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
Letter: Allow Mainers to vote on public utility, CMP plan
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, March 17, 2019 

The Maine Legislature should initiate two new referendum questions for the voters to decide in the next general election: First: “Shall the people of Maine allow Central Maine Power to cut a 53-mile swath through the Maine woods to bring electric power from Quebec to Massachusetts?” “Yes” or “no.” Second: “Shall the people of Maine replace Central Maine Power and Emera Maine with a Public Power Authority accountable to the citizens of Maine, funded through the public bonding process?” “Yes” or “no.” These are important questions that ought to be answered directly by all the voters in Maine. ~ Jeff Dunlop, North Windham
Column: Hunting access issues have received little attention
Sun Journal - Saturday, March 16, 2019 

Over the years, more and more rural open land is being posted. No doubt it is partly responsible for the decline of recreational hunting in Maine. Has any real progress been made in educating landowners and land users? Maine’s newly appointed commissioner of MDIF&W, Judy Camuso, says one of her early goals is to upgrade and invigorate IF&W’s landowner relations program. George Smith had some good advice that is still timely: Install a landowner relations program within the Information & Education Office. And take a lesson from the Maine Snowmobile Association, which has demonstrated a winning model based on some real know-how in cultivating good relations with landowners. ~ V. Paul Reynolds
Hallowell conservation group weary of growing browntail moth caterpillars population
Kennebec Journal - Saturday, March 16, 2019 

Browntail moths are found at varying population densities over more than 6,500 square miles in Maine, most highly concentrated in Brunswick, Bath and Topsham. But the high-risk exposure area has expanded as far west as Turner, south to Falmouth and east to Jefferson. The Hallowell Conservation Committee is urging residents to clip out potentially hazardous browntail moth caterpillar nests ahead of summer.
Opinion: Offshore wind industry could come to Gulf of Maine
Boston Globe - Saturday, March 16, 2019 

In 2017, when Trump first took office, one of the first things to change was the removal of any mention of climate change from the EPA website. Two years later, the EPA has a new Administrator under Andrew Wheeler, a former coal lobbyist who’s following in Scott Pruitt’s footsteps to ensure the agency covers up the role of the fossil fuel industry in covering up the climate crisis. But deleting climate change from the EPA’s website won’t erase what many in the U.S. know: climate change is real and we need to move rapidly to a 100% renewable energy future now. Yesterday, over 1 million young people joined school strikes demanding urgent action on climate change. ~ Avery Raines, 350.org
This is what the future's sustainable cities could look like
National Geographic - Saturday, March 16, 2019 

By 2050, the world’s population is expected to reach 9.8 billion. Nearly 70% of those people—6.7 billion—are projected to live in urban areas. Remaking healthy urban areas means repairing damage done to communities that were blown apart to serve the automobile.
Verso site owner sells former mill buildings
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, March 16, 2019 

AIM Development, a subsidiary of a Canadian scrap metal firm, bought the former Verso Paper mill in Bucksport for $58 million in 2015. AIM has sold two former mill buildings to Bucksport United Methodist Church and prepares to close purchase-and-sale agreements for lots with Maine Maritime Academy, which plans to build a continuing education annex, and Whole Oceans’ $250 million indoor salmon farm.
From beer to salsa to ‘crapple’ sauce, Maine sugarhouses are getting creative with maple products
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, March 16, 2019 

With Maine Maple Sunday just around the corner on March 25, dozens of sugarhouses throughout the state are preparing to open their doors to the public and share their love of everything maple, from syrup to some truly inventive maple-based products. Maple syrup is certainly the product of the day, but many producers don’t stop there. To diversify their offerings and stretch their sap supply, sugarhouses offer a variety of value-added maple products, from cotton candy to barbeque sauce, and the selection is only growing.
Opinion: EPA plan to gut airborne-toxin protections puts our children and planet at risk
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, March 16, 2019 

The Environmental Protection Agency has presented its plan to revamp the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, which puts the health of pregnant women, infants, children and communities of color in jeopardy. Many people, including numerous leaders in the faith community, are profoundly concerned by the Trump administration’s proposal to roll back protections from mercury and other air-borne toxins. The EPA will hold a hearing Monday on its proposed new standards, and public comments on the proposal will be accepted through April 17 via bit.ly/2O67vUI. I agree with Sen. Susan Collins that there is no reason why we should weaker standards that have served our country well. ~ The Rev. Richard Killmer, retired Presbyterian minister, Yarmouth
Opinion: The left can’t blame money in politics for its policy failures
Morning Sentinel - Saturday, March 16, 2019 

