September 20, 2017  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Tuesday, September 19, 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 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
State of Working Maine 2017
Publication - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 

The "State of Working Maine 2017," published by the Maine Center for Economic Policy, presents a comprehensive analysis of the economic, demographic, and workforce trends that impact the quality and quantity of jobs in Maine.
Alan Hutchinson memorial celebration, Sep 28
Event - Posted - Monday, September 18, 2017 

A celebration to pay tribute to the memory of the late Alan Hutchinson, executive director of the Forest Society of Maine. At Portland Country Club, Falmouth, September 28, 4:30-6:30 pm. RSVP.
BDN Poll: Should Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument be open to logging?
Action Alert - Monday, September 18, 2017 

Do you think the Katahdin Woods and Waters national monument should be opened for commercial forestry use?
A Cosmic Perspective, Sep 27
Event - Posted - Monday, September 18, 2017 

American astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson will speak at Portland’s Merrill Auditorium, September 27.
Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, Sep 26
Event - Posted - Monday, September 18, 2017 

Lucas St. Clair will discuss the Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument. At Portland House of Music, September 26, 4:30 - 6:30 pm, Portland Regional Chamber Members $15, Non-Members $20, Walk-Ins $30.
National Lobster Day, Sep 25
Announcement - Monday, September 18, 2017 

The U.S. Senate has designated September 25 as National Lobster Day.
Making America Green Again: A Workshop in Resistance, Sep 23
Event - Posted - Sunday, September 17, 2017 

This public policy teach-In will address threats Maine's environment faces from rollbacks in Washington, D.C., and how can Mainers fight back. At Common Ground Country Fair, Unity, September 23, 1-2:30 pm. Sponsored by Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association.
Making America Green Again: A Workshop in Resistance, Sep 23
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 16, 2017 

This public policy teach-In will address threats Maine's environment faces from rollbacks in Washington, D.C., and how can Mainers fight back. At Common Ground Country Fair, Unity, September 23, 1-2:30 pm. Sponsored by Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association.
Common Ground Country Fair, Sep 22-24
Event - Posted - Friday, September 15, 2017 

The Common Ground Country Fair "celebrates organic living, farming and growing" and hosts a large number of political groups and activists. At in Unity, September 22-24, sponsored by the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA).
Becoming an Outdoors-Woman Introductory Weekend, Sep 22-12
Event - Posted - Friday, September 15, 2017 

Introductory learning experiences in a variety of outdoor skills including hunting, fishing, wilderness survival, and outdoors skills for women 18 years and older. At University of Maine 4-H Camp and Learning Center at Bryant Pond, September 22-24.
Intimate Details of Life on a Remote Farm in Maine, Sep 20
Event - Posted - Wednesday, September 13, 2017 

At the annual meeting of the Kennebec Historical Society John Twomey will talk about retiring to a farm in Montville. At Maine State Library, Augusta, September 20, 6:30 pm.
2017 Maine Outdoor Film Festival
Event - Posted - Tuesday, September 12, 2017 

Here is a schedule for upcoming screenings of the 2017 Maine Outdoor Film Festival.
Killing Maine
Publication - Monday, September 11, 2017 

The Kindle edition of "Killing Maine" by Mike Bond is free on Amazon, September 11-15. It is the story of Hawaiian surfer Pono Hawkins who books a flight to Maine to help a fellow Special Forces vet duck a murder conviction. The story has an unusual villain, WindPower LLC, whose deafening, monstrous turbines are an incessant presence throughout the story.
Swan Island Circumnavigation, Sep 17
Event - Posted - Sunday, September 10, 2017 

Leader: Jay Robbins. At Richmond, September 17, 3:30-5:30 pm.
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News Items
Bangor drops pursuit of bans of plastic bags, Styrofoam
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, September 13, 2017 

Bangor won’t be banning Styrofoam or plastic bags anytime soon. City councilors during a Monday workshop voted 6-3 to drop two proposed ordinances aimed at reducing litter in the city — one banning merchants from selling food and drink in Styrofoam containers and another prohibiting plastic take-out bags from stores. The decision eliminates Bangor from among at least a dozen Maine communities pursuing or enacting bans of plastic bags or polystyrene. The bans were aimed at reducing fisheries pollution and dependence on fossil fuels, which are used to make polystyrene.
Envision Maine temporarily shutting down after leader’s resignation
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, September 13, 2017 

