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
Montana Firm Eyes $22 Million Maine Expansion For High-tech Timber
Bangor Daily News - Friday, February 16, 2018 

The nation’s first manufacturer of cross-laminated timber plans to set up shop in Maine, with a goal of creating 100 jobs at a $22 million mill, officials said Friday. SmartLam, LLC of Montana still seeks a mill site, but has committed to building a factory in Maine within 18 months. LignaTerra Global LLC of Charlotte, North Carolina announced plans at Husson University on Tuesday to build a $30 million, 300,000-square-foot factory to produce CLT in Millinocket.
The Public Cost of Private Conservation
Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting - Friday, February 16, 2018 

In his State of the State address Tuesday night, Gov. Paul LePage continued his attack on the tax-exempt status of Maine’s 75 private land trusts, claiming they take hundreds of millions of dollars of land value off the tax rolls. While most of this acreage is preserved land in Maine’s unorganized territory, having no impact on local budgets, some small communities in Maine say the property-tax breaks land trusts receive drain their tax bases and threaten their sustainability.
Portland, South Portland Aim To Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions By 80 Percent
Maine Public - Friday, February 16, 2018 

Portland is joining forces with South Portland to develop a collaborative climate action plan aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050. Troy Moon, Portland’s sustainability coordinator, presented the plan before the City Council’s Sustainability and Transportation Committee on Thursday. Moon, who has been working on the plan for six months, says their goal of reducing CO2 emissions 80 percent by 2050 is no easy task.
Asians help to fill sales gap as Europe eats less lobster
Portland Press Herald - Friday, February 16, 2018 

Two-thirds of the live lobster sold overseas by the U.S. last year ended up on plates in Asia, up 36 percent from the year before. The growth in the $231.9 million Asian market is welcomed by the Maine lobster industry, which accounts for 83 percent of the U.S. haul. The increase helps offset Maine losses in Europe, which spent $40.3 million less on live U.S. lobster in 2017 than it had the year before.
Opinion: With smart planning, potential negatives of wind farms can be mitigated
Portland Press Herald - Friday, February 16, 2018 

Gov. LePage’s recent announcement of a moratorium on wind farms in certain areas of the state, as well as the establishment of a commission to study the effects of wind farms on tourism and migratory birds, has drawn both condemnation and praise. Rural communities that are host to a turbine can see an increase in the tax base, as the potential for income from the land is realized. There also is evidence that the added property tax revenue from a wind farm can reduce a town’s overall property tax rate. These concerns can be mitigated by proper planning and siting. ~ Rachel Bouvier, environmental economist
Letter: Fair funding for highway maintenance
Sun Journal - Friday, February 16, 2018 

Maine needs to raise more money for the highway fund. The state faces a shortfall of about $50 million per year. It could be done by raising the gas and diesel taxes 7 cents. That would raise the price of vehicle fuels by about 3 percent and would put Maine in line with other states. But Gov. LePage has made an unreasonable proposal to impose a new tax on hybrid and all-electric vehicles, thereby putting a penalty on exactly the clean vehicles that the state should be encouraging people to buy. I suggest that drivers be taxed based on the damage they cause to roads. Damage is proportional to miles driven and vehicle weight. Both of those numbers are available to the city clerk. Perfectly fair, perfectly doable. ~ Ben Lounsbury, Auburn
Washington County business imports new scallop drag
Working Waterfront - Thursday, February 15, 2018 

The traditional way of harvesting scallops, the high-value seafood now in season, uses a dredge, or drag. Heavy chains or steel hardware scrape across the bottom, tossing the scallop shells upward, where they are caught in a bag. Inevitably, some of the targeted beds are destroyed by the less-than-surgical nature of the process. Tim Sheehan, who with his wife operates Gulf of Maine Inc. in Washington County, believes he’s found a safer, more fuel efficient, and less environmentally damaging way to harvest scallops. Sheehan is now selling a scallop drag, or dredge, that has been in use in Scotland for several years. The design is closer to a rake, with thin wire tines that scrape bottom.
Trump's Budget Will Destroy National Parks
Other - Thursday, February 15, 2018 

Outside - Recently, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke employed a bait-and-switch defense of President Trump’s bait-and-switch budget proposal for the Department of the Interior. The bait? An $18 billion fund for fixing the National Park Service’s massive maintenance backlog. The switch? It’d be paid for by deregulating oil and gas extraction on public lands, firing NPS employees, and empowering Zinke to sell off any public lands he wishes. Make no mistake, this would be a disaster for America’s national parks, and it probably won’t even fix the potholes.
Trump's Budget Will Destroy National Parks
Other - Thursday, February 15, 2018 

