September 24, 2018  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Monday, September 24, 2018 

Thanks for visiting Maine Environmental News, a service of RESTORE: The North Woods. MEN is the most comprehensive online source available for links 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
Learn about Marine Mammals of Maine, Oct 1
Event - Posted - Monday, September 24, 2018 

Learn more about Marine Mammals of Maine, the current status of seals in Maine, and how to tell if a stranded animal really needs help and what you should do. At Kennebunk Free Library, October 1, 6 pm.
Drop-in volunteers needed to work on Acadia National Park projects
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 22, 2018 

Drop-in volunteers are needed to work on trails, carriage roads and outdoor projects during sessions organized by Acadia National Park and Friends of Acadia. At park headquarters, September 29, 8:15 am-12:15 pm. No experience is necessary.
The Nature of Craft, Sep 29
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 22, 2018 

A fine art and craft show. At Maine Audubon's Gilsland Farm, Falmouth, September 29, 10 am - 4 pm.
Stand with Hunter in opposing Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court
Action Alert - Thursday, September 20, 2018 

Hunter Lachance, a 15-year-old Mainer with asthma, testified against the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court. He explained why Kavanaugh’s opposition to curbing air pollution that crosses state lines would harm Maine and people like him. Urge Senator Collins to vote “no” on Brett Kavanaugh. ~ Kristin Jackson, Natural Resources Council of Maine
Evening for the Environment, Oct 3
Event - Posted - Thursday, September 20, 2018 

A night of camaraderie, celebration, and inspiration for those who care about protecting Maine's environment. Keynote speaker Gina McCarthy, former EPA Administrator. At Brick South on Thompson's Point, Portland, October 3, 5:30-8:00 pm. Organized by Maine Conservation Voters.
Solar 101, Sep 26
Event - Posted - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

Join ReVision Energy to learn about the benefits of solar technology. At Scarborough Public Library, September 26, 2018 6:30 pm.
Weasels of Maine, Sep 26
Event - Posted - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

Shevenell Webb, Wildlife Biologist with IF&W, talks about weasel ecology and natural history. At Augusta Nature Club luncheon, at Capital Area Technical Center, Augusta, September 26, 11:30 am, $7 for lunch.
Activist Training for Maine's Environment, Sep 27-Oct 11
Event - Posted - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

Maine's environmental community is hosting a series of trainings. Learn skills to be a powerful activist and meet fellow environmentalists who want to make a difference in Maine. September 27, Biddeford; October 4: Auburn; October 11, Jefferson; October 18, Falmouth.
Naturalist's Notebook, Sep 26
Event - Posted - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

Bowdoin biology professor Nat Wheelwright will speak about the book he wrote with Bernd Heinrich, "The Naturalist's Notebook: An Observation Guide and 5-Year Calendar-Journal for Tracking Changes in the Natural World Around You." At Portland Public Library, September 26, 5:30-7:30 pm.
NRCM online auction, thru Sep
Announcement - Tuesday, September 18, 2018 

Online auction benefits Natural Resources Council of Maine, through September.
Help wanted: Director of Media Relations and Advocacy Communications
Announcement - Monday, September 17, 2018 

The Natural Resources Council of Maine is seeking applications for the position of Director of Media Relations and Advocacy Communications. The position provides leadership in advancing NRCM and the organization’s advocacy work through the news media. Deadline: October 11, 2018.
MCV Action Fund 2018 Endorsements
Announcement - Monday, September 17, 2018 

A list of candidates endorsed by the Maine Conservation Voters Action Fund.
Bringing an ocean perspective to an urban estuary, Sep 24
Event - Posted - Monday, September 17, 2018 

Karina Nielsen, director of San Francisco State University’s Estuary and Ocean Science Center, will speak at the UMaine Darling Marine Center, Walpole, September 24, 12:15 pm.
Maine's Beaches are Public Property, Sep 24
Event - Posted - Monday, September 17, 2018 

Author and law professor Orlando E. Delogu speaks about public access to Maine’s beaches. At Curtis Memorial Library, Brunswick, September 24, 6:30 pm.
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News Items
Mills unveils economic plan that jabs at LePage, Moody
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, September 18, 2018 

