August 24, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Friday, August 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; 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
Rangeley Outdoor Film Festival, Aug 30
Event - Posted - Friday, August 23, 2019 

The Rangeley Trail Town Festival features a variety of short films about the outdoors. At RFA Lakeside Theater, Rangeley, August 30, 7 pm, $6 for adults, $3 for Appalachian Trail hikers and children under 12.
LightHawk Paper Plane Contest
Announcement - Thursday, August 22, 2019 

Enter your best paper airplane design for a chance to have it mailed to thousands in LightHawk's 2019 Holiday Letter. Deadline: October 18, 2019.
BTLT Seeks Community Input on Future Conservation
Announcement - Tuesday, August 20, 2019 

The Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust is seeking community input on its current and future conservation work in Brunswick, Topsham, and Bowdoin. A community survey is available online until September 2.
Butler to speak on conservation, Aug 27
Event - Posted - Tuesday, August 20, 2019 

Conservationist Gil Butler will discuss his efforts to establish outdoor education programs and conservation projects in Maine and throughout North and South America. At College of the Atlantic, Bar Harbor, August 27, 9 am, free, parking on campus is by permit only.
Solo Paddle of Northern Forest Canoe Trail, Aug 27
Event - Posted - Tuesday, August 20, 2019 

Laurie Apgar Chandler will read from and discuss her book “Upwards,” which tells her story as the first woman to solo paddle New England’s 740-mile Northern Forest Canoe Trail. At Bailey Library, Winthrop, August 27, 6:30 pm.
Keeping Acadia Healthy With New Science, Aug 26
Event - Posted - Monday, August 19, 2019 

Abraham Miller-Rushing and Rebecca Cole-Will will discuss how Acadia National Park is facing a triple environmental challenge: global warming, acid rain, and increased visitation. At Bar Harbor, August 26, 5 pm.
Maine’s Seaweed Scene, Sep 26
Event - Posted - Monday, August 19, 2019 

Susan Hand Shetterly and Robin Hadlock Seeley will discuss the importance of protected wild habitats and the critical role of seaweed in the Gulf of Maine. At Moore Community Center, Ellsworth, September 26, 7 pm. Hosted by Downeast Audubon.
Bee apocalypse
Action Alert - Sunday, August 18, 2019 

U.S. agriculture today is 48 times more toxic to honeybees than it was 25 years ago—almost entirely because of neonicotinoid pesticides. It's part of an "insect apocalypse." But instead of taking action, the Trump administration is shredding protections for bees. Will you stand with me in the fight to save the bees? ~ Mayor Ethan Strimling, Portland, Maine
Maine Farmland Trust Gallery 20th Anniversary Retrospective Exhibit, thru Oct 11
Announcement - Sunday, August 18, 2019 

To celebrate Maine Farmland Trust’s 20th anniversary, a curated retrospective featuring a selection of works that have been exhibited at the MFT Gallery over the past 10 years is on view through October 11.
National Parks Free Entrance, Aug 25
Event - Posted - Sunday, August 18, 2019 

All National Park Service sites that charge an entrance fee will offer free admission to everyone to celebrate the National Park Service's 103rd birthday on August 25.
Brechlin reading, Aug 25
Event - Posted - Sunday, August 18, 2019 

Earl Brechlin, a Registered Maine Guide, will read from his book, "Return to Moose River: In Search of the Spirit of the Great North Woods," essays describing white-water canoeing, snowmobiling, and backpacking adventures in many parts of Maine. At Albert Church Brown Memorial Library, China, August 25, 2 pm.
Kennebec Land Trust annual meeting, Aug 25
Event - Posted - Sunday, August 18, 2019 

At Camp Androscoggin, Wayne, August 25. The trust has conserved more than 6,300 acres and constructed 44 miles of trails on KLT protected lands.
Maine Herpetological Society Reptile Expo, Aug 25
Event - Posted - Saturday, August 17, 2019 

50+ vendors, 1,000+ reptiles, plus Mr. Drew and His Animals Too. At Ramada Inn, Lewiston, August 25, 10 am - 4 pm, $7, kids under 12 free.
Families in the Outdoors, Aug 24
Event - Posted - Saturday, August 17, 2019 

Learn about all kinds of Maine bugs – the good, the bad and the very strange looking. At Law Farm, Dover-Foxcroft, August 24, 9 am - noon.
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News Items
Opinion: How to fix the citizen’s initiative
Kennebec Journal - Sunday, January 28, 2018 

