March 24, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Sunday, March 24, 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). 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
Recreational Trails Program workshops
Announcement - Sunday, March 24, 2019 

The Recreational Trails Program provides up to 80% funding assistance for acquisition and or development of all kinds of recreational trails. Informational workshops will be held in 6 locations across Maine in April:
• April 1, 1-4 pm - Bethel, Mahoosuc Land Trust Offices
• April 2, 1-4 pm - Standish Municipal Center
• April 3, 1-4 pm - Ellsworth City Hall
• April 4, 9 am – 12 pm - Wiscasset Community Center
• April 5, 1-4 pm - Greenville Town Office
• April 9, 6-9 pm - Caribou Wellness Center
Maine State Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan Survey
Action Alert - Saturday, March 23, 2019 

Every five years, Maine submits a SCORP plan to the National Park Service to meet planning requirements for the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Since its inception in 1966, LWCF has injected $43 million into non-federal projects in Maine. The Maine Bureau of Parks & Lands wants to know what outdoors activities you engage in, and what you see as priorities for the future. To make your voice heard, take the Maine SCORP Survey:
Earth Hour, Mar 30
Action Alert - Saturday, March 23, 2019 

Join millions around the world to turn off the lights and speak up about why nature matters. March 30, 8:30-9:30 pm.
Hermit Island Hike, Mar 30
Event - Posted - Saturday, March 23, 2019 

Hike a mix of sandy beaches, cliffs, shore trails, woods walk and camp roads. At Hermit Island Campground, Phippsburg, March 30. Sponsored by Appalachian Mountain Club.
MCHT looking for volunteers to mentor kids
Announcement - Friday, March 22, 2019 

Maine Coast Heritage Trust invites the public to volunteer orientation for individuals interested in mentoring families participating in a Kids Can Grow program at MCHT's Erickson Fields Preserve in Rockport. The orientation will be at MCHT's Aldermen Farm, Rockport, April 6, 4-5 pm.
Managing Forests for Bird Habitat, Mar 29
Event - Posted - Friday, March 22, 2019 

Dr. Sally Stockwell, Maine Audubon conservation director, will speak about “Managing Forests for Bird Habitat.” At Keith Anderson Community House, Orono, March 29, 6:30 p.m. Sponsored by Orono Land Trust.
Interactions Among Plants & Insects, March 28
Event - Posted - Thursday, March 21, 2019 

Maine Master Naturalist Roger Rittmaster presents. At Ladd Center, Wayne, March 28, 7 pm. Sponsored by Kennebec Land Trust.
Solo thru-paddling the Northern Forest Canoe Trail, Mar 28
Event - Posted - Thursday, March 21, 2019 

Laurie Chandler describes her 2015 solo thru-paddle of the 740-mile Northern Forest Canoe Trail. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, March 28, 7 pm. Sponsored by Appalachian Mountain Club.
Why Going Native Matters, Mar 27
Event - Posted - Wednesday, March 20, 2019 

Heather McCargo, found and executive director of Wild Seed Project, presents "Why Going Native Matters: Beauty, Biodiversity and Resilience." At Portland Public Library, March 27, 5:30 pm.
Urge Maine's Agencies to Investigate and Halt PFAS Contamination
Action Alert - Tuesday, March 19, 2019 

Highly persistent and toxic chemicals known as PFAS may be lurking undiscovered in farmlands across Maine. State records show that at an Arundel dairy farm, PFOS was in milk at the highest level ever reported anywhere. Urge Maine Ag and DEP commissioners to test the fields, stop sludge spreading, and phase out PFAS products. ~ Environmental Health Strategy Center
Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story, Mar 26
Event - Posted - Tuesday, March 19, 2019 

Film followed by a discussion led by Brie Berry, a Ph.D. candidate in anthropology and environmental policy. Part of a Human Dimensions of Climate Change film series. At Fogler Library, UMaine, Orono, March 26, 6 pm.
Retired Game Warden Randall Probert, Mar 26
Event - Posted - Tuesday, March 19, 2019 

Author, raconteur, and retired game warden Randall Probert will speak to the Hebron Historical Society on “Maine Tales and More.” At Hebron Town Office, March 26, 7 pm.
The Forests of Lilliput: The Miniature World of Lichens & Mosses, Mar 26
Event - Posted - Tuesday, March 19, 2019 

Maine Master Naturalist Jeff Pengel talks about the natural history of lichens, mosses and similar plants. At Topsham Library, March 26, 6 pm. Sponsored by Cathance River Education Alliance.
Celebrating Maine’s Wild Creatures, Mar 26
Event - Posted - Tuesday, March 19, 2019 

Speaker: Ed Robinson, author of “Nature Notes from Maine: River Otters, Moose, Skunks and More.” At Curtis Library, March 16, 7 pm. Sponsored by Merrymeeting Audubon.
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News Items
Here's What Youth Climate Strikers Around the World Are Planning Next
TIME - Wednesday, March 20, 2019 

