November 17, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Sunday, November 17, 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
Hike with the Ranger, Nov 24
Event - Posted - Sunday, November 17, 2019 

At Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park, Freeport, November 24, 2 pm.
Friends of Baxter State Park online auction, ends Dec 4
Announcement - Thursday, November 14, 2019 

Own a piece of Baxter State Park history. 20 retired park signs will be available in the 2019 auction. 50% of the proceeds go to Baxter State Park, and 50% supports Friends of Baxter State Park. Auction ends December 4 midnight.
Northern Forest Canoe Trail online auction, ends Dec 1
Announcement - Thursday, November 14, 2019 

Paddlers and outdoor enthusiasts can bid on amazing experiences and gear, for a good cause: supporting Northern Forest Canoe Trail stewardship and programming. Ends Dec 1, 12:59 PM.
The Original Meaning and Intent of the Maine Indian Land Claims, Nov 21
Event - Posted - Thursday, November 14, 2019 

Maria Girouard, Penobscot Nation tribal historian, community organizer, educator, and activist, will examine intentions and contentions associated with the Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act of 1980, the historical context in which the act was framed, and ripple effects that have rocked the tribal-state relations ever since. At University of Southern Maine, Abromson Center, Portland, November 21, 6 pm.
Restoring Your Historic House, Nov 21
Event - Posted - Thursday, November 14, 2019 

Architectural historian, Scott Hanson, talks about his latest book, "Restoring Your Historic House: The Comprehensive Guide for Homeowners." At Topsham Library, November 21, 6 pm.
Truth in Action, Nov 20-21
Event - Posted - Wednesday, November 13, 2019 

Truth in Action is a daylong global conversation on the climate crisis and how we solve it led by Climate Reality Leaders, November 20-21.
Environmental Trivia Night, Nov 19
Event - Posted - Tuesday, November 12, 2019 

Maine Conservation Voters and UMaine School of Law Energy & Environment Fellows are hosting an environmental-themed trivia night. At Maine Beer Company, Freeport, November 19, 6 pm.
Deep sea research and biostratigraphy, Nov 19
Event - Posted - Tuesday, November 12, 2019 

Talk by Dr. Kevin McCartney, UMPI Professor of Geology. At University of Maine at Presque Isle, November 19, 12:30 pm.
Farmland Access & Transfer Conference, Nov 18
Event - Posted - Monday, November 11, 2019 

A day-long conference where farmers can learn strategies for succession planning, equity and affordability, securing farmland of their own, negotiating a lease agreement, etc. At Augusta Civic Center, November 18, 8 am - 3:30 pm. Sponsored by Maine Farmland Trust and Land For Good.
Comment on Maine SCORP
Action Alert - Monday, November 11, 2019 

The 2020-2024 State Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan qualifies Maine to receive federal Land and Water Conservation funds and satisfies state legislative requirements associated with monitoring trends in outdoor recreation. Deadline for comments on the draft plan: November 22.
Open House: Passenger Rail's Future, Nov 18
Event - Posted - Monday, November 11, 2019 

Open house about the future of passenger rail service. Provide input on alternative schedules, inbound morning service from Wells to Brunswick, a new location for a Portland station, additional station locations, and potential expansions to Lewiston/ Auburn and Westbrook. At the Brunswick Hotel, Brunswick, November 18, 5:30 pm.
Help Wanted: Maine Conservation Corps
Announcement - Saturday, November 9, 2019 

The Maine Conservation Corps is hiring a Field Coordinator, Team Leader, and 900 Hour Environmental Stewards.
Maine Deer: Winter Weather Warriors, Nov 16
Event - Posted - Saturday, November 9, 2019 

Nathan Bieber, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife deer specialist, talks about wintering deer in Maine. At Fields Pond Audubon Center, Holden, November 16, 1 p.m.
Wabanaki Place: Language and Landscape, Nov 16
Event - Posted - Saturday, November 9, 2019 

Penobscot historian James E. Francis Sr. will share stories about the origin and meaning of geographic place names in what is now known as Maine, from a Wabanaki perspective. At Maine Historical Society, Portland, Nov 16, 2 pm.
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Email link to Maine treasurer urges LePage to release bonds
Bates College achieves carbon neutral status to help stave off climate change
Sun Journal - Thursday, May 16, 2019 

