September 22, 2019  
Press releases, events, publications released, etc. from Maine environmental organizations and agencies. Submit content.

Maine Outdoor Film Festival, Sep 29
Event - Posted - Sunday, September 22, 2019 

Opera House Arts hosts the Maine Outdoor Film Festival. At Stonington Ball Field, September 29, after sunset at approximately 8 pm, free but suggested $5 donation in support of Loon Echo Land Trust.
Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Saturday, September 21, 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
Birds of Prey, Sep 28
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 21, 2019 

Learn about the lives of Maine’s raptors. At L.C. Bates Museum, Hinckley, September 28, 1-2 pm.
Woodward Point Opening Celebration, Sep 28
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 21, 2019 

The Maine Coast Heritage Trust and Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust will celebrate the opening of the new Woodward Point Preserve in Brunswick, September 28, 1 pm
National Public Lands Day, Sep 28
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 21, 2019 

National Public Lands Day is the nation's largest single-day volunteer effort. A signature event of the National Environmental Education Foundation, it promotes both popular enjoyment and volunteer conservation of public lands. September 28.
People of a Feather, Sep 27
Event - Posted - Friday, September 20, 2019 

This film explores the impact of the development of hydropower on the traditional life of the Inuits in Canada’s Hudson Bay. A discussion addressing Central Maine Power’s transmission line through Western Maine and its impacts will follow. At 114 Main St, Kennebunk, September 27, 6:30 pm. Sponsored by Sierra Club Maine.
Learn about environmentally-friendly lawn care, Sep 26
Event - Posted - Thursday, September 19, 2019 

How to create a more resilient, beautiful lawn, without relying on chemical fertilizers or weed and bug killers. At Yarmouth Water District, September 26, 6 pm, pre-register.
Wilderness and Spirit, A Mountain Called Katahdin, Sep 26
Event - Posted - Thursday, September 19, 2019 

Film screening and discussion with filmmaker Huey (James Coleman). At Maine Historical Society, Portland,, September 26, 6-8 pm.
Cobbosseecontee Stream fish, Sep 26
Event - Posted - Thursday, September 19, 2019 

Stephen Brooke facilitates a discussion about restoring the native sea run fish to Cobbossee stream. At Gardiner Public Library, September 26, 6:30 pm.
LUPC to Hold Public Meeting on Approved Fish River Lakes Concept Plan, Sep 25
Event - Posted - Wednesday, September 18, 2019 

The Maine Land Use Planning Commission staff will hold an open house and public meeting regarding the Fish River Chain of Lakes Concept Plan. At Caribou Inn and Convention Center, September 25, Open House 6 pm; Public Meeting 6:30 pm.
Phenology Trail, Sep 25
Event - Posted - Wednesday, September 18, 2019 

The Schoodic Institute and Blue Hill Heritage Trust will hold a free citizen science training for Phenology Trail. Phenology, or nature’s calendar, is the study of plant and animal life cycle events. It includes tracking the timing of flowering and fruiting plants, emergence of insects, and bird migrations. At Carter Nature Preserve, Surry, September 25, 4-6:30 pm.
Public Comment Forum on Aerial Herbicide, Sep 24
Event - Posted - Wednesday, September 18, 2019 

Public meeting on aerial herbicide applications for managing forestland. At UMaine at Fort Kent, September 24, 2019, 6 pm.
The Ecology of the Heath, Sep 24
Event - Posted - Tuesday, September 17, 2019 

Naturalist Fred Cichocki will describe the ecology of the 12-acre heath at Cathance Rive Nature Preserve in Topsham and other sphagnum moss wetlands. At Topsham Public Library, September 24, 6 pm. Sponsored by Cathance River Education Alliance.
Oppose CMP's transmission corridor
Action Alert - Monday, September 16, 2019 

Ask Maine’s Congressional delegation to urge the Army Corps for an Environmental Impact Statement and public hearing on Central Maine Power’s proposal for a transmission corridor through Western Maine. ~ Nick Bennett, NRCM
No logging in the Tongass National Forest
Action Alert - Monday, September 16, 2019 

The Amazon is burning, yet Donald Trump wants to open the world's largest intact temperate forest to mining and logging exploitation. He is opening 10 million acres in the Tongass National Forest to brutal exploitation. Tongass retains more carbon than any forest in the U.S., provides habitat for iconic wild creatures and contains old-growth trees as much as 1,000 years old. Don't let Trump destroy it. ~ CREDO Action
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News Items
Census: Number of Maine farms up as US farms down
Associated Press - Thursday, February 20, 2014 

