November 18, 2017  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Friday, November 17, 2017 

Thanks for visiting Maine Environmental News, a service of RESTORE: The North Woods. MEN is the most comprehensive online source available for links to Maine conservation and natural resource news and events. We have posted summaries and links to over 50,000 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
Protecting the Nature of Maine Grants for Maine Middle Schools
Announcement - Friday, November 17, 2017 

The Natural Resources Council of Maine (NRCM) has eight $500 grants available to middle school teachers and club leaders (6th, 7th, or 8th grades) in Maine for projects that educate and engage students in Maine’s environment and the value of protecting it. Deadline is November 30.
Teddy Roosevelt Maine Conservation Award
Announcement - Wednesday, November 15, 2017 

The Teddy Roosevelt Maine Conservation Award given by Maine Woods Forever recognizes young people and youth organizations whose efforts are in the spirit of Roosevelt’s conservation ethic and achievements, and recognizes what Maine’s young people are doing to conserve our forest heritage, with an eye to their potential as future conservation leaders. Deadline for Nominations: January 31, 2018.
Block Trump's dangerous climate denier from the CEQ
Action Alert - Monday, November 13, 2017 

Kathleen Hartnett White, Trump's pick to lead the Council on Environmental Quality, isn't just your run-of-the-mill, extreme right-wing climate-denier. She's a senior fellow at the Koch brothers and Exxon-funded Texas Public Policy Foundation. She believes carbon dioxide is harmless "plant food," equates belief in climate change to "paganism," calls solar and wind power "unreliable and parasitic," and asserts that coal use in the 1800s ended slavery in the United States.
AMC Maine Chapter Annual Meeting, Nov 18
Event - Posted - Saturday, November 11, 2017 

Speakers: Steve Tatko, Appalachian Mountain Club’s Land Manager, will talk on the AMC’s Maine Woods Initiative. Jed Williamson will talk on Accidents in Outdoor Pursuits - Their Causes and Cures. At Portland, November 18.
Conserving Maine’s Bats: A Workshop for Woodland Owners, Foresters and Loggers, Nov 16
Event - Posted - Thursday, November 9, 2017 

Piscataquis County Soil & Water Conservation District, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, and Maine Department of Transportation, will hold a workshop on Maine bats. At Dover-Foxcroft Congregational Church, November 16, 9-10:30 am.
Nature Based Fiction & Truth, Nov 16
Event - Posted - Thursday, November 9, 2017 

Sandra Neily will discuss novel ways to elevate conservation, nature based economics as well as outdoor-themed fiction. She will sign and read from her novel, "Deadly Trespass." At Curtis Library, Brunswick, November 16, 7 pm. Hosted by Maine Appalachian Mt. Club.
Little Long Pond: A Field Guide to Four Seasons, Nov 16
Event - Posted - Thursday, November 9, 2017 

Author talk and book signing with Samuel Eliot and John Rivers. At Jesup Memorial Library, Bar Harbor, November 16, 7 pm.
Nature Based Fiction & Truth, Nov 15
Event - Posted - Wednesday, November 8, 2017 

Sandra Neily will discuss nature-based fiction as well as sign and read from her debut novel, "Deadly Trespass." At Shaw Memorial Library, Greenville, November 15, 6 pm.
Seeing the Future Forest Through the Trees: Potential Changes and Management Responses, Nov 15
Event - Posted - Wednesday, November 8, 2017 

Dr. Nicholas Fisichelli will discuss how can forest managers can respond to ongoing and projected changes. At UMaine at Machias, November 15, 6:30 pm.
Online sustainability journal ‘Spire’ invites submissions
Announcement - Tuesday, November 7, 2017 

Spire: The Maine Journal of Conservation and Sustainability invites submissions for the second issue of the online journal, slated for release in spring 2018. Deadline: Dec 10.
Oil Drilling Means Oil Spilling
Action Alert - Tuesday, November 7, 2017 

You still have time to stop the Trump Administration from paying for tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires by opening oil drilling in the Atlantic Ocean. Mainers have nothing to gain and everything to lose from this dangerous scheme. ~ Natural Resources Council of Maine
Maine Farmland Trust Annual Meeting, Nov 14
Event - Posted - Tuesday, November 7, 2017 

