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
Column: Resolving to make the most of 2018 on the slopes
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, December 31, 2017 

Why not make resolutions about having your best ski season ever? In 2018, I resolve to…
• Take a lesson
• Make first tracks on a power day
• Go cat skiing
• Ski more with friends
• Do some good on skis
• Race my friends and family
~ Josh Christie
Opinion: This fish(erman) didn’t get away
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, December 31, 2017 

I recently confessed to my wife that she’s married to a small-time criminal. I made a bad decision one autumn morning, moving from one body of legal fishing water to another body of illegal fishing water without checking the season limits or otherwise thinking too much about what I was doing. Like most clueless, small-time criminals, I was caught with my pants down, metaphorically speaking: A game warden spotted me within minutes of dropping my line in the water. He was pleasant enough about the whole sordid business, but it was evident from our clipped conversation that he was going to write me up. No fish were killed in the commission of this crime. ~ Steven Price, Kennebunkport
Letter: Praise for what president accomplished in first year
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, December 31, 2017 

I’d like to celebrate the accomplishments of President Trump’s first year. Among the long list he has:
• Opened the Keystone and Dakota Access pipelines.
• Withdrawn the U.S. from the Paris climate accord.
• Removed climate change from the national security threat list.
• Stacking federal courts with conservatives.
~ Crystal Martell, Sanford
Community Ag Alliance: Partners program benefits ‘species of interest’
Other - Saturday, December 30, 2017 

In a time when tension seems to be the norm for relationships between agriculturalists and the federal government, the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program stands as an encouraging example of cooperation and success on the ground. The 30-year-old program is the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's partnership program that enables cooperative projects on the ground to benefit "species of interest." Nationwide, private landowners own 73 percent of the landscape, and over 75 percent of fish and wildlife species are dependent on private land for part of their habitat. The program is voluntary and brings together federal, private and other resources to benefit both people and wildlife. In Maine, Partners cooperates with private landowners, NGOs and logging companies to maintain bird habitat in the North Woods.
Federal regulators question Maine company’s plan for East Grand Lake dam
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, December 30, 2017 

Federal regulators this month challenged a Maine pulp company’s plan to get out of federal requirements by having the state take over one of its dams. The dam straddles the U.S.-Canada border, and its future has attracted a flurry of attention from the Canadian government, environmental groups and homeowners on East Grand Lake. Maine Gov. Paul LePage traveled to D.C. to argue that federal regulations for such dams stifle business, and recently signed a law to have the state potentially own the U.S. side of the dam. The dam’s owner, Woodland Pulp LLC, says the 30-year Federal Energy Regulatory Commission license it received in 2015 is too costly and unnecessary. The company said those requirements shouldn’t apply if Maine owns the dam. But federal regulators said the dam would need licensing even if Maine owns it.
Fascinating stories and stunning photos of species hundreds of millions of years old
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Saturday, December 30, 2017 

Kimberly Ridley’s book, Extreme Survivors, Animals That Time Forgot, published in November by Tilbury House Publishers, is fascinating, full of stunning photos and stories about species that have somehow survived for hundreds of millions of years. Did you know that some dinosaurs became birds?
Meet the Maine fur company that outfits ‘Game of Thrones’ and other Hollywood productions
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, December 30, 2017 

When temperatures dip below zero and the cold seeps into your bones, Glacier Wear of Greenville has you covered — with fur, if you’re not opposed. The family owned and operated company is home to a giant inventory of fur, from silky rabbit hides to rough grizzly bear pelts. And with these furs they craft a wide variety of products for an even wider variety of customers, from superstars to the hunting guide down the road. “We carry the largest inventory of tanned furs and leathers in North America,” said Randy Richard, who owns the company with his wife, Colleen Richard.
Eastern Trail completes $4.1 million ‘Close the Gap’ campaign
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, December 30, 2017 

