September 19, 2018  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

Thanks for visiting Maine Environmental News, a service of RESTORE: The North Woods. MEN is the most comprehensive online source available for links conservation and natural resource news and events in Maine (and a bit beyond). 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
Solar 101, Sep 26
Event - Posted - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

Join ReVision Energy to learn about the benefits of solar technology. At Scarborough Public Library, September 26, 2018 6:30 pm.
Activist Training for Maine's Environment, Sep 27-Oct 11
Event - Posted - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

Maine's environmental community is hosting a series of trainings. Learn skills to be a powerful activist and meet fellow environmentalists who want to make a difference in Maine. September 27, Biddeford; October 4: Auburn; October 11, Jefferson; October 18, Falmouth.
Naturalist's Notebook, Sep 26
Event - Posted - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

Bowdoin biology professor Nat Wheelwright will speak about the book he wrote with Bernd Heinrich, "The Naturalist's Notebook: An Observation Guide and 5-Year Calendar-Journal for Tracking Changes in the Natural World Around You." At Portland Public Library, September 26, 5:30-7:30 pm.
Weasels of Maine, Sep 26
Event - Posted - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

Shevenell Webb, Wildlife Biologist with IF&W, talks about weasel ecology and natural history. At Augusta Nature Club luncheon, at Capital Area Technical Center, Augusta, September 26, 11:30 am, $7 for lunch.
NRCM online auction, thru Sep
Announcement - Tuesday, September 18, 2018 

Online auction benefits Natural Resources Council of Maine, through September.
Evening for the Environment, Oct 3
Event - Posted - Tuesday, September 18, 2018 

A night of camaraderie, celebration, and inspiration for those who care about protecting Maine's environment. Keynote speaker Gina McCarthy, former EPA Administrator. At Brick South on Thompson's Point, Portland, October 3, 5:30-8:00 pm. Organized by Maine Conservation Voters.
Help wanted: Director of Media Relations and Advocacy Communications
Announcement - Monday, September 17, 2018 

The Natural Resources Council of Maine is seeking applications for the position of Director of Media Relations and Advocacy Communications. The position provides leadership in advancing NRCM and the organization’s advocacy work through the news media. Deadline: October 11, 2018.
MCV Action Fund 2018 Endorsements
Announcement - Monday, September 17, 2018 

A list of candidates endorsed by the Maine Conservation Voters Action Fund.
Bringing an ocean perspective to an urban estuary, Sep 24
Event - Posted - Monday, September 17, 2018 

Karina Nielsen, director of San Francisco State University’s Estuary and Ocean Science Center, will speak at the UMaine Darling Marine Center, Walpole, September 24, 12:15 pm.
Maine's Beaches are Public Property, Sep 24
Event - Posted - Monday, September 17, 2018 

Author and law professor Orlando E. Delogu speaks about public access to Maine’s beaches. At Curtis Memorial Library, Brunswick, September 24, 6:30 pm.
Why Natural History Matters, Sep 24
Event - Posted - Monday, September 17, 2018 

Tom Fleischner, Executive Director of the Natural History Institute, will describe how the practice of natural history provides the foundation for the natural sciences, conservation, healthy society, and our own well-being. At Gilsland Farm, Falmouth, September 24, 7 pm, Maine Audubon members $12, nonmembers $15.
Save our Shores Walk, Sep 23
Event - Posted - Sunday, September 16, 2018 

Learn how climate change may affect our shores and how CLF is working to ensure a resiliant Maine coast. At Ferry Beach, Saco, September 23, 2:30-5 pm. Sponsored by Conservation Law Foundation.
Help restore cottontail habitat, Sep 22, 28, 29
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 15, 2018 

The Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge will host a volunteer work day to help restore native scrubland habitat, home to many species including the New England cottontail rabbit. Volunteers needed. At Libby Field, Scarborough, Sep 22, 28, 29, 9 am - 2 pm.
Art is for the birds, Sep 22
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 15, 2018 

This arts workshop invites community members to collaborate on a sculpture that will provide winter shelter for birds. At Kingdom Woods Conservation Area, Blue Hill, September 22, 10 am-noon.
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News Items
UMass Amherst leads team in first sequencing of Canada lynx genome
Other - Thursday, September 13, 2018 

