June 19, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Tuesday, June 18, 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
Water: What is has to teach us, Jun 25
Event - Posted - Tuesday, June 18, 2019 

Learn about fresh water ecosystems and new aquaculture operations in the MidCoast region. At Topsham Public Library, June 25, 6 pm. Sponsored by Cathance River Education Alliance.
Teen Wilderness Expedition, July 23-25
Announcement - Sunday, June 16, 2019 

The Teen Wilderness Expedition is a 3-day, 2-night, all-inclusive adventure for 12-16 year olds at Little Lyford Lodge, July 23-25. Offered by Piscataquis County Soil and Water Conservation District and Appalachian Mountain Club.
Maine State Museum hosts Bike Day, Jun 22
Event - Posted - Saturday, June 15, 2019 

Join the Maine State Museum, Bicycle Coalition of Maine and the Maine State Library in a free family event to commemorate the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote and learn about the benefits of safe, relaxed bike riding. At Maine State Museum, June 22, 10 am - 1 pm.
Hike Puzzle Mt., Jun 22
Event - Posted - Saturday, June 15, 2019 

A moderate to strenuous hike of 8.5 miles. Cross several exposed granite boulders and ledges offering views of the Sunday River ski area, Grafton Notch, and the Presidentials, June 22, pre-register. Sponsored by Appalachian Mountain Club.
Androscoggin River Canoe & Kayak River Race, Jun 22
Event - Posted - Saturday, June 15, 2019 

This event is open to all to launch canoes, kayaks, paddle boards, (and more) into the Androscoggin River and complete one of three courses of varying length and challenge. At Festival Plaza, Auburn, June 22, 9 am, $15 for single paddler, $25 for a double, benefits Androscoggin Land Trust.
Plants of Corea Heath, Jun 22
Event - Posted - Saturday, June 15, 2019 

Join Jill Weber, botanist and co-author of The Plants of Acadia National Park, to learn about carnivorous plants, orchids, stunted trees and shrubs and cotton-grass. At Corea Heath, Goldsboro, June 22, 8:30 am. Sponsored by Downeast Audubon.
Maine Wildlife Park open house, Jun 21
Event - Posted - Friday, June 14, 2019 

The Maine Wildlife Park in Gray will hold an open house with free admission, June 21, 5-8 pm. Feeding times for moose, lynx, foxes, cougars, vultures and bears will be posted.
Call for a presidential primary debate on climate change
Action Alert - Thursday, June 13, 2019 

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez has rejected a presidential primary debate on climate change. 15 Democratic presidential candidates have joined the call. So can you. ~ CREDO Action
Trekking through Time
Announcement - Thursday, June 13, 2019 

From June through October, Lakes Environmental Association, Loon Echo Land Trust, Greater Lovell Land Trust, Upper Saco Valley Land Trust, and Western Foothills Land Trust will host the Trekking through Time Series. Once a month throughout the summer and early fall, each organization will host a historical tour of one of its conservation properties.
Help document impact on shell middens, Jun 18
Announcement - Tuesday, June 11, 2019 

Many cultural artifacts of Maine's first coastal residents are preserved in shell middens, but these sites are disappearing as sea levels rise, collectors dig into the middens, and visitors walk on them. Maine Midden Minders is developing a database of erosion conditions at middens. Volunteer training at Coastal Rivers’ Education Center, Damariscotta, June 18, 3-7 pm.
“Dog-Friendly Hikes in Maine” book launch, Jun 18
Event - Posted - Tuesday, June 11, 2019 

Book signing and presentation for “Dog-Friendly Hikes in Maine” by Aislinn Sarnacki, which contains detailed descriptions and maps of 35 hikes across Maine that are ideal for dogs and their owners. At Epic Sports, Bangor, June 18, 5-7:30 pm.
Short Course on Island History, June
Event - Posted - Monday, June 10, 2019 

Malaga Island classroom session, at Harpswell Heritage Land Trust office, June 17, 6 pm; field trip, June 22, 11 am-3 pm. Eagle Island classroom session, at Harpswell Heritage Land Trust office, June 27, 6 pm; field trip June 29, 9:30 am-1:30 pm. Harpswell Heritage Land Trust members $60, non-members $70.
Maine Invasive Plants Field Guide
Publication - Sunday, June 9, 2019 

