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
Unity College project aims to restore American chestnut tree
Morning Sentinel - Tuesday, March 7, 2017 

The American chestnut is classified as a tree of special concern in Maine because of the devastating effects of a blight accidentally imported to the East Coast more than 100 years ago. Unity College is partnering with The American Chestnut Foundation and the New England Forestry Foundation on a project to restore the American chestnut tree around central Maine by growing seeds that are disease-resistant.
Demolition of aging China mill will lead to passageway for fish
Morning Sentinel - Tuesday, March 7, 2017 

Work has begun to dismantle and demolish an aging mill straddling the dividing line between Palermo and China, an effort that a conservation group says ultimately will result in drawing a robust migration of river herring and alewives. Once the mill is down, the Atlantic Salmon Federation will move forward with a purchasing agreement for the property and the remaining dam. The federation plans to repair the dam and install a passageway that will allow migratory fish to travel through the Sheepscot River watershed to Branch Pond.
Bill to allow deer-baiting shot down in committee
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, March 7, 2017 

A legislative committee voted Tuesday against endorsing a bill that would have ended the state’s prohibition on using bait to hunt deer in Maine. “My concern is this could really hurt the pride of hunting in Maine,” said Sen. Scott Cyrway, R-Kennebec, the committee’s co-chair. “Hunting should be somewhat of a challenge. It could create problems down the road with the Humane Society (of the United States) ripping these things apart." Six other deer bills were defeated unanimously.
Conditions complicate gift of land in Augusta
Kennebec Journal - Tuesday, March 7, 2017 

Augusta’s acquisition of 164-acre Howard Hill requires officials to sign a project agreement an attorney warns could possibly commit the city to spend money to stay in compliance with all current and future Land for Maine’s Future rules, regulations and policies. City Manager William Bridgeo said he continues to believe the positive benefits of the Howard Hill acquisition justify some assumption of risk the state might someday require some unanticipated city funding for the property.
Fishing groups challenge Obama’s creation of underwater national monument
Associated Press - Tuesday, March 7, 2017 

A coalition of commercial fishing groups filed a lawsuit Tuesday to challenge the creation of a national monument off the coast of New England. President Obama created the monument in September using executive authority under the Antiquities Act. The Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument is made up of nearly 5,000 square miles of underwater canyons and mountains. The creation of the monument closed the area to most commercial fishing and has been opposed by fishing groups.
Discount Produce Pilot Program Shows Promise
Maine Public - Tuesday, March 7, 2017 

In a pilot program Scarborough-based Hannaford Supermarkets is making misfit fruits and vegetables available at a discount in 15 of its midcoast and southern Maine stores. “These are products that typically go to waste at farm level through either composting or land-filling because they’re not standard products,” says Hannaford spokesman Eric Bloom. He says the discount produce program extends Hannaford’s sustainability efforts to the farm level.
Hike: Furth and Talalay sanctuaries in Surry
Aislinn Sarnacki Act Out Blog - Tuesday, March 7, 2017 

Furth Wildlife Sanctuary and Talalay Nature Sanctuary, located in the small town of Surry, are two rectangular parcels of beautiful mixed forest owned by the Blue Hill Heritage Trust. Located next to each other, these two sanctuaries are home to public trails that are connected and offer about 2 miles of easy hiking.
Rockport launches new Roadside Tree Planting Program
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, March 7, 2017 

Rockport’s new Roadside Tree Planting Program is now accepting applications from individual home owners and businesses in the town of Rockport. The program, being launched this spring, is a collaboration between the Town of Rockport, Rockport Garden Club and Maine Coast Heritage Trust to enhance the town by planting and preserving shade-bearing trees along the roadsides.
Under Trump, EPA drops emissions data collection
Maine Environmental News - Tuesday, March 7, 2017 

Today, the Environmental Protection Agency filed notice that it "is withdrawing its requests that owners and operators in the oil and natural gas industry provide information on equipment and emissions at existing oil and gas operations."
Blog: Trump dumbing down government is its own scandal
Amy Fried Pollways Blog - Tuesday, March 7, 2017 

