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
Two scallop fishermen rescued from 39-degree water as boat sinks
Associated Press - Tuesday, January 23, 2018 

The Coast Guard says the crew of a fishing boat rescued two fishermen whose scalloping boat began sinking near the Washington County town of Pembroke. Officials say the crew of the Alex Shea plucked the fishermen from the 39-degree water Tuesday before they were transferred to a Coast Guard rescue boat.
LePage draws ire with nominee to BEP
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, January 23, 2018 

Gov. Paul LePage has nominated a Nestle Waters’ executive to the body that oversees environmental protection in Maine, drawing the ire of critics. Mark Dubois, Nestle Waters’ public face in Maine, is under consideration for a seat on the panel that rewrites the Department of Environmental Protection’s major substantive rules, judges major permit applications of statewide significance and acts as an appeals court for emergency orders issued by the commissioner. Dubois, the local natural resources manager for the company that pumps and bottles Maine water taken from sources in seven Maine towns under its Poland Springs brand, has a legislative confirmation hearing Wednesday. Critics of Dubois’ employer – which has been embroiled in high-profile controversies over water pumping deals in Fryeburg and Rumford in recent years – denounced his nomination to the seven-member Board of Environmental Protection.
LePage Nominates Poland Spring Geologist To Board Of Environmental Protection
Maine Public - Tuesday, January 23, 2018 

Gov. Paul LePage has nominated a hydrogeologist to the citizen board that enforces and interprets Maine’s environmental laws: Mark Dubois, who works for Poland Spring, the largest producer of spring water in the country. Dubois’ nomination to the Board of Environmental Protection is generating opposition from groups who worry his appointment could grease the skids for the company’s aggressive expansion plans. Nickie Sekera, a Fryeburg resident who co-founded Community for Water Justice, is asking lawmakers to reject the governor’s nomination of Dubois to the BEP’s seven-member board.
How Donald Trump’s 30 Percent Solar Panel Tariff Affects Maine Installers
Maine Public - Tuesday, January 23, 2018 

Maine’s solar power industry isn’t cheering President Donald Trump’s decision to impose a 30 percent tariff on imported solar panels as part of a trade dispute with China. But installers here say they can weather it.
LePage Sends 'Nips' Litter With Handwritten Note To Maine Lawmaker
Maine Public - Tuesday, January 23, 2018 

Another of Gov. Paul LePage's handwritten notes has surfaced. LePage sent the letter to state Sen. Tom Saviello, who last year led an effort to override LePage's veto of a new law imposing a 5-cent deposit on so-called nips, mini-bottles of liquor. "Here's a nickel for you. There (sic) everywhere!!!" LePage wrote, enclosing a crushed nips bottle with the note. The law was intended to clean the 50-millimeter bottles off Maine's littered roadways. Perhaps LePage's note to Saviello was the governor's way of saying the law isn't working.
Research Concludes Maine Conservation Technique Helped Drive Lobster Population Boom
Other - Tuesday, January 23, 2018 

WNPR - Lobster conservation techniques pioneered by Maine fishermen helped drive a population boom that's led to record landings this century. That's the conclusion of new, peer-reviewed research published today. The paper also finds that lobstermen in southern New England could have used the same techniques to prevent or at least slow the collapse of their fisheries — even in the face of climate change — but they didn't.
Cougars Officially Declared Extinct in Eastern U.S., Removed from Endangered Species List
Other - Tuesday, January 23, 2018 

Yale - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has officially declared the subspecies extinct and removed it from the U.S. endangered species list. Cougars were common throughout eastern North America until the late 1800s, when their populations began to drastically decline as forests and prey disappeared and European settlers killed them to protect their livestock and families. Conservation groups said the decision clears the way for eastern states to rebuild cougar populations in habitats such as the Adirondacks and White Mountains using mountain lions from the U.S. West. Western mountain lions are confirmed to have occasionally ventured as far east as Connecticut, with reported sightings even further in Maine.
Invasive Plants in Maine
Forests for Maine's Future - Tuesday, January 23, 2018 

There are a lot of threats to Maine forests — fragmentation, poor forestry practices, development, imported and native pests and diseases . . . and invasive plants. Plants like “burning bush,” famous for its red color. Or the distinctive “Crimson King” Norway maple. Or the common privet. Plants that have graced Maine lawns and gardens for decades because they were attractive, hardy and readily available. Now the state is taking a step to slow the spread of these invaders, banning — beginning this month — the sale and importation of 33 plant species, including many that long ago slipped their leashes and began roaming the countryside.
Opinion: It’s not worth the risk to open Maine’s coastal water to oil drilling
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, January 23, 2018 

