May 22, 2018  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Tuesday, May 22, 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
International Day for Biological Diversity, May 22
Announcement - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

The Convention on Biological Diversity is the international legal instrument for "the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources" that has been ratified by 196 nations. The United Nations has proclaimed 22 May as the International Day for Biological Diversity.
Join the fight for Maine's clean energy future
Action Alert - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

In Maine, we are seeing the damaging effects of climate change firsthand: tick borne illnesses like Lyme disease are on the rise, the warming Gulf of Maine threatens our marine economy, air pollution drives up asthma rates for kids and adults, and extreme weather impacts our outdoor recreation and farming industries. The technology to turn off dirty fossil fuels already exists. What is standing in the way of our clean energy future? Politicians who are bought and paid for by the oil and gas industry. ~ Maine Conservation Voters
Maine Calling: The Changing North Woods, May 22
Announcement - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

UMaine experts discuss the relationship between humans and forests, including environmental attitudes and behaviors; rural communities and the forest economy; and the role of ecotourism and recreation. Maine Public Radio, May 22, 1 pm.
Defining Wilderness: Defining Maine, May 29 - Jul 24
Event - Posted - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

The Maine State Library is offering a free reading and discussion group with copies of books available through the library. The series, Defining Wilderness: Defining Maine, runs for 5 sessions, May 29 - July 24, at the State Library in Augusta. Books to be discussed include "The Maine Woods" by Henry David Thoreau.
Bats, May 29
Event - Posted - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

Biologist Trevor Peterson will speak about local species of bats. At Topsham Public Library, May 29, 6 pm. Sponsored by Cathance River Education Alliance.
Sign-Up to Count Fish at Nequasset
Announcement - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

The annual alewife count at the Nequasset Fish Ladder in Woolwich is happening. Join the fun by signing up to count during any two 10 minute blocks within a two hour period.
Wilderness Under Siege, May 30
Event - Posted - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

Nationally known author and explorer George Wuerthner will discuss the challenges facing Wilderness, how people can better protect the Wildernesses in their backyards and around the country, and organizing against efforts to weaken or repeal the Wilderness Act. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, May 30, 6:30 pm.
Field Trip: Capt. Fitzgerald Preserve and Bay Bridge, May 27
Event - Posted - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

Explore two town-owned properties in Brunswick for breeding and migrant birds: Fitzgerald Preserve and Bay Bridge Wetland Park on the Androscoggin River. May 27, 6:30 – 11 am. Sponsored by Merrymeeting Audubon.
White Mountains Centennial exhibition, May 27
Event - Posted - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

The Museums of the Bethel Historical Society host a preview reception of the new displays, “White Mountain National Forest: A Centennial Exhibition” and “The White Mountains: Alps of New England.” At Robinson House, Bethel, May 27, 2-5 pm.
Farmer Talent Show & Open Mic, May 27
Event - Posted - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

The first annual Farmer Talent Show & Open Mic will benefit the Market’s Harvest Bucks program, which increases access to fruit and vegetables for low-income households. At East Madison Grange, May 27, 5-8 pm.
Walk on the Wild Side, May 26
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 19, 2018 

Turner Public Library’s summer programming begins with a nature walk. At Androscoggin Riverlands State Park, May 26, 2 pm.
Edible (and Poisonous) Plants, May 26
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 19, 2018 

Tom Seymour, author, botanist and edible plant enthusiast, will introduce you to many of the edible and medicinal plants that can be found in Maine’s woods and fields. At Head of Tide Preserve, Belfast, May 26, 10 am - noon.
Birding Extravaganza, May 26
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 19, 2018 

Ted Allen from Merrymeeting Audubon will lead birders through the Kennebec Estuary Land Trust’s Thorne Head Preserve in Bath, May 26, 8 am.
Alewife Day, May 26
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 19, 2018 

See the alewives swim upstream. Smoked fish, kid’s games, mills running, Machinery Hall open. At Maine Forest and Logging Museum, Bradley, May 26, 10 am - 1 pm, $3 per person ages 12+.
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News Items
Federal grant for $6 million will help Casco Bay Lines buy a new boat
Portland Press Herald - Friday, May 4, 2018 