Democratic candidate Janet Mills attempted to lay claim Tuesday to a key issue in the four-way race for governor — the economy. She presented a range of initiatives designed to encourage small business growth while addressing Maine’s dearth of skilled workers and its aging labor pool. Her proposal includes overhauling and consolidating the state’s sprawling and confusing economic development bureaucracy, providing no-interest loans to businesses that hire more employees, rural workplace grants that convert abandoned downtown buildings into shared workspaces for companies and workers looking for high-speed internet access, and tax incentives designed to repatriate Maine workers who have left the state seeking better jobs and higher wages.
Regulators Call Utilities’ Response To October 2017 Windstorm ‘Reasonable’
Maine Public - Tuesday, September 18, 2018 

State regulators say the response by Maine’s major electric utilities to last October’s windstorm was reasonable, after investigating the utilities’ reaction to the storm, which left as many as 467,000 customers without power. Maine Public Utilities Commission chairman Mark Vannoy says that given a weather forecast that underestimated the wallop Maine would take, Central Maine Power and Emera made the right moves — mostly.
Maine gets nearly $1 million to support state parks, outdoor recreation
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, September 18, 2018 

Maine will receive $972,249 in federal funds that will be used for state-identified outdoor recreation and conservation projects. The funds will be distributed from the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The funds are nontaxpayer dollars derived from Outer Continental Shelf lease revenue and are awarded through federal matching grants administered through the National Park Service. Maine has benefited from more than $180 million in funding from the Land and Water Conservation Fund during the past half-century.
Hike: Deboullie Mountain
Aislinn Sarnacki Act Out Blog - Tuesday, September 18, 2018 

Nestled in the heart of the North Maine Woods, Deboullie Mountain is one of several hiking destinations in Deboullie Public Lands, a state-owned property characterized by its small, rugged mountains, mossy forests and remote ponds and streams that are popular for fishing. Topping off at 1,981 feet above sea level, Deboullie Mountain is slightly taller than the rest of the mountains in the area, and on its summit sits a historic fire lookout tower that provides an unobstructed 360-degree view. And there’s a nice overlook near the top of the mountain, and another partial overlook near the tower.
Officials: The CAT Ferry Carried More Than 18K Passengers Last Month
Maine Public - Tuesday, September 18, 2018 

The CAT Ferry carried more than 18,000 passengers between Portland and Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, last month, according to Portland city officials. That brings the season's total number of passengers to 38,382. With more than a month of sailings to go, the high-speed ferry service is on track to exceed last year's total of 41,462 passengers. Bay Ferries, which operates the service, is looking into shifting its U.S. point of departure from Portland to Bar Harbor for next year.
Opinion: Maine aquafarms can feed the global demand for seafood
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, September 18, 2018 

In the 1990s, as industrial salmon farming expanded, net pens developed in bays and fjords. These were “open systems” where waste, feeds, dead fish and farming debris were released, and pens occasionally failed, spilling farmed fish into the ocean causing “biological pollution.” But with research and development, sophisticated feeds and new technologies were invented. Also, antibiotics were added to control diseases. Today, each fish is vaccinated. Now, the science of recirculating aquaculture systems on land is here, making it possible to farm fish without the use of net pens in the ocean. Americans import more than 90% of the seafood we eat, much of which from poorly regulated aquaculture farms. Don’t let those who jump on junk science websites or express a simple dislike of farmed fish distract us from the real opportunities. ~ Barry A. Costa-Pierce, editor-in-chief of Aquaculture, executive director of UNE NORTH, and professor of marine sciences at University of New England
China raises tariffs on $60 billion of US goods in technology fight
Associated Press - Tuesday, September 18, 2018 

President Trump imposed 25 percent duties on $50 billion of Chinese products in July. Beijing retaliated with similar penalties on the same amount of American goods [including lobsters and other products from Maine]. Trump threatened Monday to add a further $267 billion in Chinese imports to the target list if China retaliates for the latest U.S. duties. That would raise the total affected by U.S. penalties to $517 billion – covering nearly everything China sells the United States. By expanding the list to $200 billion of Chinese products, Trump will spread the pain to ordinary households.
5 ways Trump’s tariffs on China will affect you
Associated Press - Tuesday, September 18, 2018 

By imposing taxes on an additional $200 billion in Chinese goods, President Donald Trump has intensified a battle of wills between the world’s two largest economies — and the outcome is far from certain. But what’s clear is that the latest fight in the escalating trade war is likely to affect consumers, companies, markets, the economy and the political landscape.
Fire breaks out at wood-pellet plant in Corinth
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, September 18, 2018 

