January 23, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Wednesday, January 23, 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). 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
Browntail moth, Jan 30
Event - Posted - Wednesday, January 23, 2019 

Maine Forest Service Entomologist Tom Schmeelk and District Forester Morten Moesswilde explain how to identify and manage browntail moths. At Lewiston Public Works, January 30, 10 am - 2 pm.
Lake St. George Ice Fishing Derby, Jan 26
Event - Posted - Saturday, January 19, 2019 

Learn how to fish. All equipment and bait provided. Lunch, hot cocoa, and warming hut. At Lake St. George State Park, Liberty, January 26, 8 am - 2 pm.
Brown-tail moths, Jan 24
Event - Posted - Thursday, January 17, 2019 

Eleanor Groden, professor of entomology at the University of Maine, will discuss the health hazards presented by, and recommended management strategies of, brown-tail moths. At Palermo Community Library, January 24, 6:30 pm.
20th Anniversary Maine Farmland Trust Kick Off Event, Jan 24
Event - Posted - Thursday, January 17, 2019 

Join a festive hometown gathering to look back at Maine Farmland Trust's many milestones since 1999, and celebrate the founders and members who helped to shape the organization. At United Farmer’s Market of Maine, Belfast, January 24, 6 pm.
Explore Nature through photography, Jan 24
Event - Posted - Thursday, January 17, 2019 

Local photographers Michele Benoit, Donne Sinderson, and Richard Spinney will share their photographs, experience and tips for photographing the natural world. At Bangor, January 24, 6:30 pm. Sponsored by Bangor Land Trust.
Help pick BDN top issue
Action Alert - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 

This year, the Bangor Daily News opinion pages will focus attention on four issues that are critical to Maine’s future. We have picked three areas: economic development; referendum reform; and Maine’s rural, spread out population. Help pick the fourth topic. Climate change and the associated energy, land-use and conservation policies are the top concern so far.
Marching Backwards
Publication - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 

A report by the Environmental Defense Fund about how Andrew Wheeler and Donald Trump are endangering the health of American families by rolling back environmental safeguards.
Browntail Moth, Jan 22
Event - Posted - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 

Maine Forest Service Entomologist Tom Schmeelk and District Forester Morten Moesswilde explain how to identify and manage browntail moths. At Boothbay Regional Land Trust's Oak Point Farm, January 22, 3 pm.
Tree Appreciation Walk, Jan 20
Event - Posted - Monday, January 14, 2019 

Kids, adults, and families are invited on a walking exploration and appreciation of trees. At Thorne Head Preserve Bath, January 20, 1-2:30 pm. Co-sponsored by Kennebec Estuary Land Trust and Beth Israel Congregation.
Colonizing history of Wabanaki people, Europeans, Jan 20
Event - Posted - Sunday, January 13, 2019 

Maine-Wabanaki REACH and the Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Augusta hold an interactive story-telling experience about the colonizing history of Wabanaki (the Indigenous people of Maine) and Europeans and their descendants. At UU Church, Augusta, January 20, 1-3 pm, RSVP.
L.L.Bean Outdoor Discovery Programs
Event - Posted - Thursday, January 10, 2019 

Expert guides. Amazing scenery. Hundreds of new activities to learn. Plus, customized trips, all-inclusive adventures, kids’ camps and more. Starting at $25.
Ice Fishing the Downeast, Jan 17
Event - Posted - Thursday, January 10, 2019 

Gregory Burr, regional biologist for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, talks about “Ice Fishing the Downeast Region.” At Schoodic Institute, Winter Harbor, January 17, noon.
Nature Notes from Maine, Jan 17
Event - Posted - Thursday, January 10, 2019 

Ed Robinson shares interesting facts about some of Maine's most beautiful and fascinating wildlife. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, January 17, 6 pm potluck, 7 pm presentation. Sponsored by Appalachian Mountain Club.
Weekly Winter Adventure camp in Bethel begins Jan. 16
Announcement - Wednesday, January 9, 2019 

The UMaine 4-H Camp & Learning Center at Bryant Pond, in partnership with the Mahoosuc Land Trust and Mahoosuc Kids Association, is offering a six-week Winter Adventure course, beginning Wednesday, January 16.
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News Items
What awaits in 2019
Trust for Public Land - Wednesday, January 16, 2019 