The Maine Natural Areas Program field guide covers 46 species of terrestrial and wetland invasive plants and is waterproof, portable, and ring-bound to allow for future additions. Each species account includes key identification characters, growth form, habitats invaded, control methods, similar native and non-native plant species, and current status of the plant in Maine. $18 for orders received by June 30.
Residents Day at Maine State Parks and Historic Sites, Jun 16
Event - Posted - Sunday, June 9, 2019 

Maine residents can take advantage of free day admission to Maine State Parks and Historic Sites. On Residents Day, Jun 16, vehicles with Maine license plates will have fees waived.
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News Items
Jeremy Payne on LePage's Wind Power Moratorium
Other - Wednesday, February 21, 2018 

WVOM radio - Jeremy Payne, Executive Director of the Maine Renewable Energy Association, discusses a law suit against Gov. Paul LePage's moratorium on new wind power projects. [audio]
Editorial: Don’t blame land conservation for rising Maine property taxes
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, February 21, 2018 

For years, Gov. LePage has blamed schools for being unwilling to control costs. Now, he says, it was the land trusts all along. He’s right, taxes have been rising. But even though he has shifted the blame, he remains wrong about the reason. What has changed is the amount of state aid to schools and municipalities. The state has underfunded municipal revenue-sharing by $602 million from its traditional level since LePage took office. The percentage of school funding provided by the state has fallen, too; if it had been held at 2010 levels, there would have been another $500 million helping to offset property taxes. That’s far more money than conservation lands could have generated under any plausible scenario. Guess it’s time for Gov. LePage to find a new scapegoat.
One Mainer’s Account of the Long Journey From Georgia to Maine (Part 4)
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, February 20, 2018 

In 2015, I walked the entire AT – for the second time, the first in 1977 – from Springer Mtn. in Georgia to the summit of Katahdin in Maine, taking 189 glorious days to go the distance. I wrote a series of columns chronicling the long journey, and I have compiled those accounts into a four-part series. Part 4 covers some interesting post-hike analysis, tips on how to prepare for your own AT thru-hike, threats to the AT hike experience and what’s being done to address the issues, maintaining the AT with volunteer help, and celebrating the 80the anniversary of our beloved trail. ~ Carey Kish
Hundreds of U.S. Mayors Collectively Oppose Trump Reversal of Clean Power Plan
Other - Tuesday, February 20, 2018 

Yale Environment 360 - Mayors from 233 U.S. cities, representing more than 51 million Americans in 46 states and territories, have released a joint letter voicing their opposition of the Trump administration’s efforts to repeal the Clean Power Plan, arguing that the reversal would “put our citizens at risk and harm our efforts to address the urgent threat of climate change.”
Greenwashed Timber: How Sustainable Forest Certification Has Failed
Other - Tuesday, February 20, 2018 

Yale Environment 360 - The Forest Stewardship Council was established to create an international system for certifying sustainable wood. But critics say it has had minimal impact on deforestation and at times has served only to provide a cover for trafficking in illegal timber.
Wildlife watch: buffleheads and loons in Camden Harbor
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, February 20, 2018 

Camden Harbor is a bustling place in the summertime, when everything from kayaks to windjammers sidle up to its docks, but in the wintertime, it’s an especially great place to go bird watching. In fact, the harbor is one of 201 locations profiled in the book “Birdwatching in Maine: A Site Guide,” a guidebook written by a dozen Maine birders and published this past spring by University Press of New England. The book is a handy resource for wildlife lovers, offering multiple birding locations in all 16 counties.
'Bath Bags' to roll out in advance of plastic bag ban
Forecaster - Tuesday, February 20, 2018 

“Bath Bags” – free, reusable containers geared toward addressing a ban on the distribution of disposable plastic shopping bags and polystyrene containers – will debut by the end of the month. The City Council authorized the ban in separate votes last October and November. The decision followed two “Bring Your Own Bag” forums hosted in September 2017 by Bath’s Solid Waste Advisory Committee, which has studied the issue since that January. The delay in enacting the ban until April 22 – Earth Day – allows for time to spread the word, as well as allowing businesses to use up their disposable bag stock.
Blog: Scott Pruitt, Man of the People
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, February 20, 2018 

