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
Maine’s national monument was once heavily opposed. Now its federal budget is slowly growing.
Bangor Daily News - Friday, October 19, 2018 

Maine’s national monument will have an operating budget of about $400,000 — its highest yet — if Congress gives approval, officials said Thursday. The Department of the Interior’s proposed budget for Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument would be a $200,000 increase over the $180,000 given the year before. The increased allocation is a milestone of sorts for the 87,564-acre site east of Baxter State Park. The once intense opposition to the monument has gradually abated since then-President Barack Obama designated it with an executive order in August 2016. The monument was once opposed by the Legislature, among others, and Gov. Paul LePage.
Mainers dig in for a big fight over CMP’s hydro project
Bangor Daily News - Friday, October 19, 2018 

The debate about whether Central Maine Power should be able to pipe hydroelectricity from Canada to Massachusetts through a new 145-mile transmission line corridor in western Maine boiled over this week as opponents and proponents argued about issues near and dear to Mainers: jobs, affordable energy, nature’s beauty and climate change. The events set the stage for the first of four meetings starting Friday at the Maine Public Utilities Commission, one of the regulators that must approve the New England Clean Energy Connect project.
Letter: Golden for Congress
Bangor Daily News - Friday, October 19, 2018 

Recently, Bruce Poliquin lauded the fact that Jared Golden had received a D rating from the NRA and an F from the Gun Owners of Maine. Does this mean that Golden is anti-guns? Absolutely not. Golden enthusiastically endorses the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms. He is a gun owner himself. He does support some restrictions on guns and gun ownership, as do I. As a gun owner, sportsman and environmentally concerned citizen, Golden will have my vote in November. ~ Ray “Bucky” Owen, Orono [former Commissioner, Maine Dept of Inland Fish & Wildlife]
Letter: Incivil hunting practices
Bangor Daily News - Friday, October 19, 2018 

It’s that time of year, when we not only have to bear the heightened incivility of lying politicians leading up to an election, but also the incivility of the hunting practices against bears and the disturbing headlines and photos touting “brave” hunters, for example, shooting a moose from 10 feet. Wow. That’s impressive? Go ahead and have your killing day in the woods, but don’t subject the rest of us to it as though it were something sportsmanlike, laudable and newsworthy. Earth, and its non-human inhabitants could use a little more sentience from Homo sapiens, and a lot more truth from our politicians. ~ Kathy VanGorder, West Tremont
Letter: Vote for the future of life on Earth
Portland Press Herald - Friday, October 19, 2018 

The United Nations just issued a report that should have made front-page headlines in newspapers worldwide. The report, prepared by the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, was a warning for all of us living on Earth of the dire effects of global warming if we can’t drastically cut our emissions in the next decade. This is not a hoax or “fake news.” The IPCC’s conclusion is that we have only a decade to address this issue before there is irreversible damage to our planet and to life on Earth. Vote for candidates who will support clean energy, a healthy environment and drastic reductions in carbon emissions. ~ Lynda L. Ludlow, Parsonsfield
Working lands play a key role in protecting biodiversity
Other - Thursday, October 18, 2018 

Diversifying working lands—including farmland, rangeland and forests—may be key to preserving biodiversity in the face of climate change, says a new paper published this week in Science by conservation biologists. Diversification could be as simple as adding trees or hedgerows along the edges of fields, giving animals like birds, bats and insects places to live, or as complex as incorporating a patchwork of fields, orchards, pasture and flowers into a single working farm. "Protected areas are extremely important, but we can't rely on those on their own to prevent the pending sixth mass extinction," said study co-author Adina Merenlender. "This is even more true in the face of climate change, because species will need to move around to adapt to shifts in temperature and climate."
5 Reasons Trump's EPA ‘Roadmap’ Could Harm Parks
Other - Thursday, October 18, 2018 

National Parks Conservation Association - Last month, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler issued a memorandum laying out his plans for the Regional Haze Rule, a program under the Clean Air Act meant to restore clean air to national parks and wilderness areas by developing state plans to address pollution across the country. The roadmap could signal new ways the EPA is looking to dismantle environmental safeguards designed to reduce air pollution and protect the air we breathe. This would directly harm public health, national parks and wilderness areas.
Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust wraps up season’s courtesy boat inspection program
Turner Publishing - Thursday, October 18, 2018 

Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust wrapped up its courtesy boat inspection program with the close of fishing season in the Rangeley Lakes Region. This year was highly successful, with nearly 1,700 boaters participating in the program. Since 2002, RLHT has diligently checked more than 25,000 boats for aquatic hitchhikers, like milfoil.
Beavers building dams, plugging culverts raise concerns of flooding
Kennebec Journal - Thursday, October 18, 2018 

Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife Biologist Keel Kemper said central Maine has been dealing with an “excess of beaver” for a number of years. Kemper said beavers are a value species in their ecosystem because of their ability to modify habitats to benefit other animals, but an excess of beavers performing their duties could cause a problem in residential areas. The department will trap and relocate beavers if the problem is caught early in the year. Beavers tend to lodge for long periods of time in the winter in their homes, so they need an appropriate amount of time to settle in a new area.
New England Power Grid Constrained By Winter Fuel Supply
Associated Press - Thursday, October 18, 2018 

The official overseeing the New England electric grid says the region is threatened with winter power shortages, due to potential shortages of fuel to run generating facilities. Gordon van Welie of ISO New England says the region has sufficient generating capacity to meet the winter demand for electricity, but the natural gas pipelines that bring fuel to the region are not sufficient to guarantee natural gas power plants can stay online.
With fall foliage comes political ‘mud season’ in Maine
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, October 18, 2018 

The leaves may still be changing outside, but it’s officially political mud season in Maine. The negative political advertising wars are fully underway, with both parties as well as outside groups targeting the other side’s candidates and then accusing the opposition of misleading or flat-out dishonest statements. “We know it is close to Halloween but the ad claiming Shawn Moody only said ‘overfunded’ is all trick from Janet Mills’ team with no treat,” Lauren LePage, spokeswoman for Moody’s campaign, said on Thursday. ” The Maine Conservation Voters Action Fund, meanwhile, announced a $500,000 advertising and direct mail campaign targeting Moody’s stance on humans’ contribution to climate change.
Maine Turnpike Authority awards $39.5 million contract for new York tollbooth
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, October 18, 2018 

Reed and Reed, a construction firm from Woolwich, was awarded a $39.5 million contract to build a new tollbooth plaza about a mile and a half north of the present tolls on the Maine Turnpike. Officials say the current plaza, built in the 1960s, is outdated and sinking into clay soil. York residents, however, have fought the turnpike authority’s replacement plan for a decade. Opponents said they were concerned about environmental damage and unconvinced the agency demonstrated it needed a cash and electronic plaza.
Maine Conservation Voters endorse Rep. Higgins
Piscataquis Observer - Thursday, October 18, 2018 

Maine Conservation Voters has made the environment a priority for the past 30 years. It promotes forward-looking environmental policies and supports candidates and elected officials, and publishes an environmental scorecard and endorses strong environmental candidates. A strong record of voting for the environment has earned Rep. Norm Higgins, I-Dover-Foxcroft, the support of Maine Conservation Voters.
2018 NRCM Conservation Leadership Awards
Natural Resources Council of Maine - Thursday, October 18, 2018 

Each year, the Natural Resources Council of Maine presents Conservation Leadership Awards to people making a difference for Maine's environment. Wednesday night, NRCM presented awards to: Hoddy Hildreth, Sandy and Ole Jaeger, Bill Mook, and Robin Robinson. All of this year's outstanding People's Choice Award finalists were also recognized.
LePage Leads Delegation at Arctic Circle Assembly
Maine Government News - Thursday, October 18, 2018 

Governor Paul LePage is leading a delegation of more than 40 Mainers to Reykjavik, Iceland, this week to participate in the 2018 Arctic Circle Assembly, the largest network of international dialogue and cooperation on the future of the Arctic. On Saturday, LePage will meet with Iceland's Minister of Foreign Affairs Gudlaugur Thor Thordarson to re-sign the Maine-Iceland Memorandum of Understanding as a symbol of renewed commitment to strengthen ties and increase cooperation in the areas of economic development, trade, energy, natural resources, transportation, culture and the arts. The original MOU between Maine and Iceland was signed in June 2014.
Opinion: Our fate is tied to a healthy ocean. That’s why New England’s marine monument matters.
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, October 18, 2018 

Americans live our lives around the pull of the oceans. And nowhere is that more true than in New England. This is why we worked to create the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument two years ago. History showed us that we needed to take a longer view and care for our ocean resources if we wanted to bestow this rich heritage on our children. And science told us a national monument was the best way to do this. On Oct. 9, a federal court ruled that that the monument was established lawfully. But the Trump administration wants to rollback protections to the monument. This will leave the monument vulnerable to damaging extractive industries that want to raid this protected area for their own gains. ~ Vikki Spruill, New England Aquarium
Maine Coast Heritage Trust Conserves Monroe Island
Free Press - Thursday, October 18, 2018 

