July 16, 2019  
Announcements               
Press releases, events, publications released, etc. from Maine environmental organizations and agencies. Submit content.

Ban coal tar sealants
Action Alert - Tuesday, April 21, 2015 

Coal tar-based pavement sealing products contribute dangerous polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons to stormwater runoff. LD 1208 would prohibit the sale and use of coal tar sealant products beginning October 1, 2016. Hearing at Environment & Natural Resources Committee, Cross Building, Room 216, Augusta, April 23, 1 pm. ~ Cumberland County Soil & Water Conservation District
Howard Hill Walk, Apr 29
Event - Posted - Tuesday, April 21, 2015 

Howard Hill is the scenic, forested backdrop to the Maine State House, and one of Augusta’s largest remaining undeveloped parcels of land. The Kennebec Land Trust is leading a campaign to conserve this iconic property. Join KLT and the Hallowell Conservation Commission for a hike there, April 29, 5:30-7 pm.
Winter Adventures in Baxter/Happenings on AMC Maine Lands, Apr 28
Event - Posted - Tuesday, April 21, 2015 

Peter Roderick will talk about some winter adventures in Baxter State Park and AMC staff will discuss plans for future trails in the Maine Woods Initiative area east of Greenville. At Fields Pond Audubon Center, Holden, April 28, 7 pm.
Merrymeeting Audubon annual dinner, Apr 28
Event - Posted - Tuesday, April 21, 2015 

Doug Hitchcox, Maine Audubon staff naturalist, eBird reviewer, moderator of the ‘Maine Birds’ listserv, and secretary of the Maine Bird Records Committee is the featured speaker. He will discuss doing a Big Year. At St. Charles Borromeo Church Meeting Hall, Brunswick, April 28, 6-9 pm, $20 due April 21.
Acadia needs LWCF funding
Action Alert - Tuesday, April 21, 2015 

If President Obama’s FY 2016 budget passes as written, almost $2.5 million will be directed to Acadia National Park from the Land and Water Conservation Fund for important land acquisition projects. Congress will discuss LWCF funding Wednesday, April 22. ~ Friends of Acadia
Our Disappearing Rainbow Smelt, Apr 28
Event - Posted - Tuesday, April 21, 2015 

Claire Enterline of the Maine Dept of Marine Resources will talk about rainbow smelt, a small fish that lives in estuaries and offshore waters and spawns in shallow freshwater streams each spring. A century ago, streams teemed with these silvery fish. During the last 20 years, numbers have dropped dramatically. The rainbow smelt is now listed as a federal “Species of Concern.” At Topsham Public Library, April 28, 6:30 pm. Sponsored by Cathance River Education Alliance.
Discover New England Tourism Summit, Apr 27-29
Event - Posted - Monday, April 20, 2015 

More than 400 travel and tourism businesses, tour operators and other organizations from eight different countries will visit Maine this month. Maine is hosting the annual Discover New England Tourism Summit in Portland from April 27-29.
Piscataquis Natural Resource Priorities, Apr 27
Event - Posted - Monday, April 20, 2015 

The Piscataquis County USDA Local Work Group (LWG) will meet to help the Piscataquis County Soil and Water Conservation District and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) determine local natural resource priorities and conservation programs in Piscataquis County. At USDA Service Center, Dover-Foxcroft, April 27, 9 am.
Springtime Splendor for Amphibians, Apr 26
Event - Posted - Sunday, April 19, 2015 

Seek out and assess vernal pools at the Kennebec Estuary Land Trust's new Morse Pond Preserve in Georgetown, April 26, 1 pm.
Birding the Burg, Apr 26
Event - Posted - Sunday, April 19, 2015 

Robin R. Robinson will lead “Birding the Burg” through the MacDonald Preserve on Spirit Pond in Phippsburg, a birding hotspot during migration seasons because of varied habitats that support a wide variety of species. Meet at Phippsburg Town Hall to carpool, April 26, 8:30 am. Sponsored by Phippsburg Land Trust.
Birding for Kids, Apr 26
Event - Posted - Sunday, April 19, 2015 

Designed to help children recognize common birds in their neighborhoods, as well as to introduce them to simple ways they can identify birds that are unfamiliar. At Harpswell Heritage Land Trust's Curtis Farm Preserve, April 26, 1-3 pm.
Urban Earth Day, Apr 26
Event - Posted - Sunday, April 19, 2015 

Opening prayer circle of hands, drum jam circle and dance, art for kids, etc. At Congress Square Park, Portland, April 26, 12-4 pm. Sponsored by Portland Citizens for Free Community Gathering and Sierra Club Maine.
Vassalboro Wildlife Habitat Spring Bird Walk, Apr 26
Event - Posted - Sunday, April 19, 2015 

