January 16, 2018  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Tuesday, January 16, 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 Maine conservation and natural resource news and events. 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
Feeding Maine Photography Exhibit, thru Feb 23
Event - Posted - Tuesday, January 16, 2018 

Feeding Maine: Growing Access to Good Food is a photo exhibit by Brendan Bullock, which seeks to document the many people working to address hunger in the state. Created by Maine Farmland Trust and Good Shepherd Food Bank. At University of Southern Maine Lewiston Auburn College, Atrium Art Gallery, January 16 to February 23, opening event January 19.
February Vacation Camps, Feb 20-23
Event - Posted - Tuesday, January 16, 2018 

Maine Audubon Vacation Camps at Fields Pond in Holden and Gilsland Farm in Falmouth, February 20-23.
Nominations for Source Awards due Feb 12
Announcement - Tuesday, January 16, 2018 

Maine Sunday Telegram Source Awards recognize the individuals, nonprofits, businesses and institutions in Maine working to safeguard the state’s spectacular natural environment. Deadline for nominations is February 12.
Apprenticeships at MCHT Preserves
Announcement - Tuesday, January 16, 2018 

Maine Coast Heritage Trust has paid apprenticeships at Aldermere Farm and Ericsson Fields in Rockport. Each apprenticeship will be up to 9-months starting in March and will include a monthly stipend, benefits, shared housing, training and supervision. Applications are due Feb. 5
Land-use history of Midcoast, Jan 23
Event - Posted - Sunday, January 14, 2018 

Forestry experts Lloyd Irland and Ken Lausten will explore the land-use history of Midcoast Maine. At Camden Public Library, January 23, 7 pm.
Friends of Casco Bay Annual Members Meeting, Jan 23
Event - Posted - Sunday, January 14, 2018 

Recognition for those who help protect the health of Casco Bay, an updated Casco Bay Health Index based on data collected by volunteer Citizen Stewards over the past 25 years, and new program directions. At DiMillo's, Portland, January 23, 5:30-8 pm.
Offshore drilling public meeting, Jan 22
Action Alert - Saturday, January 13, 2018 

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will hold a public meeting on a proposal to open Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) areas to oil and gas drilling off the Atlantic (and other) coasts. At Augusta Civic Center, Jan 22, 3-7 pm.
Scouting for Mammal Tracks and Signs, Jan 20
Event - Posted - Saturday, January 13, 2018 

Sandra Mitchell will follow up on the November tracks and signs class in the field. At Northeast Penjajawoc Preserve, January 20, 10-11:30 am.
Nature Journaling, Jan 20
Event - Posted - Saturday, January 13, 2018 

Andrea Lani will lead a nature journaling workshop at Viles Arboretum, Augusta, January 20, 10 am to 2 pm, $35 for Arboretum members, $45 for nonmembers.
Prowl for Owls, Jan 19
Event - Posted - Friday, January 12, 2018 

Maine Master Naturalist Kit Pfeiffer will lead a walk scouting for owls. At Carl and Barbara Segerstrom Preserve at Squam Creek, Westport Island, January 19, 6 pm. Sponsored by Kennebec Estuary Land Trust.
Futures of the Maine Waterfront, Jan 19
Event - Posted - Friday, January 12, 2018 

This forum will feature panel discussions on the future of our coastal and island economy, presented with trends and analysis by key coastal leaders. At The Westin, Portland, January 19, 2-8:30 pm, $35-150. Sponsored by the Island Institute.
Meet the Feet: Mammal Tracks and Sign, Jan 18
Event - Posted - Thursday, January 11, 2018 

Dorcas Miller presents an evening of hands-on learning about Maine mammals. At Belfast Library, January 18, 6:30 pm. Sponsored by Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition.
Connecting rivers, people and fish - by bike, Jan 18
Event - Posted - Thursday, January 11, 2018 

Alicia Heyburn spent five weeks on a solo bicycle tour from the source of the Rhine River in the Swiss Alps to the outlet at the North Sea near Amsterdam. Learn about Europe's extensive international network of bike trails, free cultural exchange and accommodation services, the stages and benefits of re-naturalizing a river, and how to travel alone without being lonely. At Curtis Memorial Library, Brunswick, January 18, 7 pm.
Growing Farm-Friendly Communities, Jan 18
Event - Posted - Thursday, January 11, 2018 

Community leaders share policy approaches and practical ideas for ways communities and farmers can benefit from working together. At Windham Town Hall, January 18, 9 – 11 am, Maine Farmland Trust or GrowSmart Maine members $15, non-members $25.
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News Items
Crop advisers can influence farmers to adopt conservation practices
Other - Friday, January 5, 2018 

