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
Letter: Obstructing planetary justice
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, May 9, 2019 

President Donald Trump has supported the falsehood that climate change doesn’t threaten the planet and that people have little to do with it. Despite the efforts of communities throughout Maine organizing to lessen our carbon footprints, our commander in chief is working against what community sustainability groups — such as MDI’s A Climate to Thrive and Maine Sierra Club’s climate action teams — are engaged in doing: striving to act locally and think globally. The president and his administration essentially admit they’re exploiting the planet for its worth, and celebrate the climate change he calls a hoax. The president is obstructing planetary justice. ~ Beverly Roxby, Belfast
Letter: Mainers can’t handle recycling
Sun Journal - Thursday, May 9, 2019 

As someone who works at a bottle redemption store, I believe Maine is nowhere near ready for improving recycling. The majority of customers who come to my store are rude and careless about the condition of the containers they are returning, which often contain trash, needles and, sometimes, bugs that follow me home. The amount the bottle deposit brings after a month, or even year’s worth, of bottle hoarding is like a bank account to some. So, a ban on plastic bags is in order, due to the fact people are no longer responsible enough to take care of their trash. Yeah, right. ~ Arthur Pleau, Auburn
Conservation Groups Call For Stronger Environmental Concessions In CMP's Transmission Project
Maine Public - Wednesday, May 8, 2019 

Opponents of Central Maine Power’s proposal to cut a new transmission corridor through western Maine are bearing down on efforts to get the company to come up with alternatives to the existing plan. CMP says it has made some adjustments aimed at appeasing concerns raised by conservation groups and others, including a recent pledge to not use herbicides in a long section of the corridor. Some conservation groups are unimpressed. “This is really not a measure that is going to reduce the severe environmental impact of this project,” says Nick Bennett, senior scientist at the Natural Resources Council of Maine.
CMP says it won’t use herbicides in proposed new power line corridor
Morning Sentinel - Wednesday, May 8, 2019 

Central Maine Power officials announced on Wednesday a decision not to use herbicides or pesticides in 53 miles of new transmission line corridor proposed through Franklin and Somerset counties as part of the New England Clean Energy Connect project. Some opponents said Wednesday it’s too early to celebrate the pledge from CMP without a written commitment. And even with the decision to eliminate herbicides in the new corridor, it’s not enough to justify the project’s construction, they said. “This is a bit of a distraction from the larger picture, which is that this project is really bad,” said Sue Ely, a clean-energy staff attorney at the Natural Resources Council of Maine.
Officials use fire to reshape habitat on Swan Island
Kennebec Journal - Wednesday, May 8, 2019 

On Wednesday, a crew of Unity College students, state land management workers and volunteers systematically set grass fires in open fields on the east side of Swan Island at the head of Merrymeeting Bay. Then they monitored to make sure the flames did no more than burn off an accumulation of dead grasses and knock down a number of invasive plant species that have taken root on the island. John Pratte, a wildlife biologist with the state Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife, said the long-term goal of the fires is to provide habitat on the island for native species of birds such as bobolinks, meadowlarks and Savannah sparrows. The management plan also is intended to support habitat for several species of butterflies, including the monarch, which is endangered.
As world's scientists raise extinction alarms, Trump guts Endangered Species Act
Other - Wednesday, May 8, 2019 

The Hill - This week hundreds of scientists from more than 50 countries published an exhaustive report for the United Nations finding that as many as 1 million species are at risk of extinction. Their disturbing conclusion: The life-support systems we depend upon are unraveling. Despite this incredibly dire warning, the Trump administration and Interior Secretary David Bernhardt are working overtime to undermine protections for our nation’s most imperiled plants and animals.
Fox terrorizes 2 Maine homes, biting woman and dogs before being killed with shovel
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, May 8, 2019 

A Bowdoinham woman was bitten by a fox Tuesday evening shortly before the fox found its way into a neighboring house and was killed by a resident. Seven animals in Sagadahoc County have tested positive for rabies since February. Four animals have tested positive for rabies in Penobscot and Cumberland counties, while the remaining counties have seen three or fewer.
Don’t know which birds you spotted at Katahdin Woods & Waters? There’s now a list for that.
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, May 8, 2019 

Birders and other visitors to Maine’s newest national monument will receive a valuable tool Saturday as Friends of Katahdin Woods & Waters releases a checklist of more than 150 birds that can be found in the monument. Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, which is about 90 miles north of Bangor, was officially designated as a unit of the National Park Service in August of 2016. The checklist release will coincide with World Migratory Bird Day. An electronic version is available online.
Woodward Point Protected
Maine Coast Heritage Trust - Wednesday, May 8, 2019 

