January 18, 2018  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Wednesday, January 17, 2018 

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
Feeding Maine Photography Exhibit, thru Feb 23
Event - Posted - Tuesday, January 16, 2018 

Feeding Maine: Growing Access to Good Food is a photo exhibit by Brendan Bullock, which seeks to document the many people working to address hunger in the state. Created by Maine Farmland Trust and Good Shepherd Food Bank. At University of Southern Maine Lewiston Auburn College, Atrium Art Gallery, January 16 to February 23, opening event January 19.
February Vacation Camps, Feb 20-23
Event - Posted - Tuesday, January 16, 2018 

Maine Audubon Vacation Camps at Fields Pond in Holden and Gilsland Farm in Falmouth, February 20-23.
Nominations for Source Awards due Feb 12
Announcement - Tuesday, January 16, 2018 

Maine Sunday Telegram Source Awards recognize the individuals, nonprofits, businesses and institutions in Maine working to safeguard the state’s spectacular natural environment. Deadline for nominations is February 12.
Apprenticeships at MCHT Preserves
Announcement - Tuesday, January 16, 2018 

Maine Coast Heritage Trust has paid apprenticeships at Aldermere Farm and Ericsson Fields in Rockport. Each apprenticeship will be up to 9-months starting in March and will include a monthly stipend, benefits, shared housing, training and supervision. Applications are due Feb. 5
Public Meeting on Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument Management Plan, Jan 24
Event - Posted - Sunday, January 14, 2018 

The National Park Service will host a public meeting to discuss winter use within the monument. At Katahdin Region Higher Education Center, East Millinocket, January 24, 6-8 pm.
Land-use history of Midcoast, Jan 23
Event - Posted - Sunday, January 14, 2018 

Forestry experts Lloyd Irland and Ken Lausten will explore the land-use history of Midcoast Maine. At Camden Public Library, January 23, 7 pm.
Friends of Casco Bay Annual Members Meeting, Jan 23
Event - Posted - Sunday, January 14, 2018 

Recognition for those who help protect the health of Casco Bay, an updated Casco Bay Health Index based on data collected by volunteer Citizen Stewards over the past 25 years, and new program directions. At DiMillo's, Portland, January 23, 5:30-8 pm.
Join the REAL public hearing to stop oil drilling in Maine waters, Jan 22
Event - Posted - Saturday, January 13, 2018 

The Trump Administration is hosting a sham ‘public meeting’ on January 22 in the Augusta Civic Center to hide Mainers’ vocal opposition to their plan to open up the Atlantic Ocean, including the Maine coast, to oil and gas drilling. Conservation groups will host a "real public hearing" at the Civic Center in the Aroostook Room where there will be a microphone and videographer to capture all public comments.
Offshore drilling public meeting, Jan 22
Action Alert - Saturday, January 13, 2018 

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will hold a public meeting on a proposal to open Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) areas to oil and gas drilling off the Atlantic (and other) coasts. At Augusta Civic Center, Jan 22, 3-7 pm.
Scouting for Mammal Tracks and Signs, Jan 20
Event - Posted - Saturday, January 13, 2018 

Sandra Mitchell will follow up on the November tracks and signs class in the field. At Northeast Penjajawoc Preserve, January 20, 10-11:30 am.
Nature Journaling, Jan 20
Event - Posted - Saturday, January 13, 2018 

Andrea Lani will lead a nature journaling workshop at Viles Arboretum, Augusta, January 20, 10 am to 2 pm, $35 for Arboretum members, $45 for nonmembers.
Prowl for Owls, Jan 19
Event - Posted - Friday, January 12, 2018 

Maine Master Naturalist Kit Pfeiffer will lead a walk scouting for owls. At Carl and Barbara Segerstrom Preserve at Squam Creek, Westport Island, January 19, 6 pm. Sponsored by Kennebec Estuary Land Trust.
Futures of the Maine Waterfront, Jan 19
Event - Posted - Friday, January 12, 2018 

This forum will feature panel discussions on the future of our coastal and island economy, presented with trends and analysis by key coastal leaders. At The Westin, Portland, January 19, 2-8:30 pm, $35-150. Sponsored by the Island Institute.
Meet the Feet: Mammal Tracks and Sign, Jan 18
Event - Posted - Thursday, January 11, 2018 

