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
Cape Elizabeth Land Trust seeks $282K from town
Forecaster - Wednesday, December 13, 2017 

The Cape Elizabeth Land Trust wants the town to contribute a third of the cost to purchase nearly 52 acres of land abutting the Robinson Woods Preserve. CELT has received preliminary approval for $250,000 in grant funding for the acquisition from the Land for Maine’s Future program. To help pay for the remainder of the purchase price, which is set at $845,000, the trust has asked the town to pay almost $282,000.
US Senators help sink Trump’s pick for EPA chemical office
Other - Wednesday, December 13, 2017 

News & Observer - President Donald Trump’s pick to lead a key Environmental Protection Agency department has withdrawn his nomination — weeks after North Carolina Sens. Richard Burr and Thom Tillis announced that they would not support him. Michael Dourson, Trump’s nominee to lead the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, withdrew Wednesday. Without the support of Tillis and Burr, Dourson faced a tough confirmation fight, especially with Susan Collins, R-Maine, signaling that she might not support Dourson either.
For some scientists, debate over human influence on climate is settled
Washington Post - Wednesday, December 13, 2017 

There’s a theme lurking under the giant science meeting here: Extreme weather really is getting more extreme because of climate change. The human influence on hurricanes and wildfires is increasingly obvious. For years this has been a subject clouded in uncertainties. But now scientists say they have hard numbers.
Nominee for EPA chemical safety withdraws
Reuters - Wednesday, December 13, 2017 

A former chemical industry consultant nominated by the Trump administration to head the Environmental Protection Agency’s chemical safety and pollution prevention office has withdrawn his nomination, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday. Michael Dourson notified the administration of his decision on Wednesday after Republican senators raised concerns about his past work and possible conflicts of interest. Several Republican senators refused to support Dourson. Tom Carper, the top Democrat on the Senate environment panel, said, “Dourson, an individual who has spent most of his career promoting less protective chemical safety standards, had no business overseeing our nation’s chemical safety laws.”
Anson accepts former paper mill’s landfill, $2 million to maintain it
Morning Sentinel - Wednesday, December 13, 2017 

After weighing all of the “risks and the rewards” Wednesday night, Anson residents voted to accept the closed Madison Paper Industries sludge landfill, along with $2.4 million from the paper mill’s former owners to maintain it. Not all residents were entirely convinced taking it over was a good idea. But in the end, the “yeas” carried the question, but by just two votes. The Madison paper mill closed in May 2016, leaving 214 people without jobs.
Maine’s top court hears challenge to new rules that reduce solar incentives
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, December 13, 2017 

A legal challenge to new rules that opponents say will reduce the incentives for homeowners to install solar power systems was likened to a reverse Robin Hood scheme Wednesday before the Maine Supreme Judicial Court. Tony Buxton, the lawyer representing the Conservation Law Foundation, said the state Public Utilities Commission’s plan to reduce the credit for excess energy that’s put back into the power grid by home solar generators amounts to a fee. And that fee is imposed on those who draw less electricity from the grid while providing electricity for other users. “This is like our grocers charging us for the vegetables we grow in our own gardens,” he told the justices.
Bill To Let Wormers, Clammers Dig Near Acadia National Park Clears House Committee
Maine Public - Wednesday, December 13, 2017 

Prospects for wormers and clammers digging near the Acadia National Park shoreline improved today after a U.S. House panel voted for the Acadia National Park Boundary Clarification Act. Sponsored by U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin of Maine’s 2nd District and U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree of Maine’s 1st District, the measure was unanimously approved by the House Committee on Natural Resources. The House bill also includes the ratification of the 2015 Schoodic Woods land transfer to the National Park Service and clarifies land acquisition policies at the park.
Maine Turnpike Marks 70 Years
Maine Public - Wednesday, December 13, 2017 

The Maine Turnpike reached a significant milestone Wednesday — the 47-mile stretch of the toll highway running from Kittery to Portland opened 70 years ago. A number of firsts were marked when the Turnpike opened. With its posted 60 mph speed limit, the pike was Maine’s first mile-per-minute highway. Before that, the Kittery-Portland trip along Route 1 took the better part of a day rather than 47 minutes. The Maine Turnpike was America’s first asphalt superhighway.
Republicans push weatherman to head NOAA
Climate Progress - Wednesday, December 13, 2017 

