June 19, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Wednesday, June 19, 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
Save Right Whales
Action Alert - Wednesday, June 19, 2019 

New England’s iconic whale is on the brink of extinction. A bill in Congress called Scientific Assistance for Very Endangered (“SAVE”) Right Whales could help this key species recover. ~ Conservation Law Foundation
Water: What is has to teach us, Jun 25
Event - Posted - Tuesday, June 18, 2019 

Learn about fresh water ecosystems and new aquaculture operations in the MidCoast region. At Topsham Public Library, June 25, 6 pm. Sponsored by Cathance River Education Alliance.
Proposed Coyote Center, Jun 24
Event - Posted - Monday, June 17, 2019 

Biologist Geri Vistein will share an informative film about the future Coyote Center in Maine, followed by a discussion of Maine’s coyotes. At Lithgow Public Library, Augusta, June 24, 6:30 pm.
Teen Wilderness Expedition, July 23-25
Announcement - Sunday, June 16, 2019 

The Teen Wilderness Expedition is a 3-day, 2-night, all-inclusive adventure for 12-16 year olds at Little Lyford Lodge, July 23-25. Offered by Piscataquis County Soil and Water Conservation District and Appalachian Mountain Club.
Maine State Museum hosts Bike Day, Jun 22
Event - Posted - Saturday, June 15, 2019 

Join the Maine State Museum, Bicycle Coalition of Maine and the Maine State Library in a free family event to commemorate the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote and learn about the benefits of safe, relaxed bike riding. At Maine State Museum, June 22, 10 am - 1 pm.
Woodland Management with Birds in Mind, Jun 22
Event - Posted - Saturday, June 15, 2019 

A Forestry for Maine Birds workshop for landowners, foresters and loggers interested in learning how they can support Maine’s forest songbirds. At Somerset County Cooperative Extension office, Skowhegan, and on the adjacent Yankee Woodlot Demonstration Forest, June 22, 9 am - noon.
Hike Puzzle Mt., Jun 22
Event - Posted - Saturday, June 15, 2019 

A moderate to strenuous hike of 8.5 miles. Cross several exposed granite boulders and ledges offering views of the Sunday River ski area, Grafton Notch, and the Presidentials, June 22, pre-register. Sponsored by Appalachian Mountain Club.
Androscoggin River Canoe & Kayak River Race, Jun 22
Event - Posted - Saturday, June 15, 2019 

This event is open to all to launch canoes, kayaks, paddle boards, (and more) into the Androscoggin River and complete one of three courses of varying length and challenge. At Festival Plaza, Auburn, June 22, 9 am, $15 for single paddler, $25 for a double, benefits Androscoggin Land Trust.
Plants of Corea Heath, Jun 22
Event - Posted - Saturday, June 15, 2019 

Join Jill Weber, botanist and co-author of The Plants of Acadia National Park, to learn about carnivorous plants, orchids, stunted trees and shrubs and cotton-grass. At Corea Heath, Goldsboro, June 22, 8:30 am. Sponsored by Downeast Audubon.
Maine Wildlife Park open house, Jun 21
Event - Posted - Friday, June 14, 2019 

The Maine Wildlife Park in Gray will hold an open house with free admission, June 21, 5-8 pm. Feeding times for moose, lynx, foxes, cougars, vultures and bears will be posted.
Call for a presidential primary debate on climate change
Action Alert - Thursday, June 13, 2019 

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez has rejected a presidential primary debate on climate change. 15 Democratic presidential candidates have joined the call. So can you. ~ CREDO Action
Trekking through Time
Announcement - Thursday, June 13, 2019 

From June through October, Lakes Environmental Association, Loon Echo Land Trust, Greater Lovell Land Trust, Upper Saco Valley Land Trust, and Western Foothills Land Trust will host the Trekking through Time Series. Once a month throughout the summer and early fall, each organization will host a historical tour of one of its conservation properties.
Help document impact on shell middens, Jun 18
Announcement - Tuesday, June 11, 2019 

Many cultural artifacts of Maine's first coastal residents are preserved in shell middens, but these sites are disappearing as sea levels rise, collectors dig into the middens, and visitors walk on them. Maine Midden Minders is developing a database of erosion conditions at middens. Volunteer training at Coastal Rivers’ Education Center, Damariscotta, June 18, 3-7 pm.
“Dog-Friendly Hikes in Maine” book launch, Jun 18
Event - Posted - Tuesday, June 11, 2019 

Book signing and presentation for “Dog-Friendly Hikes in Maine” by Aislinn Sarnacki, which contains detailed descriptions and maps of 35 hikes across Maine that are ideal for dogs and their owners. At Epic Sports, Bangor, June 18, 5-7:30 pm.
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News Items
Ospreys’ recovery from pollution and shooting is a global conservation success story
Other - Tuesday, February 26, 2019 

