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
In Flux: Pondering Penobscot Bay’s Future
Free Press - Thursday, July 26, 2018 

Last month, marine ecologist Bob Steneck drew an overflow crowd to Belfast for a presentation entitled “Penobscot Bay: An Ecosystem Colliding with the Anthropocene.” Many expected a look ahead at how climate might upend the bay. But surprisingly, Steneck invited his audience to look not forward—but back. We are, Steneck noted, facing a bay ecosystem so disrupted that it’s hard to fathom the size and diversity of species consumed by prehistoric Americans. Right now we’re enjoying the fruits of a “lucrative monoculture,” Steneck told his audience, in which lobsters represent 80 percent of the value of Maine’s fisheries. He is not alone in recognizing the great vulnerability in being so dependent on a single species.
LePage Proposes to Weaken Ozone Pollution Regulations
Free Press - Thursday, July 26, 2018 

Maine Department of Environmental Protection will hold a public hearing on a proposal to allow businesses to emit more chemicals that cause ozone pollution on Monday, July 30, at 1 p.m. Gov. LePage has directed the DEP to petition the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to allow most of Maine to withdraw from the Ozone Transport Region (OTR), which would permit new industrial projects to be exempt from having to purchase credits to offset ozone emissions. The deadline for comments is August 10.
Maine blueberry industry expected to be affected by trade disputes
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, July 26, 2018 

In Maine, growers of wild blueberries, a locally iconic industry, have felt the ripple effects of President Donald Trump’s trade disputes with China. In 2017, the state exported nearly 2 million pounds of wild blueberries to China, according to Nancy McBrady, the executive director of the Wild Blueberry Commission of Maine. So far this year, Maine has exported only 75,398 pounds of the fruit. “We had really been seeing some positive movement, and this round of trade disputes has thrown some cold water on that,” she said Tuesday.
Why Canada’s striped bass explosion isn’t a concern on the Penobscot
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, July 26, 2018 

In New Brunswick, a population explosion of striped bass in the Miramichi River — a legendary Atlantic salmon fishing destination — has salmon camp owners quite concerned. Are U.S. salmon conservationists concerned about stripers in the Penobscot and other Maine rivers? Andy Goode, vice president of U.S. programs for the Atlantic Salmon Federation, says we shouldn’t fret a bit. “Stripers are a native species, so they co-evolved with all the other 11 migratory fish in Maine, such as Atlantic salmon. There is no evidence or record that one native fish species is going to wipe out another, though fish populations are naturally cyclical with highs and lows over time.”
Judge scraps lawsuit against Maine wind moratorium
Other - Wednesday, July 25, 2018 

Utility Dive - A Maine Superior Court judge dismissed a case challenging the constitutionality of the wind power moratorium imposed by Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s January executive order on Friday. Renewable energy advocates have tried to challenge the legality of the order, which halts wind turbine permitting in the state. Maine is currently leading in Northeast wind generation. While the judge’s opinion agrees that LePage’s executive order conflicts with the wind permitting state law, he said the environmental and renewable energy groups haven’t proven harm for any incoming wind turbine projects.
Trump Admin Tries to Gut Endangered Species Act
Other - Wednesday, July 25, 2018 

The Trump administration has announced plans to gut the Endangered Species Act, ordering federal agencies to consider economic impacts before listing animals to be protected under the law. The newly proposed guidelines by the Interior Department would allow corporations involved in extraction to proceed with projects that would otherwise be prohibited. The Trump administration’s proposed rules are among several recent attacks endangering the Endangered Species Act.
NOAA chief suggests removing ‘climate’ from mission statement, adding focus on trade deficit
Washington Post - Wednesday, July 25, 2018 

A recent presentation by the acting head of the United States’ top weather and oceans agency suggested removing the study of “climate” from its official mission statement, focusing the agency’s work instead on economic goals and “homeland and national security.” Critics say this would upend the mission of the $5.9 billion National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Carbon Tax and the Art of the Deal: Time for Some Horse-Trading
Inside Climate News - Wednesday, July 25, 2018 

When a Republican introduced legislation in Congress on Monday to put a tax on carbon dioxide emissions even those who spoke approvingly of the bill tended to refer to it as a way to start a "conversation." For the bill to have any chance, it'll also have to start some horse-trading. Without some give and take, this carbon tax bill is likely to go where all others have landed: nowhere.
The Secretary Zinke Federal Investigation Tracker
Other - Wednesday, July 25, 2018 

