July 16, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Tuesday, July 16, 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
‘Acadia Files’ author Coppens, Jul 23
Event - Posted - Tuesday, July 16, 2019 

Author Katie Coppens will conduct fun science experiments with kids of all ages. At Turner Public Library, July 23, 2 pm. Each volume of “The Acadia Files” helps young readers learn about the scientific method in fun and innovative ways by following the adventures of Acadia, a young scientist.
Help Stamp Money Out of Politics
Action Alert - Monday, July 15, 2019 

The flow of cash into the pockets of politicians from lobbyists, oil and gas companies, and billionaires bent on protecting their wealth is the biggest barrier to our government's taking action on climate change, and it is up to us to put a stop to it. That is why we're asking you to join the movement protesting Big Money's death grip on our future by rubber-stamping our cash with the message "Stamp Money Out of Politics." ~ Ben & Jerry
Tell Your Representative: Invest in Clean Energy and Climate Action
Action Alert - Monday, July 15, 2019 

Congress must update and extend vital tax credits in four key green technology areas needed to meet our climate goals — electric vehicles, offshore wind, electric grid scale storage, and building efficiency. Without these updated credits, clean energy innovation could stall and our planet will be driven even closer to the brink of climate catastrophe. ~ Natural Resources Defense Council Action Fund
Hearing on CMP billing errors, service shortcomings, rate hikes, Jul 22
Action Alert - Monday, July 15, 2019 

Maine Public Utilities Commission public witness hearing concerning Central Maine Power’s request to increase residential rates by over 10%, and CMP billing errors and poor customer service. At PUC, Hallowell, July 22, 6 pm.
Greenhorns summer workshops
Event - Posted - Monday, July 15, 2019 

Hear from historians, restoration ecologists, entomologists, fishermen, foresters and master craftsmen, on a wide range of topics at the intersection of the human and non-human world. Greenhorns, in Pembroke, works to create a welcoming culture for new entrants in sustainable agriculture.
Crystal Spring Farm Bee Tour, Jul 21
Event - Posted - Sunday, July 14, 2019 

Beekeeper Ken Faulkner will explain the importance of honeybees, hive dynamics, beekeeping, honeybee history, and more. At Crystal Spring Farmers’ Market parking area, Brunswick, July 21, 10 am, free. Sponsored by Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust.
Kayak to Woodward Point, Jul 21
Event - Posted - Sunday, July 14, 2019 

Check out newly protected Woodward Point on the New Meadows River in Brunswick from the water. July 21, 2 pm, pre-register. Sponsored by Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust and Maine Coast Heritage Trust.
Climate Convergence Conference, Jul 20
Event - Posted - Saturday, July 13, 2019 

Explore the roots of science denial and change the nature of the public discourse regarding Climate Change. At George Stevens Academy, Blue Hill, July 20.
Loon counters needed, Jul 20
Announcement - Saturday, July 13, 2019 

Each year more than a thousand volunteer counters fan out across Maine’s lakes to help track the status of the state’s loon population. Volunteer counters are needed on a number of Hancock County lakes and ponds, July 20, 7-7:30 am.
Traveling the Northern Forest Canoe Trail, Jul 19
Event - Posted - Friday, July 12, 2019 

Nicole Grohoski, GIS Specialist, Cartographer, and State Representative for District 132 will share adventures from completing the Northern Forest Canoe Trail. At Gordon’s Wharf, Sullivan, July 19, 7 pm. Sponsored by Friends of Taunton Bay and Frenchman Bay Conservancy.
Yoga on the Brunswick Mall, thru Sep 6
Event - Posted - Friday, July 12, 2019 

Classes led by Sundara Yoga’s qualified instructors. At Brunswick Town Mall lawn in front of the gazebo, every Friday (weather permitting), July 19 - September 6, 7:30 – 8:30 am, free.
Hearing on CMP billing errors, service shortcomings, rate hikes, Jul 18
Action Alert - Thursday, July 11, 2019 

Maine Public Utilities Commission public witness hearing concerning Central Maine Power’s request to increase residential rates by over 10%, and CMP billing errors and poor customer service. At UMaine at Farmington, July 18, 6 pm.
Forestry for Maine Birds, Jul 17
Event - Posted - Wednesday, July 10, 2019 

Learn how to improve habitat for priority forest birds and a variety of other wildlife species; take care of your woodland; work with other forest management goals; and enhance the value and enjoyment of Maine woodlands. At Mt. Vernon Community Center, July 17, 9:30 am - 2 pm.
Revisioning the Earth, Jul 16
Event - Posted - Tuesday, July 9, 2019 

