May 22, 2018  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

Thanks for visiting Maine Environmental News, a service of RESTORE: The North Woods. MEN is the most comprehensive online source available for links 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
International Day for Biological Diversity, May 22
Announcement - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

The Convention on Biological Diversity is the international legal instrument for "the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources" that has been ratified by 196 nations. The United Nations has proclaimed 22 May as the International Day for Biological Diversity.
Join the fight for Maine's clean energy future
Action Alert - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

In Maine, we are seeing the damaging effects of climate change firsthand: tick borne illnesses like Lyme disease are on the rise, the warming Gulf of Maine threatens our marine economy, air pollution drives up asthma rates for kids and adults, and extreme weather impacts our outdoor recreation and farming industries. The technology to turn off dirty fossil fuels already exists. What is standing in the way of our clean energy future? Politicians who are bought and paid for by the oil and gas industry. ~ Maine Conservation Voters
Maine Calling: The Changing North Woods, May 22
Announcement - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

UMaine experts discuss the relationship between humans and forests, including environmental attitudes and behaviors; rural communities and the forest economy; and the role of ecotourism and recreation. Maine Public Radio, May 22, 1 pm.
Defining Wilderness: Defining Maine, May 29 - Jul 24
Event - Posted - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

The Maine State Library is offering a free reading and discussion group with copies of books available through the library. The series, Defining Wilderness: Defining Maine, runs for 5 sessions, May 29 - July 24, at the State Library in Augusta. Books to be discussed include "The Maine Woods" by Henry David Thoreau.
Bats, May 29
Event - Posted - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

Biologist Trevor Peterson will speak about local species of bats. At Topsham Public Library, May 29, 6 pm. Sponsored by Cathance River Education Alliance.
Sign-Up to Count Fish at Nequasset
Announcement - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

The annual alewife count at the Nequasset Fish Ladder in Woolwich is happening. Join the fun by signing up to count during any two 10 minute blocks within a two hour period.
Wilderness Under Siege, May 30
Event - Posted - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

Nationally known author and explorer George Wuerthner will discuss the challenges facing Wilderness, how people can better protect the Wildernesses in their backyards and around the country, and organizing against efforts to weaken or repeal the Wilderness Act. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, May 30, 6:30 pm.
Field Trip: Capt. Fitzgerald Preserve and Bay Bridge, May 27
Event - Posted - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

Explore two town-owned properties in Brunswick for breeding and migrant birds: Fitzgerald Preserve and Bay Bridge Wetland Park on the Androscoggin River. May 27, 6:30 – 11 am. Sponsored by Merrymeeting Audubon.
White Mountains Centennial exhibition, May 27
Event - Posted - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

The Museums of the Bethel Historical Society host a preview reception of the new displays, “White Mountain National Forest: A Centennial Exhibition” and “The White Mountains: Alps of New England.” At Robinson House, Bethel, May 27, 2-5 pm.
Farmer Talent Show & Open Mic, May 27
Event - Posted - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

The first annual Farmer Talent Show & Open Mic will benefit the Market’s Harvest Bucks program, which increases access to fruit and vegetables for low-income households. At East Madison Grange, May 27, 5-8 pm.
Walk on the Wild Side, May 26
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 19, 2018 

Turner Public Library’s summer programming begins with a nature walk. At Androscoggin Riverlands State Park, May 26, 2 pm.
Edible (and Poisonous) Plants, May 26
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 19, 2018 

Tom Seymour, author, botanist and edible plant enthusiast, will introduce you to many of the edible and medicinal plants that can be found in Maine’s woods and fields. At Head of Tide Preserve, Belfast, May 26, 10 am - noon.
Birding Extravaganza, May 26
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 19, 2018 

Ted Allen from Merrymeeting Audubon will lead birders through the Kennebec Estuary Land Trust’s Thorne Head Preserve in Bath, May 26, 8 am.
Alewife Day, May 26
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 19, 2018 

See the alewives swim upstream. Smoked fish, kid’s games, mills running, Machinery Hall open. At Maine Forest and Logging Museum, Bradley, May 26, 10 am - 1 pm, $3 per person ages 12+.
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News Items
Judge dismisses Poland Spring lawsuit, but fight over groundwater claim likely to go on
Bangor Daily News - Friday, May 18, 2018 

