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
Parents’ concerns prompt switch to organic pesticide at Freeport schools
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, May 24, 2017 

School officials in Freeport have decided to treat browntail moth nests at athletic fields with an organic pesticide rather than a synthetic one, in response to parents’ concerns about the environmental effects of the chemical spray.
Letter: Maine needs strong mining rules
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, May 24, 2017 

One only need to look in our state’s past to see issues with mining, such as what happened in Brooksville with the Callahan mine. Even after 40 years, the open-pit mine remains contaminated with toxic metals and affects wildlife. It was designated a Superfund site, requiring federal intervention. This is the third time in four years mining changes are trying to be rammed through the Legislature. The better move for Maine’s environment would be no mining, but if there is to be mining, better it be with strong but fair rules (such as proposed under LD 820) that hold mining companies responsible for incidents and protect our most vulnerable areas. ~ Jeremy Boulier, Mars Hill
Letter: LePage, Trump childish
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, May 24, 2017 

The similarities between Paul LePage and Donald Trump are getting more apparent every day, with both acting like a 6-year-old who wants his way or will throw a fit and pout. The Paul has the same arrogance as The Donald. Most of the time LePage is in his own little world, which most of us don’t understand or have a clue where the stuff he says and does comes from. The latest is the national monument road sign foolery. I wasn’t for the national monument, either, but this sign issue is just another example of LePage showing how childish he can act. What has country come to? ~ Gary King, Howland
U.S. Postal Service Issues New Thoreau Stamp
Other - Tuesday, May 23, 2017 

The U.S. Postal Service has dedicated its new Henry David Thoreau postage stamp at a ceremony at Walden Pond, where the 19th century American philosopher and naturalist spent two years in solitude and reflection.
Once-rare bobcats thrive in New England
Associated Press - Tuesday, May 23, 2017 

“They are back in New England and at least as abundant as they were 100 years ago, if not more,” said Litvaitis, who conducted much of his research while at the University of New Hampshire. “They are adapting to a landscape that has changed.” The resurgence of Lynx rufus comes during a shift over the past several decades from treating bobcats as vermin to be exterminated to being considered a top predator worthy of protection.
One-of-a-kind Acadia guide written just for kids
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, May 23, 2017 

“Ten Days in Acadia: A Kids’ Hiking Guide to Mount Desert Island” by Southwest Harbor resident Hope Rowan was written to be read by young outdoor explorers, to engage them with nature and empower them to guide their parents on adventures throughout the park. To do this, Rowan wrote the guide in an unusual fashion: as a fictional story following a 12-year-old girl and her family as they explore Acadia during a vacation.
Advocates Say Trump’s Budget Makes Maine’s Economy, Social Problems ‘Gravely Worse’
Maine Public - Tuesday, May 23, 2017 

Advocates for the poor, environmental groups and members of Congress were quick to attack President Donald Trump’s budget proposal, which was released in more detail on Tuesday. Included in the proposal: a 30 percent cut to the Environmental Protection Agency, which U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree says would result in the loss of $4 million in Maine. Programs that deal with radon, lead and beach protection and estuaries would be eliminated. Funding for the National Estuary Program and Coastal Waterways would be cut, which means fewer protections for Casco Bay. Big cuts are also slated for the Department of the Interior. Tom Abello of the Nature Conservancy in Maine is worried about cuts to the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
President's Budget Proposal For National Parks Calls for "Biggest Cut Since World War II"
National Parks Traveler - Tuesday, May 23, 2017 

President Trump's Fiscal 2018 proposal for the National Park Service would be the "biggest cut to the Park Service since World War II" if enacted in its current form by Congress, park advocates claimed Tuesday. While Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke told reporters several times during a conference call that the budget would allow the agency "to take care of what we have" across the Interior landscape, it would cut roughly $380 million and nearly 1,250 full-time positions from the Park Service's current budget. "If enacted, this would be the biggest cut to the Park Service since WWII," John Garder, the National Parks Conservation Association's director for budget and appropriations, said.
Trump budget targets land acquisition, conservation programs
E&E/Greenwire - Tuesday, May 23, 2017 

The Trump administration would scale back significantly on new federal land acquisitions and revenue-sharing partnerships with states, while seeking new oil and drilling opportunities in the Arctic, under its fiscal 2018 Interior budget proposal unveiled today.
Editorial: LePage and history
Maine Environmental News - Tuesday, May 23, 2017 

