December 11, 2018  
Announcements               
Press releases, events, publications released, etc. from Maine environmental organizations and agencies. Submit content.

Great Winter Treks, Dec 18
Event - Posted - Tuesday, December 11, 2018 

Aislinn Sarnacki talks about great winter treks in Maine. At Orono Public Library, December 18, 6 pm.
Polar Bear Dip & Dash, Dec 31
Event - Posted - Tuesday, December 11, 2018 

A benefit for the Natural Resource Council of Maine’s work to fight climate change. At East End Beach, Portland, December 31, pre-register.
Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Monday, December 10, 2018 

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). We have posted summaries and links to over 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
2019 Acadia Artist-in-Residence Program
Announcement - Monday, December 10, 2018 

Art and artists have played a key role in the history of Maine’s Downeast Region, and the founding of Acadia National Park. The Artist-in-Residence program is dedicated to creating new ways for visitors to experience Acadia through the arts. Deadline to apply online for 2019: December 31, 2018.
Lessons from Maine’s Loons and Lakes, Dec 13
Event - Posted - Thursday, December 6, 2018 

Hear new executive director of the Maine Lakes Society and long-time director of Maine Audubon’s Loon Count Susan Gallo talk about the results of the 2018 Maine Loon Count and what it means for one of Maine’s most important and revered habitats. At Gilsland Farm, Falmouth, December 13, Maine Audubon members $12, nonmembers $15, pre-register.
Yale Climate Change and Health Certificate
Announcement - Thursday, December 6, 2018 

Yale School of Public Health’s 18-week, fully online, Climate Change and Health Certificate is designed for working professionals who are eager to tackle the adverse impacts of climate change on the health of their communities. Apply for rolling admission by February 1 to be considered for the February 25, 2019, cohort.
Bird & Nature Walk, Dec 13
Event - Posted - Thursday, December 6, 2018 

At Maine Audubon’s Gilsland Farm Sanctuary, Falmouth, December 13, 8-10 am, $8.
Glacial retreat impact on Unity area, Dec 12
Event - Posted - Wednesday, December 5, 2018 

Kevin Spigel, professor of Geoscience at Unity College, discusses what happened to our landscape after the glaciers retreated. At 93 Main Coffee Shop, Unity, December 12, $5 donation suggested. Sponsored by Sebasticook Regional Land Trust.
Invasive Worms, Oh My! Dec 12
Event - Posted - Wednesday, December 5, 2018 

Presentation by Gary Fish, Maine State Horticulturist. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, December 12, 7 pm. Sponsored by Friends of Merrymeeting Bay.
Help wanted: Conservation forester
Announcement - Tuesday, December 4, 2018 

The Maine Chapter of The Nature Conservancy seeks a Conservation Forester to manage 160,000 acres of timberland and ecological reserves at the Upper St. John River Forest. Deadline: January 3, 2019.
Tell Congress to fix our parks
Action Alert - Tuesday, December 4, 2018 

Legislation to provide dedicated funding to fix the National Park Service’s $11.6 billion backlog of needed maintenance repairs is moving forward with bipartisan support. Email your members of Congress and urge them to get the bill to the president’s desk.
Stop climate denier appointment
Action Alert - Tuesday, December 4, 2018 

Urge Sen. Susan Collins and Sen. Angus King vote NO on Bernard McNamee for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. McNamee is a long time fossil fuel industry insider who led Texas’s lawsuit against the lifesaving Clean Power Plan. More recently, he tried to get taxpayers to foot the bill for Donald Trump’s coal plant bailout scheme while working at the U.S. Department of Energy. ~ SierraRise
Protect Nonprofit Nonpartisanship
Action Alert - Tuesday, December 4, 2018 

Congress is wrapping up year-end legislation. Language in a House spending bill would make it virtually impossible for the IRS to enforce the law (Johnson Amendment) that protects charitable nonprofits from partisanship. TODAY, December 4, call and tweet members of Maine's congressional delegation: Partisanship has NO place in charitable organizations.
Restore LWCF
Action Alert - Tuesday, December 4, 2018 

Since 1964, the Land and Water Conservation Fund has been the lifeblood of public land conservation and preservation in the United States. But in September, Congress let it expire, leaving the future of public lands at risk. Just a few days left to convince Congress to rescue LWCF.
Learn more about CMP's proposed transmission line, Dec 11
Event - Posted - Tuesday, December 4, 2018 

CMP is proposing to build a 145-mile transmission line through Maine to deliver power from Quebec to Massachusetts. It would damage the North Woods while doing nothing to address climate change. Learn more about CMP's power line proposal. At Eureka Community Center, Durham, December 11, 6 pm. ~ Carly Peruccio, NRCM Outreach Coordinator
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News Items
Trust has sights set on Guinea Road property
Biddeford-Saco-OOB Courier - Thursday, December 6, 2018 

