May 25, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Saturday, May 25, 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; hey, we're all connected). 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
Hike Little Bigelow, Jun 1
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 25, 2019 

Little Bigelow is the most eastern peak of the Bigelow Range, round trip 6.5 miles. Views of Flagstaff Lake, Sugarloak, Bigelow range. At Carrabassett Valley, June 1, pre-register. Sponsored by Appalachian Mountain Club.
Hike Little Deer Hill & Deer Hill, Jun 1
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 25, 2019 

5.4-mile hike to open summit with great views, Evans Notch, June 1, pre-register. Sponsored by Appalachian Mountain Club.
Public Ownership vs. Private Rights in Maine’s Public Reserved Lots, Jun 1
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 25, 2019 

Panel presentations during Maine Bicentennial Conference. At UMaine, Orono, June 1, 1:30-3:30 pm. Registration fee.
Little Ponds Preserve Celebration, Jun 1
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 25, 2019 

Celebrate the opening of Harpswell Heritage Land Trust's newest preserve. At Little Ponds Preserve, Harpswell, June 1, 10 am.
Maine Entomological Society Field Day, Jun 1
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 25, 2019 

Join MES to explore the world of insects. At Hutchinson Pond Conservation Area, Manchester, June 1, 10 am. Sponsored by Kennebec Land Trust.
Maine Bicentennial Conference, May 30-Jun 1
Event - Posted - Friday, May 24, 2019 

In addition to scholarly panels ($60), several elements (museum exhibits and the keynote event by two Pulitzer Prize winning historians on May 31) are free to the public. A Maine History Festival for students and cultural organizations to present their own research and planning for the state bicentennial will be part of the conference just prior to the keynote event.
Great Maine Scavenger Hunt
Event - Posted - Thursday, May 23, 2019 

The Great Maine Scavenger Hunt is back (year 3). Use this list as your Maine summer vacation guide! Do as much or as little of it as you want. Sponsored by Down East magazine.
Maine Trail Finder 3.0
Announcement - Thursday, May 23, 2019 

The Center for Community GIS has launched the third version of Maine Trail Finder with the same great trail maps and descriptions and lots of new features.
Climate action
Action Alert - Tuesday, May 21, 2019 

Urge legislators on the legislature's Environment & Natural Resources Committee to support climate action via the governor’s bill, LD 1679. ~ Natural Resources Council of Maine
Ban Aerial Herbicide Spraying for Deforestation
Action Alert - Tuesday, May 21, 2019 

Before May 23, urge legislators on the Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry Committee to support LD 1691, An Act To Ban Use of Aerial Herbicide Spraying for the Purpose of Deforestation. ~ Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
Oyster Farms & Seal Watching Tours, May 25-27
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 18, 2019 

Oyster Farms & Seal Watching Tours will run every day, 2-4 pm, during Memorial Day weekend. At Damariscotta. Benefits the Fish Ladder Restoration Project.
Birding for Kids, May 25
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 18, 2019 

A hands-on workshop for families. At Curtis Farm Preserve, Harpswell, May 25, 9 am. Sponsored by Harpswell Heritage Land Trust.
L.L.Bean & Maine Audubon Birding Festival, May 24-26
Event - Posted - Friday, May 17, 2019 

Boat trips, guided walks, live bird presentations, workshops, kid’s crafts, and activities with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. At Freeport vicinity, May 24-26.
Forestry for Maine Birds, May 23
Event - Posted - Thursday, May 16, 2019 

Free workshop on forestry management for bird conservation. At Head of Tide Preserve, Belfast, May 23, 12-3 pm.
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News Items
Letter: Green New Deal a necessary plan
Kennebec Journal - Sunday, May 12, 2019 

Columnist Jim Fossel’s offering, “Maine’s Green New Deal as substance-free as the federal version,” like virtually all attacks on the Green New Deal, conveniently forgets to mention why it exists. We do not slash our greenhouse gas emissions at least 50 percent by 2030 we’ll have “catastrophic” global warming causing “global economic collapse” followed by “societal collapse.” The column says the Green New Deal costs too much. This is like saying we can’t afford life boats for the Titanic. The cost of business-as-usual would be over $160 trillion in future climate disasters in the U.S. The Green New Deal’s energy plan would more that pay for itself. As three economists said in Forbes magazine, “The costs of a Green New Deal are affordable, but the costs of inaction are literally beyond calculation.” ~ Lynn Goldfarb, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Letter: Volunteers sought for ‘nightjar’ study
Morning Sentinel - Sunday, May 12, 2019 

