September 25, 2017  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Saturday, September 23, 2017 

Thanks for visiting Maine Environmental News, a service of RESTORE: The North Woods. MEN is the most comprehensive online source available for links to Maine conservation and natural resource news and events. We have posted summaries and links to 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
Take action to protect clean water
Action Alert - Saturday, September 23, 2017 

The EPA under Trump just proposed rescinding the Clean Water Rule, threatening the health of our lakes, rivers, streams, and wetlands in Maine. Tell the EPA and Maine Congressional delegation that Mainers support this rule for the health of our neighbors, our waters, and our economy. ~ Natural Resources Council of Maine
Stop Trump's Assault On Drinking Water
Action Alert - Saturday, September 23, 2017 

The groundbreaking Clean Water Rule was adopted two years ago to help protect crucial waterways, including streams that feed the drinking water sources of more than 117 million Americans, habitat for wildlife and places where we fish, kayak, and swim with our families. But in its latest anti-environment assault, the Trump administration is irresponsibly attempting to repeal the Clean Water Rule. ~ Natural Resources Defense Council
Reject Trump’s anti-science pick to head NASA
Action Alert - Saturday, September 23, 2017 

Petition to the Senate: NASA must remain an independent scientific agency, and its critical Earth science missions must continue. Reject Trump's appointment of anti-science ideologue Rep. Jim Bridenstine for NASA head and insist on a scientist or another qualified individual for the position. ~ CREDO Action
ecomaine Recycling Open House, Sep 30
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 23, 2017 

Join ecomaine for tours, free breakfast, free electronic waste collection, fun activities for the kids and more. At 62 Blueberry Road, Portland, September 30, 8-11 am.
Midcoast Maine Tour de Farms, Sep 30
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 23, 2017 

The Midcoast Maine Tour de Farms offers rides cycling tours of 56 and 42 miles through Wiscasset, Dresden and Whitefield, as well as a 17-mile family ride, through the scenic farmland, with stops at local farms, orchards, and creameries. September 30. Sponsored by Morris Farm Trust.
National Parks Free Entrance, Sep 30
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 23, 2017 

All National Park Service sites that charge an entrance fee will offer free admission to everyone. September 30.
Great Maine Outdoor Weekend, Sep 29-Oct 1
Event - Posted - Friday, September 22, 2017 

The Great Maine Outdoor Weekend is a series of events led by outdoor oriented organizations and companies to celebrate the how, where, and what of being active outside in Maine. September 29 – October 1, 2017
Maine Outdoor Film Festival, Sep 29
Event - Posted - Friday, September 22, 2017 

At Camden Snow Bowl, September 29, 7:30 pm, free, suggested $3-5 donation for Teens To Trails.
Sustainability Success through Community Conservation, Sep 29
Event - Posted - Friday, September 22, 2017 

Anthony Charles, School of the Environment and School of Business, Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, will discuss how communities are acting as stewards of their local environments and resources, undertaking conservation initiatives that help secure local livelihoods, and contribute to larger-scale environmental improvement. At UMaine, Orono, September 29, 11 am.
Natural Gas: Powering Maine’s Future, Sep 28
Event - Posted - Thursday, September 21, 2017 

Keynote speaker: Governor Paul LePage. Lunchtime speaker: Summit Utilities President Kurt Adams. Panel discussions on commercial and industrial usage, natural gas as a transportation fuel, and natural gas in power generation. At The Woodlands in Falmouth, September 28, $179.
MDF Champion for Economic Development Awards, Sep 28
Event - Posted - Thursday, September 21, 2017 

At its annual meeting, Maine Development Foundation will present Champion for Economic Development Awards to several recipients, including Robbins Lumber. At Cross Insurance Center, Bangor, September 28.
State of Working Maine 2017
Publication - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 

The "State of Working Maine 2017," published by the Maine Center for Economic Policy, presents a comprehensive analysis of the economic, demographic, and workforce trends that impact the quality and quantity of jobs in Maine.
Alan Hutchinson memorial celebration, Sep 28
Event - Posted - Monday, September 18, 2017 

A celebration to pay tribute to the memory of the late Alan Hutchinson, executive director of the Forest Society of Maine. At Portland Country Club, Falmouth, September 28, 4:30-6:30 pm. RSVP.
BDN Poll: Should Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument be open to logging?
Action Alert - Monday, September 18, 2017 