The number of Maine farms has grown and continues to lead the New England states, while the farm total nationwide has dropped, the federal government said Thursday. Maine had 8,174 farms in 2012, an increase of half-a-percentage point from five years ago, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture 2012 census. The 10-year trend was more dramatic, with an increase of 13.6 percent from 2002, before growth leveled off after the period from 2002 to 2007.
Editorial: Let the Bangor Farmers’ Market go free
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, February 20, 2014 

Two years ago, the city of Bangor sought a farmers’ market for the downtown — to offer local, healthy food and improve the area’s appeal. The city succeeded. During the spring, summer and fall, each Sunday the Bangor Farmers’ Market at the Abbott Square parking lot across from the library draws dozens of vendors and visitors who otherwise wouldn’t be downtown. Now, however, the city’s Business and Economic Development Committee voted to recommend that the nonprofit running the farmers’ market pay a yearly $25 fee to use the parking lot, despite the fact it hasn’t been charged anything for the last two years. When the full council meets on Monday, it should reject the fee.
Blog: Map: the urban-rural divide of Maine's economy
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, February 20, 2014 

Here's a view of Maine's economy split in half: half of the state's economic activity happens in the relatively small southern corner, colored orange, and the other half happens in the much larger blue-shaded portion. ~ Christian MilNeil
Alternative energy plans get Scarborough council OK
Forecaster - Thursday, February 20, 2014 

Scarborough town councilors on Wednesday approved a contract to outfit municipal buildings with solar panels and a new heating and cooling system. Councilors also authorized Hall to sign a power purchase agreement with Scarborough Solar LLC to place solar panels on the North Scarborough fire station on Saco Street and the Community Services building on Quentin Drive near Wentworth Intermediate School.
View Maine's top 10 ports by value of lobsters landed
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, February 20, 2014 

The Department of Marine Resources has closed a seven-mile stretch of the coast at the mouth of the Penobscot River to lobstering and crab harvesting for the next two years. This map shows the top 10 Maine ports by value (in millions of dollars) of lobsters landed for 2012.
Big retailers can’t meet demand for wood fuel pellets
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, February 20, 2014 

The harsh winter and increased demand for wood fuel pellets has some big box retailers struggling to keep adequate supplies on store shelves, although Maine mills that produce the pellets are cranking them out steadily. “We are experiencing wood pellet shortages across the Northeast,” Tara Gudger, a spokeswoman for Lowe’s, said Wednesday. The shortages have affected the company’s 11 stores in Maine, she said. Big retailers erred in ordering pellets on the expectation of more mild temperatures. Pellet heating systems have gained in popularity for homeowners as well as for schools and municipal buildings in recent years, so there is increased demand for pellets.
Tax ‘game’ allows some towns to protect their state aid at expense of other towns
Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting - Thursday, February 20, 2014 

[Part 2] The primary part of the tax increment financing law allows local governments to divert property taxes paid by businesses granted a TIF. But it’s mostly urban towns or mill towns that have TIFs in Maine — thus shifting the tax burden mostly to rural communities. “You’re not going to have a TIF unless you have some sort of major economic development project,” said Jonathan Block, an attorney who works on TIFs at Portland law firm Pierce Atwood. “You wouldn’t have a TIF in the middle of the woods or in an agricultural community because there’s nothing to TIF." While businesses and state and local economic development officials assert the virtues of TIFs, there’s scant data to support claims that TIFs have a positive effect on property values, economic activity or jobs.
Mercury contamination in Penobscot River lobsters was known for 8 years
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, February 20, 2014 

Researchers who conducted tests have known for at least eight years that lobsters at the mouth of the Penobscot River contained “hazardous” levels of mercury, but consumers were not told until the state announced it this week. The long-term study that led the Department of Marine Resources to declare Tuesday that it will close down lobster and crab harvesting in a 7-square-mile area shows that lobsters in the area have had mercury levels, year-to-year since 2006, that are higher than the state deems safe to consume.
Lawyers for Quebec rail crash victims pressured in bankruptcy case
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, February 20, 2014 

