July 21, 2017  
Announcements               
Press releases, events, publications released, etc. from Maine environmental organizations and agencies. Submit content.

“Bringing Nature Home” in Maine, Jul 26
Event - Posted - Wednesday, July 19, 2017 

Join Maine Audubon’s Director of Education, Eric Topper, to explore the plants, practices and perks involved in restoring native food webs in our gardens, yards and communities. At Portland Public Library, Rines Auditorium, July 26, 5:30 pm.
Little Swan Island Evening Paddle, Jul 26
Event - Posted - Wednesday, July 19, 2017 

Leader: Warren Whitney. At Richmond, July 26, 5:30-7:30 pm. Sponsored by Friends of Merrymeeting Bay.
MEN goes Wild
Announcement - Tuesday, July 18, 2017 

I will be in the wilderness for a few days. Please check back soon for more exciting Maine Environmental News. Thanks. ~ Jym St. Pierre
Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Tuesday, July 18, 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
Exploring the Night Sky, Jul 25
Event - Posted - Tuesday, July 18, 2017 

Discover the wonders of the night sky with astronomer Bernie Reim. At Scarborough Marsh, July 25, 8:30-9:30 pm, Maine Audubon members $6, non-members $8.
Summer Nature Journaling, Jul 22
Event - Posted - Saturday, July 15, 2017 

Join Master Naturalist Andrea Lani to explore the worlds of wildflowers and insects beginning with an introduction to nature journaling, then heading into the woods and fields to observe, sketch, and write about the bugs and blooms you discover. At Viles Arboretum, Augusta, July 22, 10 am - 2 pm, Arboretum members $35, others $45.

Native Plant Walk, Jul 20
Event - Posted - Thursday, July 13, 2017 

Explore the habitats at Fields Pond with Heather McCargo and learn to recognize some of the wildflowers, ferns, shrubs and trees native to Maine. At Fields Pond, Holden, July 20, 10-11:30 am, Maine Audubon and Wild Seed Project members $7; non-members $10.
Happy Birthday, Henry
Announcement - Wednesday, July 12, 2017 

Henry David Thoreau, American poet, author, naturalist, philosopher, abolitionist, and leading Transcendentalist, was born on July 12, 1817 in Concord, Mass.
Time to override the governor’s solar veto
Action Alert - Monday, July 10, 2017 

We are so close to having a new solar power law. The full Maine House and Senate enacted LD 1504 (with amendments) by overwhelming majorities. However, it was vetoed by the Governor. Tell your legislators—particularly House members—how much solar matters to you and your community. ~ Maine Audubon
The Goslings, July 17
Event - Posted - Monday, July 10, 2017 

Visit The Goslings, one of the best-loved island destinations on Casco Bay. ShoreKeepers, a group of young conservation-minded donors, are hosting a free Open House with hot dogs on the beach to complete the perfect island getaway, July 17, 10 am - 2 pm. Meet at Mere Point Boat Launch, Brunswick, shuttles approximately every 15 minutes. Sponsored by Maine Coast Heritage Trust.
Thwings Point Archaeology Field School, Jul 17-28
Event - Posted - Monday, July 10, 2017 

Lee Cranmer leads an Archaeology Field School, Woolwich, July 17-28. Sponsored by Friends of Merrymeeting Bay.
Hook, Line, and Dinner, Jul 15
Event - Posted - Sunday, July 9, 2017 

Celebrate Maine fishermen and seafood under the tent, on the water, at Cook's Lobster House on Bailey Island, July 15, 6 pm, $55. Sponsored by Maine Coast Fishermen's Association.
Sunset Puffin Cruise, Jul 15
Event - Posted - Saturday, July 8, 2017 

This boat ride sails out of New Harbor to Eastern Egg Rock, where you will circle the island several times for great views of puffins, terns, and other seabirds. Jul 15, 7–9 pm, Maine Audubon members: $35; non-members $50.
Thoreau: Stepfather of the National Parks, Jul 15
Event - Posted - Saturday, July 8, 2017 

Presentation by Jym St. Pierre & Michael Kellett. At Thoreau Bicentennial Gathering, Concord, MA, July 15, 1 pm.
Let’s Go Birding – Van Trip, Jul 14
Event - Posted - Friday, July 7, 2017 

Naturalist Doug Hitchcox leads a morning van trip to a local hot spot in search of birds. Leaving from Gilsland Farm, Falmouth, Jul 14, 8-11 am, Maine members $20; non-members $30.
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News Items
USDA To Buy Surplus Maine Blueberries
Maine Public - Thursday, July 6, 2017 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says it will buy up to $10 million in surplus frozen Maine wild blueberries. Nancy McBrady, executive director of the Wild Blueberry Commission of Maine, said wild blueberry processors in Maine will bid on the opportunity to supply berries to USDA.
Brunswick police close streets to escort mother duck and ducklings to the river
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, July 6, 2017 

