January 20, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Saturday, January 19, 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 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
Lake St. George Ice Fishing Derby, Jan 26
Event - Posted - Saturday, January 19, 2019 

Learn how to fish. All equipment and bait provided. Lunch, hot cocoa, and warming hut. At Lake St. George State Park, Liberty, January 26, 8 am - 2 pm.
Brown-tail moths, Jan 24
Event - Posted - Thursday, January 17, 2019 

Eleanor Groden, professor of entomology at the University of Maine, will discuss the health hazards presented by, and recommended management strategies of, brown-tail moths. At Palermo Community Library, January 24, 6:30 pm.
20th Anniversary Maine Farmland Trust Kick Off Event, Jan 24
Event - Posted - Thursday, January 17, 2019 

Join a festive hometown gathering to look back at Maine Farmland Trust's many milestones since 1999, and celebrate the founders and members who helped to shape the organization. At United Farmer’s Market of Maine, Belfast, January 24, 6 pm.
Explore Nature through photography, Jan 24
Event - Posted - Thursday, January 17, 2019 

Local photographers Michele Benoit, Donne Sinderson, and Richard Spinney will share their photographs, experience and tips for photographing the natural world. At Bangor, January 24, 6:30 pm. Sponsored by Bangor Land Trust.
Help pick BDN top issue
Action Alert - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 

This year, the Bangor Daily News opinion pages will focus attention on four issues that are critical to Maine’s future. We have picked three areas: economic development; referendum reform; and Maine’s rural, spread out population. Help pick the fourth topic. Climate change and the associated energy, land-use and conservation policies are the top concern so far.
Marching Backwards
Publication - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 

A report by the Environmental Defense Fund about how Andrew Wheeler and Donald Trump are endangering the health of American families by rolling back environmental safeguards.
Browntail Moth, Jan 22
Event - Posted - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 

Maine Forest Service Entomologist Tom Schmeelk and District Forester Morten Moesswilde explain how to identify and manage browntail moths. At Boothbay Regional Land Trust's Oak Point Farm, January 22, 3 pm.
Tree Appreciation Walk, Jan 20
Event - Posted - Monday, January 14, 2019 

Kids, adults, and families are invited on a walking exploration and appreciation of trees. At Thorne Head Preserve Bath, January 20, 1-2:30 pm. Co-sponsored by Kennebec Estuary Land Trust and Beth Israel Congregation.
Colonizing history of Wabanaki people, Europeans, Jan 20
Event - Posted - Sunday, January 13, 2019 

Maine-Wabanaki REACH and the Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Augusta hold an interactive story-telling experience about the colonizing history of Wabanaki (the Indigenous people of Maine) and Europeans and their descendants. At UU Church, Augusta, January 20, 1-3 pm, RSVP.
L.L.Bean Outdoor Discovery Programs
Event - Posted - Thursday, January 10, 2019 

Expert guides. Amazing scenery. Hundreds of new activities to learn. Plus, customized trips, all-inclusive adventures, kids’ camps and more. Starting at $25.
Ice Fishing the Downeast, Jan 17
Event - Posted - Thursday, January 10, 2019 

Gregory Burr, regional biologist for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, talks about “Ice Fishing the Downeast Region.” At Schoodic Institute, Winter Harbor, January 17, noon.
Nature Notes from Maine, Jan 17
Event - Posted - Thursday, January 10, 2019 

Ed Robinson shares interesting facts about some of Maine's most beautiful and fascinating wildlife. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, January 17, 6 pm potluck, 7 pm presentation. Sponsored by Appalachian Mountain Club.
Working with your Woodland, Jan 16
Announcement - Wednesday, January 9, 2019 

Morten Moesswilde, District Forester for the Maine Forest Service, leads a series of presentations and field tours on woodland management on small ownerships. At Maranacook Community High School, Readfield, starting January 16, 6-8 pm, $5 per session or all 8 sessions for $35.
Weekly Winter Adventure camp in Bethel begins Jan. 16
Announcement - Wednesday, January 9, 2019 

The UMaine 4-H Camp & Learning Center at Bryant Pond, in partnership with the Mahoosuc Land Trust and Mahoosuc Kids Association, is offering a six-week Winter Adventure course, beginning Wednesday, January 16.
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News Items
Coastal Maine tourist destination looks to ban fast food restaurants from its downtown
Bangor Daily News - Monday, January 14, 2019 

