March 19, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Tuesday, March 19, 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 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
Urge Maine's Agencies to Investigate and Halt PFAS Contamination
Action Alert - Tuesday, March 19, 2019 

Highly persistent and toxic chemicals known as PFAS may be lurking undiscovered in farmlands across Maine. State records show that at an Arundel dairy farm, PFOS was in milk at the highest level ever reported anywhere. Urge Maine Ag and DEP commissioners to test the fields, stop sludge spreading, and phase out PFAS products. ~ Environmental Health Strategy Center
Retired Game Warden Randall Probert, Mar 26
Event - Posted - Tuesday, March 19, 2019 

Author, raconteur, and retired game warden Randall Probert will speak to the Hebron Historical Society on “Maine Tales and More.” At Hebron Town Office, March 26, 7 pm.
The Forests of Lilliput: The Miniature World of Lichens & Mosses, Mar 26
Event - Posted - Tuesday, March 19, 2019 

Maine Master Naturalist Jeff Pengel talks about the natural history of lichens, mosses and similar plants. At Topsham Library, March 26, 6 pm. Sponsored by Cathance River Education Alliance.
Celebrating Maine’s Wild Creatures, Mar 26
Event - Posted - Tuesday, March 19, 2019 

Speaker: Ed Robinson, author of “Nature Notes from Maine: River Otters, Moose, Skunks and More.” At Curtis Library, March 16, 7 pm. Sponsored by Merrymeeting Audubon.
Ocean Acidification, Climate Change, and You, Mar 25
Event - Posted - Monday, March 18, 2019 

Friends of Casco Bay staff scientist Mike Doan talks about warning signs and Casco Baykeeper Ivy Frignoca shares the impacts to marine species and how Mainers are responding. At Southern Maine Community College, South Portland, March 25, 5:30 pm.
Mount Pisgah winter trek, Mar 24
Event - Posted - Sunday, March 17, 2019 

Kennebec Land Trust Stewardship Director Jean-Luc Theriault will lead an off-trail excursion on Mount Pisgah to visit special places that are typically less accessible. Meet at the Mount Pisgah Community Conservation Area parking lot in Winthrop, March 24, 1 pm.
Winter Family Fun Day at Lily Bay State Park, Mar 23
Event - Posted - Saturday, March 16, 2019 

Ice fishing, snowmobile tote rides, winter camping demo, bonfire, scavenger hunt and free loan of cross-country skis, snowshoes, ice skates, snow tubes and sleds. At Lily Bay State Park, Moosehead Lake, March 23, 10 am - 3 pm.
Winter wildlife tracking workshop, Mar 23
Event - Posted - Saturday, March 16, 2019 

Naturalists and certified wildlife trackers Brendan White and Matt Dickinson lead a winter wildlife tracking workshop. At at Long Ledges Preserve, Sullivan, March 23, 9-11:30 am. Sponsored by Frenchman Bay Conservancy.
Maine Grass Farmers Network Conference, Mar 23
Event - Posted - Saturday, March 16, 2019 

Livestock producers are invited to learn about grass-based production and how grazing systems can become more profitable and environmentally sound. At Kennebec County Community College's Alfond Campus, Hinckley, March 23, 8:30 am - 3 pm.
Maine becomes a state, Mar 15
Announcement - Friday, March 15, 2019 

On this day in 1820, March 15, Massachusetts lost over 30,000 square miles of land as its former province of Maine gained statehood. Mainers had begun campaigning for statehood for years following the Revolution. The Massachusetts legislature finally consented in 1819. What no one foresaw, however, was that Maine's quest for statehood would become entangled in the most divisive issue in American history — slavery.
Maine Land Conservation Conference, Apr 5-6
Event - Posted - Friday, March 15, 2019 

Maine’s robust land conservation community comes together to train on best practices in all aspects of land trust work, connect with peers, and grapple with the most pressing issues facing land conservation today. At Topsham area, April 5-6.
Thoreau Society & Thoreau Farm Trust online auction, thru Mar 29
Announcement - Friday, March 15, 2019 

