May 27, 2015  

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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Wednesday, May 27, 2015 

Thanks for visiting Maine Environmental News, the most comprehensive online source available for links to Maine conservation and natural resource news stories and events. I have posted links to more than 35,000 news articles and announcements. I 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 my attention a few days after they are published. Follow us on Twitter @MaineEnviroNews. Will Sugg is the website developer. ~ Jym St. Pierre, RESTORE: The North Woods
Take a Stand Against Solar Rollbacks
Action Alert - Wednesday, May 27, 2015 

Governor LePage has proposed a batch of bad bills that attack solar power, other renewable energy sources and energy efficiency, and steal money from the Bureau of Parks and Lands. ~ Maine Audubon
Protect Maine from Mining Pollution; reject LD 750
Action Alert - Wednesday, May 27, 2015 

Unfortunately, weak mining rules are in front of the Maine Legislature again. In an 8-5 vote, the majority of the Environment and Natural Resources Committee passed LD 750, which will not make DEP’s proposed mining rules protective. LD 750 does not provide clear, consistent requirements for mining companies. It doesn’t protect Maine’s clean water from mining pollution or ensure Maine taxpayers won’t pay for the messes mining companies leave behind. ~ Natural Resources Council of Maine
Maine’s Environment and Economy: Past, Present, Future, Jun3
Event - Posted - Wednesday, May 27, 2015 

Richard Barringer, former Commissioner of Conservation and Director of State Planning and Professor Emeritus at the Muskie School of Public Service at USM, will look back with respect to Maine’s natural resources since he published "A Maine Manifest" in 1972. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, June 3, 7:30 pm. Sponsored by Midcoast Senior College.
The Alewives of Surry, May 31
Event - Posted - Sunday, May 24, 2015 

Watch the alewives returning at high tide with Ted Ames, and learn about the traditional alewife in Patten Stream. At Town of Surry Landing, May 31, 10-11:30 am. Sponsored by The Surry Alewife Committee, SCIA, and Blue Hill Heritage Trust.
Kennebec Land Trust hikes
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 23, 2015 

In celebration of the Kennebec Land Trust’s newly released hiking guide, "Take a Hike," KLT is offering a hike on every property included in the guide during 2014 and 2015.
Birding at Thorne Head Preserve, May 30
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 23, 2015 

Ted Allen from Merrymeeting Audubon will lead birders through Kennebec Estuary Land Trust’s Thorne Head Preserve in Bath. May 30, meet at CVS in Bath at 7:30 am to carpool or at the preserve parking lot at 8:00 am.
Call for Artists to Take Part in Paint the Weskeag to Benefit Land Trust
Announcement - Friday, May 22, 2015 

The Kelpie Gallery in South Thomaston invites plein air artists to take part in the second annual "Wet Paint on the Weskeag!" to benefit Georges River Land Trust. Artists will paint outdoors in the vicinity of Wesseweskeag River and Marsh on August 15, with the pictures to be auctioned August 16. Submit for jurying two representative images of work by May 29.
Live osprey webcam
Announcement - Wednesday, May 20, 2015 

The webcam is located on 330-acre Hog Island, in Muscongus Bay off Bremen. It is hosted by in partnership with the Audubon Society.
Acadia Quest
Announcement - Wednesday, May 20, 2015 

Acadia Quest is a series of youth- and family-oriented experiences in Acadia National Park that encourage youth and families to explore, learn, and protect national parks and other conserved lands.
Rally & Hearing: Corporations Are Not People and Money Is Not Speech, May 27
Action Alert - Wednesday, May 20, 2015 

Public Hearing on HP 956 "Joint Resolution ... Regarding ... Corporations as People and the Role of Money In the Election Process." At Cross Office Building, Augusta, May 27, rally at 12 pm, hearing at 1 pm.
Relations between Maine's Indian Tribes & Maine's Governor, May 26
Announcement - Tuesday, May 19, 2015 