Dana Sawyer, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and Religion at the Maine College of Art, will speak about Revisioning the Earth. At Harpswell Heritage Land Trust Annual Meeting, Orr’s Island Schoolhouse, July 16, 6:30 pm.
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News Items
Maine to drop deer permits by 20% after exceeding doe harvest goal
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, July 10, 2019 

Maine will issue 68,145 any-deer permits this summer – 20 percent fewer than last year’s record number – after exceeding its goal for the doe harvest last year for the first time in more than a decade. The decrease was proposed by state deer biologists in May and unanimously approved by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s Advisory Council on Tuesday.
Intelligence official resigns after White House blocks his climate change testimony
Washington Post - Wednesday, July 10, 2019 

A State Department intelligence official who was blocked by the White House from submitting written congressional testimony on climate change last month is resigning from his post. Rod Schoonover – who worked in the Office of the Geographer and Global Issues’ Bureau of Intelligence and Research – spoke about the security risks the U.S. faces due to climate change before the House Intelligence Committee on June 5. But White House officials would not let him submit the bureau’s written statement that climate impacts could be “possibly catastrophic” after the State Department refused to cut references to federal scientific findings on climate change.
Editorial: Studying a statewide public utility is a good idea. Even to skeptics like us.
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, July 10, 2019 

Gov. Janet Mills signed a bill last week that directs the Maine Public Utilities Commission to study the concept of a publicly-owned utility, and to report back by mid-February. The utilities commission must look at the potential costs and benefits both in the short and long term; and examine legal, technical, financial and operational issues involved. Even for utility takeover skeptics like us — and vocal opponents like the two existing utilities themselves — there is unmistakable value in conducting this study and having more information before the train potentially leaves the station.
Scientists say rising seas will break flooding records
Associated Press - Wednesday, July 10, 2019 

Federal scientists predict 40 places in the U.S. will experience higher than normal rates of so-called sunny day flooding this year due to rising sea levels and an abnormal El Nino weather system. A report released Wednesday by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration predicts that sunny day flooding, also known as tidal flooding, will continue to increase.
Maine calls for USDA to provide more support for blueberries
Associated Press - Wednesday, July 10, 2019 

Blueberry harvesters collected about 57 million pounds of the berries in 2018. That was down nearly 11 million pounds from the previous year, and prices have been low. Maine Agriculture Commissioner Amanda Beal is asking the U.S. Department of Agriculture for help via its market facilitation program. USDA launched the program last year to assist growers negatively affected by foreign trade retaliation. Beal says the program will provide more than $14 billion in direct payments to producers this year, but wild blueberries are not included in the program’s list of crops.
Sturgeon, America's Forgotten Dinosaurs, Show Signs of Life
Associated Press - Wednesday, July 10, 2019 

Sturgeon were America's vanishing dinosaurs, armor-plated beasts that crowded the nation's rivers until mankind's craving for caviar pushed them to the edge of extinction. More than a century later, some populations of the massive bottom feeding fish are showing signs of recovery. Among the species showing improvement is Atlantic sturgeon. The shortnose sturgeon also shows signs of bouncing back. In Maine, scientists have captured about 75 this decade on the Saco River, where they were previously never seen. In the Kennebec River, the shortnose population nearly doubled from about 5,100 in the late 1970s to more than 9,400 around 2000, and it has likely grown since.
Why this young angler was happy to receive ‘citation’ from game warden
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, July 10, 2019 

Game Warden Rick Ouellette pulled alongside Free Martin's boat with what sounded like an ominous greeting. "Well, at least I know I am going to give one citation today.” It turned out that the citation wasn’t meant for the father. It was for the son. He asked 5-year-old Hunter Martin, ‘Did you put that life jacket on all by yourself?’” Hunter answered in the affirmative. “The warden then reached for something I will never forget,” Martin said. “He grabbed a piece of paper and said, ‘This is for you. I am giving you this Floating Citation.’ Hunter’s smile was from ear to ear as the game warden explained to him that the floating citation can be used at McDonald’s for a variety of things, including his favorite…a Happy Meal!”
Column: Maine takes on climate change
Kennebec Journal - Wednesday, July 10, 2019 

The Maine Legislature and our governor stepped up to improve our environment in a number of ways this year. I was particularly pleased they banned singled-use plastic bags and enacted a bill encouraging renewable energy. While there is still more we can and should do in Maine, it was particularly appalling when President Trump removed the limitations on the mining and use of coal. I guess he doesn’t care about his grandchildren. I really can’t understand how some people refuse to believe that our climate is changing — the evidence is all around us. There is a lot we can do as individuals to address the problems of climate change. And we can only hope that eventually we’ll get a president and Congress willing to tackle these problems and come up with solutions, just as our governor and Legislature has worked to do in Maine. ~ George Smith
Opinion: It’s past time to do broad-based ocean planning
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, July 10, 2019 

