September 17, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Tuesday, September 17, 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
The Ecology of the Heath, Sep 24
Event - Posted - Tuesday, September 17, 2019 

Naturalist Fred Cichocki will describe the ecology of the 12-acre heath at Cathance Rive Nature Preserve in Topsham and other sphagnum moss wetlands. At Topsham Public Library, September 24, 6 pm. Sponsored by Cathance River Education Alliance.
LUPC to Hold Public Meeting on Approved Fish River Lakes Concept Plan, Sep 25
Event - Posted - Tuesday, September 17, 2019 

The Maine Land Use Planning Commission staff will hold an open house and public meeting regarding the Fish River Chain of Lakes Concept Plan. At Caribou Inn and Convention Center, September 25, Open House 6 pm; Public Meeting 6:30 pm.
Oppose CMP's transmission corridor
Action Alert - Monday, September 16, 2019 

Ask Maine’s Congressional delegation to urge the Army Corps for an Environmental Impact Statement and public hearing on Central Maine Power’s proposal for a transmission corridor through Western Maine. ~ Nick Bennett, NRCM
No logging in the Tongass National Forest
Action Alert - Monday, September 16, 2019 

The Amazon is burning, yet Donald Trump wants to open the world's largest intact temperate forest to mining and logging exploitation. He is opening 10 million acres in the Tongass National Forest to brutal exploitation. Tongass retains more carbon than any forest in the U.S., provides habitat for iconic wild creatures and contains old-growth trees as much as 1,000 years old. Don't let Trump destroy it. ~ CREDO Action
York Beach Clean Up, Sep 23
Event - Posted - Monday, September 16, 2019 

Join a beach clean up & attempt to set a world record spelling the largest "NO PLANET B" ever in the sand. The goal is 500 people At Long Sands Beach, York, September 23, 9 am - 12:30 pm.
Guided Canoe Trip with Ryan Linehan, Sep 22
Event - Posted - Sunday, September 15, 2019 

Delve into themes of industry, waterways, and the environment, with conversation in art galleries and on the Messalonskee River. At Colby Colby Museum of Art, Waterville, September 22, 12-4 pm, pre-registration required.
Tumbledown trail maintenance, guided hike scheduled, Sep 22
Event - Posted - Sunday, September 15, 2019 

A 4.7 mile round-trip guided hike up Tumbledown Mountain will include discussion of geology, trees and plants, history, wildlife and issues facing the mountain. Meet at Brook Trailhead on Byron Road, Weld, September 22, 9 am - 2 pm.
Portland Electric Car Ride & Drive, Sep 21
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 14, 2019 

Learn about electric cars during the 5th annual EV Expo. At Back Cove parking area off Preble Street, Portland, September 21, 12-4 pm, free pizza & coffee. Hosted by Natural Resources Council of Maine and ReVision Energy.
Smithsonian Museum Day, Sep 21
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 14, 2019 

An annual celebration of boundless curiosity hosted by Smithsonian magazine. At L.C. Bates Museum, Hinckley, September 21, 10 am - 4:30 pm.
Common Ground Country Fair, Sep 20-22
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 14, 2019 

More than 750 varied events at this annual celebration of rural living with a mix of workshops, demonstrations, music, vendors, farmers’ markets, fantastic food and more. At Unity, September 20-22, gates open daily at 9 am.
Life Happens Outside Festival, Sep 20-21
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 14, 2019 

At L.L. Bean Discovery Park, Freeport, September 20, 6:30 pm, food trucks; 7:15 pm, Maine Outdoor Film Festival. September 21, 10 am - 4 pm, climbing, biking, talks, exhibits. Free but donations benefit Teens To Trails.
Climate Strike, Sep 20-27
Action Alert - Friday, September 13, 2019 