Join Mike Waters, Cathie Murray and fellow birders for a spring hike at the 330-acre Vassalboro Wildlife Habitat. April 26, 2-4 pm. Preregister. Sponsored by Kennebec Land Trust.
Wrenched, Apr 25
Event - Posted - Saturday, April 18, 2015 

This documentary captures the passing of the monkey wrench from the pioneers of eco-activism to the new generation, which will carry Edward Abbey's legacy into the 21st century as the fight continues to sustain the last bastion of the American wilderness. Chris Phillips, a senior at College of the Atlantic, will discuss Ed Abbey and current issues facing public lands. At Reel Pizza Cinerama, Bar Harbor, April 25, 2 pm. Sponsored by Sierra Club Maine.
Vaughan Woods Spring Walk, Apr 25
Event - Posted - Saturday, April 18, 2015 

Join a naturalist to explore several habitats, including Currier Spring and the old pasture. At Vaughan Woods, Hallowell, April 25, 2:30 pm.
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News Items
Extra pogy catch could ease bait worries for lobster industry
Portland Press Herald - Monday, July 15, 2019 

Maine unlocked access to more lobster bait Monday with the reopening of the menhaden fishery, easing the lobster industry’s anxiety about a looming bait shortage as peak summer season kicks into high gear. The state ordered its menhaden fleet to stop fishing on June 30 after officials concluded it had exceeded the state’s annual quota of 2.4 million pounds by 1.5 million pounds, the majority of which was landed in the last four days of June. But menhaden, a schooling forage fish also called pogy, were still abundant in Maine waters from Kittery to Penobscot Bay, so Maine sought access to another 4.7 million pounds of quota that is set aside for New England states to share when they catch their limit but the fish remains in large numbers. Last week, regional fishing managers approved Maine’s request.
Warming Waters
Maine Public - Monday, July 15, 2019 

The impacts of climate change on the Gulf of Maine's ecosystem and people.
Belfast officials get their first tour of proposed land-based fish farm site
Bangor Daily News - Monday, July 15, 2019 

Belfast Planning Board members donned high boots and bug repellant on Wednesday to do a walk-through of the property where Nordic Aquafarms would like to build a land-based salmon farm. The tour took them through boggy fields, into piney woods and across Route 1 to the waterfront property where the company’s intake and outfall pipelines will be built if the project is permitted and moves forward.
Maine forest ranger airlifted to Boston hospital after serious head injury
Bangor Daily News - Monday, July 15, 2019 

A Maine forest ranger was seriously injured Saturday night after an accident in Down East Maine, according to the Maine fire marshal’s office. Ranger Dustin Pickering reportedly jumped off a boat into a lake in Topsfield when his head struck a rock, according to the fire marshal’s office. Pickering suffered several broken vertebrae as a result of that jump, the fire marshal’s office said. Pickering was flown to a hospital in Boston due to the extent of his injuries and is currently in serious condition.
What has to happen before Mainers could get to vote on CMP’s corridor project
Bangor Daily News - Monday, July 15, 2019 

Opponents of Central Maine Power’s unpopular proposal to bring Quebec hydropower to the regional grid through a western Maine transmission line are signaling that they want voters to decide the project’s fate, but their deadline is tight and details are unclear. They have to get more than 63,000 signatures by a January deadline. It’s a response to the utility’s intense and successful lobbying defense of the $1 billion proposal for a 145-mile corridor, which has been opposed by or lost support from 20 towns in a flurry of grassroots opposition. A March poll paid for by the Natural Resources Council of Maine found 65 percent opposition to the project statewide, with that percentage in the upper 80s in Franklin and Somerset counties — the ones most affected by the corridor.
Belfast officials get their first tour of proposed land-based fish farm site
Bangor Daily News - Monday, July 15, 2019 

Belfast Planning Board members donned high boots and bug repellant on Wednesday to do a walk-through of the property where Nordic Aquafarms would like to build a land-based salmon farm. The tour took them through boggy fields, into piney woods and across Route 1 to the waterfront property where the company’s intake and outfall pipelines will be built if the project is permitted and moves forward.
Column: Beware the browntail moth
Morning Sentinel - Monday, July 15, 2019 

How did I spend my first summer vacation? Mixing up equal parts of maximum strength Cortizone-10 ointment, extra strength Benadryl cream, witch hazel liquid and Vicks VapoRub. That’s because I got the dreaded browntail moth rash, this nasty, itchy, bumpy red rash caused by poisonous hairs from the moth caterpillar making a beeline to the sensitive skins of people like me and embedding themselves. ~ Amy Calder
Letter: Pesticides are poisoning our oceans
Portland Press Herald - Monday, July 15, 2019 