Brunswick police say they temporarily closed Stanwood and Pleasant streets Thursday to help a mother duck and her family of about 10 ducklings cross. With assistance from multiple officers, police were also able to rescue one of the ducklings that had fallen into a storm drain. Police said the whole family was able to safely make it to a river.
Traffic triggers closures of Cadillac Mountain summit road
Acadia On My Mind Blog - Thursday, July 6, 2017 

Acadia National Park temporarily closed the road to the Cadillac Mountain summit to incoming vehicles seven different times on Sunday and Monday. Even a quieter side of the park – the Schoodic section – saw a closure for about 90 minutes on Sunday. Ocean Drive, which provides access to Sand Beach, was closed a little more than 15 minutes on Monday afternoon. The National Park Service is developing a new transportation plan and considering several preliminary ideas to relieve Acadia traffic congestion and boost safety during peak visitation, including a reservation system for cars to drive up Cadillac or to park at Jordan Pond.
Round the Mountain Project Receives Major Gift
Free Press - Thursday, July 6, 2017 

Allen Insurance and Financial has given a substantial gift in support of the Round the Mountain Collaboration, a community-based project led by Coastal Mountains Land Trust to permanently conserve over 1,400 acres of land on Ragged Mountain, protect the water supply for six midcoast communities and establish the proposed nine-mile four-season Round the Mountain Trail. In total, the Round the Mountain Collaboration has a goal of raising $4.2 million, of which nearly half has been already committed. To meet the first easement deadline, the Land Trust needs to raise an additional $865,000 in cash by December 31, 2017.
Appalachian Mountain Club opens largest Maine wilderness lodge to date
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, July 6, 2017 

Standing on a wooded hill above Second Roach Pond, deep in the Maine wilderness, the new Medawisla Wilderness Lodge and Cabins opened to the public on July 1, offering its guests comfortable beds, hot showers, home-cooked meals, and a beautiful basecamp for outdoor adventures. The off-the-grid campus of log buildings, a construction project that cost more than $6 million, is the most recent addition to Appalachian Mountain Club’s ever-growing network of wilderness lodges and trails east of Moosehead Lake. And with room to house more than 75 guests, it’s AMC’s largest facility in Maine yet.
Column: Where did barn swallows live before barns were invented?
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, July 6, 2017 

The answer is caves. But once humans started erecting barns, the birds quickly adopted them, and now the barn swallow is the most abundant species of swallow in the world. It nests throughout North America. Barn swallows also range across most of the Old World, just about any place there are buildings. Our barn swallows will be leaving soon. They are long distance migrants, with a wintering range throughout South America, all the way down to the southern tip of the continent. It’s a little sad to think that our fall migration is already about to begin, but when birds make a living by snatching bugs from the air, they can take their time traveling southward. There’s bugs the whole way. Insects aren’t declining, but barns sure are. My next question to ponder: Whose ironic idea was it to put a hyphen in the word non-hyphenated? ~ Bob Duchesne
Opinion: Drilling in the Arctic will ruin one of America’s last wild places
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, July 6, 2017 

Public lands also spur spending and jobs that help to sustain gateway communities near our parks and other natural attractions. For evidence of this, we need not look any further than Maine’s coastal communities surrounding Acadia National Park and those in the Katahdin region now realizing economic benefits from the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. The Trump administration hopes to begin oil drilling in perhaps the wildest, most pristine and treasured refuge in the United States — the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in the northeastern corner of Alaska. This is perhaps the very last place on earth that should be paved, pumped and polluted by oil drilling. ~ Kay Henry, co-founder, Mad River Canoe Co. and Northern Forest Canoe Trail, Harpswell
Scientists are starting to clear up one of the biggest controversies in climate science
Washington Post - Thursday, July 6, 2017 

How much Earth will warm in response to future greenhouse gas emissions may be one of the most fundamental questions in climate science — but it’s also one of the most difficult to answer. But new research is helping to lay these suspicions to rest. A study, just out Wednesday in the journal Science Advances, joins a growing body of literature that suggests the models are on track after all. And while that may be worrisome for the planet, it’s good news for the scientists working to understand its future.
What Feels Like A Lot Of Mosquitoes Is Just Getting Back To Normal, Experts Say
Maine Public - Thursday, July 6, 2017 

It may feel like the number of mosquitoes in Maine this year is way up, but it’s just getting back to normal. Maine Medical Center vector ecologist Chuck Lubelczyk says the dry weather over the last two summers led to an unusually low number of mosquitoes, but this year is more normal and the population is rebounding. Lubelczyk says they’re a particular problem on the coast, where this year’s very high lunar tides have flooded salt marshes and created a mosquito baby boom.
Wolves in Maine bring murder and mayhem
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Thursday, July 6, 2017 

