January 23, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Wednesday, January 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). 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
Browntail moth, Jan 30
Event - Posted - Wednesday, January 23, 2019 

Maine Forest Service Entomologist Tom Schmeelk and District Forester Morten Moesswilde explain how to identify and manage browntail moths. At Lewiston Public Works, January 30, 10 am - 2 pm.
Lake St. George Ice Fishing Derby, Jan 26
Event - Posted - Saturday, January 19, 2019 

Learn how to fish. All equipment and bait provided. Lunch, hot cocoa, and warming hut. At Lake St. George State Park, Liberty, January 26, 8 am - 2 pm.
Brown-tail moths, Jan 24
Event - Posted - Thursday, January 17, 2019 

Eleanor Groden, professor of entomology at the University of Maine, will discuss the health hazards presented by, and recommended management strategies of, brown-tail moths. At Palermo Community Library, January 24, 6:30 pm.
20th Anniversary Maine Farmland Trust Kick Off Event, Jan 24
Event - Posted - Thursday, January 17, 2019 

Join a festive hometown gathering to look back at Maine Farmland Trust's many milestones since 1999, and celebrate the founders and members who helped to shape the organization. At United Farmer’s Market of Maine, Belfast, January 24, 6 pm.
Explore Nature through photography, Jan 24
Event - Posted - Thursday, January 17, 2019 

Local photographers Michele Benoit, Donne Sinderson, and Richard Spinney will share their photographs, experience and tips for photographing the natural world. At Bangor, January 24, 6:30 pm. Sponsored by Bangor Land Trust.
Help pick BDN top issue
Action Alert - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 

This year, the Bangor Daily News opinion pages will focus attention on four issues that are critical to Maine’s future. We have picked three areas: economic development; referendum reform; and Maine’s rural, spread out population. Help pick the fourth topic. Climate change and the associated energy, land-use and conservation policies are the top concern so far.
Marching Backwards
Publication - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 

A report by the Environmental Defense Fund about how Andrew Wheeler and Donald Trump are endangering the health of American families by rolling back environmental safeguards.
Browntail Moth, Jan 22
Event - Posted - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 

Maine Forest Service Entomologist Tom Schmeelk and District Forester Morten Moesswilde explain how to identify and manage browntail moths. At Boothbay Regional Land Trust's Oak Point Farm, January 22, 3 pm.
Tree Appreciation Walk, Jan 20
Event - Posted - Monday, January 14, 2019 

Kids, adults, and families are invited on a walking exploration and appreciation of trees. At Thorne Head Preserve Bath, January 20, 1-2:30 pm. Co-sponsored by Kennebec Estuary Land Trust and Beth Israel Congregation.
Colonizing history of Wabanaki people, Europeans, Jan 20
Event - Posted - Sunday, January 13, 2019 

Maine-Wabanaki REACH and the Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Augusta hold an interactive story-telling experience about the colonizing history of Wabanaki (the Indigenous people of Maine) and Europeans and their descendants. At UU Church, Augusta, January 20, 1-3 pm, RSVP.
L.L.Bean Outdoor Discovery Programs
Event - Posted - Thursday, January 10, 2019 

Expert guides. Amazing scenery. Hundreds of new activities to learn. Plus, customized trips, all-inclusive adventures, kids’ camps and more. Starting at $25.
Ice Fishing the Downeast, Jan 17
Event - Posted - Thursday, January 10, 2019 

Gregory Burr, regional biologist for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, talks about “Ice Fishing the Downeast Region.” At Schoodic Institute, Winter Harbor, January 17, noon.
Nature Notes from Maine, Jan 17
Event - Posted - Thursday, January 10, 2019 

Ed Robinson shares interesting facts about some of Maine's most beautiful and fascinating wildlife. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, January 17, 6 pm potluck, 7 pm presentation. Sponsored by Appalachian Mountain Club.
Weekly Winter Adventure camp in Bethel begins Jan. 16
Announcement - Wednesday, January 9, 2019 

