May 22, 2018  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

Thanks for visiting Maine Environmental News, a service of RESTORE: The North Woods. MEN is the most comprehensive online source available for links 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
International Day for Biological Diversity, May 22
Announcement - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

The Convention on Biological Diversity is the international legal instrument for "the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources" that has been ratified by 196 nations. The United Nations has proclaimed 22 May as the International Day for Biological Diversity.
Join the fight for Maine's clean energy future
Action Alert - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

In Maine, we are seeing the damaging effects of climate change firsthand: tick borne illnesses like Lyme disease are on the rise, the warming Gulf of Maine threatens our marine economy, air pollution drives up asthma rates for kids and adults, and extreme weather impacts our outdoor recreation and farming industries. The technology to turn off dirty fossil fuels already exists. What is standing in the way of our clean energy future? Politicians who are bought and paid for by the oil and gas industry. ~ Maine Conservation Voters
Maine Calling: The Changing North Woods, May 22
Announcement - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

UMaine experts discuss the relationship between humans and forests, including environmental attitudes and behaviors; rural communities and the forest economy; and the role of ecotourism and recreation. Maine Public Radio, May 22, 1 pm.
Defining Wilderness: Defining Maine, May 29 - Jul 24
Event - Posted - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

The Maine State Library is offering a free reading and discussion group with copies of books available through the library. The series, Defining Wilderness: Defining Maine, runs for 5 sessions, May 29 - July 24, at the State Library in Augusta. Books to be discussed include "The Maine Woods" by Henry David Thoreau.
Bats, May 29
Event - Posted - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

Biologist Trevor Peterson will speak about local species of bats. At Topsham Public Library, May 29, 6 pm. Sponsored by Cathance River Education Alliance.
Sign-Up to Count Fish at Nequasset
Announcement - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

The annual alewife count at the Nequasset Fish Ladder in Woolwich is happening. Join the fun by signing up to count during any two 10 minute blocks within a two hour period.
Wilderness Under Siege, May 30
Event - Posted - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

Nationally known author and explorer George Wuerthner will discuss the challenges facing Wilderness, how people can better protect the Wildernesses in their backyards and around the country, and organizing against efforts to weaken or repeal the Wilderness Act. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, May 30, 6:30 pm.
Field Trip: Capt. Fitzgerald Preserve and Bay Bridge, May 27
Event - Posted - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

Explore two town-owned properties in Brunswick for breeding and migrant birds: Fitzgerald Preserve and Bay Bridge Wetland Park on the Androscoggin River. May 27, 6:30 – 11 am. Sponsored by Merrymeeting Audubon.
White Mountains Centennial exhibition, May 27
Event - Posted - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

The Museums of the Bethel Historical Society host a preview reception of the new displays, “White Mountain National Forest: A Centennial Exhibition” and “The White Mountains: Alps of New England.” At Robinson House, Bethel, May 27, 2-5 pm.
Farmer Talent Show & Open Mic, May 27
Event - Posted - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

The first annual Farmer Talent Show & Open Mic will benefit the Market’s Harvest Bucks program, which increases access to fruit and vegetables for low-income households. At East Madison Grange, May 27, 5-8 pm.
Walk on the Wild Side, May 26
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 19, 2018 

Turner Public Library’s summer programming begins with a nature walk. At Androscoggin Riverlands State Park, May 26, 2 pm.
Edible (and Poisonous) Plants, May 26
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 19, 2018 

Tom Seymour, author, botanist and edible plant enthusiast, will introduce you to many of the edible and medicinal plants that can be found in Maine’s woods and fields. At Head of Tide Preserve, Belfast, May 26, 10 am - noon.
Birding Extravaganza, May 26
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 19, 2018 

Ted Allen from Merrymeeting Audubon will lead birders through the Kennebec Estuary Land Trust’s Thorne Head Preserve in Bath, May 26, 8 am.
Alewife Day, May 26
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 19, 2018 

See the alewives swim upstream. Smoked fish, kid’s games, mills running, Machinery Hall open. At Maine Forest and Logging Museum, Bradley, May 26, 10 am - 1 pm, $3 per person ages 12+.
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News Items
Column: Lake George is in full bloom this time of year
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

