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
Bangor seeking bids for solar project after study predicts $4 million in energy savings
Bangor Daily News - Monday, March 18, 2019 

Bangor officials will soon seek bids for the development of solar arrays on unused city property after a recent study estimated such a project could save the city $4 million on electricity costs over the next four decades. The study by ReVision Energy, Inc. helped identify a site where the city could place 17 rows of solar panels. A majority of the five-person finance committee voted to authorize the city to keep studying the merits of developing municipal solar projects. But Councilor David Nealley invited James LaBrecque, an alternative energy critic who advised former Gov. Paul LePage on energy issues, to speak about other ways the city could save on its energy costs. LaBrecque said that installing heat pumps on buildings is a more efficient way to lessen dependency on fossil fuels.
PUC revises deadlines in CMP's $950M hydropower transmission case
Mainebiz - Monday, March 18, 2019 

March 28 is the new deadline for the much-anticipated Examiners' Report in the Maine Public Utilities Commission's 17-month review of Maine Power Co.'s $950 million New England Clean Energy Connect transmission project. April 8 remains the deadline for exceptions and comments to be filed in response.
Game wardens rescue overdue hikers from Down East trail
Bangor Daily News - Monday, March 18, 2019 

Maine game wardens on Sunday rescued two hikers who became stranded on a Down East hiking trail. Staci McCarthy, 53, and Margaret Ross, 73, both of Pembroke, went for a hike with their two dogs on the Bold Coast Trail in Cutler about 2 p.m. After three miles, the women realized they underestimated the length and difficulty of the trail and that they wouldn’t make it back to their vehicle before sundown. The women didn’t have food, water or flashlights. McCarthy, who had her cellphone, called 911. Game wardens, marine patrol officers, fire volunteers and sheriff’s deputies hiked five hours to the women’s location and helped them back over the icy trail.
Town’s hope to buy private beach highlights complicated history of public access to Maine coast
York Weekly - Monday, March 18, 2019 

Of Maine’s entire 3,500-mile coastline, only 12 percent is publicly held. The remaining 88 percent, which includes beaches in Kittery, York, Wells, Kennebunk and beyond, is in private hands, with rights to the beach down to the low water mark. In some cases, the town and property owners let the proverbial sleeping dog lie, and owners freely allow beachgoers to use their property. This has certainly been the case with at least one beach in York, where the Norton family owns Long Sands Beach from the Cutty Sark Motel to the Sun ’n Surf Restaurant. The family and the town are now in negotiations to perhaps purchase that beach — a lifeblood for tourism in York.
Angus King, Jared Golden introducing bill to get teenagers involved in logging
Associated Press - Monday, March 18, 2019 

Logging has a long history in deeply forested Maine. Independent Sen. Angus King and Democratic Rep. Jared Golden said they’re introducing legislation designed to “level the playing field for the logging trade with other agricultural fields.” The lawmakers said their Future Loggers Careers Act would allow 16- and 17-year-olds to learn logging under parental supervision. They said that would allow the teenagers to contribute to family businesses, as well as help the businesses survive.
How to be more sustainable in the kitchen
Bangor Metro - Monday, March 18, 2019 

When I pause to think where the trash from our garbage bins goes, it’s overwhelming. It doesn’t just magically disappear. Instead, it’s dumped in landfills or burned. Hope lies in being more sustainable in the kitchen. What’s a responsible Earth dweller to do? It’s simple: Waste less:
• Trade Plastic Wrap for Beeswax Wrap
• Trade resealable sandwich bags for reusable ones
• Trade plastic containers for glass ones
• Trade single-use bags for reusable bags
• Don’t toss lemon and lime rinds
• Save vegetable scraps
• Reuse glass jars
• Buy less
• Shop in bulk
• Think before you buy
• Buy used
Maine Legislators Propose Expanding Bear Hunting Opportunities
Heartland Institute - Monday, March 18, 2019 

Legislators in Maine have proposed two bills that could expand black bear hunting in the state. One bill would allow biologists with Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to adjust the length of bear hunting seasons and the number of bears hunters may harvest. A second bill would establish a regulated bear hunt in the spring. Both bills await hearings in the joint Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee. Maine has the largest population of black bears on the East Coast.
Maine’s 2019 eel fishing season set to begin as state cracks down on criminal activity
Bangor Daily News - Monday, March 18, 2019 

Maine’s annual baby eel fishing season is set to begin Friday. But while fishermen hope again to be paid more than $2,000 per pound for the baby eels — also known as glass eels or elvers — that swim into their nets this spring, some things will be different for the licensed dealers who buy them. State officials have put new rules in place aimed at preventing dealers from buying elvers under the counter, out of view of regulators who are charged with limiting Maine’s annual statewide harvest to 9,688 pounds.
That Maine steak may never have set a hoof in the state
Bangor Daily News - Monday, March 18, 2019 

