September 19, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Thursday, September 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
Cobbosseecontee Stream fish, Sep 26
Event - Posted - Thursday, September 19, 2019 

Stephen Brooke facilitates a discussion about restoring the native sea run fish to Cobbossee stream. At Gardiner Public Library, September 26, 6:30 pm.
Learn about environmentally-friendly lawn care, Sep 26
Event - Posted - Thursday, September 19, 2019 

How to create a more resilient, beautiful lawn, without relying on chemical fertilizers or weed and bug killers. At Yarmouth Water District, September 26, 6 pm, pre-register.
Wilderness and Spirit, A Mountain Called Katahdin, Sep 26
Event - Posted - Thursday, September 19, 2019 

Film screening and discussion with filmmaker Huey (James Coleman). At Maine Historical Society, Portland,, September 26, 6-8 pm.
LUPC to Hold Public Meeting on Approved Fish River Lakes Concept Plan, Sep 25
Event - Posted - Wednesday, September 18, 2019 

The Maine Land Use Planning Commission staff will hold an open house and public meeting regarding the Fish River Chain of Lakes Concept Plan. At Caribou Inn and Convention Center, September 25, Open House 6 pm; Public Meeting 6:30 pm.
Phenology Trail, Sep 25
Event - Posted - Wednesday, September 18, 2019 

The Schoodic Institute and Blue Hill Heritage Trust will hold a free citizen science training for Phenology Trail. Phenology, or nature’s calendar, is the study of plant and animal life cycle events. It includes tracking the timing of flowering and fruiting plants, emergence of insects, and bird migrations. At Carter Nature Preserve, Surry, September 25, 4-6:30 pm.
Public Comment Forum on Aerial Herbicide, Sep 24
Event - Posted - Wednesday, September 18, 2019 

Public meeting on aerial herbicide applications for managing forestland. At UMaine at Fort Kent, September 24, 2019, 6 pm.
The Ecology of the Heath, Sep 24
Event - Posted - Tuesday, September 17, 2019 

Naturalist Fred Cichocki will describe the ecology of the 12-acre heath at Cathance Rive Nature Preserve in Topsham and other sphagnum moss wetlands. At Topsham Public Library, September 24, 6 pm. Sponsored by Cathance River Education Alliance.
Oppose CMP's transmission corridor
Action Alert - Monday, September 16, 2019 

Ask Maine’s Congressional delegation to urge the Army Corps for an Environmental Impact Statement and public hearing on Central Maine Power’s proposal for a transmission corridor through Western Maine. ~ Nick Bennett, NRCM
No logging in the Tongass National Forest
Action Alert - Monday, September 16, 2019 

The Amazon is burning, yet Donald Trump wants to open the world's largest intact temperate forest to mining and logging exploitation. He is opening 10 million acres in the Tongass National Forest to brutal exploitation. Tongass retains more carbon than any forest in the U.S., provides habitat for iconic wild creatures and contains old-growth trees as much as 1,000 years old. Don't let Trump destroy it. ~ CREDO Action
Demand Action to Protect Endangered Species
Action Alert - Monday, September 16, 2019 

On September 26, 2019, disastrous new regulations promulgated by the Trump administration will go into effect, gutting the Endangered Species Act, leaving a multitude of imperiled and threatened animals vulnerable to extinction. HR 4348, the PAW and FIN Act of 2019, would overturn the rules promulgated by the Trump administration. ~ WildEarth Guardians
Birdwatching in Maine, Sep 23
Event - Posted - Monday, September 16, 2019 

With nearly 450 species of birds recorded, Maine offers an abundance of birding opportunities for people of all levels of interest. Drake & Jeannette Lovitch show how, where, and why. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, September 23, 7 pm. Sponsored by Merrymeeting Audubon.
York Beach Clean Up, Sep 23
Event - Posted - Monday, September 16, 2019 

Join a beach clean up & attempt to set a world record spelling the largest "NO PLANET B" ever in the sand. The goal is 500 people At Long Sands Beach, York, September 23, 9 am - 12:30 pm.
Green Point Birding Field Trip, Sep 22
Event - Posted - Sunday, September 15, 2019 

Expect a wide variety of Fall migrants in the woodlands, fields and wild rice flats. At Green Point Farm Wildlife Management Area, Dresden, September 22, 7:30 - 11 am. Sponsored by Merrymeeting Audubon.
Guided Canoe Trip with Ryan Linehan, Sep 22
Event - Posted - Sunday, September 15, 2019 

Delve into themes of industry, waterways, and the environment, with conversation in art galleries and on the Messalonskee River. At Colby Colby Museum of Art, Waterville, September 22, 12-4 pm, pre-registration required.
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News Items
Trust to Conserve Northeast Forestlands to lead national promotion efforts for Master Logger Certification program
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, October 19, 2017 

