June 19, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Wednesday, June 19, 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
Save Right Whales
Action Alert - Wednesday, June 19, 2019 

New England’s iconic whale is on the brink of extinction. A bill in Congress called Scientific Assistance for Very Endangered (“SAVE”) Right Whales could help this key species recover. ~ Conservation Law Foundation
Water: What is has to teach us, Jun 25
Event - Posted - Tuesday, June 18, 2019 

Learn about fresh water ecosystems and new aquaculture operations in the MidCoast region. At Topsham Public Library, June 25, 6 pm. Sponsored by Cathance River Education Alliance.
Proposed Coyote Center, Jun 24
Event - Posted - Monday, June 17, 2019 

Biologist Geri Vistein will share an informative film about the future Coyote Center in Maine, followed by a discussion of Maine’s coyotes. At Lithgow Public Library, Augusta, June 24, 6:30 pm.
Teen Wilderness Expedition, July 23-25
Announcement - Sunday, June 16, 2019 

The Teen Wilderness Expedition is a 3-day, 2-night, all-inclusive adventure for 12-16 year olds at Little Lyford Lodge, July 23-25. Offered by Piscataquis County Soil and Water Conservation District and Appalachian Mountain Club.
Maine State Museum hosts Bike Day, Jun 22
Event - Posted - Saturday, June 15, 2019 

Join the Maine State Museum, Bicycle Coalition of Maine and the Maine State Library in a free family event to commemorate the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote and learn about the benefits of safe, relaxed bike riding. At Maine State Museum, June 22, 10 am - 1 pm.
Woodland Management with Birds in Mind, Jun 22
Event - Posted - Saturday, June 15, 2019 

A Forestry for Maine Birds workshop for landowners, foresters and loggers interested in learning how they can support Maine’s forest songbirds. At Somerset County Cooperative Extension office, Skowhegan, and on the adjacent Yankee Woodlot Demonstration Forest, June 22, 9 am - noon.
Hike Puzzle Mt., Jun 22
Event - Posted - Saturday, June 15, 2019 

A moderate to strenuous hike of 8.5 miles. Cross several exposed granite boulders and ledges offering views of the Sunday River ski area, Grafton Notch, and the Presidentials, June 22, pre-register. Sponsored by Appalachian Mountain Club.
Androscoggin River Canoe & Kayak River Race, Jun 22
Event - Posted - Saturday, June 15, 2019 

This event is open to all to launch canoes, kayaks, paddle boards, (and more) into the Androscoggin River and complete one of three courses of varying length and challenge. At Festival Plaza, Auburn, June 22, 9 am, $15 for single paddler, $25 for a double, benefits Androscoggin Land Trust.
Plants of Corea Heath, Jun 22
Event - Posted - Saturday, June 15, 2019 

Join Jill Weber, botanist and co-author of The Plants of Acadia National Park, to learn about carnivorous plants, orchids, stunted trees and shrubs and cotton-grass. At Corea Heath, Goldsboro, June 22, 8:30 am. Sponsored by Downeast Audubon.
Maine Wildlife Park open house, Jun 21
Event - Posted - Friday, June 14, 2019 

The Maine Wildlife Park in Gray will hold an open house with free admission, June 21, 5-8 pm. Feeding times for moose, lynx, foxes, cougars, vultures and bears will be posted.
Call for a presidential primary debate on climate change
Action Alert - Thursday, June 13, 2019 

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez has rejected a presidential primary debate on climate change. 15 Democratic presidential candidates have joined the call. So can you. ~ CREDO Action
Trekking through Time
Announcement - Thursday, June 13, 2019 

From June through October, Lakes Environmental Association, Loon Echo Land Trust, Greater Lovell Land Trust, Upper Saco Valley Land Trust, and Western Foothills Land Trust will host the Trekking through Time Series. Once a month throughout the summer and early fall, each organization will host a historical tour of one of its conservation properties.
Help document impact on shell middens, Jun 18
Announcement - Tuesday, June 11, 2019 

Many cultural artifacts of Maine's first coastal residents are preserved in shell middens, but these sites are disappearing as sea levels rise, collectors dig into the middens, and visitors walk on them. Maine Midden Minders is developing a database of erosion conditions at middens. Volunteer training at Coastal Rivers’ Education Center, Damariscotta, June 18, 3-7 pm.
“Dog-Friendly Hikes in Maine” book launch, Jun 18
Event - Posted - Tuesday, June 11, 2019 

