August 21, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Tuesday, August 20, 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
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.
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.
Wabanaki artists, culture event, Aug 24
Event - Posted - Saturday, August 17, 2019 

40+ members of the Penobscot, Passamaquoddy, Micmac and Maliseet tribes will demonstrate traditional Wabanaki art forms, including basketmaking, stone carving, bark etching, beadwork and jewelry, in addition to performances of drumming, singing, dancing and storytelling. At Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village, New Gloucester, August 24, 10 am - 3 pm.
A Toxic Tale: Trump's Environmental Impact, Aug 23
Announcement - Friday, August 16, 2019 

According to the EPA's own analysis, the Trump administration's Affordable Clean Energy rule will result in up to 1,400 more premature deaths a year by 2030. Learn about the impacts of Trump's deregulation campaign on a CNN Special Report "A Toxic Tale: Trump's Environmental Impact." August 23, 10 pm.
Close Encounters of the First Kind, Aug 22
Event - Posted - Thursday, August 15, 2019 

Maine’s First Ship hosts Ken Hamilton for a discussion of the earliest European and indigenous people interactions, from 16th century Jacques Cartier and Basque fishermen to early 17th century French and English explorers. At Bath Freight Shed, Bath, August 22, 7 pm.
Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument Anniversary Celebration, Aug 23-24
Event - Posted - Thursday, August 15, 2019 

Dinner, music, silent auction, awards, and toast to commemorate the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument’s August 24th, 2016 proclamation. At New England Outdoor Center, T1 R8, August 23-24, $25.
Earth Day 2020
Announcement - Thursday, August 15, 2019 

Earth Day, the global environmental movement for a cleaner, greener, safer and more just world for all, turns 50 next year. Want to help?
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News Items
Collins introduces bipartisan bill aimed at helping young and new farmers
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, April 26, 2018 

With the average age of the American farmer creeping upward toward 60, a bipartisan bill introduced in the Senate by Maine Sen. Susan Collins on Thursday aims to offer a leg up to young and beginning farmers nationwide. The Next Generation in Agriculture Act would extend and increase funding for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development program beyond 2018. Maine agricultural groups such as the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association and Maine Farmland Trust, which works to match young farmers with aging farmers who want to retire but want farming to continue on their land, praised Collins for sponsoring the bill.
Man plunges 40 feet from cliff into surf at Acadia
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, April 26, 2018 

An Ellsworth man escaped serious injury after a 40-foot fall into the pounding surf of Acadia National Park earlier this week. A U.S. Coast Guard boat pulled the 20-something man from a beach closest to the Gorham Mountain parking lot, under the cliffs between Sand Beach and Thunder Hole, park spokeswoman Christie Anastasia said.
Pingree Tells EPA Secretary Pruitt: 'We're Not Moving In the Right Direction'
Maine Public - Thursday, April 26, 2018 

Maine Congressperson Chellie Pingree sharply criticized Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt for ethics issues and for policies that she says are weakening environmental protections. At a hearing on the EPA’s budget Thursday, Pingree blasted Pruitt for denying the importance of global warming and his actions seeking to roll back environmental protections. Pingree also questioned his fitness to serve as Administrator of the EPA given the ten ethics investigations he is currently facing.
Maine transportation chief warns that ferries to Islesboro will stop if threats don’t
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, April 26, 2018 

Maine Transportation Commissioner David Bernhardt has authorized the suspension of ferry service to Islesboro if alleged threats against ferry service employees continue. The alleged threats come in the wake of a fare hike by the Maine State Ferry Service that would cause a roundtrip ticket for Islesboro residents to nearly double. Bernhardt sent the warning in an April 19 letter addressed to Islesboro Town Manager Janet Anderson. The letter alleges that passengers on the ferry, which shuttles Islesboro residents to the Lincolnville terminal, have tried to engage staff and crews with their “displeasure about the new rate structure.”
These bills could change who decides environmental rules in Michigan
Other - Thursday, April 26, 2018 

Michigan Radio - Critics of legislation proposed in Michigan say it opens the door to political appointees from the private sector, including some of the very industries that might be resisting environmental regulation. That's what happened in Maine. Gov. Paul LePage chose an official from Nestle Waters to be a member of the board that has the power to rewrite Maine’s environmental rules.
In Tense Exchange, Pingree Blasts EPA’s Pruitt on Denial of Climate Change
Other - Thursday, April 26, 2018 

At a hearing of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior and the Environment today, Congresswoman Chellie Pingree questioned Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt on his denial of climate change and his weakening of environmental standards. After chronicling Pruitt’s rolling back the EPA’s efforts to curb climate change—and his suggestion that climate change could benefit the country—Pingree read two letters written by young students in her District. The constituents were concerned that the fishing communities they have grown up in would be unalterably changed by warming waters, rising sea levels, and a shift in lobster habitat.
Editorial: Monument review a monumental mistake
Maine Environmental News - Thursday, April 26, 2018 