Casco Bay Lines will get a $6 million federal grant to replace one of its aging passenger ferries. The money will pay for more than half the $10 million ferry replacement, with other government grants and a local match paying the rest. The ferry service intends to replace the Machigonne II car ferry and Maqouit II passenger ferry in the near future.
If turkeys are damaging your crops you can kill them
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Friday, May 4, 2018 

Here’s information, from DIFW’s new big game management plan: You can kill any wild turkey if the turkey is in the act of attacking, harassing, or wounding domestic animals or destroying property. In addition, the owner of an orchard or crop (except grass, clover, and grain), may kill wild turkeys within the orchard or crop when substantial damage is occurring. You can also allow others to kill wild turkeys that are causing substantial damage with approval of a game warden. When you do kill a turkey, you must notify a game warden within 24 hours, and salvage the meat for consumption.
What the EPA exodus means for Scott Pruitt
Think Progress - Friday, May 4, 2018 

Staff departures from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have become so common that they rarely make news anymore — since Administrator Scott Pruitt took control of the EPA in 2017, more than 700 employees have left the agency. But this week, as federal investigations surrounding Pruitt’s ethical scandals continue to mount, four departures in particular made headlines, as officials with close ties to the administrator announced they would be moving on from the agency.
Up North, Early May
Down East - Friday, May 4, 2018 

Canoe tripping in Up North in early May is about some quality of the air, something you can actually smell — slightly pungent, with hints of bay leaf, subtle retsina overtones, and the effervescence of chilled champagne, giving an overall effect of pure oxygen, deeply inhaled. This elixir cannot be packaged, bottled, or sold online. American consumers spend billions annually on drugs, doctors, gym memberships, and holistic horse-fodder hoping to find it. It is unattainable, but Up North, in early May, it exists. Not for long, but for real. ~ Franklin Burroughs
How to keep ticks out of your yard and off your body
Bangor Daily News - Friday, May 4, 2018 

Home tick management is a relatively new concept for many Maine residents. Deer ticks didn’t really start to be a problem in the state until the early 2000s, when they migrated from southern New England and started infecting residents with Lyme disease. Many Mainers grew up rolling around in the grass and bushwhacking through the woods without a thought about these dangerous pests. But now, ticks are here to stay. There’s no single solution to the tick problem. Options include spraying synthetic pesticides, dousing areas with natural plant-based repellents, erecting fences to keep out animals that carry ticks and removing tick-friendly habitat, such as tall grasses and leaf litter. It comes down to personal preference and what will work best for the space you’re trying to protect.
How CMP plans to pipe clean energy to Massachusetts through Maine
Bangor Daily News - Friday, May 4, 2018 

A $950 million proposal to transmit hydropower 145 miles from the Canadian border through western Maine and to the New England electric grid is moving steadily through regulatory reviews and contract negotiations, despite opposition from groups questioning its environmental and economic benefits to Maine. The PUC is expected to announce its decision on the project at the end of September or early October.

Ecomaine warns public it may start paying a price for sloppy recycling
Portland Press Herald - Friday, May 4, 2018 

Ecomaine has a message for recycling customers – if you keep sending us trash mixed in with materials for recycling, it is going to cost you. The nonprofit corporation is losing thousands of dollars a month as it struggles to pick out as much non-recyclable material – called contamination – as it can from the thousands of tons of recycling it processes every year.
Businesses find that cutting carbon emissions also cuts costs
Portland Press Herald - Friday, May 4, 2018 

In 2004, the U.N. Climate Change Conference took place in Copenhagen, as leaders from around the world came to realize not only that it did not stay below zero consistently in Maine in the depths of winter, but also that the Arctic was warming and starting to melt, as were the Greenland glaciers and the huge ice sheets of the South Pole. We must all do all we can do to cut carbon emissions, and we will each benefit from that economically as well as morally. ~ Jim Wellehan, owner, Lamey-Wellehan Shoes
Opinion: Save ancient Belgrade apple trees
Kennebec Journal - Friday, May 4, 2018 

While much of our agricultural history has disappeared, you can still see the apple trees lining many of our roads. Nowhere in Maine was orcharding more important than in the Kennebec County town of Belgrade. Sadly, a number of these trees are marked to be cut down as the state “beautifies” Route 8/11. The trees pose no threat to traffic. Rather, they add beauty to the landscape and remind us of our past. We should be documenting, preserving and propagating our pomological heritage for future generations. ~ John Bunker, Palermo, Maine Heritage Orchard

