June 19, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Wednesday, June 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; 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
Save Right Whales
Action Alert - Wednesday, June 19, 2019 

New England’s iconic whale is on the brink of extinction. A bill in Congress called Scientific Assistance for Very Endangered (“SAVE”) Right Whales could help this key species recover. ~ Conservation Law Foundation
Water: What is has to teach us, Jun 25
Event - Posted - Tuesday, June 18, 2019 

Learn about fresh water ecosystems and new aquaculture operations in the MidCoast region. At Topsham Public Library, June 25, 6 pm. Sponsored by Cathance River Education Alliance.
Proposed Coyote Center, Jun 24
Event - Posted - Monday, June 17, 2019 

Biologist Geri Vistein will share an informative film about the future Coyote Center in Maine, followed by a discussion of Maine’s coyotes. At Lithgow Public Library, Augusta, June 24, 6:30 pm.
Teen Wilderness Expedition, July 23-25
Announcement - Sunday, June 16, 2019 

The Teen Wilderness Expedition is a 3-day, 2-night, all-inclusive adventure for 12-16 year olds at Little Lyford Lodge, July 23-25. Offered by Piscataquis County Soil and Water Conservation District and Appalachian Mountain Club.
Maine State Museum hosts Bike Day, Jun 22
Event - Posted - Saturday, June 15, 2019 

Join the Maine State Museum, Bicycle Coalition of Maine and the Maine State Library in a free family event to commemorate the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote and learn about the benefits of safe, relaxed bike riding. At Maine State Museum, June 22, 10 am - 1 pm.
Woodland Management with Birds in Mind, Jun 22
Event - Posted - Saturday, June 15, 2019 

A Forestry for Maine Birds workshop for landowners, foresters and loggers interested in learning how they can support Maine’s forest songbirds. At Somerset County Cooperative Extension office, Skowhegan, and on the adjacent Yankee Woodlot Demonstration Forest, June 22, 9 am - noon.
Hike Puzzle Mt., Jun 22
Event - Posted - Saturday, June 15, 2019 

A moderate to strenuous hike of 8.5 miles. Cross several exposed granite boulders and ledges offering views of the Sunday River ski area, Grafton Notch, and the Presidentials, June 22, pre-register. Sponsored by Appalachian Mountain Club.
Androscoggin River Canoe & Kayak River Race, Jun 22
Event - Posted - Saturday, June 15, 2019 

This event is open to all to launch canoes, kayaks, paddle boards, (and more) into the Androscoggin River and complete one of three courses of varying length and challenge. At Festival Plaza, Auburn, June 22, 9 am, $15 for single paddler, $25 for a double, benefits Androscoggin Land Trust.
Plants of Corea Heath, Jun 22
Event - Posted - Saturday, June 15, 2019 

Join Jill Weber, botanist and co-author of The Plants of Acadia National Park, to learn about carnivorous plants, orchids, stunted trees and shrubs and cotton-grass. At Corea Heath, Goldsboro, June 22, 8:30 am. Sponsored by Downeast Audubon.
Maine Wildlife Park open house, Jun 21
Event - Posted - Friday, June 14, 2019 

The Maine Wildlife Park in Gray will hold an open house with free admission, June 21, 5-8 pm. Feeding times for moose, lynx, foxes, cougars, vultures and bears will be posted.
Call for a presidential primary debate on climate change
Action Alert - Thursday, June 13, 2019 

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez has rejected a presidential primary debate on climate change. 15 Democratic presidential candidates have joined the call. So can you. ~ CREDO Action
Trekking through Time
Announcement - Thursday, June 13, 2019 

From June through October, Lakes Environmental Association, Loon Echo Land Trust, Greater Lovell Land Trust, Upper Saco Valley Land Trust, and Western Foothills Land Trust will host the Trekking through Time Series. Once a month throughout the summer and early fall, each organization will host a historical tour of one of its conservation properties.
Help document impact on shell middens, Jun 18
Announcement - Tuesday, June 11, 2019 

Many cultural artifacts of Maine's first coastal residents are preserved in shell middens, but these sites are disappearing as sea levels rise, collectors dig into the middens, and visitors walk on them. Maine Midden Minders is developing a database of erosion conditions at middens. Volunteer training at Coastal Rivers’ Education Center, Damariscotta, June 18, 3-7 pm.
“Dog-Friendly Hikes in Maine” book launch, Jun 18
Event - Posted - Tuesday, June 11, 2019 

Book signing and presentation for “Dog-Friendly Hikes in Maine” by Aislinn Sarnacki, which contains detailed descriptions and maps of 35 hikes across Maine that are ideal for dogs and their owners. At Epic Sports, Bangor, June 18, 5-7:30 pm.
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News Items
This poll should scare lawmakers who reject climate action
Climate Progress - Tuesday, February 27, 2018 

