January 20, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Saturday, January 19, 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 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
Lake St. George Ice Fishing Derby, Jan 26
Event - Posted - Saturday, January 19, 2019 

Learn how to fish. All equipment and bait provided. Lunch, hot cocoa, and warming hut. At Lake St. George State Park, Liberty, January 26, 8 am - 2 pm.
Brown-tail moths, Jan 24
Event - Posted - Thursday, January 17, 2019 

Eleanor Groden, professor of entomology at the University of Maine, will discuss the health hazards presented by, and recommended management strategies of, brown-tail moths. At Palermo Community Library, January 24, 6:30 pm.
20th Anniversary Maine Farmland Trust Kick Off Event, Jan 24
Event - Posted - Thursday, January 17, 2019 

Join a festive hometown gathering to look back at Maine Farmland Trust's many milestones since 1999, and celebrate the founders and members who helped to shape the organization. At United Farmer’s Market of Maine, Belfast, January 24, 6 pm.
Explore Nature through photography, Jan 24
Event - Posted - Thursday, January 17, 2019 

Local photographers Michele Benoit, Donne Sinderson, and Richard Spinney will share their photographs, experience and tips for photographing the natural world. At Bangor, January 24, 6:30 pm. Sponsored by Bangor Land Trust.
Help pick BDN top issue
Action Alert - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 

This year, the Bangor Daily News opinion pages will focus attention on four issues that are critical to Maine’s future. We have picked three areas: economic development; referendum reform; and Maine’s rural, spread out population. Help pick the fourth topic. Climate change and the associated energy, land-use and conservation policies are the top concern so far.
Marching Backwards
Publication - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 

A report by the Environmental Defense Fund about how Andrew Wheeler and Donald Trump are endangering the health of American families by rolling back environmental safeguards.
Browntail Moth, Jan 22
Event - Posted - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 

Maine Forest Service Entomologist Tom Schmeelk and District Forester Morten Moesswilde explain how to identify and manage browntail moths. At Boothbay Regional Land Trust's Oak Point Farm, January 22, 3 pm.
Tree Appreciation Walk, Jan 20
Event - Posted - Monday, January 14, 2019 

Kids, adults, and families are invited on a walking exploration and appreciation of trees. At Thorne Head Preserve Bath, January 20, 1-2:30 pm. Co-sponsored by Kennebec Estuary Land Trust and Beth Israel Congregation.
Colonizing history of Wabanaki people, Europeans, Jan 20
Event - Posted - Sunday, January 13, 2019 

Maine-Wabanaki REACH and the Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Augusta hold an interactive story-telling experience about the colonizing history of Wabanaki (the Indigenous people of Maine) and Europeans and their descendants. At UU Church, Augusta, January 20, 1-3 pm, RSVP.
L.L.Bean Outdoor Discovery Programs
Event - Posted - Thursday, January 10, 2019 

Expert guides. Amazing scenery. Hundreds of new activities to learn. Plus, customized trips, all-inclusive adventures, kids’ camps and more. Starting at $25.
Ice Fishing the Downeast, Jan 17
Event - Posted - Thursday, January 10, 2019 

Gregory Burr, regional biologist for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, talks about “Ice Fishing the Downeast Region.” At Schoodic Institute, Winter Harbor, January 17, noon.
Nature Notes from Maine, Jan 17
Event - Posted - Thursday, January 10, 2019 

Ed Robinson shares interesting facts about some of Maine's most beautiful and fascinating wildlife. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, January 17, 6 pm potluck, 7 pm presentation. Sponsored by Appalachian Mountain Club.
Working with your Woodland, Jan 16
Announcement - Wednesday, January 9, 2019 

Morten Moesswilde, District Forester for the Maine Forest Service, leads a series of presentations and field tours on woodland management on small ownerships. At Maranacook Community High School, Readfield, starting January 16, 6-8 pm, $5 per session or all 8 sessions for $35.
Weekly Winter Adventure camp in Bethel begins Jan. 16
Announcement - Wednesday, January 9, 2019 

The UMaine 4-H Camp & Learning Center at Bryant Pond, in partnership with the Mahoosuc Land Trust and Mahoosuc Kids Association, is offering a six-week Winter Adventure course, beginning Wednesday, January 16.
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News Items
How Maine plans to block offshore oil drilling
Associated Press - Tuesday, January 8, 2019 