When it comes to supporting the state’s farmers by buying locally raised meat or poultry, meat labeled “Maine Raised” might seem to consumers to indicate the animals were born, raised and slaughtered in Maine. But that may not be the case. Presently it’s legal for businesses to import animals from out of state, kill them here and sell them as “Maine Raised” meat. A proposal before the legislature is aiming to change that.
Editorial: Insect population’s rapid decline alarming
Portland Press Herald - Monday, March 18, 2019 

The first global review of reports of insect population decline confirmed that the loss is worldwide. Around 41 percent of all insect species have seen a decline in the last 10 years. By weight, insects are dying off at a rate of 2.5 percent per year, and have been for some time – which would mean complete disappearance within a century. The latest study says changes in agriculture and land use is to blame, as well as climate change. Those factors have led to habitat loss, the widespread use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, and increasingly inhospitable temperatures in the tropics. The Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife is teaming with Maine Audubon to study the decline here. Saving insects – the building blocks of our ecosystems – may not be the most popular reason for fighting climate change, and for moving away from large-scale industrial agriculture, but it may be one of the most important.
Letter: Planet’s cry for help shouldn’t be ignored
Portland Press Herald - Monday, March 18, 2019 

I’m 12 years old and I’m a seventh-grader at the Friends School of Portland. Almost everyone I know – my parents, my teachers, friends and family – as well as some politicians and newspapers all agree that climate change is a crisis. Yet none of them act like it. Before I am my grandparents’ age, animals beloved from childhood picture books are predicted to go extinct. Why are we ignoring our planet’s cries for help? I propose action from all of us, including you, the newspaper. We need to treat climate change as a crisis. We need the mindset that we can do something and it will matter. There is still hope. We have 12 years to get our act together or else we’ll be led down a path of no return. ~ Ben Medd, Portland
Letter: Inevitable climate consequences
Bangor Daily News - Monday, March 18, 2019 

Of course, the people who bear the greatest responsibility for global warming will be dead before the worst of it hits earth. But global warming will present earth with the gravest catastrophe since the meteor hit water off the Yucatan Peninsula. Today’s willfully ignorant champions of blind corporate capitalism will not be here for the end game, but their children and grandchildren will die miserably. No amount of money in the market or the bank will protect them from the inevitable consequences of deliberate ignorance and superstition. ~ William Leavenworth, Searsmont
Letter: Local effects of climate change
Bangor Daily News - Monday, March 18, 2019 

Climate change. It’s here, happening now and the future doesn’t look good unless Congress acts quickly and decisively to reduce the causes. A bill that would do that, The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, HR 763, has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives with bipartisan support. This bill is effective, good for people, good for the economy, bipartisan, and revenue neutral. Please educate yourself about this bill then contact your representatives. ~ William Lee, Waterville
Kennebec Savings Bank donates to Wolfe’s Neck Ag Center
Turner Publishing - Sunday, March 17, 2019 

Kennebec Savings Bank has made a gift of $25,000 to Wolfe’s Neck Center for Agriculture and the Environment in Freeport to support significant enhancements at the 62 acres of preserved coastal land. The investment will enhance Wolfe’s Neck Center’s ability to provide campers, farmers, researchers and visitors the opportunity to engage in hands-on learning about regenerative agriculture.
America’s Last Vast Forest: Maine’s Appalachian Mountain Corridor
Other - Sunday, March 17, 2019 

The largest intact forest in the eastern U.S. is also wedged between the largest metro regions in the U.S. and Canada. Its people and communities are closely tied to this landscape where conservation, recreation, forestry, and connection to place are all linked together. Join us in conserving this American treasure.
Maine cod fishery plummets to least valuable year since 1960s
Associated Press - Sunday, March 17, 2019 

Maine’s cod fishery, once one of the most lucrative in the Northeast, has declined to the point that it had its least valuable year in more than a half-century in 2018. The state’s industry harvesting the fish-and-chips staple goes back centuries, and it once brought millions of pounds of the fish to land year after year. But the state’s cod were worth just over $200,000 at the docks last year, a fraction of the $2 million to $16 million worth of cod fishermen routinely brought to land in Maine in the 1980s and ’90s. The volume of last year’s catch was also the second-lowest in recorded history, barely edging out last year at about 89,000 pounds.
Tiny Maine town to celebrate smelt with annual fish fry bash
Associated Press - Sunday, March 17, 2019 

A tiny town in Down East Maine will once again welcome hundreds of people this year to celebrate a little fish and the arrival of spring. Organizers of the Downeast Salmon Federation’s Annual Smelt Fry and Fisheries Celebration said this year’s event will take place in Columbia Falls on April 13. The festival includes activities and displays about fisheries and conservation, and it’s also a celebration of local food. The salmon federation said this year’s menu will include fried smelt, smoked mackerel, moose stew and local blueberries. The event takes place in the town of about 560 [people] every spring.
MDI High School to have more than 1,300 solar panels installed on roof
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, March 17, 2019 

