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
Contact with toxic browntail moth cocoons can cause blistery rash, state warns
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, June 21, 2018 

Maine officials are warning residents to be very careful before removing the cocoons of the browntail moth, a toxic, invasive species that is spreading throughout the state. “Do this with extreme caution,” a media release issued Thursday from the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, said of cocoon removal. “Cocoons are full of the hairs that can cause a rash or worse.”
Federal trial challenging South Portland’s ‘Clear Skies’ ordinance concludes
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, June 21, 2018 

A federal trial challenging South Portland’s ban on crude oil exports wrapped up Thursday in U.S. District Court in Portland. The company – a Canadian-owned subsidiary of ExxonMobil, Shell and Suncor Energy – is challenging the city’s “Clear Skies” ordinance, which effectively blocked Portland Pipe Line from reversing the flow of a 236-mile underground pipeline that has carried foreign crude from harbor terminals in South Portland to refineries in Montreal since World War II. Reversing the flow would allow the company to bring Canadian tar sands crude oil to the South Portland waterfront to be shipped to global markets.
Report: Former Acadia park director accepted illegal Caribbean vacation
Associated Press - Thursday, June 21, 2018 

A former Acadia National Park superintendent accepted an illegal gift of a Caribbean family vacation months before his retirement in 2015, according to a report released Thursday by the inspector general of the U.S. Department of the Interior. A lawyer for Sheridan Steele contends there was nothing illegal about the retirement gift announced at a dinner attended by dozens of members of the local community on Mount Desert Island. “We don’t deny the facts, but we deny the conclusion. It wasn’t an illegal gift,” said Steele’s attorney, Jay McCloskey. He called the probe “a total waste of investigative resources.”
Maine Legislature's Special Session Enters Third Day
Maine Public - Thursday, June 21, 2018 

A number of high-profile bills remain unresolved as the Maine Legislature is approaching the end of its three day special session. Lawmakers sent several proposals to Gov. Paul LePage, but they face a likely veto. Still awaiting final approval is a $200 million slate of bond proposals.
Opinion: Maine needs a governor who will prioritize clean energy
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, June 21, 2018 

As voters assess their options for state leadership, two intertwined issues need to rise to prominence: Maine’s economy and environment. To advance both, Maine’s next governor must prioritize a clean energy future. The good news is that this future is close at hand. With smart energy policy reform based on proven results in other states, Maine can lower energy costs; save residents and businesses money on their utility bills; boost its own economy; grow its workforce with good-paying efficiency, HVAC and solar jobs; and dramatically reduce air pollution. ~ Kathleen Meil and Daniel Sosland, Acadia Center
Baxter State Park Announces New Director
Associated Press - Thursday, June 21, 2018 

The Baxter State Park Authority announced on Thursday that Eben Sypitkowski has been named the new head of Baxter State Park, the home to the state's highest peak. Sypitkowski is currently the park's resource manager. The state says Sypitkowski will direct about 60 year-round and seasonal employees who maintain the park, which is a major tourist attraction in northern Maine. The Baxter State Park Authority is made up of Director of the Bureau of Forestry Doug Denico, Commissioner of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife Chandler Woodcock and Attorney General Janet Mills.
Column: Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument drawing plenty of birders
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, June 21, 2018 

Altogether, I noted 43 species and 126 individual birds as we looped the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument last Saturday. Admittedly, I had an advantage over the other nine participants during the field trip, sponsored by the Penobscot Valley Chapter of Maine Audubon. I was riding shotgun in the 15-passenger van, with my head out the window, listening intently. As destinations go, KWW is an exceptionally birdy place. ~ Bob Duchesne
Bangor native named new head of Baxter State Park
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, June 21, 2018 

The Baxter State Park Authority on Thursday announced that it has appointed Eben Sypitkowski as the new director of Baxter State Park. Sypitkowski succeeds Jensen Bissell, who has been director since 2005 when Irvin “Buzz” Caverly retired after a 46-year career at the park where he held various positions, including director. Sypitkowski, a graduate of Bangor High School and Bates College in Lewiston, also earned a master’s degree in forestry from the University of Maine in Orono. He is currently serving as Baxter State Park’s resource manager and is managing its Scientific Management Area.
The McDonald’s Lobster Roll Experience
Yankee Magazine - Thursday, June 21, 2018 

