March 24, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Sunday, March 24, 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 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
Recreational Trails Program workshops
Announcement - Sunday, March 24, 2019 

The Recreational Trails Program provides up to 80% funding assistance for acquisition and or development of all kinds of recreational trails. Informational workshops will be held in 6 locations across Maine in April:
• April 1, 1-4 pm - Bethel, Mahoosuc Land Trust Offices
• April 2, 1-4 pm - Standish Municipal Center
• April 3, 1-4 pm - Ellsworth City Hall
• April 4, 9 am – 12 pm - Wiscasset Community Center
• April 5, 1-4 pm - Greenville Town Office
• April 9, 6-9 pm - Caribou Wellness Center
Maine State Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan Survey
Action Alert - Saturday, March 23, 2019 

Every five years, Maine submits a SCORP plan to the National Park Service to meet planning requirements for the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Since its inception in 1966, LWCF has injected $43 million into non-federal projects in Maine. The Maine Bureau of Parks & Lands wants to know what outdoors activities you engage in, and what you see as priorities for the future. To make your voice heard, take the Maine SCORP Survey: https://mescorpsurvey.com/
Earth Hour, Mar 30
Action Alert - Saturday, March 23, 2019 

Join millions around the world to turn off the lights and speak up about why nature matters. March 30, 8:30-9:30 pm.
Hermit Island Hike, Mar 30
Event - Posted - Saturday, March 23, 2019 

Hike a mix of sandy beaches, cliffs, shore trails, woods walk and camp roads. At Hermit Island Campground, Phippsburg, March 30. Sponsored by Appalachian Mountain Club.
MCHT looking for volunteers to mentor kids
Announcement - Friday, March 22, 2019 

Maine Coast Heritage Trust invites the public to volunteer orientation for individuals interested in mentoring families participating in a Kids Can Grow program at MCHT's Erickson Fields Preserve in Rockport. The orientation will be at MCHT's Aldermen Farm, Rockport, April 6, 4-5 pm.
Managing Forests for Bird Habitat, Mar 29
Event - Posted - Friday, March 22, 2019 

Dr. Sally Stockwell, Maine Audubon conservation director, will speak about “Managing Forests for Bird Habitat.” At Keith Anderson Community House, Orono, March 29, 6:30 p.m. Sponsored by Orono Land Trust.
Interactions Among Plants & Insects, March 28
Event - Posted - Thursday, March 21, 2019 

Maine Master Naturalist Roger Rittmaster presents. At Ladd Center, Wayne, March 28, 7 pm. Sponsored by Kennebec Land Trust.
Solo thru-paddling the Northern Forest Canoe Trail, Mar 28
Event - Posted - Thursday, March 21, 2019 

Laurie Chandler describes her 2015 solo thru-paddle of the 740-mile Northern Forest Canoe Trail. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, March 28, 7 pm. Sponsored by Appalachian Mountain Club.
Why Going Native Matters, Mar 27
Event - Posted - Wednesday, March 20, 2019 

Heather McCargo, found and executive director of Wild Seed Project, presents "Why Going Native Matters: Beauty, Biodiversity and Resilience." At Portland Public Library, March 27, 5:30 pm.
Urge Maine's Agencies to Investigate and Halt PFAS Contamination
Action Alert - Tuesday, March 19, 2019 

Highly persistent and toxic chemicals known as PFAS may be lurking undiscovered in farmlands across Maine. State records show that at an Arundel dairy farm, PFOS was in milk at the highest level ever reported anywhere. Urge Maine Ag and DEP commissioners to test the fields, stop sludge spreading, and phase out PFAS products. ~ Environmental Health Strategy Center
Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story, Mar 26
Event - Posted - Tuesday, March 19, 2019 

Film followed by a discussion led by Brie Berry, a Ph.D. candidate in anthropology and environmental policy. Part of a Human Dimensions of Climate Change film series. At Fogler Library, UMaine, Orono, March 26, 6 pm.
Retired Game Warden Randall Probert, Mar 26
Event - Posted - Tuesday, March 19, 2019 

Author, raconteur, and retired game warden Randall Probert will speak to the Hebron Historical Society on “Maine Tales and More.” At Hebron Town Office, March 26, 7 pm.
The Forests of Lilliput: The Miniature World of Lichens & Mosses, Mar 26
Event - Posted - Tuesday, March 19, 2019 

Maine Master Naturalist Jeff Pengel talks about the natural history of lichens, mosses and similar plants. At Topsham Library, March 26, 6 pm. Sponsored by Cathance River Education Alliance.
Celebrating Maine’s Wild Creatures, Mar 26
Event - Posted - Tuesday, March 19, 2019 

Speaker: Ed Robinson, author of “Nature Notes from Maine: River Otters, Moose, Skunks and More.” At Curtis Library, March 16, 7 pm. Sponsored by Merrymeeting Audubon.
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News Items
Jury finds Roundup weed killer major factor in man’s cancer
Associated Press - Tuesday, March 19, 2019 

