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
Letter: Offshore wind projects will add to hazards faced by coastal mariners
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, February 23, 2019 

By Gov. Mills’ executive order of Feb. 15, the way is cleared for wind turbine proposals on land and sea. Offshore installations add a new navigational hazard in fog that stalks the Maine coast mariner. Of course, most vessels today are equipped with radar to pierce the fog that draws its blinding curtain before the sailor’s eyes. Where the eye fails, the ear may help discern, above the sea’s tumult, the roar of turbine blades slashing the mist before endangering sails or superstructure. The vessel’s radar screen will also have reduced reliance on the ear to warn of danger. No technology, alas, is on hand ashore to help human senses warn of risks unseen or unheard in fogs that infiltrate the mind. Not yet, anyhow. ~ William G. Sayres, Topsham
Letter: Go green
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, February 23, 2019 

Trump and the Republican Party with their country-club mentality are leading America and the world down the wrong path. They are concerned with petty and nonexistent problems while ignoring major problems with difficult solutions. Instead of a wall to keep imaginary criminals out, we need to be spending money on developing green renewable energy. But the only green these people know are the dollar bills lining their pockets. We should be leading the world efforts on climate change instead of being an anchor dragging the country and world down with there ignorance and greed. ~ Steve Roth, Swans Island
Letter: Belfast reality
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, February 23, 2019 

Nordic Aquafarms' fish manufacturing plant is promoted as one of the largest in the world. This experiment has been criticized for its massive size and huge carbon footprint. It could use an estimated 1,200 gallons of freshwater per minute. Will the aquifers and our wells be diminished or dry up? Effluence piped into the Bay, even if treated for diseases, could create a catastrophe. Imagine the additional traffic. People are confronted with the reality that Belfast — not Norway, where Nordic Aquafarms is from — is a testing ground for this experiment that could end up being an environmental and economic disaster. ~ Phyllis Coelho, Belfast
Letter: I don’t trust CMP
Sun Journal - Saturday, February 23, 2019 

I am concerned about the proposed electricity corridor through Maine that will benefit Massachusetts. Dangling the carrot of “Maine jobs” and “clean energy” to entice Mainers to see the Central Maine Power corridor project in a positive light is deceiving. Only a few Mainers will qualify for those high-talent jobs. And how is cutting down thousands of trees, cutting through brooks and swamps and stripping land going to lead to a “clean carbon footprint” when trees and swamps clean the air already? CMP cannot manage their meter readings, their billings or large outages now. I don’t see how CMP could set up, build and manage a corridor. ~ Sheila Richardson, Turner
The Real Culprit Behind Trump's Border Emergency? Climate Change
TIME - Friday, February 22, 2019 

President Donald Trump is expected to convene a new panel that will likely undermine the expert consensus that climate change threatens national security. But experts say that move is at odds with his recent declaration of a national emergency at the U.S. border, where thousands of the Central American migrants have arrived after fleeing the effects of climate change.
Trump Nominates Kelly Craft for U.N. Post
National Public Radio - Friday, February 22, 2019 

President Trump is nominating Kelly Knight Craft as the new U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. If confirmed by the Senate, Craft, currently U.S. ambassador to Canada, will succeed Nikki Haley, who announced her departure last fall. A native of Kentucky, Craft is married to Joe Craft, CEO of Alliance Resource Partners, one of the largest coal producers in the U.S., who donated $1 million to the Trump inaugural committee.
Maine settlement could pave way for Canadian hydro in New England
Other - Friday, February 22, 2019 

Utility Dive - Central Maine Power and the Conservation Law Foundation, along with the Maine Governor’s Office of Energy and several other parties, have filed a settlement agreement with state regulators that could help the 145-mile New England Clean Energy Connect transmission project ultimately receive approval. The NECEC project is designed to connect more than 1 GW of emissions free generation owned by Hydro-Québec in Canada, with consumers in Massachusetts. The Maine agreement calls for CMP to make grid improvements and investments in a range of programs focused on moderate and low income families. The endorsement of Democratic Maine Gov. Janet Mills is a boon for NECEC's chances, but there is still a long road ahead for the project, say experts.
Packing of baby eels may be overseen by Maine law enforcement
Associated Press - Friday, February 22, 2019 

