July 26, 2016  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Sunday, July 24, 2016 

Thanks for visiting Maine Environmental News, the most comprehensive online source available for links to Maine conservation and natural resource news and events. I have posted summaries and links to 40,000 news articles and announcements. I 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 my attention a few days after they are published. Follow us on Twitter @MaineEnviroNews. ~ Jym St. Pierre, RESTORE: The North Woods
Northeast Agricultural and Biological Engineering Conference, Jul 31-Aug 3
Event - Posted - Sunday, July 24, 2016 

The focus of this year's summit is sustainable agriculture and renewable energy. At UMaine, Orono, July 31 - Aug. 3.
Women and Our Woods workshop, Jul 30
Event - Posted - Saturday, July 23, 2016 

A day-long workshop for women woodland owners and foresters to learn about about forest management. At Hidden Valley Nature Center, Jefferson, July 30, fee.
Swan Island Family Field Day, Jul 30
Event - Posted - Saturday, July 23, 2016 

This is a day for the whole family to try out archery equipment, an ATV, a nature scavenger hunt, fishing, paddling, geocaching and more. At Swan Island in Merrymeeting Bay, July 30, 9 am – 4 pm, with ferry rides beginning at 7:30 am from Richmond. Reservations required.
Nordic Trail Festival, Jul 29-30
Event - Posted - Friday, July 22, 2016 

A celebration of community, trails and lifestyle with mountain biking, running and music in the hills of central Aroostook County. At Nordic Heritage Center, Presque Isle, July 29-30.
Schoolhouse Supper, Jul 27
Event - Posted - Wednesday, July 20, 2016 

Join Andrew White and Katee Lafleur of High Ridge Farm for a casual high-summer feast of 100% farm-made tacos. At The Hub, Unity, July 27, 7 pm, $10. Sponsored by Maine Farmland Trust.
A New National Park for Maine, Jul 26
Event - Posted - Tuesday, July 19, 2016 

Eliza Donoghue of the Natural Resources Council of Maine will explain the proposal to create a National Park and National Recreation Area east of Baxter State Park. At Moore Community Center, Ellsworth, July 26, 7 pm. Hosted by Ellsworth Garden Club.
The Future of Solar in Maine, Jul 26
Event - Posted - Tuesday, July 19, 2016 

Hear a panel discuss what comes next for solar power in Maine. At Center for an Ecology-Based Economy, Norway, July 26, 6:30-8 pm.
Chewonki Bugmobile, Jul 25
Event - Posted - Monday, July 18, 2016 

Using models, costumes, and live specimens, Chewonki staff will explain the unique characteristics of four major groups of arthropods. Live "bug" species will introduce you to some of the fascinating adaptations essential for survival, such as mimicry, camouflage, armor, and the use of venom. Preschool through adult. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, July 25, 10:30 am and 12:30 pm, pre-register.
Allagash Wilderness Waterway 50th anniversary, Jul 23
Event - Posted - Saturday, July 16, 2016 

A day of festivities commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Allagash Wilderness Waterway. At Churchill Dam, July 23, free.
Swan Island tour, Jul 23
Event - Posted - Saturday, July 16, 2016 

Each tour will leave the Swan Island landing and travel across the Kennebec River for a 2-hour island tour. At Richmond, July 23, 11:15 am, 1:15 pm, 3:15 pm and 5:15 pm $5. Once back at the dock, join Richmond Days festivities.
Long Island Walk, Jul 23
Event - Posted - Saturday, July 16, 2016 

Explore Long Island's beautiful beaches, picturesque harbors, fresh water marsh, and 125 acre conservation area. July 23, 10:45 am - 6 pm, pre-register. Sponsored by Sierra Club Maine.
Healing and Repairing: Re-imagining conservation
Publication - Friday, July 15, 2016 

Maine is a place shaped by stories. The most important ones are about our relationships, the kind we have with places and the kind we have with each other. This essay by Peter Forbes explores dozens of efforts underway today to re-think the promise of conservation as bringing those two stories together: repairing and, perhaps, healing some of the divides between us while strengthening people’s connections to a healthy landscape.
The Future of Conservation, Jul 21
Event - Posted - Thursday, July 14, 2016 

