August 21, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Tuesday, August 20, 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
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.
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.
Wabanaki artists, culture event, Aug 24
Event - Posted - Saturday, August 17, 2019 

40+ members of the Penobscot, Passamaquoddy, Micmac and Maliseet tribes will demonstrate traditional Wabanaki art forms, including basketmaking, stone carving, bark etching, beadwork and jewelry, in addition to performances of drumming, singing, dancing and storytelling. At Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village, New Gloucester, August 24, 10 am - 3 pm.
A Toxic Tale: Trump's Environmental Impact, Aug 23
Announcement - Friday, August 16, 2019 

According to the EPA's own analysis, the Trump administration's Affordable Clean Energy rule will result in up to 1,400 more premature deaths a year by 2030. Learn about the impacts of Trump's deregulation campaign on a CNN Special Report "A Toxic Tale: Trump's Environmental Impact." August 23, 10 pm.
Close Encounters of the First Kind, Aug 22
Event - Posted - Thursday, August 15, 2019 

Maine’s First Ship hosts Ken Hamilton for a discussion of the earliest European and indigenous people interactions, from 16th century Jacques Cartier and Basque fishermen to early 17th century French and English explorers. At Bath Freight Shed, Bath, August 22, 7 pm.
Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument Anniversary Celebration, Aug 23-24
Event - Posted - Thursday, August 15, 2019 

Dinner, music, silent auction, awards, and toast to commemorate the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument’s August 24th, 2016 proclamation. At New England Outdoor Center, T1 R8, August 23-24, $25.
Earth Day 2020
Announcement - Thursday, August 15, 2019 

Earth Day, the global environmental movement for a cleaner, greener, safer and more just world for all, turns 50 next year. Want to help?
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News Items
CMP Energy Project Could Tunnel Under Kennebec River Gorge
Maine Public - Wednesday, March 28, 2018 

Massachusetts officials say they are ready to negotiate final terms for the construction of a $950 million transmission line to carry electricity from Canada's Hydro-Quebec dam system through Maine down to the Bay State. Central Maine Power says it can complete the project by 2022, but it is facing opposition. The line would run 145 miles through western Maine, including a jog across the scenic Kennebec River Gorge. Some environmentalists say they will watch closely to ensure minimal impact on scenic resources. But for now, the Natural Resources Council of Maine is opposed. CMP's John Carroll says the company is willing to take action to mitigate effects on scenic resources and local communities. That could include digging a tunnel under the Kennebec River Gorge, or CMP would invest in trails and other recreational resources.
LePage's Stay in Trump Hotel May Support Emoluments Case Against the President
Maine Public - Wednesday, March 28, 2018 

A federal judge in Maryland ruled Wednesday that the attorneys general in Maryland and D.C. have standing to pursue a case alleging that President Trump’s ongoing financial ties to the Trump International Hotel In Washington, D.C. violate what’s known as the emoluments clause of the U.S. Constitution, which prohibits federal officials from receiving financial benefits from government actors. Maine Gov. Paul LePage stayed at the Trump International Hotel last spring. Shortly thereafter, he appeared alongside Trump when the president signed an executive order reviewing recently designated national monuments. One of the monuments, Katahdin Woods and Waters, was fiercely opposed by LePage. Plaintiffs argue that LePage’s patronage indicates that state officials may feel compelled to stay at Trump’s hotel and that the president’s financial stake in the hotel has disadvantaged other hotels in the D.C. area.
LePage stay at Trump D.C. hotel highlighted in lawsuit against president
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, March 28, 2018 

