August 19, 2017  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Saturday, August 19, 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 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
Bird Monitoring, Aug 26
Event - Posted - Saturday, August 19, 2017 

Join a marsh-wide survey of birds and help document all present species timed to catch the beginning of shorebird migration. At Scarborough Marsh, August 26, 7-10 am, free.
Head Harbor Passage Boat Trip, Aug 26
Event - Posted - Saturday, August 19, 2017 

A birding trip to Head Harbor Passage and the surrounding Canadian Islands. At Eastport, August 26, 10 am – 2 pm; Maine Audubon Members $60, Non-members $75.
Don’t let Trump censor climate science
Action Alert - Friday, August 18, 2017 

President Donald Trump may censor a comprehensive and alarming new report written by scientists from 13 federal agencies — research that confirms climate change is real, it’s caused by human activity and it’s already hurting people across the U.S. We deserve to know the truth about climate change — no matter how inconvenient it may be for Trump’s pro-fossil fuel agenda.
Life Happens Outside Festival, Aug 25-26
Event - Posted - Friday, August 18, 2017 

The Life Happens Outside Festival celebrates Maine's outdoors and its passionate outdoor community. Featuring 6 outdoor villages, 40+ vendors, interactive workshops, exhibits, gear demos, food, and live music. Free giveaways, competitions, outdoor presentations, and the ability to purchase outdoor gear directly from the brands. At Thompson's Point, Portland, August 25-26.
Life Happens Outside Festival, Aug 25-26
Event - Posted - Friday, August 18, 2017 

Celebrate active, outdoor lifestyles. At Thompson's Point, Portland, August 25 & 26. Sponsored by Teens to Trails.
Nature Detectives, Aug 24
Event - Posted - Thursday, August 17, 2017 

Join a scavenger hunt, make your own nature notebook, and learn how to use the tools of the trade. At Scarborough Marsh, Augoust 24, 1–2:30 pm; Maine Audubon Child Members $5, Child Non-members $7, pre-register.
Exploring Nature Through Art, Aug 22
Event - Posted - Tuesday, August 15, 2017 

Through various art forms children (age 6-10) will discover some of the secrets of Scarborough Marsh; August 22, 10:30 am – 12 pm; Maine Audubon Child Members $5, Child Non-members $7, pre-register.
Sierra Club Maine Climate Action Conference, Sep 16
Event - Posted - Tuesday, August 15, 2017 

The theme of this year's event is "Maine Community-Based Approaches to a Clean Energy Future and Climate Change Solutions." At University of Southern Maine Lewiston Campus, September 16.
Project WILD Educator Workshop, Aug 21
Event - Posted - Monday, August 14, 2017 

This 6-hour workshop introduces educators to Project WILD materials, activities, and strategies. At Bonny Eagle Middle School, Buxton, August 21, 9 am – 3 pm; Maine Audubon Members $23, Non-members $25.
Kayak Scarborough Marsh, Aug 20
Event - Posted - Sunday, August 13, 2017 

Discover the wildlife and plants of Scarborough Marsh as you paddle the Dunstan River. At Scarborough Marsh, August 20, 1–2:30 pm; Maine Audubon Members $13, Non-members $15, deduct $1.50 if you bring your own kayak, must be 16+.
Exploring Wabanaki/Maine History, Aug 20
Event - Posted - Sunday, August 13, 2017 

Maine-Wabanaki REACH offers an interactive learning experience, "Exploring Wabanaki/Maine History," a participatory presentation for adults and teens. At Reversing Falls Sanctuary, Brooksville, August 20, 4-6 pm.
Native Plants & Wildflower Symposium, Aug 29
Event - Posted - Saturday, August 12, 2017 

Includes talks, tours of two native-plant gardens, and a chance to view an herbarium. At McLaughlin Gardens and Homestead, South Paris, August 29, 8:30 am - 3:30 pm, $20 for members, $30 for non-members, registration deadline Aug 21.
Katahdin Woods & Waters 5k Relay, Aug 19
Event - Posted - Saturday, August 12, 2017 

This race in Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument is part of the 'Wild Maine Weekend' hosted by local area businesses. August 19.
Animals, Animals, Animals, Aug 19
Event - Posted - Saturday, August 12, 2017 

International wildlife and travel photographer Gary Harmatz will share his photographs and stories of the wonderful world of exotic and highly endangered wildlife. At Blue Hill Public Library, August 19, 10 am.
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News Items
Snake wraps up woman and bites her face
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Thursday, August 10, 2017 