More than 20 fire departments were fighting a fire that broke out Wednesday evening at a wood-pellet plant in Corinth. The fire was reported around 6 p.m. at the Corinth Wood Pellets manufacturing facility, an emergency dispatcher for the Penobscot County Regional Communications Center said. The dispatcher described the blaze as a large fire that would take time to control. Corinth Wood Pellets LLC manufactures hardwood pellet fuel from wood fiber. The company, formed in 2007, claims to be recognized as the premier wood pellet manufacturer in the state.
What you can do when bugs and rodents move in for the winter
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, September 18, 2018 

Seasonal migration of wildlife has little impact on humans, unless that migration path leads directly into the home. And when the warm days of summer turn into the cool days of fall and chillier days of winter, that can happen as critters try to find a warm place to stay. So what is a Maine homeowner to do? It really comes down to what is getting in from the outside and an individual’s level of tolerance for sharing space.
Maine dealers say China is further inflating prices on U.S. lobster as part of tariff war
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, September 18, 2018 

Maine lobster dealers say China is improperly inflating the market price of lobster to increase its punitive tariffs on U.S. live lobster imports. The 25% tariff China is imposing on U.S. lobsters already gives Canadian lobster dealers a competitive advantage that Maine dealers have found almost impossible to overcome. They fear the additional cost of a tariff based on the higher-priced Canadian lobster will scare away the few Chinese customers still willing to consider buying U.S. lobsters. Maine supplies more than 84 percent of all U.S. lobsters.
Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund grants go to lots of great projects
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Tuesday, September 18, 2018 

The Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund has provided more than $20 million for conservation and outdoor recreation projects. Here are a few projects that received funding in the last round.
• Maine Brook Trout Coastal Stream and Pond Survey
• Reconstruction of Rainbow Dam to Protect Artic Charr and Brook Trout
• Allagash Wilderness Waterway Snowmobiles
• Improvements at Pierce Pond to Facilitate Learning about Fish Passage
• Shooting Range and Facilities Access Improvement Program
• Trail Enhancements for Year Round Recreation and Stewardship Promotion
Acadia National Park on pace to break 2017 record for visitors
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, September 18, 2018 

Visits to Maine’s only national park so far this year are on pace to exceed the total from 2017, when Acadia had an estimated record of 3.5 million visits, according to park officials. A notable exception to the increase in fall visits to Acadia occurred in 2013, when a 16-day federal government shutdown in October resulted in a steep drop off in park visitation. President Donald Trump has raised the specter of forcing another federal government shutdown this fall, after the federal fiscal year comes to a close Sept. 30, over funding for his proposed wall along the Mexican border.
National park maintenance backlog to draw members of Congress to Acadia
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, September 18, 2018 

Members of Maine’s congressional delegation are coming to visit the only national park in the state this week to learn more about Acadia’s $59.8 million maintenance backlog. Sen. Angus King and Rep. Bruce Poliquin, along with National Park Service Deputy Director P. Daniel Smith are expected to meet with Acadia officials and other local leaders and tour the park Thursday. Representatives from the staffs of Sen. Susan Collins and Rep. Chellie Pingree also are expected to attend.
Editorial: New rules place at-risk species further in peril
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, September 18, 2018 

The Trump administration and Republican lawmakers have put forward a series of proposals that would weaken how science is used to protect threatened and endangered species, and hand more oversight to states with serious conflicts of interest. The Endangered Species Act has saved hundreds of species on the list, many of which would now be gone without the protections the law provides. The law could use more flexibility, as long as it always leaned toward helping threatened species. That’s what you’d do if you really wanted to improve the Endangered Species Act. The bills before Congress, however, would only weaken it.
Opinion: Plan for Scarborough Downs property fits with town’s vision
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, September 18, 2018 

When we had an opportunity to purchase the Scarborough Downs property, we studied the 2006 comprehensive plan and the zoning and made an offer. There was celebration that we are local developers who wish to follow the desires of residents and municipal leaders. We have kept our end of the deal. The master plan we put forth is synced to the town’s current comprehensive plan, which embodies the wishes of residents. Further, our plan delivers a balanced, planned community creating an economic hub in Scarborough – providing amenities and prosperity for decades to come. Our team will invest hundreds of millions into public infrastructure and amenities. The project will diversify Scarborough’s tax base, create thousands of jobs, generate millions in tax revenue and attract new businesses to town – all without burdening the taxpayers. ~ Rocco Risbara III, Crossroads Holdings and Risbara Bros. Construction
Letter: Tax dollars fan flames of climate change
Morning Sentinel - Tuesday, September 18, 2018 

