October 14, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Monday, October 14, 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
Shells: Treasures from Maine Shores, Oct 21
Event - Posted - Monday, October 14, 2019 

Alison C. Dibble, conservation biologist, shares her passion for Maine shells ranging from clams and snails to slippers and whelks. At Moore Community Center, Ellsworth, October 21, 7 pm. Sponsored by Downeast Audubon.
Ocean Commotion 5k Run/Walk, Oct 19
Event - Posted - Saturday, October 12, 2019 

You and your friendly four legged running companions can participate in the 5th Annual Ocean Commotion 5k Race. At Hermit Island Campground, Phippsburg, October 19, benefits Marine Mammals of Maine.
Falling Leaf Fun, Oct 18
Event - Posted - Friday, October 11, 2019 

Friends of Sears Island will host a program for kids. At Belfast City Park, October 18, 2:30-4 pm.
NRCM's Annual Conservation Leadership Awards, Oct 16
Event - Posted - Wednesday, October 9, 2019 

Natural Resources Council of Maine 2019 Conservation Leadership Awards:
• Jon Lund, Hallowell, Lifetime Achievement Award
• Liz Caruso, Caratunk, tireless activist against the proposed CMP transmission corridor
• SolaRISE Student Activists, Portland, advocates for providing solar energy to local schools
• Sandi Howard for dedication to administering Say NO to NECEC
At Jewish Community Alliance of Southern Maine, Portland, October 16, 6-8 pm.
Bees and Blueberries: Where Does It Go From Here? Oct 16
Event - Posted - Wednesday, October 9, 2019 

Pollinator Biologist Eric Venturi will present this year's Roque Island Lecture on Environmental Conservation: The future of cultivating blueberries. At UMaine at Machias, October 16, 11 am.
Evening for the Environment, Oct 22
Event - Posted - Tuesday, October 8, 2019 

Keynote speaker Richard Louv, author of "Last Child in the Woods," speaks on nature-deficit disorder, the importance of exposure to nature for health, and the need for environmental protection. Also, celebrate policy wins for conservation and clean energy in Maine. At UNE's Innovation Hall, Portland, October 22, 5:30 pm. Sponsored by Maine Conservation Voters.
Fall Photography Walk, Oct 12
Event - Posted - Saturday, October 5, 2019 

Jim McCarthy will share secrets for creative nature photography. At Cathance River Education Alliance Ecology Center, Topsham, October 12, 9-11 am, limit 20, pre-register.
Kennebec Land Trust, Howard Hill Historical Park dedication, Oct 10
Announcement - Thursday, October 3, 2019 

Judy Camuso, Commissioner, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife; Howard Lake, KLT Director; Bill Bridgeo, Augusta City Manager; Augusta Mayor Dave Rollins; and Andrew Silsby, President of Kennebec Savings Bank, provide remarks October 10, 4 pm, at the historic Gannett treehouse overlook.
Insects in decline in Maine, Oct 9
Event - Posted - Wednesday, October 2, 2019 

Sarah Haggerty, Maine Audubon conservation biologist, talks about her research on Maine insect populations. At UMaine-Farmington, October 9, 7 pm. Sponsored by Western Maine Audubon.
Mitchell Lecture on Sustainability, Oct 8
Event - Posted - Tuesday, October 1, 2019 

E.J. Milner-Gulland, Professor of Biodiversity at the University of Oxford, UK, will speak on “An Optimistic Vision for a Sustainable, Wild, and Socially Just World.” Also, remarks by Senator George J. Mitchell. At UMaine at Orono, October 8, 2 pm, pre-register.
Pesticides disposal
Announcement - Tuesday, October 1, 2019 

Mainers can dispose of unusable and waste pesticides in October at four sites: Presque Isle, Jonesboro, Augusta and Portland. Registration deadline: October 7.
Fund for Maine Land Conservation seeking applications for grants to support future projects
Announcement - Tuesday, October 1, 2019 

The Fund for Maine Land Conservation, a component fund of the Maine Community Foundation, is accepting grant applications to support projects that encourage preservation of Maine’s land. Deadline: Oct. 15.
One Maine, One Health, Oct 8
Event - Posted - Tuesday, October 1, 2019 

