May 27, 2017  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Saturday, May 27, 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
Bird Walk at Erickson Fields Preserve, Jun 3
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 27, 2017 

Naturalist Kirk Gentalen will lead a group around MCHT’s Teen Ag garden and through the woods to search for migratory songbirds and discover what other feathered creatures inhabit the preserve. At Maine Coast Heritage Trust's Erickson Fields Preserve, Rockport, June 3, 8-11 am.
Making Paper, Making Maine, Jun 3
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 27, 2017 

Get an inside look at the new exhibit "Making Paper, Making Maine," which recognizes the historic shifts going on in Maine’s paper industry. Also, keynote talk by Alan Caron, author of "Maine's Next Economy." At Maine Historical Society Annual Meeting, Portland, June 3, 10 am - 2 pm, $25 MHS Members; $30 others.
Hills to Sea Trail Opens, Jun 2
Event - Posted - Friday, May 26, 2017 

All are invited to a Grand Opening Celebration for the Hills to Sea Trail, a 47-mile trail from Unity to Belfast. At Waldo County Technical Center, Belfast, June 2, 9 am - 1:30 pm.
Flying WILD and Bird Sleuth Educator Workshop, Jun 2
Event - Posted - Friday, May 26, 2017 

This 4.5 hour workshop provides activities that teach people about birds and what they can do to help birds and their habitats. At Fields Pond, Holden, Jun 2, 8:45 am – 2 pm, Maine Audubon members $23, non-members $25.
Help wanted: Conservation Policy Associate
Announcement - Wednesday, May 24, 2017 

Appalachian Mountain Club is seeking to fill this temporary position July-December 2017; there is the potential for the position to extend into 2018.
Speak up in defense of Maine’s new National Monument
Action Alert - Tuesday, May 23, 2017 

Last summer’s creation of the Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument in northern Maine was a huge victory for conservation and wildlife in our state. Today, that designation is at risk. The Trump administration is conducting a review of national monument designations, including Katahdin Woods & Waters. The Department of Interior is accepting public comments until July 10. ~ Maine Audubon
Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument is Under Attack
Action Alert - Tuesday, May 23, 2017 

The Trump Administration is threatening to overturn Maine’s new National Monument. At the request of Governor Paul LePage, the Department of Interior (DOI) included Katahdin Woods & Waters on a list of 27 monuments to be “reviewed.” DOI Secretary Ryan Zinke could recommend that Maine’s National Monument be changed, or possibly even abolished. Tell the Trump Administration to keep its hands off Katahdin Woods & Waters. ~ Natural Resources Council of Maine
Save Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument
Action Alert - Tuesday, May 23, 2017 

President Trump is considering eliminating or changing the Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument in Maine. Urge the Trump Administration and your U.S. congressional representatives to oppose any effort to eliminate or weaken Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument. Comment deadline is July 10, 2017. ~ RESTORE: The North Woods
Appalachian Odyssey, May 28
Event - Posted - Sunday, May 21, 2017 

Jeff Ryan will regale with tales about his 28-year odyssey hiking the Appalachian Trail. At Freeport Conservation Trust annual meeting, at the Freeport Community Center, May 28, 7 pm.
BDN Poll: Should the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument get its own signage?
Action Alert - Saturday, May 20, 2017 

Gov. Paul LePage is refusing to put signs along state roads showing the way to Maine’s national monument. Should the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument get its own signage?
Damariscotta Mills Fish Ladder Restoration Festival, May 27-28
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 20, 2017 

The towns of Nobleboro and Newcastle and the Nobleboro Historical Society present the 10th annual Damariscotta Mills Fish Ladder Restoration Festival on Memorial Day weekend, May 27-28. Witness the annual return of the alewives as they ascend the fish ladder to spawn in Damariscotta Lake.
Ragged Mountain Preserve Nature Walk, May 27
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 20, 2017 

Maine Master Naturalists Cloe Chunn and Roger Rittmaster will lead a general natural history walk at the peak time for spring wildflowers and songbird migration in midcoast Maine. Meet at Route 17 parking area for Georges Highland Path, May 27, 10 am - noon. Sponsored by Coastal Mountains Land Trust.
Third Annual Freeport Birding Festival, May 26-28
Event - Posted - Friday, May 19, 2017 

Owl Prowl at Mast landing Sanctuary; birding at Florida Lake, Pettengill Farm, Wolfe’s Neck Farm, and Sayles Field; Casco Bay kayak tour; outing at Winslow Park, etc. May 26-28. Sponsored by L.L. Bean and Maine Audubon.
Saving Seabirds: New Lessons from Puffins, May 25
Event - Posted - Thursday, May 18, 2017 

