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
Letter: Legislature needs to vote to remove flame retardants
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, March 11, 2017 

Legislation would make it illegal to sell new furniture treated with flame retardants in Maine. The Department of Environmental Protection (incredibly) does not support this bill. The DEP is not considering the cost to Maine residents in relationship to the long-term health effects and resulting health expenses that many Maine residents will be saddled with if flame retardants continue to be used in Maine products. ~ Sally Wylie, Rockland
Opinion: Trump’s plans for industrial rebirth are a dead end
Bloomberg News - Friday, March 10, 2017 

President Donald Trump’s economic adviser, Peter Navarro, has vowed to restore U.S. manufacturing supremacy. This is no surprise — Trump’s election campaign emphasized the promise of a return to the industrial economy of the mid-20th century, before countries such as China supplanted the United States as the workshop of the world. But this push is unlikely to succeed. Changes in the U.S. industrial mix, and in technology itself, mean there’s no going back to the economy of yesteryear.
Blog: Why your town has no inherent right to food sovereignty
Bangor Daily News - Friday, March 10, 2017 

Several years back, a number of Maine towns passed ordinances declaring their own sovereignty when it came to food sales in their limits. Their goal was to exempt local farmers from having to deal with state and federal regulations. In the words of one advocate, it was to require the state to recognize the “inherent right of local municipalities.” Unfortunately, municipalities don’t have inherent rights. ~ Michael Cianchette
The Environmental Protection Agency —the Deep State’s Covert Resistance to Trump
Other - Friday, March 10, 2017 

Breitbart - EPA-ers seem to be girded for battle. A rogue Twitter account, AltEPA, billing itself as the “resistance,” has 382,000 followers—and there are many more such accounts in existence. It’s possible, of course, that some, perhaps most, of these accounts are fakes. But probably not all. In the meantime, some EPA people, long ago, developed their own “resistance strategies.”
EPA chief’s remarks disputing climate science spark phone call overload
Washington Post - Friday, March 10, 2017 

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s phones have been ringing off the hook – literally – since he questioned the link between human activity and climate change. The calls to Pruitt’s main line, (202) 546-4700, reached such a high volume by Friday that agency officials created an impromptu call center, according to three agency employees. The officials asked for anonymity out of fear of retaliation.
Moosehead region stakeholders plan to boost economy, reverse declining population
Bangor Daily News - Friday, March 10, 2017 

Faced with a declining and aging population and a stagnant economy, many stakeholders in the Moosehead Lake region are taking action to reverse these trends. Making changes to secure a better future over the next decade-plus was the subject of the Moosehead Lake Regional Master Plan Future Think Tank held Thursday and Friday at the Bartley Facility. Think tank facilitator David Beurle, CEO of the international consulting firm Future iQ, said at the beginning of Friday’s session that the region “is spiraling toward obscurity if you don’t do anything different than what you are doing. There’s a lot at stake with what happens now.”
LePage plan to outsource state park jobs questioned
Portland Press Herald - Friday, March 10, 2017 

LePage administration proposals to outsource two dozen state park jobs and eliminate conservation-related positions received a chilly reception from some lawmakers and advocacy groups Friday. The administration wants to hire contractors to fill seasonal assistant park ranger jobs and laborer jobs at state parks. Conservation groups, meanwhile, said other aspects of LePage’s budget threaten to undermine the Land for Maine’s Future program, a frequent target of LePage’s in years past. The LePage administration also continues to shift management of the state’s public lands – including public reserved lands – from the Bureau of Parks and Lands to the Maine Forest Service.
New England's Ski Industry Prepares for a Changing Climate
Maine Public - Friday, March 10, 2017 

For the first time in decades, the length of the U.S. ski season is shrinking. And as climate change curtails winter’s length, an industry transformation is under way: one expert says most ski mountains in southern New England could be out of business in 25 years unless they diversify their offerings. But ski areas in northern New England could benefit.
Fat bikes allow northern cyclists to conquer winter snow
Associated Press - Friday, March 10, 2017 

