June 25, 2017  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Saturday, June 24, 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
Creating Backyard Habitat, Jul 1
Event - Posted - Saturday, June 24, 2017 

Hildy Ellis, district coordinator of Knox-Lincoln Soil and Water Conservation District, will talk on “Beyond the Birdfeeder, Creating Backyard Habitat.” At Rockport Opera House, July 6, 1 pm.
Save Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument
Action Alert - Thursday, June 22, 2017 

President Trump is considering eliminating the Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument in Maine or opening it to logging and mining as well as expanding areas for hunting, trapping, and off-road vehicles. Urge the Trump Administration and your U.S. congressional representatives to oppose any effort to rescind or weaken Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument. Comment deadline is July 10, 2017. ~ RESTORE: The North Woods
Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument is Under Attack
Action Alert - Thursday, June 22, 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
Stop Trump-LePage’s Monumental Betrayal
Action Alert - Thursday, June 22, 2017 

Let's tell Secretary Zinke that any attempt to revoke the Katahdin Woods and Waters and other National Monuments is an assault on our historical, cultural, and natural heritage, and that our public lands must be protected for generations to come. ~ Sierra Club
Speak up in defense of Maine’s new National Monument
Action Alert - Thursday, June 22, 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
Defend Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument
Action Alert - Thursday, June 22, 2017 

There was a multi-year process that incorporated public input to protect Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument, which garnered broad support in Maine and across the country. And yet the Trump administration issued an executive order that may alter the size of or even attempt to eliminate the national park site. ~ National Parks Conservation Association
Protect Our National Monuments
Action Alert - Thursday, June 22, 2017 

President Trump issued an executive order directing the Department of Interior to review – and potentially eliminate or shrink – protections of some of our nation’s most pristine national monuments, including Maine’s Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. This is a direct attack on our shared Maine history and heritage. ~ League of Conservation Voters
The Future of Maine's Fisheries: Threats Posed by Federal Budget Cuts, Jun 29
Event - Posted - Thursday, June 22, 2017 

Leaders from Maine’s marine and fisheries communities discuss how the Trump Administration’s proposed cuts to the EPA and NOAA would hurt Maine’s marine environment, economy, and research—and what you can do to help protect these important marine resources. At Univ of Southern Maine, Portland, Luther Bonney Building, Talbot Hall, June 29, 6 pm.
Family Friendly Hikes in Maine, Jun 29
Event - Posted - Thursday, June 22, 2017 

Bangor Daily News outdoor journalist Aislinn Sarnacki will present a slideshow and talk about her new book, "Family Friendly Hikes in Maine." At Blue Hill Public Library, June 29, 7 pm. Sponsored by Blue Hill Heritage Trust.
"Born to Rewild," Jun 29
Event - Posted - Thursday, June 22, 2017 

This documentary features wilderness ultratrekker John Davis who traveled 5,000 human-powered miles from Mexico to British Columbia through the Western Wildway, a mega wildlife corridor along the western spine of North America, during an epic conservation journey called TrekWest. Also, William Stolzenburg will read from his book "Heart Of A Lion." At Frontier, Brunswick, June 29, 7 pm, $5 in advance, $6 day of show.
Mountain Lions in Maine – Rewilding the Maine Woods, Jun 28
Event - Posted - Wednesday, June 21, 2017 

Panel discussion about the challenges involved in bringing large, apex predators, specifically the cougar (mountain lion, puma, panther) and other wildlife back to their native habitat in the Northeast corridor, and how human communities can adapt to co-exist with and even benefit from them. At DRA Round Top Farm, Damariscotta, June 28, 7 pm, $8.
Celebrate MITA's new home, Jun 28
Event - Posted - Wednesday, June 21, 2017 

Join Maine Island Trail Association staff, trustees and friends to help celebrate this exciting new chapter. At 100 Kensington St, 2nd Floor, Portland, June 28, 5:30-8:30 pm.
Renewable Energy Activity – Global to Regional, Jun 28
Event - Posted - Wednesday, June 21, 2017 

Lawrence Mott, Director Americas of SgurrEnergy, a global renewable engineering firm, will speak on the current status of large scale wind and solar projects, technology, and policy here and abroad. At Portland Public Library, Rines Auditorium, June 28, 5:30 pm.
Solar bill
Action Alert - Tuesday, June 20, 2017 

The Maine Senate has voted unanimously to support the majority report in support of LD 1504 the solar policy bill. The House is expected to vote Wednesday on LD 1504. The bill is a step toward overturning an anti-solar PUC rule and increasing the accessibility of community solar. The governor has been bullying lawmakers into supporting his anti-renewable ideology. Email your Senator and Representative now to urge them to support this solar bill. ~ NRCM & Maine Audubon
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News Items
Letter: LePage not acting in my interests
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, June 20, 2017 

