August 21, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Tuesday, August 20, 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
Solo Paddle of Northern Forest Canoe Trail, Aug 27
Event - Posted - Tuesday, August 20, 2019 

Laurie Apgar Chandler will read from and discuss her book “Upwards,” which tells her story as the first woman to solo paddle New England’s 740-mile Northern Forest Canoe Trail. At Bailey Library, Winthrop, August 27, 6:30 pm.
Keeping Acadia Healthy With New Science, Aug 26
Event - Posted - Monday, August 19, 2019 

Abraham Miller-Rushing and Rebecca Cole-Will will discuss how Acadia National Park is facing a triple environmental challenge: global warming, acid rain, and increased visitation. At Bar Harbor, August 26, 5 pm.
Maine’s Seaweed Scene, Sep 26
Event - Posted - Monday, August 19, 2019 

Susan Hand Shetterly and Robin Hadlock Seeley will discuss the importance of protected wild habitats and the critical role of seaweed in the Gulf of Maine. At Moore Community Center, Ellsworth, September 26, 7 pm. Hosted by Downeast Audubon.
Bee apocalypse
Action Alert - Sunday, August 18, 2019 

U.S. agriculture today is 48 times more toxic to honeybees than it was 25 years ago—almost entirely because of neonicotinoid pesticides. It's part of an "insect apocalypse." But instead of taking action, the Trump administration is shredding protections for bees. Will you stand with me in the fight to save the bees? ~ Mayor Ethan Strimling, Portland, Maine
Maine Farmland Trust Gallery 20th Anniversary Retrospective Exhibit, thru Oct 11
Announcement - Sunday, August 18, 2019 

To celebrate Maine Farmland Trust’s 20th anniversary, a curated retrospective featuring a selection of works that have been exhibited at the MFT Gallery over the past 10 years is on view through October 11.
Brechlin reading, Aug 25
Event - Posted - Sunday, August 18, 2019 

Earl Brechlin, a Registered Maine Guide, will read from his book, "Return to Moose River: In Search of the Spirit of the Great North Woods," essays describing white-water canoeing, snowmobiling, and backpacking adventures in many parts of Maine. At Albert Church Brown Memorial Library, China, August 25, 2 pm.
Kennebec Land Trust annual meeting, Aug 25
Event - Posted - Sunday, August 18, 2019 

At Camp Androscoggin, Wayne, August 25. The trust has conserved more than 6,300 acres and constructed 44 miles of trails on KLT protected lands.
Maine Herpetological Society Reptile Expo, Aug 25
Event - Posted - Saturday, August 17, 2019 

50+ vendors, 1,000+ reptiles, plus Mr. Drew and His Animals Too. At Ramada Inn, Lewiston, August 25, 10 am - 4 pm, $7, kids under 12 free.
Families in the Outdoors, Aug 24
Event - Posted - Saturday, August 17, 2019 

Learn about all kinds of Maine bugs – the good, the bad and the very strange looking. At Law Farm, Dover-Foxcroft, August 24, 9 am - noon.
Wabanaki artists, culture event, Aug 24
Event - Posted - Saturday, August 17, 2019 

40+ members of the Penobscot, Passamaquoddy, Micmac and Maliseet tribes will demonstrate traditional Wabanaki art forms, including basketmaking, stone carving, bark etching, beadwork and jewelry, in addition to performances of drumming, singing, dancing and storytelling. At Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village, New Gloucester, August 24, 10 am - 3 pm.
A Toxic Tale: Trump's Environmental Impact, Aug 23
Announcement - Friday, August 16, 2019 

According to the EPA's own analysis, the Trump administration's Affordable Clean Energy rule will result in up to 1,400 more premature deaths a year by 2030. Learn about the impacts of Trump's deregulation campaign on a CNN Special Report "A Toxic Tale: Trump's Environmental Impact." August 23, 10 pm.
Close Encounters of the First Kind, Aug 22
Event - Posted - Thursday, August 15, 2019 

