June 19, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Wednesday, June 19, 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
Save Right Whales
Action Alert - Wednesday, June 19, 2019 

New England’s iconic whale is on the brink of extinction. A bill in Congress called Scientific Assistance for Very Endangered (“SAVE”) Right Whales could help this key species recover. ~ Conservation Law Foundation
Water: What is has to teach us, Jun 25
Event - Posted - Tuesday, June 18, 2019 

Learn about fresh water ecosystems and new aquaculture operations in the MidCoast region. At Topsham Public Library, June 25, 6 pm. Sponsored by Cathance River Education Alliance.
Proposed Coyote Center, Jun 24
Event - Posted - Monday, June 17, 2019 

Biologist Geri Vistein will share an informative film about the future Coyote Center in Maine, followed by a discussion of Maine’s coyotes. At Lithgow Public Library, Augusta, June 24, 6:30 pm.
Teen Wilderness Expedition, July 23-25
Announcement - Sunday, June 16, 2019 

The Teen Wilderness Expedition is a 3-day, 2-night, all-inclusive adventure for 12-16 year olds at Little Lyford Lodge, July 23-25. Offered by Piscataquis County Soil and Water Conservation District and Appalachian Mountain Club.
Maine State Museum hosts Bike Day, Jun 22
Event - Posted - Saturday, June 15, 2019 

Join the Maine State Museum, Bicycle Coalition of Maine and the Maine State Library in a free family event to commemorate the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote and learn about the benefits of safe, relaxed bike riding. At Maine State Museum, June 22, 10 am - 1 pm.
Woodland Management with Birds in Mind, Jun 22
Event - Posted - Saturday, June 15, 2019 

A Forestry for Maine Birds workshop for landowners, foresters and loggers interested in learning how they can support Maine’s forest songbirds. At Somerset County Cooperative Extension office, Skowhegan, and on the adjacent Yankee Woodlot Demonstration Forest, June 22, 9 am - noon.
Hike Puzzle Mt., Jun 22
Event - Posted - Saturday, June 15, 2019 

A moderate to strenuous hike of 8.5 miles. Cross several exposed granite boulders and ledges offering views of the Sunday River ski area, Grafton Notch, and the Presidentials, June 22, pre-register. Sponsored by Appalachian Mountain Club.
Androscoggin River Canoe & Kayak River Race, Jun 22
Event - Posted - Saturday, June 15, 2019 

This event is open to all to launch canoes, kayaks, paddle boards, (and more) into the Androscoggin River and complete one of three courses of varying length and challenge. At Festival Plaza, Auburn, June 22, 9 am, $15 for single paddler, $25 for a double, benefits Androscoggin Land Trust.
Plants of Corea Heath, Jun 22
Event - Posted - Saturday, June 15, 2019 

Join Jill Weber, botanist and co-author of The Plants of Acadia National Park, to learn about carnivorous plants, orchids, stunted trees and shrubs and cotton-grass. At Corea Heath, Goldsboro, June 22, 8:30 am. Sponsored by Downeast Audubon.
Maine Wildlife Park open house, Jun 21
Event - Posted - Friday, June 14, 2019 

The Maine Wildlife Park in Gray will hold an open house with free admission, June 21, 5-8 pm. Feeding times for moose, lynx, foxes, cougars, vultures and bears will be posted.
Call for a presidential primary debate on climate change
Action Alert - Thursday, June 13, 2019 

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez has rejected a presidential primary debate on climate change. 15 Democratic presidential candidates have joined the call. So can you. ~ CREDO Action
Trekking through Time
Announcement - Thursday, June 13, 2019 

From June through October, Lakes Environmental Association, Loon Echo Land Trust, Greater Lovell Land Trust, Upper Saco Valley Land Trust, and Western Foothills Land Trust will host the Trekking through Time Series. Once a month throughout the summer and early fall, each organization will host a historical tour of one of its conservation properties.
Help document impact on shell middens, Jun 18
Announcement - Tuesday, June 11, 2019 

Many cultural artifacts of Maine's first coastal residents are preserved in shell middens, but these sites are disappearing as sea levels rise, collectors dig into the middens, and visitors walk on them. Maine Midden Minders is developing a database of erosion conditions at middens. Volunteer training at Coastal Rivers’ Education Center, Damariscotta, June 18, 3-7 pm.
“Dog-Friendly Hikes in Maine” book launch, Jun 18
Event - Posted - Tuesday, June 11, 2019 