A stay by Gov. Paul LePage at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., in early 2017 is playing a key role in a federal lawsuit against the president. U.S. District Judge Peter Messitte cited a visit by LePage to Trump International and subsequent appearance with Trump at a press conference as an example of how Trump may have received a financial benefit from another government figure, a potential violation of the “Foreign and Domestic Emoluments Clause” of the Constitution. Messitte wrote, "...on one of [LePage's] trips, the President and Governor LePage appeared together at a news conference at which the President sign an executive order to review orders of the prior administration that established a national monuments within the National Park Service, which could apply to a park and national monument in Maine, which President Obama had established over LePage’s objections in 2016.”
Maine In, N.H. Out for Energy Contract with Massachusetts
Maine Public - Wednesday, March 28, 2018 

Massachusetts energy officials have announced they're going with Plan B to bring Canadian hydroelectric power to the Bay State. They've selected a back-up project that runs transmission lines through Maine, after New Hampshire state regulators refused to allow Plan A – the controversial Northern Pass project. But the Maine project, known as New England Clean Energy Connect, also faces an uncertain future.
Mount Vernon couple donates 125-acre lot to land trust for wildlife education
Kennebec Journal - Wednesday, March 28, 2018 

A Mount Vernon couple has donated 125 acres of family land to the Kennebec Land Trust, in part so that kids might use the land to learn about wildlife and conservation. The land was donated by George and Linda Smith. It previously belonged to George’s father, Ezra Smith, and the family has designated it a wildlife conservation area in Ezra Smith’s name.
Can Atlantic Whale Deaths Be Stopped?
Sierra Club - Wednesday, March 28, 2018 

Since 2016, along the Atlantic from Maine to Florida, 67 humpbacks, 31 minkes, and 18 North Atlantic right whales have been found dead. “Climate change is essentially shifting the prey species that these animals feed on,” said Francine Kelley, project scientist for the marine mammal protection project at the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Massachusetts ends talks with transmission line developer, clears way for CMP project
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, March 28, 2018 

Massachusetts energy officials on Wednesday officially ended talks with the developer of a proposed transmission line from Quebec through New Hampshire, paving the way for an alternate line through Maine. The action comes after a siting committee in New Hampshire rejected the Northern Pass proposal, and the developer was unable to gain approval by a March 27 deadline set by Massachusetts. The result is placing new scrutiny on CMP’s plan to build a $950 million, 145-mile line along a corridor it already owns. The line would run from the Canadian border through Farmington and Jay to Lewiston, where it would connect to the regional electric grid. The line would cross the Kennebec Gorge, a scenic, 10-mile cut in the river traversed each summer by thousands of whitewater rafters. It also would bisect the Appalachian Trail.
Column: Local Wood Works for Maine
Kennebec Journal - Wednesday, March 28, 2018 

Congratulations to Local Wood Works for winning a Source Award from the Maine Sunday Telegram for championing Maine’s wood economy. As Theresa Kerchner noted, “From the beginning, as we articulated our mission it was to both support long-term conservation and advance forest-based wood economies.” Theresa is the leader of the Kennebec Land Trust, the organization I am donating my woodlot to, and the person who initiated the Local Wood Works project by reaching out to the Maine Forest Service. ~ George Smith
Column: This is bound to be my most-shared column ever
Kennebec Journal - Wednesday, March 28, 2018 

I am pleased to let you know that Gov. Paul LePage is resigning this weekend. Someone in Washington, D.C., alerted me that our governor has accepted a job in the Trump administration, reportedly as an ambassador to a Caribbean nation. Not all the new news is good, though. A top weather forecaster says we’ll get two more feet of snow in April; something to do with climate change. OK, you have probably figured out that most of this is fake news. A new study found that false information on social media travels six times faster than the truth, and reaches far more people. This may be my most read column ever. Go ahead and share it. ~ George Smith
11 things every adventure dog needs
Aislinn Sarnacki Act Out Blog - Tuesday, March 27, 2018 

I’m here today to talk about the items I often use while hiking or camping or canoeing with my family. So here it is — before I spot another squirrel and lose my train of thought — 11 items dogs might need when adventuring in the wilderness:
1. Water
2. A bowl
3. Treats
4. Waste bags
5. Dog-friendly insect repellent
6. A jacket or two
7. Athletic tape
8. Foot wax
9. A collar with bling
10. A leash
11. Emergency plan
Jackson introduces bill to protect loggers’ jobs
Fiddlehead Focus (St. John Valley, Aroostook County) - Tuesday, March 27, 2018 

