March 19, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Tuesday, March 19, 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). 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
Urge Maine's Agencies to Investigate and Halt PFAS Contamination
Action Alert - Tuesday, March 19, 2019 

Highly persistent and toxic chemicals known as PFAS may be lurking undiscovered in farmlands across Maine. State records show that at an Arundel dairy farm, PFOS was in milk at the highest level ever reported anywhere. Urge Maine Ag and DEP commissioners to test the fields, stop sludge spreading, and phase out PFAS products. ~ Environmental Health Strategy Center
Retired Game Warden Randall Probert, Mar 26
Event - Posted - Tuesday, March 19, 2019 

Author, raconteur, and retired game warden Randall Probert will speak to the Hebron Historical Society on “Maine Tales and More.” At Hebron Town Office, March 26, 7 pm.
The Forests of Lilliput: The Miniature World of Lichens & Mosses, Mar 26
Event - Posted - Tuesday, March 19, 2019 

Maine Master Naturalist Jeff Pengel talks about the natural history of lichens, mosses and similar plants. At Topsham Library, March 26, 6 pm. Sponsored by Cathance River Education Alliance.
Celebrating Maine’s Wild Creatures, Mar 26
Event - Posted - Tuesday, March 19, 2019 

Speaker: Ed Robinson, author of “Nature Notes from Maine: River Otters, Moose, Skunks and More.” At Curtis Library, March 16, 7 pm. Sponsored by Merrymeeting Audubon.
Ocean Acidification, Climate Change, and You, Mar 25
Event - Posted - Monday, March 18, 2019 

Friends of Casco Bay staff scientist Mike Doan talks about warning signs and Casco Baykeeper Ivy Frignoca shares the impacts to marine species and how Mainers are responding. At Southern Maine Community College, South Portland, March 25, 5:30 pm.
Mount Pisgah winter trek, Mar 24
Event - Posted - Sunday, March 17, 2019 

Kennebec Land Trust Stewardship Director Jean-Luc Theriault will lead an off-trail excursion on Mount Pisgah to visit special places that are typically less accessible. Meet at the Mount Pisgah Community Conservation Area parking lot in Winthrop, March 24, 1 pm.
Winter Family Fun Day at Lily Bay State Park, Mar 23
Event - Posted - Saturday, March 16, 2019 

Ice fishing, snowmobile tote rides, winter camping demo, bonfire, scavenger hunt and free loan of cross-country skis, snowshoes, ice skates, snow tubes and sleds. At Lily Bay State Park, Moosehead Lake, March 23, 10 am - 3 pm.
Winter wildlife tracking workshop, Mar 23
Event - Posted - Saturday, March 16, 2019 

Naturalists and certified wildlife trackers Brendan White and Matt Dickinson lead a winter wildlife tracking workshop. At at Long Ledges Preserve, Sullivan, March 23, 9-11:30 am. Sponsored by Frenchman Bay Conservancy.
Maine Grass Farmers Network Conference, Mar 23
Event - Posted - Saturday, March 16, 2019 

Livestock producers are invited to learn about grass-based production and how grazing systems can become more profitable and environmentally sound. At Kennebec County Community College's Alfond Campus, Hinckley, March 23, 8:30 am - 3 pm.
Maine becomes a state, Mar 15
Announcement - Friday, March 15, 2019 

On this day in 1820, March 15, Massachusetts lost over 30,000 square miles of land as its former province of Maine gained statehood. Mainers had begun campaigning for statehood for years following the Revolution. The Massachusetts legislature finally consented in 1819. What no one foresaw, however, was that Maine's quest for statehood would become entangled in the most divisive issue in American history — slavery.
Maine Land Conservation Conference, Apr 5-6
Event - Posted - Friday, March 15, 2019 

Maine’s robust land conservation community comes together to train on best practices in all aspects of land trust work, connect with peers, and grapple with the most pressing issues facing land conservation today. At Topsham area, April 5-6.
Thoreau Society & Thoreau Farm Trust online auction, thru Mar 29
Announcement - Friday, March 15, 2019 

This auction contains many rare books written about Henry David Thoreau and other items for every Thoreauvian.
MITA Open House and Getch Celebration, Mar 22
Event - Posted - Friday, March 15, 2019 

Toast the extraordinary life of MITA founder Dave Getchell, Sr. At Maine Island Trail Association, Portland, March 22, 5:30-7:30 pm.
Call for Artists: Paint for Preservation 2019
Announcement - Friday, March 15, 2019 

