April 20, 2018  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Tuesday, April 17, 2018 

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 over 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
Preparing for Sea Level Rise, Apr 24
Event - Posted - Tuesday, April 17, 2018 

90-minute multimedia interactive learning experience that explores the potential impact of sea level rise. At Gulf of Maine Research Institute, Portland, April 24, 6:30 pm.
Sacred Instructions: Indigenous Wisdom for Living Spirit-Based Change, Apr 24
Event - Posted - Tuesday, April 17, 2018 

Sherri Mitchell, indigenous rights attorney, teacher and spiritual activist, will speak at Lincoln Theatre, Damariscotta, April 24, 7 pm.
Help wanted: Sierra Club Maine Chapter Director
Announcement - Monday, April 16, 2018 

The Chapter Director implements policies and programs adopted by the Sierra Club Maine Chapter Executive Committee.
The Changing Nature of the Maine Woods, Apr 23
Event - Posted - Monday, April 16, 2018 

Dr. Andrew Barton, UMaine Farmington, will discuss how Maine forests have changed over the past 10,000 years, their remarkable diversity across the state, and the challenges and possible solutions for the future. At Blue Hill Public Library, April 23, 7 pm. Sponsored by Blue Hill Heritage Trust.
Growing Local, Apr 22
Event - Posted - Sunday, April 15, 2018 

At Gem Theater, Bethel, April 22, potluck at 3:30 pm, showings at 4:30 pm of farm-friendly films including Growing Local.
Annual Smelt Fry & World Fish Migration Day Celebration, Apr 21
Event - Posted - Saturday, April 14, 2018 

Learn about conservation of migratory fish. Smoked mackerel, venison stew and a fried smelt dinner, finished off with dessert made with local blueberries. At Columbia Falls, April 21.
National Parks Free Entrance, Apr 21
Announcement - Saturday, April 14, 2018 

All National Park Service sites that charge an entrance fee will offer free admission to everyone on April 21, the first day of National Park Week.
History of the Appalachian Trail, Apr 20
Event - Posted - Friday, April 13, 2018 

Jeffrey Ryan weaves history and biography to bring the story of the unlikely creation of the AT to life. At L.L. Bean, Freeport, April 20, 7 pm.
BDN Poll: Should commercial development be limited in the Unorganized Territory?
Action Alert - Thursday, April 12, 2018 

Do you think commercial development should be limited in the Unorganized Territory?
Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, Apr 19
Event - Posted - Thursday, April 12, 2018 

Susan Adams, Recreation Manager at Elliotsville Plantation, Inc. will explain about many things to see and do in Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument. Also, the film, "Monumental," which documents a five day, 64-mile-long human powered circumnavigation of the park by canoe, bike, and foot will be screened. Photos and details will entice you on how you can enjoy At Curtis Memorial Library, Brunswick, April 19, 7 pm.
Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, Apr 19
Event - Posted - Thursday, April 12, 2018 

See the film "Monumental," which documents a 5-day, 64-mile human-powered circumnavigation of the monument by canoe, bike, and foot. Also, learn about Friends of Katahdin Woods and Waters. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, April 19, optional potluck at 6 pm, presentation at 7 pm. Sponsored by Appalachian Mountain Club Maine Chapter.
Maine’s Environmental Challenges, Apr 19
Event - Posted - Thursday, April 12, 2018 

Lisa Pohlmann, executive director of the Natural Resources Council of Maine, will discuss what has been going on in Maine and what is likely to happen in the future. At at Belfast Free Library, April 19, 6:30 pm. Sponsored by the Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition.
Maine’s Wild Brook Trout, Apr 18
Event - Posted - Wednesday, April 11, 2018 

Merry Gallagher, Fisheries Biologist with the Maine Dept. of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife, will discuss Maine’s Wild Brook Trout: The Past, Present and Future of a Heritage Fish.” At Gold Crest Riders Snowmobile Club, Dismount, April 18, 6:30 pm. Hosted by Dixmont Conservation Commission.
Getting from ‘Us and Them’ to ‘We,' Apr 17
Event - Posted - Tuesday, April 10, 2018 

Midcoast Leadership Academy and GrowSmart Maine are facilitating a community conversation about Midcoast Maine with the people who live here. At Rockland Public Library, April 17, 5:30 pm.
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News Items
Pingree Questions Interior Secretary About Changing Scientific Reports Regarding Climate Change
Maine Public - Wednesday, April 11, 2018 