Millennials overwhelmingly support action to fight human-caused climate change, according to a new poll sponsored by the conservative non-profit Alliance for Market Solutions (AMS). More than 3 out of 4 young voters think we should try to stop or slow climate change, including 89% of Democrats, 77% of independents, and 57% of Republicans.
Belfast’s Skip, Jo Pendleton commemorated with new trail stewardship program
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, February 27, 2018 

There was a time not long ago when the most likely person you’d run into on Belfast area trails was Skip Pendleton. A lifelong Belfast resident, he and his wife of 65 years, Jo Pendleton, were beacons of the community with a love for the outdoors that they expressed through countless hours of volunteer work to establish and maintain area trails. The couple passed away last fall just a few weeks apart. In honor of their memory, the Coastal Mountains Land Trust is creating the Pendleton Stewardship Fund. The campaign’s goal is to raise $75,000 to support and sustain an annual intern in Waldo County, continuing stewardship for the land and trails that were so important to the beloved Belfast couple.
Maine utility regulators vote to look into high electric bills
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, February 27, 2018 

Maine utility regulators decided Tuesday to start an inquiry into what’s behind an apparent spike in electric bills for some Central Maine Power customers. Staff from the Public Utilities Commission will pull together data that includes electric meter performance, billing system accuracy and CMP’s response to customers, the commissioners decided during deliberations. If the results warrant, the agency will open a formal investigation.
Opinion: There’s no reason to restart Maine’s inhumane coyote snaring practice
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, February 27, 2018 

Since the 1960s, coyote control (control being a euphemism for “killing”) bills have annually flooded the Maine Legislature with the purported virtuous goal of saving deer. Legislators who have made impassioned pleas to kill coyotes to “protect our deer herd” could have saved far more deer for hunters by passing laws to protect deer yards. But lobbyists for the powerful timber industry have donated thousands of campaign dollars to sway legislators to vote against laws protecting softwood habitat critical to deer winter survival. So instead, legislators took the easy path: lets appease hunters by killing more coyotes. The notion that coyotes can be controlled is ludicrous. ~ Ron Joseph, retired Maine wildlife biologist
Opinion: Here are a few things Donald Trump needs to know about trade
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, February 27, 2018 

History is filled with efforts to protect domestic industries, which exact a cost to consumers that is much higher than the economic effect of any lost jobs. President Trump is making a mistake by imposing steep tariffs on Chinese solar panels. This may create or save a few U.S. jobs, but will be very expensive for consumers who will have to pay more. President Trump’s blind spot on trade won’t derail the U.S. economy, but a trade war with one or more of our important partners would reduce our exports, harm consumers and slow the growth the administration wants to take credit for. ~ Martin Jones, Freeport, economic and financial analyst
letter: Oppose EPA budget cuts
Sun Journal - Tuesday, February 27, 2018 

The Environmental Protection Agency depends on scientific research, which allows monitoring of systems including water, air and standards for toxic substances. The EPA cannot carry out its mandate without adequate funding. The current administration has done its best to keep the agency from doing its job. It has banned language commonly used for preparing for next year’s budget; terms like “vulnerable,” “evidence-based,” and “science-based.” It has done its best to silence scientists. At the same time, Scott Pruitt has laid off personnel and cut the budget. It is obvious the Trump administration wants to eliminate any agency that would get in the way of industrial growth and monetary advancement. Maine Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King should oppose any budget cuts to the EPA. ~ Nancy Gilbert, Durham
Letter: Regional planners must address Portland area’s boom-and-bust pattern
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, February 27, 2018 

We welcome the news that two regional planning organizations will consolidate: the Greater Portland Council of Governments and Portland Area Comprehensive Transportation System. If Greater Portland’s prosperity is to be sustained and broadened, this and other regional entities must help change the region’s historical pattern of economic boom and bust. For 50 years, economic planning in Greater Portland has largely reinforced the status quo, leaving the economy itself unchanged. The time has come to attach regional planning directly to elected authority. ~ Richard Barringer, Portland, and Frank O’Hara, Hallowell
Owner of hydroelectric facilities in Jay requests tax abatement
Sun Journal - Monday, February 26, 2018 

Androscoggin Hydro, a subsidiary of Eagle Creek Renewable Energy based in New Jersey, has filed a tax abatement request for 2017 for its two hydroelectric facilities on the Androscoggin River. Eagle Creek bought four hydroelectric facilities from Verso Corp. in January 2016 for nearly $62 million. The other facilities are in Livermore and Livermore Falls. The company believes the total assessed value of all four facilities is $33 million, not $61.99 million. It has requested that the 2017 assessments in Jay be lowered from $22.6 million to $10.54 million.
Coast Guard sending down camera today to survey sunken tugboat
Portland Press Herald - Monday, February 26, 2018 

