May 25, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Saturday, May 25, 2019 

Thanks for visiting Maine Environmental News, a service of RESTORE: The North Woods. MEN is the most comprehensive online source available for links to conservation and natural resource news and events in Maine (and a bit beyond; hey, we're all connected). We have posted summaries and links to 60,000 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
Hike Little Bigelow, Jun 1
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 25, 2019 

Little Bigelow is the most eastern peak of the Bigelow Range, round trip 6.5 miles. Views of Flagstaff Lake, Sugarloak, Bigelow range. At Carrabassett Valley, June 1, pre-register. Sponsored by Appalachian Mountain Club.
Hike Little Deer Hill & Deer Hill, Jun 1
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 25, 2019 

5.4-mile hike to open summit with great views, Evans Notch, June 1, pre-register. Sponsored by Appalachian Mountain Club.
Public Ownership vs. Private Rights in Maine’s Public Reserved Lots, Jun 1
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 25, 2019 

Panel presentations during Maine Bicentennial Conference. At UMaine, Orono, June 1, 1:30-3:30 pm. Registration fee.
Little Ponds Preserve Celebration, Jun 1
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 25, 2019 

Celebrate the opening of Harpswell Heritage Land Trust's newest preserve. At Little Ponds Preserve, Harpswell, June 1, 10 am.
Maine Entomological Society Field Day, Jun 1
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 25, 2019 

Join MES to explore the world of insects. At Hutchinson Pond Conservation Area, Manchester, June 1, 10 am. Sponsored by Kennebec Land Trust.
Maine Bicentennial Conference, May 30-Jun 1
Event - Posted - Friday, May 24, 2019 

In addition to scholarly panels ($60), several elements (museum exhibits and the keynote event by two Pulitzer Prize winning historians on May 31) are free to the public. A Maine History Festival for students and cultural organizations to present their own research and planning for the state bicentennial will be part of the conference just prior to the keynote event.
Great Maine Scavenger Hunt
Event - Posted - Thursday, May 23, 2019 

The Great Maine Scavenger Hunt is back (year 3). Use this list as your Maine summer vacation guide! Do as much or as little of it as you want. Sponsored by Down East magazine.
Maine Trail Finder 3.0
Announcement - Thursday, May 23, 2019 

The Center for Community GIS has launched the third version of Maine Trail Finder with the same great trail maps and descriptions and lots of new features.
Climate action
Action Alert - Tuesday, May 21, 2019 

Urge legislators on the legislature's Environment & Natural Resources Committee to support climate action via the governor’s bill, LD 1679. ~ Natural Resources Council of Maine
Ban Aerial Herbicide Spraying for Deforestation
Action Alert - Tuesday, May 21, 2019 

Before May 23, urge legislators on the Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry Committee to support LD 1691, An Act To Ban Use of Aerial Herbicide Spraying for the Purpose of Deforestation. ~ Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
Oyster Farms & Seal Watching Tours, May 25-27
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 18, 2019 

Oyster Farms & Seal Watching Tours will run every day, 2-4 pm, during Memorial Day weekend. At Damariscotta. Benefits the Fish Ladder Restoration Project.
Birding for Kids, May 25
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 18, 2019 

A hands-on workshop for families. At Curtis Farm Preserve, Harpswell, May 25, 9 am. Sponsored by Harpswell Heritage Land Trust.
L.L.Bean & Maine Audubon Birding Festival, May 24-26
Event - Posted - Friday, May 17, 2019 

Boat trips, guided walks, live bird presentations, workshops, kid’s crafts, and activities with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. At Freeport vicinity, May 24-26.
Forestry for Maine Birds, May 23
Event - Posted - Thursday, May 16, 2019 

Free workshop on forestry management for bird conservation. At Head of Tide Preserve, Belfast, May 23, 12-3 pm.
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News Items
Time to dim the lights
Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting - Thursday, May 9, 2019 

To preserve the integrity of its night skies and minimize light pollution, Maine must upgrade standards and codes and educate homeowners and developers. Limiting the light pollution seeping into Maine skies will take simultaneous action from state-level boards to individual bulb-changers. But every resident and visitor will reap the rewards. The more we reduce unnecessary outdoor lights, the more stars we invite back into our lives.
Bethel sets plastic bag and pot hearing
Bethel Citizen - Thursday, May 9, 2019 

