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
Scarborough campground agrees to restore wetlands, pay $227,500 civil penalty
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, September 28, 2016 

A campground on Pine Point in Scarborough has agreed to restore more than 64 acres of wetlands and to pay a civil penalty of $227,500. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Justice announced Wednesday in a news release that they have reached a settlement with Bayley’s Camping Resort and its related corporate entities regarding allegations that the campground violated federal laws by filling in wetlands.
Farmers’ Almanac publisher investing $12 million in solar-powered office conversion
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, September 28, 2016 

Farmers’ Almanac publisher Geiger is investing $12 million to convert its former manufacturing space in Lewiston into offices powered by a vast solar array, the company said Wednesday. When completed, the 105,000-square-foot facility will be able to accommodate up to 275 employees, including an anticipated 25 to 50 new hires over the next three to five years.
Check out these breathtaking photos of Acadia’s night sky
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, September 28, 2016 

Thousands gathered throughout Mount Desert Island for the eighth annual Acadia Night Sky Festival held Thursday, Sept. 22, through Sunday, Sept. 25, featuring an array of events celebrating the enjoyment and protection of some of the best remaining nighttime views of the sky on the East Coast. Night sky enthusiasts of all ages flocked to beaches and mountaintops to see the grandeur of the Milky Way stretched out over Acadia National Park. Over 400 people gathered Thursday evening to view the stars over Sand Beach and hundreds more were shuttled to the top of Cadillac Mountain on Saturday for star viewing gatherings.
Quimby buys oceanside campground to reopen it
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, September 28, 2016 

A month after she donated 87,000 acres in northern Penobscot County to the National Park Service to create Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, philanthropist Roxanne Quimby has bought an oceanside campground that she plans to reopen. The Burt’s Bees founder acquired the 113-acre former Ocean Wood Campground in Gouldsboro. Once the campground is reopened, Quimby said, “I think it will take its place as one of the beautiful landscapes of the Schoodic Peninsula. Additionally, it will provide extra camping spots when Schoodic Woods Campground in [Acadia National Park] is filled to capacity, as it was many nights this past summer.”
Ex-Mountie pleads guilty to charges in narwhal whale tusk smuggling scheme
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, September 28, 2016 

The former Mountie accused of smuggling narwhal whale tusks across the border and mailing them to buyers around the U.S. for eight years pleaded guilty Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Bangor to multiple counts of conspiracy and money laundering. Gregory Robert Logan, 59, of Woodmans Point, New Brunswick, was emotional as he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to launder money and nine counts of money laundering. Logan appeared to be weeping as the 40-minute hearing concluded. Narwhals are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act and are covered by the international Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. It is illegal to import parts of the narwhal into the U.S. without a permit.
10th anniversary of World Rabies Day
Maine Government News - Wednesday, September 28, 2016 

The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry and the Maine Center for Disease Control are teaming up with health practitioners, rabies experts and activists worldwide to celebrate World Rabies Day, today. September 28 is the 10th anniversary of World Rabies Day. “We see this as an opportunity to show how important it is to prevent rabies in our community,” said Dr. Rachael Fiske, Assistant State Veterinarian. The Health and Environmental Testing Laboratory in Augusta has reported 50 rabies positive animals this year as of September 11, a higher than average number.
What can you keep and when can you keep it?
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Wednesday, September 28, 2016 

You are breaking the law. I am sure of it. Somewhere in your house is a feather from a wild bird, maybe even a nest with eggs in it. You’ve got a skull from a wild animal, perhaps, that you found in the woods or along the road. Whatever it is, you most assuredly don’t have the required possession permit. I’d also bet that you are entirely unaware that it is illegal to possess wild birds or animals, or any part of a wild bird or animal, including feathers and bones, without a permit issued by Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.
Belfast locals float effort to ban plastic bags
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, September 28, 2016 

“It’s a huge, huge problem,” Veronica Young of the Blue Hill-based Marine Environmental Research Institute said. “Anything plastic that gets degraded to this tiny amount is still plastic. It’s still petrochemicals. These chemicals don’t biodegrade. All the junk from our civilization that ends up in the water is still there.” So when a group of Belfast residents learned about the magnitude of Maine’s problem, they wanted to try to reduce the amount of plastic polluting the bay by starting a movement to ban single-use plastic bags from their midcoast city.
Column: Nation could learn from Maine’s election of ‘widely reviled buffoon’
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, September 28, 2016 