Last year, one of the most successful conservation programs in American history expired due to the negligence of Congress—the Land and Water Conservation Fund had provided as much as $900 million per year for public land preservation and improvement projects, but now it’s gone. And as absurd as it sounds, we still don’t know what’s going to happen to the eight national monuments marked for drastic changes by former Interior Secretary Zinke.
Maine Fishermen's Forum Scheduled To Open In Late February
Associated Press - Wednesday, January 16, 2019 

New England's largest trade show for fishermen is slated to take place at the end of February and the beginning of March. The Maine Fishermen's Forum is a major event in New England seafood that attracts harvesters, scientists, marine industry leaders and politicians to the state's Midcoast region. It's slated to take place at the Samoset Resort in Rockport from Feb. 28 to March 2. The organizers of the event say it's "dedicated to offering fishermen, clammers, lobstermen, aquaculturalists and other related seafood industry participants an opportunity to meet on neutral ground with fisheries managers, state representatives, congressmen and senators.'' It's also typically the day state regulators release critical data about Maine's fisheries from the prior year.
Column: We all have to pitch in to stop climate change
Kennebec Journal - Wednesday, January 16, 2019 

Heat-trapping carbon dioxide has experienced its largest jump in seven years. For the first time since 2013, carbon emissions in the United States increased, 2.5 percent. And our president is pushing for more oil and coal, absolutely the wrong thing to do. I am appalled that he is opening our very special protected lands in Alaska to oil drilling. Congress should enact the carbon fee and dividend bill, which will raise the price of carbon-generating fuels and distribute the money to us. Our new governor, Janet Mills, is committed to addressing this problem. There is a lot we can do as a state and she has a plan to get it done. We all need to support and participate in her initiatives. ~ George Smith
Opinion: CMP power line won’t help the environment, and certainly not Mainers
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, January 16, 2019 

Central Maine Power’s thousands of critics have presented an avalanche of facts about why New England Clean Energy Connect is a bad idea. People across Maine oppose NECEC because there is no demonstrated environmental benefit that would offset the impacts to our unique natural resources and our tourism economy. And the economic benefits are illusory, with no permanent jobs, no guarantee Mainers will be hired for temporary construction jobs and the use of inflated tax estimates to try to buy local support. NECEC’s opponents are not against economic development or clean energy. We support our arguments with well-documented facts. Massachusetts, not us, is the NIMBY here. They don’t want it in their backyard, and they apparently think we’re a cheap date. ~ Sandra Howard, Registered Maine Guide, Caratunk
Opinion: Tough year ahead for nonprofits without business, legislative help
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, January 16, 2019 

Businesses and governments in Maine and across the country rely on charitable nonprofits to help build the communities we want. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is predicted to cause a drop in giving to the work of charitable organizations of $17-$21 billion every year. In addition, nonprofits must now pay a 21% income tax on employee expenses for transportation benefits. Another tax requires nonprofits to pay taxes on each unrelated business activity, and, unlike for-profit businesses, they are prohibited from applying the losses of one business line to cancel out profits in another “trade or business.” These discriminatory taxes will divert billions from communities. Maine nonprofits represent one in six Maine workers and contribute $12 billion annually to the economy. Mainers need to look to Augusta, not Washington, for solutions. ~ Jennifer Hutchins, Maine Association of Nonprofits, and David L. Thompson, National Council of Nonprofits
Letter: Use Portland’s working waterfront to help form balanced economy
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, January 16, 2019 

The maritime community needs Portland’s working-waterfront to support their livelihood, and the hospitality sector needs it for their business. Developing the waterfront in a collaborative way that supports fishing and intermodal and mixed industrial uses is key to creating a balanced economy that will thrive long term. Look at strong ports like Halifax, Seattle or Portland, Oregon. The industry doesn’t hinder the beauty of the ports; it complements it. ~ Jake Thomas, South Portland
Kennebec Land Trust property to be on ‘Maine Cabin Masters’
Turner Publishing - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 

This past fall, the Kennebec Land Trust renovated two historic cabins at the trust’s Wakefield Wildlife Sanctuary in West Gardiner after being selected by and contracted with “Maine Cabin Masters” for the renovations. The sanctuary and its newly restored cabins will be featured on an episode of “Maine Cabin Masters” on DIY Channel Monday, Feb. 25.
Wilton awarded grant, loan funding for continued Forster Mill cleanup
Sun Journal - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 

Wilton has received a $150,000 grant and $150,000 loan through the Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments for continued asbestos removal at and demolition of the former Forster Mill. The former mill has been used to manufacture automotive upholstery, wood products and plastic cutlery over its more than 100 years.
Task force calls for $75 million for Maine land conservation, state parks
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 