More than a century of progress in conserving the jewels of Maine has created a legacy of lasting value. Yet significant elements of Maine’s iconic landscape remain at risk. How will we create a new conservation movement that seeks to conserve healthy landscapes while at the same time increasing the well-being of the human communities that depend on and shape the landscapes of which they are a part? Peter Forbes (Center for Whole Communities) and Tim Glidden (Maine Coast Heritage Trust) will discuss this transition. At College of the Atlantic, Bar Harbor, July 21, 5 pm.
Maine Agriculture in the Classroom Summer Teachers Institute, Aug 1-5
Announcement - Tuesday, July 12, 2016 

During a week-long workshop teachers will tour farms, aquaculture facilities, school agriculture programs, and Maine Ag based businesses. At University Maine at Machias, August 1–5.
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News Items
Letter: Snowmobile damage
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, July 26, 2016 

One of the groups against a national monument in the Katahdin region is the Maine Snowmobile Association. There are hundreds of miles in Maine. What more does the association want? While the association may view a national monument as a threat, it is possible that the biggest threat facing the association is the unpredictable nature of climate change. Who says that 10 years from now there will be enough snow on which to ride snowmobiles? ~ Irvin Dube, Madawaska
Letter: Protect the loons
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, July 26, 2016 

When is man going to stop interfering with nature? Maine has the largest lakes, and they provide a quieter nesting place for the loons, with more safety and less human interference such as pollution, boating, than they will find in the much more highly populated area of southern Massachusetts. Why can’t nature be trusted to know what is best for it? ~ Patricia Watt, Greenville
Letter: NRCM needs to dump WasteZero
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, July 26, 2016 

The collaboration of the Natural Resources Council of Maine with WasteZero in support of pay-as-you-throw trash programs is unfortunate. NRCM has attempted to support sound environmental policies. This is not one of them. WasteZero, a for-profit company, is committed to selling overpriced bags to increase profits. Studies confirm that bag-based pay-as-you-throw schemes are not the preferred programs in states serious about reducing waste, increasing recycling and securing a cleaner, safer environment. If NRCM is serious about sustainable, cost-effective and equitable waste management, it should view trash as a resource, not a pollutant. ~ Luisa S. Deprez, Portland, and Ron Deprez, Deer Isle
No solutions in sight for private road damages in Somerset County
Morning Sentinel - Monday, July 25, 2016 

There’s little hope that outside money can help pay for repairing private roads washed out during a major storm local, state and federal officials concluded after touring the network of severely damaged roads in northern Somerset County Monday morning. The roads – which branch off private Spencer Road, which begins at U.S. Route 201 between Jackman and The Forks and crosses the county west into Franklin County – were damaged in June 28 flash flooding that washed out several miles of access points to camps, affecting more than 100 property owners in the area.
Portland council panel endorses solar project, recycling carts
Forecaster - Monday, July 25, 2016 

By this time next year, recycling could be on a roll in Portland. A plan forwarded by City Manager Jon Jennings and Sustainability Coordinator Troy Moon to purchase carts for storing recyclable materials and three semi-automated trucks to collect the materials was endorsed by a 2-1 vote July 20 by the City Council Energy & Sustainability Committee. Committee members also endorsed a plan to construct a solar farm on the capped landfill on Ocean Avenue, but deferred action on a similar plan on Peaks Island until the Peaks Island Council weighs in.
UMaine hosting sustainable agriculture, renewable energy conference
Mainebiz - Monday, July 25, 2016 

The flagship campus of the University of Maine will be hosting the Northeast Agricultural and Biological Engineering Conference next week, a four-day event covering sustainable agriculture and renewable energy. Attendees will also pay a visit to the Howland Dam fish bypass, where recent work was completed as part of the Penobscot River Restoration Project. They also will visit the Exeter-based Agri-Energy, a renewable energy company that converts animal and food waste into heat and electricity, as well as other environmentally responsible products, according to a release.
Katahdin’s Dudley Trail closed until 2018
Bangor Daily News - Monday, July 25, 2016 

The popular Dudley Trail up Katahdin, Maine’s tallest mountain, was closed recently because of unstable conditions resulting from a rock and debris slide. The trail will remain closed for the remainder of this year and all of 2017, until trail crews relocate a section of the historic and well-traveled trail. The Baxter State Park Authority announced the closure Sunday, July 24. The 1.3-mile Dudley Trail leads from Chimney Pond up the mountain to Pamola Peak. This strenuous hiking trail, with an elevation gain of 1,988 feet, is a crucial section of a popular loop hike from Chimney Pond that combines Katahdin’s Baxter Peak summit, Knife Edge and Pamola Peak.
EPA moves to regulate climate-warming airliner pollution
Associated Press - Monday, July 25, 2016 

