December 11, 2018  
Announcements               
Press releases, events, publications released, etc. from Maine environmental organizations and agencies. Submit content.

Great Winter Treks, Dec 18
Event - Posted - Tuesday, December 11, 2018 

Aislinn Sarnacki talks about great winter treks in Maine. At Orono Public Library, December 18, 6 pm.
Polar Bear Dip & Dash, Dec 31
Event - Posted - Tuesday, December 11, 2018 

A benefit for the Natural Resource Council of Maine’s work to fight climate change. At East End Beach, Portland, December 31, pre-register.
Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Monday, December 10, 2018 

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). We have posted summaries and links to over 50,000 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
2019 Acadia Artist-in-Residence Program
Announcement - Monday, December 10, 2018 

Art and artists have played a key role in the history of Maine’s Downeast Region, and the founding of Acadia National Park. The Artist-in-Residence program is dedicated to creating new ways for visitors to experience Acadia through the arts. Deadline to apply online for 2019: December 31, 2018.
Lessons from Maine’s Loons and Lakes, Dec 13
Event - Posted - Thursday, December 6, 2018 

Hear new executive director of the Maine Lakes Society and long-time director of Maine Audubon’s Loon Count Susan Gallo talk about the results of the 2018 Maine Loon Count and what it means for one of Maine’s most important and revered habitats. At Gilsland Farm, Falmouth, December 13, Maine Audubon members $12, nonmembers $15, pre-register.
Yale Climate Change and Health Certificate
Announcement - Thursday, December 6, 2018 

Yale School of Public Health’s 18-week, fully online, Climate Change and Health Certificate is designed for working professionals who are eager to tackle the adverse impacts of climate change on the health of their communities. Apply for rolling admission by February 1 to be considered for the February 25, 2019, cohort.
Bird & Nature Walk, Dec 13
Event - Posted - Thursday, December 6, 2018 

At Maine Audubon’s Gilsland Farm Sanctuary, Falmouth, December 13, 8-10 am, $8.
Glacial retreat impact on Unity area, Dec 12
Event - Posted - Wednesday, December 5, 2018 

Kevin Spigel, professor of Geoscience at Unity College, discusses what happened to our landscape after the glaciers retreated. At 93 Main Coffee Shop, Unity, December 12, $5 donation suggested. Sponsored by Sebasticook Regional Land Trust.
Invasive Worms, Oh My! Dec 12
Event - Posted - Wednesday, December 5, 2018 

Presentation by Gary Fish, Maine State Horticulturist. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, December 12, 7 pm. Sponsored by Friends of Merrymeeting Bay.
Help wanted: Conservation forester
Announcement - Tuesday, December 4, 2018 

The Maine Chapter of The Nature Conservancy seeks a Conservation Forester to manage 160,000 acres of timberland and ecological reserves at the Upper St. John River Forest. Deadline: January 3, 2019.
Tell Congress to fix our parks
Action Alert - Tuesday, December 4, 2018 

Legislation to provide dedicated funding to fix the National Park Service’s $11.6 billion backlog of needed maintenance repairs is moving forward with bipartisan support. Email your members of Congress and urge them to get the bill to the president’s desk.
Stop climate denier appointment
Action Alert - Tuesday, December 4, 2018 

Urge Sen. Susan Collins and Sen. Angus King vote NO on Bernard McNamee for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. McNamee is a long time fossil fuel industry insider who led Texas’s lawsuit against the lifesaving Clean Power Plan. More recently, he tried to get taxpayers to foot the bill for Donald Trump’s coal plant bailout scheme while working at the U.S. Department of Energy. ~ SierraRise
Protect Nonprofit Nonpartisanship
Action Alert - Tuesday, December 4, 2018 

Congress is wrapping up year-end legislation. Language in a House spending bill would make it virtually impossible for the IRS to enforce the law (Johnson Amendment) that protects charitable nonprofits from partisanship. TODAY, December 4, call and tweet members of Maine's congressional delegation: Partisanship has NO place in charitable organizations.
Restore LWCF
Action Alert - Tuesday, December 4, 2018 

Since 1964, the Land and Water Conservation Fund has been the lifeblood of public land conservation and preservation in the United States. But in September, Congress let it expire, leaving the future of public lands at risk. Just a few days left to convince Congress to rescue LWCF.
Learn more about CMP's proposed transmission line, Dec 11
Event - Posted - Tuesday, December 4, 2018 