Envision Maine, a nonprofit supporting small businesses, is temporarily shutting down after Alan Caron resigned as the organization’s president to run for public office as an independent. Caron, also a former freelance columnist for the Maine Sunday Telegram, recently announced he intended to run for a “major office in Maine.” He has not confirmed that he may run for governor in 2018.
Maine’s Foliage Season Has Officially Begun
Maine Public - Wednesday, September 13, 2017 

Wednesday marks the the official start of leaf season in Maine. “This seems like a typical year,” says Gail Ross, Maine’s fall foliage coordinator with the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. Ross says she doubts it will be an incredible year for color, but not a bad one either.
Organic Industry Sues USDA To Push For Animal Welfare Rules
National Public Radio - Wednesday, September 13, 2017 

The organic eggs in your grocery store are supposed to come from chickens that have year-round access to the outdoors. That's according to long-standing organic regulations. But a huge battle has erupted over what "access to the outdoors" actually means. And it's now led to a lawsuit: The Organic Trade Association, which represents most organic food companies, is suing the government, demanding that it implement new rules that require organic egg producers to give their chickens more room to roam.
Fuel compounds in well at Lamoine gravel pit are “first sign of something”
Ellsworth American - Wednesday, September 13, 2017 

According to a June test of groundwater at the John Goodwin Jr. East Lamoine gravel pit, one well on the site was reported to have higher than usual levels of fuel compounds. The hydrocarbons found in the water didn’t reach unsafe limits, according to state standards.
Poland Spring Targeted by 2nd Lawsuit Over Labeling
Associated Press - Wednesday, September 13, 2017 

A new lawsuit accuses Poland Spring water of deceiving customers by putting the words "100 percent natural spring water'' on product labels. The federal class-action lawsuit in Maine targets corporate parent Nestle Waters North America, which is accused of bottling water from wells and municipal sources that don't meet the federal definition of spring water. New York attorney Gregory Nespole said Tuesday that consumers paid a premium for spring water and received "common groundwater.'' A similar federal lawsuit was filed last month in Connecticut.
Column: Thanks to conservationists, so much land, so little time
Kennebec Journal - Wednesday, September 13, 2017 

So it has been a pleasure following the work of the Kennebec Land Trust as it put together a “Community Conservation Area” of almost 1,100 acres surrounding Mount Pisgah. It’s nice to know this spectacular place will always be available to kids in the future, for their outdoor adventures. I’m also grateful that the land trust continues to allow hunting and snowmobiling there, as well as hiking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and other outdoor activities. ~ George Smith
Bucksport Town Council considers solar energy agreement
 - Tuesday, September 12, 2017 

The Town Council will have an array of issues to consider at its meeting Thursday, including the possibility of installing a solar array on the Public Works garage.
Looking Out: Maine's Fire Towers
Other - Tuesday, September 12, 2017 

Maine Historical Society - Maine has recorded many firsts in fire prevention, beginning with an 1891 law that created a state forest commissioner and local fire wardens. Perhaps the most celebrated "first" was the construction in 1905 of a fire lookout tower on Squaw (now Moose) Mountain in Piscataquis County. While most are no longer in use, some remain intact as a testimony to Maine's leadership in fire protection. View this online exhibit to learn and see more.
Trump officials struggle to explain his climate denial in the wake of Harvey and Irma
Think Progress - Tuesday, September 12, 2017 

This year is the first in U.S. history in which two Atlantic Category 4 hurricanes hit the country. These unusual and dangerous events will become more frequent as the climate continues to change, and yet it’s unclear whether President Trump even accepts climate science. At a White House news briefing on Monday, Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert, claimed that Trump is “committed” to “making sure that federal dollars aren’t used to rebuild things that will be in harm’s way later” — completely ignoring the fact that Trump’s actions last month showed he was committed to the exact opposite.
Grant Intended to Grow Wood Products Industry in 4 States
Associated Press - Tuesday, September 12, 2017 