It’s time to build a renewable energy economy that works for everyone. Join in the streets September 20 and the week after to demand climate justice for all.
• Portland City Hall, Sep 20, 12 pm
• Bowdoin Art Museum steps, Brunswick, Sep 29, 10 am
• Meetinghouse gazebo, Farmington, Sep 20, 12 pm
• Longley Square Park, Norway, Sep 20, 4:30 pm
• Sidewalk at Main and Temple St, Waterville, Sep 20, 4 pm
• Front of Bangor High School, Sep 20, 11 am
• Resistance Corner, Downtown Belfast, Sep 20, 12 pm
• Bar Harbor Village Green, Sep 20, 12 pm
• Dike on Route 1, Machias, Sep 20, 1:30 pm
Global Climate Strike, Sep 20
Event - Posted - Friday, September 13, 2019 

Take to the streets for the Global Climate Strike to make sure elected officials and candidates for office in 2020 hear us loud and clear. Strikes in Maine at Farmington and Bar Harbor, September 20. ~ 350 Action
Bryant Pond 4-H Camp and Learning Center, Sep 20
Event - Posted - Friday, September 13, 2019 

Ron and Deidre Fournier will speak about the Bryant Pond 4-H Camp and Learning Center. At meeting of the Oxford County Educators Association-Retired, Universalist Church, West Paris, September 20, 1 pm.
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News Items
BikeMaine wraps up tour with lunch in Waterville
Morning Sentinel - Saturday, September 14, 2019 

BikeMaine tour riders rolled into Waterville on Saturday, completing their 324.6 mile ride from Head of Falls on the banks of the Kennebec River around the midcoast of Maine and back again to Waterville. Head of Falls and the RiverWalk on Front Street were once again the welcome zone for the approximately 450 riders who took part in the weeklong ride. The cyclists, 339 of whom came from out of state, spent seven days rolling through 35 towns across the region and returned to Head of Falls on Saturday to feast on a celebratory lunch from noon to 3 p.m. he weeklong ride has brought about $3 million to Maine since its inauguration in 2012.
Officials: Augusta gun range may open this month following delays
Kennebec Journal - Saturday, September 14, 2019 

The $2.5 million Summerhaven Gun Range, billed as a state-of-the-art outdoor shooting facility, may open this month following a nearly year-long delay beyond original estimates. The range replaced a gravel pit that was home to an informal shooting area. The range will be open to the public at no cost, but can only be used when “certified range safety officers” are supervising the range. The range is also available for state and local police agencies to use for training. Summerhaven is the second gun range owned by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, the other being in Fryeburg.
Editorial: After national order, setting rules for e-bikes is no easy task
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, September 14, 2019 

Electric bikes, which looks like traditional bicycles but have a small motor to make pedaling easier, are a relatively new conveyance in the U.S. In the Netherlands, the world’s top bike-owning country, sales of e-bikes have surpassed those of traditional bicycles. This trend should give policymakers pause as they consider how to regulate e-bikes, especially in our country’s most treasured places, our national parks. Accommodating visitors with limited mobility is important, but Acadia National Park managers must focus on protecting the park’s landscape and wildlife while also minimizing conflicts among visitors using different means to enjoy the park.
Opinion: CMP power plan will benefit Maine's people and environment
Village Soup Gazette (Knox County & Penobscot Bay) - Saturday, September 14, 2019 

I always expected, and welcomed, a robust discussion regarding the New England Clean Energy Connect project, a discussion that should be based on facts, not speculation and fear. By all objective analyses, this project will suppress the price of electricity in Maine and across the region, saving Maine residents alone millions of dollars each year in electricity costs. A $50 million Low Income Customer Benefits Fund and an efficiency $140 million fund will further reduce electricity rates for Maine consumers. The number of new acres of forest that would be felled because of this project would equal two tenths of a percent of what we already cut annually. The energy that will be delivered by this project will be low-carbon hydropower from Quebec’s existing system of dams. And it will cost Maine ratepayers nothing. ~ Gov. Janet Mills
Tribes could get more fishing, court and gambling rights in changes to landmark Maine settlement
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, September 14, 2019 

