September 24, 2017  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Saturday, September 23, 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
Take action to protect clean water
Action Alert - Saturday, September 23, 2017 

The EPA under Trump just proposed rescinding the Clean Water Rule, threatening the health of our lakes, rivers, streams, and wetlands in Maine. Tell the EPA and Maine Congressional delegation that Mainers support this rule for the health of our neighbors, our waters, and our economy. ~ Natural Resources Council of Maine
Stop Trump's Assault On Drinking Water
Action Alert - Saturday, September 23, 2017 

The groundbreaking Clean Water Rule was adopted two years ago to help protect crucial waterways, including streams that feed the drinking water sources of more than 117 million Americans, habitat for wildlife and places where we fish, kayak, and swim with our families. But in its latest anti-environment assault, the Trump administration is irresponsibly attempting to repeal the Clean Water Rule. ~ Natural Resources Defense Council
Reject Trump’s anti-science pick to head NASA
Action Alert - Saturday, September 23, 2017 

Petition to the Senate: NASA must remain an independent scientific agency, and its critical Earth science missions must continue. Reject Trump's appointment of anti-science ideologue Rep. Jim Bridenstine for NASA head and insist on a scientist or another qualified individual for the position. ~ CREDO Action
ecomaine Recycling Open House, Sep 30
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 23, 2017 

Join ecomaine for tours, free breakfast, free electronic waste collection, fun activities for the kids and more. At 62 Blueberry Road, Portland, September 30, 8-11 am.
Midcoast Maine Tour de Farms, Sep 30
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 23, 2017 

The Midcoast Maine Tour de Farms offers rides cycling tours of 56 and 42 miles through Wiscasset, Dresden and Whitefield, as well as a 17-mile family ride, through the scenic farmland, with stops at local farms, orchards, and creameries. September 30. Sponsored by Morris Farm Trust.
National Parks Free Entrance, Sep 30
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 23, 2017 

All National Park Service sites that charge an entrance fee will offer free admission to everyone. September 30.
Great Maine Outdoor Weekend, Sep 29-Oct 1
Event - Posted - Friday, September 22, 2017 

The Great Maine Outdoor Weekend is a series of events led by outdoor oriented organizations and companies to celebrate the how, where, and what of being active outside in Maine. September 29 – October 1, 2017
Maine Outdoor Film Festival, Sep 29
Event - Posted - Friday, September 22, 2017 

At Camden Snow Bowl, September 29, 7:30 pm, free, suggested $3-5 donation for Teens To Trails.
Sustainability Success through Community Conservation, Sep 29
Event - Posted - Friday, September 22, 2017 

Anthony Charles, School of the Environment and School of Business, Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, will discuss how communities are acting as stewards of their local environments and resources, undertaking conservation initiatives that help secure local livelihoods, and contribute to larger-scale environmental improvement. At UMaine, Orono, September 29, 11 am.
Natural Gas: Powering Maine’s Future, Sep 28
Event - Posted - Thursday, September 21, 2017 

Keynote speaker: Governor Paul LePage. Lunchtime speaker: Summit Utilities President Kurt Adams. Panel discussions on commercial and industrial usage, natural gas as a transportation fuel, and natural gas in power generation. At The Woodlands in Falmouth, September 28, $179.
MDF Champion for Economic Development Awards, Sep 28
Event - Posted - Thursday, September 21, 2017 

At its annual meeting, Maine Development Foundation will present Champion for Economic Development Awards to several recipients, including Robbins Lumber. At Cross Insurance Center, Bangor, September 28.
State of Working Maine 2017
Publication - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 

The "State of Working Maine 2017," published by the Maine Center for Economic Policy, presents a comprehensive analysis of the economic, demographic, and workforce trends that impact the quality and quantity of jobs in Maine.
Alan Hutchinson memorial celebration, Sep 28
Event - Posted - Monday, September 18, 2017 

A celebration to pay tribute to the memory of the late Alan Hutchinson, executive director of the Forest Society of Maine. At Portland Country Club, Falmouth, September 28, 4:30-6:30 pm. RSVP.
BDN Poll: Should Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument be open to logging?
Action Alert - Monday, September 18, 2017 

Do you think the Katahdin Woods and Waters national monument should be opened for commercial forestry use?
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News Items
Despite setbacks and questions, a company pursues new multimillion-dollar markets for Maine wood
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, September 24, 2017 