Dorcas Miller presents an evening of hands-on learning about Maine mammals. At Belfast Library, January 18, 6:30 pm. Sponsored by Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition.
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News Items
Editorial: SAM slamming citizen referenda
Maine Environmental News - Wednesday, January 3, 2018 

The Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine (SAM) is advocating to make it harder for volunteers to gather the signatures needed to initiate Maine’s direct initiative process. SAM wants to preempt citizen initiated referenda to ban bear baiting, hounding and trapping. Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap included the provision in a bill that otherwise makes housekeeping changes to state election laws. Dunlap previously served on the SAM board of directors and as interim executive director of the organization. Does that sound like a conflict of interest?
Groups Gather At State House To Oppose Bill That Bars Petitions From Polling Places
Maine Public - Wednesday, January 3, 2018 

Activists converged on the State House Wednesday to oppose a bill that could make it more difficult for referendum campaigns to qualify for the ballot. The proposal prohibits the ability to collect voter signatures near polling places. Opponents say the proposal will make it harder for volunteer-driven campaigns to gather the signatures needed to initiate Maine’s direct initiative process. But David Trahan of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine says some type of buffer could bring order back to the polling places. Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap included the provision in a bill that mostly makes housekeeping changes to state election laws.
Hussey Sound off Long, Peaks islands closed to scallop fishing
Associated Press - Wednesday, January 3, 2018 

Maine fishing regulators are shutting down a pair of scallop fishing areas to protect the health of the population. Scallops are one of the most valuable marine resources in Maine on a per-pound basis. The Maine Department of Marine Resources says it’s closing Hussey Sound in Casco Bay and Rogue Island Harbor as of Jan. 1.
Opinion: Poland Spring is the success story eastern Maine needs
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, January 3, 2018 

Last year, Poland Spring announced it would be looking for new locations to sustainably expand its operations. Fortunately for our region, Poland Spring took a close look at what Lincoln has to offer. If all the required regulatory approvals are met, Poland Spring will begin sourcing water from the Lincoln Water District this year. I am confident this partnership will play a critical role in redeveloping this region and demonstrating to other businesses what it means to be a Maine success story. ~ Michael W. Aube, Eastern Maine Development Corporation
Maine Audubon's priorities for the 2018 legislative session
Maine Audubon - Wednesday, January 3, 2018 

The second session of the 128th Maine Legislature is upon us. Maine Audubon will focus on:
• Enhancing protection for our native Brook Trout
• Replacing stream crossings that are barriers to fish and wildlife
• Advancing solar policy
• Protecting coastal and inland water quality
• Supporting energy efficiency investments
ALS will eventually end this outdoor news blog
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Wednesday, January 3, 2018 

After a lengthy period of constantly twitching muscles and lots of tests, my neurologist told me that I have ALS, Lou Gehrig’s illness. Eventually, ALS will bring an end to this outdoor news blog which I have written for the past 7 years. I will continue to write for as long as I can. If there is a lesson here for you, it is this: many of us clutter up our lives with things that are not all that important. You are welcome to join me in assessing how you spend your time, and perhaps refocusing on the most important things in your life.
Park service cutting free entrance days at Acadia
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, January 3, 2018 

The National Park Service is reducing the number admission-free days at its properties, including Acadia National Park, to help cut its $11.93 billion deferred maintenance deficit, officials said Tuesday. This year, the park service will reduce to four the number of days that visitors can gain free access to 118 of the service’s 417 units, including Mount Desert Island’s Acadia National Park. That’s down from 10 free days last year and 16 in 2016, the year the system celebrated its 100th birthday.
Cruise ship visits to Portland expected to surge again in 2018
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, January 3, 2018 

The number of cruise ship passengers sailing into Portland is on track to nearly double from three years ago, according to projections for the 2018 season. That kind of growth has spurred the city to pitch new waterfront developments in hopes of getting more economic gain from the visitors. Portland officials expect 119 ships carrying as many as 172,184 passengers to arrive this year, the majority in September and October, an 82 percent increase over 2015.
Opinion: Let scientists, not wealthy landowners, set limits on Maine’s rockweed harvest
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, January 3, 2018 

