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
Editorial: Call it climate change, weather extremes, whatever, but don’t deny it’s happening
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, August 20, 2017 

Telling government officials not to use the term “climate change” isn’t going to slow temperature increases or stop sea levels from rising. Neither will downplaying or delaying reports on the warming planet. Rather than telling government agencies what terms they can and cannot use, the Trump administration should take the responsible action of actually taking steps to mitigate climate changes, or extreme weather, or whatever they want to call it.
One year later, national monument stands its ground
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, August 20, 2017 

For years, Mainers debated whether a tract of land near Baxter State Park was worthy of designation as a national park or monument. President Barack Obama ended that discussion on Aug. 24, 2016, when he designated the park as Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. Or so supporters had hoped. This Thursday marks both the one-year anniversary of Katahdin Woods and Waters’ creation and the due date for a report to President Trump that could shape the future of Maine’s newest national monument and more than two dozen others across the country. While Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is not expected to recommend shrinking Katahdin Woods and Waters or reversing the designation, he could suggest changes such as opening areas to logging or allowing additional snowmobiling.
Maine fishermen, scientists combine forces with goal to save shrimp fishery
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, August 20, 2017 

For more than 20 years, Dana Hammond made close to half his annual income shrimping. But his shrimping profits began to dwindle in 2013. That season, regulators were alarmed by the lack of shrimp biomass in the Gulf of Maine, and the amount he was allowed to catch was cut 72 percent. The fishery was closed entirely in 2014. It hasn’t reopened since and Hammond, who fishes out of Portland, has been trying to make up the deficit from his other main source of income, groundfishing. But Hammond isn’t ready to let shrimping go. It’s an ideal winter fishery for him, allowing him to stay close to shore during rough and cold weather. He’s so vested in the future of the fishery that this summer he went to sea with the Northeast Fisheries scientists who conduct the annual summer survey, the main source of data that determines the status of the fishery every year.
Shrink wrap may protect Maine boats, but it can harm the environment
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, August 20, 2017 

Before long, the recreational boating season will draw to a close and owners will batten down their craft for the winter. Many will choose the low-density polyethylene (LDPE) plastic better known as shrink-wrap. It works well to protect boats from the elements, but comes at a high price. The boat owner pays the financial fee; we all pay the environmental. “Disposal is problematic to say the least,” acknowledges Susan Swanton, executive director of the Maine Marine Trades Association. Every spring, boat yards and boat owners pull tons of this plastic off watercraft, and most of it goes to landfills or incinerators. If Maine legislators want to encourage greater reuse and recycling of boat shrink wrap, they could direct the Maine DEP to set up a system and determine a fair means of funding it. There’s a dire need for innovation and support so that all boatyards and boat owners can do the right thing.
New life for old guitar strings
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, August 20, 2017 

Betina Clark got tired of watching her musician boyfriend toss out used guitar strings. There must, she thought, be something she could do with them to save them from the trash. Clark, a jeweler who lives in Portland, started experimenting and now her business, Stringin’ Along with ME, is based on jewelry made out of recycled guitar strings. She’s expanded from the guitar and also uses strings from cellos, the bass, violins and fiddles.
Dishing with food scientist Mary Ellen Camire
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, August 20, 2017 

Mary Ellen Camire is professor of food science and human nutrition at the University of Maine. She’s also the director of the University of Maine Sensory Evaluation Center, where much of her research focuses on how consumers respond to Maine-specific commodities, like seaweed, potatoes, berries and grains. We talked with her about her background in nutrition, why where you eat matters when you are taste testing and how the lab works with new local foods.
Column: Salt Pond free-for-all, fun for all
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, August 20, 2017 

If you want a beautiful place to paddle where you can have fun yourself while also watching other do the same, Salt Pond in Blue Hill is the place. This tidal, saltwater pond is a very entertaining place on the incoming tide when a powerful flow of water under the Route 175 bridge fills Salt Pond. The faucet is wide open, and paddlers near and far converge at the small cove west of the bridge to test and hone their whitewater skills at Blue Hill Falls. ~ Michael Perry
Column: Preparations for bear season start months before opening day
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, August 20, 2017 

