August 26, 2016  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Friday, August 26, 2016 

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 about 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
Audubon's Birds of America, Sep 2
Event - Posted - Friday, August 26, 2016 

Professor of Natural Sciences Nathaniel Wheelwright will discuss some of Audubon's misidentifications. At Bowdoin College, Hawthorne Longfellow Library, Special Collections, Brunswick, September 2, 12:30 pm.
Two Timing the Appalachian Trail, Sep 2
Event - Posted - Friday, August 26, 2016 

Carey Kish will talk about thru-hikeing the 2,189-mile Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine twice, in 1977 and again in 2015. At Jesup Memorial Library, Bar Harbor, September 2, 7 pm.
Best Day Hikes Along the Maine Coast, Aug 31
Event - Posted - Wednesday, August 24, 2016 

Carey Kish will talk about his new guide, "Appalachian Mountain Club’s Best Day Hikes Along the Maine Coast." At Rockport Opera House, August 31, 6:30 pm.
Maine Conservation Voters 2016 Legislative Scorecard
Announcement - Wednesday, August 24, 2016 

Find out which state legislators voted for Maine's environment in 2016.
BDN National Monument poll
Action Alert - Tuesday, August 23, 2016 

Bangor Daily News Poll: Do you approve of Roxanne Quimby transferring more than 87,000 acres to the federal government?
The Secret Life of Lobsters and The Nordic Theory of Everything, Aug 30
Event - Posted - Tuesday, August 23, 2016 

The husband and wife author team Trevor Corson and Anu Partanen will talk about their books. At Jesup Memorial Library, Bar Harbor, August 30, 7 pm.
Tourism and Art, Aug 29
Event - Posted - Monday, August 22, 2016 

In the 19th century, landscape artists popularized the White Mountains, the Maine coast and other parts of the country through their paintings. This talk by Joan Plummer looks how this dynamic worked and how it still might be working today. At Portland Museum of Art, August 29, 1 pm.
Swan Island Morning Island Tour, Aug 27
Event - Posted - Saturday, August 20, 2016 

Join staff for a morning sightseeing wildlife tour to observe the abundant wildlife of Swan Island in Merrymeeting Bay. At Richmond, August 27, 7–8:30 am, first 20 people.
A celebration of the Acadia Centennial, Aug 27
Event - Posted - Saturday, August 20, 2016 

Join the Acadia Centennial Task Force, the National Park Service, and more than 400 partner organizations in celebrating 100 years of conservation and community stewardship at Acadia National Park. At Jordan Pond, August 27, beginning at 8:30 am. A special shuttle service will begin at 7 am from Mount Desert Island High School.
National Parks Free Entrance, Aug 25-28
Announcement - Thursday, August 18, 2016 

In celebration of the National Park Service's 100th birthday in 2016, all National Park Service sites will offer free admission on August 25 through 28, the National Park Service's birthday.
The National Park Service Centennial, Aug 25
Event - Posted - Thursday, August 18, 2016 

The National Park Service turns 100, August 25, 2016.
Plants of Baxter State Park book celebrations, Aug 23-30
Event - Posted - Tuesday, August 16, 2016 

Friends of Baxter State Park is hosting three book release celebrations for "The Plants of Baxter State Park" field guide:
• UMaine, Fogler Library, Orono, August 23, 7 pm
• Gulf of Maine Books, Brunswick, August 24, 7 pm
• Millinocket Memorial Library, August 30, 7 pm
Little Swan Island Evening Paddle, Aug 23
Event - Posted - Tuesday, August 16, 2016 

Leader: Warren Whitney. At Richmond, August 23, 5:30-7:30 pm, preregister. Sponsored by Friends of Merrymeeting Bay.
Invasive Plant Patrol workshop, Aug 23
Event - Posted - Tuesday, August 16, 2016 

The Penobscot County Soil & Water Conservation District and the Penobscot Nation Water Resource Program are hosting a free Invasive Plant Patrol workshop with the assistance of the Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program. At Indian Island boating landing, Old Town, August 23, 10 am - 1 pm.
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Jym St. Pierre, RESTORE: The North Woods, Editor, Maine Environmental News.
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News Items
Quimby foundation donates Katahdin region land to U.S. for national monument
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, August 23, 2016 

Roxanne Quimby’s foundation donated more than 87,500 acres in the Katahdin region to the federal government Tuesday in a critical step toward creation of a national monument in Maine’s North Woods. While representatives for Quimby and the Obama administration remained silent Tuesday about a potential national monument designation, news of the land transfers drew strong reactions from those involved in a debate over the changing use of Maine’s vast forestlands. Supporters cheered a gift that they predicted could revitalize the region’s struggling towns.
Roxanne Quimby donates 87,000 acres of land to US government likely for northern national park
WLBZ-TV2 - Tuesday, August 23, 2016 

