January 23, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Wednesday, January 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). We have posted summaries and links to over 50,000 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
Browntail moth, Jan 30
Event - Posted - Wednesday, January 23, 2019 

Maine Forest Service Entomologist Tom Schmeelk and District Forester Morten Moesswilde explain how to identify and manage browntail moths. At Lewiston Public Works, January 30, 10 am - 2 pm.
Lake St. George Ice Fishing Derby, Jan 26
Event - Posted - Saturday, January 19, 2019 

Learn how to fish. All equipment and bait provided. Lunch, hot cocoa, and warming hut. At Lake St. George State Park, Liberty, January 26, 8 am - 2 pm.
Brown-tail moths, Jan 24
Event - Posted - Thursday, January 17, 2019 

Eleanor Groden, professor of entomology at the University of Maine, will discuss the health hazards presented by, and recommended management strategies of, brown-tail moths. At Palermo Community Library, January 24, 6:30 pm.
20th Anniversary Maine Farmland Trust Kick Off Event, Jan 24
Event - Posted - Thursday, January 17, 2019 

Join a festive hometown gathering to look back at Maine Farmland Trust's many milestones since 1999, and celebrate the founders and members who helped to shape the organization. At United Farmer’s Market of Maine, Belfast, January 24, 6 pm.
Explore Nature through photography, Jan 24
Event - Posted - Thursday, January 17, 2019 

Local photographers Michele Benoit, Donne Sinderson, and Richard Spinney will share their photographs, experience and tips for photographing the natural world. At Bangor, January 24, 6:30 pm. Sponsored by Bangor Land Trust.
Help pick BDN top issue
Action Alert - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 

This year, the Bangor Daily News opinion pages will focus attention on four issues that are critical to Maine’s future. We have picked three areas: economic development; referendum reform; and Maine’s rural, spread out population. Help pick the fourth topic. Climate change and the associated energy, land-use and conservation policies are the top concern so far.
Marching Backwards
Publication - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 

A report by the Environmental Defense Fund about how Andrew Wheeler and Donald Trump are endangering the health of American families by rolling back environmental safeguards.
Browntail Moth, Jan 22
Event - Posted - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 

Maine Forest Service Entomologist Tom Schmeelk and District Forester Morten Moesswilde explain how to identify and manage browntail moths. At Boothbay Regional Land Trust's Oak Point Farm, January 22, 3 pm.
Tree Appreciation Walk, Jan 20
Event - Posted - Monday, January 14, 2019 

Kids, adults, and families are invited on a walking exploration and appreciation of trees. At Thorne Head Preserve Bath, January 20, 1-2:30 pm. Co-sponsored by Kennebec Estuary Land Trust and Beth Israel Congregation.
Colonizing history of Wabanaki people, Europeans, Jan 20
Event - Posted - Sunday, January 13, 2019 

Maine-Wabanaki REACH and the Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Augusta hold an interactive story-telling experience about the colonizing history of Wabanaki (the Indigenous people of Maine) and Europeans and their descendants. At UU Church, Augusta, January 20, 1-3 pm, RSVP.
L.L.Bean Outdoor Discovery Programs
Event - Posted - Thursday, January 10, 2019 

Expert guides. Amazing scenery. Hundreds of new activities to learn. Plus, customized trips, all-inclusive adventures, kids’ camps and more. Starting at $25.
Ice Fishing the Downeast, Jan 17
Event - Posted - Thursday, January 10, 2019 

Gregory Burr, regional biologist for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, talks about “Ice Fishing the Downeast Region.” At Schoodic Institute, Winter Harbor, January 17, noon.
Nature Notes from Maine, Jan 17
Event - Posted - Thursday, January 10, 2019 

Ed Robinson shares interesting facts about some of Maine's most beautiful and fascinating wildlife. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, January 17, 6 pm potluck, 7 pm presentation. Sponsored by Appalachian Mountain Club.
Weekly Winter Adventure camp in Bethel begins Jan. 16
Announcement - Wednesday, January 9, 2019 

The UMaine 4-H Camp & Learning Center at Bryant Pond, in partnership with the Mahoosuc Land Trust and Mahoosuc Kids Association, is offering a six-week Winter Adventure course, beginning Wednesday, January 16.
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News Items
Opinion: To manage bear population, stop feeding them
Kennebec Journal - Friday, January 18, 2019 