Speakers: Amber Lambke, Maine Grains; Rob Tod, Allagash Brewing Co.; and Sara Williams, Aurora Mills & Farm. At United Farmers Market Building, Belfast, November 14, 5:30-8 pm.
Mushing in Maine and Beyond, Nov 14
Event - Posted - Tuesday, November 7, 2017 

Polly Mahoney of Mahoosuc Guide Service will share her dogsledding experiences from the Yukon Territory to Maine to Nunavut and northern Quebec. She will bring a couple of her friendly sled dogs. At Bangor Public Library, November 14, 6 pm.
Baxter State Park sign auction, thru Dec 6
Announcement - Monday, November 6, 2017 

Auction of retired Baxter State Park signs, plus the historic dinner bell from Kidney Pond Camps. Friends Baxter State Park will donate half the proceeds to Baxter State Park, and half will support FBSP programs. Ends December 6.
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News Items
North Woods ‘sugarbush’ to get no funding from Land for Maine’s Future
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, November 9, 2017 

The Land for Maine’s Future board passed over a controversial proposal to protect 23,000 acres along the Maine-Quebec border when it allocated $3.2 million to 15 conservation projects statewide Thursday. In the first competition for LMF funding in three years, board members selected projects ranging from a new boat landing in Lubec to a new, multi-use rail trail stretching for 32 miles in central Maine. But board members opted not to fund the largest and highest-profile project – a proposal to protect one of the nation’s largest maple “sugarbushes” – because of concerns about permanent, guaranteed road access to the remote Big Six Forest north of Jackman.
Recycling energy and creating power at Hancock’s Bethel Sawmill
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, November 9, 2017 

Over the past 10 years, Hancock Lumber has worked hard to successfully reduce its consumption of electricity by installing energy efficient LED lighting and high efficiency electrical motors. They are making more lumber than ever—however, they are using much less electricity to do it. As of Saturday, October 21, Hancock Lumber’s Bethel Sawmill is generating its own power with a newly installed steam turbine generator. The project, years in the making, includes a new system that converts energy waste into high-value electricity. Hancock leveraged Efficiency Maine and applied for rebate money to offset the capital-intensive project’s costs by nearly 50%.
Saddleback sits idle for 3rd straight year as ski season begins
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, November 9, 2017 

The ski season kicks off this weekend at Sunday River and Sugarloaf, but Maine’s third-largest ski area – Saddleback – could sit idle for the third consecutive winter. Saddleback owners Bill and Irene Berry of Farmington announced on June 28 that they would sell the Rangeley ski area to the Australia-based Majella Group. Majella CEO Sebastian Monsour said at that time that the company would purchase Saddleback by the end of the summer and turn it into the “premier ski area in North America.” But the sale has not been completed.
Column: Peaceful day in a wildlife refuge turns into birder bonanza
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, November 9, 2017 

Deep down inside, hardcore birders are crazy. I had a first-hand encounter with crazy hardcore birders a couple of weeks ago, while exercising my own brand of crazy. National Wildlife Refuges are way-cool places to go birding. As enlightened rangers will tell you: National Parks are for people; Refuges are for critters. Some of the best birding in America takes place in NWRs. Maine has some great ones. There’s Moosehorn in Baring and Edmunds. There’s Sunkhaze Meadows in Milford. There’s Rachel Carson in York County. And many of our puffins nest within the Maine Coastal Islands NWR. You don’t have to go far from home to go crazy. ~ Bob Duchesne
Maine biologists team up to create ‘The Naturalist’s Notebook’
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, November 9, 2017 

“The Naturalist’s Notebook” was co-authored by Bowdoin professor and biologist Nathaniel Wheelwright and best-selling author Bernd Heinrich. Published in September by Storey Publishing, the 208-page hardcover book includes six instructive chapters on how to record nature observations, as well as a blank five-year calendar journal for the reader to try their hand at the practice. In addition, the book is filled with illustrative art by Heinrich including vivid watercolor depictions of plants, fungi and animals of the Northeast.
Column: NIMBYs
Free Press - Thursday, November 9, 2017 

