September 16, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Monday, September 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
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.
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.
Life Happens Outside Festival, Sep 21
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 14, 2019 

L.L. Bean Discovery Park, Freeport, 10 am - 4 pm, climbing wall and games ; 6:30 pm, Food Trucks, 7:15 pm, Maine Outdoor Film Festival. Free but donations benefit Teens To Trails.
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.
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.
Pollinator plantings workshop, Sep 20
Event - Posted - Friday, September 13, 2019 

Learn about the pollinators and beneficial insects helping to make our food systems work with Eric Venturini of the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation. At Hooker Family Farm, Oxford, September 20, 10 am - 12 pm, $10/family.
Common Ground Country Fair, Sep 20-22
Event - Posted - Friday, September 13, 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.
Exploring Invasive Species, Sep 19
Event - Posted - Thursday, September 12, 2019 

Mike Hanks of Cape Elizabeth Land Trust talks invasive plants. At Thomas Memorial Library, Cape Elizabeth, September 19, 1 pm; he will lead a walk at Gull Crest Field to identify invasive plants at 2 pm.
Untrammeled — The Case for Wild Nature in a Changing World, Sep 17
Event - Posted - Tuesday, September 10, 2019 

Conservation leaders Tom Butler and Mark Anderson of the Northeast Wilderness Trust will address the science and spirit of forever-wild conservation. Q&A to follow. At Maine Audubon, Gisland Farm, Falmouth, September 17, 7 pm.
10th Great Maine Outdoor Weekend featuring 130 events, Sept. 16-18
Event - Posted - Monday, September 9, 2019 

The 10th Great Maine Outdoor Weekend will be the biggest yet, with more than 130 events planned throughout Maine, September 16-18.
Nature Cruise on the Kennebec River and Merrymeeting Bay, Sep 15
Event - Posted - Sunday, September 8, 2019 

Join Cathance River Education Alliance for a nature cruise from Bath up the Kennebec River to Merrymeeting Bay. September 15, 3-6:30 pm, $42 for adults, $30 for children 6 to 12, $6 for kids under 6.
Landowner Appreciation and Clean Up Day, Sep 15
Event - Posted - Sunday, September 8, 2019 

Landowner Appreciation and Clean Up Day, sponsored by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and the Maine Forest Service, is September 15.
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News Items
Maine Forest Rangers: Should They be Armed?
Maine Public Broadcasting Network - Tuesday, February 25, 2014 

The question of whether Maine's 74 forest rangers should be permitted to carry guns has been kicking around for two years. Last summer a task force took up the issue and concluded that, as a matter of self-protection on the job, they should. Now lawmakers in the Maine House have given overwhelming initial support to a bill that would allow Maine Forest Service rangers to carry firearms to protect themselves on the job. But the controversial measure is facing a possible amendment that would require rangers to undergo law enforcement training at Maine's Criminal Justice Academy. Its fate is unclear.
Bill to arm rangers gets huge support; House tables effort pending possible amendment
John Holyoke Out There Blog - Tuesday, February 25, 2014 

A bill that would arm Maine’s forest rangers was overwhelmingly supported by the House of Representatives on Tuesday afternoon, but that landslide vote was set aside when the bill was immediately tabled pending a possible amendment to look at a training requirement.
Chickadee saves the day, a reminder not to overlook everyday wildlife
Aislinn Sarnacki Act Out Blog - Tuesday, February 25, 2014 

Recently, on a number of occasions, the black-capped chickadee has saved my day, so to speak. When I’ve just about accepted that my snowshoeing expedition has been wildlife-less, a chickadee (often several) with appear in a tree by the trail as if asking to be my model for the day. And as it turns out, they make pretty good models.
Incoming CEO of MMA Railway meets with Lac-Megantic’s mayor for the first time
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, February 25, 2014 

The soon-to-be CEO of the Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway on Monday afternoon met for the first time with Colette Roy Laroche, the mayor of Lac-Megantic, Quebec, the site of the train crash last summer that destroyed the village’s downtown and killed 47 people. The meeting, which took place in Montreal on Monday afternoon, was “very productive,” according to John Giles, the consultant working with Fortress Investment Group, which is in the process of acquiring MMA. Giles will be CEO of the railroad, which will be renamed the Central Maine and Quebec Railway, once the acquisition is complete.
Veazie independent water testing shows acceptable levels of potentially harmful chemicals
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, February 25, 2014 

The results of independent water testing for trihalomethanes — water disinfection byproducts that are suspected carcinogens — at 10 homes in Veazie earlier this month are back and levels are below the EPA’s limit of 80 parts per billion. The numbers ranged from a low of 54.9 to a high of 70.
Bond proposed to help state acquire Bar Harbor ferry terminal from Canada
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, February 25, 2014 

State and local officials are hoping the Legislature will endorse a bond issue that would help fund the purchase of a former Nova Scotia ferry terminal from the Canadian government. Several Hancock County legislators have teamed up to co-sponsor a bill, LD 1767, that with voter approval would authorize a bond to raise $3 million to buy the property that officials say could be converted into a cruise ship terminal. There are plans to restore ferry service across the Gulf of Maine this spring, when the Nova Star is scheduled to begin service between Portland and Nova Scotia, but Bar Harbor will not be part of the planned route.
Searsport dredging project draws mixed reaction during public information session in Bangor
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, February 25, 2014 