For a small but dedicated cadre of the hunting community, the season has already been open for nearly a month. The process actually began long before that, as it does with most types of hunting for the more dedicated practitioners. It might have started with poring over topo maps – or more likely Google Earth – for potential hunting locations. Next is seeking the landowner’s identity, followed by their permission, a process that could take minutes, days or even weeks. With that done, it’s time for some boots-on-the-ground scouting to hone down specific stand sites. ~ Bob Humphrey
Column: DNA technology gives us new insights into taxonomy
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, August 20, 2017 

Humans have a penchant for organizing. We like order. This need for organization certainly drove Carl Linnaeus, a Swedish naturalist, to publish the first catalog of life, the Systema Naturae, in 1735. He devised the framework we still use in our taxonomy. Taxonomists do have methods for defining a species. The problem is that there is more than one method, and the different approaches do not always get to the same conclusion. ~ Herb Wilson
Letter: Resolve electric car issue now
Sun Journal - Sunday, August 20, 2017 

Legislation needs to be enacted that would prevent owners of electric vehicles to avoid paying the gasoline tax they are obviously avoiding by operating those vehicles. ~ Tom Curtis
Don’t Miss the Evening for the Environment
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Saturday, August 19, 2017 

The Maine Conservation Voters will host their annual Evening for the Environment on Wednesday, October 25, from 5:30 pm to 8 pm at Brick South, Thompson’s Point, Portland. This year’s keynote speaker is Brian Deese, a Senior Advisor to former President Obama who oversaw climate, conservation, and energy policies. I am also very honored to be receiving an award that night, the MCV’s 2017 Environmental Leadership Award.
Removing mercury from Penobscot River likely won’t be easy
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, August 19, 2017 

Exactly how does someone clean toxic mercury deposits out of a section of a tidal river more than 30 miles long? That’s the main question a federal judge is expected to decide next year as part of a court-ordered cleanup of mercury dumped over decades into the Penobscot River, by operators of the former HoltraChem chemical plant in Orrington. But any cleanup effort will likely include leaving some mercury in the river since removing it altogether could be too complicated and expensive.
Rollback of stream rules greeted with cheers, jeers
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, August 19, 2017 

The Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers have proposed dropping an Obama administration policy that protected many tributaries, intermittent streams and wetlands under the Clean Water Act. The June 2015 policy sought to clarify the scope of the 1972 Clean Water Act – a legacy of Maine’s late Sen. Edmund Muskie – after years of debate and conflicting court opinions over the regulation of pollution and discharges into smaller waterways. But courts suspended the Clean Water Rule and President Trump directed the EPA to begin the regulatory process to dismantle rules. Maine agriculture groups and conservation organizations were on opposite sides of the Obama administration regulations – and still are. The EPA is accepting public comments on the proposal through Aug. 28.
Opinion: New investments in public transportation strengthen the region
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, August 19, 2017 

Next summer, the Portland area will see an exciting new expansion of bus service to Gorham. The Husky Line is just the latest boost to public transportation in the Portland region. We’ve long had the economic engines of the Casco Bay ferry and the Downeaster train. In 2012, train service reached to Brunswick. In 2013, the Lakes Region Explorer, began connecting people in Bridgton region to Portland. Last summer, the Metro BREEZ bus launched a line for people in Freeport, Yarmouth and Portland. In a few weeks, that service will be extended to Brunswick. ShuttleBus-ZOOM customers in Biddeford, Saco and Old Orchard Beach now enjoy weekend bus service, and South Portland Bus recently added Sunday service. More improvements are on the horizon. A robust network will free us from our cars. ~ Kristina Egan, Greater Portland Council of Governments
Letter: Wind power not needed
Sun Journal - Saturday, August 19, 2017 

The continuing destruction of Maine's pristine ridges and mountaintops for the benefit of politicians and foreign corporations must end. There is no need for Maine to be a conduit for the delivery of electricity to Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island. ~ Dudley Gray
Trump team nears decision on national monuments
Other - Friday, August 18, 2017 

Science - As Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke approaches the 24 August deadline for his recommendations to President Trump on whether to alter dozens of national monuments, conservation proponents say it remains all but impossible to predict which sites the administration could target for reductions or even wholesale elimination. While conservationists continue to urge the Trump administration to refrain from trying to make changes to any of the nation's monuments, some state GOP lawmakers have lobbied Zinke and Trump to rescind or sharply reduce the acreage of many of the monuments. Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) is leading the charge to dismantle the state's sole national monument.
What Happened to the Forest Industry?
Northern Woodlands - Friday, August 18, 2017 

