September 17, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Tuesday, September 17, 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
The Ecology of the Heath, Sep 24
Event - Posted - Tuesday, September 17, 2019 

Naturalist Fred Cichocki will describe the ecology of the 12-acre heath at Cathance Rive Nature Preserve in Topsham and other sphagnum moss wetlands. At Topsham Public Library, September 24, 6 pm. Sponsored by Cathance River Education Alliance.
LUPC to Hold Public Meeting on Approved Fish River Lakes Concept Plan, Sep 25
Event - Posted - Tuesday, September 17, 2019 

The Maine Land Use Planning Commission staff will hold an open house and public meeting regarding the Fish River Chain of Lakes Concept Plan. At Caribou Inn and Convention Center, September 25, Open House 6 pm; Public Meeting 6:30 pm.
Oppose CMP's transmission corridor
Action Alert - Monday, September 16, 2019 

Ask Maine’s Congressional delegation to urge the Army Corps for an Environmental Impact Statement and public hearing on Central Maine Power’s proposal for a transmission corridor through Western Maine. ~ Nick Bennett, NRCM
No logging in the Tongass National Forest
Action Alert - Monday, September 16, 2019 

The Amazon is burning, yet Donald Trump wants to open the world's largest intact temperate forest to mining and logging exploitation. He is opening 10 million acres in the Tongass National Forest to brutal exploitation. Tongass retains more carbon than any forest in the U.S., provides habitat for iconic wild creatures and contains old-growth trees as much as 1,000 years old. Don't let Trump destroy it. ~ CREDO Action
York Beach Clean Up, Sep 23
Event - Posted - Monday, September 16, 2019 

Join a beach clean up & attempt to set a world record spelling the largest "NO PLANET B" ever in the sand. The goal is 500 people At Long Sands Beach, York, September 23, 9 am - 12:30 pm.
Guided Canoe Trip with Ryan Linehan, Sep 22
Event - Posted - Sunday, September 15, 2019 

Delve into themes of industry, waterways, and the environment, with conversation in art galleries and on the Messalonskee River. At Colby Colby Museum of Art, Waterville, September 22, 12-4 pm, pre-registration required.
Tumbledown trail maintenance, guided hike scheduled, Sep 22
Event - Posted - Sunday, September 15, 2019 

A 4.7 mile round-trip guided hike up Tumbledown Mountain will include discussion of geology, trees and plants, history, wildlife and issues facing the mountain. Meet at Brook Trailhead on Byron Road, Weld, September 22, 9 am - 2 pm.
Portland Electric Car Ride & Drive, Sep 21
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 14, 2019 

Learn about electric cars during the 5th annual EV Expo. At Back Cove parking area off Preble Street, Portland, September 21, 12-4 pm, free pizza & coffee. Hosted by Natural Resources Council of Maine and ReVision Energy.
Smithsonian Museum Day, Sep 21
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 14, 2019 

An annual celebration of boundless curiosity hosted by Smithsonian magazine. At L.C. Bates Museum, Hinckley, September 21, 10 am - 4:30 pm.
Common Ground Country Fair, Sep 20-22
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 14, 2019 

More than 750 varied events at this annual celebration of rural living with a mix of workshops, demonstrations, music, vendors, farmers’ markets, fantastic food and more. At Unity, September 20-22, gates open daily at 9 am.
Life Happens Outside Festival, Sep 20-21
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 14, 2019 

At L.L. Bean Discovery Park, Freeport, September 20, 6:30 pm, food trucks; 7:15 pm, Maine Outdoor Film Festival. September 21, 10 am - 4 pm, climbing, biking, talks, exhibits. Free but donations benefit Teens To Trails.
Climate Strike, Sep 20-27
Action Alert - Friday, September 13, 2019 

It’s time to build a renewable energy economy that works for everyone. Join in the streets September 20 and the week after to demand climate justice for all.
• Portland City Hall, Sep 20, 12 pm
• Bowdoin Art Museum steps, Brunswick, Sep 29, 10 am
• Meetinghouse gazebo, Farmington, Sep 20, 12 pm
• Longley Square Park, Norway, Sep 20, 4:30 pm
• Sidewalk at Main and Temple St, Waterville, Sep 20, 4 pm
• Front of Bangor High School, Sep 20, 11 am
• Resistance Corner, Downtown Belfast, Sep 20, 12 pm
• Bar Harbor Village Green, Sep 20, 12 pm
• Dike on Route 1, Machias, Sep 20, 1:30 pm
Global Climate Strike, Sep 20
Event - Posted - Friday, September 13, 2019 

