February 25, 2018  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Sunday, February 25, 2018 

Thanks for visiting Maine Environmental News, a service of RESTORE: The North Woods. MEN is the most comprehensive online source available for links to Maine conservation and natural resource news and events. 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
Camden Wings Leopold, Mar 4
Event - Posted - Sunday, February 25, 2018 

Christine Parrish, Jim Campbell, Lois Anne and friends will do an interactive reading of Aldo Leopold’s essays on woodcock, bird behavior and wilderness, with a few dramatic turns to keep it lively. At Camden Public Library, March 4, 2-3 pm.
Lincolnville Reads Leopold, Mar 3
Event - Posted - Saturday, February 24, 2018 

Community members will read from their favorite Aldo Leopold essays and tell short personal stories related to them, punctuated by music and poems. Bring the right shoes for a nature walk. At Lincolnville Community Library, March 3, 2-4 pm.
Greenfire, Mar 2
Event - Posted - Friday, February 23, 2018 

This full-length documentary film explores Aldo Leopold’s extraordinary career and traces how he shaped the modern conservation movement and continues to inspire projects all over the country that connect people and the land. At Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center, Rockland, March 2, 4:30 pm. Hosted by The Friends of Maine Coastal Islands.
Environmental Archaeology in Casco Bay Estuary, Mar 2
Event - Posted - Friday, February 23, 2018 

Nathan Hamilton, Associate Professor of Archaeology at USM, will discuss techniques for reconstructing past environments, resource use and cultural life ways. At L.L. Bean, Freeport, March 2, 7 pm.
NRCM's 2018 Legislative Priorities for Maine’s Environment
Publication - Thursday, February 22, 2018 

NRCM is are tracking more than 40 bills this year, with top attention focused on six bills that comprise the common agenda of the Environmental Priorities Coalition, a group of 34 organizations that come together each year around a set of priority bills.
The Transformative Land, Feb 27
Event - Posted - Tuesday, February 20, 2018 

Michael Boardman, owner of Coyote Graphics, will share his experiences, photos and images of his artwork from his artist residency at Glacier Bay, Alaska. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, February 27, 7 pm. Sponsored by Merrymeeting Audubon.
Maine’s Foxes and Coyotes, Feb 26
Event - Posted - Monday, February 19, 2018 

Lynn Halsall will speak about “Maine’s Wild Dogs — Foxes and Coyotes.” At Blue Hill Public Library, February 26, 7 pm.
Wild & Scenic Film Festival, Feb 26
Event - Posted - Monday, February 19, 2018 

Wild & Scenic Film Festival on Tour. At Lincoln Theater, Damariscotta, February 26, 7 pm, free, but tickets required. Hosted by Damariscotta River Association.
Growing, Gathering and Using Plants as Medicine, Feb 25
Event - Posted - Sunday, February 18, 2018 

Workshop leader Lucretia Woodruff is a mother of four children and farmer at Milkweed Farm. She has been growing and gathering medicinal herbs and vegetables for over 20 years. At St. Paul’s Church, Brunswick, February 25, 2-3:30 pm, $5 donation. Sponsored by Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust.
The story of a company town, Feb 24
Event - Posted - Saturday, February 17, 2018 

Jamie Sayen will give a reading from his new book “You Had A Job For Life – story of a company town” about the paper mill town of Groveton, NH, a heartbreaking story of the decimation of industrial America. At Gulf of Maine Books, Brunswick, February 24, 3 pm.
History of Maine’s Forests, Mar 12
Event - Posted - Friday, February 16, 2018 

UMaine professor Richard Judd will talk about the history of Maine’s forests. At New England Region Council on Forest Engineering Workshop, University of Maine, Orono, March 12, 1 pm, $, pre-register by Feb 23.
Maple Sugaring for the Small Woodlot Owner, Feb 22
Event - Posted - Thursday, February 15, 2018 

Whether you want to tap two trees or twenty, this demonstration and tour will help get you started. At Simmons & Daughters Sugar House, Morrill, February 22, 2 pm.
Enduring Heights book talk, Feb 22
Event - Posted - Thursday, February 15, 2018 

A book talk and signing will be held for the book Enduring Heights by John and Cynthia Orcutt. At Carrabassett Valley Public Library, February 22, 4:30 pm.
Round the World Birding, Feb 22
Event - Posted - Thursday, February 15, 2018 

