September 16, 2019  
Press releases, events, publications released, etc. from Maine environmental organizations and agencies. Submit content.

The Ecology of the Heath, Sep 24
Event - Posted - Tuesday, September 17, 2019 

Naturalist Fred Cichocki will describe the ecology of the 12-acre heath at Cathance Rive Nature Preserve in Topsham and other sphagnum moss wetlands. At Topsham Public Library, September 24, 6 pm. Sponsored by Cathance River Education Alliance.
LUPC to Hold Public Meeting on Approved Fish River Lakes Concept Plan, Sep 25
Event - Posted - Tuesday, September 17, 2019 

The Maine Land Use Planning Commission staff will hold an open house and public meeting regarding the Fish River Chain of Lakes Concept Plan. At Caribou Inn and Convention Center, September 25, Open House 6 pm; Public Meeting 6:30 pm.
Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Monday, September 16, 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
Oppose CMP's transmission corridor
Action Alert - Monday, September 16, 2019 

Ask Maine’s Congressional delegation to urge the Army Corps for an Environmental Impact Statement and public hearing on Central Maine Power’s proposal for a transmission corridor through Western Maine. ~ Nick Bennett, NRCM
No logging in the Tongass National Forest
Action Alert - Monday, September 16, 2019 

The Amazon is burning, yet Donald Trump wants to open the world's largest intact temperate forest to mining and logging exploitation. He is opening 10 million acres in the Tongass National Forest to brutal exploitation. Tongass retains more carbon than any forest in the U.S., provides habitat for iconic wild creatures and contains old-growth trees as much as 1,000 years old. Don't let Trump destroy it. ~ CREDO Action
York Beach Clean Up, Sep 23
Event - Posted - Monday, September 16, 2019 

Join a beach clean up & attempt to set a world record spelling the largest "NO PLANET B" ever in the sand. The goal is 500 people At Long Sands Beach, York, September 23, 9 am - 12:30 pm.
Guided Canoe Trip with Ryan Linehan, Sep 22
Event - Posted - Sunday, September 15, 2019 

Delve into themes of industry, waterways, and the environment, with conversation in art galleries and on the Messalonskee River. At Colby Colby Museum of Art, Waterville, September 22, 12-4 pm, pre-registration required.
Tumbledown trail maintenance, guided hike scheduled, Sep 22
Event - Posted - Sunday, September 15, 2019 

A 4.7 mile round-trip guided hike up Tumbledown Mountain will include discussion of geology, trees and plants, history, wildlife and issues facing the mountain. Meet at Brook Trailhead on Byron Road, Weld, September 22, 9 am - 2 pm.
Portland Electric Car Ride & Drive, Sep 21
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 14, 2019 

Learn about electric cars during the 5th annual EV Expo. At Back Cove parking area off Preble Street, Portland, September 21, 12-4 pm, free pizza & coffee. Hosted by Natural Resources Council of Maine and ReVision Energy.
Smithsonian Museum Day, Sep 21
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 14, 2019 

An annual celebration of boundless curiosity hosted by Smithsonian magazine. At L.C. Bates Museum, Hinckley, September 21, 10 am - 4:30 pm.
Common Ground Country Fair, Sep 20-22
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 14, 2019 

More than 750 varied events at this annual celebration of rural living with a mix of workshops, demonstrations, music, vendors, farmers’ markets, fantastic food and more. At Unity, September 20-22, gates open daily at 9 am.
Life Happens Outside Festival, Sep 20-21
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 14, 2019 

At L.L. Bean Discovery Park, Freeport, September 20, 6:30 pm, food trucks; 7:15 pm, Maine Outdoor Film Festival. September 21, 10 am - 4 pm, climbing, biking, talks, exhibits. Free but donations benefit Teens To Trails.
Climate Strike, Sep 20-27
Action Alert - Friday, September 13, 2019 

It’s time to build a renewable energy economy that works for everyone. Join in the streets September 20 and the week after to demand climate justice for all.
• Portland City Hall, Sep 20, 12 pm
• Bowdoin Art Museum steps, Brunswick, Sep 29, 10 am
• Meetinghouse gazebo, Farmington, Sep 20, 12 pm
• Longley Square Park, Norway, Sep 20, 4:30 pm
• Sidewalk at Main and Temple St, Waterville, Sep 20, 4 pm
• Front of Bangor High School, Sep 20, 11 am
• Resistance Corner, Downtown Belfast, Sep 20, 12 pm
• Bar Harbor Village Green, Sep 20, 12 pm
• Dike on Route 1, Machias, Sep 20, 1:30 pm

Global Climate Strike, Sep 20
Event - Posted - Friday, September 13, 2019 

Take to the streets for the Global Climate Strike to make sure elected officials and candidates for office in 2020 hear us loud and clear. Strikes in Maine at Farmington and Bar Harbor, September 20. ~ 350 Action
Bryant Pond 4-H Camp and Learning Center, Sep 20
Event - Posted - Friday, September 13, 2019 

