December 13, 2017  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Monday, December 11, 2017 

Thanks for visiting Maine Environmental News, a service of RESTORE: The North Woods. MEN is the most comprehensive online source available for links to Maine conservation and natural resource news and events. 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
Help wanted: Visitor Center Assistant
Announcement - Monday, December 11, 2017 

Seasonal position, May 1 - October 31, 2018, representing Audubon’s Seabird Restoration Program at the Project Puffin Visitor Center in Rockland.
Free Skiing & Learn-to-Ski Clinics, Dec 16
Event - Posted - Saturday, December 9, 2017 

Waterville Parks & Rec, with support from Friends of Quarry Road, will provide free trail passes, free rentals, and free learn-to-ski clinics at Quarry Road Trails, December 16.
Meadow Brook/Hurds Pond Preserve Hike, Dec 16
Event - Posted - Saturday, December 9, 2017 

Cloe Chunn will lead a hike of Meadow Brook/Hurds Pond, a preserve of Coastal Mountains Land Trust. Meet at Swanville Transfer Station, December 16, 10 am. Sponsored by Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition.
Tax bill would slam the brakes on solar and wind energy
Action Alert - Friday, December 8, 2017 

The tax bill passed by the Senate last Friday includes an obscure provision that could pull the rug out from under solar and wind power. The House version also takes aim at renewable energy by rolling back key tax credits. These provisions "would have a devastating ... impact on wind and solar energy," according to renewable energy industry leaders. ~ Environment Maine
Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, Dec 14
Event - Posted - Thursday, December 7, 2017 

Tim Hudson, Superintendent, will take you through the landscape of Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument with pictures. At Belfast Free Library, December 14, 6:30 pm. Sponsored by Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition.
Whales of the Gulf of Maine: A Naturalist’s Report, Dec 14
Event - Posted - Thursday, December 7, 2017 

Zack Klyver, chief naturalist for the Bar Harbor Whale Watch Company and founder of Flukes whale watch ecotours, will present an engaging review of the 2017 whale watch season. At Schoodic Institute, Winter Harbor, December 14, 12 pm.
Olive oil tasting, Dec 13
Event - Posted - Wednesday, December 6, 2017 

FIORE Artisan Olive Oils & Vinegars will host an evening to support the Brunswick Topsham Land Trust at its tasting room in Brunswick, December 13, 5-7 pm.
The Arctic Needs Your Help
Action Alert - Tuesday, December 5, 2017 

Buried deep within the Senate tax bill is a provision to open the pristine Arctic Refuge, a national treasure, to oil and gas drilling, which will cause widespread pollution and harm to the wildlife and people who call this place home. Express your disappointment to Senator Susan Collins and urge her to protect our natural legacy by working to remove this damaging language before the tax bill becomes law. ~ Maine Conservation Voters
Birds from the Footbridge in Belfast, Dec 9
Event - Posted - Saturday, December 2, 2017 

Join Ron Harrell and Gary Gulezian to watch ducks, loons and other birds in the harbor. At the Belfast Footbridge, December 9, 8-10 am. Organized by Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition.
Win $1,000 L.L.Bean shopping spree and an outing with David Sibley
Announcement - Friday, December 1, 2017 

Wildlife Acoustics, makers of the Song Sleuth bird identifying app, launched the Sibley Sweepstakes on December 1. Ends March 1. No purchase necessary to enter.
Baxter State Park sign auction, ends Dec 6
Announcement - Thursday, November 30, 2017 

Auction of retired Baxter State Park signs, plus the historic dinner bell from Kidney Pond Camps. Friends Baxter State Park will donate half the proceeds to Baxter State Park, and half will support FBSP programs. Ends December 6.
Blazing Ahead: the Rivalry that Built the Appalachian Trail, Dec 7
Event - Posted - Thursday, November 30, 2017 