In 2004 and again in 2014, wildlife biologists in the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife said that baiting, hounding and trapping bears were necessary management tools, without which Maine’s bear population would explode. The department provided no science to back up their claim. In 2015, researchers at USM produced a paper titled “Controlling the Black Bear Population in Maine”. One of the conclusions was that “using bait increases the black bear population to very high levels.” This claim has been made by wildlife advocates for many years and has been ignored by IF&W. Maine only needs to stop its bear-feeding program to allow the bear population to decrease and remain at lower, sustainable levels. Of course, this would mean the end of training bears to answer the dinner bell so they can be shot at point-blank range while their head is buried in a barrel of food scraps. ~ John Glowa Sr., South China
Letter: Reid not right for DEP
Bangor Daily News - Friday, January 18, 2019 

I’m alarmed at Jerry Reid’s nomination to head the Department of Environmental Protection. Intentionally or not, he worked to advance the interests of polluting intervenors in that case, making for an unseemly appearance of conflict of interest. ~ Katherine Rhoda, Hiram
Maine school district reinstates potato harvest break; superintendent resigns
Associated Press - Thursday, January 17, 2019 

A potato harvest is being reinstated for high school students in a Maine school district. Superintendent Brian Carpenter resigned after School Administrative District 1 voted 12-2 Wednesday night. The district represents the Presque Isle High School, the largest in Aroostook County. The board previously voted to discontinue the harvest break, but decided to reconsider the decision after farmers, business leaders, and other community members voiced concerns.
The Westbrook ice disc isn’t alone. It has a smaller cousin up in northern Maine.
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, January 17, 2019 

A second large spinning ice disc has been discovered in a Maine river, but it’s probably not going to attract the attention drawn to the one seen in Westbrook earlier this week. Michelle Simon of Millinocket was out with her boyfriend in Township 2, Range 10 northwest of Millinocket when she came upon another spinning hunk of ice in the Penobscot River south of Abol Bridge on Sunday.
Blog: Interior Proposes New FOIA Rule that Inhibits Government Transparency
Other - Thursday, January 17, 2019 

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) guarantees public access to the records of federal agencies. It embodies the view that government works best when it works in the open. On the Friday between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, the Department of the Interior quietly published a proposed regulation that will make it harder for the public to access records. While most of Interior was shut down due to a lapse in appropriations, it seems that shielding itself from public scrutiny was too important to delay. When Congress enacted FOIA, a House report said: “A democratic society requires an informed, intelligent electorate, and the intelligence of the electorate varies as the quantity and quality of its information varies.” Those words were prescient and Interior should strive to honor rather than subvert them. ~ Justin Pidot, former Deputy Solicitor for Land Resources at the Department of the Interior
The North Pole is moving, and the shutdown means we aren’t keeping up
Washington Post - Thursday, January 17, 2019 

Nearly 2,000 miles beneath our feet, in the swirling, spinning ball of liquid iron that forms our planet’s core and generates its magnetic field, a jet has formed, roiling the molten material beneath the Arctic. This geological gust was enough to send Earth’s magnetic North Pole skittering across the globe. The place to which a compass needle points is shifting toward Siberia at a pace of 30 miles a year. And thanks to the political storm in Washington, scientists have been unable to post an emergency update of the World Magnetic Model, which cellphone GPS systems and military navigators use to orient. Roughly half the employees at the NOAA, which hosts the model and publishes related software, are furloughed because of the partial government shutdown, now in its 27th day.
Mills names Hannah Pingree as head of new office of innovation
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, January 17, 2019 

Maine Gov. Janet Mills announced Thursday that former House Speaker Hannah Pingree will head the new Office of Innovation and the Future. Mills, a Democrat, promised the creation of the office during her inaugural address earlier this month saying it would, “dive into major policy challenges, foster collaboration and propose concrete, workable solutions” to the state’s problems.
Back to the future: Mills’ plan for a Maine innovation office really began 50 years ago
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, January 17, 2019 

Gov. Janet Mills will lay out a vision for a new Office of Innovation and the Future on Thursday in preparation for what would effectively be the second rebrand of a long-standing part of state government: the former State Planning Office. It was founded by former Gov. Ken Curtis in 1968 and ended largely as a cost-saving measure in 2012 under Mills’ predecessor, Gov. Paul LePage.
New Push To Settle Boundary Dispute At Acadia National Park
Associated Press - Thursday, January 17, 2019 

