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
Waldoboro Planning Board OKs Eel Aquaculture Business
Lincoln County News - Wednesday, January 16, 2019 

The Waldoboro Planning Board has signed off on an entrepreneur’s plan to build a 27,000-square-foot facility for her eel aquaculture business at the Waldoboro Business Park. The board’s approval of a site plan review application for American Unagi LLC is contingent on the approval of permitting from the Maine DEP for the business’s stormwater management and water discharge plans. Sara Rademaker, president of American Unagi LLC, said, “We are taking Maine-harvested glass eels and growing them out to market size using land-based aquaculture." She raises the eels without hormones or antibiotics and primarily sells them to restaurants.
What awaits in 2019
Trust for Public Land - Wednesday, January 16, 2019 

Last year, one of the most successful conservation programs in American history expired due to the negligence of Congress—the Land and Water Conservation Fund had provided as much as $900 million per year for public land preservation and improvement projects, but now it’s gone. And as absurd as it sounds, we still don’t know what’s going to happen to the eight national monuments marked for drastic changes by former Interior Secretary Zinke.
Maine Fishermen's Forum Scheduled To Open In Late February
Associated Press - Wednesday, January 16, 2019 

New England's largest trade show for fishermen is slated to take place at the end of February and the beginning of March. The Maine Fishermen's Forum is a major event in New England seafood that attracts harvesters, scientists, marine industry leaders and politicians to the state's Midcoast region. It's slated to take place at the Samoset Resort in Rockport from Feb. 28 to March 2. The organizers of the event say it's "dedicated to offering fishermen, clammers, lobstermen, aquaculturalists and other related seafood industry participants an opportunity to meet on neutral ground with fisheries managers, state representatives, congressmen and senators.'' It's also typically the day state regulators release critical data about Maine's fisheries from the prior year.
Column: We all have to pitch in to stop climate change
Kennebec Journal - Wednesday, January 16, 2019 

Heat-trapping carbon dioxide has experienced its largest jump in seven years. For the first time since 2013, carbon emissions in the United States increased, 2.5 percent. And our president is pushing for more oil and coal, absolutely the wrong thing to do. I am appalled that he is opening our very special protected lands in Alaska to oil drilling. Congress should enact the carbon fee and dividend bill, which will raise the price of carbon-generating fuels and distribute the money to us. Our new governor, Janet Mills, is committed to addressing this problem. There is a lot we can do as a state and she has a plan to get it done. We all need to support and participate in her initiatives. ~ George Smith
Opinion: CMP power line won’t help the environment, and certainly not Mainers
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, January 16, 2019 

Central Maine Power’s thousands of critics have presented an avalanche of facts about why New England Clean Energy Connect is a bad idea. People across Maine oppose NECEC because there is no demonstrated environmental benefit that would offset the impacts to our unique natural resources and our tourism economy. And the economic benefits are illusory, with no permanent jobs, no guarantee Mainers will be hired for temporary construction jobs and the use of inflated tax estimates to try to buy local support. NECEC’s opponents are not against economic development or clean energy. We support our arguments with well-documented facts. Massachusetts, not us, is the NIMBY here. They don’t want it in their backyard, and they apparently think we’re a cheap date. ~ Sandra Howard, Registered Maine Guide, Caratunk
Opinion: Tough year ahead for nonprofits without business, legislative help
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, January 16, 2019 

Businesses and governments in Maine and across the country rely on charitable nonprofits to help build the communities we want. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is predicted to cause a drop in giving to the work of charitable organizations of $17-$21 billion every year. In addition, nonprofits must now pay a 21% income tax on employee expenses for transportation benefits. Another tax requires nonprofits to pay taxes on each unrelated business activity, and, unlike for-profit businesses, they are prohibited from applying the losses of one business line to cancel out profits in another “trade or business.” These discriminatory taxes will divert billions from communities. Maine nonprofits represent one in six Maine workers and contribute $12 billion annually to the economy. Mainers need to look to Augusta, not Washington, for solutions. ~ Jennifer Hutchins, Maine Association of Nonprofits, and David L. Thompson, National Council of Nonprofits
Letter: Use Portland’s working waterfront to help form balanced economy
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, January 16, 2019 

The maritime community needs Portland’s working-waterfront to support their livelihood, and the hospitality sector needs it for their business. Developing the waterfront in a collaborative way that supports fishing and intermodal and mixed industrial uses is key to creating a balanced economy that will thrive long term. Look at strong ports like Halifax, Seattle or Portland, Oregon. The industry doesn’t hinder the beauty of the ports; it complements it. ~ Jake Thomas, South Portland
Kennebec Land Trust property to be on ‘Maine Cabin Masters’
Turner Publishing - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 

