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
Editorial: New England needs more renewable energy. CMP project is part of the solution.
Bangor Daily News - Friday, March 15, 2019 

Hydro-Quebec and Central Maine Power Co. teamed up to develop a plan to get Canadian hydro power to Massachusetts. The question before the Maine Public Utilities Commission is whether the project, and its proposed 145-mile transmission line through western Maine, meet the standards for a certificate of public convenience and necessity. This requires an assessment of values such as economic and health consequences, electricity reliability and state renewable energy generation goals. We believe the New England Clean Energy Connect project clears this hurdle. Critics argue there won’t be emissions reductions from the NECEC project because Hydro-Quebec will divert electricity it currently sells to other customers, who will turn to dirtier sources of power. This can’t be ruled out, but we are satisfied it is unlikely.
LL Bean Awards Bonuses After Sales Grow In 2018
Associated Press - Friday, March 15, 2019 

L.L. Bean says sales edged upward over the past year and that's enough to restore bonuses for its 5,400 eligible workers. Revenue grew by 1 percent in a changing and challenging retail environment. The board awarded performance bonuses of 5 percent for workers. Last year, there were no bonuses for the first time in a decade. L.L. Bean is coming off several years of flat sales and belt-tightening that included a reduction in workforce, changes in its generous return policy, and a paring of product lines to refocus on the company's outdoors roots.
Trek Across Maine starts and ends in Brunswick, bringing 2,000 riders through town
Times Record - Friday, March 15, 2019 

This June, more than 2,000 bicyclists are expected to flock to Brunswick for the 35th annual Trek Across Maine, which will start (June 14) and end (June 16) in Brunswick for the first time. The 180-mile route will start at Brunswick Landing and take cyclists through Augusta, Auburn, Bath, Belgrade, Freeport and Lewiston with overnight stops at Bates College in Lewiston and Colby College in Waterville. Trek Across Maine is hosting a community forum at the Fairfield Inn and Suites at 5:30 p.m. March 20 to discuss what the people of Brunswick can expect.
Maine students join in global protest over inaction on climate change
Portland Press Herald - Friday, March 15, 2019 

Maine students are taking part in a global student strike Friday over a lack of action on climate change, following the lead of a 16-year-old Swedish girl who skipped school for three weeks to protest in front of Sweden’s parliament building. Students gathered at Portland City Hall for a strike over a lack of action on climate change on Friday. In addition to Portland’s rally, similar climate action strikes and rallies were planned for Brunswick, Lewiston, Bar Harbor and Scarborough. Some students were also planning brief walkouts at their local schools.
New governor puts Maine back on path for land conservation bonds
Other - Friday, March 15, 2019 

Bond Buyer - Maine Gov. Janet Mills is backing bonding for a state conservation initiative that her predecessor, conservative firebrand Paul LePage, delayed for the past four years. The Democratic governor is pushing legislative support on a $95 million bond package for land conservation efforts and state park improvements. The borrowing proposal would designate $75 million toward Land for Maine Future, a state conservation program founded in 1987 that was under attack by Republican LePage.
Maine Governor Establishes Task Force to Study PFAS
Other - Friday, March 15, 2019 

The National Law Review - The Governor of Maine, Janet T. Mills, issued an Executive Order on March 6, 2019, to establish a task force to study perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) contamination in the state. The Task Force’s purpose is to identify the extent of PFAS exposure in the state, examine the risks of PFAS exposure to human health and the environment, and make recommendations to effectively address such risks.
Intense Standoff Between a Squirrel and a Bald Eagle Went Viral Because Things Just Kept Escalating
TIME - Friday, March 15, 2019 