Twelve years after vowing to make its campus carbon neutral, Bates College has reached its goal before a self-imposed 2020 deadline. Officials said Bates is the seventh college in the country — and fourth in Maine — to become carbon neutral from among the 700 that signed a pledge in 2007 to achieve the target. Three other colleges in Maine, including Colby, Bowdoin and the College of the Atlantic, have achieved carbon neutral status.
Recreational cod fishing could restart in the Gulf of Maine
Associated Press - Thursday, May 16, 2019 

Recreational fishing for Atlantic cod has not been allowed in the Gulf of Maine recently due to concerns about the decline in the fish’s population. But the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said the fish could withstand a very limited fishery at the moment. Federal regulators are considering a proposal to allow recreational fishermen to catch one Gulf of Maine cod per year during limited seasons in September and April.
Company behind Northern Pass accuses NH agency of failing to do its job
Associated Press - Thursday, May 16, 2019 

A company that lost a bid to build a hydropower project accused the New Hampshire state committee charged with making the decision of failing to do its job. Last year, the state’s Site Evaluation Committee denied the Northern Pass, which would bring hydropower from Canada to markets in southern New England, over concerns from communities and environmentalists that it would harm the region’s tourism industry and hurt property values. Eversource wants the court to remand the case back to the committee for reconsideration. It said Wednesday it still wants to build the Northern Pass.
One of Maine’s biggest lakes has too many fish. The state wants your help.
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, May 16, 2019 

If you’re an avid angler, you may think that there’s no such thing as a lake with too many fish in it. If you’re a fisheries biologist, you know that’s not true. And that’s why state biologists in the Moosehead Lake region are preparing for the second annual Chesuncook Lake Salmon Derby on Memorial Day weekend: They need to reduce the number of voracious landlocked salmon swimming around in the lake.
No guarantee $1 billion CMP line will deliver new energy, Massachusetts AG warns
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, May 16, 2019 

While Maine continues to debate the potential environmental impacts of Central Maine Power Co.’s proposed 145-mile transmission line, the Massachusetts attorney general and environmental groups have warned the contracts that would govern power sold over a completed line could undermine the state’s attempt to bring new amounts of clean, renewable power into New England. Massachusetts ratepayers could pay $1 billion for a line through western Maine that doesn’t actually bring them any new energy, the attorney general said in legal filings. In response, a Hydro-Quebec spokesperson called the scenario “illogical,” explaining the utility would want to maximize its exports to increase revenue.
Planners schedule subdivision review as townspeople consider whether they want to buy the property away from developers
York Weekly - Thursday, May 16, 2019 

Plans for the 121-unit McIntire Woods subdivision on Mary McIntire Davis Trust land in York will be before the Planning Board May 23 for final approval — the last step needed to develop the property, as the Maine Department of Environmental Protection recently issued its permit for the subdivision. The Planning Board meeting comes days after the May 18 town elections, when voters are being asked in a nonbinding question if they want the town to purchase the property for between $7 million and $8 million as negotiated last winter between the town and the Davis Trust.
A decision limiting access to seaweed has renewed a debate over access to the shore
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, May 16, 2019 

In March, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court ruled that harvesters must have permission from the upland property owner to cut seaweed above the low-tide line. The decision has resulted in a flurry of legislative proposals. If the Legislature does pass a bill that boosts public access rights to the intertidal zone, many people think it won’t be long before another lawsuit is filed and makes it way back to Maine’s top court. If that happens it will give the court the chance to more broadly address the issue of public access below the high tide line and to negate what he says — as do three state supreme court justices — was a bad decision 30 years ago in the Moody Beach case.
South Portland emissions controversy inspires bill to require local notice
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, May 15, 2019 

Lawmakers from South Portland want to strengthen the state’s notification and air quality testing requirements in response to concerns that regulators failed to inform city officials about long-standing emissions violations from a petroleum tank farm. Two bills would require the Maine DEP to notify municipalities when any ‘notice of violation’ has been issued for emissions infractions and to require independent, third-party testing of emissions.
Restoring Parks, Creating Jobs
Other - Wednesday, May 15, 2019 