This past fall, the Kennebec Land Trust renovated two historic cabins at the trust’s Wakefield Wildlife Sanctuary in West Gardiner after being selected by and contracted with “Maine Cabin Masters” for the renovations. The sanctuary and its newly restored cabins will be featured on an episode of “Maine Cabin Masters” on DIY Channel Monday, Feb. 25.
Wilton awarded grant, loan funding for continued Forster Mill cleanup
Sun Journal - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 

Wilton has received a $150,000 grant and $150,000 loan through the Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments for continued asbestos removal at and demolition of the former Forster Mill. The former mill has been used to manufacture automotive upholstery, wood products and plastic cutlery over its more than 100 years.
Task force calls for $75 million for Maine land conservation, state parks
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 

A coalition of organizations with ties to Maine’s “outdoor economy” is recommending a $65 million bond package for the Land for Maine’s Future program as well as a $10 million bond for state-owned parks and lands. Gov. Janet Mills, a Democrat, is expected to have a much friendlier disposition toward land conservation than did Republican Gov. Paul LePage.
Salmon farm company offers money to conserve popular Belfast trail
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 

The company that wants to build one of the world’s largest indoor salmon farms in Belfast has taken steps to preserve an undeveloped 80-acre tract that contains nearly 3 miles of the popular Little River Trail. According to a preliminary plan hashed out between Nordic Aquafarms Inc. and the Belfast Water District, the quasi-municipal utility that owns the land, the parcel around the Little River’s upper reservoir would eventually be transferred to a land trust. But first, the Norwegian-based salmon company plans to donate funds to Belfast so the city can purchase the parcel from the Belfast Water District at a reduced cost. The offer includes additional money to ensure habitat restoration. The company’s donation of all funds for the project is contingent upon it receiving approvals for construction and operation of the salmon farm.
Pending sale of Pine Point Fisherman’s Co-op raises development concerns
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 

The pending sale of a wholesale seafood dealer and restaurant at Pine Point in Scarborough is raising worries about the future of the town’s working waterfront. Susan Bayley Clough and Vincent Clough, longtime nearby residents and business owners, have an agreement to buy Pine Point Fisherman’s Co-Op at 96 King St. The co-op has a long history as the epicenter of Scarborough’s lobster and soft-shell clam industry. Aside from a face-lift, Bayley Clough says that is how she wants to preserve it.
Acadia National Park Will Groom Trails During Government Shutdown
Maine Public - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 

David MacDonald, president of the Friends of Acadia, says while Acadia National Park remains open, most of its staff has been furloughed. A couple dozen volunteers run snowmobiles to groom the park’s expansive network of carriage trails. With snow in the forecast, MacDonald says the park service’s remaining Acadia skeleton crew will plow a single lane on Ocean Drive plus a few parking areas. While that may ease traditional wintertime uses through the season, MacDonald warns that if the shutdown continues much longer, more serious challenges will emerge.
What’s The Deal With The Westbrook Ice Disk? Scientists Aren’t Really Sure Either
Maine Public - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 

An unusual ice formation has appeared in the Presumpscot River in Westbrook. It’s a giant, spinning ice disk about 100 yards across and moving counterclockwise. The disk looks rather alien, but it’s actually a natural occurrence.
Column: Conservation has worked for the bobcat
Foster's Daily Democrat - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 

Bobcats are the only wild cat you will find in this area, and, as time goes by, we should be seeing more of them. They are adapting quite well to human suburban, even urban, environments. Conservation has worked in the case of the bobcat - it’s nice to know that we can remedy some of our mistakes. ~ Sue Pike
City councilors considering fine for nonresident use of Augusta’s recycling bins
Kennebec Journal - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 

Augusta City councilors will vote Thursday on creating a fine for nonresidents who dump items — and Augusta residents who knowingly toss nonrecyclables — into the recycling collection bins at the Public Works Facility off North Street and the Hatch Hill landfill.
Onlookers share theories, find meaning in giant Maine ice disc
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 

As one might expect when a circular ice formation appears, crowds are lining the Presumpscot River in Westbrook and the internet is going wild over the spectacle. More than two dozen onlookers gathered in bunches on nearby buildings or along a public riverwalk to see the disc late Tuesday morning. The city sought to use the attention to boost local commerce.
Onlookers share theories, find meaning in giant Maine ice disc Westbrook’s mystery ice disc
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 