This auction contains many rare books written about Henry David Thoreau and other items for every Thoreauvian.
MITA Open House and Getch Celebration, Mar 22
Event - Posted - Friday, March 15, 2019 

Toast the extraordinary life of MITA founder Dave Getchell, Sr. At Maine Island Trail Association, Portland, March 22, 5:30-7:30 pm.
Call for Artists: Paint for Preservation 2019
Announcement - Friday, March 15, 2019 

The Cape Elizabeth Land Trust is accepting artist submissions for Paint for Preservation 2019, the organization’s twelfth annual juried Wet Paint Auction and one of Maine’s premiere art auction events. This 3-day (June 28-30) plein air event raises money for land conservation in Cape Elizabeth. Deadline is March 22.
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News Items
What Happens When Young Environmental Activists Grow Up
TIME - Friday, March 15, 2019 

Six months ago, 16-year-old climate change activist Greta Thunberg, who has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, started skipping school on a weekly basis to raise awareness of climate change. Now, on Friday, thousands of children and adolescents worldwide are following her lead, in hopes that their march will force lawmakers to take drastic action to mitigate the already harmful effects of global warming. These young activists have been partly inspired by the teen survivors of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., who inspired school walkouts for stricter gun control laws. But the roots of these protests also run deeper: Friday’s demonstrations echo the actions of youngsters about 30 years ago, who in the late 1980s and early 1990s took up the cause of conservation.
School Strikes for the Climate
350.org - Friday, March 15, 2019 

On Friday, 100,000s of children and students walked out of school to strike for the climate. And their global call to action is only just beginning. Young people's message is clear: "Dear Adults, Use Your Power." What happens today will resonate long beyond 15 March, 2019; this is an epic wake up call for our future.
The Rapid Decline Of The Natural World Is A Crisis Even Bigger Than Climate Change
Huffington Post - Friday, March 15, 2019 

Nature is in freefall and the planet’s support systems are so stretched that we face widespread species extinctions and mass human migration unless urgent action is taken. That’s the warning hundreds of scientists are preparing to give, and it’s stark. The last year has seen a slew of brutal and terrifying warnings about the threat climate change poses to life. Far less talked about but just as dangerous, if not more so, is the rapid decline of the natural world. The felling of forests, the over-exploitation of seas and soils, and the pollution of air and water are together driving the living world to the brink, according to a huge three-year, U.N.-backed landmark study to be published in May.
King: Katahdin Woods and Waters' existence is settled
Associated Press - Friday, March 15, 2019 

Sen. Angus King said after a meeting with the acting interior secretary in Bangor that the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument's existence is settled. King, who met Friday with Acting Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, said there's a line for the monument in the president's budget submitted last week. The Trump administration previously reviewed the monument created on land donated by the family of Burt's Bees co-founder Roxanne Quimby. The land includes a 17-mile loop road with views of Mount Katahdin; trails for hiking, mountain biking and snowmobiling; and paddling on the Penobscot River's East Branch.
New Bill Would Call For Further Assessment of CMP Transmission Line's Environmental Impact
Maine Public - Friday, March 15, 2019 

Opponents of Central Maine Power's proposed 145-mile transmission line to provide hydropower from Quebec to Massachusetts urged state lawmakers Friday to approve a bill that would assess whether the project will actually reduce regional greenhouse gas emissions. The public hearing in Augusta marked the first time that the controversial project known as the New England Clean Energy Connect and its robust public relations campaign has migrated to the State House. It revealed that some in the Democratic-controlled Legislature question whether the project will deliver the climate benefits Democratic Gov. Janet Mills has said it will.
Maine Students Gather In Portland To Call For Action On Climate Change
Maine Public - Friday, March 15, 2019 