On Jan. 4, the Trump administration announced its intention to open 90 percent of America’s coasts to leases for offshore drilling, exposing Maine to this nightmare scenario with the prospect of seismic testing and oil and gas operations just a few miles from the beach. Oil may be off our shores, but to go after it threatens the way we live. Drilling predictably leads to oil spills, which can be disastrous. ~ Jacqueline Guyol, Environment Maine, and Claire Weinberg, owner of Dulse & Rugosa, a local business in Gotts Island
Study: Warming Gulf of Maine endangering lobster stock
Gloucester (MA) Daily Times - Tuesday, January 23, 2018 

Is the lobster boom on the decline in the Gulf of Maine because of warming waters? A newly released study by a Maine-based marine research group suggests that is the case. The study, released Monday by the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, touched on many of the same climate issues that have left researchers and lobster stakeholders anxious about the future. GMGI said, “The researchers’ population projections suggest that lobster productivity will decrease as temperatures continue to warm, but continued conservation efforts can mitigate the impacts of future warming.”
Buyers’ Guide to Maine Local Wood Products to be available this spring
Maine Government News - Tuesday, January 23, 2018 

Local Wood WORKS and Green & Healthy Maine HOMES magazine are partnering to produce a Buyers’ Guide to Maine Local Wood Products that will be distributed in the 2018 Spring edition of the magazine. The guide will educate readers about the variety and quality of Maine wood products with an emphasis on how home building, design professionals and homeowners can source more Maine products.
As shutdown eases federal workers fear prospect of another
Associated Press - Tuesday, January 23, 2018 

The swift steps ending a messy and expensive government shutdown set the stage for hundreds of thousands of federal workers to return Tuesday, but some say they fear they could find themselves in limbo again in a few more weeks.
Opinion: Maine Voices: When it comes to hosting wind plantations, Maine has had enough
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, January 23, 2018 

Nobody appreciates a clean environment like Mainers. But when it comes to hosting wind plantations, we have had enough. A decade ago, Maine generally viewed wind energy as necessary and useful. Wind was trendy. Now, having witnessed wind’s colossal impacts and minuscule benefits, over 100 Maine communities have taken action to thwart wind development. Maine has reached its limit, with almost 1,000 megawatts of installed wind projects – nearly all built to satisfy southern New England policies. If a pending Boston decision triples that amount, it will do irreparable harm to the New England electric grid, to our regional economy and to Maine’s environment. ~ Chris O’Neil, Friends of Maine’s Mountains
Column: Old and in the way
Daily Bulldog (Franklin County) - Monday, January 22, 2018 

According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Office of Statistical Weirdness, this state is plagued with the largest number of old coots per capita in the United States. To correct this situation, politicians keep proposing ideas to lure more young people here, such as paying off the college loans of new graduates who agree to live as indentured servants in rural Maine, where they would be required to tend pot crops. Housing subsidies for anyone under 40 who’s willing to live in Millinocket. None of this worked. The answer is to abandon our futile attempts to make this state appealing to whippersnappers who don’t appreciate the scenic beauty of decaying paper-mill towns and the social opportunities posed by opioid addicts breaking down the shoddy doors of their substandard apartments. Instead of trying to attract youthful ne’er do wells with no aptitude for cleaning toilets and scrubbing floors, we need to get rid of the old people. ~ Al Diamon
Former mill site in Augusta: A blank slate waiting for developer to make something happen
Mainebiz - Monday, January 22, 2018 

The site that for 150 years housed paper mills on the east bank of the Kennebec River in Augusta seems like a developer's dream. The 17 acres has an eye-catching view of downtown and the State House downstream, and is close to Route 3 and access to Interstate 95 upstream. The mile-long swath has been cleaned up — it's a blank slate, ready for a developer to make an imprint. But it's also hemmed in by the river and railroad tracks and is bisected by a storm water collection system, with only six or seven developable acres. Access is through a residential street at the south end and a private road at the north. Twenty miles up the Kennebec River, Waterville is still looking to develop the 14-acre site that once housed the Wyandotte mill.
Trump imposes tariffs on solar panels
Associated Press - Monday, January 22, 2018 

President Trump is imposing tariffs on imported solar panels. The move comes in response to petitions from American manufacturers that complained that rising imports were eating into their sales. A consultant for SolarWorld said tariffs on imports could create up to 45,000 U.S. jobs, assuming that domestic capacity grows, and installation jobs would also increase. But a green-technology research firm estimates that tariffs could cost up to 88,000 U.S. jobs related to installing solar-power systems.
Eastern puma declared extinct Monday, 80 years after last confirmed sighting
Bangor Daily News - Monday, January 22, 2018 