A public hearing on a ban on single-use carry-out plastic bags and polystyrene foam containers by town businesses is scheduled for May 15. The issues will be voted on June 11. The proposed plastic bag ban has changed since February. One key sticking point – a requirement that stores only sell or provide a single use paper carryout bag at a mandatory minimum fee of five cents, with the amount of sale on the bag separately itemized on the sale receipt and records kept of all bags sold - has now been dropped.
The Wild Way to Rapid Transition – How Rewilding can Slow Climate Breakdown, Protect from its Worst Effects and Improve Biodiversity
Other - Thursday, May 9, 2019 

Resilience - Even as they fall under increasing pressure from human activity, the restoration of natural habitats like forests, is a key component of rapid transition. Not only is it a vital defence against climate breakdown, but it also protects the web of life and is beneficial for human well-being too. This ‘rewilding’ has caught the public imagination. The speed of attitude change is illustrated by the television naturalist, David Attenborough. As recently as 2016, Attenborough was hesitant about rewilding, but now he cites it as a cornerstone of combating climate change.
Public hearing on CMP transmission corridor focuses on mitigating impacts
WABI-TV5 - Thursday, May 9, 2019 

The Department of Environmental Protection and the Land Use Planning Commission held a public hearing Thursday in Bangor on Central Maine Power's proposed controversial 145-mile New England Clean Energy Connect Project. Sue Ely, a staff attorney with the National Resources Council of Maine, said, "We have brought experts in today to talk about the dramatic impacts that this project is going to have on vernal pool ecosystems, brook trout habitat, and the general habitat fragmentation impacts from the right of way." "It's our position at the Conservation Law Foundation along with the Nature Conservancy that CMP can do much more to minimize the impacts that are associated with the existing route" said Sean Mahoney, executive vice president of CLF. Thorn Dickinson, Vice President of AVANGRID Networks, CMP's parent company, said, "We're very confident that the project we've proposed is the best alternative."
Maine Senate Backs Climate Impact Study For CMP Transmission Project
Maine Public - Thursday, May 9, 2019 

The Maine Senate overwhelmingly approved a measure Thursday that would require a new analysis of the purported greenhouse gas reductions associated with Central Maine Power's proposal to bring hydro-electricity from Canada to New England. The project has stirred wide opposition. Senator Brownie Carson says, “Many want to know whether the claims about the project being good for the climate are real." CMP has argued that the project would be an environmental boon. But Canada's Hydro-Quebec has largely been a no-show in state regulatory proceedings, and opponents say there is no verifiable evidence that global greenhouse gas emissions would actually be reduced.
Two cases of rabies reported in Chelsea
Kennebec Journal - Thursday, May 9, 2019 

The town of Chelsea’s Facebook page issued a warning Thursday morning, citing two confirmed cases of rabies near Nelson Road and Windsor Road. “The (Maine Center for Disease Control) has requested that residents of Chelsea be notified of confirmed cases of rabies in a raccoon in the area of the Nelson Road and a fox in the area of the Windsor Road,” the post reads. Rabies cases have been reported in other central Maine towns recently. The Times Record reported that a Bowdoinham a woman and her dogs were attacked by a rabid gray fox Tuesday night on Pond Road.
Town celebrates 300th anniversary of Town Commons, notes early impact on Brunswick development
Times Record - Thursday, May 9, 2019 

The Brunswick Town Commons, a “little corner” of town with a big impact on Brunswick’s history, is celebrating its 300th anniversary this year, marked by seven full weeks of activities and events. The Commons, often confused with the Brunswick town mall, according to Fred Koerber, a member of the town commons committee, is a 71-acre chunk of what was once 1,000 acres given to the town in 1719 by the Pejepscot Company “to ly in general commonage.” One of the earliest conserved open spaces in Maine, the land was also used to help draw both Bowdoin College and the United States Navy to town. There is an official commemoration ceremony May 19, followed by the formal opening of a special exhibit at the Pejepscot Historical Society.
Mills signs bills aimed at giving electricity customers more information
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, May 9, 2019 

Gov. Janet Mills signed 21 bills into law Thursday, including two that intend to improve customer billing practices and public oversight of transmission and distribution utilities such as Central Maine Power and Emera Maine.
New laws sparked by CMP billing problems will make electric companies disclose more to customers
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, May 9, 2019 

The state is requiring electric utilities to provide more information to customers under legislation that was prompted by months of problematic bills issued by Central Maine Power Co. Gov. Janet Mills signed the bills Thursday. They require investor-owned utilities in the state to provide to customers a 10-year history of transmission and service rates annually, and also to clearly display consumer assistance lines for customers on their billing statements. A 10-year history of rates also would be posted on the website of the Maine Public Utilities Commission. The laws also allow the PUC to require that utilities issue corrections to customers if they provide misleading, deceptive or inaccurate information.
Maine Senate bucks Mills by backing climate impact study of CMP corridor
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, May 9, 2019 

