November 17, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Sunday, November 17, 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
Hike with the Ranger, Nov 24
Event - Posted - Sunday, November 17, 2019 

At Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park, Freeport, November 24, 2 pm.
Friends of Baxter State Park online auction, ends Dec 4
Announcement - Thursday, November 14, 2019 

Own a piece of Baxter State Park history. 20 retired park signs will be available in the 2019 auction. 50% of the proceeds go to Baxter State Park, and 50% supports Friends of Baxter State Park. Auction ends December 4 midnight.
Northern Forest Canoe Trail online auction, ends Dec 1
Announcement - Thursday, November 14, 2019 

Paddlers and outdoor enthusiasts can bid on amazing experiences and gear, for a good cause: supporting Northern Forest Canoe Trail stewardship and programming. Ends Dec 1, 12:59 PM.
The Original Meaning and Intent of the Maine Indian Land Claims, Nov 21
Event - Posted - Thursday, November 14, 2019 

Maria Girouard, Penobscot Nation tribal historian, community organizer, educator, and activist, will examine intentions and contentions associated with the Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act of 1980, the historical context in which the act was framed, and ripple effects that have rocked the tribal-state relations ever since. At University of Southern Maine, Abromson Center, Portland, November 21, 6 pm.
Restoring Your Historic House, Nov 21
Event - Posted - Thursday, November 14, 2019 

Architectural historian, Scott Hanson, talks about his latest book, "Restoring Your Historic House: The Comprehensive Guide for Homeowners." At Topsham Library, November 21, 6 pm.
Truth in Action, Nov 20-21
Event - Posted - Wednesday, November 13, 2019 

Truth in Action is a daylong global conversation on the climate crisis and how we solve it led by Climate Reality Leaders, November 20-21.
Environmental Trivia Night, Nov 19
Event - Posted - Tuesday, November 12, 2019 

Maine Conservation Voters and UMaine School of Law Energy & Environment Fellows are hosting an environmental-themed trivia night. At Maine Beer Company, Freeport, November 19, 6 pm.
Deep sea research and biostratigraphy, Nov 19
Event - Posted - Tuesday, November 12, 2019 

Talk by Dr. Kevin McCartney, UMPI Professor of Geology. At University of Maine at Presque Isle, November 19, 12:30 pm.
Farmland Access & Transfer Conference, Nov 18
Event - Posted - Monday, November 11, 2019 

A day-long conference where farmers can learn strategies for succession planning, equity and affordability, securing farmland of their own, negotiating a lease agreement, etc. At Augusta Civic Center, November 18, 8 am - 3:30 pm. Sponsored by Maine Farmland Trust and Land For Good.
Comment on Maine SCORP
Action Alert - Monday, November 11, 2019 

The 2020-2024 State Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan qualifies Maine to receive federal Land and Water Conservation funds and satisfies state legislative requirements associated with monitoring trends in outdoor recreation. Deadline for comments on the draft plan: November 22.
Open House: Passenger Rail's Future, Nov 18
Event - Posted - Monday, November 11, 2019 

Open house about the future of passenger rail service. Provide input on alternative schedules, inbound morning service from Wells to Brunswick, a new location for a Portland station, additional station locations, and potential expansions to Lewiston/ Auburn and Westbrook. At the Brunswick Hotel, Brunswick, November 18, 5:30 pm.
Help Wanted: Maine Conservation Corps
Announcement - Saturday, November 9, 2019 

The Maine Conservation Corps is hiring a Field Coordinator, Team Leader, and 900 Hour Environmental Stewards.
Maine Deer: Winter Weather Warriors, Nov 16
Event - Posted - Saturday, November 9, 2019 

Nathan Bieber, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife deer specialist, talks about wintering deer in Maine. At Fields Pond Audubon Center, Holden, November 16, 1 p.m.
Wabanaki Place: Language and Landscape, Nov 16
Event - Posted - Saturday, November 9, 2019 

Penobscot historian James E. Francis Sr. will share stories about the origin and meaning of geographic place names in what is now known as Maine, from a Wabanaki perspective. At Maine Historical Society, Portland, Nov 16, 2 pm.
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Email link to Maine treasurer urges LePage to release bonds
Mills Outlines Climate Change Council Plans For Natural Resources Committee
Maine Public - Friday, May 17, 2019 

