August 19, 2018  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Tuesday, August 14, 2018 

Thanks for visiting Maine Environmental News, a service of RESTORE: The North Woods. MEN is the most comprehensive online source available for links conservation and natural resource news and events in Maine (and a bit beyond). We have posted summaries and links to over 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
Lessons from the Great Conservationists of the Past, Aug 21
Event - Posted - Tuesday, August 14, 2018 

Larry Nielsen, author of “Nature’s Allies: Eight Conservationists Who Changed Our World,” will speak at Schoodic Institute, Winter Harbor, August 21, 7 pm.
Farm to Table Dinner, Aug 18
Event - Posted - Saturday, August 11, 2018 

Dinner features the creations of four Maine-based professional female chefs, followed by a mission auction and the music of folk musician, Bill Staines. Benefits Growing to Give, which grows and donates certified organic vegetables to local food banks and pantries. At Scatter Good Farm, Brunswick, August 18, 5-9 pm.
Beaver presentation and paddle, Aug 18
Event - Posted - Saturday, August 11, 2018 

Learn about beavers with Master Naturalist, Christy Stout. Enjoy a slideshow presentation followed by a paddle to look for beaver signs. At Hirundo Wildlife Refuge, near Bangor, August 18, 5 pm.
Merrymeeting Bay Rare Mud Plant Walk, Aug 18
Event - Posted - Saturday, August 11, 2018 

Justin Schlawin, ecologist with the Maine Natural Areas Program, will lead a walk among the rare mud plants of Merrymeeting Bay. At Choice View Farm, Dresden, August 18, 1:30-3:30 pm. Sponsored by Friends of Merrymeeting Bay.
Identifying Woodland Shrubs, Aug 16
Event - Posted - Thursday, August 9, 2018 

Join Knox-Lincoln Soil & Water Conservation District and the Maine Forest Service for a walk & talk “Identifying Woodland Shrubs.” At Georges River Land Trust’s Appleton Preserve, August 16, 3-5 pm, pre-register.
Climate change communication workshop, Aug 16
Event - Posted - Thursday, August 9, 2018 

The Maine Climate Table, in partnership with GrowSmart Maine, will present a climate change communication workshop. At the Center for an Ecology-Based Economy, Norway, August 16, from 8:30 am to noon.
Rangeley Frog Jumping Contest, Aug 16
Event - Posted - Thursday, August 9, 2018 

The annual Frog Jumping Contest will leap onto the scene again at the Rangeley Blueberry Festival. Those entering should catch and release their frog or toad in the same location, to keep him or her happy and alive. At Episcopal Church, Rangeley, August 16, sign up starts at 12:30 pm, contest begins at 1 pm.
New wildlife teaching tools for a new school year
Publication - Wednesday, August 8, 2018 

Explore World Wildlife Fund's Wild Classroom, a growing library of animal- and nature-related toolkits to help foster children's curiosity and inspire the next generation of scientists and conservationists.
Blazing Ahead: Rivalry That Built the Appalachian Trail, Aug 15
Event - Posted - Wednesday, August 8, 2018 

Jeffrey Ryan, a Maine-based author and photographer, will tell the story of how the Appalachian Trail was envisioned and built. At Maine State Library, Augusta, August 15, 6:30 pm. Sponsored by Kennebec Historical Society.
What Have Loons Told Us? Aug 15
Event - Posted - Wednesday, August 8, 2018 

After 35 Years of Maine Audubon’s Loon Count, and with the help of thousands of “citizen science” volunteers, we know that in many ways loons are doing better than ever. At Somes-Meynell Wildlife Sanctuary, Mt. Desert, August 15, 7 pm.
Farming the Sea - Aquaculture in Maine's Future, Aug 15
Event - Posted - Wednesday, August 8, 2018 

Author and food authority Nancy Harmon Jenkins will talk about the future of aquaculture in Maine. At Island Institute, Rockland, August 15, 10:30 am.
Blazing Ahead, Aug 15
Event - Posted - Wednesday, August 8, 2018 

Jeffrey Ryan speaks about the rivalry that built the Appalachian Trail. At Maine State Library, Augusta, August 15, 6:30 pm. Sponsored by Kennebec Historical Society.
Landscape Design Lessons from Manhattan to Maine, Aug 15
Event - Posted - Wednesday, August 8, 2018 