Hurricanes in Hawaii, raging fires in California forests, sea-level rise in Florida and Maine — these are the signs of climate change coming home to roost. What is often overlooked in discussions about carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases building up is that the Pentagon is the biggest consumer of fossil fuels on the planet. The Pentagon creates over 70 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. And these figures do not even include the Pentagon’s many contractors, including weapons manufacturers. Until we take an honest look at reducing the Pentagon’s giant carbon boot print, our tax dollars will continue to fan the flames of catastrophic climate change. ~ Lisa Savage, Solon
Letter: Carbon tax is best first step
Sun Journal - Tuesday, September 18, 2018 

Garrett Mason stated, “a carbon tax would raise gas and electricity costs for all consumers and have little environmental impact.” The proposal by the Citizen’s Climate Lobby includes a dividend which would give more money back to the majority of Maine households than their increased expenses. A tax will lower greenhouse gas emissions in a measured way. Alternative energy will become relatively cheaper. The cost of inaction is huge. Farmers are dealing with heatwaves, drought, downpours and increased pests and diseases. Fishermen are witnessing rapidly warming waters and ocean acidification. Loggers see the trees they harvest infested by pests that are increasing their range. An increasingly unstable climate spurs extreme weather events which costs taxpayers and homeowners billions. ~ Roberta Brezinski, Durham
Discovery of immature lobsters in deep Down East waters may be good news for industry
Portland Press Herald - Monday, September 17, 2018 

Researchers feared that declines in the numbers of baby lobsters found in warmer, shallow waters might presage a population bust, but the young may merely be moving to deeper habitat, UMaine professor Richard Wahle says. “Eastern Maine used to be a [lobster] settlement desert,” Wahle said. “Not anymore.” Computer models that address rising ocean temperatures have predicted a 40 to 62 percent decline in Gulf of Maine lobster populations over the next 30 years, but Wahle’s deepwater settlement findings suggest the Bay of Fundy effect may insulate eastern Maine from these predicted declines.
UMPI Gets OK For New Agribusiness Program
Maine Public - Monday, September 17, 2018 

University of Maine System Trustees have approved a new degree program at the Presque Isle campus, which they say is designed to meet the need for highly qualified agriculture and agribusiness professionals. UMPI President Ray Rice says the program will teach current agricultural practices and support research-based approaches to improving agribusiness operations. Rice says there are already 8 students enrolled in the program.
Beavers block culverts again in Livermore
Sun Journal - Monday, September 17, 2018 

Beavers are blocking culverts on the Strickland Ferry Road in Livermore, according to town officials. Maine Game Warden Harry Weigman will get advice from a biologist on how to keep the rodents from blocking culverts. “I don’t water building up and freezing there all winter long,” he said.
Maine Public interviews Leslie about new ocean conservation database
UMaine Today - Monday, September 17, 2018 

Maine Public interviewed Heather Leslie, director of the UMaine Darling Marine Center in Walpole, about a new ocean conservation database she helped create. Leslie worked with a team of researchers to design the Conservation Planning Database after realizing there was no central location to share information about ocean conservation. The peer-reviewed database, intended to help people all over the world learn about and solve marine issues, is free and open to the public, and is available online.
Belfast police search for whoever shot seagull
WGME-TV13 - Monday, September 17, 2018 

Belfast police are searching for whoever shot a seagull, which led to the bird having to be put down. Officials say the bird, which is a legally protected species, was found with a single lead projectile lodged in it. They say the bird's wing wasn't repairable, and the bird was euthanized.
Digital big-game registration system gives Maine wildlife biologists real-time harvest data
Bangor Daily News - Monday, September 17, 2018 

Up until this fall, the state’s wildlife biologists had to wait for months in order to tell how many moose, deer, bears or turkeys hunters had been harvested. Thanks to a new web-based registration system, those days are over. This new system will quickly allow tagging stations and hunters to register their animal, and also provide our biologists and game wardens with real-time harvest data.
Maine Dam Being Removed To Make Way For Smelt, Trout
Maine Public - Monday, September 17, 2018 

A Maine conservation group is beginning the process of removing a granite dam in Sullivan as part of project to make a brook more accessible to fish. The Downeast Salmon Federation says the removal of the dam from Smelt Brook is "part of a multi-faceted land conservation and habitat restoration project to bring smelt back to the stream.'' The group says the removal of the dam will connect Smelt Brook back to Smelt Cove at the foot of Frenchman Bay. That will allow fish such as smelt, brook trout and American eel to pass through the area. The removal will also restore salt marsh. The dam was built more than 50 years ago.
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