Book signing and presentation for “Dog-Friendly Hikes in Maine” by Aislinn Sarnacki, which contains detailed descriptions and maps of 35 hikes across Maine that are ideal for dogs and their owners. At Epic Sports, Bangor, June 18, 5-7:30 pm.
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News Items
UN: 20 more countries ready to ratify Paris climate deal
Other - Friday, September 16, 2016 

The UN secretary general’s chief climate adviser Selwin Hart says 20 countries plan to ratify the Paris climate deal in New York on 21 September, raising hopes the treaty could go live this year.
Central Maine farmers say drought hasn’t hurt apple crop
Kennebec Journal - Thursday, September 15, 2016 

Three central Maine farmers said Thursday the drought hasn’t had much of an impact on their apple crops. One even said the drought has actually been beneficial. “There wasn’t the moisture to create scabbing problems and fungus,” said Marilyn Meyerhans of Lakeside Orchards in Manchester. “The quality of the fruit is really good, and in some ways, the drought was good for apples because the disease pressure was lower.” Meyerhans, along with apple farmers in Madison and Skowhegan, all said that their apple trees are old enough and established with deep roots that get enough moisture without relying on rainfall.
Park service hears from stakeholders about North Woods monument
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, September 15, 2016 

The National Park Service started the conversation its officials want to have with stakeholders on Thursday as they embark on a three-year journey toward a management plan for the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. The event was a listening session, the first of four scheduled this month. Tim Hudson, the National Park Service official directing the plan’s construction, said he hoped the conversations would lead to a monument everyone enjoys. “A lot of things got said that we can sort out. Some of them strayed from the monument itself. That’s fine,” Hudson said after the forum, which drew almost 200 residents to Katahdin Junior/Senior High School.
VP nominee Tim Kaine praises North Woods monument, criticizes Trump
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, September 15, 2016 

With polling flagging Maine as a potential swing state for the first time in nearly a generation, Democratic vice-presidential nominee Tim Kaine visited the state for a Cape Elizabeth fundraiser on Thursday, saying he was here to “make sure we win” statewide. The Virginia senator and Hillary Clinton’s running mate in the race against Republican nominee Donald Trump told the Bangor Daily News in a phone interview that Trump is appealing to a “darker, divisive emotion” in the country. Kaine also said he supports the new national monument in Maine’s North Woods and would prioritize shipbuilding if elected.
Arctic sea ice shrinks to a near-record low
Associated Press - Thursday, September 15, 2016 

The National Snow and Ice Data Center in Colorado said the sea ice reached its summer low point on Saturday, extending 1.6 million square miles. That’s behind only the mark set in 2012, 1.31 million square miles. Center director Mark Serreze said this year’s level technically was 3,800 square miles less than 2007, but that’s so close the two years are essentially tied. “The trend is clear and ominous,” National Center for Atmospheric Research senior scientist Kevin Trenberth said in an email. “This is indeed why the polar bear is a poster child for human-induced climate change, but the effects are not just in the Arctic.”
Solar businesses worried about PUC decision
WCSH-TV6 - Thursday, September 15, 2016 

Solar power has been steadily growing in Maine, but State utility regulators are proposing some big changes to the rules for solar power systems, and people in the solar business say those changes will hurt. The Maine Public Utilities Commission is proposing new rules for how solar panel owners are paid back for electricity they feed into the power grid. The PUC Commissioners would not talk with NEWS CENTER about the proposal.
Maine's mining regulations debated
WVFX Fox Bangor - Thursday, September 15, 2016 

Maine's mining regulations were in the spotlight Thursday. The big question seemed to be whether the proposed rules governing the licensing of mining operations provide enough protection for the state's environment. "What we're hearing today is a great deal of opposition to the law. Unfortunately, we do not have the power to change the law. What we have to do is change the rule. And, if we don't change the rule, it will not be as environmentally protective as what these people are asking for," said Melanie Loyzim, DEP deputy commissioner.
Environmentalists say new mining regulations proposal still doesn't cut it
WLBZ-TV2 - Thursday, September 15, 2016 

Maine's Board of Environmental Protection held a public hearing Thursday to discuss new mining regulations proposal for the state, but environmentalists still think it's not strong enough. The conversation is one the two groups have had many times over the past few years. It started back in 2013 after JD Irving Limited wanted to mine on land it owns on Bald Mountain in Aroostook county. Supporters of the proposed set of regulations feel the industry could bring the state hundreds of jobs. However, opponents like the Natural Resources Council of Maine say the rules are too lax and it gives companies decades to clean up polluted sites.
Opponents attack proposed metal mining rules in Maine
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, September 15, 2016 

