January 20, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Saturday, January 19, 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 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
Lake St. George Ice Fishing Derby, Jan 26
Event - Posted - Saturday, January 19, 2019 

Learn how to fish. All equipment and bait provided. Lunch, hot cocoa, and warming hut. At Lake St. George State Park, Liberty, January 26, 8 am - 2 pm.
Brown-tail moths, Jan 24
Event - Posted - Thursday, January 17, 2019 

Eleanor Groden, professor of entomology at the University of Maine, will discuss the health hazards presented by, and recommended management strategies of, brown-tail moths. At Palermo Community Library, January 24, 6:30 pm.
20th Anniversary Maine Farmland Trust Kick Off Event, Jan 24
Event - Posted - Thursday, January 17, 2019 

Join a festive hometown gathering to look back at Maine Farmland Trust's many milestones since 1999, and celebrate the founders and members who helped to shape the organization. At United Farmer’s Market of Maine, Belfast, January 24, 6 pm.
Explore Nature through photography, Jan 24
Event - Posted - Thursday, January 17, 2019 

Local photographers Michele Benoit, Donne Sinderson, and Richard Spinney will share their photographs, experience and tips for photographing the natural world. At Bangor, January 24, 6:30 pm. Sponsored by Bangor Land Trust.
Help pick BDN top issue
Action Alert - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 

This year, the Bangor Daily News opinion pages will focus attention on four issues that are critical to Maine’s future. We have picked three areas: economic development; referendum reform; and Maine’s rural, spread out population. Help pick the fourth topic. Climate change and the associated energy, land-use and conservation policies are the top concern so far.
Marching Backwards
Publication - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 

A report by the Environmental Defense Fund about how Andrew Wheeler and Donald Trump are endangering the health of American families by rolling back environmental safeguards.
Browntail Moth, Jan 22
Event - Posted - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 

Maine Forest Service Entomologist Tom Schmeelk and District Forester Morten Moesswilde explain how to identify and manage browntail moths. At Boothbay Regional Land Trust's Oak Point Farm, January 22, 3 pm.
Tree Appreciation Walk, Jan 20
Event - Posted - Monday, January 14, 2019 

Kids, adults, and families are invited on a walking exploration and appreciation of trees. At Thorne Head Preserve Bath, January 20, 1-2:30 pm. Co-sponsored by Kennebec Estuary Land Trust and Beth Israel Congregation.
Colonizing history of Wabanaki people, Europeans, Jan 20
Event - Posted - Sunday, January 13, 2019 

Maine-Wabanaki REACH and the Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Augusta hold an interactive story-telling experience about the colonizing history of Wabanaki (the Indigenous people of Maine) and Europeans and their descendants. At UU Church, Augusta, January 20, 1-3 pm, RSVP.
L.L.Bean Outdoor Discovery Programs
Event - Posted - Thursday, January 10, 2019 

Expert guides. Amazing scenery. Hundreds of new activities to learn. Plus, customized trips, all-inclusive adventures, kids’ camps and more. Starting at $25.
Ice Fishing the Downeast, Jan 17
Event - Posted - Thursday, January 10, 2019 

Gregory Burr, regional biologist for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, talks about “Ice Fishing the Downeast Region.” At Schoodic Institute, Winter Harbor, January 17, noon.
Nature Notes from Maine, Jan 17
Event - Posted - Thursday, January 10, 2019 

Ed Robinson shares interesting facts about some of Maine's most beautiful and fascinating wildlife. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, January 17, 6 pm potluck, 7 pm presentation. Sponsored by Appalachian Mountain Club.
Working with your Woodland, Jan 16
Announcement - Wednesday, January 9, 2019 

Morten Moesswilde, District Forester for the Maine Forest Service, leads a series of presentations and field tours on woodland management on small ownerships. At Maranacook Community High School, Readfield, starting January 16, 6-8 pm, $5 per session or all 8 sessions for $35.
Weekly Winter Adventure camp in Bethel begins Jan. 16
Announcement - Wednesday, January 9, 2019 

The UMaine 4-H Camp & Learning Center at Bryant Pond, in partnership with the Mahoosuc Land Trust and Mahoosuc Kids Association, is offering a six-week Winter Adventure course, beginning Wednesday, January 16.
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News Items
Land and Garden Preserve announces staff leadership promotions
Bangor Daily News - Friday, January 11, 2019 