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke insists that his department is not changing scientific reports to edit out references to climate change. Zinke's response came under questioning by Maine Congressperson Chellie Pingree at a budget hearing Wednesday. “There is a pending report about the national parks and the impact of climate change on the national parks, and there has been reporting to say there has been some editing to take climate change out of the document.” Zinke says he has not seen the report, and that it is still in draft form. He did promise Pingree that he does not edit scientific reports in any way.
Maine scallop fishery continues to rebound
Associated Press - Wednesday, April 11, 2018 

Maine’s scallop fishery is reaching the end of a season that showed signs of further rebuilding. The fishery collapsed in the mid-2000s and has steadily rebuilt amid new management measures over the last few years.
Studies say Atlantic Ocean’s circulation hasn’t been this sluggish in 1,000 years
Washington Post - Wednesday, April 11, 2018 

The Atlantic Ocean circulation that carries warmth into the Northern Hemisphere’s high latitudes is slowing down because of climate change, a team of scientists asserted Wednesday, suggesting one of the most feared consequences is already coming to pass.
Column: Of bugs, disasters, balance in nature
Morning Sentinel - Wednesday, April 11, 2018 

For bugs natural disasters such as floods can be in the range of catastrophic. Researchers point out that global warming leads to an increase in severe weather events that in turn scramble ecological communities. We need stable ecosystems, we need healthy bug populations. ~ Dana Wilde
Time to look for more of Maine’s wild native brook trout
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Wednesday, April 11, 2018 

Maine Audubon is looking for anglers to help locate more of our very special native brook trout. Audubon is gearing up for their eight season of the Brook Trout Survey Project. While they have many returning volunteers for this important project, they could use more, which would allow them to survey more waters.
Column: Looking back at Dad’s letters
Kennebec Journal - Wednesday, April 11, 2018 

My dad, Ezra Smith, wrote lots of letters to the editor. I hunted for 53 years with Dad, and he gets credit for making me a conservationist. In a 1980 letter he wrote: “The Maine wildlife does indeed belong to all Maine people. It is time that all Maine people started paying for their protection. The sportsmen have supported the Fish and Wildlife Department all by themselves long enough.” ~ George Smith
Editorial: Our View: Wait for facts before setting Maine fishing policy
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, April 11, 2018 

A bad year for the already struggling North Atlantic right whale has everyone concerned with its survival eager to respond. But even with the clock ticking, it would be wrong to act out of panic, or just for the sake of taking action. That’s why we’re glad to see that Maine will receive a $700,000 federal grant from NOAA to investigate what role the lobster industry in the Gulf of Maine might be playing in the surge of deaths among the ocean behemoths. If lobstering is not killing right whales, then new rules on lobster fishing will do nothing to save them.
Letter: Don’t blow it with offshore wind
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, April 11, 2018 

This month, the Maine Public Utilities Commission will decide whether to reopen a draft term sheet it awarded to Maine Aqua Ventus in 2014 for a two-turbine offshore wind farm that would prove whether University of Maine’s VolturnUS floating concrete hull technology at full scale works. If the commission decides to reopen the term sheet, the project will not proceed, a clear message will be sent internationally that Maine is not open for business, and future investments will not be made in Maine. This would be a tremendous loss for all of us. ~ David T. Edson and CEO, James W. Sewall Co.
Researcher from Maine uncovers surprising things about squirrels
Other - Tuesday, April 10, 2018 

Mercury News - An analysis of fox squirrels on the campus of the University of California, Berkeley, by psychologist Mikel Delgado found that the rodents consider several variables when deciding whether to store food, or save it for later. Squirrels assess the characteristics of food they find, such as its perishability and nutritional value. They also consider the availability of food at that time and the presence or absence of competitors. Delgado, whose Ph.D. dissertation was on the complexity of squirrel behavior, is a Maine native who first attended the University of Southern Maine. She said has always been obsessed with animals and was interested in better understanding what they do instinctively in the wild.
Wheaton honored with legendary Maine guide award
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, April 10, 2018 

Lance Wheaton of Forest City was honored for a lifetime spent guiding clients in the Maine woods on Saturday when he was given the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s Wiggie Robinson Legendary Maine Guide Award.
Government Ethics Officials Raise Red Flags On EPA Chief Scott Pruitt
Associated Press - Tuesday, April 10, 2018 