Outside - Controversy has tailed Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke practically since he assumed the job. As head of the Department of the Interior, he oversees 500 million acres of public land—about one-fifth of the United States—and is charged with both preserving our nation’s natural resources and managing them for commercial use. “I’m a Teddy Roosevelt guy,” Zinke has said. “You can’t love public lands more than I do.” But what would Roosevelt, a celebrated conservationist who created five national parks and 18 national monuments, really think of Zinke’s efforts? To answer that question, we created this helpful tracker, which judges noteworthy moments in Interior Secretary Zinke’s tenure as they happen, rating each on a scale from Perturbed Teddy to Angry Teddy to Raging Teddy.
The Endangered Species Act Is Criticized for Its Costs. But It Generates More than $1 Trillion a Year
TIME - Wednesday, July 25, 2018 

as the Trump Administration prepares a set of regulatory changes that could dramatically undermine the law, some supporters are highlighting the economic benefits of protecting endangered species. They note that the law doesn’t just protect individual species, it also protects the ecosystems that support that species. That work sustaining natural lands and the species that call them home helps ensure everything from a hospitable climate to clean drinking water. A 2011 study prepared for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, a government-affiliated conservation group, tabulated the total value of ecosystem services at about $1.6 trillion annually in the U.S.
Maine senators want U.S. to set aside day to celebrate lobster
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, July 25, 2018 

Maine’s two senators are asking the nation to take a day in September to celebrate one of the ocean’s most valuable and sought after catches, as well as the men and women whose livelihoods depend on landing the tasty crustaceans. Republican Sen. Susan Collins and independent Sen. Angus King introduced a resolution Wednesday that would designate Sept. 25 as “National Lobster Day.”
Trump to Offer Trade Assistance to Farmers After Tariffs Hurt Business
Maine Public - Wednesday, July 25, 2018 

The U.S. Agriculture department says $12 billion is needed to help farmers who were hurt by the Trump Administration's tariff wars with China, Mexico and Canada. Maine's Agriculture Commissioner Walt Whitcomb says some of that relief will likely make it to Maine dairy, potato and blueberry farmers. He says some of the administration's maneuvering has been aimed at lowering the 27 percent Chinese tariff already leveled at Maine blueberry exports – a favorite for people in China. Whitcomb says it is not clear how much money from the proposal may actually come to Maine.
'Side-By-Side' ATVs Are Accelerating In Popularity — And Raising Some Concerns
Maine Public - Wednesday, July 25, 2018 

The new generation of ATVs can carry up to four passengers, and some even have air conditioning. And while dealers say these so-called “side-by-sides” continue to grow in popularity, there are also growing concerns about the impact these wide vehicles are having on Maine’s trail system and the people who use it.
Blog: Evidence for public lands right in front of our eyes
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, July 25, 2018 

My family and I spent last week in Utah, where we visited three of the Mighty Five national parks and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. We also drove through Dixie National Forest and the San Rafael Desert. You should go. It’s a high desert and canyon landscape like no place I have ever seen. Earlier this month, the Department of Interior inadvertently released public documents that show that in its efforts to justify shrinking national monuments last year, senior administration officials blocked evidence that public lands increased tourism and helped to lead to new archaeological discoveries. The United States is blessed with breath-taking wilderness diversity and many still-wild places. We need to protect them. And we have to stop ignoring the evidence right in front of our eyes. ~ David Farmer
Column: Climate roulette: We’re playing with dangerous odds
Morning Sentinel - Wednesday, July 25, 2018 

Maybe the weather this month has been a reminder that we’re all engaged in what might be the biggest gamble in human history. We’re betting that the gigatons of carbon dioxide we pour into the air from planes, trains, automobiles and heating and cooling systems is not actually warming up the atmosphere and oceans. Anyone who pays attention to reality can see we’re on a roulette wheel here, with all our money on black 20, where climate change and global warming are a colossal, worldwide hoax. On the 35 other numbers, we lose. Couldn’t we all agree to forget about who’s spinning the wheel, and just deal with where the ball probably is going to land, before it’s permanently too hot to go outside?. ~ Dana Wilde
Editorial: Trump administration intentionally ignored benefits of national monuments
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, July 25, 2018 

Shortly after he assumed office, President Donald Trump ordered a review of 27 recently designated national monuments, including Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument in Maine. Five months later, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke offered a vague report that called for management plan changes at 10 monuments to emphasize “traditional uses.” Zinke left the Maine monument intact but called for “active timber management.” Newly revealed documents show that Trump’s Department of Interior had only one metric in mind when it reviewed the monuments — how much could they be worth if they were stripped of trees, opened to more grazing and minerals, oil and gas extracted from beneath them. Monuments were not special places meant to be preserved. Instead, they were seen as a source of money from what could be extracted from them.
Skowhegan woman, two juveniles charged with stealing camping equipment
Morning Sentinel - Wednesday, July 25, 2018 

