August 24, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Friday, August 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; 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
Rangeley Outdoor Film Festival, Aug 30
Event - Posted - Friday, August 23, 2019 

The Rangeley Trail Town Festival features a variety of short films about the outdoors. At RFA Lakeside Theater, Rangeley, August 30, 7 pm, $6 for adults, $3 for Appalachian Trail hikers and children under 12.
LightHawk Paper Plane Contest
Announcement - Thursday, August 22, 2019 

Enter your best paper airplane design for a chance to have it mailed to thousands in LightHawk's 2019 Holiday Letter. Deadline: October 18, 2019.
BTLT Seeks Community Input on Future Conservation
Announcement - Tuesday, August 20, 2019 

The Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust is seeking community input on its current and future conservation work in Brunswick, Topsham, and Bowdoin. A community survey is available online until September 2.
Butler to speak on conservation, Aug 27
Event - Posted - Tuesday, August 20, 2019 

Conservationist Gil Butler will discuss his efforts to establish outdoor education programs and conservation projects in Maine and throughout North and South America. At College of the Atlantic, Bar Harbor, August 27, 9 am, free, parking on campus is by permit only.
Solo Paddle of Northern Forest Canoe Trail, Aug 27
Event - Posted - Tuesday, August 20, 2019 

Laurie Apgar Chandler will read from and discuss her book “Upwards,” which tells her story as the first woman to solo paddle New England’s 740-mile Northern Forest Canoe Trail. At Bailey Library, Winthrop, August 27, 6:30 pm.
Keeping Acadia Healthy With New Science, Aug 26
Event - Posted - Monday, August 19, 2019 

Abraham Miller-Rushing and Rebecca Cole-Will will discuss how Acadia National Park is facing a triple environmental challenge: global warming, acid rain, and increased visitation. At Bar Harbor, August 26, 5 pm.
Maine’s Seaweed Scene, Sep 26
Event - Posted - Monday, August 19, 2019 

Susan Hand Shetterly and Robin Hadlock Seeley will discuss the importance of protected wild habitats and the critical role of seaweed in the Gulf of Maine. At Moore Community Center, Ellsworth, September 26, 7 pm. Hosted by Downeast Audubon.
Bee apocalypse
Action Alert - Sunday, August 18, 2019 

U.S. agriculture today is 48 times more toxic to honeybees than it was 25 years ago—almost entirely because of neonicotinoid pesticides. It's part of an "insect apocalypse." But instead of taking action, the Trump administration is shredding protections for bees. Will you stand with me in the fight to save the bees? ~ Mayor Ethan Strimling, Portland, Maine
Maine Farmland Trust Gallery 20th Anniversary Retrospective Exhibit, thru Oct 11
Announcement - Sunday, August 18, 2019 

To celebrate Maine Farmland Trust’s 20th anniversary, a curated retrospective featuring a selection of works that have been exhibited at the MFT Gallery over the past 10 years is on view through October 11.
National Parks Free Entrance, Aug 25
Event - Posted - Sunday, August 18, 2019 

All National Park Service sites that charge an entrance fee will offer free admission to everyone to celebrate the National Park Service's 103rd birthday on August 25.
Brechlin reading, Aug 25
Event - Posted - Sunday, August 18, 2019 

Earl Brechlin, a Registered Maine Guide, will read from his book, "Return to Moose River: In Search of the Spirit of the Great North Woods," essays describing white-water canoeing, snowmobiling, and backpacking adventures in many parts of Maine. At Albert Church Brown Memorial Library, China, August 25, 2 pm.
Kennebec Land Trust annual meeting, Aug 25
Event - Posted - Sunday, August 18, 2019 

At Camp Androscoggin, Wayne, August 25. The trust has conserved more than 6,300 acres and constructed 44 miles of trails on KLT protected lands.
Maine Herpetological Society Reptile Expo, Aug 25
Event - Posted - Saturday, August 17, 2019 

50+ vendors, 1,000+ reptiles, plus Mr. Drew and His Animals Too. At Ramada Inn, Lewiston, August 25, 10 am - 4 pm, $7, kids under 12 free.
Families in the Outdoors, Aug 24
Event - Posted - Saturday, August 17, 2019 

Learn about all kinds of Maine bugs – the good, the bad and the very strange looking. At Law Farm, Dover-Foxcroft, August 24, 9 am - noon.
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News Items
Europe’s Energy Crack-Up
National Review - Monday, January 22, 2018 

Europe’s energy policies are worse than stupid. Since the EU’s first renewables directive in 2008, the growth of bioenergy — much of it sourced from North American woods and forests — has provided around half the expansion of renewable energy. To supply even one third of the additional renewable energy needed to meet Europe’s new 2030 target will require an amount of wood roughly equivalent to the combined harvest in the U.S. and Canada. New EU rules agreed to last week by the European Parliament will expand the definition of bioenergy to include trees specifically harvested to be burnt in power stations. This will result in higher emissions than from using natural gas or coal.
Drastic cut to herring quota puts Maine lobstermen over the bait barrel
Portland Press Herald - Monday, January 22, 2018 