Book signing and presentation for “Dog-Friendly Hikes in Maine” by Aislinn Sarnacki, which contains detailed descriptions and maps of 35 hikes across Maine that are ideal for dogs and their owners. At Epic Sports, Bangor, June 18, 5-7:30 pm.
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News Items
Madison landowner closes snowmobile trail after pregnant cow shot
Morning Sentinel - Thursday, February 22, 2018 

A Madison landowner who allowed the local snowmobile club to maintain a trail across part of his property has closed the trail after one of his pregnant cows was shot and killed last week. “They shot her between the eyes,” landowner Clayton Tibbetts said Thursday from his River Road farm. “It had to have been at close range." The shooting and the trail closure were met with shock and dismay from the Abnaki Sno Riders, the local snowmobile club, which maintained the trail for members and for the public to enjoy, club secretary LeeAnne Newton said. “The fact that someone used the snowmobile trail to access Mr. Tibbetts’ property and then proceed to deliberately kill his pregnant cow is very disturbing,” Newton said.
Yurts and tents could sprout on Casco Bay island, as campground wins key approval
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, February 22, 2018 

Portland’s Historic Preservation Board has given its blessing to a 21-site campground on the southern side of House Island, where Fort Scammell is located.
Regulators to take closer look at complaints of overbilling by CMP
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, February 22, 2018 

The Maine Public Utilitites Commission will consider launching an investigation into alleged overbilling of customers by Central Maine Power Co. at a meeting Tuesday. Kiera Reardon, consumer adviser with the Maine Public Advocate’s Office, told the Portland Press Herald in early February that she had fielded more than a dozen complaints about inexplicably high CMP bills in the preceding week, on top of others the office received after consumers got their bills in January.
Maine lands second major salmon farm, this time at shuttered paper mill
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, February 22, 2018 

Maine suddenly finds itself at the heart of a fledgling U.S. industry, as a second company pushes to build a huge land-based aquafarm to feed a growing appetite for Atlantic salmon. Whole Oceans, a Maine-based company that has been working behind the scenes for six years to find a place to build an indoor aquaculture facility, signed an agreement Thursday to purchase most of the former Verso paper mill site in Bucksport. Just last month, Norwegian seafood producer Nordic Aquafarms, announced plans to build one of the world’s largest land-based salmon farms in Belfast. Together, the companies expect to produce about 53,000 tons of fish each year.
Popular Maine farm says someone shot pregnant goat
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, February 22, 2018 

Scarborough police confirm that they received a report from Smiling Hill Farm that the body of Ava, a 5-year-old pregnant Toggenburg doe, was discovered Sunday morning during the animal’s regular morning feeding. The approximately 500-acre family-run dairy farm has long been a popular family destination, selling ice cream and letting children play and pet the animals. Warren Knight, a member of the family that has owned and operated the farm since the early 18th century, wrote that “the goat was shot in a fenced pen on the Scarborough side of Smiling Hill Farm."
New maps show the utterly massive imprint of fishing on the world’s oceans
Washington Post - Thursday, February 22, 2018 

Humans are now fishing at least 55 percent of the world’s oceans – an area four times larger than the area occupied by humanity’s onshore agriculture. That startling statistic is among the findings of a unique, high-tech collaboration that is providing a massive amount of new data about global fishing operations. The results, published Thursday in the journal Science, offer a powerful glimpse of the problem of overfishing on the hard-to-regulate high seas.
The 2nd Maine Breeding and 1st Maine Wintering Bird Atlas has fledged
Maine Government News - Thursday, February 22, 2018 

This ambitious project partners professional Maine biologists and citizen scientists to document the distribution and relative abundance of breeding and wintering birds across the entire state. The Maine Bird Atlas is a citizen science project, which means it is dependent on volunteers to conduct most of the data collection. Maine has a strong birding community of both residents and visitors that we hope will contribute to the largest bird monitoring effort to ever occur in the state. Anyone with an interest in birds, nature, or outdoor recreation can use this as an opportunity to learn about birds and be involved in a critically important conservation project.
Lawmakers oppose new fees on Maine hybrid and electric cars
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, February 22, 2018 

