August 24, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Friday, August 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; 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
Rangeley Outdoor Film Festival, Aug 30
Event - Posted - Friday, August 23, 2019 

The Rangeley Trail Town Festival features a variety of short films about the outdoors. At RFA Lakeside Theater, Rangeley, August 30, 7 pm, $6 for adults, $3 for Appalachian Trail hikers and children under 12.
LightHawk Paper Plane Contest
Announcement - Thursday, August 22, 2019 

Enter your best paper airplane design for a chance to have it mailed to thousands in LightHawk's 2019 Holiday Letter. Deadline: October 18, 2019.
BTLT Seeks Community Input on Future Conservation
Announcement - Tuesday, August 20, 2019 

The Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust is seeking community input on its current and future conservation work in Brunswick, Topsham, and Bowdoin. A community survey is available online until September 2.
Butler to speak on conservation, Aug 27
Event - Posted - Tuesday, August 20, 2019 

Conservationist Gil Butler will discuss his efforts to establish outdoor education programs and conservation projects in Maine and throughout North and South America. At College of the Atlantic, Bar Harbor, August 27, 9 am, free, parking on campus is by permit only.
Solo Paddle of Northern Forest Canoe Trail, Aug 27
Event - Posted - Tuesday, August 20, 2019 

Laurie Apgar Chandler will read from and discuss her book “Upwards,” which tells her story as the first woman to solo paddle New England’s 740-mile Northern Forest Canoe Trail. At Bailey Library, Winthrop, August 27, 6:30 pm.
Keeping Acadia Healthy With New Science, Aug 26
Event - Posted - Monday, August 19, 2019 

Abraham Miller-Rushing and Rebecca Cole-Will will discuss how Acadia National Park is facing a triple environmental challenge: global warming, acid rain, and increased visitation. At Bar Harbor, August 26, 5 pm.
Maine’s Seaweed Scene, Sep 26
Event - Posted - Monday, August 19, 2019 

Susan Hand Shetterly and Robin Hadlock Seeley will discuss the importance of protected wild habitats and the critical role of seaweed in the Gulf of Maine. At Moore Community Center, Ellsworth, September 26, 7 pm. Hosted by Downeast Audubon.
Bee apocalypse
Action Alert - Sunday, August 18, 2019 

U.S. agriculture today is 48 times more toxic to honeybees than it was 25 years ago—almost entirely because of neonicotinoid pesticides. It's part of an "insect apocalypse." But instead of taking action, the Trump administration is shredding protections for bees. Will you stand with me in the fight to save the bees? ~ Mayor Ethan Strimling, Portland, Maine
Maine Farmland Trust Gallery 20th Anniversary Retrospective Exhibit, thru Oct 11
Announcement - Sunday, August 18, 2019 

To celebrate Maine Farmland Trust’s 20th anniversary, a curated retrospective featuring a selection of works that have been exhibited at the MFT Gallery over the past 10 years is on view through October 11.
National Parks Free Entrance, Aug 25
Event - Posted - Sunday, August 18, 2019 

All National Park Service sites that charge an entrance fee will offer free admission to everyone to celebrate the National Park Service's 103rd birthday on August 25.
Brechlin reading, Aug 25
Event - Posted - Sunday, August 18, 2019 

Earl Brechlin, a Registered Maine Guide, will read from his book, "Return to Moose River: In Search of the Spirit of the Great North Woods," essays describing white-water canoeing, snowmobiling, and backpacking adventures in many parts of Maine. At Albert Church Brown Memorial Library, China, August 25, 2 pm.
Kennebec Land Trust annual meeting, Aug 25
Event - Posted - Sunday, August 18, 2019 

At Camp Androscoggin, Wayne, August 25. The trust has conserved more than 6,300 acres and constructed 44 miles of trails on KLT protected lands.
Maine Herpetological Society Reptile Expo, Aug 25
Event - Posted - Saturday, August 17, 2019 

50+ vendors, 1,000+ reptiles, plus Mr. Drew and His Animals Too. At Ramada Inn, Lewiston, August 25, 10 am - 4 pm, $7, kids under 12 free.
Families in the Outdoors, Aug 24
Event - Posted - Saturday, August 17, 2019 

Learn about all kinds of Maine bugs – the good, the bad and the very strange looking. At Law Farm, Dover-Foxcroft, August 24, 9 am - noon.
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News Items
King’s Lessons From the High North
Free Press - Thursday, September 15, 2016 