Relations between Maine's Indian tribes and Governor LePage have grown tense since the governor rescinded an executive order promoting state cooperation with the tribes. Why is there a disagreement and might happen next? Maine Public Radio, May 26, 12 noon.
Wildlife in Spring, May 26
Event - Posted - Tuesday, May 19, 2015 

The Center for Wildlife from Cape Neddick will present an interactive family program featuring seasonal adaptations with several live, non-releasable wild animal ambassadors, including the oh-so-interesting Virginia opossum. At Topsham Public Library, May 26, 6:30-8 pm. Sponsored by Cathance River Education Alliance.
Maine's Economy & Climate Change: Challenges and Opportunities, Jun 12
Event - Posted - Tuesday, May 19, 2015 

An unprecedented gathering of some of Maine's largest Chambers of Commerce, environmental, energy and research organizations to explore the changes that climate change is bringing to Maine's economy, including both it's challenges and opportunities. At Brunswick, June 12, 8 am - 3:30 pm. Sponsored by Envision Maine.
Camden to celebrate Arbor Day, May 24
Event - Posted - Sunday, May 17, 2015 

After a brief ceremony, including reading Camden’s official Arbor Day proclamation and the presentation of Camden’s 20th Tree City USA Award, a walking tour will be guided by author and arborist Nancy Caudle-Johnson and Conservation Commission Chairman Douglas Johnson. There will be copies of the new Walking Tour brochure. At Camden Town Green, May 24, 1 pm.
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News Items
State Budget Writers Reject Governor's Plan to Reorganize AG Department
Maine Public Broadcasting Network - Friday, May 22, 2015 

A plan by Gov. Paul LePage to reorganize the recently-created Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry has run into bipartisan opposition among lawmakers. Members of the budget-writing Appropriations Committee unanimously rejected most of the proposal, including the most controversial part. Hundreds of lines in the proposed two-year state budget are devoted to the reorganization proposal. But what drew the most concern by lawmakers was moving the Bureau of Public Lands under the umbrella of the Maine Forest Service.
Rockefeller Gives Maine a Birthday Gift: 1,000 Acres of Scenic Land
Maine Public Broadcasting Network - Friday, May 22, 2015 

Soon to mark his 100th birthday, former bank chairman David Rockefeller announced his birthday gift to the Acadia region: 1,000 acres land laced with streams and trails in Seal Harbor. Rockefeller, grandson of oil tycoon John Rockefeller Sr., will transfer the acreage into the care of the Mount Desert Island & Garden Preserve for public use. The land, which is adjacent to Acadia National Park, has always been open to the public, and use will not change. The gift continues a legacy of land stewardship begun by Rockefeller's father, John D. Rockefeller Jr, who was largely responsible for donating the lands that became Acadia National Park.
Our Maine Heritage: Alewives on the Souadabscook, 1988
John Holyoke Out There Blog - Friday, May 22, 2015 

In some tributaries in the lower Penobscot River, folks were paying close attention to alewives nearly 30 years ago. In this photo, a “fishing agent” boxes up alewives as part of a commercial harvest. The fish are still used as lobster bait, and in a few years, a commercial fishery will likely exist in Bradley, thanks to the current restoration effort. So why are we making such a big deal about fish in Bradley if they were already in Hampden 30 years ago? The answer seems simple: There were no dams on the river below Souadabscook Stream, and alewives (along with other sea-run fish) were allowed to swim freely to their natal ponds.
Maine’s congressional representatives
Bangor Daily News - Friday, May 22, 2015 

The U.S. House has passed the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act, sponsored by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas). The bill would authorize through fiscal 2017 scientific research programs at several government agencies, cutting funding for research in social sciences and climate change science while maintaining or increasing funding for physical sciences, information technology, biology and energy research.The vote was 217 yeas to 205 nays. Chellie Pingree (D) gave a nay vote, and Bruce Poliquin (R) gave a yea vote.
Wal-Mart’s push on animal welfare hailed as game changer
Associated Press - Friday, May 22, 2015 