CMP is proposing to build a 145-mile transmission line through Maine to deliver power from Quebec to Massachusetts. It would damage the North Woods while doing nothing to address climate change. Learn more about CMP's power line proposal. At Eureka Community Center, Durham, December 11, 6 pm. ~ Carly Peruccio, NRCM Outreach Coordinator
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News Items
Maine is challenged to recruit deer hunters, even with bigger harvest
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Friday, November 30, 2018 

While we’ll harvest the largest number of deer since 2004, Maine is still challenged to recruit deer hunters, particularly nonresidents. DIF&W can now tell us, quickly, how many deer are being harvested, thanks to the new equipment at each registration station. A total of 30,299 were taken by the end of the regular firearms season. And the department expects about 1500 to be taken by muzzle-loaders.
Bangor, Augusta, Millinocket on pace to have coldest Novembers on record
Bangor Daily News - Friday, November 30, 2018 

Bangor, Augusta and Millinocket each have had their coldest recorded Novembers ever so far this month, according to federal weather data posted online by the Southeast Regional Climate Center at the University of North Carolina. Bangor has averaged just above 32 degrees Fahrenheit, Millinocket just above 29 degrees and Augusta just below 33 degrees. Records for those locations date back at least 40 years.
Maine DIF&W rolls out new online game registration
Bangor Daily News - Friday, November 30, 2018 

Earlier this week, a caller advised that deer in northern Maine had “yarded up,” or headed en masse into wintering areas. That made them vulnerable to hunters. Some hunters had entered those deer yards and found they could take their pick of large bucks gathered in the woods. An effort was mounted to convince Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife commissioner Woodcock to cancel the muzzeloading hunting season in northern Maine, which is taking place this week. DIF&W communications officer Mark Latti reported that "the harvest was still well within our projection, and that the impact of muzzleloader season is so low we did not see any concern from a biological perspective in continuing the muzzleloading season as scheduled.”
The evolution of ice cleats involves Maine and the Vikings
Bangor Daily News - Friday, November 30, 2018 

Now available in a variety of designs, ice cleats have become increasingly popular in recent years as outdoor brands have released models that serve everyone from city slicker to mountaineer. And while this may seem like a new trend, it’s actually a resurgence of a piece of outdoor gear that has a long and fascinating history, especially in places like Maine, where ice storms are frequent, and ice sports, such as ice sailing and ice fishing, are celebrated hobbies.
Column: It’s easy to keep track of winter bird arrivals
Bangor Daily News - Friday, November 30, 2018 

Who are all the people reporting birds in Maine? You’re right to ask. Reports are posted to a Google Groups Listserv run by Maine Audubon. Members post their unusual sightings, and it is immediately shared with all other members. You can elect to receive each message or opt to receive a daily summary. Equally valuable, eBird is a national database run by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Naturally, Facebook has gotten into the act. Facebook.com/groups/MAINEBirds/ has more than 19,000 members, who post photos, stories and questions about their backyard sightings in Maine. Winter birding in Maine is awesome. It just helps to know where to look. ~ Bob Duchesne
Feds want changes at Ellsworth dams linked to fish die-offs and drained mudflats
Bangor Daily News - Friday, November 30, 2018 

In order to reduce fish die-offs and large swings in water levels at Graham Lake, federal officials are recommending fish passage improvements and other operational changes to two dams on the Union River, which are owned by Black Bear Hydro, a subsidiary of Brookfield Renewable. The issues of fish deaths caused by the lower of the two dams, which sits just upstream of where Route 1 crosses the Union River in downtown Ellsworth, and of low water levels in Graham Lake, which is located partially in Ellsworth four miles upstream from the lower dam, have been the primary complaints by local residents and environmental advocates.
Maine loons continue rebound, Audubon counters find
Associated Press - Thursday, November 29, 2018 

Maine Audubon says the results of its 2018 loon count yielded the second-highest estimate of adult loons recorded since the count began in 1984. The estimate for loon chicks is also the fifth-highest on record. The group estimates that there are 3,269 adult loons and 406 loon chicks in the southern half of Maine, which is the part of the state covered by the annual count.
Annual Maine Audubon Loon Count Finds That The Birds Continue To Rebound
Maine Public - Thursday, November 29, 2018 

