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
Are wind farms bad for the environment?
Fox News - Friday, February 23, 2018 

Tucker Carlson interviews Chris O'Neil of the Citizens' Task Force on Wind Power - Maine.
Audubon Center damaged
Scarborough Leader - Friday, February 23, 2018 

Scarborough Marsh Audubon Center Director Linda Woodard said there is work, both physical and fundraising, to be done between now and May when the nature center opens for the season. The floor of the store and nature center, located on Pine Point Road, were damaged due to coastal flooding that hit the area in mid-January.
RGGI Climate Effort Gains Steam
AMC Outdoors - Friday, February 23, 2018 

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative—widely considered one of the most powerful domestic tools against climate change in the absence of federal action—is poised to extend its geographical reach along the East Coast this year. Although no single regional program could be as effective as coordinated national action to tackle climate change, RGGI’s growth could take some of the sting out of President Trump’s vows to withdraw from the Paris climate pact and to stop the regulatory process that would have set in motion President Obama’s Clean Power Plan. Last year, the governors of the nine RGGI states—Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont—extended their commitment through 2030 and strengthened the initiative’s antipollution goals.
Déjà Views: Land and Water Conservation Fund in Peril—Again
AMC Outdoors - Friday, February 23, 2018 

The 53-year-old Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) has funded more than 42,000 projects, protecting land in all 50 states. Raising public and Congressional support for LWCF is a priority, and never more so than in 2018, when the program will expire on September 30 if Congress does not act to save it.
Democrat Jim Boyle withdraws from Maine governor’s race
Portland Press Herald - Friday, February 23, 2018 

Jim Boyle, a former state senator from Gorham, announced Friday that he is dropping out of the Democratic race for governor. Boyle had announced his campaign for the Democratic nomination in July but struggled to gain traction in a crowded field of candidates. Boyle said in a statement announcing his withdrawal from the race. “Climate change threatens our state, our country and the world. We can’t wait any longer for policies that move us away from fossil fuels and toward a more sustainable future.”

Coast Guard preparing for new Kennebec River Ice-breaking effort
Kennebec Journal - Friday, February 23, 2018 

Sunday marks the end of the smelt season at Baker’s Smelt Camp in Pittston — just three days before the U.S. Coast Guard is expected to start its second ice-breaking mission on the Kennebec River this year. But camp owner Richard Potter said Friday he’s not sure whether the cutters will be able to make much headway. “We still have 32 inches down here,” Potter said. Out in the channel of the river, he said, the ice is about 22 inches thick.
Crashes involving deer quadruple in Aroostook County
Bangor Daily News - Friday, February 23, 2018 

Vehicle crashes with deer have quadrupled in Aroostook County in the last five years as the animal’s population has grown in its northern range, according to Shawn Haskell, regional wildlife biologist with Maine Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. Last winter a feeding operation in an area around the Allagash contributed to 100 deer crashes with logging trucks. The deer population is growing due to reduced coyote predation, supplemental feeding and “relatively mild winters,” Haskell said.
Letter: No oil drilling on NH/Maine coastline
Seacoast Online - Friday, February 23, 2018 

I attended a special meeting Wednesday night at Rye Public Library about Trump’s terrible plan for oil drilling rigs off NH shores. Who in the world is going to want to eat an oil-soaked lobster when an oil rig spills crude oil along New England and destroys our shores and fishing industry in Georges Banks in the Gulf of Maine? No oil drilling off NH and Maine. Everyone must call, email, write your Reps in Congress and Senate and Mr. Trump and Zincke to back off on their mission to drill along our coastlines. ~ Denise Brown, Portsmouth
Rick Perry and Ryan Zinke team up to deliver wildly hypocritical speech at CPAC
Think Progress - Friday, February 23, 2018 

Calling himself a “foot soldier in the army” of the conservative moment, Energy Secretary Rick Perry on Friday hailed President Trump’s war on government rules. Perry, speaking at the annual CPAC convention told the audience that regulatory restraint is “how you change this country forever.” His fellow cabinet member on the stage, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, remarked how the growing use of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has made a big difference in the nation’s ability to meet its energy needs and become an energy exporter. Zinke failed to mention that taxpayer-funded federal research programs helped unlock fracking technology. The Interior secretary also credited Trump with turning the US into a net exporter of liquefied natural gas, even though the United States was on track to become a net exporter of LNG no matter who won the presidency in 2016.
Higher demand, lower technology costs drive plans for indoor salmon farms
Portland Press Herald - Friday, February 23, 2018 