Democratic Gov. Janet Mills told state lawmakers Friday that her proposal to create a 27-member climate change council will help the state reduce greenhouse gas emissions while transitioning the state to what she describes as a "low-carbon" economy. Testifying before the Legislature's Natural Resources Committee, Mills says the council will come up with plans to slash emissions by 80 percent and generate 100 percent of the state’s power from renewable sources by 2050. "Now, it's easy to set goals on paper, to pass laws that say we should do this, or we should do that," she says. "Implementing it is a whole other thing. That's what this climate council will be tasked with doing."
Maine Wants to Sell Extra Renewable Energy to Other States
Bloomberg - Friday, May 17, 2019 

Maine wants to blow past other states that have committed to increase renewable energy production: It’s aiming to produce so much renewable energy that by 2030 it can export the excess to neighboring states. A bill (L.D. 658) signed into law May 17 by Gov. Janet Mills (D), directs the governor’s energy office to prepare a plan for the state to become a net exporter of energy by increasing renewable energy generation, energy conservation, and energy efficiency.
Portland Shows Past Levels Of High Waters To Illustrate Perils Of The Future
Maine Public - Friday, May 17, 2019 

The city of Portland is launching a new initiative to better inform people of flood hazards. Officials are placing "High Water Signs" around the city as part of a federal, state and local collaboration aimed at bringing attention to the need for flood resiliency in at-risk areas. The signs mark the high water level of a major flood in 1978. Bill Needleman, Portland's waterfront coordinator, told reporters at the Portand Pier Friday that the goal is to make scientific information about rising water levels and climate change more available to the public.
Future of program that helps hungry Mainers get produce in question as bill waits for funding
Bangor Daily News - Friday, May 17, 2019 

A program that gets locally grown food onto the plates of hungry Mainers is at risk. The state funds that supported it are slated to run out in June if a proposal before the legislative appropriations committee doesn’t get funded. The Good Shepherd Food Bank of Maine started Mainers Feeding Mainers in 2016 with a one-time $3 million appropriation from the legislature. As the funding clock on the program winds down, officials at the food bank, farmers and the people they help feed are optimistic proposed legislation currently in the hands of the appropriations committee will secure ongoing funding.
Decoding a 1946 land sale agreement poses the latest twist in Belfast’s fish farm fight
Bangor Daily News - Friday, May 17, 2019 

Officials from Nordic Aquafarms are rejecting the idea that the company’s pending application for a submerged lands lease should be summarily thrown out by the Maine Bureau of Public Lands. A new point of conflict involves interpretation of a land sale that happened more than 70 years ago. The lease would allow the company to bury pipes that would bring water from Penobscot Bay to the proposed land-based salmon farm in Belfast and then discharge treated water back to the bay. This access is critical to the $500 million project. The groups Upstream Watch and the Maine Lobstering Union, have been working to slow or stop the permitting process entirely.
Endangered Species Day
Other - Friday, May 17, 2019 

For Endangered Species Day on May 17, ESRI Canada put together an interactive based on information from the Endangered Species Coalition to show where some of these animal species live in North America — from the grey wolf, to the humpbacked whale, to the spotted owl.
Pine Point conservation pursued
Scarborough Leader - Friday, May 17, 2019 

Scarborough Land Trust announced last week that it is raising funds to permanently protect 14 acres of land in the Pine Point area of Scarborough. The Blue Point Preserve will be the land trust’s first piece of conserved property in Pine Point. The trust’s goal is to make the land a community asset with walking trails and access to Scarborough Marsh for birding, photography, nature appreciation and other outdoor endeavors. In addition, the preserve will help protect water quality in Scarborough Marsh by removing a derelict house on the property and keeping riparian buffers intact to filter runoff from the nearby roads and community.
Commissioner Camuso Shoots Her First Turkey
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Friday, May 17, 2019 

DIF&W Commissioner Judy Camuso is very excited about shooting a turkey last week. This is the first wild animal Judy has taken, and as she told me the story I could tell she was very pleased. DIFW fisheries biologist Liz Thorndike guided Judy that morning, and a large landowner gave them permission to hunt and even provided them with a very comfortable blind including two nice chairs. Yes, Judy is spoiled.
More asthma, fewer cod: Mills cites impacts on Maine as she pitches climate council to lawmakers
Portland Press Herald - Friday, May 17, 2019 

Gov. Janet Mills urged members of the Legislature on Friday to approve her initiative to create a climate change council to help Maine residents and businesses plan and prepare for the impacts of carbon emissions. Supporters lined up to offer more testimony on the bill’s behalf – but the measure also met opposition from industry figures who raised concerns about granting too much authority to the executive branch to set climate policy.
Opinion: CMP is investing in Maine’s energy future
Bangor Daily News - Friday, May 17, 2019 

