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
New, revised emoji comes with correct number of legs
Portland Press Herald - Monday, February 19, 2018 

Responding to outrage from lobster leg aficionados and the Accuracy in Emojis movement (OK, not really), the organization that decides which digital images can dress up the world’s emails, texts and tweets has literally given its new lobster emoji two more legs to stand on. Soon after the Unicode Consortium released proposed images of the 157 new emojis expected to be available in 2018, some folks noticed the little red lobster came up a bit short. Lobsters have 10 legs – including their tasty claws – but the proposed emoji showed only eight legs plus a tail that appeared somewhat malformed. Unicode Consortium’s lobster emoji is just a “sample image” of what could eventually be available
Even after reported sightings, wildlife officials declare cougar extinct in Maine
WMTW-TV8 - Monday, February 19, 2018 

Doug Jencks, of Washburn, set up a game camera to catch a thief stealing gas – but that camera ended up snapping a photo of something way more valuable, especially to wildlife biologists. The camera caught an image of what Jencks believes is a cougar, strutting right past his truck. "They're around," Jencks said. "It's not the only one we've seen." Jencks' photo, taken in mid-January, shows a cat with a long tail lurking under the cover of night. But a week after Jencks' camera snapped that photo, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service declared that Eastern pumas, also called catamounts, cougars and mountain lions, are extinct. That official extinction declaration, valid for the eastern puma subspecies, only adds to the allure that Jencks may indeed have photographic evidence of a cougar.
Maine ranger returns to black bear den and finds a gift to the world
Portland Press Herald - Monday, February 19, 2018 

While on a timber inspection in Carthage last fall, Maine Forest Service Ranger Erik Ahlquist located what appeared to be a black bear den. This week, he returned to the site with biologists from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and this is what they found. The forest service’s social media posts didn’t say how many cubs they found or whether they woke up mom.
Letter: Great Works Regional Land Trusts pay taxes
Foster's Daily Democrat - Monday, February 19, 2018 

Governor LaPages recent scurrilous attacks that land trusts don’t pay property taxes is wrong, as approximately 95 percent of Maine land trust properties are on town tax rolls. Great Works Regional Land Trusts pays property taxes in all six towns in our service area, $97,357 over the past five years. We require fewer services from the towns than developments do for schools, public safety, roads, etc, and we provide many benefits at no cost to tax payers. Think what the cost would be for the towns to purchase and maintain these lands and trails through taxes. We have had incredible support in all the towns that Great Works serves. ~ Michael Wright, Great Works Regional Land Trust, Berwick, Maine
Maine kelp, climate, ocean acidity projects get funding
Associated Press - Monday, February 19, 2018 

The University of Maine says projects about seaweed, the acidity of Gulf of Maine waters and the way climate change is impacting fish will receive nearly $1 million in funding. The money is from the federal government and matching sources. One of the projects is an investigation into the role of rockweed in food webs. Another will seek to learn how kelp forests are responding to changing environments. UMaine says researchers will evaluate the acidity of the Gulf of Maine using current data and historical proxies. The final project will seek to find out how environmental factors such as climate change impact fish and invertebrates in coastal Maine.
Plan For Scallop Fishing Lottery Passes Key Hurdle
Associated Press - Monday, February 19, 2018 

A plan to create a fishing license lottery to get new people into the scallop fishery has passed a key hurdle in the Maine Legislature. The Joint Standing Committee on Marine Resources unanimously approved the proposal on Feb. 14. It now moves to the full Legislature, which is likely to vote on it in the next couple of weeks. The average age of Maine scallop fishermen is higher than 50, and the fishery has been closed to new people since 2009. Some fishermen and fishing managers have expressed concern that the fishery could end up needing new people at a time when the shellfish are healthy.
Maine ice climber reaches new heights in Camden
Morning Sentinel - Sunday, February 18, 2018 

At 11:32 a.m. on Jan. 8, Ryan Howes reached the top of a new route about halfway up a 250-foot-high cliff covered in a blob of ice. After topping out and claiming the first known ascent of that route, Howes exclaimed: “You can’t take drugs and get this feeling. Man, I love the outdoors!” It was a feeling – and a feat – unlikely to be repeated anytime soon. Three days after Howes’ landmark ascent, the ice formation was gone and meteorologists say it may never reappear.
Father, 10-year-old son killed in Hermon snowmobile crash
Portland Press Herald - Sunday, February 18, 2018 