According to the Penobscot County Registry of Deeds, Roxanne Quimby donated 87,000 acres of land to US government likely for northern national park. The registry reveals 13 deeds transferring more than 87,000 acres from Elliotsville Plantation, Inc. to the federal government on Tuesday.
Roxanne Quimby transfers land to U.S. in likely 1st step to national monument
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, August 23, 2016 

Roxanne Quimby’s foundation transferred acreage in the Katahdin region to the federal government on Tuesday in a likely first step toward creation of a national monument in Maine’s North Woods. There has been widespread speculation that President Obama could announce a new national monument in the Katahdin region this week to help mark the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service this Thursday.
Editorial: Administration’s refusal to cooperate on forestry product work is absurd
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, August 23, 2016 

Gov. Paul LePage’s contempt for the federal government is no secret, but snubbing federal efforts to help an industry that the governor worked for and champions is foolish. The team’s work may not produce results, although that is doubtful given the federal level of commitment. But given the forest industry’s continued decline, state officials should accept any assistance that is offered. It is unconscionable that the LePage administration would essentially turn its back to families and communities left struggling by mill closures and downsizing. The administration’s refusal to participate in the EDAT work is also a slap in the face of members of Maine’s congressional delegation.
Hike: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens
Aislinn Sarnacki Act Out Blog - Tuesday, August 23, 2016 

A place so beautiful it’s almost overwhelming, the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens opened in 2007 after more than 15 years of planning, building and planting. Located in the midcoast town of Boothbay, this outdoor destination comprises 270 acres of tidal shoreland and features several miles of trails that wind through a wide variety of themed gardens and coastal woods.
Opinion: I used to oppose a big park in the North Woods. Now, I see a national monument can work
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, August 23, 2016 

Despite my initial opposition to a big park, it was clear that the East Branch watershed is special and needs protection. A national monument would complement Baxter, protect key resources, enhance economic development and preserve traditional uses throughout much of the area. The time for designation is now, coincident with the National Park Service’s 100 thanniversary. Let’s take advantage of this wonderful opportunity. ~ Bucky Owen, emeritus professor in wildlife ecology, UMaine, and former commissioner, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife
Roxanne Quimby transfers 87,000 acres planned for national monument to US government
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, August 23, 2016 

The company owned by the family of Roxanne Quimby transferred more than 87,000 acres of land to the federal government on Tuesday, strongly indicating a North Woods national monument will soon be designated by President Barack Obama. Obama’s executive order creating the monument is expected to bring many new jobs to the Katahdin region, an area decimated by the collapse of the paper industry.
Pythons in the shower, the river, and maybe your backyard
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Tuesday, August 23, 2016 

It was quite a surprise. A few weeks ago a couple in Veazie discovered a 3-foot-long ball python in their shower. Turns out it had escaped from a neighbor’s house a month earlier. Perhaps, like me, you are astonished that Mainers can possess all the pythons they want – without a permit. And they don’t have to tell their neighbors when their pythons get loose and roam the neighborhood. Our Fish and Wildlife Department is on top of this issue. Last year, DIF&W proposed, and the legislature enacted, sweeping changes to the state’s exotic animal laws. The new law authorized DIF&W to adopt rules governing several important aspects of exotic animal possession, including lists of animals that can be possessed without permits, animals that require permits, and animals that are banned from our state.
Puffin chicks in Gulf of Maine’s largest colony starve to death at record rate
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, August 23, 2016 

Machias Seal Island, home of the largest puffin colony in the Gulf of Maine, has had the worst breeding season ever recorded, with the vast majority of chicks starving to death in their burrows. The disaster followed a sudden drop in the puffins’ food supply – certain small fish – in early July. Adult puffins fly out to catch fish to feed their fledglings, which remain behind in burrows, but for the remainder of July and August the parents were returning with little in their beaks. Off Maine’s coast, the birds were recovering nicely until recent years. Since 2004, the Gulf of Maine has warmed faster than anyplace else on the planet, except for an area northeast of Japan. Researchers have seen a correlation between warmer waters and food stress in puffin chicks.
Portland looks to turn little-used waterfront lot into public haven
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, August 23, 2016 