Maine Coast Heritage Trust has acquired Monroe Island, opening one of the largest undeveloped islands in Penobscot Bay to the public as a preserve. Monroe Island, a half mile from the Owls Head shore, offers an extraordinary experience for day visitors and overnight campers. Trails wind past pocket beaches, through fields of fern and towering spruce, to a pebble beach and campsite. Fundraising efforts to conserve Monroe Island for public access began in 2016, giving the organization two years to raise the $1.9 million needed to purchase the island and fund its ongoing stewardship. Gifts from MCHT donors, and over 50 community members and organizations made the project a success.
CMP Says It Will Tunnel Under Kennebec River Gorge For Proposed Transmission Project
Maine Public - Thursday, October 18, 2018 

Central Maine Power is backing off its proposal to string high-voltage transmission lines over the scenic Kennebec River Gorge. CMP now says that it wants to build a tunnel under the gorge, as part of its $950 million project to bring hydro-electricity from Canada to Massachusetts. A lot of the opposition to CMP's plan has emanated from towns around the gorge where rafting and other nature-based tourism enterprises are a dominant economic force. At the same time, state environmental regulators have also been peppering CMP with skeptical questions about the necessity of the river-crossing and have called for a more thorough analysis of alternatives. Now CMP is abandoning the aerial solution and going underground.
Researchers report tracking a great white shark off coast of Portland
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, October 18, 2018 

The nonprofit shark research group Ocearch has tweeted a photo of a great white shark that it says it spotted off the coast of Portland. Unrelated to Ocearch, the University of New England is conducting Maine’s first dedicated white shark study amid growing evidence that the predatory sharks are in the Gulf of Maine.
CMP bows to pressure, agrees to bury power lines near Kennebec Gorge
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, October 18, 2018 

Central Maine Power said Thursday it has notified regulators that it plans to change one of the lightning rods of its proposed hydropower project through western Maine by laying power lines under the Kennebec River instead of having aerial lines visible by the scenic Kennebec River Gorge. The company said the change to its New England Clean Energy Connect project addresses concerns of state environmental regulators, host communities and other stakeholders.
USDA’s enforcement of animal welfare laws plummeted in 2018, agency figures show
Washington Post - Thursday, October 18, 2018 

Two years ago, the Agriculture Department issued 192 written warnings to breeders, exhibitors and research labs that allegedly violated animal welfare laws, and the agency filed official complaints against 23, according to agency data. This year, the department had issued just 39 warnings in the first three-quarters of fiscal 2018, and it filed and simultaneously settled only one complaint. In August, USDA issued no warnings, filed no complaints and imposed no penalties through settlements with any of the 8,000 or so facilities it licenses and inspects.
Climate forecasters say Maine likely to have above-average temps this winter NOAA releases its winter outlook for 2018-19
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, October 18, 2018 

Maine has strong odds to be warmer than usual this winter. That’s the message from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center, which released its 2018-19 winter outlook report Thursday. Farmers’ Almanac Editor Peter Geiger said in late August his publication predicts “a very long, cold and snow-filled winter."
CMP to bury proposed transmission line under Kennebec Gorge
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, October 18, 2018 

Central Maine Power wants to bury the portion of its planned electrical transmission line from Quebec that crosses the scenic Kennebec River Gorge, a concession to environmentalists and local activists opposed to the project. The company on Thursday notified regulators that it intends to drill under the river, in northern Somerset County, instead of crossing the gorge with elevated electrical lines.
Brunswick solar array could be model for others in future
Times Record - Thursday, October 18, 2018 

Everyone enjoys a bright, sunny day, but for the folks at Crystal Spring Farm and their solar array, a little bit of sunshine is that much sweeter. The 78.6-kilowatt photovoltaic solar energy installation has been online at the Brunswick farm for almost two years, producing, on average, 100,000 kilowatt-hours of clean energy every year, according to Steve Weems, one of the project’s leaders. Weems; farm owner Seth Kroeck; Angela Twitchell, executive director of the BTLT; and some of the participating families and local politicians gathered at the solar array Wednesday evening for a celebration marking two years of solar power in the community.
Navigating the Eastern Country Wilderness
UMaine Today - Thursday, October 18, 2018 

In early October 1775, along the Kennebec River near the small frontier village of Norridgewock, Simon Forbes noted in his diary: “This was the last English settlement on our route. Now commenced our walk into the wilderness.” The 19-year-old was a soldier in Benedict Arnold’s expeditionary force to Quebec City to rout the British garrison there. The march required traversing a poorly charted network of rivers and portages in the vast wilderness that would eventually become the state of Maine. According to UMaine Ph.D. student Daniel Soucier, the region was so isolated and untraveled that muskets and other items dropped by the soldiers remained undiscovered for another 80 years. Soucier is studying how the environments of the Northeast shaped the soldiers and conflicts of the Revolutionary War.
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