April 24, 2017  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Monday, April 24, 2017 

Thanks for visiting Maine Environmental News, a service of RESTORE: The North Woods. MEN is the most comprehensive online source available for links to Maine conservation and natural resource news and events. We have posted summaries and links to 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
Maine Mushrooms, May 1
Event - Posted - Monday, April 24, 2017 

Presenter: Alan Seamans. At USM, Lewiston, May 1, 6:30 pm. Sponsored by Stanton Bird Club.
Lyme disease conference, Apr 29
Event - Posted - Saturday, April 22, 2017 

At Wiscasset Community Center, April 29, 8 am - 5 pm.
Beginning Farmers Workshops
Event - Posted - Friday, April 21, 2017 

Maine Coast Heritage Trust and Knox-Lincoln Soil & Water Conservation District are co-sponsoring a series of Beginning Farmers Workshops.
• April 23: Free Shearing and Wool Grading, 8 am-5 pm (two sessions), presented by the Midcoast Farmers Alliance. Hosted by Meadowcroft Farm in Washington.
• May 13: Free Natural Farming Practices, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, presented by Aaron Englander at Erickson Fields Preserve in Rockport.
• June 14: Cover Crops and Crop Rotation on June 14;
• July 8: Day-long Pasture Workshop in conjunction with Beef Basics at Aldermere Farm.
• July 26: Pollination Services and Community Partnership.
People’s Climate Movement, Apr 29
Action Alert - Thursday, April 20, 2017 

Join the People’s Climate Movement this April 29th in Washington, D.C. ~ 350.org
Resist: Skills to Fight Back for Maine's Environment, Apr 27
Event - Posted - Thursday, April 20, 2017 

Learn about the current threats and our efforts to protect our public lands, defend the Clean Air Act, and preserve the EPA's budget, and the skills to make a difference. At Bangor High School, April 27, 6 pm.
Boating the Bold Coast, Apr 26
Event - Posted - Wednesday, April 19, 2017 

A community dialogue around resources, opportunities, challenges and concerns co-hosted by Maine Island Trail Association and Downeast Conservation Network. At Cobscook Community Learning Center, Trescott, April 26, 3-5 pm.
Inspired by Nature: Kris Sader, Apr 25
Event - Posted - Tuesday, April 18, 2017 

Kris Sader, a visual artist, will show how nature inspires her creative work. At Topsham Library, April 25, 6 pm. Sponsored by Cathance River Education Alliance.
Resist: Skills to Fight Back for Maine's Environment, Apr 25
Event - Posted - Tuesday, April 18, 2017 

Learn about the current threats and our efforts to protect our public lands, defend the Clean Air Act, and preserve the EPA's budget and the skills to make a difference. At Maple Hill Farm Inn and Conference Center, Hallowell, April 25, 6:30 pm.
The Psychology of Climate Change, Apr 23
Event - Posted - Sunday, April 16, 2017 

Kati Corlew, PhD, an assistant professor of psychology with the Social Science Program at UMA-Bangor, will talk about Tuvalu, a group of low-lying islands in the Pacific Ocean that is under extreme threat from rising sea levels. At Unitarian Universalist Church, Bangor, April 23, 11:30 am - 1 pm.
Seven Earth Day Events in Southern Maine
Event - Posted - Saturday, April 15, 2017 

Here are seven Earth Day events happening in southern Maine throughout the weekend.
March for Science, Portland Maine, Apr 22
Event - Posted - Saturday, April 15, 2017 

The March will start at City Hall Plaza around 10 am, will head down Congress St, ending at Congress Square Park with a few speakers.
Sheep wanted
Announcement - Thursday, April 13, 2017 

Viles Arboretum in Augusta is seeking sheep to graze a couple of fields. There might even be a stipend to a farmer willing to work with the Arboretum on the project. Call 207-626-7989.
Close Look at Wetlands Ecology, Apr 20
Event - Posted - Thursday, April 13, 2017 

Dave Marceau will lead the walk, describing the varieties of wetlands, their role in the environment, and how humans influence their functions. At Riverview Hayfields Preserve, South Thomaston, April 20, 3 pm. Sponsored by Georges River Land Trust.
National Park Week, Apr 15-23
Event - Posted - Saturday, April 8, 2017 

This year, from April 15–23, celebrate all that America’s more than 400 national park areas have to offer. April 15–16 and April 22–23 are free admission days. The National Park Foundation’s free Owner’s Guide series is packed with ideas to help you plan your next national park adventure.
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News Items
King Backs Effort to End Non-Dairy Products' Use of Term 'Milk'
Associated Press - Thursday, April 6, 2017 

