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
Vulnerable 2020 Republicans Back Mandatory Conservation Funding
Bloomberg News - Tuesday, May 21, 2019 

It’s been just two months since President Donald Trump signed a lands package that permanently reauthorizes the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Now conservation backers—including two of the more vulnerable Senate Republicans heading into the 2020 elections, Sens. Cory Gardner (Colo.) and Susan Collins (Maine)—want to essentially guarantee LWCF funding each year. They’ll have to overcome plenty of hurdles, including many Republicans in both chambers who fear Congress giving up the reins on spending. But backing conservation is generally seen as good politics. Multiple conservation groups back Collins’ efforts, including Maine Conservation Voters, the Nature Conservancy in Maine, and Natural Resources Council of Maine.
How a Chinese company plans to revitalize 2 struggling Maine mills
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, May 21, 2019 

A Chinese company is investing heavily to restore two Maine paper mills it bought last year and turn them into sustainable, long-term businesses. The head of the company’s U.S. operations said his company, ND Paper, wants to improve efficiency and update operations at the former Catalyst Paper Mill in Rumford and the former Expera Old Town pulp mill, both of which ND bought last year. ND Paper and Nine Dragons will be receive the Maine International Trade Center’s foreign director investor of the year award on Friday, May 24.
Local author explores the last days of missing AT hiker Geraldine Largay
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, May 21, 2019 

Geraldine Largay, known as Inchworm on the Appalachian Trail, made national headlines when she disappeared in July 2013. The Maine Warden Service launched a massive search for her that continued for days, then weeks, then months. For more than a year, they followed leads. Then in October 2015, her remains were found, startlingly close to the trail. Maine author Denis Dauphinee is now giving voice to the last days of Largay’s life. His newest book, “When You Find My Body: The Disappearance of Geraldine Largay on the Appalachian Trail,” is published by Down East Books. The book, Dauphinee hopes, will help make sense of what happened while giving readers a chance to draw their own conclusions.
Bangor-area towns look at recycling options as new waste plant comes online
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, May 21, 2019 

Residents of some Greater Bangor communities will soon have to be more careful about the types of things they throw in the recycling if they want to make the most of a new waste processing facility that’s expected to open in Hampden at the beginning of July after a yearlong delay.
Editorial: Climate council would guide necessary changes
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, May 21, 2019 

The kinds of policies that will need be implemented to meet Mills’ goal of 100 percent renewable energy by 2050 will not be developed with new laws or regulatory changes on their own. It will require both branches working together along with a private sector making significant investments. And since Maine can’t reverse global warming on its own, it will need the same kind of effort to become more resilient in the face of sea-level rise and other effects of global warming. reation of the Maine Climate Council is an overdue response to a problem that demands swift and smart action.
Opinion: Consumer utility takeover will break CMP/Iberdrola stranglehold
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, May 21, 2019 

Like public roads, it is time to operate the electricity grid as a commons to facilitate competitive enterprise. With lower interest rates and no private shareholders, a public electricity grid promises lower costs. Most important, a public grid helps break the monopoly stranglehold on the electricity system, reducing the political influence of large utility corporations while creating a more level playing field for Maine’s electricity customers to generate their own affordable, clean-energy solutions. ~ Dick Davies, Maine public advocate 2009 - 2013, and John Farrell, Institute for Local Self-Reliance
Letter: Transmission line a poorly thought-out proposal by CMP
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, May 21, 2019 

The very destructive proposed Central Maine Power transmission line seems both a lazy and a primitive solution to the emissions issue. Instead of a focus on creative alternative-energy solutions, CMP is relying on a distant and remote energy source in concert with a very long and damaging transmission line through a beautiful area of western Maine. Any benefit to Maine seems modest at best, and the supposed reductions in emissions related to this project seem exaggerated by project proponents. It is a bad deal for Maine. Let’s push CMP to be more creative and more responsive to the needs of the people of Maine. ~ John Phillips, Portland
Letter: Rate reform best way to address problems with Maine utilities
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, May 21, 2019 

Taking over an investor-owned utility and converting it to consumer-owned is rare because the costs can way overwhelm the assumed benefits. The state would be far better served by comprehensive and innovative rate reform that can force changes in investor-owned utility operation and costs. Working examples already exist in several other states. Want different operational outcomes? Change the rules. ~ Gerry Runte, York
Eastern white pine reintroduction on tap for Maine bicentennial
Turner Publishing - Monday, May 20, 2019 