More than 150 people on both sides of the issue attended a meeting Monday night at the Cross Insurance Center to weigh in on a controversial plan to conduct a dredging project in Searsport harbor that aims to improve access for bigger ships. The $12 million two-part project would dig up nearly a million cubic yards of sediment in order to both maintain and greatly expand the federal navigation channel and turning basin in the harbor that leads to Mack Point, the state’s second-busiest industrial port. Many opponents — including officials from 10 Penobscot Bay communities, 32 state lawmakers and hundreds of individuals — have asked the Army Corps of Engineers to do more research into the environmental and economic effects of the proposed dredging in the harbor.
Blog: Fat Bikes — Pure Winter Fun
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, February 25, 2014 

Winter fun is not a dominant trait in my genetic make-up. So imagine my surprise recently when winter fun came and found me, picked me up by its teeth, shook me thoroughly and tossed me — laughing — into a handy snowdrift. It happened when Todd Richards, owner of Northern Lights, a bike & ski shop in Farmington, offered my son Ben and me a chance to test drive a new “fat bike” on the fresh snow cover. Fat bikes are modified mountain bikes with huge balloon tires for biking on snow, mud, sand and other soft surfaces. ~ Jim Andrews
Auburn mulls $1 million bond to treat Lake Auburn water
Sun Journal - Tuesday, February 25, 2014 

A $1 million bond issue would pay for treatments to cut down on algae in Lake Auburn and replace some city water mains.
Cianbro, others push for renewal of offshore wind power tax credits
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, February 25, 2014 

Businesses working to launch the first offshore wind energy facilities in U.S. waters urged Congress on Monday to renew tax credits they said are “absolutely critical” to kick-starting an industry that could bring significant numbers of jobs to Maine and other coastal states. The two types of tax credits in question offer tax breaks on either the production of energy or investments in a project. While supporters insist the programs create jobs and support domestic production of “green energy,” critics contend the subsidies prop up an industry that would struggle to compete otherwise.
York tables idea to buy beachfront property to protect public
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, February 25, 2014 

York selectmen declined Monday night to make a decision about whether the town will pursue trying to buy privately owned sections of beach to ensure public access. Monday marked the first time the board has discussed the idea of buying sections of beach or making other arrangements with landowners to ensure public access, a plan floated by Chairman Ron Nowell in response to a recent legal decision about a beach in Kennebunkport that could have legal ramifications for other coastal towns.
Portland ordinance would protect parks, but not Congress Square Plaza
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, February 25, 2014 

The Portland City Council may adopt an ordinance to increase protection for open spaces that differs slightly, but significantly, from a citizens initiative to do the same. Noticeably missing from the list of spaces that would be protected by the council’s ordinance is Congress Square Plaza — the public space whose potential sale triggered the citizens initiative.
Opinion: Reopen historic, lucrative Georges Bank scalloping grounds, maritime executive urges
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, February 25, 2014 

In a region where years of harsh, inflexible regulations have led to a dwindling fishing fleet and shrinking dockside revenues, the scallop fishery stands out as one of the few success stories, producing one of the most valuable and sought-after seafood products in the country. But in order to stay viable in the face of harvest cuts expected to go into effect next year, the fishery needs more flexibility from fisheries managers. One way to do this is to restore access to historic scalloping grounds from which the industry has long been excluded as part of an effort intended to limit overfishing and protect habitats. ~ Tim Healy, O’Hara Corp., Rockland
Letter: Solar energy powerful silver bullet
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, February 25, 2014 

Just yesterday, our electrician switched our power from the local power company to the panels recently installed on our roof. Our power company collects the excess energy we produce on sunny days, and we use their power when the sun isn’t shining. Meanwhile, we’ve employed a local small business to install our panels, which were made in America. So, our project not only benefits us, but Maine’s small-business economy as well. We support the bills now before the Maine Legislature that will help more Mainers to go solar. ~ Al and Vicki Adams, Kennebunk
Letter: Residents' input on wind power deserves to be heard
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, February 25, 2014 

LD 616, a bill to amend the Maine Wind Energy Act of 2008, would restore to unorganized territory residents within expedited permitting areas an opportunity to speak out regarding the development of large-scale industrial wind projects in their communities. Opponents of this bill spoke at length of the benefits we would realize from wind energy. Those who did address the question of citizen rights expressed regret for this consequence, but went on to describe the inconvenience of allowing local residents to be heard. No law can be just that denies a resident the opportunity to be heard on issues regarding the industrial development of their home. ~ Michael Smith, Trescott Township
Letter: AT and First Wind
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, February 25, 2014 

We write to correct misinformation in a recent news report regarding the Bingham wind project, which incorrectly stated that Appalachian Trail organizations now support that project in return for future land conservation. We do not typically lend institutional support to development projects that have the potential to impact resources of concern to our organizations, and it is inaccurate to say we “support” this project. We agreed to “not oppose” First Wind’s Bingham project, and First Wind voluntarily agreed to help mitigate the project’s visual impact to the Appalachian Trail. ~ Lester C. Kenway, Maine Appalachian Trail Club, Bangor
Study Shows Maine's Wildlife Threatened By Climate Change
Other - Monday, February 24, 2014 

