January 23, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Wednesday, January 23, 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 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
Browntail moth, Jan 30
Event - Posted - Wednesday, January 23, 2019 

Maine Forest Service Entomologist Tom Schmeelk and District Forester Morten Moesswilde explain how to identify and manage browntail moths. At Lewiston Public Works, January 30, 10 am - 2 pm.
Lake St. George Ice Fishing Derby, Jan 26
Event - Posted - Saturday, January 19, 2019 

Learn how to fish. All equipment and bait provided. Lunch, hot cocoa, and warming hut. At Lake St. George State Park, Liberty, January 26, 8 am - 2 pm.
Brown-tail moths, Jan 24
Event - Posted - Thursday, January 17, 2019 

Eleanor Groden, professor of entomology at the University of Maine, will discuss the health hazards presented by, and recommended management strategies of, brown-tail moths. At Palermo Community Library, January 24, 6:30 pm.
20th Anniversary Maine Farmland Trust Kick Off Event, Jan 24
Event - Posted - Thursday, January 17, 2019 

Join a festive hometown gathering to look back at Maine Farmland Trust's many milestones since 1999, and celebrate the founders and members who helped to shape the organization. At United Farmer’s Market of Maine, Belfast, January 24, 6 pm.
Explore Nature through photography, Jan 24
Event - Posted - Thursday, January 17, 2019 

Local photographers Michele Benoit, Donne Sinderson, and Richard Spinney will share their photographs, experience and tips for photographing the natural world. At Bangor, January 24, 6:30 pm. Sponsored by Bangor Land Trust.
Help pick BDN top issue
Action Alert - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 

This year, the Bangor Daily News opinion pages will focus attention on four issues that are critical to Maine’s future. We have picked three areas: economic development; referendum reform; and Maine’s rural, spread out population. Help pick the fourth topic. Climate change and the associated energy, land-use and conservation policies are the top concern so far.
Marching Backwards
Publication - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 

A report by the Environmental Defense Fund about how Andrew Wheeler and Donald Trump are endangering the health of American families by rolling back environmental safeguards.
Browntail Moth, Jan 22
Event - Posted - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 

Maine Forest Service Entomologist Tom Schmeelk and District Forester Morten Moesswilde explain how to identify and manage browntail moths. At Boothbay Regional Land Trust's Oak Point Farm, January 22, 3 pm.
Tree Appreciation Walk, Jan 20
Event - Posted - Monday, January 14, 2019 

Kids, adults, and families are invited on a walking exploration and appreciation of trees. At Thorne Head Preserve Bath, January 20, 1-2:30 pm. Co-sponsored by Kennebec Estuary Land Trust and Beth Israel Congregation.
Colonizing history of Wabanaki people, Europeans, Jan 20
Event - Posted - Sunday, January 13, 2019 

Maine-Wabanaki REACH and the Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Augusta hold an interactive story-telling experience about the colonizing history of Wabanaki (the Indigenous people of Maine) and Europeans and their descendants. At UU Church, Augusta, January 20, 1-3 pm, RSVP.
L.L.Bean Outdoor Discovery Programs
Event - Posted - Thursday, January 10, 2019 

Expert guides. Amazing scenery. Hundreds of new activities to learn. Plus, customized trips, all-inclusive adventures, kids’ camps and more. Starting at $25.
Ice Fishing the Downeast, Jan 17
Event - Posted - Thursday, January 10, 2019 

Gregory Burr, regional biologist for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, talks about “Ice Fishing the Downeast Region.” At Schoodic Institute, Winter Harbor, January 17, noon.
Nature Notes from Maine, Jan 17
Event - Posted - Thursday, January 10, 2019 

Ed Robinson shares interesting facts about some of Maine's most beautiful and fascinating wildlife. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, January 17, 6 pm potluck, 7 pm presentation. Sponsored by Appalachian Mountain Club.
Weekly Winter Adventure camp in Bethel begins Jan. 16
Announcement - Wednesday, January 9, 2019 

The UMaine 4-H Camp & Learning Center at Bryant Pond, in partnership with the Mahoosuc Land Trust and Mahoosuc Kids Association, is offering a six-week Winter Adventure course, beginning Wednesday, January 16.
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News Items
Opinion: Maine’s rural communities have always been at the edge of the global economy
Portland Press Herald - Friday, January 11, 2019 