Today, Senate Republicans, on a 14-13 party line vote, advanced the nomination of Barry Meyers to lead the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This move comes just a day after three former NOAA Administrators came out opposing Myers nomination due to his glaring conflicts of interest that would put him in a position to personally profit from undermining the agency. Currently the CEO of AccuWeather, Meyers has spent years advocating for privatizing the National Weather Service to benefit his business. If confirmed, he would be only the second NOAA administrator in history without a science degree.
2017 Governor's Award for Business Excellence
Maine Government News - Wednesday, December 13, 2017 

Governor Paul R. LePage today presented six Maine companies with a 2017 Governor’s Award for Business Excellence, including International Grand Investment Corporation. IGIC purchased the pulp mill in Baileyville in 2010 from Domtar Corporation. Shortly afterwards, IGIC initiated capital investments to make the mill more competitive. In 2014, IGIC announced the formation of a new company, St. Croix Tissue, Inc. This additional investment of well over $150 million brought about the installation of two new tissue machines and the addition of 80 new jobs in Washington County.
Column: The bewildering everyday denial of climate change
Kennebec Journal - Wednesday, December 13, 2017 

Since I was a teenager people have been muttering that the world has gone crazy. But in the past year and a half, it seems almost literally true. Every day seems weirder than the day before. Among the many bewildering things that happen, the most bewildering to me are the denials of climate change. People talk about it as if it’s a matter of opinion, like whether the Patriots stand a chance of winning another Super Bowl. It’s not an opinion. It’s a scientific fact. ~ Dana Wilde
Governor’s Energy Office wants public input on long-range energy strategy
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, December 13, 2017 

The Governor’s Energy Office is asking Mainers for their input in developing an Energy Planning Roadmap, aimed at advancing the state’s energy, economic development, and environmental goals. The office is working with the Environmental & Energy Technology Council of Maine (E2Tech) to hold public hearings on how to target strategies to meet these objectives.
St. George town officials vote to oppose Maine Aqua Ventus
Mainebiz - Wednesday, December 13, 2017 

The St. George Select Board voted Monday to oppose the Maine Aqua Ventus offshore wind project, but the consortium seeking to erect two offshore wind turbines off Monhegan Island said it will continue to work with local fishermen to address their concerns about the project's transmission cable. The vote by the elected members of the select board heralded agreement with local fishermen who have said the project and its transmission cable would harm their livelihoods.
USDA offering landowners funds to protect pollinator habitats in Maine
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, December 13, 2017 

Bees are a keystone in agriculture globally, nationally, and in Maine—contributing billions of dollars by way of pollination to U.S. agricultural economies each year. Bees pollinate Maine’s Wild Blueberries. As many as 100 different species of native wild bees move pollen from apple blossom to apple blossom, making fall apple picking, apple cider, and apple jack possible. Bees pollinate our pumpkins, squash, tomatoes, raspberries, blackberries, and a multitude of other crops. The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service has committed $80,000 for Fiscal Year 2018 to assist landowners and farmers in Maine with protecting our precious pollinator resources.
NOAA Wants To Fund More Fish Farming To Offset Trade Gap
Associated Press - Wednesday, December 13, 2017 

Federal marine regulators are making $450,000 available to try to foster more seafood farming on the East Coast. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says it's providing $450,000 to expand aquaculture operations and production off the eastern states. The agency says it wants to offset the U.S.'s $14 billion seafood trade deficit.
Season of sharing: Deer hunter welcomes strangers to enjoy his ground blind
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, December 13, 2017 

A few years ago David Baker had a tree stand disappear and a short time after that his hunting tent was crushed and his equipment strewn around the woods. Baker decided to try a different approach at a ground blind he set up in Hudson. He attached a pair of signs to the blind. The first, visible from the outside, said: “Visitors welcome.” The second, hanging inside, said: “If I am not here, feel free to sit in my blind....Please do not steal my equipment, but if you do, make sure you smile big for my trail cameras!!!” He posted photos of his signs on social media. The reaction was instant, and unexpected. “It’s overwhelming. Everyone loved it,” Baker said.
Maine has a stake in another national monument due for big changes under Zinke
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, December 13, 2017 

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke may have decided Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument in northern Maine should be left as it is, but he has recommended that commercial fishing activity resume in the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument, which encompasses nearly 5,000 square miles outside the Gulf of Maine. But the area is home to many species found in the Gulf of Maine, such as herring and deep sea corals, and is viewed by environmentalists as worthy of protecting in order to preserve biodiversity in the gulf.
Opinion: If President Trump will not, our other leaders must take action on climate change
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, December 13, 2017 