The measures farmers can take to protect water and soil are well-known, says Francis Eanes, a visiting assistant professor of environmental studies at Bates College. What’s less understood, he says, is “what sorts of cultural, social, and economic factors motivate any given farmer to actually implement those practices on their farm.” It’s likely that farmers are influenced in overt ways. The federal Natural Resource Conservation Service, for example, gives farmers advice and financial incentives to reduce pollution. Now, according to a study led by Eanes and published in the journal Environmental Management in November, we know of another potential influencer not normally associated with conservation: crop advisers.
Deer hunter pleads not guilty in fatal shooting of Hebron woman
Sun Journal - Friday, January 5, 2018 

Deer hunter Robert Trundy pleaded not guilty Friday in the Oct. 28 shooting death of Karen Wrentzel on her property in Hebron. Appearing in Oxford County Superior Court, Trundy, 38, of Hebron denied charges of manslaughter and failure to provide aid to a person and to report a hunting accident. He is scheduled to return to court March 9. Wrentzel, 34, died on her property along Greenwood Mountain Road about 10:30 a.m. when she was shot by Trundy on opening day of deer hunting season for Maine residents.
Critics say state forest service chief overstepped authority in burn permit remarks
Kennebec Journal - Friday, January 5, 2018 

Doug Denico, director of the Maine Forest Service, issued an opinion piece earlier this week in which he urged state lawmakers to do two things — reverse the action they took at the close of legislative session that ended last summer to make the use of private online services by fire chiefs and fire wardens to issue burn permits legal and to lift the required $7 fee charged by the Forest Service’s online system. “That’s a bunch of garbage,” Sen. Tom Saviello, R-Wilton, said of Denico’s contention that anyone conducting an open burn using a permit issued by a private online site is guilty of a class E crime.
Susan Collins, Angus King oppose plan that could allow drilling off Maine coast
Maine Public - Friday, January 5, 2018 

Maine’s two U.S. senators say they are opposed to President Donald Trump’s proposal that would open federal waters on the East Coast to oil and gas drilling. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced the proposal this week that would allow new offshore oil and gas drilling in nearly all U.S. coastal waters, granting energy companies access to leases off California for the first time in decades and opening more than a billion acres in the Arctic and along the Eastern Seaboard.
Only one Atlantic Coast governor has supported opening up the region to offshore drilling
Think Progress - Friday, January 5, 2018 

The Trump administration’s extreme new proposal to open virtually all federal waters to drilling landed with a thud among lawmakers from both parties. In fact, Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) is the only Atlantic Coast governor who has said he favors offshore oil and gas drilling. A strong ally of President Donald Trump, LePage’s support for offshore drilling matches his positions on other environmental and energy issues. Throughout his six years in office, LePage has consistently opposed policies that promote renewable energy in Maine. He also urged the Trump administration earlier this year to eliminate a national monument designation in his state.
Regulators approve most changes proposed for New England’s ocean habitat
Associated Press - Friday, January 5, 2018 

Federal ocean regulators say they have approved most of a proposal to change the rules about how they manage New England ocean habitat. The National Marine Fisheries Service has spent more than a decade working on the changes, which mean significant changes for the way the agency regulates valuable species such as scallops. A spokeswoman says the agency approved the changes on Wednesday. Some environmentalists say they are glad the government ultimately balked at part of the proposal that would have opened part of Georges Bank that has been closed to commercial fishing for more than 20 years. The habitat changes still need to be finalized and are expected to go into effect this year.
Next: Company Town
Maine Public - Friday, January 5, 2018 

What happens when a company leaves a company town? We talk to an ethnographer, Jamie Sayen, who charts the story of a New Country paper mill that closed, leaving hard feelings and few jobs behind. We also track water quality in two New England Bays—Maine’s Casco Bay and New Hampshire’s Great Bay—and examine the source of some of our water pollution problems: the lightly regulated residential septic system.
Deadlines loom for asbestos abatement work at Wilton mill
Sun Journal - Friday, January 5, 2018 

Asbestos abatement work at the former Forster mill is expected to resume by next week. EnviroVantage began the abatement work Dec. 19 and worked that week. They planned to break over the holidays and resume in the first week of January, David Massaro, on-site manager for EnviroVantage, previously told the board. The abatement work was expected to take a couple of weeks.
High-tech waste-to-energy facility set to open in May
Bangor Daily News - Friday, January 5, 2018 

The company behind a state-of-the-art solid waste disposal facility in Hampden designed to convert trash into biofuel has secured enough funding to begin operations in May. Craig Stuart-Paul, CEO of Maryland-based Fiberight LLC, announced this week that his company has secured $70 million for a municipal solid waste center off Coldbrook Road — $45 million through a tax-exempt bond with the Finance Authority of Maine and the remainder in private equity funds. The Fiberight model for disposing of waste includes dividing trash into reusable and not reusable materials. The organic waste is then used to make biofuel, which is similar to natural gas, while glass, metals, plastics and paper are sold on the commodities market. Leftover fibrous material can be turned into fuel pellets for heating.
Solar array goes online at Brunswick Landing to help power business park
Portland Press Herald - Friday, January 5, 2018 

