May 27, 2017  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Saturday, May 27, 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
Bird Walk at Erickson Fields Preserve, Jun 3
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 27, 2017 

Naturalist Kirk Gentalen will lead a group around MCHT’s Teen Ag garden and through the woods to search for migratory songbirds and discover what other feathered creatures inhabit the preserve. At Maine Coast Heritage Trust's Erickson Fields Preserve, Rockport, June 3, 8-11 am.
Making Paper, Making Maine, Jun 3
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 27, 2017 

Get an inside look at the new exhibit "Making Paper, Making Maine," which recognizes the historic shifts going on in Maine’s paper industry. Also, keynote talk by Alan Caron, author of "Maine's Next Economy." At Maine Historical Society Annual Meeting, Portland, June 3, 10 am - 2 pm, $25 MHS Members; $30 others.
Hills to Sea Trail Opens, Jun 2
Event - Posted - Friday, May 26, 2017 

All are invited to a Grand Opening Celebration for the Hills to Sea Trail, a 47-mile trail from Unity to Belfast. At Waldo County Technical Center, Belfast, June 2, 9 am - 1:30 pm.
Flying WILD and Bird Sleuth Educator Workshop, Jun 2
Event - Posted - Friday, May 26, 2017 

This 4.5 hour workshop provides activities that teach people about birds and what they can do to help birds and their habitats. At Fields Pond, Holden, Jun 2, 8:45 am – 2 pm, Maine Audubon members $23, non-members $25.
Help wanted: Conservation Policy Associate
Announcement - Wednesday, May 24, 2017 

Appalachian Mountain Club is seeking to fill this temporary position July-December 2017; there is the potential for the position to extend into 2018.
Speak up in defense of Maine’s new National Monument
Action Alert - Tuesday, May 23, 2017 

Last summer’s creation of the Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument in northern Maine was a huge victory for conservation and wildlife in our state. Today, that designation is at risk. The Trump administration is conducting a review of national monument designations, including Katahdin Woods & Waters. The Department of Interior is accepting public comments until July 10. ~ Maine Audubon
Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument is Under Attack
Action Alert - Tuesday, May 23, 2017 

The Trump Administration is threatening to overturn Maine’s new National Monument. At the request of Governor Paul LePage, the Department of Interior (DOI) included Katahdin Woods & Waters on a list of 27 monuments to be “reviewed.” DOI Secretary Ryan Zinke could recommend that Maine’s National Monument be changed, or possibly even abolished. Tell the Trump Administration to keep its hands off Katahdin Woods & Waters. ~ Natural Resources Council of Maine
Save Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument
Action Alert - Tuesday, May 23, 2017 

President Trump is considering eliminating or changing the Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument in Maine. Urge the Trump Administration and your U.S. congressional representatives to oppose any effort to eliminate or weaken Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument. Comment deadline is July 10, 2017. ~ RESTORE: The North Woods
Appalachian Odyssey, May 28
Event - Posted - Sunday, May 21, 2017 

Jeff Ryan will regale with tales about his 28-year odyssey hiking the Appalachian Trail. At Freeport Conservation Trust annual meeting, at the Freeport Community Center, May 28, 7 pm.
BDN Poll: Should the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument get its own signage?
Action Alert - Saturday, May 20, 2017 

Gov. Paul LePage is refusing to put signs along state roads showing the way to Maine’s national monument. Should the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument get its own signage?
Damariscotta Mills Fish Ladder Restoration Festival, May 27-28
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 20, 2017 

The towns of Nobleboro and Newcastle and the Nobleboro Historical Society present the 10th annual Damariscotta Mills Fish Ladder Restoration Festival on Memorial Day weekend, May 27-28. Witness the annual return of the alewives as they ascend the fish ladder to spawn in Damariscotta Lake.
Ragged Mountain Preserve Nature Walk, May 27
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 20, 2017 

Maine Master Naturalists Cloe Chunn and Roger Rittmaster will lead a general natural history walk at the peak time for spring wildflowers and songbird migration in midcoast Maine. Meet at Route 17 parking area for Georges Highland Path, May 27, 10 am - noon. Sponsored by Coastal Mountains Land Trust.
Third Annual Freeport Birding Festival, May 26-28
Event - Posted - Friday, May 19, 2017 

Owl Prowl at Mast landing Sanctuary; birding at Florida Lake, Pettengill Farm, Wolfe’s Neck Farm, and Sayles Field; Casco Bay kayak tour; outing at Winslow Park, etc. May 26-28. Sponsored by L.L. Bean and Maine Audubon.
Saving Seabirds: New Lessons from Puffins, May 25
Event - Posted - Thursday, May 18, 2017 