60% of all seabirds have vanished in the last 60 years. Dr. Stephen Kress, Director of National Audubon’s Seabird Restoration Program, will talk about the restoration of Maine seabirds. At L.L. Bean, Freeport, May 25, 7-9 pm, Maine Audubon members $10, non-members $15.
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News Items
Facts relevant to Trump's review of Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument
Maine Environmental News - Friday, May 12, 2017 

The Trump Administration is reviewing the Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument created in 2016. President Trump wants to rescind national monuments, reduce their size, and/or open them to uses such as mining, oil and gas extraction, and logging. Among other criteria, the review will assess if there was significant public input prior to monument designation, if there is currently public support, and if the monument is economically beneficial. Consider these facts.
Business, community and political leaders oppose overturning national monument
Natural Resources Council of Maine - Friday, May 12, 2017 

Maine business, community, and political leaders gathered today in Bangor to voice their opposition to efforts to overturn the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. The group released letters to Maine’s Congressional delegation, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, and Governor Paul LePage strongly defending the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument as an asset to the Katahdin region that already is providing positive benefits.
Rockland to acquire 174-acre bog land for public access, preservation
Bangor Daily News - Friday, May 12, 2017 

Rockland this week moved closer to building an expansive trail system that would connect the former MacDougal school property with the Rockland bog. The city council voted unanimously earlier this week to buy 174-acres of the Oyster River Bog from land owner Malcolm Von Saltza for $52,000, which it says will remain preserved and publicly accessible. The council also voted to designate the former MacDougal school property on Broadway as a park. Both decisions are part of a larger long-term goal to connect the two areas via new walking trails.
More Amazing, Entertaining, and Sometimes Troubling Quotes About Maine
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Friday, May 12, 2017 

I’ve been writing a Quotable Sportsman column for The Maine Sportsman for five years, and over that period have reported on amazing, entertaining, and sometimes troubling quotes. From time to time I’m dipping back into those to share them with you in this column.
Lincoln a good fit for Poland Springs plant, rep says
Bangor Daily News - Friday, May 12, 2017 

A Poland Spring representative said he will push his company to build a $50 million bottling plant in the Lincoln area — a crucial but far from final step in the company’s expansion planning. Recent well tests showed that the Lincoln Water District can easily anchor a bottling plant, Senior Natural Resource Manager Thomas Brennan said during a district board meeting on Tuesday. Poland Spring has been testing wells and scouting plant locations in the Lincoln area since March. Several towns, including Chester, Fryeburg, Greenbush, Howland, Passadumkeag and Rumford, hope to host the plant.
Letter: Self-interest may be motive of Monhegan wind-power project foes
Portland Press Herald - Friday, May 12, 2017 

Most likely, many of the 125-plus Friends of Muscongus Bay also have cottages overlooking Monhegan Island. They say they are concerned about much more than just their scenic view. Yeah, right. My ancestors settled on the Pemaquid peninsula two centuries ago and made a living by fishing, boat building, tending lighthouses and catering to the summer people from away. Most of them did not make enough money to ensure they could pass ocean property on to their descendants. I am sure they would applaud the University of Maine’s attempt to bring jobs and clean, inexpensive electricity to coastal Maine. ~ David Alexander, Gorham
Letter: Climate marches are useful, but real work has to follow
Portland Press Herald - Friday, May 12, 2017 

On April 29, I marched with over 200,000 fellow environmentalists in the People’s Climate March in D.C. I am a part of the climate change generation that is inheriting an unsustainable energy system, an unethical political system and a world full of racial and economic inequality. Attending the People’s Climate March is only the beginning – the next step is organizing within your own communities. Reach out to local environmental organizations and ask how you can help, especially youth and students. It is our voices that have the most weight, because it is our future that is in jeopardy. ~ Isabella Pardales, Yarmouth
Letter: Lyme disease prevention
Bangor Daily News - Friday, May 12, 2017 

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that is caused by the bite of an infected deer tick. May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month in Maine, and the Public Health Education Corps at Maine the Maine Center for Disease Control wants to remind people of the importance of daily tick checks and other prevention methods. Lyme disease is not the only disease that can be carried by the deer ticks in Maine. Anaplasmosis and babesiosis are two other tick-borne infections found in Maine and the number of reported cases in 2016 continued to rise. Visit maine.gov/lyme for more information and to see our events throughout May. ~ Catie Peranzi, Bridgton
Eagle sickened after feeding on dead animal
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, May 11, 2017 

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is asking for the public’s help with information that could aid in the recovery of sick bald eagle. The department said the eagle was transported to Avian Haven in Freedom for treatment after the bird fed on a dead animal in the area of 50 Moody Road in Saco earlier this week and became ill. It is believed the eagle was inadvertently poisoned by eating a cow or other animal that had recently been euthanized.
Nuclear Plant, Just Over Border in New Brunswick, Up for Relicensing
Maine Public - Thursday, May 11, 2017 