Gone are the days when cyclists had to put away their bikes for the winter. These days, hard-core riders are staying outdoors year-round thanks to “fat bikes” that allow them to conquer winter’s worst instead of staying indoors on a stationary bike. The bikes, with comically large tires, have come into the mainstream in the past couple of years, after being introduced about a decade ago.
7 Maine Coast Guard facilities could face cuts under Trump
Bangor Daily News - Friday, March 10, 2017 

Under a proposal by President Donald Trump, the U.S. Coast Guard could endure substantial budget cuts — but what that might mean for the agency’s facilities in Maine is unknown. The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that Trump’s draft budget includes a 14 percent cut — about $1.3 billion — to the current $9.1 billion U.S. Coast Guard budget and 11 percent cuts to the Transportation Security Administration and Federal Emergency Management Agency budgets, all in order to fund the planned multibillion-dollar border wall.
Maine’s Delahanty among 46 Obama-appointed U.S. attorneys ousted by Trump
Bangor Daily News - Friday, March 10, 2017 

Maine’s Thomas Delahanty is among the remaining chief federal prosecutors appointed by former President Barack Obama who were asked to resign by President Donald Trump’s U.S. Justice Department on Friday. The Justice Department said Friday that U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has asked the Obama appointees who have not already resigned to do so “in order to ensure a uniform transition.”
Maine camp has women shooting guns, tracking wildlife and becoming best friends
Bangor Daily News - Friday, March 10, 2017 

The Becoming an Outdoors-Woman program has a history that spans more than 20 years in Maine, where BOW workshops are sponsored in the spring, fall and winter by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, and hosted by the University of Maine Bryant Pond 4-H Camp and Learning Center.
Editorial: NOAA budget cuts would have high cost for Maine
Portland Press Herald - Friday, March 10, 2017 

Though funding for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration amounts to less than one-half of 1 percent of discretionary federal spending, it pays outsize dividends for Maine. The people at the center of our state’s $700 million commercial fishing industry depend on NOAA’s weather forecasts, research and fisheries management services. A proposal to slash the agency’s budget is a short-sighted move that would save pennies now only to forfeit dollars later.
Letter: On new national monument, LePage ignores rights of land donor
Portland Press Herald - Friday, March 10, 2017 

Gov. LePage’s letter urged the president to undo the federal government’s designation of the Quimby property as a national monument. The governor offers no facts to support these claims. The letter also calls for return of the land within the monument to private ownership. Could he mean returning it to its most recent owner, Quimby? The governor’s letter presents a patently socialist position whereby the purported collective interests of “the people” trump the rights of a private property owner. Is Gov. LePage OK with taking a socialist position with respect to a property owner’s actions when that position aligns with the particular outcome he wants? ~ Mike Hubbard, Falmouth and Island Falls
Letter: Plastic bag ban bad
Bangor Daily News - Friday, March 10, 2017 

The Belfast City Council and the do-gooders are at it again working on a fee for plastic bags at some local businesses. They want us to pay 5 cents per bag when we purchase our groceries. Here is a possible scenario. To save money, I tell the bagger to put as many items as possible in one bag. But when I get outside the bag breaks, spilling my adult diapers, hemorrhoid cream and my laxative medicine on the ground for the world to see. Not a pretty sight. Apparently big government is not all we have to fear. Small government that is out of touch with us is a problem as well. ~ Richard F. Dinsmore, Belfast
Falmouth residents warned about possible bobcat sighting
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, March 9, 2017 

Falmouth police are warning residents about a reported sighting of a large cat resembling a bobcat or lynx, an animal that police say could be involved in the disappearance of a dog.
Metro expands service to Brunswick
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, March 9, 2017 

The Metro regional bus service is expanding its Breez commuter shuttle to Brunswick. Funding for a two-year pilot project was approved by the Brunswick Town Council by a 6 to 3 vote this week. The service, which already links downtown Portland to Falmouth, Yarmouth and Freeport, will add Brunswick stops this summer. The three-year pilot Breez service runs 10 round-trips five days a week from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. and a five round-trip schedule on Saturdays. One-way fares are $3, and the shuttles are outfitted with USB ports, wireless internet, overhead storage and bike racks.
No one knows who ‘owns’ rockweed in Maine
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, March 9, 2017 

