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
Letter: Reduce use of plastics to protect our beautiful and only planet
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, December 27, 2018 

We all need to do our part in reducing our use of plastics. We only have one Earth. At the rate we are going, it won’t be long before we are at the point of no return. We should be thinking about our children, our grandchildren and all the beautiful creatures that live on our planet. Our Earth cannot take much more of our abuse. All stores should ban the use of plastic bags, even if that means each person has to supply their own bags. As for liquids, we should be going back to glass returnables. ~ Patricia McKeon, Springvale
Mainers Are Finding Creative Ways To Fix Leaky Windows And Address The 'Rural Efficiency Gap'
Maine Public - Wednesday, December 26, 2018 

For many in rural America, it's a struggle to find the cash and resources needed to button up a home against the winter cold. Labor and materials cost more - that is, if you can find them at all. But in Maine and other rural states a variety of partners — church groups, non-government organizations and government groups — are ramping up efforts to close what some call the "rural efficiency gap."
Maine seeking plan to manage growing black bear population
Associated Press - Wednesday, December 26, 2018 

The state with most black bears on the East Coast might change the way it manages its growing population of the animals, and hunters and environmentalists alike are keeping a watchful eye to see if there’s trouble brewing for bruins. Maine is home to more than 35,000 of the bears, up from just 23,000 less than 15 years ago, and the state wants to better manage that population growth to minimize the potential for conflicts between the bears and people.
Tim Caverly Eco-Champion
Other - Wednesday, December 26, 2018 

Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) highlights former Allagash Wilderness Waterway Supervisor Tim Caverly as an Eco-Champion. [video]
Whaling in the Southern Oceans to end; the Northern Oceans to be targetted
Other - Wednesday, December 26, 2018 

According to the Sea Shepherd, the scheme by Japanese commercial whalers to pose as researchers will soon be dropped, which means there can be no justification for hunting whales in an internationally established whale sanctuary. This may be the last year of Japanese whaling activities in the Southern Ocean. If Japan decides to withdraw from the International Whaling Commission it will allow the IWC to pass the motion to establish the South Atlantic Whale Sanctuary thus effectively ending whaling in the Southern Hemisphere. Japan will now join Norway and Iceland as rogue outlaw whaling nations in the North Pacific and the North Atlantic.
Bethel Community Forest donations will be matched
Sun Journal - Wednesday, December 26, 2018 

The U.S. Forest Service has provided a $600,000 grant to the Bethel Community Forest, bringing the community even closer to its goal to acquire and create this open space. The work is not yet done, however, and the local planning committee invites Bethel residents to join the effort. New donations will go twice as far, because the Betterment Fund has offered to match every dollar raised from the local community, up to $30,000.
New marketing plan will pitch Maine’s soft-shell lobster to fishmongers
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, December 26, 2018 

A state-funded marketing council is expanding its new-shell lobster crusade to focus on courting the fishmongers who sell seafood, not just the chefs who cook it. The Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative plans to appoint a celebrity spokesman, submit a trademark application and create a seasonal calendar to persuade the middlemen of the seafood supply chain to carry Maine soft-shell lobster, which accounts for 80 percent of the state’s annual lobster landings and is deemed by some of the nation’s best-known food bloggers to be sweeter and more tender than hard-shell lobsters fished in Canada.
Letter: Let’s build a wall to stop lobster migration
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, December 26, 2018 

I would like to propose a practical solution for simultaneously solving two big problems that concern all Americans. The first concerns control of illegal immigration. The second problem is that lobster, Maine’s most valuable export, is migrating north because of climate change. Researchers have predicted that lobsters will become less plentiful in Maine but more plentiful in Canada over the next 25 to 30 years. An undersea wall between Bar Harbor and Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, will effectively prevent the crustaceans from crawling north. The beauty of this idea is that the wall need be only 115 miles long and 2 feet high, and could be built from Maine-made composite decking materials that resist decay and with a slippery surface that lobsters cannot claw their way over. ~ John Mannish, Raymond
Letter: Collins should stop voting for disgraceful nominees
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, December 26, 2018 

When are Sen. Susan Collins’ votes going to align with her rhetoric? She presents herself as a moderate yet keeps voting for disgraceful nominees for judgeships and administrative positions. She voted to confirm Bernard McNamee to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in spite of his publicly stated bias in favor of fossil fuels over renewables. She has voted to confirm numerous federal judges whose records of prejudice cried out for rejection. I wish that the senator would wake up, smell the corruption, the criminality, the absolute contempt for this nation’s reputation that flows from the White House and stop helping it do its dirty work. ~ Neil Gallagher, Brunswick
How the Trump Made American Grate
Maine Environmental News - Tuesday, December 25, 2018 

