July 20, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Saturday, July 20, 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; hey, we're all connected). 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
Grand Lake Stream Folk Art Festival celebrates 25 years, Jul 27-28
Event - Posted - Saturday, July 20, 2019 

More than 50 folk artists and craftsmen in the northeast and an outstanding line-up of talented musicians will gather in Grand Lake Stream for the 25th annual Grand Lake Stream Folk Art Festival, July 27-28, 10 am - 5 pm.
Invasive forest pests, Jul 27
Event - Posted - Saturday, July 20, 2019 

Hildy Ellis, Knox-Lincoln Soil & Water Conservation District, discusses forest insect invaders. At Merryspring Nature Center, Camden, July 27, 10 am – noon
Odd Alewives and Oyster Tasting Cruise, Jul 27
Event - Posted - Saturday, July 20, 2019 

At Damariscotta River Cruises, July 27, 5-7 pm.
Sustainable Forestry Walk, Jul 27
Event - Posted - Saturday, July 20, 2019 

Forester Charlie Spies and wildlife biologist Steve Pelletier will discuss striking a proper balance between competing wildlife, recreational, aesthetic and timber interests. At Crystal Spring Farm-North trailhead, Brunswick, July 27, 10 am. Sponsored by Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust.
Help Wanted: Communications & Research Assistant
Announcement - Thursday, July 18, 2019 

The North American Megadams Resistance Alliance is hiring a Communications & Research Assistant, based at Sierra Club Maine, to work on a campaign opposing Canadian hydropower dams and transmission corridors planned for the U.S.
Support Island Stewardship
Announcement - Thursday, July 18, 2019 

Maine Island Trail Association volunteers will make 1,400 boat landings on Trail sites this summer to provide care for these special places and assure they can remain open to explorers. Support the Float Their Boats campaign to strengthen MITA's 30-year tradition of volunteer stewardship of the Trail.
Fur, Feathers & Feet, Jul 24
Event - Posted - Wednesday, July 17, 2019 

An introduction to birds and mammals. At Orr's Island Library, Harpswell, July 24, 10 am. Presented by Chewonki Foundation.
Thoreau-Wabanaki Trail Festival, Jul 24-26
Event - Posted - Wednesday, July 17, 2019 

The festival celebrates the Wabanaki Native American people and naturalist writer Henry David Thoreau’s three journeys into the Maine Woods. At Center for Moosehead History, Greenville, July 24-26.
‘Acadia Files’ author Coppens, Jul 23
Event - Posted - Tuesday, July 16, 2019 

Author Katie Coppens will conduct fun science experiments with kids of all ages. At Turner Public Library, July 23, 2 pm. Each volume of “The Acadia Files” helps young readers learn about the scientific method in fun and innovative ways by following the adventures of Acadia, a young scientist.
Help Stamp Money Out of Politics
Action Alert - Monday, July 15, 2019 

The flow of cash into the pockets of politicians from lobbyists, oil and gas companies, and billionaires bent on protecting their wealth is the biggest barrier to our government's taking action on climate change, and it is up to us to put a stop to it. That is why we're asking you to join the movement protesting Big Money's death grip on our future by rubber-stamping our cash with the message "Stamp Money Out of Politics." ~ Ben & Jerry
Tell Your Representative: Invest in Clean Energy and Climate Action
Action Alert - Monday, July 15, 2019 

Congress must update and extend vital tax credits in four key green technology areas needed to meet our climate goals — electric vehicles, offshore wind, electric grid scale storage, and building efficiency. Without these updated credits, clean energy innovation could stall and our planet will be driven even closer to the brink of climate catastrophe. ~ Natural Resources Defense Council Action Fund
Hearing on CMP billing errors, service shortcomings, rate hikes, Jul 22
Action Alert - Monday, July 15, 2019 

Maine Public Utilities Commission public witness hearing concerning Central Maine Power’s request to increase residential rates by over 10%, and CMP billing errors and poor customer service. At PUC, Hallowell, July 22, 6 pm.
Greenhorns summer workshops
Event - Posted - Monday, July 15, 2019 

Hear from historians, restoration ecologists, entomologists, fishermen, foresters and master craftsmen, on a wide range of topics at the intersection of the human and non-human world. Greenhorns, in Pembroke, works to create a welcoming culture for new entrants in sustainable agriculture.
Crystal Spring Farm Bee Tour, Jul 21
Event - Posted - Sunday, July 14, 2019 