Roundup weed killer was a substantial factor in a California man’s cancer, a jury determined Tuesday in the first phase of a trial that attorneys said could help determine the fate of hundreds of similar lawsuits. The unanimous verdict by the six-person jury in federal court in San Francisco came in a lawsuit filed against Roundup’s manufacturer, agribusiness giant Monsanto.
Jackman to vote on town park plans, $1.16 million budget at annual Town Meeting
Morning Sentinel - Tuesday, March 19, 2019 

Jackman voters will decide on a $1.16 million budget, plans for a town park and a proposal to introduce building permits. Additionally, residents will be asked to approve $56,920 of grant funds to use on trails, with an extra $18,480 to be used specifically for trail grooming. The selectmen and Budget Committee members recommended $3,000 for hazardous waste collection, which the town did not put any money toward last year. In their recommendation for economic development funds, they suggested doubling last year’s $5,000 to $10,000.
Franklin County Commissioners Rescind Support For CMP Transmission Line
Maine Public - Tuesday, March 19, 2019 

Another group of elected officials is rescinding support for Central Maine Power's proposed 141-mile transmission line through western Maine. When CMP first was developing its billion-dollar plan to bring electricity from Canada's dam system into the New England grid, it quietly collected endorsements from dozens of potential host communities. But in some communities, as local citizens became more aware of the project's scope, they started urging their local politicians to oppose it. Now the Franklin County Commissioners are rescinding their initial letter of support.
State Urged To Prevent Exposure To Harmful Chemicals Found In Sewage Sludge
Maine Public - Tuesday, March 19, 2019 

Two weeks after Gov. Janet Mills signed an executive order to study the prevalence of a family of chemicals that pose potential public health risks, environment and health advocates are urging her to do more. They staged their call to action Tuesday at a dairy farm in Arundel, where contamination from the chemicals known as PFAS was discovered two years ago.
Franklin County commissioners pull support for CMP transmission line
Morning Sentinel - Tuesday, March 19, 2019 

Franklin County commissioners voted to revoke support for a proposed transmission line through western Maine on Tuesday after expressing concerns over the permitting process for New England Clean Energy Connect and hearing a complaint about a flier encouraging Farmington residents to support the project. The plan calls for the construction of a 145-mile transmission line to deliver hydro power from Quebec to markets in Massachusetts. The project has been fraught with controversy since CMP won the $1 billion bid to build the line, which would cross forests and mostly undeveloped land in western Maine.
Sap running in most places, but slowly for Maine Maple Sunday
Morning Sentinel - Tuesday, March 19, 2019 

This winter has been unusually cold. Lyle Merrifield, president of the Maine Maple Producers Association, said Tuesday that depending on where you go this weekend, there will be varying quantities of fresh maple syrup. "Central to southern Maine has finally let go a little bit and a fair amount of syrup has probably been made. We’re about three weeks behind what we normally are in this part of the state,” he said. “But I believe northern Maine has done little to nothing so far.”
These are the 10 most popular national parks in the U.S.
National Geographic - Tuesday, March 19, 2019 

National Park Service records have registered over 14 billion visits since 1904. That’s greater than the number of years the universe has existed. People keep coming because of the parks’ enduring power. Parks—“America’s best idea”—preserve wildlife and wild places, provide vital recreation, and create priceless cultural spaces. It’s well worth a trip to each of the system’s 418 parks (60 of which are “national”). Check out this photo gallery to learn about each of the top 10 most visited national parks. Acadia National Park in Maine is #7.
Ellsworth clears way for removal of old dam on Branch Lake Stream
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, March 19, 2019 

The Ellsworth City Council voted Monday to approve the removal of an unused, city-owned dam, which would open 5 miles of Branch Lake Stream to Atlantic salmon and other species. The council voted 7-0 to allow Town Manager David Cole to sign an agreement permitting the Downeast Salmon Federation to remove the dam this summer. The group will fund the $90,000 removal.
Maine Farm, Enviro Group Fear Spread Of Milk Contaminant
Associated Press - Tuesday, March 19, 2019 

The owners of a Maine dairy operation and a group of environmental advocates say they are concerned chemicals that contaminated the farm could be lurking on other farms in the state and beyond. The Environmental Health Strategy Center cites state records that say sludge spread at Stoneridge Farm in Arundel was a source of perfluoroalkyl substances, also known as PFAS. The substances were found in high levels in the milk of cows on the farm. Farm owner Fred Stone says he wants the state to take steps to ensure other families don't go through the same experience, which he says "ruined my farming." The environmental group and the farm are raising concerns about two weeks after Democratic Gov. Janet Mills created a task force to review PFAS prevalence.
Am I running out of Maine trails to explore? You tell me
Aislinn Sarnacki Act Out Blog - Tuesday, March 19, 2019 

