May 26, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Saturday, May 25, 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
Hike Little Bigelow, Jun 1
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 25, 2019 

Little Bigelow is the most eastern peak of the Bigelow Range, round trip 6.5 miles. Views of Flagstaff Lake, Sugarloak, Bigelow range. At Carrabassett Valley, June 1, pre-register. Sponsored by Appalachian Mountain Club.
Hike Little Deer Hill & Deer Hill, Jun 1
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 25, 2019 

5.4-mile hike to open summit with great views, Evans Notch, June 1, pre-register. Sponsored by Appalachian Mountain Club.
Public Ownership vs. Private Rights in Maine’s Public Reserved Lots, Jun 1
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 25, 2019 

Panel presentations during Maine Bicentennial Conference. At UMaine, Orono, June 1, 1:30-3:30 pm. Registration fee.
Little Ponds Preserve Celebration, Jun 1
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 25, 2019 

Celebrate the opening of Harpswell Heritage Land Trust's newest preserve. At Little Ponds Preserve, Harpswell, June 1, 10 am.
Maine Entomological Society Field Day, Jun 1
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 25, 2019 

Join MES to explore the world of insects. At Hutchinson Pond Conservation Area, Manchester, June 1, 10 am. Sponsored by Kennebec Land Trust.
Maine Bicentennial Conference, May 30-Jun 1
Event - Posted - Friday, May 24, 2019 

In addition to scholarly panels ($60), several elements (museum exhibits and the keynote event by two Pulitzer Prize winning historians on May 31) are free to the public. A Maine History Festival for students and cultural organizations to present their own research and planning for the state bicentennial will be part of the conference just prior to the keynote event.
Great Maine Scavenger Hunt
Event - Posted - Thursday, May 23, 2019 

The Great Maine Scavenger Hunt is back (year 3). Use this list as your Maine summer vacation guide! Do as much or as little of it as you want. Sponsored by Down East magazine.
Maine Trail Finder 3.0
Announcement - Thursday, May 23, 2019 

The Center for Community GIS has launched the third version of Maine Trail Finder with the same great trail maps and descriptions and lots of new features.
Climate action
Action Alert - Tuesday, May 21, 2019 

Urge legislators on the legislature's Environment & Natural Resources Committee to support climate action via the governor’s bill, LD 1679. ~ Natural Resources Council of Maine
Ban Aerial Herbicide Spraying for Deforestation
Action Alert - Tuesday, May 21, 2019 

Before May 23, urge legislators on the Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry Committee to support LD 1691, An Act To Ban Use of Aerial Herbicide Spraying for the Purpose of Deforestation. ~ Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
Oyster Farms & Seal Watching Tours, May 25-27
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 18, 2019 

Oyster Farms & Seal Watching Tours will run every day, 2-4 pm, during Memorial Day weekend. At Damariscotta. Benefits the Fish Ladder Restoration Project.
Birding for Kids, May 25
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 18, 2019 

A hands-on workshop for families. At Curtis Farm Preserve, Harpswell, May 25, 9 am. Sponsored by Harpswell Heritage Land Trust.
L.L.Bean & Maine Audubon Birding Festival, May 24-26
Event - Posted - Friday, May 17, 2019 

Boat trips, guided walks, live bird presentations, workshops, kid’s crafts, and activities with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. At Freeport vicinity, May 24-26.
Forestry for Maine Birds, May 23
Event - Posted - Thursday, May 16, 2019 

Free workshop on forestry management for bird conservation. At Head of Tide Preserve, Belfast, May 23, 12-3 pm.
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News Items
Auburn council may suspend curbside recycling for a year
Sun Journal - Monday, May 13, 2019 

The Auburn City Council is expected to vote next week on whether to suspend its curbside recycling program for a year after officials questioned rising costs and declining participation. During a workshop Monday, officials debated the merits of zero-sort recycling, with some suggesting the city’s bimonthly pickup be suspended temporarily in order to completely restructure the system. A growing number of municipalities across the state, facing tough markets for recycled materials, have halted or reduced recycling programs, even as officials from environmental organizations are urging patience.
Jay rejects special town meeting on CMP project
Sun Journal - Monday, May 13, 2019 

In a tie vote Monday, the Select Board rejected a citizens’ petition requesting a special town meeting to vote on Central Maine Power’s 145-mile hydroelectric transmission line through Western Maine. The 2-2 vote meant the motion to advance the petition failed. Selectpersons have voted twice to support the nearly $1 billion project, once unanimously and once with a majority. Most of the more than 40 people at the meeting spoke against the project, saying it was a bad deal, while one resident spoke in support of it.
Activists hold ‘Goodbye CMP’ party in Lewiston
Sun Journal - Monday, May 13, 2019 