Wal-Mart’s push to get its suppliers to give farm animals fewer antibiotics and more room to roam is expected to have a big impact on the food industry, experts say. Though the steps are voluntary, Wal-Mart, which sells more food than any other store, has a history of using its retail muscle to change the way products are made and sold across the retail industry.
Rockefeller family marks 1,000-acre donation to MDI preserve
Bangor Daily News - Friday, May 22, 2015 

Standing at a podium underneath a large white tent a few feet away from the edge of Little Long Pond, David Rockefeller made it clear Friday that Mount Desert Island is a special place to him and his family. “Seal Harbor, maybe more than any other location that I can think of in the world, has been important to me since I first came here when I was 3 months old in my parents’ hands,” the 99-year-old billionaire told more than 100 people who had gathered around him. Rockefeller, three of his grown children and dozens of others connected to the land conservation community on MDI had come to a meadow next to the pond to celebrate Rockefeller’s donation of more than 1,000 acres of land surrounding the pond to the Mount Desert Land and Garden Preserve.
Maine Forest Service Warns of Increase in Browntail Moth Caterpillar Infestation
Maine Government News - Friday, May 22, 2015 

The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF) is warning Maine residents that the infestation of a noxious invasive caterpillar is worse this year than last year and local residents should begin thinking now about how they want to deal with the pest. Browntail moth caterpillar hairs can cause a blistery, oozy rash or respiratory distress for people who come into contact with them.
Obama Administration Considering New Options for Conserving Migratory Birds
American Bird Conservancy - Friday, May 22, 2015 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will announce Tuesday that it intends to prepare a programmatic environmental impact statement to evaluate the effects of authorizing incidental take of migratory birds under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA). American Bird Conservancy, which petitioned the administration in 2011 and again in 2015 to adopt a permitting system to reduce or eliminate incidental bird mortality caused by wind energy developments, applauds this action.
Editorial: Legislature can — and should — end LePage’s land conservation power grab
Bangor Daily News - Friday, May 22, 2015 

In touting his income tax elimination plan, Gov. Paul LePage’s message is that the people should decide. But, when it comes to land conservation, it doesn’t matter that the people have already decided — supporting Land for Maine’s Future bonds in 2010 and 2012 with more votes than LePage received in 2014. On this one, LePage says he will decide what projects get funding. Sen. Roger Katz’s bill, which that requires the governor to issue bonds approved by voters except in extraordinary circumstances and it eliminates the requirement that the governor sign off on bond sales, offers a way for lawmakers to heed the will of the voters, as well as to put this sorry episode to rest.
Column: As songbirds return, so does mating season
Bangor Daily News - Friday, May 22, 2015 

It’s all about sex. This weekend, the bulk of migrating songbirds will finish the long journey to Maine and begin the competition for territories and mates. Actual fights are rare. Rather, it’s mostly a contest of song. However, there can be brief comical moments. ~ Bob Duchesne
Fisheries commission studying black sea bass
Associated Press - Friday, May 22, 2015 

A multistate management commission is working on an assessment of the health of the black sea bass population. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission is evaluating the status of the fish north of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, to help inform the way it manages the species. The black bass commercial fishery was worth more than $8.5 million in 2013. The commission is accepting data about the fishery until June 19. Scientists have said the bass are increasing in northern New England waters because of accelerated water temperature increases in recent years.
Alewives return to Blackman Stream, inspire celebratory festival
Bangor Daily News - Friday, May 22, 2015 

On Blackman Stream, on the grounds of the Maine Forest and Logging Museum, the resurgence is obvious. “[The return of so many fish] is such a big concept to try to describe,”said Jill Packard, executive director of the Maine Forest and Logging Museum. “I think it really ties back into that concept of sustainability and why living in Maine can be sustainable. I think it’s about understanding our resources and understanding how the resources we have tie into society, our economy and our environment." "Alewives are a keystone species. They can be the building block of an ecosystem,” Richard Dill, a fisheries biologist for the Maine Department of Marine Resources, said.
Landowner Relations Program may expand, thanks to legislature
George Smith's Outdoor News Blog - Friday, May 22, 2015 

