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
Report shows how badly LePage’s wind energy panel fizzled
Associated Press - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 

A Maine commission created as part of the former Republican governor’s efforts to hinder wind projects has released a report drawing few conclusions about the impact of wind turbines. The wind energy advisory commission’s report said its initial information does not suggest wind turbines pose “significant detrimental impacts” on property values, tourism or other concerns. Maine has more wind output than all the other New England states combined, with 924 megawatts of capacity from 19 operating wind projects. State regulators are reviewing proposals for two additional wind projects, and expect applications for another.
Editorial: Maine finishes last in race to keep the lights on
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 

In 2017, Maine led the nation in the number of times an average home loses its power. With more than three outages a year, a Maine consumer was in the dark more than twice as often as the national average. It also won 2017’s dubious gold medal for the length of time Mainers sat in the dark waiting for the lights to come back on. Maine officials should take a hard look at this data and determine if this is an area where the state doesn’t have to finish first.
Opinion: Scientific knowledge about Québec hydropower must not be overlooked
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 

Opponents have criticized Québec hydropower, putting forward a series of falsehoods that need to be corrected. No energy source can be said to be carbon free, whether it is renewable or not. There is a gradient. Emissions from Québec hydropower are 50 times lower than gas-fired power plants. ~ Alain Tremblay, Ph.D., and Francois Bilodeau, M.Sc., senior environmental advisers with Hydro-Quebec
Opinion: Trump’s EPA taking its most harmful step yet, this time on mercury emissions
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 

Los Angeles Times - President Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency recently released a proposal that would undermine not only current regulations, but regulatory efforts in the future by disavowing the legal justification for a major rule limiting mercury emissions. If the approach survives court challenges, it could lead to a fundamental change in how regulatory impacts are measured and make it significantly harder to protect the health and safety of Americans. A proposed policy would no longer count a regulation's benefits, just its costs to polluters, in deciding the severity level of environmental protections.
Letter: The facts on carbon fee and dividend
Kennebec Journal - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 

Two recent pieces in this newspaper misrepresent details about the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend bill recently introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. Four points to set the record straight: 1. H.R. 7173 will reduce carbon emissions 40% within 12 years, generate over 2 million new jobs in renewable energy over the coming decade, and pay a monthly dividend to each household to offset increased costs of carbon-based products and fuels for all but the most wealthy. 2. This is a revenue-neutral program. 3. Republicans as well as Democrats support this well-thought-out proposal. 4. The recent carbon tax in France did not return money to citizens in the form of a dividend. Had it done so, the ensuing riots may have been avoided. ~ Bonnie Sammons, Belgrade
Letter: Oyster company expansion strikes the right balance
Times Record - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 

My wife and I have owned a cottage at the end of Mere Point for almost 40 years overlooking Maquoit Bay. I generally go up to the head of Maquoit Bay once or twice a week to fish. Over the years the number of lobster traps I have encountered has been minimal. The creation of decent full time jobs is of paramount importance to our state, particularly where the total reliance on lobster fishing represents a vulnerability. Oyster farming holds the promise of a self-sustaining marine business that does not deplete our natural resources and in can leave a cleaner environment. Mere Point Oyster represents a wonderful balance between providing for economic development while protecting our natural resources. ~ Peter Blyberg, Brunswick
State awards $76,500 for Norway Branch Rail Trail
Sun Journal - Monday, January 14, 2019 

The Maine Trails Advisory Committee has awarded a $76,500 grant for the Norway Branch Rail Trail project. The trail for walkers and bicyclists would follow the former Norway Branch Railroad tracks for six-tenths of a mile.
Maine Water announces credit for Camden, Rockland area customers
Village Soup Gazette (Knox County & Penobscot Bay) - Monday, January 14, 2019 