The U.S. Department of Commerce says it is giving a Concord, New Hampshire, firm more than $500,000 to try to build the economy of the northern forest region of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and New York through investing in the wood products industry. The grant is going to Northern Forest Center Inc., which it says will bring technical assistance to wood products companies and related firms in the states to help create or retain 400 jobs. The assistance provided by Northern Forest Center will include developing market demand in the wood heat industry and encouraging growth in the tourism industry.
More Mainers in flood-hazard zones going without insurance policies
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, September 12, 2017 

Hundreds of Maine households have dropped their flood insurance policies in recent years, boosting the risk of unrecoverable losses the next time severe flooding hits the state. As of June 30, there were only 8,380 active flood insurance policies in Maine under the National Flood Insurance Program, down 9 percent from five years earlier, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. That’s despite more than 31,000 Maine homes being in designated federal flood hazard areas.
Column: The NRA’s idea of recreation: Assault rifles, armor-piercing bullets and silencers
Washington Post - Tuesday, September 12, 2017 

The days are growing colder, and soon millions of American hunters will pursue a time-honored tradition. They will load their automatic weapons with armor-piercing bullets, strap on silencers, head off to the picnic grounds on nearby public lakes — and start shooting. If you do not immediately recognize this pastime as part of America’s heritage, then you are sadly out of step with the current Republican majority in Congress. On Tuesday, a House panel takes up the “Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act of 2017,” which promises “to protect and enhance opportunities for recreational hunting, fishing and shooting.” ~ Dana Milbank
Opinion: Public support for Maine agriculture is growing under the LePage administration
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, September 12, 2017 

A recent editorial failed to mention many significant achievements that support agriculture, while making the erroneous claim that “over the past decade, the state has cut funding” for the Maine Division of Agricultural Resource Development “by about one third.” Funding levels from before the creation of the ACF Department are not comparable. In reality, state government support for Maine agriculture, especially agricultural marketing, has greatly increased during the LePage administration. Local farmers and producers deserve credit for the agricultural renewal taking place across the state. But it is important to recognize government efforts to strengthen and enhance their efforts, while assisting them in opening markets beyond Maine’s borders. ~ Walt Whitcomb, commissioner, Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry
Letter: Slow climate change by supporting price on carbon emissions
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, September 12, 2017 

Extreme weather events are caused by global climate change, which is caused by the use of fossil fuels. Many have taken steps to reduce fossil fuel consumption, but we can do more on a larger scale. The World Bank, the World Trade Organization and the International Monetary Fund are planning, with over 40 countries, on putting a price on carbon emissions. The plans increase the cost of fossil fuels and return the amount of increase to the public in various ways. These plans are aimed, using market forces, at securing financial stability, international trade, high employment, economic growth and poverty reduction – and by the way, mitigating climate-related damages. I joined Citizens Climate Lobby and learned to empower my efforts. ~ Susanna Adams, Portland
Letter: David Farmer and the monument
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, September 12, 2017 

In his Sept. 1 BDN column regarding the vaunted Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, David Farmer owns up to working for the family and foundation behind the monument. He writes that he played a “small part” without bothering to mention his remuneration. “Small parts” can often generate “large fees” to the service provider. ~ Charlie Anderson, Stockholm
How 90 Big Companies Helped Fuel Climate Change
Inside Climate News - Monday, September 11, 2017 

Can millimeters of sea level rise or increments of warming on the globe's thermometer be attributed to specific energy companies? A new study attempts to do that, and says that more than a quarter of sea level rise and about half the warming from 1880 to 2010 can be traced back to just 90 corporations.
Hydro-Québec moving ahead with contentious cross-border energy corridors amid local dissent
Other - Monday, September 11, 2017 