The so-called Amethyst lot is roughly 1.5 acres of broken asphalt ringed by weeds overlooking a graveyard of weathered, wooden pilings poking out of Portland Harbor. But the city-owned land is also one of the last pieces of property with the potential to provide public access to the eastern waterfront. City Manager Jon Jennings hopes the city can make better use of the parcel’s waterfront location. He is launching what is expected to be a year-long planning effort to build a premier waterfront park on the former industrial site that would provide public access to the water and could include a man-made beach.
Opinion: State’s warming waters create both reasons to change and opportunities
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, August 23, 2016 

There are now many important examples of how a warming climate threatens Maine, and here is one that strikes close to home for many Mainers: Our changing marine environment could spell serious trouble for commercial fishing and all those who rely on it for a living. Maine has done a lot over the last 15 years to lead on climate and clean energy, but more needs to be done. Gov. LePage has joined governors of other states in the region in setting a good achievable goal, consistent with science, of reducing carbon pollution by 35 percent to 45 percent by 2030. The question is: What are the most cost-effective ways to reduce this pollution? That’s where the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative comes in. ~ George Lapointe, former Maine commissioner of marine resources, and Tom Tietenberg, Professor of Economics emeritus at Colby College
Letter: Downeaster service can be expanded without spending millions of dollars
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, August 23, 2016 

Plans to spend another nearly $10 million on the Portland North Downeaster extension, on top of the nearly $60 million spent to date, are a monumental waste of taxpayer money. The proposed siding is wholly unnecessary. The proposed project would add siding between Control Points 185 and 189 on the existing rail system. This would change that track segment to one that is dual-track. But just 2.9 miles to the south, there is already a dual-track segment 1.9 miles long that could be used to allow the passage of trains, eliminating that expenditure and accommodating the proposed service expansion immediately. Why isn’t that approach being taken? ~ Pem Schaeffer, Brunswick
Letter: Collins, King should publicly oppose trade deal
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, August 23, 2016 

President Obama will send the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement to Congress for approval after the November election. The TPP grants new rights to thousands of multinational corporations to sue the U.S. government before a panel of three corporate lawyers. The panel awards sums to be paid by American taxpayers if a U.S. law or safety regulation violates their TPP rights, including the loss of expected future profits. Decisions are not subject to appeal, and the amount awarded has no limit. Rep. Chellie Pingree released a public statement of opposition. In April, Rep. Bruce Poliquin announced his opposition. Now is the time for Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King to protect Maine and publicly oppose the TPP and a lame-duck vote. ~ Martha Spiess, Freeport
Auburn makes case for agriculture zone changes
Sun Journal - Monday, August 22, 2016 

The city can do a lot more to encourage agriculture, rural development and open space use, Mayor Jonathan LaBonte said Monday night. "Who is out there with businesses, the people who actually live and make their living there? We need to understand how their business works and what opportunities they see to grow their business. Can the city help facilitate that?" The city's agriculture and resource protection zone, which has been a part of city codes since the 1950s, covers 20,000 acres, about 40 percent of the city's total area. The zone is designed to promote open space and the use of natural resources, encouraging farming, forestry and recreation.
Madison puts off setting new tax rate
Morning Sentinel - Monday, August 22, 2016 

The closure of Madison Paper Industries has complicated calculation of the local tax rate, according to town officials, who Monday delayed setting the 2016 tax rate to go over valuation numbers. Town Manager Tim Curtis said the closure of Madison Paper in May “is by far the largest factor” complicating the calculation of this year’s tax rate. A loss in value of $150 million at Madison Paper in 2014 resulted in an 11 percent tax increase. With no plans announced for the future of the mill, town officials are having a hard time predicting how much it should pay in taxes.
U.S. to pay $413,000 to clean up 2 Maine oil sites
Associated Press - Monday, August 22, 2016 

The federal government has agreed to pay Maine about $413,000 to clean up decades-old hazardous pollution at oil storage facilities. Democratic Attorney General Janet Mills alleged that Maine faces $10.8 million in past and future cleanup costs for pollution at former Portland-Bangor Waste Oil Co. sites in Casco and Ellsworth. The lawsuit claimed the Department of Defense disposed at the sites, which stored waste in tanks that leaked contaminants like lead into the ground. Maine and the federal government reached an Aug. 18 settlement, which does not admit wrongdoing or liability for either side. Both the Casco and Ellsworth sites were once owned and operated by Portland Bangor Waste Oil, which transferred, stored, processed and disposed oil from 1969 to 1980.
Blue Hill food co-op hopes to raise $1 million through crowd investing
Portland Press Herald - Monday, August 22, 2016 