Do you think the Katahdin Woods and Waters national monument should be opened for commercial forestry use?
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News Items
The dawn of a 'transgenic wilderness' is upon us
Other - Wednesday, September 20, 2017 

Earth is inhabited by over eight million known species, but one has a massively weighted role in determining the fates of the rest. By introducing ecological pressures like pollution, poaching, habitat loss, and global climate change, humans have contributed to species dying off at 1,000 times the natural background rate, ushering in what some call the sixth major mass extinction event in Earth's history. "From the top of the atmosphere to the bottom of the ocean, we have influenced everything," Jacquelyn Gill, a paleoecologist at the University of Maine, told me. "On some level, that's terrifying, but maybe it frees us up a little to be flexible with our thinking."
NOAA Funding Algal Bloom Research In Maine, 6 Other States
Associated Press - Wednesday, September 20, 2017 

Maine is among seven states where the federal government is funding a research project to try to better understand harmful algal blooms. Harmful algal blooms can contaminate drinking water and have negative effects on the environment, wildlife and tourism. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is providing nearly $1.7 million for research projects about the blooms in Alaska, California, Florida, Maine, Maryland, Ohio and Virginia. The Maine grant is nearly $250,000 for a project led by Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences and the Maine Department of Marine Resources to increase the number of options available to states to monitor diarrhetic shellfish poisoning toxins. DSP is a food safety threat for shellfish consumers.
Column: Lessons from years fighting for the environment
Kennebec Journal - Wednesday, September 20, 2017 

I am honored to be receiving an award at this year’s Evening for the Environment sponsored by the Maine Conservation Voters. The award is the 2017 Harrison L. Richardson Environmental Leadership Award for “writing, speaking, advocating, and inspiring all of us to care for the nature of Maine and her wild places.” I am especially pleased to receive this award because it’s an important recognition that sportsmen and women share the same values and goals with environmentalists. We are all environmentalists. Here are lessons I learned during a lifetime of political activism. ~ George Smith:
Column: Ensure Portland’s waterfront has room for fishermen who make it special
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, September 20, 2017 

There are four new waterfront projects in various stages of development that would bring thousands of people to Commercial Street. This is great news for Portland. But fishermen sees a time when there is no room for them. Developers and the tourism industry should help protect the area's marine character as their footprint quickly grows. ~ Greg Kesich
Letter: Think before you litter Maine roadside
Morning Sentinel - Wednesday, September 20, 2017 

My wife and I and another couple recently took a road trip to the St. Lawrence River in Quebec to watch whales. We saw quite a few of these gentle creatures, ate well and enjoyed the beautiful scenery and great people. However, when we crossed the international border from New Brunswick to Madawaska, we noticed a great change. it was the incredible amount of roadside trash. In Canada, we saw hardly any roadside waste. The areas in which we traveled are just as rural, just as economically challenged and just as beautiful as our own state. I hope that those who read this letter at least think before you toss your Dunkin’ Donuts wrapper or Bud Light can out the window. ~ Bob Bennett, South China
World’s problems stem from population growth
Kennebec Journal - Wednesday, September 20, 2017 

Nations and people addressing environmental issues such as water pollution and global warming must soon face the fact that such efforts only address symptoms of the real problem, which is population growth. In my lifetime, world and U.S. population has tripled, creating demands for the food, energy and material goods whose production creates the environmental problems we face. Because of population growth, America continues to pave over and destroy the farmland, forests and waters essential to long-term survival. Immigration was needed when land and resources seemed unlimited, not now. We must increase productivity with zero population growth. ~ Tom Gillette, Jefferson
Fundraising effort hopes to conserve Woodward Point
Coastal Journal - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 

For all the miles of coastline in Midcoast Maine, few are publicly accessible. So, when there is an opportunity to conserve an existing property along the coast, it is a big deal. Woodward Point is near Thomas Point Beach in Brunswick out past Cook’s Corner. Woodward Cove, a nearby property that was acquired by the Brunswick Topsham Land Trust, is an 18-acre property that provides similar waterfront access for wormers and clammers. The Woodward Point property is more than 80 acres and has over two miles of shoreline on the New Meadows River, between its two peninsulas. It has a unique combination of open meadowland, forest, a freshwater pond, and multiple water access points.
Maine recovers nearly all mussels affected by toxic algae
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 

