September 16, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Monday, September 16, 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
York Beach Clean Up, Sep 23
Event - Posted - Monday, September 16, 2019 

Join a beach clean up & attempt to set a world record spelling the largest "NO PLANET B" ever in the sand. The goal is 500 people At Long Sands Beach, York, September 23, 9 am - 12:30 pm.
Tumbledown trail maintenance, guided hike scheduled, Sep 22
Event - Posted - Sunday, September 15, 2019 

A 4.7 mile round-trip guided hike up Tumbledown Mountain will include discussion of geology, trees and plants, history, wildlife and issues facing the mountain. Meet at Brook Trailhead on Byron Road, Weld, September 22, 9 am - 2 pm.
Life Happens Outside Festival, Sep 21
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 14, 2019 

L.L. Bean Discovery Park, Freeport, 10 am - 4 pm, climbing wall and games ; 6:30 pm, Food Trucks, 7:15 pm, Maine Outdoor Film Festival. Free but donations benefit Teens To Trails.
Portland Electric Car Ride & Drive, Sep 21
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 14, 2019 

Learn about electric cars during the 5th annual EV Expo. At Back Cove parking area off Preble Street, Portland, September 21, 12-4 pm, free pizza & coffee. Hosted by Natural Resources Council of Maine and ReVision Energy.
Smithsonian Museum Day, Sep 21
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 14, 2019 

An annual celebration of boundless curiosity hosted by Smithsonian magazine. At L.C. Bates Museum, Hinckley, September 21, 10 am - 4:30 pm.
Global Climate Strike, Sep 20
Event - Posted - Friday, September 13, 2019 

Take to the streets for the Global Climate Strike to make sure elected officials and candidates for office in 2020 hear us loud and clear. Strikes in Maine at Farmington and Bar Harbor, September 20. ~ 350 Action
Bryant Pond 4-H Camp and Learning Center, Sep 20
Event - Posted - Friday, September 13, 2019 

Ron and Deidre Fournier will speak about the Bryant Pond 4-H Camp and Learning Center. At meeting of the Oxford County Educators Association-Retired, Universalist Church, West Paris, September 20, 1 pm.
Pollinator plantings workshop, Sep 20
Event - Posted - Friday, September 13, 2019 

Learn about the pollinators and beneficial insects helping to make our food systems work with Eric Venturini of the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation. At Hooker Family Farm, Oxford, September 20, 10 am - 12 pm, $10/family.
Common Ground Country Fair, Sep 20-22
Event - Posted - Friday, September 13, 2019 

More than 750 varied events at this annual celebration of rural living with a mix of workshops, demonstrations, music, vendors, farmers’ markets, fantastic food and more. At Unity, September 20-22, gates open daily at 9 am.
Exploring Invasive Species, Sep 19
Event - Posted - Thursday, September 12, 2019 

Mike Hanks of Cape Elizabeth Land Trust talks invasive plants. At Thomas Memorial Library, Cape Elizabeth, September 19, 1 pm; he will lead a walk at Gull Crest Field to identify invasive plants at 2 pm.
Untrammeled — The Case for Wild Nature in a Changing World, Sep 17
Event - Posted - Tuesday, September 10, 2019 

Conservation leaders Tom Butler and Mark Anderson of the Northeast Wilderness Trust will address the science and spirit of forever-wild conservation. Q&A to follow. At Maine Audubon, Gisland Farm, Falmouth, September 17, 7 pm.
10th Great Maine Outdoor Weekend featuring 130 events, Sept. 16-18
Event - Posted - Monday, September 9, 2019 

The 10th Great Maine Outdoor Weekend will be the biggest yet, with more than 130 events planned throughout Maine, September 16-18.
Nature Cruise on the Kennebec River and Merrymeeting Bay, Sep 15
Event - Posted - Sunday, September 8, 2019 

Join Cathance River Education Alliance for a nature cruise from Bath up the Kennebec River to Merrymeeting Bay. September 15, 3-6:30 pm, $42 for adults, $30 for children 6 to 12, $6 for kids under 6.
Landowner Appreciation and Clean Up Day, Sep 15
Event - Posted - Sunday, September 8, 2019 

Landowner Appreciation and Clean Up Day, sponsored by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and the Maine Forest Service, is September 15.
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News Items
The lion in winter
Sun Journal - Sunday, February 23, 2014 