Much has been said and written about the potential for repurposing the five Maine paper mills that have closed over the past three years, and the challenges of finding new markets for 4 million tons of wood once used for pulp and power. There have been setbacks, and Arthur House, president of Searsport-based Maine Woods Biomass Exports LLC, has had his share. But after his widely anticipated plans to export fuel-grade wood chips to European power plants this year were delayed, House pivoted to a new opportunity. House says he has signed contracts for $28 million worth of hemlock logs – millions of board feet – destined for China, with more deals pending. He’s also headed to Turkey next month, where he hopes to sign contracts for Maine wood chips to be exported for particleboard furniture.
Column: Loon Echo, Harpswell land trusts among Maine’s best
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, September 24, 2017 

A result of partnerships between public and private entities, Maine’s 90-plus land trusts combine ownership and easements on land for such purposes as conservation, public access and recreation. In 2015, the Maine Land Trust Census reported nearly a half-million acres owned by land trusts, with over 2 million additional acres held under easement. I’ve spent most of my time in two trusts. The Loon Echo Land Trust, based in Bridgton, protects nearly 6,700 acres of land north of Sebago Lake and manages more than 30 miles of trails. The Harpswell Heritage Land Trust conserves about 1,600 acres of land in Harpswell, about a third of which is in preserves wholly owned by the HHLT. On these lands, about 20 miles of trails wind through the woods and along the coast. ~ Josh Christie
Plan to open Sheepscot Pond to alewives draws ire, resistance
Kennebec Journal - Saturday, September 23, 2017 

Tuesday about 100 seasonal and permanent residents around Sheepscot Pond were trying to get up to speed on a legislative proposal introduced earlier this year that would open their lake to the annual migrations of alewives, American eels and lamprey eels. They want no part of the plan outlined in L.D. 922 that directs the commissioner of the Maine Department of Marine Resources to open the fishway at the south end of Sheepscot Pond — town residents refer to it as Sheepscot Lake — for the spring spawning of alewife and eel populations. They fear those species will bring diseases that will jeopardize both the fish in the lake and at the Palermo State Fish Hatchery.
Column: Even pilots are humbled by flying
Sun Journal - Saturday, September 23, 2017 

Grandiose delusions are not unknown to me. As a young man, the challenges of a Navy carrier pilot appealed to me — until I joined the Navy and saw how inherently dangerous it is to land a jet aircraft on the pitching deck of an aircraft carrier on a dark and stormy night. No thank you. Later, as a civilian private pilot who owned and flew an antique airplane, I set out to be a high-time bush pilot. Then I had a taste of Maine bush flying in marginal weather. No thank you, again. You develop an abiding respect and admiration for those intrepid souls who do land on aircraft carriers or high-time Maine bush pilots — especially those who live long enough to write a book about their adventures. Jake Morrel is such a man. ~ V. Paul Reynolds
Roadside ‘harvesting’ is still stealing
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, September 23, 2017 

It was bad enough when Debi Martin Smith discovered people were randomly helping themselves to ripening ears of corn planted near the roadside at her family’s Golden Harvest Farms in Mapleton. But then someone had the gall to complain about its quality to her face. The Smiths are growing 200 acres of the cow corn to sell to markets around New England for cattle feed. “It’s not going to kill anyone who eats it,” Smith said. “But people are trespassing and going where they should not be going.”
Organic dairy farmers ‘weathering the storm’ as milk prices drop, production quotas set
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, September 23, 2017 

In 2008 Paul Philbrick started Ledge Rock Farm in Knox, and for the better part of the last nine years he’s reaped the benefits of his decision to go organic ― which requires farmers to follow specific regulations, such as prohibiting the use of chemical fertilizers and requiring that their cows are fed organic feed. But in recent months, this hasn’t been the case, as an oversupply of product in the organic milk market is creating instability in prices and production ― leaving some farmers worrying what the future of their farm might look like.
Acadia on track for another big year with visitors
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, September 23, 2017 

Acadia National Park is on track to equal last year’s record-setting 3.3 million visitors, a park spokesman said Friday. An estimated 2,341,198 people had visited the park in 2017 as of the end of August, according to statistics compiled by the National Park Service. That’s 89,788 visitors ahead of the total for the same period in 2016.
Wayne officials debating what to do with tax-acquired property on Wilson Pond
Kennebec Journal - Saturday, September 23, 2017 

Wayne officials are deciding whether to transfer a forested, 118-acre property on Wilson Pond to the Kennebec Land Trust, a deal that would ensure the land is preserved after the town acquired it four years ago. Given the largely undeveloped nature of the land and its proximity to several area lakes, the Kennebec Land Trust also is interested in managing the property, said Theresa Kerchner, the organization’s executive director. But the Land Trust also is waiting for a clear signal from Wayne voters.
Letter: Moving on with climate change
Sun Journal - Saturday, September 23, 2017 