The Land & Garden Preserve on Mount Desert Island is pleased to announce several staff promotions. Cassie Banning became the Preserve’s director of Farm and Gardens on Jan. 1. She will lead the horticulture at Asticou Azalea Garden, Thuya Garden, Abby Garden and McAlpin Farm. Jon Knight, formerly the lead grower, became the manager of Abby Garden and McAlpin Farm. Jesse Hartson began as the Preserve’s facilities director.
Maine Seeks Ideas How To Spend Farm Bill Conservation Money
Associated Press - Friday, January 11, 2019 

Local working groups for Knox and Waldo counties and Kennebec and Lincoln counties are tasked with making recommendations to the Natural Resources Conservation Service about how to use money from the federal Farm Bill. The Knox/Waldo group is holding a meeting on Jan. 29 in Union and the Kennebec/Lincoln group is holding one on Feb. 5 in Augusta. The Maine agriculture department says it's looking for people such as agriculture producers, loggers, woodland owners and environmental organizations to attend the meetings. The Farm Bill money is slated to be used for conservation on private lands.
Homesteading kids thrive on being involved in the simple life
Bangor Daily News - Friday, January 11, 2019 

The garden needs to be weeded and watered. The chickens need to be fed. There’s butter to churn and bread to bake. When the to-do list seems a mile long, it’s easy for parents to shoo away their children so they can complete chores as efficiently as possible. Yet homesteaders around the country caution against this tactic. Involving children in day-to-day tasks and projects on a homestead, they said, is important and rewarding in many ways.
Bear hunting, deer baiting among topics targeted by legislative bills
Bangor Daily News - Friday, January 11, 2019 

Among the interesting bills that deal with Maine’s fish, wildlife and wild places to watch from this year’s initial listing:
• LR 68 seeks to make freshwater fishing hooks and lures biodegradable.
• Two bills seek to allow hunting deer over bait.
• LR 514 would give the DIFW commissioner authority to adjust bear hunting seasons and bag limits.
• LR 161 would allow for a spring bear hunt.
• LR 1971 would allow Sunday hunting in unorganized territories.
• Moving the Bureau of Public Lands from the Department of Ag to Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.
Hancock County towns search for a trash alternative should Fiberight fail
Bangor Daily News - Friday, January 11, 2019 

Concerns about a much-delayed $69 million recycling plant under construction in Hampden have compelled three Hancock County towns to consider building their own transfer station. Since August, selectmen from Brooklin, Brooksville and Sedgwick have met twice, toured a transfer station in Orrington and are forming a committee to investigate whether they should build a station as a backup to the Fiberight waste-to-biofuel facility, which is due to open by April.
Blog: I’m with Mills rather than a vague “green new deal”
Bangor Daily News - Friday, January 11, 2019 

With a new Congress being inaugurated and Janet Mills taking the oath of office, one thing is coming into focus: Democrats are a study in contrasts. In Washington, a large contingent of newly elected representatives are calling for a “Green New Deal.” What actual, concrete policy does this slogan encompass? No one is really sure. Meanwhile, Maine Gov. Janet Mills suggested a very real, tangible action in her inaugural address: add solar panels to the Blaine House. A small gesture, but one with some substance behind it. The divergence continues from there. ~ Michael Cianchette, former counsel to former Gov. Paul LePage
Column: Green New Deal totally infeasible
Sun Journal - Friday, January 11, 2019 

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s so-called Green New Deal makes the obligatory nod to the original New Deal, but FDR’s handiwork is much too modest an antecedent. The Green New Deal calls for a top-down revolution in the operation of American society so sweeping that it would be disturbing if it weren’t so wholly ridiculous. It shows all the thoughtfulness of a college sophomore pulling an all-nighter to write a term paper for his Millennial Socialism 101 class. The Green New Deal, as explained in draft legislation to create a congressional committee to pursue it, would transition to 100 percent renewable sources of national power in 10 years. ~ Rich Lowry
Column: A mountain or a molehill?
Times Record - Friday, January 11, 2019 

Whether it’s a mountain or a molehill, Morse Mountain in Phippsburg provides one of the finest easy hikes in the mid-coast area. Located 12.6 miles south of Bath on Route 209, the excursion entails a four-mile roundtrip trek over the “mountain” to Seawall Beach offering exceptional views from an overlook. Rare fragile plants and endangered birds can often be observed. The trip can be extended with a walk on the beach. It’s a great choice for us old geezers in search of a relatively benign hiking option or someone looking for a brief outing. ~ Ron Chase
Opinion: Maine’s rural communities have always been at the edge of the global economy
Portland Press Herald - Friday, January 11, 2019 