Most folks are probably familiar with the acronym NIMBY, standing for “not in my back yard.” For us humans, opposition to potentially controversial projects close to our homes, like proposals for hazardous waste facilities, power plants, landfills or electricity corridors, may elicit NIMBY responses. The possible list of issues leading to such opposition is linked to our personal perspectives and priorities. But NIMBY conditions aren’t limited to human endeavors alone. Birds possess similar tendencies to evaluate and react negatively toward certain types of actions within their localities. ~ Don Reimer
Cape Elizabeth becomes latest town to adopt bag fee, ban foam containers
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, November 8, 2017 

Next month, food sellers in Cape Elizabeth will begin charging 5 cents for single-use carry-out bags and will no longer be allowed to use plastic foam food containers. The Town Council approved the environmentally motivated ordinances this week, following South Portland, Portland, Falmouth, Freeport and other Maine communities. Also taking effect will be a ban on polystyrene foam containers used to serve prepared foods.
Augusta’s Colonial Theatre restoration leaders seek cash for environmental cleanup
Kennebec Journal - Wednesday, November 8, 2017 

Colonial Theatre supporters plan to ask city councilors Thursday to speed up the release of $300,000 Augusta has committed to the project, including turning over $30,000 as soon as possible to help solve environmental problems that are preventing the repair of a gaping hole in the floor. The nonprofit group seeking to restore and reopen the downtown Augusta theater received a $100,000 donation from Kennebec Savings Bank in August. But that funding is designated specifically to fix the theater’s floor, which has a huge hole in it in front of the stage, and structural damage to the floor support beams. To replace the floor, a combination of coal ash and asbestos in the basement needs to be cleaned up.
Pagans and Heathens in elected office
Other - Wednesday, November 8, 2017 

Currently, there are three Pagans holding elected office in the U.S, including Thaum Gordon, Supervisor for Cumberland Soil and Water Conservation District in Maine. Mr. Gordon, who is an eclectic Druid, was also first elected in 2011 and reelected in 2015. Gordon says although he plans to continue in public service, he’s not sure what his specific plans are. His seat is up election in 2018. Gordon’s advice to aspiring Pagans considering running for office is to be a Pagan, but run as a citizen.
Two children sue over Trump effort to roll back Clean Power Plan
Reuters - Wednesday, November 8, 2017 

Two children, backed by the Clean Air Council environmental group, sued U.S. President Donald Trump and two of his Cabinet members on Monday to try to stop them from scrapping a package of pollution-reduction rules known as the Clean Power Plan.
Eastern Maine Conservation Initiative conservation grants available
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, November 8, 2017 

Eastern Maine Conservation Initiative awards grants of $1,000 to $3,000 annually for academic or professional studies or endeavors in support of environmental sciences, wildlife conservation, cultural geography or historical research related to Eastern Maine. It has also funded projects for local historical societies.
Electricity prices to jump for most Maine customers
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, November 8, 2017 

Most of Maine’s electricity customers will pay higher rates next year. The prices apply to customers of Central Maine Power and Emera’s Bangor Hydro district who receive the “standard offer,” a fixed rate approved by state utilities’ regulators each year as a default electricity option. The rates for 2018 are the result of a months-long review process by the Maine Public Utilities Commission, unrelated to the recent storm outages.
Column: The strange world of mushrooms
Morning Sentinel - Wednesday, November 8, 2017 

Mushrooms have always mystified me. They look strange, they grow strangely, they live strangely. And there is a bewildering variety of them. ~ Dana Wilde
Coastal Maine town rejects development ban
Lincoln County News - Wednesday, November 8, 2017 

Damariscotta voters on Tuesday rejected a moratorium that would have placed a temporary ban on retail development larger than 2,500 square feet.
Column: Look out — ticks are everywhere
Kennebec Journal - Wednesday, November 8, 2017 

The disease-carrying insects have expanded their territory, and that means we are all in trouble. ~ George Smith
Opinion: Op-ed authors fail to make case for opposing natural gas pipeline
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, November 8, 2017 