Seafood dealers have recovered 98 percent of the mussels that were recalled after being harvested in an area of Down East Maine currently experiencing an algae bloom that produces a potentially deadly biotoxin. Officials estimate 58,480 pounds of mussels were affected by the recall initiated Friday.
LePage says ‘corporate greed’ driving up lumber prices in hurricanes’ wake
Associated Press - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 

Gov. Paul LePage is calling for a suspension of tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber to ease prices as families and businesses prepare to rebuild in the aftermath of hurricanes Harvey and Irma – and with two more months of hurricane season to go. The Republican governor blames “corporate greed” for driving up costs, and says large lumber companies are in the position to “potentially price-gouge distressed Americans.” “We’ve tried to stay neutral. We have members on all sides. In general, what we’re in favor of is negotiating some sort of settlement quickly that’s equitable to all sides,” said Patrick Strauch, Maine Forest Products Council executive director.
Shareholders advance idea that selling Jay mill would shore up their finances
Morning Sentinel - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 

A filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission opens up the possibility that the Verso paper mill in Jay may be sold, as the investor holding a majority of the shares is frustrated with the returns. The Androscoggin Mill, owned by Verso Corp., has faced difficulty in recent months. Verso is not alone in its struggles. Closures and layoffs have plagued the state’s paper industry in recent years. Five mills have closed in the last few years. [Editor: Actually seven Maine paper mills have closed in the past five years. Since 1997, sixteen Maine paper mills have shuttered.]
Maine DEP practices oil spill response in Richmond
Kennebec Journal - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 

There was no oil spill Tuesday afternoon on the Kennebec River, but for several hours, members of the state’s hazardous materials cleanup teams pretended otherwise. Off the eastern shore of Swan Island, they used boats and anchors to stretch yellow barriers across the river, trying to protect sensitive shellfish habitats from the imaginary oil slick floating on the surface.
Study: New England Loses 65 Acres Of Forest Per Day To Development
Maine Public - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 

A new wave of forest loss is underway in New England, at a rate of 65 acres a day. That's the conclusion of a new regionwide study spearheaded by a Harvard University forest research group. And the authors say New England could lose more than a million acres of forest cover over the next half-century.
Maine expanding shellfish closure in wake of harmful bloom
Associated Press - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 

Maine regulators are expanding a shellfish harvesting ban along the state’s central and eastern coast that follows a harmful algae bloom. The bloom resulted in a recall of mussels last week. The state Department of Marine Resources has closed a section of the Penobscot River north of Stockton Springs and a section of Cobscook Bay south of Eastport to harvesting of shellfish. The state has also expanded a precautionary harvesting ban as far east as Calais, which is on the Canadian border. Harvesting had been suspended in Frenchman Bay east of Mount Desert Island after mussels tested at elevated levels of domoic acid, a neurotoxin produced by an algae bloom. It can cause sickness, memory loss and brain damage in humans.
Photos: Common Ground Fair from old to new
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 

Every fall, upwards of 60,000 people descend on Unity for the Common Ground Country Fair in the spirit of celebrating agriculture in Maine. The fair reawakens the back-to-the-land movement with organic food enthusiasts, craftsman, wool spinners, sheep herding demonstrations and more. The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association held its first Common Ground Country Fair at the Litchfield Fairgrounds in 1977. In 1996, the fair was moved to Unity, where it has been held since. This year’s Fair runs Sept. 22 through Sept. 24. Take a look through the Bangor Daily News archives as we remember fairs of the past, reminding us about the movement that changed Maine.
French president defends international cooperation at U.N.
Associated Press - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 

French President Emmanuel Macron issued a ringing defense of global cooperation Tuesday, telling world leaders that solving major challenges otherwise will be reduced to “the survival of the fittest.” In his first appearance at the U.N. General Assembly, Macron vowed to press ahead with the Paris accord to combat global warming, although the United States has said it is withdrawing.
Hike: Trout Brook Mountain in Baxter State Park
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 

Rising 1,767 feet above sea level on the north end of Baxter State Park, Trout Brook Mountain features a 3.3-mile loop hike that leads to great views of the nearby Traveler Mountains and Grand Lake Matagamon, as well some lesser mountains and bodies of water.
FocusMaine hires president, implements 10-year plan
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 

FocusMaine has hired its first president, Kimberly Hamilton, to help implement the Portland-based economic development group’s 10-year plan to help create jobs and increase worker capacity in Maine, the group said Tuesday. Hamilton is chief impact officer at Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger-relief organization. Previously, she served in a variety of senior roles at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and other policy and research organizations. She will start at FocusMaine in late October. FocusMaine said it has begun the initial phase of its plan to create sustainable job growth in three of Maine’s key economic sectors: agriculture, aquaculture and biopharmaceuticals.
Report: Rural Maine is still in a deep depression
Maine Environmental News - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 