A Pew-commissioned analysis, “Restoring Parks, Creating Jobs: How Infrastructure Restoration in the National Park System Can Create or Support Jobs,” found that addressing the National Park Service’s maintenance backlog would create or support nearly 110,000 infrastructure-related jobs nationwide. Maine could gain 573 jobs by investing in infrastructure and preservation projects that are on the NPS deferred maintenance list.
Words matter: Call it a Crisis - Wednesday, May 15, 2019 

Millions of school children around the world are striking from school to underscore that their future is at stake. The world’s top climate scientists are ringing the alarm bells as 1 million species are now at risk of extinction. Yet, in 2018, only 3.5% of national television news segments discussing climate change referred to it as a “crisis” or an “emergency.” The coverage of climate change we see on the screen does not reflect the reality out in the world.
Measure That Would Effectively Kill CMP Project Gets Tepid Nod From Legislative Committee
Maine Public - Wednesday, May 15, 2019 

A legislative committee gave tepid approval Wednesday to a measure that could effectively kill Central Maine Power's controversial proposal for a high-voltage transmission line through western Maine. As amended, the bill would require approval from two-thirds of municipalities that would host "high-impact" transmission projects, such as CMP's billion-dollar, 141-mile power line. It would also require tangible benefits to the state of significantly higher value than what CMP has offered.
Rare hawk that flew from Mexico to Maine will be memorialized
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, May 15, 2019 

Friends of Deering Oaks is trying to raise $29,000 to pay a Maine artist to create a life-sized bronze sculpture of the rare great black hawk that took up residence in the park last year. The raptor captured widespread attention from birders and the public after it settled in the park, thousands of miles from its native range in Central and South America, from late November until it was found unable to fly during a snowstorm on Jan. 20. It was only the second time a great black hawk had been seen in the United States, Maine Audubon said.
Opponents of Central Maine Power’s $1 billion hydro project claim a legislative victory
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, May 15, 2019 

After Maine’s public advocate warned that it could “kill the project,” a legislative panel endorsed a bill on Wednesday that would mandate local approval of Central Maine Power’s proposed corridor despite a deep split on the issue that crossed party lines. The debate over the proposal from Rep. Seth Berry, D-Bowdoinham, the co-chair of the Legislature’s energy committee and a key critic of Maine utilities, showed an intra-party split among Democrats and may force a showdown between the Legislature and Gov. Janet Mills.
Portland board backs some waterfront protections, but doesn’t shrink redevelopment area
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, May 15, 2019 

A package of zoning amendments meant to protect Portland’s working waterfront is headed to the City Council for approval, but without a provision sought by fisherman to reduce the amount of land that can be redeveloped for non-marine uses.
Opinion: Bioproducts are an important part of Maine’s economic future
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, May 15, 2019 

Research at UMaine’s Forest Bioproducts Research Institute has demonstrated many of the industry applications for biobased chemicals and products made from forest residuals. Our state is uniquely poised to grab a share in the growing global “bioeconomy.” Except Maine doesn’t offer financial incentives to biobased companies. This means Maine is losing investment to other states. In order to be competitive, lawmakers must pass LD 1698, a bill that provides a production tax credit similar to policy in other states that will incentivize biobased manufacturing. ~ Jamie Chittum, Biobased Maine
Column: Studying nature’s changes
Times Record - Wednesday, May 15, 2019 

Phenology refers to how plants and animals response to changes in climate – either between seasons or between years. Anyone can get out there and observe these changes and by creating a community of scientists, we can better understand these natural cycles. ~ Susan Olcott
Casco Bay on front lines of climate change
Working Waterfront - Wednesday, May 15, 2019 

Mike Doan, who has been with the Friends of Casco Bay for more than 20 years and is a research associate, said, “Climate change is happening faster than we could have expected.” For most of the previous 30 years, the organization would be out on the bay doing monitoring work two or three times a month. Now, such assessments must be done more frequently, and with more sophistication, using data monitoring equipment placed in specially licensed lobster traps.
What makes the spruce grouse so great
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, May 15, 2019 

With the spruce grouse, males come back every year, so you get to know them — and their individual personalities — over time. But that’s not the only reason he’s a fan. Follow along as Bob Duchesne describes his favorite bird (and spots five of them in one morning). [video]
Lenny the Chocolate Moose
Other - Wednesday, May 15, 2019 