Reintroduction of Eastern white pines is among the activities and events that will help Maine celebrate its 200th anniversary, according to state Archivist David Cheever, vice chair of the Maine Bicentennial Commission.
First Glampsites Coming to State Parks
Other - Monday, May 20, 2019 

GearJunkie - Maine wants more people to trade a few nights in hotel linens for a weekend in sleeping bags. And to make it happen, the state will partner with glampsite curator Tentrr to install 10 fully equipped sites within the Maine state park system. The move marks the first such partnership by a state to add fully stocked glamping hubs inside designated camp areas. “With this partnership, we look forward to providing a new way for people experience our parks as campers, and to maximize the benefits that come with spending time outdoors,” said Amanda Beal, commissioner of the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry.
Animal baby shower and egg hunt attended by more than 300 children, families in Albion
Morning Sentinel - Monday, May 20, 2019 

More than 300 children and their families came out to greet the newborn animals, hunt for hidden eggs, participate in farm games and fill a truck full of donated pet items to support Humane Society Waterville Area on May 5 at Hart-to-Hart Farm & Educational Center in Albion.
Bio-Based Economy: Using Renewable Resources from Maine's Sea and Forests
Maine Public - Monday, May 20, 2019 

As industries try to move away from petroleum-based products, the bio economy will play a huge role in the transition. Marine or forest resources—such as seaweed or wood—can be used to create energy as well as value-added products or food. Our panel will discuss what Maine is doing to promote the bio economy. Guests: Dana Eidsness, Director, Maine North Atlantic Development Office; Charlotte Mace, Executive Director of Biobased Maine; Call-ins: Briana Warner, CEO Atlantic Sea Farms; Olavur Gregersen, Managing Director, Ocean Rainforest, Faroe Islands.
Slew of business-related bills now signed into law
Mainebiz - Monday, May 20, 2019 

Gov. Janet Mills announced Friday that she has signed the following bills into law:
• LD 523, “An Act To Permit the Indoor Production of Industrial Hemp"
• LD 658, “Resolve, To Direct a Plan for Energy Independence for Maine"
• LD 971, "An Act To Encourage the Purchase and Sale of Locally Grown and Raised Crops and Products"
• LD 983, “An Act To Exempt from Permit Requirements the Repair of Low-head Dams"
The bee business is booming, even as people struggle to keep them alive
Bloomberg News - Monday, May 20, 2019 

The effects of Colony Collapse Disorder are still reverberating in hives throughout the U.S., but the business of bees is actually booming. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that commercial beekeeping adds more than $15 billion in economic value to agriculture each year, with no sign of a recession in sight.
DIFW wants more bears killed
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Monday, May 20, 2019 

Concerned about Maine’s high population of bears, the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is considering a variety of ways to reduce the population. Most likely will be allowing hunters to kill two bears, a one-week extension of the bear hunting season, and lower fees (especially for nonresidents). They’re also analyzing bear baits, partly to make sure they are safe for bears to consume. All of these changes would be implemented next year, when the department also hopes to attract more bear hunters.
LL Bean to offer free outdoor courses
Bangor Daily News - Monday, May 20, 2019 

Starting Memorial Day weekend, L.L. Bean plans to offer free outdoor Discovery Courses, including stand-up paddleboarding and sporting clays, through the end of June. The courses, which normally cost $25 each, will be free from May 25 through June 30.
Editorial: Getting offshore wind project back on course
Portland Press Herald - Monday, May 20, 2019 

Ten years ago, a task force on wind energy saw this moment clearly, when Maine would be in a position to capitalize on its human and natural resources to become players in the burgeoning offshore wind industry. Maine abandoned this vision as Gov. Paul LePage came into office with a shortsighted approach to energy, and a blind ignorance toward the climate crisis. But here we are, with a chance to get right back on track, not to where we should be, but at least pushing in the right direction. L.D. 994, would direct the Public Utilities Commission to approve a long-term contract with Aqua Ventus, a University of Maine-led initiative to test emerging offshore wind technology near Monhegan Island.
Opinion: From climate to foreign policy to trade, Trump’s White House devalues expertise
Kennebec Journal - Monday, May 20, 2019 