The lobster fishery has had its ups and downs and is now doing well, purposely managed at a small-boat, owner-operated scale that is suited to the coastal communities of Maine. Fishermen, who have long lived with a cooperative acceptance of the commons, now face ocean uses operating under a whole new set of rules – rules that could allow exclusivity, transferring and consolidation of lease sites into large privatized areas. This applies not just to aquaculture leases, but also to ocean energy, yacht basins and other privatized or leased uses, all of which we struggle to sort out while being hampered by archaic laws governing access and the intertidal zone. Making decisions about the future of our coast is not easy. But it is something we must do. ~ Richard Nelson, longtime commercial fisherman, Friendship
Letter: Dog-walking community helps make Baxter Woods a special place
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, July 10, 2019 

Portland has proposed to have dogs on-leash only in Baxter Woods. This was based on a dozen complaints over several years, and the belief that dogs negatively affect the woods. A few of us have been talking to park users. More than 400 people have commented, and about 98 percent enjoy the free-running dogs. Few cause problems and usually it’s safe, made so by the dog-walking community, who care, meet neighbors, pick up trash and note suspicious activity. Many train their dogs, who learn to behave better with other dogs and people. Most know it is not a dog park, but off-leash use has been allowed for years, and it is never full of dogs. Baxter Woods is a special urban forest partly because of the dogs and responsible owners. ~ Dawn Leland, Portland
Letter: Young Americans won’t benefit from limited-government approach
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, July 10, 2019 

I was startled by Kathleen Parker’s July 2 column, “Why young Americans may be conservatives at heart.” When she advocates tax cuts and decreased regulations that I wonder where she has been for the last few decades. Tax cuts do not pay for themselves. Decreasing regulations in the face of climate change is a recipe for disaster and will cost all of us dearly, but the price will fall mostly on the young. ~ Nancy D. Barber, Bath
Hike: Mount Percival in Northport
Aislinn Sarnacki Act Out Blog - Tuesday, July 9, 2019 

One of the most distinctive landmarks in Northport, Mount Percival rises 502 feet above sea level and features the remains of an old tower near its wooded summit. The Hildreth family donated 73 acres of the mountain, including its summit, in 2003 for conservation. The property is now owned by the Coastal Mountains Land Trust, which maintains the 0.3-mile hiking trail that leads to its summit and the old tower.
Canada announces new protections for rare right whales
Associated Press - Tuesday, July 9, 2019 

The Canadian government has announced new protections for endangered North Atlantic right whales in response to a string of deaths and entanglements involving the marine mammals. Six of the whales have died in Canadian waters in the last several weeks, and necropsies show three of them appear to be due to vessel strikes. The Canadian government said three more whales have been found entangled in rope, and it’s unclear whether they will survive. The protections include increasing surveillance, expanding slowdown zones and changing the rules that trigger fishing shutdowns.
Opposition Group To Launch Petition Effort To Kill CMP’s Transmission Project
Maine Public - Tuesday, July 9, 2019 

Opponents of Central Maine Power’s proposed 145-mile power line through western Maine say they will start a petition drive to take the question to a statewide vote. Sandra Howard, director of the grassroots opposition group Say NO To NECEC says gathering the 70,000 signatures needed to try to kill the CMP project at the ballot box in Nov. 2020 will be an enormous undertaking. But Howard says there’s clear evidence that the project, like CMP itself, is widely unpopular in the state. Pete Didisheim, the Natural Resources Council of Maine’s advocacy director, says people are "clamoring to vote against the project.”
Maine, 22 other states join California in opposing Trump mileage standards
Associated Press - Tuesday, July 9, 2019 

Citing climate-damaging tailpipe emissions, 23 governors signed a pledge Tuesday backing California leaders in their showdown with the Trump administration over its plans to relax vehicle mileage standards. The pledge comes as the administration seeks to ease mileage standards laid out as part of efforts against climate change. Legal challenges to Trump’s policy proposal threaten to disrupt the auto industry for years, and an influential auto industry trade group is renewing its appeal for the compromise. The administration says American consumers increasingly want bigger, less-efficient SUVs and pickup trucks.
Plastic Has A Big Carbon Footprint — But That Isn't The Whole Story
National Public Radio - Tuesday, July 9, 2019 