Democratic lawmakers rejected a proposal from Gov. Paul LePage’s administration to make owning hybrid and electric cars more expensive in a committee-level vote Thursday. The 6-5 vote of the transportation committee fell along party lines, with Republican lawmakers opposing the panel’s recommendation to the full Legislature that the bill be rejected. The bill would have imposed annual surcharges of $150 for hybrid gas-electric cars and $250 for all-electric cars to offset the state’s loss of fuel tax from those vehicles and help overcome an chronic multimillion-dollar highway fund shortfall.
Aldo Leopold Weekend Celebrations Planned March 2-4 in Midcoast
Free Press - Thursday, February 22, 2018 

Aldo Leopold established the first federal wilderness in 1922, wrote the first textbook on wildlife management, and established the first professional program in wildlife ecology and management. Maine joins communities across the country to celebrate Leopold’s ideas with events in Rockland, Lincolnville and Camden, March 2-4.
UMaine to negotiate with new energy provider after controversial bidder pulls out
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, February 22, 2018 

The University of Maine announced Thursday it has chosen a different supplier to negotiate for a lucrative energy contract after a controversial bidder withdrew. The university will negotiate with Honeywell International, which had the second-highest score on the University of Maine Energy Solutions bid to supply energy to UMaine’s Orono campus. ConEdison Solutions on Feb. 21 informed the university it was withdrawing from the bidding, citing uncertainty about its ability to lease assets in the former Expera Mill in Old Town.
Company at heart of contentious UMaine power deal pulls out
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, February 22, 2018 

Con Edison Solutions had won the right to negotiate a contract to power UMaine’s Orono campus with wood-fired steam and electricity from an abandoned paper mill. But the company withdrew from the $100 million project citing uncertainty about its ability to lease assets in the former Expera Mill in neighboring Old Town and saying it would not be able to provide a firm pricing offer or an energy delivery plan by the university’s required deadline. As a result, UMaine officials said they would engage with Honeywell International regarding its bid for the project.
Camden hires new planning and development director
Penobscot Bay Pilot - Thursday, February 22, 2018 

Town Manager Audra Caler-Bell said Feb. 22 that she has hired Jeremy Martin as new planning and development director for Camden. He supervised teams on the Maine Conservation Corps, was a natural resource specialist with the China Region Lakes Alliance, watershed and land use consultant for the Maine Association of Conservation Districts, environmental specialist for the Cobbossee Watershed District, development and zoning coordinator for Bangor, and then director of that city’s Code Enforcement Officer division.
Legislature acts on noise suppression devices and nonresident deer hunter
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Thursday, February 22, 2018 

The legislature’s Inland Fisheries and Wildlife unanimously endorsed two interesting bills this week. LD 1823 will assure the continuation of the law that allows nonresident hunters who own more than 25 acres, and allow us to hunt there, to join us in hunting on the opening day of the firearms season on deer. The second bill, LD 1824, extends the authority of hunters to use noise suppression devices, with a permit. That opportunity was set to expire. Both bills now go to the House and Senate for votes, and then to the governor for his approval.
Opinion: Reporter didn’t get it right – bill is nonpartisan
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, February 22, 2018 

L.D. 31 proposes an amendment to the Maine Constitution that would require initiative circulators to collect an equal proportion of signatures from each congressional district. Half of the states with initiative systems have similar geographical requirements to qualify a citizen initiative for the ballot. Suburban and rural voters feel disenfranchised by petition circulators that target heavily populated cities. If supporters of initiatives had to get signatures from a more politically diverse segment of statewide voters, initiatives would have to be written to appeal to all Maine people, instead of just liberals in the south of Maine. ~ David Trahan, Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine
Letter: End lead paint poisoning in Lewiston
Sun Journal - Thursday, February 22, 2018 

Why is lead paint still a major issue in Lewiston? It is estimated that there were 242 children affected by lead paint poisoning in Lewiston between 2012 and 2016. Perhaps it is time for the City Council to take a stand — make lead-paint abatement a priority and fine those who do not comply. If that is too costly, make it mandatory that rental property cannot change owners until all remediation of lead paint has been completed, and no city funds can be used to pay rents for those contaminated buildings. ~ Robert Reed, Lewiston
Topsham, state to discuss river activity ban near hydro plant
Forecaster - Wednesday, February 21, 2018 

After discussion and no formal action Feb. 15, the Board of Selectmen on March 1 will consider a revised proposal to prohibit activity in the Androscoggin River on both sides of a power plant. In the meantime, Town Manager Rich Roedner plans to meet with state agencies to settle questions about who has jurisdiction on that part of the river – specifically, whether the town and Brunswick can instate such a ban.
Bottle bill would lower deposit for wine, spirits
Sun Journal - Wednesday, February 21, 2018 

