May 26, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Saturday, May 25, 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
Hike Little Bigelow, Jun 1
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 25, 2019 

Little Bigelow is the most eastern peak of the Bigelow Range, round trip 6.5 miles. Views of Flagstaff Lake, Sugarloak, Bigelow range. At Carrabassett Valley, June 1, pre-register. Sponsored by Appalachian Mountain Club.
Hike Little Deer Hill & Deer Hill, Jun 1
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 25, 2019 

5.4-mile hike to open summit with great views, Evans Notch, June 1, pre-register. Sponsored by Appalachian Mountain Club.
Public Ownership vs. Private Rights in Maine’s Public Reserved Lots, Jun 1
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 25, 2019 

Panel presentations during Maine Bicentennial Conference. At UMaine, Orono, June 1, 1:30-3:30 pm. Registration fee.
Little Ponds Preserve Celebration, Jun 1
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 25, 2019 

Celebrate the opening of Harpswell Heritage Land Trust's newest preserve. At Little Ponds Preserve, Harpswell, June 1, 10 am.
Maine Entomological Society Field Day, Jun 1
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 25, 2019 

Join MES to explore the world of insects. At Hutchinson Pond Conservation Area, Manchester, June 1, 10 am. Sponsored by Kennebec Land Trust.
Maine Bicentennial Conference, May 30-Jun 1
Event - Posted - Friday, May 24, 2019 

In addition to scholarly panels ($60), several elements (museum exhibits and the keynote event by two Pulitzer Prize winning historians on May 31) are free to the public. A Maine History Festival for students and cultural organizations to present their own research and planning for the state bicentennial will be part of the conference just prior to the keynote event.
Great Maine Scavenger Hunt
Event - Posted - Thursday, May 23, 2019 

The Great Maine Scavenger Hunt is back (year 3). Use this list as your Maine summer vacation guide! Do as much or as little of it as you want. Sponsored by Down East magazine.
Maine Trail Finder 3.0
Announcement - Thursday, May 23, 2019 

The Center for Community GIS has launched the third version of Maine Trail Finder with the same great trail maps and descriptions and lots of new features.
Climate action
Action Alert - Tuesday, May 21, 2019 

Urge legislators on the legislature's Environment & Natural Resources Committee to support climate action via the governor’s bill, LD 1679. ~ Natural Resources Council of Maine
Ban Aerial Herbicide Spraying for Deforestation
Action Alert - Tuesday, May 21, 2019 

Before May 23, urge legislators on the Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry Committee to support LD 1691, An Act To Ban Use of Aerial Herbicide Spraying for the Purpose of Deforestation. ~ Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
Oyster Farms & Seal Watching Tours, May 25-27
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 18, 2019 

Oyster Farms & Seal Watching Tours will run every day, 2-4 pm, during Memorial Day weekend. At Damariscotta. Benefits the Fish Ladder Restoration Project.
Birding for Kids, May 25
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 18, 2019 

A hands-on workshop for families. At Curtis Farm Preserve, Harpswell, May 25, 9 am. Sponsored by Harpswell Heritage Land Trust.
L.L.Bean & Maine Audubon Birding Festival, May 24-26
Event - Posted - Friday, May 17, 2019 

Boat trips, guided walks, live bird presentations, workshops, kid’s crafts, and activities with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. At Freeport vicinity, May 24-26.
Forestry for Maine Birds, May 23
Event - Posted - Thursday, May 16, 2019 

Free workshop on forestry management for bird conservation. At Head of Tide Preserve, Belfast, May 23, 12-3 pm.
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News Items
Column: Weather has an impact on turkey behavior
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, May 12, 2019 

Weather can be a strong influence on turkey behavior and therefore, how to go about hunting them. On rainy days, they typically linger longer on the roost. Once on the ground, they tend to be less interested in breeding and more interested in feeding, and spend more time in open areas like pastures and fields. Camping out in the comfort of a ground blind on a field edge is a far more productive tactic on rainy days than is running and gunning. As a guide, I’m often asked about predicting turkey behavior. We all want turkeys to follow predictable patterns, and sometimes they do. But I would never bet money on it. ~ Bob Humphrey
Column: Climate change causing birds to migrate earlier in the spring
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, May 12, 2019 

