May 22, 2018  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

Thanks for visiting Maine Environmental News, a service of RESTORE: The North Woods. MEN is the most comprehensive online source available for links conservation and natural resource news and events in Maine (and a bit beyond). We have posted summaries and links to over 50,000 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
International Day for Biological Diversity, May 22
Announcement - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

The Convention on Biological Diversity is the international legal instrument for "the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources" that has been ratified by 196 nations. The United Nations has proclaimed 22 May as the International Day for Biological Diversity.
Join the fight for Maine's clean energy future
Action Alert - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

In Maine, we are seeing the damaging effects of climate change firsthand: tick borne illnesses like Lyme disease are on the rise, the warming Gulf of Maine threatens our marine economy, air pollution drives up asthma rates for kids and adults, and extreme weather impacts our outdoor recreation and farming industries. The technology to turn off dirty fossil fuels already exists. What is standing in the way of our clean energy future? Politicians who are bought and paid for by the oil and gas industry. ~ Maine Conservation Voters
Maine Calling: The Changing North Woods, May 22
Announcement - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

UMaine experts discuss the relationship between humans and forests, including environmental attitudes and behaviors; rural communities and the forest economy; and the role of ecotourism and recreation. Maine Public Radio, May 22, 1 pm.
Defining Wilderness: Defining Maine, May 29 - Jul 24
Event - Posted - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

The Maine State Library is offering a free reading and discussion group with copies of books available through the library. The series, Defining Wilderness: Defining Maine, runs for 5 sessions, May 29 - July 24, at the State Library in Augusta. Books to be discussed include "The Maine Woods" by Henry David Thoreau.
Bats, May 29
Event - Posted - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

Biologist Trevor Peterson will speak about local species of bats. At Topsham Public Library, May 29, 6 pm. Sponsored by Cathance River Education Alliance.
Sign-Up to Count Fish at Nequasset
Announcement - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

The annual alewife count at the Nequasset Fish Ladder in Woolwich is happening. Join the fun by signing up to count during any two 10 minute blocks within a two hour period.
Wilderness Under Siege, May 30
Event - Posted - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

Nationally known author and explorer George Wuerthner will discuss the challenges facing Wilderness, how people can better protect the Wildernesses in their backyards and around the country, and organizing against efforts to weaken or repeal the Wilderness Act. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, May 30, 6:30 pm.
Field Trip: Capt. Fitzgerald Preserve and Bay Bridge, May 27
Event - Posted - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

Explore two town-owned properties in Brunswick for breeding and migrant birds: Fitzgerald Preserve and Bay Bridge Wetland Park on the Androscoggin River. May 27, 6:30 – 11 am. Sponsored by Merrymeeting Audubon.
White Mountains Centennial exhibition, May 27
Event - Posted - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

The Museums of the Bethel Historical Society host a preview reception of the new displays, “White Mountain National Forest: A Centennial Exhibition” and “The White Mountains: Alps of New England.” At Robinson House, Bethel, May 27, 2-5 pm.
Farmer Talent Show & Open Mic, May 27
Event - Posted - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

The first annual Farmer Talent Show & Open Mic will benefit the Market’s Harvest Bucks program, which increases access to fruit and vegetables for low-income households. At East Madison Grange, May 27, 5-8 pm.
Walk on the Wild Side, May 26
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 19, 2018 

Turner Public Library’s summer programming begins with a nature walk. At Androscoggin Riverlands State Park, May 26, 2 pm.
Edible (and Poisonous) Plants, May 26
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 19, 2018 

Tom Seymour, author, botanist and edible plant enthusiast, will introduce you to many of the edible and medicinal plants that can be found in Maine’s woods and fields. At Head of Tide Preserve, Belfast, May 26, 10 am - noon.
Birding Extravaganza, May 26
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 19, 2018 

Ted Allen from Merrymeeting Audubon will lead birders through the Kennebec Estuary Land Trust’s Thorne Head Preserve in Bath, May 26, 8 am.
Alewife Day, May 26
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 19, 2018 

See the alewives swim upstream. Smoked fish, kid’s games, mills running, Machinery Hall open. At Maine Forest and Logging Museum, Bradley, May 26, 10 am - 1 pm, $3 per person ages 12+.
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News Items
Ticks that carry Lyme disease surviving even deep-freeze winters, research shows
Portland Press Herald - Friday, May 11, 2018 