Naturally forming ice discs are not unheard of. News stories of such circles have popped up over the years across the United States, but they’re considered rare and none that have gained any publicity have been as large as the one in Westbrook, which onlookers say is about 100 yards in diameter. Perhaps the most common, presumably tongue-in-cheek, internet theory for where the giant disc came from was aliens.
EPA criminal action against polluters hits 30-year low
Associated Press - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 

The Environmental Protection Agency hit a 30-year low in 2018 in the number of pollution cases it referred for criminal prosecution, Justice Department data show. The 166 cases referred for prosecution in the last fiscal year is the lowest number since Ronald Reagan was president. Criminal referrals have been on a downward trajectory, especially under the Trump administration.
Watchdog accuses Wheeler of potential ethics violations
E&E/Greenwire - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington this afternoon urged EPA's inspector general to investigate several potential violations of the Trump administration's ethics pledge by acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler. EPA dismissed the request as political theater. It comes a day ahead of a high-profile confirmation hearing for Wheeler, whom President Trump has nominated to serve as the long-term leader of the agency. "After spending years as a lobbyist for coal and energy companies, Wheeler should have taken every measure possible to avoid even the appearance of impartiality at the EPA. He has not," CREW Executive Director Noah Bookbinder said.
Column: Loaded questions
Turner Publishing - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 

The speed of the technological innovations boggles the mind. For example, Sig Sauer is now marketing an Electro-Optics telescopic sight called a BDX. The hunter talks to the sight by inputting ballistics data from his phone app, dials in the range to target, connects the dot and pulls the trigger! Audaciously, Sig Sauer bills this as “unprecedented simplicity.” Granted, many of us hunters, young and old, like gadgetry for its own sake, but there comes a point when a dependence on technology defeats one of the reasons we hunt — freedom, a period of liberation from the hustle and bustle of the cell phones and computers. ~ V. Paul Reynolds
Battling freezing wind to ice skate on Green Lake
Aislinn Sarnacki Act Out Blog - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 

As we laced up our skates at the edge of Green Lake on Saturday, the cold numbing our bare fingers, I thought, “We’re crazy.” “What?” my husband Derek said, shouldering our backpack of emergency gear and snacks. “Oh,” I said, realizing I had voiced my opinion out loud. “We’re just kind of crazy to be going out in this cold … but it looks like we aren’t the only crazy ones,” I added, nodding to the ice fishermen roaming among the ice shacks in the distance.
Land trusts to ask Brunswick for $150K in public funds to conserve Woodward Point
Times Record - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 

The Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust and Maine Coast Heritage Trust are asking the town of Brunswick to help complete the funding for conservation of Woodward Point on the New Meadows River. The town council will consider the $150,000 request Jan. 24. BTLT and MCHT want to raise $3.5 million by March 31 to purchase the land and provide for its long-term management as a public preserve. They have $340,000 left to raise. They are asking that funds from the town come from the proceeds of the sale of the town-owned property at 946 Mere Point Road, which has been designated for water access projects. 75 individuals have given donations toward the project; the Land for Maine’s Future Program awarded a $400,000 grant; the federal government has awarded a $570,000 Coastal Wetlands Grant.
Third installment of debate over controversial oyster farm expansion continues tonight
Times Record - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 

The third installment of the Department of Marine Resources hearing on Mere Point Oyster Co.’s proposed oyster farm continues tonight with testimony from an opposition group known as the Maquoit Bay Preservation Group. The series of hearings started in November to evaluate the ecological, visual, navigational and general use impacts of a proposed 10-year, 40-acre aquaculture lease in Maquoit Bay. If granted, Mere Point Oyster’s expansion would increase its operating space by nearly 160 times. The company’s annual harvest would increase from 60,000 last year to 1.5 million in the next three years, putting as many as 5 million oysters in the water at a given time. Two groups of opponents, the preservation group and a group of commercial fishermen, are concerned that the expansion would drastically change the character and use of the bay while also infringing on valuable lobstering grounds.
Lisbon student Maine winner in national cabbage contest
Turner Publishing - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 

Christina Pulsifer, a student at Lisbon Community School, was named the Maine winner in the Bonnie Plants Third Grade Cabbage Program. Christina grew an 8.9 pound cabbage for the program, and was randomly selected from Maine’s entrants by the state Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. She will receive a $1,000 saving bond from Bonnie Plants towards education. A total of 4,229 Maine students participated in the program, and more than 1 million third graders in the 48 contiguous states took part.
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