Woodward Point is one of the few remaining undeveloped waterfront parcels of its size in Southern Maine, with 87 acres of forest and fields and over two miles of shoreline along two peninsulas on the New Meadows in Brunswick. Over the past several years, Maine Coast Heritage Trust and Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust have been working together to raise $3.5 million to protect and open to the public 87 acres at Woodward Point. This spring that goal was reached, and the property is now conserved. More than 150 individual donors and many organizations stepped up to contribute to this project.
Federal government donates $1 million toward Clark Island protection
Penobscot Bay Pilot - Wednesday, May 8, 2019 

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife has been awarded $1 million from the Department of the Interior’s National Coastal Wetland Conservation Grants program to help buy acreage of Clark Island land abutting the existing MDIFW conservation easement in Saint George. The site is to be a preserve that protects bird habitats and enhances wildlife-oriented recreation. MDIFW will work with Maine Coast Heritage Trust as a subrecipient for the Clark Island Wetlands Conservation Project. The Clark Island Project involves raising $4.8 million by March 2020 to purchase and put 85 percent of the 175-acre island into permanent protection, and 120 acres of that secured for public access.
Column: Horseshoe crabs and the beginning of time
Morning Sentinel - Wednesday, May 8, 2019 

The earliest horseshoe crab fossil is about 445 million years old, which means they scuttled across the floors of Earth’s silent seas roughly 350 million years before any flower blossomed. They are the closest living relatives of the trilobites, who flourished during that first evolutionary explosion of multi-celled animals about 530 million years ago. Horseshoe crabs survived the mass extinctions on Earth 250 million and 66 million years ago. The future, however, is not so sure. Their populations are declining up and down the East Coast, mainly because of pollution, coastal development, and effects of climate change such as sea level rise and warming water. The Maine Wildlife Action Plan lists them as a Priority 1 Species of Greatest Conservation Need. ~ Dana Wilde
‘Highly hormonal’ turkeys sumo wrestle in the middle of a Maine road Turkey fight
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, May 8, 2019 

Lindsay Curtis captured an hilarious video of two turkeys pushing each other back and forth on the road, almost like a pair of sumo wrestlers. Brad Allen, a wildlife biologist with the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, said, “One can assume this is highly hormonal and part of the wild turkeys day-to-day life constantly assessing the pecking order of the flock and dominance of rival males, who at times are likely brothers."
Maine’s first eel season with new poaching controls is yielding strong prices
Associated Press - Wednesday, May 8, 2019 

Maine’s baby eel fishermen are enjoying a steady harvest and strong prices during the first season in which regulators are using new controls to stop poaching. Baby eels, called elvers, are one of the most lucrative marine resources in the United States on a per-pound basis, but the fishery has had problems with poaching. This year, packing and shipping of the fish – which are sold to Asian aquaculture companies so they can be raised to maturity and used as food, such as in sushi – is subject to more scrutiny by the Maine Marine Patrol.
Maine regulators will decide whether to boost moose permits by end of May
Associated Press - Wednesday, May 8, 2019 

Maine wildlife regulators will likely make a decision by the end of the month on a proposal to increase the number of moose hunting permits in the state for the second consecutive year. Biologists in the state have recommended increasing the number of moose permits by more than 10 percent, to more than 2,800.
Politics Trumps Science at the EPA
Sierra Club - Wednesday, May 8, 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.
Young USM grad off to study Madagascar's lemurs
Forecaster - Wednesday, May 8, 2019 

An 18-year-old who will graduate Saturday from the University of Southern Maine said he’s preparing to fulfill a childhood dream. Sam Matey will be studying lemurs in Madagascar this summer. Matey said he has been interested in environmental science ever since he read Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” when he was 7. He plans to attend graduate school eventually, either in environmental science or in a specialized sub-field such as conservation ecology. He interned with Maine Conservation Voters last summer, but he wants to gain more experience in the field before graduate school.
Here’s another water safety message for you to ignore
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, May 8, 2019 

During the first five months of 2018, the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary organized five safety training opportunities in the Bangor area alone. You know how many people showed up? A grand total of zero. All it takes is one bad move, one medical emergency, one piece of bad luck, for a day on a beautiful lake to turn into the source of your family’s worst nightmare. Do yourself a favor. Do your loved ones a favor. Wear your life jacket. Return safely. It’s the least you can do.
George Clooney Torches Donald Trump’s ‘Rampant Dumbf**kery’ in Parody PSA
Other - Wednesday, May 8, 2019 