Researchers for the U.S. Department of Agriculture say the Trump administration is retaliating against them for highlighting how farmers are being hurt by President Donald Trump’s trade and tax policies. The pattern is familiar with this White House, which also clashes with its own experts on issues like climate change and foreign policy. When did expertise become a liability? Much of Trump’s political support comes from rural regions. Farm income has taken an especially big hit from Trump’s trade wars. Responding dismissively to unpleasant news from experts is a familiar story for this White House. Just days after an alarming Pentagon assessment of the effects of climate change on military operations, Trump was on Twitter suggesting that a cold snap meant it wasn’t happening. An administration that rejects expertise when making policy is flying blind. Real people pay the price, as American farmers can attest. ~ Editorial by St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Letter: Planned growth important to Portland
Portland Press Herald - Monday, May 20, 2019 

In a recent column, Greg Kesich seems to suggest that preservation and thoughtful development can't coexist. He's wrong. The proposed Munjoy Hill Historic District will provide additional leverage for homeowners throughout the Hill who seek to prevent unbridled development – demolishing perfectly fine two- and three-unit properties with affordable rents in favor of expensive multi-unit condominiums that forever change the streetscape and nature of the neighborhoods. Let’s look for ways to protect what is good while promoting thoughtful development on Munjoy Hill and throughout Portland. There’s no reason we can’t do both. ~ Pamela Day, Portland
Letter: Climate change response requires sacrifice
Portland Press Herald - Monday, May 20, 2019 

With Hydro-Quebec and the No Corridors opponents, the debate seems to be: Do we support addressing climate change impacts with our energy generation, or do we protect the North Woods and maintain the same energy generation models – nuclear, coal, oil and natural gas – that impact the forest health? My spiritual place is the woods of Maine. My love for those places, by itself, is not doing anything to address the forces of climate change, which, long term, is a much more pressing concern. This electrical power may be going to Massachusetts, but the reality is that we can have “cleaner” electrical generation that benefits Maine and addresses climate change. ~ David Hyde, Pownal
Letter: Remove chemicals from packaging
Morning Sentinel - Monday, May 20, 2019 

I believe that L.D. 1433, An Act to Protect the Environment and Public Health by Further Reducing Toxic Chemicals in Packaging, should be supported because this bill will help to protect Mainers and the natural environment from exposure to harmful substances. It is overly risky to use these toxic substances unnecessarily in our packaging materials, especially food packaging as it easily leads to exposure. As a young person who plans to stay in Maine after graduating from college, I care about living in a state that will continue to prioritize my health and the environment. ~ Julia Nelson, Waterville
Letter: Whatever CMP wants, CMP gets
Morning Sentinel - Monday, May 20, 2019 

Recall the cabaret-style hit song “Whatever Lola Wants,” with the lyrics, “Whatever Lola wants, Lola gets.” I suggest an up-to-date version by substituting “CMP,” for Central Maine Power, wherever the word “Lola” appears in the song. Many recent “discussions” around the CMP project and the Public Utilities Commission cause one to wonder about the process overall. A recently seen bumper sticker sums things up: “Rule by corporate is not democracy.” ~ Wesley R. Keep, Whitefield
Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust hosts two summer series for kids, families
Turner Publishing - Sunday, May 19, 2019 

The Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust is hosting two summer-long series for kids and families this summer.
The trust, along with the Rangeley Public Library and the Maine Forestry Museum are partnering on “Stories and S’mores” for families with children aged 4 to 6. The program is free, and families are invited to the Maine Forestry Museum at 5 p.m. the second Saturday of June, July and August. Participants will walk the MFM trails, stopping to listen to narrated stories with nature themes along the way. The trust will also host the weekly “Walk the Woods,” which will be every Wednesday evening throughout the summer.
Task force on PFAS ‘forever chemicals’ begins work this week
Portland Press Herald - Sunday, May 19, 2019 

A governor’s task force will convene for the first time this week to begin studying the impact of a class of “forever chemicals” showing up in water, soil and even some milk samples in Maine. Gov. Janet Mills created the task force in March in response to growing concerns in Maine and nationwide about contamination from so-called PFAS chemicals. Used for decades in household products, food packaging and firefighting foams, PFAS chemicals linger in the environment for decades and have been linked to cancer, low birth weights and other health problems.
Fairfield junk piles keep growing on US Route 201
Morning Sentinel - Sunday, May 19, 2019 

The hoarding problem at Maine 201 Antiques on Skowhegan Road has been going on for years. The town cites Dale. He tries to clean it up. They go back and forth. They’re stuck in a loop. Fairfield plans to schedule a meeting with the town attorney and town council to consider next steps for dealing with Robert Dale's property on Skowhegan Road, according to Fairfield Town Manager Michelle Flewelling.
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