Take to the streets for the Global Climate Strike to make sure elected officials and candidates for office in 2020 hear us loud and clear. Strikes in Maine at Farmington and Bar Harbor, September 20. ~ 350 Action
Bryant Pond 4-H Camp and Learning Center, Sep 20
Event - Posted - Friday, September 13, 2019 

Ron and Deidre Fournier will speak about the Bryant Pond 4-H Camp and Learning Center. At meeting of the Oxford County Educators Association-Retired, Universalist Church, West Paris, September 20, 1 pm.
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News Items
Mt Willard is a great introduction to New Hampshire’s White Mountains
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, September 12, 2019 

Rising 2,865 feet above sea level, Mount Willard is a popular and easily-accessible place to hike in the heart of the White Mountains. Traveling up the mountain’s gradual north slope, the 1.6-mile Mount Willard Trail leads to an overlook near the mountain’s summit that offers stunning views of Crawford Notch. Starting at the Crawford Notch Depot and visitor center, the hike begins on Avalon Trail, a wide packed trail that eventually leads to Mount Avalon, Mount Tom and beyond.
Land Use Planning Commission Approves Irving's Fish River Chain of Lakes Concept Plan
Maine Government News - Thursday, September 12, 2019 

The Land Use Planning Commission has approved J.D. Irving Limited's Fish River Chain of Lakes Concept Plan in northeastern Aroostook County, authorizing zoning for up to 330 residences, a commercial development area and four community and economic development areas, and restricting for the life of the plan. The plan also includes permanent conservation of over 16,000 acres and long-term public access to lakes, and guarantees public recreational trail access for the life of the plan. The concept plan establishes a process through which Irving may sell leases and identifies areas where development may be located in the future after additional permitting reviews.
The Best Way to Save Nature? More Nature
TIME - Thursday, September 12, 2019 

Wallasea is the largest restored coastal wetland in Europe, an exemplar of a growing movement to “rewild” land and return it to the way it was before humans began exploiting it millennia ago. It’s good for the birds. But it’s also increasingly understood as crucial for ensuring a world hospitable to people.
Fort Gorges listed among Maine’s most endangered historic places
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, September 12, 2019 

Portland’s Fort Gorges is among the most endangered historic places in the state, according to a nonprofit group that promotes preservation efforts. The Civil War-era fort that sits on Hog Island Ledge in Casco Bay is among nine places across the state listed on Maine Preservation’s 21st annual list of endangered properties. Other properties include Maine camps and cottages; the Charles A. Jordan House in Auburn; the Callendar House in Bar Harbor; the Henry Tallman House in Bath; the Old Town House in Belgrade; the Chaloner House in Lubec; Readfield Union Meetinghouse in Readfield; and the Fales Homestead in Thomaston.
Environmental group says Trump change risks protections for about half of Maine’s drinking water
Washington Post - Thursday, September 12, 2019 

The administration of President Donald Trump said Thursday it plans to scrap a 2015 definition of what qualifies as “waters of the United States,” a move one environmental group said risks protections for half of Maine’s drinking water. The Natural Resources Council of Maine said in a news release the change would roll back protections for about half of Maine’s drinking water supply fed by small streams protected under the Clean Water Act. Heather Spaulding, policy director for the Maine Organic Farmers and Growers Association, said part of the change would take away Maine’s ability to impose its own regulations on top of federal rules, something she said is integral to the state’s culture.
EPA scales back federal protection of water bodies to 1986 standards
Washington Post - Thursday, September 12, 2019 

On Thursday, the Trump administration plans to scrap the Obama-era definition of what qualifies as “waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act, returning the country to standards put in place in 1986. But critics say the rollback will speed the conversion of wetlands and headwaters, which provide critical habitat for wildlife and support the nation’s drinking water supply. Americans drained about half of the 220 million acres of wetlands in the contiguous United States between the 1780s and 1980s. “The administration wants to go back to an era where we are destroying wetlands heedlessly,” Robert Irvin, president of American Rivers, said.
New England Herring Fishery Restricted For Several Weeks
Associated Press - Thursday, September 12, 2019 

Commercial fishing of an important species of bait fish is going to be shut down in one of its key areas in New England for about six weeks. Interstate regulators say the Atlantic herring fishery in the inshore Gulf of Maine is nearing a quota limit and will be subject to restrictions from Sept. 15 to Oct. 31. That means fishermen will not be allowed to bring the fish to land until that date. Fishermen sometimes catch more than 100 million pounds of the lobster bait fish in a year.
New Culverts Helping Fish Passage
George Smith's Outdoor News Blog - Thursday, September 12, 2019 