A group of environmental activists, including one dressed as a spotted salamander, rallied Monday to press for a plan to create a public utility by buying out Central Maine Power. The privately-owned electricity delivery company has had its chance, said Rob Levin of Portland, “and they’ve blown it.” About 20 people gathered beside a Central Maine Power facility on Monday to show their support for a bill introduced by Rep. Seth Berry, D-Bowdoinham, that would create a consumer-owned utility to replace the longtime power provider.
Cape Elizabeth to charge nonresidents for prime parking at Fort Williams
Portland Press Herald - Monday, May 13, 2019 

About 1 million people visit Fort Williams Park every year, and now most of them will have to pay to park in prime spots closest to Portland Head Light and scenic paths overlooking Casco Bay during the park’s busy season. Driven by increased tourism and rising maintenance costs, the Town Council decided Monday to install a pay-and-display parking system at the 90-acre park. Starting in July, nonresidents who park in “premium” parking areas will be charged $2 per hour for a two-hour minimum or $10 for a full day. Three parking areas to the rear of the park will remain free to all visitors during the tourist season, and parking will be free throughout the park November through April.
Bangor to ban single-use foam containers 1 year before statewide ban
Bangor Daily News - Monday, May 13, 2019 

The Bangor City Council has agreed to ban the sale of food and drinks in polystyrene foam containers starting next January — a full year before a similar, statewide ban is due to take effect. On Monday night, the council voted 5-3 to pass the ban, which will apply to Bangor vendors that sell food and drinks in plates and cups, along with stores that sell repackaged food. It will also prohibit stores from re-selling polystyrene foam containers, and the city government won’t be able to either purchase such containers or contract with companies that do. In April, Gov. Janet Mills signed into law a similar, statewide ban that will take effect in January 2021 — and that made Maine the first state in the nation to pass such a ban. But the Bangor councilors who voted in favor of implementing the local ban in January 2020.
Company planning to make insulation at former Madison mill receives $250,000 grant
Morning Sentinel - Monday, May 13, 2019 

A company planning to produce wood fiber insulation out of the former Madison Paper Industries mill has received a $250,000 grant for product testing and marketing. GO Lab Inc., a Belfast-based building products manufacturer, received the grant from the U.S. Forest Service’s Wood Innovations Grant program, according to a news release from the company Monday. Although the sale of the former mill is not yet final, GO Lab is planning to take over ownership by the end of the year and start renovations in 2020 to outfit the site for wood fiber insulation manufacturing.
Opinion: Logging bill can help correct a long history of injustice in Maine woods
Bangor Daily News - Monday, May 13, 2019 

Logger and Maine Senate President Troy Jackson recently introduced LD 1459, a bill that would, for the first time in history, give Maine contract loggers the legal right to collectively bargain for fair compensation. The independence of contract work has been valued by Maine loggers since the 19th century but as a legal designation contracting has kept workers apart and competing. This benefits mills and landowners, but harms loggers. LD 1459 will make it legal for loggers to collaborate while giving them independence in day-to-day work. This legislation is vitally important as the industry enters what might be a period of growth. ~ Jason L. Newton, Cornell University
Chairman’s departure leaves Maine PUC with vacancy at critical time
Portland Press Herald - Monday, May 13, 2019 

The chairman of Maine’s Public Utilities Commission has left his job, creating a void in an agency that is at the center of divisive issues including energy policy and power company rates. Mark Vannoy resigned May 3. His six-year term had officially expired on March 31, but he stayed on an additional month before stepping down. Gov. Janet Mills has yet to nominate a replacement. There has been much speculation in energy circles about whether Mills will shift the direction of PUC decisions by appointing a chair who’s likely to look more favorably on renewable energy and be tougher on utilities.
What to expect for this year’s tick season in Maine
Bangor Daily News - Monday, May 13, 2019 

Tick season is in full swing in Maine, and so far, weather conditions have been favorable for these dangerous pests. This may not bode well for the months ahead. In addition, Maine just experienced a relatively snowy winter. Snow protects and insulates overwintering ticks, helping them survive the cold months. To date, 16 species of ticks have been identified in Maine, but for years, people have only worried about one species: the backlogged tick, the sole vector for Lyme disease. But the lone star tick recently became established as far north as Massachusetts. This species can transmit a number of dangerous pathogens to people. Their bite can also cause people to become allergic to red meat.
Massachusetts man held in connection with attack on Appalachian Trail hikers in Virginia
Washington Post - Monday, May 13, 2019 