Our governor has frequently expressed his distaste for the people of southern Maine. Before Congress, Gov. Paul LePage recently denigrated the economic opportunities and ecological values of Maine’s amazing Baxter State Park and Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument by referring to the entire region as “the mosquito area.” Which leads me to wonder: which parcels of Maine, and which of its diverse residents, does he care for? In whose best interests is he acting? Not mine. ~ Craig Kesselheim, Southwest Harbor
Maine congressional delegation asks forfeited groundfish permits be redistributed through Northeast
Bangor Daily News - Monday, June 19, 2017 

Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King and Reps. Chellie Pingree and Bruce Poliquin sent a letter Monday to U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross asking that the 13 groundfish permits forfeited by Carlos Rafael — a New Bedford fisherman who has pleaded guilty to 28 federal counts of tax evasion, falsifying fishing quotas and conspiracy — be redistributed to fishermen throughout the Northeast, not only New Bedford. In their letter, the Maine congressional delegation said that groundfish permits embody a shared resource and, as such, should be returned to groundfish fishermen in “a fair and uniform manner.”
Thousands Of Dead Bait Fish Wash Ashore In Brunswick
Maine Public - Monday, June 19, 2017 

Something fishy happened over the weekend. Thousands of dead pogies — a fish commonly used for bait — washed ashore along five miles of coastline in Brunswick. The sight and smell prompted community-wide concern and a clean up effort that is still underway. Typically, pogies die after being chased by bluefish into shallow water. Oxygen in the water is rapidly depleted by the sudden influx of fish. But bluefish aren’t the culprits in this case. Instead, the Maine Marine Patrol says, a fishermen caught more pogies than he could handle and had to dump them back in the water. Brunswick resident Michelle Rudgers says she spotted them while out in her boat in Maquoit Bay a couple weeks ago, about a mile from shore.
Portland Weighs Two Pesticide Restriction Measures
Maine Public - Monday, June 19, 2017 

The city of Portland is proposing to restrict the use of pesticides. On Wednesday the City Council’s Sustainability and Transportation Committee will hold a public hearing exploring two possible avenues. The panel will look at South Portland’s recently implemented Pesticide Ordinance which phases in prohibitions on most synthetic pesticides while allowing most organic substances. Also being considered in Portland is an ordinance drafted by a task force appointed by Mayor Ethan Strimling that prohibit the use of all pesticides, organic or synthetic. Both the South Portland ordinance and the task force plan allow for waivers.
Lawmakers Override Governor LePage's Veto Of Water Testing Bill
Maine Public - Monday, June 19, 2017 

The legislature, by a margin of 113 to 33 in the House and 35 to 0 in the Senate has overridden Gov. Paul LePage’s veto of legislation expanding well water testing. The legislation requires well drillers to provide more information to home owners about water testing, requires the Department of Health and Human Services to update its informational material and increases the fee for state testing by $10 to create a fund to help poor Mainers cover the cost of water testing.
Man who caused Brunswick stink by dumping dead fish broke no law, says Maine DMR
Bangor Daily News - Monday, June 19, 2017 

A fisherman identified by the Maine Marine Patrol caught too many pogies in his purse seine last week to load onto his boat, and left the overflow floating in Maquoit and Middle bays. By mid-week, the “choking stench” of the rotting fish left waterfront owners with no choice but to close their windows and stay inside. Brunswick Marine Resources Officer Dan Devereaux, along with local shellfishermen and a handful of friends, combed the shoreline between Simpson’s Point and Miller Point, filling trash bags with dead pogies. Maine Department of Marine Resources spokesman Jeff Nichols said, “There’s been no violation here. There’s also no indication of any public health threat.” Nichols said Monday that the DMR had no plan to assist in the cleanup.
As rodent populations grow, ticks — and Lyme disease — are coming indoors
Washington Post - Monday, June 19, 2017 

Twice in the same week, Lois Wood woke to find ticks crawling over her bare leg in her New England home. A few nights later, she spotted a mouse running across her bed. A mother of seven, Wood tries to shrug off her tiny bedfellows. “It’s a common rural problem,” she says, although she admits that she has “never experienced anything like this in my own bed.” The recent appearance of vermin and pests in Wood’s bedroom coincides with the warming temperatures related to climate change.
Dead fish disrupt early summer for some Brunswick residents
Portland Press Herald - Monday, June 19, 2017 