Ron and Deidre Fournier will speak about the Bryant Pond 4-H Camp and Learning Center. At meeting of the Oxford County Educators Association-Retired, Universalist Church, West Paris, September 20, 1 pm.
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News Items
Letter: Bridge at center of lawsuit long past repair
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, September 12, 2019 

Had the three preservation groups that are now suing the Maine Department of Transportation put a few dollars into paint over the years for the supposedly historic Frank J. Wood Bridge in Brunswick, they would have no need now to squander time and dollars on legal action. The bridge is long past effective repair. A new bridge will be stronger, wider, safer and not obstruct vision as does this rusty, bulky monstrosity. Give it up and work with the DOT to build a beautiful new bridge. ~ John D. Schumacher, Scarborough
Letter: Hunting laws must change
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, September 12, 2019 

A huge thank you to John Holyoke and the Bangor Daily News for his Sept. 5 column dealing with the hunting-related death of Karen Wrentzel. Holyoke demonstrated true courage by writing what needed to be written, while other outdoors writers were silent. Maine’s practice of allowing hunting on unposted private property is antiquated and obsolete. Maine will likely never have a Legislature with the guts to require written permission to hunt on private property, so it will likely be up to the people to force the issue with a citizens’ initiative. ~ John Glowa, South China
State And Fed Transportation Officials Face Lawsuit Over Frank J Wood Bridge
Maine Public - Wednesday, September 11, 2019 

Historic preservation groups are suing state and federal transportation officials in an effort to save a steel bridge that connects Brunswick and Topsham. The Maine Department of Transportation decided last year that building a new bridge would be more cost effective than upgrading the 87-year old Frank J. Wood Bridge. The lawsuit alleges that the decision was based on inaccurate cost analysis figures. It’s also alleged that the MDOT decision violated a federal transportation law aimed at protecting historic lands and properties, unless there are no feasible alternatives.
Maine Land Regulators Deadlock, Postpone Critical Decision On Proposed CMP Powerline
Maine Public - Wednesday, September 11, 2019 

State regulators on the Land Use Protection Commission deadlocked Wednesday on whether Central Maine Power's proposed powerline through western Maine would have unreasonable impacts on a remote pond in Beattie township. Opponents, meanwhile, are seeking a statewide referendum that aims to kill the billion-dollar project.
Regulators Propose Rule That Could Show How Big A Problem Maine Fishing Gear Is For Right Whales
Maine Public - Wednesday, September 11, 2019 

State regulators are proposing a new requirement that lobstermen put purple marks on their gear. It's a measure intended to provide better information about the origin of rope that entangles endangered North Atlantic right whales and other marine animals. Right now Maine lobstermen fishing in federal waters and elsewhere are required to put red marks on their rope — the same requirement that lobstermen in other east coast states have. Changing to a unique color could shed light on the contentious issue of whether Maine's fishery actually poses a threat to the whales. Federal officials, meanwhile, have started a rule-making process that would include finer-grained gear marking for each state. It also could require Maine lobstermen to pull half of their rope out of the water.
CMP transmission line decision postponed until October
WCSH-TV6 - Wednesday, September 11, 2019 

The commission tasked with deciding on Central Maine Power's proposed transmission line has reportedly delayed its decision. According to environmental advocacy nonprofit Natural Resources Council of Maine, which opposes the corridor project, the Maine Land Use Planning Commission, or LUPC, on Wednesday postponed a ruling until October. NRCM cites serious concerns raised by several commissioners in regard to the project's impacts as to why LUPC made the judgement.
Youngsters learn about agriculture at Oxford County Fair
Sun Journal - Wednesday, September 11, 2019 

About 700 students and parents came to Conservation Day at the Oxford County Fair on Wednesday to learn about agriculture.
Feds press on with plan after Maine lobstermen exit right whale pact
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, September 11, 2019 

The Maine Lobstermen’s Association has said the proposal to save North Atlantic right whales places too much of the onus on lobster fishermen. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service said Wednesday the species is at a “critical point,” with only about 400 animals left. but will continue to work with the fishermen. The agency says it will continue to work with the fishermen.
Citing public safety hazard, Hallowell closes its dog park
Kennebec Journal - Wednesday, September 11, 2019 

Hallowell city officials have locked the gate at the Vaughn Field dog park and are hopeful that it will prompt citizens to take better care of the unsanitary public area in the future. The decision miffed resident Emily Baker, who said the city did not adequately notify the public that they need to carry trash in and out, or that they are responsible for the park’s cleanliness.
Stalemate over remote pond holds up state panel’s decision on CMP power line
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, September 11, 2019 

