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
‘Historical forest park’ eyed for land overlooking State House complex
Kennebec Journal - Friday, January 26, 2018 

A newly proposed plan for the 164-acre Howard Hill conservation area envisions a “historical forest park” with parking available near the State House and on Ganneston Drive in Augusta and on the Stevens Commons property in Hallowell. The project calls for creation of several miles of recreational trails and a picnic area and the removal of some trees, which would clear expansive scenic views of the state Capitol and areas east of the Kennebec River. The plan for the city-owned land comes after years of repeated criticism from Gov. Paul LePage. The city was given the land last year by Kennebec Land Trust, which bought the property that provides a largely undeveloped backdrop to the Maine State House.
Massachusetts Picks Northern Pass For Major Energy Contract
Maine Public - Friday, January 26, 2018 

Eversource’s Northern Pass transmission line is the sole project picked for long-term energy contract negotiations with Massachusetts. Officials made the announcement Thursday afternoon, less than a week before New Hampshire begins its final permitting deliberations on the controversial project. Northern Pass would carry 1,090 megawatts of power from Hydro Quebec dams to the New England grid, over a partly-buried 192-mile power line. It would run under New Hampshire’s White Mountains and mainly follow existing transmission lines, ending in Deerfield.
Column: Head south for some easy winter birding
Bangor Daily News - Friday, January 26, 2018 

There are lots of good places to go birding on both ends of the state, but I’ll wager that the Down East coast is harder. The rockbound shoreline of eastern Maine is more exposed to cold and wind. Surf pounds seawalls. Meanwhile, the sandy beaches of southern Maine are inviting. There are seaside parks and convenient viewing areas. It’s pretty easy birding. ~ Bob Duchesne
Study: Maine’s lobster population will drop but fishery ‘not doomed’
Bangor Daily News - Friday, January 26, 2018 

The lobster population in the Gulf of Maine could decline by nearly two-thirds by 2050, according to a scientific study released this week. As bad as that sounds, scientists and industry representatives say the demise of the most valuable single-species fishery in the country is unlikely. The study found that lobster conservation measures in Maine aimed at protecting reproductive females and oversize adult lobsters in general, which date back to the early 20th century, have helped amplify the temporary benefit of warming seas to the lobster population in the gulf, which is warming more quickly than 99.9 percent of the world’s oceans.
How does the official extinction of eastern pumas affect Maine?
Bangor Daily News - Friday, January 26, 2018 

Mark McCollough, a wildlife biologist and endangered species expert for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, said, “The authority for protecting and managing cougars will be solely that of the individual states. Some states in this 23-state region where the eastern cougar used to occur still have it listed on their state endangered species lists, so state endangered species law protect the cougar, if any were to show up. But we’ve said that the eastern cougar subspecies is extinct.” Maine is one of the states that has already declared the animal extinct on its own endangered species list.
Bar Harbor residents oppose creating port authority
Bangor Daily News - Friday, January 26, 2018 

Some Bar Harbor residents are fighting a possible town cruise ship dock by opposing a bill introduced by the town’s state legislators. Cruise ship visitation, and the congestion it causes, has been Mount Desert Island’s biggest issue, with other towns enacting ship visitation bans. Bar Harbor was visited by 166 cruise ships in 2017 and expects 180 ship visits this year. Town Manager Cornell Knight said that the bill merely enables the town to create a port authority if residents chose to do so.
Letter: Ban plastic bags to beautify Waterville
Morning Sentinel - Friday, January 26, 2018 

Almost every day in the summer, I pick up litter on both sides of the Two Cent Bridge. This bridge may be Waterville’s biggest draw. It’s a beautiful area that people enjoy photographing and viewing wildlife. Each time, I find so many plastic bags along the shore or by the clock or in the nearby field. I don’t understand why people don’t throw these plastic bags along the river bank. This isn’t good for the ducks and other river animals. I don’t understand why people need to take a plastic shopping bag for every purchase. The only way to stop this pollution is to ban plastic bags. ~ Alan Douin, Winslow
Letter: Good reasons for Waterville to ban single-use plastic bags
Morning Sentinel - Friday, January 26, 2018 

Let’s follow the example of 12 other Maine municipalities and create an ordinance to ban single-use plastic shopping bags in Waterville. For once, we have a simple problem with a simple solution. The problem is single-use plastic shopping bags. The solution is to ban them. Here’s the problem. Single-use plastic shopping bags are a form of pollution. They become litter in parks and waterways damaging habitat for wildlife and yes for people. They are made from a nonrenewable resource. The city is unable to recycle them. What more do we need to know? ~ Marian Flaherty, Waterville
Letter: EPA chief Pruitt promotes oil industry at expense of public health
Portland Press Herald - Friday, January 26, 2018 