Born Free, a group that advocates against owning exotic animals including snakes, documented more than 471 attacks by “pet” snakes between 1995 and 2013. Anyone in Maine can possess a boa constrictor without a permit, nor do they have to let their neighbors or anyone else know when their snake escapes. Imagine finding a 5-foot boa constrictor on your porch. That’s what happened to a Biddeford resident in June. I tried to fix this problem this year with a legislation , but the Dept. of Inland Fish & Wildlife opposed the bill and it was reduced to a simple hike in fines.
Opinion: Trump’s attack on science isn’t going very well
Washington Post - Thursday, August 10, 2017 

The first 200 days of the Trump administration have been marked by direct and consistent confrontations with the scientific community, and no area of science has been targeted more explicitly than climate science. Scientists know that these actions are dangerous to public health, the economy and our national security. Thankfully, some government workers concerned about climate change are pushing back on the administration’s attempts to muzzle them. ~ Robert B. Richardson, ecological economist, Michigan State University
Letter: Solar bill debate overlooked wind and water generation
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, August 10, 2017 

Central Maine Power is no longer the friendly neighborhood power company. Today, CMP is owned by Iberdrola, a large Spanish conglomerate. Iberdrola has been scheming to subvert Maine’s statutes preventing utilities from both producing and delivering electricity. The solar industry doesn’t have clean hands, either. The way advocates presented costs and benefits didn’t always make clear the unsubsidized costs. The focus on solar has sucked the wind out of discussion of any other form of alternate energy benefiting Maine. There is enough power near and off shore (in-stream river, offshore wind, ocean tidal, wave and ocean current) to replace most, if not all, current generating capacity in New England. ~ James C. Monroe, Blue Water Dynamos, Gray
‘Inconvenient Sequel’s’ Timing Is Sadly Right on Target
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, August 9, 2017 

Given that the biggest climate news of the past year has been the decision to pull the United States out of the landmark Paris global climate accord, it may seem as if the most inconvenient aspect of the new “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power” documentary is its timing. Isn’t this follow-up to 2006’s Oscar-winning “An Inconvenient Truth” outdated and beside the point because as major a player as the U.S. has gone its own way, leaving the rest of the world in the lurch? In fact, watching this involving and unexpectedly passionate film will persuade you that the need to pay attention is ever greater, no matter which leaders pretend otherwise, and the possibilities of making a difference have increased as well.
New Report on Threatened National Monuments Highlights Wide Public Support, Economic Benefits
Natural Resources Defense Council - Wednesday, August 9, 2017 

A new report by the Natural Resources Defense Council highlights the tremendous economic and environmental benefits of some two dozen American parklands and waters. There is robust public support for protecting these national monuments. In the coming weeks, however, the Trump administration could attempt to remove protections for these public lands and waters, and open them to resource extraction. In New England, the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument off the coast and the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument in Maine could be dramatically reduced or revoked.
New Report on Threatened National Monuments Highlights Wide Public Support, Economic Benefits
Other - Wednesday, August 9, 2017 

Common Dreams - A new report by the Natural Resources Defense Council highlights the tremendous economic and environmental benefits of some two dozen American parklands and waters. In New England, the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument in Maine could be dramatically reduced or revoked. Katahdin’s landscape is rich in biodiversity and has more than 30 miles of rivers and streams, along with spectacular views of Maine’s highest peak. In a poll, seventy-two percent of Maine residents surveyed backed the designation of Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument.
Denmark’s Anti-Wind Problem
Other - Wednesday, August 9, 2017 

[Ed: Maine has substantial wind power development and plans for more, so it is relevant to consider Denmark's experience.] Denmark, the tiny European state much ballyhooed as the gold standard for wind-power deployment, has big energy goals. The Danish government set the target of sourcing half of its electricity from wind by 2020 and transitioning entirely off fossil fuel by 2050. In order to get there, Denmark needs to build a lot more wind. Last year, 38 percent of its total electricity consumption was met with wind power, down from 42 percent the year before. Denmark is a small country. Limited space (and a government fixated on meeting its aggressive energy goals) has triggered massive public opposition to turbine projects.
The Hidden War on Wildlife
Earth Island Journal - Wednesday, August 9, 2017 

How many people even know that thousands of coyotes, mountain lions, foxes, bobcats, prairie dogs, crows, and wolves are killed every year in “contests” across the country where winners get guns, belt buckles and ribbons for killing the most animals? Killing contests violate the public trust doctrine, as wildlife is a public trust asset that must be protected for future generations. Thankfully, Project Coyote is shining a spotlight on this war on wildlife and is working to see that these killing contests are shut down. Now, Project Coyote is taking it national with the launch of its new film "Killing Games – Wildlife in the Crosshairs."
Interior Department Sued Over Monument Review Communications
National Parks Traveler - Wednesday, August 9, 2017 