Scott Pruitt, the cabinet officer charged with dismantling the Environmental Protection Agency, generally travels first class to avoid people who say mean things to him at airports. This is costing American taxpayers a lot of money. What’s odd is that a self-styled Populist would fly first-class at all, since presumably that’s where all the environmental elitists sit – the residents of what Maine’s equally anti-environmental governor Paul LePage derisively calls “Volvo country.” Linking environmental issues to an elite disconnected from the hard realities of working- and middle-class people has a long history in this country, and it has helped politicians brand the environmental movement as the enemy of jobs and prosperity. But we have never had someone appointed to run a federal agency with views so antithetical to its mission. ~ James G. Blaine
Aquaculture project in Belfast could lift status of U.S. salmon farming, industry experts say
Associated Press - Tuesday, February 20, 2018 

A Norwegian firm’s plan to build one of the world’s largest inland salmon aquaculture facilities in Maine has a chance to raise American salmon farming’s status on the international stage, people who follow the industry say. Nordic Aquafarms wants to build a facility that would produce more than 60 million pounds of salmon per year. The state typically produces between 18 and 35 million pounds of the fish per year. Maine is the biggest producer of farmed Atlantic salmon in the U.S., but the U.S. is a relatively minor player in the worldwide industry. Potentially doubling the state’s production capacity would significantly alter the landscape.
United By Blue Hosts Coastal Waterway-Cleanups
Other - Tuesday, February 20, 2018 

United By Blue, the sustainable outdoors brand with a mission to remove a pound of trash from the world’s oceans and waterways for every product sold, and Luke’s Lobster, the Maine-bred seafood restaurant group, are working together to show the importance of keeping the world’s coastal waterways healthy. The two like-minded brands are selling a seasonal lobster grain bowl, and for every one sold, they pledge to remove a pound of trash from the world’s oceans and waterways at three co-hosted cleanups in Philadelphia, New York City and Maine.
Maine lobster industry facing many challenges, changes
Other - Tuesday, February 20, 2018 

Maine’s lobster industry is pushing back against new rules that they say are costly and put onerous requirements on them to record data. Maine does not have the funds to pay for the new reporting requirements mandated by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, according to Patrice McCarron, the executive director of the Maine Lobstermen’s Association. McCarron said the new rule, which requires 100 percent of Maine lobstermen to report certain catch data over the next five years, is cost-prohibitive.
Maine Renewable Energy Association Sues LePage Over Wind Power Moratorium
Maine Public - Tuesday, February 20, 2018 

The Maine Renewable Energy Association has filed suit against Gov. Paul LePage over a wind moratorium he issued by executive order in January. The order directs that “no permits are issued” in certain areas of the state until the Maine Wind Energy Commission meets in private to decide their fate. Maine Renewable Energy Association Executive Director Jeremy Payne says the governor’s action directly contradicts the Constitution’s separation of powers between the three branches of government since existing law already governs wind permitting.
Wind energy industry files suit against LePage administration
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, February 20, 2018 

In a filing in Kennebec County Superior Court, the Maine Renewable Energy Association accuses Gov. Paul LePage of “unconstitutional executive overreach in creating a moratorium of indefinite duration that is contrary to the will of the Legislature.” The association, which is a trade group representing wind energy companies and contractors, is asking the court to nullify the January 24th executive order halting the issuance of new wind power permits and creating a secretive advisory commission to explore potential changes to the permitting process.
The next five years will shape sea-level rise for the next 300, study says
Washington Post - Tuesday, February 20, 2018 

The world is far off course from its goals in cutting greenhouse gas emissions – and research published Tuesday illustrates one of the most striking implications of this. Namely, it finds that for every five years in the present that we continue to put off strong action on climate change, the ocean could rise an additional eight inches by the year 2300 – a dramatic illustration of just how much decisions in the present will affect distant future generations.
Local land trusts on defense after renewed LePage attacks
Times Record - Tuesday, February 20, 2018 

Last week’s State of the State address saw Gov. Paul LePage renew his familiar attack on land trusts, claiming the conservation groups are keeping properties off municipal tax rolls in poorer communities. Recently, some local Midcoast trusts weighed in on the governor’s proposal to tax conserved property owned by trusts. A property tax on land trusts would have an immediate impact on the Kennebec Estuary Land Trust. According to Executive Director Carrie Kinne, it could mean a loss of programs or staff for the land trust. The Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust has 2,700 acres in conservation, according to BTLT Executive Director Angela Twitchell. However, the majority of the land the land trust holds easements on, meaning it remains on the tax rolls.
CMP’s $950M proposal selected as ‘alternative’ clean energy bid by Massachusetts
Mainebiz - Tuesday, February 20, 2018 