With a couple of significant changes, legislation to expand the landowner relations program at Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife won a nearly unanimous vote of support from the legislature’s Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee on May 14. DIF&W was the only opponent. Major Chris Cloutier of the Maine Warden Service delivered the agency’s testimony, explaining what they are doing now to foster good landowner relations, and objecting to any new duties without additional funding.
Column: Tolerance tested as fur bearers co-opt food meant for birds
Portland Press Herald - Friday, May 22, 2015 

At first, squirrels got the benefit of the doubt. Then we began to feel used. ~ M.D. Harmon
Column: Veto says LePage doesn’t trust Maine hunters
Portland Press Herald - Friday, May 22, 2015 

Dear Governor LePage, Why don’t you trust Maine hunters? “An Act to Allow a Moose Permit to Be Transferred to a Family Member” is a seemingly obscure bill passed overwhelmingly by both chambers of the Legislature. The measure would allow someone who wins a moose-hunting permit in the state’s annual lottery to transfer said permit to a deserving family member no later than 30 days before the start of the moose-hunting season. Rather than add your rubber stamp to this piece of compassionate and bipartisan lawmaking, out came your fully loaded veto pen. On Tuesday, the Legislature overrode your veto. Unanimously. That’s not leadership, Governor. That’s the same old anger that’s been your weapon of choice since the day you first took office. It’s about time it backfired. ~ Bill Nemitz
Letter: No mining in Maine
Bangor Daily News - Friday, May 22, 2015 

There are some people who want to open the natural beauty of northern Maine to mining at Bald Mountain. It is easy to forget how privileged we are to live in such a wonderful healthy world as we do here in Maine. Creating mining laws that would permit the permanent destruction or degradation of our water and air will be the beginning of the end of Maine — “The way life should be.” Maine can be a gleaming example of how to do things right and protect that which sustains us, or it can be another toxic wasteland created for a profit to the few at the expense to every living thing. ~ Peter Crockett, Argyle Township
Blog: Outdoorsmen pay for licenses, registrations. Why don’t skiers and golfers even foot sales tax?
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, May 21, 2015 

People who hunt, snowmobile, fish and ride ATV’s pay fees for licenses and registrations. These fees help to maintain the beautiful state and to keep all of us safe as we access its beauty. Why are these particular outdoors people singled out, but skiers and golfers are exempt? Some claim smaller ski- and golf-related businesses might fail should a tax expansion go into effect. But markets either support a business model or they don’t. If markets don’t support a given business model, the model needs to change. Further, nonprofit organizations providing opportunities to ski and golf are already exempt from sales taxes, and any expansion legislation could insure this status remains. ~ Patricia Callahan
Supporter squares off with anti-national park panel in East Millinocket
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, May 21, 2015 

Opponents and proponents of a proposed 150,000-acre national park accused each other of spouting misinformation during an informational meeting on the plan Wednesday night at Schenck High School. Park supporter Matthew Polstein, who was not among the scheduled speakers, sparked the contentious debate with members of a panel during the event hosted by the Maine Woods Coalition, which opposes the park.
Maine, China touted as trade and investment partners
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, May 21, 2015 

Members of some of China’s largest banks and one of the country’s top diplomats took center stage Thursday at the annual Maine International Trade Center conference, touting China as an increasingly important trade partner and Maine as a strong candidate for Chinese investment. China is the top destination for Maine lobster outside North America. Seafood was Maine’s leading export in 2014, with a value of $456.67 million, and lobster accounted for almost $366 million of those exports.
New model predicts fish population response to dams, other ecological factors
Other - Thursday, May 21, 2015 