George Clooney is done with the “rampant dumbf**kery” of people like President Donald Trump who question scientific research and spread disinformation on issues like climate change and vaccinations. [Caution: Some people may be offended by the language and the truth in this video.]
Belfast salmon farm opponents hope a new regulatory twist can thwart the project
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, May 8, 2019 

Opponents of a proposed land-based salmon farm in Belfast are hoping that a potential snag with a land lease will prove to be the end of the road for Nordic Aquafarms. Upstream Watch and the Maine Lobstering Union, two groups that have worked to slow down or stop the fish farm, jointly submitted a second brief last week to the Maine Bureau of Public Lands. They objected to Nordic’s pending application for a submerged lands lease, arguing that the Norwegian-owned company does not have sufficient title, right or interest to cross the intertidal zone where it says it does. The company vehemently disagrees with this assessment.
Opinion: Human activities could erase 1 million of our fellow species
Kennebec Journal - Wednesday, May 8, 2019 

It’s hard to imagine a more dire assessment of what we humans have done to the world than the 1,500-page United Nations report released Monday in Paris that says, among other things, that our collective activities have put some 1 million plant and animal species at risk of extinction. The report recommends a wide range of actions, including less intrusive and lower-impact land-use policies and integration of agriculture with development, stronger focus on conservation and retention of ecological diversity, localization (and “improved distribution”) of agricultural food chains, stronger marine protections and use policies, and in urban areas a better focus on sustainable development in making planning decisions. Of course, those steps require political will. We may be in trouble. ~ Editorial by Los Angeles Times
Opinion: Take action on carbon
Sun Journal - Wednesday, May 8, 2019 

As severe storms race through America, spawning tornadoes, hail and floods, I wonder what must occur to move people to take action on mitigating climate change? Some already have loved ones affected by wildfires, intensified by high temperatures and drought. Many have been impacted by the spread of Lyme disease-carrying ticks. Grandparents are concerned for the future of their grandchildren who will live with sea-level rise. 3,500 economists agreed that the quickest and most cost-effective solution is a carbon fee and dividend. Action is more productive than hope. ~ Roberta Brezinski, Durham
Letter: Interior secretary’s ethical lapses call for comment from Collins
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, May 8, 2019 

The Senate voted to confirm David Bernhardt as the new Secretary of the Interior. Susan Collins supplied one of those yea votes. Bernhardt is a well known former coal/oil industry lobbyist. The list of companies that he must recuse himself from is so long that he has to carry a list of them. Prior to the confirmation vote, Angus King asked Bernhardt if Maine could be excluded from states that would be targeted for off-shore drilling. Bernhardt would not give an affirmative answer. Collins still voted for him. This week, the Interior Department’s inspector general has initiated an investigation of Bernhardt’s ethical conflicts. Collins owes her constituents an explanation for her vote for this biased and unethical individual. ~ Jessica Mahnke, Bath
Outdoors for All
Sierra Club - Tuesday, May 7, 2019 

The increased popularity of incorporating the healing power of nature into health care, public health programs, architecture, and education has been inspired by a relatively new body of scientific evidence that associates improved wellness and lower mortality rates with access to green and biodiverse spaces. In the span of a decade, the number of studies indicating that time spent in natural surroundings–whether groomed urban parks or unruly wilderness landscapes–can improve people's well-being has increased from dozens to hundreds.
10th dead humpback whale this year washes ashore
Other - Tuesday, May 7, 2019 

The 10th dead humpback whale in the region so far this year washed ashore Sunday night, the latest in a disturbing trend in recent years. Jamie McWilliams, education director of Cape Ann Whale Watch, said, “It’s devastating." The whale was first documented by researchers in 1984 and was seen regularly in the Gulf of Maine over the years. In 1970, all humpback whales were listed as endangered after commercial whaling drastically reduced their numbers. But North Atlantic humpback whales were removed from the endangered-species list in 2016.
Scientists: Biodiversity threat puts everyone at risk
Associated Press - Tuesday, May 7, 2019 

A massive United Nations report this week warned that nature is in trouble, estimated 1 million species are threatened with extinction if nothing is done and said the worldwide deterioration of nature is everybody’s problem. “Nature is essential for human existence and good quality of life,” the report said. Food, energy, medicine, water, protection from storms and floods and slowing climate change are some of the 18 ways nature helps keep people alive, the report said. And it concluded 14 of those are on long-term declining trends.
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