A father and son were killed in a snowmobile crash in Hermon early Sunday. The Maine Warden Service said in a release that Jason Tracy, 33, of Hermon and his son, 10, were killed when the snowmobile they were riding in struck a tree on the edge of a field at about 1 a.m. Sunday. Tracy’s son was wearing a helmet but Tracy was not, the warden service said. Speed and alcohol were contributing factors in the crash, Warden Lt. Dan Scott said.
Winter hunting seasons for hare, fox, bobcat coming to close
Associated Press - Sunday, February 18, 2018 

Maine’s winter hunting seasons are ending for the year in the next two weeks. Hunters pursue small game such as snowshoe hares and gray squirrels during the winter, as well as bigger species such as bobcats and foxes. The winter seasons start closing out Feb. 21 with the end of the bobcat hunt. The fox and squirrel seasons close out Feb. 28. The hare season lasts until March 31, though it closes on Vinalhaven Island Feb. 28. The most popular spring hunting season is for wild turkeys. That season kicks off with youth spring wild turkey day April 28.
This Portland homeowner wrestled with whether to remove a beloved old tree
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, February 18, 2018 

The red maple brought with it decades of history, and, in its final years, a sense of familiarity.
University official improperly advised bidders on energy contract, entrepreneur says
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, February 18, 2018 

A top University of Maine official participated in a previously undisclosed meeting in which he provided inside information aimed at helping one company bid on a lucrative energy contract, despite denials that he had any role in it, according to a sworn statement by a business owner. According to an affidavit from Sam Eakin, a Maine entrepreneur, Jake Ward, the vice president for innovation and economic development, provided information to parties that stood to gain if a New York energy company won the university’s long-term contract to provide renewable power
How do you go winter camping? Two Windham men develop what they call the perfect pulk sled
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, February 18, 2018 

For 15 years, Stephen Bailey and Jeff Anderson wilderness camped in the White Mountains. When they discovered the backcountry wilderness around Mt. Katahdin 10 years ago, it became their go-to outdoor escape in winter. It was here that they designed what they consider the perfect winter camping sled.
Forestry Yearly Reports reveal deep roots
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, February 18, 2018 

While I was researching my red maple tree, Portland City Arborist Jeff Tarling sent me a series of Forestry Yearly Reports from 1900 to 1934. They make for surprisingly fascinating and entertaining reading. Enjoy these excerpts.
Column: Records made to be broken in sighting birds
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, February 18, 2018 

In 2016, two birders shattered the list record for North America. John Weigel’s Big Year resulted in a list of 780 species, narrowly beating Olaf Danielson’s count of 778 species. Those records were not broken in 2017 despite three impressive Big Years. ~ Herb Wilson
Letter: Cote’s energy plan misses the mark
Morning Sentinel - Sunday, February 18, 2018 

Adam Cote prides himself as an “energy entrepreneur attorney” working for the wind and solar industries. But those industries are fighting to turn Maine into a place that supplies green energy to wealthy states south of here that do not want those towering turbines. He says 1,560 jobs are filled by wind and/or solar here in Maine; those were only temporary construction jobs. His energy plan aims to reduce energy costs; fact is, wind is the most expensive source of power available to us in Maine. He wants to provide Maine with more dependable, local energy sources; it would have to be natural gas pipelines and/or hydropower from Canada. If Cote wants to be for governor, he should represent the people of Maine, and not the wind and solar companies. ~ Richard Harris, Fairfield
Letter: Ban plastic bags to help environment
Morning Sentinel - Sunday, February 18, 2018 

Unfortunately, the pristine nature of our state is in jeopardy. Roads lined with trees festooned with plastic bags are not going to support our efforts to remain “Vacationland.” And, plastic ending up in the Gulf of Maine will not support our seafood industry. Are we ready to forgo a bit of convenience to cut down on petroleum use and clean up our state? Carrying a canvas tote while shopping seems to be a small inconvenience. Let’s consider the world we are leaving behind for our grandchildren and ban plastic bags. ~ Rob Pfeiffer, Solon
Despite GOP Criticism, Little Change To Maine Referendums
Associated Press - Saturday, February 17, 2018 