Maine Public Health Association's 2019 Annual Conference, "One Maine, One Health: Uniting Maine's people, environment and wildlife for better health and economy." At Augusta Civic Center, October 8, 8 am - 3 pm.
Sierra Club Maine’s Annual Celebration, Oct 10
Event - Posted - Tuesday, October 1, 2019 

Keynoter: Elizabeth Rush, author of the Pulitzer Prize nominated "Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore." At Colby College, Waterville, October 10, 4 pm.
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News Items
Potato harvest season has arrived in Aroostook County
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, September 26, 2019 

This week and next week, people of all ages in Aroostook County are getting their hands dirty — the annual potato harvest has begun. For generations, the harvest has been an all-hands-on-deck effort to dig up all the potatoes patiently grown by County farmers. Whether by hand or by mechanical means, it remains a major part of the County’s economic backbone — so much so that high school students in some districts each year are granted a few weeks off in order to help out. We’ve gone through our archive and found some classic photos of the harvest throughout all its stages — picking, processing, bagging and then shipping them off.
Legislators, Lobstermen Meet with Attorney General Frey
Lincoln County News - Thursday, September 26, 2019 

Two area legislators, Rep. Jeffrey Evangelos, I-Friendship, and Rep. Bill Pluecker, I-Warren, led a delegation to the Office of the Maine Attorney General to press the state’s attorney to provide a full range of legal representation for Maine’s lobster industry in the face what the representatives say are draconian and unjustified measures being promoted by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to restrict lobster gear in reference to the right whale protection.
Marsh Island Community Trails in Old Town are prized by area mountain bikers
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, September 26, 2019 

A vast network of trails in Old Town and Orono are used for mountain biking, walking, running and cross-country skiing. Collectively, they’re known as the Marsh Island Community Trails. The majority of the trails are in the 1,478-acre Dwight B. Demeritt Forest, which is owned by the University of Maine and used for education, demonstrations and research. However, some of the trails lie outside this forest on private land. Therefore, it’s important to remain on trail and respect the privacy of those living nearby.
The story behind the only Acadia ranger to be killed in the line of duty
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, September 26, 2019 

In November 1938, a few months after he got married and started his new job as an Acadia National Park ranger, Karl Jacobson was shot near Schoodic Point. He died two days later. This month, nearly 81 years after the shooting, Acadia National Park has erected a monument to honor Jacobson, who was 22 years old when he was killed at the hands of a poacher who mistook him for a deer. Jacobson remains the only law enforcement ranger at Acadia ever to be killed in the line of duty.
Letter: Poisoned Maine air not worth extra cruise ship tourist dollars
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, September 26, 2019 

Given the context of our governor presenting to the United Nations climate summit and the intensity of cruise ships visiting Portland this week, this seems like a good time to question why we let cruise ships run their engines for hours on end. In at least some other ports, cruise ships are required to contract for land-based power and have to turn their engines off while in port. Our city seems to have made a different choice to date, and it leaves the local population with a degraded environment. It broke my heart to look at the long brown path of smog stretching from the harbor to Yarmouth from the Eastern Prom yesterday afternoon. ~ Joe Lewis, Portland
Climate change skepticism 101
Matthew Gagnon Pine Tree Politics Blog - Wednesday, September 25, 2019 

Why, exactly, is so much of the public skeptical of all that apocalypse talk? Why are they so dismissive and hostile to the attempts to save the world? Put simply, when you are told the world is going to end in only a few short years unless we do something, it had damn well better end, because if it doesn’t, we’ll notice. When you say it is going to end repeatedly, and it doesn’t, people stop believing you. It most likely comes from a lot of promised apocalypses that never happened. ~ Matthew Gagnon
Lobster industry uses video, social media to fight whale regulations
WCSH-TV6 - Wednesday, September 25, 2019 

Federal officials have said they want the lobster industry to reduce the number of “vertical lines” (ropes) in the water by as much as 60%, to prevent right whales from becoming tangled in them. Lobster industry leaders and others have said over the summer they worry that will dramatically reduce the number of traps, and hurt incomes, or result in having to fish long strings of traps, called trawls, which would be dangerous. And fishermen have complained for years that they are not the ones posing a threat to the right whales. Those concerns have prompted the lobster industry to take to social media with a special video, telling how Maine fishermen have already been taking steps to protect whales, and want regulations to be reasonable and effective.
Column: How to identify Maine hawks from a mile away
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, September 25, 2019 