The Blue Hill Co-op in Blue Hill is the first business seeking to raise $1 million through the Fund-ME crowdfunding rule, which allows privately owned Maine businesses to solicit investments from non-accredited investors in the state. Under the Fund-ME rule, which took effect in 2015, non-accredited state residents can invest up to $5,000 each in a privately owned business every 12 months. The rule only applies to businesses and investors located in Maine. An accredited investor is one with a net worth of at least $1 million and annual income of at least $200,000 over the past two years. Prior to the Fund-ME rule’s approval, private companies in Maine could only solicit investments from accredited investors. The food cooperative said it plans to use the $1 million to help fund construction of a new location that will triple its size.
Trump campaign taps Maine agriculture commissioner as adviser
Portland Press Herald - Monday, August 22, 2016 

Walt Whitcomb, Maine’s commissioner of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, has been chosen to serve on Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s 64-member agricultural advisory committee. Maine Republican Party Chairman Richard Bennett said Whitcomb is an excellent choice for the advisory committee, noting that in addition to his agricultural experience, Whitcomb has served as both assistant minority leader and minority leader in the Maine House of Representatives.
Blog: Conservatives should offer solutions on environment, not ignore it
Bangor Daily News - Monday, August 22, 2016 

Most political issues have not just one solution, but a whole variety of proposals that could address the problem at hand. Unfortunately, often one faction is successful in dominating the conversation about the issue to such an extent that their solutions seem to be the only ones available. This makes their opponents feel trapped, and so rather than offer their own ideas, they deny that something is a problem entirely. In politics, this is disastrous if a political party behaves this way, as they’ve effectively conceded the votes of anyone who cares about the issue to the other side. Unfortunately, of late, Republicans have been behaving this way with environmental issues. Rather than offering their own ideas on how to conserve the environment, and forcefully arguing for them, they’ve been burying their heads in the sand, ignoring the issue entirely. ~ Jim Fossel
School spirit and the Orange and Black Path in Acadia National Park
Acadia On My Mind Blog - Monday, August 22, 2016 

When Princeton professor Rudolph E. Brunnow designed this intricate path up the east face of Champlain in the early 1900s, he was apparently as passionate about the trail as his university, since he named it after his school’s colors. A hiker ascends the Orange and Black Path in Acadia National Park. Our favorite part of the path is the recently reopened historic section leading from Schooner Head Road, up to a terraced area where you can sit on granite slabs to rest, take in the views or strike up a conversation.
Maine to kick off bear hunt with youth hunting day
Associated Press - Monday, August 22, 2016 

The state’s youth bear hunt is Saturday. The youth day kicks off the annual hunting season and allows hunters who are younger than 16 a chance to try to harvest a black bear. The use of hunting dogs is not allowed, but hunting with the use of bait is permitted. The rest of the bear hunting season begins on Aug. 29 and runs until Nov. 26.
Hallowell’s controversial timber harvesting project begins this week
Kennebec Journal - Sunday, August 21, 2016 

A controversial timber harvesting project at the Jamies Pond Wildlife Management Area in Hallowell is due to begin this week, according to a state official. When the agency’s plan was announced, it was met with criticism and questions from people afraid that their hiking and walking trails would be forever changed. Eric Hoar, a lands management biologist with the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, which owns Jamies Pond, said Friday that no trails will be closed, but he did advise people to use caution and common sense when they are near an area with an ongoing operation. The wildlife agency manages 62 wildlife management areas in the state, representing about 105,000 acres.
Project returning Maine mountain to its blueberry roots
Kennebec Journal - Sunday, August 21, 2016 

Highbush blueberries once flourished on and around Winthrop’s Mount Pisgah, according to conservationists with the Kennebec Land Trust. The wild fruit grew because settlers who began arriving in the Winthrop area in the 18th century cleared the mountain for farmland, allowing sun to shine on swaths of earth that had been shady forest for thousands of years. But the blueberry bushes still growing on Mount Pisgah have flowered less in recent years. Now 4 acres have been set aside to germinate a rebirth.
Trust hopes land donations lead to preserve in Gardiner
Kennebec Journal - Sunday, August 21, 2016 

Two donations on opposite sides of Rolling Dam Brook in South Gardiner could help spur the creation of a larger conservation project that could preserve up to 82 acres of woods and wetlands.
Kennebec Land Trust officials and members at the nonprofit organization’s annual meeting Sunday recognized the donors of land and a conservation easement that will allow a preserve to be created surrounding part of Rolling Dam Brook, as well as other landowners who agreed to have their land added to already protected lands.
Barker Trail opening first step for New Auburn
Sun Journal - Sunday, August 21, 2016 

A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the entrance to the New Auburn hiking trail along the Little Androscoggin River is the first of public improvements due in the area, according to city officials. The city is scheduled to officially open the newly improved quarter-mile walking path that leads to the Barker Mill Trail at 1 p.m. Monday.
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