After trying to gain authority over gaming, natural resources and certain crimes through the courts, the State House and the ballot box, Maine’s Native American tribes are trying to reassert their sovereignty by changing law giving the state tribal oversight. A task force examining the state law that led to the federal Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act of 1980, which settled a Passamaquoddy claim to 12 million acres of Maine, has drafted a set of proposed changes that would strike language allowing Maine to treat tribes largely like municipalities and adding provisions tribes say would help restore their status as sovereign nations. Doing so would give them more jurisdiction over certain fishing rights, courts and gambling enterprises.
Whitewater rafting on the West Branch of the Penobscot is one of the wildest things I’ve ever done Whitewater rafting on the West Branch of the Penobscot
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, September 14, 2019 

Raising our paddles into the air, we tapped the blades together above the center of the raft in a gesture of comradery. We were floating down the West Branch of the Penobscot River, and we were in for a wild ride. Leading our trip, the experienced rafting guides of the New England Outdoor Center were the embodiment of “fired up.” When they weren’t cracking corny jokes, they were bellowing out orders to their crews.
How Maine plans to study the debated practice of aerial herbicide on forests
The County - Saturday, September 14, 2019 

This past spring, Maine Senate President Troy Jackson, D-Allagash, led a bill to ban “aerial herbicide spraying for the purpose of deforestation.” The bill evolved into legislation, signed by Gov. Janet Mills, requiring the Maine Board of Pesticides Control to conduct a report on the practice of using forestry herbicides due out in February 2020. In 2017, more than 12,000 acres of Maine woodlands were treated with herbicides while 22,722 acres of trees were harvested through clear cutting. Forestry industry advocates argue that the practice allows more wood to be grown and harvested on less land.
Opinion: Commentary: Fight Lyme disease by boosting tick-borne illness response funding
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, September 14, 2019 

My life changed dramatically 10 years ago. I was outside doing fall cleanup when I was bitten by a tick. We removed it, flushed it and didn’t give it another thought, not even when I became symptomatic 10 days later. For the next two years, I was misdiagnosed by 23 specialists. I finally found a doctor who saved my life. After treatment tailored to my infections, I went into remission. Ever since, I have been dedicated to helping everyone suffering with this disease. Recently, I was honored to testify on the Ticks: Identify, Control, and Knockout (TICK) Act, which would help establish a national strategy to prevent tick-borne diseases; support federal research to fight ticks; and establish grants to support state health departments’ efforts to improve data collection and analysis, early detection and diagnosis, treatment and public awareness. ~ Paula Jackson Jones, Nobleboro, Midcoast Lyme Disease Support and Education
Opinion: Editorial mischaracterizes panel’s role in resolving CMP complaints
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, September 14, 2019 

To suggest that MPUC staff is biased couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, it was our staff in the Customer Assistance Division who alerted us to problems with CMP meters and bills. It’s also unfortunate that you present the OPA report and MPUC staff report as contradictory. In fact, the reports are complementary. Both conclude that there were an unacceptable number of billing errors that CMP has not addressed adequately and there remain unresolved high-usage complaints that must be addressed. While our regulatory process may frustrate some who want immediate action, we follow a meticulous regulatory path laid out in Maine statutes. We will not rush to judgment. ~ Philip L. Bartlett II, R. Bruce Williamson and Randall D. Davis, PUC commissioners
Letter: Act locally to craft bold solutions to climate change
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, September 14, 2019 

We have 11 years to aggressively cut carbon emissions in order to stave off catastrophic climate change. Profound, urgent action is needed. Like a locomotive is screaming down the tracks at us, urgent. Willful, powerful and corrupt people are watching their pockets fill at any cost, including humanity. We don’t have that luxury. Our children don’t have that luxury. Biodiversity doesn’t have that luxury. We must push for systemic change. We must effect that change. Never has the slogan “To change everything, we need everyone” been more relevant. With the support of Sierra Club Maine, Climate Action Teams have achieved significant change with no budget – just grit, persistence, passion and an acknowledgment that action generates hope. Climate Action Teams are hope. The future you, the one the locomotive is bearing down on, needs you now! ~ Luke Truman, Portland Climate Action Team
Letter: Protect Endangered Species Act
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, September 14, 2019 

