September 24, 2018  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Monday, September 24, 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
Learn about Marine Mammals of Maine, Oct 1
Event - Posted - Monday, September 24, 2018 

Learn more about Marine Mammals of Maine, the current status of seals in Maine, and how to tell if a stranded animal really needs help and what you should do. At Kennebunk Free Library, October 1, 6 pm.
Drop-in volunteers needed to work on Acadia National Park projects
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 22, 2018 

Drop-in volunteers are needed to work on trails, carriage roads and outdoor projects during sessions organized by Acadia National Park and Friends of Acadia. At park headquarters, September 29, 8:15 am-12:15 pm. No experience is necessary.
The Nature of Craft, Sep 29
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 22, 2018 

A fine art and craft show. At Maine Audubon's Gilsland Farm, Falmouth, September 29, 10 am - 4 pm.
Stand with Hunter in opposing Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court
Action Alert - Thursday, September 20, 2018 

Hunter Lachance, a 15-year-old Mainer with asthma, testified against the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court. He explained why Kavanaugh’s opposition to curbing air pollution that crosses state lines would harm Maine and people like him. Urge Senator Collins to vote “no” on Brett Kavanaugh. ~ Kristin Jackson, Natural Resources Council of Maine
Evening for the Environment, Oct 3
Event - Posted - Thursday, September 20, 2018 

A night of camaraderie, celebration, and inspiration for those who care about protecting Maine's environment. Keynote speaker Gina McCarthy, former EPA Administrator. At Brick South on Thompson's Point, Portland, October 3, 5:30-8:00 pm. Organized by Maine Conservation Voters.
Solar 101, Sep 26
Event - Posted - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

Join ReVision Energy to learn about the benefits of solar technology. At Scarborough Public Library, September 26, 2018 6:30 pm.
Weasels of Maine, Sep 26
Event - Posted - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

Shevenell Webb, Wildlife Biologist with IF&W, talks about weasel ecology and natural history. At Augusta Nature Club luncheon, at Capital Area Technical Center, Augusta, September 26, 11:30 am, $7 for lunch.
Activist Training for Maine's Environment, Sep 27-Oct 11
Event - Posted - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

Maine's environmental community is hosting a series of trainings. Learn skills to be a powerful activist and meet fellow environmentalists who want to make a difference in Maine. September 27, Biddeford; October 4: Auburn; October 11, Jefferson; October 18, Falmouth.
Naturalist's Notebook, Sep 26
Event - Posted - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

Bowdoin biology professor Nat Wheelwright will speak about the book he wrote with Bernd Heinrich, "The Naturalist's Notebook: An Observation Guide and 5-Year Calendar-Journal for Tracking Changes in the Natural World Around You." At Portland Public Library, September 26, 5:30-7:30 pm.
NRCM online auction, thru Sep
Announcement - Tuesday, September 18, 2018 

Online auction benefits Natural Resources Council of Maine, through September.
Help wanted: Director of Media Relations and Advocacy Communications
Announcement - Monday, September 17, 2018 

The Natural Resources Council of Maine is seeking applications for the position of Director of Media Relations and Advocacy Communications. The position provides leadership in advancing NRCM and the organization’s advocacy work through the news media. Deadline: October 11, 2018.
MCV Action Fund 2018 Endorsements
Announcement - Monday, September 17, 2018 

A list of candidates endorsed by the Maine Conservation Voters Action Fund.
Bringing an ocean perspective to an urban estuary, Sep 24
Event - Posted - Monday, September 17, 2018 

Karina Nielsen, director of San Francisco State University’s Estuary and Ocean Science Center, will speak at the UMaine Darling Marine Center, Walpole, September 24, 12:15 pm.
Maine's Beaches are Public Property, Sep 24
Event - Posted - Monday, September 17, 2018 

Author and law professor Orlando E. Delogu speaks about public access to Maine’s beaches. At Curtis Memorial Library, Brunswick, September 24, 6:30 pm.
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News Items
Sheep shearer shows he can cut it at Common Ground Country Fair
Morning Sentinel - Saturday, September 22, 2018 

