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
Opinion: To manage bear population, stop feeding them
Kennebec Journal - Friday, January 18, 2019 

In 2004 and again in 2014, wildlife biologists in the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife said that baiting, hounding and trapping bears were necessary management tools, without which Maine’s bear population would explode. The department provided no science to back up their claim. In 2015, researchers at USM produced a paper titled “Controlling the Black Bear Population in Maine”. One of the conclusions was that “using bait increases the black bear population to very high levels.” This claim has been made by wildlife advocates for many years and has been ignored by IF&W. Maine only needs to stop its bear-feeding program to allow the bear population to decrease and remain at lower, sustainable levels. Of course, this would mean the end of training bears to answer the dinner bell so they can be shot at point-blank range while their head is buried in a barrel of food scraps. ~ John Glowa Sr., South China
Letter: Reid not right for DEP
Bangor Daily News - Friday, January 18, 2019 

I’m alarmed at Jerry Reid’s nomination to head the Department of Environmental Protection. Intentionally or not, he worked to advance the interests of polluting intervenors in that case, making for an unseemly appearance of conflict of interest. ~ Katherine Rhoda, Hiram
Maine school district reinstates potato harvest break; superintendent resigns
Associated Press - Thursday, January 17, 2019 

A potato harvest is being reinstated for high school students in a Maine school district. Superintendent Brian Carpenter resigned after School Administrative District 1 voted 12-2 Wednesday night. The district represents the Presque Isle High School, the largest in Aroostook County. The board previously voted to discontinue the harvest break, but decided to reconsider the decision after farmers, business leaders, and other community members voiced concerns.
The Westbrook ice disc isn’t alone. It has a smaller cousin up in northern Maine.
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, January 17, 2019 

A second large spinning ice disc has been discovered in a Maine river, but it’s probably not going to attract the attention drawn to the one seen in Westbrook earlier this week. Michelle Simon of Millinocket was out with her boyfriend in Township 2, Range 10 northwest of Millinocket when she came upon another spinning hunk of ice in the Penobscot River south of Abol Bridge on Sunday.
Blog: Interior Proposes New FOIA Rule that Inhibits Government Transparency
Other - Thursday, January 17, 2019 

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) guarantees public access to the records of federal agencies. It embodies the view that government works best when it works in the open. On the Friday between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, the Department of the Interior quietly published a proposed regulation that will make it harder for the public to access records. While most of Interior was shut down due to a lapse in appropriations, it seems that shielding itself from public scrutiny was too important to delay. When Congress enacted FOIA, a House report said: “A democratic society requires an informed, intelligent electorate, and the intelligence of the electorate varies as the quantity and quality of its information varies.” Those words were prescient and Interior should strive to honor rather than subvert them. ~ Justin Pidot, former Deputy Solicitor for Land Resources at the Department of the Interior
The North Pole is moving, and the shutdown means we aren’t keeping up
Washington Post - Thursday, January 17, 2019 

Nearly 2,000 miles beneath our feet, in the swirling, spinning ball of liquid iron that forms our planet’s core and generates its magnetic field, a jet has formed, roiling the molten material beneath the Arctic. This geological gust was enough to send Earth’s magnetic North Pole skittering across the globe. The place to which a compass needle points is shifting toward Siberia at a pace of 30 miles a year. And thanks to the political storm in Washington, scientists have been unable to post an emergency update of the World Magnetic Model, which cellphone GPS systems and military navigators use to orient. Roughly half the employees at the NOAA, which hosts the model and publishes related software, are furloughed because of the partial government shutdown, now in its 27th day.
Mills names Hannah Pingree as head of new office of innovation
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, January 17, 2019 

Maine Gov. Janet Mills announced Thursday that former House Speaker Hannah Pingree will head the new Office of Innovation and the Future. Mills, a Democrat, promised the creation of the office during her inaugural address earlier this month saying it would, “dive into major policy challenges, foster collaboration and propose concrete, workable solutions” to the state’s problems.
Back to the future: Mills’ plan for a Maine innovation office really began 50 years ago
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, January 17, 2019 

Gov. Janet Mills will lay out a vision for a new Office of Innovation and the Future on Thursday in preparation for what would effectively be the second rebrand of a long-standing part of state government: the former State Planning Office. It was founded by former Gov. Ken Curtis in 1968 and ended largely as a cost-saving measure in 2012 under Mills’ predecessor, Gov. Paul LePage.
New Push To Settle Boundary Dispute At Acadia National Park
Associated Press - Thursday, January 17, 2019 

