October 17, 2017  
Announcements               
Press releases, events, publications released, etc. from Maine environmental organizations and agencies. Submit content.

Finding Birds, Oct 25
Event - Posted - Wednesday, October 18, 2017 

This class will focus on how to attract birds to your yard and how to find birds. At Gilsland Farm, Falmouth, Oct 25, 7 pm, Maine members $10, nonmembers $15.
Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Tuesday, October 17, 2017 

Thanks for visiting Maine Environmental News, a service of RESTORE: The North Woods. MEN is the most comprehensive online source available for links to Maine conservation and natural resource news and events. We have posted summaries and links to over 50,000 news articles and announcements. We also post breaking stories and exclusives. Be sure to check not only today's news, but take a look at the headlines from the past several days as well. Articles often come to our attention a few days after they are published. Follow us on Twitter @MaineEnviroNews. ~ Jym St. Pierre, Editor
Tales in Wilderness Canoeing Poling, Oct 24
Event - Posted - Tuesday, October 17, 2017 

Maine Guide and Maine Canoe Symposium Pro Staff member Lisa DeHart has spent 25 years canoeing everywhere from the Rio Grande to the Gaspe, along with most every river in Maine. Learn about canoe poling and some tried and true safety tips. At Bangor Public Library, October 24, 6-7:30 pm. Sponsored by Appalachian Mountain Club Maine Chapter.
2017 Maine History Maker: Cianchette family, Oct 24
Event - Posted - Tuesday, October 17, 2017 

Maine Historical Society has selected the Cianchette family as its 2017 Maine History Maker. At Maine Historical Society, Portland, Oct 24, 5 pm.
Inspired by Nature, Oct 24
Event - Posted - Tuesday, October 17, 2017 

Franklin Burroughs, author of award winning books and essays, will discuss how writing sometimes happens. At Topsham Public Library, Oct 24, 6 pm. Sponsored by Cathance River Education Alliance.
189 Days on the AT, Oct 24
Event - Posted - Tuesday, October 17, 2017 

Veteran hiker and author Carey Kish will share his adventures hiking the Appalachian Trail. At Southwest Harbor Public Library, October 24, 5:30 pm.
Can Citizen Science and Collaboration Change the World? Oct 24
Event - Posted - Tuesday, October 17, 2017 

Dr. Abe Miller-Rushing, Science Coordinator at Acadia National Park, will talk about “Can Citizen Science and Collaboration Change the World? Or At Least Make Our Part of It a Little Better?” At UMaine at Machias, October 24, 6:30 pm.
Help Stop Disastrous Forests-for-Fuel Practices
Action Alert - Monday, October 16, 2017 

Tell UK Secretary for Energy Policy Greg Clark to stand against absurd forests-for-fuel practices that grind trees from America’s forests into fuel pellets to be burned in European power plants. ~ Natural Resources Defense Council
Community Conservation: Finding the Balance Between Nature and Culture, Oct 23
Event - Posted - Monday, October 16, 2017 

This documentary film profiles four active land trusts in different regions of Maine: coastal, inland, western mountains and downeast. At Lincoln Theater, Damariscotta, October 23, 7 pm,
Hermit Island, Oct 21
Event - Posted - Saturday, October 14, 2017 

Doug Suitor will lead a field trip in search of ducks, grebes, and loons, as well as some woodland birds. At Hermit Island, Small Point, Phippsburg, October 21, 8:30 am – 2 pm. Sponsored by Merrymeeting Audubon.
Say no to Trump’s border wall
Action Alert - Friday, October 13, 2017 

Donald Trump’s divisive, hateful plan to build a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico wouldn’t just cost us in dollars – the human cost, in sacred tribal lands bisected, families torn apart, and lives lost in dangerous border crossings, would be immense. And it would be a disaster for our environment, destroying wildlife refuges, blocking wildlife migration pathways, and increasing flooding in local communities. We need 150,000 people to speak out against this outrageous plan motivated by hatred and bigotry. ~ Sierra Club
Maine Environmental Scorecard
Publication - Thursday, October 12, 2017 

Maine Conservation Voters has released its 2017 scorecard. See how your state senator and representative voted on key environmental legislation.
Arctic Opportunities, Oct 19
Event - Posted - Thursday, October 12, 2017 

A full-day seminar, “Arctic Opportunities: Exploring New Passages for Business Growth in the Arctic and North Atlantic.” At Verrill Dana, Portland, October 19.
2017 Conservation Leadership Awards, Oct 19
Event - Posted - Thursday, October 12, 2017 

Natural Resources Council of Maine will recognize Mainers who have made significant, lasting contributions to safeguarding our environment. At Maine Maritime Museum, Bath, October 19, 5:30 pm.
Legacy in the Landscape of Change, Oct 19
Event - Posted - Thursday, October 12, 2017 