A Coast Guard mission to inspect a tugboat that sank in 158 feet of water about 3 miles south of Kennebunkport last week is scheduled to begin Tuesday morning. The tugboat was carrying eight 44-gallon plastic barrels of fuel on deck and had about 4,440 gallons of fuel in its tank.
North Pole surges above freezing in the dead of winter, stunning scientists
Washington Post - Monday, February 26, 2018 

Temperatures may have soared as high as 35 degrees Fahrenheit at the North Pole. Several independent analyses showed it was more than 50 degrees above normal. The warm intrusion penetrated right through the heart of the central Arctic. The temperature averaged for the entire region spiked to its highest level ever recorded in February. January’s winter sea ice extent in the Arctic was the lowest on record.
Republican candidates for governor meet for first debate at Colby College
Morning Sentinel - Monday, February 26, 2018 

When asked how to bring together the economic divide between northern and southern Maine, Kenneth Fredette said “we need to find where our competitive advantage is” now that former jobs, like those in the closed mills, are gone. Shawn Moody said the state needs to create incentives for young people to come back to and stay in Maine. Garrett Mason said more economic opportunity in northern Maine could be achieved through greater access to broadband internet. Mary Mayhew said government needs to “get out of the pocket” of hard working Mainers. Michael Thibodeau said there is already good work happening involving rural industries, such as with salmon fisheries and the timber industry. All the candidates largely praised Gov. Paul LePage’s track record. In response, Maine Democratic Party Chairman Phil Bartlett said the candidates did nothing to distinguish themselves from LePage. He said the last thing Mainers need is more of the same politics and economic policies.
Wind Advocate George Smith Follows in Angus King's Footsteps
Citizens Task Force on Wind Power - Monday, February 26, 2018 

George Smith quotes Angus King's praise of the Maine mountains, as in that land form King has trashed with his wind turbine blight for the almighty dollar: "As Senator Angus King writes in the forward, “The vistas are so wide, the colors so subtle, the forests so deep, that the urge to see for yourself will be pretty hard to resist.” Boy, Angus got that right." We agree, Angus. In fact the vistas were so hard to resist, we bought homes there. And you defiled these priceless vistas with your usual insider game, clipping the taxpayer and stepping on the unwashed commoners we are. You forever destroyed many families' cherished little gardens of eden.
Company To Build Salmon Farm At Site Of Shuttered Verso Paper Mill
Maine Public - Monday, February 26, 2018 

The site of the former Verso Paper Co. in Bucksport, which shut its doors four years ago, will be home to an entirely new business. Whole Oceans has reached an agreement to acquire more than 120 acres of the site and build a $250 million land-based salmon farm. The company says it plans to use water from the Penobscot River, and has developed an advanced water filtering system to remove any contaminants left behind by industry. Unlike the global market for paper, farmed salmon appears to have a predictably solid future.
Maine passenger rail extension will be limited to three summer weekends
Bangor Daily News - Monday, February 26, 2018 

A pilot program that will extend seasonal passenger rail service on Amtrak’s Downeaster north from Brunswick to Rockland won approval Monday for three weekends this summer. The seasonal extension would add stops in Bath, Wiscasset, Newcastle and Rockland on a limited weekend schedule. While the program, the Downeaster Coastal Connection, was originally slated to run for 10 weeks this summer, the board voted to allow the pilot program to run only for three weekends in August due to limited funding.
State starts closing down scallop fishery
Mainebiz - Monday, February 26, 2018 

The Maine Department of Marine Resources has begun closing areas to scallop fishing for the season. The shutdowns are designed to protect the resource from depletion, during a season that begins in December and can last until early April. According to a DMR notice, targeted conservation closures have occurred along the Harrington and Pleasant rivers in Addison, and in Upper Frenchman Bay.
Atlantic Mackerel Fishery Will Be Restricted Through December
Associated Press - Monday, February 26, 2018 

The East Coast mackerel fishery will face new restrictions because fishermen have exceeded their limit for two other species. Fishermen bring Atlantic mackerel to shore from Maine to North Carolina. The fishermen are given a limit to the amount of river herring and shad they are also allowed to catch. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says mackerel fishermen are close enough to that limit that restrictions are kicking in. The fishermen will be prohibited from fishing more than 20,000 pounds of Atlantic mackerel per trip for the remainder of the calendar year.
Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine helped develop legislator’s school safety bill
Portland Press Herald - Monday, February 26, 2018 