Maine Water Company has announced that it will apply a credit to water bills for customers in its Camden Rockland division, which serves customers in Rockland, Rockport, Camden, Thomaston, Owls Head, Union and Warren. This customer credit, totaling $435,000, is possible as a result of the recent sale of a conservation easement covering watershed land around Mirror Lake and Ragged Mountain to the Coastal Mountains Land Trust.
Spinning in the Presumpscot, this alien-looking ice disk has Westbrook all abuzz
Portland Press Herald - Monday, January 14, 2019 

A disk of ice roughly 100 yards across that formed on the Presumpscot River and was slowly rotating and gaining size Monday had Westbrook buzzing almost as much as when city police spotted a giant snake eating a beaver in roughly the same location in 2016.
Portland Mayor Ethan Strimling delivered the his State of the City address and he shot for the stars.
Bangor Daily News - Monday, January 14, 2019 

Some of what Strimling announced Monday night did not come as a surprise. But he added some new, big and — in some cases — expensive things to his to-do list for 2019, including making all Portland schools solar-powered and bringing in light rail for commuters.
Snowmobilers Bring Flurry of Activity to Some of Maine’s Most Remote Outposts
Maine Public - Monday, January 14, 2019 

Maine winters can be long, cold and difficult for small businesses. But there’s one recreational pursuit that has been loudly putting money into some of the most remote tills in the state. More than 280 clubs across Maine collectively maintain some 14,000 miles of snowy trails. Last year more than 80,000 people registered sleds to ride in Maine. What’s not known is how much they contributed to the economy. But the Maine Snowmobile Association and the University of Maine are planning a study this year to find out. Snowmobile safety specialist Al Swett has a guess. “It’s gotta be billions.”
Working-waterfront advocates end petition drive to limit use of Portland piers
Portland Press Herald - Monday, January 14, 2019 

A group of fishermen and their supporters is dropping a push for a citywide referendum to stop non-marine uses from expanding on Portland’s working waterfront. The decision against moving forward comes days after a developer withdrew his proposal to build a waterfront hotel that had become a catalyst for the referendum effort, and after the city announced that it would eliminate a loophole that allowed the hotel to be proposed on Fisherman’s Wharf.
What’s The Deal With The Westbrook Ice Disk? Scientists Aren’t Really Sure Either
Maine Public - Monday, January 14, 2019 

An unusual ice formation has appeared in the Presumpscot River in Westbrook. It’s a giant, spinning ice disk about 100 yards across and moving counterclockwise. The disk looks rather alien, but it’s actually a natural occurrence.
Mills to announce her final Cabinet pick this week
Portland Press Herald - Monday, January 14, 2019 

Lawmakers will hold hearings and vote on the 14 Cabinet-level nominees once the governor announces her selection to lead the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry.
Lobster processor closing in Connecticut, may shift work to its Maine plant
Portland Press Herald - Monday, January 14, 2019 

The East Coast Seafood Group has announced that the Garbo Lobster facility in Groton, Connecticut, will shut down Thursday, potentially sending some of its work to Maine. Garbo, which has a Maine processing facility in Hancock, southeast of Bangor, has been in Connecticut for 36 years, and also has a facility in Canada.
Antarctica losing ice 6 times faster today than in 1980s, research shows
Washington Post - Monday, January 14, 2019 

Antarctic glaciers have been melting at an accelerating pace over the past four decades thanks to an influx of warm ocean water — a startling new finding that researchers say could mean sea levels are poised to rise more quickly than predicted in coming decades.
Land trust raising funds to buy Weston Homestead Farm land in Madison
Morning Sentinel - Monday, January 14, 2019 

The oldest land trust in the state of Maine has signed an option to purchase land on the historic Weston Homestead Farm in Madison for recreational use, which organizers say one day will connect a trail system all the way to Oakland. Somerset Woods Trustees, with in Skowhegan, is raising money to buy 275 acres of forest land from the Weston Homestead Farm Corp. with about a mile of frontage on the Kennebec River. So far, $200,000 has been raised toward the purchase price of $450,000. The nonprofit Somerset Woods Trustees was formed in 1927.
Maine salmon farm builder pushes back at resident’s appeal
Associated Press - Monday, January 14, 2019 