Franklin County Sheriff Scott Nichols said in a news release Wednesday that Marie Valcourt, 23, of Skowhegan, was charged with theft of camping equipment at the Wyman Beach Campsite off the Flagstaff Road in Eustis. Two male passengers, a 16-year-old boy from Skowhegan, and a 17-year-old boy from Norridgewock, were both issued juvenile summons for theft.
CMP will give $50 million to help low-income customers in Massachusetts
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, July 25, 2018 

Central Maine Power has agreed to give $50 million to energy-assistance programs that will benefit low-income electric customers – in Massachusetts as a condition of winning the bid to build a high-voltage transmission line from Quebec through Maine that will carry hydroelectricity to the Commonwealth. The disclosure comes as CMP is under multiple investigations and lawsuits over allegations it overcharged Maine ratepayers.
Portland climber survives 60-foot fall on Acadia’s Precipice Trail
Associated Press - Wednesday, July 25, 2018 

Acadia National Park officials say a climber survived a 60-foot fall on a trail known for its sheer cliffs. Park officials say a 26-year-old Portland man was hiking on Precipice Trail on Monday when he reached up to grab a rock to hoist himself up and the rock gave way. The man tumbled down, breaking bones and suffering lacerations. The injuries were not considered life-threatening.
Opinion: Changing the Endangered Species Act could actually help conservation
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, July 25, 2018 

When the Endangered Species Act passed in the Senate 45 years ago this month, not one member voted against it. Today, the act is a perpetual source of conflict among landowners, environmentalists, states and the federal government. That could begin to change with a proposal to “improve and modernize” the law unveiled last week by the Department of the Interior. The changes, which would alter the way the Fish and Wildlife Service lists certain species and designates critical habitat, could help accord win out over acrimony in disputes over imperiled species. ~ Tate Watkins, Property and Environment Research Center, Montana [a Koch funded think tank]
Opinion: Maine’s sawmills finally can compete against Canada’s subsidized lumber
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, July 25, 2018 

The Canadian government subsidizes its lumber industry, often in the form of low fees to harvest trees from publicly owned land, and allows producers to dump their product into the U.S. market. This immediately puts my business at a competitive disadvantage not because of product quality, work ethic or technology, but because of a government providing handouts to its lumber producers. The U.S. government’s countervailing and antidumping duties on imported Canadian lumber offset this advantage, giving domestic producers like us a chance to compete on a level playing field. ~ Jason Brochu, Pleasant River Lumber, which has sawmills in Dover-Foxcroft, Jackman, Hancock and Sanford
Will they kill more deer in Eastport this year?
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Wednesday, July 25, 2018 

A third and final special deer hunt has been scheduled in Eastport from November 26 to December 8, as they continue to struggle to reduce their high population of deer. In the two previous years the special hunt has resulted in the killing of 11 and 30 deer, far short of the goal of 90 deer each year. I doubt the hunt this year will be much more successful.
Late season hunting isn’t hurting Maine’s grouse population, new study finds
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, July 25, 2018 

According to a research paper recently published in The Journal of Wildlife Management the annual harvest of ruffed grouse in Maine in October is double the number taken by hunters in November in December combined. “So 70 percent of birds are killed over the course of a year,” said Erik Blomberg, an assistant professor in UMaine’s Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Conservation biology. “Some amount of that is because [hunters] shoot them, for harvest. But the remainder is almost exclusively predation.” If 70 percent of the state’s grouse die every year, why does Maine allow hunting? Because those birds that don’t survive are replaced by new grouse.

Letter: Everyone needs to do their part to reduce plastic waste
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, July 25, 2018 

We have a problem. Nearly all the plastic ever made still exists, and we’re adding more than 8 million tons of it to the ocean each year. We produce 300 million tons of single-use plastics annually, and with a growing population dependent upon convenience, things are getting worse. It’s estimated that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. Seabirds, turtles and whales are dying with stomachs full of plastic. We mustn’t underestimate the power of our choices. As Jane Goodall says, “Never forget that every single day that you live you make a difference, you impact the world, and you have a choice as to what kind of impact you’re going to make.” ~ Rebecca Tripp, Searsport
Trump Takes a Stand Against…Endangered Species
Other - Tuesday, July 24, 2018 

Daily Show - The Trump administration stars in “Parks and Desecration,” featuring their new plan to roll back the Endangered Species Act and shrink national monuments for more oil drilling.
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