Senator Angus King visited Greenland at the end of August on a research trip that he said was more valuable than reading a year’s worth of research reports about rising sea levels and a warming climate. He said a visit with climate experts to the massive Jacobshavn Glacier made it clear that rising sea levels are measurable and a pressing concern for U.S. coastal areas subject to storm surges. The U.S. only has one polar-class ice breaker, and it is at the end of its lifespan. Russia, which has 40 polar-capable ice breakers and 11 more being built, is at the forefront of shipping, oil exploration, and military capability in the Arctic, according to the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee. Russia is in the process of staking a legal territorial claim to the North Pole and a large stretch of continental shelf for oil and gas extraction under the authority of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. The U.S. has no authority, since it has refused to sign the Law of the Sea.
Column: Nanotags and Motus Uncovering Secrets of Bird Migration
Boothbay Register - Thursday, September 15, 2016 

New technologies such as nanotags are revolutionizing the study of animal movements, including bird migration. One of the big-picture findings that all of this exciting new migration and movement research is uncovering is that birds use much more of our land and seascape then we ever realized. That also means that we have a greater responsibility to protect a lot more of our natural habitats than we might have realized if we want to ensure the birds and a healthy environment will be art of our future for generations to come. ~ Jeffrey and Allison Wells
A Historic Moment for New England: A Marine National Monument in the Atlantic
Huffington Post - Thursday, September 15, 2016 

President Obama is making history today, announcing the designation of the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument, which will become the only fully protected large marine area in the U.S. Atlantic Ocean. Until today, zero miles of the U.S. Atlantic were fully protected from the imminent threats of climate change and increasing industrial activity. The announcement comes just as the third annual Our Ocean Conference is held in Washington, DC.
Maine Could Remove ‘de-facto’ Ban On Mining
Associated Press - Thursday, September 15, 2016 

Maine could start allowing mining under a state proposal that environmentalists claim would endanger the state’s most scenic areas. The Board of Environmental Protection on Thursday morning will hold a hearing on the state’s latest mining rules. Legislators in 2011 passed a law streamlining the mining permitting process, but lawmakers have since twice refused to accept the Department of Environmental Protection’s proposed rules making the law effective. J.D. Irving mining subsidiary Aroostook Resources says that Maine’s mining regulations are so mismatched they’ve effectively shut down an industry that could employ thousands of people. The latest rules would let companies conduct small exploration activities without a permit and sets up permitting processes for bigger mining operations.
Maine’s BEP Takes Another Shot at Controverial Mining Rules
Other - Thursday, September 15, 2016 

The Board of Environmental Protection will be back at it today, considering mining rules that environmental advocates warn would pose grave risks to clean water in the state, and to the pocketbooks of Maine taxpayers. Supporters of open-pit mining appear to be hoping this time will be the charm, as the BEP considers new rules that conservation groups claim would weaken environmental protections. Nick Bennett is a staff scientist with the Natural Resources Council of Maine. He says the new rules indicate the LePage administration's Department of Environmental Protection is more interested in promoting mining than protecting Maine's natural resources.
African Farmers Find Refuge From Civil Wars in Lewiston Hayfield
Maine Public Broadcasting Network - Thursday, September 15, 2016 

It’s an unusually hot, hazy and humid day, as the sun beats down on an old hayfield in Lewiston. The grass is dry, brown and overgrown. A hundred years ago, this field would have been lush and green and dotted with dairy cattle. A group of men, women and children is celebrating in the middle of this 30-acre field, which they’ve just acquired. They are African migrants, mostly from Somalia, and they have come to turn this hayfield into a vegetable farm, producing food for the migrant community and for local sale. And the people who work the land are rewriting their own stories.
Obama to designate national marine monument off New England
Associated Press - Thursday, September 15, 2016 

President Barack Obama will establish on Thursday the first national marine monument in the Atlantic, a move that’s designed to permanently protect nearly 5,000 square miles of underwater canyons and mountains off the coast of New England. The designation of Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument will lead to a ban on commercial fishing, mining and drilling, though a 7-year exception will occur for the lobster and red crab industries. Also, recreational fishing will be allowed within the monument.
National monument organizers receive conservation award
WCSH-TV6 - Thursday, September 15, 2016 

2016 has been a big year for land conservation in Maine, with the Penobscot River Restoration Project and of course, the designation of a new national monument in the Katahdin Woods region. Tonight, at the Natural Resources Council of Maine's annual Conservation Leadership Awards in South Portland some of the people who made that monument happen were recognized.
New wind project owner arrives amid fight over proposed site in Moosehead region
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, September 15, 2016 