Beekeeper Ken Faulkner will explain the importance of honeybees, hive dynamics, beekeeping, honeybee history, and more. At Crystal Spring Farmers’ Market parking area, Brunswick, July 21, 10 am, free. Sponsored by Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust.
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News Items
Hiker seriously injured at Grafton Notch State Park
Sun Journal - Thursday, July 11, 2019 

A 19-year-old woman reportedly suffered serious head injuries while hiking at Grafton Notch State Park on Thursday afternoon. State game wardens, Maine Forest Service personnel, Mahoosuc Rescue members and local firefighters hiked to the scene to make the rescue.
Acadia National Park ‘swamped’ with calls for assistance over July Fourth holiday
Mount Desert Islander - Thursday, July 11, 2019 

Acadia National Park’s ranger dispatch center was “swamped with calls for assistance” over the July Fourth holiday, fielding 755 radio calls and 20 emergency 911 calls on July 5 alone. Traffic, falls and heatstroke kept park officials and island rescue personnel scrambling.
Editorial: The wildfire haze has made one thing apparent: national air quality protections are important
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, July 11, 2019 

Wildfires raging on the other side of the continent, coupled with a particular air flow, brought smoke into Maine’s air on Wednesday. The Trump administration’s efforts to roll back Obama-era emissions standards and other air quality-related rules are anything but a breath of fresh air from an environmental policy perspective. Because of the way air pollution moves across our country, America’s clean air victories and challenges are also Maine’s. No matter the action we take here in Maine, outside forces will continue to impact our air quality. That doesn’t mean state action is meaningless or ill-advised — quite the contrary. But it does highlight the need for collective regional, national and even international work on this and other environmental issues.
Canadian company wins approval for new lobster bait fish
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, July 11, 2019 

Maine’s lobster fishermen will be able to use a new species of bait fish to try to get through a herring shortage that has troubled the industry in recent years. Lobstermen typically bait traps with Atlantic herring, but federal fishery regulators have enacted dramatic cutbacks to the catch quotas for that fish. The Maine Department of Marine Resources said Thursday it has approved the blackbelly rosefish as a new species that can be sold and used as lobster bait in the state.
Coral reefs are vanishing from tropical to more temperate waters. Climate change is to blame, Maine researcher finds.
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, July 11, 2019 

Climate change is causing a significant shift in coral reef populations as warmer ocean waters drive them away from the equator, a new scientific study has found. “Climate change seems to be redistributing coral reefs, the same way it is shifting many other marine species,” said Nichole Price, a senior research scientist at Maine’s Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences and the lead author of the paper. “The clarity in this trend is stunning, but we don’t yet know whether the new reefs can support the incredible diversity of tropical systems.”
Editorial: Reform needed for state recycling
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, July 11, 2019 

Combined with lower recycling rates, the collapse in demand means that more material is going into incinerators and landfills, driving up the costs that recycling programs were supposed to avoid. Meanwhile, changes to consumer behavior, including online shopping, are putting more packaging material than ever into the waste stream. Clearly, something is not working. It makes sense to try something else, and a producer responsibility program would be a good place to start.
Opinion: Stopping emerald ash borer will save more in Maine than trees
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, July 11, 2019 

Brown ash trees are critically endangered throughout Maine. The emerald ash borer, a parasitic beetle that has already killed ash trees across the United States, was first detected in Maine in May 2018 – several years before it was anticipated. Faced with these ongoing threats, the Wabanaki have been leading the defense of brown ash trees in Maine. The use of brown ash wood is integral to indigenous basket-weaving traditions. ~ Grace Neumiller is a junior at Colby College, and Keller Leet-Otley and Tommaso Wagner are recent Colby graduates.
Yarmouth considers new management plan for Pratt’s Brook Park
Forecaster - Wednesday, July 10, 2019 

Two years after the Parks and Lands Committee first presented an updated draft management plan for Pratt’s Brook Park, the Town Council is on the verge of adopting the document. There was still debate at Tuesday’s meeting, however, about whether to allow bicycles in the park and whether there are still too many incompatible and conflicting uses taking place, from hunting to dogs being off leash.
Maine delegation calls on Trump to aid lobstermen, halt whale rules
Associated Press - Wednesday, July 10, 2019 

NOAA is working on a rulemaking process to help save the North Atlantic right whale, which numbers only about 400. The process is a challenge for Maine lobstermen, who are being called on to reduce trap lines in the water. Maine’s four-member delegation sent a letter to Trump on Wednesday calling the forthcoming rules “a matter of serious economic importance to the state of Maine.” The delegation says new restrictions will force “significant economic hardship” on the lobster industry without concrete evidence they will benefit the whales. Conservationists pushed back at the request. Defenders of Wildlife called it “a death sentence.”
Game wardens are on the front lines for Lyme disease
WCSH-TV6 - Wednesday, July 10, 2019 

