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
Letter: CMP has been a good neighbor in Pownal
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, May 23, 2019 

I am a retired selectman in Pownal and I’d like to express support for New England Clean Energy Connect. I always found CMP to be very accommodating. They listened to our requests and tried to mitigate any issues that we brought to their attention. They were sensitive to sound and environmental issues that concerned us and strove to have as little impact as possible. CMP now pays almost 25 percent of our town's tax commitment. If NECEC goes forward, it would provide additional, much-needed revenue. A recent television ad claimed that Pownal has voted against NECEC. This is not true. ~ Tim Giddinge, Pownal
Letter: McConnell could do much more to clear the air
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, May 23, 2019 

Re: “McConnell introduces bill making legal smoking age 21” (May 21): How ironic that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell demonstrates his concern for the health consequences of teenage smoking while sitting on his hands as the Trump administration’s Environmental Protection Agency guts the Clean Air Act and the Clean Power Plan, actions that will affect the health of all Americans. ~ Larry Kaplan, M.D., Cape Elizabeth
Kleinschmidt Associates Enters Strategic Alliance with The Conservation Fund
Other - Wednesday, May 22, 2019 

Kleinschmidt Associates, an engineering, regulatory and environmental consulting firm based in Pittsfield, is pleased to announce that they have entered into a strategic alliance with The Conservation Fund. Roberta Zwier, director of mitigation solutions at The Conservation Fund, said, “Our expertise in land conservation and Kleinschmidt’s expertise in habitat restoration projects, particularly wetland and stream restoration, creates opportunities to increase the conservation benefit of our projects and expand the suite of services we can offer to our respective clients and partners.”
Construction begins for alewives restoration at Ladd Dam in North Vassalboro
Other - Wednesday, May 22, 2019 

Town Line - The Ladd Dam, in North Vassalboro, will soon have a technical fishway installed to allow alewives to move past it to their spawning ground. It’s not the final step in the overall project, but a critical one, and scheduled to start this summer following plans developed by the Department of Marine Resources, and US Fish and Wildlife Service, working with local engineers and dam owner Ray Breton. Maintaining the Ladd Dam impoundment will keep the swimming area, a favorite spot on hot summer days. The work is an important step in the Alewife Restoration Initiative which will re-establish passage from the ocean to China Lake.
Auburn creates recycling committee, holds off from suspending program
Sun Journal - Wednesday, May 22, 2019 

The Auburn City Council has formed a committee to assess the curbside recycling program, holding off for now on a previous call to suspend the program because of community concerns. The vote to form a committee came after discussions in recent weeks over the city’s twice-monthly recycling pickup, which some officials have argued is proving more costly than beneficial as markets for some materials are down significantly.
Park service says improvements being made at Acadia
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, May 22, 2019 

The National Park Service says numerous improvements are taking place at Acadia National Park in Maine over the coming months. The service says work has begun at the Hulls Cove Visitor Center and work is slated to begin on the Frazer Point Pier early in July. Hiking trails are also scheduled for improvements. Some work is already finished, including the rehabilitation of historic firepits at Seawall Campgrounds.
Initial test results reveal ‘forever chemicals’ showing up in sludge
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, May 22, 2019 

Chemicals raising health concerns nationwide were present in the majority of sludge tested by Maine wastewater treatment plants at levels high enough to merit additional scrutiny from state environmental regulators, according to initial results. The early returns illustrate the pervasiveness of these “forever chemicals” commonly known as PFAS, as well as the challenge ahead for the state and municipal treatment facilities.
From Carp to Pig-Hide: Bait Shortage Means Change for Lobsters’ Diet
Maine Public - Wednesday, May 22, 2019 

Gulf of Maine lobstermen are casting around far and wide for new kinds of bait, now that federal regulators have cut herring quotas by 70 percent. Possible solutions range from the mass importation of a nuisance fish from the Midwest, to manufactured baits to pig hides. Fisheries managers estimate a 50-million pound "herring gap" in Maine over the next year.
Some Mainers want to replace CMP and Emera Maine with a public utility. Here’s how it works in Nebraska.
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, May 22, 2019 

Proponents of a controversial proposal to replace Central Maine Power and Emera Maine with a single consumer-owned, nonprofit electric company have pointed to Nebraska as the example of how to keep local control over power while also lowering electricity rates. Nebraska is the only U.S. state that fully relies on consumer-owned utility companies rather than for-profit corporations for electricity. It has 162 public utilities. Public ownership of utilities is increasingly being turned to as a viable option as power companies across the country struggle to keep electricity rates competitive, to weather disasters and to stay in business. But whether Nebraska’s success with low rates and local power companies could work in other states isn’t clear.
Q&A: The tick population is booming. Is climate change to blame?
Washington Post - Wednesday, May 22, 2019 