Maine’s lucrative baby eel industry will likely face tighter controls this year designed to thwart poaching, as officials consider requiring state law enforcement officers to oversee the packing and shipping of the valuable fish. Baby eels, called elvers, are an important part of the worldwide supply chain for Japanese food. Maine fishermen harvest them from rivers and streams every spring, and they are typically worth more than $1,000 per pound. No other U.S. state has a significant elver fishery.
Young Environmental Activists Rally At Collins' Office In Support Of Green New Deal
Maine Public - Friday, February 22, 2019 

Young environmental activists will rally outside the Portland office of Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins Friday afternoon, urging her to support the Green New Deal.
Uber subsidiary submits lone response to Portland’s call for a bike-share system
Portland Press Herald - Friday, February 22, 2019 

A subsidiary of rideshare giant Uber wants to roll out shared electric bicycles on Portland streets this spring. Jump wants to put hundreds of pedal-assist electric bikes on the streets of Portland by the end of April.
Iceland to let more than 2,000 whales be killed within the next five years
CNN - Friday, February 22, 2019 

Only two whaling companies remain in Iceland. It's a small industry that conservationists say is inhumane, has minimal economic benefits, and defies the international ban on killing whales. But this week the Icelandic government announced it will allow up to 2,000 whales to be killed in the next five years.
Editorial: Public lands bill an encouraging sign from Congress
Bangor Daily News - Friday, February 22, 2019 

Less than a month after America’s longest government shutdown, the US Senate offered a glimmer of bipartisan hope in the form of a significant public lands package that passed with overwhelming support on both sides of the aisle. The broad legislation passed in the Senate 92-8 and is expected to find support in the House once legislators return from this past week’s recess. Importantly, the bill includes a permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, a valuable program that has supported land conservation in Maine and around the country for decades. Legislators unwisely allowed LWCF authorization to lapse this fall, missing out on opportunities for conservation investment. Passage of the bill, and the reauthorization of LWCF, would be a good thing for Maine communities and the state’s outdoor economy, which generates over $8 billion each year.
Richmond man attempts last-ditch petition drive to prevent property cleanup
Kennebec Journal - Friday, February 22, 2019 

At 7 a.m. Monday, David Smith plans to present a petition at the Richmond Town Hall to stop contractors from clearing items from his property on Alexander Reed Road. Claiming his First Amendment right, Smith is asking town officials to stop taking any action to remove items from his land and to hold an open town meeting for residents to vote to have the judgment Richmond officials obtained against him vacated and dismissed with prejudice. But Richmond’s town manager said earlier this week that workers are scheduled to start work on Smith’s lot at 8 a.m. Monday.
How I Built This with Guy Raz: Burt's Bees
National Public Radio - Friday, February 22, 2019 

In this podcast Roxanne Quimby tells how she built Burt's Bees into a successful business. There is brief talk about Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument in Maine starting at minute 48.
Column: Pet peeves: Bird name changes, missing birds and misused sound effects
Bangor Daily News - Friday, February 22, 2019 

Frankly, there are some things about birding that annoy me. Here are a few. Squirrels. Enough said. Unnecessary name changes. In case you didn’t hear, the gray jay was renamed the Canada jay last year. Another pet peeve: No birds at the feeder. Another pet peeve: Black flies. Enough said. And then there is this one: Birds inappropriately used as sound effects in movies. This happens a lot. The classic case is the old Western. It’s hot. The sun is blazing. An eagle, or maybe a vulture, is circling overhead. Instead, you hear the “kreee” of a red-tailed hawk. ~ Bob Duchesne
More than 100 Maine schools pledge to serve seasonal and local produce
Bangor Daily News - Friday, February 22, 2019 

A new program launching this spring will introduce Maine students and schools to local food products, according to a recent announcement by the Maine Department of Education, and organizers are looking for Maine farmers and producers to participate. The program is called Maine’s Harvest of the Month Program. Participating schools pledge to serve certain seasonal, local products in their cafeterias at least twice a month. So far, 115 schools have signed up to participate.
This farming style that skips soil and adds fish is growing in popularity
Bangor Daily News - Friday, February 22, 2019 

Aquaponics sounds like the stuff of science fiction. Instead of crops’ roots reaching down into the soil, they are suspended in water that is filled with live, swimming fish that sustain the plants with their nutrient-rich excrement. The closed-loop system is generally less disease prone and more water efficient than soil-based gardening, and its farmers can sell plants from above the waterline and the fish from below. The global aquaponics industry is expected to grow more than 7 percent in the next 10 years. The innovative growing method has the potential to make a splash in Maine’s agricultural scene, but first, it has to overcome market roadblocks and a marred past. The only active commercial aquaponics growing operation in Maine is Springworks Farm in Lisbon.
Too many deer, Part I
Sun Journal - Friday, February 22, 2019 

