July 20, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Saturday, July 20, 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
Grand Lake Stream Folk Art Festival celebrates 25 years, Jul 27-28
Event - Posted - Saturday, July 20, 2019 

More than 50 folk artists and craftsmen in the northeast and an outstanding line-up of talented musicians will gather in Grand Lake Stream for the 25th annual Grand Lake Stream Folk Art Festival, July 27-28, 10 am - 5 pm.
Invasive forest pests, Jul 27
Event - Posted - Saturday, July 20, 2019 

Hildy Ellis, Knox-Lincoln Soil & Water Conservation District, discusses forest insect invaders. At Merryspring Nature Center, Camden, July 27, 10 am – noon
Odd Alewives and Oyster Tasting Cruise, Jul 27
Event - Posted - Saturday, July 20, 2019 

At Damariscotta River Cruises, July 27, 5-7 pm.
Sustainable Forestry Walk, Jul 27
Event - Posted - Saturday, July 20, 2019 

Forester Charlie Spies and wildlife biologist Steve Pelletier will discuss striking a proper balance between competing wildlife, recreational, aesthetic and timber interests. At Crystal Spring Farm-North trailhead, Brunswick, July 27, 10 am. Sponsored by Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust.
Help Wanted: Communications & Research Assistant
Announcement - Thursday, July 18, 2019 

The North American Megadams Resistance Alliance is hiring a Communications & Research Assistant, based at Sierra Club Maine, to work on a campaign opposing Canadian hydropower dams and transmission corridors planned for the U.S.
Support Island Stewardship
Announcement - Thursday, July 18, 2019 

Maine Island Trail Association volunteers will make 1,400 boat landings on Trail sites this summer to provide care for these special places and assure they can remain open to explorers. Support the Float Their Boats campaign to strengthen MITA's 30-year tradition of volunteer stewardship of the Trail.
Fur, Feathers & Feet, Jul 24
Event - Posted - Wednesday, July 17, 2019 

An introduction to birds and mammals. At Orr's Island Library, Harpswell, July 24, 10 am. Presented by Chewonki Foundation.
Thoreau-Wabanaki Trail Festival, Jul 24-26
Event - Posted - Wednesday, July 17, 2019 

The festival celebrates the Wabanaki Native American people and naturalist writer Henry David Thoreau’s three journeys into the Maine Woods. At Center for Moosehead History, Greenville, July 24-26.
‘Acadia Files’ author Coppens, Jul 23
Event - Posted - Tuesday, July 16, 2019 

Author Katie Coppens will conduct fun science experiments with kids of all ages. At Turner Public Library, July 23, 2 pm. Each volume of “The Acadia Files” helps young readers learn about the scientific method in fun and innovative ways by following the adventures of Acadia, a young scientist.
Help Stamp Money Out of Politics
Action Alert - Monday, July 15, 2019 

The flow of cash into the pockets of politicians from lobbyists, oil and gas companies, and billionaires bent on protecting their wealth is the biggest barrier to our government's taking action on climate change, and it is up to us to put a stop to it. That is why we're asking you to join the movement protesting Big Money's death grip on our future by rubber-stamping our cash with the message "Stamp Money Out of Politics." ~ Ben & Jerry
Tell Your Representative: Invest in Clean Energy and Climate Action
Action Alert - Monday, July 15, 2019 

Congress must update and extend vital tax credits in four key green technology areas needed to meet our climate goals — electric vehicles, offshore wind, electric grid scale storage, and building efficiency. Without these updated credits, clean energy innovation could stall and our planet will be driven even closer to the brink of climate catastrophe. ~ Natural Resources Defense Council Action Fund
Hearing on CMP billing errors, service shortcomings, rate hikes, Jul 22
Action Alert - Monday, July 15, 2019 

Maine Public Utilities Commission public witness hearing concerning Central Maine Power’s request to increase residential rates by over 10%, and CMP billing errors and poor customer service. At PUC, Hallowell, July 22, 6 pm.
Greenhorns summer workshops
Event - Posted - Monday, July 15, 2019 

Hear from historians, restoration ecologists, entomologists, fishermen, foresters and master craftsmen, on a wide range of topics at the intersection of the human and non-human world. Greenhorns, in Pembroke, works to create a welcoming culture for new entrants in sustainable agriculture.
Crystal Spring Farm Bee Tour, Jul 21
Event - Posted - Sunday, July 14, 2019 

Beekeeper Ken Faulkner will explain the importance of honeybees, hive dynamics, beekeeping, honeybee history, and more. At Crystal Spring Farmers’ Market parking area, Brunswick, July 21, 10 am, free. Sponsored by Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust.
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News Items
A family’s legacy lives on at Hirundo, Old Town’s little-known nature preserve
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, June 30, 2019 