Gordon Smith is a Portland attorney who represents several Washington County landowners upset that their shore-front properties have become targets for rockweed harvesters. They’ve made Acadian Seaplants Ltd. the focus of a lawsuit filed in Superior Court. The Nova Scotian biotech company is the largest independent manufacturer of marine plant products of its type in the world. Smith says that based on his reading of case law, it is clear to him that landowners control access in the inter-tidal zone of their property – a point he repeatedly made during arguments in court last week.
Strong Blueberry Harvests Mean Lower Prices and Less Money to Growers
Maine Public - Thursday, March 9, 2017 

As the growing season approaches, industry experts say Maine’s wild blueberry producers will likely have to slash production to keep the industry afloat. There’s been too much of a good thing, and prices are suffering.
LePage’s potato remarks puzzle industry experts
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, March 9, 2017 

At a Yarmouth town hall gathering Wednesday, Gov. Paul LePage said that the state has struggled to find investors for a potato flake and starch facility that could buy otherwise unmarketable spuds. Don Flannery, executive director of the Maine Potato Board, said he’s not aware of any companies eyeing Maine for a starch or other type of potato processing facility.
Who 'Owns' Rockweed in Maine?
Maine Public - Thursday, March 9, 2017 

For 15 years, shore-front property owners, rockweed cutters and Maine Department of Marine Resources regulators have attempted to balance the competing interests that have tended to define the state’s rockweed industry. Maine case law has produced mixed opinions on the question of who actually owns the olive-brown algae that is used in fertilizer and in some consumable products. But a Washington County Superior Court case could help settle what’s become a contentious rockweed debate.
EPA chief says Congress should weigh whether carbon dioxide is a pollutant
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, March 9, 2017 

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said on Thursday he is not convinced that carbon dioxide from human activity is the main driver of climate change and said he wants Congress to weigh in on whether CO2 is a harmful pollutant that should be regulated. Pruitt is a climate change skeptic who sued the Environmental Protection Agency he now leads more than a dozen times. Trump campaigned on a promise to roll back environmental regulations. Scientists immediately criticized Pruitt’s statement, saying it ignores a large body of evidence collected over decades that shows fossil fuel burning as the main factor in climate change.
Column: Embracing the unexpected pleasures of stupidity while birding
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, March 9, 2017 

I’ve come to enjoy the excitement of feeling stupid. Stupidity opens up a world of pleasant surprises. For instance, I just returned from vacationing in Hilton Head, South Carolina. Although there was little likelihood of finding a bird that was new to me, I had a wonderful week encountering old friends in new ways. Nothing surprised me more than the red-throated loons. ~ Bob Duchesne
Maine’s native bees a ‘very optimistic story’
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, March 9, 2017 

In late May, when it’s time to pollinate the state’s blueberry barrens, millions of tiny migrant workers will arrive on trucks from warmer southern climes and get right to work zooming from blossom to blossom in Down East Maine. While on the job, those migrant honeybees, which blueberry growers depend on to increase annual yields of the sweet blue fruit, are likely to brush wings with Maine’s own pollinator workforce of native bees. And while lots of people have read the dire headlines about the country’s dramatically declining honeybee population, they may not know that Maine’s native bees are largely bucking that trend, according to a University of Maine bee expert who is happy to share some positive buzz.
Maine’s 2016 Lobster Fishery Sets Records
Free Press - Thursday, March 9, 2017 

Maine’s commercially harvested marine resources topped $700 million in overall value in 2016, according to preliminary data from the Maine Department of Marine Resources. The total reflects an all-time high and an increase of nearly $100 million in value over 2015. For the second straight year, the largest single increase in value was in Maine’s lobster fishery. When factoring in bonuses paid to harvesters as reported by 14 of Maine’s 19 lobster co-ops, the overall landed value of Maine’s lobster fishery reached $547,249,010.
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