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
Burnham man seriously injured in weekend ATV crash
Morning Sentinel - Monday, May 6, 2019 

Gerald Erving, 48, of Burnham, was operating a 2016 Yamaha four-wheeler on Mount Road when he struck the rear tire of a 2019 Can-Am operated by his son, Zachary Erving. The impact caused Gerald Erving to be ejected over the handlebars of the ATV he was operating and onto the road. He was transported to Sebasticook Valley Hospital in Pittsfield and then flown via LifeFlight helicopter to Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor with life threatening injuries. Erving’s condition is critical. Zachary Erving, 20, also of Burnham, was uninjured. Neither man was wearing a helmet.
Brown ash endangerment and indigenous solutions
Times Record - Monday, May 6, 2019 

Brown ash trees, also known as black ash, are critically endangered throughout the state of Maine. The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), a parasitic beetle that has already killed ash trees across the United States, was first detected in Maine last May—several years before it was anticipated. Faced with these ongoing threats, the Wabanaki (Mi’kmaq, Maliseet, Passamaquoddy, and Penobscot tribes), has been leading the defense of brown ash trees in Maine. Native to wetlands, but often planted in New England towns, brown ash trees play a critical role in basket-weaving practices, particularly to those of the Wabanaki.
Topsham-Gardiner trail funding that rep says would lead to economic boon takes a backseat thanks to infrastructure shortfalls
Times Record - Monday, May 6, 2019 

The Merrymeeting Trail project, in the works for more than a decade, had come to a standstill, with the stretch between Topsham and Gardiner still incomplete. The trail would be built on an old railroad bed, the state-owned Augusta Lower Road rail corridor, and would link the Kennebec River Trail with the Androscoggin River Bicycle and Pedestrian Path. LD 1141, which directs MDOT to finish the project, doesn’t yet have a price tag attached to it, but one 2011 estimate put the cost of setting up a trail over the old tracks at $7.7 million. It’s uncertain how much support the bill will receive on the Legislature’s transportation committee, given the state’s other infrastructure priorities.
UN report says nature is in worst shape in human history
WCSH-TV6 - Monday, May 6, 2019 

Nature is in more trouble now than at any other time in human history, with extinction looming over 1 million species of plants and animals, scientists said Monday in the United Nations' first comprehensive report on biodiversity. Species loss is accelerating to a rate tens or hundreds of times faster than in the past. It's all because of humans, but it's not too late to fix the problem. The report highlighted five ways people are reducing biodiversity:
• Turning forests and grasslands into farms and developments
• Overfishing the world's oceans
• Permitting climate change from the burning of fossil fuels
• Polluting land and water
• Allowing invasive species to crowd out native plants and animals
Many of the worst effects can be prevented by changing the way we grow food, produce energy, deal with climate change and dispose of waste, the report said.
Letter: Pineland could treat animals better
Portland Press Herald - Monday, May 6, 2019 

Over the past few years, my young children and I have visited Pineland Farms’ family education program. We are saddened that the cows and calves are not being treated well. When we visited in February, the dairy cows were chained by their necks in individual stalls, unable to go outside in the winter months. And, in late April, the cows are still inside and unable to move freely due to these restraints. A newborn calf, born just yesterday, was trying to suckle a metal wrung on her cage. Each calf was confined to a small enclosure. Several were frantically banging on the edges, trying to move more freely. Pineland could do better and model free-range, more humane treatment of its animals. ~ Rachel White, Falmouth
Letter: Cape dogs should keep their off-leash zone
Portland Press Herald - Monday, May 6, 2019 

We have lived in Cape Elizabeth 37 years. We walk on the carefully maintained dog walk behind the kids’ playground at Fort Williams, taking much delight in all the dogs playing with one another, greeting us and running free for a little winter exercise. Ninety-nine percent are very well behaved. So are their humans. Please do not ban dogs off leash in Fort Williams. ~ Walden S. and David N. Morton, Cape Elizabeth
Lisbon police alert public after family attacked by dog or coyote on walking path
Times Record - Sunday, May 5, 2019 

Lisbon police warn the public to be on the lookout for a dog or coyote near the town’s walking path near the Androscoggin River that attacked a family on the path Saturday evening. Lisbon Police Chief Marc Hagan said police believe it was most likely a loose dog that attacked the family. “Without a description however, we are forced to look at all possibilities,” he said.
Maine is losing farms and farmland, but hope is not lost for agriculture
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, May 5, 2019 

