August 16, 2017  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Tuesday, August 15, 2017 

Thanks for visiting Maine Environmental News, a service of RESTORE: The North Woods. MEN is the most comprehensive online source available for links to Maine conservation and natural resource news and events. We have posted summaries and links to 50,000 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
Sierra Club Maine Climate Action Conference, Sep 16
Event - Posted - Tuesday, August 15, 2017 

The theme of this year's event is "Maine Community-Based Approaches to a Clean Energy Future and Climate Change Solutions." At University of Southern Maine Lewiston Campus, September 16.
Exploring Nature Through Art, Aug 22
Event - Posted - Tuesday, August 15, 2017 

Through various art forms children (age 6-10) will discover some of the secrets of Scarborough Marsh; August 22, 10:30 am – 12 pm; Maine Audubon Child Members $5, Child Non-members $7, pre-register.
Project WILD Educator Workshop, Aug 21
Event - Posted - Monday, August 14, 2017 

This 6-hour workshop introduces educators to Project WILD materials, activities, and strategies. At Bonny Eagle Middle School, Buxton, August 21, 9 am – 3 pm; Maine Audubon Members $23, Non-members $25.
Kayak Scarborough Marsh, Aug 20
Event - Posted - Sunday, August 13, 2017 

Discover the wildlife and plants of Scarborough Marsh as you paddle the Dunstan River. At Scarborough Marsh, August 20, 1–2:30 pm; Maine Audubon Members $13, Non-members $15, deduct $1.50 if you bring your own kayak, must be 16+.
Exploring Wabanaki/Maine History, Aug 20
Event - Posted - Sunday, August 13, 2017 

Maine-Wabanaki REACH offers an interactive learning experience, "Exploring Wabanaki/Maine History," a participatory presentation for adults and teens. At Reversing Falls Sanctuary, Brooksville, August 20, 4-6 pm.
Native Plants & Wildflower Symposium, Aug 29
Event - Posted - Saturday, August 12, 2017 

Includes talks, tours of two native-plant gardens, and a chance to view an herbarium. At McLaughlin Gardens and Homestead, South Paris, August 29, 8:30 am - 3:30 pm, $20 for members, $30 for non-members, registration deadline Aug 21.
Katahdin Woods & Waters 5k Relay, Aug 19
Event - Posted - Saturday, August 12, 2017 

This race in Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument is part of the 'Wild Maine Weekend' hosted by local area businesses. August 19.
Animals, Animals, Animals, Aug 19
Event - Posted - Saturday, August 12, 2017 

International wildlife and travel photographer Gary Harmatz will share his photographs and stories of the wonderful world of exotic and highly endangered wildlife. At Blue Hill Public Library, August 19, 10 am.
Family Discovery Series, Aug 19
Event - Posted - Saturday, August 12, 2017 

Explore and identify species in their habitat and learn how to collect and record data using iNaturalist, Nature’s Notebook, and eBird. At Fields Pond, Holden, August 19, 1–2:30 pm; Maine Audubon Members $15/family, Non-members $20/family.
Live Birds of Prey, Aug 17
Event - Posted - Thursday, August 10, 2017 

Hope Douglas of Wind Over Wings will present an entertaining and inspiring evening featuring Maine raptors, including the majestic Queen Solomon, a Great Horned Owl. At Gilsland Farm, Falmouth, August 17, 7 pm, Maine Audubon members $10; non-members $15.
St. John-Allagash Region public lands plan being updated
Announcement - Wednesday, August 9, 2017 

The Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands is seeking comments on management of Public Lands in the St. John-Allagash Region, including Gero Island, Telos, Chamberlain Lake, and Round Pond Public Reserved Lands. Public scoping meeting: August 30, 6-8 pm at BPL Northern Region Office, Ashland.
2017 Maine Ag Fairs
Event - Posted - Wednesday, August 9, 2017 

At Maine's agricultural fairs, you can eat, drink, see livestock demonstrations, and experience live entertainment.
Creating a Seashell Wreath, Aug 16
Event - Posted - Wednesday, August 9, 2017 

An evening of creativity and sculpture making wreaths out of seashells and sea glass. At Scarborough Marsh, August 16, 5:30–7 pm; Maine Audubon Members $17, Non-members $20.
Nature Pottery, Aug 15
Event - Posted - Tuesday, August 8, 2017 

