November 17, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Sunday, November 17, 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
Hike with the Ranger, Nov 24
Event - Posted - Sunday, November 17, 2019 

At Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park, Freeport, November 24, 2 pm.
Friends of Baxter State Park online auction, ends Dec 4
Announcement - Thursday, November 14, 2019 

Own a piece of Baxter State Park history. 20 retired park signs will be available in the 2019 auction. 50% of the proceeds go to Baxter State Park, and 50% supports Friends of Baxter State Park. Auction ends December 4 midnight.
Northern Forest Canoe Trail online auction, ends Dec 1
Announcement - Thursday, November 14, 2019 

Paddlers and outdoor enthusiasts can bid on amazing experiences and gear, for a good cause: supporting Northern Forest Canoe Trail stewardship and programming. Ends Dec 1, 12:59 PM.
The Original Meaning and Intent of the Maine Indian Land Claims, Nov 21
Event - Posted - Thursday, November 14, 2019 

Maria Girouard, Penobscot Nation tribal historian, community organizer, educator, and activist, will examine intentions and contentions associated with the Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act of 1980, the historical context in which the act was framed, and ripple effects that have rocked the tribal-state relations ever since. At University of Southern Maine, Abromson Center, Portland, November 21, 6 pm.
Restoring Your Historic House, Nov 21
Event - Posted - Thursday, November 14, 2019 

Architectural historian, Scott Hanson, talks about his latest book, "Restoring Your Historic House: The Comprehensive Guide for Homeowners." At Topsham Library, November 21, 6 pm.
Truth in Action, Nov 20-21
Event - Posted - Wednesday, November 13, 2019 

Truth in Action is a daylong global conversation on the climate crisis and how we solve it led by Climate Reality Leaders, November 20-21.
Environmental Trivia Night, Nov 19
Event - Posted - Tuesday, November 12, 2019 

Maine Conservation Voters and UMaine School of Law Energy & Environment Fellows are hosting an environmental-themed trivia night. At Maine Beer Company, Freeport, November 19, 6 pm.
Deep sea research and biostratigraphy, Nov 19
Event - Posted - Tuesday, November 12, 2019 

Talk by Dr. Kevin McCartney, UMPI Professor of Geology. At University of Maine at Presque Isle, November 19, 12:30 pm.
Farmland Access & Transfer Conference, Nov 18
Event - Posted - Monday, November 11, 2019 

A day-long conference where farmers can learn strategies for succession planning, equity and affordability, securing farmland of their own, negotiating a lease agreement, etc. At Augusta Civic Center, November 18, 8 am - 3:30 pm. Sponsored by Maine Farmland Trust and Land For Good.
Comment on Maine SCORP
Action Alert - Monday, November 11, 2019 

The 2020-2024 State Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan qualifies Maine to receive federal Land and Water Conservation funds and satisfies state legislative requirements associated with monitoring trends in outdoor recreation. Deadline for comments on the draft plan: November 22.
Open House: Passenger Rail's Future, Nov 18
Event - Posted - Monday, November 11, 2019 

Open house about the future of passenger rail service. Provide input on alternative schedules, inbound morning service from Wells to Brunswick, a new location for a Portland station, additional station locations, and potential expansions to Lewiston/ Auburn and Westbrook. At the Brunswick Hotel, Brunswick, November 18, 5:30 pm.
Help Wanted: Maine Conservation Corps
Announcement - Saturday, November 9, 2019 

The Maine Conservation Corps is hiring a Field Coordinator, Team Leader, and 900 Hour Environmental Stewards.
Maine Deer: Winter Weather Warriors, Nov 16
Event - Posted - Saturday, November 9, 2019 

Nathan Bieber, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife deer specialist, talks about wintering deer in Maine. At Fields Pond Audubon Center, Holden, November 16, 1 p.m.
Wabanaki Place: Language and Landscape, Nov 16
Event - Posted - Saturday, November 9, 2019 

Penobscot historian James E. Francis Sr. will share stories about the origin and meaning of geographic place names in what is now known as Maine, from a Wabanaki perspective. At Maine Historical Society, Portland, Nov 16, 2 pm.
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Developer of Bucksport salmon farm took a big early step. Here’s what comes next.
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, May 23, 2019 

There are a number of steps remaining before the company planning a $250 million indoor salmon farm in Bucksport breaks ground on its facility on part of the former Verso Paper mill site. But after the company, Whole Oceans, closed on its purchase of a portion of the former mill site Tuesday, there’s excitement in town about the coming development, as well as some relief. The transaction between Whole Oceans and the mill site’s owner, American Iron and Metal, for an undisclosed price was the most tangible sign yet that the project first announced in February 2018 was moving forward.
The world’s moose experts are coming to Maine
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, May 23, 2019 