Letter: Maine should be proud of young environmental leaders
Portland Press Herald - Friday, May 4, 2018 

On April 28, at Scarborough High School, Maine youth from several area high schools came together to host the inaugural Maine Youth Environmental Convention. There may be a lack of leadership on environmental issues at some levels of government, but no lack of leadership with these teens, who organized a lively and useful conference with environmental exhibits, presentations, demonstrations and activities, including composting and environmental art. Maine can be proud of the efforts of these young environmental leaders. ~ Edward Pontius, Portland
Opinion: Pruitt Is Wrong on Burning Forests for Energy
New York Times - Thursday, May 3, 2018 

Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, told the Georgia Forestry Association on the day after Earth Day that the E.P.A. would now declare the burning of wood from managed forests for energy production by power plants and other stationary sources to be “carbon neutral.” He meant that, in the agency’s view, there would be no net release of carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere, because replanting the forest that had just been cut and burned could offset those emissions. But burning wood from forests to generate electricity is not carbon neutral when the direct emissions from combustion, plus emissions from soil and logging and processing the wood, are considered. Scientific studies have shown that it will worsen the consequences of climate change for decades or through the end of this century. ~ William H. Schlesinger, Duke; Beverly Law, Oregon State; John Sterman M.I.T.; William R. Moomaw, Tufts
Maine Outdoor Challenge seeks teams to vie for Bronze Boot
Turner Publishing - Thursday, May 3, 2018 

Registration is open for the 7th annual Maine Outdoor Challenge, which will take place at the L.L Bean Outdoor Discovery Center June 4 to 6. The round-robin contest invites corporations, clients and individuals to compete for a cause, as experts and novices alike join forces to show off their outdoor skills in fly casting, sporting clays and archery.
Influential outsiders played key role in EPA chief’s ambitious travel plans
Washington Post - Thursday, May 3, 2018 

After taking office last year, Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt drew up a list of at least a dozen countries he hoped to visit and urged aides to help him find official reasons to travel, according to four people familiar with the matter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal agency deliberations. Pruitt then enlisted well-connected friends and political allies to help make the trips happen.
Spruce Mountain teams sweep envirothon
Sun Journal - Thursday, May 3, 2018 

Three teams from Spruce Mountain High School in Jay won the top three places at the Southwestern Regional Envirothon on Thursday. The three Spruce Mountain teams will compete at the Maine Envirothon on May 25 at the Maine Lakes Science Center in Bridgton.
138-year-old Sewall Company purchased by NY engineering firm
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, May 3, 2018 

A New York-based engineering company specializing in infrastructure has finalized its purchase of an Old Town engineering and natural resource consulting company. Treadwell Franklin Infrastructure bought the James W. Sewall Company, which was started 138 years ago. The company will operate out of Sewall’s Portland and Old Town offices. Eventually Treadwell Franklin intends to separate Sewall’s forestry practice into a separate subsidiary.
Springtime means fishing for many Mainers. Here’s how to improve your odds of success
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, May 3, 2018 

Brook trout really start to feed when alder leaves get as big as a mouse’s ear, the old saying goes, and I’d bet that in the next week, alders in much of eastern Maine will reach that magical size. Here’s hoping you’re ready to take advantage of that special time of year, and head out for a bit of fishing. Some target wild trout, while others aren’t so picky, and are willing to fish for most anything that’s swimming…even fish that have been recently stocked by state fish hatchery workers. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
CMP knew about problems with its new billing system right from the start, memos show
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, May 3, 2018 

Central Maine Power Co. has known for months that its new billing software was rife with problems, raising questions about its assertion in April that its software has nothing to do with why hundreds of customers had unusually high bills over the winter. More than 250 pages of confidential documents obtained by the Portland Press Herald show persistent problems with CMP’s new billing system, a situation that was downplayed in early April by a top manager, who said the new billing system was not contributing to extraordinarily high bills for some 1,500 customers.
Conservation Corps members build trails, rock stairs at Augusta nature center
Kennebec Journal - Thursday, May 3, 2018 

Maine Conservation Corps and Americorps members and team leaders spent this week training at the 175-acre Augusta Nature Education Center. The members have been learning how to move rocks down precipitous hills using a high line winch system and place them, carefully and with thought given to how they’ll fit with other rocks in the staircase, and create crushed rock to fill voids in the ground and stabilize the larger rocks.
Piping plovers are back
Seacoast Online - Thursday, May 3, 2018 