Jeffrey Ryan tells the story of the unlikely creation of the Appalachian Trail. At Bangor Public Library, December 7, 6 pm. Sponsored by Appalachian Mountain Club Maine Chapter.
Celebrate CREA and the Season, Dec 7
Event - Posted - Thursday, November 30, 2017 

Meet new Executive Director Wendy Van Damme, hear about new programs and plans, and contemplate the joy of winter activity at the Cathance River Education Alliance’s 235 acre nature preserve in Topsham. At Frontier Cafe, Brunswick, December 7, 4:30 to 6:30 pm, RSVP.
Land Conservation in Maine, Dec 7
Event - Posted - Tuesday, November 28, 2017 

Speakers: Angela Twitchell, Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust; Bill Patterson, The Nature Conservancy; Warren Whitney, Maine Coast Heritage Trust. At Curtis Memorial Library, Brunswick, December 7, 7 pm. Sponsored by Appalachian Mountain Club Maine Chapter.
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News Items
NOAA Wants To Fund More Fish Farming To Offset Trade Gap
Associated Press - Wednesday, December 13, 2017 

Federal marine regulators are making $450,000 available to try to foster more seafood farming on the East Coast. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says it's providing $450,000 to expand aquaculture operations and production off the eastern states. The agency says it wants to offset the U.S.'s $14 billion seafood trade deficit.
Maine has a stake in another national monument due for big changes under Zinke
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, December 13, 2017 

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke may have decided Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument in northern Maine should be left as it is, but he has recommended that commercial fishing activity resume in the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument, which encompasses nearly 5,000 square miles outside the Gulf of Maine. But the area is home to many species found in the Gulf of Maine, such as herring and deep sea corals, and is viewed by environmentalists as worthy of protecting in order to preserve biodiversity in the gulf.
Opinion: If President Trump will not, our other leaders must take action on climate change
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, December 13, 2017 

On this two-year anniversary of the Paris climate agreement, we urge our leaders to take action on climate. Our U.S. senators should stand up to President Trump’s backward moves and oppose legislation that would roll back progress on clean cars and renewable energy. They should oppose efforts to weaken clean air protections and slash funding for environmental protection, climate science programs and grants to help local communities prepare for the more intense storms and wildfires ahead. Doing so is necessary to ensuring our standing at the table as a world power and ensuring that we can hand off a cleaner, safer and healthier world to our children and to our grandchildren. ~ Matthew Wellington, Environment Maine, and Rep. Benjamin Collings, Portland
Letter: Americans commit to climate action
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, December 13, 2017 

President Donald Trump has abandoned U.S. leadership on clean energy putting hundreds of thousands of clean energy jobs at risk. More than 250 cities and counties, nine states, almost 2,000 businesses and investors, 339 colleges, 213 communities of faith, and a million individual Americans have signed the We Are Still In pledge to commit to uphold and meet the Paris agreement goals. Businesses and cities of all sizes support the agreement because they know that investing in clean energy means more American innovation and more jobs for Maine. This is the right way to put America first. ~ Ryan Kittle, Bowdoinham
Melting permafrost puts Arctic environment in jeopardy
Associated Press - Tuesday, December 12, 2017 

A report released Tuesday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration showed the far northern region is warming twice as fast as the rest of the globe and has reached a rate of melting not seen in 1,500 years. "What happens in the Arctic doesn't stay in the Arctic; it affects the rest of the planet," said acting NOAA chief Timothy Gallaudet.
Portland group protests U.S. plans to withdraw from Paris climate accord
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, December 12, 2017 

Several dozen people held a nearly 16-hour “walking vigil” outside of Portland’s federal courthouse Tuesday to object to the Trump administration’s plans to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement. To signal their support for the climate accord and disapproval of Trump’s withdrawal plans, Quakers with the Portland Friends Meeting and others walked around the block 196 times, once for each nation that has signed onto the accord and once in reverse to symbolize the Trump administration's plans to withdraw.
Climate Protester Arrested After Walking Laps Around Portland Courthouse For 15 Hours
Maine Public - Tuesday, December 12, 2017 

