September 29, 2016  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Thursday, September 29, 2016 

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
Events at Maine State Parks, Oct 2016
Event - Posted - Thursday, September 29, 2016 

Fall foliage hikes & programs will be offered this year at several Maine State Parks.
Maine Foliage Report
Announcement - Thursday, September 29, 2016 

The 2016 fall foliage report says color is spreading throughout Maine.
Native Plants in the Forests, Oct 1
Event - Posted - Sunday, September 25, 2016 

Wild Seed Project founder and Executive Director Heather McCargo will share her knowledge of the native flora. At Crystal Spring Farm, Brunswick, Oct 1, 10-11:30 am, RSVP. Sponsored by Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust.
History and Potential of Landscape Conservation in Downeast Region, Oct 4
Event - Posted - Sunday, September 25, 2016 

The Convergence Conferences serve as the annual networking meeting of conservation professionals, educators, researchers, and managers in eastern Maine. At Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park, Winter Harbor, October 4, 8 am - 5 pm.
Stars Over Katahdin, Oct 1
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 24, 2016 

There will be multiple telescopes and astronomers to guide you. At Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, Oct 1, 6-10 pm.
Becoming Acadia: The Story of Acadia National Park, Sep 30
Event - Posted - Friday, September 23, 2016 

More than 100 years ago, artists discovered a place called Mount Desert Island, and the images they captured changed the very landscapes they immortalized. This film explains that if it had not been for a convergence of cultural forces and the collaboration of forward-thinking men and women, it might not be possible for any of us to visit these as public places. At Criterion Theatre, Bar Harbor, September 30, 8 pm.
Take to the Woods October
Event - Posted - Thursday, September 22, 2016 

More than a dozen organizations from Kittery to Hiram are hosting woodsy events during October. For a complete list, see the Forest Works website.
Sustainable De-growth, Sep 29
Event - Posted - Thursday, September 22, 2016 

Economist Mark Anderson will address sustainable de-growth as a paradigm to address climate change, inequality, and alienation. At UMaine, Orono, September 29, 12:30 pm.
Swan Island Evening Island Tour, Sep 29
Event - Posted - Thursday, September 22, 2016 

Join Swan Island staff for an evening sightseeing tour to observe our abundant wildlife when they are more visible. At Richmond, September 29, 6:30-7:30 pm, first 20 people.
Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument listening session, Sep 29
Event - Posted - Thursday, September 22, 2016 

Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument is holding listening sessions as part of the management plan process. The public is welcome. At Bangor/Orono, September 29.
Positioning Maine’s Forest Sector in a Regional, Continental and Global Context of Change, Sep 27
Event - Posted - Tuesday, September 20, 2016 

Maine Development Foundation annual meeting. Carlton N. Owen, CEO of U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities, is keynote speaker. At Holiday Inn by the Bay, Portland, September 27, 9:30 am to 1:30 pm.
Help Brook Trout Survey Reach Its 2016 Goal
Announcement - Monday, September 19, 2016 

The Brook Trout Survey Project needs adventurous anglers before the end of September to explore 25 new ponds that may harbor previously undocumented wild brook trout populations.
Bernd Heinrich: The Homing Instinct, Sep 26
Event - Posted - Monday, September 19, 2016 

Scientist and author Bernd Heinrich will speak about the meaning and mystery in animal migration. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, September 26, 7 pm.
Bangor Climate Action Team Kick Off, Sep 26
Event - Posted - Monday, September 19, 2016 

350 Bangor, a local organization committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and transitioning to a clean energy economy, is teaming up with Sierra Club Maine to kick off a Climate Action Team for the greater Bangor area. At Peace and Justice Center, Bangor, September 26, 6:30 pm.