When wolves show up in Maine’s north woods, landowners and others launch a major, but secretive, effort to kill them. And that’s just part of the complex plot in Sandra Neily’s novel, Deadly Trespass. I first got to know Sandy many years ago when she worked for one of our state’s major environmental groups. She’s had a lifelong passion for conservation, environmental protection, and our native wildlife. That passion – and her strong views about everything from clearcuts to devious politicians – comes through loud and clear in this novel.
The Global War on Lobster The Global War on Lobster
Free Press - Thursday, July 6, 2017 

Maine’s lobster industry is big business, bringing in $1.5 billion a year. Maine fishermen provide 88% of all lobsters nationally, and many of those lobsters are part of a global trade. The local ancestors could tell today’s fishermen about the boom-and-bust nature of making a living on Maine’s coast in a global trade. Granite, limestone, sardines: they all soared and they all crashed. And there aren’t many around who know the Maine lobster fishing industry better than Dave Cousens. So, when he lays down a solid argument for why the lobster boom that has made fishermen’s fortunes over the past two decades happened and why lobstermen and the rest of us need to act to keep the industry from being wiped out, it’s worth listening to. Cousens is calling on fishermen to speak out in favor of the U.S. involvement in reducing carbon emissions and signing on to the Paris climate agreement.
“The Seinfeld shutdown”
Free Press - Thursday, July 6, 2017 

Following a three-day state government shutdown, a week of angry protests and tense negotiations, late Monday evening Gov. Paul LePage finally agreed to sign a $7.1 billion biennial budget and reopen state government. The governor had a list of demands, including to require land trusts to report how much land they have taken off the tax rolls, though 96 percent of land trust land is on the tax rolls. The governor’s behavior was certainly reckless throughout the negotiations, but backing him every step of the way was an army of 60 steely-eyed foot soldiers willing to disrupt state services and put the livelihoods of 12,000 state employees on the line to prove their fealty to their erratic leader. The unfortunate lesson for future budget negotiations is clear: hostage taking gets the goods. The big question is whether their constituents will reward them or punish them next year for putting pointless partisan politics over the welfare of the state.
Mainers want to turn this picturesque island fort into a music, theater destination
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, July 6, 2017 

Sitting in the middle of Portland Harbor, Fort Gorges is completely open to the public. There are few safety rails in the 19th century military installation. It has no front door and the fort is never closed. Visitors, who must come by private boat, are free to roam. It’s been this way since the federal government gave it to the city in 1960. But that’s changing. The Army Corps of Engineers, starting Thursday, will install handrails, fences and a lockable door on the fort. Paul Drinan, executive director of Friends of Fort Gorges, points out the Army Corps will not be fixing anything. They will only be installing safety features. Once the structural and safety issues are dealt with, Drinan envisions theater and music performances in the fort, as well as historical tours.
Letter: Keeping solar viable
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, July 6, 2017 

I want to send out a big thank you to Sen. Joyce Maker and Rep. Will Tuell for their votes on LD 1504 to keep solar energy a viable option in Maine. I hope they will stand firm against an attempted veto from the governor. We have the right to produce our own clean energy for ourselves and our communities without being penalized by net-metering or any other thing that makes it difficult and expensive. It is past time for us to move into the future with clean energy instead of looking backward. Leaders lead forward. ~ Judee Reel, Lubec
Getting to the bottom of Highland Lake’s weird hue
Forecaster - Wednesday, July 5, 2017 

Since 2014, Highland Lake has seen a temporary but concerning drop in water clarity for several weeks every July and August. The Highland Lake Association is hard at work to understand why. That temporary tint, the group is increasingly confident, is caused by a bloom of cyanobacteria – also known as blue-green algae. Though the likely culprit has been identified, questions about its origin and how to address it remain.
Scarborough fishermen try to beat green crab problem to death
Forecaster - Wednesday, July 5, 2017 

About 20 fishermen participated in the June 28 conservation project along the banks of the Jones Creek and Nonesuch River, hoping to kill as many invasive green crabs as possible before the crustaceans prey upon the clams – and the fishermen’s livelihood. The crabs came out at night, as usual, to feed on clams, but on June 28 they were met by the fishermen, who crushed them with their various weapons. Killing the crabs – which do not die easily even when punctured – made a “crunching” sound.
Outdoorsman still struck by the early fishing bug
Ellsworth American - Wednesday, July 5, 2017 