Federal authorities have arrested a protester for trespassing in front of the U.S District Court in Portland. The arrest followed a 15-hour walking vigil around the courthouse that was intended to bring attention to the United States’ withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement. Rob Levin knew what he was about to do would land him in jail. But that didn’t stop him from erecting a U.S. flag at half-staff on the premises of the federal courthouse while over a dozen supporters stood in solidarity with him. He says his act of civil disobedience symbolizes a national tragedy, and the profound disappointment he feels is what led him to do something he has never done — break the law.
Maine coastal town’s leaders vote to oppose offshore wind project
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, December 12, 2017 

The St. George Select Board voted Monday to oppose an offshore wind project taking shape about 12 miles away, standing with local fishermen who say the project and its transmission cable would harm their livelihoods. The unanimous vote follows a recommendation made by an advisory committee created last month by the five-person Select Board to weigh the impact the Maine Aqua Ventus offshore wind project would have on the local community. Maine Aqua Ventus ― a collaboration between UMaine, Cianbro Corp., and Naval Energies ― would bring electricity onshore from two six-megawatt wind turbines that would be installed just off Monhegan Island. The pilot project is designed to test the feasibility of the University of Maine’s floating platform technology.
Federal judge again denies South Portland’s plea to dismiss pipeline company’s lawsuit
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, December 12, 2017 

Judge John Woodcock Jr. firmly denied South Portland’s renewed motion to dismiss a nearly 3-year-old lawsuit by the Portland Pipe Line Corp. over a municipal ban on crude oil exports. Portland Pipe Line Corp. is fighting a 2014 South Portland ordinance that banned the shipping of crude oil from the city's waterfront and effectively blocked the company from reversing the flow of its pipeline, which currently transports a dwindling amount of imported crude to refineries in Montreal. The city filed the latest motion in October, after TransCanada Corp. announced that it had abandoned plans to build the controversial Energy East pipeline, which would have carried 1.1 million barrels of crude oil daily from western Canada to the Atlantic coast. Woodcock’s anticipated next step would be to rule on the merits of the company’s claim against the Clear Skies ordinance.
Midcoast Conservancy honors volunteers
Republican Journal - Tuesday, December 12, 2017 

Midcoast Conservancy presented volunteer awards at its annual meeting Dec. 7. The Land Award went to Tom Fake, who offered to design and help build new kiosks for 11 of Midcoast Conservancy’s preserves. David Miller received the Water Award for his crucial role in the Sheepscot River water quality monitoring program. The Community Award went to Glen Widmer, who has dedicated his professional life to working with youth and building community. Paula Swetland is this year’s Healthy Organization award recipient. She devoted hundreds of hours to planning, and led a cadre of seasoned and new volunteers to stage the organization’s most successful fundraiser to date.
Arctic's Temperature Continues To Run Hot, Latest 'Report Card' Shows
National Public Radio - Tuesday, December 12, 2017 

The Arctic is a huge, icy cap on the planet that acts like a global air conditioner. But the air conditioner is breaking down, according to scientists who issued a grim "report card" on the Arctic on Tuesday. They say the North Pole continues to warm at an alarming pace — twice the rate as the rest of the planet, on average. This year was the Arctic's second-warmest in at least 1,500 years, after 2016. Researchers say there was less winter ice in the Arctic Ocean than ever observed. And ocean water in parts of the polar Barents and Chukchi seas was a whopping 7 degrees Fahrenheit higher than just a few decades ago.
US might place Atlantic sea turtle on endangered list
Associated Press - Tuesday, December 12, 2017 