Explorers search Scarborough Marsh for natural artifacts like shells, grasses and flowers and incorporate these treasures into their own handmade pottery. August 15, 10:30 am – 12 pm; Maine Audubon Child Members $7, Child Non-members $9, pre-register.
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News Items
New test appears promising for catching Lyme disease early
Associated Press - Wednesday, August 16, 2017 

Diagnosing if a tick bite caused Lyme or another disease can be difficult, but scientists are developing a new way to do it early, using a “signature” of molecules in patients’ blood. It’s still highly experimental, but initial studies suggest the novel tool just might uncover early-stage Lyme disease more accurately than today’s standard test, researchers reported Wednesday. And it could tell the difference between two tick-borne diseases with nearly identical early symptoms.
Invasive plant found in Long Lake
WGME-TV13 - Tuesday, August 15, 2017 

Environmentalists are working to remove and stop the spreading of an estimated half an acre of milfoil, an invasive aquatic plant, found in Long Lake earlier this month. Milfoil has reportedly infested the neighboring Brandy Pond and the Songo River for years but was found growing in Long Lake, which had been thought to be safe from the plant.
Opinion: Zinke has only one legal option for Katahdin Woods and Waters: retain its monument status
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, August 15, 2017 

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke will soon send recommendations to President Donald Trump that could do one of three things to the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument: revoke, diminish, or retain its designation as a national monument. Only one of those options, however, is legally and equitably permissible — the monument status must be retained. ~ Anthony Moffa and Sarah Schindler, University of Maine School of Law, Portland
Island communities band together to save historic lighthouses
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, August 15, 2017 

Maine’s lighthouses are no longer manned by loyal custodians dedicated to keeping the light shining and bells ringing to guide sailors safely into harbor. Now, they’re all automated, turning on and off at the right times, and need far less hands-on attention than in the past. Today’s fishing vessels rely more on global positioning devices than on beacons of light on the horizon. Still, these spires remain key pieces of Maine coastal communities, which are fighting to preserve them and future generations remember the role they played. Residents of two Maine islands, Isle au Haut and Swan’s Island, have joined forces to bring new life to their historic lighthouses.
Endangered piping plovers held their own on Maine beaches this summer
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, August 15, 2017 

Maine beaches hosted at least 64 piping plover nests that yielded more than 100 fledged chicks this summer, a healthy showing despite initial concerns that a Caribbean hurricane might have killed some of the endangered birds.
Westbrook reverses decision to charge impact fees
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, August 15, 2017 

Westbrook will not charge fees based on a development’s impacts to the school and sewer system. The decision is a reversal from last fall, when the Westbrook City Council expressed interest in the idea and planned to charge impact fees on all building projects with permits issued since Oct. 3. The fees were popular among residents and officials concerned about the pace of growth in the city at a time when hundreds of housing units were proposed for Westbrook. But when the final proposals for those fees came before the City Council last week, the group rejected them. A majority of councilors said they were worried the fees would discourage families and businesses from moving to Westbrook.
Opinion: Protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge because it’s God’s creation
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, August 15, 2017 

At more than 19 million acres, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska is the crown jewel of the National Wildlife Refuge System. It is one of the last intact landscapes in America, and home to 37 species of land mammals, eight marine mammals, 42 fish species and more than 200 migratory bird species. Established in 1960 to protect its extraordinary wildlife, wilderness and recreational qualities, the Arctic Refuge is a place where natural processes remain mostly uninfluenced by humans. But President Trump has proposed to open the coastal plain of Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to petroleum drilling. As people of faith, we are called to care for God’s people – especially the most vulnerable. A clear way to see God’s creation is through the beauty and majesty of public lands like the Arctic Refuge. ~ The Rev. Richard Killmer, Yarmouth, former director of environmental justice for the National Council of Churches
Letter: Protect national monuments
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, August 15, 2017 

The U.S. Department of the Interior is currently reviewing the designations for 27 of our national monuments. This unprecedented action could revoke the monuments’ protected status or change its borders, opening up our public lands to drilling, mining and other development. Some of our country’s most beautiful and culturally significant places are protected as national monuments. Among these is Maine’s Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, which protects a swath Maine’s northern woods. We have a duty to each other and future generations to protect these public lands and waters from destruction and degradation. ~ Nicole Larson, Environment Maine, Portland
Letter: Poliquin votes favorably on climate change
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, August 15, 2017 