According to a report by Spendthrift Politics, in the Maine 2016 referendum cycle, “nonresidents ponied up $17.3 million (of the total $22 million spent on five different questions) or over four times as much as in-state donors.” In addition, “non-individuals (special interest groups) supplied just under $20 million, compared to only $1.9 million from individuals.” Some groups who use the citizen-initiative process are exaggerating the facts, misleading voters and exploiting weak circulator laws. The Maine referendum system has been hijacked by dark money from out of state. We could start by ending the practice of shielding C-4 individual donors, requiring petitioners to disclose on their petition they are a paid circulator, adopting tougher regulations, penalties and enforcement for petition circulators, and requiring organizations who use indirect lobbying to report their political activity ~ David Trahan, Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine
Letter: Argument for gas pipeline expansion doesn’t hold water
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, January 28, 2018 

A Jan. 14 letter to the editor argued that the recent cold snap proved the need to expand gas pipelines. So, what exactly is the problem? The system load during the cold weather has been about 70 percent of the summer peak, and the system has been operating normally. Instead of $1 billion investment in pipelines, we can limit price spikes by taking better advantage of existing liquefied natural gas storage, investing in energy efficiency and fixing leaking infrastructure. If expanding gas pipelines makes economic sense, Big Oil and pipeline companies can invest their own money to make it happen. ~ Dan Amory, trustee, Conservation Law Foundation, Portland
Column: Wardens issue ice warnings after several incidents
Sun Journal - Saturday, January 27, 2018 

With prolonged cold spells and bone-chilling sub-zero temperatures, the ice this year on Maine lakes and ponds is solid and safe for people and snowsleds, right? Wrong. During a 24-hour period in mid-January, no less than nine snowmobile operators and riders broke through thin ice with their sleds into icy waters. Miracles of miracles, all escaped drowning and potentially deadly hypothermia. All of the survivors of the above incidents were just plain lucky. Before this snowmobile season is over some unsuspecting sledder will break through the ice and never see the light of day again. Remain informed and very ice wary. And when it comes to sledding on ice, the cliché applies: if in doubt, don’t. ~ V. Paul Reynolds
Auburn's Winter Fest a hit
Sun Journal - Saturday, January 27, 2018 

The 2018 annual Winter Fest was chock full of ice, snow and mini goats. “Today was huge,” Auburn Recreation Department Director Sabrina Best said Saturday. “So many kids showed up.”
Snowshoe races part of 100-year tradition
Sun Journal - Saturday, January 27, 2018 

Snowshoers from as far as New York or Montreal traveled to Lewiston this weekend for the 110th International Snowshoe Championship, hosted by Le Paresseux Snowshoe Club of Rumford. Marie Arsenault, an organizer of the event, said the snowshoes races began more than 100 years ago as a game between the lumberjacks and Canadians.
Maine organization wants to lure your kids outside this winter
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, January 27, 2018 

This month, officials at the nonprofit agency, WinterKids, are hoping to capitalize on the buildup to the 2018 Winter Olympics to inspire Maine kids to get outside more and do winter activities such as sledding, ice skating and snowshoeing. So far students at 16 elementary schools across the state are taking part in the four-week outdoor physical activity and nutrition challenge that wraps up the end of this month.
Maine lawmaker wants adults to carry firearms on youth bear hunting day
Associated Press - Saturday, January 27, 2018 

A GOP lawmaker in Maine wants to allow adults to carry a firearm while hunting bears with kids. Currently, licensed junior hunters can hunt bear with a firearm, bow and arrow or crossbow on Maine’s youth bear hunting day. But parent, guardians and adult supervisors aren’t allowed to hold a firearm while accompanying the young hunter. Maine doesn’t have a minimum age to purchase a junior hunting license.
Whale deaths spark lobster-gear lawsuit
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, January 27, 2018 

Just days after three environmental groups sued the federal government for not doing more to protect right whales from lobster gear, yet another right whale turned up dead. Since early 2017, a total of 18 right whales have died off the East Coast or Atlantic Canada. Monday’s death was the first of 2018. None of the recent right whale deaths has been directly linked to the American lobster fishery, but environmental groups say that the amount of rope used by lobstermen in the Gulf of Maine poses a significant threat to right whales. The Center for Biological Diversity has joined with Defenders of Wildlife and the Humane Society of the US in suing the National Marine Fisheries Service. They argue the agency is violating the Endangered Species Act by not doing more to protect right whales from lobster gear.