Portland-based ReVision Energy has completed a 1.5-megawatt solar panel installation at Brunswick Landing in Brunswick. Owned by Diversified Communications of Portland, the solar array will provide about 13 percent of the Brunswick business park’s annual electricity load, according to a news release. The on-site renewable energy will eliminate over 2 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions annually, it said. ReVision installed over 4,500 photovoltaic panels, its largest solar installation to date in Maine.
Heidi Baker Named New General Manager at Aldermere Farm
Penobscot Bay Pilot - Friday, January 5, 2018 

Heidi Baker will assume the role of General Manager of Aldermere Farm on January 15th. Baker will be advancing from her position as Aldermere’s Herd Manager, a role she has served in since 2013. In the role of General Manager, Baker will oversee the operations and outreach of MCHT’s Rockport preserves, Aldermere Farm and Erickson Fields. MCHT maintains both preserves as working farms and educational centers, helping visitors deepen their appreciation for land conservation and sustainable agriculture.
Homeschoolers bring science outdoors at DRA
Bangor Daily News - Friday, January 5, 2018 

Special for homeschool families, Damariscotta River Association offers Wild Encounters, a monthly hands-on nature program from September through June. Classes are held 10 a.m.-noon the fourth Monday of each month. The next Wild Encounters class is scheduled for Monday, Jan. 22. Families will learn about beavers and muskrats, and explore the wetlands at Great Salt Bay Farm. Highlights of the Feb. 26 “Winter Wonderland” class will be dogsledding and snow-shelter building.
Interior rescinds climate, conservation policies because they’re ‘inconsistent’ with Trump’s energy goals
Washington Post - Friday, January 5, 2018 

The Interior Department’s number-two official issued a secretarial order just before Christmas rescinding several climate change and conservation policies issued under the Obama administration, saying they were “inconsistent” with President Trump’s quest for energy independence. Secretarial Order 3360, signed Dec. 22 by Interior Deputy Secretary David Bernhardt, wipes away four separate directives and policy manuals aimed at showing departmental employees how to minimize the environmental impact of activities on federal land and in federal waters, and calls for the review of a fifth one that applies to the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska.
Editorial: Tough trade policy could cost jobs, not save them
Portland Press Herald - Friday, January 5, 2018 

The loss of papermaking jobs in places like Maine is a real problem. But the proposed solution – a 30 percent tariff on imported paper that would be tacked onto the price paid by customers on this side of the border – creates problems of its own. The government’s quest to save a few hundred paper mill jobs could end up wiping out thousands of newspaper jobs, illustrating how hard it is to translate slogans like “America First” into sensible trade policy. International trade doesn’t just ship jobs offshore, it also supports them at home. And protectionism doesn’t just save jobs, it can also make them disappear.
New Metro Bus to Brunswick Surpasses Expectations
Other - Thursday, January 4, 2018 

In August, when the Metro Breez bus service was expanded to Brunswick — connecting the communities of Freeport, Yarmouth, and Portland — Portland Metro anticipated ridership would bump up a bit. The Breez had, since 2016, been making daily trips between Freeport and Portland. Instead, ridership this fall basically doubled. In September, 2017, the Breez posted 5,150 boardings, about 1,400 more than expected. In October, ridership climbed to 5,715, again flying past Metro’s estimated 3,750 boarders. Students, commuters, and retirees are all riding the bus.
Proposal To Drill In Waters Off Maine Coast Widely Opposed
Maine Public - Thursday, January 4, 2018 

On Thursday, the Trump administration announced a draft proposal that would open large swaths of federal waters to potential oil and gas drilling, including the coast of Maine. The proposal would open most of the outer continental shelf to oil and gas drilling for a five-year lease period to start in 2019. The prospect of rigs churning up the seabed in the Gulf of Maine, alongside struggling shrimp stocks, valuable scallops and the state’s iconic lobster has environmental advocates furious. “This is just a slap in the face frankly to anybody who wants to protect their economy on the coast,” says Natural Resources Council of Maine Executive Director Lisa Pohlmann.
US Drags on Legal Battle Over Softwood Against Canada
Other - Thursday, January 4, 2018 

The US has slapped final anti-dumping and countervailing duties on Canadian lumber, the latest step in another lengthy legal battle over softwood. Canada has already launched challenges of the duties and reiterated its objection after Wednesday’s announcement. The Trudeau administration argues the duties will leave the US with a shortage of wood.
Portage Lake stocking proposal is denied
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Thursday, January 4, 2018 