Researchers have developed a model to assess how dams affect the viability of sea-run fish species that need to pass dams as they use both fresh and marine waters during their lifetimes. NOAA tested how varying passage efficiency at dams related to survival rates for these species. Using a model of endangered Atlantic salmon in Maine's Penobscot River as a case study, researchers found that abundance, distribution and number of fish increased upstream when dams in the primary downstream segments of the river, also called "mainstem dams," were removed or fish passage survival was increased.
Rockefeller to mark 100th birthday with land gift in Maine
Associated Press - Thursday, May 21, 2015 

David Rockefeller, who's celebrating his 100th birthday next month, is giving a gift to the people of Maine: 1,000 acres of woodlands, streams and carriage roads abutting Acadia National Park. The retired CEO of Chase Manhattan Bank and grandson of oil tycoon John Rockefeller Sr. is transferring his Little Long Pond property to the Mount Desert Island and Garden Preserve, describing it as a "gift to all the people of Maine." The Rockefeller name goes way back on Mount Desert Island. David Rockefeller, who'll make a formal announcement Friday, has spent summers in Seal Harbor since his birth on June 12, 1915. His father, John Rockefeller Jr., built the carriage roads that are now part of Acadia National Park.
David Rockefeller to donate 1,000+ acres on Mount Desert Island
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, May 21, 2015 

One of America’s wealthiest individuals has decided to celebrate his 100th birthday in style by donating not money, but more than 1,000 acres of fields, forest, streams and a freshwater pond on Mount Desert Island to a local nonprofit organization. Billionaire David Rockefeller will make a formal announcement Friday of his gift of Little Long Pond and surrounding land to the Land and Garden Preserve of Mount Desert Island. The Land and Garden Preserve is a public charity governed by a 25-member board of directors. Its mission is “preserving, for public enjoyment, the aesthetic and spiritual heritage of certain horticultural and natural landscapes on Mount Desert Island.” The organization also cares for two gardens in nearby Northeast Harbor – the Asticou Azalea Garden and the Thuya Garden – and manages 140 acres of open space near Eliot Mountain.
David Rockefeller Sr. gives 1,000 acres to MDI garden preserve
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, May 21, 2015 

A century after his father donated land on Mount Desert Island to preserve it for public use, David Rockefeller Sr. is following in his footsteps. On Thursday, the international banker and philanthropist announced he is giving away approximately 1,000 acres of land on MDI to the Mount Desert Land and Garden Preserve. Rockefeller is making the gift, which consists of land surrounding Little Long Pond between Northeast Harbor and Seal Harbor, in conjunction with his 100th birthday next month.
New Hampshire bans drones for hunting
Associated Press - Thursday, May 21, 2015 

New Hampshire has decided to ban the use of drones, “smart rifles,” and live-action game cameras for hunting. The rules, which took effect May 4, ban the taking of wildlife using an unmanned aerial vehicle, bringing New Hampshire in line with several states that have outlawed the use of drones in hunting. The rules also ban the use of rifles that contain computers that lock in a target, adjust for wind and animal movement and automatically fire. Hunters also are not allowed to locate wildlife using cameras that transmit real-time images to cellphones or computers. Maine does not ban drones for hunting.
Harpswell oyster kill raises questions about shellfish protection
Forecaster - Thursday, May 21, 2015 

An apparently legal oyster kill in Quahog Bay is raising questions about shellfish management in town. It also reveals the web of jurisdictional questions surrounding protection of the resource. It all started at the Board of Selectmen meeting on April 30, when residents Paul Ciesielski and Susan Case-Ciesielski were seeking final town approval on an application to build a wharf on their property in the Mill Cove area of Quahog Bay. Paul Ciesielski raised an "issue (the board) should be aware of." According to a memo filed by the applicants in their wharf application, in the late fall of 2014, a fishing boat believed to be a scallop dragger swept the cove, leaving the bottom all "torn up."
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News Feeds