A hundred years ago, farmers in coastal New England knew that nesting Ospreys were vigilant watchdogs, quick to chase “chicken-hawks” and other predators away. But as fish eaters, Ospreys were no threat to farm animals. And they were trusting enough to live comfortably near humans. So farmers lured them by building them places to nest. Although these clever farmers didn’t know it, they were pioneering methods that would help to bring Ospreys back from the edge of extinction decades later. As recounted in the book, “Ospreys: The Revival of a Global Raptor,” these birds have made a spectacular recovery from chemical pollution, guns and traps, thanks to many dedicated conservationists and an amazing ability to thrive in close quarters with humans.
Legislature acts on crossbows, spring bear hunts, and more
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Tuesday, February 26, 2019 

The legislature’s Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee has acted on several interesting bills. A bill (LD 337) to allow a spring bear hunt went down to a quick and unanimous defeat. A bill (LD 27) to allow the use of crossbows in the bowhunting deer season was unanimously approved. A bill (LD 79) to protect shooting ranges won the unanimous support of the committee. A bill (LD 490) to allow DIFW to expand the trapping season up to 21 days due to bad weather also won the unanimous support of the committee. And a bill (LD 525) to increase the snowmobile registration fee from $45 to $55 was unanimously opposed. All of these bills will now go to the full legislature for action.
Maine shuts down scalloping areas as season winds down
Associated Press - Tuesday, February 26, 2019 

Maine fishery regulators are closing a handful of areas to scallop fishing as the season begins to wind down for the year. Maine is home to a fishery for some of the most sought-after scallops in the seafood world. The fishery begins in late fall and runs to early spring every year. The Maine Department of Marine Resources said it closed down four fishing areas on Sunday to protect the scallop populations.
Iceberg twice the size of New York City is about to break off of Antarctica
Washington Post - Tuesday, February 26, 2019 

A chasm and a crack on the Brunt Ice Shelf in Antarctica are creeping closer and closer to one another, and when the two finally meet, a slab of ice twice the size of New York City will break away and float out to sea. Its size is not what makes it noteworthy — it’s what the break itself says about the natural process of iceberg calving, the way climate change might be destabilizing other ice shelves like Brunt, and how the movement could jeopardize the critical scientific research human residents have conducted there for more than 60 years.
Experts seeking answers for surge in strandings of harp seals this winter
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, February 26, 2019 

Maine is seeing a significant increase in the number of harp seal strandings in 2019, and marine researchers and rescue officials are not sure what is causing the sudden surge. Reports of tired or weak seals along the coast come after more than 1,000 seals – mostly harbor seals – were found sick or dead along the Maine coast in 2018. Federal biologists have not found any evidence that the harp seals are suffering from the distemper virus that afflicted harbor seals last year. A federal official and the head of a Maine marine mammal rescue agency said the harp seal strandings may be related to a lack of coastal snow and ice this winter for the seals to eat, causing them to become dehydrated.
Blue Hill to lose historic bridge as part of $7 million replacement plan
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, February 26, 2019 

The life of one of Hancock County’s most iconic structures is drawing to a close. The Falls Bridge that carries Route 157 traffic between Salt Pond and Blue Hill Harbor will be replaced in three years because it is simply getting too old to warrant further usage. Its proposed replacement, an enhanced girder bridge, will be safer and is expected to last 100 years, twice as long as a repaired Falls Bridge, according to local and state officials.
Column: All the different colors of the ocean
Times Record - Tuesday, February 26, 2019 

The explanation why the ocean is the color that it is at that moment in that place is multi-faceted. But, it can be broken down into three key components – light absorption, depth, and particles in the water. ~ Susan Olcott
Letter: Legislation would protect environment, economy
Times Record - Tuesday, February 26, 2019 

Given the urgency of combating climate change, it’s nice to see the Maine Legislature taking some action. It’s even more gratifying to see that Rep. Ralph Tucker, of Brunswick, is leading the charge. We’re still seeing an influx of invasive species like ticks, more unpredictable weather with drought conditions in two of the last 3 summers, and sea level rise eating away at our coastline. We clearly aren’t doing enough. The new bill sets a goal of reducing carbon emissions to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050 – in line with where the science says we need to be to prevent some of the worst impacts of climate change. It also directs the Maine DEP to set interim goals for 2030 and 2040, and to evaluate and measure emissions so we can see how well we’re doing. ~ Nathaniel Blackford, Brunswick
Letter: Plastic bags best for environment
Kennebec Journal - Tuesday, February 26, 2019 

