March 19, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Tuesday, March 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). 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
Urge Maine's Agencies to Investigate and Halt PFAS Contamination
Action Alert - Tuesday, March 19, 2019 

Highly persistent and toxic chemicals known as PFAS may be lurking undiscovered in farmlands across Maine. State records show that at an Arundel dairy farm, PFOS was in milk at the highest level ever reported anywhere. Urge Maine Ag and DEP commissioners to test the fields, stop sludge spreading, and phase out PFAS products. ~ Environmental Health Strategy Center
Retired Game Warden Randall Probert, Mar 26
Event - Posted - Tuesday, March 19, 2019 

Author, raconteur, and retired game warden Randall Probert will speak to the Hebron Historical Society on “Maine Tales and More.” At Hebron Town Office, March 26, 7 pm.
The Forests of Lilliput: The Miniature World of Lichens & Mosses, Mar 26
Event - Posted - Tuesday, March 19, 2019 

Maine Master Naturalist Jeff Pengel talks about the natural history of lichens, mosses and similar plants. At Topsham Library, March 26, 6 pm. Sponsored by Cathance River Education Alliance.
Celebrating Maine’s Wild Creatures, Mar 26
Event - Posted - Tuesday, March 19, 2019 

Speaker: Ed Robinson, author of “Nature Notes from Maine: River Otters, Moose, Skunks and More.” At Curtis Library, March 16, 7 pm. Sponsored by Merrymeeting Audubon.
Ocean Acidification, Climate Change, and You, Mar 25
Event - Posted - Monday, March 18, 2019 

Friends of Casco Bay staff scientist Mike Doan talks about warning signs and Casco Baykeeper Ivy Frignoca shares the impacts to marine species and how Mainers are responding. At Southern Maine Community College, South Portland, March 25, 5:30 pm.
Mount Pisgah winter trek, Mar 24
Event - Posted - Sunday, March 17, 2019 

Kennebec Land Trust Stewardship Director Jean-Luc Theriault will lead an off-trail excursion on Mount Pisgah to visit special places that are typically less accessible. Meet at the Mount Pisgah Community Conservation Area parking lot in Winthrop, March 24, 1 pm.
Winter Family Fun Day at Lily Bay State Park, Mar 23
Event - Posted - Saturday, March 16, 2019 

Ice fishing, snowmobile tote rides, winter camping demo, bonfire, scavenger hunt and free loan of cross-country skis, snowshoes, ice skates, snow tubes and sleds. At Lily Bay State Park, Moosehead Lake, March 23, 10 am - 3 pm.
Winter wildlife tracking workshop, Mar 23
Event - Posted - Saturday, March 16, 2019 

Naturalists and certified wildlife trackers Brendan White and Matt Dickinson lead a winter wildlife tracking workshop. At at Long Ledges Preserve, Sullivan, March 23, 9-11:30 am. Sponsored by Frenchman Bay Conservancy.
Maine Grass Farmers Network Conference, Mar 23
Event - Posted - Saturday, March 16, 2019 

Livestock producers are invited to learn about grass-based production and how grazing systems can become more profitable and environmentally sound. At Kennebec County Community College's Alfond Campus, Hinckley, March 23, 8:30 am - 3 pm.
Maine becomes a state, Mar 15
Announcement - Friday, March 15, 2019 

On this day in 1820, March 15, Massachusetts lost over 30,000 square miles of land as its former province of Maine gained statehood. Mainers had begun campaigning for statehood for years following the Revolution. The Massachusetts legislature finally consented in 1819. What no one foresaw, however, was that Maine's quest for statehood would become entangled in the most divisive issue in American history — slavery.
Maine Land Conservation Conference, Apr 5-6
Event - Posted - Friday, March 15, 2019 