It’s encouraging to see Rep. Bruce Poliquin voting favorably on climate issues. In July, he voted to maintain language and funding for continued research on climate change in the national defense authorization bill. His vote along with 45 other Republican votes successfully defeated the amendment that would have blocked further climate change research by the Defense Department. And he voted on another bill to maintain tougher ozone standards by the Environmental Protection Agency. Despite that bill being defeated, it signifies Poliquin’s commitment to air quality and the environment. ~ Connie Potvin, Bangor Citizens’ Climate Lobby
Freeport seeks help repairing walking trails, bridges
Forecaster - Monday, August 14, 2017 

The Freeport Conservation Commission is looking for volunteers to help with trail maintenance at Florida Lake. According to Mike Stumbo, the conservation steward of Florida Lake, the commission built trails and bridges around the lake more than 15 years ago and, since then, the bridges have decayed and fallen apart. L.L. Bean will provide building materials and volunteers. The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry also supplied the commission with $11,000 in grant funding for additional materials. An additional $4,800 will be matched by the town. The commission needs assistance taking decayed bridges down on Aug. 25, so the trails will be ready for L.L. Bean to come on Sept. 16 to help build new ones.
Hedge fund that owns Sunday River, Sugarloaf under scrutiny in New Hampshire
Associated Press - Monday, August 14, 2017 

New Hampshire state officials are holding a public information session about the Mount Sunapee Resort to address questions about its new operator. That lease was sold recently to New York hedge fund Och-Ziff as part of a deal involving a number of other ski areas, including Sunday River and Sugarloaf in Maine. The Attorney General’s Office asked the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources to hold a public information session after getting questions about the company, which was fined $412 million last year for its alleged involvement in bribery schemes in Africa.
Neighbors in heated debate over waterfront access in Cape Elizabeth
WGME-TV13 - Monday, August 14, 2017 

Against the background of Cape Elizabeth’s beautiful shoreline, an ugly issue is at the surface in the Shore Acres neighborhood. A tense debate over oceanfront access has neighbors pitted against neighbors.
Anti-wind group to outline opposition to new plans for 200 turbines in Somerset County
Morning Sentinel - Monday, August 14, 2017 

Early plans for more than 200 new wind turbines in rural Somerset County are drawing criticism from a group that fears industrial wind development will hurt the economy and quality of life for area residents. Richard McDonald, president of the anti-wind citizen group Saving Maine, is set to deliver a 30-minute presentation on the group’s opposition to the wind power projects to Somerset County commissioners starting at 3 p.m. Wednesday in Rockwood Strip. McDonald, who says he will also speak on behalf of the group Moosehead Region Futures, said that while permits for new wind projects have yet to be filed, the prospect is not welcome of 100-foot tall turbines along ridges in the remote townships of Johnson Mountain, Chase Stream and Misery, just east of Moosehead Lake.
2 more Mount Desert towns consider cruise ship bans
Bangor Daily News - Monday, August 14, 2017 

Fearing traffic jams and damage to fishing gear like they see in neighboring Bar Harbor, two more Mount Desert Island towns are talking about banning cruise ships. Southwest Harbor will hold a special town meeting Tuesday to consider banning cruise ships from their harbor for six months. Tremont’s Board of Selectmen voted 4 to 0 on Aug. 7 to discuss a similar ban for Bass Harbor. Northeast Harbor decided last November not to allow cruise ships this summer. Passengers spent $15 million in neighboring Bar Harbor in 2016, and 410 ships are expected to drop anchor in Maine this year, up from 271 a decade ago. The cruise-ship industry generated $47 million and 755 jobs in Maine in 2014, according to an industry study. But the island towns don’t want their already burdened roads to get more clogged.
LePage takes aim at leclimate change science at Waterville talk
Morning Sentinel - Monday, August 14, 2017 

During a wide-ranging discussion Monday with about 20 members of the Waterville Rotary Club Gov. Paul LePage challenged the scientific consensus that human activity is the main driver of climate change, saying he has not seen evidence that convinced him of it. The governor was quick to claim that the earth has actually seen a cooling over the last two years — though he didn’t offer any data to back that up — and that while overall the earth may have experienced warming, he is not convinced that it was all created by humans. He said he was “not satisfied that it’s all man-made,” while conceding there’s been “some warming.”
Indoor Air Quality
Maine Public - Monday, August 14, 2017 