A proposed zoning change being considered in Camden would prohibit fast food restaurants from its downtown. With Camden’s downtown historically being home to locally owned restaurants, the Camden Planning Board is proposing the zoning amendment “to ensure that food service businesses in Camden respect the character of the community and do not create undue impacts in terms of noise, littler, traffic and other adverse impacts,” according to a draft of the ordinance amendment. Camden has an existing ban on drive-through food service.
What’s your top concern for Maine? Climate change?
Bangor Daily News - Monday, January 14, 2019 

This year, the Bangor Daily News opinion pages will focus attention on four issues that are critical to Maine’s future. We have picked three areas of focus: Maine’s workforce shortage and its consequences on the state’s economic development; referendum reform; and the high costs and challenges of Maine’s rural, spread out population. We’d like you to pick the fourth topic. Climate change and the associated energy, land-use and conservation policies are the top concern of readers who have contacted us so far.
Maquoit Bay withstands algal blooms, invasive species and habitat loss but officials warn that more needs to be done to keep the vital resource alive
Times Record - Monday, January 14, 2019 

Over the decades, two things have held true about Brunswick’s Maquoit Bay: It is vital ground for the area’s shellfish harvesters, and it is always changing. Some of this is cyclic, natural change, but other changes, such as warmer waters, ocean acidification and the entrance of invasive species are man-made, leaving the fishermen and harvesters earn a living on the bay grappling with how to slow this tide. Dan Devereaux, Brunswick harbor master and marine warden, is also one of two owners operating Mere Point Oyster Co., a growing oyster operation in Maquoit Bay in the midst of a lengthy Marine Resources hearing. Devereaux and his business partner have applied for a 10-year, 40-acre lease in the bay that would increase their current leased space by about 160 times and put an addition 5 million oysters in the bay at a given time. This application has sparked controversy.
Wondrous State Parks to Visit During the Government Shutdown: Mount Katahdin
Other - Monday, January 14, 2019 

Named Mount Katahdin, meaning “The Greatest Mountain,” by the Penobscot American Indians, this scenic mountain is many things to many people including the northern end of the Appalachian Trail and the highest point in Maine at 5,270 feet above sea level, but above all it is a gift to the citizens of Maine.
Obituary: George W. Browning
Other - Monday, January 14, 2019 

George Willis Browning of Georgetown died on Thursday, January 3. Over the years, George served on a number of boards, including as a Trustee of the Forest Society of Maine. George was an enthusiastic sportsman who loved to hunt and fish. He was a long-term member and past President of the Megantic Fish and Game Corporation.
Deer, bear, and moose legislation introduced
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Monday, January 14, 2019 

Deer, bear, and moose will all be debated at the legislature this session. Everything from deer baiting to the use of crossbows will be discussed. Here are some of the bill titles and sponsors.
Maine Agriculture Show To Tout Growth Of Food Production
Associated Press - Monday, January 14, 2019 

The 78th Annual Maine Agricultural Trades Show runs Tuesday to Thursday at the Augusta Civic Center. The show includes more than 100 exhibits about agriculture products, services and gear. It's one of the biggest expos of its kind in the state and it's expected to attract close to 3,000 people. Organizers say the show will draw farmers, hobby growers, teachers, food lovers and others. Maine has more than 8,000 farm operations.
Midcoast town clears way for new farm-to-table restaurant
Lincoln County News - Monday, January 14, 2019 

The Damariscotta Planning Board approved Eleanor Kinney’s application to open a farm-to-table restaurant at 27 Main St. on Jan. 7. Kinney of Bremen owns the organic Heart Farm. She said the downtown restaurant, The River House, will likely have 30 seats and feature a wood-fired grill. The restaurant will serve food made with ingredients from local farms, as well as local seafood.
Beet juice reduces need for rock salt as de-icer in Canada. Could the same work in Maine?
Bangor Daily News - Monday, January 14, 2019 

Rock salt, or sodium chloride, has become the go-to ice remover for cold, wintery areas. Though rock salt is inexpensive and effective, it comes with a cost. Salt corrosion damages cars, roads and bridges. There is also an environmental cost. For one, moose are more attracted to the roads — which essentially become an enormous salt-lick — increasing traffic danger to motorists. As rock salt dissolves, it not only helps remove ice from the roads, but it also seeps into the ecosystem, damaging roadside plants and aquatic environments. Some Canadian cities have added beet juice, an unexpected ingredient, into their de-icing regime. Could Maine follow their lead?
Opinion: Use technology to manage Maine’s turkey population
Kennebec Journal - Monday, January 14, 2019 

