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
Letter: Time to stop using harmful plastic bags
Kennebec Journal - Sunday, December 17, 2017 

Can anyone suggest a good reason that we continue to use single-use plastic shopping bags, other than convenience and habit? Twelve million barrels of oil are used annually to make these bags. Approximately 2.5 million of these bags are used in Waterville per year; 380 billion in the U.S. Most are discarded — only 5 percent are recycled — and unlike organic waste, they don’t break down, creating environmental hazards and unsightly trash. A dedicated group from the Sustain Mid Maine Coalition is proposing a Waterville ordinance for a partial ban on plastic shopping bags. ~ Bonnie Sammons, Belgrade
Last-minute Katahdin and Acadia gift ideas for the holidays
Acadia On My Mind Blog - Saturday, December 16, 2017 

Whether it’s a gift certificate to a Mount Desert Island business or a selection of Millinocket-made herbal soap, there’s no shortage of special Katahdin and Acadia gift ideas for the holidays for park lovers on your shopping list.
Hunter Charged with Manslaughter in Hebron Shooting Death
Associated Press - Saturday, December 16, 2017 

A Maine hunter charged with killing a woman he mistook for a deer has been formally charged with manslaughter. An Oxford County grand jury returned the indictment against 38-year-old Robert Trundy, of Hebron. He will be arraigned March 9. The shooting happened Oct. 28, the first day of deer hunting season for Maine residents. The 34-year-old victim, Karen Wrentzel, was digging for gemstones on her property when she was shot. Trundy told game wardens he thought he was firing at a deer, and his attorney said that the shooting wasn't reckless.
Maine hunters on the prowl for coyotes by moonlight
Associated Press - Saturday, December 16, 2017 

Maine hunters are on the prowl for coyotes. The state’s annual “night hunt” for coyotes begins on Saturday. It’s legal to hunt coyotes all year, but it’s only legal at night from Dec. 16 to Aug. 31. The state has no bag or possession limit on coyotes, which live all over the state. The state has about 15,000 coyotes.
Stored Solar pays off some of its debt to logging firms
Mainebiz - Friday, December 15, 2017 

Stored Solar has paid about one-third of its estimated debts to area logging firms, with about $400,000 estimated to be outstanding. Dana Doran, executive director for the Professional Logging Contractors of Maine, said the owner of biomass plants in Jonesboro and West Enfield had owed an estimated $600,000 to about a half dozen loggers in August. Bill Harrington, U.S. director of Stored Solar's Paris‑based parent, Capergy, said that purchasing, upgrading and developing Stored Solar's plants in Jonesboro and West Enfield, which were idled when purchased in October 2016 from Covanta, has required considerable investment. Stored Solar is seeking other businesses to locate on its 140‑acre property in Jonesboro to purchase the biomass energy plant's byproducts, such as heat, while receiving cheaper power.
Cycling, Rail Advocates On Collision Course Over Proposed Portland-Yarmouth Bike Path
Maine Public - Friday, December 15, 2017 

A proposal to create a new bike path along an existing rail line between Portland and Yarmouth is drawing strong interest from the communities it would pass through. It’s also raising worries that it would interfere with a plan to extend passenger train service from Portland to the Lewiston-Auburn area.
York Land Trust Preserving 220 Forest Acres In Southern Maine
Maine Public - Friday, December 15, 2017 

The York Land Trust has acquired more than 200 acres of forested land in York, to create one of its largest preserves. York Land Trust Executive Director Doreen MacGillis says the trust was able to buy the land thanks in part to a big contribution from the people of York. "There was a town referendum where we asked the voters in York to approve a $300,000 contribution from the town toward the project," MacGillis says, and that passed with overwhelming support."
Portland elver trafficker caught in sting gets jail, another Mainer pleads guilty
Portland Press Herald - Friday, December 15, 2017 

Operation Broken Glass, an interagency sting of a national elver trafficking ring based in Maine, has yielded two more jail sentences and a guilty plea this week. Yarann Im, a Portland seafood dealer, was sentenced to six months in jail for illegally trafficking 480 pounds of elvers. Thomas Choi, a seafood dealer from Maryland, was sentenced to six months in prison with a $25,000 fine for trafficking in $1.26 million of elvers. Maine fisherman Albert Cray pleaded guilty to trafficking more than $250,000 worth of illegally harvested elvers.
When driving on rural Maine roads, beware of bison, pigs and goats
Bangor Daily News - Friday, December 15, 2017 