There is an investigation into Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt’s trip to Morocco last month. Considering that Pruitt plans to repeal the Clean Power Plan, and the fact that under his administration the U.S. pulled out of the Paris climate accord, I do not see how or why it would be a priority for him to take a $40,000 trip to discuss environmental stewardship with Morocco. Pruitt was there to promote natural gas to Morocco. It is a shame that the head of our EPA is frivolously traveling to another country with an agenda – to tap into their natural gas projects – when our natural gas projects are currently not being properly regulated. ~ Jordan Turcotte, Brunswick
Maine's salt marshes are disappearing
Working Waterfront - Thursday, January 25, 2018 

Rising sea levels, coastal development, invasive species, climate change, and runoff filled with nutrients from fertilizers, septic systems and farm waste are among the many threats to salt marshes. The Maine Geologic Survey projects that by the end of the century, global sea levels will rise between three and six feet, potentially destroying some of Maine's most productive ecosystems and coastal infrastructure. Maine Coast Heritage Trust has developed a plan to protect and care for the state’s priority marshes.
What New Offshore Drilling Means for National Parks
Other - Thursday, January 25, 2018 

Backpacker - The Department of the Interior's plan to open up more of America's waters for drilling has conservation groups worried. What does the future hold for coastal parks? Mike Murray, a park service retiree who spent 34 years working in two National Seashores, now volunteers with the Coalition to Protect America's National Parks. Murray tallied 67 coastal park system within range of the proposed oil and gas leases, as well as 10,000 miles of shoreline and 2 million acres of marine waters. In 2016, those parks saw 85 million visitors who spent $4.5 billion locally. The nightmare scenario now is oil washing ashore at Acadia or Olympic National Parks or coating beaches in California or at Cape Cod, says Nicholas Lund, senior manager at the National Parks Conservation Association.
Katahdin W&W National Monument Settles into HQ in Patten
Free Press - Thursday, January 25, 2018 

Vicki and Steve Richardson donated their seven-bedroom family home in the small town of Patten to help the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument get established. Now owned by the Friends of Katahdin Woods and Waters, an organization founded a year ago to support planning and fundraising for the new national monument, the Patten house is provided rent-free to the national monument for use as their administrative headquarters. National monument visitor centers are still located at the Lumbermen’s Museum in Patten and on Main Street in Millinocket. Steve Richardson said the new national monument is already boosting the local economy and could lead to more opportunities for youth in the greater Katahdin area in the future. He and his wife donated the house to help that effort.
Public begins to weigh in on National Monument management plan
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, January 25, 2018 

An eclectic group of Katahdin Woods and Waters stakeholders and neighbors gathered in Millinocket on Wednesday to discuss how to balance their various interests in the monument, especially during the winter. The winter use meeting on Jan. 24 was the first of several public forums slated for this year to gather suggestions for the monument’s management plan. Some groups lobbied for increased snowmobile access and others advocated for a network of cross-country ski trails that offer a quieter experience, one without the hum of motors.
Bates College joins Maine ecosystem project
Other - Thursday, January 25, 2018 

With a Bates College alumna playing a central role, the college has joined The Nature Conservancy and state agencies in a long-term effort to monitor significant Maine ecosystems. Managed by Bates and used primarily for research, the 600-acre preserve in coastal Phippsburg encompasses a variety of forest systems.
$1 billion CMP proposal fails to win Massachusetts energy competition
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, January 25, 2018 

Massachusetts officials Thursday selected a controversial New Hampshire transmission line project to deliver renewable energy to the state, passing over several competing proposals, including a major new transmission line from Canada offered by Central Maine Power. The Northern Pass project that received preliminary approval involves 192 miles of transmission lines to carry power from hydroelectric dams in Quebec to Massachusetts. Richard McDonald, president of Saving Maine, said the absence of any Maine wind projects in the Massachusetts contract was good news. “If these projects were selected, they posed a direct threat to the region’s $1.2 billion tourism economy,” he said.
Massachusetts taps Northern Pass for hydropower project over CMP bid
Associated Press - Thursday, January 25, 2018 

Massachusetts has given preliminary approval to Eversource’s Northern Pass proposal to deliver hydropower to the state from Quebec. State officials on Thursday said the project from the Manchester, N.H.-based company had been selected from among dozens that had submitted bids under a 2016 state law that called for a significant boost to the supply of renewable energy in Massachusetts. Central Maine Power said that it is disappointed, but still believes the proposed New England Clean Energy Connect project will contribute to New England’s long-term need for clean, renewable energy.
Eastern Cougars Declared Extinct—But That Might Not be Bad
National Geographic - Thursday, January 25, 2018 

Not since 1938 in Maine were cougars officially recorded in the northeastern U.S.—at least in terms of breeding populations. But the big cats weren't always so scarce. Before the 19th century, cougars were abundant in this range. However, on January 22, the Eastern cougar subspecies was officially declared extinct in the U.S. and removed from the endangered species list by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Surprisingly, some scientists say, this removal could be a good thing. Michael Robinson from the Center for Biological Diversity called on state governors to come up with local protections for the animals.
Jackson’s proposed rural economy task force hits roadblock
Mainebiz - Thursday, January 25, 2018 