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News Items
Drought conditions dramatically expand reach across Maine
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, September 29, 2016 

According to federal data released Thursday, Maine shows a dramatic expansion of the most drought-stricken part of the state compared with data released a week ago that showed only southern York County within the extreme drought zone. The severe drought area now reaches north to the Bangor region and east to Mount Desert Island and Acadia National Park. More than 1.05 million Mainers are now living in drought conditions, according to the updated model from the U.S. Drought Monitor.
Environmental concerns to be focus of South Portland candidates’ forum
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, September 29, 2016 

The South Portland Land Trust will quiz City Council candidates on a wide variety of environmental issues at an election forum to be held Tuesday evening in the council chamber at City Hall. Steve Jocher, trust president, said past forums hosted by the trust have revealed a great deal about candidates’ positions on the use of open space and other environmental concerns that are hot topics in South Portland and across the nation.
USDA Funds Effort to Curb Food Insecurity for Maine Somalis
Associated Press - Thursday, September 29, 2016 

The United States Department of Agriculture is committing nearly $400,000 to increase food access for the Somali community in Lewiston. Members of the Somali Bantu community in the city are partnering with the Cumberland County Food Security Council on the project. The funding is expected to support Somalis' agriculture and help them reconnect with their cultural heritage.
Planning for New Maine Woods National Monument Begins
Free Press - Thursday, September 29, 2016 

The fourth of four meetings will be held in Orono tonight, September 29, to seek public input on how the new Maine woods national monument should take shape. So far, 340 people have attended the first three National Park Service meetings, which were held over the past two weeks in towns near the 87,500-acre Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. The national monument, which is located just east of Baxter State Park, was established August 24. The goal of the meetings is to collect questions and ideas that can then be incorporated into the early stages of the park planning process.
Maine archers head out to hunt deer
Associated Press - Thursday, September 29, 2016 

Maine archers are heading into the woods to participate in the state’s annual fall hunt for those who harvest deer with bow and arrow. The archery season begins on Thursday and lasts until Oct. 28. The firearms hunting season for deer follows the archery season and begins on Halloween. It lasts until Nov. 26. There is also an “expanded archery season” that runs from Sept. 10 to Dec. 10.
Downeaster will bus passengers between Brunswick and Wells this fall
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, September 29, 2016 

The Amtrak Downeaster will transport passengers on buses between Brunswick and Wells for about six weeks this fall as workers replace railroad ties on about 30 miles of track. Also, one of the Downeaster’s five daily round-trips will be suspended during the work and there will be no service on two weekends in October and November because of track construction and bridge work in Massachusetts. Because bus space is limited, passengers should make reservations well in advance.
Letter: Powerful inertia against climate change action
Morning Sentinel - Thursday, September 29, 2016 

Many people feel that climate change is really happening and that we must begin to change in our ways of living on this earth or we will be leaving an uninhabitable planet to our children and grand children. We want to change. But the inertia is powerful. Many of us have chosen a rural lifestyle, yet we drive to work, to the supermarket or to visit our friends. We use and expect electric service. We protest to bring about the needed change, but we drive to the protests. Meanwhile oil trains are exploding. Pipelines are bursting. Fracking is inducing earthquakes. The Gulf of Mexico is still suffering from the BP spill. We are getting oil in increasingly unsafe places. We have to change our ways. We have to do it now. Our leaders must listen to us. We’re almost out of time. ~ Abby Shahn, Solon
Scarborough campground agrees to restore wetlands, pay $227,500 civil penalty
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, September 28, 2016 

A campground on Pine Point in Scarborough has agreed to restore more than 64 acres of wetlands and to pay a civil penalty of $227,500. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Justice announced Wednesday in a news release that they have reached a settlement with Bayley’s Camping Resort and its related corporate entities regarding allegations that the campground violated federal laws by filling in wetlands.
Farmers’ Almanac publisher investing $12 million in solar-powered office conversion
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, September 28, 2016 

Farmers’ Almanac publisher Geiger is investing $12 million to convert its former manufacturing space in Lewiston into offices powered by a vast solar array, the company said Wednesday. When completed, the 105,000-square-foot facility will be able to accommodate up to 275 employees, including an anticipated 25 to 50 new hires over the next three to five years.
Quimby buys oceanside campground to reopen it
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, September 28, 2016 

A month after she donated 87,000 acres in northern Penobscot County to the National Park Service to create Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, philanthropist Roxanne Quimby has bought an oceanside campground that she plans to reopen. The Burt’s Bees founder acquired the 113-acre former Ocean Wood Campground in Gouldsboro. Once the campground is reopened, Quimby said, “I think it will take its place as one of the beautiful landscapes of the Schoodic Peninsula. Additionally, it will provide extra camping spots when Schoodic Woods Campground in [Acadia National Park] is filled to capacity, as it was many nights this past summer.”
Ex-Mountie pleads guilty to charges in narwhal whale tusk smuggling scheme
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, September 28, 2016 

