September 16, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Monday, September 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
York Beach Clean Up, Sep 23
Event - Posted - Monday, September 16, 2019 

Join a beach clean up & attempt to set a world record spelling the largest "NO PLANET B" ever in the sand. The goal is 500 people At Long Sands Beach, York, September 23, 9 am - 12:30 pm.
Tumbledown trail maintenance, guided hike scheduled, Sep 22
Event - Posted - Sunday, September 15, 2019 

A 4.7 mile round-trip guided hike up Tumbledown Mountain will include discussion of geology, trees and plants, history, wildlife and issues facing the mountain. Meet at Brook Trailhead on Byron Road, Weld, September 22, 9 am - 2 pm.
Life Happens Outside Festival, Sep 21
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 14, 2019 

L.L. Bean Discovery Park, Freeport, 10 am - 4 pm, climbing wall and games ; 6:30 pm, Food Trucks, 7:15 pm, Maine Outdoor Film Festival. Free but donations benefit Teens To Trails.
Portland Electric Car Ride & Drive, Sep 21
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 14, 2019 

Learn about electric cars during the 5th annual EV Expo. At Back Cove parking area off Preble Street, Portland, September 21, 12-4 pm, free pizza & coffee. Hosted by Natural Resources Council of Maine and ReVision Energy.
Smithsonian Museum Day, Sep 21
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 14, 2019 

An annual celebration of boundless curiosity hosted by Smithsonian magazine. At L.C. Bates Museum, Hinckley, September 21, 10 am - 4:30 pm.
Global Climate Strike, Sep 20
Event - Posted - Friday, September 13, 2019 

Take to the streets for the Global Climate Strike to make sure elected officials and candidates for office in 2020 hear us loud and clear. Strikes in Maine at Farmington and Bar Harbor, September 20. ~ 350 Action
Bryant Pond 4-H Camp and Learning Center, Sep 20
Event - Posted - Friday, September 13, 2019 

Ron and Deidre Fournier will speak about the Bryant Pond 4-H Camp and Learning Center. At meeting of the Oxford County Educators Association-Retired, Universalist Church, West Paris, September 20, 1 pm.
Pollinator plantings workshop, Sep 20
Event - Posted - Friday, September 13, 2019 

Learn about the pollinators and beneficial insects helping to make our food systems work with Eric Venturini of the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation. At Hooker Family Farm, Oxford, September 20, 10 am - 12 pm, $10/family.
Common Ground Country Fair, Sep 20-22
Event - Posted - Friday, September 13, 2019 

More than 750 varied events at this annual celebration of rural living with a mix of workshops, demonstrations, music, vendors, farmers’ markets, fantastic food and more. At Unity, September 20-22, gates open daily at 9 am.
Exploring Invasive Species, Sep 19
Event - Posted - Thursday, September 12, 2019 

Mike Hanks of Cape Elizabeth Land Trust talks invasive plants. At Thomas Memorial Library, Cape Elizabeth, September 19, 1 pm; he will lead a walk at Gull Crest Field to identify invasive plants at 2 pm.
Untrammeled — The Case for Wild Nature in a Changing World, Sep 17
Event - Posted - Tuesday, September 10, 2019 

Conservation leaders Tom Butler and Mark Anderson of the Northeast Wilderness Trust will address the science and spirit of forever-wild conservation. Q&A to follow. At Maine Audubon, Gisland Farm, Falmouth, September 17, 7 pm.
10th Great Maine Outdoor Weekend featuring 130 events, Sept. 16-18
Event - Posted - Monday, September 9, 2019 

The 10th Great Maine Outdoor Weekend will be the biggest yet, with more than 130 events planned throughout Maine, September 16-18.
Nature Cruise on the Kennebec River and Merrymeeting Bay, Sep 15
Event - Posted - Sunday, September 8, 2019 

Join Cathance River Education Alliance for a nature cruise from Bath up the Kennebec River to Merrymeeting Bay. September 15, 3-6:30 pm, $42 for adults, $30 for children 6 to 12, $6 for kids under 6.
Landowner Appreciation and Clean Up Day, Sep 15
Event - Posted - Sunday, September 8, 2019 

Landowner Appreciation and Clean Up Day, sponsored by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and the Maine Forest Service, is September 15.
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News Items
How a Moosehead Lake Region inn earned recognition as one of the world's best
Mainebiz - Wednesday, February 14, 2018 