We have some intriguing long-term records of spring-time bird arrivals in upstate New York and Worcester County in Massachusetts. Short-distance migrants like yellow-rumped warblers and common grackles are arriving about 11 days earlier now. Long-distance migrants that winter in the Caribbean, Central America or South America are arriving about four days earlier. In Maine, only nine of 78 species arrived earlier in the 1994-2017 period than in 1899-1911. Twenty-two species are arriving later now. For 47 species, we found no difference in average arrival dates. ~ Herb Wilson
Column: Scraggly Lake is a remote, beautiful getaway
Morning Sentinel - Sunday, May 12, 2019 

Northeast of Baxter State Park is the 9,092-acre Scraggly Lake Public Lands unit in the unorganized township of T7 R8. The big draw is Scraggly Lake, a pristine 836-acre expanse of brook trout and landlocked salmon, surrounded by thick woods and bumpy hills. Several other remote ponds, numerous brooks and 1,400 acres of wetlands are found at Scraggly Lake. There’s also a stand of hemlocks ranging from 20 to 35 inches in diameter — some thought to be over 300 years old. ~ Carey Kish
Opinion: Mainers right to be skeptical that USMCA will fix farmers’ woes
Sun Journal - Sunday, May 12, 2019 

The national Chamber of Commerce-funded Trade Works for America is airing ads in Maine promoting the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA or New NAFTA). Featuring a Maine dairy farmer saying, “old trade agreements are hurting us,” the ad calls on Rep. Jared Golden to support the USMCA, implying it is new and improved and will, therefore, fix Maine farmers’ problems. Analysis by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy makes clear that the NAFTA revamp doubles down on corporate-written policies that will worsen the economic headwinds faced by rural economies and farming families, lower food safety standards and make it much more difficult to inform consumers through nutritional and ingredient labeling. ~ Sharon Treat, Maine Citizen Trade Policy Commission
Opinion: History won’t stop for zoning
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, May 12, 2019 

Climate change will not respect zoning. By the end of this century, sea level is estimated to rise between one and six feet, assuming that we take action to reduce carbon emissions. If we don’t, the people of Portland in 2100 could see water levels that are six to ten meters higher than today. If there are any fishermen left, they won’t have to worry about Commercial Street traffic because the cars will be underwater. A warming planet is already making many places around the world uninhabitable. That is going to drive global migration that will shape a northern city like Portland much as European wars, famines and oppression did in the 19th century. ~ Greg Kesich
Letter: CMP power line would fragment forest
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, May 12, 2019 

Commentaries by Lloyd Irland, Richard Anderson and Richard Barringer, in support of Central Maine Power’s New England Clean Energy Connect, have been disappointing. They have not disputed the serious environmental and natural resource impact from NECEC on wildlife habitats, cold water fisheries (native brook trout), wetlands, streams, valuable vernal pools and endangered wildlife documented in reports from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, the Maine Natural Areas Program, testimony from ecologist Janet S. McMahon, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. NECEC will not tread lightly on the western Maine Mountains. Significantly less impactful alternative routes and design (underground) exist for this transmission line which CMP and regulators have thus far failed to explore. ~ John Nicholas, Winthrop
Letter: Green New Deal a necessary plan
Kennebec Journal - Sunday, May 12, 2019 

Columnist Jim Fossel’s offering, “Maine’s Green New Deal as substance-free as the federal version,” like virtually all attacks on the Green New Deal, conveniently forgets to mention why it exists. We do not slash our greenhouse gas emissions at least 50 percent by 2030 we’ll have “catastrophic” global warming causing “global economic collapse” followed by “societal collapse.” The column says the Green New Deal costs too much. This is like saying we can’t afford life boats for the Titanic. The cost of business-as-usual would be over $160 trillion in future climate disasters in the U.S. The Green New Deal’s energy plan would more that pay for itself. As three economists said in Forbes magazine, “The costs of a Green New Deal are affordable, but the costs of inaction are literally beyond calculation.” ~ Lynn Goldfarb, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Letter: Volunteers sought for ‘nightjar’ study
Morning Sentinel - Sunday, May 12, 2019 

Maine’s moonlit summer nights are becoming increasingly silent with the disappearance of the state’s resident nightjars, a family of birds that eat insects and sing on moonlit nights. In Maine, these birds include the Eastern whip-poor-will and the common nighthawk. Once widespread and commonly heard, these birds have begun to vanish from their annual haunts in eastern North America. The causes for these declines may be the culmination of a number of factors including habitat alteration, declining numbers of insects, and predation. Volunteers are needed to listen for these night sounds along predetermined monitoring routes in nightjar habitat throughout the state. Contact me at logan@hereinthewild.com. ~ Logan Parker, Palermo
Dispute over unlicensed Rome junkyard heading to court
Morning Sentinel - Saturday, May 11, 2019 

