April 28, 2017  
Announcements               
Press releases, events, publications released, etc. from Maine environmental organizations and agencies. Submit content.

Rally for Solar, May 4
Event - Posted - Friday, April 28, 2017 

A public hearing on LD 1373, An Act to Protect and Expand Access to Solar Power In Maine, is scheduled for May 4 at 1 pm. Join a rally of solar supporters at the State House at 12 noon before the public hearing. RSVP. Sponsored by Natural Resources Council of Maine.

Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Thursday, April 27, 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
Androscoggin River Watershed Conference, May 4
Event - Posted - Thursday, April 27, 2017 

The 2017 ARWC Conference will be at the Bethel Inn, May 4, 8:15 am - 2:30 pm.
Ocean Frontiers III, May 4
Event - Posted - Thursday, April 27, 2017 

A unique and hopeful ocean film that explores the intersection of national security, marine commerce, and conservation. At Strand Theatre, Rockland, May 4, 6 pm. Sponsored by Island Institute and Green Fire Productions.
Imagine the Maine Woods National Park exhibit, May 1-Jun 30
Announcement - Monday, April 24, 2017 

Hudson Museum at UMaine, Orono, will display a fine art photography exhibit by Thomas Mark Szelog & Lee Ann Szelog created through the Maine Woods National Park Photo-Documentation Project, May 1 – June 30.
Maine Mushrooms, May 1
Event - Posted - Monday, April 24, 2017 

Presenter: Alan Seamans. At USM, Lewiston, May 1, 6:30 pm. Sponsored by Stanton Bird Club.
Damaging Maine: The Impacts of Proposed Cuts to the EPA Budget
Publication - Sunday, April 23, 2017 

A detailed analysis by the Natural Resources Council of Maine of the widespread harm that would be caused to Maine’s environment, economy, and people if these cuts are approved by Congress.
A Plastic Ocean, Apr 29
Event - Posted - Saturday, April 22, 2017 

“A Plastic Ocean” was filmed in 20 locations around the world, documenting the global effects of plastic pollution and workable technology and policy solutions that could be implemented. Screening to be followed by a panel discussion with Upstream Executive Director Matt Prindiville and Abby Barrows, a marine research scientist who focuses on microplastics research. At Strand Theatre, Rockland, April 29, 7 pm,$10 donation suggested.

Lyme disease conference, Apr 29
Event - Posted - Saturday, April 22, 2017 

At Wiscasset Community Center, April 29, 8 am - 5 pm.
Beginning Farmers Workshops
Event - Posted - Friday, April 21, 2017 

Maine Coast Heritage Trust and Knox-Lincoln Soil & Water Conservation District are co-sponsoring a series of Beginning Farmers Workshops.
• April 23: Free Shearing and Wool Grading, 8 am-5 pm (two sessions), presented by the Midcoast Farmers Alliance. Hosted by Meadowcroft Farm in Washington.
• May 13: Free Natural Farming Practices, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, presented by Aaron Englander at Erickson Fields Preserve in Rockport.
• June 14: Cover Crops and Crop Rotation on June 14;
• July 8: Day-long Pasture Workshop in conjunction with Beef Basics at Aldermere Farm.
• July 26: Pollination Services and Community Partnership.
People’s Climate Movement, Apr 29
Action Alert - Thursday, April 20, 2017 

Join the People’s Climate Movement this April 29th in Washington, D.C. ~ 350.org
Resist: Skills to Fight Back for Maine's Environment, Apr 27
Event - Posted - Thursday, April 20, 2017 

Learn about the current threats and our efforts to protect our public lands, defend the Clean Air Act, and preserve the EPA's budget, and the skills to make a difference. At Bangor High School, April 27, 6 pm.
Boating the Bold Coast, Apr 26
Event - Posted - Wednesday, April 19, 2017 

A community dialogue around resources, opportunities, challenges and concerns co-hosted by Maine Island Trail Association and Downeast Conservation Network. At Cobscook Community Learning Center, Trescott, April 26, 3-5 pm.
Inspired by Nature: Kris Sader, Apr 25
Event - Posted - Tuesday, April 18, 2017 

Kris Sader, a visual artist, will show how nature inspires her creative work. At Topsham Library, April 25, 6 pm. Sponsored by Cathance River Education Alliance.
Resist: Skills to Fight Back for Maine's Environment, Apr 25
Event - Posted - Tuesday, April 18, 2017 