According to David Tyler, sustainability expert at the University of Oregon, “The carbon footprint — that is, the amount of greenhouse gas that is produced during the life cycle of a plastic bag — is less than that of a paper bag or a cotton tote bag. If the most important environmental impact you wanted to alleviate was global warming, then you would go with plastic.” The science is clear. American-made plastic retail bags are 100 percent recyclable and made from a byproduct of natural gas refining, not petroleum. Every life cycle assessment of shopping bags shows that plastic bags are the most environmentally friendly option. Climate change will require a big solution, but pushing people towards products that are less environmentally friendly is not the answer. ~ Matt Seaholm, American Progressive Bag Alliance, Arlington, Virginia
Letter: CMP power line project could usher in dystopia
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, February 26, 2019 

Sometime in the not-too-distant future: “Gee, honey, aren’t you glad we decided to vacation in Maine? We can zip toward home from Calais on this new East-West Highway – and there’s lots to do along the way! Where the highway intersects Route 201 in the West Forks, there’s the brand-new Durgin Hill Plaza. Plus, just up Route 201, there’s a huge new power line where we can get on a shuttle bus and tour views of all the windmills scattered throughout the western Maine mountains and into Canada. Maine has so much to offer!” Don’t laugh. If Janet Mills and her gang of “giveaways” have their way, this could happen. Say “no” to big business and let Maine’s natural resources be our best asset. ~ Jim Jones, East Boothbay
Letter: Transmission line would pose threat to Maine tourism, clean-energy industries
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, February 26, 2019 

Gov. Mills is wrong to support New England Clean Energy Connect. This transmission line will negatively impact Mainers of every stripe, from the wide-ranging impacts of destroying one of the last contiguous forests in the eastern U.S., to the negative impact this project will have on our vital tourism industry. If we turn our Maine woods into urban New Jersey, why would anyone continue to visit our state? This project will harm vital habitats. Not to mention that this project would not reduce carbon emissions and would pose a threat to local clean-energy projects. ~ Daniel Jepson, South Berwick
Letter: As proposed, CMP plan offers Maine ratepayers no financial benefits
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, February 26, 2019 

A Central Maine Power project focused on both real and ongoing direct benefits to Maine residents would have my support if it contained these two components, or similar:
• An initial 20-year land lease arrangement with rental fees going to the Maine General Fund, where the Legislature would agree on best usage every year.
• A second parallel transmission line to provide cheaper power to Maine residents. Rates would be guaranteed at, say, a 5 to 10 percent discount to market.
Why consider a plan that promises Maine no opportunity to participate in the potential cost efficiencies related to lower-cost energy passing through our state to Massachusetts? ~ Charlie Galloway, Kennebunk
Letter: A Green New Deal pitch
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, February 26, 2019 

There is a simple way to sell the Green New Deal to at least 35 percent of the county. All they need is a mind-numbing chant like: “What do we want? A Green New Deal! Who’s going to pay for it? Mexico!” ~ Rollin Thurlow, Atkinson
Letter: Bold action needed
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, February 26, 2019 

The Feb. 21 editorial in the BDN entitled “More Americans are upset about climate change” suggested in that instead of adopting the proposed Green New Deal “smaller incremental steps would be more politically palatable” to address catastrophic climate change causes. The time for small incremental steps has long since gone. We all need bold action at the federal level now. ~ David Dietrich, Blue Hill
Letter: No time for small steps
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, February 26, 2019 

The BDN’s climate change editorial criticized the Green New Deal. The editorial called for “smaller incremental steps.” It singled out so-called liberal ideas of a living wage and union protections, etc. as non-environmental stipulations as though the issues are not connected. Those provisions are included to provide a safety net for American citizens who are (or will be) affected by catastrophic climate change and job losses while we shift into emerging industries. It’s past time for more “politically palatable” solutions. We missed that chance 20 years ago. It is time for the U.S. to face reality, adapt, and rebuild a middle class. ~ Hayden Foreman, Blue Hill
Letter: Mills off the mark with NECEC
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, February 26, 2019 

Gov. Janet Mills has just given us a glimpse of her true character last week by supporting the proposed Central Maine Power transmission line through western Maine’s wilderness. After running on her strong support for Maine’s out of doors heritage and ecology, she supported a project that is a direct affront to both. If this project was such a benefit, why have other states like New Hampshire soundly rejected similar ones? If it was such a benefit, why is CMP spending hundreds of millions to get people like the governor to support it? We need to bury the governor will letters and calls expressing our displeasure. ~ Robert Mercer, Bucksport
How many regs could it take to launch 'Green New Deal'?
E&E/Greenwire - Monday, February 25, 2019 

The aim of the "Green New Deal" to remake the U.S. economy has experts in government regulation guessing how the proposal could shape the scope of the nation's environmental standards. Progressives have laid out an ambitious plan for advancing renewable energy and green infrastructure across the United States to help reach zero net global emissions by 2050. While much of the discussion focuses on government investment, some regulatory experts say the "Green New Deal" would require a whole new host of federal rulemaking to aggressively slash greenhouse gases.
The Maine Lobster Union fires co-op CEO
Ellsworth American - Monday, February 25, 2019 