Armed with more than 100 authentic New England lobster roll experiences, I entered the glass-and-tile McDonald’s in my New England town and queued up at the counter. Upon opening the box, I was pleasantly surprised to see a couple of chunks of claw meat on top of some shredded lobster meat and a rather massive bed of similarly shredded iceberg lettuce. But by the time I finished, the McRoll simply ran out of steam and made me yearn for the real deal from a true New England seafood shack.
Climate Change Brought a Lobster Boom. Now It Could Cause a Bust.
New York Times - Thursday, June 21, 2018 

Since the early 1980s, climate change had warmed the Gulf of Maine’s cool waters to the ideal temperature for lobsters, which has helped grow Maine’s fishery fivefold to a half-billion-dollar industry, among the most valuable in the United States. But last year the state’s lobster landings dropped by 22 million pounds, to 111 million. Now, scientists and some fishermen are worried that the waters might eventually warm too much for the lobsters, and are asking how much longer the boom can last.
CEO of Company Buying Saddleback Resort Accused of Fraud
Associated Press - Thursday, June 21, 2018 

Sebastian Monsour was charged Thursday with investment fraud after a search warrant was executed. Monsour is CEO of the Majella Group, which is in the process of buying Maine's Saddleback Mountain ski resort. The Rangeley ski resort has been closed for several seasons. Owners Bill and Irene Berry announced a year ago that they were selling to Majella Group. Monsour, who was held without bail, promised to make the mountain the "premier ski resort'' in North America and to restore the 300 seasonal jobs.
Column: Paul Ryan has been living in a cave
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, June 21, 2018 

Last week, House Speaker Paul Ryan was asked at a news conference whether scandal-plagued Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt should remain in office. “Frankly, I haven’t paid that close attention to it,” said the man who is second in line to the presidency. Even a casual consumer of news would be aware of Pruitt’s ethical tragicomedy. For Ryan, and for Republicans generally, ignorance isn’t just bliss in the age of President Trump — it’s a means of survival. A transcript of Ryan's Q&A’s since early 2015 contains 99 instances of “I don’t know.” ~ Dana Milbank
Maine town declares itself food sovereign, then outlaws urban farming
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, June 21, 2018 

Lloyd Cowan is not sure what he’s going to do with his small flock of chickens, two ducks and three goats. He lives in the small town of Madison where urban farming was permitted until the town abruptly passed an ordinance banning it at the June 11 annual town meeting. The new law didn’t grandfather residents like Cowan, who’ve raised animals in their backyard for decades. Cowan said he finds the move by the town in direct conflict with its vote earlier this year to declare itself food sovereign.
In the Bay of Fundy
Other - Thursday, June 21, 2018 

Bowdoin College magazine - On a remote island with no permanent residents, Patty Jones directs something remarkable: collaboration.
Editorial: Don’t waste state’s time with secret wind panel
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, June 21, 2018 

A secret group of experts selected by a recently resigned government official plans to meet at a undisclosed time and place to study something about tourism and wind power. Any report coming out of a process that hinky is destined for the trash can. But studying a problem and recommending a solution is not what the governor’s wind power commission is for. It’s really an opportunity for Gov. LePage to take a last swipe at renewable energy as his term in office draws to a close.
Letter: If Cape institutes fee at Fort Williams, nearby towns should charge fees too
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, June 21, 2018 

I have read that the Cape Elizabeth Town Council is yet again considering charging fees for the use of Fort Williams, probably in the form of parking fees. This is a wonderful idea! Why don’t we start charging non-Portland residents a fee for entering Portland via the Casco Bay Bridge? After all, the use of streets and public services in Portland by people who don’t live here certainly results in some cost to those of us who do live here. Why shouldn’t we pass that cost on, similarly to the plan the Cape Elizabeth Town Council is proposing? ~ Mark Nakell, Portland
Letter: Mainers must demand lead-free water
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, June 21, 2018 

A new map released recently by Environment Maine shows that here in Maine 26 schools and daycares found unhealthy levels of lead in their drinking water. Unfortunately, Maine is not alone; lead contamination of school drinking water is a pervasive, nationwide public health concern. Schools can remove lead-bearing pipes, fixtures, and plumbing, and install certified filters on taps. We must demand that our school administrators, municipalities, and politicians implement these preventative measures. Our children’s health cannot wait. ~ Caroline Bonfield, Environment Maine, Portland
On a Canoe Trip Along the U.S.-Canada Border, Solitude and Shooting Stars
New York Times - Wednesday, June 20, 2018 