Learn about the current threats and our efforts to protect our public lands, defend the Clean Air Act, and preserve the EPA's budget and the skills to make a difference. At Maple Hill Farm Inn and Conference Center, Hallowell, April 25, 6:30 pm.
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News Items
Wells police officer rescues owl hit by vehicle
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, April 13, 2017 

A Wells police officer rescued an injured owl that he saw on the side of a rural road Wednesday morning. Officer Kevin Schoff spotted the owl around 7:30 a.m. on the side of Meetinghouse Road. Schoff took the owl’s photograph and posted it on the police department’s Facebook page. “This beautiful owl flew into a vehicle last night. Officer Schoff is transporting him to the Center for Wildlife where they’re going to take great care of him,” Wells police said in a brief statement on the Facebook page.
Scarborough Land Trust at 40: New trails, same need for volunteers
Forecaster - Wednesday, April 12, 2017 

The Scarborough Land Trust is celebrating its 40th anniversary with new trails and a new website. “As Scarborough continues to grow, we want to continue to conserve land,” Kathy Mills, executive director of the trust, said recently. “People love Scarborough and part of what people love is its natural beauty – the beaches, the marsh, the rolling farm lands. We are looking forward to doing more in the next 10 years as we make our way to our 50th,” Mills said.
Northern Pass power project faces critical committee hearing
Associated Press - Wednesday, April 12, 2017 

CONCORD, N.H. — A seven-year battle over the Northern Pass transmission project takes a critical step forward Thursday when a hearing at the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee begins on the $1.6 billion plan to bring power from Canada to markets mostly in southern New England. Environmental groups, such as the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, argue it would destroy property values and harm the environment. Many have said they would support the project if all the transmission lines were buried. The company amended its proposal in 2015 to include the burial of 60 miles of the line mostly around the White Mountain National Forest. It argues that burying the lines entirely would raise the cost by $1 billion, making the project economically impractical. Should the Site Evaluation Committee approve the project later this year, it still would needs a presidential permit from the U.S. Department of Energy.
Foraging on private land without permission is illegal
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Wednesday, April 12, 2017 

The debate has been brutal. And we’ve learned a lot. Turns out it’s already illegal to forage on private land without permission. So Senator Tom Saviello pulled the bill he sponsored at my request. LD 128 would have required landowner permission before we pick their mushrooms, fiddleheads, or other crops. The bill drew a strong and angry response from people who feel entitled to do this without permission, along with news stories from London to the Wall Street Journal.
Despite optimism, jobs still years away for former Millinocket mill site
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, April 12, 2017 

A dozen potential occupants have expressed interest in the town’s former mill site, but Our Katahdin president Sean DeWitt said the volunteer economic development group doesn’t see jobs getting generated there until about 2020. The nonprofit group, which bought the site for $1 in January, has been encouraged at the number of businesses interested in relocating to Millinocket, but has tempered its optimism with caution that a great deal needs to be done first to make the site — once the location of one of the state’s biggest paper mills — more marketable. The dozen businesses that have toured the site include biorefineries, pellet manufacturers, sawmills and packaging manufacturers — representatives of seven industries in total.
Letter: Poland Spring should help with Maine’s well and arsenic problems
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, April 12, 2017 

I’m reading an article about the big problem with arsenic in wells in many Maine communities. Rep. Karen Vachon has proposed L.D. 454, “An Act to Ensure Safe Drinking Water for Families in Maine.” The problem is very simple to solve. How about a 1- or 2-cent surcharge on every gallon that Poland Spring takes out of the ground? That money could be used for repairs to the infrastructure that their big haulers beat up when hauling water down the roads in Maine. Maybe it could also help with expanding and upgrading water lines to some of these communities and providing well owners some kind of assistance with new filtering systems and testing. It’s time for Poland Spring to give back and help with the Mainers’ water problems. ~ Pat Olore, Gorham
Letter: Let Massachusetts build windmills
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, April 12, 2017 

In light of the fact that an company is halting a proposal to construct a pipeline to carry liquid natural gas from the shale fields in Pennsylvania to the Northeast because the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that the state can’t require utility customers to subsidize its construction, why should Maine continue to deface its landscapes in order to provide “clean” electric power for Massachusetts? Let that state load its Berkshires with windmills. ~ N. Blake Bartlett, Hallowell
Blue Hill Land 'Logged Pretty Hard' Last Winter to be Preserved
Maine Public - Tuesday, April 11, 2017 

