July 23, 2014  

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Announcements               
Press releases, events, publications released, etc. from Maine environmental organizations and agencies. Submit content.

MEN Goes Wild
Announcement - Wednesday, July 23, 2014 

I will be in the wilderness for a couple of days. Please check back soon for all the Maine conservation news that's fit to print or post (and some that isn't). ~ Jym St. Pierre
Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Tuesday, July 22, 2014 

Thanks for visiting Maine Environmental News, the most comprehensive online source available for links to Maine conservation and natural resource news stories and events. I have posted links to more than 30,000 news articles and announcements. I 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 my attention a few days after they are published. Follow us on Twitter @MaineEnviroNews. Will Sugg is the website developer. ~ Jym St. Pierre, RESTORE: The North Woods
Climate Adaptation and Sustainability, Oct 23
Event - Posted - Wednesday, July 16, 2014 

Conference on "Building a Framework and Platform for Climate Adaptation and Sustainability Planning for Maine Communities." At UMaine, Orono, Wells Conference Center, Oct 23.
Evening for the Environment, Oct 2
Event - Posted - Wednesday, July 16, 2014 

Maine Conservation Voters will host the 12th annual Evening for the Environment on October 2 at the Abromson Center at USM. Carol Browner will keynote. She was President Clinton’s EPA Administrator and Director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy in the Obama Administration.
Protect Cashes Ledge
Action Alert - Monday, July 14, 2014 

Cashes Ledge, located about 75 miles from Portland, is a unique underwater mountain range which provides refuge for a vibrant, diverse world of ocean wildlife. Modern commercial fishing technologies make Cashes Ledge extremely susceptible to damage from bottom trawling gear. Cashes Ledge needs permanent protection. ~ Conservation Law Foundation
1,000 Miles Campaign
Action Alert - Monday, July 14, 2014 

Culverts are significant impediments to fish passage and survival. Orvis and Trout Unlimited have launched a campaign to reconnect 1,000 miles of coldwater streams, including in Maine (for eastern brook trout) Caribou Bog and Henderson, Mountain and Gulf Hagas brooks.
Land Trust Nature Sites: A Photographic Tour, July 29
Event - Posted - Sunday, July 13, 2014 

Photographer David White has explored many land trust properties and will share a magical, ecological world through his impressive high-powered lens. At Topsham Library, July 29, 6:30 pm. Sponsored by Cathance River Education Alliance.
Living on a Shrinking Planet, Jul 28
Event - Posted - Sunday, July 13, 2014 

Dr. Jonathan Foley, 2014 Heinz Award for the Environment recipient, native Mainer, and Executive Director for the California Academy of Sciences, will paint a picture of our global environmental challenges. At Gulf of Maine Research Institute, July 28, 5:30-7 pm. Pre-register. Sponsored by Natural Resources Council of Maine.
Bros. Caverly interview, Jul 26
Announcement - Sunday, July 13, 2014 

Guests: Buzz Caverly, former director of Baxter State Park, and Tim Caverly, former supervisor of the Allagash Wilderness Waterway. On Bob Duchesne's Wild Maine, WEZQ radio, 92.9 FM, July 26, 9 am.
Family-friendly eco-scavenger hunt, Jul 26
Event - Posted - Sunday, July 13, 2014 

Groups are given clues to find laminated turkey drawings at designated points of interest, such as a stump chewed by a beaver. On the back of each turkey is an educational note and clues to find the next station. At 52 Roman Road, Topsham, July 26, 9-11 am. Sponsored by Friends of Merrymeeting Bay.
Thoreau-Wabanaki Festival, Jul 25-27
Event - Posted - Sunday, July 13, 2014 

At Greenville, July 25-27. Sponsored by Natural Resource Education Center.
The State of Blue Hill Bay, Jul 25
Event - Posted - Sunday, July 13, 2014 