The UMaine 4-H Camp & Learning Center at Bryant Pond, in partnership with the Mahoosuc Land Trust and Mahoosuc Kids Association, is offering a six-week Winter Adventure course, beginning Wednesday, January 16.
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News Items
Shade narrowly hinders Woolwich solar farm from hitting first-year production goal
Times Record - Wednesday, January 9, 2019 

The Woolwich solar farm performed slightly below expectations in its first year, but town and company officials think it will do better in the coming year with some minor adjustments. The solar farm, which went online on December 28, 2017, produced about 28,000 kWh in its first year — slightly less than the 30,000 kWh that was predicted. Woolwich Select Board member and State Rep. Allison Hepler, D-Arrowsic, said that shade from four maple trees located near the solar farm hindered some of the panels. The town is looking into cutting those trees down to ensure that all of the panels get the maximum amount of sunlight.
Tree-cutting accident kills Maine man
Morning Sentinel - Wednesday, January 9, 2019 

A Washington man was killed Wednesday when a tree he was cutting fell on him. Shannon Condon, 47, of Washington, died at the scene. A passer-by spotted Condon lying by a tree just off Razorville Road and called 911 just after 1 p.m. When deputies arrived, they found Conden had died.
Verso paper machine employees evacuate Jay mill after chemical released
Sun Journal - Wednesday, January 9, 2019 

Four contractors at Androscoggin Mill were taken to a hospital and employees working on paper machines were evacuated Wednesday morning after a valve was left open and chlorine dioxide gas was detected, according to Verso Corp. spokeswoman Kathi Rowzie. The gas was detected by sensors in the mill. Evacuating the employees and sending the contractors to the hospital were both precautionary measures. “No one was injured,” according to Rowzie.
With inspectors furloughed, reduced FDA inspections ‘put our food supply at risk’
Washington Post - Wednesday, January 9, 2019 

The furloughing of hundreds of Food and Drug Administration inspectors has sharply reduced inspections of the nation’s food supply – one of many repercussions of the partial government shutdown that make Americans potentially less safe. The agency, which oversees 80 percent of the food supply, has suspended all routine inspections of domestic food-processing facilities.
Furloughed national wildlife refuge staff to return to work, allowing hunting
Associated Press - Wednesday, January 9, 2019 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is directing dozens of wildlife refuges to return to work to make sure hunters and others have access despite the government shutdown. The partial restaffing of 38 wildlife refuges is angering wildlife groups, who accuse the Trump administration of trying to minimize the public impact of the more than two-week-old shutdown to limit the political blowback for President Donald Trump.
Logging truck overturns in Naples
Sun Journal - Wednesday, January 9, 2019 

A logging truck crash on Sebago Road on Wednesday was blamed on inclement weather. The fully loaded truck landed on its side in a ditch after travelling off the roadway on a snow-covered, curvy section of the road shortly before 10 a.m.
Alna trail pursuit may go on without grant
Wiscasset Newspaper - Wednesday, January 9, 2019 

Alna Selectmen are mulling how to get a trail near the town office after one funding route didn't pan out, according to First Selectman Melissa Spinney. Maine Conservation Corps prepared two proposals for the town to seek a grant. A $62,000 proposal would not have won funding and the other, $120,000 proposal, for a wheelchair accessible trail, might have gotten 80 percent funded. Spinner wrote, "Selectmen said this was not an option, too expensive." Resident Jeff Spinney suggested asking the Boy Scouts, the snowmobile club or Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway Museum for volunteers on trailwork; no decisions were reached.
Saco Island site of ambitious development plan is headed to foreclosure auction
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, January 9, 2019 

A part of Saco Island that was the site of an ambitious $40 million development proposal is going up for auction Friday. Developer Bernie Saulnier of J&B Partners had been working for more than a year to garner public support and secure necessary approvals for his plans to transform the nearly 6-acre parcel of undeveloped land on the east side of the island in Saco’s downtown area. The project, called The Waters, would have included a mix of apartments, a boutique hotel and a marina. The project never won any city approvals and is now in limbo.
Should you be afraid in the Maine woods?
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Wednesday, January 9, 2019 