The threat of a huge cut in next year’s herring catch quota has Maine bait dealers scrambling to find alternative ways to satisfy the voracious appetite of the state’s $1.4 billion lobster industry. The New England Fishery Management Council voted last month to set the 2019 herring quota at 3.2 million pounds – about 78 million pounds less than what the East Coast herring fleet is permitted to catch this year – to help the population recover from a record-low number of juvenile herring. To put the cut in context, that is about 2,000 tractor-trailer trucks of the industry’s favorite bait that won’t be showing up in New England lobster ports next year.
Letter: Say no to oil drilling
Bangor Daily News - Monday, January 22, 2018 

Our communities rely on what products keep our state booming. We lost the shrimping business and still have not recovered from that. Our local lobster men already have been facing stress of the waters warming. I highly recommend we keep up with the proposal to open the U.S. coast to oil drilling. There is a drilling hearing open to the public 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday at the Civic Center in Augusta. Let’s come together as a state and make our voices heard. ~ Amelia Libby, Wells
Letter: Support solar power
Bangor Daily News - Monday, January 22, 2018 

Since the Legislature’s shameful failure to override the governor’s veto of LD 1504, a pro-solar bill, the situation has worsened. The Maine Public Utilities Commission’s recent “gross-metering” rule and proposals to double fees to connect solar customers to the grid hurt Mainers and our grid’s resiliency. The commission has also put foreign-owned Central Maine Power in charge of proposing alternatives to its business model of building power poles and lines, a flagrant conflict of interest. As last fall’s windstorm and massive power outages so clearly showed, it is also a failed distribution model. ~ Janet Lynch, Pownal
South Portland neighborhoods recycling more food waste
Forecaster - Sunday, January 21, 2018 

Since its inception last May, a pilot program to collect food waste has increased recycling rates in two participating neighborhoods. About 600 households in the Knightville and Meetinghouse Hill neighborhoods received 6-gallon buckets to use for curbside compost collection. The city and ecomaine, the regional waste management service, estimate up to a third of household waste is from food. Recycling has increased in the two neighborhoods from 29 percent to 38 percent, and 30 tons of waste were collected from May to November.
Acadia National Park closing operations as shutdown continues
Portland Press Herald - Sunday, January 21, 2018 

Acadia National Park was in the process of closing its operations Sunday as the federal government shutdown moved toward its third day. Much of the park will remain open to the public, but if it snows, there will be no plows to clear the roads and parking lots, hampering access, Acadia spokeswoman Christie Anastasia said Sunday. All but 15 of the park’s 94 staff members, most of them park rangers, will be furloughed.
Fire crews battle blaze at Hancock Lumber in Pittsfield
Morning Sentinel - Sunday, January 21, 2018 

Fire crews from several area towns battled a stubborn, smoky fire Sunday in the roof rafters of a building at Hancock Lumber at the Pittsfield Industrial Park on Route 100. The largest manufacturer of Eastern white pine, Hancock Lumber operates three sawmills in Maine in Bethel, Casco and Pittsfield, and distributes its world-class pine boards around the globe.
Opinion: If we don’t limit its use, Mount Desert Island’s beauty could be tarnished
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, January 21, 2018 

With great vision and many years of hard work, the founders were able to establish the first national park east of the Mississippi River, now known as Acadia National Park, to ensure that a portion of this fantastic environment would be set aside for all of us to enjoy. Today, with the pressure to increase mega cruise ship landings and possible pier tie-ups, Mount Desert Island is again vulnerable to damage from overuse. If we want to maintain a high-quality environment for visitors and year-round and summer residents, then we must explore ways to keep over-visitation from happening or we will destroy the founders’ vision for Acadia National Park. ~ Robert Chaplin, Bar Harbor
Decorate your house with 120-year-old wood from a Maine lake
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, January 21, 2018 

In 1898, Great Northern Paper Co. clear-cut 600 acres around the 400-acre Quakish Lake, near Millinocket. The company then built a dam and flooded the clear-cut area so any spruce, fir or hemlock they harvested could be easily transported to their new mill. The paper company lost 3 percent to 4 percent of their lumber every year. Fast forward 120 years, and Timberchic – founded a year and a half ago as a division of Maine Heritage Timber – is reclaiming that wood for people who want to add a North Woods accent to their homes.
Maine sellers of unfiltered, untreated ‘raw water’ in the limelight
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, January 21, 2018 