Scientists at UMass Amherst, in collaboration with the Vertebrate Genome Laboratory, this week are publishing the first-ever whole genome for the Canada lynx. Tanya Lama, a doctoral candidate in environmental conservation, points out, "Genetics can help us better understand the dynamics of the Maine lynx population and whether it will remain viable into the future. If populations become small and isolated, they're more vulnerable to demographic and environmental changes and are at a higher risk of becoming locally extinct." Listed as threatened in 2000 by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, a recent recommendation by the US Fish and Wildlife Service proposed delisting the lynx from Endangered Species Act protections.
Is Rob Bishop Becoming an Environmentalist?
Outside - Thursday, September 13, 2018 

On Thursday, the House Natural Resources Committee, which Rob Bishop (R-Utah) chairs, moved forward with two landmark bills: one would fund the National Park Service’s $12 billion maintenance backlog and the other would do the same for the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Bishop (a politician many environmentalists consider public enemy number one) has a long history in Congress of working against public lands. So far, the reception to the bills appears to be uniformly positive among both Democrats and Republicans, hunters and outdoor industry representatives. Should we get used to the idea of Rob Bishop, Champion of the Environment? We'll see.
Maine retains its distinction as nation’s oldest state, new Census data show
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, September 13, 2018 

Maine is still the nation’s oldest state, according to updated data from the U.S. Census Bureau. The median age in the state is 44.6 years, virtually unchanged from the year before. That means half of Maine’s population is older than the median and half is younger. The national median age is 38. Overall, the population of Maine has grown by about 7,500 since 2010, to 1.33 million last year.
Owner of cow killed in Embden, alleged shooter both charged
Morning Sentinel - Thursday, September 13, 2018 

Both the owner of a pet cow shot and killed in Embden last week and the alleged shooter have been summonsed on charges in connection with the animal’s death, police said. Jaime Danforth, 40, of Embden, was summonsed Wednesday for animal trespass, a civil violation, Somerset County Sheriff Dale Lancaster said. Mason Sparrow, 24, of Embden, was summonsed for cruelty to animals.
The cost of cleaner heating oil
WCSH-TV6 - Thursday, September 13, 2018 

It's about this time of year when homeowners in Maine start thinking about the same thing: Heating their homes and how much that's going to cost this winter. As of July, Maine is now required to deliver a new, cleaner home heating oil. Jamie Py, CEO of he Maine Energy Marketers Association, says ultra low sulfur heating oil is the cleanest heating oil in the world, with emissions similar to natural gas.
Governor LePage announces the departure of Energy Office Director Steven McGrath
Maine Government News - Thursday, September 13, 2018 

Governor Paul R. LePage announced today that Steven McGrath, director of the Governor's Energy Office, will step down effective September 14, 2018. McGrath has worked as head of the Energy Office since August 2017. He was responsible for moving the Governor's agenda forward through the Energy, Utilities, and Technology Committee and for being a point of contact for the many energy, utilities and technology companies in Maine.
Volunteers needed: Help restore cottontail habitat
Seacoast Online - Thursday, September 13, 2018 

On Sept. 22, 28, and 29, in celebration of National Public Lands Day, the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) will be hosting a volunteer work day to help restore native shrubland habitat at Libby Field in Scarborough. Shrubland habitat is home to many species including the New England cottontail rabbit, Maine’s only native cottontail. Volunteers are needed from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. all days to assist with planting of native shrubs propagated at our own greenhouse.
Babbidge earns highest score on conservation votes
Seacoast Online - Thursday, September 13, 2018 

Rep. Christopher Babbidge, D-Kennebunk, earned a 100 percent rating on environmental and public health policy votes in the newly released Maine Conservation Voters’ 2018 Environmental Scorecard.
Hunter bags 552-pound black bear as Maine’s season gets off to booming start
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, September 13, 2018 

Earlier this year, wildlife biologist Randy Cross predicted that a relative lack of natural foods would make bears more eager to approach baited stands come bear season, and that equation could result in an advantage for the hunters. With less than two weeks left in the state’s season for hunting bears over bait, that appears to have been the case, Cross said. About 3,000 bears are typically shot by hunters each year, and as of Wednesday, that number sat at 2,157.
Blog: Challenge, fear and fun on the Baldface Circle Trail
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, September 13, 2018 

