March 25, 2017  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Friday, March 24, 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 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
Edible Ornamentals, Mar 31
Event - Posted - Friday, March 24, 2017 

Speaker: Lisa Fernandez of The Resilience Hub. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, March 31, 12 pm.
State of Maine Sportsman’s Show, Mar 31-Apr 2
Event - Posted - Friday, March 24, 2017 

At Augusta Civic Center, March 31 - April 2.
Grow Your Own Mushrooms, Mar 30
Event - Posted - Thursday, March 23, 2017 

Speaker: Ben Whatley of Whatley Farm. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, March 30, 6:30 pm.
2017 Maine Sustainability & Water Conference, Mar 30
Event - Posted - Thursday, March 23, 2017 

Keynote "Conserving Pools and Watersheds" by Aram Calhoun, Professor of Wetland Ecology, UMaine. At Augusta Civic Center, March 30, 7:30 am - 4 pm.
Northern Goshawks in the Northeast, Mar 30
Event - Posted - Thursday, March 23, 2017 

Speaker: David Brinker, Maryland Natural Heritage Program. At Ladd Recreation Center, Wayne, March 30, 7 pm. Sponsored by Kennebec Land Trust.
Backyard Bees, Mar 29
Event - Posted - Wednesday, March 22, 2017 

Beekeeper Mike Mcnally talks about keeping bees. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, March 29, 12 pm.
Planning a Garden for Preserving, Mar 29
Event - Posted - Wednesday, March 22, 2017 

Speaker: Kate McCarty of UMaine Cooperative Extension. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, March 29, 6:30 pm.
New interactive Androscoggin River Trail Guide
Publication - Tuesday, March 21, 2017 

The Androscoggin River Trail Guide is an interactive, mobile-friendly website describing launch site details, river mileages, points of interest, and other on-river information to help guide paddlers down the Androscoggin.
Inspired by Nature, Mar 28
Event - Posted - Tuesday, March 21, 2017 

Wildlife biologist and author of I Am Coyote, Geri will illustrate how nature inspires her. At Topsham Library, March 28, 6 pm. Sponsored by Cathance River Education Alliance.
Waypoints: Community Indicators for Maine’s Coast and Islands
Publication - Monday, March 20, 2017 

This Island Institute publication presents economic, community and environmental indicators for Maine’s coastal and island communities as they compare to the rest of the state and the nation.
Maine Maple Sunday, Mar 26
Event - Posted - Sunday, March 19, 2017 

Maine will celebrate its 34th annual Maine Maple Sunday on March 26.
Birding at Plum Island, Mar 25
Event - Posted - Saturday, March 18, 2017 

A field trip to find special winter birds. At Plum Island, MA, March 25, 7 am - 4 pm. Sponsored by Stanton Bird Club.
Trump's "America First Budget"
Publication - Thursday, March 16, 2017 

The Office of Management and Budget today released the Trump Administration's 2018 bare-bones budget outline.
Top "Public Lands Enemies" in Congress
Publication - Thursday, March 16, 2017 

A Center for Biological Diversity report analyzed 132 bills that were introduced in Congress from 2011 to 2016, and identified the lawmakers who authored and cosponsored the greatest number of these bills. The list that emerged includes 9 members of the U.S. House of Representatives and 6 U.S. senators from 8 states.
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News Items
Trump greenlights Keystone XL pipeline, but obstacles loom
Reuters - Saturday, March 25, 2017 

President Donald Trump’s administration approved TransCanada Corp’s Keystone XL pipeline on Friday, cheering the oil industry and angering environmentalists even as further hurdles for the controversial project loom. TransCanada’s U.S.-listed shares dipped 5 cents on Friday. Trump has claimed the project would create 28,000 jobs in the United States. But a 2014 State Department study predicted just 35 permanent jobs. The pipeline is exempt from a Trump executive order requiring new pipelines to be made from U.S. steel, because much of the pipe for the project has already been stockpiled. Environmental groups vowed to fight it.
Opinion: Environmental stewards should stand together against Gorsuch
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, March 25, 2017 