A Massachusetts man faces federal charges in the brutal attack Saturday on two Appalachian Trail hikers that left a man dead and a woman hospitalized with severe stab wounds. James Louis Jordan, 30, was arrested early Saturday after sheriff’s deputies located him along the trail in Virginia. It is high season for “thru-hikers” traveling the length of the famed scenic trail, which stretches along 2,100 miles from Georgia to Maine. In late April, Jordan pleaded guilty to charges of drug possession and criminal impersonation stemming from a confrontation with hikers in Tennessee. He was sentenced to probation, fined and released from custody. Sheriff Mike Hensley said, "I took him off the trail. But the courts deemed something else." Odie Norman, publisher of the Hiker Yearbook, said he met Jordan shortly after his Tennessee arrest. He said it was clear to him that Jordan was mentally ill.
How you can repel disease-carrying ticks without any chemicals
Bangor Daily News - Monday, May 13, 2019 

In many regions, disease-ridden ticks are a major concern, serious enough to convince some people to douse their lawns with pesticides and chemically treat their outdoor clothing. Yet many people are opposed to introducing synthetic chemicals into the environment. Researchers have searched for natural methods of repelling ticks from property and people:
• Remove tick habitat
• Exclude tick hosts
• Natural tick repellent
• Can farm birds help?
• Personal protection is key
Finding consensus on whale protections a tough call in Maine
Portland Press Herald - Monday, May 13, 2019 

Federal regulators have given Maine’s lobster industry its marching orders: Find a way to cut the number of surface-to-seabed fishing lines by 50 percent to help prevent the injury or death of even one of the endangered right whales that pass through the Gulf of Maine. The National Marine Fisheries Service is allowing each lobstering state to develop its own plan to protect the whale, whose numbers have fallen to a little more than 400 in recent years. But it will be hard to find one way to make it work in Maine, where the $485 million-a-year fishery is known for its diversity.
Portland pier owners warn zoning changes would choke future revenue
Portland Press Herald - Monday, May 13, 2019 

A trio of pier owners contend that new restrictions on waterfront development would cripple the potential revenue they need to maintain Portland’s working waterfront. But city officials question the accuracy of that claim and support a battery of zoning changes intended to preserve fishing and marine businesses in the downtown. Zoning changes to the central waterfront closest to Portland’s Old Port would restrict non-marine commercial development, eliminate contract and conditional zoning, and prohibit businesses such as restaurants and retail.
Letter: Vermont power line has not been rejected
Kennebec Journal - Monday, May 13, 2019 

As part of the team developing the New England Clean Power Link in Vermont, I want to clarify a misstatement in a letter (“Mill should reject CMP corridor”). This letter stated that the transmission line had been rejected by Vermont. To be clear, the fully buried NECPL project in Vermont has already been issued permits by the state of Vermont and federal agencies and enjoys widespread support among Vermonters. ~ Josh Magneto, TDI, Syracuse, New York
Letter: Bottled water tax unfairly targets Poland Spring
Portland Press Herald - Monday, May 13, 2019 

As someone who has spent my entire adult career in banking and finance, I have watched with dismay the effort in the Legislature to levy a 12-percent extraction tax on bottled water. It’s clear Poland Spring is the target, since it’s the only company in the state that meets the bill’s eligibility for the tax. By legislating a tax targeted at a single company, the State of Maine is sending a clear message to other companies: Beware of doing business in Maine. Poland Spring employs nearly 900 Mainers. Poland Spring’s overall economic effect in Maine, in 2016, was $391 million. Allow more Mainers to have good-paying jobs. Allow businesses to grow. Allow the state to become known as friendly to business and families. ~ Jim Delimiter, Oxford
Letter: Oil pipeline can’t be swapped for CMP proposal
Portland Press Herald - Monday, May 13, 2019 

As a retired CMP environmental engineer, I want to comment on legislation requiring CMP to evaluate Portland Pipe Line as an underground conduit for CMP’s proposed transmission connection to Hydro-Quebec. The pipeline likely has contamination. Be wary of any initiative that could expose the state or utility customers to financial liability. The line has three pipes, only one of which is decommissioned, and is insufficient size to accommodate the electric cables. Heavy conductor cannot handle sharp bends, and the curvature of the pipe may in places require relocation. The pipeline doesn’t align with either proposed transmission interconnection point. The pipeline alternative would trigger a new permit request with unknown delays and costs. CMP’s proposed overhead transmission route represents the best solution. ~ Roy Koster, Portland
Letter: NECEC a cleaner, greener option
Bangor Daily News - Monday, May 13, 2019 

The New England Clean Energy Connect is a project Maine badly needs. It will bring thousands of construction jobs with it and pump hundreds of millions of dollars into our economy. But what’s even more impressive are the benefits that come with it to Maine’s environment. The path does not run through any pristine forest and concern over the Kennebec Gorge has been greatly reduced now that CMP has decided to run the line under the river as opposed to over it. That’s important to me being a fisherman, a hunter and somebody who enjoys all the outdoor opportunities our beautiful state has to offer. ~ Carl Wallace, South Gardiner
Top 6 Acadia carriage road loop hikes for end of mud season
Acadia On My Mind Blog - Sunday, May 12, 2019 

