June 19, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Tuesday, June 18, 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
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.
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.
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.
Short Course on Island History, June
Event - Posted - Monday, June 10, 2019 

Malaga Island classroom session, at Harpswell Heritage Land Trust office, June 17, 6 pm; field trip, June 22, 11 am-3 pm. Eagle Island classroom session, at Harpswell Heritage Land Trust office, June 27, 6 pm; field trip June 29, 9:30 am-1:30 pm. Harpswell Heritage Land Trust members $60, non-members $70.
Maine Invasive Plants Field Guide
Publication - Sunday, June 9, 2019 

The Maine Natural Areas Program field guide covers 46 species of terrestrial and wetland invasive plants and is waterproof, portable, and ring-bound to allow for future additions. Each species account includes key identification characters, growth form, habitats invaded, control methods, similar native and non-native plant species, and current status of the plant in Maine. $18 for orders received by June 30.
Residents Day at Maine State Parks and Historic Sites, Jun 16
Event - Posted - Sunday, June 9, 2019 

Maine residents can take advantage of free day admission to Maine State Parks and Historic Sites. On Residents Day, Jun 16, vehicles with Maine license plates will have fees waived.
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News Items
Massachusetts energy official likely to be named Maine director
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, February 27, 2019 

The deputy commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources is expected to be appointed Maine’s next energy office director by Gov. Janet Mills, according the energy industry sources. Dan Burgess, a Newport native and a 2005 University of Maine graduate, has a strong background in renewable and clean energy policy in the commonwealth.
Who will rule the roost? The black-capped or the boreal chickadee?
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, February 27, 2019 

Two ornithologists as well as a state representative speaking on behalf of some 80 fourth-graders urged lawmakers Wednesday to choose a bird – any bird – to be the state’s official representative and clarify a statute that dates back to 1927. Maine’s state bird is the chickadee – but which chickadee? The statute that established the designation 92 years ago doesn’t say. Choosing a specific chickadee – regardless of which – would better highlight Maine values and attributes, Maine Audubon’s outreach manager Nick Lund testified.
A Nest Divided: Maine's Great Chickadee Debate
Maine Public - Wednesday, February 27, 2019 

There's a big debate simmering in the Legislature, and it's certain to split Maine residents into two groups. No, not Democrats and Republicans. The debate is about birds — chickadees specifically. And there's now a bill that would require lawmakers to choose which particular kind of chickadee is the official state bird.
Financing a mystery for ad critical of Mills’ support of CMP line
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, February 27, 2019 

A television and social media ad critical of Gov. Janet Mills for backing Central Maine Power’s proposed transmission line is drawing fire from CMP and project supporters, which charge that a New York-based biomass energy firm that received nearly $4 million this week in Maine taxpayer subsidies is among the interests underwriting the campaign. But that company, ReEnergy Holdings, said Wednesday that while it opposes the New England Clean Energy Connect project, it didn’t pay for the ad. The Natural Resources Council of Maine said it’s not funding the ad. The mystery over who’s bankrolling the ad is the latest flashpoint in the power line debate.
Loggers race against time before beetles kill ash trees
Associated Press - Wednesday, February 27, 2019 

Loggers in snowy forests are cutting down ash like there’s no tomorrow, seeking to stay one step ahead of a fast-spreading beetle killing the tree in dozens of states. The emerald ash borer has been chewing its way through trees from Maine to Colorado for about two decades, devastating a species prized for yielding a light-grained hardwood attractive enough for furniture and resilient enough for baseball bats. Some see ash following the fate of the American chestnut, a once-prolific tree that was decimated by blight more than a century ago.
Collins Says She Will Oppose Confirmation Of Wheeler To EPA
Maine Public - Wednesday, February 27, 2019 

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine says she's opposing the confirmation of Andrew Wheeler to be the administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Collins, a Republican, said in a statement Wednesday that she has "too many concerns with the actions" Wheeler has taken during his tenure as acting administrator.
US still sends lots of lobster to China, but tariffs keep industry on edge
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, February 27, 2019 

America is still sending millions of pounds of lobster to China, but members of the seafood industry remain on edge about the future of the United States’ relationship with one of its most important customers. Members of the industry caution that exports were off by 30 to 50 percent from previous years after tariffs took effect. Annie Tselikis, executive director of the Maine Lobster Dealers’ Association, said the industry will “never know how strong those exports” could have been if the tariffs hadn’t been enacted. Maine’s congressional delegation said Wednesday it has asked U.S. Trade Representative Robert E. Lighthizer to prioritize the lobster industry in upcoming negotiations. The delegation said it “cannot allow the future viability of this critical industry to be threatened by prolonged and unpredictable trade negotiations with China.”
Sen. Collins says she won’t support Trump’s EPA nominee
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, February 27, 2019 