Hawks are streaming through Maine right now. What are you going to do about it? Yeah, I know, hawk identification is hard. Except that it isn’t. Sure, there are differences between the hawks, but by the time the bird is close enough for it to matter, you’ve already figured it out based on size, shape and flight pattern — just three clues to sort out. It turns out, hawk identification is way easier than warblers. ~ Bob Duchesne
As bluefin recover, a new fight about how to fish for them
Associated Press - Wednesday, September 25, 2019 

A federal plan that could loosen the rules about fishing for one of the most debated species in the ocean has attracted the attention of fishermen and environmentalists, some of whom fear years of conservation work could be undone. NOAA has said some of the changes would give fishermen who use longlines, a method of fishing used to catch large fish, more flexibility by increasing their amount of open fishing area. In the coastal New England states, fishermen most often bring bluefin to the docks, especially Maine and Massachusetts.
Northern Maine Residents Weigh In On Proposed Ban On Aerial Herbicide Spraying
Maine Public - Wednesday, September 25, 2019 

More than 40 residents of Aroostook County turned out for a legislative forum Tuesday night in Fort Kent to weigh in on the use of aerial herbicides by the forest products industry. Some are urging lawmakers to pass a bill, sponsored by Democratic Senate President Troy Jackson of Allagash, that would ban the practice. About 12,000 acres were treated with aerial herbicides in 2017, the most recent year for which data is [sic] available.
New U.N. climate report: Massive change already here for world’s oceans, frozen regions
Washington Post - Wednesday, September 25, 2019 

Climate change is already causing staggering impacts on the oceans and ice-filled regions that encompass 80 percent of the Earth, and future damage from rising seas and melting glaciers is now all but certain, according to a sobering new report from the United Nations. The warming climate is already killing coral reefs, supercharging monster storms, and fueling deadly marine heat waves and record losses of sea ice. And Wednesday’s report on the world’s oceans, glaciers, polar regions and ice sheets finds that such effects only foreshadow a more catastrophic future as long as greenhouse gas emissions remain unchecked.
Maine moves to require disclosure if this ‘forever chemical’ is used in a product
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, September 25, 2019 

The Department of Environmental Protection wants manufacturers to disclose use of the chemical PFOS in many consumer products under a 2008 law aimed at protecting children from exposure to toxic chemicals.
UMaine competing to be named ‘most outdoorsy’ school in nation
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, September 24, 2019 

This fall, the University of Maine is competing against universities across the country for the title of “Most Outdoorsy” school. Students, faculty, alumni and community members can all participate in the monthlong challenge. Running Sept. 16-Oct. 13, the competition is called the Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education Campus Challenge.
Gov. Mills discusses climate change with European officials, U.S. governors
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, September 24, 2019 

Gov. Janet Mills said that while she was at the United Nations Climate Summit on Monday she found herself standing near President Trump’s new U.N. ambassador, Kelly Kraft, and feeling the pain of foreign delegates at the meeting. Kraft, who is married to a billionaire coal magnate Joe Crafts II of Alliance Resource Partners, has $63 million personally invested in fossil fuel interests, according to her financial disclosures, a fact Mills said she found troubling. Mills, who on Monday was the only U.S. elected official to speak at the climate summit, spent Tuesday meeting with foreign officials and fellow U.S. governors on the sidelines of the meeting, looking to share ideas and best practices.
Augusta road shut down after tanker goes off road, reportedly leaks oil
Kennebec Journal - Tuesday, September 24, 2019 

A portion of Route 27 (Civic Center Drive) in Augusta was shut down Tuesday morning after a tanker truck went off the road and was reportedly leaking oil.
What is regenerative agriculture?
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, September 24, 2019 

With the endless cycles of pesticides, fertilizers and tilling, agriculture can take a toll on the environment and the ecosystem of your land. Regenerative agriculture aims to change that. Regenerative agriculture is an approach to farming that works with the natural systems to repair the landscape, soil structure, ecosystem biodiversity and climate for the sake of long term productivity and sustainability. It brings together many other sustainable agriculture methods to achieve the goal of restoring land health.
Proposed changes to federal pork processing rules could loosen food safety standards
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, September 24, 2019 