Abby Barrows, Coastal Monitoring Coordinator at the Marine Environmental Research Institute, will discuss a ten-year window on a changing ecosystem. At Center for Marine Studies, Blue Hill, July 25, 6 pm. Sponsored by Marine Environmental Research Institute.
Microbes Matter, Jul 23
Event - Posted - Sunday, July 13, 2014 

Marine microbes supply more than half of the world’s oxygen, serve as the basis for the entire marine food web and help ameliorate the effects of global warming. Dr. Graham Shimmield, executive director of the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, will give a talk entitled “Microbes Matter: Their Important Role in Global Balance.” At the Northeast Harbor Library, July 23, 6 pm.
Take on Big Oil, Jul 21
Event - Posted - Sunday, July 13, 2014 

On Monday, the South Portland City Council is slated to take its final vote on the Clear Skies Ordinance, which will prevent the bulk loading of tar sands onto tankers in Casco Bay. Come be a part of history. At South Portland Community Center, July 21, 7 p.m. ~ Environment Maine
Small Mammals and their Impact on Burying Island, Jul 25
Event - Posted - Sunday, July 13, 2014 

Critter talk by College of the Atlantic student Chloe Chen Kraus. At Taunton Bay Education Center, Sullivan, July 25, 7 pm. Sponsored by Friends of Taunton Bay.

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News Items
Maine Environmentalists Blast Relaxed Mercury Emissions Rules for Thomaston Cement Plant
Maine Public Broadcasting Network - Thursday, July 17, 2014 

Environmentalists say they're disappointed with a Board of Environmental Protection vote today which relaxes mercury emissions rules for the Dragon Cement plant in Thomaston. "It's the largest single source of mercury pollution in Maine by a considerable amount," says Dylan Voorhees, the clean energy director with Natural Resources Council of Maine. Voorhees says, "It takes us in the wrong direction from where Maine has been going to try and reduce mercury. So it is a very significant and disappointing decision."
Letter: Humans do not know how to intelligently manage bears
Maine Environmental News - Thursday, July 17, 2014 

There have been many opinions concerning Maine Black Bears. Humans do not know how to intelligently manage themselves; and how much evidence is required to understand this. ~ Joe Ciarrocca
Orono black bear follows mountain biker, scares him off trail
Aislinn Sarnacki Act Out Blog - Thursday, July 17, 2014 

When my boyfriend Derek returned early from mountain biking in Orono last week, I figured he had popped a tire or something. I never would have guessed what had actually happened. “I ran into a black bear,” he said, slumping down in the lawn chair beside me. He looked a bit shocked, understandably. Eventually, I got the story out of him in bits and pieces. And I could tell it to you accurately, I’m sure, but I think it would be better if you heard it from Derek. So I asked him to write his experience down, and he obliged.
Maine environmental board OKs higher mercury emissions limit for Dragon Cement
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, July 17, 2014 

The Maine Board of Environmental protection will permit the Dragon Cement plant in Thomaston to operate under federal emissions standards that raise the amount of mercury the plant could release into the air by 68 percent, as production increases. Michael Martunas, Dragon’s environmental manager, said Thursday that application of the federal standards effectively increases the possible production at the plant, which has been limited by a 2008 state law specifically targeting mercury emissions, which capped the mercury the plant could release at 25 pounds per year. The decision drew sharp criticism from the Natural Resources Council of Maine, which said the state is “effectively surrendering [its] ability to limit mercury emissions at Dragon, allowing the plant to pollute at the highest level permitted nationwide,” noting mercury is hazardous to humans and the environment.
Report: Freight train caused 47 fires in 4 southern Maine towns, resulting in ‘hundreds of thousands’ in property damage
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, July 17, 2014 

A string of brush fires that followed railroad tracks through at least four southern Maine communities more than two months ago was caused by a faulty freight train, according to a report released by state forest rangers on Thursday. The conclusion comports with widely reported eyewitness accounts at the time of the May 8 fires, which included claims of sparks seen spraying out from underneath the passing train, but the investigation did not uncover what was apparently wrong with the locomotive. The investigators from the Maine Forest Ranger service reported that they “found no violations of Maine law” and that “[t]here are no charges pending in relation to the fires.”
New lobster marketing leader sees rich opportunity
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, July 17, 2014 