Conservation groups, town officials, the state DOT and DEP, and even some individuals have done a great job of installing new culverts that allow fish passage. In the old days nobody paid any attention to fish passage when they were putting in culverts and dams. In 2011, Maine Audubon and partners launched Stream Smart. Since then, they have hosted workshops and field trainings for over 1000 people across the state, reconnecting hundreds of miles of stream habitat for wildlife. If there is a culvert near you blocking fish passage, start advocating for a bigger culvert. The fish will be very grateful.
The turkey population is thriving — and hunters get a longer season
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, September 12, 2019 

Citing a thriving wild turkey population that some have said is a bit too high, lawmakers this spring passed new laws that will allow fall turkey hunters to enjoy a long season and take more birds in many Wildlife Management Districts. Those opportunities are coming right up, as Youth Turkey Day for the fall season will be observed on Saturday. Adult hunters can begin hunting on Monday, two weeks earlier than the previous fall season. Maine has a turkey flock of around 60,000.
Conservation group takes its case to the public with video warning of right whale’s demise
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, September 12, 2019 

Oceana bolsters the release of a report with a clip featuring actor Sam Waterston, who says the whales ‘could go extinct in your lifetime.’ Maine's lobster industry says it's untrue and unfair, and releases its own video.
Column: Taking good money from bad people
Sun Journal - Thursday, September 12, 2019 

Koch Industries’ immense wealth originated in the fossil fuels business. There’s nothing inherently evil about oil money or even coal money. Early in the last century, coal powered the country. The scientific consensus says global warming is a threat to our civilization and fossil fuel use is much the cause. But in their lust to amass still more wealth, the Koch brothers funded a massive disinformation campaign to deny the existence of human-caused climate change. The Kochs are also unapologetic polluters. Upon David Koch’s recent death, much has been written about the $1.3 billion the billionaire gave to good causes. Do I begrudge New York’s American Museum of Natural History, etc. for cashing Koch’s checks? I do not. But this sum doesn’t come near compensating for the harm he and his brothers have done to our natural world. ~ Froma Harrop
Letter: Bridge at center of lawsuit long past repair
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, September 12, 2019 

Had the three preservation groups that are now suing the Maine Department of Transportation put a few dollars into paint over the years for the supposedly historic Frank J. Wood Bridge in Brunswick, they would have no need now to squander time and dollars on legal action. The bridge is long past effective repair. A new bridge will be stronger, wider, safer and not obstruct vision as does this rusty, bulky monstrosity. Give it up and work with the DOT to build a beautiful new bridge. ~ John D. Schumacher, Scarborough
Letter: Hunting laws must change
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, September 12, 2019 

A huge thank you to John Holyoke and the Bangor Daily News for his Sept. 5 column dealing with the hunting-related death of Karen Wrentzel. Holyoke demonstrated true courage by writing what needed to be written, while other outdoors writers were silent. Maine’s practice of allowing hunting on unposted private property is antiquated and obsolete. Maine will likely never have a Legislature with the guts to require written permission to hunt on private property, so it will likely be up to the people to force the issue with a citizens’ initiative. ~ John Glowa, South China
State And Fed Transportation Officials Face Lawsuit Over Frank J Wood Bridge
Maine Public - Wednesday, September 11, 2019 

Historic preservation groups are suing state and federal transportation officials in an effort to save a steel bridge that connects Brunswick and Topsham. The Maine Department of Transportation decided last year that building a new bridge would be more cost effective than upgrading the 87-year old Frank J. Wood Bridge. The lawsuit alleges that the decision was based on inaccurate cost analysis figures. It’s also alleged that the MDOT decision violated a federal transportation law aimed at protecting historic lands and properties, unless there are no feasible alternatives.
Maine Land Regulators Deadlock, Postpone Critical Decision On Proposed CMP Powerline
Maine Public - Wednesday, September 11, 2019 

State regulators on the Land Use Protection Commission deadlocked Wednesday on whether Central Maine Power's proposed powerline through western Maine would have unreasonable impacts on a remote pond in Beattie township. Opponents, meanwhile, are seeking a statewide referendum that aims to kill the billion-dollar project.
Regulators Propose Rule That Could Show How Big A Problem Maine Fishing Gear Is For Right Whales
Maine Public - Wednesday, September 11, 2019 

State regulators are proposing a new requirement that lobstermen put purple marks on their gear. It's a measure intended to provide better information about the origin of rope that entangles endangered North Atlantic right whales and other marine animals. Right now Maine lobstermen fishing in federal waters and elsewhere are required to put red marks on their rope — the same requirement that lobstermen in other east coast states have. Changing to a unique color could shed light on the contentious issue of whether Maine's fishery actually poses a threat to the whales. Federal officials, meanwhile, have started a rule-making process that would include finer-grained gear marking for each state. It also could require Maine lobstermen to pull half of their rope out of the water.
CMP transmission line decision postponed until October
WCSH-TV6 - Wednesday, September 11, 2019 