Maine’s robust land conservation community comes together to train on best practices in all aspects of land trust work, connect with peers, and grapple with the most pressing issues facing land conservation today. At Topsham area, April 5-6.
Thoreau Society & Thoreau Farm Trust online auction, thru Mar 29
Announcement - Friday, March 15, 2019 

This auction contains many rare books written about Henry David Thoreau and other items for every Thoreauvian.
MITA Open House and Getch Celebration, Mar 22
Event - Posted - Friday, March 15, 2019 

Toast the extraordinary life of MITA founder Dave Getchell, Sr. At Maine Island Trail Association, Portland, March 22, 5:30-7:30 pm.
Call for Artists: Paint for Preservation 2019
Announcement - Friday, March 15, 2019 

The Cape Elizabeth Land Trust is accepting artist submissions for Paint for Preservation 2019, the organization’s twelfth annual juried Wet Paint Auction and one of Maine’s premiere art auction events. This 3-day (June 28-30) plein air event raises money for land conservation in Cape Elizabeth. Deadline is March 22.
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News Items
Forestry Officials Find Destructive Emerald Ash Borer In York County Trees
Maine Public - Saturday, March 9, 2019 

State forestry officials say that for the first time, the destructive emerald ash borer has been found in trees in York County. Live larvae were found in Acton and Berwick. Adult insects previously found in the area had flown into traps. These latest finds came after ash tree branches along roadsides in Acton, Lebanon and Berwick were collected and peeled. Officials say this indicates that the invasive pest is established, at least sporadically, near where the insect was found, but that it's almost certain it's spread farther. The emerald ash borer has also been found in far northern Maine, near the Canadian border.
Appalachian Trail story is fascinating and frightening
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Saturday, March 9, 2019 

The title of Richard Judy’s fascinating novel, "Thru – An Appalachian Trail Love Story" – does hint at part of the story, but there’s a lot more to this intriguing book. Judy thru-hiked the AT in 1973, and his novel includes lots of information about the hike, both the good and the bad. In his story, a bunch of hikers meet up early on the trail and decide to do the long hike together. And yes, love does blossom between some of this group, but there’s a lot more to the story than that. The hiking group runs from the age of 18 to senior citizens. There were lots of injuries along the way, with horrific weather. I like the way Judy told the story through the eyes and journal entries of the hikers.
Katahdin’s Dudley Trail won’t reopen for the 2019 hiking season
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, March 9, 2019 

The popular Dudley Trail up Mount Katahdin won’t reopen this year, according to Baxter State Park officials. In a post on the park’s Facebook page, park officials said it’s “difficult to gauge” when it will reopen. The trail first closed in 2016 after a rock and debris slide caused unsafe conditions on the trail up Maine’s tallest mountain, forcing crews to work on relocating a section of the 1.3-mile trail that leads from Chimney Pond up the mountain to Pamola Peak. The strenuous hiking trail, with an elevation gain of 1,988 feet, is a key section of a popular loop hike from Chimney Pond that combines Katahdin’s Baxter Peak summit, Knife Edge and Pamola Peak. The park initially said the trail would reopen in 2018. “The terrain is challenging at best and our crews are working extremely hard under challenging conditions,” the park’s post read.
Go winter birding at Reid State Park Reid State Park winter birding
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, March 9, 2019 

Just because it’s still cold out doesn’t mean you can’t still go birding. Follow along as BDN outdoors columnist Bob Duchesne walks around Reid State Park and spots various feathered friends. This public park is one of Duchesne’s top-10 places to go birding on the Maine coast in winter. Shorebirds — such as sanderlings — and purple sandpipers are just some of the birds you might spot if you hike around this state park. If you’re really lucky, you might even see a bald eagle. [3 minute video]
How three generations are making it work on a Maine farm
Bangor Metro - Saturday, March 9, 2019 