When it comes to livestock, animal escape artists come with the territory. And sooner or later, they are going to find their way onto a Maine road. In the cases of wildlife, those numbers are far greater with drivers statewide involved in accidents with 4,542 deer, 296 moose, 43 wild turkeys and 33 bears in 2016.
Maine Senator Renews Push for More Energy Independence
Associated Press - Friday, December 15, 2017 

Sen. Angus King is introducing a bill he says will create a push for greater energy independence. King, an independent, is calling the legislation the Next Generation Grid Resources and Infrastructure Development Act, or the GRID Act. He says it's designed to use federal resources to support an electricity grid that's more resilient. The bill would establish parameters for the governance of distributed energy resources, such as solar. King says that would provide guidance to the states and allow for more development of energy technologies. He also says it would grow energy independence "at the personal level."
Opinion: It might sound crazy, but here’s how Maine can transform its economy
Bangor Daily News - Friday, December 15, 2017 

Maine residents prioritize a peaceful lifestyle and preservation of the state’s natural beauty, both of which demand a limited population. But by mathematical definition, a limited population restricts economic output. The Republic of Ireland is a picture-perfect template for Maine’s tech-focused economic transformation. Three key technologies, with enormous multi-decade growth potential, are in the early stages of development: artificial intelligence (i.e., robotics); the internet of things (i.e., IBM’s “Watson”), and blockchain (i.e., the technology behind Bitcoin). By focusing its development of a “Silicon Valley of the East” north of Bangor on these three key technologies, Maine will put itself in strong position to attract global investment capital, university R&D funding and a youthful workforce. ~ Benjamin J. Michaud, Cumberland
Letter: Federal actions put lakes in peril
Kennebec Journal - Friday, December 15, 2017 

There are two federal actions that could greatly hurt Maine lakes. The first is a 31 percent cut to the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget. In Maine, $1.7 million in funds comes from the EPA. Half of these funds pay for the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, while the other half goes directly to on-the-ground projects through competitive matching grants. These are the only funds available for restoring impaired waters and correcting sources of nutrient and pollutant loading in Maine lakes. The second action is the repeal of the Clean Waters Rule. If headwaters are developed, or loaded with nutrients, all the waters downstream will suffer. Contact Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King, and urge them to oppose the budget cuts to EPA and the repeal of the Clean Waters Rule. ~ Toni Pied, Gardiner
Jensen Bissell, Baxter State Park director since 2005, to retire this month
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, December 14, 2017 

Baxter State Park will soon launch only its second search for a new director in more than 30 years.
Jensen Bissell announced recently that he will retire on Dec. 29 after a dozen years as park director and another 18 years helping manage the forests on the park’s northern end. Soft-spoken yet a staunch defender of the 209,644-acre park’s wilderness mandate, Bissell took over as Baxter’s director in 2005 following Irvin “Buzz” Caverly’s retirement after 24 years as park director. Alec Giffen, a former Maine Forest Service director who served on the Baxter State Park Authority, said, “In my view, it is hard to imagine anybody better-suited to the job. He is thoughtful, he is apolitical…and is open to thoughts that are outside of the box.”
Nature Moments: A Deer's Day
Maine Audubon - Thursday, December 14, 2017 

Most mammals are only active after dark, so it’s harder to get to know them than, say, birds, which are active and conspicuous during the day. But you can figure out how mammals like white-tailed deer spend their time by noticing subtle signs of their behavior. [video]
Sappi executive named 2018 Woman of Distinction by Girl Scouts of Maine
Morning Sentinel - Thursday, December 14, 2017 

Laura Thompson, director of sustainable development and policy initiatives at Sappi North America, has been named the 2018 Woman of Distinction by Girl Scouts of Maine.
Maine lobster council to keep funding marketing effort despite critics
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, December 14, 2017 

Despite grumbling from lobster dealers, the state Lobster Advisory Council voted unanimously Thursday to continue funding the Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative. The collaborative is about to begin the final year of its five-year mission to promote the state’s signature product. It wants the Legislature to renew its authorization, and its $2.2 million a year budget funded by surcharges on state-issued lobster licenses. But some fishermen and dealers say any benefits aren't worth the cost.
Surge seen in icebergs drifting into North Atlantic ship lanes
Associated Press - Thursday, December 14, 2017 