Twenty years and thousands of sweat equity hours later, the Blair Hill Inn in Greenville has been recognized as one of the world's best by the exclusive Relais & Chateaux worldwide association of hotels and restaurants. "This dovetails with our ongoing revitalization efforts throughout Piscataquis County," said Erik Hayward, president of the Libra Future Fund, an entity that paid Blair Hill Inn's Relais & Chateaux application and membership fees. Libra has launched a $1 million investment to revitalize Piscataquis County's economy.
Endangered fish spotted in coastal Maine river
Lincoln County News - Wednesday, February 14, 2018 

Sightings of endangered shortnose sturgeon in Damariscotta Mills in early January have caught the attention of a scientist with the Maine Department of Marine Resources. Shortnose sturgeon have been endangered since the passage of the Endangered Species Act in 1973 and even before, having been classified as such under the act’s predecessor. The species appears to be on the rebound in Maine.
Opinion: Lobstermen’s conservation efforts an investment in the future
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, February 14, 2018 

Maine’s lobstermen have built one of the world’s most sustainable fisheries by implementing common-sense conservation measures aimed at ensuring that lobsters are able to reproduce before being caught. Maine lobstermen should feel proud that their sacrifices have played such a large role in the success of today’s lobster fishery. The state’s young lobstermen should feel confident that continuing the practices of their fathers and grandfathers bodes well for their future. ~ Patrice McCarran, Maine Lobstermen’s Association
Column: L.L. Bean has promised full satisfaction, not full surrender to return requests
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, February 14, 2018 

“No more lifetime returns,” read a typical headline. “L.L. Bean gives legendary policy the boot.” The problem is that word “lifetime.” It showed up in nearly every story. But that was never what the company really promised. No one ever guaranteed that a pair of shoes would last forever – that’s madness. People need to lighten up about Bean’s new policy and be thankful for the valuable lessons it imparts: Nothing lasts forever, and satisfaction is a state of mind. ~ Greg Kesich
Letter: Don’t look past the lobster boom; work to protect what we have
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, February 14, 2018 

There is a long list of industries and groups impatiently waiting for lobstering’s demise. The news of late tells us that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is seeking to open the Gulf of Maine to oil and gas exploration. They would follow with sand, gravel and minerals mining. We’ve seen the push for offshore wind turbines along with tidal energy projects. Added to this would be aquaculture. The environmental front seeks to establish marine protected areas, as well as to severely limit lobstermen’s interactions with endangered species. Those who would seek to diminish the importance of the lobster fishery and expect to use the recent study as a scientifically verified eulogy for fishing must realize that it was not the intent to predict a long-term decline in lobster landings. The intention was to sustain the qualities we have. ~ Richard Nelson, Friendship
Letter: Don’t look past the lobster boom; work to protect what we have
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, February 14, 2018 

There is a long list of industries and groups impatiently waiting for lobstering’s demise. The news of late tells us that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is seeking to open the Gulf of Maine to oil and gas exploration. They would follow with sand, gravel and minerals mining. We’ve seen the push for offshore wind turbines along with tidal energy projects. Added to this would be aquaculture. The environmental front seeks to establish marine protected areas, as well as to severely limit lobstermen’s interactions with endangered species. Those who would seek to diminish the importance of the lobster fishery and expect to use the recent study as a scientifically verified eulogy for fishing must realize that it was not the intent to predict a long-term decline in lobster landings. The intention was to sustain the qualities we have. ~ Richard Nelson, Friendship
Letter: I’ll pay an extra electric car fee, but others should pay for polluting air
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, February 14, 2018 

As an electric car driver, I’m willing to pay my fair share of highway maintenance, a common resource from which all citizens benefit. But there’s another common resource from which we all benefit: the atmosphere. Gasoline and diesel vehicles emit gases that degrade air quality and contribute to climate change. They should pay their fair share of the cost of maintaining a healthy atmosphere. ~ Allen E. Armstrong, Portland
Letter: Raising facility charge on plane passengers is bad for Mainers, tourists
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, February 14, 2018 

In recent years, we’ve seen a boom in business along with a boom in interest in southern Maine. The Portland jetport’s expansion is indicative of that. The jetport’s expansion cost over $70 million, and that was paid for with the passenger facility charge at its current level of $4.50. It just doesn’t make sense to me now that we would nearly double the charge to $8. If people are noticing their airline ticket costs starting to jump because they are flying into Maine, they might cut off their vacation travels a little further south and take their money with them. We don’t want that. We want our economy to keep growing. ~ Sen. Bill Diamond, Windham
Letter: Pruitt’s attack on the environment
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, February 14, 2018 