The Eastern Trail Alliance has reached its $4.1 million fundraising goal for the “Close the Gap” campaign to build two bridges in Scarborough that will complete 16 miles of uninterrupted, off-road trail from downtown Saco to Bug Light Park in South Portland. The “Close the Gap” funds will be used to build two bridges – one over the Nonesuch River near Eastern Road and the other over the Pan Am Railways tracks near Pleasant Hill Road – that will complete a 1.6-mile section of the off-road recreational trail as it passes through Scarborough. Pending regulatory approvals, construction is expected to begin next summer.
USDA school foods program boosts Maine wild blueberry sales
Mainebiz - Friday, December 29, 2017 

A program to get Maine wild blueberries into public schools increased sales by 57% in 2017, despite a crop shortfall this year, and the news has energized a 2018 marketing push. Maine Wild Blueberries are available in 22 U.S. states through the USDA's National School Lunch Program, up from 13 in 2016. The Wild Blueberry Commission of Maine's national Wild Blueberry School Foodservice Program expanded from 1.18 million pounds sold in 2016 to 2.78 million pounds sold in 2017. The commission represents more than 500 wild blueberry growers in Maine, which is the world's largest producer of wild blueberries.
Maine Energy Office Report Due Next Month
Maine Public - Friday, December 29, 2017 

Gov. Paul LePage’s Energy Office has been holding listening sessions around the state in advance of a state energy plan due out next month. Office Director Steve McGrath has only been on the job a few months, but says he is learning a lot about the energy sources used by Maine people. He says the listening sessions have been helpful in developing the forthcoming state energy plan. McGrath says the plan will take a broad look at state energy policy, at where we get our electricity and also look at how we heat our homes and businesses. He says the goal will be to reduce demand for energy by using more fuel-efficient lighting and heating systems.
Too Cold For Polar Bears? Organizers Cancel, Postpone Popular New Year’s Eve Dips
Maine Public - Friday, December 29, 2017 

Frigid temperatures forecast this weekend are proving too much even for rugged Mainers. Popular polar dips planned for New Year’s Eve and Day are being canceled or rescheduled due to organizers’ concerns for participants’ safety. The biggest concern is putting dippers at risk for hypothermia. That was the conclusion reached by the Natural Resources Council of Maine, which has been sponsoring a polar bear dip on New Year’s Eve for the past decade as a way to highlight climate change in Casco Bay. While the dip is off until next year, the Polar Bear 5K planned for Sunday morning is still on. Extra warm hats, mittens and socks are definitely in order.
South Portland wins round in court fight over oil pipeline
Bangor Daily News - Friday, December 29, 2017 

A federal judge on Friday rejected all but one of Portland Pipe Line Corp.’s arguments in its efforts to overturn a South Portland ordinance that prevents it from piping in crude oil from Canada. In a 229-page ruling, U.S. District Judge John Woodcock dismissed claims that the local law is preempted by federal law, but he left open the question of whether it interferes with interstate and international commerce. A trial most likely will be scheduled next year to resolve that issue.
Federal judge narrows Portland Pipe Line case against South Portland ordinance
Portland Press Herald - Friday, December 29, 2017 

A federal judge on Friday largely rejected arguments from Portland Pipe Line Corp. challenging the legality of South Portland’s municipal ban on crude oil exports. But U.S. District Judge John A. Woodcock Jr. did not reach a conclusion about whether South Portland’s ordinance violated federal commerce laws, thereby keeping alive a central part of Portland Pipe Line’s lawsuit.
Extreme cold smashes records, freezes car batteries, postpones ‘polar dips’
Portland Press Herald - Friday, December 29, 2017 

Early Friday morning, temperatures ranged from 5 to 30 degrees below zero, according to the National Weather Service in Gray. By afternoon, temperatures in southern Maine rose into the single digits. A fundraiser, the annual Polar Bear Dip at East End Beach in Portland, scheduled for noon on Sunday, has been called off because of the cold, but a 5K race will still be held, said Stacie Haines of the Natural Resources Council of Maine. Meteorologist Mike Cempa blamed the sustained freezing temperatures on a so-called polar vortex that’s hovering over Canada.
Cate Street Capital’s pursuing an insect-fueled second act in Maine
Bangor Daily News - Friday, December 29, 2017 