Lenny is an animal-sized tribute to chocolate, and to the state of Maine. A 1,700-pound behemoth, Lenny is a milk-chocolate moose, the star of an edible animal habitat hidden inside of Len Libby Candies, a chocolatier in Scarborough, Maine.
NH Supreme Court Hears from Both Sides on Northern Pass
Associated Press - Wednesday, May 15, 2019 

The New Hampshire Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments over a controversial project that would bring hydropower from Canada to markets in southern New England. Last year, the state's Site Evaluation Committee denied the project known as Northern Pass over concerns that it would harm the region's tourism industry and hurt property values. The company behind the project, Eversource, argued the committee failed to consider all the evidence and misapplied its own rules. The ruling prompted Massachusetts to abandon its plans to get energy from the $1.6 billion project, which calls for constructing a 192-mile transmission line to bring 1,090 megawatts of hydropower from Canada to New England.
Writer George Smith talks outdoors, ALS at ‘Community Voices’ event
Morning Sentinel - Wednesday, May 15, 2019 

Writer and outdoorsman George Smith reflected on his time at the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, legislative and environmental issues, and his struggle with ALS during a talk Tuesday night at Colby College. Smith, who is in a wheelchair, spoke as part of the “Community Voices” event series along with Travis Barrett, sports writer for the Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel. More than 160 people attend the talk. Smith also talked about how being in a wheelchair has opened his eyes to how many places in Maine are not wheelchair-accessible, including most recreation trails.
All 4 MDI towns now have banned plastic shopping bags and Styrofoam food containers
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, May 15, 2019 

All four towns on Mount Desert Island have now banned commercial distribution of single-use plastic retail shopping bags and polystyrene takeout food containers. On Monday, voters in Tremont heavily favored both bans. Last month the Legislature approved a statewide ban on polystyrene food containers, but that ban does not go into effect until 2021. The bans are seen as environmental measures that will reduce the amount of plastic that gets into the environment, especially into the oceans, where the substances break into ever smaller pieces and then are ingested by fish and other sea life.
Column: Inspiration found all over Maine
Kennebec Journal - Wednesday, May 15, 2019 

There are a lot of inspiring people, groups and projects in Maine. As an outdoors person I’m inspired by all the land trusts and environmental groups working to protect everything we love about Maine. Local land trusts are particularly inspiring, including my favorite, Kennebec Land Trust. And groups like The Nature Conservancy have protected a large amount of Maine’s best lands. Dianne Winn and Marc Payne at Avian Haven in Freedom have inspired me. Avian Haven has treated more than 26,000 birds over the years, plus lots of wild animals. ~ George Smith
Opinion: Program that protects America’s outdoor places deserves full federal funding
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, May 15, 2019 

On Wednesday, the House Committee on Appropriations meets to decide what the Land and Water Conservation Fund is worth. The fund was reauthorized March 19, but days later the Trump administration proposed draconian cuts to LWCF. In Maine, LWCF has invested approximately $190 million over the past five decades, helping to ensure recreational access for outdoor activities in places like Acadia National Park. LWCF state assistance grants have supported hundreds of projects across Maine’s state and local parks and forests. All of this plays an important role in growing Maine’s outdoor recreation economy, valued at over $8 billion annually. LWCF does not cost taxpayers. The money is from a small portion of the royalties paid by oil and gas companies to drill offshore. ~ Michael B. Murray, Brunswick, Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks
Letter: Legislature must step up to stave off climate change
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, May 15, 2019 

I find it disheartening that businesses are reluctant to endorse a bill that requires 50 percent of Maine’s electricity to be generated from new, renewable sources by 2030. We face catastrophic climate change, and yet some are quibbling about a few cents added to our electric bills. Small wonder schoolchildren are marching in the streets. In southern Maine, most new homes are still designed to be heated by oil or gas, and insulated with rigid foams that have a huge carbon footprint. As for transportation, the short-term outlook is not much better. If the average Mainer isn’t ready to alter his or her behavior, then we have to rely on the Legislature to set standards that will get us where we need to go. ~ Joe Hardy, Wells
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