Maine’s First Ship hosts Ken Hamilton for a discussion of the earliest European and indigenous people interactions, from 16th century Jacques Cartier and Basque fishermen to early 17th century French and English explorers. At Bath Freight Shed, Bath, August 22, 7 pm.
Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument Anniversary Celebration, Aug 23-24
Event - Posted - Thursday, August 15, 2019 

Dinner, music, silent auction, awards, and toast to commemorate the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument’s August 24th, 2016 proclamation. At New England Outdoor Center, T1 R8, August 23-24, $25.
Earth Day 2020
Announcement - Thursday, August 15, 2019 

Earth Day, the global environmental movement for a cleaner, greener, safer and more just world for all, turns 50 next year. Want to help?
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News Items
LePage downplays Trump’s NAFTA tweets
Associated Press - Monday, August 28, 2017 

Maine’s Republican governor reassured Canadian leaders Monday that President Trump “truly believes” in having free trade and they shouldn’t read too much into what they hear. Gov. Paul LePage and other New England governors met with Eastern Canadian premiers on Prince Edward Island, to discuss Canadian-U.S. trade relations, days after Trump threatened to abandon the North American Free Trade Agreement. Trump drew cheers at a campaign-style rally last week after he said he believes Mexico and Canada are coming out ahead in the 23-year-old NAFTA agreement. Trump said on Twitter on Sunday that NAFTA should be terminated and that both Canada and Mexico are being “very difficult.”
Maine monument supporter ‘optimistic’ after chat with Zinke
Associated Press - Monday, August 28, 2017 

The leader of the successful effort to get the federal government to protect land near Maine’s tallest mountain says he’s feeling optimistic after a telephone chat with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. Lucas St. Clair received a telephone briefing Monday from the interior secretary, who recommended last week that all 27 land and sea monuments under review by the Trump administration remain open but left open the possibility of changes to some of the monuments. St. Clair came away from the conversation reassured that Zinke wants the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument to be managed for conservation and recreation by the National Park Service. St. Clair said Zinke told him he’d be comfortable with Zinke’s recommendation. “I’m feeling very optimistic,” St. Clair said.
Whitefield officials to discuss removal of trees on Hollywood Boulevard
Morning Sentinel - Monday, August 28, 2017 

Big, old trees on Hollywood Boulevard in Whitefield are at the center of a discussion between those who live on the road and town officials. Some of the trees have been marked for removal because of the hazard they present to plow trucks, firetrucks and a school bus, which have trouble navigating parts of the narrow road. The town will meet Tuesday night to try to decide what makes sense as neighbors try to protect their privacy and preserve their trees.
Video: Pair of lynx meet on a dirt road in Maine
Portland Press Herald - Monday, August 28, 2017 

A group of friends was traveling in Kokadjo over the weekend when a run-in with a pair of Lynx stopped them in their tracks. Kokadjo, near Baxter State Park, is known for its wildlife and limited human residents (the town’s population sign says simply “not many”). Sarah Verney said in a Facebook post the two cats seemed to have a little standoff before one of them backed away. The travelers got it on video. The lynx is a federally threatened species. The state is home to about 1,000 adult lynx.
Blog: My child is afraid of bugs and I don’t know what to do about it
Bangor Daily News - Monday, August 28, 2017 

I’ve spent years carefully cultivating appreciation for and curiosity about the creepy crawlies that share our world. We’ve watched ants, we’ve saved drowning beetles, we’ve picked up and examined Daddy Long Legs, earthworms and even (gulp) slugs. We rescue spiders and put them back outside and gently shoo moths away from our cat. Our kids don’t panic at the sight of bees or mosquitoes. I was feeling pretty smug. Naturally, that all came crashing down one afternoon. ~ Cherie Galyean
Monhegan completes multi-year project to reduce energy costs
Mainebiz - Monday, August 28, 2017 