Imagine yourself waking before dawn in a strange frozen landscape and squirming out of your sleeping bag under an open-air lean-to to greet sub-zero temperatures and biting wind. Bundling up in several layers of your warmest clothes, and taking extra care not to expose even a millimeter of skin, you tuck your water for the day inside your coat so your body temperature will keep it from freezing, and get ready to ascend Mount Katahdin, Maine’s tallest peak. This is Baxter State Park — one of Maine’s most beloved natural treasures — in the wintertime.
Unity College students research bear population, record data for DIF&W
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, February 23, 2014 

Unity College student Justin Sutherland lifted the bear out of the tree so other students could check and record her temperature, weight, breathing and heart rate and tattoo a number under her lip. This wasn’t the first time these students had encountered this bear. Last summer they captured and tagged her as part of Unity College’s new bear study program. Under the guidance of associate professor of wildlife biology George Matula, the students completed an internship where they tracked and recorded data about the bears, which was shared with the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.
Maine says bear program is a success
Associated Press - Sunday, February 23, 2014 

Maine wildlife biologists are checking on hibernating black bears this month against the backdrop of an anticipated November ballot initiative aimed at banning bear hunting using bait, dogs and traps. Bear biologist Randy Cross of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife tells Maine Public Broadcasting Network that the bear management program is a success. He also says hunters wouldn’t be able to take enough bears to ensure a healthy population without using the techniques that would be banned. But Darryl DeJoy, who runs the Wildlife Alliance of Maine, says baiting is actually helping the population growth by supplementing bears’ natural diet.
Waterville protesters want Obama, Kerry to kill the tar sands oil pipeline
Morning Sentinel - Sunday, February 23, 2014 

Tar sands oil would be transported along a 1,700-mile pipeline through the United States to refineries on the Gulf Coast if the controversial pipeline is approved this spring by the federal government. The pipeline is called the Keystone XL pipeline and only President Obama and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry can stop it, about a dozen people holding placards said Sunday outside the Unitarian Universalist Church in Waterville.The oil sands industry is booming in Canada, pumping billions of dollars into the economy and providing thousands of jobs. But critics say the processes for recovering the oil sands are particularly harmful to the environment.
Satellite data help pinpoint the effects of dwindling Arctic sea ice
Summit Voice - Sunday, February 23, 2014 

The Arctic ice cap is more than just a home for polar bears. During the summer, the vast expanse of white helps cool the earth — like putting a wet, white bandana on your head during a hot summer summer day. But as the sea ice extent shrinks each year, the cooling effect is diminished. And climate models may be underestimating the impacts of the loss of Arctic Sea ice, according to new research based on detailed satellite measurements of the Earth’s reflectivity. As the sea ice melts, its white reflective surface is replaced by a relatively dark ocean surface. This diminishes the amount of sunlight being reflected back to space, causing Earth to absorb an increasing amount of solar energy.
Former Maine sportsmen's lobbyist Smith shows a gentler side
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, February 23, 2014 

The small successes in a family yard sale, the fate of a rabbit seeking shelter in a woodpile and the fond familiarity of a broken window at a lake camp are some of the images in George Smith’s first book, “A Life Lived Outdoors.” It’s a book about what it means to make do in Maine, what a make-do kind of place looks like and how nature colors such a world. It’s about why we all need to spend time in a cabin, a tent or campground in some wild, quiet place to improve “our quality of life and mental health.” Those who know George Smith’s public image as a long-time lobbyist for the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine are probably wondering if this author is some other George Smith. But it’s not.
Letter: Overreach threatens public access to private Maine land
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, February 23, 2014 

Much is made of Maine’s tradition of public access to private property. It is a benefit that countless residents and visitors to our state have enjoyed going back generations and is the basis for a lot of Maine’s outdoor recreation economy. The state and every other level of government in Maine are also beneficiaries of this arrangement, taking in millions in taxes, registration and licensing fees. The arrangement is under stress these days as more and more land is being posted. I believe what you are seeing are the beginnings of a property owners’ revolt against government’s heavy-handed and costly interference into the use and ultimately the value of people’s land. ~ Anthony Garrity, West Newfield
Letter: Think of future generations when considering mining in Maine
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, February 23, 2014 

