November 18, 2018  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Saturday, November 17, 2018 

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
Friends of Baxter State Park auction, thru Dec 5
Announcement - Friday, November 16, 2018 

Own a piece of Baxter State Park history: retired Park signs and other special items. Proceeds are split between Baxter State Park and Friends of Baxter State Park. Runs November 8 - December 5.
Northern Forest Canoe Trail auction, thru Dec 2
Announcement - Thursday, November 15, 2018 

Win paddles, tents, maps and more in the Northern Forest Canoe Trail online auction, thru December 2.
Petition: Restore the head of children's health protection
Action Alert - Thursday, November 15, 2018 

Dr. Ruth Etzel is the EPA's top expert on children's health. A pediatrician and epidemiologist, her job is to protect children from toxic chemicals, pesticides and lead in our environment. But a month ago with no explanation, Trump's acting EPA chief Andrew Wheeler abruptly put her on leave. Tell Wheeler: Restore Dr. Ruth Etzel to the Office of Children's Health Protection. ~ CREDO Action
Petition: Convert BIW to deal with climate change
Action Alert - Thursday, November 15, 2018 

Climate crisis would be addressed by conversion of Bath Iron Work's considerable industrial capacity to building public transportation and/or renewable energy infrastructure.
Petition: No coal exports from military bases
Action Alert - Thursday, November 15, 2018 

Interior Secretary Zinke is the subject of more than one dozen federal investigations. Despite this, he is continuing to make reckless decisions that threaten the country. Speak out against Zinke's plans to use military bases as export terminals for coal and natural gas.
Saving Thoreau’s Birthplace, Nov 18
Event - Posted - Sunday, November 11, 2018 

Lucille Stott, Brunswick, Maine, resident, former president of Thoreau Farm Trust, and former editor of The Concord Journal, presents her new book, “Saving Thoreau’s Birthplace: How Citizens Rallied to Bring Henry Out of the Woods.” At Thoreau Farm, Concord, MA, November 18, 2 pm.
Hike: Hatchet Mountain Preserve, Nov 17
Event - Posted - Saturday, November 10, 2018 

Scott Dickerson and Janet Readfield will lead a hike while sharing the history of the mountain with majestic views. At Hatchet Mountain Preserve, Hope, November 17, 9-11 am. Sponsored by Coastal Mountains Land Trust.
National Take a Hike Day, Nov 17
Event - Posted - Saturday, November 10, 2018 

National Take a Hike Day is observed annually on November 17. With over 60,000 miles of trails in the National Trail System across the 50 states, there is no lack of opportunity to take a hike.
Dawnland, Nov 16
Event - Posted - Friday, November 9, 2018 

Screening and panel discussion of the documentary Dawnland about how Maine government systematically forced Native American children from their homes and placed them with white families. At USM, Portland, November 16, 5:30 pm, free but get tickets in advance.
Raptors Program, Nov 15
Event - Posted - Thursday, November 8, 2018 

Birder and photographer Don Reimer will give a visual presentation on Maine raptors. At Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center, Rockland, November 15, 6:30 pm.
Rethinking Strip Redevelopment to Strengthen Your Community, Nov 15
Event - Posted - Thursday, November 8, 2018 

Learn how towns can improve the appearance and functionality of commercial corridors to bring in new residents, employees and activity. At Topsham Library, November 15, 4-7 pm. GrowSmart Maine members $10, public $20, students $5.
Atlantic Salmon Restoration, Nov 15
Event - Posted - Thursday, November 8, 2018 

Denise Buckley, US Fish and Wildlife Service senior staff biologist, will chronicle the response to the listing of Atlantic salmon in eight of Maine’s rivers as endangered under the Endangered Species Act in December 2000. At at Belfast Library, November 15, 6:30 pm.
The Land that Sustains Us: Stories from the Field, Nov 15
Event - Posted - Thursday, November 8, 2018 

A live storytelling night with 3 Maine farmers. At Maine Historical Society, November 15, 6-8:30 pm, $10 for Maine Historical Society and Maine Farmland Trust members, $15 general.
Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument management plan meeting, Nov 14
Event - Posted - Wednesday, November 7, 2018 

The National Park Service is developing a management plan for Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. Public meeting at Portland Marriott at Sable Oaks, South Portland, November 14, 6-8 pm.
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News Items
Coastal Maine city OKs historic preservation ordinance
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, November 15, 2018 