Monhegan Island, which has some of the highest electricity costs in the nation, completed a comprehensive upgrade of its power-generating system that includes the addition of a solar array and installation of a new, cleaner-burning diesel generator. At roughly 70 cents per kilowatt hour, the island's electricity costs are approximately five times higher than the average residential cost in Maine. Monhegan residents celebrated completion of the project on Aug. 21.
Jordan Stream Path among best hikes in Acadia National Park
Acadia On My Mind Blog - Monday, August 28, 2017 

Jordan Stream Path is among the shortest and most overlooked hikes in Acadia National Park, but it travels to one of the park’s most unusual sights – Cobblestone Bridge, which is quietly marking its own centennial this year. Previously badly eroded, the Jordan Stream Path looks mostly pristine, following an extensive rehabilitation.
Hunters Head to Maine Woods as Bear Season Arrives
Associated Press - Monday, August 28, 2017 

Hunters are flocking to the woods of Maine to participate in the state's bear hunt, which is one of the key economic drivers of rural parts of the state. The bear hunt begins on Monday and runs until Nov. 25. Hunting with bait is allowed until Sept. 23. Bait is typically sugary human food such as doughnuts. Hunting with dogs begins on Sept. 11 and runs until Oct. 27. Hunters can pursue bears without those methods during other parts of the season. They are limited to two bears per year, one of which can be caught by hunting and one of which can be caught with traps during bear trapping season.
Look out bears! Hunting season starts today!
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Monday, August 28, 2017 

After Saturday’s youth-only day, the hunting season on bears starts today (August 28). Between 10,000 and 12,000 hunters are expected to get out after bears this year, the smallest group of all those seeking game animals. For example, 16,000 hunt turkeys. According to DIF&W, last year 10,936 hunters purchased a permit to hunt bear, with 2,859 hunters harvesting a bear for a success rate of 26%.
Maine Dept of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Holds Meeting Wednesday
Associated Press - Monday, August 28, 2017 

The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry is holding a meeting Wednesday on the St. John-Allagash region. The area includes a close to 23,000 acre reserve adjacent to Baxter State park, as well as the Gero Island Ecological Reserve. The Department's Parks and Lands Bureau will begin working on a plan to guide management of the public land during the next 15 years.
Lobstermen test new bait as hedge against herring price spikes
Portland Press Herald - Monday, August 28, 2017 

Two lobstering co-ops in Tenants Harbor and Port Clyde are working with The Nature Conservancy to see if they can freeze the alewives that bait their traps so successfully each spring to catch lobster at other times of the year. If it works, alewives could be the affordable bait they need when their usual favorite, Atlantic herring, is in short supply, such as it is again this summer.
Program to designate ‘business-friendly’ Maine communities put on pause
Portland Press Herald - Monday, August 28, 2017 

The LePage administration has stopped accepting applications to designate communities as “business-friendly” while it considers changes to the Certified Business-Friendly Community program, which was started five years ago to recognize Maine towns with policies and regulations helpful to business growth and development. Thirty-five communities have been designated business-friendly since the program started, but interest has waned. But the application process was criticized for being too subjective, especially when the LePage administration abruptly stripped South Portland of its business-friendly status without a review after the city passed an ordinance banning the export of tar sands oil in 2014.
Solar project forces Portland to tackle longstanding issues at closed landfill
Portland Press Herald - Monday, August 28, 2017 

Portland is looking to install more than 2,800 solar panels on its closed landfill by the end of the year so it can take advantage of higher rates paid for electricity from solar projects. Changes to so-called net metering rules will begin ratcheting down rates for solar energy beginning next year. But before it can install the solar panels, the city must fix the landfill cover, which has settled over the years and been compromised by recreational use, lack of maintenance and erosion. The city must also install vents to address methane gas that is collecting underneath the landfill cover.
Editorial: No accountability for state’s ‘jobs’ program
Portland Press Herald - Monday, August 28, 2017 