Several thousand state employees are outdoors pretty much all year long. Working in the woods and along the highway puts thousands of state employees at risk for getting a tick bite and potentially Lyme disease. Several state agencies now have policies to protect employees from ticks and ensure they get prompt medical treatment. Maine game wardens, forest rangers and Maine Department of Transportation workers are on the front lines for a tick bite. But instead of waiting for the symptoms to appear, they can get immediate medical treatment, including 21 days of antibiotics the most rigorous treatment against Lyme disease.
Major rail upgrade to serve Maine’s resurgent paper industry
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, July 10, 2019 

A nearly $36 million railway upgrade is planned to improve performance of a critical line in Maine and serve the state’s resurgent pulp and paper industry. The Federal Railway Administration will cover about half of the $35.5 million being spent to replace aging rails, renovate road crossings, improve safety and fix bridges on a 75-mile stretch of line between North Yarmouth and Waterville owned by Pan Am Railways. The company will match federal funds with its own investment. The Maine Department of Transportation will contribute about $568,000 to the project, which is expected to get underway next year. Pan Am also is serving Poland Spring, which transfers bottled water from its plant in Kingfield through the railroad’s yard in Waterville and south to a Massachusetts warehouse.
Video: Hummingbirds show speed and grace in slow-motion, close-up view
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, July 10, 2019 

Videographer Roger McCord spends a month capturing enough footage for a 3-minute film.
Maine to drop deer permits by 20% after exceeding doe harvest goal
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, July 10, 2019 

Maine will issue 68,145 any-deer permits this summer – 20 percent fewer than last year’s record number – after exceeding its goal for the doe harvest last year for the first time in more than a decade. The decrease was proposed by state deer biologists in May and unanimously approved by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s Advisory Council on Tuesday.
Intelligence official resigns after White House blocks his climate change testimony
Washington Post - Wednesday, July 10, 2019 

A State Department intelligence official who was blocked by the White House from submitting written congressional testimony on climate change last month is resigning from his post. Rod Schoonover – who worked in the Office of the Geographer and Global Issues’ Bureau of Intelligence and Research – spoke about the security risks the U.S. faces due to climate change before the House Intelligence Committee on June 5. But White House officials would not let him submit the bureau’s written statement that climate impacts could be “possibly catastrophic” after the State Department refused to cut references to federal scientific findings on climate change.
Editorial: Studying a statewide public utility is a good idea. Even to skeptics like us.
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, July 10, 2019 

Gov. Janet Mills signed a bill last week that directs the Maine Public Utilities Commission to study the concept of a publicly-owned utility, and to report back by mid-February. The utilities commission must look at the potential costs and benefits both in the short and long term; and examine legal, technical, financial and operational issues involved. Even for utility takeover skeptics like us — and vocal opponents like the two existing utilities themselves — there is unmistakable value in conducting this study and having more information before the train potentially leaves the station.
Scientists say rising seas will break flooding records
Associated Press - Wednesday, July 10, 2019 

Federal scientists predict 40 places in the U.S. will experience higher than normal rates of so-called sunny day flooding this year due to rising sea levels and an abnormal El Nino weather system. A report released Wednesday by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration predicts that sunny day flooding, also known as tidal flooding, will continue to increase.
Rail officials float West Falmouth stop for Downeaster
Forecaster - Wednesday, July 10, 2019 

West Falmouth’s easy accessibility from Maine Turnpike Exit 53 and points west and north make it an attractive place for a new Amtrak Downeaster stop, the Town Council was told Monday. If the new passenger rail stop is eventually approved, adding it to the passenger rail schedule would likely still be several years away, according to Patricia Quinn, executive director of the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority, which operates the Downeaster. But, Quinn told councilors, “there’s some real synergy there with interesting possibilities.” A transportation hub could include connections to other modes of transit, including the METRO bus service and a new park-and-ride lot for commuters.
Freeport council continues discussion on solar energy purchase
Forecaster - Wednesday, July 10, 2019 

Freeport town councilors Tuesday continued to discuss a power purchase agreement that would provide solar energy benefits to the town and Freeport Sewer District. Nick Sampson, of ReVision Energy, a Portland solar energy company that is proposing to build and lease a solar farm to Freeport, told councilors the project will be more financially beneficial to investors now than it will be a few months down the line. “There is a 30% tax credit that is available for solar projects that is good through 2019,” Sampson said. After 2019, the tax credit shrinks, he said.
Maine calls for USDA to provide more support for blueberries
Associated Press - Wednesday, July 10, 2019 