A nice place to enjoy the unfolding of spring is Lake George on the Canaan-Skowhegan line. Surrounded by low ridges and rolling hills, all matted with emerging green, the lake offers an easy four-mile circuit. ~ Michael Perry
Column: Congress is sucking up fake research in its zeal to fight welfare fraud
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

Sam Adolphsen, so-called “Senior Fellow” at the Foundation for Government Accountability, presented testimony to a subcommittee last week in Washington about welfare reform. The subcommittee is an arm of the oversight panel that has a mission and commitment to expose waste, fraud and abuse in the name of good government. Adolphsen got his start in Maine as a right-wing activist. The alleged expertise of and “research” by the foundation is the real fraud. What’s hard to believe is that House Republicans believe it. The Congress is making serious decisions about food policy that will affect hundreds of thousands of hungry Americans, and it’s basing these decisions on junk science and voodoo economics that got its start here in Maine’s political soil. ~ Cynthia Dill
Editorial: Congress should start over with a better Farm Bill
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

Instead of putting billions of dollars worth of scientific research to work to make Americans healthier and farms more productive, the latest version of the the Farm Bill that was debated last week in the U.S. House of Representatives would have doubled down on subsidizing big business while cutting back on nutrition assistance for people in need. If the House version of the 2018 Farm Bill were to become law, a handful of industry giants would get help from the government to produce food that’s bad for consumers and the environment while the most vulnerable members of our society would go hungry. And small farmers, like most of those in Maine, would continue to struggle, navigating a system that’s rigged against them.
Opinion: Put blame for failed leadership where it belongs – with the majority in the Maine House
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

The Portland Press Herald has singled out me and House Republicans as the reason the Legislature went home early and failed to do the right thing for the Maine people. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Instead of blaming me and a minority of Republicans, the Press Herald should be demanding that Speaker of the House Sara Gideon (D) and Senate President Mike Thibodeau (R) call the Legislature back into session and make sure legislators complete the work the people of Maine elected them to do. ~ Paul R. LePage (R), governor of Maine
Letter: Don’t roll back emission standards
Morning Sentinel - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

Rolling back auto emission standards would double pollution nationwide by 2025 when compared to the safety standards now in effect. Worse, if the federal standard is lowered, Maine and more than a dozen other states which now have a better safety standard than the current federal standard would be forced to live under a dirtier federal standard. This is not acceptable. We cannot go backward, because adding more pollution to our one and only world is killing us and the planet. Why is this even being considered ~ Marla Bottesch, Norridgewock
Letter: Farm Bill, as is, poses threat to endangered species
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

The Endangered Species Act has faced dozens of legislative attacks in Congress recently, with the most recent one showing up in this year’s version of the Farm Bill. The latest proposal would allow pesticides to be approved without considering the harm they pose to endangered species, essentially making it legal to kill an endangered species with a pesticide. ~ Gail Presley, Rockland
Two years after Madison paper mill closed, town faces uncertain future
Morning Sentinel - Saturday, May 19, 2018 

Madison is not alone in the loss of its paper mill, which at the time of closure in 2016 was the town’s largest taxpayer and one of its largest employers. The number of jobs in paper manufacturing, once a hallmark industry in Maine, has been cut by nearly half in the last decade. There’s no clear timeline for what recovery looks like after a paper mill closes, said Sarah Curran, looking at the future of the state’s forest economy. Curran works for the Maine Development Foundation and runs an initiative called For/Maine. Mike Croteau, a former union president at the Madison mill, said, “Life goes on, but it hasn’t been easy for some of us. People should understand that when these mills close, a lot of these guys end up having to get state assistance."
Fly-fishing legend draws fans to Phillips
Sun Journal - Saturday, May 19, 2018 

Cornelia “Fly Rod” Crosby of Phillips was the state’s first registered Maine Guide. She was a journalist, an expert fly-fisher and hunter, and a conservationist. She grew up in Phillips, guided in Rangeley and is buried in Strong. The three-day celebration of Crosby began Friday at Fox Carleton Pond Sporting Camps with fly-casting lessons, panning for gold and western Maine history lessons. Many visitors walked the first part of the Fly Rod Crosby Trail, a 45-mile stretch along the Sandy River from Phillips to the Rangeley village of Oquossoc.
Blog: Blackflies, the little blackflies…
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, May 19, 2018 