The American Logger’s Council (ALC) has announced that the Maine-based Trust to Conserve Northeast Forestlands (TCNF) will lead a national effort to promote the Master Logger Certification program. Members of the ALC voted to move forward with a proposal submitted by the TCNF and the Professional Logging Contractors of Maine (PLC) to revitalize and promote the program. Master Logger is well-known in the forest products industry as a rigorous certification which can only be earned by loggers who are harvesting professionally and sustainably, and adhering to the highest standards of conduct.
Letter: Trump nominee ally of chemical industry
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, October 19, 2017 

In more than 30 years working as a family doctor in Maine, I‘ve dealt with countless illnesses that are preventable through immunizations, proper safety equipment or just common sense. Toxic chemical exposures are a threat to everyone, but they’re especially dangerous for children because some chemicals can seriously harm early childhood development. Unfortunately, President Donald Trump has nominated Michael Dourson to run the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s office charged with implementing the new Toxic Substances Control Act. Dourson has worked for decades with chemical companies seeking to loosen restrictions on toxic chemicals or downplay their dangers. Dourson’s nomination runs counter to EPA’s mission to reduce toxic chemical exposures that could harm our children. ~ Peter Millard, Belfast
Letter: Eight straight warm fall seasons is not an accident
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, October 19, 2017 

The article in the Oct. 17 paper about the record highs in October (“Portland on pace to see warmest October on record”) was good, but you didn’t say anything about climate change. I think talking about climate change is important in this kind of article because that’s most likely what is going on. Where you wrote about warm Octobers being nothing new, and that it has been happening for the past eight years, to me that sounds a lot like climate change. Weather changes all the time, but eight years straight of warm Octobers is not random. ~ Cedar Levin, age 10, Portland
Feds to test water quality at Mitchell Field in Harpswell
Forecaster - Wednesday, October 18, 2017 

The federal government will expand its search to Mitchell Field for toxic chemicals that may have contaminated groundwater. Town Administrator Kristi Eiane, who requested the testing, said she has little reason to believe there is contamination at the former U.S. Navy fuel depot. “This is part of what we consider our due diligence,” she said Tuesday. Tests of Brunswick’s groundwater and residential wells have taken place since the Navy closed the Brunswick Naval Air Station in 2011. Last month, another round of testing revealed the town’s area wells showed no signs of toxins. No such testing has been done in Harpswell.
Paper industry veteran Randall Davis endorsed by energy committee for PUC post
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, October 18, 2017 

A man with nearly 40 years of experience in the paper industry – but little background with regulatory or legal matters – was endorsed by a legislative committee Wednesday to join the Maine Public Utilities Commission. Randall Davis of Smithfield won the recommendation of the Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee in a unanimous vote. Throughout his confirmation hearing, he projected the attitude of a calm, capable executive who didn’t know everything about the sometimes-arcane issues handled by the PUC, but knew how to find answers to complex problems. His confirmation faced no public opposition at the hearing.
Death of naturalist, 90, probed in Washington County
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, October 18, 2017 

The state Medical Examiner’s and Washington County sheriff’s offices hope to conclude their investigation into the death of Ralph Widrig within several weeks. Widrig was a contributor to A Birder’s Guide to Maine, a 1996 book by Elizabeth Pierson, and Petit Manan National Wildlife Refuge Manager Brian Benedict told the Ellsworth American that Widrig was the first volunteer to work at the refuge. Widrig studied birds and their habitats in Washington state, Florida, California and Vancouver.
LePage invites bio-based businesses to call Maine home
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, October 18, 2017 

Touting its vast forests and his administration’s ability to cut through red tape, Gov. Paul LePage on Wednesday pitched Maine as the perfect place for bioenergy executives to make investments. LePage offered his remarks to open the third day of the Advanced Bioeconomy Leadership Conference in San Francisco. Maine has more than 17 million acres of forestland, and its economy has been hampered by the closure of five paper mills in three years – mills that used to be a primary market for wood and pulp. Since the closures, several initiatives have sprung up, including proposals to build bioenergy parks that can revive unused biomass power plants and support new, connected businesses.
EXCLUSIVE: Baxter Park director to retire
Maine Environmental News - Wednesday, October 18, 2017 

On Wednesday afternoon, Jensen Bissell, long-time staffer of Baxter State Park, announced his retirement. In an email, Bissell said, "after 30 years with Baxter State Park, I’ll be retiring at the end of the calendar year. It has been a privilege and a pleasure to help manage such a timeless idea and beautiful landscape."
Heightened tick season looms as Youth Deer Day approaches
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, October 18, 2017 