The Cape Elizabeth Land Trust is accepting artist submissions for Paint for Preservation 2019, the organization’s twelfth annual juried Wet Paint Auction and one of Maine’s premiere art auction events. This 3-day (June 28-30) plein air event raises money for land conservation in Cape Elizabeth. Deadline is March 22.
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News Items
Nathaniel Hawthorne Visits Augusta’s Early Franco American Community
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, March 10, 2019 

In the 1830s, Augusta was a boom town. Designated the state capital in 1827, the settlement had grown quickly from a frontier trading post. The Kennebec Dam, which was begun in 1837, was the largest Dam project in the country. It cost three hundred thousand of dollars to build and involved moving more than 400,000 cubic feet of stone and two million board feet of lumber. A project as large as this required substantial labor to complete, and among the workers on the Kennebec Dam were some of Augusta’s first French Canadian immigrants.
Sunny skies, snow draw hundreds to Fire and Ice Festival in Farmington
Sun Journal - Sunday, March 10, 2019 

Family fun found at Fire and Ice Festival in Farmington on Saturday afternoon.
Central Maine maple producers ready for start of season
Kennebec Journal - Sunday, March 10, 2019 

The ideal conditions for maple production, which really get the sap moving, are freezing nights and warmer days with temperatures around 40 degrees. Maple producers will be joined at their sugarhouses by thousands of visitors March 24 for Maine Maple Sunday, when numerous sap operations open their doors for tours, demonstrations, samples and other activities. It’s the event’s 36th year.
Bates to begin work next week on new science building
Sun Journal - Sunday, March 10, 2019 

Construction of a science building at Bates College is scheduled to get underway next week. The 65,000-square-foot center is a centerpiece of the $300 million Bates Campaign that has been raising money to boost the college’s science, technology, engineering and math programs. The new construction is possible in large part because of a $50 million donation from the family foundation of Alison Grott Bonney and Michael Bonney, each of whom graduated in 1980. Michael Bonney, chief executive officer of Kaleido Biosciences, is chairman of the college’s board of trustees.
Celebrating Maine Audubon's Women in Science
Maine Audubon - Sunday, March 10, 2019 

See the Spring 2019 issue of Maine Audubon's magazine, Habitat.
Proposal for 5-year dam rebuild to be aired in Rumford
Sun Journal - Sunday, March 10, 2019 

The Maine Land Use Planning Commission is set to hold a public hearing on a hydropower company’s proposal to rebuild a dam. The hearing’s set for March 19 in Rumford. Brookfield White Pine Hydro proposes a complete renewal of its Middle Dam, which was originally built in the 1850s and supports recreational activities including fishing on nearby Richardson Lake in western Maine. Some critics have expressed concern that the proposal could negatively impact the surrounding economy and access to fishing.
Opinion: Maine can have both environmental stewardship and aquaculture innovation
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, March 10, 2019 

There is a 90 percent deficit in fresh seafood trade in the U.S. While the demand-supply gap keeps growing, there is no growth in sight from wild catch fisheries or net pen operations. Thus, solutions must take a new approach to fish farming and be sustainable. This is where local, land-based aquaculture comes into the picture. With its long seafood tradition, a favorable political climate encouraging land-based fish farming and rigorous regulations and monitoring programs, Maine can have it both ways. Maine can take a leadership role in the new emerging industry here in the U.S., and it can do it in a way that contributes to sustainable food production for the future. ~ Marianne Naess, Nordic Aquafarms Inc.
Nature Groupie a clearinghouse for environmental volunteer opportunities
Foster's Daily Democrat - Sunday, March 10, 2019 

Nature Groupie is a collaboration to support New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts conservation groups. Over 200 organizations in New England post their outdoor volunteer opportunities on the Nature Groupie events calendar. To get the word out, Nature Groupie sends out weekly bulletins with new volunteer opportunities and uses social media, like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, to promote events.
IRS waives tax penalty for certain fishermen and farmers
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, March 10, 2019 

The Internal Revenue Service is waiving the estimated tax penalty for qualifying fishermen and farmers who may have underpaid their taxes, but who file their federal income tax return and pay taxes due. The deadline in Maine is April 17. The IRS said it is providing the tax relief because certain rule changes may have caused many farmers and fishermen to have difficulty accurately determining their tax liability by the March 1 deadline that usually applies to them.
Judy Camuso has an untraditional background as the new IFW Commissioner
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, March 10, 2019 

When it comes to wildlife legislation and management, two camps have historically been at odds in Maine: those who hunt and those who do not, preferring to hike, birdwatch and kayak. Judy Camuso, the state’s new commissioner of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, intends to change that and says her unusual background makes her uniquely qualified to do so.
Column: Watching these grasses grow is much more exciting than it sounds
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, March 10, 2019 