Maine lawmakers may make it tougher for citizens to get questions on ballots as Gov. Paul LePage has renewed his call to reform a system he's called too representative of liberal-leaning Mainers. LePage chastised out-of-state, special interests for pushing Maine ballot campaigns, and urged that lawmakers require the campaigns to get equal support across the state. Republicans sponsored a number of bills to reform the referendum process following the 2016 election when voters approved five out of six ballot questions and rejected a measure to require background checks for private firearm sales. Most reform efforts died. But some Democrats are supporting Republican Rep. Ellie Espling's proposed constitutional amendment to require signatures for ballot questions to come from each congressional district.
ATV Riders Rescued After Falling Through Ice on Maine Lake
Associated Press - Saturday, February 17, 2018 

wo ATV riders have been rescued after falling through the ice on a lake in Hancock County. After receiving a 911 call, the fire department acted quickly to pull the pair and the machines from Alamoosook Lake in Orland Friday afternoon. Officials say the two people were extremely cold but otherwise OK. They were taken to the hospital.
Editorial: LePage policies, not land trusts, have driven up property taxes
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, February 17, 2018 

Gov. Paul LePage said Maine’s property taxes are too high, and they are rising. LePage, however, identified the wrong source of the problem. The governor, a long-time critic of land conservation, blamed land trusts for “skyrocketing property taxes” that are pushing elderly Mainers out of their homes. If LePage is serious about lowering property taxes, he should stop blaming land trusts and look at what actions his administration could take. He could restore cuts to municipal revenue sharing. In addition, the state has cut its share of local education funding by more than $500 million since 2010 and the state is $1.3 billion short of meeting the 55 percent school funding level set by voters more than a decade ago. On the other side of the ledger, the governor could restore property tax relief programs that he pushed to cut.
Letter: Governor's proposed fee unreasonable
Sun Journal - Saturday, February 17, 2018 

I read in the newspaper (Feb. 14) that Gov. LePage wants to impose a fee of $150 on those who own hybrid cars because they use less gasoline than regular cars and, subsequently, provide less money for highway maintenance. Instead of my being rewarded for my willingness to pay more for a car in order to save the environment, I feel that now I am being punished for it. Electric and hybrid cars are, or at least should be, the way of the future. Wouldn’t it be smarter to find another way to take care of road maintenance than to depend on taxing gasoline use that pollutes the atmosphere? ~ Donald LaBranche, Lewiston
Opinion: Plastic bags should not be a part of Waterville’s future
Morning Sentinel - Saturday, February 17, 2018 

Plastic shopping bags have been ubiquitous in our society since first being introduced in the late 1970s. They are made from fossil fuels, they do not biodegrade, and they pollute our environment. Even worse, only about 5 percent get recycled. Sustain Mid Maine Coalition’s Rethink, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Team is working on an ordinance to bring forward to the Waterville City Council this spring. The ordinance would prohibit businesses with 10,000 square feet or more of retail space from giving out or selling plastic shopping bags at checkout. This does not apply to thin plastic produce, meat, and seafood bags at the grocery stores, dry cleaning bags, or plastic newspaper sleeves. ~ Todd Martin, Waterville
LePage vows to push through $950M project to send Quebec hydropower through Maine
Bangor Daily News - Friday, February 16, 2018 

Massachusetts chose a $950 million project headed by Central Maine Power to be its backup option for a massive clean energy procurement that appeared headed to New Hampshire before regulators nixed it last week.
Lawmakers give Maine lobster promoters key win
Associated Press - Friday, February 16, 2018 

A state lobster marketing group is likely to keep touting Maine’s most beloved seafood export in the wake of a key vote from a legislative committee. The Marine Resources Committee voted in favor of renewing the Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative for three years on Wednesday. The collaborative needs the full Legislature’s approval to continue existing beyond this year.
Natural gas company expanding service to Sidney
Kennebec Journal - Friday, February 16, 2018 

Summit Natural Gas of Maine announced Friday that the company plans to break ground on a plan to expand its services and infrastructure to Sidney starting this spring after striking a deal with asphalt and aggregate materials producer Pike Industries.
CMP’s $1 billion project to deliver renewable power to Massachusetts gets a second chance
Portland Press Herald - Friday, February 16, 2018 

A nearly $1 billion transmission proposal by Central Maine Power to bring hydropower from Quebec to markets in Massachusetts is still in the running after a competing proposal ran into trouble with New Hampshire regulators. CMP’s project, called New England Clean Energy Connect, entails building a 145-mile transmission corridor through Maine to deliver power to Massachusetts, which is trying to increase its use of renewable power by 2020. CMP’s proposal had been a runner-up in the request for proposals from Massachusetts utilities and regulators. But the initial winner, a project from Eversource called the Northern Pass, failed to gain regulatory approval to build its transmission corridor through New Hampshire.
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