June 19, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Wednesday, June 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; 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
Save Right Whales
Action Alert - Wednesday, June 19, 2019 

New England’s iconic whale is on the brink of extinction. A bill in Congress called Scientific Assistance for Very Endangered (“SAVE”) Right Whales could help this key species recover. ~ Conservation Law Foundation
Water: What is has to teach us, Jun 25
Event - Posted - Tuesday, June 18, 2019 

Learn about fresh water ecosystems and new aquaculture operations in the MidCoast region. At Topsham Public Library, June 25, 6 pm. Sponsored by Cathance River Education Alliance.
Proposed Coyote Center, Jun 24
Event - Posted - Monday, June 17, 2019 

Biologist Geri Vistein will share an informative film about the future Coyote Center in Maine, followed by a discussion of Maine’s coyotes. At Lithgow Public Library, Augusta, June 24, 6:30 pm.
Teen Wilderness Expedition, July 23-25
Announcement - Sunday, June 16, 2019 

The Teen Wilderness Expedition is a 3-day, 2-night, all-inclusive adventure for 12-16 year olds at Little Lyford Lodge, July 23-25. Offered by Piscataquis County Soil and Water Conservation District and Appalachian Mountain Club.
Maine State Museum hosts Bike Day, Jun 22
Event - Posted - Saturday, June 15, 2019 

Join the Maine State Museum, Bicycle Coalition of Maine and the Maine State Library in a free family event to commemorate the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote and learn about the benefits of safe, relaxed bike riding. At Maine State Museum, June 22, 10 am - 1 pm.
Woodland Management with Birds in Mind, Jun 22
Event - Posted - Saturday, June 15, 2019 

A Forestry for Maine Birds workshop for landowners, foresters and loggers interested in learning how they can support Maine’s forest songbirds. At Somerset County Cooperative Extension office, Skowhegan, and on the adjacent Yankee Woodlot Demonstration Forest, June 22, 9 am - noon.
Hike Puzzle Mt., Jun 22
Event - Posted - Saturday, June 15, 2019 

A moderate to strenuous hike of 8.5 miles. Cross several exposed granite boulders and ledges offering views of the Sunday River ski area, Grafton Notch, and the Presidentials, June 22, pre-register. Sponsored by Appalachian Mountain Club.
Androscoggin River Canoe & Kayak River Race, Jun 22
Event - Posted - Saturday, June 15, 2019 

This event is open to all to launch canoes, kayaks, paddle boards, (and more) into the Androscoggin River and complete one of three courses of varying length and challenge. At Festival Plaza, Auburn, June 22, 9 am, $15 for single paddler, $25 for a double, benefits Androscoggin Land Trust.
Plants of Corea Heath, Jun 22
Event - Posted - Saturday, June 15, 2019 

Join Jill Weber, botanist and co-author of The Plants of Acadia National Park, to learn about carnivorous plants, orchids, stunted trees and shrubs and cotton-grass. At Corea Heath, Goldsboro, June 22, 8:30 am. Sponsored by Downeast Audubon.
Maine Wildlife Park open house, Jun 21
Event - Posted - Friday, June 14, 2019 

The Maine Wildlife Park in Gray will hold an open house with free admission, June 21, 5-8 pm. Feeding times for moose, lynx, foxes, cougars, vultures and bears will be posted.
Call for a presidential primary debate on climate change
Action Alert - Thursday, June 13, 2019 

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez has rejected a presidential primary debate on climate change. 15 Democratic presidential candidates have joined the call. So can you. ~ CREDO Action
Trekking through Time
Announcement - Thursday, June 13, 2019 

From June through October, Lakes Environmental Association, Loon Echo Land Trust, Greater Lovell Land Trust, Upper Saco Valley Land Trust, and Western Foothills Land Trust will host the Trekking through Time Series. Once a month throughout the summer and early fall, each organization will host a historical tour of one of its conservation properties.
Help document impact on shell middens, Jun 18
Announcement - Tuesday, June 11, 2019 

Many cultural artifacts of Maine's first coastal residents are preserved in shell middens, but these sites are disappearing as sea levels rise, collectors dig into the middens, and visitors walk on them. Maine Midden Minders is developing a database of erosion conditions at middens. Volunteer training at Coastal Rivers’ Education Center, Damariscotta, June 18, 3-7 pm.
“Dog-Friendly Hikes in Maine” book launch, Jun 18
Event - Posted - Tuesday, June 11, 2019 