NRG Energy, a large power company headquartered in Texas and New Jersey, is set to acquire the assets of SunEdison’s solar and wind projects in several states, including a wind proposal in Maine that has attracted strong opposition. But whether the Maine wind farm, called Somerset Wind, a 26-turbine proposal near Moosehead Lake, actually gets built any time soon depends in part on the outcome of a selection process for renewable energy proposals being conducted jointly by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
Opinion: Why I’m wild about new Maine national monument
Other - Thursday, September 15, 2016 

NH Gazette - President Obama’s creation of the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument on Aug. 24 came one day before the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service and one day after the Quimby family donated a huge parcel of land. The new monument, which will be managed by the National Park Service, protects approximately 87,500 acres, more than twice the size of Acadia, and will allow recreational activities while protecting natural resources, such as the east branch of the beautiful Penobscot River. As someone who would gaze upon Mount Katahdin on yearly treks to northern Maine, the announcement was emotional and personal. I didn’t think I would see it in my lifetime. The Maine I long for and travel to – and want my kids and their kids to forever enjoy – should be wild and free and preserved. ~ John Paradis
Letter: Fireworks not worth the pollution
Sun Journal - Thursday, September 15, 2016 

I live in Farmington, but grew up in Wilton near the Wilson Lake. I have a friend who lives in Wilton now who told me she was walking there recently and was surprised at the amount of fireworks residue around the lake, not to mention what fell into the lake itself. ~ Dave Mitchell
Letter: Drones a boon for the economy
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, September 15, 2016 

The latest technological innovation for consumers in the U.S. and around the world, the commercial use of drones, is indisputably a wonderful, promising idea, and recently announced regulations for the industry deserve praise. Not only are drones forecast to be a boon to our economy, adding thousands of jobs and billions of dollars, but they also are slated to save lives, assist farmers and help aid in disasters. Let’s make sure drones are not a good idea gone bad. ~ Steve Colhoun, Addison
Letter: Lead in drinking water is unhealthy, but so is fluoride
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, September 15, 2016 

On Sept. 2, the Portland Press Herald published a front-page article that stated, “The Environmental Protection Agency requires action to remove lead from drinking water when it reaches 15 parts per billion, but the agency also says there is no safe level of lead exposure.” Lead in drinking water is a serious issue. However, now that fluoride has been declared a developmental neurotoxicant and has been placed in the same category as arsenic, lead and methylmercury by The Lancet, one of the world’s most prestigious medical journals, it seems that we are ignoring this enormous disparity at our peril. ~ Janice Hanson, Kennebunk
Sappi North America launches paper inspired by shark skin
Mainebiz - Wednesday, September 14, 2016 

Sappi North America, with two mills in Maine, has launched a "first of its kind" casting and release paper inspired by the texture of shark skin, which creates surfaces that inhibit bacterial growth without the use of toxic additives or chemicals. The new release paper, which Sappi has entered into an exclusive license agreement with Colorado-based Sharklet Technologies Inc. to manufacture and distribute, is seen as having strong market potential for health care institutions and other businesses that need to minimize the risk of bacterial infection. Its patented Sharklet micro-texture mimics the texture of shark skin.
Closed paper mill asking for cut in property taxes
Morning Sentinel - Wednesday, September 14, 2016 

In the wake of the closure of Madison Paper Industries, the company is asking town officials in both Anson and Madison for a reduction in the amount of property taxes that are due this year. Meanwhile, the company is still searching for a buyer of its dormant mill and active hydropower generator. The mill ceased production in May, laying off 215 people in the state’s fifth paper mill closure in two years. The abatement requests come even as the Madison board of assessors last month approved an $8 million reduction in value for the mill on top of a $150 million reduction in value in 2014.
Fourth graders will love this poster! And you will too!
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Wednesday, September 14, 2016 

Every fourth grade teacher and every public library in Maine will soon receive a fabulous full-color poster featuring endangered and threatened species. Each teacher will also receive a wildlife lesson packet. The poster will be unveiled today by the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. Maine’s very talented artist, writer, and wildlife biologist Mark McCollough created the poster, arranging the species in the shape of our state and in the locations where they are found.
Pika Energy in Westbrook wins $875,000 federal grant
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, September 14, 2016 