Another long and harsh winter is in the books and many are looking forward to enjoying local beaches this summer. Residents of southern Maine will be sharing those beaches with a small North American shorebird called the piping plover. Piping plovers are considered endangered in Maine and threatened federally. There are only a total of 2,000 pairs worldwide. Plovers are very vulnerable to predators such as raccoons, skunks and foxes, but their largest threat comes from humans.
Grants available for Alamoosook Lake area residents
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, May 3, 2018 

This spring, year-round and seasonal residents throughout the Alamoosook Lake watershed are invited to apply for matching grants for residential or private road projects that will help keep soil and nutrients from eroding into the lake, and prevent algae blooms. Hancock County Soil and Water Conservation District can provide up to $750 in matching funds to fix erosion problems on driveways, lawns, wooded slopes and shorefronts. Grant funding can also cover 60% of the cost of approved private road repairs.
Island Heritage Trust hires new director
Other - Thursday, May 3, 2018 

Island Heritage Trust recently announced the arrival of Paul Miller, who will succeed Mike Little as the trust’s new executive director, effective June 1, when Little will retire after 10 years of service. Miller, a graduate of Maine’s Unity College, holds a B.S. in Environmental Science and an M.S. in Sustainable Resource Management. Most recently he served as Conservation Biologist for the Loon Echo Land Trust in Bridgton.
June trial set for lawsuit over South Portland 'Clear Skies' law
Forecaster - Thursday, May 3, 2018 

The lawsuit challenging South Portland’s Clear Skies Ordinance is scheduled to go to trial June 18 in U.S. District Court. The City Council transferred more than half a million dollars to the ordinance defense fund Tuesday in anticipation of the trial, and approved zoning changes to help advance an affordable housing project proposed for Main Street. The city has already spend $1.4 million on the litigation filed by Portland Pipe Line Corp., and has received $168,000 in donations to help defend itself. In December, Woodcock largely rejected arguments from Portland Pipe Line challenging the legality of South Portland’s municipal ban on crude oil exports.
EXCLUSIVE: Is Maine ready for a major oil spill?
Maine Environmental News - Thursday, May 3, 2018 

The biggest oil pipeline company in North America, and the major owner of the largest pipeline in Maine, is in trouble again. On Tuesday, the EPA filed a document in federal court in Michigan that alleges Enbridge Energy and its affiliates failed to properly conduct inspections required by a consent decree that was supposed to settle one of the largest inland oil spills on record. Enbridge is a big player in Maine. In 2017, Enbridge acquired Spectra Energy, making Enbridge the majority owner of the Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline, which extends from Nova Scotia through Maine to Massachusetts. Few Mainers probably have heard of Enbridge, but with such a spotty record of compliance with environmental safeguards and a long rap sheet of spills, Maine ought to be closely monitoring the company’s hundreds of miles of pipeline through the state.
Wardens searching for bobcat that attacked boy, 17
Sun Journal - Thursday, May 3, 2018 

The Maine Warden Service is looking for a bobcat that attacked a 17-year-old boy and his father Wednesday evening in the Oxford County town of Stow and then might have attacked a small dog in nearby Lovell the next morning. Carolynn Plowden said her husband, John, and their son went outside to confirm the cat was not a lynx, which is protected, and to keep an eye on the animal while John called the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to confirm that he could shoot it. “They backed way up to monitor while they figured out what to do,” she said, “Then it came out and from 20 feet away it took three leaps and just launched itself at (Justin’s) face.”
Natural Resources Council of Maine Asking For Removal of EPA Secretary Scott Pruitt
Maine Public - Thursday, May 3, 2018 

As parts of Maine woke up to a second day of air quality warnings Thursday, the Natural Resources Council of Maine plans to send a letter to President Trump asking that he remove Environmental Protection Agency administrator, Scott Pruitt. "It's one of those days where pollution is bombarding our state from other places and, like thousands of Mainers, I have asthma, and I'm having a hard time breathing,” says Emmie Theberge, with NRCM. “Scott Pruitt is doing nothing to help clean up our air, in fact his positions are making our air more dirty and harder for Mainers to breathe and that's just one of the many reasons why he should go."
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