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
Land Use Planning Commission Holds Public Hearing on Major Policy Change
WABI-TV5 - Wednesday, June 20, 2018 

Maine's Land Use Planning Commission held a public hearing in Brewer today about changing the adjacency principle, a policy guiding where new development can occur in Northern Maine. The current policy restricts rezoning and development to within one mile by road of existing developments of a similar type. Opponents of the proposal say the current rule discourages sprawl and protects forest habitats. They say the changes would open two million acres of the North Woods to development.
Rabid animals bite two people, pets in coastal Maine town
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, June 20, 2018 

Two Brunswick residents and two dogs have been bitten by two rabid animals in the past few days, and Brunswick police are warning people to vaccinate their pets and stay away from wildlife. At 7 a.m. Monday, police went to Woodland Drive where a 72-year-old woman had been bitten by a gray fox. Police killed the fox, which was later retrieved by game wardens and taken to Augusta for rabies testing. Earlier in the week, a skunk attacked two dogs on High Street. The dogs are now quarantined.
Shad and stripers are in, so it’s time to get fishing!
John Holyoke Out There Blog - Wednesday, June 20, 2018 

The shad have returned to the mighty Penobscot River. So have the stripers. And it’s prime time to start thinking about fishing for them.
Rangeley Region Guides and Sportsmen’s Association awards scholarship
Turner Publishing - Wednesday, June 20, 2018 

The Rangeley Guides and Sportsmen’s Association has awarded a $250 scholarship to Maxwell Close, who will attend the Shooting Sports Camp at the University of Maine 4-H Camp & Learning Center at Bryant Pond.
Maine wildlife artist creates birdhouses that capture the imagination
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, June 20, 2018 

A miniature portrait of a bluejay in an intricate gold frame hung above a painted tile floor. A tiny bench had been placed in the corner. And through an arched doorway was a porch trimmed with a railing, a great perching spot for songbirds. The Home Tweet Home birdhouses by Maine artist Jada Fitch are as whimsical as they are functional, and they’ve captured the imagination of people around the globe.
What Do Fireflies Eat?
Yankee Magazine - Wednesday, June 20, 2018 

Fireflies (or “lightning bugs”) are a family of beetles known for their ability to produce light. Fireflies of the genus Photuris are especially devious when it comes to feeding. Females will lure in males of other species by mimicking their blinking patterns, so the hapless males fly over to the females in hopes of procreation, but are instead greeted by predation. This behavior has earned these particular lightning bugs the nickname “femme fatale fireflies.”
Your Maine Mountain Trail Guide
Down East - Wednesday, June 20, 2018 

The badass hikers of the Alpine Women Collective share 10 of their favorite trails for all skill levels.
Can we burn deer ticks away?
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Wednesday, June 20, 2018 

Swan’s Island off Mount Desert recently tried to reduce it’s tick population by burning a bunch of fields. It will be interesting to see just how effective this was in reducing ticks and Lyme disease on the island. If it is successful, I expect many towns will be out burning fields in the future.
Guide helps first-time fly fisherman learn tricks of the trade on BDN drift boat trip
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, June 20, 2018 

Before the trip down the East Outlet of the Kennebec River even began, guide Dan Legere offered a warning to Bangor’s Michael McCarthy. “I’m going to be throwing a lot of information at you,” the longtime registered Maine guide said. “You’re not going to remember it all. Just do the best you can.” McCarthy, a quiet man by nature, simply nodded his head, and spent the rest of the day doing his to best to respond to all of the lessons and cues that Legere passed along. McCarthy was the winner of the BDN’s 16th annual Win a Drift Boat Trip contest.
Skyrocketing prices, demand for new homes signal uptick in Maine lumber market
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, June 20, 2018 

Prices for wood to build and renovate houses have as much as doubled over the past six months, increasing costs for consumers but boosting Maine’s softwood sales and signaling a turnaround in that segment of the forestry market, industry experts say. A number of factors drove up the price of wood. They include pent-up demand for new houses or additions following the recession, forest fires last year in western Canada that destroyed prime forests and shuttered mills for up to two months, a trade dispute between the United States and Canada, and hurricanes and other weather that created demand for repairs and new homes. A shortage of railcars and trucks also made it more difficult to transport lumber.
Seeing the Forest: A Q&A with John Rensenbrink
Other - Wednesday, June 20, 2018 