Pika Energy Inc., a Westbrook manufacturer of power electronics, small wind turbines and solar equipment, has won a $875,000 grant from the federal Department of Energy to improve technology for managing electric grids and to take advantage of renewable energy sources.
Democratic Challenger for House District 87 Sees Government as Solution
Lincoln County News - Wednesday, September 14, 2016 

The economy and the lack of good-paying jobs is a primary concern for the constituents of House District 87, which encompasses Wiscasset, Alna, Pittston, and Randolph, said Democratic challenger Wendy Ross. It is the role of government to develop long-term solutions to the problems in Maine, she said. Her candidacy has been endorsed by Planned Parenthood, Maine AFL-CIO, the Maine Education Association, the Maine State Employees Association, the Maine Conservation Voters Action Fund, the Sierra Club, and the Maine People’s Alliance.
Drought leaves Maine waterways low but unusually clean
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, September 14, 2016 

The entirety of central Maine and part of southern Maine are abnormally dry, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Drought Monitor. The bulk of southern Maine is listed as either under a severe or moderate drought. However, there is an upshot to the unusually dry weather, Williams said. The lakes and ponds, and the waterways that feed them, have been unusually clean. When rain falls, it picks up pollutants, soil and other debris and carries them to lakes and ponds. Those pollutants can cloud the water and promote algae growth. When it doesn’t rain as much, fewer contaminants make their way into bodies of water.
Organic farm group launches program to certify Maine’s medical cannabis
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, September 14, 2016 

Maine patients could be the first on the East Coast to consume medical marijuana grown to standards similar to those used for certified organic food products. The Certified Clean Cannabis program, launched by the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association and now in a yearlong trial phase, is the first of its kind on the East Coast and one of the only programs in the country to set standards for growing medical marijuana without harmful chemicals.
Blog: USM to launch new program to help grow the state’s food economy
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, September 13, 2016 

The University of Southern Maine next year will offer students a new program devoted to what we eat and how it gets to our plates. The first of its kind in the state, USM’s Food Studies Program will launch as an undergraduate minor in the spring semester, and cover subjects such as the economics of Maine’s thriving microbreweries and how public policy might improve food insecurity in the state. The university plans to expand the program over the next two years to include graduate-level courses, a graduate certificate program in food studies and internship placements for students in the various food enterprises around Portland.
Hike: The new Abol Trail
Aislinn Sarnacki Act Out Blog - Tuesday, September 13, 2016 

Several blazed hiking trails explore the rocky slopes, ridges and peaks of Katahdin, Maine’s tallest mountain, in Baxter State Park. One of these trails is the Abol Trail, which climbs a steep rock slide up the southwest side of the mountain to join with the Hunt Trail at Thoreau Spring, just a mile from the mountain’s summit. Baxter State Park decided to close Abol Trail in the spring of 2014 due to landslide activity. Over the course of two years, Maine Conservation Corps crews worked hard to build the new section of the trail, which opened to the public in the spring of 2016.
Falmouth conservation land deal falls apart
Forecaster - Tuesday, September 13, 2016 

The Falmouth Town Council on Monday opted not to purchase a parcel of land it had agreed to buy three weeks earlier. The proposed lot for sale on Woodville Road was actually smaller than the town believed. It also came with deeded restrictions that would limit access to an adjacent conservation area. At their Aug. 22 meeting, councilors agreed to purchase for $30,000 land owned by Michael Bordick that abuts the Falmouth Country Club. The land would become a trail head for the East Branch Conservation Area, which is only accessible by canoe or kayak. But a private buyer who plans to purchase 5 acres of land from Bordick to build a house wanted to acquire more acreage, and Town Manager Nathan Poore said instead of 3 acres, only 1 1/2 acres are available.
South Portland rolls out plan to promote pesticide ordinance
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, September 13, 2016 

City officials launched a pesticide education and outreach effort on Tuesday, hoping that it will encourage residents to comply with a newly adopted ban when it takes effect in 2018. It may be an uphill battle to win over some residents who question both the need for and the enforceability of an ordinance that carries no penalties.
DEP eases Westbrook’s sewer violation fine
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, September 13, 2016 

The Portland Water District was fined $130,000 last month by the Maine Department of Environmental Protectio for failing to meet deadlines for projects meant to resolve problems with Westbrook’s combined storm and wastewater collection system. But the fine will be cut to $30,000 if the updates are completed by 2019, and the city of Westbrook has already reimbursed the water district.
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