August 19, 2017  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Saturday, August 19, 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
Bird Monitoring, Aug 26
Event - Posted - Saturday, August 19, 2017 

Join a marsh-wide survey of birds and help document all present species timed to catch the beginning of shorebird migration. At Scarborough Marsh, August 26, 7-10 am, free.
Head Harbor Passage Boat Trip, Aug 26
Event - Posted - Saturday, August 19, 2017 

A birding trip to Head Harbor Passage and the surrounding Canadian Islands. At Eastport, August 26, 10 am – 2 pm; Maine Audubon Members $60, Non-members $75.
Don’t let Trump censor climate science
Action Alert - Friday, August 18, 2017 

President Donald Trump may censor a comprehensive and alarming new report written by scientists from 13 federal agencies — research that confirms climate change is real, it’s caused by human activity and it’s already hurting people across the U.S. We deserve to know the truth about climate change — no matter how inconvenient it may be for Trump’s pro-fossil fuel agenda.
Life Happens Outside Festival, Aug 25-26
Event - Posted - Friday, August 18, 2017 

The Life Happens Outside Festival celebrates Maine's outdoors and its passionate outdoor community. Featuring 6 outdoor villages, 40+ vendors, interactive workshops, exhibits, gear demos, food, and live music. Free giveaways, competitions, outdoor presentations, and the ability to purchase outdoor gear directly from the brands. At Thompson's Point, Portland, August 25-26.
Life Happens Outside Festival, Aug 25-26
Event - Posted - Friday, August 18, 2017 

Celebrate active, outdoor lifestyles. At Thompson's Point, Portland, August 25 & 26. Sponsored by Teens to Trails.
Nature Detectives, Aug 24
Event - Posted - Thursday, August 17, 2017 

Join a scavenger hunt, make your own nature notebook, and learn how to use the tools of the trade. At Scarborough Marsh, Augoust 24, 1–2:30 pm; Maine Audubon Child Members $5, Child Non-members $7, pre-register.
Exploring Nature Through Art, Aug 22
Event - Posted - Tuesday, August 15, 2017 

Through various art forms children (age 6-10) will discover some of the secrets of Scarborough Marsh; August 22, 10:30 am – 12 pm; Maine Audubon Child Members $5, Child Non-members $7, pre-register.
Sierra Club Maine Climate Action Conference, Sep 16
Event - Posted - Tuesday, August 15, 2017 

The theme of this year's event is "Maine Community-Based Approaches to a Clean Energy Future and Climate Change Solutions." At University of Southern Maine Lewiston Campus, September 16.
Project WILD Educator Workshop, Aug 21
Event - Posted - Monday, August 14, 2017 

This 6-hour workshop introduces educators to Project WILD materials, activities, and strategies. At Bonny Eagle Middle School, Buxton, August 21, 9 am – 3 pm; Maine Audubon Members $23, Non-members $25.
Kayak Scarborough Marsh, Aug 20
Event - Posted - Sunday, August 13, 2017 

Discover the wildlife and plants of Scarborough Marsh as you paddle the Dunstan River. At Scarborough Marsh, August 20, 1–2:30 pm; Maine Audubon Members $13, Non-members $15, deduct $1.50 if you bring your own kayak, must be 16+.
Exploring Wabanaki/Maine History, Aug 20
Event - Posted - Sunday, August 13, 2017 

Maine-Wabanaki REACH offers an interactive learning experience, "Exploring Wabanaki/Maine History," a participatory presentation for adults and teens. At Reversing Falls Sanctuary, Brooksville, August 20, 4-6 pm.
Native Plants & Wildflower Symposium, Aug 29
Event - Posted - Saturday, August 12, 2017 

Includes talks, tours of two native-plant gardens, and a chance to view an herbarium. At McLaughlin Gardens and Homestead, South Paris, August 29, 8:30 am - 3:30 pm, $20 for members, $30 for non-members, registration deadline Aug 21.
Katahdin Woods & Waters 5k Relay, Aug 19
Event - Posted - Saturday, August 12, 2017 

This race in Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument is part of the 'Wild Maine Weekend' hosted by local area businesses. August 19.
Animals, Animals, Animals, Aug 19
Event - Posted - Saturday, August 12, 2017 