As one critically assesses corporate-driven globalization’s impact on Maine’s logging, textile, tanning, agriculture, fishing, shoe shops and other industries, it is easy to see that Maine’s rural people often have more in common with immigrants from poor regions than they do with owners of the corporate chain stores where they shop. The corporate elite spend summers on Maine’s coast, often in communities where struggling fishermen and displaced paper mill workers suffer because banks and manufacturers seldom reinvest in their communities. Much can and needs to be done. But I wonder how much further along these promising initiatives would be if the newest infrastructure – the internet – had been equally available to Maine’s rural and working people two or three decades ago. ~ John Ripton is a Cape Porpoise resident and Hartland native
Opinion: Lobstering is threatened by factors far bigger than aquaculture leases
Times Record - Friday, January 11, 2019 

The conflict between lobster harvest and formal aquaculture leases is a key issue that DMR must resolve as it assesses lease applications, in Maquoit Bay and elsewhere. Lobster harvesters have had de facto bottom leases for generations, and now fisheries managers must figure out how the bottom can be shared equitably and fairly. A key to this calculation is determining which habitats are optimal for each of these competing industries. If DMR determines that the lease site is indeed valuable lobster habitat, perhaps the solution is as simple as expanding the lease footprint and mandating that in-holdings be made available to lobster harvesters when they might be fishing there in the summer, while the oysters are on the surface. Lobstering is threatened by factors far bigger than aquaculture leases. We are losing productive Gulf of Maine lobster habitat to warming waters and acidification. ~ Ralph Keyes, Brunswick
Letter: More study needed on plant antibiotics
Bangor Daily News - Friday, January 11, 2019 

In a process that did not include full scientific analysis, the Environmental Protection Agency has approved the annual spraying of up to 650,000 pounds of streptomycin and oxytetracycline on nearly half a million acres of citrus groves. Both the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization have warned against antibiotic overuse in agriculture. The European Union has banned the use of streptomycin and oxytetracycline on crops. As residents of a state whose economy relies in part on agriculture, we can sympathize with Florida growers’ desire to guard their crops from pests and disease. But for the EPA to approve this method of doing so without full consideration of its cost to our land, our waters and our people is shortsighted and dangerous. ~ Mary Dickinson Bird, Orono
Letters: Reid’s nomination should be lauded
Times Record - Friday, January 11, 2019 

I dispute the allegation made in a letter that Jerry Reid, chief of the Natural Resources Division of the Maine Attorney General’s Office, “exemplifies the racist principles our country was founded on.” I served in the AG’s Office under five different Attorneys General, from 1989 to 2010. I had the good fortune to be a colleague of Reid for many of those years, and during the last three years I was there, he was my immediate supervisor. Reid is a knowledgeable, hard-working, personable and thoughtful lawyer. His nomination for Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection by Gov. Mills should be lauded. ~ Lucinda E. White, Freeport
Augusta council express interest in per-plastic bag fee
Kennebec Journal - Thursday, January 10, 2019 

Augusta city councilors expressed more interest in requiring a per-bag fee to use plastic shopping bags, rather than banning them. The council didn’t vote on the proposal Thursday, but a majority of councilors appeared to favor, instead of a straight ban, requiring customers to pay a fee, such as 5 cents per bag, to get a bag at retail stores. That, councilors said, could serve as a disincentive to encourage people to bring their own reusable bags to stores, rather than get more new plastic bags and throw them away.
North Woods redevelopment fight reaches new heights with final public comment period
WCSH-TV6 - Thursday, January 10, 2019 

They came back to the table for the first time since June. On one side is a council, and others, who don’t want the uninhabited, undeveloped land in Maine’s North Woods to become urbanized. On the other side is a commission, which is looking to evolve with Maine's economy, especially when it comes to tourism in Vacationland. "This would completely change the character of Maine's North Woods,” said Natural Resources Council of Maine’s Forest and Wildlife Project Director, Cathy Johnson.
Maine Audubon Spoke Up Today to Protect the Maine Woods
Maine Audubon - Thursday, January 10, 2019 

Today, Maine Audubon stood with over 25 individuals and organizations before the Land Use Planning Commission in Brewer to express our deep concern about their proposed rules that would dramatically change how new development is located in Maine’s unorganized territories — better known as Maine’s North Woods.
State panel told to protect Maine woods from development sprawl
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, January 10, 2019 

A proposal to change how development is allowed in Maine’s Unorganized Territory still is being met with some vocal opposition, despite some minor changes that a state planning body has made to the draft policy. Many of the roughly three dozen people who spoke Thursday at a public hearing on the proposed development rules opposed the concept, saying it would allow for too much development sprawl in Maine’s woods and could fragment wildlife habitat. More than 100 people attended the public hearing of the Land Use Planning Commission held in Brewer.
NRCM Testimony on LUPC’s Proposed Revised Adjacency Principle & Subdivision Standards
Natural Resources Council of Maine - Thursday, January 10, 2019 