Bryan Pullen is the majority shareholder and CEO of Summit Spring Water Inc. Seth Pruzansky is president and the founder of their Tourmaline Spring raw water brand. They are some of the biggest players in the up-and-coming trend of drinking unfiltered, untreated “raw water.” Last year they bottled 300,000 gallons, 60 percent of that Tourmaline. Their spring produces 35 million gallons of water a year. They’d bottle a ton more if they could sell it, Pullen said.
Speeding ships, missing calves increase anxiety over right whales
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, January 21, 2018 

It’s been a catastrophic year for the North Atlantic right whale, the world’s second-most endangered marine mammal, and recent developments have done little to relieve researchers’ anxiety about the species’ future. Last summer and fall, 17 right whales were found dead around Cape Cod and in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, where many of the whales have recently started showing up to feed, possibly because they are having trouble finding food in the waters off Lubec and Grand Manan Island. The spate of deaths represented more than 3 percent of the species’ total population of 450, prompting scientists to warn that they could become functionally extinct by 2040 if things don’t turn around.
Road warrior Bob Moosmann – defender of bees, butterflies, organic farmers
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, January 21, 2018 

We spied Bob Moosmann’s name on the schedule for MOFGA day at the Maine Agricultural Trades Show earlier this month. What does the statewide vegetation manager for the state’s Department of Transportation have to do with the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, we wondered? We called Moosmann up to ask about his topic – cooperative agreements for pesticide use along roadways – and learned some new things about gypsy and browntailed moths as well as the backstory behind taking down all those trees on I-295.
Fat bikes enjoying wider popularity in Maine
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, January 21, 2018 

Fat bikes — mountain bikes with 4- and 5-inch-wide tires — are becoming more frequent on Maine’s winter landscape. Around the state, there are a growing number of races, rentals and trails dedicated to fat bikes. A fat bike costs around $2,000. Nearly 150,000 have been sold in the U.S. since they were first mass produced in 2010. Mt. Abram, Rangeley, Carrabassett Valley, Harris Farm and Vineland Farms are all seeing increased usage by fat bikes. Some days, more people call to ask about the fat-bike trails than the Nordic trails.
Bird lover has them eating out of her hand – literally
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, January 21, 2018 

Jean Stover laughs when asked if she’s a birder. She doesn’t go on birding walks, doesn’t keep a life list and doesn’t post sightings on birding websites. But once a week when Stover goes out on her 4-acre woodlot to fill the bird feeders, she takes a handful of seeds and holds it out for the chickadees. Then, Jean Stover looks like a veritable Dr. Dolittle. Hand-feeding birds is often attempted, but rarely a success, said Maine Audubon Naturalist Doug Hitchcox.
Column: Maine’s coast yields impressive bird counts
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, January 21, 2018 

This is the second of three columns reviewing the highlights of Maine Christmas Bird Counts. These counts took place between mid-December and early January. Today we will take a tour along the coast from York County to the Machias region. The York County count produced an excellent count of 85 species. The Freeport-Brunswick count produced 60 species. The Bath-Phippsburg-Georgetown count produced 80 species. Offshore at Matinicus Island, the count yielded 41 species. The Moose Island-Jonesport count in eastern Washington County resulted in 52 species. ~ Herb Wilson
Column: Archery trade show displays new gadgets
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, January 21, 2018 

I’ve just returned from the Archery Trade Association’s annual show. Crossbows represent one of the fastest growing segments of the industry. ~ Bob Humphrey
Opinion: ‘Protect the Earth and treat everyone with love and kindness’
Kennebec Journal - Sunday, January 21, 2018 

On Jan. 21, 2017, the day after Mr. Trump was inaugurated as our 45th president, my 33-year-old son, Mark Baumer, was hit and killed while walking across America to raise awareness about climate change. Imagine my feelings when I read that our governor is the outlier among 16 governors of coastal states as the sole supporter of the Trump administration’s lifting of the ban on offshore oil and gas exploration. Dealing with leaders like Donald Trump and Paul LePage, who see Earth as merely something to exploit and profit from, it’s all too easy to become desensitized and resort to social media-based hand-wringing. But Mark’s example also offers us a model for “resistance” and, I believe, a viable way forward. ~ Jim Baumer
Letter: Clean Power Plan protects our health
Morning Sentinel - Sunday, January 21, 2018 

The residents of Maine count on the Environmental Protection Agency to protect us from dangerous pollutants that make our children sick and our air harder to breathe. But the EPA’s proposal to revoke the Clean Power Plan places children and other vulnerable populations in harm’s way. Revoking this life-saving plan denies Americans important health protections, and is inconsistent with the EPA’s core mission of protecting public health and the environment. Now is the time for the EPA to put public health first and scrap plans to repeal this life-saving standard that will protect Maine residents and all Americans. ~ Sally Melcher-McKeagney, Fairfield
Letter: Lawmakers should stand for solar
Morning Sentinel - Sunday, January 21, 2018 

