May 22, 2018  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

Thanks for visiting Maine Environmental News, a service of RESTORE: The North Woods. MEN is the most comprehensive online source available for links 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
International Day for Biological Diversity, May 22
Announcement - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

The Convention on Biological Diversity is the international legal instrument for "the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources" that has been ratified by 196 nations. The United Nations has proclaimed 22 May as the International Day for Biological Diversity.
Join the fight for Maine's clean energy future
Action Alert - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

In Maine, we are seeing the damaging effects of climate change firsthand: tick borne illnesses like Lyme disease are on the rise, the warming Gulf of Maine threatens our marine economy, air pollution drives up asthma rates for kids and adults, and extreme weather impacts our outdoor recreation and farming industries. The technology to turn off dirty fossil fuels already exists. What is standing in the way of our clean energy future? Politicians who are bought and paid for by the oil and gas industry. ~ Maine Conservation Voters
Maine Calling: The Changing North Woods, May 22
Announcement - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

UMaine experts discuss the relationship between humans and forests, including environmental attitudes and behaviors; rural communities and the forest economy; and the role of ecotourism and recreation. Maine Public Radio, May 22, 1 pm.
Defining Wilderness: Defining Maine, May 29 - Jul 24
Event - Posted - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

The Maine State Library is offering a free reading and discussion group with copies of books available through the library. The series, Defining Wilderness: Defining Maine, runs for 5 sessions, May 29 - July 24, at the State Library in Augusta. Books to be discussed include "The Maine Woods" by Henry David Thoreau.
Bats, May 29
Event - Posted - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

Biologist Trevor Peterson will speak about local species of bats. At Topsham Public Library, May 29, 6 pm. Sponsored by Cathance River Education Alliance.
Sign-Up to Count Fish at Nequasset
Announcement - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

The annual alewife count at the Nequasset Fish Ladder in Woolwich is happening. Join the fun by signing up to count during any two 10 minute blocks within a two hour period.
Wilderness Under Siege, May 30
Event - Posted - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

Nationally known author and explorer George Wuerthner will discuss the challenges facing Wilderness, how people can better protect the Wildernesses in their backyards and around the country, and organizing against efforts to weaken or repeal the Wilderness Act. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, May 30, 6:30 pm.
Field Trip: Capt. Fitzgerald Preserve and Bay Bridge, May 27
Event - Posted - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

Explore two town-owned properties in Brunswick for breeding and migrant birds: Fitzgerald Preserve and Bay Bridge Wetland Park on the Androscoggin River. May 27, 6:30 – 11 am. Sponsored by Merrymeeting Audubon.
White Mountains Centennial exhibition, May 27
Event - Posted - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

The Museums of the Bethel Historical Society host a preview reception of the new displays, “White Mountain National Forest: A Centennial Exhibition” and “The White Mountains: Alps of New England.” At Robinson House, Bethel, May 27, 2-5 pm.
Farmer Talent Show & Open Mic, May 27
Event - Posted - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

The first annual Farmer Talent Show & Open Mic will benefit the Market’s Harvest Bucks program, which increases access to fruit and vegetables for low-income households. At East Madison Grange, May 27, 5-8 pm.
Walk on the Wild Side, May 26
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 19, 2018 

Turner Public Library’s summer programming begins with a nature walk. At Androscoggin Riverlands State Park, May 26, 2 pm.
Edible (and Poisonous) Plants, May 26
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 19, 2018 

Tom Seymour, author, botanist and edible plant enthusiast, will introduce you to many of the edible and medicinal plants that can be found in Maine’s woods and fields. At Head of Tide Preserve, Belfast, May 26, 10 am - noon.
Birding Extravaganza, May 26
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 19, 2018 

Ted Allen from Merrymeeting Audubon will lead birders through the Kennebec Estuary Land Trust’s Thorne Head Preserve in Bath, May 26, 8 am.
Alewife Day, May 26
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 19, 2018 

See the alewives swim upstream. Smoked fish, kid’s games, mills running, Machinery Hall open. At Maine Forest and Logging Museum, Bradley, May 26, 10 am - 1 pm, $3 per person ages 12+.
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News Items
5 things you can do to help birds today
Maine Audubon - Saturday, May 12, 2018 