I am a mother of a 4-year-old boy. I also am awaiting a new child. I am concerned for what is happening here in not only Maine, but the United States as a whole. I was not too informed with politics a few years back, but once you have children you begin to pay more attention. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has really caught my attention. Many environmental policies that our country and former presidents have implemented, Pruitt has begin to repeal. I ask everyone get involved with what’s going on and see past his deceiving ways. ~ Hilary Godin, Westbrook
Letter: Cost of drilling too high
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, February 14, 2018 

We live on a small tidal cove. In winter, ducks and loons bob and feed. In spring, working boats ready moorings and deploy docks and floats, lobstermen set traps, ospreys build nests, and an oyster farmer tends his rafts. In summer, flotillas of kayaks glide in, gulls perch on the railing, boats sail by, fishermen troll for stripers, great blue herons wade in the shallows, clammers bend to their work at low tide, and seals haul out to sunbathe on the ledges. In fall, ducks and duck hunters return, bald eagles cruise the shoreline, the docks and moorings are set for winter, and the oyster farmer, lobstermen and clammers continue their year-round work. All this is dead in the event of an oil spill. No drilling on this coast, please. The cost is too high. ~ Jock and Annie Winchester, Pemaquid
In His Final State Of The State, LePage Takes Swipes At Land Trusts, Referendum Process
Maine Public - Tuesday, February 13, 2018 

Gov. Paul LePage used his final State of the State speech Tuesday to revive long-simmering tensions with his long list of political foes, including a lengthy broadside against land trusts. LePage spent a good portion of his speech hammering land trusts for taking property off the tax rolls. A new LePage administration report says $18.6 billion in total land was exempt from taxes in 2016 — about 11 percent of all land value in Maine. But most of that is owned by local governments ($10.1 billion) and nonprofits like hospitals ($3 billion) and learning institutions ($2.1 billion). A study by the Land Trust Network says they’ve helped preserve $1.9 million in private land, and that they don’t pay taxes or payments in lieu of tax on just 1.5 percent of that land.
LePage reflects on legacy, throws down gauntlet for final year
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, February 13, 2018 

Unpredictable as ever in his final State of the State address Tuesday, Gov. Paul LePage mixed ripping opponents who blocked some of his marquee policy initiatives during his first seven years in office with sometimes wistful reflections on his achievements. LePage kicked off the speech with fighting words on a simmering topic that he’s promised to make his priority in 2018: conservation land that has been taken off local property tax rolls. LePage said land in Maine that equals the size of Connecticut is in conservation, shifting more than $330 million to property tax payers. “You need to pay your taxes,” said LePage to boisterous applause from the Republicans in the room as Democrats sat mostly silent.
EPA chief says he’s ‘not involved’ in first-class travel arrangements
Washington Post - Tuesday, February 13, 2018 

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt on Tuesday attributed his habit of taking taxpayer-funded, first-class flights to his personal security detail and chief of staff, saying he plays no role in his travel arrangements.
BREAKING NEWS: LePage uses State of the State to launch new jihad against conservation lands
Maine Environmental News - Tuesday, February 13, 2018 

Maine Gov. Paul LePage opened his final State of the State address Tuesday night by slamming land trusts. In a joint session of the Maine Legislature, the lame duck governor lied about how many acres of trust lands in Maine are tax exempt. LePage suggested that a major push during his final months will be a jihad to tax land trust conservation lands. Recently, articles, opinion pieces and letters in many Maine news outlets have provided compelling information about the benefits land trusts provide, including tax payments and payments in lieu of taxes. However, LePage has been impervious to the facts about land trusts.
LL Bean faces lawsuit over return policy change
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, February 13, 2018 

The proposed suit includes more than 100 people seeking at least $5 million in damages, excluding interest and costs.
Owners of hybrids, all-electric vehicles fume over proposal to assess annual fee
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, February 13, 2018 

Outraged vehicle owners piled into a public hearing Tuesday to denounce a bill from Gov. Paul LePage’s administration that would slap hefty annual fees on hybrid and all-electric vehicles. The Maine Department of Transportation has proposed annual fees of $150 for hybrid vehicles and $250 for electric cars because many owners pay lower gas taxes than drivers of standard vehicles, or no gas tax at all.
Mainers save snowy oil with broken wing
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, February 13, 2018 

David Jester and Game Warden Evan Franklin capture a snowy owl suffering from a broken wing on Popham Beach in Phippsburg on Sunday morning in this Facebook video.
Study: Sea level rise is accelerating and its rate could double in next century
Washington Post - Tuesday, February 13, 2018 