Ornamental grasses have been a trendy ornamental garden plant for a couple of decades. They are low maintenance, stand upright even in winter, blow in the breeze, come in a variety of colors and sometimes have attractive tassels or seed heads. They add a contrast to needled evergreens and broadleaf flowering shrubs and perennials. As a bonus, more native options are now available. ~ Tom Atwell
Opinion: Warming not the only problem arising from pollution
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, March 10, 2019 

The Feb. 24 editorial addresses climate change, a controversial issue about which much has been said. There are two other important environmental issues about which little has been reported: ocean acidification and rapidly declining insect populations. Ocean acidification, caused by rising levels of atmospheric CO2, imperils those creatures at the bottom of the oceanic food chain, and thus all sea life. Think about life without seafood. The decline of insect populations is something that many may have noticed. In 2014 it was estimated that there had been a 45 percent decline in invertebrate populations, most of which are insects. It is time to move from carbon-based fuels to other sources of energy and to reduce or eliminate our own use of insecticides. ~ Jonathan Mitchell, New Gloucester
Letter: Climate change changing Maine
Morning Sentinel - Sunday, March 10, 2019 

Do you remember when:
• No one in Maine had ever been sickened or killed by a tick-borne disease?
• Mosquitos were a nuisance and not a potential threat to life and health?
• There was a Maine shrimp fishery?
• Hundred-year storms were really rare?
• Clams and eelgrass were abundant and green crabs were only an occasional nuisance?
• Coastal towns did not need to plan around projected sea-level rise?
• Owning property “on the ocean” was always a good thing?
Climate change is here and future projections are dire unless Congress acts quickly and decisively to control the release of greenhouse gasses. A bill that will do that without adding more regulations or growing the government, The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (H.R. 763) has been introduced in the U.S. House with bipartisan support. ~ Bill Lee, Waterville
Letter: Gov. Mills gets CMP project right
Kennebec Journal - Sunday, March 10, 2019 

Since Gov. Janet Mills announced her support for the Central Maine Power transmission line project, there has been a frenzy of politically correct opposition. If this is fake clean energy, why is the biggest funder of the opposition the owners of aging New England coal and oil power plants, along with natural gas plants drawing their fracked gas from leaky wells and leaky pipelines to New England? And the fossil fuels they use are coming from the likes of Exxon Mobil, Peabody Coal, the Koch brothers and the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia. Gov. Mills gets it. The focus should be on global climate change and its threat to all the Maine natural resources the opponents want to protect. ~ Tony Marple, Whitefield
Letter: Mills’ estimate of powerline’s benefits excludes cost of harm to Maine’s natural beauty
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, March 10, 2019 

Gov. Mills' statement that the transmission line crossing Maine will cost Mainers nothing is like saying the iconic Maine forests, rivers and streams have no value. To allow this powerline would be like taking a knife to a masterpiece painting. We would be better served by replacing all lighting with LED lights and making homes more energy efficient, installing small-scale solar farms or teaching students about ways to be more connected to where our power comes from and what its true costs are. Combined, these measures would go much further in decreasing our carbon footprint in the long run. If the governor does not change her mind, a citizens initiative should be created allowing the people to decide. ~ John G. Pincince, Lincolnville
Letter: Proposed Maine plastic-bag ban lacks common sense
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, March 10, 2019 

Over 20 years ago, Maine was the first state to ban the juice box. We became the laughingstock of the scientific community. My colleagues questioned whether science was taught in Maine. My answer was that science was taught but common sense was not. Here we go again! Rep. Nicole Grohoski wants to ban plastic grocery bags. Think about a few common-sense items. As some municipalities do, ban plastic grocery bags but require plastic garbage bags for pickup. The energy required to manufacture and transport paper bags is much higher than plastic. Ban plastic to create global warming. Please don’t punish most Mainers like me who responsibly reuse plastic grocery bags. Focus on education and promotion. ~ James Albright, Bristol
Letter: CMP project’s impacts will be offset by large-scale regional emissions reductions
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, March 10, 2019 

Here are facts on Central Maine Power’s proposed transmission line:
• Its power comes from flowage being spilled by Hydro-Quebec because it lacks profitable long-term purchase agreements. That emits much less carbon than the natural gas it will replace.
• Assuming Hydro-Quebec tried to divert hydro from New York and Ontario, their green power requirements would keep them from replacing hydro with carbon generation.
• The project will reduce annual carbon emissions in Massachusetts by over 3 million metric tons. Global warming is global. Carbon reductions in Massachusetts benefit Maine.
• Maine renewables will not be hurt by the project.
I support Gov. Mills’ decision to endorse the CMP project as part of her comprehensive climate change initiative. ~ Dan Amory, trustee, Conservation Law Foundation, Portland
Rider airlifted after West Forks snowmobile crash
WGME-TV13 - Saturday, March 9, 2019 