60% of all seabirds have vanished in the last 60 years. Dr. Stephen Kress, Director of National Audubon’s Seabird Restoration Program, will talk about the restoration of Maine seabirds. At L.L. Bean, Freeport, May 25, 7-9 pm, Maine Audubon members $10, non-members $15.
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News Items
Bangor company buys 8.2 acres to grow recreational marijuana in Greene
Sun Journal - Thursday, May 25, 2017 

A Bangor-based company has bought the shuttered Town & Country Foods with long-term plans to grow recreational marijuana in the former 13,340-square-foot former meat operation. Central Maine Flower describes itself online as “growers who specialize in the growing of hydroponic medicinal cannabis.”
Bangor’s shrinking population reflects a northern Maine trend
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, May 25, 2017 

Population losses continued to sweep inland communities north of Augusta last year, according to local estimates released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau. The latest figures show communities in Aroostook, Piscataquis, Washington and Penobscot counties posted the largest estimated population losses, by percentage change.
Libra Foundation launches significant investment in Piscataquis County
Mainebiz - Thursday, May 25, 2017 

The Libra Foundation is making a significant investment in Piscataquis County, initially focusing on acquiring and developing several vacant properties in Monson. Craig Denekas, Libra's chairman and CEO, told Mainebiz in an interview Wednesday that the private foundation has spent roughly $1 million since last fall, buying vacant properties in Monson seen as having strong potential for restoration and reuse. Its investment strategy focuses on three sectors: the arts, food and agriculture, and recreational, outdoor and visitor activities.
Column: When the birds are singing, the hike can wait
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, May 25, 2017 

I am writing this column from the deck of Inn on the Harbor in Stonington. The inn is on my Top One list of favorite inns in Maine. A black guillemot is swimming among the lobster boats. Common eiders loaf beyond the guillemot. Common terns are diving in the distance. Three different species of gull are roosting near the pier. It is last Friday, and I am here to kick off the annual Wings, Waves, Woods birding festival. But this is decidedly not how my day began. ~ Bob Duchesne
What’s next for Maine’s papermaking industry?
Mainebiz - Thursday, May 25, 2017 

A exhibit opening next week at the Maine Historical Society will look at the history of the paper industry in Maine, but also ask what's next. "Making Paper, Making Maine," which opens June 2, will look at the "historic transition taking place" in Maine's paper industry, which has undergone significant upheaval in recent years.Paper has "shaped Maine's economy, molded individual and community identities and impacted the environment throughout Maine," the organization said, but faces uncertainty going forward.
Maine Environmental Advocates Decry Trump's Proposed EPA Cuts
Maine Public - Thursday, May 25, 2017 

Sweeping budget cuts proposed by President Trump would slash Environmental Protection Agency programs that reduce pollution in Maine, save lives and strengthen communities, according to the Natural Resources Council of Maine. Opponents say the Trump budget eliminates more than 50 environmental protection programs and cuts EPA funding by $2.6 billion.
Mining reform bill passes Maine Legislature; LePage veto anticipated
Maine Environmental News - Thursday, May 25, 2017 

LD 820, a bill to revamp Maine's mineral mining law, has passed both houses of the Maine Legislature and is headed to the governor. The House voted enactment on Tuesday, May 23. The Senate concurred on Wednesday, May 24. Gov. Paul LePage had threatened to veto the mining ban if it passed. He is expected to veto the compromise bill as well, but the there may be enough legislative votes to override a veto.
Groups Say Unprecedented EPA Budget Cuts Would Harm the Health of Maine’s Environment, Economy, and People
Natural Resources Council of Maine - Thursday, May 25, 2017 

The White House this week released a budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2018 that would slash Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) programs that reduce pollution in Maine, save the lives of Maine people, and strengthen our communities and economy. The proposal singles out EPA for the deepest cuts of any federal agency, causing widespread concerns in Maine about the potential impacts of these cuts if they are enacted. Today, a letter signed by 60 organizations in Maine was sent to Maine’s Congressional delegation urging them to do “everything possible” to maintain EPA’s budget “at no less than current funding levels. The health of our air, water, people, and economy is at stake.”
Eagles and climate change in a small Maine town
Other - Thursday, May 25, 2017 

Thirty years ago, when I first started coming to this stretch of rocky coastline, there were no bald eagles to be seen. Now it’s almost an everyday experience here along the Kennebec River. For that we can thank Rachel Carson, a marine biologist, nature writer, journalist and one of the mothers of modern environmentalism. Georgetown is a small town with a big stake in the state of the climate. But the stakes are high for all of us, and coping with climate change is a taller order than saving the bald eagle. To which the practical Mainer might say: So stop arguing and get to work. ~ Rick Holmes
The Price of Beauty: Maine State Parks broke visitor records last year — and they did it on a starvation budget
Free Press - Thursday, May 25, 2017 