Becky Marvil will share her photos and stories of bird species from around the globe. At Viles Arboretum, Augusta, February 22, 7 pm. Sponsored by Augusta Bird Club.
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News Items
Wind energy industry files suit against LePage administration
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, February 20, 2018 

In a filing in Kennebec County Superior Court, the Maine Renewable Energy Association accuses Gov. Paul LePage of “unconstitutional executive overreach in creating a moratorium of indefinite duration that is contrary to the will of the Legislature.” The association, which is a trade group representing wind energy companies and contractors, is asking the court to nullify the January 24th executive order halting the issuance of new wind power permits and creating a secretive advisory commission to explore potential changes to the permitting process.
The next five years will shape sea-level rise for the next 300, study says
Washington Post - Tuesday, February 20, 2018 

The world is far off course from its goals in cutting greenhouse gas emissions – and research published Tuesday illustrates one of the most striking implications of this. Namely, it finds that for every five years in the present that we continue to put off strong action on climate change, the ocean could rise an additional eight inches by the year 2300 – a dramatic illustration of just how much decisions in the present will affect distant future generations.
Local land trusts on defense after renewed LePage attacks
Times Record - Tuesday, February 20, 2018 

Last week’s State of the State address saw Gov. Paul LePage renew his familiar attack on land trusts, claiming the conservation groups are keeping properties off municipal tax rolls in poorer communities. Recently, some local Midcoast trusts weighed in on the governor’s proposal to tax conserved property owned by trusts. A property tax on land trusts would have an immediate impact on the Kennebec Estuary Land Trust. According to Executive Director Carrie Kinne, it could mean a loss of programs or staff for the land trust. The Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust has 2,700 acres in conservation, according to BTLT Executive Director Angela Twitchell. However, the majority of the land the land trust holds easements on, meaning it remains on the tax rolls.
CMP’s $950M proposal selected as ‘alternative’ clean energy bid by Massachusetts
Mainebiz - Tuesday, February 20, 2018 

Central Maine Power Co.'s $950 million New England Clean Energy Connect proposal has been selected to replace the Northern Pass transmission project should Eversource Energy fail to secure its New Hampshire permit next month. AVANGRID Inc., a diversified energy company that is parent company of CMP, confirmed on Feb. 16 that the NECEC transmission project has been selected by Massachusetts electric utilities and the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources in the Bay State's Clean Energy RFP to move forward as the alternative if the Northern Pass transmission project fails to win approval from the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee by March 27.
Researchers Call For New, Ropeless Lobster Traps To Help Save Right Whales
Maine Public - Tuesday, February 20, 2018 

The North Atlantic right whale is the most endangered large whale species on Earth. The principal cause of right whale fatalities is entanglement with fishing gear, including lobster trap lines. Scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution say new technology could stop these ensnarements, but some lobstermen say the cost of adopting the new gear would be prohibitive. Woods Hole Director Michael Moore says the right whale is really in trouble, and something has to be done to stop entanglements.
What it’s like to be the first called when someone goes missing in Maine waters
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, February 20, 2018 

The Marine Patrol, Maine’s oldest law enforcement agency, assists in about 30 to 40 search-and-rescue operations in Maine’s coastal waters every year.
Future Of Portland Ocean Terminal Up For Discussion
Maine Public - Tuesday, February 20, 2018 

Officials with Maine's largest city are reaching out to residents to discuss possible redevelopment plans for the Portland Ocean Terminal facility on the Maine State Pier. Portland staff presented the idea of a public market within the building last year. The city held its first outreach meeting about the building's future on Feb. 15. More sessions are coming up on Feb. 27 with the seafood industry, Feb. 28 with the food and beverage industry, March 7 with the Peaks Island Council and March 12 with the public.
George Smith: Diagnosed with ALS
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, February 20, 2018 

When George Smith was diagnosed with ALS in 2017, he vowed that his disease would not define the end of his life. For 18 years, George was executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, but he’s probably best known as a prolific writer — mostly about the Maine outdoors, but also about politics and about traveling with his wife Linda. Since his diagnosis, some of the things he loves most are harder to do, but he has a lot to be grateful for, especially his family and friends.
Maine land trusts say governor uses bogus data in pitch to tax them
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, February 20, 2018 