Maine's congressional delegation is making a new attempt to address problems with the boundaries of Acadia National Park that complicate the harvest of clams and worms. The four members of the delegation say they've introduced legislation in the Senate and House of Representatives to protect the rights of clammers and wormers to continue working the flats of Acadia's intertidal zones. Republican Sen. Susan Collins, independent Sen. Angus King and Democratic Reps. Jared Golden and Chellie Pingree say their bill would allow a 2015 land transfer to Acadia National Park to go through while also making clear that a boundary law from 1986 remains permanent.
Eel aquaculture business gets approval to build facility in midcoast town
Lincoln County News - Thursday, January 17, 2019 

The Waldoboro Planning Board has signed off on an entrepreneur’s plan to build a 27,000-square-foot facility for her eel aquaculture business at the Waldoboro Business Park. “We are taking Maine-harvested glass eels and growing them out to market size using land-based aquaculture,” said Sara Rademaker, president of American Unagi LLC. She raises the eels without hormones or antibiotics and primarily sells them to restaurants.
The environmental cost of your clothes
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, January 17, 2019 

There’s a problem growing in landfills and waterways, and it’s coming from an unexpected place: your closet. The shift toward mass manufacturing of cheap clothing is resulting in pollution, more waste and other negative environmental impacts. The environmental impacts go beyond emissions. Dyes used to produce toxic chemicals pollute waterways. Gathering the materials for wood-based fabrics such as rayon, modal and viscose contributes to deforestation. Popular polyester fabrics washed in domestic washing machines shed plastic microfibers make their way to into drinking water and aquatic food chains, including in fish and shellfish eaten by humans. Cotton, another eminently popular material, is a pesticide and water-intensive crop.
Plowing and trail grooming to resume at Acadia despite lingering shutdown
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, January 17, 2019 

The non-profit Friends of Acadia said Tuesday in a statement that it has reached an agreement with the National Park Service to have volunteers with the Acadia Winter Trails Association groom snow on Acadia National Park’s carriage trails for cross-country skiing while the shutdown continues. Most of Acadia’s 75 employees have been placed on furlough since the shutdown began nearly four weeks ago, on Dec. 22, 2018.
Maine could become a growing hotspot for the world’s most expensive spice
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, January 17, 2019 

Saffron is a spice with no parallel or substitute, with flavor hovering between honeyed, sweetly floral and ineffably earthy. It’s used in fragrant rice dishes, paella and bouillabaisse. It’s also the most expensive spice the world. Made from the hand-picked and dried stigmas of a fall crocus, saffron retails for about $5,000 per pound. The North American Center for Saffron Research and Development at the University of Vermont has made it its mission to transform New England into the country’s saffron-growing hotspot.
Lobster firm to invest in Gouldsboro plant after closure of Connecticut facility
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, January 17, 2019 

A seafood distribution and processing firm says it plans to increase production at its plant in Gouldsboro after closing a shipping facility in Connecticut. Garbo Lobster, a subsidiary of East Coast Seafood Group, announced this week that it plans to shut down the Groton live lobster packing facility on Thursday, Jan. 17. The company said Wednesday that most of the capacity at the Groton facility will be shifted to its Maine Fair Trade Lobster processing plant in the Gouldsboro village of Prospect Harbor.
Letter: New Year’s Wish for NECEC
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, January 17, 2019 

It is 2019 and the Maine Public Utilities Commission is still discussing details presented by the proponents and opponents of this powerline designed to move electricity from Canada to Massachusetts via a combination of a new 53-mile powerline corridor and upgrade of the remaining 92 miles through Maine. So Central Maine Power, Avangrid, Iberdrola, what is next? Please determine if power source, construction, and any possible unintended consequences, make the New England Clean Energy Connect the sparkling electricity the commonwealth envisioned before spending more Maine public money on details. ~ Bob Haynes, Skowhegan
Letter: Enough skimping on shrimping
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, January 17, 2019 

I believe that the current restrictions on Maine shrimp fisheries should be removed. It is negatively affecting Maine’s economy and heritage. With these restrictions, hundreds of people will lose their livelihoods, and our economy will continue to suffer. The state of Maine needs to re-approach the issue of closing the shrimp fisheries when they are so important to our state’s welfare. ~ Sam Blaisdell, York
Report suggests eating less red meat will improve health of people and planet
Associated Press - Wednesday, January 16, 2019 