Brunswick’s marine resources officer and a team of young volunteers spent much of the weekend cleaning up thousands of dead fish that had washed ashore after a fisherman failed to pull them into his boat. By Monday morning, most of the dead fish – all pogies, a popular bait fish – had been removed, although some carcasses were left behind, along with a pungent smell.
Maine Audubon hires new executive director
Portland Press Herald - Monday, June 19, 2017 

Andy Beahm takes leadership of the conservation group after many years as an executive at L.L. Bean. He is the group’s third executive director since 2014. Beahm had served as Maine Audubon’s interim director since January, when Ole Amundsen III resigned for personal reasons after serving for less than a year. Beahm, who has been on Maine Audubon’s board of directors since 2009, retired in December after 34 years at L.L. Bean where he worked in a number of leadership roles. That experience, Beahm said, will help Maine Audubon to become an organization that better informs and engages a wide range of outdoor enthusiasts.
U.S. seeks fast lumber deal as Canada braces for lengthy dispute
Bloomberg News - Monday, June 19, 2017 

Canada’s envoy to Washington says the Trump administration is interested in a quick deal to end a softwood lumber dispute although Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government sees no imminent agreement. The dispute is raising the cost of lumber in the U.S., contributing to a more than 18 percent surge in wood prices from the end of January to mid-May.
Study: Invasive Green Crabs Could Make Viable Food Products
Associated Press - Monday, June 19, 2017 

Scientists affiliated with UMaine say they may have found a solution to the state’s trouble with invasive green crabs, and it involves turning the clawed critters into pastries. Green crabs threaten Maine’s marine economy because they’re ravenous predators of softshell clams. State officials say the crabs have increased population as water temperatures off Maine have risen. Fishermen and state fishery managers have long struggled to find ways to make the crabs worth catching to help control population. Now, three food scientists say they’ve happened upon a food product that could be viable: green crab empanadas. The scientists published findings that about two-thirds of taste testers would "probably" or "definitely" buy the product if it was locally available.
Rick Perry denies humans are the main cause of climate change
Washington Post - Monday, June 19, 2017 

Asked in an interview on CNBC whether he believed that carbon dioxide was “the primary control knob for the temperature of the Earth and for climate,” Energy Secretary Rick Perry on Monday said that “No." Perry’s comments fall in line with what Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt said in a March interview on the program. Both men’s views contradict the conclusions of scientists at Pruitt’s own EPA as well as NASA, NOAA, and the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
The Cate Street link and more of what’s known about latest redeveloper of shuttered Maine mill
Bangor Daily News - Monday, June 19, 2017 

Recently published records shed light on the leaders of Capergy US, whose subsidiaries lead various businesses that seek to turn Maine’s forests into marketable energy. That includes Stored Solar, which operates two wood-to-energy plants in West Enfield and Jonesboro, subsidized by a $13.4 million taxpayer bailout for two years. The U.S. arm of Capergy, a French company, put $120 million into a bundle of projects in 2013, including a stake in Cate Street Capital’s biomass plant in Berlin, New Hampshire. By February 2016, it pulled out and shifted attention toward its big vision for repurposing defunct mills and biomass plants in Maine. Legal disputes have now stymied the company’s initial financing plan in East Millinocket and its biomass energy plants are putting out a fraction of the electricity they had planned.
Presidents Lack the Authority to Abolish or Diminish National Monuments
Maine Environmental News - Monday, June 19, 2017 

According to an article in the June 2017 edition of the Virginia Law Review Online, "Our conclusion, based on analysis of the text of the Antiquities Act and other statutes, legislative history, and prior legal opinions, is that the President lacks the authority to abolish or downsize a monument, or otherwise weaken the protections afforded by a national monument proclamation declared by a predecessor."
Penobscot readies to host national whitewater races for final year
Bangor Daily News - Monday, June 19, 2017 

The upcoming Penobscot River Whitewater Nationals Regatta is scheduled to run June 28 through July 2. Hosted by the Penobscot Indian Nation and sanctioned by the American Canoe Association, this four-day competition will take place on a 9.5-mile section that runs through Old Town, Bradley, Orono, Veazie and Eddington. “The event itself allows not only the locals, but also people from away to come here, visit us, and see the great river that we’ve reclaimed,” race chairman Scott Phillips said. In the early 2000s, the Penobscot River Restoration Trust formed to revive the native fisheries and traditional uses of the Penobscot River. This group included the Penobscot Indian Nation, seven conservation groups, two hydropower companies, and multiple state and federal agencies — all working together to restore the health of the waterway.
Lead detected in 20 percent of baby food samples, surprising even researchers
Bangor Daily News - Monday, June 19, 2017 