Four monster hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean within a span of a few weeks is not enough to dent the alt-right’s (aka Republican Party) mad fantasy denying the fact of climate change. Global warming doesn't care whether President Donald Trump and the Republicans deny its existence. ~ Andrew Hall
Letter: Fine young sportsmen
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, September 23, 2017 

I met three outstanding young sportsmen on a recent bear hunting trip to Fish River Lodge at Eagle Lake. On the first afternoon of the hunt, my extremely professional Maine guides dropped me at my assigned tree stand around 3 p.m. I have never been bear hunting, so to say I was excited would be an understatement. ~ Brian Malone, Marstons Mills, Massachusetts
Letter: U.S. could lose in global clean energy market
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, September 23, 2017 

We can no longer ignore the economic opportunity for American business in the global clean energy market. But actions by the Trump administration, to weaken our clean energy efforts, combined with those 195 nations moving away from fossil fuel, now puts U.S. companies in both energy sectors at risk. Congress needs to play a supporting role in advancing U.S. innovation and manufacturing in clean energy and reverse the actions by this administration against it. The replacement of fossil fuel with clean renewable energy will happen around the world, with or without us. ~ Fred Egan, York Harbor
Kennebunkport Conservation Trust urges caution after reported assault
WGME-TV13 - Friday, September 22, 2017 

The Kennebunkport Conservation Trust is urging visitors to take safety precautions after a reported assault and theft on one of its trails. Officials said the incident happened on Gravelly Brook Road near the head of Jeremy's trail around noon last Wednesday.
U.S. trade commission ruling could impede solar sales
Associated Press - Friday, September 22, 2017 

Low-cost solar panels imported from China and other countries have caused serious injury to American manufacturers, a U.S. trade commission ruled Friday, raising the possibility of the Trump administration imposing tariffs that could double the price of solar panels from abroad. A group of former U.S. military officials also urged the Trump administration to reject solar tariffs, noting that the Defense Department is the nation’s largest energy consumer and follows a federal law calling for the Pentagon to procure 25 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2025.
Chellie Pingree Calls For Improved Inspections On Organic Imports
Bangor Daily News - Friday, September 22, 2017 

Consumers in the U.S. are buying more organic products than ever before — organic food sales now make up more than 5 percent of the total market, and the industry continues to see record growth. But Democratic U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree of Maine’s 1st District is worried about what she said are inadequate standards and inspections by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for organic imports. Speaking to a crowd at the Common Ground Country Fair on Friday in Unity, Pingree said she’ll be meeting with the USDA next week to make sure there’s adequate funding to do inspections, but she said she also wants to ensure that the Trump administration is committed to upholding the organic label.
Imported Solar Panels Could Face Tariff, Increasing Costs To Consumers
Maine Public - Friday, September 22, 2017 

The International Trade Commission ruled Friday that inexpensive, imported solar panels have harmed U.S.-based panel manufacturers. The ITC supported a complaint by bankrupt U.S. solar panel maker Suniva and another company, calling for tariff charges on imported solar panels. Cheap panels, made mostly in China, have helped to fuel a surge in solar installations at all levels in the U.S. Vaughn Woodruff, founder of Pittsfield, Maine-based InSource Renewables, says utility- and commercial-scale solar installers for months have been buying up panels as they become available, and he’s followed suit — now carrying about 15 times his usual inventory.
Conservation projects compete for $4.5 million in Land for Maine’s Future funding
Portland Press Herald - Friday, September 22, 2017 

More than two dozen land conservation projects will compete for more than $4.5 million in Land for Maine’s Future funding during the program’s first open application process in three years. However, the precise location of the projects and amount of money being sought by each application was not disclosed by the program. In 2015, Gov. Paul LePage, a vocal critic of conservation programs, sought to use bonds for the LMF program as a bargaining chip with lawmakers to increase logging on state-owned lands. There has not been an LMF bond measure since 2012.
Lawmaker’s party switch gives Greens a seat in the Maine House
Bangor Daily News - Friday, September 22, 2017 

A Maine House of Representatives Democrat who quit the party earlier this year has announced that he has enrolled in the Maine Green Independent Party. That makes Rep. Ralph Chapman of Brooksville the second Green Independent to serve in the Legislature’s history. Chapman sparred with Democratic leaders over several issues, including a bill that creates new mineral mining rules.
Blog: Puffins, Politics, and Joyful Doggedness in Maine
Other - Friday, September 22, 2017 