By the time the 2019-20 academic year gets under way, more than 1,300 solar panels are expected to be installed on the roof of Mount Desert Island High School. The MDI Regional School System has a power purchase agreement with Sundog Solar of Searsport to install the panels on the roof sometime this summer. As part of the agreement, the school district will purchase power generated by the panels from the solar company for roughly six years and then will have the option to purchase the array. The solar project is similar to another that helps provide power to both the town office and the local school in Tremont.
Farms aren’t tossing perfectly good produce. You are
Washington Post - Sunday, March 17, 2019 

If food waste were a country, it would be the world’s third-largest emitter of CO2, after China and the United States. In our nation alone, we throw away some 63 million tons of food a year, even as 40 million Americans are considered food insecure. Advocates of the “ugly produce” movement say they have a way to radically reduce this waste: cutting the price of fruits and vegetables that normally go uneaten because they look too weird. The single biggest source of U.S. food waste, accounting for 43 percent of the problem, is our own homes.
‘Axe Women’ logging show makes a pitch for Maine’s forestry heritage
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, March 17, 2019 

Head to Hilltop Boilers in Newfield for Maine Maple Sunday next weekend and you’ll be in for a treat. Sure, you’ll find the usual syrup and other maple products, farm tours and barnyard animals. But on Saturday, you’ll also have a chance to watch the Axe Women Loggers of Maine – possibly the country’s only all-women logging show – demonstrate their rapid-fire precision ax throwing, wood cutting and chainsaw skills.
Column: Spring holds many charms for the die-hard Maine skier
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, March 17, 2019 

In many ways, spring is the reward to skiers for suffering through the cold indignity of winter. Skiing in spring is a different sport than in the mid-winter, and it’s worth adjusting your expectations going into a late-season ski day to get the most of it. With freezing nights and warm days, conditions vary wildly, often with frozen hardpack in the morning and sloppy slush by the time the last chair rolls around. Bridgton’s Shawnee Peak kicks off spring with its 35th annual Spring Fling on March 23. Sunday, March 31, Auburn’s Lost Valley follows with its Beach Bash. Sunday River has Pond-A-Palooza on April 13 and and Sugarloaf has the East Coast Pond-Skimming Championships on April 20. ~ Josh Christie
Column: A new guide offers a simpler way to name that gull
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, March 17, 2019 

With 10,000 bird species in the world, one inevitably encounters groups of birds that are difficult to distinguish. A book from Princeton University Press – “Gulls Simplified: A Comparative Approach to Identification” by Pete Dunne and Kevin Karlson – covers the 20 regularly occurring species in North America as well as five rare gulls. “Gulls Simplified” is a great addition to the wealth of bird guides. ~ Herb Wilson
Opinion: The discussion we should be having around the CMP corridor
Sun Journal - Sunday, March 17, 2019 

Central Maine Power’s proposed NECEC transmission line has Mainers concerned about the cost and benefits for the environment and for the state’s economy. Ensuring that we have enough power to meet demand is critical to our lifestyle, our economy and our security, but that does not come without a price. While Maine may be better off without the NECEC corridor, it does not serve our need to simply yell “no” to every option. We must decide what burden we are willing to bear in order to meet our energy needs. To address our fragmented and unsatisfactory system, we need an energy plan that meets Mainers’ expectations for price, reliability and respect for the environment. ~ Rep. Tina Riley (D), Jay
Opinion: Give careful thought to ramifications of CMP transmission line
Sun Journal - Sunday, March 17, 2019 

Maine, and particularly in my neck of the woods, has been consumed with the debate about whether CMP should build a huge transmission line through Western Maine. Maine should say no to this corridor because it is a bad deal. For those people who haven’t made up their minds yet, let me put the debate in some context. Central Maine Power and Hydro-Quebec city slickers will make more than $400 million per month while Mainers will get .38 cents per month and some heat pumps and electric vehicle charging stations for the well-off among us. That is pretty clearly a bad deal. ~ Tom Saviello, PhD., selectperson for Wilton, former state senator (R) for Franklin County
Letter: IF&W inert on nongame concerns
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, March 17, 2019 

The new commissioner of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife, Judy Camuso. may have the ability to unify Maine’s game and nongame constituents, but does she really have the will? IFW officials follow the money. Look at IFW’s website. Note the prominent tabs for hunting, trapping, fishing, boating, ATVs and snowmobiles; these are all revenue-generating activities. To find IFW’s endangered and threatened species responsibilities, I had to do a keyword search. Emails and calls pertaining to nongame issues have never been followed up, if I could even figure out whom to contact. The non-revenue-generating, now nearly invisible duties of IFW get short shrift. Camuso’s overt participation in the so-called “bear referendum” in 2014 spoke volumes. ~ Susan A. Bloomfield, West Kennebunk
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