Mainers may have suffered through an extended winter and March snowstorms, but researchers believe the harsh season had little impact on the deer ticks that carry Lyme disease. As the weather has warmed this month – including some days when temperatures reached the 70s and 80s – the arachnids have emerged from a hibernation-like state under an insulating blanket of snow and leaves. The deer tick has emerged as a major public health threat, a carrier of Lyme and other bacterial diseases, such as anaplasmosis and babesiosis.
Letter: Keeping unrealistic gas-mileage standards will hurt U.S. farmers, ranchers
Portland Press Herald - Friday, May 11, 2018 

Recently, the Environmental Protection Agency announced they’d revisit the former administration’s Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards. While many share the goal of reducing emissions, CAFE standards were developed as a one-size-fits-all approach, and can’t be achieved with our country’s current mix of vehicles. If left unaltered they’ll impact rural communities, forcing them into electric vehicles. ~ Sue McCrum, past president, American Agri-Women, Mars Hill
Letter: Article on ‘sloppy recycling’ lacked information needed to educate public
Portland Press Herald - Friday, May 11, 2018 

A long article in the May 4 paper was about ecomaine’s need for the public’s help in correcting “sloppy recycling,” which is costing ecomaine time and money in its total recycling effort. Residential mixed paper was mentioned as the main culprit in sloppy recycling. My hope was that the article would include a list of what sloppy residential mixed paper is comprised of, leading to public knowledge and assistance for ecomaine and the environment. Perhaps that list will be published sometime soon. ~ Linda Petersen, Wells
Letter: Climate activism on the rise
Bangor Daily News - Friday, May 11, 2018 

The recent editorial about climate change’s effects in Maine was refreshing since that huge threat gets little to no regular coverage elsewhere. Why is there radio silence on this critical issue? Because oil companies might get their feelings and bottom lines hurt. We should prepare for rising seas, but we should also continue to push for cuts in carbon emissions. The activism skills young are developing will serve our planet and our society well. The climate won’t wait. Clean air, clean water are good for all.~ Hayden Foreman, Blue Hill
Letter: Climate action needed
Bangor Daily News - Friday, May 11, 2018 

It’s hard to deny that climate change is affecting us in Maine, with our lobster industry threatened by increasingly warmer, more acidic coastal waters, our winter sports affected by a shorter season and less predictable snow cover, with wildlife and humans affected by ticks and tick-borne illnesses, with cyclone bombs and flooding as sea levels rise. The problem is too much carbon released into the atmosphere through the burning of fossil fuels. The solution — reduce carbon emissions. We need to address climate change at the state and national levels of government for serious solutions to occur. Ask each candidate, “What are you planning to do about climate change?” Let’s make sure our representatives will pass legislation to mitigate climate change. ~ Dorothy Lippincott, Hampden
Analysis: 490,000 Pounds of Toxic Pesticides Sprayed on National Wildlife Refuges
Center for Biological Diversity - Thursday, May 10, 2018 

America’s national wildlife refuges are being doused with hundreds of thousands of pounds of dangerous agricultural pesticides every year, according to a first-of-its-kind analysis by the Center for Biological Diversity. The report, No Refuge, reveals that an estimated 490,000 pounds of pesticides were dumped on commodity crops like corn, soybeans and sorghum grown in national wildlife refuges in 2016, the most recent year for which data are available. The analysis was conducted with records obtained by the Center under the Freedom of Information Act.
Protecting Bowdoinham's Pork Point Farmland
Other - Thursday, May 10, 2018 

Kennebec Estuary Land Trust has raised the final amount for its crowdfunding campaign to conserve farmland along Bowdoinham's Pork Point. At 80 acres and stretching along the Kennebec and Abagadasett Rivers on Merrymeeting Bay, the land contains prime farmland soil types. They are key to the region’s high agricultural productivity and are critical to a farmer’s livelihood. The shorefront, an exemplary freshwater tidal marsh, is recognized as crucial habitat for tidal waterfowl and wading birds.
Scott Pruitt Plans to Radically Alter How Clean Air Standards Are Set
Inside Climate News - Thursday, May 10, 2018 

Under the law, the standards, setting uniform goals for breathable air, are supposed to be reviewed periodically asking only one question: whether they are protective enough to ensure the health of even the most vulnerable people, based on the best available science. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said Thursday he wants to radically revise how basic, health-based national air quality standards are set, giving more weight to the economic costs of achieving them and taking into account their impacts on energy development.
Where’s the Money, Secretary Zinke?
Sierra Club - Thursday, May 10, 2018 