April 26 marks the one-year anniversary of the executive order signed by President Trump, which directed a review of more than two-dozen national monuments. Maine Gov. Paul LePage lobbied Trump to undo the designation of Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument as part of the review. Despite LePage’s efforts, Interior Secretary Zinke did not recommend scuttling the Katahdin monument. LePage did not succeed in getting Trump to kill the Maine monument. However, he did get invited to a dinner party at the White House this week. In the long term, both Trump and LePage will fail, but the damage they do along the way will take generations to repair. History is likely to assess their misguided leadership on conservation and environmental issues as a monumental mistake.
Column: The decline of the birds
Kennebec Journal - Thursday, April 26, 2018 

Birdlife International’s “State of the World’s Birds” for 2018 reports that at least 40 percent of the world’s bird species have declining populations. One in 8 of all birds is threatened with extinction. “The State of North America’s Birds 2016,” a combined summary of bird population studies, says that one-third of all North American bird species are in some kind of trouble. Maine’s Endangered Species List (last updated in 2009) includes 10 birds. Ten more bird species are on our Threatened Species List. “What is required today is not simply a ban on pesticides, but rather a paradigm shift. ~ Dana Wilde
Spring offers time to develop game plan for marine resource action
Coastal Journal - Thursday, April 26, 2018 

I left the Maine Fishermen’s Forum this year not only with new ideas, but also with new partnerships with organizations I didn’t know were working on marine resource education in the schools. This led to a follow-up meeting with the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, the Kennebec Estuary Land Trust, and the Schoodic Institute to further share ideas. We are now working together to coordinate our projects so that we can better address real marine resource needs going forward. ~ Susan Olcott
Wiscasset receives federal funds to clean Mason Station
Times Record - Thursday, April 26, 2018 

Wiscasset is getting a helping hand from the federal government as it works to clean up Birch Point peninsula. The town will receive $400,000 from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Brownfields Program to begin the clean up of two ash ponds at the ormer oil/coal-fired Mason Station power plant at Birch Point. The Brownfields Program helps local communities clean up contaminated sites for economic development.
The Last Explorer
Yankee Magazine - Thursday, April 26, 2018 

The components of the Chris Tree style were clear from the start: history, to show how the past percolated into the present; crisp observation; bright language; and an insistent curiosity, which led her to offbeat characters away from usual tourist haunts. Since her first travel article 50 years ago, she has never stopped telling travel stories. When she became a mother (three sons), she left the Boston Globe to freelance for the paper as well as for Yankee, and to write travel books. She has driven a succession of cars since the first VW and has seen the odometers spin to just shy of a million miles—nearly all in the service of showing off New England to the world.
Federal court clears way for Maine botanical gardens’ $30M expansion
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, April 26, 2018 

A federal judge has approved a consent agreement in two lawsuits, allowing Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay to move ahead with a $30 million expansion already well underway. U.S. District Court Judge Jon Levy signed the decree nearly three weeks after hearing arguments by attorneys for the botanical gardens, the town of Boothbay and the Anthony family, whose property abuts the gardens and who were named as intervenors in the suit. The gardens will agree to place a permanent conservation easement on 75 acres of its land within the watershed of Knickerbocker Lake.
MOFGA Urges House to Drop Partisanship, Create Meaningful Agricultural Opportunities, and Protect Our Health and Environment
Free Press - Thursday, April 26, 2018 

The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association joins more than 100 grassroots organizations across the country in opposing a draft of the 2018 Farm Bill, which the United States House Agriculture Committee approved on April 18. The Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 (H.R. 2) passed out of committee along strict party lines. All committee Republicans voted to support the bill, and all Democrats, including Maine Representative Chellie Pingree, voted to oppose.
Opinion: Listen to our wildlife biologists. We can avoid more quixotic boondoggles that way.
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, April 26, 2018 

Most half-baked bills are intercepted by Maine Legislature's Inland Fisheries and Wildlife before reaching committee. But inept and baffling decisions aren’t limited to legislators: Governors routinely appoint controversial individuals to lead state agencies. State biologists don’t have all the answers, but they know more about fish and wildlife issues than politicians. Is it too much to ask legislators to be open-minded to sound science and to treat public servants more respectfully? ~ Ron Joseph
National Security Impacts of Climate Change
Natural Resources Council of Maine - Thursday, April 26, 2018 

In April, two forums were held to explore how climate change is disrupting communities around the world and impacting America’s national security. Both events were co-sponsored by the Natural Resources Council of Maine, American Security Project, and the World Affairs Council of Maine and were held at the University of Southern Maine in Portland. You can watch videos of both events.
Maine ice going, going...
Maine Government News - Thursday, April 26, 2018 

"Ice Out" is defined as when you can navigate unimpeded from one end of the water body to the other. Here is the latest list of lakes and ponds in Maine where there may still be ice in coves or along the shoreline in some areas, but when a person can traverse the entire waterbody without being stopped by ice floes.
Belfast Cohousing: Living at the Speed of Trust
Free Press - Thursday, April 26, 2018 