In Spring, a young angler’s fancy turns to stark dread, dread of small black blood-drinking insects arriving in clouds, swarms, battalions, and armies to drive him to the very brink of madness. As if fishing weren’t madness enough. Allow me to introduce a fly who needs no introduction to any Mainer who even occasionally ventures into the Great Outdoors: Simuliidae. ~ Nick Mills
Column: Bidding a fond farewell to the "Boy" Scouts
Sun Journal - Saturday, May 19, 2018 

The Boy Scouts of America announced this week that the word “boy” would be stricken from the Boy Scouts of America starting in 2019, and next February girls will be allowed full scouting privileges. The Boy Scouts of America has been part of the American fabric for 108 years. At least, for history’s sake, they could have kept the name and still have permited girls to belong. If you are an old scout like me you just can’t help feeling some pangs of sadness about this historic alteration. ~ V. Paul Reynolds
Obituary: Edward Kaelber, 94, founding president of COA
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, May 19, 2018 

Edward Kaelber, founding president of the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor and founder of the Maine Community Foundation, died Thursday. He was 94. Mr. Kaelber became the college’s first president in 1970 and led the institution for 12 years. The college was founded in 1969 with a mission to use human ecology as a guiding, interdisciplinary approach to education.
Whale watch recognized
Mount Desert Islander - Saturday, May 19, 2018 

The Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment, a Canadian-American regional partnership, has named the Bar Harbor Whale Watch Company the recipient of its annual Industry Award. The award is presented to recognize demonstrated innovation and leadership in efforts to improve the well-being of the Gulf of Maine ecosystem and the communities that call it home. The council cited the company’s “leadership in ecotourism and educating the public about wildlife, fisheries, oceanography, and conservation of the Gulf of Maine.” They also praised the company’s “efforts to support conservation of fisheries and marine mammals through generous donations, collaborative research and environmental advocacy.”
Gas leak repaired in South Portland rail yard
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, May 19, 2018 

South Portland firefighters found and repaired a gas leak in a railway car at Rigby Yard early Saturday morning. Firefighters traced the leak to railway car carrying propane and issued a hazardous designation for the area near the railway car, which was located on AmeriGas Propane property used for offloading rail cars onto trucks. An AmeriGas employee worked with the South Portland Fire Department’s hazardous materials response team to get into the top of the sealed car to tighten a leaking valve.
Radiation from Cell Phones, Wifi Are Hurting the Birds and the Bees; 5G May Make It Worse
Other - Saturday, May 19, 2018 

Newsweek - Technology is quite literally destroying nature, with a new report further confirming that electromagnetic radiation from power lines and cell towers can disorientate birds and insects and destroy plant health. The paper warns that as nations switch to 5G this threat could increase.
Rockland advocates say food sovereignty ordinance ‘makes sense’
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, May 19, 2018 

With a unanimous vote earlier this week, the Rockland City Council approved the state’s 33rd food sovereignty ordinance, and became the first county seat to become food sovereign. In October Gov. Paul LePage signed into law an amended state food sovereignty bill that allows municipalities to regulate local food systems, including production, processing, consumption and direct producer-to-consumer exchanges, which were previously regulated at the state and federal level but excludes meat and poultry production and sales, which remain under state and federal control.
With 3 weeks to go in season, Maine’s baby eel harvest tops $20M
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, May 19, 2018 

The value of landings so far in Maine’s 2018 baby eel fishing season have topped $20 million, the fishery’s highest annual value since the state adopted a statewide catch limit in 2014. Record prices this season of around $2,500 per pound for baby eels, also known as elvers, already have made the 2018 season the third-most valuable ever in Maine. According to Maine Department of Marine Resources, as of Wednesday evening fishermen had caught 8,416 pounds, or 87 percent of Maine’s annual catch limit of 9,688 pounds.
New charity receiving Poland Spring aid lacks federal nonprofit status
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, May 19, 2018 