Last summer, my local representative, Rep. MaryAnne Kinney, R-Knox, did the right thing by voting to support solar power and to overturn the flawed Public Utilities Commission (PUC) rule. That bill ultimately failed last session, but Kinney still deserves our thanks. Our state has dropped behind our neighboring states in solar power availability. Lack of access to solar power costs Mainers energy independence, access to clean renewable power, and solar jobs. Moreover, increasing solar accessibility helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels — the largest contributor to climate change. We must work towards a clean energy future for the health of our environment and our economy. ~ Chelsea Fosburgh, Unity
Letter: We should be more like Norway
Morning Sentinel - Sunday, January 21, 2018 

Norway has a vibrant economy based on natural resources and tourism with clean air, water, and forests protected by strict environmental rules. They produce oil but have a carbon tax with revenues dedicated to renewable power research and policy goals of reducing carbon emissions and stabilizing global climate change. Norway is at or near the top of almost every ranking of quality of life and satisfaction. The president should suspend efforts to overturn the Clean Power Plan and Clean Water Rule and increase the EPA’s budget for clean air and water programs instead of cutting them, including removal of the Waters of the United States budget rider. He should recommit the U.S. to the Paris Climate Agreement. These actions would not only make our country more attractive to Norwegians but also to Americans. They would help protect the water quality of Maine’s lakes, rivers, and streams and reduce ocean acidification in the Gulf of Maine. ~ Peter Kallin, Ph.D., Maine Lakes Society
Letter: Katahdin monument not out of the woods yet
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, January 21, 2018 

The article “Amid turmoil, small steps to greener world” in the Dec. 24 Maine Sunday Telegram rightly celebrates Katahdin Woods and Waters as a bright spot for our state and our country, but it is premature to breathe easily about the national monument’s future. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s official report recommends amending Katahdin Woods and Waters’ proclamation to “ timber management.” If this language sanctions commercial logging in the monument, then Zinke’s report shouldn’t be described as a highlight of the year. It may, in fact, be an attack on the monument’s original purpose of protecting 87,000 acres of forests, rivers and wildlife habitat. ~ Lois Winter, Portland
Letter: Deep freeze comes to us courtesy of climate change
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, January 21, 2018 

Both this month and three years ago, Maine has suffered from frigid, polar winds, caused by changes in the polar vortex. Cold Arctic air dipped down much further south than usual and froze pipes and doubled energy bills here. There is still some scientific debate about this, but climate scientists suspect that climate change is causing these extreme cold events. The more our climate warms, the more surprises we run into, and some of them are not pleasant (more polar vortexes, heat waves, droughts, wildfires and flooding; stronger hurricanes and tornadoes). Maybe it is time that we insist that our politicians stop ignoring these risks, and do something about it. ~ Richard Thomas, Waterville
Letter: Veal ‘green’? No more so than other beef products
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, January 21, 2018 

I couldn’t let the Dec. 31 Green Plate Special column, “Veal can be the green meat to eat,” go unanswered. I ask your readers not to be hoodwinked into perceiving veal as simply a maligned and misunderstood “food.” Veal is the flesh of powerless young animals, killed at 6 months old. The author’s assertion that these animals are now “processed” more “humanely and sustainably” is ludicrous. The beef industry is neither humane nor sustainable – and veal is no exception. I suggest that every meat eater visit a slaughterhouse at some time. My dad took me to one when I was 16, and sparked a growing compassion for all creatures. ~ Matt Power, Portland
Letter: Outlawing petitions at polls would be insult to voters
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, January 21, 2018 

L.D. 1726, which would forbid signature collection for citizen initiatives inside polling places, within 50 feet around the building and in the pathway 50 feet wide to any polling entrance. We have a constitutional right to citizen initiatives. This bill threatens that right. The polling place on Election Day is where voters best exercise constitutional redress of grievances by petition. Mainers have been using this unique opportunity to engage and discuss important issues for generations. This bill would make collecting signatures at a polling place a Class E crime – it criminalizes a piece of our democratic heritage! This bill would increase outside money in Maine politics and reduce the power of ordinary citizens. ~ Jeffrey Smith, Swanville
Environmentalist statement of solidarity with the Dreamers
Other - Saturday, January 20, 2018 

In ecosystems, everything is interconnected, and toxic ideas spread as quickly as pollution in our air and water. With their poisonous policies and rhetoric, Trump and the Republican Party continue to deny basic protections for the Dreamers and to use Dreamers as bargaining chips to fund Trump’s destructive border wall. We stand with Dreamers in our common struggle for justice. Progressives cannot afford to stand apart. At the core of our environmental fight is the belief we have the responsibility to seek justice for the Earth and those living on it.
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