Hundreds of students from across southern Maine left school early Friday afternoon and called for action on climate change on the steps of Portland's City Hall. The strike in Portland was attended by elementary to college-aged students, and was one of more than 100 events planned across the country on Friday. With signs and chants, the students called for curbing carbon emissions, particularly in the face of recent national reports showing severe consequences if action isn't taken.
Waterville councilors to consider amending plastic bag ban vote results
Morning Sentinel - Friday, March 15, 2019 

The controversy over a plastic bag ban in the city isn’t over yet, despite a ruling this week by Maine’s high court upholding the voter-approved measure. Waterville city councilors on Tuesday will consider certifying election results that show voters approved the ban on Nov. 6, which will apply to stores that are 10,000-square-feet or larger such as Walmart, Shaw’s Supermarket, Hannaford, Save-A-Lot and JC Penney. However, City Solicitor William A. Lee III suggested the council could pass another amendment to the bag ban ordinance that would delay its implementation until September. Todd Martin, a volunteer for the Sustain Mid-Maine Coalition who spearheaded the bag ban, said he supports delaying the ban implementation. “I personally want to work with the city to roll this out the right way,” he said.
New prospective buyer takes another run at getting Saddleback ski area back in business
Portland Press Herald - Friday, March 15, 2019 

A Boston investment firm has made an offer to buy Saddleback Mountain, pledging to invest $25 million to $30 million after the sale to help restart the Rangeley ski resort, which has been closed for four years. Andy Shepard, CEO of the Outdoor Sports Institute, and Tom Federle, a Portland attorney, have been working with Arctaris to try to purchase the ski area. When it was open, Saddleback was the state’s third-largest ski resort, drawing thousands of tourists every winter and providing hundreds of local jobs. Shepard would not confirm Arctaris’ terms – only that the $500 million investment group is interested in buying the ski mountain and has the means to do so. The purchase price was not disclosed.
Senate bill would ban seismic blasts in Atlantic
E&E/Greenwire - Friday, March 15, 2019 

Seismic blasting in the Atlantic Ocean would be prohibited under a bill introduced in the Senate yesterday. "This bill prevents fossil fuel related seismic testing and makes clear that the Atlantic is off-limits to any type of offshore oil exploration," said Sen. Cory Booker, chief sponsor of S. 828, the "Atlantic Seismic Airgun Protection Act." The legislation is a companion bill to H.R. 1606, introduced in the House last week.
King says questions about national monument’s status settled after meeting with Trump’s acting interior secretary
Bangor Daily News - Friday, March 15, 2019 

Sen. Angus King said questions about the status of Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument as a federal property appear to be settled after meeting Friday in Bangor with Acting Interior Secretary David Bernhardt. “There’s some details in the management plan to be worked out, but in terms of the existence of the monument and the fact that it’s part of the National Park Service, the best evidence of that that I can give is there’s a line in the budget that the president submitted last week [that says] Katahdin Woods and Waters,” King said. “I came up here primarily because we have serious issues with the maintenance backlog at our national parks. I wanted to see some of that at Acadia,” Bernhardt said. “Both Sen. King and [Sen. Susan] Collins have been leaders in the Restore Our Parks Act, which will really help us with the maintenance backlog if it should pass.” Bernhardt spent Thursday touring parts of Acadia National Park that are accessible during the winter.
King: Trump's Budget Allocates 'Significant' Funds For Maine's National Monument
Maine Public - Friday, March 15, 2019 

While some details surrounding Maine's Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument are still not settled, independent Sen. Angus King says the existence of the 87,000-acre preserve no longer seems to be in doubt. King met Friday with Acting Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, who was in Maine to discuss the monument, and maintenance issues at Acadia National Park, with local authorities. King says that because Katahdin Woods and Waters came with a $20 million dollar endowment, paying for its upkeep is a bit more certain than other park service properties.
Paddling Adventures: Two Experts Describe their Journeys on Kayak and Canoe—and Offer Paddling Advic
Maine Public - Friday, March 15, 2019 