A man in Lincoln, ME stumbled upon a truly tense standoff in the back of a Rite-Aid between a squirrel and a bald eagle. Roger Stevens Jr. captured a series images of the two animals from the top of a tree. His original post, which been shared more than 11,000 times on Facebook as of Friday, shows the squirrel and the eagle in what appears to be a very high-stakes staring contest. Stevens wrote ” I couldn’t have made this up!! Gray Squirrel and Bald Eagle in staring match…" In the end, the squirrel managed to survive.
Saving bugs, saving ourselves
Maine Environmental News - Friday, March 15, 2019 

On Thursday evening, a crowd filled the Ladd Center in Wayne for the first lyceum program of this season sponsored by the Kennebec Land Trust. Hamish Grieg of UMaine was scheduled to speak about "Maine Aquatic Insects: Ecology, Habitats, & Conservation." In other words, watery bugs. But he came down with a flu bug. So Phillip deMaynadier of the Maine Department of Inland Fish & Wildlife stepped in at the last minute to talk about "Maine’s Rare and Endangered Invertebrates: Conserving the Little Things that Matter.” In other words, saving bugs and their ilk.
The fight over CMP’s $1 billion corridor project moves to the Maine Legislature
Bangor Daily News - Friday, March 15, 2019 

The fight over Central Maine Power’s $1 billion proposal for a transmission line from Quebec to Massachusetts via western Maine has played out in TV ad volleys and small-town votes, but it moves to the Legislature on Friday. Opponents are planning a rally ahead of a hearing on a bipartisan bill that could throw a wrench into the controversial project’s permitting process, assuming the Maine Public Utilities Commission green-lights in a decision that is due on Monday. The fight over the corridor has gotten super-charged in the last few months, particularly after Gov. Janet Mills, a Democrat, backed the project last month.
Protective Zone to Help Right Whales Extended to Late March
Associated Press - Friday, March 15, 2019 

The federal government is extending the use of a protected zone off New England to help rare whales until at least later this month. NOAA established the zone to protect a group of right whales seen there on March 13. The agency says the zone will remain in effect through March 29. The area is located south of Nantucket. Mariners are asked to travel around the area or transit through at 10 knots or less. Right whales are among the rarest large whales. They are vulnerable to ship strikes and entanglement in fishing gear.
Skipping School To Protest Climate Change
National Public Radio - Friday, March 15, 2019 

Students across the U.S. plan to skip school Friday as a protest to call for more action to address climate change. Organizers have dubbed the event the "U.S. Youth Climate Strike." It's an extension of similar protests around the world that began last summer with teenager Greta Thunberg in Sweden, and gained attention when Thunberg delivered a powerful speech at the United Nations climate summit in December, chastising delegates for not doing more.
Study for Maine loggers group cites low pay as barrier to industry growth
Bangor Daily News - Friday, March 15, 2019 

Maine faces a shortage of loggers and log truckers that will worsen in the coming years, a study released Thursday found. The Pine Tree State’s labor shortage could stunt the growth of the forest products industry, the study said. It honed in on the need to increase wages to attract workers so the industry can grow. The study, commissioned by the Professional Logging Contractors of Maine, was prepared by the Maine Center for Business and Economic Research at USM. The logging industry in Maine employed about 3,652 workers in 2018. The industry is already unable to fill an estimated 750 to 1,000 jobs today and more than 400 people in the industry are at retirement age of 65 or older.
Lawmakers: Rights Of Acadia Harvesters Maintained By New Law
Associated Press - Friday, March 15, 2019 

Maine's Congressional delegation hopes a dispute over the rights of clam and worm harvesters to work the mudflats of Acadia National Park has been solved by a new law. All four members of Maine's delegation backed a proposal to clarify boundary issues at the park and surrounding communities to protect the harvesters' ability to use intertidal zones. President Donald Trump signed a public lands package into law on Tuesday that includes the language. The dispute stems to 2015, when a donor deeded more than 1,400 acres to Acadia. The National Park Service then informed the public about problems with the legal authority used for the land transfer. The harvesters, in turn, feared they wouldn't be able to continue their work. The changes clarify the law.
Maine eyes change to wascally wules about wabbit slaughter
Associated Press - Friday, March 15, 2019 