The current controversy about Maine’s mining rules deserves our immediate attention. It is one of those issues that will drive our kids and grandkids wild with frustration if we don’t protect our state now from mining industry contamination. We need to reject L.D. 1772. A public hearing on the bill is planned for Feb. 24 at 9 a.m. in Room 216 of the Cross State Office Building. ~ Mariana Tupper, Yarmouth
Letter: Help monarch butterflies by growing milkweed
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, February 23, 2014 

Special thanks to Mary Beth Breckenridge for her article in the Feb. 16 Telegram (“Gardeners in Maine, elsewhere can help monarch butterflies thrive”). This comes in plenty of time for anyone who wants to help preserve our monarch population in Maine. If you have a patch of dirt in your yard, please consider planting some milkweed or some nectar plants. They’ll beautify your yard and bring you some butterflies to lift your spirits. ~ Suzi Franklin, Wells
Editorial: Penobscot mercury scare shows need for regulation
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, February 23, 2014 

Too often, environmental regulation is cast as an impediment to economic growth, and businesspeople and their supporters in government insist that regulators can do the most good by simply getting out of the way. Far from being bad for business, environmental regulation is essential for business to succeed, especially the kinds of businesses that Maine depends on. On Tuesday, the state Department of Marine Resources ordered a two-year shutdown of lobster and crab harvesting in a 7-square-mile region at the mouth of the Penobscot River. Mercury contamination from decades-old industrial pollution has reached high levels in the shellfish, and it should not be consumed, regulators say. The next time we hear a politician complain about too much regulation, we should all remember this situation and reflect on how much trouble good regulation can avoid.
Opinion: Progress can entail preserving best of our state's wild places
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, February 23, 2014 

It will take many, many small leaders to make the proposed Maine Woods National Park a reality. Sadly, it is easier to build a casino, condominium or resort than it is to preserve our priceless and fragile natural beauty and ecosystems. Recent news states that the economic success realized from the casinos is fueling interest to build more casinos in Maine. Why do we turn a blind eye to the economic success that our national parks provide? ~ Thomas Mark Szelog, Whitefield
Column: National park may be in the making
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, February 23, 2014 

The recently dubbed Katahdin Woods and Waters Recreation Area, the parkland owned and recently opened to more user groups by Roxanne Quimby and her children, went on Facebook in the last month. In January, Elliotsville Plantation, the nonprofit agency that manages the land, also launched its website, This land lies to the east of Baxter State Park, and boasts logging roads for hiking, mountain biking and hunting, as well as the East Branch of the Penobscot River and 100,000 acres of ponds, streams and forestland. The hope is to build use, to welcome a wide range of users and then take it from there – the end goal being the national park Quimby has wanted to build on the land for a decade. ~ Deirdre Fleming
Column: It’s time to step up to the 1,000-mile challenge
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, February 23, 2014 

An article in the February issue of Country Walking magazine, “Take the 1,000-Mile Challenge,” was particularly intriguing. The mag throws down the gauntlet — challenging readers to walk 1,000 miles over the course of the year — and then maps out a workable plan. By walking at lunchtime, at festivals, on weekends, at charity events and by tackling a few chunks of big trail, the folks at Country Walking say you really can make the miles add up over time. Hmmm, I thought, that’s a pretty cool idea. Hike essentially half the distance of the Appalachian Trail in bite-size pieces in a single year? All right, I’m game. Are you? ~ Carey Kish
Column: A pleasant run sparks a vivid downhill reverie
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, February 23, 2014 

I was enjoying perhaps the nicest cruise of the season last week down Sugarloaf’s Timberline — in the afternoon sun, with hardly a breath of wind blowing — when I was transported in my mind back to a melange of skiing memories going all the way back to the old Slope Trail on Megunticook Mountain in the Camden Hills, the playground of my youth in the 1940s. Perhaps it was provoked in part by my reading of Roger Angell’s delightful essay in the New Yorker magazine last week, entitled “This Old Man.” Whatever the cause, I was consumed by an almost euphoric reverie about ski days gone by. ~ John Christie
Column: It’s hard for a hunter to go by the book
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, February 23, 2014 