International wildlife and travel photographer Gary Harmatz will share his photographs and stories of the wonderful world of exotic and highly endangered wildlife. At Blue Hill Public Library, August 19, 10 am.
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News Items
Former LePage lawyer who quit as utilities regulator in June lands job at CMP parent company
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, August 8, 2017 

Former Maine Public Utilities Commissioner Carlisle McLean in July began a senior legal job at Avangrid, the publicly traded parent company of Central Maine Power Co. McLean left her post on the Maine Public Utilities Commission in late June. Gov. Paul LePage nominated her to serve the remainder of former PUC Chairman Tom Welch’s term, after Welch’s early resignation at the end of 2014. McLean was previously LePage’s chief legal counsel, but she and her fellow commissioners — all LePage appointees — caught the governor’s ire after establishing new rules for compensating small-scale solar power generators. In February, he called for all three members to resign.
Opinion: Are assets being moved into place for Mass politicians' assault on Maine?
Citizens Task Force on Wind Power - Tuesday, August 8, 2017 

Are we seeing the requisite assets being moved into place for Massachusetts corrupt politicians' planned assault on the state of Maine? The legislature fails to protect us, the environmental groups are bought and paid for and will let Maine tourism be destroyed so long as no wind turbines show up in the front yards of their coastal properties and selectmen the state over will betray us. If we want to stop being treated as a third world country, it will be us that stops the insanity.
For this Maine family, having a baby means tackling more outdoor adventures
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, August 8, 2017 

Lounging in a hammock on July 22, Danielle Ruby watched her 8-month-old daughter, Eloise, as she slept peacefully in her arms. They rocked gently in the warm breeze, sheltered from the sun by the pine trees surrounding their campsite at Lake St. George State Park. “This is a big deal, getting her to nap in the hammock,” the little girl’s father, Ray Ruby, said as he sat in a fold-out chair nearby. In the first three years of Eloise’s life, the Rubys plan to visit all of Maine’s state parks, plus Baxter State Park and Acadia National Park.
Minke whale disentangled
Mount Desert Islander - Tuesday, August 8, 2017 

Minke whale disentangled...
Battle Against Lead: Trump Administration Bill Has Maine Property Owners Worried
Maine Public - Tuesday, August 8, 2017 

Property owners and health advocates in Lewiston and Auburn are concerned about a bill before the U.S. Senate that they say could weaken regulations around lead poisoning. And the say that, if approved, it could also shift the bulk of the burden of cleaning up lead paint to states, and put children at greater risk for poisoning. Sophie Halpin of the Maine Conservation Alliance says if the Regulatory Accountability Act passes, it could stunt the state's momentum. "It is going to make important regulations that protect public health and safety much harder to pass." But supporters of the Regulatory Accountability Act disagree. Maine 2nd District Rep. Bruce Poliquin joined his Republican colleagues in the House, who all voted in support of the bill.
Half East: Wildlands Network Takes the First Step in Our Planet’s Fight for Life
Other - Tuesday, August 8, 2017 

Renowned biologist and author E.O. Wilson recently called the world to action in his 2016 book "Half Earth: Our Planet’s Fight for Life," arguing that if we conserve half the land and sea, we can save 85% of biodiversity from extinction. For the past year and a half, the Wildlands Network has spent many painstaking hours tracking down and evaluating datasets, meeting with conservation leaders, and crafting a visionary map of what Half Earth would look like in eastern North America. The result is a draft Eastern Wildway map.
A Visitor’s Guide to Maine’s Most Exciting City
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, August 8, 2017 

Peddle, paddle and piddle your way around Portland.
Wild Blueberry Growers in Maine Struggle with a Smaller Crop This Year
Maine Public - Tuesday, August 8, 2017 

Maine wild blueberry growers are trying to salvage what they can from this year’s harvest, which experts predict will likely be smaller in just about every way: Smaller berries, smaller total crop harvest and smaller prices than a few years ago. Some wild blueberry growers in Washington County actually decided it was more cost effective not to harvest their blueberries and have mowed their fields to preserve the plants in hopes of better conditions next year.
New Jersey investors buy hydropower dams at defunct Maine paper mill
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, August 8, 2017 