Opinion: Higher education, employers must work together for bright future
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, January 27, 2018 

Maine is in a struggle between two economic futures. One is bleak: Maine as an aging state with limited job opportunities and young Mainers fleeing for greener pastures. The other is a future of promise and innovation with an increase in good paying jobs and an educated populace prepared to assume those jobs. Continuing to build partnerships between workplaces and universities and colleges benefits students and graduates, preparing them to thrive in high-paying jobs right here in Maine. It benefits employers, who won’t have to look out of state to fill key positions, or have growth plans stalled because they can’t fill them. And it greatly benefits our region and our state as it fuels our economy and our future. ~ Steve Amendo, Martin’s Point Health Care, and Ainsley Wallace, University of Southern Maine
Opinion: Energy moves will crush thousands of Maine jobs, hurt Maine people
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, January 27, 2018 

Maine has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to lead the way in energy innovation, build a strong statewide economy that works for all of us, create thousands of good jobs, increase our energy independence while reducing people’s energy costs and protect our quality of life. I respectfully ask our current governor, in his last months in office, to stop actions aimed at crippling widely supported efforts by local political, business and nonprofit leaders to grow Maine’s wind and solar energy businesses. My vision is for Maine to become a national and global energy innovation leader, producing more than enough clean energy to meet our own needs and export energy to our region while creating thousands of good jobs and lowering energy bills. ~ Adam Cote, Springvale, gubernatorial candidate
Letter: Outage reporting system lacks CMP accountability
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, January 27, 2018 

We suffered another power outage recently and noted that Central Maine Power has not updated or improved its power outage reporting system. This disregard for its customers shows that CMP doesn’t care to keep the Maine customer properly apprised of the situation during a power outage. One of the reasons is that CMP is the only provider. Another is that the Public Utilities Commission has been defanged by our Legislature. Thanks a lot, Legislature; you have an uncanny ability to mess up everything you touch. ~ George A. Fogg, North Yarmouth
Letter: Opposing GMOs isn’t immoral
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, January 27, 2018 

It is not possible to cover all aspects of the half-truths in the Jan. 1 OpEd by Mitch Daniels, a former Indiana governor and president of Purdue. But his calling those who are against the widespread use of GMO crops “immoral” I find morally deplorable. I recommend he read a copy of the book “Altered Genes, Twisted Truth” by Stephen M. Druker. On the other side, look to an uplifting and informative book on saving the world’s food supplies and our soil resources. I recommend “ Growing a Revolution: Bringing Our Soil Back to Life” by David R. Montgomery. ~ John J. Simo, Hampden
Blog: NIMBY is Not a Four-Letter Word (Part 2)
Bangor Daily News - Friday, January 26, 2018 

In these days of intense partisanship and Congressional gridlock, here’s a plan for bringing the representatives of both parties together: propose drilling for oil and gas in their coastal waters. Take the state of Maine, for example, which has a Republican senator (Susan Collins), an Independent senator who caucuses with the Democrats (Angus King), a Republican congressman (Bruce Poliquin), and a Democratic congresswoman (Chellie Pingree). All four expressed immediate opposition to the Department of the Interior’s announcement last week to open up over 90% of the outer continental shelf to oil and gas drilling – a modest expansion over the current limit of 6%. Only Maine’s Republican governor, Paul LePage, who loves oil even more than he loathes environmentalists, refused to condemn the proposal on its face. ~ James G. Blaine
Everything You Need To Know About Wednesday’s Partial Lunar Eclipse In Maine
Bangor Daily News - Friday, January 26, 2018 

Wednesday morning’s full moon will host 2018’s first lunar eclipse. A lunar eclipse is when the earth passes between the sun and moon. The earth completely blocks the sunlight and casts a shadow on the moon. The shadow gives the moon a red or orange appearance.
Greenwood board to hear about wind power project
Bethel Citizen - Friday, January 26, 2018 

Representatives of the Calpine Wind Corp. are scheduled to make a presentation to selectmen Tuesday, Feb. 6. Calpine is studying the viability of a wind power project in the area of Long, Tibbetts and Elwell mountains, near Twitchell Pond, on land owned by the Weyerhaeuser Co., one of the world’s largest private owners of timberlands.
Scholarship Winner to begin Ph.D. position at UMaine
Other - Friday, January 26, 2018 

Mackenzie Roeder, a biology graduate student at Austin Peay State University, will be graduating early to begin a Ph.D. position with SHARP (the Salmarch Habitat and Avian Research Project) at the University of Maine. Her plans for the future after completing her doctorate are to use her skills in molecular biology and evolutionary ecology to help conserve threatened and endangered birds and their habitats.
Outdoor equipment sales slump as millennials shift gears
Associated Press - Friday, January 26, 2018 

