June 19, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Wednesday, June 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; 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
Save Right Whales
Action Alert - Wednesday, June 19, 2019 

New England’s iconic whale is on the brink of extinction. A bill in Congress called Scientific Assistance for Very Endangered (“SAVE”) Right Whales could help this key species recover. ~ Conservation Law Foundation
Water: What is has to teach us, Jun 25
Event - Posted - Tuesday, June 18, 2019 

Learn about fresh water ecosystems and new aquaculture operations in the MidCoast region. At Topsham Public Library, June 25, 6 pm. Sponsored by Cathance River Education Alliance.
Proposed Coyote Center, Jun 24
Event - Posted - Monday, June 17, 2019 

Biologist Geri Vistein will share an informative film about the future Coyote Center in Maine, followed by a discussion of Maine’s coyotes. At Lithgow Public Library, Augusta, June 24, 6:30 pm.
Teen Wilderness Expedition, July 23-25
Announcement - Sunday, June 16, 2019 

The Teen Wilderness Expedition is a 3-day, 2-night, all-inclusive adventure for 12-16 year olds at Little Lyford Lodge, July 23-25. Offered by Piscataquis County Soil and Water Conservation District and Appalachian Mountain Club.
Maine State Museum hosts Bike Day, Jun 22
Event - Posted - Saturday, June 15, 2019 

Join the Maine State Museum, Bicycle Coalition of Maine and the Maine State Library in a free family event to commemorate the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote and learn about the benefits of safe, relaxed bike riding. At Maine State Museum, June 22, 10 am - 1 pm.
Woodland Management with Birds in Mind, Jun 22
Event - Posted - Saturday, June 15, 2019 

A Forestry for Maine Birds workshop for landowners, foresters and loggers interested in learning how they can support Maine’s forest songbirds. At Somerset County Cooperative Extension office, Skowhegan, and on the adjacent Yankee Woodlot Demonstration Forest, June 22, 9 am - noon.
Hike Puzzle Mt., Jun 22
Event - Posted - Saturday, June 15, 2019 

A moderate to strenuous hike of 8.5 miles. Cross several exposed granite boulders and ledges offering views of the Sunday River ski area, Grafton Notch, and the Presidentials, June 22, pre-register. Sponsored by Appalachian Mountain Club.
Androscoggin River Canoe & Kayak River Race, Jun 22
Event - Posted - Saturday, June 15, 2019 

This event is open to all to launch canoes, kayaks, paddle boards, (and more) into the Androscoggin River and complete one of three courses of varying length and challenge. At Festival Plaza, Auburn, June 22, 9 am, $15 for single paddler, $25 for a double, benefits Androscoggin Land Trust.
Plants of Corea Heath, Jun 22
Event - Posted - Saturday, June 15, 2019 

Join Jill Weber, botanist and co-author of The Plants of Acadia National Park, to learn about carnivorous plants, orchids, stunted trees and shrubs and cotton-grass. At Corea Heath, Goldsboro, June 22, 8:30 am. Sponsored by Downeast Audubon.
Maine Wildlife Park open house, Jun 21
Event - Posted - Friday, June 14, 2019 

The Maine Wildlife Park in Gray will hold an open house with free admission, June 21, 5-8 pm. Feeding times for moose, lynx, foxes, cougars, vultures and bears will be posted.
Call for a presidential primary debate on climate change
Action Alert - Thursday, June 13, 2019 

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez has rejected a presidential primary debate on climate change. 15 Democratic presidential candidates have joined the call. So can you. ~ CREDO Action
Trekking through Time
Announcement - Thursday, June 13, 2019 

From June through October, Lakes Environmental Association, Loon Echo Land Trust, Greater Lovell Land Trust, Upper Saco Valley Land Trust, and Western Foothills Land Trust will host the Trekking through Time Series. Once a month throughout the summer and early fall, each organization will host a historical tour of one of its conservation properties.
Help document impact on shell middens, Jun 18
Announcement - Tuesday, June 11, 2019 

Many cultural artifacts of Maine's first coastal residents are preserved in shell middens, but these sites are disappearing as sea levels rise, collectors dig into the middens, and visitors walk on them. Maine Midden Minders is developing a database of erosion conditions at middens. Volunteer training at Coastal Rivers’ Education Center, Damariscotta, June 18, 3-7 pm.
“Dog-Friendly Hikes in Maine” book launch, Jun 18
Event - Posted - Tuesday, June 11, 2019 