Senate Democratic Leader Troy Jackson of Allagash introduced a bill March 20 before the Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry to protect Maine’s logging industry and ensure that Maine land be used to employ Maine workers. LD 1844 stipulates that the owner of a parcel of land must give the state first refusal before selling their land to a foreign buyer. The proposed law applies only to landowners who benefit from state tax benefits such as the Maine Tree Growth Tax Law program and whose tract of land amounts to at least 2,500 acres.
Dorn Cox, founder of farmOS, earns new national conservation award Previous HIDE CAPTION Dorn Cox, owner of Tuckaway Farm in Lee, is honored with the first annual Hugh Hammond Bennett Excellence in Conservation Award for his work in soil conservatio
Foster's Daily Democrat - Tuesday, March 27, 2018 

Dorn Cox, the owner of Tuckaway Farm in Lee, has been named the inaugural recipient of the National Association of Conservation Districts’ Hugh Hammond Bennett Excellence in Conservation Award. In addition to owning Tuckaway Farm, Cox is the founder of the open-source farmOS. The farm management platform is designed to give anyone the tools and site-specific science they need to improve their soil health. In turn, that not only improves their production, but lessens their impact on the changing climate, according to Cox. Cox is also the research director for the Wolfe’s Neck Center for Agriculture and the Environment in Freeport.
Questions loom for Falmouth, Windham with Highland Lake bloom
Forecaster - Tuesday, March 27, 2018 

A forum hosted by the Highland Lake Leadership Team provided an update on what researchers and water quality specialists know – and don’t know – about the mysterious bloom that has temporarily appeared in the lake over the past four summers. Karen Wilson, a professor in the University of Southern Maine, explained that the likely culprit behind the bloom has been identified as a form of cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae. But Wilson, who used the term picocyanobacteria to denote the organisms’ small size, said that the source and specific type remain elusive.
Price offered for Maine’s baby eels hits record high
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, March 27, 2018 

Strong demand for baby eels from Maine, spurred by poor winter harvests elsewhere around the globe, has driven prices in the opening days of the state’s annual fishing season to unprecedented heights. The average price offered to fishermen for their baby eels, also known as elvers, since the season began at noon last Thursday is between $2,700 and $2,800 per pound, according to Maine Department of Marine Resources. That’s the highest average price range ever reported by the state agency and more than double the $1,302 per pound that Maine fishermen averaged over the course of the 2017 season.
New Research Shows ‘Strong Correlation’ Between Baby Lobster Decline, Possible Food Source
Maine Public - Tuesday, March 27, 2018 

New science is bearing down on a poorly understood part of the North American lobster’s diet. And it turns out that a tiny crustacean’s abundance may help to explain expected declines in Maine’s lobster harvest. The Gulf of Maine brims with hundreds of varieties of transparent crustaceans known as copepods. “If you’ve ever swum in the ocean, you’ve probably swallowed mouthfuls of them,” says Nick Record, a computational ocean ecologist at the Bigelow Laboratory in Boothbay.
The Trump Administration’s War on Climate Policy: A View from a Whistleblower Who is Speaking Out
Maine Public - Tuesday, March 27, 2018 

Speaking in Maine takes us next to Bates College in Lewiston, for a recent talk by Maine native Joel Clement, who quit his job as Director of the Office of Policy Analysis at the U.S. Department of the Interior in protest over efforts to silence him and his work documenting the effects of climate change. An Interior Department executive-turned-whistleblower who said the Trump administration retaliated against him for publicly disclosing how climate change affects Alaska Native communities resigned.
Undersea researchers explain survey of the Northeast U.S. Canyons Undersea researchers explain survey of the Northeast U.S. Canyons
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, March 27, 2018 