Patrick Cullina will talk about site design and plant and material selection on projects in New York City, above Long Island Sound, on the North Fork of Long Island, and on a privately-owned island just south of Rockland, Maine. At Bar Harbor, August 15, 4 pm, Beatrix Farrand Society members $10, non-members $20, students free, pre-register.
Comments on wind development in Maine due Aug 15
Action Alert - Tuesday, August 7, 2018 

Gov. Paul LePage created the Maine Wind Energy Advisory Commission to study the economic impact of potential wind turbines; to assess the economic impact of expedited permitting rules and procedures; and to assess and develop recommendations in a written report. Comments to due August 15.
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News Items
Here's How America Uses Its Land
Bloomberg News - Tuesday, July 31, 2018 

The 48 contiguous states alone are a 1.9 billion-acre jigsaw puzzle of cities, farms, forests and pastures that Americans use to feed themselves, power their economy and extract value for business and pleasure. Unprotected forests and timberland constitute a quarter of the contiguous U.S. On a percentage basis, urban creep outpaces growth in all other land-use categories—at an average rate of about 1 million additional acres a year. Another growth area: land owned by wealthy families. Since 2008 the amount of land owned by the 100 largest private landowners has grown from 28 million acres to 40 million.
Despite subsidy, two wood-fired power plants offline for months
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, July 31, 2018 

Two troubled Maine power plants that make electricity from wood have produced no power in the past four months. The Stored Solar plants in West Enfield and Jonesboro were essentially off line in April through July of this year. During that period, they purchased only a small fraction of the wood fuel they had promised to buy, significantly cut their workforces, and won’t restart until fall at the earliest. The news comes less than four months after the PUC voted to give Stored Solar $1.2 million, a portion of a controversial state subsidy meant to keep the two stand-alone biomass power plants alive, as well as the jobs linked to them.
Hirundo Wildlife Refuge receives grant from Quimby Family Foundation
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, July 31, 2018 

Hirundo Wildlife Trust is grateful to the Quimby Family Foundation for the award of a capacity-building grant in the amount of $17,500. The grant will relieve barriers of access to the Hirundo Wildlife Refuge on Route 43 through improvements to internal roads with gravel surface and bus turn-around, expanded parking areas and improved signage. With these improvements, facilities and programs that connect people to nature will be conveniently accessible to the local community.
Beautiful Photos of All 59 U.S. National Parks
National Geographic - Tuesday, July 31, 2018 

Photographer Jonathan Irish embarked on an ambitious journey to visit every U.S. national park, including Acadia, in 52 weeks in honor the National Park Service's 100th anniversary.
The Maine Coast at Night | Photos
Yankee Magazine - Tuesday, July 31, 2018 

Jon Secord is a landscape photographer. These photos were taken during a three-week trip to Maine and showcase the beauty of the night sky free from light pollution.
Vaccines from the sky aim to eliminate raccoon rabies
Associated Press - Tuesday, July 31, 2018 

Airplanes will drop packets of vaccine into rural woods in efforts to eliminate raccoon rabies. State officials will release about 351,000 oral rabies vaccines baits targeting raccoons this month with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s help. The effort comes as Maine sees 42 cases of animal rabies in 13 out of 16 counties so far this year. Those cases involve rabid bats, raccoons, striped skunks, gray foxes, otters, domestic cats and woodchucks.
Think tank in the ‘king of the red states’ assumes power in Trump’s Washington
Think Progress - Tuesday, July 31, 2018 

The Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF), a conservative think tank and advocacy group, emerged as a political force in the Lone Star State more than a decade ago. While its influence was largely contained to Texas for many years, TPPF has found an eager audience in the White House and is now flexing its muscle on the national stage. Founded almost 30 years ago, TPPF is a Koch-funded research and advocacy group that touts itself as a defender of liberty and free enterprise. From the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) to the Department of Energy (DOE), former TPPF officials are now filling top roles in the Trump administration and are working to promote pro-fossil fuel and anti-environment policies at the national level.
Injured hiker airlifted off Katahdin
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, July 31, 2018 

A woman was flown by helicopter off Abol Trail on Mount Katahdin Monday morning. The woman, 47, called 911 late Sunday to report a knee injury and exhaustion. She was brought down from the mountain by a Maine Forest Service helicopter and then taken to a nearby hospital.
Are Carbon Taxes Finally Catching On In Congress?
Maine Public - Tuesday, July 31, 2018 