One Belfast family, though, is trying a new take on an old tradition, with three generations of Beals living and working together at Daisychain Farm. The farm is a central component of this particular cooperative household. The biggest crops right now are U-pick organic strawberries and raspberries, but they also raise chickens for eggs and are expanding their orchard of fruit trees. Daisy Beal is the only full-time farmer, but everyone who lives there contributes.
Opinion: Another tax-and-spend ploy
Sun Journal - Saturday, March 9, 2019 

Maine’s majority Democratic party has acted true to form with LD 434, “An Act to Price Carbon Pollution in Maine.” That legislation was a taxation scheme on heating oil, gasoline, kerosene, natural gas, butane and propane. The tax was based on the carbon content of each unit of fuel. The taxes collected would be transferred to “transmission and distribution utilities” to reduce the rates of the customers of those utilities. I did not identify any Republicans as co-sponsors. That money-sucking bill was met with serious opposition and subsequently was amended to become a study commission. When the Democrats have the majority, such legislation is an example of their thinking. I hope Maine voters will remember this at the next election. ~ Thomas Shields, Auburn
Letter: Maine should prioritize feeding hungry elders over borrowing $95 million to buy land
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, March 9, 2019 

What is this state coming to? In an article in Wednesday’s paper, special interests proposed $95 million in new state bonds in support of Land for Maine’s Future. Yet, on the same page of the same newspaper, there is a report on 1,500 elderly Maine citizens who cannot get Meals on Wheels because of a lack of state funding. Why are we proposing funding Land for Maine’s Future yet leaving our senior citizens hungry? I think it is time we start setting some priorities. ~ Randy Pike, South Portland
Letter: Youths leading the way on climate change
Sun Journal - Saturday, March 9, 2019 

Gov. Janet Mills says, “Maine cannot wait a day longer” to launch major action against climate change. Will Congress get the message and join the battle? Some members of the House have introduced a bill, HR 763, that would place a fee on fossil fuel companies for the harmful gas emissions they emit. British Columbia has been doing so since 2013 and all other provinces have since followed suit. Results have prompted this report: “Economists are virtually unanimous in the view that carbon pricing reduces greenhouse gas emissions at the lowest possible cost to the economy.” Youths, realizing that they will be the ones to suffer the consequences of inaction on climate, are speaking up forcefully. Bill McKibben says, since we older people have blown our chance at leading, our job is to “have the backs of the young." ~ Fern Stearns, Hallowell
Letter: A question
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, March 9, 2019 

So, Central Maine Power offers the state of Maine $250 million if and when state regulators approve their transmission line from Quebec to Massachusetts. Why isn’t this bribery? ~ John McCready, Hodgdon
Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust Acquires 338 acres in Region
Sun Journal - Friday, March 8, 2019 

The Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust is excited to announce the acquisition of 338 new acres of conservation lands in the Rangeley Lakes region. In 2018 RLHT closed on three separate parcels of land. The last of which was a conservation easement donated by the Adelman Family. This 170-acre parcel abuts RLHT’s Rapid River lands — establishing a corridor of nearly 20 linear miles of contiguous conservation lands. Altogether these lands conserve the habitat in and around the Rapid River, Umbagog, Richardson and Mooselookmeguntic Lake watersheds.
These National Parks Wouldn’t Exist Without Women
Other - Friday, March 8, 2019 

National Parks Conservation Association - Women were the driving force behind the creation of many of our most popular national parks. Time to give credit where credit is due. These national parks simply wouldn’t exist as we know them today without the tireless efforts of dedicated women. Learn about the unsung heroes who made it happen.
• Minerva Hoyt, Joshua Tree National Park, California
• Sue Kunitomi Embrey, Manzanar National Historic Site, California
• Virginia Donaghe Mcclure, Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado
• Roxanne Quimby, Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, Maine
• Susan Priscilla Thew, Sequoia National Park, California
• PEO Sisterhood, Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, Colorado
Panel reviewing bottle bill backs increase for redemption centers, not for deposits
Portland Press Herald - Friday, March 8, 2019 