Global warming has caused the world’s oceans to rise over the past 150 years. Warming seas expand and water from melting glaciers and ice sheets have had nowhere to go but into the oceans. The rising seas have slowly and steadily eaten away at the coast. But a new study finds that in recent decades, the pace of sea level rise has picked up and coastal real estate could be under water faster and faster in the coming decades.
These 6 Maine state parks are great for winter fun
Aislinn Sarnacki Act Out Blog - Tuesday, February 13, 2018 

All of Maine’s state parks are open to the public year round, but some parks see more action in the winter than others simply because they have more to offer in the way of groomed ski trails, ice skating spots and ice fishing locations. Each winter, the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands highlights some of these parks through a series of Winter Family Fun Days.
1. Cobscook Bay State Park
2. Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park
3. Aroostook State Park
4. Camden Hills State Park
5. Range Pond State Park
6. Mount Blue State Park
Maine governor set to deliver final State of the State
Associated Press - Tuesday, February 13, 2018 

Republican Gov. Paul LePage is set to deliver his final State of the State address on Tuesday. LePage said a main theme of his final year will be pushing to tax conservation land owned by trusts. Critics say much land is already on the tax rolls.
National parks are the real losers in Trump’s budget and infrastructure proposals
Think Progress - Tuesday, February 13, 2018 

President Donald Trump’s budget released Monday recommends extreme staffing cuts of nearly 2,000 National Park Service rangers at a time when national park visitation is at an all-time high. The president’s budget proposes a drastic 16 percent cut to the Department of the Interior, which houses the National Park Service, and a cut of seven percent to the park service itself. In 2016, the national parks received record visitation rates of nearly 331 million visits. Cuts to park staff could lead to a reduction in services to the public and closed facilities. “The president’s budget proposal once again demonstrates that the administration is actively working to undermine our national parks and the environment on which they depend,” John Garder, of the National Parks Conservation Association, said.
Company Says It Will Bring 100 Jobs To Former Millinocket Paper Mill Site
Maine Public - Tuesday, February 13, 2018 

A North Carolina-based company has announced plans to bring 100 jobs to the site of the former Great Northern Paper mill in Millinocket. LignaTerra Global made the announcement Tuesday. Nick Holgorsen, the company’s CEO, says the newly formed LignaCLT Maine will manufacture laminated building materials using Maine forest products. “We made the decision to come to Maine for several reasons,” Holgorsen said. “First, the types of trees that are important to the cross laminated timber production process are plentiful here in Maine. Second, we know that Maine has a dedicated, productive workforce with timber industry experience.” The Great Northern Paper site was purchased by Our Katahdin, a nonprofit dedicated to community and economic development, in Jan. 2017.
Longtime leader of Maine Lobstermen’s Association to step down
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, February 13, 2018 

David Cousens, a South Thomaston lobsterman who has led the Maine Lobstermen’s Association for 27 years, is stepping down as president of the organization. Cousens, 60, said the organization needs new leadership when it faces new challenges, including lawsuits aimed at protecting whales that become entangled in fishing lines.
Latest bid to revive shuttered Katahdin mill promises 100 jobs
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, February 13, 2018 

A North Carolina investor plans to create more than 100 jobs by becoming Maine’s first manufacturer of a composite wood strong enough to replace concrete and steel in high-rise buildings. LignaTerra Global LLC of Charlottesville announced plans on Tuesday to build a 300,000-square-foot factory to produce cross-laminated timber. Planning to build on a 35-acre portion of Millinocket’s 1,400-acre former Katahdin Paper Co. LLC site, the company hopes to start production in 12 months. Following several failed attempts, LignaTerra aims be the first investor to revitalize the site since Katahdin Paper closed in 2008, laying off 208 workers and crippling a Katahdin region economy that had been home to world-class papermaking for more than a century.
In Maine, a town on the brink of extinction plots a comeback
Boston Globe - Tuesday, February 13, 2018 

Great Northern Paper Company, which sprang up like Brigadoon at the dawn of the 20th century, helped build almost everything here in “Magic City,’’ a place conjured from the woods in the shadow of Mount Katahdin and powered by the waters of a tributary of the west branch of the Penobscot River. The paper mill stopped operating in 2008, and when its smokestacks were demolished a few years later, residents watched with disbelief. It was the painful end of an era. Our Katahdin, a community and economic redevelopment group led by the sons and daughters of paper mill employees, is determined to save the little town their forebears built.
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