Maine's congressional delegation is making a new attempt to address problems with the boundaries of Acadia National Park that complicate the harvest of clams and worms. The four members of the delegation say they've introduced legislation in the Senate and House of Representatives to protect the rights of clammers and wormers to continue working the flats of Acadia's intertidal zones. Republican Sen. Susan Collins, independent Sen. Angus King and Democratic Reps. Jared Golden and Chellie Pingree say their bill would allow a 2015 land transfer to Acadia National Park to go through while also making clear that a boundary law from 1986 remains permanent.
Eel aquaculture business gets approval to build facility in midcoast town
Lincoln County News - Thursday, January 17, 2019 

The Waldoboro Planning Board has signed off on an entrepreneur’s plan to build a 27,000-square-foot facility for her eel aquaculture business at the Waldoboro Business Park. “We are taking Maine-harvested glass eels and growing them out to market size using land-based aquaculture,” said Sara Rademaker, president of American Unagi LLC. She raises the eels without hormones or antibiotics and primarily sells them to restaurants.
The environmental cost of your clothes
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, January 17, 2019 

There’s a problem growing in landfills and waterways, and it’s coming from an unexpected place: your closet. The shift toward mass manufacturing of cheap clothing is resulting in pollution, more waste and other negative environmental impacts. The environmental impacts go beyond emissions. Dyes used to produce toxic chemicals pollute waterways. Gathering the materials for wood-based fabrics such as rayon, modal and viscose contributes to deforestation. Popular polyester fabrics washed in domestic washing machines shed plastic microfibers make their way to into drinking water and aquatic food chains, including in fish and shellfish eaten by humans. Cotton, another eminently popular material, is a pesticide and water-intensive crop.
Plowing and trail grooming to resume at Acadia despite lingering shutdown
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, January 17, 2019 

The non-profit Friends of Acadia said Tuesday in a statement that it has reached an agreement with the National Park Service to have volunteers with the Acadia Winter Trails Association groom snow on Acadia National Park’s carriage trails for cross-country skiing while the shutdown continues. Most of Acadia’s 75 employees have been placed on furlough since the shutdown began nearly four weeks ago, on Dec. 22, 2018.
Maine could become a growing hotspot for the world’s most expensive spice
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, January 17, 2019 

Saffron is a spice with no parallel or substitute, with flavor hovering between honeyed, sweetly floral and ineffably earthy. It’s used in fragrant rice dishes, paella and bouillabaisse. It’s also the most expensive spice the world. Made from the hand-picked and dried stigmas of a fall crocus, saffron retails for about $5,000 per pound. The North American Center for Saffron Research and Development at the University of Vermont has made it its mission to transform New England into the country’s saffron-growing hotspot.
Lobster firm to invest in Gouldsboro plant after closure of Connecticut facility
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, January 17, 2019 

A seafood distribution and processing firm says it plans to increase production at its plant in Gouldsboro after closing a shipping facility in Connecticut. Garbo Lobster, a subsidiary of East Coast Seafood Group, announced this week that it plans to shut down the Groton live lobster packing facility on Thursday, Jan. 17. The company said Wednesday that most of the capacity at the Groton facility will be shifted to its Maine Fair Trade Lobster processing plant in the Gouldsboro village of Prospect Harbor.
Letter: New Year’s Wish for NECEC
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, January 17, 2019 

It is 2019 and the Maine Public Utilities Commission is still discussing details presented by the proponents and opponents of this powerline designed to move electricity from Canada to Massachusetts via a combination of a new 53-mile powerline corridor and upgrade of the remaining 92 miles through Maine. So Central Maine Power, Avangrid, Iberdrola, what is next? Please determine if power source, construction, and any possible unintended consequences, make the New England Clean Energy Connect the sparkling electricity the commonwealth envisioned before spending more Maine public money on details. ~ Bob Haynes, Skowhegan
Letter: Enough skimping on shrimping
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, January 17, 2019 

I believe that the current restrictions on Maine shrimp fisheries should be removed. It is negatively affecting Maine’s economy and heritage. With these restrictions, hundreds of people will lose their livelihoods, and our economy will continue to suffer. The state of Maine needs to re-approach the issue of closing the shrimp fisheries when they are so important to our state’s welfare. ~ Sam Blaisdell, York
Report suggests eating less red meat will improve health of people and planet
Associated Press - Wednesday, January 16, 2019 