To commemorate the end of a really great summer, the gardening crew I work for went on a hiking trip. We’re a group of women in our twenties and thirties, brought together by our love of dirt and wearing gardening tools on our belts. Our boss, the incredibly entrepreneurial and talented Christina Vincent, planned the best kind of women’s weekend, full of swimming, hiking, and shopping. ~ Courtney Naliboff
Blog: Why flyfishing is what women want
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, September 13, 2018 

Like many male-dominated activities, fly fishing has been a flat-growth sport for many years. Trout Unlimited, a group affected by this lack of increase in participants, made the decision to change their support base by actively recruiting women. ~ Genie Jennings
How a Maine university is addressing pressing social issues
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, September 13, 2018 

UMaine Dining Services is taking steps to help solve pressing social and environmental problems. The Black Bear Exchange (which also has a clothing exchange) was founded to combat food insecurity among UMaine community members. Until recently, for the most part, their offerings were limited to staples. The purchase of two industrial size freezers has been a game changer.
Trump-backed bill to repair national parks advances in the House
Other - Thursday, September 13, 2018 

The House Natural Resources Committee on Thursday passed a bipartisan bill to make billions of dollars worth of repairs and maintenance in the country's national parks. It was co-sponsored by the committee’s chairman, Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, and top Democrat, Rep. Raul Grijalva of Arizona. They usually fight on public lands issues, but in this case, they agreed to a compromise that is similar to a Trump administration proposal to fund the Interior Department’s $16 billion maintenance backlog.
Land for Southport's Future Is Making Ruth’s House Happen
Other - Thursday, September 13, 2018 

Southport Island, former summer home and outdoor laboratory for environmentalist Rachel Carson, is the place that inspired her to write "Silent Spring." The Gardner property is a multi-acre parcel located across Beach Road from the Town-owned Hendricks Head Beach. Land For Southport's Future's purchase and preservation of the Gardner house and land will add both inside and outside spaces to the very limited inventory of Southport land that is currently accessible and usable by the public. The group has a signed Purchase and Sale Agreement (accompanied by a cash deposit) to purchase the Ruth Gardner Property from the Town of Southport for a negotiated price of $800.000.
This Guy Knows Kavanaugh's True Environmental Record
Other - Thursday, September 13, 2018 

[video] William J. Snape, III, Assistant Dean at American University, describes how Brett Kavanaugh "fibs" about his insistence he is a strict follower of the letter of the law.
What Are Deer Doing in Casco Bay?
Maine Environmental News - Thursday, September 13, 2018 

Nestled into the waters of Casco Bay in Portland, Maine, is a stand of discarded pilings, worn and decaying wooden posts that once supported a long-gone commercial dock. Until November of this year, Portlanders and visitors to the city will see some unusual creatures among the pilings. Local artist Andy Rosen has built two deer out of aluminum, steel, and foam, outfitted them with long, slender stilts, and planted them right in the water—part of a nationwide set of art installations funded by Science Rising and the Union of Concerned Scientists. “These seemingly derelict spaces where animals reside, or where nature is being pushed out and growing back in, are very interesting to me,” says Rosen.
Lots of people died in Baxter Park
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Thursday, September 13, 2018 

Randi Minetor’s book, "Death on Katahdin," includes fatalities from falls and exposure to cold weather to cardiac arrest and drowning. But thankfully, she also includes catastrophes that turned out okay. Randy did a huge amount of research in order to write this book. And she reassures us that our visit to Baxter State Park “will not be dangerous if you proceed with caution, carry what you need for any situation, and stay aware of your surroundings.” Good advice.
Stripers Swimming up the Comeback Trail
Free Press - Thursday, September 13, 2018 

The Atlantic striped bass population had dropped to alarming levels over recent decades — sparking a temporary moratorium and changes in fishing laws — but their numbers are climbing again, according to state officials, marine regulators and a group of scientists who want fishermen to aid the recovery effort by carrying cameras along with their poles and bait. The debate continues over how many fish can be caught, for both food and fun. Getting the numbers wrong, said Terry Walsh, who owns The Flyfisherman’s Place in Warren, could mean the extinction of the stripers. “The problem is that these are all natural resources that could be fished out."
Dark money and blurred alliances drum up resistance to CMP power line project
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, September 13, 2018 

