Bean to support the ATC’s Grants to Clubs program. The program is administered by the ATC and helps support the 31 Appalachian Trail maintaining clubs and their partners to complete necessary projects along the trail. These projects include trail, shelter, and bridge construction, recruiting and training new volunteers, purchasing tools and safety gear, developing educational materials, and community outreach.
Legislation raises question: What is clean energy?
Boston Globe - Wednesday, February 26, 2014 

Should hydroelectricity produced with massive dams be counted as clean energy? That is the issue emerging as a result of new legislation in Massachusetts that would allow utilities to meet the state’s mandates to cut greenhouse gases by acquiring power from large-scale hydroelectric projects, such as Hydro-Quebec in Canada. Environmentalists say the bill would provide preferences to an established technology that does not really need them, while hurting the competitiveness of emerging renewable sources, such as solar and wind, that do. New England power plant owners worry the legislation would provide an unfair advantage to an already low-cost competitor.
Rail safety improved since Lac-Megantic, but problems remain, experts tell Congress
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, February 26, 2014 

Tests of 58 samples of Bakken crude oil taken as part of a federal crackdown on U.S. oil transportation carriers revealed 11 potential violations of federal oil-transportation safety standards, a federal transportation official testified Wednesday. On Wednesday, federal administrator Cynthia L. Quarterman spoke before a U.S. House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee hearing in Washington, D.C., called by U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, D-Maine, and several colleagues.
LePage: Medicaid Expansion 'Bad for the Environment'
Maine Public Broadcasting Network - Wednesday, February 26, 2014 

The day after a proposed compromise to Medicaid expansion was unveiled by two Maine Senate Republicans, the LePage administration has launched a counter-offensive. The administration said today that "Medicaid expansion is bad for the environment." Commissioners from state natural resource agencies gathered with Department of Health and Human Services officials to make their case, as lawmakers were preparing to take up the Medicaid expansion bill this afternoon.
Column: Bird engineers and architects
Boothbay Register - Wednesday, February 26, 2014 

After one of the recent snowstorms, we woke up to see our bird feeding area covered in 10 inches of snow. But, before we could get out to clean it off, we saw a gray squirrel digging around underneath. Backyard bird feeding enthusiasts love to complain about squirrels hogging all the bird seed meant for the birds and chewing holes in bird feeders. Yet this squirrel was actually performing a service for the birds by clearing the snow from the fallen seeds, though for his (or her) own selfish reasons! This squirrel’s “snow-removal project” is an example of how animals can change their environment just by engaging in their normal behavior. ~ Jeff and Allison Wells
Maine’s natural resource agencies’ chiefs say Medicaid is gutting their departments
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, February 26, 2014 

Gov. Paul LePage’s administration on Wednesday made clear its fierce opposition to a new Republican-led compromise plan on Medicaid expansion and said the administration would not participate in any negotiations on the bill. During a large press conference, Mayhew was joined by the commissioners of the state’s natural resource agencies, who said growth in the state’s Medicaid program was eating away at their budgets. The natural resource commissioners — from the Departments of Agriculture, Marine Resources, Environmental Protection and Inland Fisheries & Wildlife — don’t often get involved with policy debates outside their agencies. Their involvement in the Medicaid expansion debate represented the strongest push yet by LePage to gain traction with his core message in recent weeks: that Medicaid spending is “cannibalizing” other state programs.
Federal government pledges nearly $33 million to aid Maine, northeastern groundfishermen
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, February 26, 2014 

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has allocated $32.8 million to help Maine and other northeastern U.S. groundfishermen struggling in an industry that for 2013 was declared a federal disaster. Additionally, U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker is expected to waive a 25 percent match required to trigger the federal aid, relieving Maine and its neighboring states of having to come up with $8.2 million in funds in order to receive the help. The U.S. Department of Commerce announced reduced catch limits of up to 73 percent for cod, haddock, yellowtail flounder and other groundfish species that took effect May 1, 2013, because federal scientists found that depleted fish stocks in the region were not replenishing at a healthy pace.
Cement plant wants change to mercury air emissions limit
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, February 26, 2014 

The state’s only cement manufacturer has asked the Maine Department of Environmental Protection to allow the plant to operate under federal emissions standards, which would allow for a higher release of mercury into the air. The manager of the Dragon Products plant maintained, however, that the company would not be emitting more mercury into the air and that the environment would not be harmed.
Column: Old locomotives sit abandoned in the middle of Maine
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, February 26, 2014 

Nestled deep in the Maine Woods near the northwest end of Chamberlain Lake sit the rusting hulks of two large steam powered locomotives. The trains are remnants of the industrial revolution in an area so remote that it was more practical to park the engines when operations ended than it was to bring them out of the woods. The lakes and rivers of this great state were once the highways that delivered logs and pulpwood to the mills. These mills, in turn, produced the lumber and paper that fueled development of a prosperous nation. ~ Matthew LaRoche, Allagash Wilderness Waterway
Opinion: Why we oppose tar sands
Keep Me Current - Wednesday, February 26, 2014 

