April 25, 2018  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Tuesday, April 24, 2018 

Thanks for visiting Maine Environmental News, a service of RESTORE: The North Woods. MEN is the most comprehensive online source available for links to Maine conservation and natural resource news and events. We have posted summaries and links to over 50,000 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
Clean Power Plan Comment Deadline, Apr 26
Action Alert - Tuesday, April 24, 2018 

The Clean Power Plan, a groundbreaking rule that would limit pollution from dirty fossil fuel-fired power plants, is on the chopping block under EPA Administrator and polluter ally Scott Pruitt. Comment deadline: April 26. ~ Conservation Law Foundation
Endangered Species are under attack
Action Alert - Tuesday, April 24, 2018 

Urge your legislators to oppose dangerous riders in the federal Farm Bill that undermine Endangered Species Act protections. ~ Kristin Jackson, Natural Resources Council of Maine
Portland Trails Annual Meeting & 15x15, May 1
Event - Posted - Tuesday, April 24, 2018 

Portland Trails annual meeting is a night of the best ideas in trails, transportation, conservation, and placemaking from members of our community. Presenters get 15 slides, and 15 seconds per slide, to share the story of their idea or innovation. At Space Gallery, Portland, May 1, 5:30 pm.
Trees, Trails, and Vernal Pools, Apr 28
Event - Posted - Saturday, April 21, 2018 

Arborist Doug Johnson will show how to identify trees in early spring, and Board member Roger Rittmaster will discuss the importance of vernal pools to the ecology of our forests. At Sagamore Farm, Camden, April 28, 10 am - 12 pm. Sponsored by Coastal Mountains Land Trust.
Stanton Bird Club Field Trips
Event - Posted - Saturday, April 21, 2018 

See the schedule of field trips sponsored by the Stanton Bird Club of Lewiston.
Basic Map and Compass Navigation, Apr 28
Event - Posted - Saturday, April 21, 2018 

Damariscotta River Association will offer a workshop on basic map and compass navigation and skills for “staying found,” as opposed to getting lost. Preregister, $25, DRA members $20.
Stream Smart workshop, Apr 27
Event - Posted - Friday, April 20, 2018 

Stream Smart workshop offered for professionals who are responsible for road-stream crossings. At UMaine Hutchinson Center, Belfast, April 27, 8:30 am - 12:30 pm.
Lake Lover's Raffle
Announcement - Thursday, April 19, 2018 

Many prizes including a North Woods Dream Package. Benefits Maine Lakes Society.
Restoring Endangered Seabirds, Apr 26
Event - Posted - Thursday, April 19, 2018 

Susie Meadows, manager of Project Puffin Visitor Center, will talk about restoring endangered seabirds. At Maine Coastal Islands NWR Visitor Center, Rockland, April 26, 2 pm.
Climate Brews, Apr 25
Event - Posted - Wednesday, April 18, 2018 

A monthly get-together to discuss state and national environmental issues. At Cushnoc Brewing, Augusta, April 23, 5 pm. Sponsored by Maine Conservation Voters.
Bringing Nature Home, Apr 24
Event - Posted - Tuesday, April 17, 2018 

Eric Topper will introduce what individuals and groups can do, including what plants to choose and how to manage our gardens for their full ecological function and to benefit birds. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, April 24, 7 pm. Merrymeeting Audubon annual meeting.
Adventures in Northern Quebec, Apr 24
Event - Posted - Tuesday, April 17, 2018 

Registered Maine Guide Polly Mahoney will talk about her adventures canoeing in northern Quebec. At Alumni Auditorium, Gould Academy, Bethel, April 24, 7 pm.
Sacred Instructions: Indigenous Wisdom for Living Spirit-Based Change, Apr 24
Event - Posted - Tuesday, April 17, 2018 

Sherri Mitchell, indigenous rights attorney, teacher and spiritual activist, will speak at Lincoln Theatre, Damariscotta, April 24, 7 pm.
Preparing for Sea Level Rise, Apr 24
Event - Posted - Tuesday, April 17, 2018 

90-minute multimedia interactive learning experience that explores the potential impact of sea level rise. At Gulf of Maine Research Institute, Portland, April 24, 6:30 pm.
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News Items
Dead Whale Found in Lubec Raises Questions about Rising Mortality Rates for Humpbacks
Maine Public - Thursday, April 19, 2018 