A bill that would complicate state permitting of a $1 billion Central Maine Power hydropower transmission corridor through western Maine handily won support from the Senate on Thursday. The bill from Sen. Brownie Carson, D-Harpswell, would mandate an independent net carbon emissions impact study of the proposed 145-mile transmission line to send Hydro-Quebec power from Canada to Massachusetts. It earned more than two-thirds majority from senators, who endorsed it 30-4. Two Democrats — Sens. Bill Diamond of Windham and Senate Majority Leader Nate Libby of Lewiston — joined Republican Sens. James Hamper of Oxford and Kim Rosen of Bucksport in voting against it. It now moves to the House for a vote.
Rising cost of recycling forces Mainers to decide between paying more and going back to landfills
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, May 9, 2019 

Local cities and towns find themselves at a crossroads with recycling. Some say the costs are getting so high, it may not even be worth recycling at all. “It’s a shock to the system when it goes from break even, to $40 a ton, to $140 dollars a ton,” Brunswick Town Manager John Eldridge said. Brunswick handles their recycling locally, but has had to increase their budget by almost $150,000 to pay for it.
As water levels drop, brook fishing will pick up
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, May 9, 2019 

Aroostook County will be the last part of Maine to enjoy peak brook-fishing season, but northern Maine has plenty of spots to choose from. Frank Frost, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s regional fisheries biologist for Region G out of Ashland, offered a few tips for anglers. Timing, of course, is a big key.
Beginning birders can get their avian adventures started at these locations around Greater Bangor
Bangor Metro - Thursday, May 9, 2019 

Where should you hike this month? Aislinn Sarnacki can help:
• Essex Woods in Bangor
• Fields Pond Audubon Center in Holden
• Orono Bog Conservation Area
Deep State: The ecosystem defends itself — The Sierra Club’s Climate Conference
Forecaster - Thursday, May 9, 2019 

Three people stifled sobs when they spoke. I was surprised how emotional things were. But I shouldn’t have been. In Maine, May is the cruelest month. Here we were on this cool-warm, cloudy-sunny spring day, with blossoms on the trees starting to appear, contemplating the end of the world as we know it. That indeed was the subject of the fourth Climate Action Conference of the Maine chapter of the Sierra Club on May 4 at the University of Maine’s Hutchinson Center in Belfast. About 150 people wanted to know what they could do about the crisis we’re already in.
Salmon Farm Opponents Claim the Intertidal Zone
Forecaster - Thursday, May 9, 2019 

Nordic Aquafarms wants to build a $500 million land-based salmon farm in Belfast. On May 1, opponents dropped a trove of land records and testimonials that suggest the company doesn’t have the required land rights for the upland and intertidal zone. On May 2, the Bureau of Parks and Lands reversed its earlier finding that Nordic’s application had sufficient evidence of title, right and interest along the pipe route. BPL gave the company until May 16 to submit “any information you have regarding this issue, such as title searches, title opinions or surveys of the property that would help to establish the Eckrotes’ interest in the intertidal land.”
Committee to Hear Mills’ Climate Change Council Bill
Forecaster - Thursday, May 9, 2019 

The Environment and Natural Resources Committee will hold a public hearing May 17 on Gov. Janet Mills’ ambitious climate action proposal. LD 1679, sponsored by Sen. David Woodsome (R-York County), would establish the Maine Climate Change Council to mitigate, prepare for and adapt to climate change. It would require the state to procure 80 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030 and 100 percent by 2050. The measure has been praised by environmental groups.
These poems capture Maine from the coast to the Allagash
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Thursday, May 9, 2019 

Peter Kilgore obviously loved Maine, from our coastal islands to the Allagash River in the north woods. Quarry, The Collected Poems of Peter Kilgore, really capture his Maine – and my Maine too.
Offshore Lobster Industry in Maine Threatening Right Whales
Public News Service - Thursday, May 9, 2019 

While the U.S. lobster industry is booming in Maine, some of its fishing methods are hurting a special group – the North Atlantic right whales. The whales number slightly more than 400 and are facing extinction. Recently, NOAA's Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Team made recommendations about how the New England lobster industry can modify practices to save the whales. Zack Klyver with Bar Harbor Whale Watch, says the majority of the sightings were about 20 miles off the coast. "That's where the greatest co-occurrence of risk is for whales and fishing gear, and that is where there really is need for conservation," Klyver states. The offshore lobster industry has grown. This has been a deadly mix for the right whales.
Opinion: Protect Maine’s coast from offshore drilling
Seacoast Online - Thursday, May 9, 2019 