Town officials say Larry and Janet DiPietro have failed to clean up their junkyard after the town refused to issue them a permit nearly two years ago. The case is scheduled for a hearing May 29 in Waterville District Court.
Smith gets award at UMaine Augusta commencement
Kennebec Journal - Saturday, May 11, 2019 

At the University of Maine at Augusta’s 51st commencement, Mount Vernon resident George Smith, author and former executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, received the Distinguished Achievement Award. Smith, who has written a weekly editorial column for the Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel for the last 28 years, made an impassioned plea for graduates to place roots in Maine, which has one of the highest median ages in the country. “Please stay in Maine or come back to Maine,” he said. “I can tell you, based on my life, there’s no better place to work and live than our state.”
Partners undertake Cross Lake Watershed survey
Fiddlehead Focus (St. John Valley, Aroostook County) - Saturday, May 11, 2019 

The Friends of Cross Lake association will coordinate a survey of Cross Lake’s watershed in partnership with the St. John Valley Soil and Water Conservation District, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Maine Forest Service and Department of Environmental Protection. The partners undertaking the survey want to keep soil and nutrients on the land to improve soil health, instead of exporting them to the water, where they can do harm. Volunteers and UMFK faculty and students will provide additional assistance.
Trump taps energy lobbyist to oversee Parks and Fish & Wildlife
Maine Environmental News - Saturday, May 11, 2019 

President Donald Trump has tapped Wyoming native Rob Wallace to be assistant secretary for fish, wildlife and parks in the U.S. Department of the Interior. Raised in Wyoming, Wallace graduated with a degree in petroleum engineering from the University of Texas in 1971. He has had a long career as a lobbyist for energy companies and as a Republican operative.
Poland Spring: Same water, new name?
Maine Environmental News - Saturday, May 11, 2019 

Poland Spring, a subsidiary of the Swiss-based multinational corporation Nestlé, says it is introducing a new bottled water product called ORIGIN. Other than being marketed under a different name in a different bottle, it is unclear how this water is different than the water Poland Spring has been selling commercially since 1845.
9 ways to upcycle old T-shirts
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, May 11, 2019 

Here are 9 ways to reuse old T-shirts when they have reached the end of their wearable life.
• Tote bag
• Produce bag
• Dog toy
• Pillow
• T-shirt quilt
• Dinner napkins
• Baby diapers
• Plant hanger
• Rags
Here’s what to do with problem bears
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Saturday, May 11, 2019 

Maine has a very high population of bears, and they are showing up all over the state. Here is some good advice from DIF&W on how to deal with problem bears. Take these steps to avoid unwanted black bears in your backyard or neighborhood:
• Secure garbage and recycling
• Remove and store bird feeders
• Never leave pet food outdoors
• Clean and store your grill
6 Bangor hikes that will get you outdoors this spring
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, May 11, 2019 

These Bangor area hikes provide all the wooded views and exciting wildlife sightings you could want this time of year:
• Newman and Bangor hills in Orono
• Brown Woods in Bangor
• Chick Hill in Clifton
• Sunkhaze Meadows National Wildlife Refuge in Milford
• Central Penjajawoc Preserve in Bangor
• Orono Bog Boardwalk, Bangor and Orono
Letter: Environmentalists pushing big hoax
Sun Journal - Saturday, May 11, 2019 

Once again, Gov. Janet Mills and the environmentalists are expressing concern about plastics and foam products and, oh, yeah, cows passing gas. The people who believe in the climate-change hoax are saying that we must save the planet. That is crazy talk. This planet will cleanse itself; it always did. The Earth has been in existence for billions of years and will still be here for several more millions of years. People won’t be. Climate change is nothing but a big hoax perpetrated by the environmentalists to make billions of dollars from the taxpayers. Gov. Mills and her Democratic allies must be stopped from killing businesses and jobs. ~ Reggie Bechard, Lewiston
Unity College graduate aims to protect animals with research that matters
Morning Sentinel - Friday, May 10, 2019 

Sierra Sico, 21, wants to make a difference in the natural world. The Unity College senior, who will graduate Saturday with a degree in wildlife biology, this summer will travel to Montana for a seasonal job studying western songbirds, doing visual and auditory surveys on the prairie, looking at where they are nesting, tracking migration patterns and the number of eggs they produce, and so forth. She also will study how birds are affected by animals grazing on the prairie. The debate about climate change rages on and everyone must agree that at the heart of the problem are humans, and humans need to be at the heart of the solution, according to Sico. “Extinction happens at a rate of one to five species a year, and now we’re up to 1,000 to 10,000 times that rate, so it’s definitely human-driven,” she said.
Hundreds of 7th graders attend Outdoor Career Fair Hundreds of 7th graders attend Outdoor Career Fair
WABI-TV5 - Friday, May 10, 2019 