A person was seriously injured Saturday after a snowmobile crash in West Forks. According to the West Forks Volunteer Fire Department, the crash happened around 10:30 a.m. Saturday morning near ITS 87. When crews arrived on scene they determined the Lifeflight needed to be called in due to the extent of the rider’s injuries.
Explorers to send first live video broadcast from ocean depths beginning this week
Associated Press - Saturday, March 9, 2019 

Explorers are ready to deliver the first live video broadcast from deep below an ocean’s surface. Early this week, a submersible is expected to dive to nearly 1,000 feet off the Seychelles in the Indian Ocean and send images to a satellite transmitter on the mother ship. The Associated Press will send that footage around the world. The British-led Nekton Mission highlights the state of the oceans as fears grow over climate change.
Column: Is salmon recovery worth the time and money it takes?
Sun Journal - Saturday, March 9, 2019 

Veteran salmon anglers will attest that there is no other fishing experience quite like a hookup on a mature Atlantic salmon. So, for those of us who have been there as well as those who long to be there, the decline of river-run salmon populations is sad to behold. Will they ever be back in numbers that will once again allow us to fish for them? In 2009, the government listed the Penobscot salmon as endangered and shut down all fishing for them. Since that time, millions of dollars have been spent on stocking programs, habitat restoration and conservation agreements with commercial fishermen. Yet nothing seems to turn things around. A new “Salmon Recovery Plan” envisions a 75-year time frame for delisting and a price tag of $24 million a year. Is it all worth it? ~ V. Paul Reynolds
Belgrade couple section hiking Appalachian Trail to raise overdose awareness
Kennebec Journal - Saturday, March 9, 2019 

On April 1, Belgrade couple Karen and Stephen Hardy will start a section hike of the Appalachian Trail southbound from Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, to educate and raise overdose awareness, while honoring victims. For both Karen and Stephen, overdoses have affected loved ones. In 1993, Karen lost her older brother to an intentional overdose. Stephen lost an older sister in 2001 to an accidental overdose of prescribed medications for mental health. And now, substance use disorder has almost taken Karen’s son and Stephen’s stepson — Bryan Massey — who has overdosed six times, once nearly fatally. They hope to educate that not every overdose is fatal — and that it doesn’t only happen to addicts.
Column: Who's saving whose special places?
Other - Saturday, March 9, 2019 

Union Leader (NH) - Not long ago I had no idea what conservation actually meant. I grew up a nature-loving kid from southern Maine and studied the environment and society as a student, but that didn’t mean I knew how one might protect the tide pools or trails I had grown to love. I just knew I wanted a career that would help the environment. Six years ago I submitted an online volunteer application to the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests (aka the Forest Society). Right away I got an email back asking if I would be interested in coming in to help organize their digital photo library. I never would have guessed (but might have hoped) that a simple offer to help could eventually turn into a career. ~ Emily Lord
Maine shelled out fewer prized scallops in 2018
Associated Press - Saturday, March 9, 2019 

Maine’s scallop harvest declined by about a third in 2018, marking the first time in several years that the valuable fishery took a step back. The state’s scallop harvest is a drop in the bucket within the worldwide industry, but Maine scallops are prized because of their size and value. Maine scallops are also a conservation success story; the industry had declined to less than 34,000 pounds of meat in 2005 before conservative management brought the fishery back to good health.
Forestry Officials Find Destructive Emerald Ash Borer In York County Trees
Maine Public - Saturday, March 9, 2019 

State forestry officials say that for the first time, the destructive emerald ash borer has been found in trees in York County. Live larvae were found in Acton and Berwick. Adult insects previously found in the area had flown into traps. These latest finds came after ash tree branches along roadsides in Acton, Lebanon and Berwick were collected and peeled. Officials say this indicates that the invasive pest is established, at least sporadically, near where the insect was found, but that it's almost certain it's spread farther. The emerald ash borer has also been found in far northern Maine, near the Canadian border.
Appalachian Trail story is fascinating and frightening
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Saturday, March 9, 2019 

The title of Richard Judy’s fascinating novel, "Thru – An Appalachian Trail Love Story" – does hint at part of the story, but there’s a lot more to this intriguing book. Judy thru-hiked the AT in 1973, and his novel includes lots of information about the hike, both the good and the bad. In his story, a bunch of hikers meet up early on the trail and decide to do the long hike together. And yes, love does blossom between some of this group, but there’s a lot more to the story than that. The hiking group runs from the age of 18 to senior citizens. There were lots of injuries along the way, with horrific weather. I like the way Judy told the story through the eyes and journal entries of the hikers.
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