Maine Sen. Angus King says he is getting behind an effort to force non-dairy products to stop using labels with terms such as milk, yogurt and cheese. The dairy industry has been pushing against plant-based alternatives to products that traditionally involve dairy products. King says he is supporting the "Dairy Pride Act,'' which he says would require the Food and Drug Administration to issue guidance for nationwide enforcement of "mislabeled imitation dairy products.'' King says it's an "insult'' to Maine's dairy farmers that non-dairy products are allowed to call themselves milk.
Portland’s health at risk with 61 dirty air days in 2015
Other - Thursday, April 6, 2017 

Environment Maine - Air pollution remains a major threat to our health, according to a new report from Environment Maine Research & Policy Center, "Our Health at Risk: Why Are Millions of Americans Still Breathing Unhealthy Air?" In 2015, people here in Portland experienced 61 unhealthy air pollution days, increasing the risk of premature death, asthma attacks and other adverse health impacts. “Maine is often considered to be on the tailpipe of the U.S.; air pollution from the west puts all Mainer’s health at risk, but most especially our children, the ill, and the elderly,” said Karen A. D’Andrea, Executive Director, Physicians for Social Responsibility Maine Chapter.
Pond Scum Linked to Health Concerns, Maybe Lou Gehrig’s
Free Press - Thursday, April 6, 2017 

In Maine, the explosive growth of cyanobacteria typically results in pea-green water, but affected lakes can turn blue-green to brownish-green. Sometimes lakes smell fishy or moldy. Sometimes algae creates foam or scum or streaks the shoreline blue or green. Not all algae blooms in lakes are caused by cyanobacteria and not all create cyanotoxins that are potentially lethal. There is a lot that is still not known. But enough is known about the effects of cyanobacteria that water quality experts and researchers in New England see an emerging public health threat as blooms become more common.
PUC Staff Recommends Against Subsidizing LNG Storage Projects — LePage Disagrees
Free Press - Thursday, April 6, 2017 

The LePage administration is lobbying the Maine Public Utilities Commission to approve up to $500 million in taxpayer subsidies to construct liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage facilities in the state. The governor’s latest effort to promote natural gas comes despite the fact that MPUC’s staff, the Public Advocate, the Conservation Law Foundation and local natural gas distribution companies all say it’s a bad idea. Nevertheless, the LePage administration insists that natural gas investment will lower energy costs.
Maine’s Forest Industry on Brink of Accessing Lucrative European Wood Chip Market
Maine Public - Thursday, April 6, 2017 

Maine still has lots of trees, but the decline of the paper industry has devastated rural communities that depend on forest products. Wood chips, which are burned for fuel in biomass energy plants, are in strong demand in Europe, and have the potential to rejuvenate the forest products sector in Maine. The only problem is that they can’t be exported, because of all the pests and pathogens that could be spread to other countries. Now one Maine company has a solution to that problem. Fastco Corporation in Lincoln is building the two heater-drying systems that are scheduled to be trucked to Eastport for testing in the next few weeks.
Bill to Protect Climate Change Doubters Up for Hearing
Associated Press - Thursday, April 6, 2017 

A bill that would prohibit discriminating against people based on their beliefs about climate change is up for a hearing in the Maine state capital. Republican Rep. Larry Lockman says his bill would prohibit the state from favoring or penalizing a person based on how they feel about climate change. It's up for a hearing on Thursday before the Legislature's Committee on Judiciary. Lockman says climate change doubters get treated like "heretics'' and they deserve to be protected. Peer-reviewed studies, science organizations and climate scientists say that the world is warming from man-made forces.
Editorial: Protecting our nature economy relies on taking the long view
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, April 6, 2017 

Protecting brook trout is of the utmost importance – they are why many people come to fish in Maine, home to 97 percent of the wild brook trout waters in the eastern United States. Fishing in Maine generates more than $300 million a year, and 60 percent of Maine fishermen and 47 of nonresidents say they are looking for brook trout. Responsible fishermen can show restraint as the trout fishery recovers from severe drought, and everyone needs to prepare for climate change.
Letter: Back organic lawn care ordinance, not pesticides
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, April 6, 2017 

As the citizen advocate appointed to Portland’s Pesticide and Fertilizer Task Force, I can attest that the group – in both representation and weight given to members’ proposals – was dominated from start to finish by the four pesticide applicators. Charging it with reviewing South Portland’s recently approved organic pesticide ordinance, the City Council convened a task force without a single expert in organic land care. The solution is easy: Reject integrated pest management lawn care and adopt an organic land care ordinance at least as strong as South Portland’s. ~ Avery Yale Kamila, Portland
Letter: Bring passenger rail to Bangor
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, April 6, 2017 