Wells’ coastline is not only a powerful piece of our local economy; it is also a critical part of our region’s ecosystem. Wells is home to the second largest saltmarsh in the state. This fragile ecological area is home to rare plant and animal species, a critical breeding ground for piping plovers and a wintering habitat for endangered harlequin ducks. This central aspect of our community’s identity could be placed at risk if offshore oil drilling was ever allowed of our precious coastline. Any oil spill would contaminate Maine’s fisheries, devastate our tourism economy, and completely transform the beach and marshes that we have loved for generations. The Legislature’s Environment and Natural Resources Committee has a bill to prohibit offshore oil and natural gas drilling and exploration. I support this legislation. ~ Rep. Dan Hobbs, D-Wells
DuPont buys Rockland waterfront property, derailing plans for its redevelopment
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, May 9, 2019 

Chemical manufacturing giant DuPont has purchased a waterfront property that abuts its Rockland seaweed processing plant, thwarting recently proposed plans for the property’s redevelopment. A resident who was planning to buy the Bicknell property to create a community-oriented space that would feature shops, restaurants and potentially residential units. DuPont opposes allowing residential units in the area. The neighborhood is home to the city’s wastewater treatment plant, DuPont’s seaweed processing plant, the municipal fish pier and Rockland’s U.S. Coast Guard base.
Politics Trumps Science at the EPA
Sierra Club - Thursday, May 9, 2019 

Once again, Trump administration cronies are denying peer-reviewed science. As chair of the EPA’s Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee, Tony Cox — a former consultant for the American Petroleum Institute, the Truck and Engine Manufacturers Association, the Mining Industry, and a tobacco company — is questioning if fine particulate matter air pollution, also known as soot, actually causes premature death and other health issues. However, the science is clear that this type of pollution is very dangerous.
3-D printer hailed for potential to create wood-based products
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, May 9, 2019 

A large 3-D printer to be unboxed at the University of Maine this summer could open up innovative, new uses for wood. The printer will use a roughly 50-50 mix of plastic resins and wood cellulose to create three-dimensional objects, such as boat hulls or custom furniture. An initial use, however, is likely to be the molds used in boat-building, said university officials who note other uses are likely to come to the fore, creating additional products and demand for wood. Even though it’s unclear how much demand for wood products will increase if the technology takes hold, any amount is good news for the state’s forest products industry, said Rosaire Pelletier, the senior forest products adviser to the last three Maine governors.
Editorial: Hubris on display when Pompeo talks about climate
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, May 9, 2019 

Burning coal and oil is driving a faster increase in temperature than at anytime in human history. It’s not only a threat to our long-range existence, it’s already causing environmental disasters right now. These events are projected to hit catastrophic levels over the next two decades unless the developed world can turn away from a carbon based economy. Meanwhile the government Secretary of State Mike Pompeo represents won’t even admit there’s a problem, wasting precious time. The secretary says there will be some awesome shipping lanes where a polar ice cap used to be, giving a big boost to global trade. And not just that – retreating arctic ice will make it possible to extract more oil and gas from parts of the world that have been inaccessible. Score a win for Pompeo and a loss for the planet.
Opinion: Rolling toward renewal along the Presumpscot River
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, May 9, 2019 

DEP and FERC orders require removal and fish passage for several Presumpscot River dams to be complete and operational for the May 2021 upstream fish runs from the ocean. A full 5 miles – one-fifth of the river’s habitat – will be reopened for spawning anadromous fish; habitat that is capable of producing hundreds of thousands of alewife and blueback herring, tens of thousands of American shad, and even a small population of endangered Atlantic salmon. Eagles, osprey, heron and other wildlife will return along with the fish. Also, these migrating fish will supply forge food and nutrients to a help support the fishery of the Casco Bay and beyond. These are the next steps in the restoration of the beauty, wonder and vibrancy of this river. ~ Michael Shaughnessy, Westbrook, Friends of the Presumpscot River
Letter: Emissions sticker revenue should be used for public transit
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, May 9, 2019 

The federal grant that established the Breez is expiring resulting in those served communities to increase their subsidy. All public transit in Cumberland County should be free, enhanced, and not subsidized by property tax assessments. Since 1995, only Cumberland County has had an E (emissions) sticker requirement as part of the state’s annual auto safety inspection program. Unlike other states that have petitioned the EPA and eliminated the E sticker program, Maine has not because MDOT receives $18 million per year from the feds for continuing the program. Logically, this money should be dedicated solely for mass transit in Cumberland County. Call your state representatives. ~ Carl Wilcox, New Gloucester
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