The government has found that jet engine exhaust is adding to climate change and endangering human health, and needs to be regulated. The Environmental Protection Agency announced Monday that it will use its authority under the Clean Air Act to impose limits on aircraft emissions.
How this MDI resident helps preserve Acadia
Bangor Daily News - Monday, July 25, 2016 

David MacDonald’s family moved to Mount Desert Island when he was about 10 years old. After his high school graduation, he moved away for a time, but has been back on MDI for the past 25 years. “The park has been this constant in my life, at all ages. It’s been a place for stress relief, for recreation,” MacDonald said. The park is also a major force in his life professionally. For the past four years, he’s served as the president and CEO of Friends of Acadia, a nonprofit that promotes the stewardship of the park and surrounding area.
Invasive fish and poor water quality challenge central Maine fisheries biologists
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Monday, July 25, 2016 

“Central Maine is the invasive species headquarters for the state.” That’s the sobering conclusion of DIF&W Fisheries Biologist Jason Seiders, one of the three biologists in Region B which includes 4000 square miles, 370 lakes and ponds, and 3500 miles of flowing water in central Maine.
New Hampshire to evaluate scenic impacts of Northern Pass power line proposal
Associated Press - Monday, July 25, 2016 

An assistant attorney general representing the public will conduct five workshops from Concord to Colebrook in the coming weeks on the impact the Northern Pass energy project could have on places of scenic beauty or that have cultural or historic significance. The project’s developer – Connecticut-based Eversource – called that decision “disappointing.” Eversource wants to run the transmission line from Pittsburg to Deerfield, carrying 1,090 megawatts of Canadian hydropower to the New England power grid. Backers say it will create jobs and lower costs in a region that pays the nation’s highest average cost for electricity. Opponents have argued it will hurt property values, tourism and the environment.
Opinion: A first-person look inside the search for Geraldine Largay
Bangor Daily News - Monday, July 25, 2016 

We spent the next 24 days looking for Geraldine Largay. At times, as many as 30 wardens, in addition to Forest Rangers and Maine State Police, aided in the search. After Largay’s body was discovered, I read and heard a lot of misinformation about what searchers should be able to do. I’d like to make it clear what happened when we went looking for Largay, and how searchers do their jobs. ~ Jim Bridge
South Portland moves ahead with solar proposal on former landfill
Portland Press Herald - Monday, July 25, 2016 

City officials are moving forward with a cost-saving plan to build a solar power array on the former municipal landfill off Highland Avenue. ReVision Energy of Portland has sweetened the terms of its proposal to build the solar facility, reducing the price that the city would pay for electricity generated by the array from 12 cents to 10 cents per kilowatt-hour under a power purchase agreement.
A new device is helping Maine fishermen avoid protected cod
Portland Press Herald - Monday, July 25, 2016 

To help Maine fishermen catch the groundfish they want and avoid the species the don't, some have begun experimenting with a contraption akin to a conventional fishing reel on steroids and with an electronic brain. The “automatic jigging machines” loaned to a handful of fishermen by The Nature Conservancy allow them to more accurately target the water column where pollock hang out and stay off the bottom where cod lurk. The machines’ simple hooks and lures also ostensibly reduce inadvertent “by-catch” of cod while avoiding other downsides of trawlnets and gill nets more commonly used by fishermen.
Letter: GOP platform anti-environment
Bangor Daily News - Monday, July 25, 2016 

For those of us who care about the environment, the GOP’s 2016 platform is downright scary. The platform states that “The Democratic Party does not understand that coal is an abundant, clean, affordable, reliable domestic energy resource…The Keystone Pipeline has become a symbol of everything wrong with the current Administration’s ideological approach.” The platform also advocates for nuclear power generation, with no mention of where the waste would go. I could never support Donald Trump or the polluting Koch Brothers who have supported his vice presidential running mate, Mike Pence. ~ Patrick Eisenhart, Augusta
Letter: Accept Quimby’s land gift to protect an American gem
Portland Press Herald - Monday, July 25, 2016 

I believe Roxanne Quimby’s gift of the land to create another national park in Maine is a most precious gift that we should accept, forthwith – with grace and enthusiasm. ~ Buddy Doyle, Gardiner
Prominent wharf site in Augusta overgrown once again
Kennebec Journal - Sunday, July 24, 2016 