Financial Post - Hydro-Québec is pressing ahead with proposals to build several power corridors into the U.S., part of the company’s efforts to broaden its exports into the region amid deepening environmental pushback against major infrastructure projects. Hydro-Québec already has a sizeable foothold in the northeast U.S., with 48 per cent of its power sales outside Quebec going to New England and 26 per cent to New York. It aims to substantially increase its exports into the region as part of a broad expansion effort. But opposition to major infrastructure developments, from natural gas pipelines to wind farms to power lines, have been met with intense opposition by local environmental organizations and community groups.
Canadian company wants to mine land near Maine’s national monument
Bangor Daily News - Monday, September 11, 2017 

A Canadian mineral exploration company plans to buy and mine property in northern Maine near the new Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument and Baxter State Park. Wolfden Resources Corporation of Thunder Bay, Ontario, signed a purchase and sales agreement dated Sept. 6 with a third party to pay $8.5 million for all of the property in Pickett Mountain in northern Penobscot County.
Editorial: LePage should help strengthen job training, not weaken it
Bangor Daily News - Monday, September 11, 2017 

With a declining labor force, Maine employers face a crunch: They need people who have dropped out of the workforce to rejoin it. Instead of asking the three boards that oversee regional job training efforts what they need to help job seekers with a wide range of challenges, however, the LePage administration proposed to dismantle and then defund them. Thankfully, the U.S. Department of Labor rejected LePage’s proposal.
Bicycle Coalition awards grants to Bath, Washington County
Portland Press Herald - Monday, September 11, 2017 

The city of Bath and the Washington County Council of Governments will receive the 2017 BikeMaine Grants from the Bicycle Coalition of Maine. Bath will receive $2,705 and WCCOG will receive $4,000 to fund bicycle-related improvements. Bath will use the funding to construct a “pump” track in a vacant lot. A pump track is a small, looping course of banked turns and other features designed to be ridden without pedaling. Instead, riders gain momentum by “pumping” with up and down movements on the bicycle. The track will be equipped with 30 high-quality bicycles and helmets. WCCOG will use the funding to place public bicycle repair tool kits at automobile service stations along the Bold Coast Scenic Bikeway, a new, 300-mile, bicycle route that winds through 30 communities from the Schoodic Peninsula to Eastport.
New law bans lead fishing tackle to protect loons
Associated Press - Monday, September 11, 2017 

A new Maine law bans lead fishing tackle in hopes of protecting loons. The Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife says keeping lead fishing weights out of Maine waters will better the birds’ survival and spur population growth across the Northeast. Ingesting lead fishing tackle is the leading cause of death for the birds.
Lobstermen, blueberry growers will lose if South Korean trade deal is killed
Bangor Daily News - Monday, September 11, 2017 

Maine’s traditional industries would take a hit from higher taxes if the Trump administration makes good on a threat to withdraw from a trade deal with South Korea, a major market for the state’s lobster and blueberry industries. Each year the U.S. now imports from South Korea goods worth nearly $28 billion more than what it exports to that country. That imbalance is more than double what it was when the agreement went into effect in 2012. U.S. negotiators had intended the pact to have the opposite effect. Trump called the agreement “a horrible deal” that has “destroyed” the United States. But withdrawing from the 2012 U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement could cause the current low taxes to revert to 20% for lobsters and 40% for blueberries. That would make Maine goods more expensive and less competitive than those of Canada, which has a similar deal with South Korea.
Opinion: Logging is necessary for Katahdin Woods and Waters’ future sustainability
Bangor Daily News - Monday, September 11, 2017 

As debate continues over the future of the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, the myth that active timber harvesting within its boundaries would be a bad thing is being repeated too often to ignore. Logging is not only necessary for the monument, but is just what it requires to achieve long-term sustainability. If you love the forests in and around Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument and want to preserve them, a working forest is the right way to do so. ~ Dana Doran, Professional Logging Contractors of Maine
Pope blasts climate skeptics, cites ‘moral’ duty to act
Associated Press - Monday, September 11, 2017 

Pope Francis has sharply criticized climate change skeptics, saying history will judge those who failed to take the necessary decisions to curb heat-trapping emissions blamed for the warming of the Earth. Francis said scientists have clearly charted what needed to be done to reverse course on global warming and said individuals and politicians had a “moral responsibility” to do their part.
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