Mainers know that few people need encouragement to eat Maine lobster. But those in the industry know that the market has to expand beyond an occasional half-dozen lobsters bought to impress weekend guests. The job of driving demand for the crustaceans — and, it’s hoped, firming up prices — now falls to Matt Jacobson, who was named executive director of Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative this week.
Opinion: Better ways than baiting exist to control bear population
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, July 17, 2014 

The Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s Wildlife states that IF&W believes baiting, hounding and trapping “are the only effective tools available” to control bear population, yet the department describes monitoring “cub and yearling survival and weights, adult survival and health, age when females give birth and litter size, and the size and weight of all bears.” Considering this intimate contact, why can’t these experts add birth control to their examinations as a humane solution? The idea that a reason for baiting bears is to help them gain weight to survive the winter is rubbish. Baiting is intended to attract bears to be sitting ducks in shooting galleries. ~ Sandra Farrin, South Portland
Letter: No in November
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, July 17, 2014 

The proponents of a ballot measure that would ban the three most effective methods of controlling Maine’s bear population recently released a video stating the opponents of the measure had a new celebrity spokesperson. As the campaign manager, I just want to make sure the record is clear. We have not announced any new spokesperson for the Maine Wildlife Conservation Council or the no on Question 1 campaign. ~ James Cote, Farmington
Letter: Boycotting city
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, July 17, 2014 

I am an Alberta Canadian. Since South Portland is boycotting oil sands oil, I am boycotting South Portland. Treating Canada, a friend and ally, like trash is to be expected with all the “Hollywood environmentalists” running around. If these armchair experts use fossil fuel, they are part of the problem. Here’s a reality check. What percentage of world emissions does Canada produce, and what part of this blip in the rates comes from the oil sands? Look it up. ~ Ralph Jacobs, Lethbridge, Alberta
Letter: Tar sands facts
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, July 17, 2014 

I appreciate the opportunity to provide facts about the Canadian oil sands, following July 9 story “After overcrowding problem Monday, South Portland secures a bigger venue for latest vote on tar sands ordinance.” The story states, “Environmentalists have proclaimed the toxic, corrosive oil being harvested from the sands of Alberta to be three times more likely to wear down aging pipelines and leak than the more traditional crude.” Independent scientific studies show diluted bitumen is no different than other heavy oils. ~ Davis Sheremata, TransCanada, Calgary, Alberta
Maine’s lobster industry feeling pain of slow start
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, July 16, 2014 

The cold winter is still being felt in the waters off Maine, where the nation’s largest lobster fishery is off to a slow start. The season typically picks up after the bulk of the lobster population sheds its shells and reaches legal harvesting size. That occurred in late June last year and mid-June in 2012, but state officials and lobstermen say it hasn’t happened yet this year, leading to small catches. State lobster biologist Carl Wilson said the cold winter and spring may have held back molting. Some lobstermen and buyers are reporting catches half the size they saw at this time last year.
Ogunquit trying again to pass pesticide ban
York County Coast Star - Wednesday, July 16, 2014 

The Conservation Commission held a special meeting July 10, with Town Clerk Chris Murphy in attendance, to decide which direction to go with the recently passed pesticide ordinance voided by the Maine Board of Pesticide Control as a result of administrative errors. The ordinance was passed 206-172 by voters at the June 10 town meeting, but, according to Maine Board of Pesticide Control Board director Henry Jennings, the ordinance is void because the town missed several deadlines, including giving the board 90 days to review the ordinance and a seven-day notice to the agency that the ordinance would go before voters. The ordinance looks to eliminate the use of common outdoor pesticides and poisons through education and voluntary action.
Verso Paper shareholders to vote on NewPage acquisition
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, July 16, 2014 