By his own count, Jeff Burchstead is one of just six or seven professional sheep shearers in Maine. He shears 2,500 to 3,000 sheep per year as well as some goats and alpacas. This weekend he showed off some of his skills at the fair. The three-day Common Ground Country Fair.
Pemaquid Oyster Festival continues tradition of fundraising Sept. 30
Wiscasset Newspaper - Saturday, September 22, 2018 

The Pemaquid Oyster Festival has always been known as a rollicking celebration of the working waterfront, with traditions of music, boat rides, an oyster shucking championship, and thousands of oysters fresh from the Damariscotta River. Yet there is another tradition not as well-known, a tradition of fundraising that over the years has contributed over $136,000 to local marine conservation and education efforts. When the gates open at noon on Sunday, Sept. 30 for the 2018 Pemaquid Oyster Festival, event organizers hope to raise enough money to bring that total amount up to over $150,000.
Opinion: Maine Voices: Fishery regulators should understand puffins need herring, too
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, September 22, 2018 

Increasingly, menhaden (“pogies”) are replacing herring as bait in the Maine lobster fishery as herring populations face declines from overfishing and warming ocean conditions. While those fishing for lobster are applauding increased catches of pogies, I want to address an important, often overlooked issue: responsible fishing and ecosystem management. While pogy fishing could possibly relieve fishing pressure on Atlantic herring populations, there is still risk of overfishing in Maine’s waters that has much broader ecological implications for marine wildlife, including a seabird important to Maine’s identity, the Atlantic puffin. ~ Stephen Kress, National Audubon Society’s Seabird Restoration Program, Bremen
Photos: Sixth-graders take a deep dive into ocean science at Gulf of Maine Research Institute
Portland Press Herald - Friday, September 21, 2018 

Students from Greene Central School in Greene, Maine, came to Portland on Friday to work in the LabVenture learning space at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute. At LabVenture, students can explore the impact of a changing climate on the Gulf of Maine and its key species, such as black sea bass and lobster, in the state-of-the-art learning environment. Students measure live lobsters, examine plankton under a microscope and analyze data. Students also can use real NASA satellite data and local fishery data to explore questions about the Gulf of Maine that the institute’s scientists are tackling.
Kennebunkport voters approve $10M offer to buy property before subdivision is built
York County Coast Star - Friday, September 21, 2018 

Over 150 residents filled the Kennebunkport Village Fire Station for a special town meeting Wednesday, and took just over an hour to approve $10 million dollars that will allow the town to attempt to purchase an 85-acre parcel of land across from the fire station on North Street. Voters approved the measure by a roughly two-thirds margin. The land was purchased in January of 2006 from the Frink family by a Massachusetts-based development group, and approved that same year for a phased subdivision of 80 dwelling units, with a dozen in a multiplex building, and the rest of the units in duplexes.
Distemper virus appears to be the culprit in the deaths of hundreds of seals
Portland Press Herald - Friday, September 21, 2018 

An ongoing mass die-off of seals along the New England coast has been linked to an outbreak of a distemper virus. Almost 1,000 stranded seals have been reported along the coastline in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts since July. As of last week, three-quarters of the seals were dead, according to figures from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The remaining seals were reported as live strandings and were likely sick.
6 perfect foliage drives in Maine — and where to eat along the way
Bangor Daily News - Friday, September 21, 2018 

Late September through early November is the perfect time to pile into the car, pick out some good tunes or podcasts to listen to, and hit the road to check out the most colorful display of the year in Maine: fall foliage. Here are six routes you and your family and/or friends can enjoy from the comfort of your vehicle.
Editorial: Let towns keep the right to regulate pesticides in their communities
Bangor Daily News - Friday, September 21, 2018 

Last year, pesticide manufacturers tried to undo local pesticide ordinances in Maine as part of a large state-by-state lobbying effort. That failed. Now they are trying to get Congress to undo these local rules in one fell swoop by changing federal regulations through the Farm Bill that is pending in Washington, D.C. Taking the power to regulate the use of pesticides away from local communities was wrong then and it remains wrong now.
Pound owner who sedates lobster with marijuana to continue despite concerns raised by state, PETA
Bangor Daily News - Friday, September 21, 2018 