Only one person, the Maine State Geologist, testified Thursday in favor of proposed new regulations governing large-scale metal mining in Maine, while more than 20 voiced their concerns about the potential for toxic wastes and minerals being released into the environment and nearby waters. Department of Environmental Protection Deputy Commissioner Melanie Loyzim said during the hearing that the 2012 law, unlike the 1990 law, specifically allows groundwater contamination in a mining area and mining in floodplains.
Dozens Attend Public Hearing for Proposed Mining Rule Changes
WABI-TV5 - Thursday, September 15, 2016 

The Maine Board of Environmental Protection held a public hearing in Augusta today for proposed changes to the state’s mining rules. Supporters and opponents spoke on the LePage administration’s proposal to change Maine’s regulations regarding metallic mining. Environmental organizations have opposed rewriting Maine’s rules. Some believe the mining industry could support many jobs while others believe mining has detrimental lasting effects on the environment.
State Board Holds Hearing on Mining Rules
Maine Public Broadcasting Network - Thursday, September 15, 2016 

For the third time in recent years, the Maine Board of Environmental Protection is considering new mining rules that are drawing strong opposition from around the state. Similar rules have twice been rejected by the Legislature, staff from the department say the changes are needed to address gaps and inconsistencies in the existing law. The rules are seen as paving the way for New Brunswick-based JD Irving Ltd. to develop a mine near Bald Mountain in Aroostook County. But Nick Bennett of the Natural Resources Council of Maine says "digging up this ore body and exposing it to air and water is a recipe for an environmental catastrophe.”
Obama Creates Atlantic Ocean's First Marine National Monument
Maine Public Broadcasting Network - Thursday, September 15, 2016 

President Barack Obama has signed an order protecting a section of underwater mountains and canyons off New England's coast. It's the first marine national monument in the Atlantic Ocean.
Mount Desert Island area lobstermen oppose shortened wait for newcomers
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, September 15, 2016 

Licensed lobstermen in the Mount Desert Island region oppose an effort to reduce how much time a trained apprentice must wait to get a license, according to the newly released state survey. Regulations now require five lobstermen to give up their licenses before an apprentice on the local waiting list can be allowed into the fishery. The local lobster council asked the 511 license holders in the area if they would consider reducing that number to three lobstermen in a May survey.
Suit alleges Lincoln mill directors pocketed settlement money
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, September 15, 2016 

A lawsuit filed this week in U.S. Bankruptcy Court alleges that three board members of Lincoln Paper and Tissue opted to pocket a payout from an insurance company rather than put the money toward repairing a boiler that exploded at the plant in 2013. The suit, filed by creditors the bankrupt paper mill, said the decision to buy pulp and electricity that the impaired boiler had helped produce made the mill unprofitable and ultimately led to a bankruptcy filing a year ago. The mill was sold at auction last November to a Boston company that specializes in the liquidation of industrial sites. About 175 mill workers were laid off.
Maine guide, trapper honored for 65 years in the woods
John Holyoke Out There Blog - Thursday, September 15, 2016 

When Jim Martin of Bangor was honored over the weekend for a lifetime lived outdoors, he stopped to ponder how much time he’d spent in the woods pursuing one of his favorite activities, trapping. “I figured it out the other day,” the 77-year-old said. “I’ve trapped [at least one] beaver for 62 winters. I trapped two years, when I was 13 and 14, and I didn’t catch anything, and I missed two winters out of, say, 65 winters, when I didn’t trap.” It’s that kind of experience — along with all the hours he has spent guiding, fishing and volunteering to help the Maine Youth Fish and Game Association — that led to his lifetime achievement award from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife at the annual Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine banquet.
Acadia is Maine’s #1 ranked bicycle ride — and even better when it’s car-free
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, September 15, 2016 

Here in Maine, Bicycling magazine is pretty consistent year to year naming the Cadillac Challenge Loop in Acadia National Park as the state’s best ride. A few years back some friends and I decided we need to see for ourselves if the ride lived up to the hype (short answer, it more than does) and headed south for a weekend of pedaling in Acadia. It was some of the best riding ever, due in no small part to a near-complete lack of traffic on the park’s 27-mile loop road thanks to that year’s month-long federal government shutdown which delayed the park’s opening for a month. Starting at midnight Saturday, Sept. 17, through noon that day, Acadia will be car-free again.
Blog: The art of sauntering north with Thoreau
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, September 15, 2016 

Henry David Thoreau had already made three trips to Maine’s north woods by the time his essay “Walking” was published in the second half of 1862. He was also dead. Tuberculosis had taken him in May. But that didn’t stop me from giving him a ride up north on the back of my motorcycle earlier this week — in spirit, at least. I put Portland in my rear view mirror on Monday morning and goosed it in the general direction of Greenville with my travel-stained copy of his essay stuffed in my back pocket.
York to buy water from neighbor, call for conservation as drought worsens
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, September 15, 2016 

