July 16, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Tuesday, July 16, 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
‘Acadia Files’ author Coppens, Jul 23
Event - Posted - Tuesday, July 16, 2019 

Author Katie Coppens will conduct fun science experiments with kids of all ages. At Turner Public Library, July 23, 2 pm. Each volume of “The Acadia Files” helps young readers learn about the scientific method in fun and innovative ways by following the adventures of Acadia, a young scientist.
Help Stamp Money Out of Politics
Action Alert - Monday, July 15, 2019 

The flow of cash into the pockets of politicians from lobbyists, oil and gas companies, and billionaires bent on protecting their wealth is the biggest barrier to our government's taking action on climate change, and it is up to us to put a stop to it. That is why we're asking you to join the movement protesting Big Money's death grip on our future by rubber-stamping our cash with the message "Stamp Money Out of Politics." ~ Ben & Jerry
Tell Your Representative: Invest in Clean Energy and Climate Action
Action Alert - Monday, July 15, 2019 

Congress must update and extend vital tax credits in four key green technology areas needed to meet our climate goals — electric vehicles, offshore wind, electric grid scale storage, and building efficiency. Without these updated credits, clean energy innovation could stall and our planet will be driven even closer to the brink of climate catastrophe. ~ Natural Resources Defense Council Action Fund
Hearing on CMP billing errors, service shortcomings, rate hikes, Jul 22
Action Alert - Monday, July 15, 2019 

Maine Public Utilities Commission public witness hearing concerning Central Maine Power’s request to increase residential rates by over 10%, and CMP billing errors and poor customer service. At PUC, Hallowell, July 22, 6 pm.
Greenhorns summer workshops
Event - Posted - Monday, July 15, 2019 

Hear from historians, restoration ecologists, entomologists, fishermen, foresters and master craftsmen, on a wide range of topics at the intersection of the human and non-human world. Greenhorns, in Pembroke, works to create a welcoming culture for new entrants in sustainable agriculture.
Crystal Spring Farm Bee Tour, Jul 21
Event - Posted - Sunday, July 14, 2019 

Beekeeper Ken Faulkner will explain the importance of honeybees, hive dynamics, beekeeping, honeybee history, and more. At Crystal Spring Farmers’ Market parking area, Brunswick, July 21, 10 am, free. Sponsored by Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust.
Kayak to Woodward Point, Jul 21
Event - Posted - Sunday, July 14, 2019 

Check out newly protected Woodward Point on the New Meadows River in Brunswick from the water. July 21, 2 pm, pre-register. Sponsored by Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust and Maine Coast Heritage Trust.
Climate Convergence Conference, Jul 20
Event - Posted - Saturday, July 13, 2019 

Explore the roots of science denial and change the nature of the public discourse regarding Climate Change. At George Stevens Academy, Blue Hill, July 20.
Loon counters needed, Jul 20
Announcement - Saturday, July 13, 2019 

Each year more than a thousand volunteer counters fan out across Maine’s lakes to help track the status of the state’s loon population. Volunteer counters are needed on a number of Hancock County lakes and ponds, July 20, 7-7:30 am.
Traveling the Northern Forest Canoe Trail, Jul 19
Event - Posted - Friday, July 12, 2019 

Nicole Grohoski, GIS Specialist, Cartographer, and State Representative for District 132 will share adventures from completing the Northern Forest Canoe Trail. At Gordon’s Wharf, Sullivan, July 19, 7 pm. Sponsored by Friends of Taunton Bay and Frenchman Bay Conservancy.
Yoga on the Brunswick Mall, thru Sep 6
Event - Posted - Friday, July 12, 2019 

Classes led by Sundara Yoga’s qualified instructors. At Brunswick Town Mall lawn in front of the gazebo, every Friday (weather permitting), July 19 - September 6, 7:30 – 8:30 am, free.
Hearing on CMP billing errors, service shortcomings, rate hikes, Jul 18
Action Alert - Thursday, July 11, 2019 