On this two-year anniversary of the Paris climate agreement, we urge our leaders to take action on climate. Our U.S. senators should stand up to President Trump’s backward moves and oppose legislation that would roll back progress on clean cars and renewable energy. They should oppose efforts to weaken clean air protections and slash funding for environmental protection, climate science programs and grants to help local communities prepare for the more intense storms and wildfires ahead. Doing so is necessary to ensuring our standing at the table as a world power and ensuring that we can hand off a cleaner, safer and healthier world to our children and to our grandchildren. ~ Matthew Wellington, Environment Maine, and Rep. Benjamin Collings, Portland
Letter: Americans commit to climate action
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, December 13, 2017 

President Donald Trump has abandoned U.S. leadership on clean energy putting hundreds of thousands of clean energy jobs at risk. More than 250 cities and counties, nine states, almost 2,000 businesses and investors, 339 colleges, 213 communities of faith, and a million individual Americans have signed the We Are Still In pledge to commit to uphold and meet the Paris agreement goals. Businesses and cities of all sizes support the agreement because they know that investing in clean energy means more American innovation and more jobs for Maine. This is the right way to put America first. ~ Ryan Kittle, Bowdoinham
Top Gun expands to include aquaculture startups
Mainebiz - Tuesday, December 12, 2017 

The Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development and its partners are expanding next year's Top Gun entrepreneurship program to include companies in the aquaculture sector. Top Gun fast-tracks the progress of Maine's most promising early stage, high-growth potential companies through a combination of mentoring, learning sessions and networking. The 2018 program will accept about 40 companies in total, about 10 companies in each of the 2018 locations: Portland, Bangor, Lewiston/Auburn and Brunswick. Due to the support of Gulf of Maine Research Institute, the Brunswick class will be focused on companies in the aquaculture sector, including shellfish and seaweed producers, processors and businesses that provide support services.
Blog: Change of pace
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, December 12, 2017 

This time of year I always welcome the change of pace. That is not to say that there is less to do in the outdoors it just becomes easier to take a day and sit by the fire and read a little more. Sometimes I need to remind myself that this is ok. Mostly so I won’t feel guilty not tying more flies or preparing for the next trip or adventure. I find the reflection and self enrichment very gratifying. ~ Jon Peterson
Report shows Congress restoring funding to national parks will increase jobs
Other - Tuesday, December 12, 2017 

The Bar Harbor and Ellsworth Chambers today announced the release of a report by the Cadmus Group commissioned by the Pew Charitable Trusts detailing the impact infrastructure restoration and maintenance can have in creating jobs in the local economy. The report shows that restoring and maintaining our national parks will create jobs. If Congress provides stable funding to address the maintenance backlog and infrastructure restoration of our national parks, more than 110,000 jobs will be created and 700 of those jobs will be in Maine.
Shellfishing ban from Cape Elizabeth to Harpswell adds New Meadows
Forecaster - Tuesday, December 12, 2017 

A precautionary shellfishing closure remains in effect in many areas of Casco Bay after a toxin that can be lethal to humans was detected last week. The ban prohibits fishing for mussels, clams, quahogs, oysters and carnivorous snails from the affected water until further notice. Domoic acid, the bio toxin produced by a micro algae known as psuedo-nitzchia, causes Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning. The illness results in gastrointestinal problems, and in severe cases can lead to permanent short-term memory loss, seizures, coma and death. The ban now includes areas from Dyer Point in Cape Elizabeth to Haskell Island in Harpswell, as well as a portion of New Meadows River between Brunswick and Harpswell.
Melting permafrost puts Arctic environment in jeopardy
Associated Press - Tuesday, December 12, 2017 

A report released Tuesday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration showed the far northern region is warming twice as fast as the rest of the globe and has reached a rate of melting not seen in 1,500 years. "What happens in the Arctic doesn't stay in the Arctic; it affects the rest of the planet," said acting NOAA chief Timothy Gallaudet.
Portland group protests U.S. plans to withdraw from Paris climate accord
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, December 12, 2017 

Several dozen people held a nearly 16-hour “walking vigil” outside of Portland’s federal courthouse Tuesday to object to the Trump administration’s plans to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement. To signal their support for the climate accord and disapproval of Trump’s withdrawal plans, Quakers with the Portland Friends Meeting and others walked around the block 196 times, once for each nation that has signed onto the accord and once in reverse to symbolize the Trump administration's plans to withdraw.
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