A Maine lobster pound owner, Charlotte Gill, owner of Charlotte’s Legendary Lobster Pound in the Southwest Harbor, who is treating lobster with marijuana smoke before cooking them in hopes of killing them more humanely says she hopes to have a treatment system fully in place in “the next few weeks,” despite concerns that have been raised by the state and an animal rights group. The group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which has frequently campaigned in Maine against killing lobsters for food, has weighed in on Gill’s idea. On Thursday, PETA released a statement Thursday dismissing the practice.
Maine’s turkey population is booming. But are they a nuisance or ‘good wildlife story?’
Bangor Daily News - Friday, September 21, 2018 

Although the furry rodent has been in the limelight recently for an apparent population explosion, lots of Mainers have been noticing another animal that seems to be in extreme abundance. That’s the wild turkey, which has been spotted in fields, forests, backyards, gardens, farms and roadsides all over the state.
Ready Seafood gets final permit for Maine’s largest lobster processing operation
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, September 20, 2018 

Ready Seafood has nabbed the last local permit it needs to build a $10 million lobster processing, storage and research center in Saco. On Monday, the city’s Planning Board unanimously approved Ready Seafood’s plan to build a 64,000-square-foot facility on a 40-acre lot at 1016 Route 1. When the building is completed in 12 to 14 months, Ready Seafood will be the largest of Maine’s half-dozen lobster processors, capable of handling 100,000 pounds of Maine’s signature crustacean every day.
Blog: The Common Ground Fair for beginners: 2018 edition
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, September 20, 2018 

Last year, I wrote about how overwhelming the Common Ground Fair can be for beginners. It’s easy to see how someone just getting started with farming, gardening, or homesteading might feel a little overwhelmed at all the amazingness the Common Ground Fair has to offer. So I wrote with some tips and recommended some sessions that looked great for the beginner.
14 Shuckers to Vie for Oyster-Opening Supremacy in Maine
Free Press - Thursday, September 20, 2018 

Fourteen contestants are sharpening their oyster knives for the Maine Champion Oyster Shucking Contest at the Pemaquid Oyster Festival in Damariscotta on Sunday, September 30. The winner will be eligible to compete in the U.S. National Oyster Shucking Contest at St. Mary’s County Oyster Festival in Maryland. The winner of that event will qualify for the World Oyster Opening Championship in Galway, Ireland.
Pro-solar coalition sues, says new metering rules violate Maine law
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, September 20, 2018 

A coalition fighting new state rules that reduce solar power incentives has filed a new lawsuit against Maine’s Public Utilities Commission, arguing that regulators violated state law by approving rules that will raise their costs of connecting to the grid. The Conservation Law Foundation, Natural Resources Council of Maine, solar installer ReVision Energy and the Industrial Energy Consumer Group on Thursday filed their lawsuit in Cumberland County Superior Court, continuing a legal battle against a new system for tracking generation and power consumption by small residential and commercial customers with on-site generators.
King, Poliquin tour Acadia, promote park maintenance funding bill
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, September 20, 2018 

U.S. Sen. Angus King and U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin met at Acadia headquarters with park officials, including Dan Smith, a Maine native and deputy director of the National Park Service who currently is serving as its acting director. In addition to learning more about the park’s deferred maintenance needs, the meeting gave officials the chance to promote legislation pending in Congress that would dedicate $6.5 billion in federal funds toward capital improvement projects spread throughout the National Park Service system.
Distemper virus appears to be the culprit in the deaths of hundreds of seals
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, September 20, 2018 

An ongoing mass die-off of seals along the New England coast has been linked to an outbreak of a distemper virus. Almost 1,000 stranded seals have been reported along the coastline in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts since July. As of last week, three-quarters of the seals were dead, according to figures from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The remaining seals were reported as live strandings and were likely sick.
Massive fire destroys Corinth wood pellet mill
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, September 20, 2018 

A massive fire destroyed a wood pellet mill in Corinth on Wednesday night. More than 20 towns responded to the blaze at the Corinth Wood Pellets Manufacturing, which broke out around 6:30 p.m., according to media reports. Flames tore through the roof and ultimately destroyed the plant as crews worked through the night to extinguish them.
Worker shortage delays completion of Bowdoin building
Forecaster - Thursday, September 20, 2018 