A Republican member of Congress is introducing a bill he says will patch up crumbling infrastructure, while also fighting climate change. It’s called a carbon tax. The idea centers around putting a price on pollution and funnelling money collected back into roads and bridges across America. Days before Curbelo’s bill debuted, more than 200 House Republicans passed a symbolic resolution denouncing carbon taxes. But six, including Curbelo, voted in support of the tax idea, signalling a slight crack in what only two years ago was a unified wall of GOP resistance.
Maine farm sued after girl allegedly thrown from horse, breaking skull and spine
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, July 31, 2018 

A New York couple is suing the owner of a Maine farm where their daughter allegedly broke her skull and spine after being thrown from a horse. Last week, Laura and Andrew Davey filed a federal lawsuit against Rocky Ridge Farm, claiming its proprietor was negligent in running a riding tour that ended with the parents and their daughter being unhorsed. During a 2016 visit to the York County farm, the family claims that their horses broke into a run after their guide instructed the animals to “trot.” The suit claims that the daughter, who had never ridden before, fell off the side of the horse, was knocked out and taken to Maine Medical Center, where doctors diagnosed her with an injury to the brain, three broken spinal vertebrae, a broken skull, arm and jaw.
Maine town to decide whether to install solar panels at former landfill
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, July 31, 2018 

Voters in Tremont are expected to weigh in next week on whether the town should allow solar panels to be installed at the town’s closed landfill site. A vote in favor of the proposal would allow the town to move forward with a proposal from Searsport-based Sundog Solar to install as many as 500 solar panels at the site on Harbor Drive. The town is not being asked to invest any funds to bring the project to fruition, Saunders said. The proposal gives the town the option of buying the panels and associated infrastructure after six years.
Maine's 10 Must-Hike Mountain Trails
Down East - Tuesday, July 31, 2018 

When Maine natives Sarah McLean and Cait Bourgault founded the Alpine Women Collective in 2016, they were a pair of Portland creatives increasingly pulled to the mountains on weekends. As they realized how much hiking was improving their lives and friendship, they started organizing “babe hikes,” group hikes and camping trips where women of all ages (especially outdoor newbies) could hit the trail with a crew of supportive peers. Two years and many mountains later, they're sharing their top 10 Maine mountain hikes for all skill levels.
Letter: As warming threatens planet, humans will have to make sacrifices
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, July 31, 2018 

We are rapidly running out of time to save our planet. We have very little time to make revolutionary changes in how we think and behave. Climate change, if we do nothing about it, will eventually lead to the end of mankind and most of life on our small planet. This is a worldwide emergency that requires international steps to prevent the absolute worst from happening. Unfortunately, our country has a leader who does not lead in this area of greatest concern. Not many other national leaders do much better, so it is left to the grass roots to take actions. ~ Len Frenkel, South Portland
Letter: Scott Pruitt’s successor at EPA launches his own dangerous agenda
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, July 31, 2018 

On July 9, Andrew Wheeler became acting administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, replacing scandal-tarnished and corruption-prone Scott Pruitt. Since then, Wheeler, a former coal industry lobbyist, has maintained Pruitt’s anti-public health, pro-fossil fuels agenda. He drastically weakened a rule that required strict monitoring and handling of coal ash, which is known to cause cancer and organ damage. Wheeler’s now moving ahead with Pruitt’s old effort to ban the EPA from referencing scientific studies that use public health data. ~ Sam Matey, Gorham
Letter: Approve wind ordinance
Sun Journal - Tuesday, July 31, 2018 

We are asking voters in Greenwood to come out to the special town meeting, at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 6, at the Legion Hall, with a hope that residents will vote “yes” to approve the proposed wind power ordinance to preserve Greenwood’s natural surroundings, including ponds and ridge lines. The local Ordinance Review Committee has developed an ordinance that would limit the height of towers and provide far safer setbacks. A “yes” vote would protect the landscape and stop the industrialization of Greenwood mountains. ~ Cathy and Charlie Newell, Greenwood
Fossil Fuels on Trial: Where the Major Climate Change Lawsuits Stand Today
Inside Climate News - Monday, July 30, 2018 