Today, the second Saturday in May, is “World Migratory Bird Day.” It is also the 100th anniversary of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act — landmark federal legislation that has provided crucial protections to hundreds of species of birds. If there was ever a day to take action on behalf of birds, this is it. Here are five easy-but-important ways you can show your support for birds and Maine's wildlife.
1. Sign a petition to protect the Migratory Bird Treaty Act
2. Pledge a Bird-a-thon Team
3. Go on a bird walk
4. Contribute sightings to the Maine Bird Atlas
5. Donate to conservation groups
Scientists say Maine’s lobster boom won’t last. Here are the fisheries coming next
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, May 12, 2018 

If, as some have predicted, Maine’s lobster boom since 1990 reverses itself, lobstermen might find themselves having to catch something else in order to maintain their livelihoods out on the water. In southern New England, many fishermen have turned their attention to species such as Jonah crab and black sea bass, the numbers of which have increased as ocean temperatures warm and as lobster in the region have become more scarce.
Irving unveils its plans for 51,000 acres in Fish River Lakes chain
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, May 12, 2018 

The public gets its first opportunity to comment on a plan to rezone 51,000 acres within the Fish River Chain of Lakes at two public hearings later this month on May 22-23 in northern Maine. J.D. Irving’s proposed concept plan asks the Maine Land Use Planning Commission to allow new commercial and residential development around the lakes in addition to conservation plans and continued logging operations. Irving owns 1.3 million acres of Maine forestland.
Editorial: Sea-level rise is the defining issue of the century
Kennebec Journal - Saturday, May 12, 2018 

Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL) - No graver threat faces the future of South Florida than the accelerating pace of sea-level rise. In the past century, the sea has risen 9 inches. Water levels could easily be 2 feet higher in 40 years. And scientists say that’s a conservative estimate. Sea-level rise is the defining issue of the 21st century for South Florida. Some of us might not live long enough to see its full effects, but our children and grandchildren will. To prepare for a future that will look far different, we’ve got to start planning and adapting today.
Letter: Support food sovereignty ordinance
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, May 12, 2018 

Orland residents have an opportunity to vote at the June 13 town meeting for a local food and community self-governance ordinance that helps to preserve local food systems and protects access to local food through direct producer-to-consumer transactions (including farmer’s markets, roadside stands, fundraisers, and community social events). Orland can join the other towns across the state that have already passed a local food ordinance. ~ Karen Balas-Cote Orland
Letter: Faith leaders say ‘no’ to unfair Farm Bill
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, May 12, 2018 

In Dec. 2017, nine faith leaders were handcuffed and arrested at Sen. Susan Collins’ office here in Portland. Our civil disobedience was a witness against the ill-conceived and mean-spirited tax bill that was then before the U.S. Congress. We predicted that corporate profits would rise, but wages would not; that the deficit would enlarge but the social safety net diminish; and that those whose tables were already obscenely laden would get more but those whose tables were nearly bare would get less. Today, with the current Farm Bill being considered in the Congress, those predictions are coming true. ~ The Rev. Dr. James Gertmenian, Cumberland
Somerville driver faces civil charge in October 2016 death of bicyclist
Morning Sentinel - Friday, May 11, 2018 

A Somerville man, James M. Mayo, 22, has been charged with a civil infraction in connection with a crash that resulted in the death of Dr. Carol Eckert, a Windsor physician who was riding her bicycle. It’s among just a handful of publicized cases in Maine relying on a law passed nearly a decade ago allowing for someone to be charged with “motor vehicle violation resulting in death,” even if no criminal behavior is involved. A bicycle painted white, as a "ghost bike," was placed at the site of the accident.
Fish study confirms that older, larger females have disproportionally more eggs
Washington Post - Friday, May 11, 2018 

The bigger a female fish grows, the more eggs she lays – disproportionately so. That’s the conclusion driven home in a report published Thursday in the journal Science. This work is valuable because these Big Old Fat Fecund Female Fish are fished out of the population. “Fisheries scientists, despite the best of intentions, have been using models that inadvertently recommend overharvesting.”
Salmon farmer set to use Norway’s ‘Thermolicer’ technology
Associated Press - Friday, May 11, 2018 