Sales of outdoor equipment are slipping as millennials drive changes in U.S. consumer habits by favoring clothes and sporting goods that are less specialized and more versatile, analysts say. Industry retail sales totaled $18.9 billion from December 2016 through November 2017, down 6 percent from the previous 12 months.
Decline in winter ticks on moose bodes well for hunters
Portland Press Herald - Friday, January 26, 2018 

Maine wildlife biologists are encouraged by recent data showing a significant decrease in winter ticks on moose, leading to optimism that the number of hunting permits in 2018 will be similar to last year’s total. State Wildlife Division Director Judy Camuso said winter-tick checks on moose captured by biologists three weeks ago found fewer ticks than during any checks over the past four years. State biologists cut moose permits by 48 percent from 2013 to 2016 because of concerns about the moose survival rate from winter-tick infestation. The parasite has decimated moose numbers in the Northeast.
CMP Moves Forward with Renewable Energy Plans
Maine Public - Friday, January 26, 2018 

Central Maine Power is forging ahead with plans to build a major transmission line in western Maine to bring wind and hydro power from Canada into New England's electricity grid. This is despite losing its bid for a big renewable energy contract from Massachusetts this week, which was instead provisionally awarded to a New Hampshire-based transmission project, called Northern Pass.
Flooding, ice blamed on climate change damage Acadia’s birthplace
Bangor Daily News - Friday, January 26, 2018 

The birthplace of Acadia National Park is encased in more than a foot of ice, and park officials won’t know how damaged it is until the ice melts. The Sieur de Monts Nature Center, its parking lots and bathrooms, plus the Spring House and Wild Gardens of Acadia ― a total area of two football fields ― have been iced in for most of the week. Park officials announced the closing of the parking lot on Friday although that area had been closed to motorized traffic since the park’s main Loop Road closed on Dec 1.
Bucksport town manager appointed to state environmental protection board
Ellsworth American - Friday, January 26, 2018 

Governor Paul LePage has appointed Bucksport Town Manager Susan Lessard to the Maine Board of Environmental Protection.
New report says future of Maine lobster industry could be worse
Ellsworth American - Friday, January 26, 2018 

Warming ocean waters will have a big impact on Maine’s $547 million lobster industry in coming years, but the future would look a lot bleaker if not for the conservation efforts of the state’s thousands of lobster fishermen. According to a study, conservation practices long advocated by Maine lobstermen are helping make the lobster fishery more resilient to climate change. The study concluded that in the Gulf of Maine, the lobster fishery is vulnerable to future temperature increases. As the water continues to warm, the lobster population is likely to shift farther north and eastward, off Canada, where the waters are likely to remain cooler. Though that could bode ill for the future of Maine’s lobster fishery, the scientists say, continued conservation efforts can mitigate the impacts of future warming.
Cape Elizabeth homeowners file lawsuit claiming ownership of seaside ‘paper streets’
Portland Press Herald - Friday, January 26, 2018 

Several waterfront residents in Cape Elizabeth filed a lawsuit against the town Friday morning – one week before community meetings are scheduled to be held in the hope of resolving a heated neighborhood dispute over so-called paper streets and seaside public access. The residents of Pilot Point Road are seeking a declaratory judgment that they own an undeveloped portion of Surf Side Avenue that runs along the rocky shore, between their multimillion-dollar homes and Broad Cove. The plaintiffs claim the town has no rights over that section of Surf Side Avenue because town officials allowed them to encroach on the undeveloped street and “(exhibit) ownership in a manner inconsistent with a public way for a period exceeding twenty years.”
Flooding encases buildings, parking lot at Acadia National Park
Portland Press Herald - Friday, January 26, 2018 

Acadia National Park’s Facebook page shows more than a foot of ice and water encasing the Sieur de Monts Nature Center, parking lots, bathroom structures, Spring House and Wild Gardens of Acadia. The flooded areas are in the eastern part of the park, near Bar Harbor. A brook runs through the area. The area is closed at least until the water recedes.
Boiling controversy: Louisiana experts reject notion that crustaceans feel pain
Portland Press Herald - Friday, January 26, 2018 

On the heels of the news that Switzerland now requires chefs to stun lobsters before boiling them, a report from New Orleans TV station WVUE says crawfish are wired the same as lobsters. There’s no reason to think the crustaceans feel pain, crustacean expert Greg Lutz said. “Psychologically, there is no reason to believe or expect that a crustacean has the nervous system to process and feel pain. They simply are not equipped with that. A crustacean’s nervous system is a lot like an insect’s nervous system,” the LSU professor said. The Lobster Institute at the University of Maine agrees.
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