Over the past few years: Two states have launched fraud investigations into Exxon over climate change. Nine cities and counties have sued major fossil fuel companies, seeking compensation for climate change damages. And determined children have filed lawsuits against the federal government and various state governments, claiming the governments have an obligation to safeguard the environment. The litigation, reinforced by science, has the potential to reshape the way the world thinks about energy production and the consequences of global warming.
LePage administration wants most of Maine withdrawn from regional air pollution program
Portland Press Herald - Monday, July 30, 2018 

A LePage administration proposal to withdraw most of Maine from a regional air pollution program drew support from Maine’s forest products industry Monday but strong pushback from environmentalists and health advocates. For the second time in five years, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection is asking federal regulators to exempt parts of Maine from tougher emissions standards for pollutants that cause smog or ground-level ozone. Yet opponents portrayed the request as a potentially harmful rollback of a collaborative air pollution program that has helped improve Maine’s air quality.
Soaring costs push Maine town to pull plug on recycling program
Bangor Daily News - Monday, July 30, 2018 

Skyrocketing costs for recycling have prompted the town of Gouldsboro to pull the plug on its curbside pickup program, according to a town official. As of Sept. 1, residents who want to get rid of plastic, cardboard, paper and other recyclable materials will have to put it in with their regular household trash. Since China adopted restrictions on importing recycling materials, the market for it has shrunk considerably, making it hard to find buyers, said Sherri Cox, the town manager.
Environmental, Tourism Groups Oppose Efforts To Change Pollution Limit Standards
Maine Public - Monday, July 30, 2018 

For years, Maine has been part of a regional effort to reduce ozone pollution in the air that exacerbates asthma and has been linked to other health problems. Now, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection wants to adopt less stringent standards and move most of Maine out of the Ozone Transport Region. Dylan Voorhees of the Natural Resources Council of Maine says such a move is out of step with Mainers' values.
Maine WildLife Officials Will Distribute Baits Laced With Rabies Vaccine After Attacks In Brunswick
Maine Public - Monday, July 30, 2018 

Brunswick-area residents are being warned to steer clear of wild animals acting oddly after six separate fox attacks within the past six weeks. Several foxes have been confirmed rabid. In the meantime, several state agencies are collaborating on a plan to target racoons by distributing more than 350,000 baits laced with oral rabies vaccine throughout northern and eastern Maine.
Three, including child, bitten in Brunswick by fox believed to be rabid
Times Record - Monday, July 30, 2018 

Brunswick police say a five-year-old girl, two adults and a dog were bitten by a fox on Moody Road Friday afternoon. The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention counts 42 confirmed cases of rabies so far this year, not including the most recent incidents on Friday. Of those 42 cases, seven have occurred in the Midcoast area.
Rabies in Maine: Prevention & Treatment
Maine Public - Monday, July 30, 2018 

Learn what rabies is, whether it’s on the rise and what can be done to keep family — especially the four-legged variety — safe when outdoors. Guests: Scott Lindsay, wildlife biologist, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife; Michele Walsh, Maine state veterinarian.
Fox attacks three, including small child, in Brunswick
Bangor Daily News - Monday, July 30, 2018 

Three people including a 5-year-old girl were bitten by a fox Friday afternoon in Brunswick in what local police believe was another attack by a rabid animal.
Opinion: Don't let Trump administration ruin our national parks
Other - Monday, July 30, 2018 

When our three kids got out of school this summer, we packed up the minivan. In 10 days, we visited five national parks and monuments and two national forests. Standing before Mount Rushmore, you can’t help considering how the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue measures up to four presidents who truly did make America great. Trump called for funding cuts to the national parks and proposed doubling entry fees to some of the most popular parks. He shrank two national monuments by more than 2 million acres. He is opening Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas drilling and overturning bans on shooting mother black bears and their cubs hibernating in dens on Alaskan public lands. He has removed Endangered Species Act protection for the Yellowstone region’s grizzlies and Yellowstone’s superintendent was forced out after disputes with the administration on bison management. And so on. ~ John Biemer
12 Favorite Maine Swimming Holes
Down East - Monday, July 30, 2018 

You won’t find them in a tourism pamphlet, and no smartphone app will lead you there: These 12 favorite Maine swimming holes are little heralded and sparsely visited, sylvan spots along quiet trails where locals gather when the mercury rises. Ready to take a dip?
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