Maine’s moonlit summer nights are becoming increasingly silent with the disappearance of the state’s resident nightjars, a family of birds that eat insects and sing on moonlit nights. In Maine, these birds include the Eastern whip-poor-will and the common nighthawk. Once widespread and commonly heard, these birds have begun to vanish from their annual haunts in eastern North America. The causes for these declines may be the culmination of a number of factors including habitat alteration, declining numbers of insects, and predation. Volunteers are needed to listen for these night sounds along predetermined monitoring routes in nightjar habitat throughout the state. Contact me at ~ Logan Parker, Palermo
Dispute over unlicensed Rome junkyard heading to court
Morning Sentinel - Saturday, May 11, 2019 

Town officials say Larry and Janet DiPietro have failed to clean up their junkyard after the town refused to issue them a permit nearly two years ago. The case is scheduled for a hearing May 29 in Waterville District Court.
Smith gets award at UMaine Augusta commencement
Kennebec Journal - Saturday, May 11, 2019 

At the University of Maine at Augusta’s 51st commencement, Mount Vernon resident George Smith, author and former executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, received the Distinguished Achievement Award. Smith, who has written a weekly editorial column for the Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel for the last 28 years, made an impassioned plea for graduates to place roots in Maine, which has one of the highest median ages in the country. “Please stay in Maine or come back to Maine,” he said. “I can tell you, based on my life, there’s no better place to work and live than our state.”
Partners undertake Cross Lake Watershed survey
Fiddlehead Focus (St. John Valley, Aroostook County) - Saturday, May 11, 2019 

The Friends of Cross Lake association will coordinate a survey of Cross Lake’s watershed in partnership with the St. John Valley Soil and Water Conservation District, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Maine Forest Service and Department of Environmental Protection. The partners undertaking the survey want to keep soil and nutrients on the land to improve soil health, instead of exporting them to the water, where they can do harm. Volunteers and UMFK faculty and students will provide additional assistance.
Trump taps energy lobbyist to oversee Parks and Fish & Wildlife
Maine Environmental News - Saturday, May 11, 2019 

President Donald Trump has tapped Wyoming native Rob Wallace to be assistant secretary for fish, wildlife and parks in the U.S. Department of the Interior. Raised in Wyoming, Wallace graduated with a degree in petroleum engineering from the University of Texas in 1971. He has had a long career as a lobbyist for energy companies and as a Republican operative.
Poland Spring: Same water, new name?
Maine Environmental News - Saturday, May 11, 2019 

Poland Spring, a subsidiary of the Swiss-based multinational corporation Nestlé, says it is introducing a new bottled water product called ORIGIN. Other than being marketed under a different name in a different bottle, it is unclear how this water is different than the water Poland Spring has been selling commercially since 1845.
9 ways to upcycle old T-shirts
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, May 11, 2019 

Here are 9 ways to reuse old T-shirts when they have reached the end of their wearable life.
• Tote bag
• Produce bag
• Dog toy
• Pillow
• T-shirt quilt
• Dinner napkins
• Baby diapers
• Plant hanger
• Rags
Here’s what to do with problem bears
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Saturday, May 11, 2019 

Maine has a very high population of bears, and they are showing up all over the state. Here is some good advice from DIF&W on how to deal with problem bears. Take these steps to avoid unwanted black bears in your backyard or neighborhood:
• Secure garbage and recycling
• Remove and store bird feeders
• Never leave pet food outdoors
• Clean and store your grill
6 Bangor hikes that will get you outdoors this spring
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, May 11, 2019 

These Bangor area hikes provide all the wooded views and exciting wildlife sightings you could want this time of year:
• Newman and Bangor hills in Orono
• Brown Woods in Bangor
• Chick Hill in Clifton
• Sunkhaze Meadows National Wildlife Refuge in Milford
• Central Penjajawoc Preserve in Bangor
• Orono Bog Boardwalk, Bangor and Orono
Letter: Environmentalists pushing big hoax
Sun Journal - Saturday, May 11, 2019 

Once again, Gov. Janet Mills and the environmentalists are expressing concern about plastics and foam products and, oh, yeah, cows passing gas. The people who believe in the climate-change hoax are saying that we must save the planet. That is crazy talk. This planet will cleanse itself; it always did. The Earth has been in existence for billions of years and will still be here for several more millions of years. People won’t be. Climate change is nothing but a big hoax perpetrated by the environmentalists to make billions of dollars from the taxpayers. Gov. Mills and her Democratic allies must be stopped from killing businesses and jobs. ~ Reggie Bechard, Lewiston
Unity College graduate aims to protect animals with research that matters
Morning Sentinel - Friday, May 10, 2019 