A Republican lawmaker who proposed legislation seeking a $20 million bond to fund state-specified school safety improvements developed the bill in concert with the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine. The hunting and fishing organization rarely involves itself with school issues but is a fierce opponent of most gun control legislation. “Our organization is proud to introduce legislation that, unlike other proposals coming forward in recent days, will actually make our schools a safer place to learn,” said Trahan, a former Maine legislator.
Maine’s Farmers’ Markets Prepare for the 2018 Season
Maine Government News - Monday, February 26, 2018 

Maine has more than 130 summer farmers’ markets, and each is operated locally. To find out whether a particular market is accepting new vendors this year, visit the market’s website and social media.
Maine Office of Tourism Marketing Campaigns Receive Awards
Maine Government News - Monday, February 26, 2018 

The Maine Office of Tourism was recognized for excellence in travel marketing by Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International. Maine received two Adrian Awards, a platinum award for advertising, and a silver award for public relations. The winning campaigns were chosen out of a field of over 1,300 entries submitted for 2017.
Column: In trusts, LePage doesn’t trust
Forecaster - Monday, February 26, 2018 

Nobody is saying conserving land is a bad idea. Well, nobody but Republican Gov. Paul LePage . But LePage needs a boogeyman to make it appear somebody else is chiefly responsible for high property taxes. The rest of us think saving open space for future generations is a worthy enterprise. Unfortunately, the state has ignored how the consequences of that investment are distributed. The deal seems to be unfair to the most economically disadvantaged sections of Maine. Those towns ought to have some say before more large tracts are taken off the tax rolls. ~ Al Diamon
Revered fisheries biologist knew we needed to protect our streams and native trout
George Smith's Outdoor News Blog - Monday, February 26, 2018 

After fighting for the last two years for protection of the tributaries to our Heritage ponds, where our native brook trout are protected, I was delighted to read that revered DIFW fisheries biologist Roger Auclair recognized this need long ago. Here’s what Roger said. “One of the biggest challenges during my time was realizing the importance of streams to our fisheries, the importance of habitat and temperature for native species. The most meaningful opportunity was being able to survey and manage Moosehead Lake and its watershed because of its remote vastness, because of its wonderful brook trout populations, and because of its wonderful coldwater species that are still intact.”
Federal panel weighs lower royalty payments for offshore oil and gas drilling
Washington Post - Monday, February 26, 2018 

An Interior Department advisory panel is considering whether the federal government should sharply cut the royalty rate that oil and gas firms pay for deepwater drilling while expediting energy development on federal land. The panel also calls for conducting a lease sale for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge’s coastal plain within two to three years, rather than the four years dictated by the budget resolution Congress adopted last year. Panel members hail from the energy industry or from states with significant drilling or mining activity.
Botanical gardens, Boothbay quietly work to end legal feud over $30M expansion
Bangor Daily News - Monday, February 26, 2018 

Two months after Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens filed suit against the town of Boothbay alleging that the town violated the Civil Rights Act, settlement talks have begun. In December, Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens sued Boothbay in U.S. District Court alleging the town incorrectly revoked a permit for the botanical gardens to expand, a project that was already well underway. Four members of the Anthony family, who live next to the gardens and also have filed a civil suit over the expansion, are intervenors in the federal suit. The three parties have agreed to negotiate a settlement.
Tiny livestock can be the perfect fit for small-scale homesteaders
Bangor Daily News - Monday, February 26, 2018 

Going tiny in regard to farm animals is a good option for Maine homesteaders, according to Cindy Kilgore, livestock specialist with the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. “These animals are smaller so they are easier to manage and move around,” Kilgore said. “They take less feed, hay, straw or space than their larger counterparts so the whole scale of operation is just smaller.” Plus, there is the “awwww” factor with miniature livestock.
Where Republicans who want to succeed LePage stand on key issues
Bangor Daily News - Monday, February 26, 2018 

Question 3: Are the requirements in Maine’s citizen initiative process appropriate? What changes, if any, would you support as governor? Garrett Mason: “No, they are not appropriate." Mary Mayhew: “The initiative process is undermining and detracting from the legislative process and distorting priorities for our state." Ken Fredette: “The referendum process is being abused by liberal, progressive, out-of-state interests." Shawn Moody: “Out-of-state liberal interests with massive budgets have hijacked Maine’s referendum process by funding efforts to place questions on Maine’s ballot and then funding the campaigns to pass them." Mike Thibodeau: “I will work to pass a constitutional amendment to prevent far-left organizations from increasing the tax burden on Maine’s small businesses and doing harm to our economy."
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