For Democrats, money in politics is the go-to theory for why progressive policies haven’t been adopted. Why hasn’t the federal government taken strong action to fight climate change? It must be due to the influence of the fossil-fuel industry. But moneyed interests don’t play nearly as large a role in high-profile political controversies as progressives think. The fossil-fuel industry is politically influential. But it’s not responsible for surveys showing that 68 percent of Americans are unwilling to pay an extra $10 in monthly electric bills to combat climate change, even as similar percentages worry about it. That bottom-line sentiment is what really keeps Congress from taking decisive action. Typically when progressives claim that they would have gotten their way on an issue if not for political corruption, they are making an excuse. They are failing to face up to the real obstacle, which is that Americans disagree among themselves — and millions of them oppose left-wing objectives. ~ Ramesh Ponnuru
Letter: Allow state park rangers to enforce laws
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, March 16, 2019 

In 2018, nearly 3 million people visited Maine state parks. By statute, the Bureau of Parks and Lands has the authority to designate its rangers to enforce state laws and regulations. Yet the bureau refuses to either adequately train their staff in effective law enforcement or authorize park rangers to issue summonses or make arrests. L.D. 527 – introduced by Rep. Thomas Skolfield, a respected retired regional park supervisor – requires BPL to establish a law enforcement training program for park managers and rangers. Parks experience the same safety issues as small villages, such as opioid crises, sexual predators and meth labs. When it comes to providing public safety and resource protection in our magnificent state parks and historic sites, our own Bureau of Parks and Lands has left visitors and rangers out in the cold. ~ Tim Caverly, retired park ranger, Millinocket
Letter: Why not use Kibby Mountain corridor?
Morning Sentinel - Saturday, March 16, 2019 

After looking at the map of the proposed Central Maine Power transmission corridor, I can’t help but wonder why the existing Kibby Mountain corridor is not being used. Where the proposed line crosses the border cannot be more than 20 miles from Kibby Mountain. This existing transmission line already connects to the grid, and widening it must certainly be less expensive than constructing an entirely new line. ~ Richard Roberts, Solon
What Happens When Young Environmental Activists Grow Up
TIME - Friday, March 15, 2019 

Six months ago, 16-year-old climate change activist Greta Thunberg, who has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, started skipping school on a weekly basis to raise awareness of climate change. Now, on Friday, thousands of children and adolescents worldwide are following her lead, in hopes that their march will force lawmakers to take drastic action to mitigate the already harmful effects of global warming. These young activists have been partly inspired by the teen survivors of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., who inspired school walkouts for stricter gun control laws. But the roots of these protests also run deeper: Friday’s demonstrations echo the actions of youngsters about 30 years ago, who in the late 1980s and early 1990s took up the cause of conservation.
School Strikes for the Climate
350.org - Friday, March 15, 2019 

On Friday, 100,000s of children and students walked out of school to strike for the climate. And their global call to action is only just beginning. Young people's message is clear: "Dear Adults, Use Your Power." What happens today will resonate long beyond 15 March, 2019; this is an epic wake up call for our future.
The Rapid Decline Of The Natural World Is A Crisis Even Bigger Than Climate Change
Huffington Post - Friday, March 15, 2019 

Nature is in freefall and the planet’s support systems are so stretched that we face widespread species extinctions and mass human migration unless urgent action is taken. That’s the warning hundreds of scientists are preparing to give, and it’s stark. The last year has seen a slew of brutal and terrifying warnings about the threat climate change poses to life. Far less talked about but just as dangerous, if not more so, is the rapid decline of the natural world. The felling of forests, the over-exploitation of seas and soils, and the pollution of air and water are together driving the living world to the brink, according to a huge three-year, U.N.-backed landmark study to be published in May.
King: Katahdin Woods and Waters' existence is settled
Associated Press - Friday, March 15, 2019 

Sen. Angus King said after a meeting with the acting interior secretary in Bangor that the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument's existence is settled. King, who met Friday with Acting Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, said there's a line for the monument in the president's budget submitted last week. The Trump administration previously reviewed the monument created on land donated by the family of Burt's Bees co-founder Roxanne Quimby. The land includes a 17-mile loop road with views of Mount Katahdin; trails for hiking, mountain biking and snowmobiling; and paddling on the Penobscot River's East Branch.
New Bill Would Call For Further Assessment of CMP Transmission Line's Environmental Impact
Maine Public - Friday, March 15, 2019 

Opponents of Central Maine Power's proposed 145-mile transmission line to provide hydropower from Quebec to Massachusetts urged state lawmakers Friday to approve a bill that would assess whether the project will actually reduce regional greenhouse gas emissions. The public hearing in Augusta marked the first time that the controversial project known as the New England Clean Energy Connect and its robust public relations campaign has migrated to the State House. It revealed that some in the Democratic-controlled Legislature question whether the project will deliver the climate benefits Democratic Gov. Janet Mills has said it will.
Maine Students Gather In Portland To Call For Action On Climate Change
Maine Public - Friday, March 15, 2019 

Hundreds of students from across southern Maine left school early Friday afternoon and called for action on climate change on the steps of Portland's City Hall. The strike in Portland was attended by elementary to college-aged students, and was one of more than 100 events planned across the country on Friday. With signs and chants, the students called for curbing carbon emissions, particularly in the face of recent national reports showing severe consequences if action isn't taken.
Waterville councilors to consider amending plastic bag ban vote results
Morning Sentinel - Friday, March 15, 2019 