On the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, Gov. Paul LePage has been monumentally on the wrong side of history. Even former opponents in the Katahdin region now support the monument. Nevertheless, LePage continues his insulting all-out assault. His latest infantile tantrum is to withhold road signage directing visitors to the monument. A new reader poll in the Bangor Daily News affirms that a majority of Mainers support the monument. Asked whether the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument should get its own signage, more than three-quarters voted yes. LePage cannot hear this news because his feet are in his ears, when they are not in his mouth, but everyone else gets it.
Hike: Acadia Mountain in Acadia National Park
Aislinn Sarnacki Act Out Blog - Tuesday, May 23, 2017 

Located on what’s known as the quieter side of Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island, Acadia Mountain rises 681 feet above sea level, making it one of the smaller mountains on the island. Nevertheless, the top of the mountain is free of vegetation in several places, including the summit, offering great views of the region. The mountain also features beautiful stands of twisted pitch pine trees and an abundance of lowbush blueberries.
‘Leading edge’ restrictions on electricity sellers become Maine law
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, May 23, 2017 

Gov. Paul LePage has signed into law new rules for companies that sell electricity directly to Maine homeowners and, on average, have cost them millions above the default rate. The law will tighten rules for retail electricity companies automatically renewing customer contracts, requiring new disclosures and an actual affirmative response from customers if the new rate equals an increase of 20 percent or more. It will also prohibit companies from charging a termination fee for re-enrollments done without specific consent from the customer.
Donald Trump’s budget is his biggest fraud since Trump University
Other - Tuesday, May 23, 2017 

Slate - Donald Trump’s pitch for his Trump University promised a world of possibility to potential students. Trump didn’t just fail to deliver; the entire thing was a scam. Ultimately, the law caught Trump, forcing him to pay a $25 million settlement for this fraud. Trump University was an exercise in cruelty and predation. It is also a useful episode for thinking about President Trump’s $4.1 trillion budget proposal, released on Tuesday.
Maine Live: Tim Glidden
Maine. The Magazine - Tuesday, May 23, 2017 

Tim Glidden, a self-proclaimed “free-range kid,” is now the president of the Maine Coast Heritage Trust. In his Maine Live talk he discusses how his childhood led him to a career in conservation, how Maine’s environment is changing, and the importance of getting outside and embracing all that our state’s outdoors have to offer. “When we conserve these opportunities, we protect a source of energy and strength to face the challenges that are coming at us. We can build a future of which we can be proud—a future worth fighting for.” [video]
Donald Trump's Latest Budget Still Takes An Ax To Environmental Protection Agency
Huffington Post - Tuesday, May 23, 2017 

The latest version of the Trump administration’s 2018 budget will still cut the budget for the Environmental Protection Agency by nearly one-third. The budget proposed on Tuesday would cut funding to the agency to $5.65 billion ― a 31.4 percent reduction. As far as the EPA goes, the proposal doesn’t appear to have changed drastically from the so-called “skinny budget” released in March. Science and health advocates decried the cuts.
Shuttered Madison mill to be sold piecemeal in June auction
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, May 23, 2017 

Owners of the shuttered UPM-Kymmene mill in Madison will sell off 3,000 separate pieces of industrial equipment through a three-day online auction starting June 13. The joint partnership of asset liquidators running the sale said the mill’s Valmet paper machine will be sold through private negotiation while the rest of the equipment will be sold through the auction. The previous owners sold the mill in December after it stopped production last May, laying off 214 workers in the process. It was Maine’s fifth major paper mill closure in three years.
Editorial: All signs point to monument being positive addition to Maine, even if LePage tries to hide it
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, May 23, 2017 

Gov. Paul LePage doesn’t like the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. He tried to stop it from being created, and now that it exists he is working hard to get its designation reversed, even though the monument is bringing people and much needed economic activity to the Katahdin region. Meanwhile, other monument opponents have come to see its value. This follows the pattern of other national monuments: Loud local opposition quickly turns to support as area residents see the benefits of having a monument in their backyard. It is time for LePage to see it, too.
Memorial Day: Kick-off to Maine's Summer Travel Season
Maine Government News - Tuesday, May 23, 2017 