Sierra Sico, 21, wants to make a difference in the natural world. The Unity College senior, who will graduate Saturday with a degree in wildlife biology, this summer will travel to Montana for a seasonal job studying western songbirds, doing visual and auditory surveys on the prairie, looking at where they are nesting, tracking migration patterns and the number of eggs they produce, and so forth. She also will study how birds are affected by animals grazing on the prairie. The debate about climate change rages on and everyone must agree that at the heart of the problem are humans, and humans need to be at the heart of the solution, according to Sico. “Extinction happens at a rate of one to five species a year, and now we’re up to 1,000 to 10,000 times that rate, so it’s definitely human-driven,” she said.
Hundreds of 7th graders attend Outdoor Career Fair Hundreds of 7th graders attend Outdoor Career Fair
WABI-TV5 - Friday, May 10, 2019 

With the labor shortage in the state, an Outdoor Career Exploration event was held at Kennebec Valley Community College in Hinckley. Nearly 500 Central Maine middle schoolers attended the event hosted by the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry and Jobs for Maine's Graduates. It featured over 40 organizations and businesses that included logging, forestry, recreation and much more.
2 teens accused of vandalizing York beach benches
York Weekly - Friday, May 10, 2019 

Two 19-year-olds are facing charges after eight benches on the sidewalk at Short Sands Beach were allegedly unbolted and thrown onto the beach, later recovered under sand and seaweed. York police charged Kendrick West of York and Christian Harley of Winchester, Massachusetts, with criminal mischief. Ellis Park Trustee Andy Furlong said, “We just find it deploring that something like this could happen."
'Prolific Mother Whale' Will Continue Educating People, Even After Her Death
Maine Public - Friday, May 10, 2019 

A humpback whale known to many along the eastern seaboard will continue educating people, even after her death. The whale, named "Vector" by scientists, washed up at Cape Cod earlier this week. Dan DenDanto of the College of the Atlantic is tasked with turning her skeleton into a museum exhibit. He was on the road Friday morning to pick up the final parts of the skeleton. "She was tracked nearly every year of her life, and through documenting five calves, so she was a prolific mother whale,” he says.
Maine Coast Heritage Trust A Step Closer To Buying Most Of Clark Island
Maine Public - Friday, May 10, 2019 

The Maine Coast Heritage Trust is $1 million closer to buying most of Clark Island in St. George. The island is privately owned, but the public has been allowed to use its hiking trails and sandy beaches. The current owners want to preserve that access by selling 126 acres of the 170 acres to the Trust. The Trust has raised$3.5 million toward the $4.8 million cost. The latest million came thanks to a partnership with the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Department. The two entities qualified for a grant from the federal Interior Department's Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grants Program.
Better days are on horizon for South Portland’s Mildred Pond
Other - Friday, May 10, 2019 

The Sentry - The pond at the end of Mildred Road is known by many names, including the “gully” or “ditch.” As the pond is a destination for storm water runoff, it has long been a source of complaints from residents; it’s stagnant, the odor is pronounced, and there in a constant supply of trash that floats there. Now, after years of complaints and studies, the city of South Portland has teamed up with the South Portland Conservation Commission and Land Trust to work toward a solution to hopefully remediate the issues and revert the area into an estuary.
Wolfe’s Neck opens new organic dairy facility to bring new life to Maine’s aging dairy industry
Times Record - Friday, May 10, 2019 

The Wolfe’s Neck Center for Agriculture and the Environment opened its new, $1 million organic dairy facility Thursday, a day that executive director David Herring said the center has been “working toward for decades.” The state-of-the-art dairy barn will house the farm’s 45 to 50 dairy cows and adds roughly 30 acres of grazing space to the current 40. Milking operations will also be on site in the farm’s new milking parlor, a step up from the temporary addition to the current barn, formerly used for raising beef cattle. The new milking space features large windows to allow people on tours to see the work in action.
Opinion: CMP’s transmission project will bring lasting benefits to Maine
Bangor Daily News - Friday, May 10, 2019 