A group of nine Democratic state lawmakers from different coastal states, including Maine, announced Tuesday that they are going to use their coming legislative sessions to try to block attempts at offshore drilling. The lawmakers’ announcement came as new and re-elected legislators were entering office around the country after an election that saw high turnover in some states, and the group said it wants to take advantage of new political dynamics that could favor environmental bills. The announcement also came about a year after Trump’s administration announced plans to expand drilling.
Earth Island Sues Trump Administration Over Offshore Oil Drilling Plans
Maine Environmental News - Tuesday, January 8, 2019 

Today, the International Marine Mammal Project of Earth Island Institute sued the Trump Administration over the failure of the Interior Department to provide documents related to its offshore oil drilling plans. Throughout 2018, IMMP asked for records related to these plans under the Freedom of Information Act, but received no response from the Office of the Secretary at the Department of Interior. IMMP seeks a court order compelling the Trump Administration to obey FOIA and provide the documents.
AMC rebrands
Appalachian Mountain Club - Tuesday, January 8, 2019 

The Appalachian Mountain Club bringing a new look to AMC in 2019. Watch for a redesigned website, a new look for AMC Outdoors magazine, and more stuff in the digital and destination storefronts.
Justice delayed becomes commonplace in shutdown
E&E/Greenwire - Tuesday, January 8, 2019 

As the federal government hobbles through its partial shutdown Justice Department lawyers defending federal agencies in scores of environmental cases have sought to delay deadlines, frustrating advocates trying to fight the Trump administration in the courtroom. The judiciary has enough money to keep paid operations running through the end of next week. Then, the system that fields more than 260,000 new civil cases and more than 50,000 appellate cases annually will have to curtail services and staff. Environmental lawyers say the litigation delays aren't just an inconvenience; they're an injustice.
Survey shows Americans want to support pollinators
Other - Tuesday, January 8, 2019 

According to a recent poll, nearly all Americans (95%) agree special efforts to create designated areas where plants support the health and growth of pollinators, like honey bees and butterflies, should be made. Yet the majority of Americans (66%) are not confident in knowing what to do to help pollinators.
Logging truck knocks out utility pole in The County
Fiddlehead Focus (St. John Valley, Aroostook County) - Tuesday, January 8, 2019 

A fully loaded logging truck struck a utility pole affecting power for about 300 Emera Maine customers in Masardis Tuesday morning. The rig was traveling along Route 11 when snowy conditions caused it to leave the road and take out the pole. The Maine State Police urged drivers to use caution.
Aaron M. Frey takes oath as Maine's 58th Attorney General
Maine Government News - Tuesday, January 8, 2019 

Aaron M. Frey took the oath as Maine's 58th Attorney General during a ceremony in the Maine House of Representatives today. In his remarks, Frey highlighted his priorities, including the need to build stronger relationships with Maine's Wabanaki Tribes and protecting the state from harmful actions taken by the federal government. The Attorney General is Maine's chief law enforcement officer and a member of the Baxter Park Authority, overseeing the 209,000 wilderness acres of Baxter State Park.
Regulators Decide To Open Formal Investigation Into CMP Billing Controversy
Maine Public - Tuesday, January 8, 2019 

State regulators this morning opened a formal investigation into whether Central Maine Power overcharged or otherwise inaccurately billed customers in 2017. An independent audit released late last year found that, overall, CMP had not overcharged its customer base. But today Public Utilities Commission members concluded that substantial questions remain about thousands of bills that may have been inaccurate.
Hike: Weinland Nature Study Area in Penobscot
Aislinn Sarnacki Act Out Blog - Tuesday, January 8, 2019 

A quiet place for a walk in the woods, The Richard and Virginia Weinland Nature Study Area covers 40 acres in the coastal town of Penobscot, and features a 1-mile loop trail that is open to foot traffic year round. The property was donated to The Conservation Trust of Brooksville, Castine and Penobscot by the Weinland family in late 1990s, with the request that it be used as a place for people to learn about the wilderness.
Blog: Mills begins governorship with humor and inclusion
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, January 8, 2019 

