September 24, 2018  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Monday, September 24, 2018 

Thanks for visiting Maine Environmental News, a service of RESTORE: The North Woods. MEN is the most comprehensive online source available for links 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
Learn about Marine Mammals of Maine, Oct 1
Event - Posted - Monday, September 24, 2018 

Learn more about Marine Mammals of Maine, the current status of seals in Maine, and how to tell if a stranded animal really needs help and what you should do. At Kennebunk Free Library, October 1, 6 pm.
Drop-in volunteers needed to work on Acadia National Park projects
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 22, 2018 

Drop-in volunteers are needed to work on trails, carriage roads and outdoor projects during sessions organized by Acadia National Park and Friends of Acadia. At park headquarters, September 29, 8:15 am-12:15 pm. No experience is necessary.
The Nature of Craft, Sep 29
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 22, 2018 

A fine art and craft show. At Maine Audubon's Gilsland Farm, Falmouth, September 29, 10 am - 4 pm.
Stand with Hunter in opposing Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court
Action Alert - Thursday, September 20, 2018 

Hunter Lachance, a 15-year-old Mainer with asthma, testified against the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court. He explained why Kavanaugh’s opposition to curbing air pollution that crosses state lines would harm Maine and people like him. Urge Senator Collins to vote “no” on Brett Kavanaugh. ~ Kristin Jackson, Natural Resources Council of Maine
Evening for the Environment, Oct 3
Event - Posted - Thursday, September 20, 2018 

A night of camaraderie, celebration, and inspiration for those who care about protecting Maine's environment. Keynote speaker Gina McCarthy, former EPA Administrator. At Brick South on Thompson's Point, Portland, October 3, 5:30-8:00 pm. Organized by Maine Conservation Voters.
Solar 101, Sep 26
Event - Posted - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

Join ReVision Energy to learn about the benefits of solar technology. At Scarborough Public Library, September 26, 2018 6:30 pm.
Weasels of Maine, Sep 26
Event - Posted - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

Shevenell Webb, Wildlife Biologist with IF&W, talks about weasel ecology and natural history. At Augusta Nature Club luncheon, at Capital Area Technical Center, Augusta, September 26, 11:30 am, $7 for lunch.
Activist Training for Maine's Environment, Sep 27-Oct 11
Event - Posted - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

Maine's environmental community is hosting a series of trainings. Learn skills to be a powerful activist and meet fellow environmentalists who want to make a difference in Maine. September 27, Biddeford; October 4: Auburn; October 11, Jefferson; October 18, Falmouth.
Naturalist's Notebook, Sep 26
Event - Posted - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

Bowdoin biology professor Nat Wheelwright will speak about the book he wrote with Bernd Heinrich, "The Naturalist's Notebook: An Observation Guide and 5-Year Calendar-Journal for Tracking Changes in the Natural World Around You." At Portland Public Library, September 26, 5:30-7:30 pm.
NRCM online auction, thru Sep
Announcement - Tuesday, September 18, 2018 

Online auction benefits Natural Resources Council of Maine, through September.
Help wanted: Director of Media Relations and Advocacy Communications
Announcement - Monday, September 17, 2018 

The Natural Resources Council of Maine is seeking applications for the position of Director of Media Relations and Advocacy Communications. The position provides leadership in advancing NRCM and the organization’s advocacy work through the news media. Deadline: October 11, 2018.
MCV Action Fund 2018 Endorsements
Announcement - Monday, September 17, 2018 

A list of candidates endorsed by the Maine Conservation Voters Action Fund.
Bringing an ocean perspective to an urban estuary, Sep 24
Event - Posted - Monday, September 17, 2018 

Karina Nielsen, director of San Francisco State University’s Estuary and Ocean Science Center, will speak at the UMaine Darling Marine Center, Walpole, September 24, 12:15 pm.
Maine's Beaches are Public Property, Sep 24
Event - Posted - Monday, September 17, 2018 

Author and law professor Orlando E. Delogu speaks about public access to Maine’s beaches. At Curtis Memorial Library, Brunswick, September 24, 6:30 pm.
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News Items
Secretary Zinke and the Great Public Lands Wholesale
Outside - Friday, September 14, 2018 