Beyond the usual recreational paddling that is so popular in Maine, some embark on life-changing long-distance journeys on the water. We talk with two of these paddlers about their journeys—where they went, what they learned, and what advice they have for others. John Connelly is the author of "Dying Out Here Is Not An Option," a new book about his 1,500-mile, 75 day canoe and kayak odyssey through 4 states and Canada. Michael Perry is founder-director of Dreams Unlimited, a writer and photographer, and the founder of L.L.Bean Outdoor Discovery School. [audio]
Bates College students strike for climate awareness
Sun Journal - Friday, March 15, 2019 

Twenty five Bates students marched from the campus to the offices of Sen. Susan Collins and U.S. Rep. Jared Golden during a Global Climate Strike for Future event. College and high school students from every continent planned to skip classes to strike for climate justice.
Dozens weigh in on whether to study greenhouse gas impact of CMP transmission project
Portland Press Herald - Friday, March 15, 2019 

Opponents of Central Maine Power’s proposal to build a high-voltage transmission line through Maine are urging lawmakers to order state environmental regulators to consider the project’s impacts on greenhouse gas emissions when reviewing the application. Dozens of people have gathered at the State House to testify on both sides of a bill that would direct the Maine Department of Environmental Protection to study the “total net effect” of CMP’s proposal to build the 145-mile transmission line through western Maine. Project opponents are skeptical of the clean-energy claims of the project.
Editorial: New England needs more renewable energy. CMP project is part of the solution.
Bangor Daily News - Friday, March 15, 2019 

Hydro-Quebec and Central Maine Power Co. teamed up to develop a plan to get Canadian hydro power to Massachusetts. The question before the Maine Public Utilities Commission is whether the project, and its proposed 145-mile transmission line through western Maine, meet the standards for a certificate of public convenience and necessity. This requires an assessment of values such as economic and health consequences, electricity reliability and state renewable energy generation goals. We believe the New England Clean Energy Connect project clears this hurdle. Critics argue there won’t be emissions reductions from the NECEC project because Hydro-Quebec will divert electricity it currently sells to other customers, who will turn to dirtier sources of power. This can’t be ruled out, but we are satisfied it is unlikely.
LL Bean Awards Bonuses After Sales Grow In 2018
Associated Press - Friday, March 15, 2019 

L.L. Bean says sales edged upward over the past year and that's enough to restore bonuses for its 5,400 eligible workers. Revenue grew by 1 percent in a changing and challenging retail environment. The board awarded performance bonuses of 5 percent for workers. Last year, there were no bonuses for the first time in a decade. L.L. Bean is coming off several years of flat sales and belt-tightening that included a reduction in workforce, changes in its generous return policy, and a paring of product lines to refocus on the company's outdoors roots.
Trek Across Maine starts and ends in Brunswick, bringing 2,000 riders through town
Times Record - Friday, March 15, 2019 

This June, more than 2,000 bicyclists are expected to flock to Brunswick for the 35th annual Trek Across Maine, which will start (June 14) and end (June 16) in Brunswick for the first time. The 180-mile route will start at Brunswick Landing and take cyclists through Augusta, Auburn, Bath, Belgrade, Freeport and Lewiston with overnight stops at Bates College in Lewiston and Colby College in Waterville. Trek Across Maine is hosting a community forum at the Fairfield Inn and Suites at 5:30 p.m. March 20 to discuss what the people of Brunswick can expect.
Maine students join in global protest over inaction on climate change
Portland Press Herald - Friday, March 15, 2019 

Maine students are taking part in a global student strike Friday over a lack of action on climate change, following the lead of a 16-year-old Swedish girl who skipped school for three weeks to protest in front of Sweden’s parliament building. Students gathered at Portland City Hall for a strike over a lack of action on climate change on Friday. In addition to Portland’s rally, similar climate action strikes and rallies were planned for Brunswick, Lewiston, Bar Harbor and Scarborough. Some students were also planning brief walkouts at their local schools.
New governor puts Maine back on path for land conservation bonds
Other - Friday, March 15, 2019 