Book signing and presentation for “Dog-Friendly Hikes in Maine” by Aislinn Sarnacki, which contains detailed descriptions and maps of 35 hikes across Maine that are ideal for dogs and their owners. At Epic Sports, Bangor, June 18, 5-7:30 pm.
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News Items
LePage keeps making it harder for regular Mainers to know where he’s at
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, November 26, 2017 

With the exception of his fervent public opposition to Questions 1 and 2 on the November ballot, Gov. Paul LePage has made few recent appearances for the general public. Among those, only a fraction have come with advance notice. For a governor who adopted a “People Before Politics” campaign slogan, conducted dozens of wide-open town hall meetings and for months kept a clockwork schedule of local radio appearances, that’s a major change. LePage can still propose bills when the Legislature returns to the State House in January, and he can still arrange and rearrange the gears and cogs of the executive branch to solidify the fiscally conservative course he’s set for state government. But he can’t change the fact he’s a lame duck.
UMaine, Ready Seafood team up to toughen up lobster shells
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, November 26, 2017 

Scientists are trying to toughen up the shell of Maine’s soft summertime lobsters, hoping to help the industry fetch higher prices and ship to distant markets. The University of Maine and Ready Seafood Co. of Portland are joining forces to examine what influences shell growth in Maine’s signature product to see if they can speed up the shell-hardening process in recently molted lobsters.
Cold feet over weddings at farms in Cumberland
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, November 26, 2017 

Concerns about parking, noise and unhappy neighbors initially derail a proposal – now approved, but cautiously – to let farms in Cumberland host functions like weddings. Heidi Curry, who owns and runs William Allen Farm in Pownal, said, “I would have said to them you have really two options. You can allow these property owners to try to find another source of revenue or you can watch it be chopped up into more house lots. Which in turn is going to put a new strain of your community.”
Sonja Birthisel will help you meet the beetles
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, November 26, 2017 

Sonja Birthisel is on the list of teachers for an upcoming class at MOFGA on ways to integrate beneficial insects for natural pest control. Birthisel will be talking about the role predatory ground beetles can play in keeping down weeds. We spend enough time thinking beetles are bad to be intrigued, so we called the University of Maine graduate student to talk about good weeds, how she got started down the agricultural path and what exactly a beetle bank is.
Column: Narcissism prevents global solutions to our shared problems
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, November 26, 2017 

The past year has offered a crash course in narcissism. Not only are the dynamics on display in politics (“BIGLY!”), but in advertising and social media. Our country’s individualistic culture has always fostered narcissism, but its rapid spread could undercut hopes for a sustainable future. The narcissistic world view, favoring superiority and dominance, tends to disregard the commons – the air, waters, land and wildlife – on which we collectively depend. ~ Marina Schauffler
Column: A deer by any other name…
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, November 26, 2017 

Deer hunters have a language all their own, the vocabulary of which might baffle the average, nonhunting man or woman on the street. In addition to the generic jargon used by nimrods across the nation, some regions have their own colloquialisms that might cause confusion even among hunters who might be a bit farther from home than they’re accustomed. Let me offer a few examples. ~ Bob Humphrey
Column: Plenty of birds to be seen in between tourist stops in the Caribbean
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, November 26, 2017 

Caribbean birding is a mixed bag. On the one hand, the species diversity of the islands is generally much lower than the diversity of continents. On the other, many of the birds are endemic to the Caribbean. Some of these birds are island endemics, restricted to a single island. ~ Herb Wilson
Letter: Bears shouldn’t be hounded to death
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, November 26, 2017 

In early October, one of Maine’s legends was chased by dogs, then shot and killed. The attack was planned and had accomplices, but no charges will be filed and no penalties exacted because it’s all perfectly legal. It’s what we do to our animals and hire ourselves out so others can do it, too. ~ The victim was a bear. ~ Don Loprieno, Bristol
Column: The Low Budget Elk Hunt
Sun Journal - Saturday, November 25, 2017 