While a warming climate will provide favorable living conditions for ticks, it’s also the population explosion of deer and other mammals that live around us that influences the spread of tick-borne diseases. Urbanization and the fragmentation of forests has brought many of these animals and their hosted ticks directly into our backyards. To stay tick-free when walking through woods or fields, DEET doesn’t work well for ticks. Spray clothes with permethrin and let them dry for 24 hours. Ticks will die on contact with the sprayed clothing.
Amid CMP corridor controversy, Mills mulls a key energy policy pick
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, May 22, 2019 

Gov. Janet Mills is soon expected to pick someone to fill a plum job with Maine’s utility regulator, a move that will balance a break with her predecessor on energy policy with a business-friendly attitude that has her and the agency in the spotlight. Sources around the energy sector mentioned former state Sens. Phil Bartlett and Mark Dion as possible candidates alongside Faith Huntington, director of the commission’s electric and natural gas division, Rachel Goldwasser, executive director of the New England Conference of Public Utilities Commissioners and Robert Stoddard, the CEO of a marine energy company.
Letter: Build transmission line through Vermont
Kennebec Journal - Wednesday, May 22, 2019 

Central Maine Power’s New England Clean Energy Connect is not a singular opportunity, as Vermont’s New England Clean Power Link is a viable alternative for bringing hydropower from Quebec to Massachusetts. The Vermont project represents a proposed 150-mile transmission line that would be underground and underwater, avoid the serious environmental damage documented for NECEC and achieve the same climate benefits, if they can be conclusively proven to occur. It also has been issued the necessary permits from the state of Vermont and federal agencies, and is ready to go. The fact that it is available as an alternative turns the sense of urgency for NECEC on its head. ~ John Nicholas, Winthrop
Letter: Lawn, garden products may include ‘forever chemicals’
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, May 22, 2019 

A May 20 article about “forever chemicals” referred to the negative impact of PFAS chemicals on a York County farm. Although not discussed in the article, chemicals in sludge seem relevant to organic farmers and to homeowners who use compost or a loam and compost mixture, sometimes referred to as “super soil,” for lawn development or improvement. Homeowners should understand the source and the content of materials used to improve their lawns and gardens. ~ Homer McLemore, Windham
As the climate crisis worsens, cities turn to parks
National Geographic - Tuesday, May 21, 2019 

Cities are building parks that can alleviate climate change effects like intense heat and poor air quality. Parks can help mitigate coastal flooding, capture carbon, and foster a sense of community among those that will be affected by extreme weather. Brendan Shane, the climate program director at the Trust for Public Land, says parks can ultimately provide a sort of social resilience, in addition to cooling neighborhoods and absorbing floodwater. “The stronger the bonds are from neighbor to neighbor, the better they are able to react to a shock,” he says. “The nice thing about parks is they give you all those things at the same time.”
Students, volunteers to stencil storm drains in effort to promote clean water
Sun Journal - Tuesday, May 21, 2019 

The Androscoggin Valley Stormwater Working Group is working together with local volunteers for cleaner and safer waters. Volunteers will gather June 8 to conduct street stenciling in multiple neighborhoods. The stencils will mark the streets near municipal drainage inlets (aka catch basins). Stormwater is precipitation that doesn’t soak into the ground. Rain that flows from rooftops to lawns, across driveways and into sidewalks and roads is collected by these storm drains and discharged, untreated, into local bodies of water. Along the way, stormwater collects pesticides and fertilizers, bacteria from pet waste, oil and petroleum, sediment, trash and cigarette butts. The stenciling event is an effort to help educate the public of the process and to remind them not to dump down the drain.
Destructive Federal Timber Sale Program Loses Nearly $2 Billion a Year
Other - Tuesday, May 21, 2019 

In a new report, the Center for Sustainable Economy has documented taxpayer losses of nearly $2 billion a year associated with the federal logging program carried out on national forest and Bureau of Land Management lands. Despite these losses, the Trump Administration plans to significantly increase logging on these lands in the years ahead, a move that would plunge taxpayers into even greater debt. President Trump has signed an Executive Order that would increase national forest logging by 40% over current levels. According to Dr. John Talberth, Senior Economist from the Center for Sustainable Economy, “Federal forests represent the last remaining islands in a sea of forestlands degraded by industrial logging activities on state and privately owned lands. Our federal forests are far more valuable as carbon sinks, recreation destinations, wildlife habitat and natural water filters than they are for timber production."
How to protect yourself from ticks in Maine
Aislinn Sarnacki Act Out Blog - Tuesday, May 21, 2019 