The results of the annual Maine Audubon loon count are in. Adult loon numbers were up over the previous year. During the July count, 3,269 adult loons were counted on southern Maine lakes, and 406 chicks were observed, a slight decrease from the year before. According to the count, the population of adult loons has doubled since the first count took place in 1984. Director of Conservation, Sally Stockwell, says the strong numbers are likely linked to conservation efforts undertaken by volunteers.
Former Jay mill demolition continues
Sun Journal - Thursday, November 29, 2018 

Another section of the defunct Otis Mill in Jay is removed Thursday, a month after the steam plant at the former paper mill was torn down. The mill closed in 2009.
Canada buying more U.S. lobster in wake of China trade dispute
Associated Press - Thursday, November 29, 2018 

China emerged as a major consumer of American lobster earlier this decade, but the country slapped heavy tariffs on exports in July amid its trade kerfuffle with President Trump’s administration. Lobster exports slowed to a crawl. Industry watchers forecast the move as a potential calamity for U.S. seafood, but Canada has boosted the value of its lobster imports from America by more than a third so far this year. The U.S. lobster fishing business is based mostly in Maine.
Nordic skeptics, supporters come out for ‘community dialogue’ about controversial fish farm
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, November 29, 2018 

Midcoast residents packed the University of Maine Hutchinson Center in Belfast Wednesday night to participate in a community dialogue about Nordic Aquafarms’ proposed multimillion dollar land-based salmon farm. Many of the people in the room shared beliefs that the Norwegian-owned company putting down stakes in Belfast would negatively impact the small-town feel of the city, use too much water and pollute Penobscot Bay. But Greg Whitcomb of Morrill, a landscape contractor, said, “We welcome you with open arms.”
Rare hawk’s survival in Maine ‘shocking,’ bird expert says
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, November 29, 2018 

The rare hawk that shocked bird fans by turning up in Maine this summer has stuck around. On Thursday, birders flocked to a Portland park to see a great black hawk that an expert with Maine Audubon identified as the same bird that had been spotted in Biddeford in August.
Bar Harbor: LePage administration pulling ‘last-minute strings’ on sale of ferry property
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, November 29, 2018 

The town of Bar Harbor is delaying its purchase of an idle Canadian ferry terminal because the state is trying to attach conditions to the deed — conditions the town did not agree to when it signed an agreement in September to buy the property from the Maine Department of Transportation, according to a town official. Last month, the town offered to lease the property to Bay Ferries, which hopes to use it for its ferry service between Nova Scotia and Maine.
Jackman joins resistance against CMP power line project
Morning Sentinel - Thursday, November 29, 2018 

The town of Jackman has joined a number of towns and organizations throughout the state in opposing Central Maine Power Co.’s proposed transmission line that would bring hydropower from Quebec to Massachusetts via western Maine. Residents voted 78-11 against the project Wednesday night in a special town meeting. The move comes as state agencies prepare to vote on whether to issue permits for the project, a process that was supposed to be underway by now but has been delayed multiple times after CMP submitted incomplete applications or failed to provide information in a timely manner.
Maine State Prison among Governor’s 2018 Environmental Excellence Award recipients
Penobscot Bay Pilot - Thursday, November 29, 2018 

Recipients of the 2018 Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence include the Maine State Prison in Warren. The awards, which are administered by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, recognize businesses, public entities and individuals for their extraordinary efforts to protect and improve Maine’s environment. The Maine State Prison will receive the Sustainability Award in recognition of their composting and recycling programs.
Climate Change Scenarios for Coastal Maine
Free Press - Thursday, November 29, 2018 

Climate researchers at UMaine have released a report, “Coastal Maine Climate Futures,” which offers five plausible climate scenarios between now and 2040 based on historical patterns of natural variability and human-driven climate change. David Easterling, one of the report coordinators, said, “Many extreme weather and climate-related events and impacts are expected to become more frequent and more intense in a warmer world, creating greater risks of infrastructure disruption and failure that can cascade across economic sectors. Regional economies and industries that depend on favorable climate conditions such as agriculture, tourism and fisheries are increasingly vulnerable to impacts driven by climate change.”
Here’s your chance to speak for Maine’s brook trout
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Thursday, November 29, 2018 

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is hosting two public informational meetings to discuss a conservation strategy for wild trout in Maine’s North Region. The meetings will be December 12, 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM, at the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine office in Augusta, and December 19, 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM, at the MDIFW’s Regional Headquarters in Ashland.
Should you get geese for your homestead?
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, November 29, 2018 