Cate Street Capital, the firm that leveraged $16 million in public money for its failed restart of East Millinocket’s Great Northern Paper Co. mill, has another project for Maine. This time, it is backing two entrepreneurs who want to grow farm-raised fish, fed with insects, and use the fish waste to grow produce in nutrient-rich water, a technique called hydroponics. Their company, Organic Nutrition Inc., plans to do that with a hydroponics facility on the campus of St. Joseph’s College in Standish.
Editorial: Maine should build on lead-intervention success
Portland Press Herald - Friday, December 29, 2017 

Because of the bedrock upon which much of Maine rests, well water in the state is particularly susceptible to arsenic infiltration. More than half of Maine wells have not been tested. After a bill to promote well testing was vetoed, and the veto upheld, in 2015, an almost identical bill was passed this year, over the objections of Gov. LePage. The bill, L.D. 454, applies a $10 fee for every test done at the state water-testing lab and uses it for outreach and education. If this can be paired with a program that helps low-income Mainers pay for items such as filters for their water systems, it – like the lead testing bill before it – can make a great deal of difference.
Commentary: The 10 best things Trump has done during his first year in office
Washington Post - Friday, December 29, 2017 

#7. He withdrew from the Paris climate agreement. After George W. Bush pulled out of the disastrous Kyoto treaty, U.S. emissions went down faster than much of Europe. The same will be true for Trump’s departure from the Paris accord. Combined with his approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, and opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to exploration, Trump is helping usher in a new age of American energy development. The record of achievement suggests that, despite the noxious tweets and self-inflicted wounds emanating from the White House, Trump has the potential to become one of the most consequential conservative presidents in modern American history. ~ Marc Thiessen
Private-Public Partnership for Conservation: Examples From...Maine
Other - Thursday, December 28, 2017 

The Atlantic - One thing that makes Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust a little unusual is that we put an emphasis on conserving farmland. About two decades ago we bought—through a broad-based community effort—Crystal Spring Farm, a centrally-located farm in our this area that seemed to the many who participated in the effort to keep it a working farm an essential property to preserve the character of our community. Today it is a working farm leased to a farm family through an innovative, longterm lease. It is the site of our farmer’s market (largest in Maine), the site of a community garden that includes a section that provides food to a food pantry. There’s even an outdoor labyrinth.
Column: Trees can teach us to value a world of connection
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, December 28, 2017 

I thought growing older would take longer. I find that I am ill-equipped to function in the modern world, in that I can’t type with my thumbs and I don’t own any electronic devices that start with an ‘i.’ So I am already dreading my New Year’s resolution. This will be the year I commit to using eBird. I made the same resolution last year. ~ Bob Duchesne
Retiring Baxter State Park Director Reflects On 30-Year Career
Maine Public - Thursday, December 28, 2017 

Jensen Bissell plans to retire this week as director of Baxter State Park, named for the former Maine governor who was the moving force behind it and who ordered that it be kept “forever wild.” As Bissell prepares to leave the park after 30 years, the last 12 as director, he reflects upon the written words of a complicated man and true visionary who seemed to understand that the public’s proposed uses of the 210,000-acre park would evolve over time.
Accidentally Killing Birds Isn't A Crime, Says Trump Administration
National Public Radio - Thursday, December 28, 2017 

The Trump administration says it will no longer criminally prosecute companies that accidentally kill migratory birds. A legal memo from the Department of the Interior posted Friday declares that the Migratory Bird Treaty Act applies only to purposeful actions that kill migratory birds, and not to energy companies and other businesses that kill birds incidentally. The memo is written by Daniel Jorjani, Interior's principal deputy solicitor, a longtime adviser to libertarian billionaire Charles Koch. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates more than 30 million birds die each year in collisions with power lines and communications towers, and hundreds of thousands more in oil pits and wind turbines.
Man gets prison time for illegally harvesting Virginia eels
Associated Press - Monday, November 6, 2017 

A New York seafood dealer has been sentenced to 1 ½ years behind bars for illegally trafficking more than $150,000 worth of baby eels from Virginia. Tommy Zhou was sentenced Friday in a federal Virginia court after he pleaded guilty in April. Prosecutors say Zhou obtained a Maine elver dealer license in 2013 and then used it to cover his illegal operation.
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. ~ Bob Duchesne
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.
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News Feeds

Natural Resources Council
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