Each month for the past 30-plus years, a job has offered me experiences that have made me somewhat knowledgeable about the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s (DIF&W) law booklets. There are ambiguities aplenty. ~ Ken Allen
Column: Outfitting hunting camps with special lottery draw good idea
Sun Journal - Saturday, February 22, 2014 

A new state law that allows the Department for the first time ever to sell a small number of moose permits to state outfitters and lodges may well stir up a hornet’s nest of discontent when the word begins to filter down to moose lottery applicants who have yet to experience a freezer of moose steaks. At my peril. I say that this is a good idea that is long overdue. ~ V. Paul Reynolds
Maine smelt camp operators experience worst season ever
Kennebec Journal - Saturday, February 22, 2014 

Along the Kennebec River, operators report an inexplicable shortage of the once-teeming fish species.
How Wolves Change Rivers
Maine Environmental News - Saturday, February 22, 2014 

Some people have opposed restoration of wolves to the Maine Woods. This short video about Yellowstone explains how the reintroduction of wolves there has resulted in a trophic cascade, bringing new life back to the ecosystem.
Environment: Scientists warn about use of seismic airguns in never-ending quest for more fossil fuels
Summit Voice - Saturday, February 22, 2014 

The fossil fuel industry’s use of seismic airgun testing to search for as-yet untapped offshore oil deposits could prove damaging to ocean species — especially marine mammals that depend on acoustic information. Unless federal agencies use the best available science to design effective avoidance and mitigation strategies, thousands of dolphins and whales could be affected, including critically endangered North Atlantic right whales, with a dwindling population of only 500 individuals.
Bates College professor charts retreat of Arctic glaciers
Sun Journal - Saturday, February 22, 2014 

At the Great Falls Forum on Friday, Bates College professor and Geology Department chairman Mike Retelle discussed his work in the Arctic where he has been detailing shrinking glaciers. "They're retreating very rapidly," Retelle said.
Letter: Climate change driving Four Horsemen
Morning Sentinel - Saturday, February 22, 2014 

it is unfortunate that the term “global warming,” though accurate, became the label for the increasing climate change we are experiencing. At the global scale, there is indeed incremental warming, but its result is extreme contrasts of weather — both hot and cold. Many are deliberately trying to misinform us. It’s a daunting challenge — to change radically the way we live. But here’s a dire assertion I came across that must be considered: “ Whatever your cause, it’s a lost cause unless we deal with climate change.” ~ Abbott Meader, Oakland
Opinion: In deciding fate of Sears Island, remember what makes it special
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, February 22, 2014 

The fate of Sears Island is a proxy for the fate of Penobscot Bay. Every few years, someone or some group proposes a grand development plan for Sears Island. Most recently, tugboat pilot Capt. David Gelinas lamented DCP Midstream’s failure to develop a liquefied petroleum gas terminal on Sears Island. Yet even as the epic battle over the future of Sears Island continues, the Penobscot Bay natural resource-based economy steadily sustains. Why would anyone jeopardize Sears Island for a phantom energy project or a fantasy port? ~ Steven Miller, Islesboro Island Trust
Proposed Verso, NewPage merger in jeopardy
Portland Press Herald - Friday, February 21, 2014 

Prospects dimmed even further on Friday for a proposed merger between papermakers Verso Paper Corp. and NewPage Holdings, which employ a combined 2,250 workers at three paper mills in Maine, according to a document filed Friday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The filing includes a letter sent by Ohio-based NewPage to Tennessee-based Verso stating that it objects to the company’s request to back out of a key provision of the proposed deal that would allow NewPage to restructure a significant amount of its debt.
Pathfinders group offering springtime walks throughout Down East
Aislinn Sarnacki Act Out Blog - Friday, February 21, 2014 

Pathfinders, a volunteer group, invites the public to join them on organized walks at a variety of beautiful Downeast locations throughout March and April.
LePage halts $33 million in bonds approved by voters
Portland Press Herald - Friday, February 21, 2014 

Gov. Paul LePage has ordered the state treasurer to stop issuing voter-approved bonds, in response to the Legislature’s plan to use money from the state’s rainy day fund to restore aid to Maine’s cities and towns. LePage’s order will stop borrowing for $33 million worth of projects on which he has not yet signed off, including $2 for land acquisition for conservation, $275,00 for working waterfront preservation, and $30,000 for state parks and land management.
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