Increased demand for sustainable seafood and reduced technology costs are stimulating growth in indoor aquaculture, including two Atlantic salmon farms planned for midcoast Maine. Portland-based Whole Oceans announced plans Thursday for a $250 million indoor farm at the site of the former Verso paper mill in Bucksport. The news came less than a month after Nordic Aquafarms, a Norwegian company, released plans for a $150 million indoor salmon farm in nearby Belfast.
PCSWCD Encourages Communities to be Informed About Invasive Species During National Invasive Species Week
Bangor Daily News - Friday, February 23, 2018 

The Piscataquis County Soil and Water Conservation District in conjunction with the Maine Association of Conservation Districts is dedicated to informing the public about how the community can work to lessen invasive forest pests and aquatic plants in Piscataquis County and beyond. This year the National Invasive Species Week is Feb. 26 through March 2. The term “invasive” refers to non-native species that have been introduced into habitats such as forests, fields, or waterbodies, and become dominant and disruptive to native species.
‘How to be a better environmentalist’: professors, community activists weigh in
Bowdoin (College) Orient - Friday, February 23, 2018 

Bowdoin College students, faculty, staff and community members packed the Shannon Room last night to consider what types of environmental activism are most effective. The panel, titled “Consumerism, Activism, and Individualism: How to be a Better Environmentalist,” was planned by Lauren Hickey ’20 on behalf of the Office of Sustainability. The panel featured Associate Professor of Economics Erik Nelson, Executive Director of Maine Conservation Voters Maureen Drouin ’96, owner of Morning Glory Natural Foods Toby Tarpinian, and Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies and Government Shana Starobin. All the panelists emphasized that individual and collective actions are not mutually exclusive and both may be important.
Tugboat sinks off coast of Kennebunkport, spills thousands of gallons of fuel
Portland Press Herald - Friday, February 23, 2018 

U.S. Coast Guard officials are investigating the sinking of a tugboat off the coast of Kennebunkport, spilling thousands of gallons of diesel fuel offshore.
Plan To Try To Fix Scallop Dispute Up For Debate
Associated Press - Friday, February 23, 2018 

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is looking to tweak the scallop fishing rules in the Northern Gulf of Maine. Small-boat fishermen in the area have complained in recent years that they are being squeezed out of the fishery by bigger boats, which operate under a different set of rules. NOAA wants to make the rules more equitable by changing the way it divides the scallop fishing quota in the area, which is one of America's most fertile scalloping grounds. The government is taking comments until March 7. The Atlantic scallop fishing year begins on April 1.
New England Has a Power Problem
Wall Street Journal - Friday, February 23, 2018 

The region is struggling to meet electricity needs and ambitious green power goals.
Editorial: Maine whiffed on big chance to study electricity ripoff
Bangor Daily News - Friday, February 23, 2018 

Hundreds of thousands of Mainers have been hurt by companies selling them electricity at a needless premium, by a market that promised lower prices through competition and hasn’t delivered. After more than five years of this experiment, a report issued last week by the Maine Public Utilities Commission confirmed what we already knew: Maine’s competitive electricity market has harmed customers and sucked at least $77 million out of Maine’s economy over five years. That’s unconscionable. If companies decline to tell customers which products are similar enough to compare on price, regulators need to step in and require that. If companies say they can’t abide by those kinds of restrictions because it would raise their costs and thus the costs to customers — a favored canard — regulators can go ahead and shut it down.
Democrats, Republicans Split On Hybrid, Electric Fee
Associated Press - Friday, February 23, 2018 

Maine Republican Gov. Paul LePage's proposal to add an annual fee on electric and hybrid cars has divided Democrats and Republicans. A legislative panel voted 6-5 Thursday along party lines in favor of killing the bill. The LePage administration's proposed legislation would tack on a $250 fee for electric vehicles and a $150 fee for hybrids to pay for highway maintenance. The administration says owners of hybrids and electric vehicles pay less in gas taxes than other vehicle owners. The bill would provide some revenue but far short of the state's highway funding shortfall. Democratic Rep. Andrew McLean has offered an alternate plan to also increase the gas tax and vehicle registration fees.
Column: It’s time to start planning for spring birding festivals
Bangor Daily News - Friday, February 23, 2018 

I hear bird sounds that others don’t. It’s not a particularly useful superpower, but it does make me handy to have along at birding festivals. I’ll be guiding for three this spring. Over the weekend of May 18-20, Deer Isle and Stonington host the Wings, Waves, & Woods Festival. The Downeast Spring Birding Festival takes place over Memorial Day Weekend. The Acadia Birding Festival is May 31-June 3. ~ Bob Duchesne
Plan for giant Maine salmon farm spurs local concerns about smelly fish guts
Bangor Daily News - Friday, February 23, 2018 