~ V. Paul Reynolds
Hunter shot a man in Oxford, game wardens say
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, November 25, 2017 

Wardens continue to investigate a non-fatal hunting-related shooting in Oxford, the spokesman for the Maine Warden Service said Saturday evening. Cpl. John MacDonald of the Maine Warden Service said a 21-year-old Paris man shot an Oxford man in his late 30s in the arm. The two men were hunting in a party of four when the shooting occurred about 2 p.m. near the Oxford airport about a quarter of a mile into the woods off Plains Road. Neither man was identified.
Maine mushroom growers tapping into a love of fungi
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, November 25, 2017 

Lately, it seems as if mushroom operations here are popping up like, well, the mushrooms that emerge in the Maine woods after a soaking autumn rain.
Maine officials prepare to take stock of power companies’ storm response
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, November 25, 2017 

State legislators and assessors are evaluating how Maine’s electric utilities performed in restoring power during the historic October wind storm that darkened much of the state. Rep. Seth Berry, D-Bowdoinham, who co-chairs the Legislature’s committee that oversees energy and utilities, submitted a bill that aims to protect residences and businesses from rising electricity costs by improving how utility companies are managed.
Letter: Senators need to unite to protect coast, ocean
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, November 25, 2017 

Maine boasts 3,500 miles of coast along the Atlantic Ocean. The ocean supports endangered and vulnerable species. Residents and visitors also enjoy our beaches, activities like whale watching and kayaking and eating lobster and other seafood. The coasts and oceans support our communities. In addition, the Atlantic is also critical to the world’s food supply. The average American eats about 15 pounds of fish per year. The Trump administration is proposing to drill for oil off the Atlantic coast, conduct seismic testing in the ocean, and eliminate our only Atlantic National Monument. We need our senators to stand together to protect Maine’s beautiful coast and ocean and promote policies that will lead to healthier and cleaner oceans and coasts. ~ Jacqueline Guyol, Portland
Dramatic changes may be in the works for New England fisheries
Associated Press - Friday, November 24, 2017 

The National Marine Fisheries Service has been working on the rules for some 13 years and recently made them public. They would change the way the government manages the Gulf of Maine, Georges Bank and southern New England waters, which are critical pieces of ocean for rare whales, unique underwater canyons and commercial fishermen. The new rules would affect the way highly valuable species such as scallops and haddock are harvested, in part because it would alter protections that prohibit fishing for species in parts of the ocean. The proposal states that its goal is to minimize “adverse effects of fishing on essential fish habitat.”
Farmers who gain from tax bill wary of losing subsidies later
Bloomberg News - Friday, November 24, 2017 

Farm lobbyists are warily watching the tax-overhaul legislation moving through Congress, which comes with some favorable terms for them now but may have a big catch later: less money for farm programs crucial to producers dealing with lower commodity prices. The farm groups are looking beyond the tax debate to a new farm law due in 2018 that could get squeezed if a bigger deficit caused by tax cuts makes less money available for farmers.
Long Mountain: A work of art and engineering
Bethel Citizen - Friday, November 24, 2017 

“Rocks, roots and stumps and more rocks, roots and stumps,” said Bruce Barrett when asked to identify some of the challenges he and fellow trail-builder Gary Barton faced when creating the recently completed Long Mountain Trail, off Vernon Street in Albany. Using only hand tools and a chain saw, thousands of those rocks, roots and stumps had to be removed to eliminate tripping hazards and create a relatively smooth walking surface for hikers.
Sediment behind Royal River dam found fairly clean
Portland Press Herald - Friday, November 24, 2017 

An environmental analysis of sediments behind Yarmouth’s Bridge Street Dam found a few spots of lower-level contamination but largely gave the stretch of Royal River a clean bill of health despite its industrial past. The issue of potential contamination came up repeatedly during the years of discussions about the future of the two Royal River dams in Yarmouth. Downriver residents and businesses, such as boat yards, expressed concerns that removing the dams or even building new fish bypasses around the structures could send contaminated sediments downstream. After pushing for years to remove the two lower dams on the river, conservation groups have shifted their focus toward improving the fishways that allow migratory fish to swim around the structures.
Maine company’s solar power systems to aid Puerto Rico
Portland Press Herald - Friday, November 24, 2017 