Janet Mills’ inauguration as Maine governor was striking for its humor without a hint of meanness, feelings of warmth and inclusion, and poetic musings on our shared community. At a time when politics is so polarized and divided, the event was humane and joyful, elevating it beyond formal oath-taking and democratic ritual. Mills recognizes that climate change is a real threat to Maine’s fisheries and forests. ~ Amy Fried
Opinion: Hydroelectric dams are destroying the Gulf of Maine fishery
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, January 8, 2019 

There is a plant that is only 2 percent of the Earth’s biomass but provides us with 20 percent of the oxygen we breathe. This plant removes a significant percentage of the carbon dioxide from the ocean and miraculously permanently sequesters the carbon it contains in the deep ocean sediments. This plant is the diatom, a phytoplankton. Tragically, we are destroying the diatom populations. In the Gulf of Maine, phytoplankton, including diatoms, have decreased by a factor of five in just 17 years. Diatoms require adequate dissolved silicate to grow their heavy thick shells. Worldwide, the proliferation of tens of thousands of mega dams over the last 70 years is preventing silica and other important nutrients from reaching the oceans. ~ Roger Wheeler, Friends of Sebago Lake
Emerald Ash Borer Update
Maine Government News - Tuesday, January 8, 2019 

The year 2018 was a significant one for Maine with respect to the emerald ash borer. Not only was this invasive wood-borer found in the far northern corner of Aroostook County in the spring, it was also found in southern York County in the fall. Currently, the towns of Madawaska, Frenchville and Grand Isle in Aroostook County and Acton, Lebanon, Berwick, and Shapleigh in York County are under an Emergency Order to stop the movement of certain ash products and untreated hardwood firewood.
Maine legislative bills listed
Maine Environmental News - Tuesday, January 8, 2019 

Here are links to the list of proposed bills by issue submitted to the Maine Legislature.
Federal Shutdown Halts Some Environmental Conservation Efforts
Other - Tuesday, January 8, 2019 

WBUR - The government shutdown is affecting thousands of federal researchers in New England who study ways to protect migrating fish, backyard birds and urban trees. For instance, employees at the Northeast office of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service focus on conservation in 13 states from Maine to Virginia — including rebuilding after Hurricane Sandy, and researching white-nose syndrome, a disease that's killed millions of bats. Only those workers deemed essential are at work. The same is true at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Sketchbook: North Yarmouth Naturalist & Painter Michael Boardman
Other - Tuesday, January 8, 2019 

Maine Arts Journal - North Yarmouth artist Michael Boardman grew up in Blue Hill. He graduated from the University of Maine at Orono with a degree in studio art in 1986. Drawing and sketching have been critical to his art practice. And Boardman has only ever made his living working in the arts. Over the past decade or so, his art and naturalist inclinations have led him to lean more and more on his sketchbook practice. Currently, Boardman is working with the Maine Master Naturalist Program, a year long course that trains individuals to be able to speak and present about Maine’s flora, fauna and geological features.
IFW Committee Has Lots Of New Members
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Tuesday, January 8, 2019 

The legislature’s Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee has 9 new members, although several are experienced legislators. Here’s the list of committee members.
Senator Jim Dill – chair
Senator Paul Davis
Senator Louis Luchini
Representative Catherine Nadeau – Chair
Representative Jessica Fay
Representative Scott Landry
Representative Danny Martin
Representative John Martin
Representative Rick Mason
Representative Lester Ordway
Representative Paul Stearns
Representative Tim Theriault
Representative Stanley Ziegler
New Gloucester couple donates 40 acres for trail system
Sun Journal - Tuesday, January 8, 2019 

A New Gloucester couple has donated 40 acres to the Royal River Conservation Trust to establish a trail system on the New Gloucester-Auburn line. The donation by Michael and Julie Fralich establishes a permanent owner for a scenic, waterfall-laden, 1 1/2-mile hiking loop along Meadow Brook in the Royal River watershed. The trust, in its 30-year history, has helped conserve more than 4,000 acres in the Royal River watershed, including a 1,700-acre Shaker Village Conversation easement, and assisted in expanding Bradbury Mountain State Park.
Column: Conservative not afraid to go against the tide on climate change
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, January 8, 2019 

