June 19, 2019  
Announcements               
Press releases, events, publications released, etc. from Maine environmental organizations and agencies. Submit content.

Tall Tales, Fish Tails, & Damn Lies, Jun 27
Event - Posted - Thursday, June 20, 2019 

Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries will hold a night of music and words from a fishing community with performances and story-telling by Frank Gotwals, Dennis Damon, Bob Quinn and many more. At Stonington Opera House, June 27, 6:30 pm. Proceeds benefit a sustainable future for local fisheries and communities.
Can environmental action be good for business? Jun 27
Event - Posted - Thursday, June 20, 2019 

An informal policy and issue-based discussions held at local businesses over coffee or beer. Speakers: Kristan Porter, Maine Lobstermen's Association; Abe Furth, Orono Brewing Company; Brad Ryder, Epic Sports. ~ Natural Resources Council of Maine
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.
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News Items
CMP chief pledges billing problems will be solved by end of March, but consumer group has doubts
Portland Press Herald - Monday, February 25, 2019 

Central Maine Power’s president is telling state utility regulators that the company’s record billing backlog will be cleared by the end of March. Lauren Loomis, a spokeswoman for CMP Ratepayers Unite, said new complaints continue to be filed and some billing defects that CMP considered to be fixed remain unresolved. “Since last month,” Loomis said, “we have seen an increase of newly affected customers joining the group. I would say the billing issues are increasing and not decreasing.”
U.S. still has no place for spent nuclear fuel, so Maine Yankee’s owner gets millions
Portland Press Herald - Monday, February 25, 2019 

For the fourth time since 1998, a federal judge has awarded the owners of three closed nuclear power plants, including Maine Yankee, millions of dollars for the federal government’s failure to remove spent nuclear fuel. Maine Yankee’s share is $34.4 million. The award will help offset the roughly $10 million per year cost of operating an interim spent fuel storage site on plant property in Wiscasset. It will indirectly benefit ratepayers, who otherwise foot the bill.
Skowhegan students ponder: Which chickadee – boreal or black cap – is the real Maine state bird?
Morning Sentinel - Monday, February 25, 2019 

Chickadee is the Maine state bird, but which one is it — the boreal chickadee or the black-capped chickadee? Wednesday state Rep. Betty Austin, D-Skowhegan, and others are scheduled to make a presentation before the Legislature to once and for all perhaps determine which breed is, in fact, the state bird. Austin has recruited about 100 fourth-graders at an elementary school in Skowhegan for assistance. The students did research and took a vote, all of which is to be passed onto the legislative committee. Of the 78 fourth-graders who voted, 49 of them chose the boreal chickadee, and 29 voted for its black-capped cousin.
Greener Childhood Associated With Happier Adulthood
National Public Radio - Monday, February 25, 2019 

Some people seek to maximize the purported therapeutic effects of contact with the unbuilt environment by embarking on sessions of forest bathing, slowing down and becoming mindfully immersed in nature. But in a rapidly urbanizing world, green spaces are shrinking as our cities grow out and up. Scientists are working to understand how green spaces, or lack of them, can affect our mental health. Researchers found that growing up near vegetation is associated with an up to 55 percent lower risk of mental health disorders in adulthood.
Legislative committee votes against Maine spring bear hunt
Bangor Daily News - Monday, February 25, 2019 

A bill that would establish a spring bear hunt in Maine failed to generate support in a legislative work session Monday, and the joint standing committee on inland fisheries and wildlife unanimously voted it “ought not to pass.” The bill, LD 337, would have allowed spring bear hunting across Maine for the first time in nearly 40 years. The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife testified against a spring hunt but has said that in order to stabilize the state’s growing bear population, more bears must be taken by hunters each year.
New England's Biggest Fishing Trade Show Set For This Week
Associated Press - Monday, February 25, 2019 

The largest fishermen's trade show in New England will take place this week as the industry grapples with issues such as warming oceans and uncertainty in the worldwide lobster market. The Maine Fishermen's Forum is slated to take place at the Samoset Resort in Rockport from Feb. 28 to March 2.
Opinion: Green New Deal offers a possible route to conquer climate challenge
Bangor Daily News - Monday, February 25, 2019 

Conquering the climate challenge will not be easy. But as long as we keep moving, we will get there eventually. The Green New Deal offers a major step forward. Finally, at long last, we have a plan that shows the way out of base camp, and now we need to go up the mountain. ~ Paul Mayewski, Climate Change Institute, University of Maine
Trump's EPA cuts prosecutions of polluters
Natural Resources Defense Council - Monday, February 25, 2019 