Maine Sens. Susan Collins, a Republican, and Angus King, an independent, stood up for the health and safety of all Americans by voting against the confirmation of Scott Pruitt to lead the Environmental Protection Agency. Pruitt was the former attorney general of Oklahoma who regularly conspired with the fossil fuel industry to attack EPA protections, but unfortunately he was confirmed in a close vote. With Pruitt at the helm of the EPA, clean air and water in Maine, and the health of citizens across the nation, are at risk. The nomination of Neil Gorsuch to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court left by the 2016 death of Justice Antonin Scalia is an even more important vote. ~ Ken Cline, Sierra Club Maine
Letter: Taxpayers deserve to see results of ethanol review
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, March 25, 2017 

On June 20, 2016, Gov. LePage issued an executive order directing the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, in collaboration with the Maine Department of Environment Protection, “to undertake a review of scientific literature regarding the human health effects of emissions produced by the combustion of ethanol containing gasoline and the effect of increasing ethanol blends on emissions.” The due date of Jan. 1, 2017, is long gone and still no report. Is there a report? Was taxpayer money wasted? Were the Maine CDC and the DEP competent enough to accomplish the executive order? Is something being hidden? Did the governor waste taxpayer dollars? ~ Ralph Stevens, South Berwick
Letter: We all will benefit from more solar power
Kennebec Journal - Saturday, March 25, 2017 

I am writing this letter to urge my state representative, Gary Hilliard, R-Belgrade, and others in the Legislature to support An Act to Protect and Expand Access to Solar Power In Maine. Living in the country as I do, I think about self-sufficiency and sustainability a lot. The price of solar generation is dropping, and we can see a time coming when we will not have to import as much natural gas, oil, and propane from out of state. To increase our sustainability and self-sufficiency as a state, we need to encourage the spread of solar power generation through net metering. ~ Stan Davis, Wayne
Letter: Trump budget lacks forethought
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, March 25, 2017 

I wonder if many of President Donald Trump’s supporters are aware that his proposed budget is bent on dismantling the government agencies that were created to make sure our systems, including our environment, are monitored and that we are protected. Although the cuts affect many agencies that support citizens, one of those most vital to Maine is the cut to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. These cuts are not money savers. They will cost us dearly and place citizens and businesses in jeopardy. ~ Nancy Gilbert, Durham
Letter: Solar a boon for farmers
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, March 25, 2017 

I was disappointed Rep. MaryAnne Kinney of Limington and other Republican representatives failed to override Gov. Paul LePage’s veto of last year’s solar bill. I hope she will see more clearly this year the opportunities expanding solar offers her constituents and vote yes for Rep. Seth Berry’s proposed bill, An Act to Protect and Expand Access to Solar Power in Maine. It’s time to solarize Maine. ~ Deb Avalone-King, Brooks
Local Biologist Earns Highest Honor from Maine Wildlife Society
WABI-TV5 - Friday, March 24, 2017 

A local biologist has earned the highest honor from the Maine Wildlife Society. Charlie Todd was presented with the Award of Professional Achievement. He is an Endangered Species Coordinator for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. He’s best known for his work in Maine’s Bald Eagle Program. The state’s Eagle population rose from 41 nesting pairs in 1976 to more than 750 pairs in 2012. Todd says he is humbled by the award.
Pepper farmer eyes building biomass-fueled greenhouse in Maine
Bangor Daily News - Friday, March 24, 2017 

The operator of a state-subsidized biomass plant in West Enfield said Friday that it has a letter of intent with a pepper grower interested in building a greenhouse that would buy its waste heat, carbon dioxide and electricity. Bill Harrington, vice president of Stored Solar LLC, announced the pending deal during a forum in Hallowell detailing current challenges for the state’s biomass industry and opportunities for the state’s broader forest economy.
Trust celebrates 40 years of conservation
Scarborough Leader - Friday, March 24, 2017 

From a small group of people who established the land trust in 1977 to over 400 contributors who made history with the purchase of Pleasant Hill Preserve in 2014, Scarborough residents who care about their town have been key to local land conservation. So where do we stand after 40 years of land conservation in Scarborough? With community support, the trust has conserved more than 1,500 acres that include 6 properties with trails that are open to the public year-round. Our lands offer a variety of landscapes to explore in all seasons.
Agreement signed to build greenhouses near biomass plant
Portland Press Herald - Friday, March 24, 2017 