One of the most common questions I’m asked is, “Are you running out of Maine trails to explore?” My answer is “no.” Even though I’ve been writing about Maine hikes for 7.5 years, I haven’t even come close to walking every trail in the state. I’m going to share my current list with the hope that some of you read through it, then post additional trails and locations in the comment section or email them to me. I’m especially looking for suggestions of paddling locations (day paddles or one-night trips that are not on the ocean or in tidal areas), snorkeling locations and mountain biking areas.
Now that the water is back, people who live near Maine lake want to restore fish
Lincoln County News - Tuesday, March 19, 2019 

Midcoast Conservancy is applying for a Coastal and Marine Habitat Restoration Grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Community-based Restoration Program to study the feasibility of fish passage at the Clary Lake Dam in Whitefield. The Sheepscot is “a river from top to bottom that can be home to all 12 species of sea-run fish, that include endangered Atlantic salmon, river herring, and endangered sturgeon down in the estuary,” said Maranda Nemeth, watershed restoration specialist. “It’s such a sensitive ecosystem…it becomes a high priority for restoration because it would benefit so many species of fish.”
Beer makers, gardeners worried about new disinfectant used in local drinking water
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, March 19, 2019 

Kittery Water District users expressing concerns Monday over the announcement of chloramines as a new drinking water disinfectant included beer brewers worried about their product, gardeners distressed about potential soil and wildlife impacts, and residents with health issues they say could be exacerbated by the chlorine and ammonia combination. Chloramines kill household fish, amphibians, and other aquatic creatures, impact production processes at bakeries and breweries, and can’t be used in kidney dialysis machines.
ATVs, Handguns, Deer, Turkeys and more debated at legislature
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Tuesday, March 19, 2019 

The legislature’s Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee always has interesting bills. Yesterday, two bills to limit the size of ATVs allowed on trails were heard. Work sessions were held on 5 bills. Bills to double the turkey bag limit and increase penalties for feeding or interfering with endangered species were tabled. A bill to remove the background check requirement for Maine guides who are at least 70 years old and hold a lifetime hunting or fishing license was approved. The committee tabled a bill to allow moose permits to be transferred to family members if the permit holder dies. A bill to create a handgun deer hunting season at the same time as the muzzleloading season got an ought-not-to-pass. Another bill approved will give DIFW’s Commissioner authority to create a special youth turkey hunt in the fall. The committee meets tomorrow to be briefed on DIFW’s budget by Commissioner Judy Camuso.
Whales keep eating plastic and dying. This one had 88 pounds of trash in its stomach
Washington Post - Tuesday, March 19, 2019 

Over the past decade, D’ Bone Collector Museum has recovered 57 whales and dolphins that have died after consuming plastic garbage and fishing nets, of which four were pregnant. National Geographic reported that more than 30 whales with plastic debris in their bellies washed up on European beaches in 2016. A 2017 study predicted a spike in plastic-related waste over the next decade, further highlighting potential future harm to marine life. Last April, a male sperm whale beached off the coast of Spain with 64 pounds of trash bags and garbage in its digestive system. A month later, a pilot whale swallowed 17 pounds of plastic bags in Thai waters. “This cannot continue,” said Darrell Bletchley, president of D’ Bone Collector Museum.
Why Restaurant Demand For Smaller Fish Fillets Is Bad News For Oceans
National Public Radio - Tuesday, March 19, 2019 

For certain snappers, in fact, a market preference for plate-size whole fillets is driving fishermen to target smaller fish. For some wild fish populations, this is a recipe for collapse. "The preferred size of a fillet in the U.S. market corresponds to juvenile fish that haven't had a chance to reproduce," says conservation biologist Peter Mous of the Nature Conservancy. "A lot of species are heavily overfished, and this demand for small fillets is making things worse."
Relocation of Kittery Bridge falcon nest to slow traffic Thursday
Penobscot Bay Pilot - Tuesday, March 19, 2019 

A peregrine falcon nesting platform will be removed and a new nesting box placed on the I-95 bridge connecting Kittery, with Portsmouth, Thursday, March 21. The relocation will necessitate a lane closure on the southbound driving lane from 10 a.m. to approximately 1 p.m. The new nesting box will be placed higher up on the bridge structure to encourage the birds to nest higher, further away from the bridge maintenance projects that will be occurring over the next three years, according to the MaineDOT.
The fight over CMP’s $1 billion corridor project now looks a lot like a political campaign
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, March 19, 2019 

