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
Cape Elizabeth council rejects waterfront lawsuit settlement
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

The Cape Elizabeth Town Council on Wednesday night soundly rejected a mediated court settlement with several waterfront residents who have sued the town claiming ownership of an undeveloped portion of Surf Side Avenue. Under the proposed settlement, the Pilot Point Road residents had agreed to pay the town $500,000 to prevent development of a public shore path between their multimillion-dollar homes and scenic Broad Cove. The council voted 6-1 against the settlement, with several members saying they felt compelled to reject the agreement because it didn’t support the principle of maintaining public access to the shoreline.
Maine Conservation Voters and ReVision Energy Host Belfast Community Solar Tour
Penobscot Bay Pilot - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

Wednesday evening, Sept. 19, community members and students from Unity College gathered for a tour of the Belfast Pitcher Road solar array, the first municipal solar project in Maine to be built on a former landfill site. The group went to learn about this innovative project that has inspired a growing number of other municipalities in the state to follow suit, despite Gov. LePage’s repeated veto of bills that would support the growth of solar power in Maine. Sadie Lloyd, City Planner for the City of Belfast, shared the incredible success of this project. "By the end of 2018 the City of Belfast will have the most municipal-owned solar of any city or town in the state, and will be offsetting nearly 90 percent of the municipal electric load," she said.
State, conservation group preserve 24,000 acres of working forest
Other - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

Concord Monitor - A heavily forested area of hills, valleys and ponds alongside the Appalachian Trail has been placed under conservation easements in a $6.1 million project which has been in the works for years. The New Hampshire Division of Forests and Lands and The Conservation Fund announced Wednesday that a 24,000-acre section of working forestland in the Mahoosuc Mountains, between Berlin and the Maine border, had been preserved with a public-private partnership. The easements will prevent any future development of the land, much of which was previously owned by a forest-products company, but it will still be available for logging as well as for public recreation, from hiking to snowmobiling to hunting and fishing.
Agriculture Secretary Visits Western Maine
Maine Public - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Purdue was in western Maine Wednesday and spent more than an hour listening to comments about the needs of rural areas. Purdue, who was in Farmington with Republican U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin of Maine’s 2nd District, says most people don’t realize the scope of the programs offered by the Department of Agriculture. He says improving the prosperity of rural America is his goal, and that addressing the crisis in opioid use is part of that agenda.
New club working with Topsham to add bike trails
Times Record - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

A group of mountain bikers have revived the push to add a series of mountain bike trails in Topsham. The Six Rivers chapter of the New England Mountain Bike Association, a group of bikers from Topsham, Bath and Brunswick is working with the town to develop the trail system behind the transfer station. Another group of bikers first proposed the idea in 2012, but the effort petered out after town officials questioned liability and trail maintenance. A resurgence of interest and a freshly organized group have renewed the talks. Six Rivers also is working with the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust to develop trails at Brunswick Landing.
Maine Lobsters Get Some Herb Before Hitting The Pot
Associated Press - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

Lobsters are going to pot in more ways than one. A Maine lobster pound is banking on using marijuana to try to make cooking the crustaceans a little more humane. The business, Charlotte's Legendary Lobster Pound in Southwest Harbor, is owned by a registered medical marijuana caregiver. The owner, Charlotte Gill, says she put a test lobster in a box with a few inches of water before marijuana smoke was blown into the box. She says the animal was calmer for the next three weeks, and she released it into the ocean. Gill plans to use the new method at customers' requests, and then build a larger tank to sedate multiple lobsters at once. It's unknown whether science says pot smoke actually calms lobsters or has any effect on their meat.
Elizabeth Warren Criticized for Climate Change Bill
Fox News - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

Sen. Elizabeth Warren has introduced the Climate Risk Disclosure Act of 2018, which would mandate that publicly traded companies provide extensive climate-related information, such as greenhouse gas emissions, fossil fuel investments, and risk management strategies for things like rising sea levels and increased temperatures. “Climate change is a real and present danger ― and it will have an enormous effect on the value of company assets,” Warren said. Not everyone, however, is a fan of Warren's legislation. Marc Morano of ClimateDepot.com, on Fox & Friends, argued that Warren's bill would give the Securities and Exchange Commission extensive power to go after companies and "shake them down."
Officials still don’t know when Fiberight will start processing waste
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

A large cluster of automated sorting equipment nearly a story tall sits dormant in the middle of the Fiberight Coastal Resources of Maine facility in Hampden, but officials are still unable to pinpoint when it will begin processing waste. Installation of this recycling and non-organic waste sorting infrastructure, worth $11.5 million, is nearly complete, CEO Craig Stuart-Paul said Tuesday during a facility tour. As for when towns can expect to cease landfilling and send their trash and recyclables to his facility, he’s not sure — but it’ll be sometime this fall.
Maine restaurant gets lobsters high before killing them
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