People love Maine state parks but appear to think that someone else will pay for them. In fact, until Gov. LePage’s budget proposed cutting 24 seasonal state park jobs — 15 seasonal assistant park rangers and nine park laborers — no one seemed to think much about them as an entire system in charge of some of the most beautiful and historic sites in the state at all. No cost savings would result from cutting seasonal staff since the rangers would be replaced with contracted labor, which was proposed as an efficiency measure without much justification from LePage conservation officials. The staff cuts seem unlikely to pass. The bigger story is that Maine State Parks, which saw a record 2.8 million visitors last year and brought in $1 million more in revenue in 2016 than in 2015, are on a starvation budget. That’s not new under the LePage administration. It’s a long-term trend.
A wealthy group bought the heart of a poor Maine town to build an artist colony
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, May 25, 2017 

The Libra Foundation has since October spent $750,000 buying a dozen houses, a community center and a general store along Monson’s main drag — as well as a farm on North Guilford Road, said Erik K. Hayward, Libra’s senior vice president. The plan is to convert the houses into artist residences and the center into studio space. The store would sell art and produce from farms in Piscataquis County, which the U.S. Census Bureau rated as Maine’s poorest in 2015. The foundation’s goal is ambitious: To save a dying industrial town known for slate quarries and furniture-making with a dramatic infusion of cash into the arts, agriculture and eventually recreation.
NRCM newsletter features lots of important issues and news
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Thursday, May 25, 2017 

The new emailed newsletter of the Natural Resources Council of Maine contains an impressive and important amount of news, both good and bad. I want to share this with you today. Here it is.
New book explores family-friendly hiking in Maine
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, May 25, 2017 

Where should you hike with the kids next? That’s the question a new hiking guide by Bangor Daily News outdoors columnist Aislinn Sarnacki seeks to answer. The recently released book “Family Friendly Hikes in Maine” features 35 easy hikes from across the state. And if anyone knows hiking here in Maine, it’s Sarnacki. She estimates she’s hiked 250 trails in Maine since she began writing her popular weekly column 5½ years ago.
Maine lobstermen worry about possible closure to protect coral
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, May 25, 2017 

The New England Fishery Management Council voted last month to exempt lobstering from the coral fishing ban it is considering, but the proposal won’t be finalized until June. Until then, the council is holding a series of public hearings on the proposal, including one Thursday in Ellsworth. State officials hope lobstermen show up in large numbers to lobby the council to keep the lobster exemption in its final plan.
Letter: Wind project for Dixfield
Sun Journal - Thursday, May 25, 2017 

Dixfield faces steep tax increases because of the decision to leave RSU 10. The town needs to expand its tax base. A wind project would accomplish this. The local ordinance, which is in place with state standards, would bring in much needed tax dollars. Changes made to sound limits or boundary distances would prohibit any chance of a wind project and its tax revenue. ~ Peter Holman, Dixfield
Letter: Maine senators takes stand against methane waste
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, May 25, 2017 

Recently, several members of Congress tried to give the oil and gas industry a free pass to waste taxpayer dollars and energy resources through dangerous leaks in methane from oil and gas operations. Fortunately for Maine, Sens. Angus King and Susan Collins took a stand against a dirty energy agenda and voted against attempts to gut standards that limit the oil and gas industry’s methane pollution and waste. ~ Todd Zoroya, Old Town
Groups Say Billions Needed To Jumpstart Stalled Wind Energy Development In Maine
Maine Public - Wednesday, May 24, 2017 

After a decade of rapid growth, wind energy in Maine has hit the doldrums. No big new wind projects are likely to go live anytime soon, and it could cost billions to unlock enough of the state’s wind resource — the best in the region — to serve southern New England’s thirst for renewable energy. Chris O’Neill, a consultant who represents a group called Friends of Maine’s Mountains, says pressure is on for new wind generators to qualify for a federal tax credit that ends soon. And there’s another hurry-up that has wind skeptics on alert — a recent Massachusetts RFP seeking renewable energy.
Bad year for ticks propels demand for Skowhegan company’s anti-bug items
Morning Sentinel - Wednesday, May 24, 2017 