The Land Use Planning Commission ended its meeting Wednesday without deciding if massive power transmission corridor proposed by Central Maine Power is allowed in unincorporated parts of its route through western Maine. The power line, intended to bring hydropower from Quebec to Massachusetts, is allowed in most of the areas it passes through. But in three spots – the Kennebec River Gorge, Appalachian Trail and Beattie Pond – it needs special exemptions from the commission. The commission is expected to meet again next month to take up the issue.
Column: How this birder missed his chance at seeing a rare gull
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, September 11, 2019 

I’m sitting on a pier overlooking Eastport. Across the channel, there is a swarm of small gulls. Somewhere in that flock of thousands, there is a rare gull species, and I have a grudge against it. Not many Mainers have heard of Sabine’s gull, nor should they. It summers in the Arctic. It winters in the tropics, mostly at sea, and mostly in the Pacific. It’s rare to see one. The tide has now turned. Sure enough, the gulls moved. Farther away. No Sabine’s gull for me again today. This is how grudge birds are created. ~ Bob Duchesne
Land use regulator fails to agree on key permit for $1 billion CMP project
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, September 11, 2019 

The Land Use Planning Commission, which was expected to rule Wednesday on whether or not it would grant a site law certification for Central Maine Power’s proposed $1 billion hydropower corridor, failed to reach agreement and postponed discussions until its October meeting. Commission Chairman Everett Worcester said the commissioners were close on their decisions to agree to exceptions for the lines at the Kennebec River and Appalachian Trail, but remained deadlocked on Beattie Pond, a fishery that is protected. Opponents earlier this month filed a citizen initiative with the Maine Attorney General with the goal of getting a referendum on the November 2020 ballot to reverse the Maine Public Utilities Commission’s permit for the project.
Why do I choose to live in rural northern Maine?
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, September 11, 2019 

Pick a season and I can walk out my front door and have something fun to do in my backyard — all 170 acres of it. Far more when you add in the land adjacent property holders allow me to access. Spring through fall I can hike, walk my farm dog Chiclet, ride my mountain bike or gravel bike over miles of trails and dirt roads. When the snow comes and my world goes from forested green to snowy white, I pull out the snowshoes or cross-country skis and cover those same trails and roads. Living in rural Maine means the freedom to have my own chickens and beehives without fear of bothering my neighbors. Corny as it sounds, it’s that sense of community that keeps bringing me back and living here in rural northern Maine.
Commission approves J.D. Irving’s plan for rezoning 51,000 acres in Aroostook County
Maine Public - Wednesday, September 11, 2019 

With little discussion and no debate, the Land Use Planning Commission voted unanimously Wednesday to approve Canada-based J.D. Irving’s plan to rezone 51,000 acres in northern Aroostook County for commercial and residential development as well as conservation. The 30-year plan calls for as many as 330 additional development units around four scenic lakes: Long, Square, Cross and Mud. It also permanently protects nearly 17,000 acres from permanent development. Irving’s plan has been in the works for seven years. The Natural Resources Council of Maine maintains it does not adequately balance conservation with planned development.
Terminal operator says it’s taking steps to clear the air in South Portland
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, September 11, 2019 

Global Partners will install $400,000 in odor-control equipment on petroleum storage tanks at its Fore River terminal, responding to neighborhood complaints and going beyond requirements of a proposed federal consent decree targeting air pollution. The Massachusetts-based company also will contribute $15,000 to cover the cost of South Portland’s fledgling air quality monitoring program. And it has created a website,, where residents can report odor complaints directly to Global and read annual emissions data filed with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. Global also will reduce its handling of asphalt and No. 6 residual heavy fuel oil stored in heated tanks.
Grandson of famous blind hiker Bill Irwin completes the Appalachian Trail
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, September 11, 2019 

Gabe Irwin, grandson of the famous blind hiker Bill Irwin, completed the Appalachian Trail on Sunday, Sept. 8, reaching the trail’s northern end atop Katahdin. The long journey brought to life the family story he’s heard since he was a child, and opened his eyes to the enormity of his grandfather’s accomplishment. In 1990, Bill Irwin became the first blind person to hike the entire AT, a 2,190-mile hiking path that stretches from Georgia to Maine. During the trek, he relied solely on his German shepherd dog, Orient, for navigation.
Column: Some of summer’s white flowers are deadly
Morning Sentinel - Wednesday, September 11, 2019 

Water hemlock looks to the unpracticed eye just like Queen Anne’s lace. One big difference though: It can be fatal to ingest or, in extreme cases, even touch its sap. Another plant whose umbel resembles Queen Anne’s lace, valerian and water hemlock is ginseng. In October 1992, two brothers were searching for it in the woods of midcoast Maine. The men came upon what they apparently thought was ginseng, and both chewed some of its root. The younger man died approximately 3 hours after ingesting the root. Within a couple of hours, the older brother was having seizures and delirium but he lived. ~ Dana Wilde
Museums, botanical gardens receive $700K in federal grants
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, September 11, 2019 

The Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay will be awarded $249,975 to help build a “learning hub” where visitors can access information about plants or garden topics, as well as a new nature place space. The Bowdoin College Museum of Art in Brunswick, and William A. Farnsworth Library and Art Museum in Rockland are also getting grants from the federal Museums for America Program.
Salmon Group Says It Found Dozens Of Fish Farm Escapees
Maine Public - Wednesday, September 11, 2019 

A salmon conservation group says its researchers have intercepted more than 50 salmon it believes escaped from aquaculture operations near a river close to the border of Canada and Maine. The Atlantic Salmon Federation says the fish were found attempting to enter the Magaguadavic River through a fishway at St. George, New Brunswick. The group says it's concerned about the possibility of escaped farmed salmon getting into rivers in New Brunswick and nearby Maine. The spawning between farmed and wild salmon is dangerous for fish populations.
Thank landowners on September 15
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Wednesday, September 11, 2019 

Landowner Appreciation Day is scheduled for September 15. I encourage you that day to thank the private landowners who allow you to enjoy their land. Private landowners do a lot for us, from providing ATV and snowmobile trails and places to hunt and access favorite fishing spots to the opportunity to hike and pick mushrooms or wild blueberries. I posted my woodlot years ago because a bunch of hunters from New Hampshire were driving deer on my lot. And I wanted to be sure that my neighboring families that hunted with their kids could have that lot to themselves. Last year Linda and I donated our woodlot to the Kennebec Land Trust. On the first trail they created on the woodlot, posters are up teaching the kids about the habitat they’re walking in. We named the lot for my dad. It’s now the Ezra Smith Wildlife Conservation Area.
The Wrap: Buy locally raised meat for the fall, and learn about honeybees
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, September 11, 2019 

Cumberland County 4-Hers will be auctioning off the animals they’ve raised at the Cumberland County Fair at 4:30 p.m. on Sept. 25 at the Cumberland County Fairgrounds. Also, Phil Gaven, proprietor of The Honey Exchange on Stevens Avenue, has put together an interesting and unusual event focused on honeybees. “The B Side” is a “storytelling event” that will focus on “how honeybees are an unexpected part of the cultural fabric of our lives.”
Column: A look back at life’s little disasters
Kennebec Journal - Wednesday, September 11, 2019 

At age 70, I can look back on some of my disasters and find them amusing. When I was 10 or 11, I was playing in the backyard with two friends when we irritated a nest of bees and all of the bees landed on me. I ran screeching into the house as the bees stung me. Mom pushed me through the house and onto the front lawn, where she started knocking the bees off me with a broom. One of our neighbors saw mom hitting me with the broom and thought, “Wow, George must’ve been really bad!” I swear as a kid I was covered in poison ivy just by walking by the plants. Early in our marriage Linda and I headed to Baxter Park when my VW bus conked out on I-95. We grabbed our camping gear and hitchhiked a ride. Two young guys picked us up and took us all the way to our campground where our friends had already arrived. The repairs were going to be very expensive so I just abandoned the van. ~ George Smith
Letter: CMP decision coming soon
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, September 11, 2019 

On Sept. 11, the Land Use Planning Commission will conduct a deliberative session for a possible vote and decision regarding the Site Law Certification in the matter of Central Maine Power’s proposed New England Clean Energy Connect project. This is the final hurdle. Please email your thoughts about the destruction of the Maine woods to the commissioners now. ~ Wendy Mae Chambers, Jackman
Letter: Where are the records of the cold weather that spiked CMP bills?
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, September 11, 2019 

Regarding the claim by Public Utilities Commission staff that high Central Maine Power bills were due to a frigid winter: I might have missed it, but I have not seen any documentation from an official source (the National Weather Service; NOAA) that supports the claim of a severe, frigid winter that required unusually high power usage. Where are the statements of degree days or other measures that might characterize the severity of that winter? Where are the statements from Maine’s natural gas providers, propane and heating oil businesses that might corroborate this claim? Surely, such a monumentally cold winter should have been reflected in similar increases in the fuel used by their customers, for heating. ~ Daniel Krell, Westbrook
Letter: To encourage bees and birds, advocate for gardens alongside new buildings
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, September 11, 2019 

The hummingbirds that visit us at the very full onset of blossoms of some of the hedges of flowering and widening forsythia are gone. A variety of bees (I think) crawl over everything in the garden, exploring each and every plant within each bed without interfering with other types of wildlife bearing the same responsibilities. Even birds and dragonflies come by to inspect the beds of flora and fauna. We have our jobs, they have theirs. Urge developers of future homesteading areas to plan on building with spaces with oxygen-producing hedges and shrubs in lieu of fences. ~ Chris Bove, Westbrook
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