1,008 icebergs, up from 687 icebergs in 2016, drifted into the North Atlantic shipping lanes this year, marking the fourth consecutive “extreme” ice season, U.S. Coast Guard officials said Thursday. Greenland glaciers are retreating, and storms broke up significant amounts of sea ice in 2017, freeing many icebergs.
How Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's Views Have Changed Under Trump
National Public Radio - Thursday, December 14, 2017 

Q: So this idea that Zinke is a conservationist Republican, that he's a Teddy Roosevelt Republican isn't necessarily true is what you're saying. A: No, it's not true. My opinion is that Ryan Zinke's knowledge of who Teddy Roosevelt was and of the ethos that Teddy Roosevelt brought to public land management, to giving power back to everyday people, to taking power from the captains of industry - that Ryan Zinke doesn't know or understand that history very well and that he wears the mantle of Teddy Roosevelt for political gain.
As Cobbossee Trail plans near completion in Gardiner, officials seek public input
Kennebec Journal - Thursday, December 14, 2017 

City officials are planning to seek input from business owners as the trail design takes shape.
Column: Changing ranges of bird species tells a tale
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, December 14, 2017 

It would be easy to blame climate change for the northward expansion of southern birds, but there are other causes, too. As suburban sprawl and backyard bird-feeding expands, so does the range of birds that tolerate human-induced changes to the environment. It’s also normal for the ranges of birds to expand and contract. Maine is about to start its own second atlas of birds. We’re way overdue. Birds are a good indicator of what is going on in the environment. If you want to know what’s going right and wrong, sometimes the fastest and cheapest way to find out is to ask the birds. ~ Bob Duchesne
A year of car vs. moose: See where Maine moose crashes happened
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, December 14, 2017 

Crash data compiled from police reports from September 2016 through Labor Day weekend of 2017 indicate that motorists are most likely to crash into moose during the evening hours and during the month of June. There were 291 moose-car collisions for this period – a slight decline from the 305 crashes during the same period in 2015-16. Forty-seven of those crashes caused injury to the driver, including one fatality that occurred on I-95 in Howland. In 2017, moose crashes happened most frequently in the evening hours from 7 to 9 p.m.
Blog: Maine bear hunters might get a second shot
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, December 14, 2017 

Maine is seeing over a thousand bears a year being added to the population – and that is with the longest open season on a big game animal. In 2011, a new law went into effect that allowed two bears to be taken during the season if one was by trapping. So should the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife recommend increasing the bag limit by hunting to two bear? Why not? ~ John Floyd
Baxter State Park Director announces retirement after 30 years
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, December 14, 2017 

Baxter State Park Director Jensen Bissell is retiring at the end of this year after 30 years working for park administration and 12 years as park director. Bissell’s last day will be Dec. 29. He says that will give the Baxter State Park Authority about four quiet months, when park visitation is at a minimum, to conduct their search for the next director, who will oversee the day-to-day operations of one of Maine’s most beloved wild spaces and hiking destinations. “Baxter State Park has thrived under his leadership,” said Aaron Megquier, executive director of the nonprofit organization Friends of Baxter State Park. “He’s done an exceptional job of stewarding the park and staying true to its forever wild mission.”
Maine Turnpike Authority throws a birthday party for itself
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, December 14, 2017 

The Maine Turnpike Authority, which is typically more concerned with managing its open road tolling system, rebuilding exits, and keeping the highway between Kittery and Augusta safe for travelers, took a few moments to celebrate its achievements Wednesday. The highway held a 70th birthday party at its Portland headquarters. The highway opened on Dec. 13, 1947.
Letter: EPA helps Casco Bay
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, December 14, 2017 

Dec. 2 marked the 47th anniversary of the Environmental Protection Agency, calling for a reminder of the numerous positive impacts that the EPA has had in Maine. The EPA has provided Casco Bay with annual funding. The money has gone toward efforts to improve water quality by decreasing pollution and restoring habitats. The EPA has placed emphasis on restoring habitats like salt marshes and fish passage, as well as confronting issues like coastal acidification. There also has been great effort to increase community education regarding the protection of Casco Bay. The EPA’s contributions to the protection of Casco Bay in recent years have been significant and deserve recognition. ~ Charlotte Youkilis, Environment Maine, Brunswick
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