Acres of peppers could be growing next year in greenhouses adjacent to the Stored Solar biomass power plant in West Enfield, if an agreement between the plant’s owners and one of the largest greenhouse pepper growers in North America comes to fruition. The greenhouses would use electricity, as well as the waste heat and carbon dioxide emitted from the plant, to grow the crop and provide Stored Solar with a new source of revenue that would make the generator profitable. The venture would be an example of how Maine’s forest industry is working to diversify and find new uses for obsolete, wood-fired power plants and closed paper mills.
Cushing residents finally get public access to the ocean
Bangor Daily News - Friday, March 24, 2017 

Now that local voters have weighed in, the public can be ensured access to a piece of waterfront property that was offered as a gift to the town by the Thelma “Terry” Dodge, who died at the age of 92 one day after she purchased the property. In the annual town meeting earlier this week, residents voted 108-51 to approve Dodge’s gift of 15 acres of land, historically known as Fales Field, across from the Broad Cove Market.
Maple Sap in Maine is Off and Running Amid Annual Celebration
Maine Public - Friday, March 24, 2017 

Maine's maple industry seems to be off to a decent start, with no significant problems foreseen, as the state prepares to celebrate its 34th annual Maine Maple Sunday. "Last year, you know, the season had 675,000 gallons, and that's up from 315,000 gallons in 2010," says Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry spokesman John Bott. Bott says the trend for the last six years has been one of steadily increasing effort across Maine, with the number of taps increasing by 26 percent over the period.
Maine lobstermen figured out how to make more money off their catches
Bangor Daily News - Friday, March 24, 2017 

A lobstermen-only fishing organization has purchased a Lamoine lobster wholesale business, extending the reach of its members further down the distribution chain and giving them a greater share of the profit off their catch. The Maine Lobstering Union, formed in 2013 in the wake of a sharp drop in prices paid to lobstermen by dealers, is buying Seal Point Lobster Co., a wholesale lobster distribution firm owned by the Pettegrow family. The Pettegrows also own the Trenton Bridge Lobster Pound restaurant, which is not part of the sale.
Maine's Cod Fishermen Have Worst Year in History
Associated Press - Friday, March 24, 2017 

The cod isn't so sacred in Maine anymore. The fish-and-chips staple was once a critical piece of the state's fishing industry, but state records show 2016 was historically bad. Fishermen brought less than 170,000 pounds of the fish to land in Maine last year. That was below the previous record low of 250,000 pounds a year earlier. Maine's record year for cod was 1991, when fishermen brought more than 21 million pounds (9.5 million kilograms) to the docks. Fishermen say they're struggling with tight quotas. Scientists say populations have plummeted.
New materials could make spray-on solar cells a reality
E&E/Greenwire - Friday, March 24, 2017 

Solar cells that can be sprayed or painted onto buildings and vehicles seem like a far-fetched idea. But researchers think they're getting closer to making spray-on solar cells a reality. The technology could come to fruition thanks to a range of materials called perovskites, which can be used to harvest light when turned into a crystalline structure.
Warden and other positions restored to DIFW Budget
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Friday, March 24, 2017 

The legislature’s Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee, which has been sharply critical of cuts in the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s new budget, voted to restore some of those cuts earlier this week. I really felt bad for DIF&W Commissioner Chandler Woodcock as he tried, for 2 ½ hours, to defend the budget cuts, most of which are indefensible. The Governor’s demand made no sense.
Ignoring climate concerns, Trump approves Keystone XL, touts job creation
Associated Press - Friday, March 24, 2017 

The Trump administration issued a permit Friday to build the Keystone XL pipeline, reversing the conclusion of the Obama administration and clearing the way for the $8 billion project to finally be completed. The decision caps a years-long fight between environmental groups and energy industry advocates over the pipeline’s fate that became a proxy battle over global warming. It marks one of the biggest steps taken to date by the Trump administration to prioritize economic development over environmental concerns. The Trump administration has dropped fighting climate change as a priority.
Old style freight canoe taking shape in Fort Kent garage
Bangor Daily News - Friday, March 24, 2017 