The Trump administration is well-stocked with grifters, but Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke still often manages to stand out. Between burning tens of thousands of dollars on expensive helicopter flights, insisting on a security detail while on a European vacation, and possibly violating the Hatch Act, Zinke has become known for profligate spending. But when it comes to his department’s spending, Zinke is more stingy. On Thursday, Senate appropriators grilled Zinke on his budget request for fiscal year 2019, which is about $2 billion less than the enacted budget for 2018. Republicans and Democrats alike were concerned about the skinny budget, which allots $18 million to jump-start the largest reorganization of the Interior Department in history while slashing funding mechanisms like the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
'Adopt-a-plotters' keep Cape Elizabeth park gardens green
Forecaster - Thursday, May 10, 2018 

Maintaining the beauty of Fort Williams Park is no small task. It takes the dedication of town staff, the courtesy of visitors and the generosity of many volunteers. When it comes to the park’s 70-80 garden plots, it takes upwards of 50 people. These volunteers, along with two seasonal part-time landscape gardeners, Alex Donka and Allysun West, participate in the park’s Adopt-A-Plot program. The intent, coordinator Tom Atwell said, is to keep the gardens free of invasive plants, such as bittersweet and Japanese knotweed.
Pruitt opens Clean Air Act to challenges
Associated Press - Thursday, May 10, 2018 

Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt on Thursday announced a major shift in enforcement of the landmark Clean Air Act to include feedback from state and local governments and others on the economic impact of federal pollution limits. The initiative sets the stage for potential legal battles over how the United States enforces the 48-year-old law combating air pollution. Federal law and U.S. Supreme Court decisions require the EPA to focus on public health – not costs – in setting limits for smog, soot and other pollutants under the Clean Air Act.
Penobscot Nation, UMaine sign MOU for tribe's cultural heritage
WABI-TV5 - Thursday, May 10, 2018 

After a decade of focused collaboration, officials from the University of Maine and the Penobscot Nation took a major step forward Thursday afternoon. They signed a Memorandum of Understanding, formalizing the work they've done to manage the tribe's cultural heritage. The event was held in the Hudson Museum, where several Penobscot artifacts were on display. Officials say among the goals of the agreement will be integrating the tribe's perspective into research processes and implementing Penobscot language on signage on campus.
Blog: National Travel and Tourism Week Travel Then and Now
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, May 10, 2018 

The week of May 6-12 is officially designated to be National Travel and Tourism Week. Here are some of my reflections on the changing dynamics of lodging properties in travel and tourism.
• The way tourists find their accommodations has changed
• The market is flooded with options for travelers
• Economy choices are coming into their own
• Airbnb has changed the lodging platform by adding experiences
• Travel Associations have to create ways to help us all live together peacefully
• Property Management Systems is one of the most beneficial business development for lodgings
~ Kristen Bifulco
Near the heart of downtown Bangor, a quiet spot to cast a line
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, May 10, 2018 

A soft breeze blew upstream on the Kenduskeag Stream on Wednesday evening — not enough to scatter the swarms of non-biting blackflies and mosquitoes, but just enough to carry the sweet scent of cigar smoke along the stream bed. As fishing scents go, cigar smoke is among the classics, of course; generations of Mainers wouldn’t think of heading into the woods in search of trout without a few stogies on hand, just to drive those pesky flies away. But on this day, we weren’t in the woods at all. In fact, we were a half mile or so from the bustle of downtown Bangor.
Farmington plans Arbor Week events
Daily Bulldog (Franklin County) - Thursday, May 10, 2018 

Arbor Week, organized by the Conservation Committee to celebrate Farmington's designation as a Tree City, will begin on May 20 this year, running until May 26. As it is the 40th celebration for Farmington, the event should be a source of pride for the town, said Conservation Committee Chair Bill Haslam.
Pair of Lawsuits Seek to Bolster Protections for Right Whale
Other - Thursday, May 10, 2018 

In one of the lawsuits filed Monday, the Conservation Law Foundation says partial passage on April 9 of New England’s Omnibus Essential Fish Habitat Amendment failed to meet some of its goals, like minimizing the impact of fishing gear on fish habitats. CLF says the amendment opened up more than 3,000 square miles of once protected ocean in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean to commercial fishing activities known to destroy fish habitats.
Islesboro residents fear for future of island community after steep ferry fee increase
Republican Journal - Thursday, May 10, 2018 

