July 23, 2017  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Friday, July 21, 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
“Bringing Nature Home” in Maine, Jul 26
Event - Posted - Wednesday, July 19, 2017 

Join Maine Audubon’s Director of Education, Eric Topper, to explore the plants, practices and perks involved in restoring native food webs in our gardens, yards and communities. At Portland Public Library, Rines Auditorium, July 26, 5:30 pm.
Little Swan Island Evening Paddle, Jul 26
Event - Posted - Wednesday, July 19, 2017 

Leader: Warren Whitney. At Richmond, July 26, 5:30-7:30 pm. Sponsored by Friends of Merrymeeting Bay.
Exploring the Night Sky, Jul 25
Event - Posted - Tuesday, July 18, 2017 

Discover the wonders of the night sky with astronomer Bernie Reim. At Scarborough Marsh, July 25, 8:30-9:30 pm, Maine Audubon members $6, non-members $8.
Recreational Fishing, Jul 24
Announcement - Monday, July 17, 2017 

Hear from experts on what fishing means to Maine's culture and economy, best places to go, ways to get started. Guests: Mac McKeever, LL Bean senior public relations representative; Bonnie Holding, Director of Information and Education, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. Maine Public Radio, July 24, 1 pm.
Summer Nature Journaling, Jul 22
Event - Posted - Saturday, July 15, 2017 

Join Master Naturalist Andrea Lani to explore the worlds of wildflowers and insects beginning with an introduction to nature journaling, then heading into the woods and fields to observe, sketch, and write about the bugs and blooms you discover. At Viles Arboretum, Augusta, July 22, 10 am - 2 pm, Arboretum members $35, others $45.

Rainbow Loop Trail Grand Opening, Jul 21-22
Event - Posted - Friday, July 14, 2017 

Celebration in Millinocket, July 21, 5-7 pm. 6-mile hike on the spectacular Rainbow Loop Trail, July 22 at 8:30 am and 9:30 am. Sponsored by The Nature Conservancy.
Native Plant Walk, Jul 20
Event - Posted - Thursday, July 13, 2017 

Explore the habitats at Fields Pond with Heather McCargo and learn to recognize some of the wildflowers, ferns, shrubs and trees native to Maine. At Fields Pond, Holden, July 20, 10-11:30 am, Maine Audubon and Wild Seed Project members $7; non-members $10.
Happy Birthday, Henry
Announcement - Wednesday, July 12, 2017 

Henry David Thoreau, American poet, author, naturalist, philosopher, abolitionist, and leading Transcendentalist, was born on July 12, 1817 in Concord, Mass.
Help wanted: NRCM Forests and Wildlife Outreach Coordinator
Announcement - Wednesday, July 12, 2017 

Works with Natural Resources Council of Maine's Forests and Wildlife Project Director to advance the goals of the Forests and Wildlife Project, and works with the Outreach Team to serve the strategic goals of the organization as a whole. Deadline Aug 7, 2017.
Help wanted: NRCM Clean Energy Policy Advocate & Staff Attorney
Announcement - Wednesday, July 12, 2017 

Helps advance Natural Resources Council of Maine initiatives by providing legal, policy and advocacy support primarily for the Climate & Clean Energy Project. Deadline Jul 24, 2017.
Time to override the governor’s solar veto
Action Alert - Monday, July 10, 2017 

We are so close to having a new solar power law. The full Maine House and Senate enacted LD 1504 (with amendments) by overwhelming majorities. However, it was vetoed by the Governor. Tell your legislators—particularly House members—how much solar matters to you and your community. ~ Maine Audubon
The Goslings, July 17
Event - Posted - Monday, July 10, 2017 

Visit The Goslings, one of the best-loved island destinations on Casco Bay. ShoreKeepers, a group of young conservation-minded donors, are hosting a free Open House with hot dogs on the beach to complete the perfect island getaway, July 17, 10 am - 2 pm. Meet at Mere Point Boat Launch, Brunswick, shuttles approximately every 15 minutes. Sponsored by Maine Coast Heritage Trust.
Thwings Point Archaeology Field School, Jul 17-28
Event - Posted - Monday, July 10, 2017 

Lee Cranmer leads an Archaeology Field School, Woolwich, July 17-28. Sponsored by Friends of Merrymeeting Bay.
Hook, Line, and Dinner, Jul 15
Event - Posted - Sunday, July 9, 2017 

Celebrate Maine fishermen and seafood under the tent, on the water, at Cook's Lobster House on Bailey Island, July 15, 6 pm, $55. Sponsored by Maine Coast Fishermen's Association.
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News Items
Steamers out of steam? Maine’s beloved bivalves aren’t happy clams
Associated Press - Tuesday, July 4, 2017 