A federal court has dismissed a class action fraud lawsuit against the company behind Poland Spring on narrow legal grounds, but a lawyer says the case will continue. A judge in Connecticut dismissed the suit against Nestle Waters North America Inc. Thursday, but did not weigh in on its allegations that the bottles filled from sites around Maine actually contain common groundwater. The decision leaves the door open for the suit to proceed with revised claims.
Why Mainers are counting bumblebees in their backyards and beyond
Bangor Daily News - Friday, May 18, 2018 

The humble bumblebee, that black-and-yellow, fuzzy, familiar insect, is critically important to the health and well-being of Maine’s wildflowers, garden flowers, fruits and vegetables. But for many years, it has been almost taken for granted. Scientists knew little about how wild bumblebees here were doing, with only 1,600 bee specimens documented in Maine between the 1800s and 2015. With the help of a small army of citizen scientists, the blanks are getting filled in. The Maine Bumble Bee Atlas, a five-year, statewide survey looking to document the different species of bumblebees in Maine, their range, and their abundance, is just beginning its fourth year.
‘Fly Rod’ Crosby portrait donated to historical society
Bangor Daily News - Friday, May 18, 2018 

Fox Carlton Pond Sporting Camps has donated a canvas portrait of Cornelia “Fly Rod” Crosby to the Phillips Historical Society in celebration of the inaugural Fly Rod Crosby Days, being held May 18-20, at the sporting camps. The colorization of the piece was orchestrated by Lori J. Dunn of Brownfield. Cornelia “Fly Rod” Crosby was born and grew up in Phillips, the gateway to the High Peaks Region, and is noted for her fishing and hunting skills and her efforts at promoting Maine during the late 1800s and early 1900s as an ideal destination for outdoor sporting activities.
Column: Orioles hold their own in any bird beauty contest
Bangor Daily News - Friday, May 18, 2018 

One good way to start an argument among birders is to question which of our Maine birds is the prettiest. Most of the contestants in this beauty pageant are red, blue or yellow. The Baltimore oriole should get some votes, if only because it is brilliantly orange. Go ahead and argue on behalf of the northern cardinal or scarlet tanager as Maine’s prettiest bird. I’ll take the oriole. ~ Bob Duchesne
No warnings on Maine fiddleheads, despite health concerns over Canadian ferns
Bangor Daily News - Friday, May 18, 2018 

As foragers take to the woods and riverbanks in Maine to collect the spring’s first tender fiddlehead shoots, their counterparts across the border are being warned of health risks associated with this year’s wild crop. Last week the New Brunswick Department of Health issued a warning that fiddleheads found growing in areas hit by the provinces’ record floods this spring may be contaminated. The ferns may have been exposed to raw sewage, fuel and chemicals leaked into the rivers during the flooding. According to officials with the Maine agriculture department, there are no health risks associated with Maine fiddleheads.
Kittery voters to decide on replacement for ‘vital’ wharf for commercial fishermen
Bangor Daily News - Friday, May 18, 2018 

In June, Kittery will ask voters to authorize the Town Council to transfer up to $450,000 from unassigned funds for a complete replacement of the Government Street Wharf. The wharf was built around 1955 and is currently used by commercial fishermen, and for lobster trap and bait deliveries. When the 2017 assessment found it to be structurally deficient, a weight restriction was posted for safety purposes, reducing the usability as a working waterfront. Recent storms have also exacerbated the condition of the structure, the town said.
Unintentional Humor: Maine Republicans ready to work as always
Kennebec Journal - Friday, May 18, 2018 

A recent editorial suggested that Gov. Paul LePage and House Republicans, led by me, should come “back into session so that it can finish its work — all of it.” The editorial misses the mark, which should come as no shock considering that the Editorial Board is nothing more than an extension of the Maine Democratic Party. “Sustainability” — now, there’s a word that doesn’t miss the mark. In the environmental science world, it means “supporting long-term ecological balance.” In Augusta, “long-term balance” has become an oxymoron. ~ Rep. Ken Fredette (R) Newport, House minority leader and candidate for governor
The religious ideology driving much of the modern anti-public lands movement
Other - Thursday, May 17, 2018 