A dead humpback whale is floating in a Lubec cove. Scientists are eager to find the cause of its demise, as the discovery comes at a time of increasing mortality rates for the species. Rosemary Seton of Allied Whale, a research unit at the College of the Atlantic, said, "We didn't see any impression that might suggest entanglement, so there's nothing like that. There was no bruising or anything that might suggest a ship strike."
Chellie Pingree Questions Agriculture Secretary on Budget Cuts
Maine Public - Thursday, April 19, 2018 

Democratic U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree of Maine’s 1st District questioned Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue Wednesday about proposed cuts in the agency’s budget that could decrease funding for programs that have helped organic farmers.
Bowdoin is Maine’s latest carbon-neutral campus, joining Colby, College of the Atlantic
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, April 19, 2018 

Bowdoin College announced Thursday it is now carbon neutral, two years ahead of schedule. The milestone means the Brunswick campus’ net impact on carbon dioxide emissions is calculated to be zero, the result of reduced fossil fuel use together with investments to encourage enough renewable energy production to offset the school’s remaining emissions. Other schools in Maine – including College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor and Colby College – have also reached carbon neutral status.
Opinion: As Maine’s clam population falls, Acadia offers a rare refuge for this vital resource
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, April 19, 2018 

The Associated Press reported earlier this month that Maine harvested about 1.4 million pounds of soft-shell clams, the lowest harvest since the 1930s. This also was less than half a typical haul in the early and mid-1980s, underscoring the folly of Rep. Bruce Poliquin’s proposal to open Acadia National Park to commercial harvesting of clams and worms. Acadia should be a small but vital refuge from commercial clamming and worm harvesting. ~ Michael Soukup, former associate director for the National Park Service, Blue Hill; and Mary K. Foley, former regional chief scientist for the National Park Service, Carrabassett Valley
Opinion: Acting Our Age: Reflections on Earth Day
Free Press - Thursday, April 19, 2018 

Here are three things that can make a difference: 1. Get active in town government and insist that best practices be followed that protect lakes and streams from malfunctioning septic systems, inadequate culverts and poorly designed and maintained roads — even if it costs money. 2. Email or call your legislator every month in support of an environmental issue important to you. 3. Make sure you have the most energy-efficient house on your block. If we can take responsibility, Earth Day 50 years from now will continue to have important things to celebrate. ~ Lloyd Irland
Opinion: Protect What You Love — Maine’s Dark Skies
Free Press - Thursday, April 19, 2018 

I offer this possibility: that the communities, counties and representatives associated with the Moosehead Region and the Upper Moose River Basin get together to talk about these quickly eroding scenic values, to seek agreements and draw up documents that officially declare and circumscribe the Moosehead and Upper Moose River Basins as “Wind Farm and Power Transmission Line Free Zones” in Maine. This is about acting to protect the value of our natural rural assets that support the rural small business and tourism economy and that feed our hearts and souls by the edge of a quiet lake on a starlit night. To do nothing is simply to let the big boys pave paradise and put up the parking lot, with lights. ~ Roger Merchant
Former senator blasts Bruce Poliquin’s push for fresh produce substitutes
Sun Journal - Thursday, April 19, 2018 

The retired U.S. senator from Iowa who created the national Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program is accusing Maine Republican U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin of taking steps that could destroy it. Former U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, who served for three decades until his 2015 retirement, said, “This character from Maine” is so determined to let schools buy more frozen blueberries from 2nd District farms that he’s willing to undermine the entire rationale for a program that gives more than 4 million low-income schoolchildren fresh produce.
Zoning change advances Nordic Aquafarms' $150M project in Belfast
Mainebiz - Thursday, April 19, 2018 

Belfast City Council unanimously approved a zoning ordinance change on Tuesday night that allows Nordic Aquafarms to move forward on its $150 million Phase 1 project to build one of the world's largest indoor salmon farms on a 40-acre site off Route 1.
Opinion: In Defense of Plastic Bags
Free Press - Thursday, April 19, 2018 

There has been much written about the negative impact of plastics on the environment, and I assure you that I too feel frustrated by a world that seems to be drowning itself in plastic. I do not need to be convinced that plastic pollution is a problem. But when you look at the full life cycle analysis and production chain of both plastic bags, and their alternatives, it’s clear that there are no perfect solutions. I am not eager to see Camden jump on board the bandwagon of banning plastic shopping bags. I support placing fees on both both paper and plastic bags. ~ Alison McKellar, Camden
Opinion: It’s critical that we reduce our carbon footprints to slow our changing climate
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, April 19, 2018 