Municipalities, redemption centers and recycling centers are struggling with economic changes. The fee paid to redemption centers would rise from 4 cents to 5 cents a container collected under the “bottle bill” by January, under a proposal recommended by the legislative Energy and Natural Resources Committee. But the committee voted unanimously on Wednesday to reject three bills that sought to increase the 5-cent deposit on soda, water, juice and most other beverage containers. Meanwhile, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection is proposing to significantly expand the battery recycling program to require manufacturers to cover the costs of a statewide collection system for both single-use and rechargeable batteries.
New Documentary Shows a “Lobster War” on U.S.-Canada Border
Maine Public - Friday, March 8, 2019 

A new documentary from David Abel and Andy Laub, Lobster War: The Fight Over the World’s Richest Fishing Grounds, highlights the increasing tension along this gray zone. We speak with David Abel about the documentary, and why this “gray zone” has become a place where we can see the effects of climate change coming to a head.
The Debate Over Maine’s State Bird
Maine Public - Friday, March 8, 2019 

NEXT - There was a bill in the Maine legislature brought by a group of earnest fourth graders that would have clearly identified a specific species of chickadee as the state bird. The bill would have forced Maine lawmakers to consider whether the boreal chickadee or the black-capped chickadee might be the better choice for the state. Sounds like a great debate, right? Well, not in Augusta. Lawmakers voted down the bill unanimously in committee, dealing it a potentially lethal blow. That’s too bad for the fourth graders, and too bad for some bird lovers, who think it’s an issue worth deciding.
Column: An uncommon gift — 1719 to 2019
Times Record - Friday, March 8, 2019 

On May 19th, and on selected days around it, Brunswick will celebrate its Town Commons’ 300th birthday. So, it is often with land we conserve and tend. Each act of land-caring links us with other acts and stories. I thought about this as I crossed the meadow’s northern fringe. Its commonage reminds us of the many connections local and far-flung that give space and wing to a hopeful future. Even in times of threat and division, we all, like our Town Commons original 1,000 acres, “Ly in General and Perpetual Comonage.” ~ Sandy Stott, Brunswick
Column: The Town Common’s 300th birthday
Times Record - Friday, March 8, 2019 

To commemorate the 300th anniversary of the Brunswick Town Commons, an informative exhibit will feature panels in chronological order, each of which will include a description and illustrations. Did you know that the Town Commons was originally conceived by the Pejepscot Proprietors, a group of Boston land speculators who acquired property in and around Brunswick? Or that in 1811, the Massachusetts legislature authorized the setting off of 200 acres of the Town Commons to Bowdoin College? Or that some of the trees at the Town Commons may have been felled as masts for ships? Or that the writings of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Harriet Beecher Stowe were inspired by the natural wonders of the Town Commons? ~ David Treadwell, Brunswick
Reflecting interest in solar energy, Diversified Communications acquires 3 trade shows
Portland Press Herald - Friday, March 8, 2019 

A Portland company that specializes in organizing trade shows and is now investing in solar energy has acquired three energy-related events from German companies. Diversified Communications closed a deal with Germany-based Solar Promotion International and FMMI to take over three annual energy-related events held in San Francisco. Diversified will organize the Intersolar, ees and Power2Drive North America events, and relocate them to San Diego next February, according to a statement announcing the deal. The acquisition is a reflection of Diversified’s recent decision to branch into renewable energy industries.
Little, Fuzzy, But Not So Cute: The Hemlock Woolly Adelgid
Other - Friday, March 8, 2019 

Entomology Today - To the casual observer, the tufts of small white fuzz on a hemlock branch might not look like insects. They’re minuscule, they’re covered in a waxy wool-like substance, they don’t move much once they pick their spot on a tree, and most of them can’t fly, either. And yet there are so many of them, spread up and down eastern North America, an existential threat to the region’s vast hemlock forests. Meet the hemlock woolly adelgid.
Bad things happening in Maine’s state parks
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Friday, March 8, 2019 