Neonicotinoids have become all too prevalent in today’s agricultural practices. Now the most commonly used pesticides, these seven chemicals have been leaking into our oceans and animals. Many farmers are unaware they purchased the poison, since it was applied to seeds long before they reach the fields. Once the seed is a fully grown plant, only 5 percent of the chemical makes its home in the cells of the plant. The other 95 percent disperses into the wider environment, turning into a poison that kills everything from bees to birds to marine life. If these pesticides are allowed to continue devouring our beloved Maine wildlife, we will lose the bees, which pollinate a third of the food we eat, and the rest of our fragile ecosystem. ~ Elizabeth McAleney, Portland
Restoration and improvement work beings at Head Tide Dam
Kennebec Journal - Sunday, July 14, 2019 

Construction has begun on a change to the Head Tide Dam on the Sheepscot River in Alna. A coalition of environmental groups is spearheading a modification of the dam, originally constructed in 1763, to stabilize the structure while creating greater passage for Atlantic salmon and other anadromous species of fish.
Watch Maine forest rangers rescue hurt Appalachian Trail hiker Forest rangers airlift injured Appalachian Trail hiker
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, July 14, 2019 

The Maine Forest Service deployed a helicopter Saturday to airlift an injured Appalachian Trail hiker in Piscataquis County. The woman was hiking a difficult stretch of the trail in Elliotsville Township when she fell and broke her ankle, according to the Maine Forest Service. With her injuries, the hiker was unable to walk on her own, the forest service said.
3 rescued from water at Popham Beach State Park
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, July 14, 2019 

Three people were rescued from the water at Popham Beach State Park on Saturday, according to the Phippsburg Fire Department. Firefighters said they were called to the beach around 6:30 p.m. for a report of three people who had been caught in a rip current. All three were quickly rescued from the water but one person had to be transported to a local hospital.
Visitation Record At Acadia Park Stretches Resources
Maine Public - Sunday, July 14, 2019 

Acadia National Park says it set a visitation record July 5 with more than 35,000 visits, and officials say park staff were swamped that day and the following weekend with calls for assistance and efforts to close roads and parking lots due to congestion. On July 5 alone the park dispatch center fielded 755 radio calls and twenty 911 emergency calls, and that park staff responded to four simultaneous rescue calls that tapped nearly all rescue resources.
Acadia deluged with hiking accidents, traffic on busiest day ever over July 4 weekend
Acadia On My Mind Blog - Sunday, July 14, 2019 

Acadia National Park was overwhelmed with hiking accidents and traffic congestion during a record-setting day for visits on a sunny day during the July 4 weekend. On July 5, the Maine national park had 35,000 visits, or 15 percent more than the prior record on July 3, 2017 and a 33 percent increase over the average busiest day for the last eight years. Park staff that day were pushed to the limit when they responded to four simultaneous rescue calls.
Glamping, new this summer at Maine state parks, draws fans from many camps
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, July 14, 2019 

It’s better to camp – even in convenience, comfort and style – than never to have camped at all. That was the consensus among traditional campers we talked with at Maine state parks over the recent holiday weekend. We asked their opinion about the boutique-style, canvas-and-platform setups that glamping company Tentrr opened at seven Maine state parks earlier this month. The word glamping is a combination of “camping” and “glamour” and describes a relatively new trend, at least in Maine, that offers people a comparatively convenient, luxurious style of sleeping under the stars.
Column: Exploring the eastern arm of Sebasticook Lake in Newport
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, July 14, 2019 

Finding a convenient place to paddle in July without having to share it with lots of other boaters can be a challenge. But despite its reputation as “The Crossroads of Maine,” the Newport area offers surprising seclusion and beauty on Sebasticook Lake. The eastern arm is narrow and protected and offers a delightful 5-mile round-trip exploration. You might run into a few bass fishermen on the weekend, but other than that, it’s you, the serenade of songbirds and the call of loons. ~ Michael Perry
Letter: CMP corridor jobs won’t only go to Mainers
Kennebec Journal - Sunday, July 14, 2019 

The 1,500 or so jobs coming from the proposed Central Maine Power corridor through the western Maine forest will not be only for Mainers. There is a cadre of Canadian power line workers who travel around to these types of projects and major electrical disruptions and take jobs away from locals. They’re essentially independent contractors that sign contracts for three to 10 times what they were making as Canadian linemen. The advertised 1,500 new Maine jobs is just not true. CMP has pimped us out to the Canadian power company for embarrassing little money. ~ Frederick Drew, West Gardiner
Letter: Insinuations about Mills, CMP are tiresome
Kennebec Journal - Sunday, July 14, 2019 