Advocates of a proposal that would lower the deposit on wine and liquor bottles by 10 cents say the measure would equalize returnables and simplify the process. Opposing the bill were largely environmental groups who said tinkering with the deposits could lead to greater pollution and municipal solid waste costs while handicapping redemption centers and charities. Maine’s bottle bill, enacted in 1978, is one of the most successful in the country.
In Mexico, monarchs versus avocado farming
Associated Press - Wednesday, February 21, 2018 

Mexican environmental inspectors said Wednesday that they found 7.4 acres of illegal avocado plantations in the Monarch butterfly wintering grounds west of Mexico City. It’s apparently the first time that a wave of avocado planting has directly affected the heart of the Monarch area, a protected nature reserve. Monarch butterflies migrate from the U.S. and Canada to pine and fir forests that thrive at about the same altitude as prime avocado-growing land.
House panel seeks records 
on EPA chief’s 1st-class travel
Associated Press - Wednesday, February 21, 2018 

A Republican-led congressional committee is demanding records related to premium-class flights taken by Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt. House Oversight Chairman Trey Gowdy issued a letter to Pruitt this week seeking an accounting of all flights taken by the EPA administrator over the last year and whether the ticket was coach, business or first class. Pruitt defended his use of premium-class airfare earlier this month, saying security concerns were raised after unpleasant interactions with other passengers.
Gouldsboro man hauls 25-pound togue out of Tunk Lake
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, February 21, 2018 

Most winters, Ryan Bridges doesn’t pay much attention to Tunk Lake, a well-known fish factory near Cherryfield that is known to produce some large lake trout. The reason: The water is also famous for its finicky nature. Some winters, it never freezes safely, or completely. But this year has been different.
Column: Amid splashy headlines, environmental concerns ramp up
Morning Sentinel - Wednesday, February 21, 2018 

While you were scratching your head the last couple of months over distracting political issues, the Earth continued to overheat and the U.S. government’s determination to ignore it continued to ramp up. Here is the latest enumeration of stuff that’s happened that will have a bearing on the condition of the woods, fields, streams and shoreline in your backyard over the next five to 50 years. ~ Dana Wilde
Blast of warmth pushes temperature to all-time record for February
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, February 21, 2018 

Boots and parkas came off Wednesday as a freakishly warm February day broke records and lured winter-weary Mainers to beaches, restaurant patios and ice cream shops. Portland reached 68 degrees at 2:39 p.m. That crushed the 65-year-old record for Feb. 21 – 59 degrees, recorded in 1953. It also set a new all-time record high for the entire month of February. The previous record was 64 degrees, set on Feb. 26, 1957.
Intertidal Zones
Maine Public - Wednesday, February 21, 2018 

Maine Calling explores who owns the inter-tidal zone in Maine. Guests: Orlando Delogu, Emeritus Professor of Law, Maine School of Law; Pete Thaxter, an attorney who has represented landowners in seminal cases regarding the intertidal zone; and Stephen Rappaport, a reporter with the The Ellsworth American, who has long covered waterfront and fishing issues Downeast, including current debate over rocked harvesting.
Advocates for home solar projects slam decision by ‘out-of-control’ PUC
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, February 21, 2018 

Maine’s rooftop solar installers, who thought they had until April 30 to put up panels under existing, more-generous compensation rules, were caught off-guard Wednesday when the Maine Public Utilities Commission unexpectedly decided to close the window March 16. The decision was criticized by installers and clean-energy advocates, who said it creates more confusion in Maine’s already contentious solar marketplace. The Natural Resources Council of Maine said the PUC “is out of control. Today the PUC decided Maine is closed for business and intent on destroying jobs in America’s fastest-growing job market.”
Maine’s Gov. LePage Accused of Using False Data in Effort to Tax Land Trusts
Other - Wednesday, February 21, 2018 

Nonprofit Quarterly - In his most recent State of the State speech, delivered on the 13th of February, Gov. Paul LePage of Maine renewed his call to tax nonprofit organizations as a way of easing the burden on homeowners. This time he set his sights on nature conservancies, which, he says, own $18.3 billion worth of land and are not paying taxes. He estimates this costs the home-owning population of Maine $330 million. Conservation advocates and some legislators have taken exception to this estimate, calling it disingenuous at best.
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