Twas a week before New Year’s and all through the land
people were restless. The plan was not going as planned.
The Trump was alone in his big White House
plotting more chaos for every human and mouse....
Maine composting companies forced to look elsewhere for raw material
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, December 25, 2018 

Mainers produced 632 tons of food waste a day last year – almost a pound of apple cores, rotten vegetables, spoiled yogurt and meat trimmings a day for every person in the state. Three quarters of Maine’s food waste goes to landfills or incinerators. Less than a quarter is diverted to compost, and only 5 percent is captured as edible food distributed to the hungry. There is a push to shift that waste to compost farms and biomass boilers, to improve recycling rates and reduce the trash Mainers have going into landfills. But early growth for private companies specializing in food waste disposal has stalled, as firms compete for a shrinking pool of garbage in southern Maine.
Demolition to transform Bucksport mill site
Associated Press - Tuesday, December 25, 2018 

Demolition is continuing at a former paper mill site that will one day become home to a salmon farm and Maine Maritime center. Bucksport Town Manager Susan Lessard said landowner American Iron and Metal, a scrap metal recycler, is completing demolition while a company seeks permits for a $250 million salmon farm.
10 things you need for your winter outdoor adventures 10 key items for enjoying the outdoors during winter
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, December 25, 2018 

Mainers know that hiking isn’t just for the summer months. Sometimes you want to hit the trails even when it’s below-freezing. BDN outdoors and features reporter Aislinn Sarnacki walks us through her favorite winter gear for those who want to spend December in the great outdoors.
Hike: Rotary Centennial Trail in Winslow and Benton
Aislinn Sarnacki Act Out Blog - Tuesday, December 25, 2018 

Tracing an old railroad bed, the Rotary Centennial Trail is a wide multi-use path that travels through a hardwood forest above the banks of the Kennebec River, linking the towns of Benton and Winslow. With side trails that lead to views on the river, the trail features a few benches and picnic tables, as well as a scenic overlook at the end of an old railroad bridge.
Editorial: Talks on working waterfront zoning pose major challenge for Portland
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, December 25, 2018 

The Portland City Council voted unanimously last week to halt development along the waterfront for six months. Now comes the hard part. The city will convene a task force that involves many of the groups that have similar but not always perfectly aligned interests in how the city grows. If their concerns were easy to resolve, they wouldn’t need a moratorium. This process will continue a debate that began in the 1980s when advocates launched a successful working waterfront referendum campaign with the slogan “Keep the Port in Portland.” There is probably no outcome that gives everyone everything they want, but there may be a workable compromise to be found.
Artists Interpret Human Impact on the Earth at Bates
Portland Press Herald - Monday, December 24, 2018 

Geologically speaking, some scientists believe we have moved past the Holocene epoch and into a new one known as the Anthropocene, an epoch defined by significant human impact on the Earth’s geology and ecosystems, including climate change. This winter, Bates College Museum of Art joins the discussion with the exhibition “Anthropocenic: Art About the Natural World in the Human Era.” On view through March 23, it includes a strong contingent of Maine artists, as well as prominent artists from around the country and across the globe.
National parks, federal workers feel pinch of shutdown
Associated Press - Monday, December 24, 2018 

The national Christmas tree, symbol of a country’s seasonal cheer, instead stood as an icon of a government in paralysis, as the partial shutdown stretched into the holiday with an array of federal services frozen, some 800,000 public servants either idled or about to be and the disruption to the broader public bound to grow when the quiet spell ends later this week. Already facilities at many national parks were shuttered, and thousands of federal buildings were to remain closed when the workweek resumed unless President Trump and members of Congress quickly break through a budget impasse that the White House said could drag on into 2019.
Ecology School prepares to build new home in Saco, and it’ll be among Maine’s greenest
Journal Tribune - Monday, December 24, 2018 

The Ecology School, founded in 1998, provides residential and day ecological education programs. For many years the school operated on space along the coast it leased from the Ferry Beach Association. The school has purchased the 105-acre Riverbend Farm property in north Saco, and there are plans to break ground in the spring on a dormitory and dining hall, with completion expected in spring 2020, said Drew Dumsch, director of the school. The school will operate its 2019 residential programs at Poland Spring Resort in Poland while construction moves forward at Riverbend Farm.
Bicycle coalition says Maine ride increased economic benefit
Portland Press Herald - Monday, December 24, 2018 