The Environmental Defense Fund, in an analysis of 11 years of federal data, found detectable levels of lead in 20 percent of 2,164 baby food samples. The toxic metal was most commonly found in fruit juices such as grape and apple, root vegetables such as sweet potatoes and carrots, and cookies such as teething biscuits. The organization’s primary focus was on the baby foods because of how detrimental lead can be to child development.
As adjournment looms, Maine lawmakers to vote on slew of vetoes but no budget
Bangor Daily News - Monday, June 19, 2017 

About 75 bills are waiting for Maine Gov. Paul LePage to sign, veto, or let go into law on their own. The odds that many of those will be vetoed are high. On Friday alone, LePage issued eight new vetoes. Meanwhile, the state biennial budget is stuck at an impasse that threatens to trigger a government shutdown on July 1.
Andy Beahm named Maine Audubon's new Executive Director
Maine Audubon - Monday, June 19, 2017 

Following a competitive national search, the Maine Audubon Board of Trustees has selected Andy Beahm to serve as the next Executive Director of the 174-year old wildlife conservation organization. A former Maine Audubon board member and chair, Beahm has been serving as the organization’s acting Executive Director since January.
This rafting trip turned into a huge disaster
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Monday, June 19, 2017 

In her new novel, "The River at Night," Erica Ferencik sends four ladies on a north Maine woods rafting trip that turns into a disaster – and that’s putting it mildly.
Merryspring Nature Center ‘an oasis’ in busy midcoast
Bangor Daily News - Monday, June 19, 2017 

Merryspring was founded 43 years ago by local horticulturist Mary Ellen Ross, who had achieved national recognition through Merry Gardens, her mail order plant business. Ross, who has since passed away, wanted to preserve the land. Before it became Merryspring, the acres had been used as a lumber yard, and Ross envisioned creating a horticulture sanctuary there. She succeeded. These days, thousands of people a year come to Merryspring in all seasons to birdwatch, hike, snowshoe, eat lunch and learn about horticulture and ecology. Because the center’s mission includes practicing, teaching and advocating sound principles of ecology, conservation and horticulture, it is important to the board of trustees that manages Merryspring that the lectures, workshops and other educational programs be affordable.
Editorial: With lobsters and climate, there’s not a debate
Portland Press Herald - Monday, June 19, 2017 

For those who must pull a living, lobster trap by lobster trap, out of the Gulf of Maine, climate change isn’t up for debate – they have seen the change with their own eyes. There is no question at all, except over how you’re going to deal with it. Instead, the Trump administration is doing its best to not confront it at all. President Trump announced he was pulling the United States from the historic Paris climate accord, prompting the question over whether he believed in man-made climate change, a question members of his Cabinet answer in the negative without hesitation. He has also proposed a budget that would severely diminish government-funded research into climate change, which would hinder Maine’s ability to find out how warming waters will impact the lobster industry.
Opinion: Those who object to existing zoning rules shouldn’t be called obstructive
Portland Press Herald - Monday, June 19, 2017 

In recent years, it appears that a double standard is emerging. While zoning still counts for ordinary citizens and small landowners, larger developers with more ambitious projects seem to be able to obtain changes in zoning for their proposals almost at will. It is not fair to disparage the efforts of citizens who object to the loss of existing zoning protections in their neighborhoods as obstructive NIMBYism. Every time we have put aside our carefully planned land use regulations to accommodate a grandiose individual project, we have come to regret it. ~ Peter L. Murray, Portland
Letter: Keep Maine solar businesses competitive
Forecaster - Monday, June 19, 2017 

The Legislature will vote on LD 1504, “An Act Regarding Solar Power for Farms and Businesses,” in this session. The bipartisan bill removes barriers established by a February 2017 Public Utilities Commission ruling that effectively limits the growth of the solar industry in Maine. Why not allow solar businesses in Maine to be competitive with the rest of New England and the country? ~ Joan Mueller, Pownal
Fewer Atlantic salmon returning to rivers, report finds
Associated Press - Sunday, June 18, 2017 

Fewer of North America’s Atlantic salmon are making it back to rivers to spawn, which bodes poorly for the future of the imperiled fish, an international conservation group says. Atlantic salmon were once abundant in the rivers of New England and Atlantic Canada, but they are now endangered or have disappeared. The salmon are born in rivers, swim to the Atlantic and return to their natal river to spawn. The Atlantic Salmon Federation released a report this month that says total estimated returns of the fish to North America in 2016 was a little more than a half million salmon. That is a 27 percent decrease from the previous year.
Patagonia’s CEO Is Ready To Lead The Corporate Resistance To Donald Trump
Huffington Post - Sunday, June 18, 2017 

Rose Marcario, the chief executive of outdoor retailer Patagonia, the outdoor retailer is preparing to sue the White House to protect public lands.
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