There is nothing in the Maine woods that you need to fear. Okay once I was charged by a cow moose, when I got between it and its calf. And there was that time the ermine ran up my leg and stopped on my chest. But I lived to tell the story. I’ve had many close encounters with bears, none of them alarming. So get out in the woods today. You are perfectly safe.
Skijoring a fun, fast, thrilling way to bond with your dogs
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, January 9, 2019 

Popular in Scandinavian countries, skijoring translates into “ski driving” in Norwegian and is a combination of cross-country skiing and dog sledding. Over the past decade or so, its popularity has been gaining in the United States. “I’m really surprised more people here don’t do it,” she said. “It’s the most fun you can have with your dog.”
Ferry fee hike has forced many Maine islanders to change the way they live
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, January 9, 2019 

Residents of Frenchboro, Swan’s Island, Matinicus, North Haven and Vinalhaven found that their ferry ticket prices either stayed mostly the same or, in some cases, decreased. But on Islesboro, the island located closest to the mainland, round-trip ticket prices jumped from $13.75 for a car and $5.50 for a passenger to $30 for a car and $11 for a passenger. Islanders have let the Maine Department of Transportation, which runs the Maine State Ferry Service, know how unhappy they are with the rate hike. About 600 to 700 people live on Islesboro year round. In the summer, that figure balloons to several thousand. While some summer residents are wealthy, most 12-month islanders say they are average Mainers who cannot easily absorb the steep price increase.
Letter: Gov. Mills steadily targeting tribal rights
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, January 9, 2019 

During her run for governor, Janet Mills defended her position in Penobscot Nation v. Mills, a case I believe to be racist, in which Assistant Attorney General Reid represented the state. Mills said she was just doing her job. Mills said on multiple occasions that she wants to improve tribal relations. Unfortunately, she is already going back on her word. Penobscot Nation v. Mills is the latest territorial taking from the tribes – in this case, tribal water rights on the reservation. ~ Ashley Bahlkow, North Yarmouth
Letter: Not in my back bay
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, January 9, 2019 

The Jan. 4 BDN article on plans by Nordic Aquafarms to build in Belfast one of the world’s biggest salmon farms focuses on the possibility that Nordic’s effluent discharge pipe may illegally cross property the company has no permission to cross, and the article then quotes Nordic’s Marianne Naess as saying, “The opposition are [sic] looking for anything to stop the project.” Am I missing something? Is the illegal crossing of someone else’s property some sort of pesky, minor detail to Nordic Aquafarms? ~ Lawrence Reichard, Belfast
Roxbury wind project seen as 'eyesore' for hikers
Sun Journal - Tuesday, January 8, 2019 

A proposal to build four wind turbines nearly 500 feet tall on North Twin Mountain in Roxbury drew opposition from conservationists and others at a public hearing Monday evening at the Town Office. Area residents’ primary concern was that Roxwind LLC’s towers would be only 2.4 miles from Whitecap Mountain, a popular hiking spot in Rumford, and spoil the 360-degree view from the summit.
Lewiston again seeking grant for Bates Mill No. 5 cleanup
Sun Journal - Tuesday, January 8, 2019 

The Lewiston City Council gave approval Tuesday for city staff to again apply for a U.S. Department of Environmental Protection grant to remove lead, asbestos and other contaminants at Bates Mill No. 5. Lewiston was not successful the last two times it applied, but Lincoln Jeffers, director of Economic and Community Development, said he is hopeful the city will receive funding this year. Mill No. 5 is the last and largest of the buildings at the Bates Mill Complex to be redeveloped, and the city currently has an option agreement with developer Tom Platz running through February 2021 to redevelop the site.
Loon Echo Land Trust welcomes new executive director
Conway (NH) Daily Sun - Tuesday, January 8, 2019 

On Jan. 7, Loon Echo Land Trust welcomed Matt Markot as its new executive director. Markot, who resides in Harrison, Maine, takes the lead for the conservation organization from retiring Executive Director Thom Perkins. Most recently, Markot worked for the land trust supporting the organization’s stewardship and conservation easement programs, in addition to organizing the 2018 Loon Echo Trek. He also worked as a part-time consultant through Sebago Clean Waters to support both Loon Echo and Western Foothills Land Trusts with their conservation efforts.
How Maine plans to block offshore oil drilling
Associated Press - Tuesday, January 8, 2019 