LePage didn’t run for governor because he wanted to make small changes. He wanted a revolution. So how did that work out? Where the governor could use executive power and act alone, he did. But when he needed to cooperate with the others, he failed repeatedly. His successes in energy policy have been on defense, killing an ocean wind experiment and killing a solar power bill, but never achieving his dream of making Maine energy prices competitive with Southern states by bringing in gas from New York or low-cost hydropower from Quebec, big moves that require playing well with others. That’s the problem with hiring someone to run a government who hates government. They don’t know how to make it work. They can’t make the kinds of compromises necessary to move toward a goal. There’s no give and take, just take. That’s what the rest of the country can learn from Maine’s “LePage scenario.” ~ Greg Kesich
Opinion: Facts show why we all – and Topsham voters – should move to cut plastic bag use
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, September 28, 2016 

Most plastics are not biodegradable, and they can last anywhere from 500 to a thousand years. Eight million tons of plastic are dumped into the oceans each year and the U.N. has estimated that every square mile of ocean contains 46,000 pieces of plastic. The World Economic Forum predicts that by 2050, there will be more plastic by weight than fish in the oceans. Many species of marine animals have choked to death on plastic bags, which they perceive to be jellyfish. Each year, over 100,00 marine animals starve to death because plastics fill up their digestive systems. On Nov. 8, Topsham residents will consider a local proposal imposing a 5-cent fee on single-use paper and plastic bags at checkout in food and convenience stores. This is not intended to be a penalty but rather a means of encouraging people to start bringing their own bags. ~ Diane H. Schetky, Topsham, member of Bring Your Own Bag Midcoast
Column: The Husky Woman Has Not Sung
Times Record - Wednesday, September 28, 2016 

I held out little hope that the Brunswick Town Council would do the right thing and sell the property at 946 Mere Point. The Council voted on a razor thin margin to take the property and sell it, with some conditions, to a private entity. Game over. Not so fast. The property could very well end up being a park or quasi-public space and the town will not reap the benefits of the continued property tax revenue that started this whole mess. There is a concern among some in town that the property will be purchased by one of the many conservation or land trust organizations that operate in this part of the state. ~ Jonathan Cimmins
Letter: Animal Lives Matter, but you might get a ticket for honking at them
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, September 28, 2016 

This letter is a warning to all animal lovers in Maine: Honking your horn to avoid an animal in the road is illegal. That’s what Maine District Court Judge Jed French ruled recently. Is it “unreasonable” to honk your horn twice to save an animal’s life? Hasn’t there been enough roadkill? With all the attention given to Black Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter, in a sportsman’s paradise like Maine, shouldn’t Animal Lives Matter, too? ~ Benjamin Rupert, Scarborough
Another right whale found dead off Maine coast
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, September 27, 2016 

Federal fisheries managers and conservation groups raised concerns Tuesday about threats to endangered right whales after two were found dead off the Maine coast and a third was disentangled from fishing gear near Cape Cod. The spate of three incidents reported in a three-day span is renewing the focus on a whale population that has been growing but remains in a precarious position. Fisheries managers will also be studying the two entanglements, one of which is being now blamed for the death of a female whale just entering its reproductive years.
Editorial: Maine’s governor is completely unhinged
Washington Post - Tuesday, September 27, 2016 

Facts are inconvenient for Maine’s governor, Paul LePage (R), who now appears to have been undone by them. Although Maine is still the nation’s most racially homogeneous state, its white population dipped from 95.2 percent in 2010 to 94.9 percent in 2015. Perhaps this creeping diversity is what has deranged Mr. LePage, who regards the world through a lens of racial hatred. Mr. LePage threatens to remake his state’s image from a vacation paradise of surreal natural beauty to a hotbed of hatred. Officials of both parties have called on him to resign. It’s high time he does.
Tuesday Marks 20th Anniversary of Maine’s Worst Oil Spill
Maine Public - Tuesday, September 27, 2016 

It was 20 years ago Tuesday that the tanker Julie N crashed int the bridge connecting Portland and South Portland, spilling 180,000 gallons of oil into the Fore River in the worst oil spill in Maine’s history. A federal investigator attributed the crash to an error by local tanker pilot, who issued the wrong command. The damaged span, known as as the “Million Dollar Bridge,” was replaced a year later with the Casco Bay Bridge, which now offers twice as much clearance.
Recent Deaths, Entanglement Shine Light on Right Whale Plight
Maine Public - Tuesday, September 27, 2016 