A Maine land trust says it has purchased more than 2,000 acres of forested land in Surry for preservation. Blue Hill Heritage Trust bought the land for $650,000, including $400,000 in public funding. The parcel was heavily logged last winter, and the trust's executive director, Hans Carlson, says he's looking forward to seeing how it recovers now that it's been put in conservation. "The property was logged very hard," Carlson says. "There's a lot of re-growing of the forest that needs to happen - that's sort of our mandate going forward, is to manage this forest."
Maine warden rescues 34-year-old eagle – oldest to be documented in state history
WCSH-TV6 - Tuesday, April 11, 2017 

"The Old Man," as coined by an official at Avian Haven, was examined Tuesday by Dr. Mark Pokras, a recent retiree of Tufts Wildlife Clinic in Grafton, Massachusetts, and current resident of Scarborough. The rehab center felt fortunate to have him in Maine and were grateful for his house call. Dr. Pokras told those at Avian Haven he is "cautiously optimistic" about the viability of the wing tip. Vets expect at least two weeks before a more definitive prognosis can be made.
Hike: Dorr Mountain in Acadia National Park
Aislinn Sarnacki Act Out Blog - Tuesday, April 11, 2017 

Historic hiking trails made up of hundreds of granite steps lead steeply up Dorr Mountain, a peak named after “Father of Acadia” George B. Dorr. This mountain features some of the most impressive trail engineering in the Acadia National Park, and from its summit, hikers are rewarded a 360-degree view of Mount Desert Island.
Nonresident moose permits may go to sporting camps
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Tuesday, April 11, 2017 

Maine sporting camps and outfitters may get 20% of the moose hunting permits currently going to nonresidents in the annual drawing. The legislature’s Inland Fisheries and Wildlife unanimously endorsed a bill to give 20 percent of the nonresident moose permits to outfitters and sporting camps licensed by Maine’s Department of Health and Human Resources in a chance drawing. Currently nonresidents get 10% of the permits.
Hampden trash-to-energy plant to get $45 million in tax-free financing
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, April 11, 2017 

The Finance Authority of Maine has agreed to back a future waste-to-energy plant in Hampden by providing access to $45 million in tax-exempt bond money. Maryland-based Fiberight LLC asked FAME for the bond to help construct and operate a $69 million project in Hampden and to get the best interest rate, according to CEO Craig Stuart-Paul. The bonds are treated as government securities and are tax exempt under federal law. Once constructed, the 144,000-square-foot plant will convert trash from more than 115 communities into biogas, a fuel made from fermented from organic materials. The expected opening date is early 2018.
Maine moves closer to shielding electricity customers from sticker shock
Bangor Daily News - Monday, April 10, 2017 

The Maine House and Senate will soon vote whether to enact new consumer protections for Maine electricity customers, in response to a Bangor Daily News investigation that found residential customers have paid millions more than they needed to. The Legislature’s energy committee has recommended passage of a bill changing requirements around re-enrolling customers and termination fees.
Land trust acquires 2,100-acre forest parcel in Surry
Bangor Daily News - Monday, April 10, 2017 

Blue Hill Heritage Trust has acquired 2,114 acres of forested land that it plans to conserve while maintaining it for traditional use, trust officials said Monday. The trust has been in the process of lining up the money to buy the property for the past couple of years. The Conservation Fund bought the property in order to reserve the land for eventual acquisition by Blue Hill Heritage Trust. Prior to the acquisition of the property by Lakeville Shores, it had been owned by the Modena family of Italy.
Brook trout bill continues to stir debate
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Monday, April 10, 2017 

The effort at the legislature to extend protection of Heritage brook trout continues to stir debate, focused on disappointment with the opposition and testimony of Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. Ironically, Chandler Woodcock was the Senator who sponsored SAM’s Heritage bill, and now he’s DIF&W’s Commissioner, disappointing many of us with his opposition to the new bill.
Conservation Partnership Expands Protected Lands On Maine's Blue Hill Peninsula
Other - Monday, April 10, 2017 

The Blue Hill Heritage Trust announced today the purchase of a 2,114-acre parcel of forestland in Surry, Maine, which will be known as the Surry Forest. The Trust will manage the property as a community forest for recreation, wildlife habitat protection and restoration, as well as forest education. Completion of this project was made possible with support from The Conservation Fund, which purchased and held the property while the Trust raised funds to finalize its ownership.
Court battles, conservation and a cornered market: rockweed industry in state of flux
Other - Monday, April 10, 2017 