The national mindset that, with wildlife, “more is better” lingers from the early and middle 1900s when more really was better because much of our game had been depleted by market hunting. However, when wildlife is already at carrying capacity, “more” can be a disaster. Among the countless wild creatures hurt by overabundant deer are the deer themselves. Across wide expanses of their range, whitetails are sickly and scrawny. Birds and people suffer as well.
Column: Old man on Old Speck Mountain
Times Record - Friday, February 22, 2019 

Fellow trekkers Gary and Suzanne Cole and I arrived at the trailhead for Old Speck Mountain in Grafton Notch State Park. Over the past thirty years, we’ve teamed to climb all of the one hundred highest peaks in New England in the winter, most more than once. At the outset, we experienced easy traveling on a hard packed snow surface past a junction with Eyebrow Loop Trail. Soon after, we began ascending steeply in a dense conifer forest. The blustery ridge brought challenges; severe wind chills and drifted snow. We persevered on the Grafton Loop Trail to the summit. Hurriedly adding down parkas on arrival, we enjoyed a frosty abbreviated lunch while savoring an exceptional panoramic vista of the northern Mahoosucs. The well-packed trail facilitated a rapid descent. ~ Ron Chase
Editorial: Too many Maine schools still don’t test for lead
Portland Press Herald - Friday, February 22, 2019 

Not every Maine school regularly tests its water, some because municipal water systems are tested so thoroughly as a matter of course. That can provide a false sense of security for schools. While the water coming into the school may be fine, pipes and solder used in older school buildings may contain lead, which can leach it into the school’s drinking water. As one advocate at Tuesday’s hearing put it, lead is a “entirely preventable source of harm to children’s brains.” It shouldn’t take a law to make sure a school is safe; it is one of the basic duties of a school district, and in this case it can be accomplished with a cheap and easy test. But if so many schools are falling short in that duty, then the Legislature has no choice but to act.
Letter: Editorial didn’t mention carbon fee proposal
Morning Sentinel - Friday, February 22, 2019 

Your Feb. 12 editorial, “Our View: We need big ideas like the Green New Deal,” contained, I think, an important error. You remark that the Green New Deal “so far” is “the only proposal on the table.” It’s not. The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, a bipartisan bill that would be fair to everyone, revenue neutral, job creating, and effective in reducing emissions is definitely “on the table.” ~ JeanAnn Pollard, Winslow
Hydro-Québec offers $170M in incentives for Maine transmission line
Other - Thursday, February 21, 2019 

Montreal Gazette - Hydro-Québec and its partner Central Maine Power have sweetened their offer to Maine as the two utilities look to get approval for a transmission line that would connect Quebec to the New England electric grid. The proposal — which has won support from the governor of Maine and two prominent environmental groups — would see Hydro-Québec spend US$170 million on initiatives in Maine.
Smoldering debris starts fire during demolition work at Bucksport mill site
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, February 21, 2019 

A fire damaged part of a building being demolished at the former Verso Paper mill site on Thursday. No one was injured.
One Lobsterman Has A Creative Solution For The New, Lowered Herring Catch Limits, But Still Worries
Maine Public - Thursday, February 21, 2019 

Maine lobstermen are facing a major challenge as NOAA this month reduced the amount of Atlantic Herring fishermen can haul by more than half. Gerry Cushman, who has been a lobsterman for 30 years, and runs the Port Clyde Fisherman's Cooperative, says the federal action will have a major impact on the industry. "I decided to build a freezer. One thing is that we've been getting bait outside the states, from New Jersey, all the way down to the Gulf of Mexico, where they catch menhaden, and they freeze it, and then load it on 16-wheelers, and then you can have it delivered here in Maine. The problem is we don't have enough freezer infrastructure."
Nordic Aquafarms chief: Humboldt County can play key role
Other - Thursday, February 21, 2019 

Eureka Times Standard (CA) - Last week Nordic Aquafarms made the decision to pursue final due diligence for a land-based fish farm on the Samoa Peninsula in Humboldt County, California, by signing a lease-option agreement with the Harbor District. Our assessments so far strongly indicate that this location is perfect for our land-based fish operation. A number of respectable environmental organizations such as the Atlantic Salmon Federation, the Gulf of Maine Research Institute and Conservation Law Foundation have written letters of support for our similar project in Maine.
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