The Maine Lobster Union, Lobster 207, has fired longtime lobster dealer Warren Pettegrow as chief executive officer of its wholesale lobster co-op. According to the letter from the union’s executive board, Pettegrow’s employment as chief executive officer was “terminated” after “an internal investigation prompted by red flags reported by the company’s auditing team.” Reached for comment, Pettegrow emailed the following statement: “Lobster 207 circulated an announcement on April 13 that contains numerous false and defamatory statements about me and my conduct and loyalty to the lobstermen that I have worked with for many years. I strongly deny the false allegations."
Regulatory staff proposes cutting CMP profits for poor performance
Bangor Daily News - Monday, February 25, 2019 

Maine Public Utilities Commission staff have proposed that Central Maine Power Co.’s allowable profit be cut 0.74% - 1.35% because the utility’s service has lagged in recent years. Separately, the PUC in early February threatened sanctions against CMP, including a $500,000 fine and the profit reductions because of the utility’s billing and other problems.
How Will CMP's Proposed Transmission Line Affect Maine's Worst-In-The-Nation Outage Response?
Maine Public - Monday, February 25, 2019 

Central Maine Power’s push to build a controversial new transmission line through western Maine’s forests so that hydropower from Quebec can be served to Massachusetts customers received a big boost last week when Democratic Gov. Janet Mills signed onto the proposal. But questions about the project persist, including: What happens if the state experiences widespread power outages? Opponents of the project say Mainers should be alarmed at the answer. A CMP consultant was asked whether the new transmission line to Massachusetts would be a top priority for CMP crews in the event of a massive outage. The answer was yes.
Maine professor continues to inspire with her ‘beyond limits’ adventures
The County - Monday, February 25, 2019 

When Jacqui Lowman reached the summit of Mount Katahdin in 2015, she not only brought together a group of people to help each other achieve the “impossible” but also began a journey that will take her across the country in an effort to inspire others. Lowman, associate professor of professional communication and journalism at the University of Maine at Presque Isle, became the first person with paraplegia to summit Maine’s tallest mountain with the help of 16 volunteers from Aroostook County. Since then, she also has hiked two sections of the Appalachian Trail in Georgia and Virginia. In June 2019, she will embark on a road trip that will take her and her service dog, Saint, through 15 states and five Canadian provinces as part of an effort to spread the message of BEYOND LIMITS.
Janet Mills won’t join group that supports offshore drilling
Associated Press - Monday, February 25, 2019 

Gov. Janet Mills has reaffirmed her opposition to oil and gas drilling off the state’s coast by declining to participate in a governors’ group. Mills, a Democrat, says Maine will not participate in the Outer Continental Shelf Governors Coalition because of concerns about the toll drilling could take on the state’s environment and marine resources. Mills says oil and gas drilling off of Maine would jeopardize tourism and commercial fisheries. Her position on the issue differs from her predecessor, Republican Gov. Paul LePage, who was a supporter of offshore drilling.
Removal work starts on Richmond property
Kennebec Journal - Monday, February 25, 2019 

Workers to clean up a property on Alexander Reed Road arrived Monday to start work, more than an hour after the owner of that property dropped off a petition at the Town Office to stop that work. David Smith, whose property is subject to a court-ordered cleanup, said Monday he was able to collect the number of signatures required over the weekend and was waiting for the Town Office to open so that he could turn it in. Smith is seeking a halt to the removal work until an open town meeting can be held, at which voters would have the opportunity to vote whether the judgment against Smith ought to be vacated and dismissed with prejudice.
Public Lands Bill Provides ‘Lifeline For Migratory Birds'
American Bird Conservancy - Monday, February 25, 2019 

Passage of the Natural Resources Management Act (S. 47), expected tomorrow in the U.S. House of Representatives, will signify a bipartisan win for birds and people, and a step in the right direction toward advancing wildlife conservation and recreation initiatives. The bill passed the Senate with a vote of 98-2.
Mills pulls Maine out of governors group that advocates offshore oil and gas
Portland Press Herald - Monday, February 25, 2019 

Gov. Janet Mills said Monday that Maine will no longer participate in the Outer Continental Shelf Governors Coalition, a group working to promote an expansion of offshore oil and gas exploration in the Atlantic Ocean. Mills, a Democrat, said in a letter to the coalition’s chair, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey, that the group’s work was “incompatible with Maine’s interests.” In 2015, Maine’s former Republican Gov. Paul LePage joined the coalition, which is seeking to open more federal waters to oil and gas development, making Maine the only New England state in the group.
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