Republican Sen. Mike Rounds of South Dakota went on NBC's Meet the Press on Sunday and defended embattled EPA administrator Scott Pruitt. Republicans seem to be struggling with how to respond in the age of Trump — whether it's about Pruitt and ethics or the president and questions about his personal behavior. But ethics officials in government are starting to speak out and raise red flags. The Office of Government Ethics on Monday issued a strongly worded letter that lays out its case for why ethics matter. "Public trust demands that all employees act in the public's interest, and free from any actual or perceived conflicts when fulfilling governmental responsibilities entrusted to them," writes David Apol, acting director and general counsel of the office. What's more, "Agency heads in particular bear a heightened responsibility." In a weekend tweet, President Trump said, "Scott is doing a great job!"
Response Due From Feds In Lawsuit To End Atlantic Monument
Associated Press - Tuesday, April 10, 2018 

The federal government's response to a lawsuit from fishermen trying to eliminate former President Barack Obama's Atlantic Ocean monument is coming due. The fishing groups sued to challenge the 2016 creation of the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument. The monument is a 5,000-square-mile area off of New England and is the first monument of its kind in the Atlantic Ocean. A federal court ordered the U.S. Department of Commerce to respond to the lawsuit by April 16.
Tricks and tips for enjoying mud season in Maine
Aislinn Sarnacki Act Out Blog - Tuesday, April 10, 2018 

As snow melts and the ground thaws throughout April and May, gravel roads and trails throughout Maine turn into a sloppy mess, a combination of mud, slush, potholes and puddles. Welcome to Maine’s infamous mud season, those few weeks each spring that tries our patience and tests our waterproof footwear. But it’s a price I’ll pay for spring having finally sprung. Don’t let the mud deter you, I say. Get outside and embrace the lengthening days. But first, here are a few things to consider, tips that might help you enjoy the season just a little bit more.
Blog: Global Warming Research in the Gulf of Maine
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, April 10, 2018 

Republican politicians in Washington are entitled to their opinions. But by ignoring the findings of scientists and the observations of fishermen, they are inventing their own facts. Since a majority of Republicans now reject evolution(it’s only a theory, after all), perhaps their representatives in Congress believe that, unlike the bugs and fish swimming in Pine Barrens streams, humans don’t need to adapt. Fortunately, scientists at places like GMRI and SWRC are working hard on solutions to the problems global warming is causing. Unfortunately, much of their funding depends on Congress. ~ James G. Blaine
UMaine picks leader of federal science agency as new president
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, April 10, 2018 

A top official at the federal agency that supports research and education initiatives across the United States will become the University of Maine’s 21st president. Joan Ferrini-Mundy, chief operating officer of the National Science Foundation, is expected to take the helm of the state’s flagship university this summer.
Why some Mainers are trading the traditional lawn for mini meadows
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, April 10, 2018 

For many people in the United States, a well-manicured lawn is a point of pride and mowing is a weekly summer chore. It’s a place where families and friends gather for picnics and games of catch. But for some, this recreational space — or at least part of it — can serve a higher purpose for nature. How? Simply, let it grow. “I call it releasing a lawn,” said Heather McCargo, executive director of the Wild Seed Project, a nonprofit organization based in Maine that works to increase the use of native plants in the landscape.
Maine to use NOAA grant to boost right whale protections
Associated Press - Monday, April 9, 2018 

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is giving the state of Maine more than $700,000 to help provide better data to try to protect endangered right whales. The Maine Department of Marine Resources says the grant funds a three-year project set to begin this summer that will support work aimed at improving and increasing the amount of data on fishing gear. The data can be used to inform future protections for the whales. Scientists say trends mean the species could be extinct in a little more than 20 years.
Judge Affirms Public Access To Kennebunkport Beach
Maine Public - Monday, April 9, 2018 

A Superior Court judge has sided with the town of Kennebunkport in its almost decadelong dispute with a number of property owners who filed suit to halt public access to Goose Rocks Beach. Attorney Amy Tchao is representing the town. She says the property owners claim they have exclusive ownership to the beach areas in front of their homes. Tchao says the court concluded that, while the property owners couldn’t prove they own the beach in front of their homes, the town demonstrated it had title back to colonial times. Tchao says the property owners can appeal.
Trump Touts Pruitt's 'Great Job,' But EPA Rollbacks Have A Long Road Ahead
National Public Radio - Monday, April 9, 2018 