The recent letter by Capt. Bill Van Voorhis took the position that if the Canadian tar sands are going to be extracted regardless of any opposition, then we might as well enjoy the benefits of exporting it locally from Casco Bay and allow for the reversal of the Portland-Montreal pipeline. We disagree that extraction and export of Canadian tar sands is inevitable at the scale that the petroleum industry anticipates. The success of our efforts to prevent reversal of the Portland-Montreal pipeline here in South Portland is important because it empowers local resistance efforts worldwide and shows that successful resistance makes it possible to achieve these ends. ~ Eben Rose, Protect South Portland and 350Maine
Opinion: Don’t forget, tax increment financing deals can make the difference in attracting business
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, February 26, 2014 

TIFs have made the difference in many critical economic development projects in Maine. What would our economic landscape look like if Cianbro didn’t open its facility in Brewer, or General Electric couldn’t maintain a plant in Bangor? And can you imagine if Bath Iron Works couldn’t stay competitive, or the massive investment that is now the Texas Instruments plant in South Portland hadn’t happened? And where would the Bangor region be without a mechanism to invest in the infrastructure of its thriving mall district, its waterfront or the Main Street district that now includes the gleaming new Cross Insurance Center? TIFs are not perfect. But TIFs have, and can, make a positive difference. ~ Andrew Hamiltonand John Porter, Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce
Frigid winter leading to big bills for natural gas
Washington Post - Wednesday, February 26, 2014 

Coming soon to mailboxes across the Midwest and the Eastern Seaboard: Big gas bills. Utilities are warning homeowners about a double whammy — higher natural gas prices and consumption, both of which have been driven to five-year peaks by the arctic cold that has gripped much of the country in recent weeks.
Letter: Stop exporting energy solutions
Times Record - Wednesday, February 26, 2014 

The Environmental Protection Agency needs to change its name to the Export Profit Agency. As we combat high heating costs brought on by the high costs of natural gas, heating oil and wood pellets, a government agency proposes to make things worse with the proposal to severely restrict emissions from wood stoves. This will not only make prices too high for everyday consumers but, according to some manufacturers of wood stoves, it will force them out of business. ~ Jason Coombs, Brunswick
Column: Brook trout are true treasure in the North Woods, not metals
Kennebec Journal - Wednesday, February 26, 2014 

There is gold in Maine’s North Woods. It is the beautiful brook trout. The hard-fought, long-running battle about mining the North Woods for metals was featured at the Legislature on Monday in a lengthy public hearing about proposed rules that would make it easier to open new mines in Maine. For me, it’s all about our native brook trout. Despite our neglect, the illegal introduction of competing species, warming water, destruction of habitat, poor protective management, easier access to their waters and other harmful acts, Maine still has nearly all of the nation’s remaining native brookies. We’re lucky. ~ George Smith
Letter: Sources, Krauthammer
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, February 26, 2014 

Charles Krauthammer hit a new low with his Feb. 24 BDN column when he accused “climate-change proponents,” including, presumably, the 800 leading climate scientists of the world, who participated in the most recent report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, of “whoring” after false gods. The online version of Krauthammer’s piece had only one reference to a source. That was a hyperlink to the recent study of mammograms. That and Deuteronomy 11. When accepting opinions for publication that bear on the critically important issue of climate change, the BDN should as a minimum insist that all “facts” are referenced for its readers to examine. ~ Sharon S. Tisher, University of Maine, Orono
Testimony: Killing wildlife In the name of climate change
Other - Tuesday, February 25, 2014 

If the federal government is going to be serious about addressing climate change and in protecting this nation’s wildlife, it must focus on the energy sources that have small footprints, are able to provide large amounts of dispatchable energy at reasonable cost, and can provide significant reductions in carbon dioxide emissions when compared to the two sources that dominate our current energy mix: oil and coal. Those energy sources are natural gas and nuclear energy. Widespread deployment of wind turbines is not an effective climate-change strategy. ~ Robert Bryce
Emergency order toughens rules on U.S. rail oil shipments
Associated Press - Tuesday, February 25, 2014 

Federal regulators say crude oil may no longer be shipped by tank cars that lack certain safety features. A runaway train with 72 tank cars of Bakken oil derailed, exploded and burned in the downtown area of Lac-Megantic, Quebec, near the Maine border in July. Forty-seven people were killed and 30 buildings destroyed. Oil trains have also exploded and burned in North Dakota and Alabama in recent months. The Lac-Megantic accident was a wake-up call for safety officials, who were surprised by its severity. Tests taken of Bakken oil since the accident suggest it is more dangerous than some other types of crude.
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