A coalition of organizations with ties to Maine’s “outdoor economy” is recommending a $65 million bond package for the Land for Maine’s Future program as well as a $10 million bond for state-owned parks and lands. Gov. Janet Mills, a Democrat, is expected to have a much friendlier disposition toward land conservation than did Republican Gov. Paul LePage.
Salmon farm company offers money to conserve popular Belfast trail
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 

The company that wants to build one of the world’s largest indoor salmon farms in Belfast has taken steps to preserve an undeveloped 80-acre tract that contains nearly 3 miles of the popular Little River Trail. According to a preliminary plan hashed out between Nordic Aquafarms Inc. and the Belfast Water District, the quasi-municipal utility that owns the land, the parcel around the Little River’s upper reservoir would eventually be transferred to a land trust. But first, the Norwegian-based salmon company plans to donate funds to Belfast so the city can purchase the parcel from the Belfast Water District at a reduced cost. The offer includes additional money to ensure habitat restoration. The company’s donation of all funds for the project is contingent upon it receiving approvals for construction and operation of the salmon farm.
Pending sale of Pine Point Fisherman’s Co-op raises development concerns
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 

The pending sale of a wholesale seafood dealer and restaurant at Pine Point in Scarborough is raising worries about the future of the town’s working waterfront. Susan Bayley Clough and Vincent Clough, longtime nearby residents and business owners, have an agreement to buy Pine Point Fisherman’s Co-Op at 96 King St. The co-op has a long history as the epicenter of Scarborough’s lobster and soft-shell clam industry. Aside from a face-lift, Bayley Clough says that is how she wants to preserve it.
Acadia National Park Will Groom Trails During Government Shutdown
Maine Public - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 

David MacDonald, president of the Friends of Acadia, says while Acadia National Park remains open, most of its staff has been furloughed. A couple dozen volunteers run snowmobiles to groom the park’s expansive network of carriage trails. With snow in the forecast, MacDonald says the park service’s remaining Acadia skeleton crew will plow a single lane on Ocean Drive plus a few parking areas. While that may ease traditional wintertime uses through the season, MacDonald warns that if the shutdown continues much longer, more serious challenges will emerge.
What’s The Deal With The Westbrook Ice Disk? Scientists Aren’t Really Sure Either
Maine Public - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 

An unusual ice formation has appeared in the Presumpscot River in Westbrook. It’s a giant, spinning ice disk about 100 yards across and moving counterclockwise. The disk looks rather alien, but it’s actually a natural occurrence.
City councilors considering fine for nonresident use of Augusta’s recycling bins
Kennebec Journal - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 

Augusta City councilors will vote Thursday on creating a fine for nonresidents who dump items — and Augusta residents who knowingly toss nonrecyclables — into the recycling collection bins at the Public Works Facility off North Street and the Hatch Hill landfill.
Onlookers share theories, find meaning in giant Maine ice disc
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 

As one might expect when a circular ice formation appears, crowds are lining the Presumpscot River in Westbrook and the internet is going wild over the spectacle. More than two dozen onlookers gathered in bunches on nearby buildings or along a public riverwalk to see the disc late Tuesday morning. The city sought to use the attention to boost local commerce.
Onlookers share theories, find meaning in giant Maine ice disc Westbrook’s mystery ice disc
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 

Naturally forming ice discs are not unheard of. News stories of such circles have popped up over the years across the United States, but they’re considered rare and none that have gained any publicity have been as large as the one in Westbrook, which onlookers say is about 100 yards in diameter. Perhaps the most common, presumably tongue-in-cheek, internet theory for where the giant disc came from was aliens.
EPA criminal action against polluters hits 30-year low
Associated Press - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 

The Environmental Protection Agency hit a 30-year low in 2018 in the number of pollution cases it referred for criminal prosecution, Justice Department data show. The 166 cases referred for prosecution in the last fiscal year is the lowest number since Ronald Reagan was president. Criminal referrals have been on a downward trajectory, especially under the Trump administration.
Watchdog accuses Wheeler of potential ethics violations
E&E/Greenwire - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington this afternoon urged EPA's inspector general to investigate several potential violations of the Trump administration's ethics pledge by acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler. EPA dismissed the request as political theater. It comes a day ahead of a high-profile confirmation hearing for Wheeler, whom President Trump has nominated to serve as the long-term leader of the agency. "After spending years as a lobbyist for coal and energy companies, Wheeler should have taken every measure possible to avoid even the appearance of impartiality at the EPA. He has not," CREW Executive Director Noah Bookbinder said.
Column: Loaded questions
Turner Publishing - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 

