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
A Breaking Wave
Down East - Thursday, October 18, 2018 

Scientists like professor Richard Wahle believe a combination of factors contributed to the lobster boom at a time when other fisheries were collapsing. But the biggest contributor to Maine’s lobster boom appears to be climate change. “Right now, we’re seeing a big surge in settlement in the southern Gulf of Saint Lawrence and a subsequent surge in landings too. It’s as if there’s a wave of lobster abundance heading north, and the crest has just passed us by,” Wahle says. “I worry about the future of our coastal economies."
Opinion: Conflict of Interest Is Killing Renewable Energy in Maine
Free Press - Thursday, October 18, 2018 

Two major electric companies control 95 percent of the market in Maine. Originally Maine companies, the former Bangor Hydro (now Emera) is a Nova Scotian company, and Central Maine Power (CMP) is now owned by Avangrid, a subsidiary of the Spanish power company Iberdrola. Because of the successful efforts of these power companies to kill legislative efforts to conserve energy and to transition to renewable alternatives, Maine is seriously lagging behind other New England states in renewable energy. Public utilities should serve the public, and Maine PUC should regulate them to ensure that they do so. These foreign for-profit companies are looking to maximize their profits at the expense of Mainers, and we are doing too little to oppose them. We need to elect representatives in November that will represent the interest of Mainers, not greedy multi-national corporations. ~ Peter Millard, Belfast
Natural gas touted as best alternative while Maine looks to renewables
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, October 18, 2018 

Natural gas, which already generates more than half of New England’s electricity, could become the go-to fuel for both electricity generation and home heating during the next 20 years or more until renewables like solar, wind and potentially hydroelectric gain market traction. The federal government as well is looking at liquified natural gas, or LNG, as a potentially lucrative export for the country. That’s according to experts at a natural gas industry conference held in Falmouth on Thursday.
Bar Harbor approves lease that means Cat ferry will leave Portland
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, October 18, 2018 

Town councilors on Bar Harbor have approved an agreement to lease a former ferry terminal to the company that left the property nearly a decade ago. The council voted 7-0 to allow the town manager to sign a lease agreement with Atlantic Fleet Services, a Bar Harbor-based agent for Bay Ferries Ltd. Bay Ferries operates The Cat ferry, which makes trips between Maine and Nova Scotia. The company will move its operations to Bar Harbor from Portland as part of the deal.
Maine Forestry Officials: Annoying Bugs Swarm Some Maine Homes
Associated Press - Thursday, October 18, 2018 

Maine forestry officials say they have received several calls this fall about swarms of a potentially bothersome bug that congregates in large numbers. The pest in question is the boxelder bug, which feeds on leaves, flowers and seed pods of boxelder trees and other maples. The state says the bugs are considered pests because of the large numbers they gather in when trying to access homes and buildings. The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry says the bugs don't produce a smell and don't damage wood, cloth, humans or pets.
CMP's Proposed Transmission Line: An 'Ugly Brown Monster' Or A Clean Energy Boost?
Maine Public - Thursday, October 18, 2018 

The state Public Utilities Commission held its third and final public witness hearing Wednesday night on Central Maine Power's proposed 145-mile transmission line through western Maine. Opponents outnumbered supporters and the two camps held widely divergent views on whether the project would hurt or help Maine's economy and environment.
Oyster Researcher Speaks on Aquaculture Present and Future
Free Press - Thursday, October 18, 2018 

While bait shortfalls and regulation changes are among the most frequently debated topics within Maine’s fishing community, aquaculture continues to draw serious discussion as the threat of climate change looms over the seafood industry. Among those interested in exploring scientific solutions, Meredith White hopes to steer the conversation toward oysters. The head of research and development at Mook Sea Farm, White described the company’s scientific and manufacturing efforts during a presentation at the University of Maine Darling Marine Center in Walpole on October 12.
EPA Boasts Of Reduced Greenhouse Gases, Even As Trump Questions Climate Science
National Public Radio - Thursday, October 18, 2018 