The school climate strikes started with teen activist Greta Thunberg standing vigil outside Sweden’s parliament one Friday last August. Thunberg’s idea has grown into a global movement. 17-year-old Feliquan Charlemagne, National Creative Director of the U.S. movement, says, “This is not something we can play around with. This is literally our future.” It’s also their present. The warning of the landmark October 2018 report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, that the planet was only 12 years away from catastrophe unless “far-reaching and unprecedented changes” are taken, weighs heavily on the minds of young organizers, who are quick to point out that they are the ones who have to live in that world. The deadline means they don’t have time to wait to grow up first. Their most pressing hope is for immediate policy measures to meet the terms of the Paris Agreement.
Early spring storm moves up Kennebec River ice-breaking mission to Thursday
Kennebec Journal - Wednesday, March 20, 2019 

The U.S. Coast Guard will start its ice-breaking mission Thursday on the Kennebec River, moving up the operation by about four days because of an early spring storm that is expected to move through region starting late Thursday or early Friday. A storm spinning in the North Atlantic is likely to bring rain across central Maine, in amounts from a half-inch to an inch, and perhaps a little more on Friday.
Full State Quarantine Proposed for Gypsy Moth
Maine Government News - Wednesday, March 20, 2019 

The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry is proposing a full state quarantine for Gypsy Moth. This proposed rule establishes a state quarantine against the gypsy moth to prevent its movement from all parts of the State to protect Maine's and other state’s forest and landscape tree resources. Written comments will be accepted through April 26.
California judge dismisses return policy lawsuit against LL Bean
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, March 20, 2019 

A district court judge in California on March 14 dismissed the third of four lawsuits filed against outerwear retailer L.L. Bean after it changed its lifetime return policy in February 2018. All four lawsuits, in California, Massachusetts, Illinois and New York, sought class-action status, with the plaintiffs asking for damages allegedly suffered when L.L. Bean put a time limit on returns.
Pollution Is Personal At A New Abbe Museum Exhibit
Maine Public - Wednesday, March 20, 2019 

The rapidly changing climate in Maine and New England is affecting lives – those of the people who depend on the region’s waters, as well as the species that live there. At the Abbe Museum in Bar Harbor, a new exhibit explores the connection between the First People and the northern waters, and how that relationship is evolving in reaction to climate change and pollution.
Maine Has Lowest Screening Rates For Lead Poisoning In New England
Maine Public - Wednesday, March 20, 2019 

Maine's screening rates for childhood lead poisoning are the lowest in New England, according to a report released today by the Maine Affordable Housing Coalition. Director Greg Payne says that's a problem because Maine's has some of the oldest housing stock in the nation, and kids are typically exposed through old lead-based paint. Nearly 1800 children in Maine were poisoned by lead in the past five years, according to the report. But the report estimates more than 800 of those children were not diagnosed.
Pollution Is Personal At A New Abbe Museum Exhibit
Maine Public - Wednesday, March 20, 2019 

The rapidly changing climate in Maine and New England is affecting lives – those of the people who depend on the region’s waters, as well as the species that live there. At the Abbe Museum in Bar Harbor, a new exhibit explores the connection between the First People and the northern waters, and how that relationship is evolving in reaction to climate change and pollution.
Trump's EPA Head Said Climate Change Is Not a Top Threat Because It's '50 to 75 Years Out'
Associated Press - Wednesday, March 20, 2019 

The Environmental Protection Agency’s new administrator, Andrew Wheeler, told CBS News in an interview airing Wednesday that climate change is “an important issue,” but most of the threats it poses are “50 to 75 years out” and it’s “unreasonable” for the 2020 Democratic candidates to focus so much on it. The United Nations says “now is the defining moment to do something about” global warming.
Local food sovereignty debate spurs discussion of Amish influence in town
Lincoln County News - Wednesday, March 20, 2019 

After nearly a half-hour of debate, Whitefield voters passed a local food sovereignty ordinance at town meeting Saturday. A food sovereignty ordinance allows any person to sell food or food products at the site of production to a willing consumer face to face, without licensing. Meat and poultry continue to fall under federal and state standards.
Group including lobstermen wants state to clamp down on aquaculture licenses
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, March 20, 2019 

Lobstermen are among the organizers of a citizen petition asking the state to limit where new aquaculture operations are sited in Maine’s coastal waters, claiming the surge in new licenses affects where they can drop traps. A wave of aquaculture operations has swept along the coast in the last few years, sparking concerns from lobstermen and others about waterfront access, aesthetics and interference with commercial fisheries. A 40-acre oyster farm proposed in Maquoit Bay in Brunswick by Mere Point Oyster Co. is a flashpoint in the debate.
Iconic Maine amusement park is for sale for $14.2 million
York County Coast Star - Wednesday, March 20, 2019 

