June 19, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Tuesday, June 18, 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
Water: What is has to teach us, Jun 25
Event - Posted - Tuesday, June 18, 2019 

Learn about fresh water ecosystems and new aquaculture operations in the MidCoast region. At Topsham Public Library, June 25, 6 pm. Sponsored by Cathance River Education Alliance.
Teen Wilderness Expedition, July 23-25
Announcement - Sunday, June 16, 2019 

The Teen Wilderness Expedition is a 3-day, 2-night, all-inclusive adventure for 12-16 year olds at Little Lyford Lodge, July 23-25. Offered by Piscataquis County Soil and Water Conservation District and Appalachian Mountain Club.
Maine State Museum hosts Bike Day, Jun 22
Event - Posted - Saturday, June 15, 2019 

Join the Maine State Museum, Bicycle Coalition of Maine and the Maine State Library in a free family event to commemorate the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote and learn about the benefits of safe, relaxed bike riding. At Maine State Museum, June 22, 10 am - 1 pm.
Hike Puzzle Mt., Jun 22
Event - Posted - Saturday, June 15, 2019 

A moderate to strenuous hike of 8.5 miles. Cross several exposed granite boulders and ledges offering views of the Sunday River ski area, Grafton Notch, and the Presidentials, June 22, pre-register. Sponsored by Appalachian Mountain Club.
Androscoggin River Canoe & Kayak River Race, Jun 22
Event - Posted - Saturday, June 15, 2019 

This event is open to all to launch canoes, kayaks, paddle boards, (and more) into the Androscoggin River and complete one of three courses of varying length and challenge. At Festival Plaza, Auburn, June 22, 9 am, $15 for single paddler, $25 for a double, benefits Androscoggin Land Trust.
Plants of Corea Heath, Jun 22
Event - Posted - Saturday, June 15, 2019 

Join Jill Weber, botanist and co-author of The Plants of Acadia National Park, to learn about carnivorous plants, orchids, stunted trees and shrubs and cotton-grass. At Corea Heath, Goldsboro, June 22, 8:30 am. Sponsored by Downeast Audubon.
Maine Wildlife Park open house, Jun 21
Event - Posted - Friday, June 14, 2019 

The Maine Wildlife Park in Gray will hold an open house with free admission, June 21, 5-8 pm. Feeding times for moose, lynx, foxes, cougars, vultures and bears will be posted.
Call for a presidential primary debate on climate change
Action Alert - Thursday, June 13, 2019 

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez has rejected a presidential primary debate on climate change. 15 Democratic presidential candidates have joined the call. So can you. ~ CREDO Action
Trekking through Time
Announcement - Thursday, June 13, 2019 

From June through October, Lakes Environmental Association, Loon Echo Land Trust, Greater Lovell Land Trust, Upper Saco Valley Land Trust, and Western Foothills Land Trust will host the Trekking through Time Series. Once a month throughout the summer and early fall, each organization will host a historical tour of one of its conservation properties.
Help document impact on shell middens, Jun 18
Announcement - Tuesday, June 11, 2019 

Many cultural artifacts of Maine's first coastal residents are preserved in shell middens, but these sites are disappearing as sea levels rise, collectors dig into the middens, and visitors walk on them. Maine Midden Minders is developing a database of erosion conditions at middens. Volunteer training at Coastal Rivers’ Education Center, Damariscotta, June 18, 3-7 pm.
“Dog-Friendly Hikes in Maine” book launch, Jun 18
Event - Posted - Tuesday, June 11, 2019 

Book signing and presentation for “Dog-Friendly Hikes in Maine” by Aislinn Sarnacki, which contains detailed descriptions and maps of 35 hikes across Maine that are ideal for dogs and their owners. At Epic Sports, Bangor, June 18, 5-7:30 pm.
Short Course on Island History, June
Event - Posted - Monday, June 10, 2019 

Malaga Island classroom session, at Harpswell Heritage Land Trust office, June 17, 6 pm; field trip, June 22, 11 am-3 pm. Eagle Island classroom session, at Harpswell Heritage Land Trust office, June 27, 6 pm; field trip June 29, 9:30 am-1:30 pm. Harpswell Heritage Land Trust members $60, non-members $70.
Maine Invasive Plants Field Guide
Publication - Sunday, June 9, 2019 

The Maine Natural Areas Program field guide covers 46 species of terrestrial and wetland invasive plants and is waterproof, portable, and ring-bound to allow for future additions. Each species account includes key identification characters, growth form, habitats invaded, control methods, similar native and non-native plant species, and current status of the plant in Maine. $18 for orders received by June 30.
Residents Day at Maine State Parks and Historic Sites, Jun 16
Event - Posted - Sunday, June 9, 2019 

Maine residents can take advantage of free day admission to Maine State Parks and Historic Sites. On Residents Day, Jun 16, vehicles with Maine license plates will have fees waived.
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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 

Phys.org - 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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