As one critically assesses corporate-driven globalization’s impact on Maine’s logging, textile, tanning, agriculture, fishing, shoe shops and other industries, it is easy to see that Maine’s rural people often have more in common with immigrants from poor regions than they do with owners of the corporate chain stores where they shop. The corporate elite spend summers on Maine’s coast, often in communities where struggling fishermen and displaced paper mill workers suffer because banks and manufacturers seldom reinvest in their communities. Much can and needs to be done. But I wonder how much further along these promising initiatives would be if the newest infrastructure – the internet – had been equally available to Maine’s rural and working people two or three decades ago. ~ John Ripton is a Cape Porpoise resident and Hartland native
Letter: More study needed on plant antibiotics
Bangor Daily News - Friday, January 11, 2019 

In a process that did not include full scientific analysis, the Environmental Protection Agency has approved the annual spraying of up to 650,000 pounds of streptomycin and oxytetracycline on nearly half a million acres of citrus groves. Both the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization have warned against antibiotic overuse in agriculture. The European Union has banned the use of streptomycin and oxytetracycline on crops. As residents of a state whose economy relies in part on agriculture, we can sympathize with Florida growers’ desire to guard their crops from pests and disease. But for the EPA to approve this method of doing so without full consideration of its cost to our land, our waters and our people is shortsighted and dangerous. ~ Mary Dickinson Bird, Orono
Letters: Reid’s nomination should be lauded
Times Record - Friday, January 11, 2019 

I dispute the allegation made in a letter that Jerry Reid, chief of the Natural Resources Division of the Maine Attorney General’s Office, “exemplifies the racist principles our country was founded on.” I served in the AG’s Office under five different Attorneys General, from 1989 to 2010. I had the good fortune to be a colleague of Reid for many of those years, and during the last three years I was there, he was my immediate supervisor. Reid is a knowledgeable, hard-working, personable and thoughtful lawyer. His nomination for Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection by Gov. Mills should be lauded. ~ Lucinda E. White, Freeport
Augusta council express interest in per-plastic bag fee
Kennebec Journal - Thursday, January 10, 2019 

Augusta city councilors expressed more interest in requiring a per-bag fee to use plastic shopping bags, rather than banning them. The council didn’t vote on the proposal Thursday, but a majority of councilors appeared to favor, instead of a straight ban, requiring customers to pay a fee, such as 5 cents per bag, to get a bag at retail stores. That, councilors said, could serve as a disincentive to encourage people to bring their own reusable bags to stores, rather than get more new plastic bags and throw them away.
North Woods redevelopment fight reaches new heights with final public comment period
WCSH-TV6 - Thursday, January 10, 2019 

They came back to the table for the first time since June. On one side is a council, and others, who don’t want the uninhabited, undeveloped land in Maine’s North Woods to become urbanized. On the other side is a commission, which is looking to evolve with Maine's economy, especially when it comes to tourism in Vacationland. "This would completely change the character of Maine's North Woods,” said Natural Resources Council of Maine’s Forest and Wildlife Project Director, Cathy Johnson.
Maine Audubon Spoke Up Today to Protect the Maine Woods
Maine Audubon - Thursday, January 10, 2019 

Today, Maine Audubon stood with over 25 individuals and organizations before the Land Use Planning Commission in Brewer to express our deep concern about their proposed rules that would dramatically change how new development is located in Maine’s unorganized territories — better known as Maine’s North Woods.
State panel told to protect Maine woods from development sprawl
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, January 10, 2019 

A proposal to change how development is allowed in Maine’s Unorganized Territory still is being met with some vocal opposition, despite some minor changes that a state planning body has made to the draft policy. Many of the roughly three dozen people who spoke Thursday at a public hearing on the proposed development rules opposed the concept, saying it would allow for too much development sprawl in Maine’s woods and could fragment wildlife habitat. More than 100 people attended the public hearing of the Land Use Planning Commission held in Brewer.
NRCM Testimony on LUPC’s Proposed Revised Adjacency Principle & Subdivision Standards
Natural Resources Council of Maine - Thursday, January 10, 2019 

The current adjacency principle requiring development to be “one mile by road from existing, compatible development" may need to be strengthened, but the principle that future development should be near existing, compatible development by road should be retained. Set this rule aside, gather up-to date data about the location of existing development in the unorganized territories, and engage in regional planning with towns that border the UT in order to guide development into those towns that want it. Only then, would it be appropriate to consider revising the current adjacency principle.
Land Use Planning Commission holds public hearing
Fox News - Thursday, January 10, 2019 

Extra chairs had to be brought in for a public hearing on a proposal that would allow development on more than a million acres of land. "The package that we're working on is intended to do three key things," Nick Livesay, director of the Land Use Planning Commission explained. "One is intended to better guide locations for new zones near existing communities. It's intended to better protect the environment, particularly some of the interior and more remote areas," he said. "It's also intended to evolve and really recognize changes in our natural resource-based economy." Not everyone is happy about the proposal.
Auction postponed, giving developer more time to get $40 million Saco Island project approved
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, January 10, 2019 