Maine’s so-called farming renaissance has been vaunted as both a hopeful spot in the state’s economy and a magnet that is drawing some young people back to the land. But the most recent Census of Agriculture makes it clear that it’s not just green pastures and bountiful harvests here. During 2012 to 2017, there was:
- A loss of about 10% of Maine farmland, a drop from 1.45 to 1.3 million acres.
- A loss of 573 farms, from 8,173 farms in 2012 to 7,600 farms in 2017.
- A 15.8% decline in average net income per farm, from $20,141 to $16,958.
Column: Democrats should visit farm communities
Washington Post - Sunday, May 5, 2019 

President Donald Trump is causing the most pain in areas of the country that were the most supportive of his 2016 campaign. “Personal income for farmers fell by the most in three years in the first quarter, and losses to U.S. agriculture are mounting from Trump’s trade wars. Trump claims that urban elites don’t “respect” rural America. In fact, it’s Trump who treats them like rubes — taking their votes and then picking their pockets. ~ Jennifer Rubin
Uncertain future for 'super' seaweed after court ruling
Associated Press - Sunday, May 5, 2019 

Maine has a long tradition of seaweed harvesting, in which the algae is gathered for a wide variety of commercial uses, including some popular food products. Now, a recent court ruling could dramatically change the nature of the business in Maine, which has seen the harvest of the gooey stuff grow by leaps and bounds in the last decade, industry members said. The state's highest court ruled that permission from coastal landowners is needed for harvesting rockweed, a type of seaweed that's critical to the industry.
Sign of the season: Hatcheries stocking fish in local waters
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, May 5, 2019 

Around this time of year, trucks from the state’s fish hatcheries begin to visit plenty of fishable waters, disgorging thousands of brook trout and landlocked salmon that will provide fishing opportunities to Mainers for months. While fishing for stocked fish isn’t for everyone, plenty of folks have come to depend on those stocking efforts and keep a close eye on the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s list of waters that have already been stocked.
Wildlife thrives on candid camera along the Eastern Trail
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, May 5, 2019 

The Gap Tracks Project – believed to be the first study of its kind of the effects of urban sprawl in Maine – uses two game cameras placed around an existing section of the Eastern Trail to the south of the Nonesuch River and six cameras in the now-wild, 1.6-mile stretch of woods to the north, where the trail will be continued this fall. Once these two sections are connected, this part of the Eastern Trail will be a continuous 17-mile foot-and-bike path from South Portland to Saco. The project studies the effects of urban sprawl. View the wildlife captured on the Gap Tracks Project cameras on Facebook at facebook.com/GapTracks/.
Gov. Mills chips away at LePage legacy, but signature reforms remain
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, May 5, 2019 

The ink had barely dried on her inauguration papers in early January when Gov. Janet Mills, a Democrat, began shifting state government in a far different direction than that taken by her Republican predecessor, Paul LePage. Kathleen Marra, chairwoman of the Maine Democratic Party, says, "She is acting in the best interests of the people of Maine.” LePage vetoed bills to expand the use of residential solar power. Mills has vowed to have solar panels installed at the Blaine House. Julie Rabinowitz, LePage’s former press secretary, says, Mills' actions “seem kind of superficial,” such as an executive order to end a wind energy commission and moratorium on new wind development. From climate change to relationships with the Legislature, the opposition party and the media, Mills has been the yin to LePage’s yang.
Column: These books will prepare you for the other side of mud season
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, May 5, 2019 

Here are a few recent books on Maine’s outdoors. From guidebooks covering regions well-trod and deserted, to tragedy, to adventurous and contemplative biography, these books will prepare you for the other side of mud season.
• “Best Easy Day Hikes Acadia National Park” by Dolores Kong and Dan Ring
• “Ten Days in the North Woods” by Hope Rowan and Jada Finch
• “Rediscovering the Maine Woods: Thoreau’s Legacy in an Unsettled Land” edited by John J Kucich
• “When You Find My Body” by D. Dauphinee
• “Northland” by Porter Fox
• “Beyond Acadia” by Rich Bard
• “Making Tracks” by Matt Weber
~ Josh Christie
Column: For a successful hunt, you’ll need to learn to talk turkey
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, May 5, 2019 

While the basis of spring turkey hunting involves calling birds into bow or gun range by imitating the female of the species, the tone, tenor and technique used in the field are often quite different than those wielded in competition calling. Fooling a live turkey is far easier than convincing a judge of your calling prowess, so you have a little more margin for error. All the same, in both cases, it’s often the subtleties and attention to detail that make the difference. ~ Bob Humphrey
Column: Nonnative plants and animals aren’t the only living things that spell trouble for Maine’s landscape
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, May 5, 2019 