What does Maine get for its investment in Pine Tree Development Zones, a $12 million-a-year jobs program? It might be nothing at all. Don’t ask the LePage administration, because it has no way to figure it out. That’s the conclusion the state’s watchdog agency came to in a disturbing report delivered to the Legislature last week. A company that doesn’t create any jobs at all can still draw down a full complement of benefits for two years. That means a company could invest in equipment that will actually cut its workforce needs over time, but still pay no income tax for two years or no sales tax on the cost of job-killing equipment. Unfortunately, businesses will be able to qualify for tax cuts that last as long as 10 years, meaning Maine taxpayers will still be writing checks until 2028 with no idea whether they are wasting their money.
Letter: Solar bill was doomed by law, not doubt
Portland Press Herald - Monday, August 28, 2017 

Re: the Aug. 13 Maine Sunday Telegram, titled “Solar bill met more powerful foe: Doubt.” Mr. Turkel characterizes me as someone with “no interest in energy policy.” Nothing could be further from the truth. I have written extensively about our energy failures over the last 16 years. I have frequently cited legislative failures and their contribution to rising electrical costs: PURPA, REGGI, and renewable subsidies for solar, wind and hydro. I said electricity should be regulated as a public good. Had we done so some of our closed mills would still be operational. Because L.D. 1504 qualifies under a Supreme Court decision as a tax bill, it is unconstitutional under Maine law, as all tax bills must originate in the House of Representatives and this bill originated in the Senate. ~ Rep. Richard Malaby, Hancock
Mount Vernon couple fined for generator sited too close to Minnehonk Lake
Kennebec Journal - Sunday, August 27, 2017 

Installing a generator in a shoreland zone has cost a Mount Vernon couple more than $2,700 in fines, costs and court fees — and they had to remove the generator. This is the second property-related dispute between James Landherr and Valerie Center and the town. In the previous case, the town sought penalties from them for allegedly having gardens too close to Minnehonk Lake. The judge suggested that “the defendants’ remedy is to persuade the voters and/or the municipal officials of Mount Vernon to amend the Land Use Ordinance.”
Maine blueberry crop falls with disease, lack of pollination
Associated Press - Sunday, August 27, 2017 

Maine’s wild blueberry crop is likely to be much smaller this year than in recent summers because the industry is contending with troubles such as disease and a lack of pollination. The New England state is the wild blueberry capital of the U.S., and in recent years crop sizes have soared and prices have plummeted, bringing uncertainty to a key state industry. The crop grew a little less than one percent last year to almost 102 million pounds, while prices hit a 10-year low of 27 cents per pound to farmers.
Canada set to sue US on lumber if trade negotiations fail
Bloomberg News - Sunday, August 27, 2017 

Canada, the world’s largest softwood-lumber exporter, affirmed its willingness to sue the U.S. if trade talks on the homebuilding material fail. The U.S. has “mischaracterized” what Canada has proposed in terms of defined market share, Canada’s Ambassador to the U.S., David MacNaughton, said Thursday. The only qualification Canada wants for defined market share is that the country can supply excess lumber to the U.S. in the event that American suppliers can’t meet domestic demand fully. “What we can’t understand is why is it that some elements of the U.S. lumber industry would rather see imports from countries like Russia rather than their closest ally and friend, Canada,” MacNaughton said.
Canada sees Maine governor as key ally on trade
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, August 27, 2017 

