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
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: 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
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
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