Verso Paper shareholders are scheduled to vote July 30 on proposals key to its acquisition of NewPage, the country’s largest coated paper producer. The $1.4 billion purchase would create the largest single paper company in Maine, employing about one-third, or 2,300, of Maine’s paper millworkers at Verso’s mills in Bucksport and Jay and NewPage’s Rumford mill. Both coated paper producers have faced challenges in recent years from a reduction in print advertising, increasing adoption of electronic readers and competition from paper mills abroad.
‘Fluoride is a pollutant’: York County residents want to remove fluoride from drinking water
York County Coast Star - Wednesday, July 16, 2014 

The Kennebunk Board of Selectmen heard differing opinions on fluoride in the town’s drinking water last week and has scheduled a special meeting to continue discussions. “We’re most concerned about the health of our children and senior citizens,” said resident Janice Hanson. “Fluoride is a pollutant that can be removed from our drinking water by simply turning off the spigot.”
Fruitful wild blueberry season predicted as industry shifts marketing efforts
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, July 16, 2014 

It should be a fruitful season — above average — for wild Maine blueberries, according to an expert and growers who attended an annual meeting and field day event Wednesday. About 150 people, representing growers, processors, vendors and suppliers, attended the gathering at Blueberry Hill Farm, the wild blueberry research and University of Maine Cooperative Extension facility. They came to hear David Yarborough, the blueberry specialist for the UMaine Cooperative Extension, discuss his forecast for this year’s crop and listen to researchers talk about their latest projects.
Portland launches initiative to explore best use of open space
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, July 16, 2014 

City officials Wednesday announced an initiative that will take stock of Portland’s public lands in order to develop a long-term vision — or comprehensive plan — for those areas. The city is partnering with two nonprofit organizations, Portland Trails and The Trust for Public Land, to complete the assessment, which will also explore ways that other communities finance their parks and open space programs.
Deadline nears for funding to preserve Goslings Islands off Harpswell
Forecaster - Wednesday, July 16, 2014 

With an Aug. 31 deadline looming, the Maine Coast Heritage Trust is ramping up efforts to raise $925,000 to purchase and preserve the Goslings Islands, a trio of small Casco Bay islands off Harpswell. So far $135,000 has been raised. On Tuesday, the trust learned it will receive a $262,500 grant from the Land for Maine's Future program. MCHT remains optimistic that it will reach its goal, project manager Keith Fletcher said.
Alewife Restoration Program Begins on International St. Croix River
Atlantic Salmon Federation - Wednesday, July 16, 2014 

In June, 30 alewives entering the St. Croix River were captured at the Milltown head of tide fishway, implanted with acoustic tags and released to continue upstream. The tags send out ‘pings’ every 20-40 seconds that will be recorded by underwater receivers located up to 80 miles inland in the river and its flowages. For three months, the receivers will track the route of these fish into the watershed to spawn and follow them on their return to saltwater. “We hope the study will give early information on how alewives may be returning to their historic spawning grounds, but tracking just 30 fish in a watershed of this size, with its many predators and obstacles, leaves a lot to chance,” says Jonathan Carr, the Atlantic Salmon Federation’s Executive Director of Research and Environment. The 30 tagged fish were among the 27,312 alewives and blueback herring that returned to the St. Croix in 2014.
Portland launches new study to determine future of public spaces
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, July 16, 2014 

The city of Portland announced on Wednesday it has partnered with The Trust for Public Land and nonprofit Portland Trails for a study that will show, in part, which city-owned properties should be maintained as public spaces and which should be considered for development. The citywide open spaces assessment aims to take inventory of Portland’s parks, gardens, trails and other open spaces and develop “a holistic vision” for the network of public places.
South Portland planners the latest to endorse anti-tar sands ordinance
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, July 16, 2014 

