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
How a Maine university is addressing pressing social issues
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, September 13, 2018 

UMaine Dining Services is taking steps to help solve pressing social and environmental problems. The Black Bear Exchange (which also has a clothing exchange) was founded to combat food insecurity among UMaine community members. Until recently, for the most part, their offerings were limited to staples. The purchase of two industrial size freezers has been a game changer.
Trump-backed bill to repair national parks advances in the House
Other - Thursday, September 13, 2018 

The House Natural Resources Committee on Thursday passed a bipartisan bill to make billions of dollars worth of repairs and maintenance in the country's national parks. It was co-sponsored by the committee’s chairman, Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, and top Democrat, Rep. Raul Grijalva of Arizona. They usually fight on public lands issues, but in this case, they agreed to a compromise that is similar to a Trump administration proposal to fund the Interior Department’s $16 billion maintenance backlog.
Land for Southport's Future Is Making Ruth’s House Happen
Other - Thursday, September 13, 2018 

Southport Island, former summer home and outdoor laboratory for environmentalist Rachel Carson, is the place that inspired her to write "Silent Spring." The Gardner property is a multi-acre parcel located across Beach Road from the Town-owned Hendricks Head Beach. Land For Southport's Future's purchase and preservation of the Gardner house and land will add both inside and outside spaces to the very limited inventory of Southport land that is currently accessible and usable by the public. The group has a signed Purchase and Sale Agreement (accompanied by a cash deposit) to purchase the Ruth Gardner Property from the Town of Southport for a negotiated price of $800.000.
This Guy Knows Kavanaugh's True Environmental Record
Other - Thursday, September 13, 2018 

[video] William J. Snape, III, Assistant Dean at American University, describes how Brett Kavanaugh "fibs" about his insistence he is a strict follower of the letter of the law.
What Are Deer Doing in Casco Bay?
Maine Environmental News - Thursday, September 13, 2018 

Nestled into the waters of Casco Bay in Portland, Maine, is a stand of discarded pilings, worn and decaying wooden posts that once supported a long-gone commercial dock. Until November of this year, Portlanders and visitors to the city will see some unusual creatures among the pilings. Local artist Andy Rosen has built two deer out of aluminum, steel, and foam, outfitted them with long, slender stilts, and planted them right in the water—part of a nationwide set of art installations funded by Science Rising and the Union of Concerned Scientists. “These seemingly derelict spaces where animals reside, or where nature is being pushed out and growing back in, are very interesting to me,” says Rosen.
Lots of people died in Baxter Park
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Thursday, September 13, 2018 

Randi Minetor’s book, "Death on Katahdin," includes fatalities from falls and exposure to cold weather to cardiac arrest and drowning. But thankfully, she also includes catastrophes that turned out okay. Randy did a huge amount of research in order to write this book. And she reassures us that our visit to Baxter State Park “will not be dangerous if you proceed with caution, carry what you need for any situation, and stay aware of your surroundings.” Good advice.
Stripers Swimming up the Comeback Trail
Free Press - Thursday, September 13, 2018 

The Atlantic striped bass population had dropped to alarming levels over recent decades — sparking a temporary moratorium and changes in fishing laws — but their numbers are climbing again, according to state officials, marine regulators and a group of scientists who want fishermen to aid the recovery effort by carrying cameras along with their poles and bait. The debate continues over how many fish can be caught, for both food and fun. Getting the numbers wrong, said Terry Walsh, who owns The Flyfisherman’s Place in Warren, could mean the extinction of the stripers. “The problem is that these are all natural resources that could be fished out."
Dark money and blurred alliances drum up resistance to CMP power line project
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, September 13, 2018 

Opposition is growing to the plan for Central Maine Power and its parent company, Avangrid, to build a $1 billion corridor through 145 miles of Maine forestland to connect hydro resources in Canada with Massachusetts. But dark money and opaque alliances are making it difficult to determine who some of the opponents really are. What’s disguised to look like grass roots is really astroturf in the view of John Carroll, a spokesman for Avangrid/CMP. Power generators recognize there’s not much public empathy for fossil-fuel power plants and their free-market concerns, he said. Generators can gain more support by creating a down-home facade and talking about local control, Carroll said, but it’s deceptive.
PUC delays next week’s hearings on CMP’s proposed transmission line project
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, September 13, 2018 