The current adjacency principle requiring development to be “one mile by road from existing, compatible development" may need to be strengthened, but the principle that future development should be near existing, compatible development by road should be retained. Set this rule aside, gather up-to date data about the location of existing development in the unorganized territories, and engage in regional planning with towns that border the UT in order to guide development into those towns that want it. Only then, would it be appropriate to consider revising the current adjacency principle.
Land Use Planning Commission holds public hearing
Fox News - Thursday, January 10, 2019 

Extra chairs had to be brought in for a public hearing on a proposal that would allow development on more than a million acres of land. "The package that we're working on is intended to do three key things," Nick Livesay, director of the Land Use Planning Commission explained. "One is intended to better guide locations for new zones near existing communities. It's intended to better protect the environment, particularly some of the interior and more remote areas," he said. "It's also intended to evolve and really recognize changes in our natural resource-based economy." Not everyone is happy about the proposal.
Auction postponed, giving developer more time to get $40 million Saco Island project approved
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, January 10, 2019 

A public auction of land on the east side of Saco Island has been postponed to give a developer more time to secure approvals for a $40 million mixed-use project. Joan Kurker, who holds a $350,000 mortgage on the parcel, had scheduled the sale for Friday to foreclose on the mortgage, but she decided to postpone the sale until 3:30 p.m. March 15 to give Saulnier’s group more time to secure necessary project approvals.
Friends of Baxter State Park Invites Applications for Youth Wilderness Leadership Program
Free Press - Thursday, January 10, 2019 

Friends of Baxter State Park invites current Maine high school sophomores and juniors to submit an application to participate at no cost in the 11th annual Maine Youth Wilderness Leadership Program, which includes a nine-day wilderness experience in Baxter State Park, scheduled for early August. The application deadline is February 8.
The Cat has set sail from Portland but still hasn’t locked up a new home port
Mount Desert Islander - Thursday, January 10, 2019 

Bay Ferries is momentarily without a U.S. port, as one lease has expired and another is not ready to be signed. Former Gov. LePage held up Bar Harbor's purchase of its ferry terminal, and the federal government shutdown has gotten in the way of a lease for Bay Ferries. “There is always uncertainty and there will be challenges, but Bar Harbor is the future, and it is best for the ferry service if the future begins now,” Bay Ferries President and CEO Mark MacDonald said.
Western Maine transit service adds routes to ski mountains, and plans more
Sun Journal - Thursday, January 10, 2019 

Western Maine Transportation Services has added three new commuter runs in the last six weeks and more are expected as soon as it has the buses, Craig Zurhorst told the Lewiston Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce on Thursday. On Dec. 1, Mountain Express commuter routes started from Lewiston-Auburn to Sunday River and from Dixfield-Mexico-Rumford to Sunday River. On Dec. 17, the new Sugarloaf Express commuter route started from Stratton to Sugarloaf.
Legislature will consider lots of gun bills
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Thursday, January 10, 2019 

The Maine legislature will debate lots of gun bills this session. So far, all we have are titles and sponsors, and I will share those with you today. As the details of each bill emerge, I will write about them. Here is the list of titles and sponsors.
Lawmakers move to boost seaweed against ocean acidification
E&E/Greenwire - Thursday, January 10, 2019 

A push to promote seaweed as a tool against climate change appears poised to move forward in Congress — once lawmakers resolve the dispute that's holding up annual appropriations. The fiscal 2019 appropriations bill for agriculture proposed by House Democrats calls for a working group on ocean agriculture, which would explore seaweed and kelp forests as a way to reduce ocean acidification and provide food ingredients and feedstocks. The bill, H.R. 265, could come up for a vote today. In Maine, the National Institute of Food and Agriculture has awarded VitaminSea LLC two grants totaling $700,000 to study the use of dried kelp flakes as a supplement in baguette-style bread. The bread contains twice as much potassium and three times as much fiber as regular bread.
626 Groups Urge Congress to Phase Out Fossil Fuels, Build Green Economy
Maine Environmental News - Thursday, January 10, 2019 

More than 600 environmental groups today called on the U.S. House of Representatives to pursue ambitious climate legislation that matches the scale and urgency of the climate crisis. The groups’ letter calls for a thoughtful phaseout of fossil fuel production, a transition to 100 percent renewable energy by 2035, complete decarbonization of the transportation system, use of the Clean Air Act to reduce greenhouse gas pollution, a just transition to a new green economy and the adherence to treaties upholding Indigenous rights when pursuing these actions.
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