This fall marks the first time that turkey harvest totals were available on a daily basis using the states’s integrated online tagging system. In the past, wildlife managers and staffers had to manually collect, sort and tally tagging data, often taking many months to report. Tagging data collection has now caught up with modern technology. It is now time for wild turkey management to do the same. With the new tagging technology and the department’s long-established wildlife management units, IF&W should be able to heavily crop over-abundant populations while also protecting others. And they can monitor the progress of turkey harvests on a daily basis. ~ David Trahan, Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine
Column: Harpswell facing up to climate change
Times Record - Monday, January 14, 2019 

As the Maine town with the longest coastline, Harpswell is particularly vulnerable to sea-level rise. But the town government is up to the job, with its dedicated, hard-working Conservation Commission studying the effects of climate change on town roads and wetlands since 2010. There are more than twelve public roads that would be impacted by a 3.3-foot sea rise at considerable cost to the town over the next twenty years. However, in facing the challenges of rising sea-level head-on, early, and publicly, Harpswell’s Conservation Commission is pioneering ways for coastal communities to monitor and mitigate the disruption of climate change. Harpswell’s selectboard recently broadened that role by endorsing a national policy to reduce carbon emissions. ~ Mary Lee Fowler, Citizens Climate Lobby
Letter: Oyster farm application should be approved
Times Record - Monday, January 14, 2019 

My wife and I have owned property on Maquoit Bay for 23 years and we have used our sailboat in the summer months on the bay throughout that time. The assertion that the area is heavily used by lobstermen and is a major source of their income is not supported by our observations. The proponents of the Mere Point Oyster Company have designed their location to open about 12 acres in the middle of the proposed lease area to all forms of navigation and commercial fishing. The Department of Marine Resources will make the decision on the application from MPOC for an aquaculture lease. Based on the information presented, there is convincing evidence that the proposal satisfies the criteria and should be approved. ~ Stephen F. Loebs, Brunswick
Letter: We should welcome Mere Point Oyster Company’s proposal
Times Record - Monday, January 14, 2019 

For almost 20 years, Maquoit Bay has provided this fisherman with idyllic conditions for seeking the elusive striped bass and bluefish. One would think that lobstermen would be attracted to the bay as well, but this is not the case for most of their harvesting season. Seining vessels seeking menhaden and small boats used by clammers do frequent the Upper Bay, but the fact that these harvesters utilize nature’s bounty for economic purposes diminishes any ill feelings or protests by home owners abutting Maquoit Bay. Let’s welcome the fledging Mere Point Oyster Company and its proposal to farm and harvest some of the best oysters on the East Coast. ~ Roger Tuveson, Marblehead, Massachusetts
Letter: Shipping trash
Bangor Daily News - Monday, January 14, 2019 

Cargo containers have to be shipped back to China anyway to pick up the next load, so it “pays” to ship trash back rather than pay to ship empty containers. Some countries require dunnage to be shipped back to the country of origin of goods shipped by containers. Ask the people at Old Town Canoe. ~ John Battick, Dover-Foxcroft
Letter: Farm bill should not be vehicle for unrelated policy
Bangor Daily News - Monday, January 14, 2019 

The Farm Bill contains many benefits to farms, forests and food that make it one of the few pieces of legislation today with bipartisan support. But because of the bill’s momentum, some legislators see it as the perfect vessel for adding unpopular or controversial riders. It’s bad enough that the Farm Bill was used to undermine constitutional checks and balances, but the irony of adding language that prolongs famine in Yemen to a bill about food is unbearable. I encourage Maine farmers and forest owners to stand up and make it known that we do not want our professions and our land to be used as a shield for inhumane policy that has nothing to do food or natural resources. ~ Kyle Burdock, Pembroke
Letter: Scientist, not lawyer, needed at DEP
Bangor Daily News - Monday, January 14, 2019 

Maine’s Department of Environmental Protection needs to be run by a scientist with environmental science expertise. Effective environmental protection is essential to Maine’s largest industry, tourism, as well as its natural resource-based industries of fishing, forestry and agriculture. Maine’s Attorney General’s office has statutory authority to represent all governmental entities, including agencies, in legal matters, whether as plaintiffs or defendants. Duplication of the AG’s legal expertise is unnecessary within the DEP. Legislators should quickly encourage our new governor to withdraw Jerry Reid’s nomination as DEP Commissioner (without prejudice) and replace it with an expert scientist. ~ Ralph Chapman, Brooksville
Maine Forestry Museum looks forward to 2019 as 40th year approaches
Turner Publishing - Sunday, January 13, 2019 