Opposition is growing to the plan for Central Maine Power and its parent company, Avangrid, to build a $1 billion corridor through 145 miles of Maine forestland to connect hydro resources in Canada with Massachusetts. But dark money and opaque alliances are making it difficult to determine who some of the opponents really are. What’s disguised to look like grass roots is really astroturf in the view of John Carroll, a spokesman for Avangrid/CMP. Power generators recognize there’s not much public empathy for fossil-fuel power plants and their free-market concerns, he said. Generators can gain more support by creating a down-home facade and talking about local control, Carroll said, but it’s deceptive.
PUC delays next week’s hearings on CMP’s proposed transmission line project
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, September 13, 2018 

Hearings at the Public Utilities Commission’s offices in Hallowell, originally set for Sept. 18-21, have been put off until sometime in late October or early November. A pair of Public Witness hearings scheduled for Friday at 6 p.m. in Farmington and The Forks, however, will go on. The PUC is one of the key agencies that must give approval for CMP to build a 145-mile high-voltage transmission line that would carry hydroelectric power from Quebec through Maine to Massachusetts. The $1 billion proposal has drawn widespread interest and already has generated more than 300 separate filings and a similar number of public comments in the case.
Column: A better test for balanced reporting
Sun Journal - Thursday, September 13, 2018 

When the history of this era is written, when future generations wonder how a mostly educated and largely literate nation became mired in “truthiness,” when they ask how we became so mentally muddled that we lost the ability to identify facts and the capacity to care, they’ll find many culprits. They will blame many of us in the non-Fox news media for our failure to be defenders of, the actual, factual truth. Which is what makes a new memo from the BBC such bracing reading. BBC reporters are henceforth free to report on climate change without feeling bound to include those who insist it doesn’t exist. They are free to treat facts as factual. Sadly, that notion would be resisted here. ~ Leonard Pitts Jr.
Restoring Salt Marshes in Maine
Conservation Law Foundation - Wednesday, September 12, 2018 

Maine’s salt marshes are as iconic to our coast as our rocky beaches, yet years of development – from houses and roads to dikes and dams – is putting them at risk. As our marshes are increasingly cut off from the ocean that sustains them, they are slowly shrinking, and with them the vital benefits they provide to our environment, our economy, and our communities. CLF has long worked to restore salt marshes to health. An opportunity now exists to continue that work in the Downeast community of Machias. With a dike that impedes the natural flow of saltwater into and out of the marsh in need of repair and rebuilding over the coming year, we are ensuring sure the agencies in charge make restoring the health of the salt marsh a priority.
The Ocean Made Earth Habitable
Other - Wednesday, September 12, 2018 

Consider the ocean as an universal operating system that provides air, water, food, energy, and nurturing conditions for all life, most specifically our own as individuals and social organizations. Consider also the incontrovertible impact on our health, security, and psychological and geo-political stability. Our engagement is total. We are vulnerable to any single disconnection, any glitch in the system, any break that interrupts or shuts down the process, that leaves us swimming in a different sea of uncertainty, disruption, and fear. To knowingly or accidentally produce such a condition is simply unacceptable.
Oxford County Fair kicks off with bugs and bees
Sun Journal - Wednesday, September 12, 2018 

Area students dug through soil looking for bugs and worms, and watched the hustle and bustle of hundreds of honeybees during Agriculture Education Day at the Oxford County Fair on Wednesday. The fair will continue Thursday with the new Steer and Oxen Farmers’ Pull at 6 p.m. On Friday, the annual Woodmen’s Day begins at 9 a.m., and Saturday will feature a 5 p.m. performance by the Marshall Tucker Band.
Well contamination forces town to consider municipal water mandate
Seacoast Online - Wednesday, September 12, 2018 

South Berwick Town Council Chairman Jack Kareckas said carbon tetrachloride was discovered in a well recently dug by a Hooper Sands Road homeowner. Tests found the water contains 12 parts per billion of tetrachloride, a known carcinogen, above the federal standard of 5 ppb. Town Manager Perry Ellsworth said “testing of other (water) wells in the vicinity” will be undertaken by the town. Ellsworth will also reach out to DEP to determine next steps on dealing with the contamination.
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