Though they are slightly unconventional, geese have some advantages over other farm fowl. “They’re bigger, so they’re more immune from predators,” says John Metzer, owner of Metzer Farms in Gonzales, California. On top of that, Metzer adds, “Geese are the most intelligent of any poultry.” They are also relatively self-sufficient. If you want some smart birds squawking around your homestead, here are the first things you need to know about raising geese.
Maine fisheries and blueberries could be at stake due to climate change, report says
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, November 29, 2018 

Climate change has helped Maine’s lobster yield increase fourfold since the 1980s, as warming waters to the south have propelled lobsters north in search of colder waters. But if summer sea temperatures along Maine’s coast continue rising and cross a potentially perilous threshold, lobsters’ survival in a more temperate Gulf of Maine could be in doubt. That’s one conclusion from a new report detailing the potential effects of climate change on Maine’s coast. The report, released earlier this month by the Climate Change Institute at the University of Maine, which is hoping to grow awareness about climate change and help people better prepare for its impact.
Opinion: Carbon tax best way to slow down climate change
Morning Sentinel - Thursday, November 29, 2018 

This week, a bipartisan bill, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, was introduced in Congress. It proposes to put an economy-wide price on all fossil fuels at their source. Call it a “pollution tax” if you will. However, instead of adding to government coffers, all revenue would be returned to the economy as an equal dividend to all adults, with half dividends for children (up to two per household). Call the monthly dividend a “climate security check” if you like. Congress, get it done! ~ Peter Garrett, Ph.D., Winslow
Letter: Rabbits as pets
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, November 29, 2018 

The Nov. 20 article about rabbits was very outdated. It had old, inaccurate information. A rabbit can live 12 to 15 years. They should not be kept in a cage their entire life. Most rabbits can live free roam in a home if you rabbit-proof properly. At the very least, they should live in an exercise pen. Rabbits are not good pets for children. Most do not like to be picked up or held. They have very fragile skeletons and a child dropping a rabbit can paralyze or kill it. Spaying and neutering is recommended for a pet rabbit. The article did not mention feeding a rabbit hay, which should be about 80 percent of their diet. Lettuce does not cause gas, although iceberg is not recommended. ~ Jayne Pride, Abbot
Letter: Residents deserve notice of aquaculture applications
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, November 29, 2018 

Maine’s Department of Marine Resources, by allowing Mere Point Oyster to provide no notice to residents prior to applying for its proposed 40-acre Maquoit Bay operation, endorses irresponsible aquaculture. On Sept. 12, my neighbor forwarded an application for a 40-acre aquaculture operation directly in front of our homes and docks. The application described on-site operations with tumblers, high-powered water sprayers, water pumps and a generator. All nearby homes will be affected by the noise. The 10-year lease is salable and may operate at night. Because it is just beyond 1,000 feet from our homes, we’ve had no notice, voice, recourse or rights. We will boycott Maine aquaculture shellfish products. ~ Connor Shirtsleeve, Brunswick
Scarborough approves tax deal for developers to build new downtown at the Downs
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, November 28, 2018 

Scarborough Downs is on track to be redeveloped into a mixed-use village center under a 30-year, tax-supported plan approved by the Town Council on Wednesday night. The deal with hometown developers was widely considered one of the most important and contentious decisions to face the council in decades, prompting Councilor Don Hamill to fly back from a vacation in Ireland just to vote against it. The council approved a credit enhancement agreement that would reimburse as much as $81 million in property taxes to the developers over three decades if they meet certain goals in redeveloping the 500-acre harness racing venue.
Kayak, paddleboard traffic more than doubles on York River as locals consider conservation plans
York Weekly - Wednesday, November 28, 2018 

A Harbor Board paddlecraft survey was brought up by proponents and opponents during the recent debate over whether to give the York River a special Wild and Scenic River designation, and for understandable reasons. The survey shows a near doubling in the use of kayaks and paddleboards on the York River from the summer of 2017 to 2018. York and Eliot voters have approved a measure to designate the York River as a national Partnership Wild and Scenic River. The designation could open the door to new federal help on a preservation strategy for the river.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders Gets Fact-Checked Live On Air By CNN
Huffington Post - Wednesday, November 28, 2018 

CNN split its screen to run a fact-checking graphic alongside White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ briefing on Tuesday. A “Facts First” box listing key points about the government’s new National Climate Assessment flashed up as Sanders defended President Donald Trump’s rejection of the report, which was released over the Thanksgiving weekend and predicted that the U.S. faces warming of at least 3 more degrees this century.
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