When the Maine Legislature approved the state food sovereignty law in 2017, lawmakers were told it ran afoul of federal food safety laws when it came to meat and poultry processing. The original bill allowed municipalities to adopt an ordinance freeing local food production, processing, consumption and direct producer-to-consumer exchanges from state regulatory requirements. It was soon amended to exclude meat and poultry processing and sales. Last month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture — the same federal department that cited safety concerns when it demanded Maine retain regulatory control of its meat and poultry processing and sales — took what could be its final steps that consumer advocates say loosen food safety standards on a national level.
Why The County is drawing more tourists
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, September 24, 2019 

The most recent data compiled through the Maine Office of Tourism shows that Aroostook County has seen an increase in the number of tourists visiting and spending money throughout the region. The increase is credited mainly to the outdoor recreation opportunities available there. An estimated 1.4 million tourists visited Aroostook County in 2018, a 6.6% increase from 1.3 million people in 2017. Those tourists spent an average of $166 million on expenses such as food, lodging, retail shopping, gasoline and recreation, a 7.1% increase from 2017. “There are 2,957 jobs in Aroostook County that relate directly or indirectly to tourism,” said Alain Ouellette, of the Northern Maine Development Commission. Those tourism-related businesses reported $57.6 million in total earnings last year and paid $15.7 million in local taxes.
For kids, the Common Ground Fair is more than fried dough and cute animals
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, September 24, 2019 

The Common Ground Country Fair is a crossroads for hippies, homesteaders, political activists, environmentalists and people who just want to marvel at the sheep dog demonstrations while eating treats like pie cones and fried dough. But it’s also a place where children can come into their own. From entrepreneurs to young farmers, the fair is a fertile ground for kids and teens to play, practice new skills and show off hard-earned accomplishments.
Auburn City Council split on how to update agricultural zone
Sun Journal - Monday, September 23, 2019 

The Auburn City Council will continue to meet regarding the agricultural zone until it arrives at a solution. A lengthy council workshop Monday showed clear divisions between elected officials over proposed amendments to Auburn’s Agriculture and Resource Protection Zone. At the center of the issue is the proposed replacement of the zone’s restrictive “50 percent income” rule, which would require that landowners meet two of five criteria based on farming, forestry or conservation in order to build a home. However, officials are split on the specifics of those criteria, and whether the proposal would open the land up to too much development, too quickly.
UMaine Defenders of Wildlife hosts first official meeting
Maine Campus - Monday, September 23, 2019 

On Wednesday, Sept. 18, members of the University of Maine community came together at the first unofficial meeting of the Defenders of Wildlife. The students involved in this group are in the process of getting the Defenders of Wildlife recognized as an official club at UMaine.
Topsham selectmen OK price shopping for municipal solar power
Portland Press Herald - Monday, September 23, 2019 

Topsham’s solar energy supporters got a thumbs-up from selectmen to seek prices on purchasing solar energy. Three of the five members of the Board of Selectmen attended the Thursday meeting where they unanimously approved the request. It authorizes Topsham Solar Advocates to scope out possibilities for purchasing solar power for town properties.
Jay not taking clear plastic or glass for recycling
Sun Journal - Monday, September 23, 2019 

Jay Selectpersons voted 3-1 Monday to not accept clear plastic or glass for recyclables. Selectperson Judy Diaz said there is no market for glass or clear plastic, which is any except No. 2. No. 2 plastics are mostly milk jugs and laundry and dish-washing detergent containers, she said. Other plastics, such as clear ones, and glass jars and containers should be put in the trash. People are still washing out glass containers, but if there is no market for them they should be put in the trash, Town Manager Shiloh LaFreniere said.
Letter: Shameful flip on solar bill
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, April 19, 2018 

Even though I am not a constituent of Reps. Stacey Guerin, Matthew Harrington, Teresa Pierce, Matthew Pouliot and Abden Simmons, I cannot stay silent in the face of such blatant hypocrisy and cowardice. I hope their flip from initially supporting LD 1444, the solar bill, with a supposed “veto-proof” majority to upholding the anti-solar governor’s veto will be remembered by voters in their districts. Come November they should find themselves out of a job. ~ Jason Langle, Orono
Blog: Camp Directors Gather to Consider Diversity and Inclusion
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, February 15, 2018 

When close to 80 Maine camp directors gathered Tuesday in Portland to discuss diversity and inclusion, they were challenged to consider the impact of differences and division, and to seek to “create balance in an unbalanced world.” ~ Kristine Snow Millard
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