When teaching my classes in engineering and public health, I encourage my students to follow the data when they are developing an opinion on a particular issue. I read with interest the Oct. 20 Maine Voices column by Olin Jenner and Beverly Roxby (“Maine does not need a natural gas pipeline from Quebec”). I disagree with the basic premise of the column and how the data were used to support their argument. ~ Ivan G. Most, Sc.D., professional engineer, Old Orchard Beach
Letter: Collins, King should stand against Trump EPA pick
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, November 8, 2017 

I’m writing to ask Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King to take a stand against Michael Dourson, President Trump’s pick to lead the Environmental Protection Agency’s chemical safety program. Dourson has faced significant opposition from public health advocates for his involvement in a consulting group that defended the use of certain chemicals. Dourson and others claim these chemicals are safe even though they’re associated with serious health issues such as cancer, birth defects and developmental problems. ~ Erica L. Bartlett, Portland
Letter: Wind storm disaster
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, November 8, 2017 

Welcome to Puerto Rico. Oh, we’re in Maine. What do the two have in common? Electric power delivery systems that have been allowed to go to blazes, whose corporate executives have made annual maintenance of their equipment a thing of the very distant past. What is surprising is that we the people are willing to put up with allowing our state to be crippled by ineptitude and greed. Will we have answers to why this is allowed to happen? Not likely, since no one, seemingly, is even asking the question. ~ Diane Monroe Smith, Holden
NOAA awards $1.1M in grants to boost aquaculture research
Mainebiz - Tuesday, November 7, 2017 

Two awards from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will support seaweed and blue mussel aquaculture research projects in Maine. The University of Maine got a grant of $908,015 to support research into sustainable post-harvest processing — such as drying, blanching and freezing — of aquacultured seaweed and development of value-added products. Researchers will work with industry partners in New England, with the goal of increasing capacity of Maine seaweed producers and processors to compete in the food marketplace. And an award of $249,238 to Brian Beal of the Downeast Institute for Applied Marine Research and Education will support study of large-scale culture of blue mussel seed, to provide to commercial aquaculturists for grow-out.
Transfer approved for Tremont mussel farm
Mount Desert Islander - Tuesday, November 7, 2017 

The Department of Marine Resources approved the transfer of an aquaculture lease last week for a Blue Hill Bay mussel farm that has been the focus of prolonged and bitter opposition, but the battle over the 15-acre site located east of Hardwood Island is far from over. Friends of Blue Hill Bay, a local conservation organization, has challenged the lease.
Selected Elections Results
Maine Environmental News - Tuesday, November 7, 2017 

Q1: York Casino - Rejected
Q2: Medicaid Expansion - Approved
Q3: Transportation Bond - Approved
Q4: Stabilize Pension Funding - Approved
Merge Auburn & Lewiston - Rejected
Close vote kills plan to allow Portland residents to block zoning changes
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, November 7, 2017 

Portland voters narrowly rejected a proposal that would have allowed residents to block rezoning in their neighborhoods. The referendum comes as Maine’s largest city experiences a boom of development. The question was a citizens’ initiative from neighbors who opposed a large housing project on the outskirts of the city.
Maine gets its first snow of the season
Associated Press - Tuesday, November 7, 2017 

The National Weather Service in Caribou says the first snowflakes of the year in Maine were observed in the Aroostook County city on Tuesday. Caribou is typically one of the snowiest places in the Northeast. Last winter, the city set a record with 132 straight days with a foot of snow on the ground.
Land for Maine’s Future board reviews controversial Big Six project, 24 other applicants
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, November 7, 2017 

Members of the Land for Maine’s Future board raised questions Tuesday about public access and recreation on a 23,000-acre property along the Maine-Quebec border that has drawn heightened scrutiny. On Thursday, the nine-member board will reconvene to make preliminary funding decisions.
Land For Maine’s Future Debates Funding Conservation Project On Maine's Largest Sugarbush
Maine Public - Tuesday, November 7, 2017 

For the first time in about three years, the Land for Maine’s Future board is considering funding for more than two-dozen conservation and water access projects around the state. But funding is limited, and the competition is fierce. The Big Six project has drawn the most attention. It’s the one LMF project supported by Gov. Paul LePage, who has called the state program “corrupt” and criticized the use of public funding to conserve land and take it off the tax rolls. What’s also raised eyebrows is the landowner’s political contributions to LePage’s campaigns.
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