Economically, rockweed harvesting in the only open license fishery in Maine that is scalable above a foraging industry. Urchins, elvers and scallops are closed. Expect a 20-plus-year tenure as a sternman in order to get a lobster license, and clamming access is controlled by towns. Rockweed harvesting is a sustainable opportunity for those who seek a modest living from the ocean, and science should dictate the statewide harvest, not misinformed wealthy landowners. Rockweed harvesting isn’t a problem, and private ownership is no solution. ~ Dave Olsen, Columbia
Called to the Wild
Yankee Magazine - Tuesday, January 2, 2018 

Lucas St. Clair’s mission was nearly impossible: to win support for Maine’s biggest swath of national park land despite controversy around its benefactor— who also happens to be his mother.
6 easy snowshoe spots in Maine, great for beginners
Aislinn Sarnacki Act Out Blog - Tuesday, January 2, 2018 

The following are six locations that are great for short, fairly easy snowshoe treks in Maine:
1. Indian Point Blagden Preserve on Mount Desert Island
2. Young Tunk Mountain in Cherryfield
3. McPhetres Farm Forest in Veazie
4. Silver Lake Trails in Bucksport
5. Lake George Regional Park in Canaan
6. Pleasant Lake Preserve in Stetson
17 Ways the Trump Administration Assaulted the Environment Over the Holidays
Center for Biological Diversity - Tuesday, January 2, 2018 

While visions of sugarplums danced in some of our heads, the Trump administration had a different vision — of a country unbound by rules that protect people, places, wildlife and the climate. Over the past two weeks, the administration has proposed or finalized changes to how the government and the industries it regulates respond to climate change, migratory birds, clean energy, pesticides and toxic chemicals. Here’s a timeline.
Tax Reform: New Uncertainties for Big Wind
Other - Tuesday, January 2, 2018 

Despite Congress’ decision to leave the wind PTC phase-out unchanged in the final tax bill, other changes in the law might upset plans for some projects. Wind projects most at risk by the new tax bill are those that negotiated their finance package in the last two years based on a 35 precent corporate tax rate. Renegotiating these agreements, if possible, could result in higher debt assumed for the project, higher prices for the electricity sold, and pressure to lower build costs. Any one of these changes could put the financial viability of the project at risk.
Maine Forest Service says using free, online burn permits is illegal
Sun Journal - Tuesday, January 2, 2018 

The tens of thousands of Mainers relying on free online open-burn permits are breaking the law, Maine Forest Service Director Doug Denico said Tuesday. He said the private systems that some people rely on to avoid a $7 charge for a permit issued by the state fail to meet statutory requirements. As a result, he said, those who use them “are committing a Class E crime."
Gardiner officials to consider joining civil action over fish migration efforts
Kennebec Journal - Tuesday, January 2, 2018 

To work toward restoring the historic migration of fish on Cobbosseecontee Stream, two nonprofits are seeking the support of Gardiner city officials in changing a conservation easement to allow a fish ladder. Upstream, whose goal is restoring sea-run fish migration to Cobbosseecontee Stream, is joining with the Kennebec Land Trust, which holds a conservation easement for a stretch of city-owned land on the stream, to seek a change in the wording of the easement to allow fishway construction to take place.
Pollution Rules Could Put A Lid On Oil-Fired Electricity Production During Cold Spell
Maine Public - Tuesday, January 2, 2018 

The recent cold spell has spurred oil-fired power plants throughout New England into action. But the operator of the regional electricity grid says pollution control regulations could throttle supplies from those sources. As the oil-fired plants enter a period of extended operation, some are nearing hard limits on emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, set by the various New England states.
Cate Street Capital to back hydroponic project at St. Joseph's College
Mainebiz - Tuesday, January 2, 2018 

Cate Street Capital of Portsmouth, N.H., is backing a new hydroponics operation called Organic Nutrition Inc., which plans to grow farm-raised fish, and use the fish waste to grow produce. Cate Street — which used state and federal incentive programs to deliver $16 million in tax credits that benefited out-of-state investors in its failed effort to resurrect the Great Northern Paper Co. mill in East Millinocket — is backing a Florida-based company that wants to grow farm-raised fish at St. Joseph's. The hydroponics facility, planned for construction in 2018, will be on the Standish campus as part of the college's Institute for Local Food Systems Innovation. The facility will support a new certificate program at St. Joseph's and provide support to other hydroponics businesses.
Moody’s warns coastal communities: Prepare for climate change or face credit downgrade
Mainebiz - Tuesday, January 2, 2018 