Supporters of a proposed South Portland ordinance that is intended to block transportation of tar sands oil, also called oil sands, through the city lauded Tuesday night’s approval of the measure by the city’s planning board. The planners’ 6-1 endorsement of the ordinance marks another incremental step toward final approval and comes sandwiched between two votes by the city council on the issue.
Maine Huts & Trails amps up summer fun with new outdoor programs and trails
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, July 16, 2014 

Maine Huts & Trails, a nonprofit organization, that has been building an extensive network of trails and backcountry lodges in western Maine since 2008. New this summer, the organization has rolled out a series of guided recreational programs for hut guests, from guided hikes of the Bigelow Mountain Range to fly fishing on the Dead River.
Opinion: Ted Nugent is the poster child for how not to fix Maine’s broken bear management
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, July 16, 2014 

As a hunter in Maine for the past 40 years, I feel we have lost our way with game management. Over the years, I have watched as the management tactics and hunting laws have changed. In 2004, I watched a few too many well-meaning Mainers be badgered into believing bears would eat their babies. Now, in 2014, we have the opportunity to right this wrong and prohibit those three cruel and unsporting practices of bear baiting, hounding and trapping. Disturbingly, this time around, the opposition to a fair and sporting bear hunt has selected Ted Nugent as a face of its campaign. Nugent has supported all sorts of unethical practices, including hunting within fenced enclosures and remote Internet hunting. ~ Joel Gibbs
East-west highway moratorium extended, annual budget passed by Dexter council
Piscataquis Observer - Wednesday, July 16, 2014 

The town council unanimously passed another 180-day extension of a moratorium during last week’s meeting, banning any construction of the east-west highway through the community, at least through the end of the year. The east-west highway moratorium ordinance drew a huge crowd to the council meeting, which normally attracts 10 or 12 attendees. The first speaker was Dexter Regional High School student Seth Hocking, who read an essay he wrote in support of the extension of the moratorium. Hocking described the rural solitude of the area — “quiet woods, chirping birds, very little traffic…chance to go fishing in a crystal-clear lake” — as being threatened by environmental and “noise pollution” with increased traffic. In addition, Hocking wrote, construction of the highway “would fill in a lot of wetlands, and many birds and animals will lose their homes.…Would you want the east-west corridor in your backyard? I wouldn’t.”
How Much Paper Does One Tree Produce?
Sierra Club - Wednesday, July 16, 2014 

The United States produced about 20,700,000 tons of this paper last year, which takes 55 to 110 million trees, but we only recycle about 11,000,000 tons, or 53 percent, according to the American Forest and Paper Association. Recycling is vital because about a third of new paper comes from recycled paper.
Science Brings Clarity to Shifting Shores
Other - Wednesday, July 16, 2014 

To help ensure safe and resilient coasts, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has created an online tool that allows anyone to interactively “see” past, present and future hazards. This tool — the USGS Coastal Change Hazards Portal — can aid in decisions that involve emergency preparedness, ecosystem restoration, and where and how to develop coastal areas.
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News Feeds

Maine Organic Farmers
and Gardeners Assn

MOFGA receives $1 million gift for farmer training
Unity, Maine - The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) announced today that it has received a $1 million gift from the Partridge Foundation to establish an endowment in support of its new farmer training programs. "This Partridge Foundation gift represents a tremendous vote of confidence in MOFGA and an unprecedented opportunity to strengthen our innovative new farmer training programs. We thank the Foundation for its generous support," said Ted Quaday, MOFGA's executive director.
7/22/2014 11:00:00 PM

Thorndike farmers bring traditional cheeses from the hills of Turkey to the fields of Maine
By Emily Burnham - Growing up on the southern coast of Turkey, Aktan Askin’s favorite summer dish was halloumi, a firm, protein-rich cheese made from sheep and goat’s milk, grilled until it slightly melted and served with cold watermelon. It’s salty, it squeaks a bit when you chew it and it’s addictive.
7/21/2014 11:00:00 PM