Maine Public Utilities Commission public witness hearing concerning Central Maine Power’s request to increase residential rates by over 10%, and CMP billing errors and poor customer service. At UMaine at Farmington, July 18, 6 pm.
Forestry for Maine Birds, Jul 17
Event - Posted - Wednesday, July 10, 2019 

Learn how to improve habitat for priority forest birds and a variety of other wildlife species; take care of your woodland; work with other forest management goals; and enhance the value and enjoyment of Maine woodlands. At Mt. Vernon Community Center, July 17, 9:30 am - 2 pm.
Revisioning the Earth, Jul 16
Event - Posted - Tuesday, July 9, 2019 

Dana Sawyer, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and Religion at the Maine College of Art, will speak about Revisioning the Earth. At Harpswell Heritage Land Trust Annual Meeting, Orr’s Island Schoolhouse, July 16, 6:30 pm.
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News Items
When blueberry prices bottomed out, 2 men tossed them in a barrel and made brandy
Bangor Daily News - Friday, June 28, 2019 

One day, Jeremy Howard, a seventh generation blueberry farmer from Hope, was having a beer at a Scottish pub owned by his friend Andrew Stewart. Maine’s blueberry farmers were facing a 26 percent price drop in the market. Howard was wondering how he could keep his family’s business, Brodis Farm, viable with decreasing profits. “If blueberries are so cheap, why don’t we just distill them?” Stewart asked Howard. In December, after years of conversations and research, Howard and Stewart began production on Blue Barren Distillery’s signature spirit, an unaged fruit brandy called eau de vie, made entirely from Brodis Farm blueberries.
How one woman’s 30-year career changed the way Mainers think about the outdoors
Bangor Daily News - Friday, June 28, 2019 

When Lisa Kane accepted a job with the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife in 1989 as natural science educator the department had no plan. "They’re like, ‘We really want to educate people about wildlife. Go do it.” Kane has been a point person on education ever since, teaching groups at the Maine Wildlife Park in Gray and working with educators to show them how the state’s wildlife and wild places can play a role in the classroom.
How a Maine bass fishing tournament is helping fight global water woes
Bangor Daily News - Friday, June 28, 2019 

The first Schoodic Lake Bass Fishing Tournament is trying to share something that Maine has plenty of — fresh water — with countries that simply don’t have enough of it. The tournament is scheduled for Sunday, July 14, at the boat launch in Lakeview Plantation. In some countries, one child dies every 21 seconds as a result of drinking contaminated water said Rachel McMannus, a senior at Penquis Valley High School in Milo. The cost of a well in a developing country is estimated at $12,000, and that’s the total the Penquis Key Club is trying to raise.
Column: When it comes to birds, elevation changes everything
Bangor Daily News - Friday, June 28, 2019 

Every 1,000 feet of elevation gain is the equivalent of traveling north 300 miles. Perhaps you’ve been on a mountaintop, admiring the view, and thought to yourself, “Hey, the birds are different up here.” You’re correct. Elevation changes everything. Generally, the temperature decreases three degrees for every 1,000 feet of elevation gain. Summits also get more than their share of moisture, and the earth dries out more slowly up there. As habitat changes, so do the birds. So go climb a mountain, and report back to me. I’ll wait here. ~ Bob Duchesne
Opinion: Trump administration’s efforts to save coal are a slap in the face to humanity
Portland Press Herald - Friday, June 28, 2019 

Two reports – the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change survey and the United States’ Fourth National Climate Assessment – describe the causes of climate change and warn about current and future impacts. According to the IPCC, current greenhouse-gas emissions must be reduced by 100% by 2050. The U.S. report is the work of over 300 experts, guided by a 60-member Federal Advisory Committee. It urges us, as a nation, to take action to address climate change. Despite these reports, President Trump took action to protect the coal industry and make climate change worse. Our morals guide us to conclude that younger generations should not be hurt by the mistakes of older generations. Climate change will most assuredly harm future generations. ~ The Rev. Richard Killmer (retired), Yarmouth
Opinion: Climate change is scary. Claims of ‘horns’ from smartphone use aren’t
Portland Press Herald - Friday, June 28, 2019 