I am tired of the insinuation that Gov. Janet Mills “sold out” to Central Maine Power in regards to the so-called CMP corridor. Gov. Mills and other members of her family have devoted large potions of their lives in service to Maine. I believe their love of and care for their home state is as great as anyone past or present. Accusations against any member of the Mills family in this matter are driven by either frustration, intent to defame, or more probably stupidity. The Mills family’s integrity, honesty and forthrightness are unimpeachable. ~ Alan Williams, Vienna
Letter: Coverage of CMP, immigration puts information in context
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, July 14, 2019 

I have deep gratitude for the Portland Press Herald’s June 23 coverage of the Central Maine Power billing issues and the front-page June 30 immigration story, “Defying death for a better life.” Mainers knew there was something awfully fishy about CMP’s recent bills and CMP’s response (you know when you’re being told something that’s not true). Now, thanks to your careful coverage, we know more. Aren’t we lucky to live in a country with a free press? ~ Joan O’Brien, Portland
Opinion: Climate change is a health emergency
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, July 13, 2019 

Climate change is a health emergency, but the Trump administration is reversing course on clean power and a stable climate. Trump has finalized the rule to replace the Clean Power Plan, which was put into place in 2015. The Clean Power Plan was set to cut carbon pollution from the electric power sector by 32 percent by 2030 and, so far, we’ve been on track to meet those targets. At a time when even steeper cuts are necessary to avert the worst impacts of climate change, this new replacement plan is expected to slow the transition of the power sector’s transition to clean, renewable energy. This could cause as many as 1,400 additional deaths by 2030 due to the toxic chemicals from these plants, according to the EPA. ~ Samantha Paradis, registered nurse and mayor of Belfas
Great kids’ Maine North Woods hiking guide
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Saturday, July 13, 2019 

Hope Rowan really knows Maine’s north woods. And I have to thank her for writing a hiking guide to the Katahdin region for kids. The book, Ten Days in the North Woods, published by Islandport Press, includes stunning photos that will, for sure, send you to that region for an outdoor adventure. Hope focuses on three areas, Baxter State Park, Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, and Debsconeag Lakes Wilderness Area. Hope uses a fictional 13-year-old girl, Hattie, to describe 10 great hikes and other vacation experiences including camping, swimming, and nature watching. The book includes a lot of information including maps and even illustrations of some of the plants and animals you might see.
Judge rules in favor of Belfast in lawsuit over salmon farm land use changes
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, July 13, 2019 

A Superior Court judge has ruled that the city of Belfast did not violate the law when officials amended the city’s land use plan in April 2018 to allow the Nordic Aquafarms project to move forward. The decision, which was handed down on Friday, may mark the end of a year-long lawsuit filed against the city by Ellie Daniels and Donna Broderick, whose Perkins Road property abuts the parcel of land where the proposed land-based salmon farm would be constructed.
Angler feedback sought as DIF&W targets several waters for new fishing rules
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, July 13, 2019 

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is seeking public comment on a number of proposed fishing regulations that are making their way through the agency’s rulemaking process. Among those proposals: Extending the ice fishing season until the end of April on northern Maine’s “B” waters, which would negate the need for emergency season extensions like the one that was passed earlier this year; the addition of five lakes or ponds to the State Heritage Fish Waters list; the removal of three waters from the same list; and the prohibition of the use of live fish as bait on the tributaries of 19 waters already on the state Heritage Fish list.
No expanded bear hunt in Maine, but season still starts soon
Associated Press - Saturday, July 13, 2019 

Efforts to expand Maine’s bear hunt this year may not have succeeded, but hunters will still be laying bait for the animals in the state’s woods soon. Hunters are allowed to start placing bait on July 27, and the hunting season starts about a month later. The season for hunting over bait lasts until Sept. 21 and is by far the most active part of the hunt, which doesn’t fully end until Nov. 30.
The local cut flower industry is growing. Research shows what challenges growers will face.
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, July 13, 2019 

About 80 percent of cut flowers in the United States are imported, but the local cut flower industry in North America is growing. “I’ve seen an increase in the number of growers, especially in southern and coastal Maine,” said Matthew Wallhead, ornamental horticulture specialist at the University of Maine Cooperative Extension. “It’s a result of the local food movement spilling over into the flower industry, and also the influx of people growing vegetables." The main challenge of growing in Maine is the short, cold growing season. Like with other agricultural endeavors in Maine, cut flower farms suffer from a shortage of labor.
Boston investment firm still pursuing purchase of Saddleback ski area
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, July 13, 2019 

A Boston investment firm is still negotiating to buy Saddleback ski area, but says state support for $10 million in federal tax incentives it was awarded this week are unrelated to its attempt to buy the shuttered resort. Jonathan Tower, managing partner of Arctaris Impact Fund, said his firm has been trying to buy the ski hill near Rangeley for more than a year, and is close to reaching a purchase-and-sale agreement with the Berry family, Saddleback’s owners. Maine’s third-largest ski area has been closed since after the 2014-2015 season.
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