Under President Trump, the EPA has cut inspections of industrial facilities, oil and gas drilling operations, and power plants in half. That means across the country, fossil fuel giants could be blatantly flouting environmental regulations and pumping untold amounts of pollution into our air…with the president’s blessing. And criminal prosecutions of polluters by the EPA have hit a 30-year low. The Trump administration’s attacks are continuing unabated. ~ Rhea Suh, NRDC Action Fund
BREAKING: LePage says he will lead effort to repeal carbon tax tied to NECEC
Maine Environmental News - Monday, February 25, 2019 

On February 25, in a radio interview on WGAN, former Maine Governor Paul LePage said he "will lead an effort to repeal the carbon tax" if it is tied to Central Maine Power Company's New England Clean Energy Connect Project.
A Critical Look at Claims for Green Technologies
Other - Monday, February 25, 2019 

Green technologies are not yet proved, affordable, or deployable—but even if they were, it would still take them generations to solve our environmental problems.
Cleanup of abandoned Sanford mill delayed by federal government shutdown
Journal Tribune - Monday, February 25, 2019 

The 35-day partial shutdown of the federal government has delayed the cleanup of a giant abandoned mill building that burned more than 18 months ago. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s cleanup of the Stenton Trust mill is now scheduled to move forward this spring with a tentative May 1 start of demolition of a tower that burned on June 23, 2017. The projected timeline has shifted a couple of times, from the summer of 2018, to the fall, and then to January. But the federal government shutdown that commenced at midnight on Dec. 22 and wound down on January 25 put an end to plans for a January start.
Powerline
Other - Monday, February 25, 2019 

NH Public Radio - Hydro-Québec, the world’s fourth largest hydropower producer, pumps out electricity at the cheapest rates in North America. For some, it is the key to a greener, more prosperous, future, but that “clean energy” comes freighted with a complicated history and an uncertain future. This is the story of how a massive, state-owned utility company came to be a symbol of the French-Canadian people. It’s also the story of how a company, with all of the force of a colonial culture behind it, used its power to try to push Quebec’s indigenous people to one side. It’s the story of native people pushing to regain power over their own lives and culture. And it’s a story about the environmental benefits and human costs of clean energy.
Harnessing the Power of Ocean Current
Maine Campus - Monday, February 25, 2019 

On Feb. 21, in the Emera Astronomy Center at the University of Maine, Lauren Ross, an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at UMaine, delivered a lecture titled “Harnessing the Power of Ocean Currents." Ross explored fundamental questions concerning the usage of tidal power as a sustainable energy source, as well as the resulting environmental impact.
Mills and LePage both back CMP’s $1 billion project, but for very different reasons
Bangor Daily News - Monday, February 25, 2019 

Gov. Janet Mills is facing her first not-so-partisan wedge issue after coming out in favor of Central Maine Power’s proposed $1 billion corridor that would deliver Quebec hydropower to Massachusetts through western Maine. The Democrat’s young tenure has been marked by breaks with former Gov. Paul LePage, but this is the rare issue that the two agree on, although the two came out in support of the project at different times for different reasons with much more on the line for the new governor.
Penobscot County man dies in weekend snowmobile crash
Bangor Daily News - Monday, February 25, 2019 

John Dorsey, 52, left a friend’s house about 9 p.m. Saturday riding his snowmobile along Buckshot Road in Springfield when he failed to negotiate a corner and struck a tree. Dorsey, who was wearing a helmet, died at the scene. Wardens believe speed and alcohol contributed to the crash. It was the sixth snowmobile fatality of the season
As snowmobile deaths in Maine climb to 7, wardens warn riders to slow down
Portland Press Herald - Monday, February 25, 2019 

Seven snowmobilers have been killed in Maine this winter, prompting the Maine Warden Service to warn riders to slow down. The leading factor contributing to the crashes is speed, said Cpl. John MacDonald of the Maine Warden Service. Six people died in Maine snowmobile-related incidents last winter. The deadliest Maine snowmobile season was 2002-2003, when 16 people were killed in snowmobile crashes.
Orphaned bear cub rescued after mother’s death is doing well, wildlife biologists say
Bangor Daily News - Monday, February 25, 2019 

An orphaned bear cub that made news last April is alive and well, according to biologists with the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. On April 3, 2018, a mother bear died after being struck by a car and the orphaned male cub wandered off. Biologists took the cub deep into the woods, placing him in the den with another hibernating mother bear and her own cub. The bear research crew was out checking on dens again this year and is happy to report that the adopted cub, now a yearling, is alive and well with his new mother and sister.
Atlantic salmon will never be restored to Maine rivers
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Monday, February 25, 2019 

Hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent trying to restore Atlantic salmon to Maine rivers, without much luck. A recent report said they’ll need to spend at least $24 million dollars a year for the next 75 years, in order to succeed in restoring salmon to a few of our rivers. It’s time to recognize the futility of this project, and direct that money and effort elsewhere.
The Moneyed Winners And Losers If CMP Gets Its Western Maine Transmission Line
Maine Public - Monday, February 25, 2019 

Part 1 - Central Maine Power’s proposal to run a high-voltage transmission line 141 miles from western Maine to Lewiston has become a flash point in the region. Big issues are in play, from global climate change to New England’s energy landscape and outdoors economy. Big money is also at stake. CMP says if the billion-dollar project is approved, Mainers will benefit from lower electricity bills, new jobs and a buffet of incentives. But some would suffer financial losses.
Maine maple sugar forest could still tap U.S. conservation funds
Portland Press Herald - Monday, February 25, 2019 

In November 2017, members of the Land for Maine’s Future board passed over the “Big Six Forest” project for funding after opponents raised concerns about the lack of public access to the remote parcel via road except through Quebec. The project got caught up in the political tensions over land conservation during the LePage administration. But the Big Six Forest had already qualified for $3.8 million from the federal Forest Legacy conservation program because of its status as one of the largest maple “sugarbushes” in the U.S. and its outsize contribution to Maine’s maple industry. The “partners” – landowner Paul Fortin of Madison, The Trust for Public Land and the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands – are now proposing a “bargain sale” that would allow Fortin to donate a chunk of the land’s value in order to tap into the federal Forest Legacy funds.
Debate rages on as state readies to break ground on I-395 connector
Bangor Daily News - Monday, February 25, 2019 

The state has been working for nearly two decades on an $80 million infrastructure project that would extend I-395 from its current end near the Brewer-Holden town line about 6 miles northeast to connect it with Route 9. With construction slated to start in two or three years, it has acquired four properties in recent months to make way for the new road that would affect dozens property owners with land on or near the proposed route. Even though some have resigned themselves to the prospect of a new interstate highway cutting through or near their properties, resistance to the new road is alive and well — and a new legislative effort aims to pause the project.
Letter: U.N. framework wrong way to address climate change
Portland Press Herald - Monday, February 25, 2019 

The world economies have been built with oil and coal as the primary energy sources. Entrepreneurs, not central planners, have created advancements over time. Actions to wean the world off fossil fuels will have to be profit driven, and government subsidies in the amounts required probably isn’t a realistic approach. The Paris accord calls for developed nations to contribute $100 billion annually by 2020. Nobody has paid anything into the accord besides the U.S. President Trump has – rightfully – quit the accord. The industrial nations that account for, say, 85 to 90 percent of current carbon emissions must come up with a plan by which everyone is bound. Like a nuclear arms control treaty, with inspections, reports and penalty consequences for violations. ~ Tom Zimmerman, South Casco
Letter: State needs to heal relations with tribes
Portland Press Herald - Monday, February 25, 2019 

Our Maine Native Americans have often described the state-tribal relationship as “fractured” or “broken,” as reported in this paper Jan. 31 (“Mills’ pick to lead DEP faces tribal opposition”). Addressing this distrust would benefit everyone who desires acknowledgment and affirming fairness for all…which results in progress in the right direction. ~ Bonnie Tallagnon, Biddeford
Letter: Wall an environmental disaster
Bangor Daily News - Monday, February 25, 2019 

In addition to the hardship on people imposed by our immigration policy, which has callously separated many hundreds of children from their parents, the massive wall pushed by President Donald Trump would have a disastrous effect on the environment. According a National Geographic article, construction of a border wall would bisect the geographic range of 1,506 native animals and plants, including 62 species that are listed as critically endangered. It could exacerbate flooding, acting as a dam during rainy season flash floods. Trump’s “beautiful” wall would disrupt seasonal migration and affect access to water, fragmenting and shrinking animal populations, and trapping wildlife from escaping fires, floods and heat waves. ~ Christina Diebold, Bangor
Letter: No to transmission line
Bangor Daily News - Monday, February 25, 2019 

Environment Maine is against CMP’s proposed 145-mile long transmission line, which would require clear cutting areas of the largest temperate forest in North America, the North Woods. This is a still bad deal for Maine, and would permanently scar our land. No amount of money can make up for that. This corridor will permanently scar the North Woods, risk the wildlife we care about, and threaten the balance we’ve benefited from for centuries. That is why Environment Maine urges Mainers to say “No!” ~ Carissa Maurin, Environment Maine State Director, Biddeford
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