The controversy over a plastic bag ban in the city isn’t over yet, despite a ruling this week by Maine’s high court upholding the voter-approved measure. Waterville city councilors on Tuesday will consider certifying election results that show voters approved the ban on Nov. 6, which will apply to stores that are 10,000-square-feet or larger such as Walmart, Shaw’s Supermarket, Hannaford, Save-A-Lot and JC Penney. However, City Solicitor William A. Lee III suggested the council could pass another amendment to the bag ban ordinance that would delay its implementation until September. Todd Martin, a volunteer for the Sustain Mid-Maine Coalition who spearheaded the bag ban, said he supports delaying the ban implementation. “I personally want to work with the city to roll this out the right way,” he said.
New prospective buyer takes another run at getting Saddleback ski area back in business
Portland Press Herald - Friday, March 15, 2019 

A Boston investment firm has made an offer to buy Saddleback Mountain, pledging to invest $25 million to $30 million after the sale to help restart the Rangeley ski resort, which has been closed for four years. Andy Shepard, CEO of the Outdoor Sports Institute, and Tom Federle, a Portland attorney, have been working with Arctaris to try to purchase the ski area. When it was open, Saddleback was the state’s third-largest ski resort, drawing thousands of tourists every winter and providing hundreds of local jobs. Shepard would not confirm Arctaris’ terms – only that the $500 million investment group is interested in buying the ski mountain and has the means to do so. The purchase price was not disclosed.
Senate bill would ban seismic blasts in Atlantic
E&E/Greenwire - Friday, March 15, 2019 

Seismic blasting in the Atlantic Ocean would be prohibited under a bill introduced in the Senate yesterday. "This bill prevents fossil fuel related seismic testing and makes clear that the Atlantic is off-limits to any type of offshore oil exploration," said Sen. Cory Booker, chief sponsor of S. 828, the "Atlantic Seismic Airgun Protection Act." The legislation is a companion bill to H.R. 1606, introduced in the House last week.
King says questions about national monument’s status settled after meeting with Trump’s acting interior secretary
Bangor Daily News - Friday, March 15, 2019 

Sen. Angus King said questions about the status of Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument as a federal property appear to be settled after meeting Friday in Bangor with Acting Interior Secretary David Bernhardt. “There’s some details in the management plan to be worked out, but in terms of the existence of the monument and the fact that it’s part of the National Park Service, the best evidence of that that I can give is there’s a line in the budget that the president submitted last week [that says] Katahdin Woods and Waters,” King said. “I came up here primarily because we have serious issues with the maintenance backlog at our national parks. I wanted to see some of that at Acadia,” Bernhardt said. “Both Sen. King and [Sen. Susan] Collins have been leaders in the Restore Our Parks Act, which will really help us with the maintenance backlog if it should pass.” Bernhardt spent Thursday touring parts of Acadia National Park that are accessible during the winter.
King: Trump's Budget Allocates 'Significant' Funds For Maine's National Monument
Maine Public - Friday, March 15, 2019 

While some details surrounding Maine's Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument are still not settled, independent Sen. Angus King says the existence of the 87,000-acre preserve no longer seems to be in doubt. King met Friday with Acting Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, who was in Maine to discuss the monument, and maintenance issues at Acadia National Park, with local authorities. King says that because Katahdin Woods and Waters came with a $20 million dollar endowment, paying for its upkeep is a bit more certain than other park service properties.
Paddling Adventures: Two Experts Describe their Journeys on Kayak and Canoe—and Offer Paddling Advic
Maine Public - Friday, March 15, 2019 

Beyond the usual recreational paddling that is so popular in Maine, some embark on life-changing long-distance journeys on the water. We talk with two of these paddlers about their journeys—where they went, what they learned, and what advice they have for others. John Connelly is the author of "Dying Out Here Is Not An Option," a new book about his 1,500-mile, 75 day canoe and kayak odyssey through 4 states and Canada. Michael Perry is founder-director of Dreams Unlimited, a writer and photographer, and the founder of L.L.Bean Outdoor Discovery School. [audio]
Bates College students strike for climate awareness
Sun Journal - Friday, March 15, 2019 

Twenty five Bates students marched from the campus to the offices of Sen. Susan Collins and U.S. Rep. Jared Golden during a Global Climate Strike for Future event. College and high school students from every continent planned to skip classes to strike for climate justice.
Dozens weigh in on whether to study greenhouse gas impact of CMP transmission project
Portland Press Herald - Friday, March 15, 2019 

Opponents of Central Maine Power’s proposal to build a high-voltage transmission line through Maine are urging lawmakers to order state environmental regulators to consider the project’s impacts on greenhouse gas emissions when reviewing the application. Dozens of people have gathered at the State House to testify on both sides of a bill that would direct the Maine Department of Environmental Protection to study the “total net effect” of CMP’s proposal to build the 145-mile transmission line through western Maine. Project opponents are skeptical of the clean-energy claims of the project.
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