With Memorial Day and the summer travel season just around the corner, the Maine Office of Tourism anticipates another good year for the tourism industry in Maine. Approximately 40 percent of Americans in Maine’s core travel markets (New England and the Mid-Atlantic) say they expect to travel more for leisure during the next year compared to 2016. Maine had almost 36 million visitors in 2016, including 5 million first-time visitors. Growth in first-time visitation came primarily from the Mid-Atlantic states. “Maine has increased our marketing allocation in the mid-Atlantic region for 2017,” said Steve Lyons, Acting Director of the Maine Office of Tourism. “The numbers demonstrate that the Maine ‘brand’ resonates with today’s travelers.
Scientists say the rate of sea level rise has nearly tripled since 1990
Washington Post - Tuesday, May 23, 2017 

A new scientific analysis finds that the Earth’s oceans are rising nearly three times as rapidly as they were throughout most of the 20th century, one of the strongest indications yet that a much feared trend of not just sea level rise but its acceleration is underway. The cause is that sea level rise throughout much of the 20th century was driven by the melting of land-based glaciers and the expansion of seawater as it warms, but sea level rise in the 21st century has now, on top of that, added in major contributions from the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica.
Lots of killed bills this session, from Spearfishing to Sunday hunting
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Tuesday, May 23, 2017 

As usual, most of the nearly 2000 bills introduced this legislative session have been killed or will be soon, including lots of fish and wildlife bills. Here are some of the more interesting bills that got nowhere.
A top chef has an answer to Maine’s green crab scourge: Fry them in oil, then dig in
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, May 23, 2017 

European green crabs have scurried around coastal waters off Maine since they first hitchhiked here on ships in the 1800s, but only in the past few years have the invasive crustaceans begun to devour the softshell clam industry and decimate delicate eelgrass habitat. But Portland restaurateur Sam Hayward, who in 2004 was named Best Chef Northeast by the James Beard Foundation and in 2011 won the the Chef’s Collaborative Sustainer of the Year award, on Monday shared a simple recipe he learned from a fellow chef to transform the crustaceans into “a sandy, seafoody deliciousness.”
Maine Issues Reminder on ATV Size Limits
Associated Press - Tuesday, May 23, 2017 

Maine officials are reminding the state's many all-terrain vehicle users that ATVs wider than five feet are not allowed on many pieces of the state's vast trail network. State agencies say the state's trail system is designed to be used by ATVs that are that size or smaller. They say side-by-side ATVs are growing in popularity and causing an increased number of complaints. Maine registers nearly 70,000 ATVs every year. That total has climbed in recent years, as it was fewer than 50,000 in the early 2000s.
Letter: LePage’s view on ‘nips’ deposit hurts businesses, taxpayers, environment
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, May 23, 2017 

Gov. LePage’s punitive nature is on display once again with his threat to stop “nips” from being sold in Maine because of the Legislature’s efforts to reduce roadside litter through the addition of a bottle deposit. He’d rather punish the producers of nips and the taxpayers than accept the compromise offered by a local producer. He’d rather forgo the $7 million in business and $1 million in taxes on the sale of nips and just let the litter be “washed away” with the spring thaw, as he said in his veto of the Maine Community Litter Cleanup Day bill. In this instance, he is against not only environmental protection (as usual), but also business and taxpayers. ~ Elizabeth Oatley, Windham
Letter: Local land trusts counter bad environmental policies of Washington
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, May 23, 2017 

It seems, every day, we hear of more rollbacks and new policies that will lead to greater pollution and degradation of our natural environment coming from Washington, D.C. To counter this somber news, I find inspiration in the fantastic work being performed in our own Maine backyards by locally funded, member-driven nonprofit organizations. Environmental conservation and natural resource protection in southern Maine is robust, active and relatively insulated from the ebbs and flows of the political climate in Washington. Consider my local land trust, the Great Works Regional Land Trust. Founded 30 years ago, it has completed over 120 projects, protecting more than 6,000 acres. ~ Harland Goodwin, South Berwick
Letter: National monuments for everyone
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, May 23, 2017 

President Donald Trump and Gov. Paul LePage cannot abide natural areas off limits to commercial exploitation and resource extraction. They have no appreciation of the natural world or the fact that there are millions of people who cherish natural beauty and cultural treasures, and rejoice in the knowledge that there are still places where these special gifts remain unmolested. Should the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument be somehow taken away from the people of Maine and the region, there is one person who will take the blame: LePage. ~ Jerry Stelmok, Atkinson
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