The Maine Forestry Museum’s board is saying Happy New Year as well as many thanks to all its members and volunteers as the museum gears up for its 40th year celebration, which will come in 2020.
Recreational fishing rules to be overhauled under new law
Associated Press - Sunday, January 13, 2019 

The rules that govern recreational marine fishing in the U.S. will get an overhaul under a new law passed by Congress, and the country’s millions of anglers and the groups that stake their livelihoods on them hope the changes will bring better management. The new standards are part of a suite of changes that proponents call the Modern Fish Act that were approved by the House and Senate in December.
Maine proposal would encourage more shellfish research
Associated Press - Sunday, January 13, 2019 

Rep. Robert Alley of Beals has a bill, "An Act To Encourage Applied Shellfish Research," which proposes a tweak to municipalities' shellfish conservation ordinances, which currently regulate possession of shellfish and where they can be taken. Alley's proposal would allow research entities to contact research in conjunction with the Maine Department of Marine Resources to support shellfish conservation.
Opinion: Billionaire Tom Steyer’s impeachment ads are a waste of money
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, January 13, 2019 

It is ridiculous, deplorable even, for Tom Steyer to spend tens of millions of dollars on an utterly useless campaign to impeach Trump, regardless of whether you favor impeachment. Even if you wanted to spend your money on politics, why not do something halfway productive? Register new voters, promote civics education, run a campaign to end gerrymandering or finance media literacy. Oh, and I have one question for the environmentalist mogul: Why did he add to his carbon footprint by flying to Iowa to announce he wasn’t running for president? ~ Jennifer Rubin
County residents ask school board to reverse decision ending the potato harvest break
The County - Sunday, January 13, 2019 

Dozens of area residents voiced their support Thursday for having the SAD 1 school board reverse its decision to end the potato harvest break in 2019. More than 50 members of the public, many of whom were farmers, teachers or parents, filled the room at the Presque Isle High School cafeteria during the hourlong public hearing, anxiously listening to the folks who addressed the school board on why harvest break matters for both area potato growers and students.
Hundreds brave the cold to attend film festival focused on the environment
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, January 13, 2019 

Portsmouth Herald - Hundreds of people braved the cold to attend the second annual Seacoast Environmental Film Festival on Saturday. Held at the Kittery Community Center’s Star Theatre, five films were shown, each with a different theme on the state of the environment and on ways people can help on issues relevant to clean water, ocean plastics, sea level rising, food waste and climate change. Each film, presented by local nonprofits, was followed by a panel discussion featuring experts in the topic of the film.
What a rack! Unique antlers set Allagash buck apart
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, January 13, 2019 

Sue Underhill Kelly, who posted a video on the Facebook page of Tylor Kelly’s Camps in Allagash, said she has counted 13 points, but said there may actually be 14 points on the rack of “a truly magnificent buck!” “The buck has shown up at Mark McBreairty’s house for the past several winters. He feeds the deer,” Kelly explained in an email.
Maine delegation reintroduces bill to allow clam, worm digging in Acadia
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, January 13, 2019 

Federal legislation aimed at allowing marine harvesting to occur along Acadia National Park’s tidal mudflats has been reintroduced in Congress. All four members of Maine’s congressional delegation have submitted companion bills in the House and Senate. The legislation also would give congressional approval to the 2015 addition of 1,400 acres to Acadia at Schoodic Point, remove use restrictions on a piece of land in Tremont deeded by the park to the town decades ago, and make the Acadia National Park Advisory Commission permanent.
‘Got rats?’ Some say they make the ideal small pet.
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, January 13, 2019 

Domestic rats, bred and raised to be friendly and gentle, are held in high esteem by pet owners around the world. However, due to many people’s aversion to wild rats, this fairly low-maintenance, low-cost and intelligent pet often is overlooked. Even a glimpse of a rat’s long, bald tail is enough to give some people the creeps. “It’s like the difference between wolves and your pet dog, or a lion and your pet cat,” rat enthusiast Sarah Levine said, comparing wild rats to domestic rats. “They’re completely different.”
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