The National Marine Fisheries Service says it is conducting a review of the Northwest Atlantic population of leatherback sea turtles to see if it should be listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. The turtles live all over the world, including off of New England. Leatherbacks are listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The fisheries service says it’s collecting comments until Feb. 5 about whether the northwestern Atlantic’s population should be included on the U.S.’s endangered list.
Maine PUC opens inquiry into storm response by CMP, Emera
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, December 12, 2017 

The Maine Public Utilities Commission voted Tuesday to open an inquiry into responses by the state’s electric companies in restoring power after October’s destructive storm. It asked Central Maine Power Co. and Emera Maine to file reports detailing their responses and lessons learned in 30 days. It also said it wanted to know whether changes need to be made. The potent pre-Halloween wind and rainstorm cut service to more than 400,000 CMP customers and left some in the dark for up to 10 days. In eastern and northern Maine, roughly 90,000 customers served by Emera Maine also lost power. Taken together, it was the largest power outage in state history.
‘That ain’t a moose’: 107 years later, Hill Gould’s 31-point buck still the Maine standard
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, December 12, 2017 

More than 100 years after it was shot, the 31-point “Hill Gould Buck” still sports the rack that Maine deer are compared to. Louis Cataldo, a registered Maine guide from Grand Lake Stream, knows a bit about the “Hill Gould Buck.”
FocusMaine Hires Kim Hamilton as First President
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, December 12, 2017 

FocusMaine has hired Kimberly (Kim) Hamilton, PhD to serve as its first president. Hamilton will oversee programs designed to accelerate the creation of quality jobs in high-growth sectors in Maine. FocusMaine has started a 10-year implementation plan for sustainable job growth across the state, focusing first on agriculture and aquaculture, and exploring the opportunity to build on the emerging biopharmaceutical development activity out of Boston. Maine ranks 47th in the country in job growth, due in part to the aging workforce and relatively flat population projections.
Study points to how Maine could reclaim its ‘lost Einsteins’
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, December 12, 2017 

Poor, female and minority children are far less likely to be exposed to a culture of innovation as they grow up, meaning they are less likely to become inventors — a fact that has serious economic implications. That’s the finding from a new study that could influence decisions made by Maine policymakers and local leaders as they try to boost the creation of new products to spur economic growth. In the past, they may have focused on financial incentives or STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education to increase entrepreneurialism. “Our results point to a different channel — exposure to innovation during childhood — as a critical factor that determines who becomes an inventor,” wrote the researchers.
Poland Spring poured $201 million into Maine economy in 2016, report says
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, December 12, 2017 

Poland Spring added more than $200 million to the state economy and employed 860 workers in Maine in 2016, according to an economic impact report released by the company Tuesday. That makes Poland Spring, a subsidiary of the Swiss food and beverage giant Nestle S.A., the fifth-largest manufacturer in Maine and an important source of employment and economic growth in rural parts of Maine, where natural resource industries such as pulp and paper manufacturing are declining, said Charles Lawton, an economist who wrote the report for Poland Spring.
Column: Western Maine must create jobs, but will younger talent be there?
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, December 12, 2017 

Maine’s western mountains region – Oxford, Franklin and Somerset counties– is the birthplace of many of Maine’s most iconic rural industries. But over the past 30 years, forces of technological change have undercut Maine products leading to the decline of many of the long-term sources of wealth and prosperity. The stark contrast between an expanding range of possible economic opportunities and an aging (and, therefore, less economically engaged population) and the exodus of the most motivated of the prime working-age population is the essence of the economic challenge facing the region’s citizens and public policy makers. The goal must be creating communities that young people will find attractive. ~ Charles Lawton
Letter: Pollution control saves lives
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, December 12, 2017 