Bowdoin College magazine - As he prepares to turn ninety in August, Bowdoin professor emeritus John Rensenbrink just published his most important book, "Ecological Politics for Survival and Transformation."
Greenland Salmon Agreement Touted as Path to Save Fish
Associated Press - Wednesday, June 20, 2018 

Conservation groups say they are optimistic that an agreement with Greenland will help endangered wild Atlantic salmon begin to recover. The salmon are considered endangered in the Gulf of Maine by the U.S. government. The North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization held a meeting in Portland last week to try to broker a deal to keep more of the fish alive. Greenland fishermen continue to fish for the salmon, while U.S. commercial fishermen do not. The NASCO meeting resulted in a deal in which Greenland will reduce its annual quota for the fish from nearly 100,000 pounds to about 66,000 pounds. It also suspends Greenland's commercial harvest of the fish.
Column: Weak environmental policies cost jobs
Sun Journal - Wednesday, June 20, 2018 

Outdoor recreation was a $374 billion business in 2016, accounting for 2 percent of the gross domestic product. Its revenues had grown that year by 3.8 percent, about 36 percent faster than the overall economy. Without an environmentally healthy and accessible outdoors, the industry’s consumers have no place to recreate. The Trump administration obsesses over how environmental regulations hurt employment in coal and other fossil fuel industries. Look at how weak environmental policies destroy jobs. In Maine, lobstermen, fishermen, tourism officials and environmentalists — interests that don’t always get along — united in opposing offshore drilling. Arguing for the spiritual and health rewards of being in nature seems almost pointless in these soulless times. But if only money talks to the current political leadership, we have those numbers, too. ~ Froma Harrop
Column: King still listening, learning
Kennebec Journal - Wednesday, June 20, 2018 

I’ve been an enthusiastic supporter of Angus King since his first campaign for governor, when the group I worked for, the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, endorsed him. That year, my friend Harry Vanderweide and I helped Angus tape an ad featuring outdoor issues. We put Angus in a canoe and started peppering him with suggestions on what to say. After a while, Angus told us to just shove him off. They began immediately filming the ad, and he talked for exactly 28 seconds and stopped. That was the amount of time he had, but I have no idea how he knew when to stop. And his message was perfect, far better than anything Harry and I suggested. ~ George Smith
Letter: Another Maine community embraces carbon fee and dividend to mitigate climate change
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, June 20, 2018 

On May 22, the island community of Vinalhaven endorsed carbon fee and dividend as a major measure to mitigate climate change. Vinalhaven’s Board of Selectmen joins the city councils in Portland and Bangor and the town of Fairfield in endorsing the measure, which would place a national price on the carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions and return net proceeds to all U.S. households. Several other towns are considering the measure. Urge our U.S. Reps. Chellie Pingree and Bruce Poliquin to join the House’s Climate Solutions Caucus, a bipartisan group working together for climate change solutions. ~ Peter Monro, Portland
Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust continues invasive crayfish study
Turner Publishing - Tuesday, June 19, 2018 

Over the course of the last two seasons, the Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust has assisted Karen Wilson of University of Southern Maine with mapping the spread of the rusty crayfish in the Rangeley Lakes Region. The project is part of an ongoing effort to gain a clear picture of crayfish populations across the state and to determine how far the invasive rusty crayfish has spread in Maine.
Column: Maine game management must change
Turner Publishing - Tuesday, June 19, 2018 

Wildlife planning, protection and well-funded conservation efforts have led to an era when we have more big game in this country than ever before. Increasingly, in some cases, there is an excess of wild critters. That is underscored in Maine’s 10-year big game management plan produced by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. This plan is directed toward bear, deer, moose and wild turkeys. The game population data and the 10-year planning strategy make it clear that, with the exception of our deer numbers in the north, our big game populations in all four species need to be stabilized or reduced. ~ V. Paul Reynolds
FDA reconsiders ‘added-sugar’ labeling requirement for honey, maple syrup
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, June 19, 2018 

The Food and Drug Administration will reconsider requiring “added-sugar” labeling on pure maple syrup and honey after receiving thousands of comments on the proposed change. Producers of maple syrup and honey were upset by the requirement for an added-sugar labeling, saying it would be confusing and could have a devastating effect on their businesses.
Mountain bike: Rick Swan Trail System in Old Town
Aislinn Sarnacki Act Out Blog - Tuesday, June 19, 2018 