Ten years ago the Ecovillage was an experiment on paper. Now, it’s a fully occupied fact. The path from idea in 2007 to breaking ground wasn’t smooth. It was like incorporating a new town, said Mike Shannon. “It was all about trust,” he said. “We were all different, and we had to meld different values and get on the same page. In the end, facilitation was crucial to making it happen. We were close to breaking ground and couldn’t agree on whether to do it in the fall or wait until spring.” The $8 million development that became the Ecovillage is three miles from downtown Belfast.
EPA’s Pruitt unapologetic during tough questioning over scandals
Washington Post - Thursday, April 26, 2018 

With his status at the Environmental Protection Agency increasingly on the line, Administrator Scott Pruitt faced a tough grilling Thursday morning on Capitol Hill but was unapologetic about his leadership and activities. He attributed the vast majority of allegations about his ethics and management decisions to policy critics. President Trump is not ready to remove Pruitt from his post, but he has become more concerned as new allegations have continued to surface. Marc Short, a senior Trump aide and longtime Koch brothers political operative, remains one of the few in the administration willing to defend him.
With turkey season looming, biologist wants more Mainers to take part in hunt
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, April 26, 2018 

A burgeoning wild turkey population has state biologists hoping even more hunters choose to take part when the season opens for youths on Saturday and for everyone else on Monday. “Our hunt plan for the restoration period was a very conservative one,” said Brad Allen, bird group leader for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. “Then we realized we’d been too conservative there….We want more people hunting, and we want more birds shot.” Maine has between 16,000 and 18,000 wild turkey hunters who bag between 5,000 and 6,000 birds each spring. Another 1,800 to 2,000 birds are taken during the annual fall turkey hunt.
Local routes, local food highlight farm rides in Maine this year
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, April 26, 2018 

Cycling enthusiasts and foodies are joining forces in Maine this summer, organizing rides highlighting some of the best routes and local agricultural products the state has to offer. “Maine is becoming a cycling destination its own right, regardless of the theme of a ride,” said Frank Gallagher, communications director with the Bicycle Coalition of Maine. “But we are seeing some great rides that are tapping into the ‘farm to table’ movement that seems to be defining the restaurant and foodie sectors in Maine.”
Opinion: Scott Pruitt’s sleazy conduct should end his career in government service
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, April 26, 2018 

Washington Post - The more Pruitt’s past and present behavior comes to light, the swampier it looks. And this says nothing about the science-denying agenda he has pursued at the EPA. He should never have been tapped to lead the agency. Now that he has proved unethical as well as unwise, it is long past time for him to leave.
Opinion: Optimism’s Elusive Necessity
Times Record - Thursday, April 26, 2018 

Mankind is mindlessly unkind to this wondrous world that most of us wonder so very little about, being more and more enthralled with a world of supposed technological advancement. Unlike all other living things, modern humankind isn’t a sustainable entity in a world designed for cohabitation and ecological balance. The natural world exhibits cruelty, but only humans force themselves beyond their natural habitat, overcoming all obstacles in their insistence to unsuitably impose their presence willfully and destructively. Despite all that, I’m nonetheless inexplicably more optimistic than ever that humanity just might get its dysfunctional act together in the final scenes, before the closing soundtrack is played and production credits are scrolled. ~ Gary Anderson, Bath
Letter: A foul regulatory rollback
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, April 26, 2018 

I am dismayed to learn that the Trump administration has found a way to interfere with the century-old Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The Department of the Interior has issued a statement of “guidance” that will release an individual or company from accountability for the death of a migratory bird if their intent was not to “take” the bird. It means that oil companies that are responsible for oil spills like Exxon and BP will no longer need to pay fines for the birds that are lost to oil spills. ~ Fran Bodell, Milbridge
Libra Foundation's Monson development on track for first artists
Mainebiz - Wednesday, April 25, 2018 

Monson had been losing residents and businesses for years when, a year ago, the Libra Foundation began buying businesses in a $10 million effort to build an arts community and shore up the region's economy. Besides slate quarries, the town's other legacy is that it's on the 2,190-mile trail, the last stop before the 100-Mile Wilderness for northbound hikers, and the first civilization after for southbound.
The foundation is working with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, which oversees the length of the trail from Summit Mountain in Georgia to the summit of Katahdin. Last year, the conservancy moved its Monson visitor center from the arts center to Main Street, and visits have increased 80%, Michelson said. The Libra effort has also helped put some fire under the town's effort to buy 1,200 acres of forestland for a town recreational area.
Freeport weighs collaborative solar energy project
Forecaster - Wednesday, April 25, 2018 

Freeport is considering a three-way collaboration with Regional School Unit 5 and the Freeport Sewer District on a joint solar project. “As all three organizations are government organizations, I think a good case could be made for collocating arrays and making property available for long-term joint use at low or no cost,” said Town Manager Peter Joseph.
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