Clearly the plan was to connect Bangor to the interstate system. Where would Bangor be without it? Concerning passenger rail system, the first mistake was demolishing what was already in place. The second mistake is not rectifying the first mistake. Look at Europe and how connected it is by rail systems. There is less congestion on roads, fewer automobile crashes, and it is a much more efficient way of travel. We Americans are so backward thinking. It was important to connect Bangor with I-95, and it’s just as important to connect Bangor with passenger rail. ~ Kate Tuck, Bangor
Letter: Let towns decide foraging rules
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, April 6, 2017 

A bill — LD 128 — before the Legislature would outlaw the gathering of wild plant life on private property without the permission of the landowner. At issue are fiddlehead ferns, wild berries and other such edible forage. To people in urban and suburban communities, this looks like a no-brainer. Of course, somebody shouldn’t come into your backyard and take berries off the wild plants at the back of your property. But to those of us in rural areas, this is obvious overreach. ~ Donald Ashmall, Gouldsboro
Wind power foes: Don’t ruin Maine’s beauty to feed ‘green energy’ demands
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, April 5, 2017 

Wind power opponents near Moosehead Lake are worried that Massachusetts interests are going to ruin their view, 164 years after Bay Stater Henry David Thoreau trundled his famous nature-praising pen through Maine’s North Woods. Massachusetts on Friday issued a massive request for clean power proposals that could help the state meet its goal of reducing its electrical system’s impact on global warming. By 2020, the state aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions from electricity generation to 25 percent below 1990 levels. The long-expected solicitation has wind opponents in Maine again gearing up for a fight, as Maine is host to the vast majority of pending land-based wind power projects in New England.
Katahdin National Monument
Other - Wednesday, April 5, 2017 

WAGM-TV - Carrie Hamblen, CEO of Las Cruces Green Chamber of Commerce in New Mexico, this week has been speaking with people in the Katahdin region about their national monument designation. Hamblen suggested businesses cross brand with those in tourism to promote the monument. Maine tourism officials say they need to begin putting together promotional material, so they can grow awareness of the monument.
Belfast Council scraps plastic bag fee idea, eyes stronger ban
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, April 5, 2017 

Deeming their first plan too weak, the Belfast City Council has mothballed a proposed fee on single-use plastic bags and instead wants to consider an outright ban. Belfast has been floating the idea since September, when a group of residents proposed a ban with the goal of reducing the number of plastic bags making their way into Penobscot Bay.
Maine Audubon: High Loon Chick Count Not Likely Long-Term Trend
Maine Public - Wednesday, April 5, 2017 

The number of loon chicks in southern Maine's lakes and ponds has increased dramatically over last year's count. The count by Maine Audubon used almost 900 volunteer counters who looked at 304 lakes and ponds across the state. They found a 76 percent increase in the estimate of chicks - to 384. But Audubon wildlife biologist Susan Gallo says, contrary to appearances, the trend for chicks is flat.
Opinion: Maine’s New Markets program is critical to spurring much-needed investment
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, April 5, 2017 

Maine’s economy is struggling to get a footing, and we need all the hard work and smart thinking we can muster to grow jobs in our state. As the recent OPEGA report clearly showed, the New Markets Capital Investment Program is one of those good ideas. With a solid rate of return and a real, tangible impact on our communities, this program has been a success. And as we move forward with the upgrades to the program suggested by the OPEGA report, it will serve Maine even better for years to come. ~ Sen. Tom Saviello (R), Franklin County
Foraging Bill Angers Pickers Who Feel Entitled to Crops on Private Lands
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Wednesday, April 5, 2017 

My bill to require permission from landowners before we pick their mushrooms, fiddleheads, or other crops has drawn a strong and angry response from people who feel entitled to do this without permission. I have spent much of my life advocating for more respect for private landowners and better relationships between those of us who recreate on private land and the owners of that land. We’ve made a lot of progress, but still have constant complaints and problems.It is very irritating to find that someone has grabbed the fiddleheads or mushrooms off my woodlot before I got to them. And clearly, anyone who is on my land to commercially harvest something ought to be required to have my permission.
Transition aide: We're not 'quite done' with executive orders
E&E/Greenwire - Wednesday, April 5, 2017 