Book signing and presentation for “Dog-Friendly Hikes in Maine” by Aislinn Sarnacki, which contains detailed descriptions and maps of 35 hikes across Maine that are ideal for dogs and their owners. At Epic Sports, Bangor, June 18, 5-7:30 pm.
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News Items
Maine closes portion of Penobscot River to lobster fishing
Maine Insights - Tuesday, February 18, 2014 

Maine’s Department of Marine Resources announced today the immediate closure of the Fort Point-area lobster fishery due to high levels of toxic mercury contamination found in surrounding parts of the Penobscot River and its local marine life. According to a court-appointed scientific panel, the source of the mercury contamination in the river is the HoltraChem chemical processing plant, which dumped tons of mercury into the Penobscot, mostly in the late 1960s. A former owner of the plant, Mallinckrodt US LLC, was found liable for polluting the river in 2002 thanks to a lawsuit brought by the Maine People’s Alliance and the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Opinion: Which companies pay to play with ALEC?
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, February 18, 2014 

The American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, has attracted considerable attention in recent years for its role as a forum for companies to lobby state legislators. ALEC describes itself as a “nonpartisan public-private partnership of America’s state legislators, members of the private sector and the general public” and is not registered as a lobbying group. But the group has also been characterized by The New York Times as a “stealth business lobbyist” and as a “bill laundry” for corporate policy ideas by Bloomberg BusinessWeek. Companies pay hefty dues to ALEC for the opportunity to draft model bills that are circulated to state legislators, attend annual meetings and sponsor events with those legislators. Hundreds of ALEC bills, focused on privatizing state services, lowering environmental, labor and corporate regulations, and weakening labor unions, are introduced and enacted across the states, including Maine, each year. ~ Alexander Hertel-Fernandez
Column: Blinded by science
Times Record - Tuesday, February 18, 2014 

In home weatherization efficiency improvements demonstrably pay for themselves and, therefore inaction makes no economic sense. In a house heat, air and moisture interact in predictable ways. Insulating does little good if the house remains leaky and moisture is free to invade the structure where it can cause harm. We must address heat, air and moisture simultaneously and, to do this effectively, it helps to understand the underlying science. Similarly, the global climate is the product of interactions between heat, air and moisture that follow the same laws of nature. Understanding our house helps us understand the climate and vice versa. Basic science shows the way to sound energy management, both on the scale of an individual home and in terms of national policy. ~ Paul Kando
Can We Have It All? Forest Conservation and Economic Opportunity
Other - Tuesday, February 18, 2014 

Sen. Angus King talked about opportunities for the Maine Woods in an address he gave at a recent event in Portland sponsored by the Northern Forest Center.
Western Polymer Corporation Set to Revive Starch Enterprise in Fort Fairfield
Maine Government News - Tuesday, February 18, 2014 

Western Polymer Corporation (WPC) was recently certified as eligible to receive economic development incentives from the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development for its manufacturing facility in Fort Fairfield. The company is poised to invest $1 million in facility upgrades and training at the former Aroostook Starch Company. WPC, which purchased Aroostook Starch Company in July 2013, is a manufacturer of potato starch products used mainly in paper processing.
Letter: ‘North Woods Law’ made Mainer proud
Kennebec Journal - Tuesday, February 18, 2014 

“North Woods Law” follows Maine’s Inland Fish & Wildlife wardens as they train and work, dealing with landowner rights, tracking and moving nuisance bears, apprehending felons, using good logic and protecting Maine. I was so proud to see this show. So proud to be from Maine. I want to thank Inland Fish and Wildlife and encourage them to keep up the good work! ~ Heidi Chadbourne, Manchester
Study: Darkening Arctic trapping more heat
Associated Press - Monday, February 17, 2014 

The Arctic isn’t nearly as bright and white as it used to be because of more ice melting in the ocean, and that’s turning out to be a global problem, a new study says. With less light-colored snow and ice and more dark, open water in the summer, less of the sun’s heat is reflected back into space. So the entire Earth is absorbing more heat than expected, according to a study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
UMaine to examine climate change’s effect on maples
Associated Press - Monday, February 17, 2014 

A University of Maine researcher plans to examine the impact of climate change on maple trees. Jenny Shrum is attempting to understand the relationship between weather and the flow of maple sap. She hopes that unraveling the relationships will help the industry anticipate how climate trends could shape syrup production.
Lemmings fuel biggest snowy owl migration in 50 years
Washington Post - Monday, February 17, 2014 