Bond Buyer - Maine Gov. Janet Mills is backing bonding for a state conservation initiative that her predecessor, conservative firebrand Paul LePage, delayed for the past four years. The Democratic governor is pushing legislative support on a $95 million bond package for land conservation efforts and state park improvements. The borrowing proposal would designate $75 million toward Land for Maine Future, a state conservation program founded in 1987 that was under attack by Republican LePage.
Maine Governor Establishes Task Force to Study PFAS
Other - Friday, March 15, 2019 

The National Law Review - The Governor of Maine, Janet T. Mills, issued an Executive Order on March 6, 2019, to establish a task force to study perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) contamination in the state. The Task Force’s purpose is to identify the extent of PFAS exposure in the state, examine the risks of PFAS exposure to human health and the environment, and make recommendations to effectively address such risks.
Intense Standoff Between a Squirrel and a Bald Eagle Went Viral Because Things Just Kept Escalating
TIME - Friday, March 15, 2019 

A man in Lincoln, ME stumbled upon a truly tense standoff in the back of a Rite-Aid between a squirrel and a bald eagle. Roger Stevens Jr. captured a series images of the two animals from the top of a tree. His original post, which been shared more than 11,000 times on Facebook as of Friday, shows the squirrel and the eagle in what appears to be a very high-stakes staring contest. Stevens wrote ” I couldn’t have made this up!! Gray Squirrel and Bald Eagle in staring match…" In the end, the squirrel managed to survive.
Saving bugs, saving ourselves
Maine Environmental News - Friday, March 15, 2019 

On Thursday evening, a crowd filled the Ladd Center in Wayne for the first lyceum program of this season sponsored by the Kennebec Land Trust. Hamish Grieg of UMaine was scheduled to speak about "Maine Aquatic Insects: Ecology, Habitats, & Conservation." In other words, watery bugs. But he came down with a flu bug. So Phillip deMaynadier of the Maine Department of Inland Fish & Wildlife stepped in at the last minute to talk about "Maine’s Rare and Endangered Invertebrates: Conserving the Little Things that Matter.” In other words, saving bugs and their ilk.
The fight over CMP’s $1 billion corridor project moves to the Maine Legislature
Bangor Daily News - Friday, March 15, 2019 

The fight over Central Maine Power’s $1 billion proposal for a transmission line from Quebec to Massachusetts via western Maine has played out in TV ad volleys and small-town votes, but it moves to the Legislature on Friday. Opponents are planning a rally ahead of a hearing on a bipartisan bill that could throw a wrench into the controversial project’s permitting process, assuming the Maine Public Utilities Commission green-lights in a decision that is due on Monday. The fight over the corridor has gotten super-charged in the last few months, particularly after Gov. Janet Mills, a Democrat, backed the project last month.
Protective Zone to Help Right Whales Extended to Late March
Associated Press - Friday, March 15, 2019 

The federal government is extending the use of a protected zone off New England to help rare whales until at least later this month. NOAA established the zone to protect a group of right whales seen there on March 13. The agency says the zone will remain in effect through March 29. The area is located south of Nantucket. Mariners are asked to travel around the area or transit through at 10 knots or less. Right whales are among the rarest large whales. They are vulnerable to ship strikes and entanglement in fishing gear.
Skipping School To Protest Climate Change
National Public Radio - Friday, March 15, 2019 

Students across the U.S. plan to skip school Friday as a protest to call for more action to address climate change. Organizers have dubbed the event the "U.S. Youth Climate Strike." It's an extension of similar protests around the world that began last summer with teenager Greta Thunberg in Sweden, and gained attention when Thunberg delivered a powerful speech at the United Nations climate summit in December, chastising delegates for not doing more.
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