Throughout the 1970s and ’80s, Ollie LaRouche and his wife, June, installed hundreds of nest boxes for swallows and for wood ducks all over the land that would become the 2,460-acre Hirundo Wildlife Refuge along Pushaw Stream in West Old Town. “Hirundo is Latin for swallow, so it’s really kind of our symbol,” said Stephanie LaRouche, now chair of the board of the nonprofit that runs Hirundo. “This is our family’s legacy. It was our home, and now it’s for everyone.” Hirundo Wildlife Refuge is open, free of charge, from dusk to dawn seven days a week.
On 20-year anniversary of Edwards Dam removal, Kennebec River brimming with life
Kennebec Journal - Sunday, June 30, 2019 

Monday marks the 20th anniversary of the landmark removal of the Edwards Dam. The removal propelled a movement around the U.S. to free rivers and bring them back to life, said Brian Graber of American Rivers, a river conservation organization. After the dam’s removal, vegetation began to restore and stabilize the banks, and the fish swam upstream — just a few at first, then by the thousands and millions.
Maine lawmakers give environmental efforts big green light
Sun Journal - Sunday, June 30, 2019 

This recently ended legislative session was a big win for the environment. Legislators passed a host of new laws that boosted solar and other renewable energy production, encouraged the use of heat pumps, sought to improve recycling and reduce materials harmful to the environment and health, and to reduce climate change pollution. A ban on plastic shopping bags will take effect on Earth Day (April 22) 2020 and a ban on Styrofoam food containers begins in 2021. Maine has joined the U.S. Climate Alliance and withdrawn from the Outer Continental Shelf Governors Coalition, which wanted to drill offshore for oil and gas. Maine will create a state-based effort to identify offshore wind development in the Gulf of Maine. All this has environmentalists giddy.
We asked, and Baxter State Park Director Eben Sypitkowski answered
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, June 30, 2019 

When Eben Sypitkowski took over as Baxter State Park director last summer, the challenge of leading the storied wilderness park seemed to him the honor of a lifetime. A year later, the 36-year-old Bangor native says directing the park and its staff of 60 presents many challenges, and many questions that don’t have immediate answers.
Opinion: Land and Water Conservation Fund needs full funding
Sun Journal - Sunday, June 30, 2019 

For more than 50 years, the Land and Water Conservation Fund has been instrumental in protecting irreplaceable lands and waters. LWCF has invested approximately $190 million in Maine through fives decades, protecting some of the state’s most special places and helping to ensure recreational access for hunting, fishing and other outdoor activities. It has been responsible for funding the acquisition and enhancement of federal, state and local public lands in almost every county in the nation. Members in both the House and Senate have proposed bipartisan legislation to provide full and permanent funding, but President Trump has proposed nearly zeroing out money for LWCF. Veterans know deeply that, in taking care of our outdoor places, they will take care of us. Fully funding LWCF is an investment in the health and well-being of the American people. ~ Colonel (Ret.) Steve Ball, Windsor
Letter: Interests of local people ignored
Sun Journal - Sunday, June 30, 2019 

By an overwhelming margin, Jay has become the 17th town to vote against the New England Clean Energy Connect Project. At this point, there has been no popular support for that project, but plenty of public opposition. Oddly, even as we learn of more scientific criticism and opposition mounts, Gov. Janet Mills digs in her heels. She has now vetoed two bills from her own party — one to give local towns along the route a voice in the matter. The governor chooses to stand by Central Maine Power, a company now well known more for its deceptive billing practices and dishonesty. How or why can we, and why does she, believe their science, job forecasts and economic promises? ~ Steve Bien, Jay
Letter: Trail praised by columnist would be devastated by CMP plan
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, June 30, 2019 

Carey Kish’s June 23 Hiking in Maine column is a lovely description of a great hike up Number Five Mountain, one that I’ve taken long before the Leuthold Forest Preserve was involved. Whether by deliberate exclusion or ignorance of the situation, he made no reference to the atrocity that looms over this area in the form of New England Clean Energy Connect, Central Maine Power’s proposed transmission corridor. This issue should have been recognized in the column. All of the groups that have preserved Number Five Mountain and/or lands visible from the mountain – the Nature Conservancy, the Holeb Public Reserved Land, the Forest Society of Maine and the Moose River/Number Five Bog Conservation Lands – are stewards who should be opposing this corridor. ~ Barbara Kane, Jackman
Letter: CMP’s issues should cast doubt on corridor project
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, June 30, 2019 