A company that farms salmon in Maine and New Brunswick says it’s using a new approach to combating the epidemic of sea lice that has never been used in Atlantic Canada. Salmon farms all over the world struggle with sea lice, which render salmon impossible to sell. Part of the problem is that the lice have become increasingly resistant to pesticides. Cooke Aquaculture says it’s adding a vessel that will use warm-water baths to remove lice from fish. The company says it’s a Norwegian technology called the “Thermolicer.” The non-pesticide technology has been shown to be 98 percent effective at removing the lice without harming the salmon.
Flooding of The St. John River Reaches Historic Levels
Maine Public - Friday, May 11, 2018 

Flooding in Northern Maine has been worse than usual this spring, thanks to late snows, a fast melt, and ice-choked rivers. And just over the national border, the flooding along the St. John River is being described as historic. In Northern Maine, several families were displaced, at least 35 homes suffered flood damage and at least six structures were taken off their foundations by ice jams.
Shot with 18 pellets, red-tailed hawk is free again
Seacoast Online - Friday, May 11, 2018 

Over a field of yellow flowers at Rustlewood Farm Friday, a red-tailed hawk previously injured by a shotgun spread its wings and reentered the wild. The adult female bird spent the last three months rehabilitating at the Center for Wildlife in Cape Neddick. When she was discovered in March on a property in Kittery Point, she’d been alive for five to six days after being lodged with 18 pellets from a shotgun.
Showing off the state at Maine Tourism Association conference
Sun Journal - Friday, May 11, 2018 

At the Maine Tourism Association’s 97th annual meeting in Lewiston on Friday U.S. Rep. Shellie Pingree said, “People don’t always see tourism as a valued industry. What’s very true in Maine, where we pride ourselves as a natural resources-based state — hunting, fishing, the woods industries, a manufacturing state — as those things have been changing, sometimes they make people feel more grumpy about the tourism industry because they say, ‘We want to get back to manufacturing, those were real jobs,’ but so many facts and figures tell us otherwise. This industry is a major creator (of jobs) and an important source of income for the state.”
Maine's Water Trails
Maine Public - Friday, May 11, 2018 

Maine has some of the most celebrated and historically iconic water trails. Guests: Karrie Thomas, Northern Forest Canoe Trail; Doug Welch, Maine Island Trail Association; and Alan Stearns, Royal River Water Trail.
Crabby conclave will seek solution to pesky crustacean
Associated Press - Friday, May 11, 2018 

Chefs, fishermen, scientists and others are coming together in Maine to try to find a tasty way to solve New England's invasive crab problem. Green crabs are a growing problem for New England's environment and economy, in part because they feast on marketable coastal shellfish. The crabs themselves are not worth much because there isn't a consumer market for them. The inaugural Green Crab Working Summit in Maine's largest city wants to change that. The event is scheduled for June 6 and 7 and organizers say it is dedicated to developing "a viable fishery and markets for this invasive crab."
Maine Rice Project to partner with farms and land owners
Kennebec Journal - Friday, May 11, 2018 

The Maine Rice Project recently received a grant from Maine Technology Institute to expand its rice growing operations. Project organizers are searching the state for new locations on which to build larger, more advanced rice paddy systems. They are looking to partner with existing farms interested in incorporating rice paddies into their farm operations, or leasing land for paddy cultivation.
Healthy Soils for Healthy Farms and Climate
Bangor Daily News - Friday, May 11, 2018 

On Thursday, over 30 community members and elected officials gathered at Stonyvale Dairy Farm in Exeter to learn firsthand how farms employ practices that support healthy soils. They also learned how to advocate for policies that help farmers. Healthy soil practices are key to helping to mitigate climate change, and can often benefit farm profitability. The current draft of the Farm Bill in Congress would diminish funding for farms to employee healthy soil and other conservation practices. Farmer Bob Folger of Stonyvale Farm led a tour of his fields and explained the practices he uses to promote healthy soils on his farm, which in turn support his farm’s profitability.
Time to visit these wonderful Maine places
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Friday, May 11, 2018 