When Earth Day was first celebrated in 1970, a major focus was on reducing air and water pollution. On Earth Day this year, a major focus should again be on air pollution, with reducing carbon dioxide emissions being a critical need. We need to elect candidates who strongly support programs that fight climate change. All of us should also consider our own contribution to carbon dioxide pollution in the atmosphere. One possibility is to purchase Maine Green Power and offsets for our personal carbon footprint. For all of us, we might consider using part of our tax cuts to improve the energy efficiency of our houses and to purchase carbon offsets. ~ John Tjepkema, University of Maine
Unanswered Questions About CMP Bid To Cross Maine to Bring Clean Power From Canada To Massachusetts
Free Press - Thursday, April 19, 2018 

Questions are being asked as to whether a $950 million electricity tranmission line that Central Maine Power proposes to build across a remote part of Maine will reduce greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere, as intended. The proposed project is a joint effort by CMP and Hydro-Québec to deliver renewable power directly to Massachusetts to comply with a 2016 state law that requires 1,200 megawatts of power used in Massachusetts to come from clean energy sources. Watchdog groups are concerned about the environmental impacts. At the top of the list of concerns is whether this is really a clean power deal at all.
Letter: Climate Change a National Security Threat
Times Record - Thursday, April 19, 2018 

Retired marine corps General Anthony Zinni, speaking at Bowdoin on April 9, identified that the military has for decades identified climate change as a major security threat, and in some instances, as the major security threat. In December 2017, a new National Security Statement was released, under our current commander in chief, which did not include climate change as a security threat, in contrast to many previous Pentagon assessments. The National Security Statement is primarily a political document, issued from the White House, not the Pentagon. It is time for our commander in chief to listen to his generals on this topic. ~ Dodie Kaloust, Brunswick
Letter: Another Response to Rep. Jeff Pierce
Times Record - Thursday, April 19, 2018 

I question the reasoning of State Rep. Jeff Pierce, who maintains that the use of solar power adds cost to other electric customers. How odd that he voted yes on LD 1444 initially, and then changed his vote when the effort was made to override LePage's veto; he did the same in 2017. What explanation does he offer for his yes votes if he is convinced the development of solar power is bad for Maine? I urge Mainers to educate themselves about the many benefits of solar, and other methods of alternative energy sources. ~ Adair DeLamater, Bath
Letter: Shameful flip on solar bill
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, April 19, 2018 

Even though I am not a constituent of Reps. Stacey Guerin, Matthew Harrington, Teresa Pierce, Matthew Pouliot and Abden Simmons, I cannot stay silent in the face of such blatant hypocrisy and cowardice. I hope their flip from initially supporting LD 1444, the solar bill, with a supposed “veto-proof” majority to upholding the anti-solar governor’s veto will be remembered by voters in their districts. Come November they should find themselves out of a job. ~ Jason Langle, Orono
Casco Bay, Katahdin high school students form collaborative
The County - Wednesday, April 18, 2018 

Students from Casco Bay High School in Portland joined forces with Katahdin Area High School on several community service projects last week as part of a collaborative effort between the two schools.
Kala Rush, an English and outdoor education instructor for KAHS, said the collaboration came together rather quickly. “I started working as a place-based educator for the Katahdin Woods and Waters Monument,” Rush explained. “That led to a bunch of connections with service learning and place-based projects.” Those projects included a video production of a Katahdin Woods and Waters Monument seminar that was held on April 11.
Conservation group aims to save one deer at a time
Fiddlehead Focus (St. John Valley, Aroostook County) - Wednesday, April 18, 2018 

The Aroostook County Conservation Association is celebrating its 10th year of conservation-related activities in The County and will hold its next public meeting Friday, April 20, in Presque Isle. The group’s primary mission is to enhance and preserve the whitetail deer herd in Aroostook County; however, all species of wildlife benefit from its habitat improvement projects and the wise use of renewable resources. The group has planted nearly 440 acres of food plots. In addition, ACCA members have planted 16,000 maple, oak, hemlock and cedar trees to improve the winter browse available within the habitat.
Forster Mill demolition opens up Wilton development possibilities
Mainebiz - Wednesday, April 18, 2018 