New Jersey-based Eagle Creek Renewable Energy has purchased the hydroelectric facilities that until May 2016 powered Madison Paper Industries. Eagle Creek said it closed the sale July 31. The company also said it purchased a minority interest in the 4-megawatt Brassua hydropower facility in Rockwood, near Moosehead Lake, and a majority interest in the Kennebec Water Power Co., which regulates upstream releases from reservoirs on the river. The deals add to Eagle Creek’s growing portfolio of hydropower facilities in Maine. It purchased generators that power Verso’s Androscoggin mill for $62 million in January 2016 and in December purchased the generators at the former Worumbo Mill in Lisbon Falls.
Police shoot injured nuisance bear in Madawaska
Fiddlehead Focus (St. John Valley, Aroostook County) - Tuesday, August 8, 2017 

The bear had been reported in the area near the Gateway Motel on U.S. Route 1 earlier this spring, when residents said it appeared to have some sort of fishing trap or other contraption stuck on one of its front legs.
Growing awareness of water treatment methods, says national public opinion study
Other - Tuesday, August 8, 2017 

Awareness of water treatment methods increased over the past two years among U.S. consumers, according to a national public opinion study, with 92 percent of respondents aware of in-pitcher or end-of-tap filters, up from 84 percent in 2015.
A beautiful book about a beautiful butterfly
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Tuesday, August 8, 2017 

Monarch butterflies are in trouble, which makes Melissa Kim’s new book, A Monarch Butterfly Story, published by Islandport Press in Yarmouth, all the more important. Jada Fitch’s illustrations are beautiful, and Melissa gives us a wonderful story of a grandson in Maine who gets a special message from his grandfather in Texas, telling him that the Monarch Butterflies are “running out of food and places to live.”
Blog: Maine press must demand answers from LePage
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, August 8, 2017 

In a more aggressive media market a virile press corps would laugh at a politician who refused to take questions. There would be reporters camped out in front of his office until he was forced to provide answers. In Maine, the press merely shrugs, and accepts this as some kind of new paradigm. It’s an unacceptable situation, and one that hurts our state. No politician should be able to hide from the press, and Mainers should not be deprived of this critical check on power. ~ Lance Dutson
Editorial: Rep. Poliquin’s bill eats away at effective school nutrition program
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, August 8, 2017 

Rep. Bruce Poliquin has reintroduced a bill that would allow into the Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Program frozen, canned, dried or pureed fruits and vegetables. Keep selling the country on Maine blueberries, Rep. Poliquin. Make sure the Maine agricultural industry gets its portion of the billions of dollars spent under the USDA for school nutrition. Get blueberries into schools in all 50 states. But leave the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program alone.
USDA Staff Were Coached Not to Say ‘Climate Change,’ Emails Show
Inside Climate News - Monday, August 7, 2017 

Four days after President Donald Trump took the oath of office, an official at the Department of Agriculture sent an email, the first in a string of messages signaling to staff that the term "climate change" could soon be erased from the agency's vocabulary. Over the course of the next six months, Bramblett and other officials sent emails to staff, coaching them to avoid using the term "climate change" and instead use the term "weather extremes."
Maine bans flame retardants in upholstered furniture
Other - Monday, August 7, 2017 

Furniture Today - Maine has passed a law banning all flame retardants in upholstered furniture and has become the first state in the nation to do so. The new law will take effect Jan. 1, 2019, and prohibits the sale of residential upholstered furniture that contains more than 0.1% of flame retardant chemical or more than 0.1% of a mixture that includes them. “No state in the nation requires the use of these toxic chemicals, and most furniture manufacturers have stopped using them for obvious reasons. It is time to get the last remaining companies using these chemicals to stop,” said Beth Ahearn, political director of Maine Conservation Voters.
Waterville enters partnership to explore solar project at city’s capped landfill
Morning Sentinel - Monday, August 7, 2017 

Garvan Donegan, an economic development specialist for the Central Maine Growth Council, said a lot of due diligence needs to be done, but the city is confident and pleased to enter into a partnership with a Falmouth-based energy company, Gizos Energy, to develop a large-scale solar project on the city’s capped landfill in Waterville. He said a 20-megawatt project that could power 3,750 homes would likely be the largest such project on a closed landfill in the state.
Petitioners seeks to halt commercial development in Damariscotta
Lincoln County News - Monday, August 7, 2017 