Scientists’ ability to gather information about the climate is threatened by a budget that slashes funding of NOAA. The budget would also eliminate the Sea Grant program, which supports research in Maine, and end funding aimed at “coastal management, estuary reserves and ‘coastal resilience,’ which seeks to bolster the ability of coastal areas to withstand major storms and rising seas.” Other agencies are sidelining professionals, not hiring replacements, or using deceptive numbers. The dismantling and denigrating of knowledge and expertise while favoring ill-informed political viewpoints and decision-makers is its own scandal.
‘One Morning in Maine’ island donated to Nature Conservancy
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, March 7, 2017 

A Maine island made famous in the iconic children’s book “One Morning in Maine” will be protected as a place of inspiration and wonder, thanks to a donation by the family of writer and illustrator Robert McCloskey to the Nature Conservancy in Maine. The conservancy announced the donation of the 6.2-acre Outer Scott Island in Penobscot Bay, off Deer Isle, on Monday. The McCloskey family donated a conservation easement on the property to the Nature Conservancy in 1974. Monday’s announcement of the ownership transfers further ensures its protection.
Trump’s proposed cuts to NOAA alarm Maine’s marine community
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, March 7, 2017 

A Trump administration proposal to slash funding for the federal government’s principal marine agency and eliminate the national Sea Grant program is prompting alarm in Maine’s marine sector because it depends on services provided by both. “People are in shock over this,” said Bill Mook, founder of Mook Sea Farm, an oyster hatchery in Bristol. I think we can all agree we would like to make America greater, but cutting this kind of thing is the way to not do that. It’s like cutting off our pathway to getting greater.”
Letter: LePage should cheer on the monument
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, March 7, 2017 

As a recent retiree and newly minted full-time Millinocket resident, I am excited to have the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument in my backyard. I’m incredulous that Gov. Paul LePage would attempt to undo the economic progress and community pride made since its designation. National monuments and national parks make good neighbors and act as economic drivers, no matter where they exist in the country. I can see positive economic trends here in the Katahdin region. My governor should be a cheerleader for the state, encouraging people to visit the monument. But instead he is antagonistic to it and the business it brings rural Maine. ~ MaryAlice Mowry, Millinocket
Could a Paul LePage-Donald Trump bromance be blossoming?
Boston Globe - Monday, March 6, 2017 

Pugnacious and politically very incorrect, Governor Paul LePage of Maine has called himself “Donald Trump before Donald Trump” and “Baby Donald.” Like the president, LePage has declared war on the news media, stoked fears about immigrants, and linked minorities with crime. Now, one month into the new presidency, the Republican governor could be looking to ratchet up the bromance.
Maine town that lost its paper mill thirsts for Poland Spring plant
Morning Sentinel - Monday, March 6, 2017 

Town and economic development officials are actively courting Poland Spring in a bid to bring economic life back to the shuttered Madison Paper mill property, an early sign that there could be new prospects for jobs and investment there. However, securing a tenant for the former Madison Paper Co. plant is unlikely to happen until the mill’s former hydroelectric power station is sold.
Oil Pipeline Company Seeks ‘Significant Amount’ of Tax Abatement from South Portland
Maine Public - Monday, March 6, 2017 

The company that delivers crude oil from Maine to Canada, Portland Pipe Line Corp., is seeking tax abatement from the city of South Portland, claiming the city’s Clear Skies Ordinance has reduced the value of the pipeline. Portland Pipe Line has properties in South Portland valued at nearly $44 million. But in its application for tax abatement, the company says they’re currently overvalued by about $18 million.
You no longer have to be a farmer to play a role in Maine’s local food scene
Bangor Daily News - Monday, March 6, 2017 

Slow Money Maine is just one of about 20 groups across the country sponsored fiscally by the Slow Money Institute, a national nonprofit organization. This umbrella structure allows the group to have a broad mission of supporting Maine’s food system by bringing together anyone who is interested in it. The result is a network of individual investors, investment clubs, technical assistance specialists, mentors and community organizers that Slow Money Maine can connect food businesses or producers with when they need the support.
LePage to Boost Lobster Research With Surplus State Funds
Maine Public - Monday, March 6, 2017 