The soft-shell clams that are harvested by hand and raked from the mud flats of Maine are becoming less plentiful, and the downward trend jeopardizes one of New England’s oldest and most historic coastal industries. Maine is the soft-shell clam capital of the country. But clammers harvested less than 1.5 million pounds last year, the lowest total in a quarter century – down from nearly 8 million pounds at the industry’s height in the late 1970s. Clams in Maine face of a number of threats, including an uptick in predation from green crabs and milky ribbon worms, and the increasing acidification of the ocean.
Opinion: Instead of a monument, how about a North Woods national park — run by Lucas St. Clair
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, July 4, 2017 

Last month, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke traveled along rugged roads and paddled down stretches of the Penobscot River with Quimby’s son, Lucas St. Clair, during a visit to Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. Zinke said, “Everyone wants access, everyone loves traditional use.…I am confident that there’s a path forward.” That path is for the secretary to “put pressure on Congress to pass legislation to turn it into a national park,” as St. Clair said. If Zinke thinks the area warrants national park status, he should insist that it be done with a stipulation: St. Clair and his family’s nonprofit agree to run it as a park franchise — and with no appropriations from taxpayer coffers. ~ Tate Watkins, Property and Environment Research Center, Bozeman, Montana
Despite dramatic encounters, Maine has recorded fewer rabies cases in 2017
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, July 4, 2017 

The recent series of high-profile encounters between people and rabid animals — including a rabid bobcat that attacked an 80-year-old New Hampshire woman — should serve as a reminder that the disease is out there, animal experts say. While the incidents might suggest that the risk has increased, Maine is actually on track for a typical year for rabies cases in wild animals, state data show.
Letter: Recognize Penobscot Nation’s sovereignty
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, July 4, 2017 

Underlying the federal appeals court’s rejection of legal arguments made by the Penobscot Nation is the continued refusal of the state of Maine to recognize the sovereignty of the Penobscot Nation. It is beyond sad that after so many years of broken promises, the appeals court affirms the state of Maine’s contention that waters of the Penobscot River are not part of the Penobscot Reservation. The river is an integral part of who the Penobscot people are. ~ Joshua Chasan, Portland
Blog: The Irrelevance of Beauty
Bangor Daily News - Monday, July 3, 2017 

Beauty itself seems under siege these days, as the Trump administration guts environmental regulations meant to protect our waterways and looks on national parks as federal land grabs that should be returned to the states (which never owned them in the first place) or to private landowners to use for private gain. From northern Maine’s Katahdin Woods and Waters to Utah’s Bears Ears, the idea that natural places should be protected for the public because they are beautiful is portrayed as the effort of elitists to stand in the way of progress. A thing of beauty is not, as Keats thought, a joy forever; it just needs to get out of the way. ~ James G. Blaine
Stephen Hawking: Trump Pushing Earth's Climate 'Over The Brink'
National Public Radio - Monday, July 3, 2017 

The world's best-known living physicist, Stephen Hawking, says that President Trump's decision to pull out of the Paris climate change accord could lead humanity to a tipping point, "turning the Earth into Venus." "We are close to the tipping point where global warming becomes irreversible," Hawking told the BBC. "Trump's action could push the Earth over the brink, to become like Venus, with a temperature of 250 degrees, and raining sulphuric acid." He said that we are "at the most dangerous moment in the development of humanity."
State Parks Functioning Normally during Holiday Weekend Despite Government Shutdown
Maine Public - Monday, July 3, 2017 

As Maine’s state shutdown enters its third day, campers at the state’s parks and beaches say they are pleased their vacation plans haven’t been adversely impacted by the budget stalemate in Augusta.
Court orders EPA to implement methane rule
Associated Press - Monday, July 3, 2017 

A federal appeals court in Washington ruled Monday that the head of the Environmental Protection Agency overstepped his authority in trying to delay implementation of a new rule requiring oil and gas companies to monitor and reduce methane leaks. In a split decision, the three-judge panel from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ordered the EPA to move forward with the Obama-era requirement that aims to reduce planet-warming emissions from oil and gas operations.
‘Bumper crop’ of mosquitoes has Maine health officials on alert
Associated Press - Monday, July 3, 2017 

A wetter-than-normal spring in the Northeast is producing a bumper crop of mosquitoes, leading to worries of a corresponding spike in mosquito-borne illnesses this summer as Americans grill and play outdoors. The heavy rain that has erased last summer’s drought has put public health officials on alert as summer begins to unfold. “Anecdotally, everybody is telling me that they’re being eaten alive by mosquitoes,” said Sara Robinson, an epidemiologist for the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Four Maine brewers fight EPA plan to repeal clean water regulation
Portland Press Herald - Monday, July 3, 2017 