This video produced by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of Ocean Exploration and Research details the 2013 work done by a team of scientists and technicians researching the deep-sea habitats along the Northeast U.S. Canyons and at Mytilus Seamount.
Court: Lawsuit To Eliminate Atlantic Marine Monument Can Proceed
Associated Press - Tuesday, March 27, 2018 

A federal court has ruled that a group of fishing organizations can move forward with a lawsuit that seeks to eliminate the first national marine monument in the Atlantic Ocean. The fishing groups sued to challenge the creation of the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument created by President Barack Obama in 2016. It's a 5,000-square-mile area off of New England. Marine national monuments are underwater areas designed to protect unique or vulnerable ecosystems.
‘Beginning of the end?’ No new babies for endangered right whales
Associated Press - Tuesday, March 27, 2018 

The winter calving season for critically endangered right whales is ending without a single newborn being spotted off the southeast U.S. coast, a reproductive drought unseen for three decades that experts say brings the rare species a perilous step closer to extinction. “It’s a pivotal moment for right whales,” said Barb Zoodsma of the National Marine Fisheries Service. “If we don’t get serious and figure this out, it very well could be the beginning of the end.”
Passenger rail extension to Rockland canceled for 2018
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, March 27, 2018 

The rail authority responsible for managing Maine’s contract with Amtrak has canceled plans to extend passenger rail service from Brunswick to Rockland for three weekends this summer. The proposed pilot project fizzled because Amtrak could not conduct a risk assessment of the tracks between Brunswick and Rockland that would be used for the extension, according to Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority executive director Patricia Quinn. However, this does not signal the end for the possibility of seasonal extension of the Downeaster service going forward. Amtrak will come back later this year to conduct the risk assessment on the Brunswick-Rockland line.
Letter: Pruitt must go
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, March 27, 2018 

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has spent more than $100,000 on pricey luxury travel and $43,000 on a private phone booth in his office while advocating for steep reductions in EPA’s enforcement office. The EPA was created to protect our land and the families who live here. Without this agency, a lot of programs will suffer. We need to move Pruitt out of his position of power and replace him with someone who actually cares about our country. ~ Hilary Godin, Westbrook
Blog: There’s No Need to Travel Far for a Long-Distance Hike
Portland Press Herald - Monday, March 26, 2018 

Not everyone has the time, energy or money to tackle a six-month hike on the Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail or one of the other big-name long-distance trails in the U.S. That’s OK because there are plenty of other trails of a relatively bite-size nature that offer much the same experience without the enormous commitment of resources. ~ Carey Kish
Newest game wardens receive gifts from Maine Guide Snowshoe
Piscataquis Observer - Monday, March 26, 2018 

The Maine Warden Service was recently provided with a special gift, one that is at the heart of any outdoor enthusiast who loves a good Maine winter. Nine pair of genuine, Maine-made snowshoes were donated to the newest graduating class of game wardens to use in their missions that range from fish and wildlife conservation, search and rescue and public safety. These aren’t just any pair of snowshoes, these are the best in the business.
Elvers Price Highest Ever For Fishery
Maine Public - Monday, March 26, 2018 

The price of elvers in the first few days of the season, is being reported as the highest ever for the fishery. Maine has the only significant fishery for the young eels, also called elvers, in the country. The Elver season started Thursday March 22, and the Maine Department of Marine Resources is reporting they're currently selling for just over $2,800 a pound.
Decision To Allow More Baby Eel Fishing Pushed Back Months
Associated Press - Monday, March 26, 2018 

A decision whether to allow fishermen to harvest more of the baby eels that are highly prized in Asian aquaculture has been put off for a few months. Maine has the only significant fishery for baby eels, called elvers, in the country. The interstate Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission is considering allowing the fishery a higher quota in future years. The commission says action on the idea has been deferred until August.
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