We are convinced that NECEC, the Central Maine Power transmission line project, will bring lasting benefits to Maine. The Unorganized Territory is largely a privately owned working forest criss-crossed by thousands of miles of public and woods roads and many miles of powerlines. Opponents assert there will be no reduction in carbon emissions. But the Maine PUC paid for an independent study that finds NECEC will remove up to 3.6 million metric tons of carbon from the New England atmosphere each year. Opponents claim there is no surplus water behind Hydro-Quebec dams to generate new electricity. In 2018, Hydro-Quebec “spilled” enough water to produce about 10.4 terawatts of electricity. Opponents argue Maine can de-carbonize its electrical energy needs and supply in timely fashion with expanded wind, solar, and battery storage systems. There will be no de-carbonization of Maine’s energy system without additional hydropower; our wind and solar potential prove insufficient. ~ Richard Barringer and Richard Anderson, former Maine commissioners of conservation; Lloyd Irland, former Mainer state economist
Opinion: We’re in danger of killing off the biodiversity that makes our way of life possible
Washington Post - Friday, May 10, 2019 

On Monday, the United Nations released a report declaring that up to 1 million plant and animal forms of life are on track to become extinct within the next several decades, as a result of human activity. “Grave impacts on people around the world are now likely,” the report dryly summarized. As Robert Watson, the British scientist in charge of the report, explained, “We are indeed threatening the potential food security, water security, human health and social fabric” of our lives. Translation: We are killing off the life that makes human life possible. Unless we change our ways fast, our existence is going to become increasingly precarious. And not surprisingly, we’re not approaching this fast-coming catastrophe with anything near the urgency it needs. ~ Helaine Olen
Endangered Species getting a boost
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Friday, May 10, 2019 

The legislature is working to strengthen our protection of endangered species. The bill expands the authority of game wardens to cite people who violate the protective laws for endangered and threatened species, and increases penalties for violations. According to Maine Audubon, "the benefit of a state Endangered Species Act is that it can pick up slack when federal rules are under threat. MESA works in concert with both the federal Endangered Species Act and the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act — but both of these important laws are currently at risk. The federal Department of the Interior said it would no longer enforce critical aspects of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and the Trump administration has proposed rules that would significantly weaken the federal ESA."
Maine land trust gets $1 million from feds to help ensure public access to private island
Bangor Daily News - Friday, May 10, 2019 

The Maine Coast Heritage Trust received a major boost this week in its $4.8 million fundraising campaign to preserve an island located just off the St. George peninsula. The land trust, in partnership with the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, was awarded a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grants Program to go toward preservation of privately owned, but publicly used, Clark Island.
Column: It’s time to celebrate the elaborate courtship of American woodcock
Bangor Daily News - Friday, May 10, 2019 

From all appearances, the American woodcock is a bird that has been assembled from the spare parts of other birds. It’s got the body of a pigeon, the legs of a chicken, the bill of a snipe, and the eyes of a…. Actually, nothing else has eyes like that. The woodcock is the color of leaf litter. It walks as if it is doing the Hokey Pokey. It’s a shorebird that wouldn’t be caught dead at the shore. Sadly, woodcock populations are declining nationwide. Happily, Maine has a healthy population. We have a lot of the forest edge habitat necessary for woodcock. Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge near Calais was established in 1937 to increase habitat for woodcock and waterfowl. There’s probably a woodcock near you. Just step out after dark to a spot where the forest abuts a field, and listen. Peent. ~ Bob Duchesne
Koch receives Heart and Soul Award
Morning Sentinel - Friday, May 10, 2019 

Alex Koch, 34, of Unity, a senior at Unity College, was one of six students from colleges and universities in Maine to receive the Heart and Soul Award during the Maine Campus Compact’s 18th annual Awards Celebration. While studying Parks & Forest Resources, he has served as president and secretary of the Beekeeping Club, president and secretary of the Forestry Club, treasurer of the Language Club, and the Earth Science Program representative for Student Government Association. Koch worked with others on a project titled “The Future of the Alder Stream Watershed: A Management Plan Framework,” which earned multiple awards.
Opinion: Step up to save Maine’s brown ash trees
Kennebec Journal - Friday, May 10, 2019 

Brown ash trees are critically endangered throughout Maine. The emerald ash borer, a parasitic beetle that has already killed ash trees across the United States, was first detected in Maine last May — several years before it was anticipated. Faced with these ongoing threats, the Wabanaki have been leading the defense of brown ash trees in Maine. Take steps to limit the spread of emerald ash borer-infected wood. Make a conscious effort not to transport firewood across state borders. Enforce wood transport laws and more thoroughly investigate wood sources from vendors. Notice the trees in your community and seek out indigenous baskets woven from brown ash. ~ Grace Neumiller, Keller Leet-Otley and Tommasi Wagner, students at Colby College
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