The humble rockweed fulfills a long list of ecological needs....It’s also coveted as a commercial product and is used in nutritional supplements, fertilizer, cosmetics, livestock feed and both human and pet food. Seaweed is big business. That’s why it was at the centre of a recent lawsuit in Maine.
Letter: President’s border wall an ecological, economic threat
Portland Press Herald - Monday, April 10, 2017 

The southern borderlands are home to some of the most beautiful ecologically diverse ecosystems in North America, and Trump’s wall would completely bisect these lands, cutting off migratory corridors for wildlife and fragmenting essential habitat as it tears through wildlife refuges, wilderness areas, national monuments, national forests, national parks, key riparian areas, floodplains, water courses and the private property of U.S. citizens. Maine should not support Trump wasting our money on a hollow, poorly conceived and irresponsible campaign promise to build a wall – an archaic, fear-driven and ineffective form of security. ~ Sarah Loftus, Brooksville
Letter: Climate change will make us dumber
Bangor Daily News - Monday, April 10, 2017 

Whether you are a climate change denier, believer, or simply curious about climate, measurable facts demonstrate that atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide, the cause of warming, have skyrocketed, since the beginning of the 20th century, to levels never before breathed in by humans. Currently, these levels are predicted to rapidly climb much higher if we continue to burn fossil fuels. Two recent well-documented studies, the latest by Harvard University’s School of Public Health, report that CO2 has a direct and worrying negative impact on our mental capabilities. ~ Harold W. Borns Jr., Orono
With solar projects trending up in recent years, many worry new regulations may impede future growth
Kennebec Journal - Sunday, April 9, 2017 

Despite the Public Utilities Commission seeking to phase out incentives for arrays, many see opportunities for Maine to continue in the right direction.
Blog: Proposed Maine bill could lead to beach erosion
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, April 9, 2017 

For years towns have been able to apply to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection to obtain a seaweed removal permit if needed. But now a York representative has proposed a bill that will allow towns to bypass this permitting process and decide for themselves when to remove ‘large’ amounts of seaweed. ‘Large’ is not defined. Bypassing state permitting may lead towns to unwitingly destabilize their beaches, kill the tiny sand animals that help decompose dead crabs and shellfish with the over raking, and provide little food for endangered species. ~ Bill Baker
Opinion: There can be no compromise over mining rules that threaten Maine’s water
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, April 9, 2017 

Missing from the BDN coverage of the public hearing on metal mining — and from the previous report on the subject — is discussion of a bill to repeal Maine’s industry-friendly 2012 mining statute. That bill, LD 253, sponsored by Rep. Ralph Chapman, challenges not only the third attempt by Maine Department of Environmental Protection to weaken mining rules enacted in 1991, but it challenges also a bill promoted by the Natural Resources Council of Maine, which would allow mining even as it opposes the department’s draft. Whether for recreation, for aquifers, for irrigation, for all aquatic and human life, where water quality is threatened there should be no compromise. Let us not allow Maine’s precious natural resources to be undermined. ~ Jody Spear, Harborside
Rollback of EPA’s lead-paint efforts chills state officials
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, April 9, 2017 

The Trump administration is proposing to eliminate two Environmental Protection Agency programs that reduce children’s exposure to lead-based paint, a toxin that can cause permanent brain damage and is particularly prevalent in Maine because of its older housing. “It’s very shortsighted and would be tragic, and we will pay the price for it eventually,” said Dr. Dora Anne Mills, vice president for clinical affairs at the University of New England and a former director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. “Any cost savings now will be paid for manyfold later when we’re taking care of more children and adults who are lead poisoned, because it can cause lifelong disabilities.”
The Cultivator: Walter Graff and the Appalachian Mountain Club of Maine
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, April 9, 2017 

Walter Graff, senior vice president of the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) of Maine and the leader of its Maine Woods Initiative, has lofty goals, like giving Mainers access to places where there is so little light pollution “that the skies drip with stars.” He and AMC’s Maine Woods Initiative did so much to make that happen in the 100-Mile Wilderness near Moosehead Lake, particularly in the course
Think it’s time you waded into freshwater fishing? Here’s how...
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, April 9, 2017 

Many of us (as many as 250,000 resident fishing license holders) would say if you’ve never fished in Maine, then you’ve never really lived here. With more moose, black bear, lynx, brook trout and bald eagles than any other state in the Northeast, Maine has a pristine, natural landscape. And fishing binds you to that rugged land.
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