The Trump administration is celebrating a drop in the nation's greenhouse gas emissions last year, even as the president himself continues to challenge the scientific understanding of climate change. The Environmental Protection Agency says U.S. production of heat-trapping gases was 2.7 percent lower in 2017 than the previous year. Despite the improvement, independent analysts say the country is likely to fall far short of the pollution controls needed to rein in global warming.
DIFW adopts strict new rules on deer transportation
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Thursday, October 18, 2018 

Eager to prevent chronic wasting disease from getting to Maine, with special concern that it was recently discovered in Quebec just 100 miles from the Maine border, the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife has quickly adopted a new rule severely restricting the transportation of deer to or through Maine. Here it is.
Sunday River may open for season today
Sun Journal - Thursday, October 18, 2018 

Sunday River Ski Resort announced Thursday that it intends to open for the season at 10 a.m. Friday. All plans depend on weather and snow conditions. Sunday River fired up 124 snow guns Wednesday on Locke Mountain and had 2 to 3 inches of natural snowfall overnight.
Why a Maine island community is switching to single-sort recycling
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, October 18, 2018 

Despite some towns in Maine dropping their recycling programs because of skyrocketing costs, a Maine island community is upgrading and streamlining its recycling process by offering single-sort recycling. Vinalhaven is the latest town in Maine to contract with ecomaine, a Portland-based recycling company. The town has been pursuing a new recycling program for the past two years and wanted a streamlined process at the transfer station that would encourage more residents to recycle,.
Letter: National carbon tax needed, now
Sun Journal - Thursday, October 18, 2018 

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recently released a report that reiterated the dire consequences of climate change and, importantly, shortened the timeline for action to 12 years. The same day, William Nordhaus won the Nobel Prize in economics for his work on carbon taxation as a tool to mitigate climate change. There are many carbon tax models to choose from. All are market driven. All promote innovation and economic growth. Members of Congress must take action to protect this country’s future. That action is a national carbon tax. ~ Roberta Brezinski, Durham
Letter: Oyster company would exploit natural resource for corporate profit
Times Record - Thursday, October 18, 2018 

A few months ago, some Brunswick residents got a letter from the owners of the Mere Point Oyster Company. Their openness didn’t include that they had submitted an application for a 10-year, 40-acre site to replace about one-quarter of an acre they had “farmed” since 2015. The site will occupy a significant portion of Maquoit Bay and change life on, around, and beneath it. At any point the business with the lease could be sold. Support of modest family aquaculture is not the question; this is about using a natural resource for corporate profit. It should not happen. ~ P.H. Vaughn, Brunswick
Letter: Maine should hold out for gas line
Kennebec Journal - Thursday, October 18, 2018 

Utility projects are justified by cost savings to consumers. A few years ago, Massachusetts industrial and environmental interests blocked the proposed expansion of lower cost natural gas supplied to Maine. The resulting higher gas costs have reduced the competitiveness of Maine industries, especially those required to shut down during cold spells so homeowners could keep warm. Now a transmission system is proposed to move lower-cost Quebec electricity through Maine. Benefits to Maine will be nominal. Before agreeing to permits or voting to allow construction of the proposed transmission system, Maine should protect its jobs by requiring Massachusetts to stop restricting expansion of natural gas supplies to Maine. ~ Thomas Gillette, Jefferson
Candidates jab each other in another largely cordial debate
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, October 17, 2018 

During the Republican primary, Shawn Moody rejected the scientific consensus that humans are contributing to climate change. But on Wednesday, he said human activity at least contributes to it. Democrat Janet Mills has released a climate plan that includes setting a goal of reducing pollution by 80 percent by 2030, and said she would focus on “prevention and mitigation. State Treasurer Terry Hayes said Maine must use “tax policy to herd behavior in the direction” of mitigating climate change. Consultant Alan Caron, who wants to make Maine energy independent within 30 years, said he would “pull people together” on the issue. All of the candidates professed skepticism of Central Maine Power’s plan to build a massive corridor through Maine to deliver Canadian hydropower to Massachusetts.
Many testify against, some for CMP transmission line project
Morning Sentinel - Wednesday, October 17, 2018 