Long before the roads and railways reached far into northern Maine, rivers and waterways were the major transportation routes connecting communities with the outside world. Generations of rivermen navigated those waters using all manner of canoes, bateaux, barges and crafts carrying goods in and out of the area. These days most river traffic is recreational but a bit of that history is slowly taking shape in a Fort Kent garage this winter. Andre Landry, longtime river rat and registered Maine Guide, is building an old style, square-sterned freight canoe based on the designs used long ago.
Letter: Planet Earth needs us to act on its behalf – now
Portland Press Herald - Friday, March 24, 2017 

Recent news has not given me much hope for our future. Consider the cuts the new administration is proposing for the Environmental Protection Agency. Why would anyone want to risk our children breathing smog or drinking unsafe water? Perhaps those making the decisions have forgotten two crucial truths: The first is that we may like to think that the problems impacting other species will bypass us, but it doesn’t work that way. The second is that while we need the Earth, the Earth does not need us. I hope, for the sake of all our children, that enough people will recognize the damage we are risking, and act in time to prevent it. ~ Erica Bartlett, Portland
Letter: Climate change backed overwhelmingly by science
Portland Press Herald - Friday, March 24, 2017 

A more fitting name for Rep. Larry Lockman’s bill would be “An Act To Protect Political Speech and Prevent Scientific Facts from Harming Big Business.” James Lawrence Powell was appointed to the National Science Board by Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush and served for 12 years. Dr. Powell conducted a study of peer-reviewed articles on the topic of global warming. He found that 24,210 articles were written on climate change by 69,406 scientists from around the world in 2013 and 2014. Of those authors, 69,402 (99.9 percent) indicated that global warming is caused by human activity (burning fossil fuel), with only four scientists indicating that global warming is not caused by human activity.” ~ Fred Egan, York Harbor
Letter: Solar energy the future
Bangor Daily News - Friday, March 24, 2017 

Rep. Seth Berry's bill to expand access to solar power strikes me as a practical continuation and improvement for the solar power industry here in Maine. I have always thought the future power grid breakthrough will be from solar, an unlimited clean source of power that only needs technology to improve to harness this unlimited resource. Sitting around and waiting for that technology will result in nothing. It takes effort and investment of time and money to eventually bring this technology to the front of the energy picture. ~ Bob Thurm, Arundel
Letter: Keep methane waste limits
Bangor Daily News - Friday, March 24, 2017 

I want to thank Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King for voicing their opposition to the use of the Congressional Review Act to revoke the methane waste reduction rule. As a physician working in Maine for more than 36 years, I am acutely aware of the cost to people’s health. Indiscriminate use of fossil fuels and resulting air pollution contributes to the rising tide of respiratory and cardiovascular ailments. And with methane being 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas, the leakage is a large contributor to climate change. ~ Paul Potvin, Hampden
Yellowstone Places Old Faithful on 6-Month Loan to Acadia National Park
Other - Thursday, March 23, 2017 

Onion - In an effort to give more people across the country an opportunity to visit the famous landmark, Yellowstone National Park announced Thursday that it would be putting Old Faithful on a six-month loan to Acadia National Park.
Acadia Closes Some Trails Because of Peregrine Falcon Nests
Associated Press - Thursday, March 23, 2017 

Acadia National Park is warning hikers of closures of some popular trails because of peregrine falcons that have returned to nest. The falcons are nesting at the Precipice, Jordan and Valley Cove cliffs. That means the Jordan Cliffs Trail, Valley Cove Trail, Precipice Trail, and a part of the Orange & Black Path are closed to public entry until further notice.
Think tank urges Trump to transfer Forest Service to Interior
E&E/Greenwire - Thursday, March 23, 2017 

The Trump administration should take "bold action" and transfer the Forest Service to the Interior Department to shift the service's priorities from timber harvesting to forestland restoration, a liberal think tank said in a report released today. Overall, the Forest Service needs to "reboot" its approach to managing the national forest system, according to the report from the Center for American Progress.
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Maine fears lost lobster 
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