In addition to being an adventurer, Tom Mullikin is an avid environmentalist and eco-lawyer, a pro-business Republican, as well as a former Army JAG and the recently retired commander of the South Carolina State Guard. He’s also the creator and leader of Global Eco Adventures, a nonprofit educational organization through which Mullikin takes students and policymakers to ecologically fragile areas for a close-up perspective on global warming. Mullikin is that rare conservative who knows that climate change is real and that human contribution is part of it. ~ Kathleen Parker
Editorial: Weaknesses exposed in Maine law that makes information public
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, January 8, 2019 

Ignoring public records requests became the norm during the LePage administration, as deadlines were allowed to expire and months turned into years without producing any documents or satisfactory explanations. Maine’s Freedom of Access Act is not strong enough in its current form to adequately protect the public’s right to know what its government is doing. If the law is not soon buttressed with the addition of meaningful consequences for officials who willfully violate it, the law will quickly become irrelevant.
Letter: Reopen our government
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, January 8, 2019 

We deserve a government that’s open for business and working to deliver the services that keep our nation healthy and strong. Instead, we are witnessing havoc on public lands, and bearing the effects of a further crippled Environmental Protection Agency. In Maine, Acadia National Park is operating with a skeleton crew. If the shutdown continues, we could see delays to maintenance projects and an impact to summer tourism. It’s time to end the government shutdown. Let’s get back to work. ~ Jesse McMahon, Arrowsic
Letter: Alewives can be a benefit
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, January 8, 2019 

Alewives, whether anadromous (sea-run) or landlocked, are actually likely to increase the size of the landlocked salmon and trout in any pond. Alewife and their spawn are planktivores — they consume tiny phytoplankton and zooplankton — while bass, trout and salmon are, at least partly, piscivorous — that is, they consume other, smaller fish. When most Maine lakes and ponds had alewives (at least seasonally), the freshwater, inshore and nearshore fisheries provided more nutrition by weight and variety than the more glamorous offshore fisheries. Even freshwater fish were caught commercially and sold in local markets or shipped to Boston and New York City. ~ William Leavenworth, Searsmont
Lobster War tackles global issues from a tiny island in Maine
Portland Press Herald - Monday, January 7, 2019 

Machias Seal Island – and the miles of fishing grounds around it – is the subject of the new film “Lobster War.” Hardly hyperbole, the title refers to the fact that the changing environment in the gulf has turned the largely ignored waters surrounding the island into one of the most contentiously contested fishing grounds in the world, and how its newfound value is emblematic of the coming conflicts caused by manmade global warming in miniature.
Opinion: Interior Department Makes Rules Up On The Fly
National Parks Traveler - Monday, January 7, 2019 

With the Interior Department led by a recent oil industry lobbyist and the National Park Service by a past political appointee who overlooked environmental rules to please a billionaire, we're embarking on a new paradigm for managing the National Park System, one that includes changing the rules on the fly. Just a month ago more than a few members (on both sides of the aisle) in Congress were working hard to pass legislation to address a good portion of the maintenance backlog. Now they're not only back at square one with that effort, but it could get a bit more complicated with this fee swap decision. If anyone is wondering, this is not the way to run the world's preeminent park system. ~ Kurt Repanshek
How Is the Partial Government Shutdown Affecting National Parks?
Other - Monday, January 7, 2019 

As a partial government shutdown continues into its third week, hundreds of thousands of federal employees, including National Park Service personnel, remain furloughed. Many of America’s public lands are ungated and largely unsupervised, and national parks, visitors and surrounding communities are feeling the effects. Here are some of the concerns and problems since the shutdown took effect on December 22.
Column: Maine sea ducks expand horizons
Other - Monday, January 7, 2019 

Grand Island Independent (NE)- In November, I traveled to the picturesque town of Stonington, Maine to hunt sea ducks in nearby Penobscot Bay, an inlet of the Atlantic Ocean. Our hosts were a quartet of die-hard local waterfowlers and dedicated Ducks Unlimited volunteers who enjoy sharing the Maine sea duck hunting experience with others and drawing attention to sea duck conservation. Sea ducks in Maine consist of three species – eiders, scoters, and long-tails. They differ from other ducks (which Maine’s hunting guide simply calls “regular ducks”) in that sea ducks are rarely found very far away from salt water. ~ Jarrod Spilger
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