The U.S. is now likely the world’s largest oil producer. Even so, the Trump administration continues its sprint to lease the nation’s public lands to energy companies. From September through the end of the year, the Bureau of Land Management will offer leases for oil and gas drilling on nearly 3 million acres of public lands. That would mean that for the entire year the administration will have offered for lease almost 4 million acres in the Lower 48 alone. That’s a nearly four-fold increase over 2016 as part of the administration’s policy of energy dominance.
More than 30 people testify against CMP power line proposal at PUC hearing
Portland Press Herald - Friday, September 14, 2018 

Franklin Journal - More than 30 people who testified at a public hearing Friday night urged the Public Utilities Commission to reject Central Maine Power Co.’s application to build a 145-mile transmission line through western Maine to deliver power generated by Hydro-Quebec to users in Massachusetts. Nearly 150 people filled Lincoln Auditorium at the University of Maine at Farmington for the hearing on the proposal. Most of the opposition voiced at the meeting at UMaine Farmington stems from concerns about the impact the 145-mile transmission line through western Maine will have on the environment and tourism.
Mainers Worry About Effect Of Proposed Changes To Endangered Species Act
Maine Public - Friday, September 14, 2018 

Sweeping changes proposed to the federal Endangered Species Act have conservation groups and others alarmed about protecting plants and animals on the verge of extinction in Maine and around the country. Critics of the 45-year-old act say it has been a failure, with less than 3 percent of threatened or endangered species ever coming off the list. But supporters point to a range of other benefits that come from recovery efforts, and in a state like Maine, they say they aren’t hard to find. Written comments on the Trump administration’s proposed changes to the ESA are being accepted until Sept. 24.
Waldo County farm recognized for entrepreneurial excellence
WABI-TV5 - Friday, September 14, 2018 

Over the years, the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Energy has made it their mission to recognize thriving businesses. On Friday, they honored one in Waldo County that's helping grow Maine's natural resource economy while getting inmates back on their feet. Growing crops while enriching the lives of inmates. That's the goal of the Garden Project at the Maine Coastal Regional Reentry Center Farm in Swanville. Re-entry offenders serving their last few months of their sentence work on the farm, developing skills and engaging in community service. "Many of them tell me this is the first time they've done something for someone else, and they feel really good about it," said Waldo County Commissioner, William Shorey.
Maine lobsterman sentenced for trying to ram skiff with 2 men aboard
Bangor Daily News - Friday, September 14, 2018 

A Vinalhaven man will serve 45 days in jail for attempting to ram his lobster boat into another boat that was carrying two men. Carl B. Gross, 32, received his sentence this week following a deferred sentencing agreement. As part of the agreement, Gross pleaded guilty to charges of reckless conduct and operating watercraft to endanger, according to court documents. He was sentenced to serve one year in jail with all but 45 days suspended. Charges of criminal threatening and terrorizing were dismissed.
Second small Maine town votes against CMP’s hydropower project
Bangor Daily News - Friday, September 14, 2018 

West Forks plantation, a town of 56 residents, voted Thursday night by a majority not to support Central Maine Power’s project to transmit electricity from Canada to Massachusetts via Maine. In a 45-7 vote, townspeople objected to the New England Clean Energy Connect project being pushed by CMP and its partner, Hydro-Quebec. Last week, the town of Caratunk retracted its earlier letter to CMP supporting the project. In a filing with the Public Utilities Commission, the town of 68 residents cited environmental concerns and worries about not getting enough financial benefit from the project.
The Orono Bog Boardwalk is closing early for renovations
Bangor Daily News - Friday, September 14, 2018 

The Orono Bog Boardwalk, one of the most popular nature walks in the Bangor area, will close early this fall — at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13 — for renovations. The next day, a crew of volunteers will get to work replacing 65 of the boardwalk’s 509 sections as a part of an ongoing $1 million project to replace the entire wooden boardwalk with longer-lasting material, according to Jim Bird, director of the Orono Bog Boardwalk Committee.
Kennebunkport asks voters for $10M to buy property away from developer before subdivision is built
York County Coast Star - Friday, September 14, 2018 

The Kennebunkport Board of Selectmen is asking residents to approve $10 million dollars in a last ditch attempt to buy an 85-acre parcel of land across from the Village Fire Station and secure it for the town, before the current owner moves forward with a planned multi-phased subdivision. Selectman Pat Briggs said that it was a key opportunity for the townspeople to control what goes into such a central hub of a location.
Maine is sending far more lobsters to Canada as that country’s exports to China boom
Bangor Daily News - Friday, September 14, 2018 