From mold and mildew to pesticides and radon—which occurs naturally at high levels in Maine —there are many threats to health and wellness inside our homes, schools and businesses. What measures can homeowners take, and how does Maine compare to other places in terms of indoor air quality? Guests: Steven Caulfield, president, Turner Building Science and Design; Kurt Johnson, past president, Maine Indoor Air Quality Council.
Colby College receives $475,000 from National Science Foundation for research
Morning Sentinel - Monday, August 14, 2017 

Colby College in Waterville is receiving more than $475,000 in funding from the National Science Foundation to support a pair of research projects. The funding awards are:
• $227,796 for a research project that will study methods to produce chemical compounds called helicenes, which have potential applications as chemical sensors, organic electronics and new polymeric materials.
• $249,533 for a research project that will investigate the environmental changes that caused a mass extinction 252 million years ago, which will help researchers understand current threats to animal and plant life.
Coastal Enterprises headquarters in Brunswick earns top sustainability certification
Portland Press Herald - Monday, August 14, 2017 

Coastal Enterprises Inc.’s new headquarters in Brunswick has earned Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design “platinum” accreditation, the highest level awarded for commercial building energy-efficiency and sustainability. It was only the sixth new commercial project in Maine to receive a LEED platinum designation.
Finding wildlife in Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument
Aislinn Sarnacki Act Out Blog - Monday, August 14, 2017 

We’d been looking for moose, but during our two-day exploration of the conserved land, we had no luck finding the hulking creature. We did, however, find proof of its presence. Moose tracks could be found stamped into the gravel of the Loop Road — a 16-mile road that forms a loop through the south end of the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument — and piles of moose droppings were scattered along the trails we walked.
A thoughtful and provocative book about Maine
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Monday, August 14, 2017 

Jim Korsschell’s book, One Man’s Maine, is both thoughtful and provocative. Jim’s “from away” with a home in Owls Head, and he’s a very strong environmentalist. I most enjoyed his chapters on Maine’s wild critters, from moose and deer to yellow finches and crabs. While he is critical of moose hunters, I forgive him for that. Having never hunted, he doesn’t really understand that hunting is not all about killing.
Where the Bangor region’s future job growth will probably come from
Bangor Daily News - Monday, August 14, 2017 

The odds are that most future job growth in the Bangor region will come from local firms starting up or expanding their operations, not from large corporations moving to the area. However, for decades, economic development strategies for the area centered around trying to attract large manufacturing operations to a region that’s seldom on the map for large corporations. The entire field of economic development still lacks a precise answer to the question: What will make a region grow? So much in economic development comes down to chance.
Deadline to Apply for Expanded Maine Deer Hunt is This Week
Associated Press - Monday, August 14, 2017 

The deadline to apply for Maine's expanded deer hunt is fast approaching. The state gives out "any deer'' permits to lottery winners every year. This year, Maine is giving out more than 66,000 of the permits, up from fewer than 46,000 last year. The deadline to apply for the lottery is Tuesday. The permit lottery is set for Sept. 8. The state is giving out more permits this year because deer have shown strong survival rates in recent mild winters. The firearms hunting season begins on Oct. 21 with Youth Deer Hunting Day and starts in full on Oct. 30.
Fire Damages Commercial Recycling Plant For Second Time
Associated Press - Monday, August 14, 2017 

Firefighters in Maine are investigating a blaze that damaged a recycling plant. Authorities say the fire at the Aggregate Recycling Corp. in Eliot started around 6:30 p.m. Sunday. More than a dozen fire companies helped to put the fire out. No injuries were reported. The facility, which recycles paper and construction trash, was previously damaged by a large fire in May 2016.
Free Map Highlights Features of Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument
Associated Press - Monday, August 14, 2017 

Maine Gov. Paul LePage isn't allowing signs on highways to direct motorists to the Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument. But at least there's now a map. The Friends of Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument has created a new topographical map that identifies key features, like the loop road. The maps are available for free at the monument's visitor stations in Millinocket and Patten and at the Katahdin Area Chamber of Commerce. They're also available at locations along the loop road.
What it’s like to kill hundreds of lobsters a day
Bangor Daily News - Monday, August 14, 2017 

It’s no secret that the Maine Lobster Festival is where droves of lobsters go to die in industrial-sized steamers. This year, I helped facilitate a portion of those deaths. During last year’s festival, nearly 20,000 pounds of lobster were cooked and eaten. Never in my life have I directly contributed to the death of so many living things at once. What’s weird is how normal it seems, not only to the cookers, but to festival goers.
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