Kudos to the Press Herald for digging into Central Maine Power’s ongoing billing issues (June 23). You’ve shown how CMP’s longtime project to switch over to smart metering and upgrade their billing system has been a disaster in so many ways. Their lies, attempts to cover up and inept management of the project and ensuing problems have only worsened the situation. It’s no wonder the public doesn’t trust CMP. It’s impossible to understand how Gov. Mills can support New England Clean Energy Connect. CMP has left a long trail of broken promises. Even with a reliable and trustworthy partner, the corridor project makes no sense; it’s destructive and dangerous to our wildlife habitats, tourist industries, the North Woods way of life and all the communities in its path. ~ G. Bud Samiljan, Durham
Letter: State should provide better oversight of CMP
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, June 30, 2019 

Re: “Electric shock: How Central Maine Power misled the public and mismanaged the rollout of its new billing system” (June 23): The extensive article is must reading. It is clear and describes the sort of missteps, process errors and shortcuts that invariably produce flawed results. In this case, the flaws have led to thousands of customer problems and damage to CMP’s reputation, as well as to totally unnecessary costs, stress and worry. I and many others, particularly those customers harmed and others worrying about what may happen to their current and future electric supply, deserve increased state legislative and regulatory action and attention. ~ Oliver Andrews III, Phippsburg
Letter: CMP ill-equipped to carry out power line project
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, June 30, 2019 

Re: “CMP misled the public, mismanaged rollout of new billing system” (June 23): Given Central Maine Power’s incompetence, few, if any, of us would hire them to build a driveway. The state of Maine, however, thinks Central Maine Power capable of managing the construction of a large, complicated project (which should never be built) in environmentally sensitive areas. I would laugh if I were not crying so hard. ~ Edward Riggs, Albion
Column: Black Flies are bad this year, but that’s good in a way
Sun Journal - Saturday, June 29, 2019 

As far as June black flies go, this year may go down in history as one of the worst in recent memory. Interestingly enough, a plentitude of black flies is an indicator of clean water. Back in the 1950s, when many of our rivers were polluted with industrial and municipal waste, there were few black flies. If this is the yardstick, the upper reaches of the West Branch of the Penobscot River is about as pristine as it gets. That’s a good thing – bugs be damned – and may also explain why the fighting, silver warriors that we endure the bugs for are the strongest, scrappiest landlocked salmon in Maine. Hand me that bug spray, please. ~ V. Paul Reynolds
Letter: Shameful flip on solar bill
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, April 19, 2018 

Even though I am not a constituent of Reps. Stacey Guerin, Matthew Harrington, Teresa Pierce, Matthew Pouliot and Abden Simmons, I cannot stay silent in the face of such blatant hypocrisy and cowardice. I hope their flip from initially supporting LD 1444, the solar bill, with a supposed “veto-proof” majority to upholding the anti-solar governor’s veto will be remembered by voters in their districts. Come November they should find themselves out of a job. ~ Jason Langle, Orono
Blog: Camp Directors Gather to Consider Diversity and Inclusion
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, February 15, 2018 

When close to 80 Maine camp directors gathered Tuesday in Portland to discuss diversity and inclusion, they were challenged to consider the impact of differences and division, and to seek to “create balance in an unbalanced world.” ~ Kristine Snow Millard
Man gets prison time for illegally harvesting Virginia eels
Associated Press - Monday, November 6, 2017 

A New York seafood dealer has been sentenced to 1 ½ years behind bars for illegally trafficking more than $150,000 worth of baby eels from Virginia. Tommy Zhou was sentenced Friday in a federal Virginia court after he pleaded guilty in April. Prosecutors say Zhou obtained a Maine elver dealer license in 2013 and then used it to cover his illegal operation.
Offshore Wind Farms See Promise in Platforms That Float
New York Times - Thursday, September 29, 2016 

The University of Maine is undertaking an elaborate physics experiment meant to simulate conditions that full-scale floating wind turbines could face at an installation being planned about 10 miles off the Maine coast in up to 360 feet of water near tiny Monhegan Island. For nearly 18 months in 2013 and 2014, an operating version of the apparatus — one-eighth of scale — sat in the waters off Castine sending electricity to the grid. That proved the technology fundamentally worked and guided refinements to the design. Now, the UMaine team is using the data collected at the lab to confirm the final form, a crucial next step in bringing the technology to market.
Blog: Singing is an act of territorialism for birds
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, April 7, 2016 

Birds don’t think about much, mostly just food and sex. Despite the simplicity of such a life, bird communication can be quite complex. Birds are renowned for their vocal abilities, but they use lots of visual cues, too. Perhaps nothing is more obvious than the crests sported by many species. ~ Bob Duchesne
Marco Rubio Finds Common Ground With Armed Militia In Oregon
Climate Progress - Thursday, January 7, 2016 