Hearings at the Public Utilities Commission’s offices in Hallowell, originally set for Sept. 18-21, have been put off until sometime in late October or early November. A pair of Public Witness hearings scheduled for Friday at 6 p.m. in Farmington and The Forks, however, will go on. The PUC is one of the key agencies that must give approval for CMP to build a 145-mile high-voltage transmission line that would carry hydroelectric power from Quebec through Maine to Massachusetts. The $1 billion proposal has drawn widespread interest and already has generated more than 300 separate filings and a similar number of public comments in the case.
Column: A better test for balanced reporting
Sun Journal - Thursday, September 13, 2018 

When the history of this era is written, when future generations wonder how a mostly educated and largely literate nation became mired in “truthiness,” when they ask how we became so mentally muddled that we lost the ability to identify facts and the capacity to care, they’ll find many culprits. They will blame many of us in the non-Fox news media for our failure to be defenders of, the actual, factual truth. Which is what makes a new memo from the BBC such bracing reading. BBC reporters are henceforth free to report on climate change without feeling bound to include those who insist it doesn’t exist. They are free to treat facts as factual. Sadly, that notion would be resisted here. ~ Leonard Pitts Jr.
Restoring Salt Marshes in Maine
Conservation Law Foundation - Wednesday, September 12, 2018 

Maine’s salt marshes are as iconic to our coast as our rocky beaches, yet years of development – from houses and roads to dikes and dams – is putting them at risk. As our marshes are increasingly cut off from the ocean that sustains them, they are slowly shrinking, and with them the vital benefits they provide to our environment, our economy, and our communities. CLF has long worked to restore salt marshes to health. An opportunity now exists to continue that work in the Downeast community of Machias. With a dike that impedes the natural flow of saltwater into and out of the marsh in need of repair and rebuilding over the coming year, we are ensuring sure the agencies in charge make restoring the health of the salt marsh a priority.
The Ocean Made Earth Habitable
Other - Wednesday, September 12, 2018 

Consider the ocean as an universal operating system that provides air, water, food, energy, and nurturing conditions for all life, most specifically our own as individuals and social organizations. Consider also the incontrovertible impact on our health, security, and psychological and geo-political stability. Our engagement is total. We are vulnerable to any single disconnection, any glitch in the system, any break that interrupts or shuts down the process, that leaves us swimming in a different sea of uncertainty, disruption, and fear. To knowingly or accidentally produce such a condition is simply unacceptable.
Oxford County Fair kicks off with bugs and bees
Sun Journal - Wednesday, September 12, 2018 

Area students dug through soil looking for bugs and worms, and watched the hustle and bustle of hundreds of honeybees during Agriculture Education Day at the Oxford County Fair on Wednesday. The fair will continue Thursday with the new Steer and Oxen Farmers’ Pull at 6 p.m. On Friday, the annual Woodmen’s Day begins at 9 a.m., and Saturday will feature a 5 p.m. performance by the Marshall Tucker Band.
Well contamination forces town to consider municipal water mandate
Seacoast Online - Wednesday, September 12, 2018 

South Berwick Town Council Chairman Jack Kareckas said carbon tetrachloride was discovered in a well recently dug by a Hooper Sands Road homeowner. Tests found the water contains 12 parts per billion of tetrachloride, a known carcinogen, above the federal standard of 5 ppb. Town Manager Perry Ellsworth said “testing of other (water) wells in the vicinity” will be undertaken by the town. Ellsworth will also reach out to DEP to determine next steps on dealing with the contamination.
Administration announces plan to streamline oil and gas extraction in national forests
Other - Wednesday, September 12, 2018 

The Hill - The Trump Administration plans to submit a rule that would make it easier to explore oil and gas drilling, as well as mineral mining, in National Forests. The new rule would aim to "streamline" procedural requirements for oil and gas leasing and extraction from the 154 national forests and 20 grasslands managed by the Forest Service. Oil and gas is currently being developed on 44 national forests and grasslands.
Column: In fall, the beauty in an ending
Morning Sentinel - Wednesday, September 12, 2018 

“Most (people),” Thoreau observed near the end of his life in 1862, “appear to confound changed leaves with withered ones, as if they were to confound ripe apples with rotten ones.” The autumn leaves, he said, are signs of ripening, not decay, and the red blazes in the maples are fruits, not signs of bitter death. Still, there’s no escape from the fact that the first September chill, whenever it appears, is the first breath of winter, so how do we find our bliss in that? Maybe our love of cool air, withering grass and goldenrod, and falling leaves is a deep-set feel for the beauty in an ending. ~ Dana Wilde
King gives thumbs down to Trump's Supreme Court pick
Maine Environmental News - Wednesday, September 12, 2018 