A contentious proposal to stock hatchery fish in Portage Lake in Aroostook County has been denied. While the proposal came from a DIFW Regional Fisheries biologist, with support from most of the agency’s other fisheries biologists, it was sharply criticized by a few biologists. DIFW cited a number of reasons for denying the request, including ‘uncertainty regarding success.” But the real issue was a possible impact on our wild native brook trout in Portage Lake and other nearby waters.
Maine's biggest city leading the way
Other - Thursday, January 4, 2018 

Late last night, Portland City Council unanimously passed one of the nation’s strongest ordinances prohibiting toxic chemical pesticides on all public and private property. Starting this summer, Portland will practice city-wide organic landcare in a huge step forward towards a healthy Maine. Sylvia Broude, Executive Director of the Toxics Action Center Campaigns, said, "Congratulations to the members of the Portland Protectors who made it happen."
Somerset County commissioners endorse CMP transmission line
Morning Sentinel - Thursday, January 4, 2018 

Somerset County commissioners this week pledged their support for a 145-mile transmission line proposed by Central Maine Power Co. through rural communities and commercial forest land in the county. In a 4-0 vote, with District 1 Commissioner Robert Sezak, of Fairfield, abstaining, commissioners said the plan, if accepted as part of the New England Clean Energy Connect Project, will be good for the tourism economy and local infrastructure, boost the region’s tax base and reduce energy prices. Richard McDonald, of Moosehead Region Futures Committee, reiterated his opposition to the transmission corridor on Thursday. The Conservation Law Foundation and the Appalachian Mountain Club have petitioned DEP for hearings.
Trump offshore oil drilling plan could devastate Maine’s coastlines, fisheries and coastal communities
Natural Resources Council of Maine - Thursday, January 4, 2018 

Lisa Pohlmann, Executive Director, Natural Resources Council of Maine, said, “Maine has nothing to gain and everything to lose from this risky plan. Offshore drilling would put our economy at risk from oil spills and seismic testing. Maine’s fishing industry could be ravaged from a massive oil spill, as would the tourism economy for coastal towns that depend on clean beaches and clean water."
Shellfish Industry, Scientists Wrestle With Potentially Deadly Toxic Algae Bloom
National Public Radio - Thursday, January 4, 2018 

A new threat to New England's shellfish industry seems to be establishing itself more firmly, and regulators are trying to stay ahead of potentially deadly blooms of toxic algae that may be driven by climate change. In the fall of 2016, toxin-bearing pseudo-nitszchia bloomed off Down East Maine in areas that previously never saw an algae bloom, as well as off Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Regulators in Maine have closed Down East shellfish harvests twice since then. Now for the first time, a pseudo-nitzschia bloom is plaguing a large swathe of Casco Bay, from south and east of Portland to South Harpswell. Much of Casco Bay has been closed to shellfish harvesting for weeks.
Portland’s tough new ban on synthetic pesticides allows few exceptions
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, January 4, 2018 

Beginning July 1, residents and city workers will no longer be able to freely use synthetic pesticides in Maine’s largest city, except in a few limited cases. The City Council on Wednesday unanimously passed an ordinance regulating pesticide use in Portland. Advocates say it’s one of strongest anti-pesticide ordinances in the country, with scofflaws facing potential fines ranging from $100 to $500. City staff estimates that the ordinance could cost up to $700,000 to implement.
Outcries, praise follow Trump administration’s call for oil drilling in most U.S. waters
Washington Post - Thursday, January 4, 2018 

The Trump administration wants to open most of the U.S. coastline to oil and gas drilling as part of a controversial proposal that includes two potential energy leases in the North Atlantic region encompassing Maine. “Mainers understand that their future – their economic and quality-of-life futures – depend upon clean oceans and clean beaches, and are vehemently opposed to opening the Gulf of Maine and the North Atlantic to oil and gas drilling,” said Glen Brand with Sierra Club Maine. Maine's U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree said the administration should be investing in renewable energy rather than pursuing energy policies that she predicted could put Maine’s fishing industry at risk.
Yeah, There’s a ‘Bomb Cyclone’—But Shut Up About Global Warming Not Existing
Other - Thursday, January 4, 2018 

Daily Beast - The East Coast’s “winter hurricane”/bomb cyclone/huge-ass storm boasts plunging temperatures and a nightmarish whirlpool of snow thanks to whipping winds from a nosediving pressure drop. Many East Coasters peeking out their windows today will just see an angry swirl of white. Which is, of course, what many climate change deniers will pounce upon as proof that climate change is a myth. That reasoning is fundamentally wrong. Anyone who makes this argument during a winter storm is simply proving their lack of knowledge.
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