Bill and Julie Swain have come a long way with their Stitching Specialties LLC and Dog Not Gone Visibility Products since they started operations in 2005 in their home in Kingfield. The couple bought the former Dirigo Stitching Co. factory in Skowhegan in 2014, and by last year, their products for pets and people were being shipped to Wal-Mart stores all across New England. Citing walk-in demand for their product line — Dog Not Gone tick and mosquito-repelling outerwear for dogs and humans — the Swains last week opened a factory outlet store at the building in Skowhegan.
Maine environmental advocates warn of ‘crippling’ cuts in Trump budget
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, May 24, 2017 

President Donald Trump has not backed off on a wide range of federal budget cuts and program eliminations that critics have for months warned would devastate Maine’s economy and environment. The cuts to discretionary programs would disrupt scientific research, hack funding to Maine universities and scientific research institutions, and disrupt the economic prospects of fishing, forestry and former mill communities. If the White House has its way, it would mean the end of UMaine’s Sea Grant program, the likely closure of the Wells Reserve at Laudholm Farm, the end of a successful partnership program to clean-up Casco Bay and beach water quality testing statewide. The DEP would lose millions of dollars in federal grant funding, including the elimination of grants to help remediate radon and lead paint contamination and to protect Maine lakes from pollution.
LePage refused to put up national monument signs, so this couple made their own
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, May 24, 2017 

Call it a sign of protest: A Benedicta couple who oppose the governor’s ban of road signs showing the way to Maine’s national monument has hung their own signage on a highway overpass. Herman and Lisa Ammerman tied a spray-painted painter’s cloth banner on Benedicta’s Casey Road bridge on the northbound side of Interstate 95 on Tuesday. With Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument due to start its first full season with the opening of its main Loop Road entrance on Thursday, Lisa Ammerman said she hopes that motorists — and Gov. Paul LePage — get the message. LePage banned signs from all Katahdin region main roads until federal officials determine whether the executive order creating the monument is valid. That review is due on Aug. 24.
Why Are Environmental Agencies Celebrating Trump’s Devastating Cuts?
Other - Wednesday, May 24, 2017 

New Republic - In curiously similar language, the environmental agencies claim Trump's proposed budget would return them to their "core mission" and allow them to work more "efficiently." The idea that massive cuts will allow these agencies to return to their “core missions” or “core functions” is laughable. And four out of five of the agency news releases applaud Trump’s “efficiency.” Of course, “redundancies” and “efficiency” are just euphemisms. The point of the cuts is not to make these agencies more streamlined and cost-effective, but to force them to do less with less, curtailing their ability to enact and enforce regulations.
Column: Here Today, Gone Tomorrow
Free Press - Wednesday, May 24, 2017 

What is causing the right whale birth rate to drop? Is it that entanglement in fishing gear weakens the whales so that they haven’t the reserves to produce young? Is it that their preferred food has disappeared due to a warming ocean? Has the increase in rainfall and drop in the Gulf’s salinity levels due to climate change diminished the phytoplankton bloom that feeds Calanus finmarchicus? Or has the decrease in Calanus finmarchicus abundance in Canadian waters led to a corresponding decrease in the Gulf of Maine? Research scientists at NMFS want to answer those questions yet the agency’s first and foremost responsibility is to ensure the continued existence of North Atlantic right whales. ~ Melissa Waterman
Trump dumps ‘clean coal’ research he praised in campaign
Bloomberg News - Wednesday, May 24, 2017 

President Donald Trump promised his administration would bring about “clean coal,” but his budget proposed slashing research the industry says it needs to make that a reality. Coal is the top source of energy-related CO2 emissions, accounting for 68 percent of the emissions associated with electricity generation, according to Energy Department data.
Maine mining bill nearly through Legislature; veto expected
Maine Environmental News - Wednesday, May 24, 2017 

The Maine House voted on Tuesday, May 23, to enact LD 820, a bill to revamp Maine's mineral mining law. The Senate is expected to take final action imminently. According to the Natural Resources Council of Maine, the bill would provide strong protections against metallic mineral mining pollution. Some grassroots activists had called for a complete ban on metal mining in Maine. However, LD 160, which would prohibit mining of major ore deposits, had no chance of passage. The grassrooters are calling for citizen members to resign from NRCM and other groups supportive of the compromise mining bill. Gov. Paul LePage is expected to veto LD 820.
Moose referendum was hard-fought battle
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Wednesday, May 24, 2017 

The 1983 referendum initiated by a group trying to stop Maine’s new moose hunting season was contentious and hard-fought. Here’s a look back at it in a Sun Journal news story.
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Unprecedented EPA Budget Cuts Would Harm the Health of Maine’s Environment, Economy, and People

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Maine Environmental Advocates Warn of “Crippling” Cuts in Trump Budget

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