A mass sacrifice of Arctic lemmings probably gave rise to what scientists are calling the largest snowy-owl irruption in at least half a century. The gleaming white birds poured out of Canada this winter to points throughout the eastern United States, captivating birdwatchers, scientists and people who had never seen them up close. Their flights, covering thousands of miles, were fueled by a steady diet of lemmings.
Cate Street: Selling electricity necessary to keep East Millinocket mill viable
Bangor Daily News - Monday, February 17, 2014 

he owner of the East Millinocket paper mill has said that plans to reopen the mill hinge on the Maine Legislature acting quickly to change what the company calls an out-of-date law that places its operations at a competitive disadvantage. Last week, news surfaced that Gov. Paul LePage’s administration and legislative leadership had met with officials of Cate Street Capital, the Portsmouth, N.H.-based private equity firm that owns the currently shuttered East Millinocket mill, to discuss changing the law that prohibits the owner of the paper mill from entering into any agreement that would allow it to profit from selling electricity into the wholesale electricity market. But besides the need for a law change, Cate Street would also need to renegotiate an agreement with its power provider, Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners.
Millinocket man sees future for his new restaurant on road to Baxter State Park
Bangor Daily News - Monday, February 17, 2014 

Dean Rodrigue has spent about $300,000 over the last several months turning a former convenience store within yards of the Millinocket town line on Millinocket Lake Road into a 1,700-square-foot restaurant. A snowmobiler who had lived part-time in Millinocket for five years and full-time over the last year before making the investment, Rodrigue officially opened the restaurant on Monday. Besides drawing visitors driving by on the road to Baxter, which is within 15 miles of his bar, Rodrigue said he figures he would be in a good location should a national park ever be built in the Katahdin region.
Opinion: State biologists should apply science, not politics, to moose management
Bangor Daily News - Monday, February 17, 2014 

If Inland Fisheries and Wildlife personnel claim there are more than 70,000 moose in our state and fewer moose are being observed today than in the past, does this number of moose really exist? The biologists at Inland Fisheries and Wildlife say yes. Many citizen scientists — guides, outfitters, sporting camp owners, people who live and work in northern Maine, and moose watchers — say no. I would ask that our state biologists practice more biological science and less political science. ~ Bob Croce, Dedham
Plum Creek stock downgraded; executive dumps shares
Maine Environmental News - Monday, February 17, 2014 

On Friday, Zacks, a leading investment research firm focusing on stock research, analysis and recommendations, downgraded shares of Plum Creek Timber Company from neutral to an underperform rating. In other recent Plum Creek financial news, Senior Vice President James Kilberg sold 5,500 shares of his stock in the company on the open market on February 10. Plum Creek owns more than 900,000 acres of forestland in Maine and has plans for the largest real estate development in the state's history.
Opinion: Justin Alfond’s ‘emergency’
Times Record - Monday, February 17, 2014 

LD 1750 — “An Act to Amend the Maine Administrative Procedure Act and Clarify Wind Energy Laws,” which is listed as “emergency” legislation — says, state agencies may only accept “the testimony of qualified experts, data gathered by objective and reliable means, and testimony and other evidence supported by independent confirmation of reliability.” That smashes the credibility of regular folk sitting in their backyard one day who can no longer hear the blue jays chirping 50 feet away because of the noise a wind turbine makes, or an asphalt plant that’s begun operation a half-mile away. ~ Susan Cook, Bath
Letter: Falmouth will benefit from Clapboard Island purchase
Forecaster - Monday, February 17, 2014 

Falmouth is a great place to live. But much of our coastline is private. For many Falmouth residents there are limited options of being near the water and appreciating its beauty. Wouldn’t it be wonderful for Falmouth residents to enjoy both the sunrise from the Falmouth shore, but also the opportunity to walk and create memories with our families on Clapboard Island? We encourage the Falmouth Town Council to approve $300,000 to help in the purchase of eastern Clapboard Island. ~ Erik and Susan Greven, Falmouth
GOP attack on endangered species fueled by “Tea Party fantasies’
Summit Voice - Monday, February 17, 2014 

Anti-environmental Republicans in the House are once again twisting the facts and distorting science in their efforts to dismantle the Endangered Species Act on behalf of various extractive and environmentally harmful industries. An analysis released last week by the Center for Biological Diversity found a series of significant factual errors in a report that formed the basis of a recent proposal by 13 House Republicans to weaken a bedrock environmental law that has prevented the extinction of scores of plants and animals across the country. According to wildlife conservation advocates, the proposal would cripple key parts of the law by limiting the ability of citizens to hold government accountable by challenging endangered species decisions and policies.
Letter: Democracy denied
Sun Journal - Monday, February 17, 2014 