Plastic waste gets a lot of attention when photos of dead whales with stomachs full of plastic bags hit the news. Pieces of plastic also litter cities, and tiny plastic particles are even floating in the air. Largely overlooked is how making plastic in the first place affects the environment, especially global warming. Plastic actually has a big carbon footprint, but so do many of the alternatives to plastic. And that's what makes replacing plastic a problem without a clear solution. One thing that waste experts agree on is that there's too much trash, whether it's plastic or paper or something else. And people are making more of it than ever.
Sale of 6 acres on Saco Island leaves plan for major development in doubt
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, July 9, 2019 

A Massachusetts developer bought properties in Portland and Saco, including part of an island in the Saco River where a local developer had proposed an ambitious $40 million project, at separate auctions Tuesday. Ted Moore of East Marblehead, Mass, paid a total of $36,000 for the two properties, but also took on nearly $3 million in combined liens that had been placed on the properties. Moore said he does not have any plans for the properties.
Augusta might sack ordinance requiring plastic bag fees
Kennebec Journal - Tuesday, July 9, 2019 

City councilors might throw out a local ordinance requiring stores to charge customers 5 cents per plastic bag, because the use of those bags will be banned statewide starting next year. In a memo sent to councilors Monday, City Manager William Bridgeo said that with passage of the statewide ban, “it would appear that our pending ordinance is moot. I want to confirm that with you and then determine the most appropriate way to bag it.”
Hallowell residents lobby City Council for trash cans at parks
Kennebec Journal - Tuesday, July 9, 2019 

Visitors and residents want to see more trash cans in city parks, but Public Works Foreman Chris Buck said trash cans in city parks are misused and could create health hazards and unsightly clutter around full trash cans.
After someone left out Doritos, Baxter State Park saw its bear activity increase
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, July 9, 2019 

Baxter State Park was established with a goal of the land remaining “forever wild,” and one of the benefits of that focus is the wide variety of native animals a visitor might see on the park’s more than 200,000 acres. But one particular species — the black bear — has been a bit overly active this summer, prompting park officials to put a cautionary message up on its Facebook page. “Bear activity in the park has been on the increase,” the post reads. “In order to keep the wild in wildlife, please remember to secure all food, trash, and scented items in your car or bear-proof container.”
Opponents of a dozen new laws aim to erase them with ‘people’s veto’ campaigns
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, July 9, 2019 

With a short time to collect 63,067 signatures, special interest groups and individuals file more than a dozen requests to challenge newly signed laws. To get on the Nov. 5 ballot, signatures would need to be submitted sometime in early August. Conservative activist Jack McCarthy of northern Aroostook County has applied for 14 people’s veto petitions but two were rejected because the bills in question – the state budget and one setting up a task force on climate change – already had become law. Other bills targeted include a Green New Deal (LD 347), solar energy incentives (LD 478), and the Renewable Portfolio Standard for power generation (LD 477).
Holes in beach can be dangerous to piping plovers
Journal Tribune - Tuesday, July 9, 2019 

Wildlife officials are asking beach goers to be mindful of piping plovers on the beach. This includes filling up any holes dug in the sand before leaving the beach. Piping plovers are a small, sandy colored shorebird listed as an endangered species by the state and designated by the federal government as threatened. Plover chicks weigh about as much as a piece of gum. A baby bird that tiny that can’t fly will not be able to get out if it falls in a hole dug in the beach. If the hole is close to shore, a bird trapped in a hole will likely drown.
Billionaire Tom Steyer Changes His Mind And Is Now Running For President
National Public Radio - Tuesday, July 9, 2019 

Tom Steyer, a California billionaire hedge fund manager and environmental activist, is the latest to jump into the Democratic presidential race. Steyer has gained national attention with his quest to impeach President Trump. Steyer's previous focus on impeachment could vault the issue into the presidential race. He did not say why he had the change of heart, but it comes months after the release of the Mueller report and an increasing number of congressional Democrats have called for the president's impeachment.
Brook Trout Getting New Protection
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Tuesday, July 9, 2019 

Thanks to DIF&W Commissioner Judy Camuso, Maine’s brook trout will be getting new protections. The proposed new rule will be implemented on January 1.
Anglers throw back ‘crap fish’ that might have been a record-breaker
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, July 9, 2019 

Joe Vachon of Toronto, Ontario, caught a monster fallfish, or chub, while fishing the Moose River with his brother-in-law, Al Harris of Hampden recently. The anglers released the fish, but later learned that if they'd kept it, it may have been close to a state record for the species that many people view as a "trash fish." Harris said, “We were thinking, ‘You know? We got a good crap fish here. Throw it back.’ But little did we know that it was probably a contender for a record.”
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