The developer of a salmon farm scheduled for construction at the site of the former Verso paper mill in Bucksport is locked in a dispute with a resident who is seeking to forestall the project. Whole Oceans LLC has filed a motion with the state Board of Environmental Protection to try to dismiss a complaint from Holly Faubel, of Belfast, about the proposed salmon farm. Faubel has appealed a wastewater discharge permit state regulators have issued.
Coastal Maine tourist destination looks to ban fast food restaurants from its downtown
Bangor Daily News - Monday, January 14, 2019 

A proposed zoning change being considered in Camden would prohibit fast food restaurants from its downtown. With Camden’s downtown historically being home to locally owned restaurants, the Camden Planning Board is proposing the zoning amendment “to ensure that food service businesses in Camden respect the character of the community and do not create undue impacts in terms of noise, littler, traffic and other adverse impacts,” according to a draft of the ordinance amendment. Camden has an existing ban on drive-through food service.
What’s your top concern for Maine? Climate change?
Bangor Daily News - Monday, January 14, 2019 

This year, the Bangor Daily News opinion pages will focus attention on four issues that are critical to Maine’s future. We have picked three areas of focus: Maine’s workforce shortage and its consequences on the state’s economic development; referendum reform; and the high costs and challenges of Maine’s rural, spread out population. We’d like you to pick the fourth topic. Climate change and the associated energy, land-use and conservation policies are the top concern of readers who have contacted us so far.
Maquoit Bay withstands algal blooms, invasive species and habitat loss but officials warn that more needs to be done to keep the vital resource alive
Times Record - Monday, January 14, 2019 

Over the decades, two things have held true about Brunswick’s Maquoit Bay: It is vital ground for the area’s shellfish harvesters, and it is always changing. Some of this is cyclic, natural change, but other changes, such as warmer waters, ocean acidification and the entrance of invasive species are man-made, leaving the fishermen and harvesters earn a living on the bay grappling with how to slow this tide. Dan Devereaux, Brunswick harbor master and marine warden, is also one of two owners operating Mere Point Oyster Co., a growing oyster operation in Maquoit Bay in the midst of a lengthy Marine Resources hearing. Devereaux and his business partner have applied for a 10-year, 40-acre lease in the bay that would increase their current leased space by about 160 times and put an addition 5 million oysters in the bay at a given time. This application has sparked controversy.
Wondrous State Parks to Visit During the Government Shutdown: Mount Katahdin
Other - Monday, January 14, 2019 

Named Mount Katahdin, meaning “The Greatest Mountain,” by the Penobscot American Indians, this scenic mountain is many things to many people including the northern end of the Appalachian Trail and the highest point in Maine at 5,270 feet above sea level, but above all it is a gift to the citizens of Maine.
Obituary: George W. Browning
Other - Monday, January 14, 2019 

George Willis Browning of Georgetown died on Thursday, January 3. Over the years, George served on a number of boards, including as a Trustee of the Forest Society of Maine. George was an enthusiastic sportsman who loved to hunt and fish. He was a long-term member and past President of the Megantic Fish and Game Corporation.
Deer, bear, and moose legislation introduced
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Monday, January 14, 2019 

Deer, bear, and moose will all be debated at the legislature this session. Everything from deer baiting to the use of crossbows will be discussed. Here are some of the bill titles and sponsors.
Maine Agriculture Show To Tout Growth Of Food Production
Associated Press - Monday, January 14, 2019 

The 78th Annual Maine Agricultural Trades Show runs Tuesday to Thursday at the Augusta Civic Center. The show includes more than 100 exhibits about agriculture products, services and gear. It's one of the biggest expos of its kind in the state and it's expected to attract close to 3,000 people. Organizers say the show will draw farmers, hobby growers, teachers, food lovers and others. Maine has more than 8,000 farm operations.
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