Maine Organic Farmers
and Gardeners Assn

‘Ban this hazardous herbicide’
By Charles Chiam - Sri Lanka has banned the use of the herbicide glyphosate, and Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) wants Malaysia to follow suit.
5/26/2015 11:00:00 PM

Shoppers may get to know the backstory of their piece of fish
By Patrick Whittle - Gulf of Maine Research Institute in Portland and fishermen are working on a new tool that could be used with a smartphone in two years.
5/25/2015 11:00:00 PM

Big Food Tainting Its Organic Subsidiaries With Trust Problems
By Paula Roseblum - Massive conglomerates selling food, known as “Big Food” in the trade, have a problem. The constant drumbeats in social media against Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO), factory farms, chemical fertilizer and pesticides have had a real impact on sales and (perhaps more importantly) their long-term addressable markets. Millennials just aren’t interested in eating that stuff.
5/25/2015 11:00:00 PM

Hormel agrees to buy organic and natural meat maker Applegate Farms
By Mike Hughlett - Organic meat maker Applegate will be a stand-alone subsidiary after $775 million acquisition.
5/25/2015 11:00:00 PM

Grants will help organic dairy farm families survive
Helping to ensure the survival of New England’s organic dairy farms, two new grants provide much needed funding to address farm succession and land access challenges.
5/25/2015 11:00:00 PM

Taco Bell, Pizza Hut to Remove Artificial Flavors, Coloring
By Chelsey Dulaney - Yum Brands Inc.’s Taco Bell and Pizza Hut restaurant chains plan to remove artificial flavors and colors from most of their food, joining a host of other food companies that are opting for more natural ingredients in the face of changing consumer tastes.
5/25/2015 11:00:00 PM

Maine retailers phasing out some pesticides over concerns about honeybee health
By Eric Russell - But inconsistent store policies have confused some consumers who are trying to avoid chemicals that may harm pollinating bees.
5/25/2015 11:00:00 PM

Similac Advance Infant Formula to Be Offered G.M.O.-Free
By Stephanie Strom - The maker of Similac Advance, the top commercial baby formula brand in the United States, says it will begin selling the first mainstream baby formula made without genetically altered ingredients by the end of the month at Target.
5/24/2015 11:00:00 PM

Natural Resources Council
of Maine

The True Value of Solar Power
By Ronald B. Davis, Special to the BDN Bangor Daily News op-ed Emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels a...
5/27/2015 2:06:23 PM

NRCM Testimony in Opposition to LD 1397, An Act To Establish the Affordable Heating from Maine’s Forests Fund
Good afternoon Senator Woodsome, Representative Dion, and members of the Energy, Utilities, and Technology Com...
5/27/2015 1:00:48 PM

NRCM Testimony in Opposition to LD 1400, An Act To Focus Energy Laws on Energy Cost
Senator David Woodsome, Chair Representative Mark Dion, Chair Joint Standing Committee on Energy, Utilities &#...
5/27/2015 1:00:38 PM

EPA Issues Rules to Protect Drinking Water, Regulate Small Streams
The rules have already run into deep opposition from farm groups and the Republican-led Congress. By Mary Clar...
5/27/2015 12:50:35 PM

Report: Climate Change Threatens America’s Cherished Outdoor Experience
Stressful Weather Conditions Exacerbate Pests and Threaten Health in Maine News release by the Natural Resourc...
5/27/2015 11:40:20 AM

LePage’s Actions Could Doom Program to Protect Land for Public Use
Land for Maine’s future has saved recreational and natural areas from development. By David Trahan Kenne...
5/27/2015 7:20:28 AM

Hand Out Some Hand-Me-Downs
Kids grow so fast, it makes no sense for your wallet or the environment to constantly buy them new clothes. Sh...
5/27/2015 4:00:45 AM

Partisan Struggle Over Maine Energy Policy Persists
by Scott Thistle, Sun Journal Sun Journal news story AUGUSTA, Maine — The $38 million fallout from a missing “...
5/26/2015 9:23:13 AM
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