Some of the world’s foremost moose researchers will head to one of Maine’s “moose-iest” locales next month for the 53rd North American Moose Conference. Lee Kantar, the state moose biologist for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, is organizing the event, which will take place June 10-14 at Sugarloaf resort in Carrabassett Valley.
Opinion: Conservation bond hunting-trapping mandate usurps local control
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, May 23, 2019 

L.D. 911 asks voters this fall to consider borrowing $95 million for state park improvements and Land for Maine’s Future. Buried in the fine print: “Hunting, fishing, trapping and public access may not be prohibited on land acquired with bond proceeds, except to the extent of applicable state, local or federal laws, rules and regulations and except for working waterfront projects and farmland protection projects.” What about the majority of Mainers who neither hunt nor trap but simply want to enjoy a peaceful day in the woods? Hunters and trappers constitute only a small minority (roughly 15%) of Maine’s total population. L.D. 911 also undermines local control. If we can preserve land with public money, we should also be able to protect the public who use it and the wildlife who live on it. ~ Don Loprieno, Bristol
Opinion: Maine legislators must protect kids like mine from harmful chemicals lurking in food
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, May 23, 2019 

Research shows that when the industrial chemicals phthalates and PFAS are used in food packaging, they leach into the food we eat, and strong science shows these chemicals are harmful to children’s health. That means that the meals I make for my children may come with a serving of toxic chemicals. As a mom and a health professional, that’s unacceptable. We need regulation on the state level because the federal government has failed to act. The Safe Food Packaging Act, L.D. 1433, would help protect my children’s health by phasing out phthalates and PFAS from food packaging. ~ Sarah Gabrielson, MPH, BSN, Cape Elizabeth
Opinion: A call for honest, open, civil discourse
Republican Journal - Thursday, May 23, 2019 

I understand that there are different views and ideologies about the proposed salmon farm in Belfast. I understand that nearby residents have legitimate reasons to ask questions and raise potential concerns.
Nordic Aquafarms has engaged in many conversations regarding these concerns at all levels of government and with the public in Maine. Nordic Aquafarms has felt the genuine warmth of Maine hospitality and heated dispute over the facts. We welcome both. ~ Erik A. Heim, President, Nordic Aquafarms Inc.
Letter: CMP power line will contribute to shrinking of region’s carbon footprint
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, May 23, 2019 

Global warming is the existential crises of our time. The 2018 U.N. climate report states that we need to reduce our carbon emissions by 45 percent below 2010 levels by 2030 and 100 percent below 2010 levels by 2050! We accomplish these goals only if we make massive, transformative changes throughout the world and here at home. This is why I support the New England Clean Energy Connect project to bring 1,200 megawatts of electricity to the New England power grid. It represents a dramatic, efficient and highly effective “quick” first step to bring a very significant amount of renewable carbon-free energy to the region. ~ Christopher Ayres, Pownal
Letter: CMP has been a good neighbor in Pownal
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, May 23, 2019 

I am a retired selectman in Pownal and I’d like to express support for New England Clean Energy Connect. I always found CMP to be very accommodating. They listened to our requests and tried to mitigate any issues that we brought to their attention. They were sensitive to sound and environmental issues that concerned us and strove to have as little impact as possible. CMP now pays almost 25 percent of our town's tax commitment. If NECEC goes forward, it would provide additional, much-needed revenue. A recent television ad claimed that Pownal has voted against NECEC. This is not true. ~ Tim Giddinge, Pownal
Letter: McConnell could do much more to clear the air
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, May 23, 2019 

Re: “McConnell introduces bill making legal smoking age 21” (May 21): How ironic that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell demonstrates his concern for the health consequences of teenage smoking while sitting on his hands as the Trump administration’s Environmental Protection Agency guts the Clean Air Act and the Clean Power Plan, actions that will affect the health of all Americans. ~ Larry Kaplan, M.D., Cape Elizabeth
Letter: Cost of recycling
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, May 23, 2019 

Alton stopped recycling this year. It is very discouraging that to do what is right is so costly, and now it is even more of a challenge for our small town. Recycling and what is offered and accepted in each town is very inconsistent across the state. Pushing for alignment and consistency across the state is definitely the next step. ~ Kimberly Kennedy, Alton
Kleinschmidt Associates Enters Strategic Alliance with The Conservation Fund
Other - Wednesday, May 22, 2019 