The massive Forster Mill complex on Depot Street is finally coming down after years of issues, and the town is looking forward to development opportunities. "It'll make a big difference," said Town Manager Rhonda Irish. Vacant since 2010, the 232,000-square-foot, four-story brick building went through a botched partial demolition in 2011 that was halted by a fire, a foreclosure and a major brownfields cleanup.
Earth Day hacks for everyday living
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, April 18, 2018 

“As America’s Environmental College, Earth Week and Earth Day mean a lot to our students, faculty, and staff,” said Dr. Melik Peter Khoury, President of Unity College. “We want to take that excitement and passion that we all have for the environment and share it with the community, so that they can also adopt a more sustainable lifestyle, and pass ideas and practices on to their friends and family.” Throughout the weekend of April 21-22, Unity College will host Nourish! A Sustainability Fair, where community members are encouraged to take part in activities to discover these hacks that will benefit themselves, and the environment.
Buying local is a growing movement benefiting young farmers
WCSH-TV6 - Wednesday, April 18, 2018 

While the USDA 2012 Census of Agriculture shows the number of farms declining nationwide, farms in Maine and New England have increased, and the market value of what they're producing has increased by about 24% in five years.
Belfast salmon farm clears first hurdle despite pleas to ‘slow down’
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, April 18, 2018 

A Norwegian aquaculture company planning one of the world’s largest indoor salmon farms in Belfast cleared its first hurdle Tuesday night, but not without controversy. Following a heated, nearly four-hour meeting, Belfast city councilors unanimously approved a zoning ordinance change that will allow Nordic Aquafarms to advance to the next stages. The company is now clear to iron out plans for the site, pursue reviews and approvals from state and federal agencies, and apply for local development permits.
American Lung Association: Maine air quality is improved
Forecaster - Wednesday, April 18, 2018 

Breathing may be easier, but it can still be a risky proposition. That is the finding of a statewide report card issued Wednesday by the American Lung Association. “The 2018 ‘State of the Air’ report finds that Maine has taken some big leaps this year, with significantly less ozone than in years past,” American Lung Association Chief Division Officer Jeff Seyler said in a press release.
Baby goats make great hiking companions at Frankfort farm Hiking with goats experience offered by Frankfort farm
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, April 18, 2018 

Sean and Sonja Twombly care for a herd of about 40 milk goats on their homestead, Lally Broch Farm, where they produce a wide variety of products, from fresh goat cheese to mosaic pendants crafted from painted chicken egg shells. They also offer classes in how to make cheese and soap, and this year, they’re offering a new experience: hiking with goats. In early January, they posted a list of a dozen dates throughout the spring, summer and fall for hiking with goats experiences. In no time, these private group hikes — $75 for a group of up to six people — were sold out.
Potential conflict delays Yarmouth solar energy proposal
Forecaster - Tuesday, April 17, 2018 

Progress on a town solar energy proposal was delayed last week because of a potential conflict of interest. During Town Council discussion April 12 about establishing a Renewable Energy and Sustainability Task Force to be charged with several tasks – including a group solar purchasing program – Councilor Jim MacLeod questioned whether a disclosure should be required after learning Councilor April Humphrey’s brother works for ReVision Energy, a company that frequently works with municipalities on group solar purchasing agreements.
Michael Michaud Walking and Biking Trail in Millinocket
Aislinn Sarnacki Act Out Blog - Tuesday, April 17, 2018 

The Michael Michael Walking and Biking Trail is a paved path that travels along Millinocket Stream, connecting two schools, two parks, the Millinocket Historical Society and nearby residential neighborhoods. Completed in summer of 2011, the trail can be enjoyed in sections or as a 1.65-mile loop if you combine it with a few sidewalks.
Report: Greenhouse Gas Initiative Gave $4 Billion Back To Participating States' Economies
Maine Public - Tuesday, April 17, 2018 

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, the nine-state carbon-pricing program known as RGGI, has continued to bolster Northeast economies even as its environmental goals grew more ambitious, according to the latest three-year report on RGGI by the Analysis Group. The report was commissioned by a group of charities and environmental foundations that wants to show whether the nearly decade-old program is working. Co-author Sue Tierney says RGGI has now put $4 billion back into its nine participating states’ economies.
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