Maine's legislature is considering a proposal that some members of the state's meat industry say could expand the production of rabbits for food in the state. The bill would allow producers who slaughter fewer than 1,000 rabbits per year to sell whole rabbit carcasses without inspection at farms, farmers' markets, locally-owned restaurants and other community establishments. The rabbit producers would also have to be registered. Some rabbit producers say the rules would help make it easier to raise the animals for meat in the state.
Maine greenhouses struggle with weather to prep for spring
Bangor Daily News - Friday, March 15, 2019 

All around Maine greenhouses are busy, and they’ve been busy for months, planting seeds and potting plugs throughout winter to get a jump on the region’s short growing season. Subzero temperatures and snowstorms can present some special challenges for Maine greenhouse owners and managers. Sometimes, they have to act fast or risk losing their plants.

It took 9 years to get the sportsman’s license plate
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Friday, March 15, 2019 

Nine years after the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine began advocating for a sportsman’s license plate, the plates were finally approved by the legislature and ready for purchase in 2008. Fifty percent of the money is dedicated to fish hatcheries, 25% to landowner relations, 15% to development of boat launches, and 10% to endangered species conservation. In 2018, $561,578 was raised from the plates: $224,631 went to the hatchery maintenance fund, $179,705 to the boat launch facilities fund, $112,316 to the landowner relations fund, and $44,926 to the nongame endangered species fund.
How a Bangor golf course helped return wildlife to its natural habitat
Bangor Daily News - Friday, March 15, 2019 

Bangor Municipal Golf Course recently established designated “non-play areas” that serve as wildlife habitat, according to Rob Jarvis, the PGA head professional at Bangor Municipal. By letting grass grow wild in certain areas, animals have been able to make habitats using the protection of tall grass and the surrounding trees. The non-play areas — now about 6 to 7 acres — came out of the golf course’s 2016 recertification as an Audubon International Cooperative Sanctuary for Golf. Ever since, Bangor Municipal has seen a host of different animals either settle down at the 27-hole course or just pass through, including coyotes, deer, fishers, turkeys, ducks and red foxes. Three other courses in Maine have achieved the sanctuary status.
Fearing a trademark lawsuit, Bucksport’s ‘Hobbit Hill’ farm agrees to change name
Bangor Daily News - Friday, March 15, 2019 

When Kevin and Mandy Wheaton opened their farm last April, they couldn’t see anybody having a problem with the name: Hobbit Hill Homestead. It turns out that Middle-earth Enterprises did have a problem with using the name Hobbit. The California company owns worldwide rights to trademarked terms within British author J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy world. Fredrica Drotos, from Middle-earth, said, “We are happy that you love the Hobbit, but once you start making commercial use of it, we have an obligation to protect our trademark.” The Wheatons might have faced the same problem had they named their business after a gnome or a leprechaun. The word “gnome” appears to be the legal property of The Gnome Foundation, while the University of Notre Dame claims to own icons such as the leprechaun and shamrock. Mandy Wheaton said she found no trademark issues with the farm’s new name — Wheaton Mountain Farm.
Maine exporters saw a 4% increase last year, but wonder about lost potential
Portland Press Herald - Friday, March 15, 2019 

The state shipped $2.8 billion worth of commodities and manufactured goods overseas in 2018, a 4 percent bump from the year before, but less than in 2016. Given that few other things changed in the economy over the same period, tariffs and trade disputes seem to have impacted export performance last year. Export values grew by 9 percent during the first six months of last year, then abruptly leveled off, said Wade Merritt, president of the Maine International Trade Center. U.S. trade barriers imposed by the Trump administration provoked retaliation from its trading partners, including a 25 percent import tax on lobster exported from Maine to China.
Opinion: Mills’ support for power line shows commitment to constituents, climate change fight
Portland Press Herald - Friday, March 15, 2019 