Four Maine breweries have signed on to an effort to fight the Trump administration’s plan to repeal a rule that gave the Environmental Protection Agency wide authority to regulate pollution in wetlands and other bodies of water that run into major rivers. Rising Tide Brewing Co., Baxter Brewing Co., Allagash Brewing Co. and Maine Beer Co. signed a letter to the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers objecting to rescinding the Clean Water Rule, which was issued in 2015 under the Obama administration. “We oppose any changes to the Clean Water Rule that would weaken the protections it established....Our craft breweries depend on those waterways to provide the clean water that we use to brew our beer,” the letter says. Maine breweries employed 1,660 people and contributed $228 million to the state’s economy last year.
Opinion: The Wabanaki helped us secure self-governance; it’s time we returned the favor
Bangor Daily News - Monday, July 3, 2017 

The Wabanaki flourished in what we recognize as Maine. The many distinct people who once called this area home have been reduced to four federally recognized tribes: the Aroostook Band of Micmacs, the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians, the Passamaquoddy Tribe and the Penobscot Nation. The four resilient, surviving tribes battle the state government every day to live free as their beliefs, cultures, values, spirituality, traditions and ancestors inform them to live. Why does Maine and the United States withhold from them what we declared 241 years ago as the inherent rights of all human beings? ~ Cassandra Wright, Maine Episcopal Committee on Indian Relations, Orono
Changes to Cod, Haddock, Flounder Quotas Eyed in New England
Associated Press - Monday, July 3, 2017 

New England fishermen search for cod in two key fishing areas, Georges Bank and the Gulf of Maine. Regulators have enacted a series of cutbacks to the cod quota in those areas in recent years as cod stocks have dwindled. This year, regulators want to trim the Georges Bank cod quota by 13 percent and keep Gulf of Maine's quota the same. They also want to keep the Georges Bank haddock quota about the same and enact a 25 percent increase for the Gulf of Maine haddock quota. Changes are also planned for some flounder species. The National Marine Fisheries Service is collecting comments about the proposal until Friday.
Maine’s new monument offers chance for rustic adventures
Associated Press - Monday, July 3, 2017 

Maine’s new Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument is now welcoming guests for its first full summer as a monument. The monument was designated by President Barack Obama late last summer in a move that has caused controversy for almost a year. But it’s now open to the public, and it’s more than 87,000 acres (35,000 hectares) of forested wilderness in far northern Maine. The land is home to bears, moose, eagles and breathtaking views of Mount Katahdin, the highest peak in the state. Much of the site remains undeveloped, and a visit is a rustic experience. Here’s a guide to what awaits at Katahdin Woods and Waters, and what the future might have in store.
Rewilding cougars in the Maine woods
Boothbay Register - Monday, July 3, 2017 

On Wednesday, June 28, a five-member panel discussed the possibility of bringing, or rewilding, a permanent population of mountain lions, or cougars, to the East. The forum “Mountain Lions in Maine: Rewilding the Maine Woods” drew about 125 people to the Round Top Darrow’s Barn in Damariscotta.
Column: The art of the self deal
Forecaster - Monday, July 3, 2017 

Donald Trump is running the United States of America as though it were his personal family corporation. And we see this sort of personal power trip over and over again from LePage. After philanthropist Roxanne Quimby used her personal fortune to purchase forest land and gave it to the American people for the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument along with a $20 million endowment, LePage went crying to Trump to beg him to undo the national monument designation that is now supported even by folks in northern Maine who once opposed it. Trump sent Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to Maine to scope out the Quimby land grant. Zinke took one look at the magnificent and magnanimous gift and announced that he would not scale back the monument. These days, no one really cares what LePage thinks except LePage and a few of his flunkies. ~ Edgar Allen Beem
Letter: Defend Maine’s national monument
Bangor Daily News - Monday, July 3, 2017 

I am very upset that the president has decided to single out Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument for special review based on the antics of Maine’s governor. While Gov. Paul LePage has made a lot of false and hurtful claims about the Katahdin region, he hasn’t actually been to the monument. He hasn’t spent much time in our communities, either. We need Sens. Angus King and Susan Collins, and Rep. Bruce Poliquin to stand up for our communities against attacks on our monument. ~ Barry W. Smith, Island Falls
Letter: Undo monument designation
Bangor Daily News - Monday, July 3, 2017 

The Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument is a terrible idea because we can do so much better. Northern Maine grows some of the finest lumber for hardwood floors, furniture, construction lumber and so on. The way we can manage forests now with modern machinery to save the high-quality young trees is amazing. This management will lead to stands of high-value timber like we have never seen before in Maine, on a much shorter rotation, and provide good-paying year-round jobs to raise a family. Let’s hope President Donald Trump keeps his promise made during the campaign to undo this national monument designation. ~ Doug Thomas, Ripley
Letter: Clean-energy commitment would help slow warming
Portland Press Herald - Monday, July 3, 2017 