The commission tasked with deciding on Central Maine Power's proposed transmission line has reportedly delayed its decision. According to environmental advocacy nonprofit Natural Resources Council of Maine, which opposes the corridor project, the Maine Land Use Planning Commission, or LUPC, on Wednesday postponed a ruling until October. NRCM cites serious concerns raised by several commissioners in regard to the project's impacts as to why LUPC made the judgement.
Youngsters learn about agriculture at Oxford County Fair
Sun Journal - Wednesday, September 11, 2019 

About 700 students and parents came to Conservation Day at the Oxford County Fair on Wednesday to learn about agriculture.
Feds press on with plan after Maine lobstermen exit right whale pact
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, September 11, 2019 

The Maine Lobstermen’s Association has said the proposal to save North Atlantic right whales places too much of the onus on lobster fishermen. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service said Wednesday the species is at a “critical point,” with only about 400 animals left. but will continue to work with the fishermen. The agency says it will continue to work with the fishermen.
Citing public safety hazard, Hallowell closes its dog park
Kennebec Journal - Wednesday, September 11, 2019 

Hallowell city officials have locked the gate at the Vaughn Field dog park and are hopeful that it will prompt citizens to take better care of the unsanitary public area in the future. The decision miffed resident Emily Baker, who said the city did not adequately notify the public that they need to carry trash in and out, or that they are responsible for the park’s cleanliness.
Stalemate over remote pond holds up state panel’s decision on CMP power line
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, September 11, 2019 

The Land Use Planning Commission ended its meeting Wednesday without deciding if massive power transmission corridor proposed by Central Maine Power is allowed in unincorporated parts of its route through western Maine. The power line, intended to bring hydropower from Quebec to Massachusetts, is allowed in most of the areas it passes through. But in three spots – the Kennebec River Gorge, Appalachian Trail and Beattie Pond – it needs special exemptions from the commission. The commission is expected to meet again next month to take up the issue.
Column: How this birder missed his chance at seeing a rare gull
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, September 11, 2019 

I’m sitting on a pier overlooking Eastport. Across the channel, there is a swarm of small gulls. Somewhere in that flock of thousands, there is a rare gull species, and I have a grudge against it. Not many Mainers have heard of Sabine’s gull, nor should they. It summers in the Arctic. It winters in the tropics, mostly at sea, and mostly in the Pacific. It’s rare to see one. The tide has now turned. Sure enough, the gulls moved. Farther away. No Sabine’s gull for me again today. This is how grudge birds are created. ~ Bob Duchesne
Land use regulator fails to agree on key permit for $1 billion CMP project
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, September 11, 2019 

The Land Use Planning Commission, which was expected to rule Wednesday on whether or not it would grant a site law certification for Central Maine Power’s proposed $1 billion hydropower corridor, failed to reach agreement and postponed discussions until its October meeting. Commission Chairman Everett Worcester said the commissioners were close on their decisions to agree to exceptions for the lines at the Kennebec River and Appalachian Trail, but remained deadlocked on Beattie Pond, a fishery that is protected. Opponents earlier this month filed a citizen initiative with the Maine Attorney General with the goal of getting a referendum on the November 2020 ballot to reverse the Maine Public Utilities Commission’s permit for the project.
Why do I choose to live in rural northern Maine?
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, September 11, 2019 

Pick a season and I can walk out my front door and have something fun to do in my backyard — all 170 acres of it. Far more when you add in the land adjacent property holders allow me to access. Spring through fall I can hike, walk my farm dog Chiclet, ride my mountain bike or gravel bike over miles of trails and dirt roads. When the snow comes and my world goes from forested green to snowy white, I pull out the snowshoes or cross-country skis and cover those same trails and roads. Living in rural Maine means the freedom to have my own chickens and beehives without fear of bothering my neighbors. Corny as it sounds, it’s that sense of community that keeps bringing me back and living here in rural northern Maine.
Commission approves J.D. Irving’s plan for rezoning 51,000 acres in Aroostook County
Maine Public - Wednesday, September 11, 2019 

With little discussion and no debate, the Land Use Planning Commission voted unanimously Wednesday to approve Canada-based J.D. Irving’s plan to rezone 51,000 acres in northern Aroostook County for commercial and residential development as well as conservation. The 30-year plan calls for as many as 330 additional development units around four scenic lakes: Long, Square, Cross and Mud. It also permanently protects nearly 17,000 acres from permanent development. Irving’s plan has been in the works for seven years. The Natural Resources Council of Maine maintains it does not adequately balance conservation with planned development.
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