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins said Wednesday that she will oppose the confirmation of Andrew Wheeler, President Trump’s nominee to lead the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. “While Mr. Wheeler is certainly qualified for this position, I have too many concerns with the actions he has taken during his tenure as Acting Administrator to be able to support his promotion,” Collins said in a statement. “I believe that Mr. Wheeler...understands the mission of the EPA and acts in accordance with ethical standards; however, the policies he has supported as Acting Administrator are not in the best interest of our environment and public health, particularly given the threat of climate change to our nation.”
Rubber lure ban postponed for a year
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Wednesday, February 27, 2019 

Senator Paul Davis’s bill to require rubber lures to be biodegradable was postponed this morning by the legislature’s Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee, at the request of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. Francis Brautigam, DIFW’s Fisheries Division Director, informed the committee that the department would like some time to work on this important issue, and said they’d be organizing a group of both supporters and opponents of the bill, to explore what can be done.
Updates proposed to Maine’s bottle bill include bigger deposits, higher handling fees
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, February 27, 2019 

State lawmakers are considering nearly a dozen measures to update Maine’s bottle bill law, including legislation that would increase the deposits paid by consumers and the handling fees paid to redemption centers. In testimony Wednesday, redemption center owners said the handling fee they receive doesn’t cover rising costs, especially the recent increase in Maine’s minimum wage. But bottling companies and retailers say Maine may have too many redemption centers, and raising the deposit on bottles and cans would put Maine companies at a competitive disadvantage. Steve Roop, the owner of six agency liquor stores and redemption centers, offered the committee an alternative. He said the state should establish deposits for the many other products that are sold in plastic containers.
Maine man succumbs to injuries from Valentine’s Day snowmobile crash
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, February 27, 2019 

A Berwick man who was injured after a snowmobile crash on Valentine’s Day has died. James Reagan, 59, died Saturday at Portsmouth Regional Hospital where he was being treated after he broke through thin ice on Feb. 14. Reagan’s death is the eighth fatality from a snowmobile crash this season.
Foundation hopes to forge a connection between communities and aquaculture
Times Record - Wednesday, February 27, 2019 

At a time when much of the discussion over aquaculture is absorbed in contentious debate over a proposed 40-acre oyster farm in Maquoit Bay, the Holbrook Community Foundation in Harpswell is looking to help local officials and residents learn more about the aquaculture farms that already exist in their communities. The Holbrook Community Foundation was recently awarded a grant that will allow it to offer three boat tours of aquaculture in the New Meadows River, where several oyster farms are already operating. The first tour will target town officials and “community influencers” from Harpswell, Brunswick, West Bath and Phippsburg. It will visit aquaculture sites where the tourists can talk to growers and each other.
Red’s Eats looks to go green, cut out plastics in 2019
Times Record - Wednesday, February 27, 2019 

Renowned Wiscasset establishment Red’s Eats is ditching plastic straws for its 2019 season, and hopes to dump its other plasticware in the near future. “I have already purchased red (and) white paper straws for the opening of Red’s Eats and a couple of my purveyors are also checking out products to show me as well.” said Debbie Gagnon, one of the eatery’s owners. Gagnon said she will be attending some food shows to get ideas for how to replace other plastic items that the business still uses.
More than 15 miles of new trails open in Katahdin region
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, February 27, 2019 

Penobscot River Trails has opened to the public after three years of construction. Located on a privately owned preserve covering about 5,000 acres near Grindstone, the property features more than 15 miles of groomed cross-country ski trails that explore forestland along the East Branch of the Penobscot River. The trails are open to the public on weekends and holidays while snow conditions last. The project — estimated to cost $5 million — was funded by a charitable foundation established by millionaire philanthropist Gilbert Butler. In addition to being a place for public recreation, the facility is home to the Maine Outdoor Education Program, founded by Butler in 2012 to provide free outdoor programs to children and teens.
DEP and LUPC hearing set on New England Clean Energy Connect Project
Maine Government News - Wednesday, February 27, 2019 

The Land Use Planning Commission and Maine Department of Environmental Protection will hold a joint hearing on Central Maine Power’s proposed New England Clean Energy Connect (NECEC) Project on April 2. The daytime session begins at 10:30 a.m. in the North Dining Hall at the University of Maine at Farmington. The evening session begins at 6:00 p.m. in Lincoln Auditorium at the University of Maine at Farmington.
LCV rates Maine's congressional delegation
Maine Environmental News - Wednesday, February 27, 2019 

The League of Conservation Voters has released its 2018 National Environmental Scorecard. Here's how Maine's delegation scored on votes to protect our air, water, land, wildlife and climate:
• US Senator Susan Collins: 21%
• US Senator Angus King: 93%
• US Representative Chellie Pingree: 94%
• US Representative Bruce Poliquin: 14%
Watch: Wildlife biologists check on abandoned bear cub placed with new mom
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, February 27, 2019 