A hamburger a week, but no more – that’s about as much red meat people should eat to do what’s best for their health and the planet, according to a report seeking to overhaul the world’s diet.
Lewiston-Auburn creating committee to consider Lake Auburn filtration
Sun Journal - Wednesday, January 16, 2019 

The Twin Cities are forming a committee to study the feasibility of building a water filtration plant at Lake Auburn. The decision comes a few weeks after taste and odor issues with the local drinking water subsided following a late summer algae bloom. Since then, Auburn Mayor Jason Levesque has led the charge to consider a filtration plant, which previous estimates have placed in the $45 million range.
Phyllis Mills Wyeth, wife of iconic American painter Jamie Wyeth, dies at 78
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, January 16, 2019 

Phyllis Mills Wyeth — the philanthropist, successful owner of thoroughbred racehorses and wife of renowned American realist painter Jamie Wyeth — died Monday at her home in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. She was 78. They spent their summers on Maine’s coast. She was noted philanthropist, conservationist, environmentalist, arts supporter, accomplished horsewoman and a staunch advocate for the rights of the handicapped and disabled.
Debate brews over splitting Maine’s agriculture, conservation department
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, January 16, 2019 

As Gov. Janet Mills prepares to announce her final Cabinet nominee, there is renewed discussion about breaking up the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry to better serve farming, logging and land preservation interests. Mills, who is expected this week to announce her pick to head the department, appears lukewarm on the prospect of dismantling the department into smaller, more tightly focused agencies. But she also isn’t ruling it out.
Fish passage efforts result in big herring run in Presumpscot
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, January 16, 2019 

The Friends of the Presumpscot River, the Conservation Law Foundation and Sappi North American reported Wednesday that more than 50,000 river herring ascended the fishway on the Cumberland Mills dam in 2018. That number is a significant increase over the previous two years. In 2017, just 810 river herring were counted at the fishway. In 2016, the number was slightly more than 10,000, compared to 2,960 herring in 2015. The river herring were among 100,000 fish that came up the river in 2018, including 55 shad during 2018. The shad increase is considered significant because in 2017 no shad were counted.
No longer spinning, Westbrook’s famous ice disk appears doomed to become just … ice
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, January 16, 2019 

Has the incredible spinning disk of ice spun for the last time? The football field-sized circle of ice rotating in the Presumpscot River was first spotted Monday and has been trumpeted internationally by the BBC, ABC’s “Good Morning America” and The New York Times, among others. But when crowds gathered along the river Wednesday to gaze at its mystery and majesty, the ice was motionless. It had lodged against the river’s edge and stopped.
Hannah Walsh promoted to Trekkers program director
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, January 16, 2019 

Trekkers, an outdoor-based youth mentoring organization, has announced that Hannah Walsh has been promoted to the Trekkers program director. Walsh has been serving as a program manager since September 2014, but her ongoing commitment to the community goes back even further. Walsh spent 2012-2014 as an Island Institute and Americorps Island Fellow, serving as the service-learning coordinator with Maine island schools, and as the After School and Garden Program coordinator at Jackson Memorial Library.
Marathon hearing over proposed oyster farm concludes, parties await decision from Marine Resources
Times Record - Wednesday, January 16, 2019 

A contentious, emotionally charged hearing that stretched over three days since November wrapped up Tuesday, leaving the Department of Marine Resources to decide whether Mere Point Oyster Co. should be granted a 10-year, 40-acre lease too boost its oyster production on Maquoit Bay. If granted, Mere Point Oyster’s expansion would increase its operating space by nearly 160 times.
LL Bean Renews Focus On Outdoor Philanthropy
Associated Press - Wednesday, January 16, 2019 

L.L. Bean is backing its renewed focus on the outdoors by doubling its charitable giving and channeling all of the new dollars to outdoors-oriented nonprofits. That includes $3 million over the next three years to the National Park Foundation, $1 million to The Trust for Public Land and smaller donations. L.L. Bean Chairman Shawn Gorman, great-grandson of the founder, said the company has donated more than $30 million over the past 10 years without much fanfare. But he says he wants shoppers to know "they're doing business with a company that's doing good things.''
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