A public auction of land on the east side of Saco Island has been postponed to give a developer more time to secure approvals for a $40 million mixed-use project. Joan Kurker, who holds a $350,000 mortgage on the parcel, had scheduled the sale for Friday to foreclose on the mortgage, but she decided to postpone the sale until 3:30 p.m. March 15 to give Saulnier’s group more time to secure necessary project approvals.
Friends of Baxter State Park Invites Applications for Youth Wilderness Leadership Program
Free Press - Thursday, January 10, 2019 

Friends of Baxter State Park invites current Maine high school sophomores and juniors to submit an application to participate at no cost in the 11th annual Maine Youth Wilderness Leadership Program, which includes a nine-day wilderness experience in Baxter State Park, scheduled for early August. The application deadline is February 8.
The Cat has set sail from Portland but still hasn’t locked up a new home port
Mount Desert Islander - Thursday, January 10, 2019 

Bay Ferries is momentarily without a U.S. port, as one lease has expired and another is not ready to be signed. Former Gov. LePage held up Bar Harbor's purchase of its ferry terminal, and the federal government shutdown has gotten in the way of a lease for Bay Ferries. “There is always uncertainty and there will be challenges, but Bar Harbor is the future, and it is best for the ferry service if the future begins now,” Bay Ferries President and CEO Mark MacDonald said.
Western Maine transit service adds routes to ski mountains, and plans more
Sun Journal - Thursday, January 10, 2019 

Western Maine Transportation Services has added three new commuter runs in the last six weeks and more are expected as soon as it has the buses, Craig Zurhorst told the Lewiston Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce on Thursday. On Dec. 1, Mountain Express commuter routes started from Lewiston-Auburn to Sunday River and from Dixfield-Mexico-Rumford to Sunday River. On Dec. 17, the new Sugarloaf Express commuter route started from Stratton to Sugarloaf.
Legislature will consider lots of gun bills
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Thursday, January 10, 2019 

The Maine legislature will debate lots of gun bills this session. So far, all we have are titles and sponsors, and I will share those with you today. As the details of each bill emerge, I will write about them. Here is the list of titles and sponsors.
Lawmakers move to boost seaweed against ocean acidification
E&E/Greenwire - Thursday, January 10, 2019 

A push to promote seaweed as a tool against climate change appears poised to move forward in Congress — once lawmakers resolve the dispute that's holding up annual appropriations. The fiscal 2019 appropriations bill for agriculture proposed by House Democrats calls for a working group on ocean agriculture, which would explore seaweed and kelp forests as a way to reduce ocean acidification and provide food ingredients and feedstocks. The bill, H.R. 265, could come up for a vote today. In Maine, the National Institute of Food and Agriculture has awarded VitaminSea LLC two grants totaling $700,000 to study the use of dried kelp flakes as a supplement in baguette-style bread. The bread contains twice as much potassium and three times as much fiber as regular bread.
626 Groups Urge Congress to Phase Out Fossil Fuels, Build Green Economy
Maine Environmental News - Thursday, January 10, 2019 

More than 600 environmental groups today called on the U.S. House of Representatives to pursue ambitious climate legislation that matches the scale and urgency of the climate crisis. The groups’ letter calls for a thoughtful phaseout of fossil fuel production, a transition to 100 percent renewable energy by 2035, complete decarbonization of the transportation system, use of the Clean Air Act to reduce greenhouse gas pollution, a just transition to a new green economy and the adherence to treaties upholding Indigenous rights when pursuing these actions.
Opinion: Orono should join Maine municipalities investing in solar power
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, January 10, 2019 

As a resident and town councilor, I believe it’s time for Orono to create a bold new vision for the future and to begin implementing that vision in 2019. Orono must make smart investments to lower the cost and impact of our future energy use and lead the state into a lower carbon future. That’s why I am advocating that Orono investigate installing solar photovoltaic panels on municipal buildings and/or grounds. ~ Laurie Osher, Orono
Maine club tracks Maine’s biggest game animals, one rack at a time
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, January 10, 2019 

The Maine Antler & Skull Trophy Club, which was formed in 1978 by brothers Dick and Jean Arsenault, serves as both the judging body and the clearing house for some of the state’s most impressive game animals. The judging is done by trained professional scorers who examine the racks of moose and deer, the skulls of bears, and the vital stats of wild turkeys. A bound volume, which includes all of the hunters who’ve met the minimum standard over the previous two years, in addition to the top 500 all time in each category, serves as a desk reference and brag book for those who’ve earned their way into its pages.
She spent 28 years shaping Maine’s environmental policy. Now she’s ready to enjoy it firsthand.
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, January 10, 2019 

