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
New report documents benefit from wood heating of commercial and institutional buildings in Maine
Maine Government News - Tuesday, October 23, 2018 

The Maine Forest Service today released a report documenting the benefits of heating community, commercial and institutional buildings with wood chip and wood pellet technology and fuels produced in Maine. MFS analyzed the use of wood fuels in calendar year 2017 in hospitals, campuses, schools, municipal buildings and private businesses across the state. In the last 10 years, over 100 new installations have been made. Key findings of the analysis include $5.5 million savings in annual heating costs, $6.3 million in direct spending on local fuels; $20.6 million total value of economic impact generated. [However, the study apparently did not address the cost and adverse impacts on climate change of biomass burning.]
Chinese firm completes purchase of Old Town Mill
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, October 23, 2018 

ND Paper completed its purchase of the Old Town Mill within nine days of its announced plan to buy the shuttered pulp mill from OTM Holdings. The wholly owned subsidiary of Nine Dragons Paper (Holdings) Ltd. of Hong Kong, said it completed the purchase for an undisclosed amount of cash Oct. 19.
CMP Offers $4.2 Million To State For Environmental Effects Of Proposed Transmission Line
Maine Public - Tuesday, October 23, 2018 

Central Maine Power is proposing to pay the state $4.2 million and donate 2,076 acres of habitat to mitigate the effects of its proposed high-voltage transmission line through western Maine. In filings with the Department of Environmental Protection, CMP says that half of the monetary payment is to compensate for direct and indirect effects on vernal pools, which are vital to amphibian reproduction. The other half addresses various other ecosystem values, such as winter deer yards and cold-water fish habitat. The state would use those funds to identify and secure more wildlife habitat. Areas CMP says it would preserve include Flagstaff Lake and adjoining tributaries.
Augusta considering allowing local food producers to sell directly to customers
Kennebec Journal - Tuesday, October 23, 2018 

If Augusta follows in the footsteps of roughly 40 Maine municipalities who already have declared themselves food-sovereign communities — allowed for through the passage last year of the Maine Food Sovereignty Act — farmers and other local food producers would be able to sell directly to their customers at the location where they grow or produce their food without being licensed or inspected by the state.
Canadian man draws prison time for bringing illegal moose antlers to U.S.
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, October 23, 2018 

A Canadian man will spend 30 days in prison and pay a $5,000 fine for importing illegally-taken moose antlers and a moose hide. Daniel F. Dyer, 57, pled guilty in May and was sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Bangor. Dyer, an outfitter and guide, is from Plaster Rock, New Brunswick. Court documents state that Dyer arranged for Richard Eaton of West Virginia to unlawfully harvest a moose in New Brunswick using a license issued to another person. Dyer later brought the moose hide and antlers through Maine, delivering the hide to a taxidermist in Pennsylvania and the antlers to Eaton in West Virginia.
Lobsterman who fell off boat identified as West Jonesport man
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, October 23, 2018 

Divers on Tuesday evening recovered the body of a West Jonesport lobsterman who fell off his boat earlier in the day. Jeff Nichols, a spokesman for the Maine Department of Marine Resources, identified the victim as Scott Chandler, 51. Nichols said divers recovered Chandler’s body near Doyle Island, west of Hopkins Point in Jonesport, about 5:10 p.m. “Chandler was seen falling off his 20-foot lobster boat near the island at approximately 9:20 a.m. Tuesday…by commercial seaweed harvesters in the area who reported the incident,” Nichols said in a statement.
Wild Critters Fill Our Yard
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Tuesday, October 23, 2018 

A gray squirrel just sprinted by my office window with a huge red apple in its mouth. I can’t remember a time when we had this many gray squirrels in our yard. The other night as we pulled into our driveway, two racoons took off, running in front of us and headed to the woods. Of course, every critter in the woods spends time in our yard in Mount Vernon. I wouldn’t live anywhere but right here in Mount Vernon, surrounded by wild critters!
Abundant beech
UMaine Today - Tuesday, October 23, 2018 

The composition of hardwood forests in the Northeastern United States is changing significantly. In the past 30 years in forestlands in four states, climate-associated changes have increased the abundance of American beech compared to three other hardwood species commonly associated with the regional forests, according to a University of Maine-led research team. The significant shift to forests dominated by American beech, Fagus grandifolia, in Maine, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont is associated with higher temperatures and precipitation, according to the team that conducted the study — one of the first to examine broadscale changes over a long period of time in the Northeastern U.S. and Southeastern Canada.
Opinion: We can prevent runaway climate change — if we follow scientific evidence
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, October 23, 2018 