Addy Smith-Reiman, board member for the National Association of Olmsted Parks, will discuss the environmental, economic, and equitable considerations that challenged Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr. nearly two centuries ago and that confront contemporary practitioners in the planning, design, and stewardship of our public open spaces today. At Maine Historical Society, Portland, October 19, 6:30 pm, MHS Members $10; public $20.
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News Items
Beyond Biodiversity: A New Way of Looking at How Species Interconnect
Other - Thursday, October 12, 2017 

Yale Environment 360 - In 1966, an ecologist at the University of Washington removed all the ochre starfish from a short stretch of Pacific shoreline on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula. In less than a year, a diverse tidal environment collapsed into a monoculture of mussels because the starfish was no longer around to eat them. Now, a half-century later, researchers are taking the study of traits much farther, with some scientists concluding that understanding the function of species can tell us more about ecosystems than knowing which species are present — a concept known as functional diversity. “The trait perspective is very powerful,” says Jonathan Lefcheck, a researcher at the Bigelow Marine Lab in East Boothbay, Maine who studies functional diversity in marine environments. “Some species in an ecosystem are redundant, and some species are very powerful.”
Shell middens may be lost to the sea
Mount Desert Islander - Thursday, October 12, 2017 

The Maine coast hosts over 2,000 shell middens, which represent a rich archive of the last 4,000 years of indigenous life and coastal ecosystem structure before European contact. However, virtually all of these deposits are currently eroding as a result of sea level rise. Complete loss of some middens already has been documented. As they disappear, an irreplaceable cultural and environmental record is lost to the sea.
Million-gallon storage tank near river in Augusta would be attractive, officials say
Kennebec Journal - Thursday, October 12, 2017 

A proposal to build a 1-million-gallon, roughly 100-foot diameter concrete tank that would hold a combination of stormwater and sewage on Greater Augusta Utility District land next to the city’s East Side Boat Landing on the Kennebec River is the most affordable option, at the most practical available site in the city, and would be done with an eye on its appearance, district officials assured city councilors Thursday.
Opinion: Secretary Zinke, it's time to call it quits
Other - Thursday, October 12, 2017 

Secretary Ryan Zinke, last week I turned in my US Department of the Interior credentials and reluctantly walked away from public service. Today, I call on you to do the same and resign as secretary of the Interior. Since you were sworn in on March 1, you have demonstrated contempt for the agency's mission and its devoted employees. As I described in my resignation letter, I quit my position because of your spectacularly poor leadership, reckless waste of taxpayer dollars and disregard for the dangers of climate change — all of which are putting American well-being and the economy at risk. ~ Joel Clement
Governor’s Energy Office postpones series of public meetings
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, October 12, 2017 

The Governor’s Energy Office has postponed a series of public meetings intended to help the office develop an Energy Planning Roadmap. The roadmap is meant to advance the state’s energy, economic development and environmental goals, and is built on the 2015 state comprehensive energy plan to achieve energy and cost savings in the residential, commercial, industrial, and transportation sectors; reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions; and support the growth of a robust state and regional energy market and workforce. The meeting dates will be rescheduled to allow for more time to notify the public.
EXCLUSIVE: Maine legislators push back when LePage tries again to undermine land conservation
Maine Environmental News - Thursday, October 12, 2017 

On Thursday, the Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (ACF) Committee of the Maine Legislature held its first meeting to study conserved lands owned by nonprofit organizations. The meeting ended with legislators pointing out that the LePage Administration is attempting to rig the system “to prove their point” that conservation lands are bad news. The stage is set for another confrontation between the Maine Legislature and Gov. LePage over his latest assault to once again undermine conservation efforts in the state.
Fire at Paper Mill Wood Yard Brought Under Control
Associated Press - Thursday, October 12, 2017 

Firefighters say a fire at the wood yard of a paper mill in Skowhegan has been brought under control. The Skowhegan Fire Department was called to the scene at the Sappi paper mill on Thursday morning. The Somerset County dispatch center said the department was responding to the woodyard at the Route 201 paper mill. The fire department says the fire started as a grease fire and did not damage the building.
Maine’s mussel harvest in 2016 was worst in 4 decades
Associated Press - Thursday, October 12, 2017 

Maine’s mussel harvest is continuing its decline. Harvesters collected less than 1.8 million pounds of mussel meat in 2016. That’s the lowest since 1976, when the state’s harvesters topped a million pounds for the first time. In the 1980s and 1990s, harvesters topped 6 million pounds three times. They have routinely topped 3 million pounds until 10 years ago. The state Department of Marine Resources says one of the factors influencing the decline is shellfish poison events that necessitate harvesting closures.
The nonprofit Wolfe’s Neck Farm refines its mission for a new generation
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, October 12, 2017 