Rockland city councilors have given the green light for a historic preservation commission to form in the small coastal city, which has seen a downtown boom and arts renaissance during the past two decades. Ann Morris, curator for the Rockland Historical Society, drafted and pushed for the historic preservation ordinance, which calls for creation of the commission, out of a desire to preserve the multitude of architectural styles that she believes gives Rockland its unique charm.
How one Maine town reinvented itself after its biggest employer left
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, November 15, 2018 

When the former Brunswick Naval Air Station closed the impact of losing 4,500 sailors and their families, as well as about 700 civilian employees, hit hard across multiple aspects of the community. The pace at which the once empty Navy base has been repopulated surprised everyone, said Brunswick Town Manager John Eldridge. Today, the TechPlace incubator at Brunswick Landing houses 35 companies. Elsewhere on the former base, nearly 600,000 square feet are under lease to more than 65 businesses, and the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority has sold more than 400 acres of land and 45 buildings, with nearly 120 private and public entities doing business at Brunswick Landing. The development effort has realized over $350M in private and public-sector investments over the past four years. It is likely the redevelopment has been the largest factor driving development outside the former base as well.
A creature that looks like ‘pancake batter’ is thriving in the warming Gulf of Maine
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, November 15, 2018 

Add sea squirts — a variety of small, tube-like marine creatures that live bunched together in colonies — to the list of species that seem to be thriving in the warming waters off the Maine coast. Marine scientists say that the gelatinous animals have been growing in number in shallow waters along the coast and could be creating problems for native organisms that are getting squeezed out of their traditional habitat on the bottom. Red Asian seaweed, mola mola, green crabs and black sea bass are among other unfamiliar marine species that have been showing up in greater numbers in the Gulf of Maine.
Opinion: Oyster company’s plan for 40-acre lease is bad for bay, public
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, November 15, 2018 

The debate over Mere Point Oyster Co.’s application for a 40-acre lease in Maquoit Bay is more than about aquaculture – it’s also about business and principle. Having researched the impact of oyster farming, I’ve found studies showing both good and bad outcomes. Basically, the jury is out on whether the benefit of oysters filtering water offsets the adverse effects of sediment deposits and farming activities. Given the uncertainty, increasing from a quarter-acre to a 40-acre farm, without understanding the impact on Maquoit Bay, is dangerous. The lease location and terms benefit the business owners at the expense of the public. The lease size, location and terms should be revised for the benefit of all who use the bay. ~ Paul Dioli, Brunswick
EPA analysis finds chemical compound in new nonstick coatings also harmful
Associated Press - Wednesday, November 14, 2018 

Long-term exposure to a chemical compound currently used for making nonstick coatings appears to be dangerous, even in minute amounts, according to draft findings released Wednesday by the Environmental Protection Agency. It was the first time that the EPA weighed in on newer, supposedly safer versions of an increasingly scrutinized family of stick- and stain-resistant compounds. Older versions of the compound are turning up in dangerous levels in drinking water supplies around the country.
State police nab runaway pig on Interstate 95 in Palmyra
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, November 14, 2018 

The animal had been seen several times over the past week, but eluded its pursuers until Wednesday.
New Sharon boy bags rare four-point doe
Sun Journal - Wednesday, November 14, 2018 

A 9-year-old New Sharon boy bagged a rare deer with a four-point rack Monday. Chase Foss was making his way to his father’s truck when he saw what appeared to be a buck run about six feet in front of him. Foss’s father, Daniel Foss, said, “I was walking back, and (the deer) came out, so I shot it in the neck, then it ran into a tree.” Then, the animal “came down across the clearing and came out into the road, in front of my son and I,” Foss said. Chase, who carried an any-deer permit, took his shot and got the deer. Hunters killed about 27,000 deer in Maine in 2017.
Drop in oil prices carries consequences both positive and potentially negative
Washington Post - Wednesday, November 14, 2018 

American motorists are saving about $80 million a day, thanks to a 20-cent-a-gallon drop in the price of regular gasoline since Oct. 1. But this is it could be signaling bad things for everybody,” said a senior market analyst.
Nova Scotia seafood company gets U.S. patent to aid in lobster processing
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, November 14, 2018 

Seafood News -A Nova Scotia seafood company has been granted a U.S. patent for a system that better identifies how ready a lobster is for market. The camera-based system is expected to determine the meat content and quality of lobsters as they ride a conveyor belt during processing. That information can help automate determining which lobsters are the highest quality to ship.
Owner of cow shot in Embden, alleged shooter deny charges
Morning Sentinel - Wednesday, November 14, 2018 