Islesboro residents are painting a grim picture of the future of the commuter island community following a steeper than expected increase in their state ferry ticket prices. While an increase was expected, the approved rates represent a 118-percent jump in the cost of round-trip tickets for a vehicle and driver, residents say, which could lead to an exodus of year-round residents.
Mainers join effort to pressure Lowe’s to drop paint strippers with deadly chemical
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, May 10, 2018 

Local environmental advocates visited three Lowe’s home improvement stores in southern Maine on Thursday as part of a nationwide effort to pressure the company to remove products that contain a toxic and even deadly chemical known as methylene chloride. In Brunswick, Tracy Gregoire with the Learning Disabilities Center of Maine delivered a letter to the store manager asking them to pull from shelves paint strippers that contain the neurotoxic chemical that has been caused at least 50 deaths and is linked to lung cancer through inhalation. Other advocates visited stores in Portland and Auburn with the same message.
How the world’s second largest indoor salmon farm could take shape in Maine
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, May 10, 2018 

You might have to squint through the trees to spot the world’s second largest salmon farm in Belfast, according to computer renderings unveiled Wednesday. Nordic Aquafarms, a Norwegian aquaculture firm, says its due diligence, the process used to determine whether the project would be feasible, is about 90 percent complete, and is ready to start applying for permits. Nordic hosted its latest information session at the Hutchinson Center in Belfast on Wednesday night.
BHHT to acquire Meadowbrook Forest
Other - Thursday, May 10, 2018 

A former timber forest in Ellsworth and Surry, stretching from Route 1 down towards Ellsworth Road and the Patten Stream wetlands complex, will join the 5,500 acres currently conserved by Blue Hill Heritage Trust. The 2,012-acre Meadowbrook Forest is one of three parcels purchased April 30 by The Conservation Trust, in a collaborative effort with local and national conservation groups, including Maine Coast Heritage Trust and The New England Forestry Foundation.
Maine man failed to extinguish flames that set massive wildfire, forest service says
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, May 10, 2018 

A Kennebunk man failed to properly douse a backyard fire that set a massive wildfire last week that burned more than 300 acres in York County. Michiel Brown, 69, was issued a summons for failing to extinguish the May 2 fire that grew into a blaze that burned for nearly 24 hours, scorching 314 remote acres. If convicted, Brown faces up to a $500 fine and could owe up to $25,000 in restitution.
Herring Harvest Rules Could Change To Account For Fish's Crucial Role In Food Web
Associated Press - Thursday, May 10, 2018 

Federal fishing managers have debated changes to the harvest of Atlantic herring in recent years, and the potential new rules are headed for public comment this month and next. Herring are small schooling fish that are harvested in the hundreds of millions of pounds annually to supply food, bait and fish oil. The New England Fishery Management Council is considering changing the rules to "explicitly account for herring's role in the ecosystem.'' Herring are also a key piece of the ocean food web.
Lots of info in new big game management plan
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Thursday, May 10, 2018 

For the first time, the Maine Dept of Inland Fish & Wildlife used scientific public surveys. Most hunters (77% to 96% depending on species) were satisfied with their hunting experiences. But I’m hoping the agency takes note that 35% of hunters said the requirement to purchase separate permits for some species, in addition to the hunting license, prevent them from hunting those species. I was also intrigued that half the hunters supported antler-restrictions for deer, something DIFW opposes and contends would do no good in Maine. Also interesting was this: 64% of hunters rated access to hunting lands in Maine as excellent or good. But 34% said a lack of access caused them to hunt less than they would like.
This website helps you discover the perfect Maine bike route
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, May 10, 2018 

It’s a familiar conundrum for bicycling enthusiasts — the desire to explore new roads or trails on two wheels competing with the fear of encountering monster hills, heavy vehicular traffic or simply getting lost on unfamiliar routes. Now, thanks to a new website launched last week by The Bicycle Coalition of Maine, much of that guess work is eliminated. “Where to Ride” — www.bikemaine.org/wheretoride — lets riders use a series of drop down menus to select from among 150 bicycling routes from Kittery to Fort Kent based on distance, terrain and level of difficulty.
Trendy Japanese ‘mountain girls’ are boosting LL Bean’s overseas sales
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, May 10, 2018 

The inside of a Japanese L.L.Bean store may look much like any U.S. store, but outside, customers including trendy “mountain girls” are turning their purchases into weekend escapes from their city jobs. Many customers, following the government’s push over the past few decades for hard-working Japanese to cut down on long hours, also are taking time off for outdoor activities with their families. That’s benefiting L.L.Bean’s Japanese stores at a time when its U.S. parent’s sales have been flat.
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