Outside - Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has employed a bait-and-switch defense of President Trump’s bait-and-switch budget proposal for the Department of the Interior. The bait? An $18 billion fund for fixing the National Park Service’s massive maintenance backlog. The switch? It’d be paid for by deregulating oil and gas extraction on public lands, firing NPS employees, and empowering Zinke to sell off any public lands he wishes. Make no mistake, this would be a disaster for America’s national parks, and it probably won’t even fix the damn potholes.
Aroostook County School to Eliminate Harvest Break
Maine Public - Thursday, February 15, 2018 

A unique school tradition will come to an end in one Aroostook County town next year. Wednesday night, the school board for SAD 1, in Presque Isle, voted to eliminate “harvest break” – a three week period in the fall when students leave the classroom and help to harvest potatoes. In recent years other towns have also eliminated the break. However, school officials expect that the unusual practice will continue in a few places.
Verso Paper to Add Jobs at Mill in Jay
Maine Public - Thursday, February 15, 2018 

Verso Thursday announced that it plans to upgrade and restart the No.3 paper machine at the Androscoggin Mill in Jay later this year, creating around 120 new full-time jobs. Verso spokesperson Kathi Rowzie says the machine will be used to manufacture a variety of packaging products rather than the graphic papers formerly produced on the machine. Total cost for the project is $17 Million. $4 Million of that is state money awarded by the Maine Technology Institute through a challenge grant. Currently, Verso employs around 400 people in Jay.
Maine Technology Institute awards $10.5 million in grants
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, February 15, 2018 

The Maine Technology Institute approved six grants totaling $10.5 million, including $4 million to Verso Corp. in Jay, to upgrade and restart an idled paper machine at the Androscoggin Mill in Jay, and $3 million to SmartLam, a Montana manufacturer of cross-laminated timber, to expand to Maine.
Maine Legislators Tell Trump: No Drilling Off Our State
Maine Public - Thursday, February 15, 2018 

The Maine House of Representatives unanimously passed a resolution Thursday calling on President Donald Trump to leave Maine out of offshore oil and gas drilling. Opponents of offshore drilling in the Legislature say drilling and exploration off Maine's coast would endanger commercial fishing jobs.
Dems pile on during and after Maine governor’s final State of the State
Other - Thursday, February 15, 2018 

50 States of Blue - National Resources Council of Maine Executive Director Lisa Pohlmann responded to LePage’s direct mention of the group by name: “In a long rant last night against land conservation, the governor said this: ‘the Natural Resource[s] Council of Maine, who are ripping off the landowner in the state of Maine, need to step up to the plate.’ But here’s the truth: NRCM steps up to the plate every single day to promote the safeguards that protect our land, air, and water, and Mainers appreciate a healthy environment.”
L.L.Bean says lawsuit 'misrepresents' its new returns policy
Mainebiz - Thursday, February 15, 2018 

L.L.Bean has hit back against a lawsuit over its new one-year limit on returns, saying the suit misrepresents the terms of its new policy and that it doesn't apply to items bought beforehand. The Freeport-based retailer announced on Feb. 9 that customers will have one year after purchasing merchandise to return it, accompanied by proof of purchase. "After year one, we will work with our customers to reach a fair solution if a product is defective in any way," L.L.Bean Executive Chairman Shawn Gorman said in a Facebook post. He noted that the policy was tweaked due to a small but growing number of shoppers who have interpreted the guarantee "well beyond its original intent," expecting refunds for heavily worn products used over many years or for items purchased at yard sales.
Underwater video shows marine life thriving at offshore wind farm
Associated Press - Thursday, February 15, 2018 

Offshore wind proponents are touting new undersea footage suggesting a vibrant marine habitat is growing around the nation’s first offshore wind farm. The American Wind Energy Association posted a short video on YouTube this week from Deepwater Wind’s five-turbine operation off Rhode Island. The video shows mussels and fish clustered around the turbine bases, as well as positive testimonials from local recreational fishermen and charter boat owners. But Seth Rolbein, of the Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance, cautions the footage does little to address commercial fishermen’s concerns of encountering problems like getting trawling gear damaged on undersea power cables.
Body of missing clam digger found in waters off Washington County
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, February 15, 2018 