Wolfe’s Neck Farm in Freeport has a new name. Going forward, the nonprofit farm will be known as the Wolfe’s Neck Center for Agriculture and the Environment. The name change reflects a newly refined mission. As much as 25 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, worldwide, come from agriculture. With its new emphasis, the center hopes to attract farmers and apprentices from around the United States, to “train the next generation of climate-smart farmers to not just reduce, but capture and offset greenhouse gas emissions where they are productive: in the soil.” The 626-acre saltwater farm become a nonprofit in 1997. Its vision of organic agriculture, conservation, public access and land preservation of the land is the legacy of Lawrence and Eleanor Houston Smith, who operated a natural farm on the land from the 1940s.
Injured woman plucked by helicopter from Appalachian Trail near Rangeley
Sun Journal - Thursday, October 12, 2017 

Kelsey Lampher, 28, of Phoenix, who was injured Tuesday while hiking the Appalachian Trail on Bemis Mountain, was flown by helicopter to the Rangeley airport.
Irving lays out vision for Fish River lakes development
Fiddlehead Focus (St. John Valley, Aroostook County) - Thursday, October 12, 2017 

Under the plan, about 1,900 of the total 51,000 acres would be rezoned to allow for development, with 1,300 acres slated for as many as 330 new residential lots and 549 acres for commercial development.
Fire reported at Sappi paper mill in Skowhegan
Morning Sentinel - Thursday, October 12, 2017 

The Fire Department is responding to the wood yard at the Sappi paper mill on U.S. Route 201 for a reported structure fire, according to the Somerset County dispatch center. The call had been made around 10:37 a.m. and firefighters had not yet arrived at the scene. So far only the Skowhegan Fire Department has been called. A member of the Central Maine Facebook Fire Alert page said that the fire was called in as “fully involved.”
Editorial: Balancing the budget with ‘fantasy’ oil revenue is no reason to open ANWR to drilling
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, October 12, 2017 

The tax cut plan being pushed by Republican leadership in Washington would leave a big hole in the federal budget. One way the White House and Republican congressional leadership hope to plug that hole is by allowing oil drilling in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, which has been off limits to oil and gas exploration for decades. Congress, led by thoughtful members such as Collins, must put long-term American interests above short-term budget gimmicks and political posturing and continue to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Maine wildlife rehab center adjusts to new animals, seasons due to climate change
York Weekly - Thursday, October 12, 2017 

The Center for Wildlife capital campaign just this week edged over the $1 million mark, well on the way toward reaching the center’s goal of breaking ground on a new state-of-the-art medical facility and education center next spring. Construction can come none too soon for a center that Director Kristen Lamb said is bursting at the seams. So far this year, 1,700 mammals and birds have thus far come through the doors of the wildlife rehabilitation center, compared with 1,800 for all of 2016. Due to changing climate conditions, instead of two distinct nesting seasons in spring and fall, the center sees orphans from February to October “nonstop.” The types of species are expanding, too, due to changing climate, to include snowshoe hares, cottontails and ermine.
Maine city struggles to get rid of windmill that never produced energy as promised
Journal Tribune - Thursday, October 12, 2017 

A request for bids to remove the city’s wind turbine on Main Street in Saco has only generated one interested party. The 100-foot-high wind mill has sat on York Hill near the city’s train station for years. The wind turbine was purchased and installed by Entegrity Wind Systems in February 2008 for about $200,000. A contract with Entegrity Wind guaranteed the turbine would produce about 90,000 kilowatt hours a year, valued at the time at about $12,800, and free maintenance for the first five years. The wind turbine never came close to generating the amount of energy promised, and Entegrity Wind went bankrupt in 2009, thus making the guarantee invalid.
Overkill: Six cars strike same moose on I-95
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, October 12, 2017 

Six vehicles struck the same moose on Interstate 95 near Plymouth Wednesday night. A southbound car struck a moose standing in the middle of the interstate around 8:30 p.m. The car veered off the interstate and crashed into the woods, injuring the driver and a passenger. The moose’s body remained in the road, and five more vehicles struck it as they drove through that stretch of interstate. Those cars suffered damage, but no one else was injured.
King’s Senate Field Hearing Focused on Generating Electricity from Maine Wood
Free Press - Thursday, October 12, 2017 

Senator Angus King convened a Senate field hearing at Robbins Lumber in Searsmont on Friday, October 6, to hear testimony on the impact of combined heat and power (CHP) biomass plants on Maine jobs and electricity rates. CHP biomass plants use the state’s most abundant resource — trees. Five mill closures in the past three years and the direct loss of about 2,500 mill jobs and the downward economic spiral it created in rural Maine towns motivated King to focus on helping the Maine forest industry look beyond pulp and paper to future products and uses for wood. King said his goal was to utilize every twig of every tree harvested in the Maine woods.
Maine is world famous for lobster, but these countries want our trash
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, October 12, 2017 