The recent death of two right whales in the Gulf of Maine and the discovery of another entangled in fishing gear is bringing renewed attention to the plight of the endangered species. With only about 500 right whales left in the world, scientists and other mariners rushed to document the deaths and help the still-living whale.
Obama power plant rules face key court test
Reuters - Tuesday, September 27, 2016 

The centerpiece of President Barack Obama’s climate change strategy faced a key test on Tuesday as conservative appeals court judges questioned whether his administration overstepped its legal authority under an air pollution law to make sweeping changes to the U.S. electric sector. Maine is one of the 18 states defending the Clean Power Plan, and Maine Attorney General Janet Mills and health and environmental leaders spoke in support of it outside the federal court building in Portland on Tuesday. Also filing court briefs in support of the Clean Power Plan are 1st District U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, U.S. Sen. Angus King and former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell.
It May Not Cost You More To Drive Home In A Climate-Friendly Car
Maine Public - Tuesday, September 27, 2016 

It has been a common belief that low-emissions vehicles, like hybrids and electric cars, are more expensive than other choices. But a new study finds that when operating and maintenance costs are included in a vehicle's price, cleaner cars may actually be a better bet.
Declining numbers could propel Maine bumblebee to federal endangered species status
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, September 27, 2016 

One of Maine’s smallest creatures could soon find itself on the federal endangered species list. Last week the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed listing the rusty patched bumblebee as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. Once widespread in the U.S. and Canada, the wild pollinator has experienced a steep decline and is now found in small population pockets in 12 states from the midwest into Maine. “Pollinators are profoundly important to our environment and to our food supply,” Matthew Shepherd, director of communications for the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, said Monday.
Pemaquid Oyster Festival Draws Crowd to Damariscotta
Lincoln County News - Tuesday, September 27, 2016 

The annual Pemaquid Oyster Festival drew a crowd to Damariscotta to enjoy oysters and support marine conservation Sunday, Sept. 25. The 16th annual event, running from noon to dusk, was held at Schooner Landing, with proceeds benefiting the Edward A. Myers Marine Conservation Fund. According to Chris Davis, of Pemaquid Oyster Co., the festival has raised approximately $125,000 over the years.
Maine Attorney General Defends EPA’s Clean Power Plan
Maine Public - Tuesday, September 27, 2016 

Maine is one of 18 states that defended the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan in the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., Tuesday. Supporters of the plan say it’s a landmark move to impose limits on carbon pollution and help address climate change. If the Clean Power Plan holds up in court, it would require power plants to reduce carbon emissions by 32 percent from 2005 levels. Maine Attorney General Janet Mills says upholding that standard is critical.
Three right whale incidents reported in New England waters
Maine Environmental News - Tuesday, September 27, 2016 

According to NOAA fisheries and marine mammal experts, over the last few days, three separate right whale incidents occurred in our region. Two right whale mortalities were reported, and one right whale was reported entangled and alive. North Atlantic right whales are the rarest of the large whales that occur in New England waters.
Wildfire focuses on what the Maine legislature did and didn’t do
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Tuesday, September 27, 2016 

Cohosts George Smith and James Cote talk with Senator Tom Saviello and Representative Bob Duchesne about what’s at stake in this election, and the biggest successes and disappointments in the last legislative session for sportsmen.
Maine lobstermen’s group weighs in on death of entangled whale
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, September 27, 2016 

The death of a 45-ton right whale found entangled in fishing line about 12 miles off the Maine coast over the weekend has caught the attention of the Maine lobster industry even though it’s not clear whether the whale’s demise was related to lobster fishing. The right whale is endangered and protected by the federal government. Patrice McCarron, executive director of the Maine Lobstermen’s Association, said preliminary indications appear to show that the ropes found on the whale were much larger than those typically used by lobstermen. The larger ropes would instead more often be found in deep-sea fishing, she said.
Deceased whale was young, in reproductive stage and had been tracked for a decade
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, September 27, 2016 

The right whale that died in the waters off Maine in recent days had no name, but rather a number – 3694 – given to her by researchers at the New England Aquarium, who track this endangered species in the North Atlantic. She was young, just coming into her reproductive years and had tangled with fishing gear once before, sometime in the past four years. Since she was first spotted in 2006, 3694 had been seen and identified 26 times.
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