The former Mountie accused of smuggling narwhal whale tusks across the border and mailing them to buyers around the U.S. for eight years pleaded guilty Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Bangor to multiple counts of conspiracy and money laundering. Gregory Robert Logan, 59, of Woodmans Point, New Brunswick, was emotional as he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to launder money and nine counts of money laundering. Logan appeared to be weeping as the 40-minute hearing concluded. Narwhals are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act and are covered by the international Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. It is illegal to import parts of the narwhal into the U.S. without a permit.
10th anniversary of World Rabies Day
Maine Government News - Wednesday, September 28, 2016 

The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry and the Maine Center for Disease Control are teaming up with health practitioners, rabies experts and activists worldwide to celebrate World Rabies Day, today. September 28 is the 10th anniversary of World Rabies Day. “We see this as an opportunity to show how important it is to prevent rabies in our community,” said Dr. Rachael Fiske, Assistant State Veterinarian. The Health and Environmental Testing Laboratory in Augusta has reported 50 rabies positive animals this year as of September 11, a higher than average number.
What can you keep and when can you keep it?
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Wednesday, September 28, 2016 

You are breaking the law. I am sure of it. Somewhere in your house is a feather from a wild bird, maybe even a nest with eggs in it. You’ve got a skull from a wild animal, perhaps, that you found in the woods or along the road. Whatever it is, you most assuredly don’t have the required possession permit. I’d also bet that you are entirely unaware that it is illegal to possess wild birds or animals, or any part of a wild bird or animal, including feathers and bones, without a permit issued by Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.
Belfast locals float effort to ban plastic bags
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, September 28, 2016 

“It’s a huge, huge problem,” Veronica Young of the Blue Hill-based Marine Environmental Research Institute said. “Anything plastic that gets degraded to this tiny amount is still plastic. It’s still petrochemicals. These chemicals don’t biodegrade. All the junk from our civilization that ends up in the water is still there.” So when a group of Belfast residents learned about the magnitude of Maine’s problem, they wanted to try to reduce the amount of plastic polluting the bay by starting a movement to ban single-use plastic bags from their midcoast city.
Column: Nation could learn from Maine’s election of ‘widely reviled buffoon’
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, September 28, 2016 

LePage didn’t run for governor because he wanted to make small changes. He wanted a revolution. So how did that work out? Where the governor could use executive power and act alone, he did. But when he needed to cooperate with the others, he failed repeatedly. His successes in energy policy have been on defense, killing an ocean wind experiment and killing a solar power bill, but never achieving his dream of making Maine energy prices competitive with Southern states by bringing in gas from New York or low-cost hydropower from Quebec, big moves that require playing well with others. That’s the problem with hiring someone to run a government who hates government. They don’t know how to make it work. They can’t make the kinds of compromises necessary to move toward a goal. There’s no give and take, just take. That’s what the rest of the country can learn from Maine’s “LePage scenario.” ~ Greg Kesich
Opinion: Facts show why we all – and Topsham voters – should move to cut plastic bag use
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, September 28, 2016 

Most plastics are not biodegradable, and they can last anywhere from 500 to a thousand years. Eight million tons of plastic are dumped into the oceans each year and the U.N. has estimated that every square mile of ocean contains 46,000 pieces of plastic. The World Economic Forum predicts that by 2050, there will be more plastic by weight than fish in the oceans. Many species of marine animals have choked to death on plastic bags, which they perceive to be jellyfish. Each year, over 100,00 marine animals starve to death because plastics fill up their digestive systems. On Nov. 8, Topsham residents will consider a local proposal imposing a 5-cent fee on single-use paper and plastic bags at checkout in food and convenience stores. This is not intended to be a penalty but rather a means of encouraging people to start bringing their own bags. ~ Diane H. Schetky, Topsham, member of Bring Your Own Bag Midcoast
Letter: Animal Lives Matter, but you might get a ticket for honking at them
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, September 28, 2016 