Tall grass, weeds and a few small trees have been allowed to grow back on a prominent riverfront granite wharf and parcel of land between the historic Arsenal property and the Kennebec River, prompting the Augusta city manager to raise concerns. As part of a nearly $600,000 project in 2005, the 1,000-foot-long, 17-foot-high rock retaining wall had been reclaimed from overgrowth that all but hid it from view. But conditions have deteriorated in recent years. Mowing the piece of land visible from Memorial Bridge high above it is the responsibility of the state under the terms of a 2007 use agreement, but the state hasn’t been able to arrange mowing since last summer when the only contractor to bid on the job doubled his price because of concerns about being able to mow the steeply banked property safely.
As deaths rise, Coast Guard warns paddlers to take precautions
Associated Press - Sunday, July 24, 2016 

As the popularity of paddle sports surges, the Coast Guard is warning kayakers, canoeists and paddleboarders to be prepared before venturing out following a rise in deaths in the past year. Eighteen people have died in New England since October, compared to seven in the 12-month period that ended in October, said Nicole Grolls, a Coast Guard spokeswoman in Boston. Too many paddlers are unprepared for changing conditions, don’t have appropriate safety gear and lack skills needed to stay safe when the unexpected happens.
Maine’s Open Farm Day gives visitors an inside look
Portland Press Herald - Sunday, July 24, 2016 

More than 80 agricultural operations across the state fling open their doors to the public.
100 Miles to Roosevelt Campobello International Park
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, July 24, 2016 

James my golden retriever pup and I spent a full day at Roosevelt Campbello International Park checking out beaches and coves throughout the natural area, hiking a series of small accessible trails, and of course seeking out random places for snack breaks. I recommend hiking the coastal route that takes you from Raccoon Beach to Liberty Point and back (about 5 miles round trip). You can picnic right at Raccoon Beach or at several lookout points along the way. ~ Jlynn Frazier
Opinion: Here are 3 reasons why it’s time to stop burning forests for energy
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, July 24, 2016 

The assertion from stakeholders that advocate woody biomass as a carbon neutral renewable energy source is misleading and scientifically inaccurate. Maine has a golden opportunity to become a global leader in developing advanced carbon management practices that spur new industries and jobs in forestry, agriculture and environmental science. I implore Maine’s biomass industry stakeholders, policymakers and higher education systems to rethink their woody biomass policy positions and to help establish a biomass energy public forum that addresses the important environmental issues associated with using forest bioenergy. ~ Brett Leuenberger
Power plants, happy with high electric rates, fight natural gas expansion
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, July 24, 2016 

Almost everyone agrees that the cost of electricity in Maine and New England is too high. Almost everyone, that is, except the region’s power plant owners. They’ve recently stepped up their opposition to plans aimed at lowering wholesale natural gas prices by expanding pipeline capacity. These plans would pump more fuel to power plants when electricity demand peaks, increasing supply to gas-fired generators that now provide half of the region’s power. Don’t look for these power generators to be marching around with protest signs that denounce climate change, or raising their voices at town meetings where pipeline routes are debated. Their fight is being waged quietly in legal filings at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
New center in Carrabassett Valley brings outdoors to those with disabilities
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, July 24, 2016 

Since Albiston and her husband, Bruce, opened the new Adaptive Outdoor Education Center below Sugarloaf in December, it has been slowly introduced to dozens of Mainers with disabilities. The Albistons built the center with their own money, erecting a spacious lodge with a kitchen and several bunk rooms, a challenge course, and a yurt for meals, craft making and dancing. Their goal is to offer a center with outdoor activities and the necessary adaptive equipment for people with all disabilities, as well as a lodge where they can stay overnight to experience Maine’s mountains and lakes.
Ski industry experts voice concerns about Saddleback’s future if area remains idle
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, July 24, 2016 

In the year since owners of Saddleback Mountain announced they might be forced to close the ski area outside Rangeley, two things are clear: Nobody knows when or if Saddleback will reopen. And the longer it sits idle, the harder it will be to rebuild the business. Saddleback drew between 80,000 and 100,000 skiers in its last few seasons of operation and was the third-largest employer in the winter in Franklin County with 350 employees.
Column: Exploring Bath’s Thorne Head Preserve
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, July 24, 2016 

On a recent weekday afternoon, I steered off Route 1 and made my way to the Kennebec Estuary Land Trust’s signature property, the 96-acre Thorne Head Preserve in Bath. On the way to the head’s scenic overlook, you’ll pass through mixed woods, a marsh and a couple small vernal pools, where salamanders and frogs are likely to be enjoying the conserved land. The varied terrain and plant life – more than 100 plant species, according to KELT – attract deer, foxes, raccoons, mink and other wildlife. ~ Jake Christie
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