The speed of the technological innovations boggles the mind. For example, Sig Sauer is now marketing an Electro-Optics telescopic sight called a BDX. The hunter talks to the sight by inputting ballistics data from his phone app, dials in the range to target, connects the dot and pulls the trigger! Audaciously, Sig Sauer bills this as “unprecedented simplicity.” Granted, many of us hunters, young and old, like gadgetry for its own sake, but there comes a point when a dependence on technology defeats one of the reasons we hunt — freedom, a period of liberation from the hustle and bustle of the cell phones and computers. ~ V. Paul Reynolds
Battling freezing wind to ice skate on Green Lake
Aislinn Sarnacki Act Out Blog - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 

As we laced up our skates at the edge of Green Lake on Saturday, the cold numbing our bare fingers, I thought, “We’re crazy.” “What?” my husband Derek said, shouldering our backpack of emergency gear and snacks. “Oh,” I said, realizing I had voiced my opinion out loud. “We’re just kind of crazy to be going out in this cold … but it looks like we aren’t the only crazy ones,” I added, nodding to the ice fishermen roaming among the ice shacks in the distance.
Land trusts to ask Brunswick for $150K in public funds to conserve Woodward Point
Times Record - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 

The Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust and Maine Coast Heritage Trust are asking the town of Brunswick to help complete the funding for conservation of Woodward Point on the New Meadows River. The town council will consider the $150,000 request Jan. 24. BTLT and MCHT want to raise $3.5 million by March 31 to purchase the land and provide for its long-term management as a public preserve. They have $340,000 left to raise. They are asking that funds from the town come from the proceeds of the sale of the town-owned property at 946 Mere Point Road, which has been designated for water access projects. 75 individuals have given donations toward the project; the Land for Maine’s Future Program awarded a $400,000 grant; the federal government has awarded a $570,000 Coastal Wetlands Grant.
Third installment of debate over controversial oyster farm expansion continues tonight
Times Record - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 

The third installment of the Department of Marine Resources hearing on Mere Point Oyster Co.’s proposed oyster farm continues tonight with testimony from an opposition group known as the Maquoit Bay Preservation Group. The series of hearings started in November to evaluate the ecological, visual, navigational and general use impacts of a proposed 10-year, 40-acre aquaculture lease in Maquoit Bay. If granted, Mere Point Oyster’s expansion would increase its operating space by nearly 160 times. The company’s annual harvest would increase from 60,000 last year to 1.5 million in the next three years, putting as many as 5 million oysters in the water at a given time. Two groups of opponents, the preservation group and a group of commercial fishermen, are concerned that the expansion would drastically change the character and use of the bay while also infringing on valuable lobstering grounds.
Lisbon student Maine winner in national cabbage contest
Turner Publishing - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 

Christina Pulsifer, a student at Lisbon Community School, was named the Maine winner in the Bonnie Plants Third Grade Cabbage Program. Christina grew an 8.9 pound cabbage for the program, and was randomly selected from Maine’s entrants by the state Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. She will receive a $1,000 saving bond from Bonnie Plants towards education. A total of 4,229 Maine students participated in the program, and more than 1 million third graders in the 48 contiguous states took part.
Report shows how badly LePage’s wind energy panel fizzled
Associated Press - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 

A Maine commission created as part of the former Republican governor’s efforts to hinder wind projects has released a report drawing few conclusions about the impact of wind turbines. The wind energy advisory commission’s report said its initial information does not suggest wind turbines pose “significant detrimental impacts” on property values, tourism or other concerns. Maine has more wind output than all the other New England states combined, with 924 megawatts of capacity from 19 operating wind projects. State regulators are reviewing proposals for two additional wind projects, and expect applications for another.
Editorial: Maine finishes last in race to keep the lights on
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 

In 2017, Maine led the nation in the number of times an average home loses its power. With more than three outages a year, a Maine consumer was in the dark more than twice as often as the national average. It also won 2017’s dubious gold medal for the length of time Mainers sat in the dark waiting for the lights to come back on. Maine officials should take a hard look at this data and determine if this is an area where the state doesn’t have to finish first.
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