In the latest step of a process that has stretched for decades, the eastern puma, which once roamed forests in Maine and across the eastern U.S. and Canada, was officially removed from federal Endangered Species Act protection on Monday and declared extinct. The Department of the Interior final rule was proposed in 2015 and became final on Monday. The eastern puma landed on the federal list of endangered species in 1973, and the last confirmed sighting of the cat, which also is sometimes referred to as a mountain lion or a cougar, took place in Maine in 1938. That cat was trapped and stuffed by a taxidermist.
Maine conservation efforts have helped lobsters as oceans warm
Associated Press - Monday, January 22, 2018 

Scientists who study the warming of the ocean say in a new study that conservation practices have allowed northern New England’s lobster industry to thrive in the face of environmental changes. The lobster fishery is the backbone of Maine’s economy, and business has been booming in recent years. Southern New England fishermen’s lobster catch, meanwhile, has plummeted. A key difference is that Maine lobstermen worked together decades ago to create a strategy to protect older, larger lobsters and egg-carrying females.
Gulf of Maine lobster population past its peak, study says, and a big drop is due
Portland Press Herald - Monday, January 22, 2018 

The Gulf of Maine lobster population will shrink 40 to 62 percent over the next 30 years because of rising ocean temperatures, according to a study published Monday. As the water temperature rises – the northwest Atlantic ocean is warming at three times the global average rate – the number of lobster eggs that survive their first year of life will decrease, and the number of small-bodied lobster predators that eat those that remain will increase. Those effects will cause the lobster population to fall through 2050, according to a study by researchers at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, UMaine and NOAA.
New study: Industry conservation ethic proves critical to Gulf of Maine lobster fishery
Other - Monday, January 22, 2018 - A new study, led by scientists at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute and colleagues at UMaine and NOAA, demonstrates how conservation practices championed by Maine lobstermen help make the lobster fishery resilient to climate change. The study, funded by the National Science Foundation and published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows how warming waters and contrasting conservation practices contributed to simultaneous record landings in the Gulf of Maine fishery and population collapse in southern New England.
Hearings On Opening New England To Offshore Drilling Postponed
Maine Public - Monday, January 22, 2018 

A series of hearings on plans to open New England and most of the nation's coastline to offshore drilling will be postponed because of the U.S. government shutdown. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is rescheduling this week’s meetings while some of its funding is suspended and employees are furloughed. Many governors and senators in the Northeast oppose the plan, while Maine Gov. Paul LePage has expressed support for it.
Portland International Jetport Develops Method to Reuse Deicing Fluid
Maine Public - Monday, January 22, 2018 

The Portland International Jetport is working toward a goal of capturing 100 percent of its deicing fluid runoff and reusing it. It's the only airport in the country that captures, mixes and reuses the fluid used to deice planes. The airport began developing the process six years ago to reduce runoff into area tributaries where the chemicals depleted oxygen in other natural processes. Airport Director Paul Bradbury says the process isn't yet as cheap as other, less eco-friendly methods.
Opinion: Opening Acadia’s natural resources to harvesting violates the park’s intent
Bangor Daily News - Monday, January 22, 2018 

Since its inception, it has been the responsibility of Acadia National Park to ensure that clams, worms and intertidal food chains in the park are protected against current and future threats, and restored when or if necessary. That is what national parks do. Rep. Bruce Poliquin has introduced legislation that would allow commercial harvesting of clams and worms in Acadia National Park. Poliquin’s bill appears unstoppable at this point. His bill regrettably responds to emotional “traditional use” arguments. National parks and their resources belong to all of us as citizens. Changing the mandate of a 100-year-old law is not a victory except for a few, including those whose agenda is to unravel protection of federal lands across the nation. This bill is a dangerous precedent. ~ Mary K. Foley, former regional chief scientist for the National Park Service, and Michael Soukup, former NPS associate director
Feds Make More Than $2M Available To Reduce Fishing Bycatch
Associated Press - Monday, January 22, 2018 

Federal ocean managers are making more than $2 million available to try to help fishermen catch less of the wrong fish. "Bycatch" is a longstanding issue in commercial fisheries, and fishermen have long sought solutions to the problem of catching rare species when seeking exploitable ones.
Some Legislators want to help road slobs
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Monday, January 22, 2018 

Seems like every year the legislature considers bills designed to weaken our returnable bottle law. This year’s attack is LD 1703, which would reduce the deposit on wine and spirits’ bottles from 15 cents to “not more than 5 cents.” That means the deposit could be repealed all-together. It’s estimated that the return rate for these containers could drop by 50 percent if this bill is enacted – and I think that’s low. The Wine Institute and Distilled Spirits Council are the principle advocates for this change, and shame on them.
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