In January 2016, Cliven Bundy’s sons Ammon and Ryan—acting on what they said was divine inspiration—laid siege to the Malheur Wildlife Refuge in Oregon. Writer James Pogue arrived on the second full day of the standoff, spending most of the next weeks holed up with the leaders in the building they commandeered as a headquarters. In this excerpt from "Chosen Country: A Rebellion in the West" (Henry Holt), Pogue meets Ammon for the first time as the eldest Bundy son laid out the little-discussed Mormon philosophy that guides so much of the modern anti-public lands movement.
How climate change and rising sea levels are affecting New England
National Public Radio - Thursday, May 17, 2018 

NEXT focuses on the many ways climate change and rising sea levels are affecting New England.
Despite millions of alewives rushing up Sebasticook River, Benton cancels alewife festival
Morning Sentinel - Thursday, May 17, 2018 

Some 3 million alewives are rushing up the Sebasticook River, heading for the Benton Falls dam, where at least a quarter-million will be allowed to complete their run upriver to spawn. The rest will become fair game for food and bait for Maine’s multimillion-dollar lobster fishery. While the fishery is going great guns, however, the town of Benton has canceled its alewife festival originally scheduled for this Saturday, with a person at the Town Office citing rain as the reason. The festival’s dinner also was canceled.
Rocks falling into oceans, not climate, causing seas to rise, congressman suggests
USA Today - Thursday, May 17, 2018 

While questioning Philip Duffy, president of Woods Hole Research Center, about what, in addition to climate change, might be driving rising sea levels, Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) suggested erosion might be a factor. An analysis by The Washington Post found that Duffy is correct. The Washington Post found that it would take the equivalent of the top five inches of land from the entire surface area of the United States to cause the oceans to rise the 3.3 millimeters a year currently seen. And those five inches would have to fall into the oceans every year to explain the current rate at which they are rising.
Canadian poacher pleads guilty to illegally importing moose antlers into US
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, May 17, 2018 

A Canadian outfitter and guide convicted of poaching in New Brunswick pleaded guilty Thursday in U.S. District Court in Bangor to illegally importing wildlife, according to court documents. Daniel K. Dyer, of Plaster Rock, New Brunswick, admitted that on Jan. 13, 2014, he brought moose antlers and a moose hide from an animal he knew had been killed illegally in Canada into the United States through the Houlton border crossing station. Dyer was sentenced 13 months ago in Edmundston provincial court to serve a week in jail and fined more than $18,000.
US says number of overfished fish stocks at all-time low
Associated Press - Thursday, May 17, 2018 

The number of American fish stocks that can be described as “overfished” has hit an all-time low, the U.S. government announced on Thursday. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration made the statement as part of its annual Status of Stocks Report to Congress. Six populations of fish are being removed from its list of overfished stocks, including the popular commercially fished stocks of Georges Bank winter flounder.
Passing of biologist who helped restore salmon in Penobscot marks ‘end of an era’
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, May 17, 2018 

In the 1950s and ’60s, when the Penobscot River was a polluted mess, at least one fisheries scientist saw the potential that river represented. What if the river was cleaned up, and fish passage was provided. What if Atlantic salmon were restored? Alfred Meister thought that would be a mighty good thing. And he spent considerable time trying to convince others that a viable salmon run on the Penobscot would be an economic benefit for Bangor and the state of Maine. On Tuesday, Meister passed away at 90 years of age.
Bill to fix problems at Acadia, allow clamming advances in U.S. Senate
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, May 17, 2018 

Legislation to fix a series of territorial and jurisdictional problems around Acadia National Park took another step toward becoming law Thursday, when a U.S. Senate panel endorsed the bipartisan measure, which was introduced by Maine Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King. The Acadia National Park Boundary Clarification Act makes legal the park’s acquisition of the 1,441-acre Schoodic Woods parcel, a coastal woodland with a campground and bike trails anonymously donated in 2015. The bill also would direct the park to permit “traditional” harvesting by clammers, wormers and periwinkle gatherers within the park in accordance with state law and local ordinances.
Maine hunters could get to take more turkeys under proposed state plan
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, May 17, 2018 

Maine’s wild turkey restoration program is, without question, a model of successful wildlife management. Consider: In 1977, 41 wild turkeys from Vermont were transported here, beginning an effort that has led to turkeys living in all 16 Maine counties, a statewide population of between 50,000 and 60,000, and a resource appreciated by many hunters. But for some — especially farmers in southern counties — the word “turkey” has become a dirty word, as the birds are blamed for eating silage and crops.
Report: Canadian salmon firm admits using lobster-killing pesticide near Maine border
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, May 17, 2018 