LD 1750 would eliminate the provisions in the Wind Energy Act that allowed the DEP to deny permits. The bill would make it illegal for Maine state agencies to consider public opinion, and public testimony, when making licensing decisions. The only opinions allowed will be those of "qualified experts" — which translates, simply, into paid, pro-wind experts — the hired guns only the wind lobby can afford. ~ Jack Gagnon, Lakeville; Sun Journal Editor's note: LD 1750 does not expressly exclude non-expert public testimony, but adds language that agency decisions must be based on the best evidence available to the agency, "including the conclusions and testimony of qualified experts."
Letter: Support LD 616
Bangor Daily News - Monday, February 17, 2014 

You may have recently received a pre-addressed postcard informational mailing from a group called windforme.com. It stated that the bill LD 616 is about “bad policies.” Research windforme.com to find it is “supported and managed by…wind power developers.” Fact: The people who sent you the information are corporate developers and paid lobbyists whose job it is to sell their product — not respect citizens. LD 616 aims to restore the right of fair process to a small group of Unorganized Territory citizens who had that right taken away in 2008. Put that postcard to good use. Let your representative know you support LD 616. ~ Kay Michka, Lexington Township
Wind energy: Chalk it up as a loss
Other - Sunday, February 16, 2014 

This short video raises concerns about industrial-scale wind power in the UK, including many of the same concerns being raised in Maine.
Group tries to slow federal government’s move away from paper to the Web
Washington Post - Sunday, February 16, 2014 

As the Obama administration pushes to do more business over the Internet, finally seeking to close the technology gap with the private sector, the digital makeover is running into a dogged opponent called Consumers for Paper Options. The lobbying group has had some recent victories, including language tucked into last month’s budget deal that requires the government to plan for resuming paper delivery of annual Social Security earnings statements to some of the nation’s 150 million future retirees. Consumers for Paper Options is a creation of the paper industry. Late last year, the group scored another victory when Rep. Michael Michaud, D-Maine, working with the American Forest and Paper Association, got language removed from a pharmaceutical bill that would have ended the practice of printing prescription information and inserting it into drug packages, instead requiring that it be posted online.
Palmyra native drives 240 miles to weigh in brook trout at Belgrade fishing derby
Morning Sentinel - Sunday, February 16, 2014 

It took more than four and a half hours and 240 miles, but Charles Colby was determined to get from Clayton Lake in Aroostook County to enter his prized brook trout into the annual Belgrade ice fishing derby. The derby is held on a statewide free fishing day and is open to competitors throughout Maine, as long as they have purchased a ticket for the derby ahead of time, caught the fish on derby day and had it weighed between 2 and 5 p.m. Colby intended on staying in Belgrade until the weigh-in was completed to see if he walked away with first-place in the brook trout category for his 3-pound fish. The headliner of the derby is the pike, however, with a 20-pounder usually taking home first place.
Central Maine towns struggle with road salt addiction
Morning Sentinel - Sunday, February 16, 2014 

Growing concern about the water quality of Maine’s lakes has led the state to recommend that towns use a new practice that would lessen the environmental damage caused by spreading tons of salt and sand on the roads every winter. Although state experts say pre-wetting the roads with a brine solution is safer and more effective, many towns and plowing contractors have been slow or resistant to embrace the change. Paul Fongemie, the public works director of Winslow, said he has heard the hype about pre-wetting the roads with a brine solution, but he hasn’t yet heard a strong enough argument about the benefits to make the switch, which costs money.
Gardiner group recruiting gardeners to tend public plots
Kennebec Journal - Sunday, February 16, 2014 

Gardiner Main Street is seeking volunteers to help maintain the small, public gardens throughout the city. The group has identified 15 public gardens, mostly in the downtown and Waterfront Park, for volunteers to care for come springtime. Many of the gardens have flowers or other non-edible plants.
Rat Snakes, African Knife Fish, and Golden Poison Frogs will remain uncontrolled in Maine
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Sunday, February 16, 2014 

Maine won’t get control anytime soon of rat snakes, bearded dragons, African knife fish, Alligator lizards, Spiny-tailed monitors, Golden poison frog, Gargoyle geckos – or lots of other exotic animals that you can currently possess without permits. And the confusing laws and rules governing the critters you do need permits to possess won’t get any legislative attention either, nor will the agency’s high costs of administering this program.
Kerry calls climate change ‘weapon of mass destruction’
Reuters - Sunday, February 16, 2014 

Secretary of State John Kerry warned Indonesians on Sunday that man-made climate change could threaten their entire way of life, deriding those who doubted the existence of “perhaps the world’s most fearsome weapon of mass destruction”. Kerry described those who do not accept that human activity causes global warming as “shoddy scientists” and “extreme ideologues,” and said big companies and special interests should not be allowed to “hijack” the climate debate.
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