Blueberry harvesters collected about 57 million pounds of the berries in 2018. That was down nearly 11 million pounds from the previous year, and prices have been low. Maine Agriculture Commissioner Amanda Beal is asking the U.S. Department of Agriculture for help via its market facilitation program. USDA launched the program last year to assist growers negatively affected by foreign trade retaliation. Beal says the program will provide more than $14 billion in direct payments to producers this year, but wild blueberries are not included in the program’s list of crops.
Sturgeon, America's Forgotten Dinosaurs, Show Signs of Life
Associated Press - Wednesday, July 10, 2019 

Sturgeon were America's vanishing dinosaurs, armor-plated beasts that crowded the nation's rivers until mankind's craving for caviar pushed them to the edge of extinction. More than a century later, some populations of the massive bottom feeding fish are showing signs of recovery. Among the species showing improvement is Atlantic sturgeon. The shortnose sturgeon also shows signs of bouncing back. In Maine, scientists have captured about 75 this decade on the Saco River, where they were previously never seen. In the Kennebec River, the shortnose population nearly doubled from about 5,100 in the late 1970s to more than 9,400 around 2000, and it has likely grown since.
Why this young angler was happy to receive ‘citation’ from game warden
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, July 10, 2019 

Game Warden Rick Ouellette pulled alongside Free Martin's boat with what sounded like an ominous greeting. "Well, at least I know I am going to give one citation today.” It turned out that the citation wasn’t meant for the father. It was for the son. He asked 5-year-old Hunter Martin, ‘Did you put that life jacket on all by yourself?’” Hunter answered in the affirmative. “The warden then reached for something I will never forget,” Martin said. “He grabbed a piece of paper and said, ‘This is for you. I am giving you this Floating Citation.’ Hunter’s smile was from ear to ear as the game warden explained to him that the floating citation can be used at McDonald’s for a variety of things, including his favorite…a Happy Meal!”
Column: Maine takes on climate change
Kennebec Journal - Wednesday, July 10, 2019 

The Maine Legislature and our governor stepped up to improve our environment in a number of ways this year. I was particularly pleased they banned singled-use plastic bags and enacted a bill encouraging renewable energy. While there is still more we can and should do in Maine, it was particularly appalling when President Trump removed the limitations on the mining and use of coal. I guess he doesn’t care about his grandchildren. I really can’t understand how some people refuse to believe that our climate is changing — the evidence is all around us. There is a lot we can do as individuals to address the problems of climate change. And we can only hope that eventually we’ll get a president and Congress willing to tackle these problems and come up with solutions, just as our governor and Legislature has worked to do in Maine. ~ George Smith
Opinion: It’s past time to do broad-based ocean planning
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, July 10, 2019 

The lobster fishery has had its ups and downs and is now doing well, purposely managed at a small-boat, owner-operated scale that is suited to the coastal communities of Maine. Fishermen, who have long lived with a cooperative acceptance of the commons, now face ocean uses operating under a whole new set of rules – rules that could allow exclusivity, transferring and consolidation of lease sites into large privatized areas. This applies not just to aquaculture leases, but also to ocean energy, yacht basins and other privatized or leased uses, all of which we struggle to sort out while being hampered by archaic laws governing access and the intertidal zone. Making decisions about the future of our coast is not easy. But it is something we must do. ~ Richard Nelson, longtime commercial fisherman, Friendship
Letter: Dog-walking community helps make Baxter Woods a special place
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, July 10, 2019 

Portland has proposed to have dogs on-leash only in Baxter Woods. This was based on a dozen complaints over several years, and the belief that dogs negatively affect the woods. A few of us have been talking to park users. More than 400 people have commented, and about 98 percent enjoy the free-running dogs. Few cause problems and usually it’s safe, made so by the dog-walking community, who care, meet neighbors, pick up trash and note suspicious activity. Many train their dogs, who learn to behave better with other dogs and people. Most know it is not a dog park, but off-leash use has been allowed for years, and it is never full of dogs. Baxter Woods is a special urban forest partly because of the dogs and responsible owners. ~ Dawn Leland, Portland
Letter: Young Americans won’t benefit from limited-government approach
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, July 10, 2019 

I was startled by Kathleen Parker’s July 2 column, “Why young Americans may be conservatives at heart.” When she advocates tax cuts and decreased regulations that I wonder where she has been for the last few decades. Tax cuts do not pay for themselves. Decreasing regulations in the face of climate change is a recipe for disaster and will cost all of us dearly, but the price will fall mostly on the young. ~ Nancy D. Barber, Bath
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