The Rick Swan Trail System is a mountain biking and wildlife watching destination located on an 850-acre forested parcel on Perch Pond in Old Town. Since the property came under ownership of the University of Maine in 2010, local mountain bikers have developed more than eight miles of intersecting single-track trails under the direction of UMaine forester Al Kimball, the Forest Society of Maine and the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. In addition, old gravel roads and a number of hiking trails are tied into the network.
Skowhegan, Kingfield awarded trail grants by BikeMaine
Morning Sentinel - Tuesday, June 19, 2018 

The nonprofit Main Street Skowhegan is one of two area groups awarded trail grants announced this week by the Bicycle Coalition of Maine. Main Street Skowhegan will receive $10,000 as part of this year’s BikeMaine grants for trail work in a loop around the downtown Kennebec River Gorge the future site of the Run of River Whitewater Recreation Area. Kingfield Trail Builders, in Franklin County, plans to use the $3,025 in grant money to improve nonmotorized trails and trail connections, install shared bike-lane markings and add bike racks in key locations around Kingfield. Mahoosuc Pathways, based in Bethel, will receive $3,250 and apply the funding to the improvement of mountain bike trails at the Crescent Park School. BikeMaine 2018 is scheduled for Sept. 8-15.
Future uncertain for Aroostook ReEnergy plants
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, June 19, 2018 

Aroostook County’s two biomass energy plants are facing a precarious future that could shake out this summer. The ReEnergy biomass plants in Ashland and Fort Fairfield could shut down in September for an undetermined amount of time. But the company is hoping that some changes could buy the facilities time as they pursue potential “co-location” projects with business partners that could pave the way to longer-term financial sustainability. One of four Maine biomass plants operated by New York-based ReEnergy, the Ashland and Fort Fairfield facilities have been particularly hit hard by low wholesale electricity prices, transmission fees and a decline in the value of renewable energy credits.
Shawn Moody tells Republicans at rally he’d carry on LePage’s legacy
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, June 19, 2018 

Republican state lawmakers and former candidates for governor rallied at the State House on Tuesday in support of Shawn Moody, the party’s pick to be its candidate in the 2018 governor’s race. With Maine Democrats still awaiting the results of their primary race as ballots were being counted and retabulated in Maine’s first statewide ranked-choice election, Moody told supporters he intended to carry on the legacy and policies of outgoing Republican Gov. Paul LePage. Moody, who has recruited LePage’s daughter and other former LePage staffers to work on his campaign, spoke glowingly of LePage.
Maine’s farm community mourns loss of conservation pioneer who trained generation of farmers
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, June 19, 2018 

The Maine agricultural community is mourning the recent loss of a Hancock County man described as a pioneer of farmland conservation who shared his love of farming with horses with the world. Paul Birdsall, who died June 12 at age 91, made Horsepower Farm in Penobscot into a destination for many who came to learn how he and his late wife, Mollie, successfully farmed with the help of their hardworking Belgian and Suffolk Punch workhorses. He was a longtime leader in the Maine Organic Farming and Gardening Association community and was a pioneer of Maine land conservation, helping to found both the Blue Hill Heritage Trust and the Belfast-based Maine Farmland Trust.
State energy official refuses to identify members of wind-farm review panel
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, June 19, 2018 

Gov. Paul LePage’s administration is refusing to identify the members of a public commission charged with reviewing the impact of wind farms on the state’s tourism economy. LePage, a strident critic of wind power, ordered the commission created in January under an executive order that allows it to gather public comments but meet in secret. Now the administration is also keeping secret the names of the group’s members, saying it will reveal them only after public comments have been gathered.
LePage’s wind energy commission is picked, but he won’t say who’s on it
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, June 19, 2018 

Gov. Paul LePage’s administration is seeking public comment on wind energy development after a controversial executive order on that issue earlier this year, but LePage and his staff aren’t saying who is on an advisory panel after disclosing in a lawsuit that it was formed in May. It’s a continuation of LePage’s broad and contested executive order looking to block new wind permits in Maine. Jeremy Payne, executive director of the Maine Renewable Energy Association, said questions around the makeup of the panel make it difficult for him to tell members how to respond. “To me, if it’s really just a group of people who are known to hate wind, it’s not worth everybody’s time and effort to put together a very detailed set of comments,” he said.
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