Central Maine Power Co. is committed to providing stable delivery rates for customers, investment in our state’s infrastructure, clean-energy expertise and energy grid security. Over three decades at CMP, I have seen a lot of change — in technology, in state regulation and, yes, in ownership. The one constant has been our home-grown commitment to our customers, and I am proud of our ability to invest more in sustainably meeting their needs. ~ Doug Herling, president and CEO, Central Maine Power Co.
Column: Want to hear a whip-poor-will? Maine has plenty of options this month
Bangor Daily News - Friday, May 17, 2019 

We don’t have as many whip-poor-wills as we once did. Nobody does. It was one of the birds monitored during a North American Breeding Bird survey between 1966 and 2015. During that period, 75 percent of whip-poor-wills disappeared. Habitat loss is one probable cause. Fire suppression also reduces whip-poor-will habitat. Fortunately, Maine has one factor in its favor: glaciations. During the last Ice Age, glaciers scoured our state and deposited sand and gravel from the mountains to the sea. Wherever this well-drained soil remains, there you might find whip-poor-wills. ~ Bob Duchesne
Opinion: I oversaw the U.S. nuclear power industry. Now I think it should be banned.
Washington Post - Friday, May 17, 2019 

Nuclear power was supposed to save the planet. It could produce enormous amounts of electricity without the pollution caused by burning coal, oil or natural gas, which would help slow the catastrophic changes humans have forced on the Earth’s climate. As a physicist, I admired the science and the technological innovation behind the industry. In the late 2000s, the arguments in support of nuclear power were gaining traction with Congress, academia and even some environmentalists, as the Chernobyl accident faded. But the Fukushima Daiichi crisis reversed that momentum. Nuclear power is no longer a viable strategy for dealing with climate change, nor is it a competitive source of power. It is hazardous, expensive and unreliable, and abandoning it wouldn’t bring on climate doom. The real choice now is between saving the planet and saving the dying nuclear industry. I vote for the planet. ~ Gregory Jaczko, Nuclear Regulatory Commissioner 2005 - 2009, chairman 2009- 2012
Letter: Trains a poor choice for transportation
Times Record - Friday, May 17, 2019 

In his May 10 oped, “It is Train Time,” Anthony Donovan of the Sierra Club says trains can “directly impact climate change.” He’s right; the Downeaster spews more diesel fumes and particulates by far than any other surface transportation mode. They’re not only detrimental to the climate, but to public health. Donovan claims “Trains provide the most cost-effective, efficient and environmentally safe form of transportation in the world” with no proof. “Getting There Greener” from the Union of Concerned Scientists demonstrates trains are a poor choice, especially compared to Motor Coaches, which do everything a passenger train can, and are more flexible, environmentally friendly, and affordable. ~ Pem Schaeffer, Brunswick
Plants help absorb our carbon, but for how much longer?
National Geographic - Thursday, May 16, 2019 

A new study argues that plants are, to date, helping absorb excess carbon emissions. But at some point plants will get their fill of carbon, and the climate change helping hand they've extended will begin to recede. "Policy makers should respond to our findings by acknowledging that the terrestrial biosphere is functioning for the moment as an efficient carbon sink,” says Lucas Cernusak, a study author and ecoyphysiologist. “Take immediate measures to protect forests so that they can continue functioning in this way, and get to work immediately to de-carbonize our energy production.”
Wolf’s comeback in US triggers debate on protection levels
Associated Press - Thursday, May 16, 2019 

The gray wolf is on track for a remarkable comeback after being almost exterminated in the contiguous United States, but a Trump administration proposal to take the iconic symbol of the wild off the endangered species list has exposed divisions. The debate highlights clashing interests and differing philosophies, with ranchers fearing more livestock will fall prey to wolves and conservationists worrying that wider hunting of the predators might be around the corner.
Opinion: Maine Water supports state legislation
Biddeford-Saco-OOB Courier - Thursday, May 16, 2019 

Maine’s fresh water resources are vast in comparison to many areas. The resource is also renewable. More than 24 trillion gallons of precipitation falls on our state in a normal rainfall year. Water systems across the state use far less than 1 percent of this amount to deliver drinking water. Maine has strict developed over the last 20 years to ensure all Mainers have access to fresh water and no single user is threatening access or availability to others. It is clear that our current laws are also confusing. At least six different state agencies are involved in overseeing the extraction and use of Maine’s water resources in some way. LD 199, a law signed by the governor last month, creates the Water Resources Planning Committee to bring together state agencies, water users and environmental, conservation and commercial interests to plan for the sustainable use of Maine’s water resources. ~ Rick Knowlton, Maine Water Company
Maine’s lobster exports to China plunge 84 percent due to trade war
Other - Thursday, May 16, 2019 