Classes are well underway at Bowdoin’s Roux Center for the Environment, but construction on the college’s first new academic building in more than a decade is still underway due to a shortage of workers. The primary two college departments that will use it are Earth and Oceanographic Science and the Environmental Studies Program. The Roux Center has received a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design platinum award.
Candidates for Governor Discuss Energy & the Environment
Free Press - Thursday, September 20, 2018 

Three candidates for governor — Democrat Janet Mills and independents Terry Hayes and Alan Caron — discussed their positions on energy and the environment at a forum last week in Portland. Republican Shawn Moody declined to attend. Attorney General Janet Mills said she supports setting a state goal of switching to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050. Hayes said she does not have an energy policy but prefers to have a “level playing field” when it comes to energy sources. Like Mills, Caron said he would set a goal that Maine switch to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050 by providing financial incentives to solar and offshore wind power. All three candidates expressed support for charging electricity customers to subsidize the construction of natural gas pipeline capacity into New England.
Preparations for Maine moose hunt heat up as temperatures cool down
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, September 20, 2018 

After record-breaking heat over the summer, and with the memory of a sun-drenched September moose season a year ago still fresh in biologists’ minds, it appears that this year’s moose hunt will begin with more traditional late-September conditions. A total of 835 moose hunters will head into the woods early Monday morning on the first of four hunting sessions to be staged this year. The September hunt and the first October hunt account for 2,005 of the 2,500 permits.
Maine hunter in wheelchair kills big bear
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Thursday, September 20, 2018 

I’m inspired by a Mainer in a wheelchair who shot a 300+ pound bear this fall. This fellow, who is in the same ALS support group as me, hunted out of Camel Brook Camps in Fort Kent. ALS has taken almost all the strength from my fingers and hands. I can’t even pull the trigger on a gun. But I’m going to get out with friends, hoping to see them get a deer. I’ve had a lifetime of fabulous hunts, and lots of success. I do not feel the need to shoot another deer.
Lobster industry’s struggles overseas add urgency to driving up demand in U.S.
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, September 20, 2018 

With overseas markets shaky at best, the leaders of Maine’s $1.4 billion lobster industry came together Wednesday to talk about how to drive up demand and get top dollar in the one market they can count on – the United States. It’s a conversation that began long before China slapped a 25 percent tariff on U.S. lobsters, closing the door on a $128.5 million-a-year market, or the European Union inked its trade deal with Canada, driving down European exports by 27 percent.
Opinion: As demand for recycled material shrinks, consumers can take action
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, September 20, 2018 

There is unprecedented low global demand combined with a big glut of recycled materials on the market. We need to create more demand for recycled commodities closer to home. The materials we recycle are too contaminated, so we need to improve the quality. We need to design easy-to-recycle products and ensure people understand what can be recycled. Meanwhile, the uncoordinated town-by-town waste management system is inconsistent, inefficient and inequitable. What you can do to help:
• Reduce waste
• Recycle right
• Redeem your beverage containers
• Buy stuff made with recycled materials
• Support policies for a strong recycling economy
~ Sarah Lakeman, Natural Resources Council of Maine
Letter: Mills undercuts workers by fighting tribal rights to protect water quality
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, September 20, 2018 

In your coverage of this year’s Labor Day breakfast, you mention that Janet Mills “spoke…about her support for Maine workers.” Clearly, Mills’ support does not extend to workers in the Penobscot Nation. Since 2015, she has been engaged in a lawsuit claiming that the Penobscot Nation does not have authority to set water quality standards for the part of the river where their islands rest. Mills’ decision puts the Penobscot people at risk for health complications caused by consuming fish from polluted water. If she wants to support workers’ rights, Mills must be a candidate for all Maine workers and acknowledge that the Penobscot Nation has a right to protect the quality of the water where their islands are located. ~ Morgana Warner-Evans, Portland
Letter: Bear trapping appalling
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, September 20, 2018 

I was appalled and horrified to learn that bears are trapped in Maine. I thought it was bad enough that we are one of the only states left that allow bear-baiting (aka habituating bears to doughnuts and other piles of garbage, then shooting them). Euphemisms like “device,” “harvesting” and “foot restraint” don’t really explain what’s actually being done to the bears. I believe the public has a right to know the details. ~ Jennifer Goldenberg, Bangor
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