About 100 people crowded into a conference room at the PUC Wednesday night, while others watched the hours of testimony from an overflow room. By 8 p.m. almost half of the 73 people who had signed up to speak had delivered their message to the commission, which is considering approval of the New England Clean Energy Connect project being proposed by Central Maine Power. A majority of people who testified in the early hours of a final public hearing Wednesday night before the Maine Public Utilities Commission spoke against a proposed 145-mile transmission line from Quebec to Massachusetts, citing the effect on the environment and tourism in northwest Maine. A smaller number of proponents spoke touted the jobs the project would bring during construction and a boost to tax revenue.
‘Real thirst for compost education’ drives students learning that science in Monmouth
Kennebec Journal - Wednesday, October 17, 2018 

Wednesday morning’s exercise for the 18 students at the Maine Compost School at Highmoor Farm in Monmouth was to identify the piles where the composting process was working the best. The school, which has operated since 1997, has graduated more than 900 students from 42 countries and almost all the states in the United States.
Candidates spar over trade policy in 1st District debate
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, October 17, 2018 

U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-North Haven, criticized the Trump administration for levying tariffs against China that have led to a reduction of more than 80 percent in live lobster exports to that country. Republican Mark Holbrook said he supports President Trump’s trade policies, even though they hurt markets such as live lobster exports to China. Independent Marty Grohman said he favors eliminating the Trump tariffs and creating a “predictable” trade policy, which will help businesses.
Bar Harbor leaders say they mean it when they say they want a new marina
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, October 17, 2018 

The committee that will steer the development of the town’s former ferry terminal plans to create a marina at the site. The Town Council voted 7-0 Tuesday night to approve changes to the Harbor Committee’s goals. Residents voted to buy the site for $3.5 million in June.
Tented camps are fast becoming the world’s best resorts
Bloomberg News - Wednesday, October 17, 2018 

Glamping is back, and the glamour factor is through the canvas roof. The concept has become so high-end, “glamping” no longer does it justice. As the market for eco-sensitive and off-the-grid vacations has spiked, tented camps have benefited even more. Just don’t expect these trips to come cheap.
Paper machine at shuttered Madison mill sold to Chinese company
Morning Sentinel - Wednesday, October 17, 2018 

The paper machine at the former Madison Paper Industries mill in Madison has been sold to a Chinese company for an undisclosed amount of money in a move the mill’s new owners say they’re hoping will open up the shuttered facility for redevelopment.
Report challenges environmental benefits of CMP project
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, October 17, 2018 

Hours before a much-anticipated public hearing on the merits of a new transmission line through western Maine, an analysis released Wednesday by environmental and renewable energy interests concludes that the New England Clean Energy Connect project wouldn’t reduce carbon pollution and therefore do nothing to offset climate change. The analysis was conducted by the consulting firm Energyzt Advisors of Boston, on behalf of the Natural Resources Council of Maine, Sierra Club, and the Maine Renewable Energy Association.
Bar Harbor residents say council rushed approval of ferry agreement
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, October 17, 2018 

The town will lease its former ferry terminal to a company that decided to abandon the property nearly 10 years ago. The Town Council voted 7-0 on Tuesday night to allow Town Manager Cornell Knight to sign a five-year lease agreement with Atlantic Fleet Services, the Bar Harbor-based agent for Canadian former terminal owner Bay Ferries Ltd. Bay Ferries operates The CAT, a high-speed catamaran ferry that runs between Maine and Nova Scotia. As part of the deal, the company would move its U.S. operations from Portland to Bar Harbor, where it operated for 53 years before finally closing in 2011. Several residents protested the deal as rushed.
Power sellers overcharged Maine customers by $16 million last year
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, October 17, 2018 

Maine home power customers could collectively have saved $16 million on electricity last year by going with the standard power rate instead of buying electricity from private suppliers who aggressively market their plans in ways regulators have on multiple occasions found misleading. From 2012 to 2017, Maine residential customers have spent $95.3 million more with private sellers, a market dominated by Electricity Maine, when compared with the standard offer. Over that time, Electricity Maine customers could have saved roughly $69 million with the standard offer, the highest amount of any supplier.
Acadia National Park is selling firewood. It’s a good deal.
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, October 17, 2018 

Starting Saturday, Acadia National Park will sell as much as two cords of wood for a token permit fee of $25 to anybody who lives within 50 miles of Otter Creek. Park workers accumulated the wood through Acadia’s efforts to keep trees from crowding historic vistas.
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