Gov. Paul LePage is once again accusing conservation groups of “ripping off” taxpayers in Maine by not paying local taxes on vast swaths of land across the state. But conservation advocates and some lawmakers counter that the governor is peddling misleading information that ignores payments made by land trusts as well as the public benefits of preserving land in a state defined by its natural beauty.
Wednesday 'one-hit wonder' may bring temps 33 degrees above normal
Sun Journal - Monday, February 19, 2018 

Get out the sunblock and, for the bold, consider a tank top: Maine is expecting record-breaking temperatures Wednesday, with a way-above-average high of 65 expected in Lewiston and Portland. It is welcome, but fleeting: We should be back into the 40s, with the chance of rain and snow showers, by the end of the week, according to National Weather Service.
Acadia National Park aided by policies of FDR and TR
Acadia On My Mind Blog - Monday, February 19, 2018 

Long before he was president and signed the Antiquities Act, which later helped preserve land for Acadia National Park, Theodore Roosevelt spent some of the happiest days of his life on Mount Desert Island. In the depths of the Great Depression, Franklin Roosevelt, starting his first of four terms, proposed and signed a law in 1933 to establish the Civilian Conservation Corps, which employed more than 3 million young men across the nation. Corps members worked on projects in parks and forests across the country including Acadia.
South Portland commercial greenhouse approved
Forecaster - Monday, February 19, 2018 

The South Portland Planning Board last Tuesday approved an amended site plan for a $500,000 commercial greenhouse in the industrial section of the city. The proposed 14,200-square-foot greenhouse will be built on a 2-acre lot at 25 Duck Pond Road. The applicant and developer, John Crowley, doing business as 110 Dartmouth Street LLC, plans on leasing growing space to tenants. The goal of the project is to provide urban agriculture space for local restaurants.
Scarborough gives initial nod to keeping public pathway to Pine Point Beach
Forecaster - Monday, February 19, 2018 

The Scarborough Town Council has given preliminary approval to an agreement with property owners to maintain public access to a pathway leading to Pine Point Beach. Following two years of debate, the town and abutting property owners of Avenue 2, a beach access path since the 19th century, reached an agreement that preserves public access in exchange for the town relinquishing rights to the land.
New, revised emoji comes with correct number of legs
Portland Press Herald - Monday, February 19, 2018 

Responding to outrage from lobster leg aficionados and the Accuracy in Emojis movement (OK, not really), the organization that decides which digital images can dress up the world’s emails, texts and tweets has literally given its new lobster emoji two more legs to stand on. Soon after the Unicode Consortium released proposed images of the 157 new emojis expected to be available in 2018, some folks noticed the little red lobster came up a bit short. Lobsters have 10 legs – including their tasty claws – but the proposed emoji showed only eight legs plus a tail that appeared somewhat malformed. Unicode Consortium’s lobster emoji is just a “sample image” of what could eventually be available
Even after reported sightings, wildlife officials declare cougar extinct in Maine
WMTW-TV8 - Monday, February 19, 2018 

Doug Jencks, of Washburn, set up a game camera to catch a thief stealing gas – but that camera ended up snapping a photo of something way more valuable, especially to wildlife biologists. The camera caught an image of what Jencks believes is a cougar, strutting right past his truck. "They're around," Jencks said. "It's not the only one we've seen." Jencks' photo, taken in mid-January, shows a cat with a long tail lurking under the cover of night. But a week after Jencks' camera snapped that photo, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service declared that Eastern pumas, also called catamounts, cougars and mountain lions, are extinct. That official extinction declaration, valid for the eastern puma subspecies, only adds to the allure that Jencks may indeed have photographic evidence of a cougar.
Maine ranger returns to black bear den and finds a gift to the world
Portland Press Herald - Monday, February 19, 2018 

While on a timber inspection in Carthage last fall, Maine Forest Service Ranger Erik Ahlquist located what appeared to be a black bear den. This week, he returned to the site with biologists from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and this is what they found. The forest service’s social media posts didn’t say how many cubs they found or whether they woke up mom.
Letter: Great Works Regional Land Trusts pay taxes
Foster's Daily Democrat - Monday, February 19, 2018 