When it comes to the success of the Endangered Species Act, one cannot deny its success. Ninety-nine percent of species listed as endangered and threatened survive and many of those recover within their designated timeline. Scientists say more than 227 species would likely have gone extinct without the Endangered Species Act. Protected wild spaces and wildlife are the foundation of a healthy outdoor economy, one that is sustainable, and does not sacrifice people and places for dirty fuels profit. Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King must preserve this vital safety net for imperiled species and oppose any effort to weaken or change the Endangered Species Act. ~ Penelope Andrews, Hermon
Maine receives grant to help exporters
Portland Press Herald - Friday, September 13, 2019 

Maine International Trade Center, which helps Maine businesses export their goods and services, received a $344,500 grant from the federal government to increase overseas sales. The U.S. Small Business Administration announced that the award was granted through the SBA’s competitive State Trade Expansion Program. It is the seventh consecutive year that MITC received funding through the STEP program. More than 50 Maine companies received STEP Financial Assistance Awards in fiscal year 2017-2018, resulting in $12.8 million in actual sales with an additional $17.2 million projected in the next 12-18 months.
Conservationists and lobstermen add videos to the ongoing right whale entanglement debate
Maine Public - Friday, September 13, 2019 

A new front is opening up in the public relations war over whether the lobster industry should make big changes to protect the endangered North Atlantic Right Whale. An international marine conservation group called Oceana has released an online video that aims to raise awareness of the threats that fishing gear and ships pose for the survival of the planet's remaining North Atlantic right whales. The same day the conservation group’s ad was released, the Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative introduced its own ad. It's a distinct counter-narrative: Maine lobstermen are willing to make gear changes, and are actively testing new types of rope that could be easier for whales to break free of.
Auburn to continue discussion on changes to the agricultural zone
Sun Journal - Friday, September 13, 2019 

After a summer off from the controversial subject, the City Council will hold a workshop at 5:30 p.m. Monday on proposed changes to the Agriculture and Resource Protection Zone. The subject of loosening development restrictions in the large zone has divided Auburn officials and residents for years. The amended zoning language is intended to loosen the zone’s historically strict rules, making it easier for people to build homes on land they own while encouraging small agricultural operations.
Avian Haven celebrates 20 years of helping Maine birds
Bangor Daily News - Friday, September 13, 2019 

Over the past decades, Mainers who come across injured or ill birds have come to know the name “Avian Haven” as a rehabilitation facility that can offer the best care possible. On Sunday, the Freedom-based organization will hold a 20th anniversary celebration and fundraising event from 2 p.m. until 6 p.m. at Gilsland Farm in Falmouth. Wildlife biologist Brad Allen, who serves as bird group leader for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, has relied on Avian Haven’s services countless times. And he said the group, along with its network of volunteers, has completely changed how bird rehabilitation is done in the state.
Opinion: It is time to unite against ticks
Bangor Daily News - Friday, September 13, 2019 

The incidence of tick-borne diseases has exploded over the past 15 years. Far too many Americans with Lyme disease experience a complex diagnostic odyssey that takes months or even years. Other tick-borne diseases are also on the rise in our state. The TICK Act would apply a three-pronged approach to tackle tick-borne diseases. First, it would establish an office to develop a national strategy to prevent these diseases. Second, it would reauthorize Centers for Disease Control Regional Centers of Excellence in Vector-Borne Diseases that have led the scientific response to fighting ticks. Finally, the bill would establish grants to support state efforts to improve data collection and analysis, early detection and diagnosis, treatment, and public awareness. ~ U.S. Senator Susan M. Collins
Letter: Good fisheries management
Bangor Daily News - Friday, September 13, 2019 

Bob Mallard once again states that the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife does not fully embrace catch and release. It is disingenuous for Mallard to criticize biologists for stocking lake trout in Sebago and Moosehead Lakes that add fishing opportunities, and then blaming them for saying truthfully that C&R was the problem in those lakes because of an over population of small fish that threatened the survival of trout and salmon. As soon as C&R was eliminated in Moosehead, the brook trout population surged. ~ Joe Bertolaccini, Orrington
'Inside the Amazon: The Dying Forest' AR Experience
TIME - Thursday, September 12, 2019 