Despite not having yet acquired nonprofit status, a still-forming charity has a $150,000 commitment from Poland Spring as the retail water seller extends its influence in northern Penobscot County. The Northern Penobscot Activities Council announced the first of three $50,000 donations it will receive during the next three years from the retail water seller. Brian Souers, the council’s advisory group president, said Poland Spring and his group could really benefit their neighbors. Poland Spring is building a water-truck loading station on Route 2 in Lincoln for completion this summer and has declared the land of 13 lakes a possible site for a $50 million bottling plant that would also buy from the Lincoln Water District.
Letter: Pruitt must go
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, May 19, 2018 

Donald Trump loved to say he’d “drain the swamp.” But when our president appointed Scott Pruitt to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, he was giving an alligator the choice of keeping a swamp as is, pouring more filth in, or working to turn it into a meadow. In wasting obscene amounts of taxpayer money, it’s clear that this swamp creature has no place leading one of the most important agencies in our federal government. His blatant disregard for public health is seen in his efforts to dismantle the Clean Air and Clean Water acts. It is time for Pruitt to resign. ~ Matthew Hubbell, Cape Elizabeth
Norway Library patrons hear about Maine, NH best hiking spots
Turner Publishing - Friday, May 18, 2018 

Author Greg Westrich spoke at Norway Memorial Library on Thursday, April 26,, and talked about his favorite hiking spots in Maine and New Hampshire, showed maps and pictures of these spots, and told hiking stories. He sold and signed copies of his books. Westrich is the author of several Maine hiking guides for outdoors and travel publisher Falcon, and has also written for numerous magazines, including Downeast. The program was sponsored by The Friends of Norway Memorial Library.
Maine Democrats are still looking for someone who can beat Poliquin
Bangor Daily News - Friday, May 18, 2018 

The candidates for the Democratic nomination to run against U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin of Maine’s 2nd District trained their attacks on the Republican incumbent and largely avoided each other during their party’s state convention on Friday. The candidates played up their backgrounds — Lucas St. Clair’s work as frontman of his family’s effort to establish the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, Jared Golden’s Marine service in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and Craig Olson’s status as an “average resident.”
Endangered Species
Down East - Friday, May 18, 2018 

The son of teachers, Nathan Nicholls exhibited an anti-establishment streak early on. He dropped out of school, married at 18, and moved to Maine to cobble together a living as a blueberry harvester, wreath maker, and repairer of lawn mowers and motorcycles, for which he accumulated a mountain of scrap metal. Accused by the town of Waldoboro of operating an illegal junkyard, he welded metal bits into objects. Suddenly, he had not junk, but art. Respect for self-taught “art environment builders” like Nicholls has increased dramatically in the last decade; nevertheless, “The difficulty is in finding someone to steward it.”
House defeats farm bill as conservatives revolt on immigration
Associated Press - Friday, May 18, 2018 

In an embarrassment for House Republican leaders, conservatives on Friday scuttled a bill that combines stricter work and job training requirements for food stamp recipients with a renewal of farm subsidies popular in Republican-leaning farm country. Hard-right conservatives upset over the party’s stalled immigration agenda opposed the measure, which failed by a 213-198 vote. Some 30 Republicans joined with every chamber Democrat in opposition.
'Stunning' report finds that one-third of Earth's protected areas are being destroyed by people
USA Today - Friday, May 18, 2018 

Turns out a large chunk of what should be the world's most protected areas are anything but. A new study reports that human activities — such as city sprawl, road construction and farming — are wreaking havoc on some 2.3 million square miles of protected land worldwide, an area about twice the size of Alaska. The study appeared Thursday in the peer-reviewed journal Science.
New England scallop sales to help pay for projects studying turtles, fisheries
Associated Press - Friday, May 18, 2018 

The sale of scallops will help pay for projects designed to study subjects such as the impact of fishing on sea turtles and how to make the New England shellfish fishery more efficient. The New England Fishery Management Council announced awards to 15 such projects on Wednesday.
Regulator orders CMP to make certain confidential information public
Bangor Daily News - Friday, May 18, 2018 

The Maine Public Utilities Commission on Friday ordered Central Maine Power to provide a redacted version of a confidential file that the utility had tried to block. The file is part of CMP’s responses to the PUC’s questions in its probe on high electric bills and thousands of customer complaints.
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