Governor LaPages recent scurrilous attacks that land trusts don’t pay property taxes is wrong, as approximately 95 percent of Maine land trust properties are on town tax rolls. Great Works Regional Land Trusts pays property taxes in all six towns in our service area, $97,357 over the past five years. We require fewer services from the towns than developments do for schools, public safety, roads, etc, and we provide many benefits at no cost to tax payers. Think what the cost would be for the towns to purchase and maintain these lands and trails through taxes. We have had incredible support in all the towns that Great Works serves. ~ Michael Wright, Great Works Regional Land Trust, Berwick, Maine
Maine kelp, climate, ocean acidity projects get funding
Associated Press - Monday, February 19, 2018 

The University of Maine says projects about seaweed, the acidity of Gulf of Maine waters and the way climate change is impacting fish will receive nearly $1 million in funding. The money is from the federal government and matching sources. One of the projects is an investigation into the role of rockweed in food webs. Another will seek to learn how kelp forests are responding to changing environments. UMaine says researchers will evaluate the acidity of the Gulf of Maine using current data and historical proxies. The final project will seek to find out how environmental factors such as climate change impact fish and invertebrates in coastal Maine.
Plan For Scallop Fishing Lottery Passes Key Hurdle
Associated Press - Monday, February 19, 2018 

A plan to create a fishing license lottery to get new people into the scallop fishery has passed a key hurdle in the Maine Legislature. The Joint Standing Committee on Marine Resources unanimously approved the proposal on Feb. 14. It now moves to the full Legislature, which is likely to vote on it in the next couple of weeks. The average age of Maine scallop fishermen is higher than 50, and the fishery has been closed to new people since 2009. Some fishermen and fishing managers have expressed concern that the fishery could end up needing new people at a time when the shellfish are healthy.
Maine ice climber reaches new heights in Camden
Morning Sentinel - Sunday, February 18, 2018 

At 11:32 a.m. on Jan. 8, Ryan Howes reached the top of a new route about halfway up a 250-foot-high cliff covered in a blob of ice. After topping out and claiming the first known ascent of that route, Howes exclaimed: “You can’t take drugs and get this feeling. Man, I love the outdoors!” It was a feeling – and a feat – unlikely to be repeated anytime soon. Three days after Howes’ landmark ascent, the ice formation was gone and meteorologists say it may never reappear.
Father, 10-year-old son killed in Hermon snowmobile crash
Portland Press Herald - Sunday, February 18, 2018 

A father and son were killed in a snowmobile crash in Hermon early Sunday. The Maine Warden Service said in a release that Jason Tracy, 33, of Hermon and his son, 10, were killed when the snowmobile they were riding in struck a tree on the edge of a field at about 1 a.m. Sunday. Tracy’s son was wearing a helmet but Tracy was not, the warden service said. Speed and alcohol were contributing factors in the crash, Warden Lt. Dan Scott said.
Winter hunting seasons for hare, fox, bobcat coming to close
Associated Press - Sunday, February 18, 2018 

Maine’s winter hunting seasons are ending for the year in the next two weeks. Hunters pursue small game such as snowshoe hares and gray squirrels during the winter, as well as bigger species such as bobcats and foxes. The winter seasons start closing out Feb. 21 with the end of the bobcat hunt. The fox and squirrel seasons close out Feb. 28. The hare season lasts until March 31, though it closes on Vinalhaven Island Feb. 28. The most popular spring hunting season is for wild turkeys. That season kicks off with youth spring wild turkey day April 28.
This Portland homeowner wrestled with whether to remove a beloved old tree
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, February 18, 2018 

The red maple brought with it decades of history, and, in its final years, a sense of familiarity.
University official improperly advised bidders on energy contract, entrepreneur says
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, February 18, 2018 

A top University of Maine official participated in a previously undisclosed meeting in which he provided inside information aimed at helping one company bid on a lucrative energy contract, despite denials that he had any role in it, according to a sworn statement by a business owner. According to an affidavit from Sam Eakin, a Maine entrepreneur, Jake Ward, the vice president for innovation and economic development, provided information to parties that stood to gain if a New York energy company won the university’s long-term contract to provide renewable power
How do you go winter camping? Two Windham men develop what they call the perfect pulk sled
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, February 18, 2018 

For 15 years, Stephen Bailey and Jeff Anderson wilderness camped in the White Mountains. When they discovered the backcountry wilderness around Mt. Katahdin 10 years ago, it became their go-to outdoor escape in winter. It was here that they designed what they consider the perfect winter camping sled.
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