Skowhegan’s Kneading Conference to focus on ancient grains
By Doug Harlow - Skowhegan: Before the rise of modern-day wheat — grown for easy harvest and to produce fluffy industrial breads – there were ancient wheat varieties such as einkorn, emmer, spelt and kamut – some of which are still found in Maine. Maria Speck, an authority on the ancient grains, will be one of the keynote speakers this year at the eighth annual Kneading Conference, scheduled for Thursday and Friday at the Skowhegan Fairgrounds.
7/21/2014 11:00:00 PM

A visit to the Workhorse and Worksong Hootenany
By Gabor Degre - A wonderful video of the Workhorse and Worksong Hootenany at North Branch Farm last week – one of MOFGA’s Farm Training Project events.
7/21/2014 11:00:00 PM

Some Food Companies Are Quietly Dumping GMO Ingredients
By Jane Lindholm - Ben & Jerry's CEO says the company had to remove the key ingredient from Coffee Heath Bar Crunch, Heath bars made by Hershey, and rework the flavor. The reason for the change? Hershey makes Heath bars with genetically engineered ingredients, and Ben & Jerry's has made a pledge to remove all GMO ingredients from its ice cream.
7/21/2014 11:00:00 PM

Genetically Modified Rice
Rice is daily food for half of the world's population. Genetically modified (GM or genetically engineered) rice is a threat to our health, agriculture and biodiversity. No GM rice is grown commercially anywhere in the world. Genetically engineered "Golden rice" is touted as a solution to the serious health problems, including blindness, resulting from widespread vitamin-A deficiency in the Global South. Golden Rice has been in development for almost 20 years and is still being tested.
7/20/2014 11:00:00 PM

Milkweeds: A Conservation Practitioner’s Guide
By Brianna Borders and Eric Lee-Mader - The free report provides conservation professionals with information about optimizing milkweed seed production methods, offers guidance on incorporating milkweeds into restoration and revegetation efforts, and highlights milkweeds’ unique characteristics and value to wildlife.
7/20/2014 11:00:00 PM

UN body sets new standards for milk, rice
By Alladin S. Diega - A new set of standards by a United Nations food- standards body identified maximum acceptable levels of lead in infant formula and arsenic in rice.
7/20/2014 11:00:00 PM

Natural Resources Council
of Maine

Maine’s Tar Sands Oil Ban a Win for Activists
Portland vote lifts hopes of environmentals wary of pipeline By David Abel, Globe staff Boston Globe news stor...
7/23/2014 7:59:05 AM

South Portland Girds for Legal Battle, Praised for Precedent on Its Tar Sands Ban
Conservation groups and other areas celebrate the city’s stand against the heavy crude, as opponents map out s...
7/23/2014 7:41:06 AM

Flower or Weed?
Give clover a chance! Clover was not considered a “weed” until pesticide companies began marketing...
7/23/2014 4:00:14 AM

Maine City Council Votes To Keep Tar Sands Out Of Its Port
by Susan Sharon NPR news story South Portland, Maine, is known as the place where Liberty ships were built by ...
7/22/2014 9:16:05 AM

Maine Conservation Groups Gather with South Portland Residents to Celebrate and React to Tar Sands Vote
Read more about tar sands in South Portland See photos from the final South Portland City Council vote on July...
7/22/2014 9:00:11 AM

Tar Sands Ban Gets Final Approval in South Portland
by Kate Irish Collins KeepMECurrent news story SOUTH PORTLAND – After a roll call vote that came more th...
7/22/2014 8:29:22 AM

South Portland Passes Ordinance to Block Tar Sands
by Danielle Waugh WCSH-6 news story Watch full news video SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — With a 6...
7/22/2014 5:45:26 AM

South Portland City Council Says No to Tar Sands Oil Export
By David Abel, Globe staff Boston Globe news story The South Portland City Council passed an ordinance by a 6-...
7/22/2014 5:30:52 AM

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