Union of Concerned Scientists - On this seemingly inconspicuous speck in Maine waters, Eastern Egg Rock, Steve Kress, began restoring puffins in 1973. He was part of the world’s first successful effort to restore a seabird to an island where they had been killed off by human activity. ~ Derrick Z. Jackson
Portland ad agency shines with new L.L. Bean ‘invisible ink’ ad
Portland Press Herald - Friday, September 22, 2017 

When exposed to sunlight, the ad’s missing text appears in sky blue ink in a manner similar to a Polaroid photo developing, but faster. It begins, “Welcome to the outside. Where there are no strangers. Only friends we haven’t met yet.” The ad goes on to extol the virtues of an outdoor life, and it encourages readers to explore the outdoors. It does not specifically mention L.L. Bean or its products. Once the ad is taken back indoors, the text quickly disappears.
Maine turnpike project could help save dwindling turtle population
Bangor Daily News - Friday, September 22, 2017 

Endangered turtles in York County are getting a new tunnel to safety thanks to the Maine Turnpike Authority. Derek Yorks, a biologist with Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, said Route 236 in Eliot is the deadliest in Maine for turtles. Funding to solve this kind of problem can be hard to come by. Because building a new toll plaza in York will disrupt some wetlands, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection said the Maine Turnpike Authority has to do something to mitigate the impact to the environment and certain endangered species. The MTA will give the state $170,000 to be used in Eliot, where the populations of Blanding’s and Spotted turtles are dwindling.
Letter: Time to talk climate change
Bangor Daily News - Friday, September 22, 2017 

Now that the U.S. has been hit by back-to-back strong hurricanes, I would like to ask our elected officials, “Now can we talk about climate change and sea level rise?” Scott Pruitt, head of the EPA, said, “The time to talk climate change isn’t now.” Really? Climate change is accepted science by the majority of climate scientists. And these same climate scientists agree that humans are having a significant impact on the changing climate. They predicted that hurricanes would be stronger, and more damaging. The president has called climate change a Chinese hoax and has said the United States will withdraw from the Paris climate agreement. We need to insist that our elected representatives address climate change in an open, honest and practical way. We shouldn’t wait for the next major storm. ~ Jenni Casale, Surry
Madison sues closed paper mill over property value data
Morning Sentinel - Thursday, September 21, 2017 

The town of Madison has filed a lawsuit against the owners of the community’s former landmark paper mill, ratcheting up a dispute over property values and access to assessment information. At stake are thousands of dollars in property taxes as the town struggles in the wake of the mill’s 2016 closure and the loss of more than 200 local jobs. The town of Madison says it is taking owners of the shuttered Madison Paper Industries to court to allow access by town officials and their attorneys to information, which currently is confidential, regarding the town’s assessment of the mill’s real estate and personal property.
Maine Ag Department Moves To Acquire Conservation Easement for State's Largest Sugarbush
Maine Public - Thursday, September 21, 2017 

The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry is moving to acquire a $1.2 million conservation easement to protect a remote plantation of sugar maples — meaning it could soon become a stakeholder in Maine’s maple syrup industry. The department has confirmed that it is the lead applicant for a 23,600-acre swath of timberland in Somerset County — also known as Big Six — which accounts for about a quarter of the state’s maple syrup output. The department is seeking public funding to purchase the easement through the Land for Maine’s Future program, a program that it also oversees. State agencies have previously been co-applicants on LMF projects. In this instance, however, the department could effectively become the steward of a sugarbush parcel, where most of the production is done by Canadian companies.
Feds send Maine $916,888 for Parks and Outdoor Recreation
Maine Environmental News - Thursday, September 21, 2017 

The Department of Interior today announced that $916,888 will be distributed to the state of Maine for outdoor recreation and conservation projects from the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), which is funded through offshore oil and gas leasing. These funds are awarded through federal matching grants that leverage public and private investment in America’s state and local public parks. “The Land and Water Conservation Fund state grant program has been a resounding success that makes physical investments in our communities,” Secretary Zinke said. “From Detroit, Michigan, to Augusta, Maine, the program benefits citizens across the nation."
Seal pups rescued in Maine among those released off Rhode Island
Associated Press - Thursday, September 21, 2017 

Three seal pups that were apparently abandoned by their parents after birth have been released into the waters off Rhode Island. Connecticut’s Mystic Aquarium says one of the seals was rescued in Harpswell, Maine, and brought to the aquarium in June. Another was found in East Boothbay Harbor, Maine, and arrived at the aquarium in July. The aquarium says the three seals are now healthy enough to survive on their own.
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