According to a new report released Tuesday by the Maine Center for Economic Policy, the performance of the state's Gross Domestic Product in recent years demonstrates the extent to which Maine's economy has stalled out. Maine's GDP had yet to recover to pre-recession levels. The state has effectively suffered through three further recessions since the Great Recession of 2007-09. The result is an economy that underwent fitful periods of growth, followed by backsliding. Maine’s economy is still smaller than before the Great Recession. In the Greater Portland area, economic growth has been slow but consistent since 2009. Elsewhere, however, the economy has been in freefall.
Opinion: One last summer hike to clear the mind
Kennebec Journal - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 

Whenever you feel as though the world is on fire, take a walk into the woods and delight in the nuances of nature. Let your brain relax as you navigate the twisting trails and climb the steep terrain. Take in the sounds of the leaves rustling in the wind, squirrels scurrying from tree to tree, a single acorn knocking against branches as it sails to the ground. Stop to admire how the setting sun looks as it cuts through the trees and illuminates circles of the forest floor. Relish the feeling of the wind cooling the sweat beading at the back of your neck. ~ Emily Higginbotham, copy editor, Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel
NRCM warns: Lawsuit likely if commercial logging permitted in national monument
Mainebiz - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 

Lisa Pohlmann, executive director of the Natural Resources Council of Maine, served notice to the Trump administration that allowing "commercial logging" in the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument would "almost certainly trigger a lawsuit." The warning is in response to a leaked report from Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke to President Donald Trump advising that the executive order that created Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument be amended to promote "active timber management." Active timber management typically refers to cutting trees for commercial wood sales for uses such as the manufacture of wood pellets, paper goods and housing materials.
Trump threatens ‘total destruction’ of North Korea during U.N. address
Associated Press - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 

President Trump, in a combative debut speech to the U.N. General Assembly, threatened the “total destruction”‘ of North Korea if it does not abandon its drive toward nuclear weapons. [Editor: Nuclear war could ruin your day, even in Maine.]
I’ll bet you don’t know what gleaning is
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 

You may not know what gleaning is, but you’ll want to participate in Maine gleaning day, just one of the many interesting and exciting projects in the new fall edition of the Sustainable Maine quarterly newsletter, a project of the Natural Resources Council of Maine. You will most certainly want to participate in Maine Gleaning Day, scheduled for October 14.
Opinion: It’s time to wake up to the climate change threat and take steps to mitigate its effects
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 

There are clear steps that Mainers can take to address the crisis of climate change and mitigate our impact on the environment, all while creating new “green” jobs that will drive our future economy. First, we can increase our investment in energy efficiency. Second, we need to grow our own energy. Third, Maine must play a leadership role in the mitigation of climate change through carbon capture and sequestration. Fourth, Maine can grow more food. ~ Jonathan Fulford, candidate, 2nd Congressional District
Washington ivory dealer went undercover to help feds bust Canadian wildlife smuggler
Other - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 

Seattle Times - A Washington ivory and antiquities dealer will serve six months in federal prison after secretly pleading guilty to federal smuggling charges four years ago and then going undercover to help authorities prosecute a former Canadian Mountie described in court documents as “among the most prolific wildlife criminals ever prosecuted in this country.” David L. Boone, owner of Boone Trading Co. in Brinnon, WA, had been working with federal prosecutors since after he was arrested for the illegal possession of ivory from walruses, sperm whales and, particularly, the tusks of the narwhal. Boone’s entire prosecution was sealed while prosecutors in Canada and the U.S. built a case against Gregory Logan, a retired officer with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, who last year pleaded guilty to 10 money-laundering charges in Bangor, Maine.
Birders flock from far and wide to catch a glimpse of this rare visitor
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 

A fork-tailed flycatcher, a bird usually found in South America and last seen in the state 5 years ago, has spent several days at Maine Audubon in Falmouth. The flycatcher – a black-and-white bird with an extremely long and brilliantly forked tail – should have been emigrating south from Central America to summer in its home range instead of flying north to Maine, said Maine Audubon Naturalist Doug Hitchcox, who spent the day showing the bird to visitors. But sometimes birds get turned around and go in the opposite direction.
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