York’s Wild Kingdom, the iconic wildlife and amusement park in York Beach, is for sale for $14.2 million, although the owner said he’s not in any particular rush to sell and said the park will open for “business as usual” on Memorial Day weekend. Just this past week, the town sent out a request for quotations seeking an economic development consultant to work on the town’s Green Enterprise Zone — a 300-acre area that stretches from the town-owned land surrounding Short Sands Road, the new connector road to the beach, to almost Cape Neddick Road. York’s Wild Kingdom property is included in this zone.
Limestone ratepayers already seeing savings from switch to solar, official says
The County - Wednesday, March 20, 2019 

Limestone is continuing to see savings as it adopts more progressive energy alternatives. Town officials currently are considering switching to LED street lights, and last year, contractors broke ground on a 1,728 panel solar array capable of producing 596 kilowatts of power, offsetting 86 percent of the Limestone Water and Sewer District’s electricity costs.
Federal judge casts doubt on Trump’s drilling plans across the U.S. because they ignore climate change
Washington Post - Wednesday, March 20, 2019 

The decision by U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia Judge Rudolph Contreras marks the first time the Trump administration has been held to account for the climate impact of its energy-dominance agenda and could have sweeping implications for the president’s plan to boost fossil fuel production across the country.
Maine doesn’t test enough kids for lead even when federal law requires it, report says
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, March 20, 2019 

Despite a recent push to identify kids with lead poisoning, hundreds of Maine children are likely still exposed to its harmful effects because of the state’s low, inconsistent rates of screening toddlers during their annual doctor’s check-up, according to a new report. In states with older housing stock where lead paint is prevalent, like Maine, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that 1- and 2-year-olds get their blood tested for lead during their annual doctor’s visit. But in 2017, only about 55 percent of 1-year-old children and 30 percent of 2-year-olds were screened for lead in Maine, which is the only New England state that does not require doctors to perform the test, according to research released Wednesday by the Maine Affordable Housing Coalition.
Collins Among Senators Defending Mercury Emissions Standards
Associated Press - Wednesday, March 20, 2019 

A bipartisan group of senators including Maine's Republican Sen. Susan Collins are calling on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency officials to withdraw a proposal that could change the rules about mercury emissions. Collins and five colleagues sent a letter to EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler about the request. The senators' letter concerns the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, also called "the Mercury Rule." The rule was finalized about seven years ago to cut back on emissions of mercury and air pollutants from power plants.
Of Deer and More Important Things
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Wednesday, March 20, 2019 

Thursday afternoon was my last opportunity to hunt deer in 2012. Suddenly, there they were. Four deer, about 30 yards beyond the turkeys, sprinting away from me up the ridge. With about 5 minutes of shooting time left that afternoon, they sprinted across the field, passed right in front of me, and then stopped just before entering the woods, to turn and look at me. I had the biggest doe in my scope, but didn’t shoot. Then their white tails waved goodbye to me and the season they’d kicked off for me weeks earlier. I turned and trudged down the hill, got in my vehicle, drove to church to attend a memorial service for a friend, changed into my suit, and took a seat in a pew, turning my thoughts to more important things than deer hunting.
Bangor breaks ground on decade-long effort to keep raw sewage out of Penobscot River
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, March 20, 2019 

Bangor officials hope that a yearslong set of construction projects now starting along the city’s waterfront will cut the amount of raw sewage that flows into the Penobscot River during periods of heavy rain and snowmelt. For the rest of spring, S.E. MacMillan Co. will be replacing pipes and a piece of equipment known as a sewage regulator to improve the system’s capacity for directing sewage from there to the city’s wastewater treatment plant. It’s just one part of a much larger set of changes that Bangor plans to make over the next decade to follow a 2015 consent decree with the EPA, which requires the city to make an estimated $62.9 million worth of infrastructure changes by 2031.
Editorial: Fewer cars, cleaner air should be goal for Maine transit
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, March 20, 2019 

It is critical for the health and well-being of Mainers that increase in public transit continue and even quicken, and that investment goes directly where it will help the most people use it. The roads around southern Maine simply cannot handle the sprawl that has grown in the Portland suburbs – and which is quickly spreading north, west and south. All the cars on the road represent Maine’s chief contribution to climate change. By prioritizing electric cars and buses – and by implementing a vehicle emissions cap-and-trade plan based on the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative – Maine can raise $1 billion in new wages, create 8,700 long-term jobs and reduce emissions by 45 percent.
Opinion: Carbon fee and dividend best first step
Times Record - Wednesday, March 20, 2019 