L.D. 527 is a bill to require Maine Bureau of Parks to train their rangers in law enforcement and to authorize the issuing of summons. The public hearing was yesterday, and I was impressed with Tim Caverly’s testimony in favor of the bill. I want to share Tim’s testimony with you. You may be shocked – as I was – by the list of crimes and other bad things that have happened in our state parks. "In 2018 three million people visited our State Park System. For a bureaucracy to claim that serious enforcement issues do not exist or may be resolved by calling another remotely located department is either naïve or is intentionally false information."
Thoreau’s great insight for the Anthropocene: Wildness is an attitude, not a place
Other - Friday, March 8, 2019 

When Americans quote writer and naturalist Henry David Thoreau, they often reach for his assertion that “In Wildness is the preservation of the world.” This phrase has become a guiding mantra for the American environmental movement. Unfortunately, the line was cherry-picked from its original context, conflates wildness with wilderness and predates Thoreau’s later, more nuanced insights about wildness. In September 1853, having recently returned from a moose hunt in interior Maine, Thoreau came up with the idea of setting aside wild landscapes for posterity.
Maine woman is using seaweed to make sexual lubricant
Bangor Daily News - Friday, March 8, 2019 

When contemplating amorous, late-night moves, slimy plants from the bottom of the sea probably isn’t springing into most lovers’ minds. One Maine woman, Mariah Curtis, hopes to change that. She’s perfecting a seaweed-based, all-natural sexual lubricant made especially for Mainers planning on heading, uh, “Downeast.” Curtis is calling her new formula, which still needs FDA approval to be sold commercially, Sea ME Lube. It’s made from Irish moss. From the start, Curtis found support and enthusiasm for her idea in Maine’s commercial seaweed community.
Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust to hold climate change workshop
Bangor Daily News - Friday, March 8, 2019 

The Brunswick- Topsham Land Trust will hold its “Wild Weather and Growing” winter garden workshop and annual Tom Settlemire Community Garden Fundraiser on Sunday, March 17, at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Brunswick. Climate change is modifying the landscape of food production. Glen Koehler, scientist and expert on weather-based harvest predictions, will provide a workshop on how to adapt your gardening practices to changing weather patterns.
It’s time to celebrate the outdoors, even if you do it indoors
Bangor Daily News - Friday, March 8, 2019 

If you’re getting a little bit fed up with the cold weather, here are a couple options that are coming up soon. The 81st Eastern Maine Sportsmen’s Show is set for March 15, 16 and 17. In Freeport, L.L. Bean is staging its popular Spring Fishing Expo on March 16 and 17.
Bill seeks to allow state park rangers to take law enforcement role
Portland Press Herald - Friday, March 8, 2019 

According to one longtime former employee in the Maine state park system, park rangers are currently allowed to request lawbreakers cease a specific activity but are not allowed to issue summonses to those individuals. Tim Caverly, who served as a park ranger for 32 years and was the supervisor of the Allagash Wilderness Waterway, hopes a bill — LD 527 — corrects what he says is a dangerous situation, allowing for the law enforcement training of park managers and certain staffers.
Editorial: State should approve expansion of oyster farm on Brunswick’s Maquoit Bay
Times Record - Friday, March 8, 2019 

At first, Dan Devereaux and Doug Niven’s proposed expansion of their aquaculture business on Maquoit Bay seemed simple enough. The pair’s Mere Point Oyster Company wants Maine’s Department of Marine Resources to approve a 10-year lease that would expand the business’s operating space to 40 acres. The company’s annual harvest would increase from 60,000 last year to 1.5 million in the next three years, putting as many as 5 million oysters in the water at a given time. But after a group of seasonal and full-time residents banded in opposition, the proposal turned into a quagmire. We suggest taking the long view and believe the Department of Marine Resources ought to approve Mere Point Oyster Company’s application.
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