After 28 years handling communications for the Natural Resource Council of Maine, Judy Berk stepped down effective Jan. 1. She’s now looking forward to enjoying the Maine outdoors that she’s helped protect for nearly three decades.
Millinocket group ‘turning over every rock’ to eliminate $1.4M tax debt that scuttled factory
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, January 10, 2019 

A volunteer economic development group that’s trying to revive Millinocket’s former paper mill site is continuing to challenge a federal tax lien that has hampered its efforts. The lien most recently dissuaded a North Carolina forest products company from launching a $30 million factory on the site. The group, Our Katahdin, filed a third appeal of the $1.4 million tax lien with the Internal Revenue Service last Friday — although the ongoing federal government shutdown will delay the IRS’ consideration of that appeal. Our Katahdin is also seeking a more accurate appraisal of the mill site’s property value and looking at other options for getting rid of the tax lien, which the group inherited two years ago when it bought the 1,400-acre site for $1.
Deadline looms to buy land that would add public access near Maine island beach
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, January 10, 2019 

A nonprofit organization has until Monday to finish raising $800,000 to purchase a waterfront property in Southport that abuts a public beach. The group, Land for Southport’s Future, is hoping it can meet its fundraising goal in order to preserve the 3-acre property for public use. Nancy Prisk, president and co-founder of Land for Southport’s Future, fears that if the group does not meet its goal on Monday, the uniqueness of the property could be lost to future development.
Opinion: New leadership will protect way of life
Biddeford-Saco-OOB Courier - Thursday, January 10, 2019 

Our economy, personal health and quality of life are all dependent on how we treat our natural resources. If we don’t have clean air and clean water, there isn’t much else that matters after that. Fighting for the environment might not be the sexiest issue to tackle, but it’s critically important. It’s a fundamental need for human survival. When Senate President Troy Jackson appointed me to serve on the Environment & Natural Resources Committee, I knew this appointment was a reflection of my work in the legislature so far. I have consistently earned high marks and endorsements from environmental groups such as Maine Sierra Club and Maine League of Conservation Voters. ~ Sen. Justin Chenette
Column: What's the point of a carbon tax rebate?
Sun Journal - Thursday, January 10, 2019 

The Irish government is proposing rebates to a carbon tax it recently imposed. I’m doubtful. People don’t like governments forcing them to accept a lesser lifestyle. So strong is the faith of the climate change cult that McDonald’s is considering “meat alternatives” because of alleged environmental damage. Roy Spencer, U.S. Science Team Leader on NASA’s Aqua satellite, says “2018 marked the second straight year when global temperatures declined." Plastics may soon eclipse climate change as the latest “crisis” only government can solve. Democrats are backing a “Green New Deal” to force everyone to buy only renewable energy. On Fox News, Marc Morano, creator of climatedepot.org, said of the New Green Deal: “We’re going to treat now carbon dioxide a trace essential gas — humans inhale oxygen and we exhale CO2 — as somehow akin to the Nazi party and World War II initiative." ~ Cal Thomas
Letter: It’s all about preserving Maquoit Bay, right?
Times Record - Thursday, January 10, 2019 

It is perfectly understandable that the opponents of the “oyster factory” fight hard for the privileges they current enjoy. The question is, are they entitled to those privileges? When they bought waterfront property, they may have been lured by the perfect scenery when looking West over Maquoit Bay, but they surely must know that property rights end at the high water mark. What irks me is the dis-ingenuity of their claims about making it all about the Bay, not their self-interests. Without a working waterfront community, the young people will continue to leave and the taxes on your precious waterfront properties will continue to go up. Let DMR set proper limits and conditions after listening to honest input from all interested parties but please remain civil and sincere. ~ Andre Cocquyt, Brunswick
Lost on Katahdin: An Incredible Story of a Boy’s Survival
Other - Wednesday, January 9, 2019 

The Trek - For nine days 12-year-old Donn Fendler struggled through the wilderness surrounding Mount Katahdin in Maine, lost after being separated from his father, brothers, and friends while hiking the mountain. His feet were torn to shreds by rocks. His body was covered with bug bites. He saw ghostly images of people he thought had come to rescue him. And on the ninth day, when he stumbled out of the woods and into the arms of rescuers, he weighed 58 pounds—16 less than the 74 pounds he weighed on the day he lost the trail while descending the Katahdin summit. Fendler’s ordeal gripped the nation for days in 1939, even after searchers gave up hope of finding the boy alive. His story has been retold in a book, Lost on a Mountain in Maine, in 1939, and in a documentary film in 2011.
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