Canadians are snapping up live Maine lobsters, buying $43.72 million worth in July, more than double in that same month last year. The increase comes at the same time that Maine’s live lobster sales to China plummeted. China imposed retaliatory 25 percent import trade tariffs against the United States on July 5. But the tariffs instigated by the U.S.-China trade war tell only part of the story of the high export numbers. While the tariffs had an immediate effect on many in Maine’s lobster industry, high prices, an early and robust soft-shell lobster season, and high demand for processed frozen lobster also are driving up exports of live lobsters.
Company revives wind farm plan that state wildlife officials had opposed
Bangor Daily News - Friday, September 14, 2018 

Boston-based Longroad Energy is renewing a wind power proposal for Eastbrook and Osborn in Hancock County. The Weaver Wind proposal, which Longroad bought out of SunEdison’s 2016 bankruptcy, would result in 22 turbines being erected in the two towns. Longroad’s top management team is composed of former executives at First Wind, which was bought by SunEdison in 2015. Longroad is willing to consider some conditions on the project in order to minimize the impact on birds and bats. According to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, the only other wind farm proposal that currently is pending for state approval is a 4-turbine, 15 megawatt project in Roxbury in Oxford County.
Column: All you need to know about beaks and bills
Bangor Daily News - Friday, September 14, 2018 

A bird is evolution taken to extremes. In order to fly, birds replaced arms with wings. The vestigial finger bones are still there, but they have elongated to support the flight feathers. Certainly the ability to fly has served birds well, but you would think that the loss of arms is a big disadvantage. Perhaps it would be, except that birds developed specialized bills to compensate for the loss. Bird beaks are the Swiss army knives of the natural world. ~ Bob Duchesne
Former top State Department diplomat settles on historic Maine farm
Portland Press Herald - Friday, September 14, 2018 

Susan Thornton, who resigned as the top U.S. diplomat in East Asia after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson got fired, has purchased the 480-acre Packard-Littlefield farm in Lisbon. The family is also sorting out their relationship with the former owners’ tenant, Cultivating Community, a nonprofit that has turned 30 acres on the farm into a powerful incubator for immigrant and refugee farmers, many of them Somali-Bantu. According to Cultivating Community’s website, the farm is hosting 18 farmers growing for markets and over 30 community gardeners at the site.
Letter: Maine needs an animal abuser registry
Bangor Daily News - Friday, September 14, 2018 

In response to the recent articles about the brutal abuse and killing of a family dog named Franky in Winter Harbor, there has to be tougher penalties for these offenders and many years in prison living with their despicable acts. How we treat animals defines our own humanity. Pets rely on us to keep them safe, fed, sheltered, loved, respected and to make them a true part of our family. I don’t want to live in a society that devalues their lives because they are not human. ~ Kimberly Bennett, Bangor
Letter: Grohoski support
Mount Desert Islander - Friday, September 14, 2018 

Nicole Grohoski is running for Maine House District 132 (Trenton and Ellsworth) and she has made me one of her enthusiastic supporters. She has demonstrated her intrepid, indefatigable, energetic attitude in tackling challenges by being the first female thru paddler to canoe the 740 miles of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail and solo trekking the 100 mile wilderness portion of the Appalachian Trail. These qualities are an ideal fit for approaching the many challenges in Augusta. She is endorsed by the Maine Conservation Voters Action Fund. ~ Starr C. Gilmartin, Trenton
UMass Amherst leads team in first sequencing of Canada lynx genome
Other - Thursday, September 13, 2018 

Scientists at UMass Amherst, in collaboration with the Vertebrate Genome Laboratory, this week are publishing the first-ever whole genome for the Canada lynx. Tanya Lama, a doctoral candidate in environmental conservation, points out, "Genetics can help us better understand the dynamics of the Maine lynx population and whether it will remain viable into the future. If populations become small and isolated, they're more vulnerable to demographic and environmental changes and are at a higher risk of becoming locally extinct." Listed as threatened in 2000 by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, a recent recommendation by the US Fish and Wildlife Service proposed delisting the lynx from Endangered Species Act protections.
Is Rob Bishop Becoming an Environmentalist?
Outside - Thursday, September 13, 2018 