The trustee for bankrupt Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway wants lawyers for the 47 victims of last year’s train derailment and explosion in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, to explain to a bankruptcy judge how they plan to make decisions, or else be thrown out of the case. Portland attorney Robert Keach said the lawyers haven’t filed a statement to verify that they are acting together, nor provided details on any agreements they might have among themselves on fees and other matters. He wants the bankruptcy judge to exclude the victims’ lawyers and have their previous filings thrown out until they provide an explanation, which he said is required under federal court rules.
Letter: Solar energy
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, February 20, 2014 

We read that “now Maine is the only state in New England without any policies specifically designed to foster solar energy.” Maine is the poster boy for corporate America. You can’t have it both ways. ~ Robert Skoglund, St. George
Letter: Restore our rights
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, February 20, 2014 

An expedited permitting process created by state law in 2008 provides a special interest group the gift of automatic rezoning of large parcels of land for industrial purposes with no opportunity for residents to participate in the decision-making process. We in the Unorganized Territory lost our right to a due process, the right to be heard. LD 616 does not prevent a developer from pursuing wind development within any UT community. It does provide the opportunity to come together in a formal public meeting conducted by the Land Use Planning Commission. We ask for our rights to be restored. ~ Janet Weston, Trescott
Anatomy of a taxpayer rip-off
Portland Phoenix - Wednesday, February 19, 2014 

To try to restore several hundred mill jobs to the historic paper-making North Country towns of Millinocket and East Millinocket, Maine’s politicians, in a bipartisan manner, have given away and are planning to give away millions of taxpayer dollars to various corporate interests, including big, out-of-state banks. In light of the recent shutdown of the East Millinocket paper mill by its owner, Cate Street Capital, a New Hampshire financier that’s a major beneficiary of the state’s largesse, this generosity doesn’t appear to be working.
The Billionaires on Both Sides of Climate Change
Moyers & Company - Wednesday, February 19, 2014 

Tom Steyer, a billionaire former hedge fund manager, is campaigning to get President Obama to say no to the Keystone XL pipeline. Articles on Tom Steyer cast his politically active family — including his wife, Kat Taylor, and his brother, Jim — as a liberal analog to the Koch brothers. Unlike the Kochs, the Steyers do not stand to profit from their political position. But regardless of the differences in motive and approach between the Steyers and the Kochs, Fred Wertheimer, a long-time advocate of campaign finance reform, said that a political world where billionaires set the agenda is not a democracy.
Katahdin boarders, Millinocket paddlers star in Maine Outdoor Film Festival, screening Feb. 28
Aislinn Sarnacki Act Out Blog - Wednesday, February 19, 2014 

It’s not too late to buy tickets to the Maine Outdoor Film Festival, screening at 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 28, at Unity College. I attended the festival when it traveled to L.L.Bean in Freeport in September, and I thought it was great — entertaining and inspiring.
Panel endorses changes to tribal elver bill, deal ‘pretty much gone,’ says tribe
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, February 19, 2014 

Changes that a legislative panel made Wednesday to a tentative agreement state fisheries officials had made with the Passamaquoddy Tribe over elver fishing mean that the agreement is “pretty much gone,” according to a tribal official. Newell Lewey, a Passamaquoddy tribal councilor at Pleasant Point, said Wednesday evening that the decision by the Legislature’s marine resources committee to require the tribe to impose individual quotas on its licensed elver fishermen made tribal officials “quite upset.”
Maine Groups Reach Agreement with Wind Developer
Maine Public Broadcasting Network - Wednesday, February 19, 2014 

A spokesman for a group that opposes what could become the state's largest wind project says he has mixed feelings about an agreement reached between a number of Appalachian trail conservation groups and the developer. Chris O'Neil of Friends of Maine's Mountains says he's glad the conservation groups were able to get something out of developer First Wind, in the form of a $700,000 land acquisition fund, but he says the groups could have acted more decisively earlier on the permitting process.
Bill to Protect Maine Lakes Sparks Disagreement
Maine Public Broadcasting Network - Wednesday, February 19, 2014 

Lake protection advocates lined up today in support of a bill that would restrict the applications of chemicals and soils within 25 feet of a lake, restrict water quality impacts from roads and establish clear responsibilities for the Department of Environmental Protection's lake protection program. But there are questions about how these measures will be funded. And Michael Kuhns, director of Land and Water Quality at the DEP, told lawmakers that the department provides education and technical assistance in a myriad of ways that can help protect watersheds. And it already partners with more than 100 lake associations, municipalities, soil and water conservation districts and other groups. He says misinformation about the department, its funding and its staffing levels is distorting the picture of lake protection efforts.
Maine's Black Bear Population Thriving — on Hunter-Supplied Junk Food?
Maine Public Broadcasting Network - Wednesday, February 19, 2014 