Maine Marine Resources Commissioner Patrick Keliher says research is crucial to the future of the lobster fishery, and he says lobstermen are relieved Gov. Paul LePage now wants to fund that research with state surplus funds instead of fee increases. “The money we have asked for will allow us to do some really critical research on lobster,” Keliher says. “We’re riding high right now — we set another new landing record of almost 131 million pounds, but we all know there is a decline coming.” The lobster industry generates sales of about a $1.5 billion a year. The research would cost about $660,000 a year.
Republicans want Trump to undo monuments
Fox News - Monday, March 6, 2017 

AP - Republican leaders in Maine and Utah are asking President Trump to step into uncharted territory and rescind national monument designations made by his predecessor. The Antiquities Act of 1906 doesn’t give the president power to undo a designation, and no president has ever taken such a step. But Trump isn’t like other presidents.Obama created the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument in Maine last summer on 87,500 acres of donated forestland. In the region near Maine’s Mount Katahdin, both supporters and many opponents want to see the monument work. They hope it will help revitalize the economy. Maine Republican Gov. Paul LePage is opposed to the designation, but three of the four members of Maine’s congressional delegation want the monument to stand.
Forbidding Forecast For Lyme Disease In The Northeast
National Public Radio - Monday, March 6, 2017 

Felicia Keesing, an ecologist at Bard College, and Rick Ostfeld, an ecologist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, who have studied Lyme for more than 20 years, have come up with an early warning system for the disease. They can predict how many cases there will be a year in advance by looking at one key measurement: Count the mice the year before.
Brakey puts brakes on breaking corporate welfare
Bangor Daily News - Monday, March 6, 2017 

A Republican lawmaker has significantly scaled back a plan to roll back “corporate welfare” in Maine. In February, Sen. Eric Brakey, R-Auburn, rolled out an aggressive bill that would close up to $448 million in 47 business tax breaks over two years to eliminate Maine’s corporate income tax and reduce income taxes. But last week, he revised the plan, which would now only target up to $77.7 million over two years in four programs: the New Markets Capital Investment Credit, employment tax increment financing, the innovation finance credit and seed capital investment credit. Brakey said he changed his bill to make it more manageable for the Legislature’s Taxation Committee to handle this year.
Here’s how EPA cuts, policy changes could affect Maine
Bangor Daily News - Monday, March 6, 2017 

President Donald Trump’s plans to shrink and redirect the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency could have a severe impact on Maine where, according to one environmental advocacy official, state environmental programs already have been “cut down to the bone.” The Trump administration is expected to release a more detailed plan this week about proposed budget cuts and policy changes but the outlook for environmental programs nationally and in Maine is not good.
Legislature debates if you need to notify neighbors when your python gets loose
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Monday, March 6, 2017 

You can be fined if your dog runs loose, but not your python. That is just wrong. The legislature rewrote the laws governing possession of exotic animals last session. The Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is in the process of creating new lists of exotics that can be possessed with permits, those that can be possessed without permits, and those that are banned. My legislation would require a permit to possess all exotic animals in Maine, and require the owners of exotics to notify the Maine Warden Service if their exotic animal gets loose along with any neighbors within that animal’s range of travel. It would also authorize DIF&W to require an ID chip in some exotic animals.
Ski industry taps technology, diversifies to expand its $300M yearly impact
Mainebiz - Monday, March 6, 2017 

It's been a great winter so far for Maine's ski industry. "The weather is certainly the biggest factor in the business," says Ethan Austin, director of marketing and communcations for Sugarloaf Mountain and Ski Resort. "And if you don't have enough snow, it's whether you have cold-enough weather to make snow." That means keeping up with technology. The latest in snowmaking, says Austin, is low-energy snow guns that require less compressed air. "We've been working to make ourselves more of a year-round business for many years," says Austin. That includes a premiere golf club and numerous events throughout the summer. The Sugarloaf Marathon last May drew 1,600 runners. The resort has launched a variety of new events, including a summer concert series, trail race and mountain bike festival.
Opinion: LePage’s campaign against North Woods monument will only hurt Maine
Bangor Daily News - Monday, March 6, 2017 

On Feb. 14, Gov. Paul LePage wrote a letter to President Donald Trump asking him to rescind the executive order that created the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. LePage’s request was based upon misleading and outdated information. The governor’s letter only serves to harm the economic progress and investment made in the Katahdin region since the establishment of the monument. ~ Gail Fanjoy and Larry MacArthur, Katahdin Area Chamber of Commerce
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