Steel wool clouds were scrubbing an aluminum sky as Steve Forrest backed the Grand Laker canoe away from his camp dock and swung the bow into a cold northeast wind. Slouched in the forward boat chair of the 20-footer, I scanned the churning sprawl of West Grand Lake and saw only two other boats fishing. “This is hard to believe,” I said. “Here it is early May...prime time for spring fishing...the wind’s making a good chop...the salmon have been sociable since ice out and there are only a couple of boats in sight.”
The big ecological roles of small natural features
ScienceDaily - Wednesday, July 5, 2017 

Small natural features have big ecological roles, according to the 37 researchers from 11 countries writing in a Special Issue of "Biological Conservation." Sometimes they can provide resources that limit key populations or processes that influence a much larger area. Sometimes they support unusual diversity, abundance or productivity. They also are small enough to efficiently maintain or restore, while traditional land-use activities continue in close proximity, such as forestry, fishing and grazing. "Small natural features are an example of what can be termed 'The Frodo Effect,'" writes Malcolm Hunter, UMaine professor of wildlife resources, in the journal introduction. "In the 'Lord of the Rings,' the small and unassuming hobbit Frodo has more strength than any of his larger peers and saves Middle Earth with his brave actions," says Hunter.
Pair of bears join runner for a morning run near Lake Auburn
Sun Journal - Wednesday, July 5, 2017 

A professional runner from Kenya put his skills to the test Wednesday when two bears charged him during his morning training. Moninda Marube said he awoke early to make an 18-mile run from his home on Hotel Road; too early, he would later learn.
Maine Woods Pellet qualified under PFI Standards Program
Biomass magazine - Wednesday, July 5, 2017 

The Pellet Fuels Institute recently announced the qualification of Maine Woods Pellet Co. of Athens, Maine, to the PFI Standards Program as the 25th pellet manufacturer and 38th facility qualified for the program. The PFI Standards Program is a third-party accreditation program providing specifications for residential and commercial-grade pellet fuel.
Maureen Drouin, Executive Director at Maine Conservation Voters and Maine Conservation Alliance
Maine. The Magazine - Wednesday, July 5, 2017 

As a child, Maureen Drouin loved playing outside—swimming, hiking, fishing, and camping. Now she works to protect Maine’s natural heritage for future generations. As executive director of Maine Conservation Voters, Drouin and her colleagues have quadrupled the political advocacy group’s budget and grown its staff, as well as its partnerships. At Maine Conservation Alliance, an affiliated organization at which she also serves as executive director, Drouin has helped to create the Maine Environmental Priorities Coalition, a partnership of 34 conservation and public health organizations that represent 100,000 collective members.
These Young Entrepreneurs See Opportunity Flowing Through Maine’s Decaying Dams
Maine Public - Wednesday, July 5, 2017 

Maine is home to hundreds of dams that have fallen out of use, a legacy of the heyday of its mills. The dams can be a liability for owners and municipalities, who have to maintain them or pay for their removal, which in turn can upset people who’ve come to rely on their impoundments for recreation. But a couple of 20-something entrepreneurs sees potential in old dams in the form of renewable energy and profit.
New national monument web series to include Katahdin Woods and Waters
WVFX Fox Bangor - Wednesday, July 5, 2017 

National Monuments across the country have been under review from the Trump administration for the past few months. A freelance journalist is doing his own review with a stop here in Maine . "Katahdin is the last stop on this journey that I have had for the last three weeks," said Brent Rose, a freelance journalist. A journey that started on a whim. Rose is on a mission and that's to prove to the Secretary of Interior, Ryan Zinke, that these monuments are deserving of their titles.
Online burn permits in Maine now OK, thanks to new law
Kennebec Journal - Wednesday, July 5, 2017 

An emergency bill that would allow fire chiefs and fire wardens to use private websites or web-based services to issue burn permits passed into law Tuesday without the signature of Gov. Paul LePage and Wednesday, a service called Warden’s Report was back online. Warden’s Report is one of two online services identified by Maine Forest Service officials in early June, when they sent letters to more than 70 municipalities urging them not to use it or another site called Burning Permits.
Casco Bay slime sighting a week earlier than last year
Maine Environmental News - Wednesday, July 5, 2017 

The attack of the green slime is back. We’re not talking about a B-movie monster, but rather nuisance algal blooms that coat Casco Bay’s mudflats with green growth. Friends of Casco Bay’s staff, including Casco Baykeeper Ivy Frignoca, Research Associate Mike Doan, and Intern Emily Haggett, spotted bright green algal mats on Mill Cove and Antoine Creek in South Portland and Back Cove in Portland last week.
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Art and Land Conservation Symposium
at Colby College, August 3-4

Frederic E. Church, 
Mount Katahdin from Millinocket Camp, 1895, 
Portland Museum of Art

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