So near and not so far away. While Linda and I have visited a number of places in Maine featured in Lois Stailing’s book, Nearaway Places, I was surprised by how many we’d never seen. Time to get to those wonderful places! Lois focuses on scenic and historical places, both of which are plentiful in our state. And her book’s subtitle, Driving to a meal in Maine, let’s you know that she and her partner found great meals near every place she writes about.
New Farm Bill Contains Sneak Attack on the Environment With Toxic Pesticides
Other - Friday, May 11, 2018 

EcoWatch - If fish could wail, they would scream over the lethal powers granted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in part of the draft farm bill recently rolled out by the House Agriculture Committee. The bill, passed out of committee by Chairman Mike Conaway (R-TX) on a party-line vote last month, desperately fails farmers and low-income families. It also contains a number of sneak attacks on the environment. One such provision would allow the EPA to approve new pesticides with no assessment of their potential impact on fish and wildlife covered under the Endangered Species Act.
Viral Facebook post claims Maine shelter euthanizations 'doubled'
WCSH-TV6 - Friday, May 11, 2018 

A viral Facebook post by a recently fired employee of the Greater Androscoggin Humane Society claims that euthanizations at the shelter "doubled" in the past six weeks. The former employee, Amanda Kimball, who was an Animal Care Team Leader, posted a lengthy status on her page on May 9, claiming that GAHS started euthanizing twice the number of animals since the former manager left. Kimball said while she can't verify her claim that kills were 'doubled,' she said she felt that the shelter euthanized more animals than needed to be.
The Blackly Survival Guide
Down East - Friday, May 11, 2018 

Everything you wanted to know — and more — about Maine’s most fearsome creature, the blackfly.
Upgrading National Monuments to National Parks makes economic sense
Maine Environmental News - Friday, May 11, 2018 

A new report by Headwaters Economics investigates the potential economic effects of National Monuments redesignated National Parks. In the eight National Monuments redesignated as National Parks examined, visits increased by 21 percent, on average, in the five years after redesignation compared to the five previous years.
‘Red flag warning’ issued as Maine enters high risk for wildfires
Bangor Daily News - Friday, May 11, 2018 

Dry, warm, windy weather Friday will create optimal conditions for wildfires to spread across Maine, according to the National Weather Service. A “Red Flag Warning,” issued for “critical fire weather conditions,” will stay in effect for the entire state from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday. The alert also extends to New Hampshire.
Opinion: Maine is about to become a model for municipal trash disposal
Bangor Daily News - Friday, May 11, 2018 

The Fiberight facility in Hampden will convert organic waste into high-value products and recover more recyclable materials to cleaner specification than traditional sorting facilities. Flexibility in its mix of products means that the Fiberight facility will be able to adapt to changing market conditions, providing it with added financial stability and opportunity for future growth. This transition to higher recycling and utilization of waste will provide this region affordable, sustainable and environmentally sound waste processing for the long term. ~ Chip Reeves, Municipal Review Committee
Column: Learning bird songs doesn’t have to be complicated
Bangor Daily News - Friday, May 11, 2018 

Many people wish they knew what birds are making all that noise around the yard. Learning bird songs is a challenge for most folks, simply because there are so many birds singing so many songs. Hundreds of them. Fortunately, it’s not nearly the challenge it appears to be. The truth is, there are only a handful of birds making most of the noise, wherever you are right now. Maybe 10. Just learn one bird at a time. Pick out a noisy bird and learn it. Or select a likely song, and find the bird singing it. ~ Bob Duchesne
New Maine website is the Airbnb for outdoor adventures
Bangor Daily News - Friday, May 11, 2018 

A new Maine-based business, Back40, is connecting adventure seekers with guides through a website that makes searching, booking and reviewing outdoor experiences easy. “We hope to reach a new market,” said Back40 founder and CEO Henry Gilbert of Portland. “Obviously there are plenty of people going on guided trips already, but there are a lot of digitally connected urban adventurers that don’t even know these experiences are here.”
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