Moody's Investor Service is telling coastal communities, including those in Maine, to adapt for climate change or face a credit downgrade. Moody's, one of the largest credit rating agencies, issued a report last month that said "the growing effects of climate change, including climbing global temperatures, and rising sea levels, are forecast to have an increasing economic impact on U.S. state and local issuers." Moody's report urges municipalities to become more proactive in preparing for the impacts stemming from climate change, warning that failing to do so will put them at risk of lower credit ratings, resulting in higher interest costs when they issue bonds to fund major infrastructure projects.
Lengthy cold snap doesn’t mean all ice is safe
John Holyoke Out There Blog - Tuesday, January 2, 2018 

After 10 days or so of freeze-your-beard-off weather, it would seem that anything that can freeze (toes, fingers, your car’s engine, lakes, ponds) would have done so. The problem is that the extreme cold arrived after the first substantial snowstorm in many parts of the state had dropped an insulating layer of the white stuff on barely frozen surfaces.
Blog: America’s deadliest animals are prevalent in Maine. But they probably won’t hurt you
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, January 2, 2018 

The bad news: The animals who are by far responsible for the most human deaths in America are quite prevalent in Maine. The good news: Those human deaths aren’t taking place in Maine, for the most part. No, we’re not talking about alligators, killer bees or venomous snakes. Prepare to stare into the cold, hardened eyes of America’s deadliest animal. ~ Seth Koenig
CMP Says Recovering From October Windstorm Will Cost At Least $15 Million
Maine Public - Tuesday, January 2, 2018 

In an initial filing with state regulators today, Central Maine Power says the costs of restoring its transmission and distribution system after the October windstorm will clearly will rise above $15 million. The letter provided no more detail, saying that a full accounting of costs would be filed later this month.
Legislature tackles moose permit and comprehensive license issues
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Tuesday, January 2, 2018 

The legislature’s Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee will work on three pieces of legislation on January 4: LD 768, An Act to Establish Comprehensive Hunting and Hunting/Fishing Licenses; LD 630, An Act to Expand Opportunities for Most Permit Winners to Swap Their Permits; and LD 1451, An Act to Promote Biosecurity and Better Regulate the Importation, Possession and Use of Aquatic Species. [Editor: All legislative committee meetings scheduled for Jan 4 have been postponed due to weather.]
Mainers can again apply to grow industrial hemp
Other - Tuesday, January 2, 2018 

Mainers who want to grow industrial hemp can apply for the 2018 growing season. The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry acknowledges that would-be hemp growers face barriers that make it tricky to grow the crop legally. Maine has allowed industrial hemp since 2016. But federal law requires a permit for the cannabis plant, regardless of whether it’s grown for fiber or marijuana. Despite such barriers, the department says it signed 33 agreements with hemp growers this year, up from two in 2016.
Obituary: Leslie C. Hyde
Village Soup Gazette (Knox County & Penobscot Bay) - Tuesday, January 2, 2018 

Leslie Colin Hyde conservationist, sailor, gardener, father, husband and friend, died Dec. 25 at his home. He was 71 years old. In his work for the UMaine Cooperative Extension, Les was part of a team that established Tanglewood 4-H Camp and Learning Center, offering environmental education for Maine youth. Les believed strongly that the future of conservation depends on the education of youth.
While programs have been primarily for children, Les also facilitated a forestry camp for adults for 25 years. He designed a leadership program that helped teenagers explore the St. George River by foot and canoe from its origins at Frye Mountain to Port Clyde. A founding member of Georges River Land Trust, he also worked on numerous conservation projects with Maine Coast Heritage Trust.
America’s forgotten towns: Can they be saved or should people just leave?
Washington Post - Tuesday, January 2, 2018 

One of the great debates in American politics and economics in 2018 is likely to be how to help the country's forgotten towns, the former hubs with quaint Main Streets that haven't changed much since the 1950s and '60s. Many of these places turned out heavily to vote for Donald Trump. He talks often about wanting to help them, but it's unclear how he can. Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz says Trump's obsession with muscle jobs is shortsighted. Stiglitz is advocating for totally transforming what these towns are known for, taking them from blue collar to green collar — or even high-tech hoodie. “Too much in the mind of Trump is just the old industrial economy,” Stiglitz said. “Look at where we are spending money and how we are living today. Millennials have a new view of the world.”
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