With the labor shortage in the state, an Outdoor Career Exploration event was held at Kennebec Valley Community College in Hinckley. Nearly 500 Central Maine middle schoolers attended the event hosted by the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry and Jobs for Maine's Graduates. It featured over 40 organizations and businesses that included logging, forestry, recreation and much more.
2 teens accused of vandalizing York beach benches
York Weekly - Friday, May 10, 2019 

Two 19-year-olds are facing charges after eight benches on the sidewalk at Short Sands Beach were allegedly unbolted and thrown onto the beach, later recovered under sand and seaweed. York police charged Kendrick West of York and Christian Harley of Winchester, Massachusetts, with criminal mischief. Ellis Park Trustee Andy Furlong said, “We just find it deploring that something like this could happen."
'Prolific Mother Whale' Will Continue Educating People, Even After Her Death
Maine Public - Friday, May 10, 2019 

A humpback whale known to many along the eastern seaboard will continue educating people, even after her death. The whale, named "Vector" by scientists, washed up at Cape Cod earlier this week. Dan DenDanto of the College of the Atlantic is tasked with turning her skeleton into a museum exhibit. He was on the road Friday morning to pick up the final parts of the skeleton. "She was tracked nearly every year of her life, and through documenting five calves, so she was a prolific mother whale,” he says.
Maine Coast Heritage Trust A Step Closer To Buying Most Of Clark Island
Maine Public - Friday, May 10, 2019 

The Maine Coast Heritage Trust is $1 million closer to buying most of Clark Island in St. George. The island is privately owned, but the public has been allowed to use its hiking trails and sandy beaches. The current owners want to preserve that access by selling 126 acres of the 170 acres to the Trust. The Trust has raised$3.5 million toward the $4.8 million cost. The latest million came thanks to a partnership with the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Department. The two entities qualified for a grant from the federal Interior Department's Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grants Program.
Better days are on horizon for South Portland’s Mildred Pond
Other - Friday, May 10, 2019 

The Sentry - The pond at the end of Mildred Road is known by many names, including the “gully” or “ditch.” As the pond is a destination for storm water runoff, it has long been a source of complaints from residents; it’s stagnant, the odor is pronounced, and there in a constant supply of trash that floats there. Now, after years of complaints and studies, the city of South Portland has teamed up with the South Portland Conservation Commission and Land Trust to work toward a solution to hopefully remediate the issues and revert the area into an estuary.
Wolfe’s Neck opens new organic dairy facility to bring new life to Maine’s aging dairy industry
Times Record - Friday, May 10, 2019 

The Wolfe’s Neck Center for Agriculture and the Environment opened its new, $1 million organic dairy facility Thursday, a day that executive director David Herring said the center has been “working toward for decades.” The state-of-the-art dairy barn will house the farm’s 45 to 50 dairy cows and adds roughly 30 acres of grazing space to the current 40. Milking operations will also be on site in the farm’s new milking parlor, a step up from the temporary addition to the current barn, formerly used for raising beef cattle. The new milking space features large windows to allow people on tours to see the work in action.
Opinion: CMP’s transmission project will bring lasting benefits to Maine
Bangor Daily News - Friday, May 10, 2019 

We are convinced that NECEC, the Central Maine Power transmission line project, will bring lasting benefits to Maine. The Unorganized Territory is largely a privately owned working forest criss-crossed by thousands of miles of public and woods roads and many miles of powerlines. Opponents assert there will be no reduction in carbon emissions. But the Maine PUC paid for an independent study that finds NECEC will remove up to 3.6 million metric tons of carbon from the New England atmosphere each year. Opponents claim there is no surplus water behind Hydro-Quebec dams to generate new electricity. In 2018, Hydro-Quebec “spilled” enough water to produce about 10.4 terawatts of electricity. Opponents argue Maine can de-carbonize its electrical energy needs and supply in timely fashion with expanded wind, solar, and battery storage systems. There will be no de-carbonization of Maine’s energy system without additional hydropower; our wind and solar potential prove insufficient. ~ Richard Barringer and Richard Anderson, former Maine commissioners of conservation; Lloyd Irland, former Mainer state economist
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