A hamburger a week, but no more – that’s about as much red meat people should eat to do what’s best for their health and the planet, according to a report seeking to overhaul the world’s diet.
Lewiston-Auburn creating committee to consider Lake Auburn filtration
Sun Journal - Wednesday, January 16, 2019 

The Twin Cities are forming a committee to study the feasibility of building a water filtration plant at Lake Auburn. The decision comes a few weeks after taste and odor issues with the local drinking water subsided following a late summer algae bloom. Since then, Auburn Mayor Jason Levesque has led the charge to consider a filtration plant, which previous estimates have placed in the $45 million range.
Phyllis Mills Wyeth, wife of iconic American painter Jamie Wyeth, dies at 78
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, January 16, 2019 

Phyllis Mills Wyeth — the philanthropist, successful owner of thoroughbred racehorses and wife of renowned American realist painter Jamie Wyeth — died Monday at her home in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. She was 78. They spent their summers on Maine’s coast. She was noted philanthropist, conservationist, environmentalist, arts supporter, accomplished horsewoman and a staunch advocate for the rights of the handicapped and disabled.
Debate brews over splitting Maine’s agriculture, conservation department
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, January 16, 2019 

As Gov. Janet Mills prepares to announce her final Cabinet nominee, there is renewed discussion about breaking up the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry to better serve farming, logging and land preservation interests. Mills, who is expected this week to announce her pick to head the department, appears lukewarm on the prospect of dismantling the department into smaller, more tightly focused agencies. But she also isn’t ruling it out.
Fish passage efforts result in big herring run in Presumpscot
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, January 16, 2019 

The Friends of the Presumpscot River, the Conservation Law Foundation and Sappi North American reported Wednesday that more than 50,000 river herring ascended the fishway on the Cumberland Mills dam in 2018. That number is a significant increase over the previous two years. In 2017, just 810 river herring were counted at the fishway. In 2016, the number was slightly more than 10,000, compared to 2,960 herring in 2015. The river herring were among 100,000 fish that came up the river in 2018, including 55 shad during 2018. The shad increase is considered significant because in 2017 no shad were counted.
No longer spinning, Westbrook’s famous ice disk appears doomed to become just … ice
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, January 16, 2019 

Has the incredible spinning disk of ice spun for the last time? The football field-sized circle of ice rotating in the Presumpscot River was first spotted Monday and has been trumpeted internationally by the BBC, ABC’s “Good Morning America” and The New York Times, among others. But when crowds gathered along the river Wednesday to gaze at its mystery and majesty, the ice was motionless. It had lodged against the river’s edge and stopped.
Hannah Walsh promoted to Trekkers program director
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, January 16, 2019 

Trekkers, an outdoor-based youth mentoring organization, has announced that Hannah Walsh has been promoted to the Trekkers program director. Walsh has been serving as a program manager since September 2014, but her ongoing commitment to the community goes back even further. Walsh spent 2012-2014 as an Island Institute and Americorps Island Fellow, serving as the service-learning coordinator with Maine island schools, and as the After School and Garden Program coordinator at Jackson Memorial Library.
Marathon hearing over proposed oyster farm concludes, parties await decision from Marine Resources
Times Record - Wednesday, January 16, 2019 

A contentious, emotionally charged hearing that stretched over three days since November wrapped up Tuesday, leaving the Department of Marine Resources to decide whether Mere Point Oyster Co. should be granted a 10-year, 40-acre lease too boost its oyster production on Maquoit Bay. If granted, Mere Point Oyster’s expansion would increase its operating space by nearly 160 times.
LL Bean Renews Focus On Outdoor Philanthropy
Associated Press - Wednesday, January 16, 2019 

L.L. Bean is backing its renewed focus on the outdoors by doubling its charitable giving and channeling all of the new dollars to outdoors-oriented nonprofits. That includes $3 million over the next three years to the National Park Foundation, $1 million to The Trust for Public Land and smaller donations. L.L. Bean Chairman Shawn Gorman, great-grandson of the founder, said the company has donated more than $30 million over the past 10 years without much fanfare. But he says he wants shoppers to know "they're doing business with a company that's doing good things.''
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