Kleinschmidt Associates, an engineering, regulatory and environmental consulting firm based in Pittsfield, is pleased to announce that they have entered into a strategic alliance with The Conservation Fund. Roberta Zwier, director of mitigation solutions at The Conservation Fund, said, “Our expertise in land conservation and Kleinschmidt’s expertise in habitat restoration projects, particularly wetland and stream restoration, creates opportunities to increase the conservation benefit of our projects and expand the suite of services we can offer to our respective clients and partners.”
Construction begins for alewives restoration at Ladd Dam in North Vassalboro
Other - Wednesday, May 22, 2019 

Town Line - The Ladd Dam, in North Vassalboro, will soon have a technical fishway installed to allow alewives to move past it to their spawning ground. It’s not the final step in the overall project, but a critical one, and scheduled to start this summer following plans developed by the Department of Marine Resources, and US Fish and Wildlife Service, working with local engineers and dam owner Ray Breton. Maintaining the Ladd Dam impoundment will keep the swimming area, a favorite spot on hot summer days. The work is an important step in the Alewife Restoration Initiative which will re-establish passage from the ocean to China Lake.
Auburn creates recycling committee, holds off from suspending program
Sun Journal - Wednesday, May 22, 2019 

The Auburn City Council has formed a committee to assess the curbside recycling program, holding off for now on a previous call to suspend the program because of community concerns. The vote to form a committee came after discussions in recent weeks over the city’s twice-monthly recycling pickup, which some officials have argued is proving more costly than beneficial as markets for some materials are down significantly.
Park service says improvements being made at Acadia
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, May 22, 2019 

The National Park Service says numerous improvements are taking place at Acadia National Park in Maine over the coming months. The service says work has begun at the Hulls Cove Visitor Center and work is slated to begin on the Frazer Point Pier early in July. Hiking trails are also scheduled for improvements. Some work is already finished, including the rehabilitation of historic firepits at Seawall Campgrounds.
Initial test results reveal ‘forever chemicals’ showing up in sludge
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, May 22, 2019 

Chemicals raising health concerns nationwide were present in the majority of sludge tested by Maine wastewater treatment plants at levels high enough to merit additional scrutiny from state environmental regulators, according to initial results. The early returns illustrate the pervasiveness of these “forever chemicals” commonly known as PFAS, as well as the challenge ahead for the state and municipal treatment facilities.
From Carp to Pig-Hide: Bait Shortage Means Change for Lobsters’ Diet
Maine Public - Wednesday, May 22, 2019 

Gulf of Maine lobstermen are casting around far and wide for new kinds of bait, now that federal regulators have cut herring quotas by 70 percent. Possible solutions range from the mass importation of a nuisance fish from the Midwest, to manufactured baits to pig hides. Fisheries managers estimate a 50-million pound "herring gap" in Maine over the next year.
Some Mainers want to replace CMP and Emera Maine with a public utility. Here’s how it works in Nebraska.
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, May 22, 2019 

Proponents of a controversial proposal to replace Central Maine Power and Emera Maine with a single consumer-owned, nonprofit electric company have pointed to Nebraska as the example of how to keep local control over power while also lowering electricity rates. Nebraska is the only U.S. state that fully relies on consumer-owned utility companies rather than for-profit corporations for electricity. It has 162 public utilities. Public ownership of utilities is increasingly being turned to as a viable option as power companies across the country struggle to keep electricity rates competitive, to weather disasters and to stay in business. But whether Nebraska’s success with low rates and local power companies could work in other states isn’t clear.
Q&A: The tick population is booming. Is climate change to blame?
Washington Post - Wednesday, May 22, 2019 

While a warming climate will provide favorable living conditions for ticks, it’s also the population explosion of deer and other mammals that live around us that influences the spread of tick-borne diseases. Urbanization and the fragmentation of forests has brought many of these animals and their hosted ticks directly into our backyards. To stay tick-free when walking through woods or fields, DEET doesn’t work well for ticks. Spray clothes with permethrin and let them dry for 24 hours. Ticks will die on contact with the sprayed clothing.
Amid CMP corridor controversy, Mills mulls a key energy policy pick
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, May 22, 2019 