Central Maine Power Co.'s $950 million New England Clean Energy Connect proposal has been selected to replace the Northern Pass transmission project should Eversource Energy fail to secure its New Hampshire permit next month. AVANGRID Inc., a diversified energy company that is parent company of CMP, confirmed on Feb. 16 that the NECEC transmission project has been selected by Massachusetts electric utilities and the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources in the Bay State's Clean Energy RFP to move forward as the alternative if the Northern Pass transmission project fails to win approval from the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee by March 27.
Researchers Call For New, Ropeless Lobster Traps To Help Save Right Whales
Maine Public - Tuesday, February 20, 2018 

The North Atlantic right whale is the most endangered large whale species on Earth. The principal cause of right whale fatalities is entanglement with fishing gear, including lobster trap lines. Scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution say new technology could stop these ensnarements, but some lobstermen say the cost of adopting the new gear would be prohibitive. Woods Hole Director Michael Moore says the right whale is really in trouble, and something has to be done to stop entanglements.
What it’s like to be the first called when someone goes missing in Maine waters
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, February 20, 2018 

The Marine Patrol, Maine’s oldest law enforcement agency, assists in about 30 to 40 search-and-rescue operations in Maine’s coastal waters every year.
Future Of Portland Ocean Terminal Up For Discussion
Maine Public - Tuesday, February 20, 2018 

Officials with Maine's largest city are reaching out to residents to discuss possible redevelopment plans for the Portland Ocean Terminal facility on the Maine State Pier. Portland staff presented the idea of a public market within the building last year. The city held its first outreach meeting about the building's future on Feb. 15. More sessions are coming up on Feb. 27 with the seafood industry, Feb. 28 with the food and beverage industry, March 7 with the Peaks Island Council and March 12 with the public.
George Smith: Diagnosed with ALS
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, February 20, 2018 

When George Smith was diagnosed with ALS in 2017, he vowed that his disease would not define the end of his life. For 18 years, George was executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, but he’s probably best known as a prolific writer — mostly about the Maine outdoors, but also about politics and about traveling with his wife Linda. Since his diagnosis, some of the things he loves most are harder to do, but he has a lot to be grateful for, especially his family and friends.
Maine land trusts say governor uses bogus data in pitch to tax them
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, February 20, 2018 

Gov. Paul LePage is once again accusing conservation groups of “ripping off” taxpayers in Maine by not paying local taxes on vast swaths of land across the state. But conservation advocates and some lawmakers counter that the governor is peddling misleading information that ignores payments made by land trusts as well as the public benefits of preserving land in a state defined by its natural beauty.
Wednesday 'one-hit wonder' may bring temps 33 degrees above normal
Sun Journal - Monday, February 19, 2018 

Get out the sunblock and, for the bold, consider a tank top: Maine is expecting record-breaking temperatures Wednesday, with a way-above-average high of 65 expected in Lewiston and Portland. It is welcome, but fleeting: We should be back into the 40s, with the chance of rain and snow showers, by the end of the week, according to National Weather Service.
Acadia National Park aided by policies of FDR and TR
Acadia On My Mind Blog - Monday, February 19, 2018 

Long before he was president and signed the Antiquities Act, which later helped preserve land for Acadia National Park, Theodore Roosevelt spent some of the happiest days of his life on Mount Desert Island. In the depths of the Great Depression, Franklin Roosevelt, starting his first of four terms, proposed and signed a law in 1933 to establish the Civilian Conservation Corps, which employed more than 3 million young men across the nation. Corps members worked on projects in parks and forests across the country including Acadia.
South Portland commercial greenhouse approved
Forecaster - Monday, February 19, 2018 

The South Portland Planning Board last Tuesday approved an amended site plan for a $500,000 commercial greenhouse in the industrial section of the city. The proposed 14,200-square-foot greenhouse will be built on a 2-acre lot at 25 Duck Pond Road. The applicant and developer, John Crowley, doing business as 110 Dartmouth Street LLC, plans on leasing growing space to tenants. The goal of the project is to provide urban agriculture space for local restaurants.
Scarborough gives initial nod to keeping public pathway to Pine Point Beach
Forecaster - Monday, February 19, 2018 

The Scarborough Town Council has given preliminary approval to an agreement with property owners to maintain public access to a pathway leading to Pine Point Beach. Following two years of debate, the town and abutting property owners of Avenue 2, a beach access path since the 19th century, reached an agreement that preserves public access in exchange for the town relinquishing rights to the land.
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