Maine is boosting its trading opportunities by exporting tens of millions of dollars worth of a commodity that has nothing to do with the state’s iconic lobsters. Waste and scrap metal, destined for recycling into big-ticket consumer goods, is among Maine’s top 20 categories of exports. It accounted for nearly $35 million of the state’s $1.2 billion in exports in the first half of 2017, and by year’s end, it could top the six-year high of $50.7 million exported in 2016.
Maine lobster catch on track to hit lowest value this decade
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, October 12, 2017 

Maine’s 2017 lobster harvest is on pace to hit its lowest value this decade, due to an unfavorable combination of a dwindling catch and falling prices, according to lobster industry officials. The statewide haul for this year could plummet below 100 million pounds for the first time since 2010 — a decrease of more than 30 million pounds from 2016. At the same time, the prevailing price for lobster is down from 2016, which generated a record high of $533 million in annual gross revenue.
Opinion: Invest in Wildlands and Woodlands: An Op-ed by Spencer Meyer
Other - Wednesday, October 11, 2017 

New Englanders are losing 65 acres of forest per day, or 24,000 acres per year, to dispersed and fragmented residential and commercial development. If this trend continues, the region will lose another 1.2 million acres over the next 50 years. In September, Harvard Forest, Highstead, and New England Forestry Foundation published a new report: "Wildlands and Woodlands, Farmlands and Communities: Broadening the Vision for New England." My co-authors and I documented the ongoing threats to the ecosystems and economies that connect our rural communities with our urban centers. We laid out a vision for protecting 70 percent of New England as forests and at least another seven percent as farmland. ~ Spencer Meyer
Report: Natural Gas Companies Artificially Constrained Supply, Costing New Englanders Billions
Maine Public - Wednesday, October 11, 2017 

New England electricity consumers paid billions of dollars more than necessary over a three-year period. That’s the conclusion of an academic analysis sponsored by a national environmental group that suggests that natural gas suppliers withheld fuel capacity needed for electric generation at key moments on the coldest days — to the benefit of the companies' affiliates. But some industry players and observers are skeptical at best, while one utility named in the report is calling it an outright fabrication.
Anti-coal effort expands with $64M donation from Michael Bloomberg
Bloomberg News - Wednesday, October 11, 2017 

The Sierra Club is expanding its campaign to retire U.S. coal power plants with a $64 million contribution from former New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, as the environmental group aims to blunt efforts by the Trump administration to rescue coal. Bloomberg, the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, parent of Bloomberg News, announced the gift from his charitable organization, Bloomberg Philanthropies. It came a day after the Trump administration began a formal effort to repeal Obama-era curbs on greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.
Maine lawmakers to examine cost, benefit of land conservation
Associated Press - Wednesday, October 11, 2017 

Republican Gov. Paul LePage has, for years, criticized lawmakers for catering to wealthy groups and individuals whom he claims enjoy scenic views on tax-exempt land that increase property taxes for seniors and poor Mainers. In the days before this year’s three-day government shutdown over the state budget, LePage claimed that Democrats were ignoring his proposal to remove property tax exemptions for land trusts and nonprofits that hold large tracts of land. In the end, lawmakers passed a two-year budget that called for a legislative study due in February that looks at conserved Maine lands owned by nonprofits. The committee is set to meet Thursday to discuss the study, which will examine the tax implications and community impact of conserved lands, which can be used for hunting, hiking, educational programs and forestry.
State’s largest solar array now completely operational
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, October 11, 2017 

The largest solar array in the state is now fully operational, as the final 25 percent of the 26,000-panel array was brought online Wednesday. The array, which will generate enough electricity to power 700 homes, is spread over more than 20 acres at the Madison Business Gateway. Madison Electric Works, a department of the town of Madison, signed a 26-year agreement with Ohio-based IGS Solar to purchase all the electricity produced by the array at a fixed rate of 7.99 cents per kilowatt. After six years the utility will have the right to purchase the energy farm at an estimated cost of about $6 million.
Retired Winthrop teacher gleaning excess ‘bounty of our local farms’ for those in need
Kennebec Journal - Wednesday, October 11, 2017 

Stephen Knight picked up almost 600 pounds of Macintosh apples from the Kents Hill Orchard Wednesday morning, and on Friday, he’ll be back for more. After teaching chemistry at Winthrop High School for more than 20 years, he discovered a passion for gleaning food and helping others. Gleaning is the act of collecting excess fresh foods from gardens, farms and markets to provide it to people in need. The United States Department of Agriculture estimates that more than 100 billion pounds of food is thrown away each year.
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