As allegations mount of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt violating ethics policies and misusing taxpayer money, President Trump has repeatedly defended him. "Scott is doing a great job!" he said in one tweet. Pruitt is one of the administration's most high profile members, and is often lauded as one of its most effective. Topping that agenda are Trump's repeated claims that he will bring back coal jobs and boost fossil fuel production. But many of these rollbacks are in the midst of a long, slow-moving regulatory process.
Opinion: It’s not too late for Maine to save the solar bill
Bangor Daily News - Monday, April 9, 2018 

As legislators reconsider solar legislation early this week, the Mayors’ Coalition on Jobs and Economic Development stands with Maine people, towns and businesses that can benefit from solar power and supports overturning Gov. Paul LePage’s veto of the solar bill, LD 1444. It is discouraging that jockeying and political pressure last week impeded this modest and widely bipartisan bill. The Maine House failed to override the governor’s veto, but House Democratic leaders invoked rules that have kept the bill alive a little longer. Legislators have one last opportunity to choose to support Maine people, businesses and towns’ ability to harness solar power. ~ Samantha Paradis, mayor, Belfast
Editorial: Follow-through is key to ensuring Mainers’ highway safety
Portland Press Herald - Monday, April 9, 2018 

The death last month in Arizona of a pedestrian struck by a self-driving car made national news because the tragedy was the first of its kind. But traditional vehicles still rule our highways. And their human drivers kill 16 pedestrians each day or nearly 6,000 a year, the highest number in a quarter-century.
Legislature tables bill to open Palermo lake to migrating fish indefinitely
Kennebec Journal - Sunday, April 8, 2018 

The fishway on Sheepscot Pond has been closed to migrating fish for years, and this year will be no different. A controversial bill that would have opened the fishway during the months when some species of fish migrate along the Sheepscot River in Lincoln and Waldo counties has been postponed indefinitely in the Legislature. In its place is compromise reached in March that outlines the steps that need to be taken before the fish passage can be opened.
Push underway for "Eastern Wildway" to help wildlife cross continent
Associated Press - Sunday, April 8, 2018 

A Maine environmental group is hosting a presentation about the concept of an "Eastern Wildway" to help wildlife travel across North America. Friends of Merrymeeting Bay is hosting the event on Wednesday in Brunswick. The group says Rewilding Institute executive director John Davis will speak about the proposal to help wildlife. The Eastern Wildway would be a wildlife corridor that links eastern Canada with the Gulf of Mexico. The corridor would include national parks, preserves and wild places. It would touch the Adirondack mountains, the Great Smoky Mountains and Everglades National Park. Supporters say creating the Eastern Wildway would conserve habitat and help restore populations of animals, including carnivores that are high on the food chain.
Sen. Collins says Pruitt wrong choice to head EPA
Portland Press Herald - Sunday, April 8, 2018 

Maine Sen. Susan Collins told CNN’s Jake Tapper that Scott Pruitt was the wrong choice to head the Environmental Protection Agency. “The actions taken by Scott Pruitt in the environmental arena, whether it is trying to undermine the Clean Power Plan or weaken the restrictions on lead or undermine the methane rules, are reasons enough to validate my decision to oppose his confirmation. This daily drip of accusations of excessive spending and ethical violations serve to further distract the agency from accomplishing it’s very important mission,” Collins said. Collins was the lone Republican in the Senate who voted against Pruitt’s confirmation. Maine Sen. Angus King also voted no.
Opinion: Protecting public lands gives our veterans a place to go for healing
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, April 8, 2018 

As an Army veteran, I spend most of my days enjoying the Maine outdoors. Hiking, fishing, kayaking and canoeing, and getting out on the ocean with my wife in our active fishing community is peaceful and deeply rewarding. Maine is special for many reasons, but two are especially important for me — it is a state with abundant recreation opportunities and an active and thriving veteran community. National monuments are crucial to veterans. Last year, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke initiated a review of 27 monuments, including Maine’s Katahdin Woods and Waters. Any attack on our national monuments would be a disgrace. My hope, along with many other veterans who rely on our national monuments and other protected public lands for peace and recreation, is that the President and Interior Secretary will cease this sacrilegious attack. ~ Maj. Gen. Don Edwards, South Bristol
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