The drought gripping southern Maine has gotten so severe that one water district is resorting to piping in water from another district. The York Water District plans to draw water from the Kennebunk, Kennebunkport and Wells Water District starting early next week and will ask York residents to limit their water use because its reservoir level has dropped more than 4 feet.
Obama creates marine sanctuary off New England coast
Reuters - Thursday, September 15, 2016 

The United States on Thursday joined more than 20 countries in creating 40 new marine sanctuaries around the world, including one off the New England coast, to protect oceans from the threat of climate change and pollution. The sanctuaries, unveiled at a high-level conference in Washington, limit commercial fishing, oil and gas drilling, and other human activity that affects ocean ecosystems. Altogether, countries at the oceans conference will announce new sanctuaries covering nearly 460,000 square miles of ocean.
Saving Maine’s dark skies: Acadia festival to celebrate the stars
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, September 15, 2016 

Thousands of people flock to Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor each year to celebrate the splendor of the stars at the annual Acadia Night Sky Festival, a four-day event filled with star parties, moonlight paddles, virtual space tours, special exhibits and presentations by astronomers from around the world. The eighth Acadia Night Sky Festival will run Thursday, Sept. 22, through Sunday, Sept. 25, with a full schedule of events planned throughout Mount Desert Island.
Lincoln mill executives took millions rather than restart mill, creditors claim
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, September 15, 2016 

Unsecured creditors are suing executives at the former Lincoln Paper and Tissue Co. LLC, alleging that the company officials fraudulently pocketed millions of dollars rather than repair a damaged boiler that was key to the mill’s profitability. A complaint filed Tuesday at U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Portland names LPT Holding LLC, and paper mill CEO Keith Van Scotter, CFO John Wissman and managers Rodney Fisher, Douglas Meltzer and Dan Herring as defendants. In total, Van Scotter, Wissmann and Fisher collectively received $3,211,811. The defendants also accepted a $49.8 million insurance payout for an explosion in 2013 of a boiler.
Editorial: Plastics are on track to overtake our oceans unless we make big changes
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, September 15, 2016 

Most of us don’t give much thought to where our trash goes. We’d better start paying attention, though, especially to the ubiquitous plastic refuse we toss aside every day. Scientists predict that by 2050 there will be more plastic, by weight, than fish in the world’s oceans. This plastic, much of it microscopic, is killing fish, turtles, birds and mammals. Plastic contamination works its way up the food chain, which should concern those who catch and those who eat seafood. Many Maine communities are addressing the proliferation of plastic bags, another major source of plastic pollution, but given the scope of the problem — 14 billion pounds of plastic end up in the ocean each year — much more needs to be done to stop plastics from overtaking our oceans.
Hearing on changing Maine mining rules draws a crowd
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, September 15, 2016 

The Maine Board of Environmental Protection is once again hearing from critics of proposed changes to the state’s mining rules. Several dozen people were gathered Thursday at the Augusta Civic Center to weigh in on the LePage administration’s latest proposal to rewrite Maine’s environmental regulations regarding metallic mining. Two previous attempts to rewrite Maine’s rules in order to allow mining have failed in the Legislature after encountering fierce opposition from environmental organizations. Gov. Paul LePage has accused environmental organizations of blocking the creation of potentially hundreds of good-paying jobs by convincing lawmakers to oppose changes to the rules.
Column: Ugly ducks are starting to get their fine-feathered plumage back
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, September 15, 2016 

Mallards have started to get their green heads back. I welcome the return. A summertime mallard is a pitiful creature. Male ducks get very colorful during breeding season, when they strive to win the affection of females. It all has to do with sex. This advantage becomes a big disadvantage after mating season. Being big and colorful is an invitation to predators. ~ Bob Duchesne
Maine PUC Proposes Rate Cuts for Solar Users
Free Press - Thursday, September 15, 2016 

Maine Public Utilities Commission is proposing to phase out favorable rates for new solar users after 10 years and gradually get rid of benefits for existing rooftop solar producers after 15 years. The proposed rule change, announced at PUC’s meeting on Tuesday, addresses the program known as net energy billing (NEB), which allows homeowners and businesses with grid-tied solar arrays to receive credits for the excess energy they send to the grid and then redeem them to purchase additional power from the grid for up to a year. Currently, solar producers receive the full retail price for their power, which helps them recover the costs of the PV panels. But the new rates would gradually reduce those rates.
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