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission is considering whether a 34-year-old nuclear power plant just across the border from Maine should be relicensed for another five years. Point Lepreau may not be as well known to Mainers as Seabrook Station in New Hampshire, with a significant urban population nearby. But with Maine ports, fisheries and farming all within a 50-mile radius of Lepreau, there’s a lot riding on the operation of the plant, which won’t be decommissioned for another 25 years.
Community Growth & Development
Maine Public - Thursday, May 11, 2017 

Is it possible to balance quality of life with community growth and development? How do you foster growth while not overwhelming a neighborhood or town? Elizabeth Boepple, environmental attorney with BCM Environmental & Land Law; Nancy Smith, Executive Director of GrowSmart Maine; and Jesse Kanson-Benanav, founder of A Better Cambridge, discuss these questions. [audio]
Column: Why you should ‘be wrong, fast’ when IDing birds
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, May 11, 2017 

With continued practice, it’s amazing how fast you can make the correct bird identification based on first impression. You even start to really notice the singular behaviors of certain birds. At first it seems daunting, but remember your brain is quick to sort out sizes. Your brain is also quick to sort out grand behaviors, such as swimming, diving and wading. The smaller behaviors will take more effort to recognize, but it comes with practice. Just be wrong, fast. ~ Bob Duchesne
Editorial: Out-of-state lobbying group wants to weaken Maine laws; legislators shouldn’t fall for it.
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, May 11, 2017 

A couple dozen Maine communities have enacted ordinances to protect their waterways and residents from pesticides. Now, Gov. Paul LePage, through a bill that appears to have been written by a pro-industry group, is seeking to outlaw such rules. The Maine Municipal Association, which represents the state’s towns and cities, explained perhaps most succinctly why this idea makes no sense: “It is difficult to understand what interest the state would be serving by repealing targeted local ordinances that have been established to protect the public’s health and natural resources.”
Up and Down: Layers of the Forest
Forests for Maine's Future - Thursday, May 11, 2017 

The forest — any forest, really — doesn’t just stretch out across the land like a blanket (or a washcloth if it’s a small patch of woodland). It goes up and down as well. But this vertical dimension is something we overlook, even those of us who find forests endlessly fascinating. While scientists use the idea of “layers” to teach people about how a forest works, many downplay the idea of distinctly separate layers of the canopy, generally dissected as the ground level layer, the mid-canopy and the upper canopy. “All forests have layers, but those categories are a little bit artificial. “If you truly look at any forest, tropical or temperate, it’s pretty continuous,” said Andrew Barton, author of The Changing Nature of the Maine Woods.
Maine’s economy slowest-growing in New England at end of 2016
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, May 11, 2017 

Maine’s economy grew sluggishly in the final three months of 2016, expanding just 0.7 percent, making Maine the slowest-growing state in New England and 43rd nationally. Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting continued to contribute strong growth to the state’s economy, accounting for 0.46 percentage points of the state’s overall growth. Retailing also performed well, contributing 0.3 percentage points to growth from the third quarter to the fourth quarter last year.
Portland to Host Int’l. Lobster Biology & Management Conference
Free Press - Thursday, May 11, 2017 

About 200 biologists, oceanographers, industry members and fishery managers from more than a dozen countries are expected to attend the 11th International Conference & Workshop on Lobster Biology and Management at Holiday Inn by the Bay in Portland from Monday, June 5, through Friday, June 9.
Committee Set to Vote on Bill to Preserve Solar Incentives
Free Press - Thursday, May 11, 2017 

Renewable energy advocates and utilities are once again squaring off over the future of solar policy in Maine. Last week, the Legislature’s Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee held a public hearing for a bill (LD 1373) that would reverse a controversial decision by the Maine Public Utilities Commission to reduce incentives for installing rooftop solar panels beginning in 2018. Dylan Voorhees, Climate and Clean Energy Director for the Natural Resources Council of Maine, said, “Solar power presents opportunity to expand our economy, protect our environment, create jobs, and lower energy costs. But the PUC net metering rollback is so extreme that it includes a new tax on solar akin to utilities charging people who use less electricity an extra fee because they dry their clothes on a clothesline. Inaction by the Legislature, combined with the anti-solar action by the Public Utilities Commission, threatens to move Maine further backward.”
Committee Kills Anti-Offshore Wind Turbine Bill
Free Press - Thursday, May 11, 2017 