As tick season gets into full swing here in Maine, I thought it would be helpful for me to share what I’ve learned in recent years about tick defense.
• Avoid ticks altogether
• Certain clothing can help
• Skin-applied tick repellents
• How to conduct a tick check
• What to do with a tick
Kids make memories, learn about farming in Windsor
WCSH-TV6 - Tuesday, May 21, 2019 

25-hundred kids came to Windsor to learn about farming and where our food comes from. "It's been really cool," said Logan Tsasulis, who was moving around the 50 stations with his friends. "We got to see horses and stuff, and we are about to go make butter." It's more than a day off from school. It's a chance to see and touch animals that provide much of our food and talk with farmers. An American farm, on average, feeds 165 people.
Hunting license charges dropped against ex-lawmaker
Associated Press - Tuesday, May 21, 2019 

A Maine district attorney is dismissing charges against a former state lawmaker for failing to disclose a felony conviction when he obtained a hunting license. Former Rep. Jeffrey Pierce, of Dresden, faced three counts of fraudulently obtaining a hunting license, which is a misdemeanor. Pierce, a Republican, pleaded not guilty in March. Lincoln County District Attorney Natasha Irving says she doesn't believe she has enough evidence to guarantee a conviction of Pierce. She says he'll donate $750 to a Maine conservation group as part of an agreement.
Committee rejects proposed tax on water bottler Poland Spring
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, May 21, 2019 

For more than a decade, critics of mega-bottler Poland Spring and its corporate parent, Nestle Waters North America, have attempted to impose severance or excise taxes on the hundreds of millions of gallons it bottles in Maine. But those targeted attempts have yet to pass muster with lawmakers – and it appears likely the 2019 session will be no different. A legislative committee voted resoundingly Tuesday to reject a bill that would have charged Poland Spring 12 cents for every gallon of water the company extracted in Maine for bottling.
Whole Oceans closes on Bucksport land purchase for salmon farm
Ellsworth American - Tuesday, May 21, 2019 

Whole Oceans has closed on the sale of property at the former Verso paper mill site where it plans to will raise Atlantic salmon. Whole Oceans announced Tuesday that it has closed the deal with AIM Development, USA LLC. Whole Oceans plans to raise Atlantic salmon in a state-of-the-art recirculating aquaculture system.
Moose permit increase approved, but any-deer hunting permits may be reduced
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, May 21, 2019 

An additional 11 percent of hunters will receive permits for the fall moose hunt this year, but the number of any-deer hunting permits might be reduced by 20 percent because of the high number of does taken last season, state biologists announced Tuesday at the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Advisory Council meeting. The IFW Advisory Council unanimously approved the 2,820 moose permits proposed by state biologists in March, the second consecutive annual increase.
Global Sea Levels Could Rise by Much More Than Previously Predicted, According to New Study
TIME - Tuesday, May 21, 2019 

Global sea levels could rise by almost 6ft by 2100 – twice as much as had previously been predicted – threatening major cities and displacing hundreds of millions of people, a study published Monday warned. The rate of glacier melt in Greenland and Antartica is accelerating, and the authors of the report say current prediction models don’t account for significant uncertainties in how melting ice sheets could affect sea level rise. In the worst-case scenario, 691,120 square miles of land globally – around twenty times the size of Maine – could be swallowed up by the sea.
Outsized battles over aquaculture leases overshadow economic reach of Maine oysters
Times Record - Tuesday, May 21, 2019 

Hundreds in Maine are getting involved in the burgeoning aquaculture industry that has pumped millions into the Maine economy, but it is now under fire from lobstermen who compete for the same fishing grounds and homeowners who don’t want to see aquaculture sites from their waterfront properties. The situation is coming to a head as the Department of Marine Resources holds a hearing Wednesday on whether to amend its rules to limit the size and location of aquaculture lease sites.
Mills says Maine will form its first long-range economic growth plan in over 2 decades
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, May 21, 2019 

Gov. Janet Mills kicked off an effort to develop a 10-year economic development plan for the state on Tuesday. The plan will be turned over to lawmakers to use in the second session of the Legislature. Mills said the focus will be on developing strategies to enhance economic growth, especially in rural Maine, and to also address Maine’s tight labor market. Mills said she wants the state to be known by 2030 as national leader for developing a diverse and sustainable economy.
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