ReVision Energy will help provide the islanders with the means to charge their phones and other small gadgets. ReVision plans to outfit 10 systems initially, and 100 in total. It may take three to six months to finish building all the planned units. It is a 100 percent volunteer donation. The systems will provide relief, but also showcase solar power’s ability to provide reliable power in areas prone to harsh weather and widespread power loss, including Maine.
Column: Using Maine’s sun and water
Kennebec Journal - Friday, November 24, 2017 

Mainers are blessed by lots of water and sunshine. Both have been somewhat controversial lately. We’re far behind other states and countries in creating solar energy, mostly because our political leaders can’t seem to get together on this. And there are some folks in our state who would like to stop us from benefitting from our wonderful water sources. These folks really don’t like Poland Spring bottling company. Last year they sponsored legislation to tax the water Poland Spring processes in Maine. Soon, we’ll have a chance to elect a new governor and legislators. I hope you will press them on these issues. ~ George Smith
Opinion: Downeast woods, jobs and global warming
Ellsworth American - Friday, November 24, 2017 

The Downeast woods are where jobs and global warming are wed. For starters, Hancock and Washington are among the most forested and privately owned counties in the nation. Back 300 years ago when the King claimed that all the privately owned pine was his and fined our ancestors for their cutting, we fought back in our White Pine Revolt, which we won only with the American Revolution. Never again will we tolerate such “takings” of private property by a “21st century” king. 95 percent of Downeast forestland is private and there is a responsibility to tackle such Downeast challenges as jobs and the excessive CO2. Our working forests, clean air and jobs go hand in hand. ~ Bill Beardsley, Ellsworth, former president of Husson University and former Maine commissioner of conservation
Letter: Hannaford well-advised to be safe-chemical only
Portland Press Herald - Friday, November 24, 2017 

I found the Nov. 15 article regarding Hannaford’s lack of a safe-chemical policy disturbing. Though supporting many social and environmental policies, they received an F grade for failing to announce basic safer-chemical policies to ensure the safety of their products and supply chain. One might think that would be a tough grade to ignore. There are some hopeful signs that some retailers are not denying reality. It’s nice to know I have some healthier options. I prefer not to expose myself and my family to the lengthy list of known and suspected health risks of toxic substances, beginning with bisphenol-A and phthalates. ~ Jeff Saffer, M.D., Cape Elizabeth
Hunter in Levant says she saw a mountain lion, then shot a deer the cougar had mauled
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, November 23, 2017 

Up until two years ago, Valerie Thompson included herself in the sizeable camp of Maine hunters who didn’t believe mountain lions prowled the woods of Maine. Then, after a chance sighting of a large, long-tailed cat while she was deer hunting, Thompson became a believer.
Acadia to assume ownership of iconic Bass Harbor lighthouse
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, November 23, 2017 

The U.S. Coast Guard is negotiating a transfer of ownership of Tremont’s historic Bass Harbor Head Light to Acadia National Park. The National Park Service recently agreed to assume ownership of the lighthouse. The deal, which should be done within a year, will not involve money. The agreement stipulates that the lighthouse will remain a functional navigational aid and possibly serve as a retail outlet such as a bookstore or coffee shop. Mount Desert Island’s only lighthouse, Head Light is among Acadia’s top five tourist attractions.
Opinion: Gathering leftover crops to feed poor, known as gleaning, is catching on
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, November 23, 2017 

This Thanksgiving, I’m grateful as gleaning comes out of the closet. We celebrated our first (annual) Maine Gleaning Week in October. Year-round and statewide, everyday Mainers now rescue peak-season produce for their neighbors. What is gleaning? We’ve forgotten this ancient, biblical practice, where the poor once had even a legal mandate to collect leftover, economically nonviable crops from farmers’ fields after harvest. ~ Laura McCandlish, Brunswick
Letter: Turkeys, like humans, would prefer to be alive
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, November 23, 2017 

Around 40 million dead turkeys will grace the tables of American diners this Thanksgiving. We’re eager to believe that turkeys are the self-sacrificial morons of the animal world, gullibly gobble-gobbling to their deaths. But turkeys are not content to go gentle into that good oven. They would prefer, like any of us, to live. ~ Aurora Linnea, Portland
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