The body of a missing clam digger was found in the coastal waters off Washington County Thursday morning, according to the Maine Marine Patrol. Delbert Caler of Harrington, who was 62, was discovered by a local fisherman working with the marine patrol during a search that also involved police and the Maine Warden’s Service.
LePage Flunked Homework on Land Trusts, Bipartisan Legislators Conclude
Free Press - Thursday, February 15, 2018 

A legislative committee unanimously concluded this week that conserved lands benefit the state overall and that Governor LePage’s claim that the state was losing millions of dollars due to land trusts not paying taxes was false. The Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee was asked to study the financial and nonfinancial aspects of conserved lands owned by nonprofit conservation organizations. The ACF Committee agreed the governor’s data should be set aside, then unanimously concluded that their final report would state that land trusts benefit Maine in many ways; recommend that the Legislature review current-use tax programs; and recommend investigating small, rural communities that seem to be negatively impacted by land that is tax-exempt for any reason, including conservation.
One Mainer’s Account of the Long Journey From Georgia to Maine (Part 3)
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, February 14, 2018 

In 2015, I walked the entire AT – for the second time, the first in 1977 – from Springer Mtn. in Georgia to the summit of Katahdin in Maine, taking 189 glorious days to go the distance. I wrote a series of columns chronicling the long journey, and I have compiled those accounts into a four-part series. Part 3 covers the final leg of the long walk, through New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and finally, the Great State of Maine and Katahdin. ~ Carey Kish
Public comment not allowed at public meetings on drilling plan
Associated Press - Wednesday, February 14, 2018 

With giant inflatable whales, signs that read “Drilling Is Killing” and chants of “Where’s our meeting?” opponents of President Trump’s plan to open most of the nation’s coastline to oil and natural gas drilling have staged boisterous rallies before public meetings held by the federal government on the topic. That’s because the public cannot speak to the assembled attendees at the meetings.
Fact Checking LePage's Statements on Land Trusts
Maine Public - Wednesday, February 14, 2018 

Governor LePage used a portion of his 90-minute State of the State address Tuesday to attack one of his favorite targets: land trusts. The governor blames them for taking too much land from the tax rolls in Maine and shifting the burden to property owners. But there's a problem with his premise; land trusts account for only a small fraction of tax exempt property in Maine. Actually, says Tim Glidden of the Maine Coast Heritage Trust, there are a whole list of benefits to taxpayers from land that has been protected from development, and many of the projects wouldn't get off the ground without local input and support. In addition, Maine has one of the lowest rates of public land in the country.
Tree-cutting leads to clash in Yarmouth
Forecaster - Wednesday, February 14, 2018 

Residents of Sisquisic Trail say they woke up without warning on Jan. 25 to the sound of machinery clear-cutting 17 acres of forest and wildlife habitat that served as a buffer between their homes and Route 1. They want the town to intervene with the owner of the property, David DeLorme, on grounds that the cutting violates the original site plan of the former DeLorme Mapping building at 2 DeLorme Drive, which was approved by the Planning Board in 1995. But town officials say they have no jurisdiction over the cutting, because it’s regulated by state timber harvesting laws.
Somerset County plan seeks to create destination economy
Morning Sentinel - Wednesday, February 14, 2018 

Designers of a newly released Somerset County Rural Cultural Plan say they want to create a new economic base in central Maine by tapping into assets already in place and creating a destination economy and new jobs along the way. Tourism is an important economic driver for Somerset County and could be further enhanced by leveraging the region’s creative resources through marketing and development, said Skowhegan resident Jon Kimbell, chairman of the Somerset Cultural Planning Committee, a project of Wesserunsett Arts Council, which created the plan.
Blake hopes to succeed Sirocki in Scarborough House district
Forecaster - Wednesday, February 14, 2018 

Republican Brad Blake will seek election in Maine House District 28, representing part of Scarborough. The seat is held by Republican Rep. Heather Sirocki, who cannot run again due to term limits. Blake, 68, retired from Unum in 2017. He is a native of Lincoln, and a University of Maine graduate. He is a founder and former chairman of the Citizens Task Force on Wind Power, a member of the board of directors of Friends of Maine’s Mountains.
Top EPA Science Adviser Has History Of Questioning Pollution Research
National Public Radio - Wednesday, February 14, 2018 

In 2015, the top toxicologist for the state of Texas, Michael Honeycutt, was interviewed on Houston Public Radio. At the time, the Environmental Protection Agency was pushing for tighter limits on ozone, a type of air pollution that is hazardous for people with asthma and other respiratory diseases. But Honeycutt said reducing air pollution could be dangerous. Now, Honeycutt is the top science advisor for the EPA.
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