Republican presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio (R) doesn’t like that militants are currently occupying a federal wildlife facility in Oregon. But he does like the militia’s main idea: Seizing and selling off America’s public lands. Rubio explained his position on the controversial occupation at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, now entering its fifth day. Rubio said that while he doesn’t support “lawless” activity, he does agree with the militia on its main point that federal public lands should be transferred to private ownership for activities like logging, coal mining, oil drilling, and farming. Rubio’s plan would essentially cause a free-for-all, where states can devastate national forests, parks, and other important wildlife and plantlife zones for temporary economic gain.
Editorial: Conflict over land preservation confirms where the public stands
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, December 16, 2015 

If Gov. Paul LePage’s yearslong barricade of Land for Maine’s Future has proven anything, it’s how popular the conservation program is among a broad cross-section of the state. When the governor held hostage the voter-approved bonds that fund the program, residents from across the political divide responded with one voice, united in their support for an initiative that has protected more than 550,000 acres for a variety of economic and recreational uses. That response should make it clear that the focus should be on strengthening and tightening the program, not obstructing or trying to dismantle it, as LePage has done for most of his time in office. The governor, not corruption or mismanagement, is the program’s true problem.
Opinion: This is Bar Harbor’s chance to become a solar success and example
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, May 19, 2015 

On June 2, Bar Harbor voters have an exciting opportunity to take a step toward putting the brakes on climate change. Article T on the town meeting agenda authorizes leasing town land and roofs as part of Community Solar Farms and Power Purchase Agreements for the purpose of providing power to the municipality. The change starts here and now. With our prominence as a popular tourist destination, Bar Harbor has an outsize influence on the rest of the state and the nation. By voting for this article we are saying that we care, that we can make a collective difference. ~ Gary Friedmann, Bar Harbor Town Council
Opinion: A new set of bold predictions
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, January 4, 2015 

In 2015, LePage will reduce the size of state government by 5 percent, he will succeed in further reducing municipal revenue sharing and he will change state law to permit municipalities to tax nonprofits. The Legislature will pass major welfare reform and reduce energy costs by welcoming in more natural gas and hydro. ~ Phil Harriman
Letter: Give deer the food they need and they will flourish
Kennebec Journal - Monday, April 28, 2014 

I read with interest the April 13 article about whitetail deer, “In northern Maine, deer herd shrinks despite efforts to rebuild it.” Anyone can look at Google satellite maps and know that very little of the Maine woods is untouched. The deer are being squeezed out of their natural habitat searching for food. They are vulnerable to predators and starvation because of the condition of the forest. The state cannot save the deer herd by pumping money into various programs. We just need to let some of the forest grow back, and the animals will survive on their own. ~ Betsy Laney, West Gardiner
Letter: Gubernatorial climate
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, December 10, 2013 

As we approach the gubernatorial election year in Maine, and in light of the “interesting” comments made by our governor on Dec. 5 regarding the profit potential in climate change, I am reminded of the election that put such a person into office. From all early indications, LePage’s tea party supporters will hold about the same sway next November, and with Eliot Cutler again as a wild card in the race, the potential for Maine to have another four years with a governor who has squeaked into office with a minority of the state’s voters behind him is not small. We have had three years to try to correct this significant weakness in our election system, and yet we will be going to the polls in November 2014 faced with the same problem. This is unpardonable. ~ Dana Williams, Belfast
Fabulous Find assists Great Works land trust
Seacoast Online - Monday, October 28, 2013 

Fabulous Find thrift store in Kittery gave a boost to conservation recently with proceeds from September sales. Store staff presented a check for $4,332 to Great Works Regional Land Trust to assist the trust's conservation projects and ongoing operations.
Diehard Mainers take advantage of extended woodcock season
John Holyoke Out There Blog - Wednesday, October 10, 2012 

For years, Maine bird hunters in search of woodcock had just 30 days — generally the month of October — to do so. After years of study and discussion, that all changed in 2011. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service extended the woodcock season from 30 to 45 days.
Opinion: Save the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund
Other - Friday, July 22, 2011 

The U.S. House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee has passed a bill devastating the crown jewel conservation program for America's public lands and waters — the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Created in 1965 to offset the environmental risks from offshore oil and gas development, the conservation fund uses money from federal oil and gas leases to protect environmentally sensitive lands and watersheds. Over the years, the fund has paid for the expansion of national, state and local parks as well as conservation easements. All of this is accomplished without spending any federal tax dollars. President Obama's budget for 2012 provided $900 million for the fund. Regrettably, the bill passed by the subcommittee cuts the budget figure by more than 93 percent to the lowest funding level in the program's 45-year history.
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