Scientists agree our Earth’s climate is warming, and human activity is the primary cause. We have seen environmental regulations rolled back at an unprecedented rate, the EPA threatened with funding cutbacks, and no indication that this trend will stop. But there is a glimmer of hope. In the 1970s, chemists found that chlorofluorocarbons were creating a hole in the ozone layer. It only took two years for the global community to phase out ozone-depleting chemicals under the ratification of the Montreal Protocol. It is time to stop ignoring fact-based evidence and start implementing adequate policy changes that will preserve the health of our environment for future generations. ~ Amanda Bertana. Scholars Strategy Network, Orono
Opinion: Tougher trade policies can give Maine’s sawmills a chance to thrive
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, October 23, 2018 

Canada subsidizes its forestry sector at every level, and it’s clear this has protected their workers and mills and allowed them a competitive advantage over Maine. Meanwhile, Mainers turn away from the woods looking for access to health care while no Canadian worker has to worry about basic coverage. In Washington, D.C., Democrats and Republicans alike must protect Maine’s woods industry. If elected to Congress this November, it will be my goal to work with loggers, truckers and our mills to make these jobs and businesses stronger than they have ever been because Maine’s identity cannot be preserved without a robust forestry sector. ~ Jared Golden, candidate for the 2nd Congressional District
Cape Elizabeth investor files lawsuit claiming ‘corrupt bidding process’ in thwarted attempt to buy mill
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, October 23, 2018 

A Cape Elizabeth investor who was thwarted in his attempt to buy and repurpose a closed pulp mill in Old Town has filed a lawsuit accusing more than 15 entities and people, including the University of Maine System chancellor, of criminally conspiring against him. Entrepreneur Samuel Eakin said events unfolded last year around the sale and subsequent plans for the mill that deprived him of returns on his investment. The lawsuit he filed alleges that the defendants in the complaint engaged in racketeering acts, such as bribery, mail fraud and theft of trade secrets. This month, ND Paper LLC, the U.S. subsidiary of Hong Kong-based Nine Dragons Paper Holdings Ltd, reached an agreement to buy the Old Town pulp mill for an undisclosed cash sum.
Column: What’s next for land conservation in Maine?
Kennebec Journal - Tuesday, October 23, 2018 

While Maine is rightfully proud of our land conservation initiatives in the past, it is time to look ahead to the next generation of land conservation in our state. I am very pleased that a new task force of 20 diverse groups and individuals is now working on a new conservation plan. And it’s time for you to let them know your thoughts about this. ~ George Smith
Regulators moving to ban exotic bait that could threaten lobster fishery
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, October 23, 2018 

The American Lobster Management Board took a first step toward adopting regional bait safety rules, voting Monday to develop a resolution to prohibit the use of exotic baits that could introduce disease, parasites or invasive species to East Coast waters. The board unanimously agreed on the need to shield native species, including the $1.4 billion Maine lobster industry, from the dangers posed by the mad scramble for new kinds of bait that may occur when regulators slash herring quotas next year. With the looming cuts in herring quota, some fishermen have urged Maine to relax its bait rule, but Maine won’t do that, arguing short-term relief is not worth the small but potentially catastrophic risk to lobster or other native fisheries.
Letter: Mills receives tribal elder’s personal endorsement in race for governor
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, October 23, 2018 

I represented the Penobscot Nation in the state Legislature for over a decade. I have researched the gubernatorial candidates and concluded that Janet Mills is by far the best choice to be the governor for all of Maine. (This is my personal endorsement and not the endorsement of the tribes.) We agree on some very important issues: the Indian Child Welfare Act, preserving the environment; and the need for state government to open up official lines of communication to the tribes. Please do not repeat what happened with Eliot Cutler. A vote for the independents is a vote for Shawn Moody. ~ Donna Loring, Bradley
Letter: Ban plastic bags for better future
Morning Sentinel - Tuesday, October 23, 2018 

It can take anywhere from 20 years to 1,000 years for plastic to decompose. Every year, 1 trillion plastic bags wreak havoc on the environment. In Waterville alone, we use 4.8 million plastic bags per year, the majority of which will find their way to a landfill and never leave. To stop this, we should enact a ban on plastic bags in big-box stores.The ban will only affect 20 to 30 of the biggest stores in town. For me, a high school sophomore at Waterville High School, keeping the planet clean and reducing my carbon footprint is essential for all people and wildlife. ~ Sarah McNeil, Waterville
Letter: Bag ban will help environment
Morning Sentinel - Tuesday, October 23, 2018 

I’m going to vote yes on Question 1 to ban single-use plastic shopping bags in Waterville because I care about the environment and I’m trying to do what I can to make the world a better place for our kids — now and in the future. Sure, the plastic bags are convenient, but there’s a hidden price we all pay for the convenience. These bags are not being recycled, they cause litter, pollute rivers, lakes and oceans, and they hurt our wildlife. We are only talking about the plastic bags with the handles. Clear produce bags will still be available in the produce section, as will paper bags at the checkout. A sturdy, reusable shopping bag is the way to go. ~ Lea Girardin
Janine’s Overlook shelter dedicated on Pleasant Mountain
Turner Publishing - Monday, October 22, 2018 