On Saturday morning, hundreds of young hunters will head afield for Youth Deer Day, a day set aside for those age 15 and younger to enjoy the woods under the supervision of a parent or adult supervisor. This year, a state wildlife biologist is stressing safety even more than in most years. And the source of his concern may surprise you. “I would make a suggestion that especially from [Bangor] south, people have to absolutely be focused on deer ticks,” Lee Kantar of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife said. “They are out in force right now."
Blog: 3 things you should never enter the Maine woods without
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, October 18, 2017 

When I first began studying in earnest to become a Registered Maine Guide, my mentor probed my knowledge of the outdoors and experience level. He knew I was an Army veteran with a lot of time logged in the field but noted that guiding clients in the big woods of Maine had its own set of rules and norms. The most important question he had for me was, “What are the three things a guide should always carry?” Here are the answers and why. [Hint: compass, knife and Fire starter.] ~ John Floyd
Great stories about wild critters in a Falmouth home
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Wednesday, October 18, 2017 

Thomas Urquhart has written an hilarious story about the wild critters that got into his Falmouth home. Just imagine, a skunk in the stove’s gas line, a raccoon with babies in the ceiling, a possum on the piano. Well, you don’t have to imagine any of this, because it all happened at Thomas’ house, and a lot more. Thomas has given me permission to share his stories with you. Enjoy!
Nature Moments: Keep Your Hummingbird Feeders Up
Maine Audubon - Wednesday, October 18, 2017 

Even though mostly all of our Ruby-throated Hummingbirds have left Maine by the first week of October, you should still keep your hummingbird feeders up. [video]
Food law leaves Maine meat producers squealing for a fix
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, October 18, 2017 

The prospect that meat-processing facilities could close, even temporarily, has sent food producers across Maine into a state of near panic and confusion. The cause of the problem is the food sovereignty bill that Gov. Paul LePage signed into law in June despite opposition from his chief agricultural advisers. The bill endorses the right of Maine communities to declare themselves “food sovereign,” something 20 communities already have done. It means consumers can buy directly from farmers and food producers in those communities who are operating outside of state and federal licensing. Problems ensued when the USDA said it would have to take control of inspections unless the law was amended to make it clear that state regulators can continue their work protecting Maine’s meat supply, regardless of whether a municipality is “food sovereign” or not.
Androscoggin River, once full of toxic chemicals, now clear after 45 years of Clean Water Act
Sun Journal - Wednesday, October 18, 2017 

Watch the Androscoggin River today as it flows down from the Great Falls at Lewiston-Auburn and it seems scarcely believable it was once little more than an open sewer, full of toxic chemicals, a channel for every throwaway thing that could be swept to the sea. Half a century ago, state fisheries biologist Dick Anderson got the “revolting task” of surveying the reeking waters between Bethel and Brunswick to see whether any game fish remained. It was so bad that some said the Androscoggin was the most polluted river in America. That all changed when U.S. Sen. Edmund Muskie of Maine, who grew up in Rumford and knew the river’s stench intimately, spearheaded passage of the Clean Water Act 45 years ago.
Tragedy of the Common
Other - Wednesday, October 18, 2017 

Pacific Standard - Formerly common species make up only a small fraction of the living things that are threatened with near-term extinction today. The vast majority of critically endangered species are those that were relatively rare to begin with, for the simple reason that it's much easier to drive a species with low numbers or very limited distribution to the brink. To focus only on that final moment of total extinction, however, is to downplay the breadth of the extinction crisis. A far more frequent occurrence is extirpation, or local extinction. Atlantic herring is currently our sixth most important fish stock. In 1977, the herring population had collapsed—plummeting to 10 percent of its historical size—due to overfishing. Today, the Gulf of Maine herring are a rare good news story, once again as numerous as they were half a century ago.
Public lands threatened
Trust for Public Land - Wednesday, October 18, 2017 

With more than 84 million acres of national parks and monuments in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, nearly every American has access to our public lands. But this right may be threatened as Congressman Rob Bishop’s H.R. 3990 bill comes to a vote. The bill threatens to invalidate the Antiquities Act by limiting monument designation and gives the President unprecedented ability to reduce existing national monuments and parks. Some of our most precious monuments—including Katahdin Woods and Waters in Maine—are now under threat. If President Trump follows through with Secretary Zinke’s recommendations, we could lose up to 3.5 million acres of land and these iconic landscapes could be irrevocably harmed.
FDA to Delay FSMA Produce Safety Rule Inspections
Maine Government News - Wednesday, October 18, 2017 