In an effort to be more humane, the owner of a roadside lobster shack on Mount Desert Island is selling lobsters that have been exposed to marijuana smoke before they are cooked. Charlotte Gill, owner of Charlotte’s Legendary Lobster Pound in the Southwest Harbor village of Seawall, has treated lobster by blowing marijuana smoke into a plastic box with a lobster in it before the lobster goes in the cooking pot. She said killing the lobster by stabbing it through its head or by electrocuting it can be quicker, but also can be cruel if not done correctly.
Fire breaks out at wood-pellet plant in Corinth
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

More than 20 fire departments were fighting a fire that broke out Wednesday evening at a wood-pellet plant in Corinth. The fire was reported around 6 p.m. at the Corinth Wood Pellets manufacturing facility, an emergency dispatcher for the Penobscot County Regional Communications Center said. The dispatcher described the blaze as a large fire that would take time to control. Corinth Wood Pellets LLC manufactures hardwood pellet fuel from wood fiber. The company, formed in 2007, claims to be recognized as the premier wood pellet manufacturer in the state.
Opinion: Getting more visitors into the Maine woods can reduce ‘overtourism’ on the coast
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

Last summer, Maine hosted nearly 16 million day trippers and more than 10 million overnight visitors, the great majority headed to coastal destinations. Although interior Maine has seen visitation and spending grow substantially since the last recession, destinations like the Moosehead, Katahdin and St. John Valley regions would benefit from more tourists, especially the quality-seeking, high-spending travelers targeted by the Maine Office of Tourism’s marketing strategy. With effective coast-interior marketing coordination, the combination of amenity rich Maine woods destinations and smart visitor management on the coast might encourage many more tourists to add interior Maine to their travel plans. ~ David Vail
The Most Popular Tourist Attraction in Every State: Maine
Other - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

Reader's Digest - Maine is brimming with opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors, and one of the best is Acadia National Park. Relish in the hidden beaches sunrises over Cadillac Mountain in the park’s 47,000 unspoiled acres. Acadia is one of the most visited national parks in the country. For an intense hike, check out Precipice Trail, which features narrow ledges, switchbacks, and a 1,000-foot vertical climb to the top.
Canadian crabs with bad attitude threaten coastal ecosystem
Associated Press - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

Green crabs from Nova Scotia are the same species as their cousins that already inhabit Maine waters, but are ornerier and angrier, threatening to accelerate harm to the coastal ecosystem, Markus Frederich, a professor at the University of New England, said. Green crabs, even the docile ones, are considered a scourge that can devour soft-shell and juvenile clams. They can destroy eelgrass that provides a hiding place for juvenile sea creatures. But the Canadian crabs take it to a new level. Eventually, the newcomers will move farther southward into Maine.
Why Maine farmers and gardeners are saving seed from this year’s crops
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

More Mainers are interested in saving seeds, according to Daniel MacPhee, the education programs director at the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, who also produces organic seed commercial at Blackbird Rise Farm in Palermo. Seed saving programs at some Maine high schools are becoming known nationally and even internationally. “There’s been a lot of interest, particularly in the organic community of gardeners and farmers,” he said. “We don’t have control of what commercial seed companies will be offering. If you have a variety you know and love, you can grow it yourself....Whenever you save a seed, you are breeding. You are saving a plant that grows the best."
Maine tries again to clean up a 27,000-ton fire hazard in Warren
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

A 70-acre site tucked back in the woods off Route 90 in Warren has been a thorn in the side of town officials, residents and the Maine Department of Environmental Protection for the better part of the past 20 years. On the property, about 27,000 tons of carpet-like material snakes through the abandoned lot like small mountain ranges. After a previous contract with a Massachusetts company — which trucked out much less material than anticipated — came to an end last year, the DEP is once again collecting proposals from bidders to remove however much material they can from the site.
A salmon group is removing a dam from a Maine shorefront property it bought last year
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

By the end of this week, a nonprofit environmental organization hopes to convert a freshwater pond back into a saltwater cove. With the removal of a granite dam from where Smelt Brook flows into Frenchman Bay, Downeast Salmon Federation hopes to restore an historical smelt run that the fish had used to get from the ocean up into freshwater. Taking out the dam also should allow eels and brook trout to migrate upstream. The project is being funded through private donations and the Maine Natural Resource Conservation Program, in which wetland impact fees collected by the state are used to help fund environmental mitigation projects.
Maine lobsterman corrals two seahorses within two weeks
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