This letter is a warning to all animal lovers in Maine: Honking your horn to avoid an animal in the road is illegal. That’s what Maine District Court Judge Jed French ruled recently. Is it “unreasonable” to honk your horn twice to save an animal’s life? Hasn’t there been enough roadkill? With all the attention given to Black Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter, in a sportsman’s paradise like Maine, shouldn’t Animal Lives Matter, too? ~ Benjamin Rupert, Scarborough
Another right whale found dead off Maine coast
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, September 27, 2016 

Federal fisheries managers and conservation groups raised concerns Tuesday about threats to endangered right whales after two were found dead off the Maine coast and a third was disentangled from fishing gear near Cape Cod. The spate of three incidents reported in a three-day span is renewing the focus on a whale population that has been growing but remains in a precarious position. Fisheries managers will also be studying the two entanglements, one of which is being now blamed for the death of a female whale just entering its reproductive years.
Editorial: Maine’s governor is completely unhinged
Washington Post - Tuesday, September 27, 2016 

Facts are inconvenient for Maine’s governor, Paul LePage (R), who now appears to have been undone by them. Although Maine is still the nation’s most racially homogeneous state, its white population dipped from 95.2 percent in 2010 to 94.9 percent in 2015. Perhaps this creeping diversity is what has deranged Mr. LePage, who regards the world through a lens of racial hatred. Mr. LePage threatens to remake his state’s image from a vacation paradise of surreal natural beauty to a hotbed of hatred. Officials of both parties have called on him to resign. It’s high time he does.
Tuesday Marks 20th Anniversary of Maine’s Worst Oil Spill
Maine Public - Tuesday, September 27, 2016 

It was 20 years ago Tuesday that the tanker Julie N crashed int the bridge connecting Portland and South Portland, spilling 180,000 gallons of oil into the Fore River in the worst oil spill in Maine’s history. A federal investigator attributed the crash to an error by local tanker pilot, who issued the wrong command. The damaged span, known as as the “Million Dollar Bridge,” was replaced a year later with the Casco Bay Bridge, which now offers twice as much clearance.
Recent Deaths, Entanglement Shine Light on Right Whale Plight
Maine Public - Tuesday, September 27, 2016 

The recent death of two right whales in the Gulf of Maine and the discovery of another entangled in fishing gear is bringing renewed attention to the plight of the endangered species. With only about 500 right whales left in the world, scientists and other mariners rushed to document the deaths and help the still-living whale.
Obama power plant rules face key court test
Reuters - Tuesday, September 27, 2016 

The centerpiece of President Barack Obama’s climate change strategy faced a key test on Tuesday as conservative appeals court judges questioned whether his administration overstepped its legal authority under an air pollution law to make sweeping changes to the U.S. electric sector. Maine is one of the 18 states defending the Clean Power Plan, and Maine Attorney General Janet Mills and health and environmental leaders spoke in support of it outside the federal court building in Portland on Tuesday. Also filing court briefs in support of the Clean Power Plan are 1st District U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, U.S. Sen. Angus King and former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell.
It May Not Cost You More To Drive Home In A Climate-Friendly Car
Maine Public - Tuesday, September 27, 2016 

It has been a common belief that low-emissions vehicles, like hybrids and electric cars, are more expensive than other choices. But a new study finds that when operating and maintenance costs are included in a vehicle's price, cleaner cars may actually be a better bet.
Declining numbers could propel Maine bumblebee to federal endangered species status
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, September 27, 2016 

One of Maine’s smallest creatures could soon find itself on the federal endangered species list. Last week the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed listing the rusty patched bumblebee as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. Once widespread in the U.S. and Canada, the wild pollinator has experienced a steep decline and is now found in small population pockets in 12 states from the midwest into Maine. “Pollinators are profoundly important to our environment and to our food supply,” Matthew Shepherd, director of communications for the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, said Monday.
Pemaquid Oyster Festival Draws Crowd to Damariscotta
Lincoln County News - Tuesday, September 27, 2016 

The annual Pemaquid Oyster Festival drew a crowd to Damariscotta to enjoy oysters and support marine conservation Sunday, Sept. 25. The 16th annual event, running from noon to dusk, was held at Schooner Landing, with proceeds benefiting the Edward A. Myers Marine Conservation Fund. According to Chris Davis, of Pemaquid Oyster Co., the festival has raised approximately $125,000 over the years.
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