Here are interactive Google My Maps and color-coded elevation profiles for Acadia National Park carriage road loop hikes of between 3 to 6 miles:
1) Hulls Cove to Paradise Hill, Witch Hole Pond and Duck Brook Bridge
2) Jordan Pond to Stanley Brook, Cobblestone, Jordan Pond Bridges
3) Jordan Pond to Deer Brook Bridge via trail, carriage road
4) Day Mountain via carriage road and trail
5) Amphitheater via carriage road and Asticou & Jordan Pond Path
6) Upper Hadlock Pond loop to Waterfall and 2 other bridges
Richmond farm offers goat snuggling on Mother’s Day
Kennebec Journal - Sunday, May 12, 2019 

Hundreds of guests, largely small families, made the trip to Rock Bottom Farm in Richmond on Mother’s Day to snuggle with the nannies, billies and kids and take a tour of the farm. Rock Bottom Farm owners Scott MacMaster and Melissa Hackett said more than 400 people attended the event.
Maine’s top court wades into Kennebunkport beach dispute
Associated Press - Sunday, May 12, 2019 

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court is wading into a long-running beach dispute in Kennebunkport. The court will hear an appeal this week by several property owners who disputed a ruling that the town established ownership from the sea wall to the low water mark at Goose Rocks Beach. A judge ruled more than a year ago in the case, finding the town owns the beach to the low water mark in front of 22 out of 23 beachfront parcels whose owners sued in 2009. Kennebunkport called it a victory for those who believe the beach should be open for all to enjoy.
Imagining Burial
Emergence magazine - Sunday, May 12, 2019 

A “cemetery” might now be a forest of kin. Consider the Capsula Mundi, a design project wherein, upon death, the body is folded up very compactly and laid in a “capsula,” a biodegradable, egg-shaped pod (“an ancient and perfect form,” say the designers), then planted in the earth and topped with a young tree. A place where decay emancipates growth, penetralia sinks its green roots in.
Electric bike sales grow, as new models become lighter
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, May 12, 2019 

Electric bike owners often say they considered e-bikes demeaning, a bit of a joke, and an expensive, temporary fad – until they tried one. Once they pedaled the newest generation of e-bikes, their preconceptions were upended – for a host of reasons, but chiefly because today’s e-bikes are far lighter and sleeker than they used to be and now look like traditional bikes. Bikes that used to weigh 80 to 90 pounds now weigh as little as 30 pounds. E-bike sales in the United States have soared from $42 million in 2016 to $142 million in 2018.
Is Maine’s recycling in the trash?
Sun Journal - Sunday, May 12, 2019 

At the urging of Mayor Jason Levesque, Auburn will consider whether it should end the city’s recycling program. Auburn has plenty of company. Recycling programs have been stopped or reduced by a growing number of Maine towns and cities. Natural Resources Council of Maine officials said more than 180,000 Mainers, representing 14 percent of the state’s population, live where recycling programs have been cut or restricted or are at risk. NRCM is advocating state lawmakers pass LD 1431 to help municipalities cover recycling costs. The bill calls for packaging-material producers to help pay for recycling. That kind of policy exists in other countries, including Canada, protecting recycling programs in the face of market changes.
Auburn super recycler: Zero-sort ‘not effective’
Sun Journal - Sunday, May 12, 2019 

Silver Moore-Leamon carefully sorts her recyclables and puts them in a barrel marked “recycle” with a cover to keep contents dry. The retired educator said she’s “200%” committed to recycling. Ending recycling “would be suicide." The public needs to understand that all of the trash “doesn’t go away." And “incinerating the trash puts pollutants into the air, and even more significantly, wastes the recyclable materials." Since zero-sort recycling began, “It’s not effective,” said the 85-year-old. With the best intentions “you can end up contaminating it” by putting in items not recyclable.

This season may be the worst yet for browntail moths in Maine
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, May 12, 2019 

Tiny browntail moth caterpillars are starting to emerge from their winter webs at the tops of oak trees. In two years, the range of high-risk areas for infestation has expanded from Brunswick area to many other towns. The caterpillars haven’t reached Portland in high numbers yet, but every year they slink closer. Maine lawmakers are considering a bill to combat the growing browntail moth problem with $274,000 in funding for research at UMaine, which collaborates with the forest service. Scientists are trying to figure out effective ways to control the population. This season is predicted to be among the worst in recent memory for the browntail moth.
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