A Boothbay lobsterman hauled his traps recently and, on two occasions, discovered seahorses. Seahorses, which feature bony armor covered with camouflaged skin and a curled tail, can grow to 14 inches long. They typically live between South Carolina and Cape Cod, but scientists believe that rapidly warming ocean temperatures — particularly in the Gulf of Maine — may be drawing other species north.
Island estate in Casco Bay sells for $4.1 million
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

A Gilded Age estate built on Clapboard Island off the coast of Falmouth has been sold to a local family for nearly $4.1 million. Clapboard Island West will remain private and will be separate from a 15-acre preserve on the eastern end of Clapboard that is owned and operated by Maine Coast Heritage Trust. The Clapboard Island East preserve is promoted by MCHT on its website as a kayaking destination and picnicking spot. Maine Coast Heritage Trust warns visitors that there are two private homes on the island – the estate that was just sold and a second private home surrounded by the 15-acre preserve on the island’s eastern end.
Two Maine mayors urge Congress to reject effort to undo local pesticide restrictions
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

The mayors of Portland and South Portland are urging Congress to reject a provision in a wide-ranging farm bill that would nullify local anti-pesticide ordinances adopted in recent years. The federal threat to local restrictions on pesticide use comes after Gov. Paul LePage failed in a state-level attempt to pre-empt local authority regarding pesticides. LePage floated a bill in 2017 that also was advanced in state houses across the country by a business-backed American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). a similar proposal by the pesticide industry was rejected by Congress in the 1980s, and that the pesticide industry also tried to strike down local regulations in court but lost a case heard by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1991.
Column: Why we protect Baxter State Park
Kennebec Journal - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

Baxter is a paradise, and we’ve climbed all the mountains, favoring those in the northern half of the park. I spent lots of time fishing remote brooks in the park, as well as the rivers, streams, and ponds all around us. As Maine’s attorney general, Janet Mills has been a member of the Baxter State Park Authority. In 2016, she wrote for the park authority a very thoughtful piece about Baxter State Park, capturing the park that I love. "The park is its own quiet celebration. Its meaning lies in its quietude, in its broad spaces, in its deep peace. That is a tough concept for the culture of today..." I hope all candidates for governor share her appreciation of and commitment to Gov. Baxter’s very special gift to Maine. ~ George Smith
Sabattus and Lisbon vote to tear down dilapidated historic tavern
Sun Journal - Tuesday, September 18, 2018 

The former Cushman Tavern on the Sabattus-Lisbon town line was was declared a dangerous building and ordered demolished by Sabattus selectmen and Lisbon councilors Tuesday evening. The old tavern was deemed a danger because its roof has started to cave in. The historic building was built in 1825 and features fresco paintings of oversized trees, ships and New England charm by Auburn artist Orison Wood. The building owner has 30 days to demolish the building and if it isn’t it becomes the towns’ responsibility.
Products May Cost You More After Trump Escalated His Trade War With China
Other - Tuesday, September 18, 2018 

Money - President Trump’s controversial trade war with China is heating up. That means consumers may soon have to pay more for paper and other products that are covered in the latest round of tariffs.
Trump rolls back Obama-era rules to limit methane emissions
Associated Press - Tuesday, September 18, 2018 

The Trump administration on Tuesday rolled back an Obama-era rule that forced energy companies to capture methane – a key contributor to climate change that’s released in huge amounts during drilling on U.S. and tribal lands. A replacement rule from the Interior Department rescinds mandates for companies to reduce gas pollution, which Trump administration officials say already is required by some states. The change could result in the loss of $734 million in natural gas that would have been recovered over the next decade under the old rule. Those savings would have offset some of the industry’s compliance costs.
Fire breaks out at wood-pellet plant in Corinth
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, September 18, 2018 

More than 20 fire departments were fighting a fire that broke out Wednesday evening at a wood-pellet plant in Corinth. The fire was reported around 6 p.m. at the Corinth Wood Pellets manufacturing facility, an emergency dispatcher for the Penobscot County Regional Communications Center said. The dispatcher described the blaze as a large fire that would take time to control. Corinth Wood Pellets LLC manufactures hardwood pellet fuel from wood fiber. The company, formed in 2007, claims to be recognized as the premier wood pellet manufacturer in the state.
State expands quarantine area to stop spread of emerald ash borer in York County
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, September 18, 2018 

State officials have expanded an emergency order to restrict the movement of ash products and any untreated firewood from towns in Maine that have been infested with the emerald ash borer, which has been found in both Aroostook and York counties. The order was first issued in August after the beetle was found in the Aroostook County towns of Frenchville, Grand Isle and Madawaska. It was extended this week to include the York County towns of Acton, Berwick, Lebanon and Shapleigh.
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