A bill proposed by Aroostook County Sen. Troy Jackson, D-Allagash, to form a task force to look at ways of strengthening the state's rural economy has hit a roadblock. A work session on the bill, LD 1747, was tabled by the Agriculture Conservation and Forestry Committee Tuesday. The task force would look into rural economy issues. The blueberry and forest representatives on the task force would be recommended by the Wild Blueberry Commission of Maine and the Maine Forest Products Council. Members of both of those organizations said the scope of the committee should be expanded to include more agricultural representatives.
LePage has yet to take stand on Gulf of Maine drilling, energy adviser says
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, January 25, 2018 

Three weeks after President Donald Trump announced that his administration would expand drilling in U.S. coastal waters, Gov. Paul LePage is still reviewing the proposal to determine whether it would be good for Maine. Steven McGrath, who leads LePage’s energy office, said Thursday that the Republican governor does not have a timeline for his decision. LePage spokeswoman Julie Rabinowitz said earlier this month that the governor favors exploring new drilling areas but believes in a “balanced approach." McGrath said national reports that LePage supports drilling near Maine are premature. A public hearing on the issue was scheduled for Monday in Augusta but postponed because of the federal government shutdown.
Warren Miller, whose films celebrated thrill of skiing, dies at age 93
Associated Press - Thursday, January 25, 2018 

Warren Miller, the prolific outdoor filmmaker who for decades made homages to the skiing life that he narrated with his own humorous style, died Wednesday. He was 93. A World War II veteran, ski racer, surfer and sailor, Miller produced more than 500 films on a variety of outdoor activities. However it was his ski films for which he was most known. His annual movies served as informal kickoffs for the ski season for more than 60 years.
Wind power moratorium reignites tourism vs. clean energy debate
Mainebiz - Thursday, January 25, 2018 

Gov. Paul R. LePage issued an executive order Wednesday putting the brakes on the state's permitting of new onshore wind projects. In doing so, he's renewed the longstanding debate over whether there's greater value in Maine's scenic mountains for tourism than for wind energy. His order also created the Maine Wind Energy Advisory Commission, which is charged with developing and proposing regulatory policies guiding future deployment and operation of wind turbines in Western Maine. In 2016, Maine attracted more than 35 million visitors who spent nearly $6 billion, numbers that were surpassed in 2017, according to a news release from the governor's office. Dylan Voorhees, clean energy project director for the Natural Resources Council of Maine, issued a statement Wednesday condemning LePage's moratorium and creation of the wind energy advisory commission.
Katahdin W&W National Monument Settles into HQ in Patten
Free Press - Thursday, January 25, 2018 

Vicki and Steve Richardson donated their seven-bedroom family home in the small town of Patten to help the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument get established. Now owned by the Friends of Katahdin Woods and Waters, an organization founded a year ago to support planning and fundraising for the new national monument, the Patten house is provided rent-free to the national monument for use as their administrative headquarters. National monument visitor centers are still located at the Lumbermen’s Museum in Patten and on Main Street in Millinocket. Steve Richardson said the new national monument is already boosting the local economy and could lead to more opportunities for youth in the greater Katahdin area in the future. He and his wife donated the house to help that effort.
Extended Brunswick bus route breezes past predictions
Forecaster - Thursday, January 25, 2018 

But Amanda Redlich, assistant professor of mathematics at Bowdoin College, is one of many Portland residents who have taken advantage of the METRO Breez commuter bus service to Brunswick, a two-year pilot program that began last August. Ridership on the bus, which is operated by the Greater Portland Transit District, has nearly doubled since the Brunswick service began last August. Denise Beck, METRO director of marketing, said weekday ridership averaged 80-100 trips before the Brunswick expansion. After the Brunswick launch, numbers rose to more than 150, with some days over 200 trips. The number of Saturday riders has increased, too; the Breez had an average of 50 Saturday riders before the expansion, and has climbed to more than 100 with the addition of Brunswick.
Maine Shutting Down Scallop Areas To Protect Harvest
Associated Press - Thursday, January 25, 2018 

The Maine Department of Marine Resources says it has shut down Johnson Bay and Eastport Breakwater in the Cobscook Bay area. Cobscook Bay is the most important fishing area for Maine scallopers. The state says it's also shutting down Casco Passage, which is in the northwest corner of the Swan's Island fishing area.
Former mill worker indicted for setting massive fire in Lincoln
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, January 25, 2018 

A man accused of starting a massive fire in November that destroyed one large building and heavily damaged another at the former Lincoln paper mill was indicted Wednesday by the Penobscot County grand jury on two counts of arson. David G. Parsons, 59, of Lincoln allegedly admitted to setting two separate fires at the former Lincoln Paper and Tissue LLC site. If convicted, Parsons faces up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000. He also could be ordered to pay restitution to mill owners.
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