Recently, some news outlets fell for the claim that looking down at smartphones was causing young people’s skulls to sprout “horns.” The whole smartphone claim was backed by no evidence. This spring, at a meeting at the Columbia School of Journalism, reporters were urged to more aggressively scare people about human-induced climate change. Fake news? Not at all, because there is ample evidence that it’s happening, and that it’s likely to get a lot worse. Fair and balanced reporting on the climate should be really scary. But the efforts of the environmental journalists are being undermined by the health journalists. ~ Faye Flam
Letter: Maine has water rights all wrong
Kennebec Journal - Friday, June 28, 2019 

In the 1980s, Maine’s law court used a 1647 Massachusetts ordinance which stated that “the Proprietor of the land adjoining [the sea] shall have proprietie to the low water mark” to declare private coastal land owners owned the intertidal zone. They claimed that “propriety” meant a “fee simple deed.” That definition is wrong. Recent research of several hundred Massachusetts deeds and all extant Maine deeds before 1760 revealed all grants to coastal properties deeded the property with “liberty” or “propriety” to the low water mark. A propriety was essentially an easement. There was not one example that deed, grant, etc. was ever equated with “propriety.” ~ Edwin A. Churchill, Ph.D., historical consultant, Augusta
Letter: Maine lobstermen a convenient target
Ellsworth American - Friday, June 28, 2019 

I have been writing to defend the lobster industry since 1997. I wrote this in an open letter to Governor King, Sens. Snowe and Collins and Reps. Baldacci and Allen: “...The right whale is the spotted owl of [the lobster] industry. Even though the proposed gear regulations (sinking instead of floating lines) are ostensibly aimed at protecting an endangered species, the right whale is only a surrogate for the actual target, you, the lobster industry itself." In the interim since the switch from floating to sinking lines the lobster fishery has enjoyed monumental increases in landings and incomes, irrespective of fuel, bait and other challenges over this 22-year period. Once NOAA gets done with its new regulations on trap lines etc., ad nauseam, tariffs will not matter because you will have been put out of business. ~ Dudley Gray, Rangeley Plantation
Showdown Over the Land and Water Conservation Fund Continues
Other - Thursday, June 27, 2019 

Outdoor Life Magazine - Earlier this spring, President Trump signed a massive public lands bill which permanently reauthorized the Land and Water Conservation Fund. But passing that bill didn't actually secure any real money for LWCF, that battle would be fought later. Well, later is now. Trump’s initial budget has no funding for land acquisition. "To the extent we're siphoning off these funds for other entirely different purposes, that's really not appropriate," Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) told The Hill. Both the House and Senate have countered with bills that would provide full funding of $900 million annually to the LWCF.
Rumford man investigated for cutting off opossum’s tail
Sun Journal - Thursday, June 27, 2019 

An opossum is recovering at an Auburn wildlife rescue facility after a man cut off its tail and left him for dead last week. The opossum is popular among some residents in the Rumford neighborhood he has roamed for at least a couple of years. One family there named him Percy. The man told the investigating warden that the opossum attacked him. Because he no longer has a tail, Percy can never be returned to the wild. Jennifer Marchigiani, a wildlife rehabilitator at Misfits Rehab in Auburn, plans to keep him.
CMP’s president and owner are named as defendants in lawsuit claiming fraud
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, June 27, 2019 

Lawyers representing frustrated ratepayers expanded a lawsuit against Central Maine Power on Thursday, naming the company president, Douglas Herling, and the Spanish holding company, Iberdrola, that owns it as defendants and accusing them of fraud and racketeering.
New lobstering rules may be implemented by 2021
Associated Press - Thursday, June 27, 2019 