Maine Gov. Paul LePage is a vital conduit for Canada to try to have its concerns heard by President Trump as talks over the future of the North American Free Trade Agreement unfold. While LePage remains a polarizing figure in Maine, clashing even with legislative leaders of his own party, he is looked on as a potential ally and savior by many in Canada who see him as a member of Trump’s circle who also intimately understands the complex trade relationship with Canada. Canada is Maine’s largest export market, accounting for 47 percent of 2016 exports. New Brunswick accounts for much of that – $1 billion a year – mostly in the form of lobsters, farm-raised salmon and natural gas. New Brunswick, for its part, shipped $767 million in goods to Maine, primarily wood pulp, lumber, electricity, lobster and salmon.
Luxury and convenience meet the great outdoors as new forms of camping spread
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, August 27, 2017 

A slew of new ventures, from luxury tenting resorts to secluded campsites sites set up on private land are opening in Maine, filling demand for high-end outdoor accommodations and growing the glamorous camping or “glamping” trend that has been slow to catch on in the state. Customers increasingly want authentic and original experiences they can’t find in traditional resorts and hotels. “Glamping is an outgrowth of that,” said Debbie Lennon, a veteran resort manager who opened Sandy Pines Campground in Kennebunkport this summe.
Will a genetically modified tree harm the environment?
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, August 27, 2017 

A genetically modified tree doesn’t necessarily come with all the baggage of genetically modified organisms in breakfast cereal. No single corporation with deep pockets is behind the creation of the new transgenic American chestnut tree, which contains a gene from wheat that makes it resistant to chestnut blight. To begin with, there are no plans for big monocultures of chestnut trees. And the motive is to save a species. Before it can be passed out to the states for propagation and planting, the tree must undergo review by the USDA, EPA and FDA – a process that is expected to take at least two years. Scientists worry that the fungus that causes chestnut blight could evolve and one day overcome the tree’s disease resistance.
After decades of blight, Mainers could help save the American chestnut tree
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, August 27, 2017 

Four billion American chestnut trees once grew in the eastern forest, from Maine to Mississippi. One out of four trees in Appalachia was a chestnut. The American chestnut was a keystone species, meaning many animals relied on them for food. People also relied on the tree, gathering nuts to sell; to fatten livestock; and to make flour, ice cream and beer. They roasted the nuts, candied them and stored them for winter. Chestnut wood, which is incredibly rot resistant, was used in barns, homes and fencing, and for railroad ties. Then along came the chestnut blight in the early 20th century. The disease swept through the eastern forests, and within 50 years, the pure American chestnut was gone. The University of New England is partnering with Unity College and the University of Maine-Orono to restore them.
Treading Lightly: Freedom for all to ride or walk in the great outdoors
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, August 27, 2017 

Walking and biking are not just for the young, fit and able-bodied. And the benefits of these activities extend far beyond merely exercise or recreation. Fortunately, Maine is home to several organizations and programs that help seniors and people with disabilities get outside for a walk or a ride.
Farmer Ben Whatley turns his parent’s land into an evolving farm
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, August 27, 2017 

Ben Whatley is the tall young man who sometimes slips away from his booth at the Brunswick Winter Market to play a little bluegrass in the corner. He grew up in Topsham with parents who had given up farming for practical reasons. As a young adult, Whatley had the idea that he’d become a lawyer. Then he spent some time on a working farm and the die was cast. We talked with him about drought, the lesson he learned from a bad year in cantaloupe and how his brother’s wedding opened up new possibilities for Whatley Farm.
Handwoven Passamaquoddy baskets from the ’60s sold to fund conservation efforts in Maine
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, August 27, 2017 

For nearly a decade, Save Passamaquoddy Bay – a coalition made up of Downeast residents, Canadians and members of the Passamaquoddy tribe – fought corporate developers who wanted to bring a liquefied natural gas terminal to Passamaquoddy Bay in Washington County. They succeeded, but were left with numerous legal bills and research costs. The group sold many baskets, made originally for the herring pearlessence industry by Passamaquoddy craftsmen, to help fund their battle. Now the rest are for sale through a partnership with the Natural Resources Council of Maine. The wooden baskets were long ago made obsolete by cheap plastic baskets and the disappearance of Maine canneries. But now they are collectors’ items.
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