A lawsuit was filed Wednesday to obtain Interior Department records and communications pertaining to Secretary Ryan Zinke's review of 27 national monuments established since 1996. The filing, by the Center for Biological Diversity, claims the department is unlawfully withholding those documents. “Zinke’s review of these national monuments has been a sham from the start – so it’s no wonder they’re keeping this process out of the public view,” said Meg Townsend, open government staff attorney with the Center. Most of the 27 monuments under review are managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, though Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument in Maine is a unit of the National Park System.
Pipeline could bring 100,000 barrels of Canadian crude to South Portland
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, August 9, 2017 

The Portland Pipe Line Corp. claims that more than 100,000 barrels of crude oil from western Canada would be available to be shipped daily from Montreal to South Portland if the company were allowed to reverse the flow of its pipeline. Filed in February 2015, the company’s lawsuit challenges the so-called Clear Skies ordinance that was approved by the City Council in July 2014. The ordinance banned the loading of crude oil into tankers on the city’s waterfront, effectively blocking the company from reversing the pipeline’s flow to bring oil from Canada to South Portland.
Regulators Eye Changes to Rules on Critical Menhaden Fishery
Associated Press - Wednesday, August 9, 2017 

Interstate fishing regulators are seeking public comment on a plan to tweak the way they manage menhaden, one of the most important little fish in the ocean food chain. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission says that it wants to balance "menhaden's ecological role as a prey species'' with the needs of people who harvest and use the fish for a living. Options include potential changes to quota systems and accidental catch rules. The commission is soliciting feedback until Oct. 20. Fishermen have caught more than a billion pounds of menhaden every year since at least 1950. They are harvested for use as bait and to make fish oil.
New state law aims to end controversy over Forest City dam
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, August 9, 2017 

A brewing controversy about a small water-control dam in Washington County may have been solved with the passage of a law that would turn the dam over to the state and leave East Grand Lake’s footprint unchanged. LD 1626 called for Woodland Pulp LLC to turn over ownership of the dam to Maine Department of Administrative and Financial Services. The dam’s management would be overseen by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. The swap in ownership and management won’t take place unless the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issues a written determination that the facility doesn’t require a FERC license in order to operate. In addition, the Maine DIF&W will not assume ownership unless there is an agreement that Woodland Pulp will maintain the facility at no cost to the state for 15 years.
Warm water and warm memories at this easy paddling spot close to Portland
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, August 9, 2017 

Pleasant Point Park sits on 60 riverside acres off the Simpson Road in Buxton, my hometown. It’s covered with pine trees, right to the water’s edge. There’s a hand-carry launch for small boats, a portable toilet and plenty of parking. Hiking trails crisscross the property. There’s no fee to get in but the gates get closed at sundown.
Column: Big challenges, bright future for Maine’s farms
Kennebec Journal - Wednesday, August 9, 2017 

I’ve never worried about my local farmers poisoning me, but you can’t be sure of the items you buy at a supermarket. That’s why I am so pleased with Maine’s first in the nation food sovereignty law, championed by Rep. Craig Hickman of Winthrop. The law allows towns to enact ordinances regulating local food distribution, freeing those producers from state controls, including licensing and inspections. Twenty municipalities already enacted food sovereignty ordinances ahead of state action. If your town is not one of those, get to work on it. ~ George Smith
Opinion: State’s balking at new cap on greenhouse gases threatens our way of life
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, August 9, 2017 

As a lobsterman for more than 30 years, I have a direct connection to the ocean and its abundance. But keeping this way of life requires a continuation of good decision-making now – not only for the health of our ocean, but also for the health of Mainers and our economy. Cutting carbon emissions is an imperative element of that, and we can’t settle for either the status quo or a return to the times and policies that paid little heed to the environment around us. ~ Richard Nelson, Friendship, member, Maine Ocean Acidification Commission and the Maine Regional Ocean Planning Advisory Group
Letter: Many will lose shore access if Cape Elizabeth vacates paper streets
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, August 9, 2017 

With wise forethought in 1911, developers in the Shore Acres neighborhood set aside a narrow strip of oceanfront, 50 to 200 feet wide, as a common area for residents to walk, drive and enjoy. We have recreated peacefully for many years on Surfside Avenue, Atlantic Place and the wild shorefront paper street in between. Let us be careful to come down on the right side of saving our right of way for all to enjoy, while only the seven abutters (who have received a 5 percent discount yearly on their property taxes and have never owned this land) will benefit if they are able to privatize it. ~ Betsy and Jerry French, Cape Elizabeth
Letter: Good move to stop use of plastic bags
Morning Sentinel - Wednesday, August 9, 2017 