On Wednesday, a bipartisan legislative committee wasted no time in unanimously voting down a measure sponsored by Sen. Dana Dow (R-Lincoln Cty.) that would have cancelled the University of Maine’s proposed floating offshore wind project sited 3 miles from Monhegan. LD 1262 would have prohibited the placement of wind turbines within 10 nautical miles of the Monhegan Lobster Conservation Area.
Opinion: LePage refused to acknowledge national monument’s positive impact
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, May 11, 2017 

Last week, I was sitting behind Gov. Paul LePage when he testified at the House Subcommittee on Federal Lands hearing featuring the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. LePage asserted the monument was created without sufficient public input and despite opposition by “most Mainers.” Presumably he did this because it’s the only way he could convince Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to include the Maine monument in the review ordered by President Donald Trump’s recent executive order. The governor hasn’t visited the monument nor has he met with local business owners, though we’ve invited him multiple times. Refusing to recognize the monument’s positive impact on our region is one thing. But trying to undermine those benefits is unacceptable. ~ Richard Schmidt, selectman, Patten
Ticket Sales Strong for Maine-to-Nova Scotia Ferry
Associated Press - Thursday, May 11, 2017 

Operators of a passenger ferry between Portland, Maine, and Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, say advance bookings are up compared to last year. Bay Ferries Ltd. President Mark MacDonald said that advance ticket sales are up at least five-fold from 2016. About 35,500 passengers rode the ferry last year, far below the ridership of 90,000 to 100,000 in 2007-2008. MacDonald said that if the bookings hold, then passenger volumes could attain levels reached before the ferry service was canceled in 2009. MacDonald said he views the early ticket purchases as an "extremely encouraging sign."
Letter: Follow Texas’ lead on energy
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, May 11, 2017 

How did Georgetown, Texas, a conservative town in the middle of a red state, come to embrace renewable energy? According to mayor Dale Ross, “environmental zealots have not taken over…Our move to wind and solar is chiefly a business decision based on cost and price stability.” The decision to move the city to renewable energy has brought millions of dollars in new investments and offers a cost-effective and sustainable alternative source of power. Following Georgetown’s lead will create Maine-based jobs, reduce the drain of energy dollars out of state, be a net financial benefit to all electric ratepayers and reduce our dependence on dirty fossil fuels. Urge your legislators to support LD 1373. ~ Karen Marysdaughter, Bangor
Letter: Biomass has problems
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, May 11, 2017 

I am writing on behalf of a group of high school students studying forestry and land management. Our forestry group read the April 3 BDN article, “As paper mills die, here’s how Maine’s loggers hope to survive,” by Darren Fishell. It was biased and did not discuss any of the problems with logging for biomass. For example, biomass doesn’t leave any branches or stumps to disintegrate into the forest floor or to be used by forest animals, and this will likely have a long-term effect on wildlife and hunting. The two experts featured in the article have financial interests in promoting the biomass industry, and they mostly talked about how it might lead to “a second golden age for Maine’s forest economy.” The reporter should do another article about the problems with the biomass industry and its effects on Maine’s forests. Please try to be more balanced. ~ Dave Bennett, Maplestone School, Acton
In push to drill, U.S. will begin seismic surveys in Atlantic
Associated Press - Wednesday, May 10, 2017 

The Trump administration said Wednesday it is moving forward on seismic surveys in the Atlantic Ocean, the first step toward offshore drilling in a region where it has been blocked for decades. The Interior Department said it is reviewing six applications by energy companies that were rejected by the Obama administration. Environmental groups and many East Coast lawmakers oppose the surveys, saying loud sounds from seismic air guns could hurt marine life. Some are also fearful that drilling would threaten fisheries and the tourist industry.
Maine Might Allow Slightly Expanded Urchin Harvest This Year
Associated Press - Wednesday, May 10, 2017 

Fishing regulators in Maine are planning to slightly expand the sea urchin harvesting season for the coming year. The state Department of Marine Resources is proposing 15 urchin fishing days along the southern Maine coast and 38 days on the northern coast. That is the same number of days as last year. The Whiting and Dennys Bay areas would have a 15-day season, which is six more days than last year. Maine sea urchins are harvested for roe, which is popular as food in Japan. The urchin industry in the state had a slightly resurgent year in 2016. The fishery was worth $6.6 million, the most since 2003.
Senators Reject Effort To Roll Back Greenhouse Gas Emissions Rule
National Public Radio - Wednesday, May 10, 2017 

In a rare victory for environmentalists under President Trump, the Senate rejected efforts to roll back an Obama-era rule limiting methane emissions from energy production sites on federal land. The vote over the greenhouse gas was close — 49-51 — with Republican Sens. John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Susan Collins coming down against the resolution, which would have repealed the Bureau of Land Management's Methane Waste and Prevention Rule.
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