Hikers will find a new destination on Pleasant Mountain with the new Janine’s Overlook day shelter, which was dedicated Oct. 13 on the North Peak, a short distance off Sue’s Way trail by the Loon Mountain Land Trust. For a number of years, a day shelter on Pleasant Mountain has been identified as a goal by Loon Echo. The shelter was donated by the Sharples family in memory of Janine Sharples, a longtime Bridgton resident.
Bear Pond Improvement Association helps tackle erosion issues
Turner Publishing - Monday, October 22, 2018 

Part of The Bear Pond Improvement Association’s mission is accepting applications from property owners who identify erosion problems on their land. When a problem is identified by the property owner and an application has been received, committee members along with consultant, Jeff Stern of Fiddlehead Environmental Consulting, and the property owner view the site to make a full assessment. A plan of action with needed materials and cost are put forward. Environmental Fund grants are based on severity, cost, labor and time constraints.
Lessons From Seaweed
Mark W. Anderson's Stirring the Pot Blog - Monday, October 22, 2018 

The book "Seaweed Chronicles" by Susan Hand Shetterly exemplifies both the first law of ecology and the first law of economics: Everything is connected to everything else. There is no such thing as a free lunch. In our exploitation of Maine’s seemingly abundant marine resources, we have ignored both of these laws, at our peril. By viewing the natural world as individual buckets we can draw from (the cod fishery, for example), we ignore the complex interactions of ecosystems with many parts and violate the first law of ecology. By viewing that same natural world as a gift, available to the first person who figures out how to exploit nature best, we violate the first law of economics. "Seaweed Chronicles" makes clear that both of these laws hold, even when we choose to ignore them. We all need pay attention.
With election looming, candidates for governor debate transmission line, non-citizen voting rights
Portland Press Herald - Monday, October 22, 2018 

The four candidates for Maine governor discussed Central Maine Power’s proposed transmission line, voting rights for non-citizens and other topics during a debate Tuesday night. All four candidates expressed concern with CMP’s proposal to run a 145-mile transmission line through the mountains of Western Maine so Hydro-Quebec can supply electricity to Massachusetts. That controversial plan is pending with the Maine Public Utilities Commission.
Acadia National Park To Hold Lottery For Cheap Cordwood
Associated Press - Monday, October 22, 2018 

The National Park Service plans to hold a lottery to determine who’ll be able to up to collect up to 2 cords of unsplit, limbed sections of tree trunks piled up in a staged area near Otter Creek in Acadia National Park. Park spokeswoman Christie Anastasia says the wood, left over from clearing efforts in the park, is unseasoned and mostly softwood. The cost of a permit is $25 dollars. During a pilot program last April, the park got ten calls and distributed 10 cords of wood. Anastasia says more than 90 calls have come in so far this year, making a lottery necessary. The deadline to enter the lottery is Oct. 26.
Fairfield council considering food sovereignty ordinance
Morning Sentinel - Monday, October 22, 2018 

As more and more Maine municipalities signal their support for food sovereignty, Fairfield may join the trend Wednesday to exempt local food producers from certain state laws in a town-driven effort. In June 2017, the State Legislature passed the Maine Food Sovereignty Act, which allows municipalities to create their own local ordinances governing direct food sales from producers to consumers. Under the law, the state will not enforce state food requirements in the case of direct producer-to-consumer sales such as a dairy farmer selling raw milk directly to a customer, in cities and towns with a local food sovereignty ordinance.
Scientists: With No New Calves This Year, Right Whale Population In Peril
Maine Public - Monday, October 22, 2018 

Scientists say the population of North Atlantic right whales could decline to levels not seen since 1990 in as few as 12 years. The whales are among the most endangered marine mammals and are thought to number only about 437. Scientists say the species is jeopardized by entanglement in fishing gear and ship strikes. No new calves have been born this year, leaving the species' future even more in doubt.
Unsung Muse: Anne Hus and the evolution of environmental icon David Brower.
Earth Island Journal - Monday, October 22, 2018 

Anne Hus Brower was my father’s best page-tracker, adviser, editor, critic, fan, and sparring partner in matters of English usage. She bore his four children, ran his household, and brought into his life ideas and values developed through her own rich history, contributing to the widening mission that characterizes the global environmental movement of the twentieth century. My mother is largely responsible for turning a rock-climbing wilderness lover into the icon of wide-angle environmentalism that he became. ~ Barbara Brower
Cultivating skills
UMaine Today - Monday, October 22, 2018 

Over the past few years, the Maine State Prison has reinvigorated its agriculture program. Under the direction of Warden Randall Liberty, the maximum security facility has expanded the amount of garden space to provide more food, cut costs for the prison and state, and assist inmates in developing employable job skills. University of Maine Cooperative Extension has partnered with the prison to provide horticulture skill training to inmates.
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