Every time I go shopping I am disturbed when I see people flowing out of local stores with with their purchases stacked high in plastic bags. Therefore I am very relieved to know that there are community groups such as the Sustain Mid Maine Coalition that realize the dangers of the proliferation of plastic. I applaud them for taking action to regulate its use. It is the imperative of all of us to use cloth bags or any non-plastic alternatives to carry our purchases. There are two islands the size of Texas floating in the ocean. Those “islands” are completely made from plastic debris. Bring a bag, and not a plastic one. ~ Anna Freeman, West Athens
Letter: Don’t use poison to kill bugs
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, August 9, 2017 

Many insects cannot be killed with pesticides nowadays because they’ve developed immunity. To help save your health from poisoning, here are several natural, safe preventatives. Whatever you do, do not have your entire house poisoned. This poisons your entire family and pets for a long time. We need to use clean, safe practices to grow our food and live healthy, productive lives. ~ Nancy Oden, Jonesboro
The Era of the Activist Investor in Food
Other - Tuesday, August 8, 2017 

The impact of aggressive activist investor Jana Partners on Whole Foods is a textbook example of how profit-driven investor activism can work. Jana, a New York-based hedge fund, announced in April that it held a more than 8% stake in Whole Foods and by May the board had been overhauled. Jana then began pushing for a sale. In June, Whole Foods and Amazon announced that the online retail behemoth would purchase the natural and organic grocer for $13.7 billion. Whole Foods CEO Joh Mackey famously described Jana thus: “They’re greedy bastards, and they’re putting a bunch of propaganda out there, trying to destroy my reputation and the reputation of Whole Foods, because it’s in their self-interest to do so.” In late July, after presumably pushing the grocer into a sale, Jana cashed out of its stake in the grocer, making about $300 million in profit.
Maine hospital to demolish building, install solar arrays
York Weekly - Tuesday, August 8, 2017 

York Hospital has seen the light. The hospital is planning to demolish the old Fazio’s building on its Woodbridge Road property to make way for a series of solar arrays there and on the adjoining employee parking lot.
Senator King Sees Economic Growth Potential in Millinocket Visit
Maine Public - Tuesday, August 8, 2017 

Sen. Angus King was in the Millinocket area, which has been economically ravaged by the loss of two paper mills, but is hoping for a rebirth. Walking through a cavernous building that once housed paper-making machines for Great Northern Paper, Sen. Angus King is trying to see the future. A new generation of entrepreneurs such as Mike Seile would like King to know that the GNP complex has potential. “There are alternative potential uses, whether it’s pellet manufacturing, bio-diesel, those are all options for this building,” Seile said. Here in the shadow of Mount Katahdin, policy decisions from the Trump administration could affect Millinocket. Later this month, a decision will be made whether the nearby 87,000 acres of forestland designated as a national monument by the Obama administration will keep that status.
Hike: Jordan Cliffs Trail
Aislinn Sarnacki Act Out Blog - Tuesday, August 8, 2017 

The Jordan Cliffs Trail, climbing diagonally up the steep eastern side of Penobscot Mountain, is one of the most challenging and exciting trails in Acadia National Park, and it offers stunning views of Jordan Pond and beyond, to Seal Harbor and the Cranberry Islands.
Maine in top 10 of wind power growth
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, August 8, 2017 

Maine ranked eighth nationwide in annual installed wind power capacity for 2016, with 288 megawatts of utility-scale wind added last year, and 10th nationwide in the percentage of in-state generation of electricity from wind power, with nearly 14 percent, according to new U.S. Department of Energy reports. The reports are being released during a period of uncertainty about continued support for renewable energy under the Trump administration, but also when New England states — notably Massachusetts — are seeking large amounts of wind power to meet renewable power goals.
Parent company of CMP hires commissioner who resigned from Maine PUC
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, August 8, 2017 

Carlisle McLean, the former Maine Public Utilities Commission member who resigned in late June, has begun working as senior counsel in the corporate regulatory department of Avangrid, Central Maine Power’s parent company. McLean’s departure from the PUC was newsworthy because her term had expired in March, and Gov. Paul LePage hadn’t nominated her for a new term. She and the other two commissioners had come under fire from LePage after they approved rules last winter for compensating solar energy producers. McLean previously had served as LePage’s chief legal counsel.
Acadia National Park to create road checkpoints to reduce impaired driving
Aislinn Sarnacki Act Out Blog - Tuesday, August 8, 2017 

In an effort to crack down on drivers under the influence of alcohol, drugs and marijuana, Acadia National Park rangers plan to enhance traffic enforcement and establish safety checkpoints on park roads beginning on Aug. 10 and continuing through the fall. This change in park management is in cooperation with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as part of a national traffic safety campaign to reduce impaired driving.
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