The EPA is holding a public comment period as it considers repealing the Clean Power Plan, which would provide lifesaving air pollution reductions, including the first federal limit on carbon pollution from power plants. The EPA’s analysis shows that the Clean Power Plan will prevent 400,000 asthma attacks and up to 34,000 premature deaths every year by 2030. It will also reduce the number of days lost from work because of asthma and lung diseases. Revoking the Clean Power Plan would give power plants a license to pollute, putting millions of Americans in harm’s way. Simply put, repealing the Clean Power Plan is a serious threat to the health of every person in Maine and throughout the nation. ~ Bonnie Irwin, Brewer
Opinion: Prioritize holy sites on public lands
Other - Monday, December 11, 2017 

Global Sisters Report - If Congressional members are not as strong as they should be, then encourage them to step up to protect our national monuments and public lands. Also contact state governors and land offices saying you support national monuments and public lands. I also think you should encourage people to write op-eds in their local and regional press. If we believe in miracles, a phone call might just help a miracle happen — or at least honor our Creator and be an action of solidarity with our Native American brothers and sisters who have already lost so much. ~ Franciscan Sister Joan Brown
Baker in residence at Berwick
Village Soup Gazette (Knox County & Penobscot Bay) - Monday, December 11, 2017 

Artist and educator Krisanne Baker of Waldoboro is artist-in-residence through Friday, Dec. 15, at Berwick Academy. Baker’s Art + Ecology approach aims to exhibit works inspired by the desire to raise ocean awareness. An exhibit of her work titled “Gulf of Maine: Dare to Care” opens Thursday, Dec. 14, at the pre-K through grade 12 academy. During her artist-in-residence week, she is working with students to create endangered Gulf of Maine species artworks in fused glass, culminating in a window installation at the Berwick Academy Library.
U.S. loses 13 scientists who will do climate change work in France
Associated Press - Monday, December 11, 2017 

Eighteen climate scientists from the U.S. and elsewhere hit the jackpot Monday as French President Emmanuel Macron awarded them millions of euros in grants to relocate to France for the rest of Donald Trump’s presidential term. The “Make Our Planet Great Again” grants – a nod to Trump’s “Make America Great Again” campaign slogan – are part of Macron’s efforts to counter Trump on the climate change front. Macron announced a contest for the projects in June, hours after Trump declared he would withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate accord.
Trump to push oil and gas drilling off the East Coast
Bloomberg News - Monday, December 11, 2017 

The Trump administration is preparing to unveil as soon as this week an expansive offshore oil plan that would open the door to selling new drilling rights in Atlantic waters. President Donald Trump ordered his Interior Department to write the new blueprint with the aim of auctioning oil and gas drilling rights off the East Coast – territory that former President Barack Obama, ruled out.
LePage and land trusts argue about land conservation registry
Maine Environmental News - Monday, December 11, 2017 

On December 1, the legislature's Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee held its second meeting as part of a study of conserved lands in Maine. The discussion became contentious when Jonathan LeBonte, director of the Office of Policy and Management for the LePage Administration, told the committee land trusts “will be in violation of the law if they do not provide the data” for a new conservation fee lands registry on the state’s form. The land trusts say they are committed to complying, but that the State’s requests go “beyond the requirements of the law." The tension seemed to be less about whether conservation lands pay their fair share of property taxes, or whose form should be used for the conservation lands registry, and more about the fight that Paul LePage has picked by withholding Land for Maine’s Future funds.
9 lovely trails for a snowy walk in Maine
Aislinn Sarnacki Act Out Blog - Monday, December 11, 2017 

To make getting out to enjoy the snow a bit easier for you, I’ve selected 9 trails in Maine that I think are great for enjoying the snow. They’re accessible. They’re marked with paint and signs on trees that are visible year round. And they’re not too far from a cup of hot chocolate.
• Unity College Forest in Unity
• Moose Point State Park in Searsport
• Kebo Mountain in Acadia National Park
• Hidden Valley Nature Center in Jefferson
• Good Will-Hinckley Trails in Fairfield
• Rolland F. Perry City Forest in Bangor
• Trenton Community Trail in Trenton
• Birdsacre in Ellsworth
• Dead River Trail in Orland
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