Maine’s wildlife biologists are venturing into woods in Edinburg on Wednesday to check on an abandoned bear cub placed with a surrogate mother. The BDN is tagging along. It was one of three bear cubs abandoned in January after their mother was scared out of her ground nest by nearby logging equipment.
Aroostook County’s last biomass plant will shut down in April
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, February 27, 2019 

The operator of Aroostook County’s last running biomass electricity plant, which currently employs 20 people, plans to shut it down in April. New York-based ReEnergy officials said that the Ashland biomass plant “is not financially viable under current market conditions,” and will stop accepting deliveries during the last week of February in anticipation of ceasing operations in early April. The decision to close the Ashland plant comes after the company’s Fort Fairfield plant shut down in November. The company also operates Maine biomass plants in Livermore Falls and Stratton. Dana Doran, executive director of the Professional Logging Contractors of Maine, said he hopes to see efforts to support biomass plants in the state.
Congress votes to save LWCF
Appalachian Mountain Club - Wednesday, February 27, 2019 

This week, AMC is thrilled to celebrate the permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund as part of the landmark Natural Resources Management Act. Passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in both the Senate and the House, the bill will now head to President Trump’s desk to be signed into law.
Opinion: Shutdown’s impacts linger in national parks
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, February 27, 2019 

The impacts of the 35-day government shutdown on our national parks were troubling. From illegal off-roading in fragile wilderness areas to looting of Civil War relics from national battlefields and illegal cutting of the famed Joshua Trees, we’ve seen what can happen to our national parks when they are left open with only skeleton crews. These examples of resource damage are only part of the problem, however. National parks across the country, including Acadia, are facing longer term effects of the shutdown. We implore Sen. Susan Collins, Sen. Angus King, Rep. Chellie Pingree and Rep. Jared Golden to work to find a long-term funding solution to avoid another shutdown disaster and to stand up for the health or our parks, our local economies that depend from them, and the millions of people that visit them each year. ~ Cortney Worrall, National Parks Conservation Association, and Stephanie Clement, Friends of Acadia
CMP Officials Pitch $1 Billion Transmission Project To Skeptical Residents In Gov. Mills' Hometown
Maine Public - Wednesday, February 27, 2019 

The dispute over Central Maine Power's proposed transmission line through western Maine landed last night in Farmington, the hometown of Gov. Janet Mills. She strongly endorsed the project last week, but at the town’s Board of Selectmen’s meeting, CMP officials faced an audience full of skeptical opponents. After the hearing, Ken Decker, a Farmington farmer, echoed many who said they felt that political leaders, Gov. Mills most of all, were ignoring the will of the people. Farmington residents will vote on whether the town should support or oppose the project at Town Meeting on March 25.
5 ways to reuse cardboard rolls around your homestead
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, February 27, 2019 

You probably also have a bunch of round cardboard toilet paper languishing in your recycling bin. Those cardboard tubes can find new life around your homestead. Before you toss them, consider these five ways to reuse toilet paper and paper towel rolls.
• Seed starter pots
• Protect seedlings from pests
• Compost
• Bird feeder
• Fire starter
A small Maine city has begun reaping serious benefits from its solar power push
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, February 27, 2019 

In 2014, Belfast became the first municipality in Maine to build a solar array on a closed landfill. A 660-kilowatt solar installation at the site of the Belfast's new public works facility will generate about $100,000 worth of electricity each year. The 2,500-panel solar farm is helping the city offset nearly 90 percent of its municipal electrical costs.
Old Town mill owner says last week’s steam signals step toward reopening
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, February 27, 2019 

Steam rose from a smokestack at the Old Town pulp mill last week more than three years after the mill that used to employ nearly 200 workers went idle. The new owner said it was firing up a package boiler for the first time since it bought the property in October 2018. The restart of the boiler marked an important step toward restarting the mill in the coming months. Chinese paper company Nine Dragons Paper (Holdings) Ltd. has previously said it plans to have the Old Town mill running by the end of the first quarter of 2019. Old Town is the company’s second location in Maine, after it bought the paper mill in Rumford from Catalyst Paper in June 2018.
Column: Economic policies or pipedreams?
Sun Journal - Wednesday, February 27, 2019 

As Democrats swing left, it becomes increasingly difficult to imagine what their triumph in the next election would mean for America. Take for example, “The Green New Deal.” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Edward J. Markey propose putting the country on a war footing to purge U.S. greenhouse-gas emissions over a decade. The costs aren’t known, because the manifesto contains no concrete proposals. However, it must be sweeping and expensive if the government is to subsidize “clean” energy and suppress fossil fuels. What’s missing from this picture is old-fashioned prudence. But if financial markets worry about the escalating debt, Treasury bonds will lose value. If the fall in confidence is great enough, it might trigger a panic. ~ Robert Samuelson
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