For the second time in five years, a Canadian salmon aquaculture firm, Northern Harvest Sea Farms, has admitted in a New Brunswick courtroom to illegally using a pesticide known to kill lobsters for treating salmon off Campobello Island that abuts the Maine border.
CMP ratepayer group demands deeper probe into billing problems
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, May 17, 2018 

A group that says it represents about 3,500 Central Maine Power customers has issued a letter to state officials demanding a more thorough investigation into customer complaints of inflated CMP electric bills. Calling itself CMP Ratepayers Unite, the group said it sent the letter because of concerns that the Maine Public Utilities Commission’s ongoing fact-finding probe into the matter has raised more questions than it has answered. The group also said Maine officials need to provide “immediate relief” to CMP customers who believe they have been overcharged by the utility while the PUC probe continues. The PUC said it disagrees.
Opinion: The farm bill is too important to get caught in a partisan fight
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, May 17, 2018 

There’s a big battle brewing in Congress over a massive, critical piece of legislation labeled the “farm bill.” The farm bill will affect how Americans grow, eat and buy food for the next five years. It will also affect how businesses all over the country grow and succeed. The bill contains a whole host of important items critical to our state and nation. Just saying no is not a policy. Let’s get creative around the major area of disagreement and find a better way on which we can all agree. Growing up on a farm, there’s no time to point fingers. You learn early that the first priority is getting the job done, and that means working together. ~ Rep. Marty Grohman and independent candidate for Maine’s 1st Congressional District
Warming Waters Push Fish To Cooler Climes, Out Of Some Fishermen's Reach
National Public Radio - Thursday, May 17, 2018 

The oceans are getting warmer and fish are noticing. Many that live along U.S. coastlines are moving to cooler water. New research predicts that will continue, with potentially serious consequences for the fishing industry.
Farming clams in Maine could help save them from climate change
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, May 17, 2018 

The future of Maine’s softshell clam industry may depend on farming them rather than harvesting the shellfish in the wild, according to scientists and clam diggers who collaborated on a recent research project. A new study, conducted over two years at dozens of locations along the southern coast, indicates that predators are the single biggest reason why Maine’s softshell clam population has declined sharply in recent years. Raising clams in enclosures that protect them from being eaten by other creatures could go far in boosting the number of clams harvested in the state, according to researchers.
More Maine restaurants decide they’ve reached their final (plastic) straw
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, May 17, 2018 

A growing number of Maine restaurants and bars that are banning plastic straws and stirrers, offering them only upon request or providing alternatives such as paper, bamboo or stainless steel. Plastic straws have become a poster product for environmental groups fighting the enormous amount of plastic waste making its way into oceans and landfills. In the United States alone, 500 million plastic straws are discarded every day, according to The Last Plastic Straw, an online movement to clean up plastic pollution.
Lobstermen facing space crunch on Portland waterfront float new plan for storing gear
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, May 17, 2018 

Lobstermen want to lease floating docks in Portland Harbor, claiming they have run out of affordable work space on the city’s increasingly gentrified central waterfront and need a new place to store and repair their gear. A handful of them are petitioning the Portland Harbor Commission for permission to install what would be the first floating storage docks on the waterfront.
Letter: Look beyond CMP and question the power provider
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, May 17, 2018 

Readers have been quick to jump all over Central Maine Power over the sharp increase in their electricity costs this year, but perhaps they should look more closely at their monthly invoices, particularly the charges by the provider that they selected. In my case, the charges for the electricity supplied by my provider, Mega Energy of Maine, have increased by an astonishing 30 percent. Mega Energy can expect my call to discuss this soon. ~ Michael A. Smith, Wells
Letter: Vote for environment in Manchester
Kennebec Journal - Thursday, May 17, 2018 

On Tuesday, June 12, Manchester voters will have an opportunity to cast a ballot in favor of the environment. Question 1 on the Manchester ballot would encourage consumers to use recyclable shopping bags by prohibiting retailers from offering single-use plastic bags. I urge Manchester voters to support Question 1 to “Ban the Bag.” ~ Garry Hinkey, Manchester
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