Gov. Janet Mills is soon expected to pick someone to fill a plum job with Maine’s utility regulator, a move that will balance a break with her predecessor on energy policy with a business-friendly attitude that has her and the agency in the spotlight. Sources around the energy sector mentioned former state Sens. Phil Bartlett and Mark Dion as possible candidates alongside Faith Huntington, director of the commission’s electric and natural gas division, Rachel Goldwasser, executive director of the New England Conference of Public Utilities Commissioners and Robert Stoddard, the CEO of a marine energy company.
Letter: Lawn, garden products may include ‘forever chemicals’
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, May 22, 2019 

A May 20 article about “forever chemicals” referred to the negative impact of PFAS chemicals on a York County farm. Although not discussed in the article, chemicals in sludge seem relevant to organic farmers and to homeowners who use compost or a loam and compost mixture, sometimes referred to as “super soil,” for lawn development or improvement. Homeowners should understand the source and the content of materials used to improve their lawns and gardens. ~ Homer McLemore, Windham
Letter: Build transmission line through Vermont
Kennebec Journal - Wednesday, May 22, 2019 

Central Maine Power’s New England Clean Energy Connect is not a singular opportunity, as Vermont’s New England Clean Power Link is a viable alternative for bringing hydropower from Quebec to Massachusetts. The Vermont project represents a proposed 150-mile transmission line that would be underground and underwater, avoid the serious environmental damage documented for NECEC and achieve the same climate benefits, if they can be conclusively proven to occur. It also has been issued the necessary permits from the state of Vermont and federal agencies, and is ready to go. The fact that it is available as an alternative turns the sense of urgency for NECEC on its head. ~ John Nicholas, Winthrop
Destructive Federal Timber Sale Program Loses Nearly $2 Billion a Year
Other - Tuesday, May 21, 2019 

In a new report, the Center for Sustainable Economy has documented taxpayer losses of nearly $2 billion a year associated with the federal logging program carried out on national forest and Bureau of Land Management lands. Despite these losses, the Trump Administration plans to significantly increase logging on these lands in the years ahead, a move that would plunge taxpayers into even greater debt. President Trump has signed an Executive Order that would increase national forest logging by 40% over current levels. According to Dr. John Talberth, Senior Economist from the Center for Sustainable Economy, “Federal forests represent the last remaining islands in a sea of forestlands degraded by industrial logging activities on state and privately owned lands. Our federal forests are far more valuable as carbon sinks, recreation destinations, wildlife habitat and natural water filters than they are for timber production."
Students, volunteers to stencil storm drains in effort to promote clean water
Sun Journal - Tuesday, May 21, 2019 

The Androscoggin Valley Stormwater Working Group is working together with local volunteers for cleaner and safer waters. Volunteers will gather June 8 to conduct street stenciling in multiple neighborhoods. The stencils will mark the streets near municipal drainage inlets (aka catch basins). Stormwater is precipitation that doesn’t soak into the ground. Rain that flows from rooftops to lawns, across driveways and into sidewalks and roads is collected by these storm drains and discharged, untreated, into local bodies of water. Along the way, stormwater collects pesticides and fertilizers, bacteria from pet waste, oil and petroleum, sediment, trash and cigarette butts. The stenciling event is an effort to help educate the public of the process and to remind them not to dump down the drain.
As the climate crisis worsens, cities turn to parks
National Geographic - Tuesday, May 21, 2019 

Cities are building parks that can alleviate climate change effects like intense heat and poor air quality. Parks can help mitigate coastal flooding, capture carbon, and foster a sense of community among those that will be affected by extreme weather. Brendan Shane, the climate program director at the Trust for Public Land, says parks can ultimately provide a sort of social resilience, in addition to cooling neighborhoods and absorbing floodwater. “The stronger the bonds are from neighbor to neighbor, the better they are able to react to a shock,” he says. “The nice thing about parks is they give you all those things at the same time.”
As the climate crisis worsens, cities turn to parks
National Geographic - Tuesday, May 21, 2019 

City parks have long been a place for urban residents surrounded by the gray of asphalt and concrete to get a small dose of green. As cities increasingly feel the impacts of rising seas and temperatures, city planners are rethinking the roles of urban parks. “There’s been a quiet and profound move to use parks to help cities adapt to the realities of climate change,” says Diane Regas, CEO of The Trust for Public Land.
How to protect yourself from ticks in Maine
Aislinn Sarnacki Act Out Blog - Tuesday, May 21, 2019 

As tick season gets into full swing here in Maine, I thought it would be helpful for me to share what I’ve learned in recent years about tick defense.
• Avoid ticks altogether
• Certain clothing can help
• Skin-applied tick repellents
• How to conduct a tick check
• What to do with a tick
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