As the end of winter nears, wildlife biologists are doing their regular check-ins on denning black bears in three study areas in Maine. This year's visits come against the backdrop of a likely November ballot initiative that the state says will hurt its ability to manage one of the state's black bear population, the largest in the continental United States. The referendum would ban the use of bait, dogs and traps to hunt bear. Supporters say these methods are inhumane and irresponsible, but wildlife biologists say banning them would effectively eliminate most of the hunting that's a key component of their management strategy.
Firm plans to invest up to $1 million in Fort Fairfield starch plant
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, February 19, 2014 

A West Coast-based company that last year reopened a Fort Fairfield potato-starch factory is set to invest as much as $1 million in upgrades and training at the Aroostook plant and hire as many as five new employees, according to state officials. Western Polymer Corp.’s investments over the next five years will include improvements to the former Aroostook Starch Co. building, the purchase of new machinery, equipment and electronics, and employee training.
Entertaining insulting astonishing remarks received about exotic animal column
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Wednesday, February 19, 2014 

I thought working for sportsmen was a rough job, until I began writing about exotic animal problems and issues. Some of the owners of exotics sound downright dangerous to me – never mind their pets! I won’t apologize for being outspoken about the importance of protecting Maine’s native fish and wildlife – or in demanding that the owners of exotic animals abide by the laws governing their pets and pay the full costs of the administration of those laws. If that makes me an idiot, a dickhole, and a nutbag, so be it.
Outdoor show season is approaching
John Holyoke Out There Blog - Wednesday, February 19, 2014 

One of my favorite harbingers of the eventual arrival of spring is nearly upon us. It’s outdoors expo time! The season kicks off next weekend with the Penobscot Fly Fishers’ Cabin Fever Reliever. The week after that (March 7-9), the action moves to the University of Maine for the popular Eastern Maine Sportsmen’s Show, which is staged by the Penobscot County Conservation Association. Then attention moves to Augusta (March 28-30) and Presque Isle (April 5-6).
Brunswick cuts clam licenses to 20-year low
Times Record - Wednesday, February 19, 2014 

The population of soft shell clams is in decline, and that has some who make their living harvesting the shellfish worried about the future of their industry in Brunswick. In response to a recent survey of the clam population, the Marine Resources Committee voted Feb. 11 to set the number of commercial licenses at 50, down from 57 in the previous year. “We’re at a 20-year low,” said Dan Devereaux, the town’s Marine Resources Officer. The survey revealed that juvenile clam populations, which will make up the future of legally harvested soft shell clams, have diminished significantly.
I'm Little...But I'm a Great Winner
Other - Wednesday, February 19, 2014 

Predator vs. prey. [video]
York official: To protect beach access, town should buy more shoreland
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, February 19, 2014 

A York selectman wants the town to consider buying privately owned sections of its four publicly used beaches. In Wells, selectmen were scheduled to meet Tuesday to discuss the future of beaches in that town. And the town of Kennebunkport and the state Attorney General’s Office filed motions Tuesday asking the Maine Supreme Judicial Court to reconsider a Feb. 4 ruling that has unnerved coastal communities about future public access to beaches throughout the state. The court ruled against the town of Kennebunkport’s claim of public access to Goose Rocks Beach, meaning that private owners of beachfront land can deny the public recreational use. With long stretches of sandy beach that draw tourists each summer, towns worry that the ruling could affect their economies as well as recreational opportunities for residents who don’t own beachfront property.
Opinion: By streamlining wind approval, Maine Legislature is preparing to sell out northern Maine
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, February 19, 2014 

LD 1750, diminishes the state Department of Environmental Protection’s ability to consider effects on many of Maine’s most scenic vistas, lakes, ridges, mountains and ponds in approving wind energy projects. It forces DEP and other state agencies to limit environmental impact testimony to experts only, so that Maine residents faced with huge destructive energy developments in their backyards cannot stop them. Even worse, LD 1750 gives a blank check to foreign and out-of-state industrial wind companies to build thousands of huge turbine towers across the middle and top half of Maine with limited environmental review. ~ Mike Bond, Winthrop
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