Both the owner of a cow fatally shot in Embden and the alleged shooter have denied charges against them, and the cases will continue until spring. Jaime Danforth, the owner of the 3-year-old Holstein heifer shot and killed in Embden in early September, appeared Wednesday in Skowhegan District Court on a charge of animal trespass. Her family has alleged their neighbor’s son, Mason Sparrow, shot and killed their cow, Sophie, after Sophie wandered onto the Sparrows’ property. The case sparked widespread outrage.
Poland Spring ‘Good Neighbor Grant’ supports USM research and internships
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, November 14, 2018 

Nestlé Waters North America, through its Poland Spring® Brand 100% Natural Spring Water, has awarded a $25,000 “Good Neighbor Grant” to the USM Foundation. The grant will fund an upland watershed monitoring project conducted by the University’s Environmental Science and Policy program.
Coast Guard rescues 4 crewmembers from sinking fishing boat
Courier-Gazette - Wednesday, November 14, 2018 

Four fishermen from a Portland-based boat were rescued Wednesday morning after their vessel sank in rough seas off Matinicus Island, according to the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard received a distress call at 7:42 a.m. Nov. 14 from the Aaron & Melissa II from Portland. Two helicopters from Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod flew to the scene and spotted the men. The four men were in a life raft and had their survival suits on when they were rescued.
Katahdin-area resort looks to expand with $1M events center
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, November 14, 2018 

One of the Katahdin region’s largest resorts will get an events center and operations building as part of a $1 million expansion plan. Matthew Polstein hopes to add the two buildings to his Twin Pines Camps resort and New England Outdoor Center in northern Penobscot County near Millinocket by next fall. The Maine Land Use Planning Commission voted 5-0 on Wednesday to approve Polstein’s application to rezone two parcels totaling 32.68 acres on his 1,345-acre property along Millinocket Lake. He will submit building plans for LUPC review in a few months, he said.
With voter approvals in York and Eliot, river protection plan faces new scrutiny
York Weekly - Wednesday, November 14, 2018 

Attention shifts to Kittery and South Berwick now that a measure passed last week in both York and Eliot to designate the York River as a national Partnership Wild and Scenic River. The York River Study Committee will meet with Kittery and South Berwick officials, seeking their votes to approve designation — an important step before the measure begins its journey through the halls of Congress, which also needs to approve the designation. U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, and U.S. Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, who both championed the study bill, say they stand ready to introduce legislation.
Hike: Lake George Regional Park
Aislinn Sarnacki Act Out Blog - Wednesday, November 14, 2018 

Covering 520 acres on the south end of Lake George, Lake George Regional Park is a popular place for local residents to hike, swim, picnic, fish and paddle, and in the winter, it’s a great spot for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating and snowmobiling. The park features two extensive trail networks, 10,000 feet of shorefront, two sandy beaches and waterfront picnic areas.
Aroostook County biomass plant shuts down
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, November 14, 2018 

After winding down this fall, the ReEnergy biomass plant in Fort Fairfield ended operations on Sunday amid a falling market for biomass electricity. The 37-megawatt plant on Cheney Grove Road opened in 1987 to generate electricity from lumber mill residues and wood chips. ReEnergy Communications Director Sarah Boggess said one employee will be maintained there. “The operation is not financially viable,” Boggess said. The company has not decided what to do with the plant and property. It is possible the equipment could be sold, she said. ReEnergy’s Ashland facility is offline until early December, but will be continuing operations.
KELT will facilitate study for returning Woolwich meadow to salt marsh
Wiscasset Newspaper - Wednesday, November 14, 2018 

A $249,999 National Fish and Wildlife Foundation grant will be used to study returning a vast meadowland in Woolwich to a tidal saltwater wetland. The area is near the busy junction of Route 1 and George Wright Road. Kennebec Estuary Land Trust will facilitate the study that partners the Maine Department of Transportation, the town of Woolwich, Bath Water District, the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, Bates College and three other state and federal agencies. The study is expected to take 18 months. MDOT has agreed to provide a $300,000 match.
Updated Population Estimates Show ‘Grim’ Outlook For Endangered Right Whale
Maine Public - Wednesday, November 14, 2018 