Fog flowed from the mountains into Spednic Lake. The eastern sky was an arc of amber light. Wind roaring through the trees was thick with the dank scent of lake water turning over. Northern Maine gets cold in early October, and I had spent most of the night shivering beneath clear skies and a swirl of stars. The Milky Way ran exactly over the middle of the campsite, perpendicular to the stream. The last thing I saw before falling asleep was a shooting star splitting the sky in two. This was day three of a 4,000-mile journey along the United States-Canada boundary.
Oil pipeline and prospect of expansion hold back development, South Portland official testifies
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, June 20, 2018 

Loading tankers with crude oil on South Portland’s eastern waterfront would flout the city’s comprehensive plan and further stunt economic development in a region that’s otherwise booming, the city’s planning director testified Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Portland. Portland Pipe Line Corp. is challenging the city’s “Clear Skies” ordinance, which effectively blocked the company from reversing the flow of a 236-mile underground pipeline that has carried foreign crude from harbor terminals in South Portland to refineries in Montreal since World War II. The South Portland City Council banned bulk loading of crude oil on the city’s waterfront in 2014.
Golden confirmed as Democratic nominee in Maine’s 2nd District
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, June 20, 2018 

Assistant Maine House Majority Leader Jared Golden will be Democrats’ nominee to run against U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin in the 2nd Congressional District in November after the Maine secretary of state released unofficial ranked-choice voting tallies on Wednesday. Golden, 36, of Lewiston dispatched conservationist Lucas St. Clair of Hampden after the first round of ranked-choice tallying, winning 54 percent of votes to St. Clair’s 46 percent.
Mills wins Maine Democratic gubernatorial nomination after ranked-choice count Secretary of State tabulation of ranked-choice voting
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, June 20, 2018 

Attorney General Janet Mills won Maine’s 2018 Democratic gubernatorial nomination after unofficial ranked-choice counts from the state were released on Wednesday, defeating attorney Adam Cote and five others after last week’s elections. While Republicans picked businessman Shawn Moody for governor in a landslide on Election Day, Democrats had to wait for Mills of Farmington to be declared the winner.
Panel urged to reconsider proposed development rules for Maine woods
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, June 20, 2018 

Approximately 100 people attended a public hearing held in Brewer Wednesday by the Land Use Planning Commission to solicit comment on a proposal that would change the commission’s development restrictions in the state’s Unorganized Territory, which comprises of more than 10 million acres of land — mostly woods — that lie outside the boundaries of Maine’s cities and towns. Many who spoke said the proposal could rapidly increase the pace and scope of development in the UT at the expense of nearby towns, some of which have suffered economically with the decline of Maine’s paper mill industry. Development in rural Maine should be encouraged in existing towns and not in abutting unorganized townships, they said.
Conservationists and Others Voice Concern Over Development Proposals For Rural Maine
Maine Public - Wednesday, June 20, 2018 

For more than 40 years, development proposals in Maine's unorganized townships have been handled in a straightforward way: new construction had to be located within one road mile of a similar existing development. But rule changes before the state's Land Use Planning Commission could affect more than two million acres in northern and western Maine. Nearly 100 people packed a hall in Brewer Wednesday for the only public hearing LUPC has scheduled prior to an expected vote on the plan this fall. The so-called one mile adjacency rule has worked well, according to many residents of the unorganized territories. But developers who are eager to profit prefer to see new developments allowed 10 miles from rural hubs and two miles from public roads.
LePage Says He Stalled Agreement For State To Take Over Kennebec River Gorge From CMP
Maine Public - Wednesday, June 20, 2018 

Governor Paul LePage says he is stalling completion of an eight-year old state agreement to take ownership of the scenic Kennebec River Gorge – land that is now owned by Central Maine Power. LePage says, “There’s a law that says that Central Maine Power’s required to give the Kennebec Gorge to the state of Maine; they’re just going to donate it to the state of Maine. And they came in and said ‘why aren’t you accepting it?’ I said ‘because it comes off the tax rolls. If you agree to pay the taxes on it, I’ll take the land."
LePage Says He Doesn't Support Trump Tariffs
Maine Public - Wednesday, June 20, 2018 

Governor Paul LePage says that while he supports Donald Trump and his administration, he has does not support tariffs, which he says can't work because the U.S. is too big of a user of world commodities. LePage has long opposed tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber, which he has said has led to "devastating" job losses in Maine.
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