As a Norwegian aquaculture firm tries to find enough groundwater to operate sustainably in Belfast for the next several decades, locals are full of questions ranging from how the company will control water quality to how they’ll keep all those fish guts from stinking up the place. The project, which would bring one of the world’s largest indoor aquaculture sites to Belfast, could cost up to $500 million and produce 33,000 tons of salmon each year. Americans consume about 500,000 tons of salmon each year, but about 95 percent of that is imported. Nordic says it won’t build on the site if it finds there isn’t enough sustainable fresh and salt water to fuel its operations without overextending local water resources.
Editorial: Projects put new spin on Maine’s old industries
Portland Press Herald - Friday, February 23, 2018 

LignaCLT Maine, a division of a North Carolina-based company, plans to manufacture cross-laminated timber. The forests that once were turned into pulp and paper may instead be used to support the next generation of buildings. There was also good news this week out of one of Maine’s other foundational industries. Nordic Aquafarms of Norway wants to build one of the world’s largest land-based salmon farms in Belfast, signaling an initial investment of $150 million. What’s old in Maine is new again, and we can’t embrace it soon enough.

Opinion: Trump’s proposed budget cuts threaten national parks
Portland Press Herald - Friday, February 23, 2018 

President Trump has called for a 17% cut in the annual operating budget of national parks, including Acadia. A reduction in funds could eliminate Acadia’s entire seasonal workforce. The loss of these employees would dramatically curtail or end routine visitor services, diminish resource protection and allow Acadia to deteriorate and fall into disrepair. The mission of the National Park Service – providing for public use and enjoyment while protecting park resources and values, now and for future generations – will suffer. Visitors to Acadia National Park annually spend over $274 million in the local economy and create nearly 4,200 jobs, with a cumulative impact of $333 million. Surely this nation is wealthy enough to fully fund our collective national heritage contained in America’s premier National Park Service. ~ Sheridan Steele, retired Acadia National Park Service superintendent
Letter: Reject hunting amendment
Bangor Daily News - Friday, February 23, 2018 

LD 11, a proposed constitutional amendment for a right to hunt and fish, currently being considered by the Maine Legislature, is a solution in search of a problem. Why are the activities of hunting, trapping and fishing being considered for a uniquely elevated status above all other hobbies that Mainers participate in? Nobody is trying to stop people from doing them. Citizens have placed wildlife issues on the state ballot to try to regulate certain methods that society feels violate the ethics of sportsmanship or fair chase, but not ban hunting altogether. There is just no evidence that this is a problem at all. Our legislators should reject this ill-advised solution in search of a problem and vote no on LD 11. ~ Wendy Andresen, Camden
Maine Gov. LePage Places Moratorium on New Wind Energy Projects
Heartland Institute - Thursday, February 22, 2018 

Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) signed an executive order imposing a de facto moratorium on permits for new wind turbines in western and coastal areas of the states. The moratorium will remain in place at least until the newly created Maine Wind Energy Advisory Commission conducts a study on the economic impact of wind farms on the state. LePage’s January 24 order is the latest in a series of moratoria in states across the nation concerned about the potential effects of wind turbines on human health, national security, and tourism. LePage has long criticized wind energy for raising consumer electricity costs and being too reliant on government subsidies. As an alternative to new wind and solar installations in Maine, LePage supported importing less expensive existing hydropower from Quebec, Canada.
Grant funds could finish off visitors’ center, other Bond Brook Recreation Area amenities in Augusta
Kennebec Journal - Thursday, February 22, 2018 

The first phase of improvements to Bond Brook Recreation Area could be completed using $50,000 in grant funding. The money is expected to help finish off projects begun at the city-owned area located roughly between the Augusta State Airport, Mount Vernon Avenue, Bond Brook and the urban area of the city, including the visitors’ center building, trail signs and trail development. Last year the city received a $50,000 grant from Friends of Maine’s Mountains to be used for capital improvements to the 300-acre recreation area featuring trails for hiking, mountain biking, skiing, snowshoeing, birding and other nonmotorized recreational uses.
ConEdison Withdraws from UMaine Energy Contract
Maine Public - Thursday, February 22, 2018 

In a letter to the University of Maine's Office of Procurement, the general manager for ConEdison Solutions says the decision to withdraw was prompted by uncertainty over its ability to lease power-generating assets in the former Expera Mill in Old Town. Without that guarantee, the company was unable to provide a firm pricing offer or deliver a plan. There are 14 remaining respondents that expressed interest in developing proposals.
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