The latest population estimate for the endangered North Atlantic right whale indicates the species’ recent decline has quickened — with some 30 fewer animals alive by the end of last year than there were at the end of 2016. An updated estimate by National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration scientists pegged the number of North Atlantic right whales alive in 2016 in the low 440s. Scientists now say it’s likely that there are not more than 411 left.
Mainers set up a butterfly carpool to help migrating monarchs travel safely south
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, November 14, 2018 

The population of monarch butterflies has declined 95 percent in the past 20 years, some of which may be caused by milkweed habitat reduction. But part of the decline may also be attributed to shifting climate temperatures. The migration of the species in the fall has been delayed by as much as six weeks in recent years because warmer-than-normal temperatures have failed to trigger the butterflies’ instincts to head south. Brittany Cooper of Hope found people to drive several late emerging butterflies from Maine to North Carolina. “They all made it,” Cooper said. “The woman [in North Carolina] said they looked strong and healthy and were able to fly away. It was a happy ending.”
National monument will cover part of the cost for new Katahdin-region economic director
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, November 14, 2018 

Maine’s national monument will cover a quarter of Penobscot County’s $115,000 annual cost to hire someone to focus on growing the Katahdin region economy for the next seven years. A portion of the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument’s $350,569 annual payment in lieu of taxes to Penobscot County will fund an economic development director to work for East Millinocket, Medway, Millinocket, Mount Chase, Patten and Stacyville, said Jessica Masse, a member of the all-volunteer Katahdin Revitalization economic development group. The region has never recovered from the closure of the Millinocket, East Millinocket and Lincoln paper mills over the past decade.
Reported cases of Lyme disease show dramatic drop in Maine
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, November 14, 2018 

Lyme disease cases are on track to be the lowest in at least three years, and the hot, dry weather this summer might have been a contributing factor. Dry weather reduces the mobility of deer ticks, and also might reduce tick populations, experts say. Through Nov. 12, there were 1,069 Lyme cases in Maine, well below last year, when there were a record-breaking 1,852 cases for the entire year.
Column: 2019 may be Maine’s year for clean energy
Kennebec Journal - Wednesday, November 14, 2018 

Maine is not keeping pace as the market for clean energy expands rapidly, while many states (as well as corporations, cities, and countries) have started to make a major energy transition. An impressive and diverse group of organizations has created a terrific plan called the “Energy Pathway for Maine.” Their plan includes principles that the state should follow to take advantage of rapidly expanding clean energy technologies, protect our environment and public health, increase energy independence, strengthen our overall economy, and increase prosperity for all Mainers. ~ George Smith
Letter: Keep adjacency law
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, November 14, 2018 

Maine’s North Woods is the largest undeveloped forest in the eastern US, and it is being threatened by a proposal put forth by the Land Use Planning Commission, which seeks to eliminate the adjacency principle’s one-mile rule. This rule has protected Maine’s forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife habitat from sprawling development for the past 45 years, by guiding new development in the LUPC’s 10.5 million-acre jurisdiction to be within one road mile of existing, compatible development. The proposal would allow new development to extend 10 miles from “rural hub communities” and 2 miles from public roads. Eliminating the one-mile rule would be devastating not only for the people who love this untarnished wilderness for its beauty and recreational opportunities, but also for the countless species who call it home. ~ Rebecca Tripp, Searsport
Letter: Is oyster farm a good fit with Maine’s ecological values?
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, November 14, 2018 

If the 40-acre factory planned for the middle of Maquoit Bay were an industrial plant of equivalent size, to be built on land in any of the surrounding communities, a hue and cry would likely go up bemoaning disruptive sprawl and its adverse impacts. Does it matter that a large, single-purpose commercial facility will take over an expanse of local seascape rather than, say, many blocks of local real estate? Mainers have taken creative steps to conserve the habitats of our coastal areas. What may seem to be clever schemes for economic exploitation of natural resources must never take precedence over the much wider, long-term values of our coastal waters. ~ Langdon Winner, Brunswick
A Half-Earth progress report from E.O. Wilson
 - Tuesday, November 13, 2018 

E.O. Wilson answered the question of what we can all do to protect the future of life on this planet in his 2016 book, "Half-Earth: Our Planet’s Fight For Life." In the book, Wilson lays out an almost deceptively simple prescription for saving life on Earth: Devote half of Earth’s surface to nature, and save 85 percent of global biodiversity. Recently, a partnership between Wilson's Half-Earth Project and Burt’s Bees was announced. Burt’s Bees, a company that makes personal care items, is going to fund the mapping of all the bee species in the world, which will in turn help determine the best habitat to conserve in order to protect the world’s bees.
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