On Thursday, the House Natural Resources Committee, which Rob Bishop (R-Utah) chairs, moved forward with two landmark bills: one would fund the National Park Service’s $12 billion maintenance backlog and the other would do the same for the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Bishop (a politician many environmentalists consider public enemy number one) has a long history in Congress of working against public lands. So far, the reception to the bills appears to be uniformly positive among both Democrats and Republicans, hunters and outdoor industry representatives. Should we get used to the idea of Rob Bishop, Champion of the Environment? We'll see.
Maine retains its distinction as nation’s oldest state, new Census data show
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, September 13, 2018 

Maine is still the nation’s oldest state, according to updated data from the U.S. Census Bureau. The median age in the state is 44.6 years, virtually unchanged from the year before. That means half of Maine’s population is older than the median and half is younger. The national median age is 38. Overall, the population of Maine has grown by about 7,500 since 2010, to 1.33 million last year.
Owner of cow killed in Embden, alleged shooter both charged
Morning Sentinel - Thursday, September 13, 2018 

Both the owner of a pet cow shot and killed in Embden last week and the alleged shooter have been summonsed on charges in connection with the animal’s death, police said. Jaime Danforth, 40, of Embden, was summonsed Wednesday for animal trespass, a civil violation, Somerset County Sheriff Dale Lancaster said. Mason Sparrow, 24, of Embden, was summonsed for cruelty to animals.
The cost of cleaner heating oil
WCSH-TV6 - Thursday, September 13, 2018 

It's about this time of year when homeowners in Maine start thinking about the same thing: Heating their homes and how much that's going to cost this winter. As of July, Maine is now required to deliver a new, cleaner home heating oil. Jamie Py, CEO of he Maine Energy Marketers Association, says ultra low sulfur heating oil is the cleanest heating oil in the world, with emissions similar to natural gas.
Governor LePage announces the departure of Energy Office Director Steven McGrath
Maine Government News - Thursday, September 13, 2018 

Governor Paul R. LePage announced today that Steven McGrath, director of the Governor's Energy Office, will step down effective September 14, 2018. McGrath has worked as head of the Energy Office since August 2017. He was responsible for moving the Governor's agenda forward through the Energy, Utilities, and Technology Committee and for being a point of contact for the many energy, utilities and technology companies in Maine.
Volunteers needed: Help restore cottontail habitat
Seacoast Online - Thursday, September 13, 2018 

On Sept. 22, 28, and 29, in celebration of National Public Lands Day, the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) will be hosting a volunteer work day to help restore native shrubland habitat at Libby Field in Scarborough. Shrubland habitat is home to many species including the New England cottontail rabbit, Maine’s only native cottontail. Volunteers are needed from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. all days to assist with planting of native shrubs propagated at our own greenhouse.
Babbidge earns highest score on conservation votes
Seacoast Online - Thursday, September 13, 2018 

Rep. Christopher Babbidge, D-Kennebunk, earned a 100 percent rating on environmental and public health policy votes in the newly released Maine Conservation Voters’ 2018 Environmental Scorecard.
Hunter bags 552-pound black bear as Maine’s season gets off to booming start
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, September 13, 2018 

Earlier this year, wildlife biologist Randy Cross predicted that a relative lack of natural foods would make bears more eager to approach baited stands come bear season, and that equation could result in an advantage for the hunters. With less than two weeks left in the state’s season for hunting bears over bait, that appears to have been the case, Cross said. About 3,000 bears are typically shot by hunters each year, and as of Wednesday, that number sat at 2,157.
Blog: Challenge, fear and fun on the Baldface Circle Trail
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, September 13, 2018 

To commemorate the end of a really great summer, the gardening crew I work for went on a hiking trip. We’re a group of women in our twenties and thirties, brought together by our love of dirt and wearing gardening tools on our belts. Our boss, the incredibly entrepreneurial and talented Christina Vincent, planned the best kind of women’s weekend, full of swimming, hiking, and shopping. ~ Courtney Naliboff
Blog: Why flyfishing is what women want
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, September 13, 2018 

Like many male-dominated activities, fly fishing has been a flat-growth sport for many years. Trout Unlimited, a group affected by this lack of increase in participants, made the decision to change their support base by actively recruiting women. ~ Genie Jennings
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