Changes to the Maine lobster fishery designed to help a critically endangered species of whale might arrive in 2021 after a lengthy rulemaking process. A team assembled by the federal government has called for the removal of half the vertical trap lines from the Gulf of Maine to reduce risk to North Atlantic right whales. The Maine Department of Marine Resources has been meeting with lobstermen around the state to begin crafting rules to achieve that goal.
Maine utility regulators agree to more tests of CMP’s billing system
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, June 27, 2019 

Staff at the Maine Public Utilities Commission on Thursday granted a request from the Maine Office of the Public Advocate to conduct more tests of Central Maine Power’s error-prone billing system, as complaints continue to come in from electricity customers. More than 100,000 customers received inaccurate bills after the company rolled out its new SmartCare billing system in October 2017. But advocates for overbilled ratepayers suggest the number may be much higher and are pursuing a class-action lawsuit against the company.
Goat restrained, returned to owner after chasing woman down street in Oakland
Morning Sentinel - Thursday, June 27, 2019 

A goat has been chastised after Oakland police found the creature to blame for chasing a woman down a street. Officer Jacob Earle responded to the call around 9 a.m. Sunday. It took some effort to coax the feisty goat into submission. “Despite assaulting our officer a few times the suspect was ultimately restrained,” officials said. The goat was returned to its owner by 9:15 a.m. and the woman it chased said she will not press charges.
Enviros angered by Angus King biomass provision in renewable energy bill
Maine Environmental News - Thursday, June 27, 2019 

On Wednesday, Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) introduced legislation in Congress to create a national “Renewable Energy Standard.” Shortly before the bill was unveiled, to get Sen. Angus King (I-ME) to sign on as a cosponsor, language was added that would provide subsidies for polluting and inefficient wood-burning power plants. The Renewable Energy Standard Act contains important provisions. Before the problematic biomass wording was inserted, dozens of groups and renewable energy businesses endorsed the bill, including half a dozen groups active in Maine. However, the King biomass provision has triggred a backlash. A coalition of regional and national environmental groups expressed outrage at the King biomass provision in the Udall proposal.
Twenty years of dam removal successes – and what's up next
Other - Thursday, June 27, 2019 

Twenty years ago, the annual run of alewives (a migratory fish essential to the marine food web) up Maine’s Kennebec River was zero. Today, it’s five million — thanks to the removal of Edwards Dam and additional restoration measures upstream. The Kennebec and its web of life have rebounded in many ways since Edwards Dam came down in 1999. The removal of Edwards Dam was significant because it was the first time the federal government ordered a dam removed because its costs outweighed its benefits. The restoration of the Kennebec sparked a movement for free-flowing rivers in the U.S. and around the world.
Maine settles with logger over harvesting violations
Associated Press - Thursday, June 27, 2019 

The Maine Forest Service reached an administrative settlement with David Roy, who owns Roy’s Logging and was charged with violating Maine’s Forest Practices Act in Hartford. Roy created a 24-acre clear cut without a plan as required by Maine rules. He has agreed to pay a $2,000 civil penalty for the violation. All but $400 of the penalty has been sent to the state’s Community Forest Fund.
Truck crashes, spills 3,000 gallons of milk on I-95 in Falmouth
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, June 27, 2019 

A milk truck that was traveling too fast overturned on the southbound ramp entering Interstate 95 in Falmouth on Thursday, spilling roughly 3,000 gallons of milk, according to Maine State Police. The Maine Department of Environmental Protection responded to the scene along with first responders.
36 Hours in Camden and Rockport, Maine (and Environs)
New York Times - Thursday, June 27, 2019 