In her decision to support the recent New England Clean Energy Connect settlement agreement, Gov. Mills has demonstrated political courage. There will be no decarbonization of Maine’s energy system without further hydropower, like that from Hydro-Quebec; our wind and solar potential is insufficient. If we cannot make this difficult decision without deep division and even demonization, I fear we shall fail in what lies ahead – and, as well, that our grandchildren will not find it in their hearts to excuse this failure. ~ Richard Barringer, former Maine conservation commissioner and planning director, and founding director of the Muskie School of Public Service at USM
Letter: Where will the electricity come from to power our grandchildren’s electric cars?
Daily Bulldog (Franklin County) - Friday, March 15, 2019 

As Director of Energy Management Planning for CMP in the early 90's, my department was responsible for designing, implementing and evaluating the millions of dollars that CMP invested in conservation measures, yet demand continued to grow. Two points: 1) Some of the solar, wind and conservation ideas would not be feasible without the current subsidy AND these subsidies will eventually go away. 2) None of these alternatives are dispatchable electrical sources. For more that 50 years, I have been involved in many aspects of the power industry. In the 1980's CMP proposed another transmission line from Hydro Quebec to bring power to us in Maine and Maine ratepayers were going to pay for the line. Some have opposed this proposed line, but we have a second chance to bring non-polluting electricity to us with the expense born completely by others and getting tremendous bonuses besides. ~ Delbert Reed, Electrical Engineer Retired, Freeman Township
Letter: Gov. Mills’ energy chief, goals prompt questions
Portland Press Herald - Friday, March 15, 2019 

Gov. Mills has decreed that we in Maine will get 80 percent of our energy from renewable sources by 2030 and 100 percent by 2050, with the caveat that she has no idea of how it will be done. Wouldn’t it have been better talk to the experts, find out what is possible and then announce a renewable-energy target? I can state with certitude that neither of the governor’s goals will be met. Our renewable-energy consumption may go up between 2 and 5 percent by 2030, depending on how much taxpayer money this state throws at it. Of course, spending state money is not an issue nowadays. Good luck, Governor. ~ Harry White, Scarborough
Letter: Penobscot fisheries rebounding
Bangor Daily News - Friday, March 15, 2019 

The March 11 opinion piece “Aquaculture Innovation won’t hurt environment” by Marianne Naess states that “there is no growth in sight for wild fisheries.” A wonderful thing is happening in the Penobscot River. We have removed most of the dams, and river herring are beginning to spawn in the entire watershed for the first time in two centuries. River herring and codfish co-evolved for thousands of years in a system that is in the process of restoration. Fresh-caught wild fish is in high demand, and it will not be many years before we can have abundant hook caught fish coming out of our bay. ~ Lawrence Moffet, Deer Isle
Letter: Not in favor of large aquaculture
Bangor Daily News - Friday, March 15, 2019 

I believe in supporting new businesses that will bring tax revenue and jobs, but I’m not in favor of large industrial-scale agriculture. The effects of climate change make this an outdated food production model. The factory Nordic Aquafarms is proposing to build in Belfast would be one of the most massive in the world, and Maine currently does not have enough regulations for aquaculture. It’s easy to make positive declarations when there’s nothing to back them up except the word of those who stand to profit. ~ Sally Trophy,Belfast
Letter: Transmission line has nature costs
Bangor Daily News - Friday, March 15, 2019 

While Governor Mills may have good intentions, her statement that the transmission line crossing through Maine will “cost Maine ratepayers nothing” is like saying the iconic Maine forests, rivers and streams have no value. Power lines are a blight on the land. They open a wound that leads to deeper wounds, not only to our forests, rivers and streams, but to our identity as a state with extraordinary and relatively untrammeled natural beauty. Surely we realize the intrinsic value in that. ~ John G. Pincince, Lincolnville
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