For centuries, the Amazon rain forest was one of the last great wildernesses on planet Earth, where isolated tribes and untold species of animals lived undisturbed by outsiders. But today the Amazon stands close to a tipping point, as rampant deforestation combines with climate change to threaten the rain forest’s very existence. Now you can be a witness to the crisis unfolding in the Amazon with TIME’s “Inside the Amazon: The Dying Forest” AR (augmented reality) experience.
The Family Business
Maine Public - Thursday, September 12, 2019 

NEXT New England - The Sununus are one of New Hampshire's most prominent families. John H. Sununu was governor and White House Chief of Staff. One of his sons, John E. Sununu, was a U.S. congressman and senator, and another, Chris Sununu, is governor today. In their powerful political roles, all of these men have faced a different landscape with regard to climate change - and what it means to be a Republican.
Chesterville won’t let residents vote on moratorium aimed at delaying CMP project
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, September 12, 2019 

Residents of Chesterville won’t get an opportunity to vote on a moratorium aimed at delaying Central Maine Power Co.’s plan to build an electric transmission line through the Franklin County town. Selectmen opted Thursday night to take no action on a request from former Republican state Sen. Tom Saviello of Wilton to schedule a special town meeting vote on the moratorium, which, if approved, would have remained in effect for 180 days. Saviello opposes CMP’s transmission line from Quebec.
Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve gets grant for lobster research
Journal Tribune - Thursday, September 12, 2019 

The Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve will receive about $250,000 over two years to study how warming coastal waters are affecting lobsters in the Gulf of Maine, the National Sea Grant Office has announced. The Gulf of Maine is warming faster than most waters around the world. Since lobsters thrive in cold water, this warming trend has raised concerns about the future of the Gulf’s lobster fishery. Wells Reserve collaborators on the 2-year project include the University of New Hampshire, Saint Joseph’s College of Maine, the New England Aquarium, the Maine Department of Marine Resources, and the New Hampshire Department of Fish and Game.
Concerns grow over tainted sewage sludge spread on croplands
Associated Press - Thursday, September 12, 2019 

About half of the 7 million tons of sewage sludge from wastewater treatment plants generated annually in the U.S. is applied to farm fields and other lands, the EPA says. While the sludge offers farmers a cheap source of fertilizer, there long have been concerns about contaminants in the material — and attention of late has turned to perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS. Several states are examining sewage sludge for PFAS contamination and assessing potential dangers. Maine has enacted a nonbinding advisory level for PFAS in sludge. Maine also found most biosolids from more than 30 wastewater treatment plants were above the state’s advisory level.
The Penobscot River is not-so-secretly a ‘world-class’ bass fishery
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, September 12, 2019 

This stretch of the Penobscot River up around Greenish “really is a world class smallmouth bass fishery,” Rob Dunnett says. “It’s beautiful. We’re just spoiled.”

Clinton man killed in Litchfield logging accident
Morning Sentinel - Thursday, September 12, 2019 

A 22-year old Clinton man was killed in a logging accident on Monday evening, according to Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety. McCausland said the victim, Brady Thomas Martin, was cutting down a tree on a wood lot half a mile off the Ferrin Road around 6 p.m. on Monday evening and was killed when the tree fell on top of him.
1,000 farm-raised salmon escape from Canadian pen, some captured at New Brunswick dam
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, September 12, 2019 

Researchers for the Atlantic Salmon Federation have captured and removed 53 Atlantic salmon from a New Brunswick river after an estimated 1,000 of the farm-raised fish escaped from a Cooke Aquaculture facility near Deer Island in the Bay of Fundy. Deer Island is just across the Maine-New Brunswick border. Dwayne Shaw, executive director of the Downeast Salmon Federation, said, “We know that fish do not recognize national boundaries. Escaped farmed salmon from Canada do pose a serious threat to endangered wild U.S. populations in our region."
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