Farmington is set for a non-binding vote Monday on Central Maine Power’s proposed transmission line from Quebec to Massachusetts and literature recently circulated in support of the project is causing more tension just before the vote. The controversial $1 billion project has been opposed by eight towns, but Farmington — the home of Gov. Janet Mills, who backs the corridor — would be the biggest one to oppose it. Both sides of the complex, campaign-like debate have recently peppered the town with mailers. Withering local opposition has been CMP’s biggest public relations battle as groups have shifted away from backing the corridor.
Backers of big salmon farm to meet with public in Belfast
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, March 19, 2019 

A Norwegian company that wants to build a large salmon farming operation in Maine said it’s going to meet with the public next week on March 26 at the Hutchinson Center in Belfast to give residents an idea of the project’s progress. Nordic Aquafarms hopes to build the farm in Belfast. The facility would be an inland farm capable of producing tens of millions of pounds of fish per year.
Why Maine is seeing more record high temperatures
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, March 19, 2019 

Since 2010, Maine has broken five daytime record high temperatures for every record low temperature, according to a new Associated Press data analysis of temperature trends across the United States. “What the study shows is what we would expect in a warming climate,” said Maine State Climatologist Sean Birkel. “These natural variations are now being superimposed on an overall warming trend that’s being driven by the rise in greenhouse gases.” For every day of extreme low temperatures in Maine, there were five extreme high temperature days. Scientists at the Climate Change Institute predict that these variations in temperature — with both heat waves and cold waves — will continue to increase in occurrence as the climate continues to warm.
Tips to reduce and reuse when recycling isn’t an option
Bangor Metro - Tuesday, March 19, 2019 

In a growing number of Maine communities recycling programs have changed or ended in the past year. There is more we can do to make a difference. Those who are hoping to reduce their impact on the planet can find ways to simply reduce the amount of packaging materials they acquire. And reusing items can help save money and our planet. Buying less and looking for ways to take advantage of resources already available to you can make a big difference.
Letter: CMP line project no good for Maine
Kennebec Journal - Tuesday, March 19, 2019 

I am writing in protest to the proposed Central Maine Power corridor. First, we are not dealing with a homey, little utility. We are dealing with a huge corporation called Avangrid, which does not care about Maine and its environment; it cares about profits to be made through the CMP corridor. Second, the idea of large amounts of money being spread out over years of proposed payments has two faults. Companies can disappear through mergers, bankruptcy or political deals, making the future payments moot. Even if the payments are made, what will a dollar promised in 2019 be worth in 40 years? Third, once a project of this magnitude is done, it cannot be undone. ~ Stephanie Irwin, Belgrade
Letter: Maine can do better than CMP transmission line
Morning Sentinel - Tuesday, March 19, 2019 

The proposed Central Maine Power transmission line is bad for Maine and for the environment. The environmental consequences of this corridor will cost us in tourism and recreational losses, risks to clean water, disruption to and/or loss of wildlife, suppression of local renewable energy sources, and continued unacceptable levels of carbon emissions. Hardly worth 6 cents a month. Maine can do better. It’s our sincere hope that Maine stands up to defend its natural resources and the long-term welfare of both its citizens and its environment. ~ Jock and Annie Winchester, Pemaquid
Letter: CMP’s outrageous right of way request
Kennebec Journal - Tuesday, March 19, 2019 

The simple answer to the debate about the Central Maine Power line from Quebec is to have it put underground. This was accomplished in Vermont. The Public Utilities Commission should require CMP to build a distribution center in the Lewiston area to distribute Maine’s power from there before it goes to the New England grid and returns with their burdened costs. The PUC should then charge Hydro Quebec a pass-through charge to go towards maintenance of Maine’s Western Mountains to compensate for clear cutting a corridor and the poisonous herbicide use. ~ Frederick Drew, West Gardiner
Auburn mayor will create Lake Auburn filtration committee without council support
Sun Journal - Monday, March 18, 2019 

After a lengthy debate Monday, the Auburn City Council voted 4-3 against supporting Mayor Jason Levesque’s proposed committee on water quality at Lake Auburn. Levesque plans to create it anyway. The decision came after the council tabled the issue two weeks ago due to questions over the intentions of the proposed committee and whether it will be helpful or a hindrance to watershed protection efforts at Lake Auburn. Due to the historically clean water supply, Lewiston and Auburn receive a waiver from the state that allows the district to deliver water without filtering it. However, Levesque believes it’s only a matter of time before the district loses its waiver if algae issues continue.
NECEC debate comes to Farmington with hearings, town meeting vote scheduled
Daily Bulldog (Franklin County) - Monday, March 18, 2019 

Beginning on April 1, five days of public hearings will be held on the University of Maine at Farmington campus regarding the New England Clean Energy Connect project: a 145-mile long Direct Current transmission line stretching from the Canadian border to a new converter station in Lewiston. The Maine Department of Environmental Protection and Land Use Planning Commission will be receiving testimony from the public, marking the latest opportunity to be heard on a $1 billion project that has raised strong emotions in western Maine. A schedule of the hearing dates and times can be seen here.
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