The mills and secondary manufactures are dealing with a global business environment that’s ruthless. A strong dollar makes their exports less valuable. Global trade wars and tariffs twist them in knots. They get bullied by regulators on one end with their never-ending series of hoops and bullied by landowners who sit on their wood and loggers who don’t reliably deliver logs and workers who don’t show up for work on the other end. So these are some of the reasons why things are difficult.
China Board of Appeals sides with neighbors in latest turn of barn debate
Kennebec Journal - Friday, August 18, 2017 

The Town of China's Board of Appeals sustained an appeal filed against a decision made by the town’s code enforcement officer — the latest flash point in a contentious case pitting neighbor against neighbor for several months. The Greater Neck Road Neighborhood Association filed the appeal after the code enforcement officer didn't take action on social events held at the barn. The appeals board ultimately found that the addition of plumbing to the barn set it up to be used as a commercial structure, which would require a permit.
Loon Protection Program Yields Positive Results
Maine Public - Friday, August 18, 2017 

The Portland-based Biodiversity Research Institute is reporting a development that could have broad implications for efforts to protect loons. A loon chick that was relocated from Maine to a lake in Massachusetts last summer has returned to its second home, not the lake where it was born. And that’s raising hopes that loons could be restored to their former breeding range.
This Q&A Is Top Secret, Contains Leaked Info and Definitely Was Not Peer Reviewed
Moyers & Company - Friday, August 18, 2017 

Climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe reflects on last week's rare 15 minutes of fame for a new 600+ page government report on the state of climate science and it's impact on you and me right now.
Maine's moment in the Sun's eclipse
Down East - Friday, August 18, 2017 

In the autumn of 1961 an inquiry from some farsighted scientists reached the Chamber of Commerce in Bangor, Maine. A forthcoming total eclipse of the sun, it stated, would occur late in the afternoon of July 20, 1963. Within the United States the total eclipse would be visible only over a thin strip of Alaska and along a path 53 miles wide across the middle of Maine. Since Bangor was the largest community within that path.
Rare blue frog found by Maine teen seeking frog jumping contestant
Portland Press Herald - Friday, August 18, 2017 

Konor Dyer, 14, of Strong, came across the blue-colored amphibian as he looked for an entry in the frog jumping contest at this weekend’s Phillips Old Home Days, according to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. “One never knows what one might find in the woods and waters of Maine,” the fisheries and wildlife department wrote. Dyer’s find means the frog was lacking a yellow pigment, which is a relatively rare occurrence. State officials usually receive about one report per year of a blue frog. “This year, we have had three, including a blue bull frog,” the department wrote. “We don’t think it is due to the upcoming eclipse, but really have no better explanation as to why this year’s count has tripled. Konor plans to return the frog to its home after the contest.”
Editorial: Why you’ll be better off from that trip to the beach
Bangor Daily News - Friday, August 18, 2017 

A day at the beach is one of the cherished rites of a Maine summer. Visitors and residents trek to the state’s numerous sandy beaches to splash in the chilly water and soak up the warmth of the sun. Here’s even more reason to make another trip to the beach before summer ends: Being at the ocean can improve your health. Being close to water, especially the waves of the ocean, relieves stress.
Kents Hill Orchard returns to ‘pick-your-own apples’ after three-year hiatus
Kennebec Journal - Friday, August 18, 2017 

It will be just like old times with the pick-your-own apples at Kents Hill Orchard reopening after a three-year hiatus. John Harker, former director of production development at the Maine Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources, took over management of the trees for the Drakes, who retired. Most of the Drakes’ land on the hilltop was sold to the Maine Farmland Trust in a deal in 2009 and later went to Brian and Lee Ann Baggott in a deal to protect farmland and now produces field corn, sweet corn and other vegetables. But the Drakes kept 15 acres for themselves, three of them holding the apple orchard.
First 1-minute hike an eye-opening affair
John Holyoke Out There Blog - Friday, August 18, 2017 

Last week, my colleague, Aislinn Sarnacki, and I headed deep into the woods of Maine, where we spent a couple of days in and around the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. When she went on a 1-minute hike, I figured I’d pitch in by finding a nice, shady spot, lying down for a few hours, and taking a nap. But that perfect plan was foiled when Aislinn invited me along on a pair of her hikes. I figured it’d only be polite if I tagged along. And honestly, how hard could they be? They are, after all, just one minute long. Or not.
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