If Maine’s much-debated slogan, “the way life should be,” were a place, the towns of Camden and Rockport and their surroundings might be it. These clapboard-and-brick towns sit two miles apart on schooner-spotted harbors next to rounded mountains and sparkling freshwater lakes. What more does a rural getaway need? In this case, it’s a vibrant community of year-round locals who’ve created a nexus of arts, dining and outdoor activities to rival some cities. The area’s charm lies in an authentic belief in family businesses, locally grown food and ingenuity against the odds.
Opinion: Bottle bill handling fee increase is not a tax, and it is good for Maine
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, June 27, 2019 

Governor Janet Mills recently allowed an increase in the handling fee associated with Maine’s bottle bill to become law. This is a good thing for most participants in container recycling, and Mainers in general. States without bottle bills have container recycling rates around 30%, and much of that material cannot be reused as food grade because it is contaminated in the recycling process. Maine’s rate is roughly 80% and largely uncontaminated – one of the highest in the country. In 1976, the original Maine handling fee was 1 cent. An adjustment that considers that the $11 Maine hourly minimum wage is 52 percent higher than the Federal minimum wage and affects more than 60% of a redemption center’s costs, the equivalent fee today would more than 6.2 cents. The emergency measure passed by the legislature, moved it to 4.5 cents as of January 2020 — a necessary adjustment. ~ Alison Vanderhoof, CEO of Clynk,
The American elm: Past, present...future?
Forests for Maine's Future - Thursday, June 27, 2019 

Dutch elm disease was one of the great ecological disasters of the modern age. It wiped out elms by the millions, clearing them from city streets they had shaded for decades, and from forests across a good chunk of the continent. But not all. Elms are still out there, healthy or unhealthy, growing and dying. Maybe tested by the fungus of Dutch elm disease, maybe not. Like small bands of humans surviving after a science fiction apocalypse. And some of these elms may hold the key to bringing back Ulmus americana in a big way.
Public Beach Access Thwarted
Free Press - Thursday, June 27, 2019 

Rep. Jeffrey Evangelos’s bill to legally allow public access between high and low tide to the state’s 5,000-plus miles of beaches and rocky shores was overwhelmingly defeated in the Maine Senate. He said, “many so-called ‘liberal’ Dems live along the coast and threw in with their wealthy supporters” who wanted to preserve their private-property rights. Many legislators thought the bill amounted to the “taking” by the state of people’s property. The United States Constitution states: “Nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” But there was another factor: last-minute opposition from the Natural Resources Council of Maine. It claimed that rockweed, which makes up 90 to 95 percent of intertidal seaweed, was being too heavily harvested.
Head Down East to see a bird that lives nowhere else in the US
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, June 27, 2019 

They’re pretty darn cute and they’re only found in one state in the United States: Maine. We’re talking about puffins, and BDN bird columnist Bob Duchesne is taking us to Machias Seal Island to see what he calls “the sexiest bird in the state.” Arctic terns, who also live out on the island, help protect the puffins. Follow along as we spot the various birds who call Machias Seal Island home.
See how much of the Bucksport paper mill site has changed hands
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, June 27, 2019 

Nearly five years after the Verso Paper mill in Bucksport closed and a scrap metal recycling company bought it, the bulk of the industrial property now has new owners with different plans for the future. Maine Maritime Academy plans a continuing education annex to train mariners on four acres. Whole Oceans plans to develop a land-based salmon farming operation on more than 100 acres. Two buildings across the street from the mill site have been sold to the Bucksport United Methodist Church. See who owns which portion of the mill site on this map.
Loon Echo Land trust buys new property
Advertiser Democrat - Thursday, June 27, 2019 

Loon Echo Land Trust has expanded the Crooked River Forest at Intervale with the purchase of 38 acres of forested land in Harrison. The acquisition brings the total acreage of the conserved forest there to 334. The Crooked River is the largest tributary into Sebago Lake, Maine’s second largest lake and the primary source of clean drinking water for 200,000 people – one-sixth of all Mainers – who live or work in 11 communities in the Portland area. Protecting forestland along the Crooked River has been an important collaborative goal between Portland Water District and Loon Echo Land Trust for many years.
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