The Federal Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), signed into law in 2011, is the first significant overhaul of food safety regulations since the 1930s and was designed to prevent food borne illness. FSMA will be implemented by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and relevant state agencies. There are seven FSMA rules covering everything from human food to pet food to imports to transportation. Now, the FDA says there will not be farm inspections to assess compliance in 2018. The time will instead be used to provide more education, training and outreach on the new requirements.
Opinion: Trump’s tweetstorms overshadow the very real threat of climate change
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, October 18, 2017 

Maine is uniquely impacted by the warming of the planet. The temperature in the Gulf of Maine is increasing faster than 99 percent of the world’s large bodies of saltwater. Cod, herring and other pillars of Maine’s $700 million fishing industry are fleeing to colder waters. Heavy rainstorms are more frequent. Summers are hotter and drier. Severe storms are causing increased property damage. The impact on our ski and snowmobile industry is real. The impact on sportsmen is real. About 70 percent of moose calves in Maine are killed by ticks, whose numbers have exploded as the planet warms. This is a problem too big for a system that is powered by campaign contributions and special interests. We can take on climate change, but only if we elect leaders who will take serious problems seriously. ~ Jim Boyle, environmental scientist and candidate for governor, Gorham
Maine weighs lottery to issue first new scallop licenses since 2009
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, October 18, 2017 

Nearly a decade after halting new licenses for scallop fishing to protect the stock from depletion, Maine is considering how to encourage new people into the fishery. Prices for scallops remain historically high, and Maine’s scallop fishermen are getting older, prompting the state to contemplate adopting a lottery system for new licenses.
Column: Bird watching can be wonderful diversion
Kennebec Journal - Wednesday, October 18, 2017 

Bird watching is a wonderful diversion from the tragedy and tumult in our country and throughout the world. If you are not a birder, start now. We’ve birded in Italy, Costa Rica, and often in Texas and Arizona. But you don’t have to leave Maine to see lots of different birds. In fact, many tourists come to Maine to see birds. Go out today, with binoculars, and have some fun. ~ George Smith
Opinion: WildWatch Maine not anti-hunting
Kennebec Journal - Wednesday, October 18, 2017 

In his column last week, George Smith accused me and WildWatch Maine, the statewide wildlife advocacy group I direct, of “viciously,” “unfairly,” and disrespectfully attacking Maine’s “hunting, trapping, and fishing heritage.” The apparent trigger for such vehemence was our criticism of Maine’s aggressive beaver-trapping policy. It’s too bad Smith resorted to demonizing beavers, because aggressive beaver trapping prevents them from fulfilling their unique role as a keystone species. Contrary to Smith’s claims, WildWatch Maine is not an anti-hunting group. We are for giving ethical and ecological considerations a much larger role in wildlife policy and decision-making. ~ Karen Coker, WildWatch Maine
Letter: No oil drilling in arctic
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, October 18, 2017 

Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King should oppose any drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Oil reserves there would only fuel the U.S. usage for one year while damage to wildlife, the Gwich’in and Inupiaq native people and water resources would be permanent. ~ Becky Bartovics, North Haven
Letter: Trump attacks our health
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, October 18, 2017 

First, President Trump tried for our health care, then our clean air. Can anyone explain why the administration keeps going after our health protections? The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan is currently our best tool available to combat climate change that’s making extreme weather like Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria more deadly and severe. Additionally, when the plan is fully in place, it is estimated to be able to prevent 34,000 premature deaths annually by reducing all sorts of pollutants. Yet, Trump wants to replace it with a pro-polluter standard that will be good for special interests, but bad for the rest of us. No thanks. ~ Kirsten Gonya, South Berwick
‘Cage of Science’ captures changing quality of Casco Bay
Forecaster - Tuesday, October 17, 2017 

About once a month for the past 25 years, Friends of Casco Bay staff have been visiting 10 sites around the bay by boat to collect water quality data. The significant changes in Casco Bay have caused increasing concern over the last decade, particularly warmer water temperatures later into September over the past five or six years. But monthly data collection wasn’t enough to gain an understanding of when and why these changes were occurring. Enter the “Cage of Science,” a lobster-trap-like, first-of-its-kind contraption designed by research associate Michael Doan that was launched off Cousin’s Island in August 2016. The cage takes hourly measurements of each water-quality parameter, which are logged every two weeks when staff visit the site to replace the datasonde and prevent organism growth on the sensors.
Maine investment fund to be liquidated
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, October 17, 2017 

A federal court has turned over management of a troubled investment fund run by CEI in Brunswick to the U.S. Small Business Administration with the aim of liquidating it. The fund, CEI Community Ventures Fund LLC, was licensed by the SBA in August 2002 to invest in small, rural businesses. However, it lost more than 70 percent of its original value, according to an SBA complaint filed on Sept. 7 with the U.S. District Court for the District of Maine. The complaint also said the SBA had lent the fund about $7.5 million, which was not repaid.
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