President Trump could issue new executive orders related to the environment and energy, according to a former transition official. Mike McKenna, the former head of the Department of Energy transition team and founder of MWR Strategies, said yesterday that "offshore energy development" and "probably something clarifying where we are going with [the] Antiquities [Act]" are the most likely contenders for action under Trump's pen. The well-known energy lobbyist offered few specifics, but said, "I expect the administration will ultimately do something on monument designations."
Carbon dioxide levels could reach their highest point in 50 million years by the end of the century, study says
Washington Post - Wednesday, April 5, 2017 

Continuing to burn fossil fuels at the current rate could bring atmospheric carbon dioxide to its highest concentration in 50 million years, jumping from about 400 parts per million now to more than 900 parts per million by the end of this century, a new study warns. And if greenhouse gas emissions continue unabated beyond that point, the climate could reach a warming state that hasn’t been seen in the past 420 million years.
New England states take fresh look at carbon fee
E&E/Greenwire - Wednesday, April 5, 2017 

New England states have considered imposing economywide carbon fees before, but this year's efforts have taken on a sense of urgency with an administration in Washington that is rolling back policies to control power-sector greenhouse gas emissions. The states already attack greenhouse gases as members of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a cap-and-trade program for buying and selling pollution credits aimed at ratcheting down emissions across New England and in New York, Delaware and Maryland. But the Acadia Center's Peter Shattuck thinks there could be "an interesting convergence" of interests on a carbon fee and a "recognition that a big idea likes this takes time for people to get educated."
Maine’s wells could be polluted with arsenic, lead
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, April 5, 2017 

The water that flows out of your faucet may taste good, smell good and look good — but there’s a chance it could make you sick. That was the message from some scientists who shared their ongoing research last week at the Maine Sustainability & Water Conference. They don’t want to just frighten people, either. They want to encourage them to test their water for such invisible troublemakers as arsenic and lead, and then take steps to mitigate problems that may be found.
Letter: No concern for American people
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, April 5, 2017 

How many times have we heard a politician make the comment, “we’re doing this for the American people”? Come on. Politicians only care about two things: their free health care and their bloated paycheck. Add to this that a politician’s goal has nothing to do with America or its citizens and more to do with getting even with the other side. The president keeps signing these decrees that will come back to haunt this country’s environment and relationship with our neighbors. ~ Richard Barclay, Holden
Hike: Long Cove Headwaters Preserve in Searsport
Aislinn Sarnacki Act Out Blog - Tuesday, April 4, 2017 

The 456-acre Long Cove Headwaters Preserve, owned and maintained by the Coastal Mountains Land Trust, features nearly three miles of marked footpaths that form two loops. These trails travel through a variety of upland and wetland habitats, offering visitors plenty of opportunities to spot local wildlife.
Shuttered Maine paper mill owner sues hopeful buyer, says it has other suitors
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, April 4, 2017 

The owner of the shuttered Great Northern Paper mill in East Millinocket claims a lawsuit from one prospective buyer has prevented it from considering others willing to pay millions. North American Recovery Management and its ACM NARM Maine LLC on Monday filed counterclaims against prospective buyer EMEP LLC. The companies signed a letter of intent in June 2016 to put the deal in motion, but negotiations stalled and EMEP sued in January to try and force the $1.75 million sale. In its counterclaim, the seller claims EMEP “repeatedly” sent proposed purchase-and-sale agreements that were “wildly inconsistent with the letter of intent.” Meanwhile, the countersuit states, the seller relied on the buyer’s promise to sign a purchase-and-sale agreement eventually. Delays could jeopardize its application for a loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy and an investment tax credit for biomass electricity generation.
Saco becomes fourth Maine community to ban plastic shopping bags
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, April 4, 2017 

The Saco City Council on Monday approved a ban on single-use plastic bags, making the city the fourth community in the state to do so. But Saco is the first municipality to implement a ban through a city council vote. In 2015, the town of York became the first community in Maine to ban single-use plastic bags altogether when voters approved the ordinance in a narrow vote. Freeport and Kennebunk voters approved bans the following year.
Opinion: Maine’s coastal communities depend on agencies Trump plans to gut
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, April 4, 2017 

Cuts to programs such as the National Marine Fisheries Service and National Weather Service would have far-reaching consequences for programs created to ensure healthy coastal environments and economies. In Maine, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is a significant contributor in the effort to save endangered Atlantic salmon in the last remaining rivers in the country in which they still spawn. What’s most alarming to me is the proposal to eliminate the Sea Grant program. ~ Molly Payne Wynne, The Nature Conservancy in Maine
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