Sen. Angus King today said he opposes the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court. Among the many reasons King cited for voting against the confirmation of Kavanaugh is that "he has ruled that the EPA cannot limit air pollution crossing state lines, a decision with a profoundly negative impact upon Maine given our geographic location at the end of the nation's tailpipe."
Sen. King says he’ll vote no on Brett Kavanaugh for Supreme Court
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, September 12, 2018 

Sen. Angus King said late Tuesday that he will not vote to confirm Supreme Court justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh. King, an independent from Maine, said his decision followed careful deliberation and a thorough review of Kavanaugh’s record.
Maine’s geography not a protection from hurricane destruction
Journal Tribune - Wednesday, September 12, 2018 

Despite its considerable distance from the tropics and the direct path of devastating hurricanes and tropical storms, Maine residents are reminded to remain vigilant and prepared in the event one of these powerful forces of nature makes its way up the coast to the Pine Tree State. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecast calls for 10 to 16 named storms this year, with five to nine becoming hurricanes. Its 2018 prediction is that one to four hurricanes could become major rising to Category 3 or higher with sustained winds in excess of 110 mph and this follow’s 2017 unusually active season.
Maine Citizens Recognized by EPA for Environmental Achievements
Other - Wednesday, September 12, 2018 

Three Maine individuals were recognized today at the 2018 Environmental Merit Awards ceremony of the US Environmental Protection Agency's New England regional office:
• George MacDonald, Department of Environmental Protection, Belgrade
• Margaret Shannon, Maine Lake Society, Belgrade Lakes
• Dale Mitchell, Passamaquoddy Tribe – Sipayik, Perry
Emerald Ash Borer Confirmed in Western York County, Maine
Maine Government News - Wednesday, September 12, 2018 

State entomologists have confirmed the presence of emerald ash borer in western York County. This alarming new development follows a spring discovery in northern Aroostook County. The emerald ash borer is a highly destructive, introduced pest of forest and ornamental ash trees. Since its initial detection in southeastern Michigan in 2002 it has been found in 35 states, and four Canadian provinces including Maine. Emerald ash borer will have significant ecological and economic impacts on the state. There are no practical means to control it in forested areas, though pesticide treatments can protect individual trees.
Maine gets $431,000 for rural energy efficiency projects
Associated Press - Wednesday, September 12, 2018 

Nine rural businesses in Maine will receive nearly $432,000 for energy efficiency projects. The money from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Energy for America Program will be used to purchase, construct and install solar panels or mechanisms to convert wood into pellets.
A healthy fox population means chickens need protecting
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, September 12, 2018 

Foxes and other wild animals have always been a problem for livestock, especially chickens, which are small enough to be easy prey for a wide variety of critters. Recently, many of these predators have been thriving in Maine. “Red fox are really healthy in the state,” said Shevenell Webb, a furbearer and small mammal biologist for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. “There hasn’t been an increase [in population] that we’re aware of, but that being said, this explosion in the squirrel population we’re experiencing right now is going to put a lot of predators in a really good place, nice and healthy with good pup survival.
More needs to be done to protect biodiversity
Other - Wednesday, September 12, 2018 

In November of this year, governments from around the world will meet in Egypt for the United Nations Biodiversity Conference. At this crucial meeting, delegates will discuss enhanced actions needed to protect the biodiversity that underpins sustainable development and life on Earth. They will also agree on the shape of the negotiations that will lead, in 2020, to a new Global Deal for Nature – the post-2020 framework for biodiversity. In this interview, Dr. Cristiana Paşca Palmer, Executive Secretary of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, tells us what is at stake in the negotiations.
Why Maine forestry officials are releasing parasitic flies
Associated Press - Wednesday, September 12, 2018 

The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry’s Maine Forest Service will release parasitic flies as a pre-emptive strike in Bath on Wednesday. The service says the flies only attack winter moths and have been successfully used to control the moths in Canada and New England. The winter moth is originally from Europe. Their larvae feed on the leaves of trees and shrubs, some of which yield important Maine products such as maple and blueberries. The flies are in cocoons for the winter and will be placed in a cage that is buried in the ground. The cage will be opened in early May.
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