Saco Valley Land Trust has received a $23,000 grant that could help make a conservation bridge project a reality. The trust is celebrating its 30th year in operation and has focused its efforts on the bridge project, which has been underway for a year and will take what the trust projects will be another two years to complete. The undertaking will connect 12 easement parcels that, when completed, will consist of about 500 protected acres of thousands of acres in what’s known as the vernal pool complex, an area of undeveloped wetlands and forests that span Kennebunkport and Biddeford Pool.
Advocates tell Janet Mills that clean energy and better roads will add good jobs
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, December 6, 2018 

Maine could gain 13,500 jobs and receive a $6.5 billion boost to its economy by shifting toward cleaner energy and upgrading its transportation infrastructure, the Acadia Center of Rockport said in a memo Wednesday to Gov.-elect Janet Mills. It also recommended new energy policies for solar power, saying distributed solar installations in the state could create 1,285 new jobs through 2030 and add $9 million annually in new state tax revenue generated as a result of the new jobs and economic activity around solar installations. In a new policy for current electric grid rules, it recommend decreasing fixed monthly charges for residential electric customers and creating a more efficient grid with cleaner and cheaper energy systems.
Aroostook wind power backers see opportunity if CMP transmission project fails
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, December 6, 2018 

Amid opposition to a powerline that would bring Quebec hydro electricity to Massachusetts through western Maine, a group of companies behind a wind power proposal in Aroostook County is hoping their project will become a viable alternative. Central Maine Power is seeking to build a 145-mile high-voltage transmission line carrying hydro power from Quebec through western Maine and into New England’s energy grid. Watching and waiting for that process to play out is Maine Power Express LLC, which submitted a competing proposal to supply Aroostook County wind energy for the Massachusetts energy program. Dylan Voorhees, climate and clean energy project director with the Natural Resources Council of Maine, said that the group has not taken a position on the Maine Power Express proposal, but “We’ve generally been enthusiastic about developing large scale renewables in The County.”
Opinion: Time for Maine to reconsider public ownership of tidal lands
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, December 6, 2018 

More and more parcels of oceanfront land and ocean access are being gobbled up and closed off to the public. There’s more at risk than where we’re able to play in the waves or lay on the beach, though those activities matter too. Entire industries are at risk, jeopardizing jobs and driving away smart investments. In 1989, the Maine Supreme Court turned hundreds of years of law on its head when it decided the Bell v. Town of Wells case. The case held that intertidal lands (the area between mean high and low tide) are owned by upland property owners instead of the state in trust for the public. For the public good, we need to come together now to reaffirm the state’s ownership of its intertidal lands and develop a regulatory system that works for everyone. ~ Robert Morse, Atlantic Labs Inc., Waldoboro
Brunswick animal control officer wrangles runaway pigs named Bacon
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, December 6, 2018 

Brunswick Animal Control Officer Heather Brown was welcomed to town recently by two pet pigs known to their owner by the single name of “Bacon.” Brown, who started in Brunswick on Nov. 5, was returning from a call just two weeks later when a couple flagged them down and asked, “Are you guys looking for pigs?” “We ended up having to call maybe five officers to wrangle them.” Police took both pigs and their owner into custody and drove them home.
Salmon Farm Foes & Supporters Spar at Community Meeting
Free Press - Thursday, December 6, 2018 

Opponents and supporters of a proposed $150-million land-based salmon farm weren’t shy about airing their feelings at a community forum hosted by Nordic Aquafarms at the Hutchinson Center in Belfast last week. NAF CEO Erik Heim said the company will submit its final state and federal environmental permits in the coming weeks and is currently waiting for engineers to complete their final assessments. NAF was asked why the company is not taking out performance bonds to pay for a potential environmental cleanup. Heim reiterated his belief that few businesses would come to Maine if it were required to take out performance bonds and that his company will be using state-of-the-art wastewater treatment systems to ensure that the bay’s ecosystem is not exposed to harmful chemicals.
Composting grant brings together waste collectors and dairy farmers
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, December 6, 2018 

Conor and Alexis MacDonald have all the manure and hay they need to make compost on their Washington organic Bo’ Lait dairy farm but were looking for a little something to give it a nutrient boost. Meanwhile, Davis Saltonstall and Tessa Rosenberry are collecting food waste and scraps around midcoast Maine as a compost ingredient with their Camden-based Scrapdogs Community Compost and needed space to expand their operations. Thanks to a grant from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, the two are working together to produce nutrient-dense compost and taking food scraps out of the waste stream.
Gulf of Maine’s 3rd-warmest year on record harms puffins, turtles and kelp
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, December 6, 2018 