Manomet - More than a third of Maine’s most vulnerable wildlife species are threatened by climate change, according to a new report, "Climate Change and Biodiversity in Maine," which identifies 168 vulnerable species of fish, plants, birds and other wildlife that could experience large range shifts and population declines in Maine as a result of climate change by 2100. Researchers looked at 442 already vulnerable species in Maine and found that another 38 percent, or 171 species, were moderately vulnerable. Mountain, coastal, and wetland habitats were found to be at significant risk; these habitats cover about 33 percent of Maine.
Effort to relocate lobsters from Portland Harbor to encroach on scallop fishing area
Bangor Daily News - Monday, February 24, 2014 

An effort to trap and relocate lobsters from Portland Harbor to make way for dredging work will temporarily infringe on scallop fishing in those areas, state officials said late Monday afternoon. Resource Management Coordinator Trish DeGraaf of the Department of Marine Resources issued a notice Monday saying that the state is required to move lobsters from the Portland Harbor channel being dredged by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Supreme Court seems divided over industry emissions
Associated Press - Monday, February 24, 2014 

The Supreme Court appeared divided on Monday over the sole Obama administration program already in place to limit power plant and factory emissions of gases blamed for global warming. The court’s liberal justices seemed comfortable with the scope of an Environmental Protection Agency permitting program that applies to companies that want to expand facilities or build new ones that would increase overall pollution. Under the program, the companies must evaluate ways to reduce the carbon they release. Carbon dioxide is the chief greenhouse gas. However, conservative members of the bench indicated they’re skeptical of the EPA’s authority, with Justice Anthony Kennedy as the probable decisive vote.
Fight over beach access continues in Harpswell
WGME-TV13 - Monday, February 24, 2014 

The issue of beach access is back in the headlines in Harpswell. A group of property owners and activists that have been fighting over who gets to use Cedar Beach and Robinhood Beach in Harpswell have a deal in place that could allow people back on the beach in time for summer. The town still has to sign off on the plan, which calls for them hiring a person to monitor the beach access over the summer. There are several other steps that need to happen before the public can enjoy the beach again.
Mining Bill Debate centers on Jobs vs. Environment
WLBZ-TV2 - Monday, February 24, 2014 

Are proposed updates to Maine's mining laws a pathway to economic prosperity in parts of the state that need it badly, like Aroostook County or are they too weak to protect our prized natural resources from harm? That's is what state lawmakers on the Environment and Natural Resources Committee must decide as they hear from people on both sides of the issue.
Proposed Maine Mining Rules Stir Debate
Maine Public Broadcasting Network - Monday, February 24, 2014 

Maine lawmakers are considering controversial new mining regulations that have been approved by the Board of Environmental Protection but face stiff opposition from the public and from a coalition of more than two dozen environmental groups. The rules were drafted by the LePage administration, which maintians that they are based in science, legally sound and protective of the environment. Critics say the proposed regs put Maine's environment and taxpayers at risk.
Northern Penobscot Tech developing natural-gas course to help laid-off paper workers
Bangor Daily News - Monday, February 24, 2014 

Displaced paper mill workers are among those who can learn to install and service natural gas and propane lines and burners under an adult-education class being developed at Northern Penobscot Tech. Since December, about 412 paper mill workers have been laid off from East Millinocket’s Great Northern Paper Co. and the Lincoln Paper and Tissue mills. The layoffs, and the $7.5 million natural gas pipeline Bangor Natural Gas Co. is scheduled to start building along West Broadway into the LPT mill over the next year, prompted the course,
Fiery debate continues over proposed Maine mining rules
Kennebec Journal - Monday, February 24, 2014 

The battle over revitalizing metal and mineral mining in Maine continued at the State House on Monday, setting the stage for a vote in the Legislature that will pit some of the state’s major business interests against environmental groups. At issue are new regulations designed to streamline the process of getting permits and conducting mineral and precious metal mining in Maine. The rules are designed to revive a mining industry that has been dormant since 1991, but are driven specifically by the proposed extraction of metals and minerals from Bald Mountain in Aroostook County, a project backed by J.D. Irving Ltd., a New Brunswick company that is the state’s largest landowner.
Don’t let politicians wield the weapon of doubt against climate change
Philip Conkling BDN Blog - Monday, February 24, 2014 

In 1991, Wallace Broecker, perhaps the most well-respected geoscientist in America, warned that “the climate system is an angry beast and we are poking at it with sticks.” And yet today, fewer Americans believe climate change is occurring than they did 10 to 15 years ago. Why? Because those who have an economic interest in producing fossil fuels have recognized that they do not need to “disprove” climate change. Simply by introducing an element of doubt into the political debate causes discussions of solutions to shudder to a halt. This is a page straight from the playbook of the American tobacco and cigarette industry. Electing leaders who are willing to tell their constituents what is really going on is the only thing that can save us from ourselves.
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