SeafoodSource - The latest data from the Maine International Trade Center indicates that the state’s lobster exports to China plunged dramatically in the wake of retaliatory tariffs placed on a wide range of U.S. goods. The tariffs, implemented in July 2018, had an immediate affect on the state’s lobster industry. Soon after tariffs were implemented Maine’s exports to China nearly disappeared completely, and according to MITC exports have plunged nearly 84 percent since the tariffs were implemented.
Advocates urge lawmakers to help revive UMaine-led offshore wind power project
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, May 16, 2019 

The Mills administration and advocates for developing offshore wind power in Maine urged lawmakers Thursday to revive a floating turbine project that has been stalled with utility regulators for more than a year. The bill would direct the Public Utilities Commission to approve a long-term contract between the University of Maine-led Aqua Ventus program and Central Maine Power. A PUC decision last June to reopen a previously negotiated contract was viewed by project supporters as yet another setback by Gov. Paul LePage for Maine to develop an energy sector with enormous potential.
Watch as a mama fox plays with her babies in a Maine yard Baby foxes play fight
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, May 16, 2019 

About a week ago, nature photographer Roger Stevens Jr. said a man let him know about a family of foxes that were living underneath someone’s porch not far from downtown Lincoln. Armed with a new camera, he headed over to visit, and found that the foxes were far from shy: The mother fox has five active kits, which scamper, play, wrestle and essentially exude extreme cuteness that he was more than happy to capture in photos.
Portland kicks off a cruise season that will bring bigger ships, more passengers
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, May 16, 2019 

Portland welcomed the first major cruise ship of the 2019 season Thursday. The Norwegian Dawn brought 2,224 passengers and 1,000 crew members into port. Two other large ships expected this month – Grandeur of the Seas on Sunday and the Norwegian Dawn again on May 23 – are among the 100 cruise ships expected to call on Portland this season. Last year, 120 ships visited the city.
EPA Watchdog Finds Ex-Chief Scott Pruitt Spent $124,000 On 'Excessive' Airfare
National Public Radio - Thursday, May 16, 2019 

Scott Pruitt, the former head of the Environmental Protection Agency, and his staff spent roughly $124,000 in excessive travel costs during a ten-month period, according to EPA's internal watchdog. Pruitt, who resigned from EPA almost a year ago amidst a litany of ethics allegations, and his personal security detail flew in first or business class "without sufficient justification and, initially without appropriate approval authority." The EPA's Office of the Inspector General recommended the agency recover the excessive costs. Pruitt is not the first member of the Trump administration to be questioned about his travel on the taxpayer dime. Tom Price, former head of the Department of Health and Human Services, broke federal rules and former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke violated that agency's travel policy.
Maine timber industry opposes bill to ban some aerial spraying of herbicides
Associated Press - Thursday, May 16, 2019 

Maine's timber industry is pushing back at a proposal to restrict aerial spraying of herbicides. The bill, proposed by Democratic Senate President Troy Jackson, would ban the use of “aerial herbicide spraying for the purpose of deforestation.” Members of the timber industry say that definition is far too broad and would take a valuable tool away from companies that harvest trees from Maine’s vast forests. Anthony Hourihan, director of land development for Irving Woodlands, says the company uses aerial herbicide spraying to halt the growth of vegetation that competes with valuable trees.
Maine coast already feeling effects of climate change
WCSH-TV6 - Thursday, May 16, 2019 

Data from the Gulf of Maine Research Institute says since 1982, the temperatures in the Gulf have warmed about 2.3 degrees Fahrenheit. The summer of 2018 saw higher surface water temperatures than ever. Maine state government is devoting new attention to climate change, with Gov. Janet Mills setting ambitious goals to have Maine reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050 and eliminate non-renewable electricity by that same time. But much of the attention to climate may be about mitigation — finding ways to deal with the problem, making coastal communities more resilient, and planning for future impacts on various fisheries. And, since climate change is also a political issue, there is still not universal agreement on the problem or the cause.
Foxcroft Academy teacher awarded PCSWCD’s 2019 Outstanding Conservation Educator of the Year
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, May 16, 2019 

The Piscataquis County Soil and Water Conservation District is pleased to announce that Rob Weber, physics and chemistry teacher at Foxcroft Academy, has received its 2019 Outstanding Conservation Educator of the Year award. Weber has been active in teaching high school students best practices on how to be stewards of the land and sharing an appreciation of what Piscataquis County has to offer.
Squirrel disrupts power to more than 2,000 in Brewer area
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, May 16, 2019 

More than 2,400 Emera Maine customers were without power in Penobscot County on Thursday morning after a squirrel found its way into a local substation.
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