The Gulf of Maine is experiencing its third-warmest year on record, triggering the starvation of puffin chicks off the Maine coast, mass strandings of sea turtles in Massachusetts, and heightened concerns about the survival of endangered right whales and the North Atlantic’s largest kelp forest. Surface temperatures in 2018 are running 2.8 degrees Fahrenheit above normal.
Letter: Power project will bring many jobs, aid towns
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, December 6, 2018 

Very few construction jobs in the state of Maine bring the promise of thousands of jobs with them. The New England Clean Energy Connect project is the exception to the rule. This project promises to bring 1,700 jobs a year to our state during construction and 3,500 at peak construction. I strongly urge the Maine Public Utilities Commission to support this project. It can only help our state, both in the short term and for many years to come. ~ Nate Boutin, Yarmouth
Letter: A better transmission solution
Sun Journal - Thursday, December 6, 2018 

As part of the team from Transmission Developers Inc. developing the New England Clean Power Link in Vermont, I am compelled to respond to statements attributed to Tom Carroll regarding CMP’s New England Clean Energy Connect project and other transmission proposals in Vermont and New Hampshire. TDI’s Vermont Project took important community, environmental and aesthetic considerations into account. TDI carefully chose underground technology specifically to minimize impacts on the people, viewshed and environment of Vermont. The NECPL project in Vermont is fully permitted and enjoys widespread support among all the Vermont host towns, primarily because the impacts are minimal. ~ Josh Bagnato, TDI, Charlotte, Vermont
Maine Commission for Community Service Appoints new commissioners
The County - Wednesday, December 5, 2018 

Anita Steward McCafferty of Lincoln, Maria Staples of Hermon, and Luke Shorty of Caribou have been appointed to the Maine Commission for Community Service. McCafferty has been appointed to the seat designated for a representative of education services. Staples holds the seat designated for a representative of a National Service program. Luke Shorty holds the seat designated to an expert in the delivery of environmental, energy, and housing services to communities and people.
Who is managing Baxter State Park?
Maine Environmental News - Wednesday, December 5, 2018 

As Maine’s next Attorney General, Aaron Frey will also serve as one of the three members of the Baxter State Park Authority. The other two members of the BSP Authority are the commissioner of Inland Fish & Wildlife and the director of the Forestry Bureau. Those appointments have not yet been announced by Gov-elect Janet Mills. Eben Sypitkowski was recently named as BSP Director, Marc Edwards was hired in early September as Park Naturalist, and Don Bolduc is joining the Park as Chief Ranger. While the people overseeing Baxter State Park change, the mission remains: To protect the natural resources of the Park for their intrinsic value and for the enjoyment of present and future generations.
To lure business, Lincoln moves quickly to take advantage of new federal tax break program
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, December 5, 2018 

Last spring, Lincoln was among 32 areas around Maine that were selected by outgoing Gov. Paul LePage to be eligible for the federal Opportunity Zone program. Now, the former mill town is taking the next steps to benefit from that designation, forming an entity known as an Opportunity Fund through which investors can support eligible projects and potentially receive a break on their capital gains tax. Since the Lincoln Paper and Tissue Mill shut down in 2015, the town bought more than 70 acres of the mill site earlier this year with the goal of turning it into commercial development.
Macron backs down on French fuel tax hike
Associated Press - Wednesday, December 5, 2018 

French President Emmanuel Macron scrapped a fuel tax rise Wednesday amid fears of new violence, after weeks of nationwide protests and the worst rioting in Paris in decades. Protesters celebrated the victory. The decision has ramifications beyond France, since the fuel tax rise was part of Macron’s efforts to wean France off fossil fuels in order to reduce greenhouse gases and slow down climate change. Its withdrawal is both a blow to broader efforts to fight climate change and a warning to other world leaders trying to do the same thing.
Second phase of Saco River dredging project to begin, at cost of nearly $4 million
Journal Tribune - Wednesday, December 5, 2018 

A $3.93 million project to dredge the lower Saco River is set to begin later this month. It’s the second half of a federal navigation project authorized by Congress to clear out the river channel from downtown Saco to where the river meets the ocean. Last year, the Army Corps dredged part of the channel’s upper section in a project that cost just over $4 million.
CMP power line supporters make their case to Somerset County commissioners
Morning Sentinel - Wednesday, December 5, 2018 

Central Maine Power Co. rolled out the big guns Wednesday for Somerset County commissioners, who heard support for the company’s proposed 145-mile-long power line through Maine connecting hydropower from Quebec to Massachusetts. From Peter Vigue, president of Cianbro Corp., to outdoor recreation business owners and a local selectman who read a letter from Maine Turnpike Authority Executive Director Peter Mills, brother of Gov.-elect Janet Mills, more than a dozen people spoke of the benefits of the New England Clean Energy Connect.
‘We are in trouble’: Global carbon emissions reached a record high in 2018
Washington Post - Wednesday, December 5, 2018 