In a disrupted ecosystem, even native species can be problematic for people working to regenerate and maintain natural landscapes. “Our wild lands can’t regenerate because there is an over-browsing by deer,” says Kristin Puryear, an ecologist with the Maine Natural Areas Program. ~ Tom Atwell
Letter: CMP project will bring major benefits
Kennebec Journal - Sunday, May 5, 2019 

The New England Clean Energy Connect is a project Maine badly needs. It will bring thousands of construction jobs with it and pump hundreds of millions of dollars into our economy. But what’s even more impressive are the benefits that come with it to Maine’s environment. The path does not run through any pristine forest and concern over the Kennebec Gorge has been greatly reduced now that CMP has decided to run the line under the river as opposed to over it. That’s important to me being a fisherman, a hunter, and somebody who enjoys all the outdoor opportunities our beautiful state has to offer. NECEC is good for our environment and it has my full support. ~ ~ Carl Wallace, South Gardiner
Letter: L.D. 292 would allow Maine milk to be donated, not dumped
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, May 5, 2019 

A bill before the Legislature would allow milk to be donated instead of dumped down the drain. Statistics show that 1 in 5 children and 14.4% of households in Maine are food insecure. Thirty-seven percent of those who are food insecure do not qualify for assistance. Milk tops the list of items requested by food bank participants. When I worked at the homeless shelter in Presque Isle, the only milk that was regularly donated was left-over small cartons from schools. Milk donations are not allowed, as they violate minimum pricing laws. Maine is in a unique position to have flexibility over our dairy markets, as we are not part of the federal order. L.D. 292 would allow these donations. ~ Melanie Maynard, Castle Hill, master of social work student, UMaine
Letter: Don’t follow Trump off the cliff – fight global warming
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, May 5, 2019 

According to Donald Trump, “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.” We cannot afford to continue living with this mindset. Global warming is not a hoax. How long do we have until the place we call home is unable to support any forms of life? Why is our president unconcerned that there may not be a United States of America to govern in the near future? Not only has Trump pulled the U.S. out of the Paris agreement on climate change, but he also allowed companies to emit more greenhouse gases than ever. We must all come together to combat this issue before it is too late. ~ Meghan Cookson, Pittsfield
Tips to keep conflicts with Maine black bears at bay
Turner Publishing - Saturday, May 4, 2019 

Maine has the largest population of black bears in the lower 48 states, and they’re most active April through November. When natural foods is scarce, especially in the spring or dry summers, bears will venture into backyards in search of easily accessible food such as bird feeders, garbage, grills and pet food. While hundreds of conflicts between bears and people are reported each year in Maine, many can be prevented by removing or securing common bear attractants. Removing food sources will also limit other backyard visitors, like raccoons and skunks. The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife offer these steps to keep black bear conflicts at bay.
Local living on display at Fiddlehead Festival in Farmington
Sun Journal - Saturday, May 4, 2019 

Hundreds of people came to the University of Maine at Farmington on Saturday to check out vendors, hear talks on fermentation, listen to music and enjoy locally grown and crafted food and goods at the Fiddlehead Festival. Bob Weingarten of Vienna, said, “For people who go to Common Ground, it’s like a preview."
Forest rangers: Rainy April means fewer wildfires
Associated Press - Saturday, May 4, 2019 

All that rainy weather in April that left people wishing for a few consecutive days of sunlight has a silver lining: There have been fewer forest fires this spring in northern New England. The miserable weather served to reduce fire danger across the region. More than 40 forest fires have destroyed a little more than 30 acres this spring in Maine, but that’s lower than normal for this time of the year, said Maine Forest Ranger spokesman Kent Nelson.
Youths rally for solar power, climate action at Portland City Hall
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, May 4, 2019 

A few hundred students, parents, educators and environmental activists rallied Saturday on the steps of Portland City Hall to promote “solarizing” the city schools and moving closer to a goal of running all city buildings on renewable energy by 2040. The afternoon demonstration, dubbed “SunDay on Saturday,” was organized by SolaRISE Portland and included speeches, music and a march to Deering Oaks. It was part of an ongoing effort to educate students and others about climate change and solar power.
Changes in lobster processing rules on Legislature's plate
Associated Press - Saturday, May 4, 2019 

Democratic and Republican leaders in Massachusetts are moving toward consensus on legislation that seeks to expand lobster processing, in turn growing markets and giving consumers a wider selection of lobster products at restaurants and local supermarkets. About 80% of the state's lobster catch now being shipped to Maine or Canada for processing.
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
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