Days after the Damariscotta Board of Selectmen decided against pursuing a moratorium on commercial development, residents submitted a petition to the town to enact a temporary ban on new buildings for retail use larger than 2,500 square feet and any new construction, expansion, or use requiring town approval. The petition was submitted hours before the meeting of the Damariscotta Planning Board, which was scheduled to hear a proposal from Damariscotta Main Street LLC for the property at 435 Main St., between Hannaford Supermarket and the Lincoln County Rifle Club. Daniel Catlin, CEO of Commercial Properties Inc., of Portland, is the developer and prospective buyer of the property.
Should Northern New England Host Massachusetts' Renewable Energy Extension Cord?
Maine Public - Monday, August 7, 2017 

A play by Massachusetts to inject more renewable power into its electricity mix could reshape the entire region's energy landscape. Dozens of developers are competing to offer Massachusetts the best price for long-term contracts to supply clean energy to hundreds of thousands of homes. But many of the projects also face another challenge: convincing residents of Northern New England it's in their interest to host the Bay State's extension cord.
Poachers are taking baby eels. Operation Broken Glass is the response
Associated Press - Monday, August 7, 2017 

Changes in the worldwide fisheries industry have turned live baby American eels into a commodity that can fetch more than $2,000 a pound at the dock, but the big demand and big prices have spawned a black market that wildlife officials say is jeopardizing the species. Law enforcement authorities have launched a crackdown on unlicensed eel fishermen and illicit sales along the East Coast.
Study shows Maine’s roadside habitats an important area for pollinators
Bangor Daily News - Monday, August 7, 2017 

When it comes to Maine’s interstate and other roadways, what’s growing alongside them is as important to pollinators and plants as the paved portions are to drivers. Working with the Maine Natural Areas Program, the Maine Department of Transportation’s Roadside Invasive Plants and Pollinator Study is defining habitats and how those habitats are used by the pollinators. In Maine, he said, roadside habitats cover between 10,000 and 12,000 acres.
New map shows off features of Katahdin Woods and Waters’ loop road
John Holyoke Out There Blog - Monday, August 7, 2017 

One of the knocks on the new Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument is that, in somewhat classic Maine fashion, it can feel like “you can’t get there from here.” Our governor has refused to put tourist-information signs on roads that lead to the monument, which doesn’t help. The Friends of Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument has made its first gift to the monument: An interpretive map and guide to the monument’s loop road.
Trump’s border wall would slice through wildlife refuges and cut off US territory
Washington Post - Monday, August 7, 2017 

The Department of Homeland Security sought a waiver from environmental regulations this month to build a section of border wall near San Diego. But 1,500 miles away in Texas, the Trump administration is working on another section that could block migrating butterflies and cut across the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge, one of the most treasured spots for birdwatching in the country and a “crown jewel” in the federal refuge system.
Acadia trail, once scary in ‘Pet Sematary’ movie, gets a new lease on life
Acadia On My Mind Blog - Monday, August 7, 2017 

The bulging tree roots that used to dominate a section of the Deer Brook Trail in Acadia National Park appeared so scary that they were featured in a scene in the Stephen King horror film, “Pet Sematary.” An elegant rehabilitation, led by the park’s trails crew, gave the Deer Brook Trail a major facelift, but the old rooty section was ideal for a spine-chilling scene in “Pet Sematary,” filmed in Maine in 1988, according to a newly released documentary on the movie production. Today, the tree roots are replaced partly by a 13-step wooden stairway with hand rails and a landing for a rest stop. The rehabilitation relocated the Acadia trail out of the brook in some spots, ending some tricky rock hopping and water crossings.
Burning trees for fuel may soon qualify for state subsidies
Boston Globe - Monday, August 7, 2017 

The Baker administration plans to designate a fuel derived from felling trees and clearing brush in forests as a form of renewable energy, a move that environmental advocates say would increase emissions and counter promises the Massachusetts governor made after President Trump pulled out of the Paris climate accord. Administration officials say that over time the biomass fuel shouldn’t increase carbon emissions. But environmental advocates say they would in fact increase carbon emissions, create more pollution in the form of soot, and lead to greater deforestation. “We need to be planting trees, not burning them,” said Mary Booth, director of the Partnership for Policy Integrity.
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