The IPCC report did not say that we needed to reach zero carbon emissions by 2030, it said we need to be making a good faith effort to reduce carbon emissions by 2030 in order to avoid the extreme weather events that will occur if average global temperature rises more than 1.5ºC. A carbon fee and dividend policy has been endorsed by over 3,500 economists (27 Nobel laureates, 4 Former Fed Chairs and 15 former Chairs of the Council of Economic Advisers) as the most cost–effective way to lower carbon emissions. It is the best first step. ~ Dodie Jones, Brunswick
Letter: CMP trying to buy local support
Morning Sentinel - Wednesday, March 20, 2019 

As a small-business owner in Western Maine relying on outdoor recreation tourism, I have major concerns with the Central Maine Power corridor, which would blaze through Maine’s wilderness. It will have a negative impact on regional tourism, quality of life and wildlife habitat. My businesses abuts the CMP corridor. CMP paid money to establish a nonprofit organization called Western Mountains & Rivers Corps. CMP donated $250,000 to WM&RC to pay for legal counsel to support WM&RC as an intervening party at the state permit proceedings. CMP bought an intervenor attempting to appear as a supportive grassroots organization. Additionally, Peter Mills, brother of our governor, is a WM&RC board member. This helps us connect the dots that CMP has been carefully planning to use buyouts and bribery since 2017. ~ Cliff Stevens, Moxie Outdoor Adventures/Lake Moxie Camps, The Forks
Letter: This is God’s country
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, March 20, 2019 

CMP wants to spend almost $1 billion on a 145-mile electrical corridor across three western Maine Counties. Gov. Janet Mills claims this will “bring substantial and concrete long-term benefits to the people of Maine.” The estimated cost savings per household will be only a couple of cents. The $258M benefits package is nothing more than payola. A buy-out of our state. Some groups have sold out for recreational access promised by CMP on their lines. The counties apparently want broadband upgrades, and property taxes income. Others believe the promise that greenhouse gases will be decreased. There is little evidence to indicate any benefits for green energy in Maine. As the Kokadjo sign states, “This is God’s country.” ~ Diane Vernesoni, Wiscasset
Augusta’s Howard Hill: One Family’s Playground Becomes Public Asset
Other - Tuesday, March 19, 2019 

When I was a youngster living in the southwest part of Augusta, my Dad would take me by the hand and we’d walk up Sewall Street to one of two access points into the Howard Hill property. Sometimes we had a family outing. Between 1930 and 1969, Howard Hill, also known formerly as Gannett’s Woods, and Ganneston Park, had been designated as a state game preserve. The city of Augusta now owns the 164-acre site. The Kennebec Land Trust holds a conservation easement on the property, which assures that it will be retained forever in its essentially undeveloped condition; protects plant and wildlife habitat and environmental quality; and permits limited, sustainable harvesting of timber and nontimber resources and public recreational use. ~ Richard Coffin
A Magnificent Obsession
Other - Tuesday, March 19, 2019 

Bowdoin Magazine - At 5,267 feet, Katahdin is Maine’s tallest peak. Shaped like a giant bent horseshoe, the granite massif straddles the East and West Branches of the Penobscot River and rises above Maine’s North Woods. Ask anyone who has climbed it, and they will attest to its steep, punishing trails. What Katahdin lacks in absolute elevation it claims in cultural prominence. Named for a Wabanaki term for “largest or most eminent mountain,” it stands on indigenous Penobscot land. The peak’s importance also comes from its association with Percival Proctor Baxter, Bowdoin College Class of 1898, who bequeathed the peak and surrounding lands to the state of Maine.
Horseshoe Crabs Endangered by Biomedical Bloodletting
Other - Tuesday, March 19, 2019 

HowStuffWorks - When you look at a horseshoe crab, you're looking a half billion years into the past. You're also looking at a creature whose value approaches a half billion dollars a year to the biomedical and commercial fishing industries. The blood of horseshoe crabs is extremely important to science – it's capable of detecting a certain type of bacteria in humans, thereby saving lives. Of the four species of horseshoe crabs around today, one is found along North America's eastern coast from Maine to Mexico. Dr. John Tanacredi, director of the Center for Environmental Research and Coastal Oceans Monitoring, boils down next steps needed: Three things have to happen immediately and consistently. One, stop all collection for bait. Two, get FDA approval of the synthetic clotting agent called Limulus amoebocyte lysate. And three, protect crab breeding sites.
Waterville’s Castonguay Square redesign concept to include walkways, gardens, plaza, green space
Morning Sentinel - Tuesday, March 19, 2019 

Castonguay Square in downtown Waterville would look a lot different than it does now if a concept developed by architects with input from more than 150 residents, city officials, arts advocates and others becomes reality. It would be billed as an exciting space that celebrates the city’s history and culture, includes “serene green” space, supports local businesses and is family-friendly. At the center of the square, a peaceful green space for hosting larger events would be in place. It would be surrounded by lush gardens, a nature-inspired play area and the city’s historic elm tree.
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