As lobster populations move north because of warming ocean waters, the future of the Maine lobster industry becomes ever bleaker. The decline of lobster populations prophecies a discouraging economic future for coastal Maine communities that rely on the species’ health. A very important first step to slowing global climate change is a commitment to clean energy. But environmentally positive policies such as these will not be adopted unless citizens ask for them. A commitment to clean, renewable energy constitutes a major building block on the path to an environmentally and economically sustainable future for Maine. ~ Hannah Marr, Falmouth
Feds reviewing status of New England's endangered salmon
Associated Press - Sunday, July 2, 2017 

The federal government is starting a five-year review of the Gulf of Maine's population of Atlantic salmon, which are listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. Atlantic salmon were once plentiful off New England, but dams, loss of habitat, pollution and overfishing dramatically reduced the population. The National Marine Fisheries Service says the review will be based on scientific and commercial data. One group, the New Brunswick, Canada-based Atlantic Salmon Federation, says recent data are troubling. The group says total estimated returns of the fish to North America in 2016 showed a 27 percent decrease from the previous year.
Offshore Wind Farms See Promise in Platforms That Float
New York Times - Thursday, September 29, 2016 

The University of Maine is undertaking an elaborate physics experiment meant to simulate conditions that full-scale floating wind turbines could face at an installation being planned about 10 miles off the Maine coast in up to 360 feet of water near tiny Monhegan Island. For nearly 18 months in 2013 and 2014, an operating version of the apparatus — one-eighth of scale — sat in the waters off Castine sending electricity to the grid. That proved the technology fundamentally worked and guided refinements to the design. Now, the UMaine team is using the data collected at the lab to confirm the final form, a crucial next step in bringing the technology to market.
Blog: Singing is an act of territorialism for birds
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, April 7, 2016 

Birds don’t think about much, mostly just food and sex. Despite the simplicity of such a life, bird communication can be quite complex. Birds are renowned for their vocal abilities, but they use lots of visual cues, too. Perhaps nothing is more obvious than the crests sported by many species.
Marco Rubio Finds Common Ground With Armed Militia In Oregon
Climate Progress - Thursday, January 7, 2016 

Republican presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio (R) doesn’t like that militants are currently occupying a federal wildlife facility in Oregon. But he does like the militia’s main idea: Seizing and selling off America’s public lands. Rubio explained his position on the controversial occupation at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, now entering its fifth day. Rubio said that while he doesn’t support “lawless” activity, he does agree with the militia on its main point that federal public lands should be transferred to private ownership for activities like logging, coal mining, oil drilling, and farming. Rubio’s plan would essentially cause a free-for-all, where states can devastate national forests, parks, and other important wildlife and plantlife zones for temporary economic gain.
Editorial: Conflict over land preservation confirms where the public stands
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, December 16, 2015 

If Gov. Paul LePage’s yearslong barricade of Land for Maine’s Future has proven anything, it’s how popular the conservation program is among a broad cross-section of the state. When the governor held hostage the voter-approved bonds that fund the program, residents from across the political divide responded with one voice, united in their support for an initiative that has protected more than 550,000 acres for a variety of economic and recreational uses. That response should make it clear that the focus should be on strengthening and tightening the program, not obstructing or trying to dismantle it, as LePage has done for most of his time in office. The governor, not corruption or mismanagement, is the program’s true problem.
Opinion: This is Bar Harbor’s chance to become a solar success and example
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, May 19, 2015 

On June 2, Bar Harbor voters have an exciting opportunity to take a step toward putting the brakes on climate change. Article T on the town meeting agenda authorizes leasing town land and roofs as part of Community Solar Farms and Power Purchase Agreements for the purpose of providing power to the municipality. The change starts here and now. With our prominence as a popular tourist destination, Bar Harbor has an outsize influence on the rest of the state and the nation. By voting for this article we are saying that we care, that we can make a collective difference. ~ Gary Friedmann, Bar Harbor Town Council
Opinion: A new set of bold predictions
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, January 4, 2015 

In 2015, LePage will reduce the size of state government by 5 percent, he will succeed in further reducing municipal revenue sharing and he will change state law to permit municipalities to tax nonprofits. The Legislature will pass major welfare reform and reduce energy costs by welcoming in more natural gas and hydro. ~ Phil Harriman
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Art and Land Conservation Symposium
at Colby College, August 3-4

Frederic E. Church, 
Mount Katahdin from Millinocket Camp, 1895, 
Portland Museum of Art

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