Global emissions of carbon dioxide have reached the highest levels on record, scientists projected Wednesday, in the latest evidence of the chasm between international goals for combating climate change and what countries are actually doing. Between 2014 and 2016, emissions remained largely flat, leading to hopes that the world was beginning to turn a corner. Those hopes have been dashed. In 2017, global emissions grew 1.6 percent. The rise in 2018 is projected to be 2.7 percent.
Oyster hatchery could reinvigorate former Navy site in Harpswell
Times Record - Wednesday, December 5, 2018 

Since the town of Harpswell first took over Mitchell Field from the Navy nearly 20 years ago, officials have floated the idea of bringing commercial businesses to the location. Now, the town is negotiating a lease with Running Tide Technologies Inc. of South Portland to open an oyster hatchery in one of the few structures remaining on the site. If both parties agree to the lease, the oyster hatchery would be one of the first commercial businesses to be located on the former Navy property.
Judge orders disbarment of Brunswick attorney accused of misusing funds
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, December 5, 2018 

The Maine Board of Overseers of the Bar announced Wednesday that James Whittemore will not be allowed to practice law in the state for 10 years. Superior Court Justice Nancy Mills had suspended Whittemore in August over two ethics complaints. Since then the number of complaints against him grew, including by the Brunswick Topsham Land Trust, which alleged that an anonymous donor sent $15,000 to Whittemore to be held in escrow for an easement purchase, but that money disappeared.
Fire at Huhtamaki factory contained
Morning Sentinel - Wednesday, December 5, 2018 

A fire at the Huhtamaki paper product factory on College Avenue was extinguished quickly around 11:30 Wednesday morning. Waterville Fire Chief Shawn Esler said smoke and flames originated from a machine a person had been working on at the time. “A fire in the mill is not uncommon because of the processes they use to make paper products,” Esler said.
Column: Advice for legislators
Kennebec Journal - Wednesday, December 5, 2018 

Bob Duchesne of Old Town was an exceptional legislator. In 2012, Bob was term-limited out of his seat one session and he took that opportunity to write a column of tips for legislators. Today I want to share with you Bob’s advice for legislators. “The single most important thing to remember about any legislature is that legislatures do not solve problems — they make trade-offs. Every law is a balance between competing values. If no conflict exists, no law is needed." ~ George Smith
Editorial: Believe the Trump administration when it warns that climate change consequences are dire
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, December 5, 2018 

Thirteen agencies within the Trump administration warned last month that climate change will have devastating consequences on the U.S. and the world. President Donald Trump, long a denier of climate change says, “I don’t believe it.” Whether Trump believes it, his administration and most of the world’s scientists and political leaders have concluded, based on data and analysis, that climate change is a serious problem that requires serious solutions. The rest of the world is moving ahead with technological advances and policies to reduce emissions of heat-trapping pollutants, especially from the burning of fossil fuels like oil and coal. The U.S. will be left behind, not just as a moral leader but also as a leader of innovation. It is no substitute for nation and international action, but a proactive, science-based plan to tackle climate change in Maine is sorely needed.
Conservation Group Outlines Excellent Priorities
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Wednesday, December 5, 2018 

I like the priorities of the Maine Conservation Alliance: clean water, energy independence, land and wildlife for all to enjoy, and healthy local food. You can guess which goal I like the best. OK, I like the wildlife goal best. No surprise there. I’ll post a column in a few days about the importance of new funding for our Land for Maine’s Future program, probably in the form of a bond. You can learn more at the group’s website, www.protectmaine.org.
Illinois firm buys 152-year-old Maine lumber business
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, December 5, 2018 

U.S. LBM Holdings, a specialty building materials distributor, said Tuesday it purchased all three Deering Lumber locations in Maine in an effort to expand throughout coastal New England. U.S. LBM, based in Buffalo Grove, Illinois, has been growing by acquiring companies. In addition to the Biddeford, Springvale and Kennebunk locations of Deering Lumber, it bought the Wallboard Supply locations in Portland and Hermon in November 2014, bringing its total Maine locations to five.
Public Advocate Turns Back CMP Attempt To Limit Transmission Access
Maine Public - Wednesday, December 5, 2018 

The Maine Public Utilities Commission ruled this week that Central Maine Power cannot arbitrarily limit the amount of electricity smaller commercial power plants can put on its transmission system. The finding came at the request of Dirigo Solar, an electricity generation company that has a contract to provide enough solar power for 10,000 homes in Maine from scattered locations.
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