The Bicycle Coalition of Maine says its annual BikeMaine event saw an increase of more than 10 percent in economic impact this year. The Acadia in the St. John Valley event took place in September. It was a sold-out ride in northern Aroostook County in far northern Maine, and the bike coalition says it contributed more than $740,000 in statewide economic impact.
New GMO food labels are designed to confuse, Rep. Pingree argues
Associated Press - Monday, December 24, 2018 

U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree is pushing back against the government’s plan to place labels on foods that were produced with genetic engineering. Pingree, an organic farmer, has often focused on food issues during her time in Congress. The U.S. Department of Agriculture said last week that new labeling rules require “food manufacturers, importers, and certain retailers to ensure bioengineered foods are appropriately disclosed.” But the use of the unfamiliar term “bioengineered” is destined to confuse consumers, and the USDA is essentially launching “a marketing campaign aimed at putting a positive spin on GMO food,” Pingree said.
This baby seal from Maine beat long odds to make it home for Christmas Premie the seal goes home for Christmas
Bangor Daily News - Monday, December 24, 2018 

About a hundred festive well-wishers cheered as the harbor seal wriggled down the sand, back to her home in the sea for the holidays. The small pinniped was named “Premie” by her Harpswell-based rehabilitators. Found in Surry nearly eight months ago, she weighed just a few pounds and was no more than 24 hours old. After months of round-the-clock, determined care, Premie was finally cleared for release this week. Marine Mammals of Maine is the only sea mammal rehabilitation facility in the state. The organization usually responds to 300 seal and mammal strandings a year. In 2018, with an outbreak of seal distemper, that number shot up to more than a thousand.
1991 legislature killed these bills
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Monday, December 24, 2018 

I was reading a July 1991 edition of The Maine Sportsman, when I came across a column from the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine listing the legislative bills the group helped to defeat that session. There was one bill cited in the report which was enacted. It was LD 589, An act to establish a crime and penalty for killing a person while hunting. After a lady was killed in her backyard by a deer hunter, Representative Paul Jacques sponsored this legislation which essentially requires deer hunters to see an entire deer before they shoot.
We spent 8 years trying to understand LePage
Bangor Daily News - Monday, December 24, 2018 

Paul LePage’s tenure as governor upended Maine politics. He explored the limits of executive power. He also revealed deep political divides between urban and rural Maine. LePage’s approach to the economy was to focus on industries of the past by eliminating the state income tax, reducing energy costs and lightening regulations in hopes of reviving the state’s flagging manufacturing and natural resource industries and attracting businesses from out of state. The results have been mixed. The state’s economy already has transitioned from one largely based on extracting natural resources to an urban service economy. LePage has often sparred with environmentalists. He has demonstrated opposition to certain conservation projects, famously withholding voter-approved bonds for the Land for Maine’s Future program before eventually releasing them.
Ex-lobbyist who carries card to remind him of all his conflicts is favorite to replace Zinke
Other - Monday, December 24, 2018 

Washington Examiner - President Trump’s search to replace departing Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke could stretch into the new year. A few new contenders have emerged as some of the earlier prospects have faded. David Bernhardt, the Interior Department deputy set to become acting secretary next month, is still viewed as Trump's safest bet. At least two more candidates, Cynthia Lummis, a former congresswoman from Wyoming, and Rep. Steve Pearce, R-NM, are expected to receive interviews for the job. Pearce failed in a bid for governor of New Mexico. Rep. Jeff Denham, R-CA. and Sen. Dean Heller, R-NV, both of whom recently lost re-election, are interested in the job, but it’s unclear whether they are serious contenders. Rep. Raul Labrador, R-ID, and Rep. Rob Bishop, R-UT, are not likely to be nominated.
Column: Go south, old man
Forecaster - Monday, December 24, 2018 

Outgoing Republican Gov. Paul LePage has issued a warning that if he doesn’t like the way incoming Democratic Gov. Janet Mills handles the job, he’s prepared to run against her in 2022. We can be sure LePage means what he says, because he never makes these kinds of stupid promises without following through on them. Except. When he proclaimed just before the November election that he was planning to leave the state. “I’ll be a resident of Florida if Janet Mills wins. I can promise you that,” LePage told reporters. Just for the record, residents of Florida aren’t eligible to run for governor of Maine. ~ Al Diamon
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