A group of nine Democratic state lawmakers from different coastal states, including Maine, announced Tuesday that they are going to use their coming legislative sessions to try to block attempts at offshore drilling. The lawmakers’ announcement came as new and re-elected legislators were entering office around the country after an election that saw high turnover in some states, and the group said it wants to take advantage of new political dynamics that could favor environmental bills. The announcement also came about a year after Trump’s administration announced plans to expand drilling.
Earth Island Sues Trump Administration Over Offshore Oil Drilling Plans
Maine Environmental News - Tuesday, January 8, 2019 

Today, the International Marine Mammal Project of Earth Island Institute sued the Trump Administration over the failure of the Interior Department to provide documents related to its offshore oil drilling plans. Throughout 2018, IMMP asked for records related to these plans under the Freedom of Information Act, but received no response from the Office of the Secretary at the Department of Interior. IMMP seeks a court order compelling the Trump Administration to obey FOIA and provide the documents.
AMC rebrands
Appalachian Mountain Club - Tuesday, January 8, 2019 

The Appalachian Mountain Club bringing a new look to AMC in 2019. Watch for a redesigned website, a new look for AMC Outdoors magazine, and more stuff in the digital and destination storefronts.
Justice delayed becomes commonplace in shutdown
E&E/Greenwire - Tuesday, January 8, 2019 

As the federal government hobbles through its partial shutdown Justice Department lawyers defending federal agencies in scores of environmental cases have sought to delay deadlines, frustrating advocates trying to fight the Trump administration in the courtroom. The judiciary has enough money to keep paid operations running through the end of next week. Then, the system that fields more than 260,000 new civil cases and more than 50,000 appellate cases annually will have to curtail services and staff. Environmental lawyers say the litigation delays aren't just an inconvenience; they're an injustice.
Survey shows Americans want to support pollinators
Other - Tuesday, January 8, 2019 

According to a recent poll, nearly all Americans (95%) agree special efforts to create designated areas where plants support the health and growth of pollinators, like honey bees and butterflies, should be made. Yet the majority of Americans (66%) are not confident in knowing what to do to help pollinators.
Logging truck knocks out utility pole in The County
Fiddlehead Focus (St. John Valley, Aroostook County) - Tuesday, January 8, 2019 

A fully loaded logging truck struck a utility pole affecting power for about 300 Emera Maine customers in Masardis Tuesday morning. The rig was traveling along Route 11 when snowy conditions caused it to leave the road and take out the pole. The Maine State Police urged drivers to use caution.
Aaron M. Frey takes oath as Maine's 58th Attorney General
Maine Government News - Tuesday, January 8, 2019 

Aaron M. Frey took the oath as Maine's 58th Attorney General during a ceremony in the Maine House of Representatives today. In his remarks, Frey highlighted his priorities, including the need to build stronger relationships with Maine's Wabanaki Tribes and protecting the state from harmful actions taken by the federal government. The Attorney General is Maine's chief law enforcement officer and a member of the Baxter Park Authority, overseeing the 209,000 wilderness acres of Baxter State Park.
Regulators Decide To Open Formal Investigation Into CMP Billing Controversy
Maine Public - Tuesday, January 8, 2019 

State regulators this morning opened a formal investigation into whether Central Maine Power overcharged or otherwise inaccurately billed customers in 2017. An independent audit released late last year found that, overall, CMP had not overcharged its customer base. But today Public Utilities Commission members concluded that substantial questions remain about thousands of bills that may have been inaccurate.
Hike: Weinland Nature Study Area in Penobscot
Aislinn Sarnacki Act Out Blog - Tuesday, January 8, 2019 

A quiet place for a walk in the woods, The Richard and Virginia Weinland Nature Study Area covers 40 acres in the coastal town of Penobscot, and features a 1-mile loop trail that is open to foot traffic year round. The property was donated to The Conservation Trust of Brooksville, Castine and Penobscot by the Weinland family in late 1990s, with the request that it be used as a place for people to learn about the wilderness.
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