May 26, 2016  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Thursday, May 26, 2016 

Thanks for visiting Maine Environmental News, the most comprehensive online source available for links to Maine conservation and natural resource news and events. I have posted summaries and links to 40,000 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. ~ Jym St. Pierre, RESTORE: The North Woods
Acadia Birding Festival, Jun 2-5
Event - Posted - Thursday, May 26, 2016 

Celebrate the ecological wonders of the birds of the Gulf of Maine. At Mount Desert Island, June 2-5.
Swan Island Tour, Jun 2
Event - Posted - Thursday, May 26, 2016 

Swan Island, at the head of Merrymeeting Bay, welcomes hikers, campers, birders and explorers to its shores for an unforgettable Maine experience. This evening wildlife sightseeing tour is lead by Maine Inland Fish & Wildlife staff. At Richmond, June 2, 6:30–7:30 pm. Pre-register.
Horseshoe Crabs, Jun 2
Event - Posted - Wednesday, May 25, 2016 

Carol Steingart of Coast Encounters talks about Horseshoe Crabs. Discover the secret life of these prehistoric "helmets of the sea" that aren't even true crabs, and learn about the vital role they play in shoreline ecosystem health. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, June 2, 1:30 pm.
Changing Bird Migration Patterns, May 31
Event - Posted - Tuesday, May 24, 2016 

Doug Hitchcox, Maine Audubon Staff Naturalist, discusses how Maine’s bird life has changed over the past century. At Topsham Public Library, May 31, 6:30 pm. Sponsored by Cathance River Education Alliance.
Persephone in the Late Anthropocene
Event - Posted - Sunday, May 22, 2016 

This experimental opera re-imagines the Persephone myth, the ancient story of why we have winter, in the age of climate change. At SPACE, Portland, May 6-June 3.
Volunteer to Count Fish at Nequasset
Announcement - Sunday, May 22, 2016 

The Fish Count at Nequasset Dam supports the sustainable harvest of alewives. Volunteers needed. Contact Kennebec Estuary Land Trust.
Maine Days at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, May 28-30
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 21, 2016 

Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens protects the botanical heritage and natural landscapes of coastal Maine through horticulture, education, and research. At Boothbay, May 28-30, free admission for Maine residents.
Damariscotta Mills Fish Ladder Restoration Festival, May 28-29
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 21, 2016 

Damariscotta Mills is home of one of Maine’s oldest and most productive alewife fisheries. The fish ladder was constructed by the Towns of Nobleboro and Newcastle in 1807. The Restoration Festival is May 28-29.
Family Pond Exploration, May 28
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 21, 2016 

Join the outdoor fun at a pond using nets to capture and release some of the interesting residents of a wetland. At L.C. Bates Museum, Hinckley, May 28, 1-4 pm.
Down East Spring Birding Festival, May 27-30
Event - Posted - Friday, May 20, 2016 

The annual Down East Spring Birding Festival provides a unique birding experience during spring migration and the breeding season with four days of guided hikes, boat tours, and presentations, all led by local guides with local knowledge. At Cobscook Bay area, May 27-30.
L.L. Bean Birding Festival, May 27-29
Event - Posted - Friday, May 20, 2016 

A weekend filled with birdwatching events, clinics, demos and expert-led presentations, At Freeport, May 27-29.
Summer Internships
Announcement - Thursday, May 19, 2016 

University of Southern Maine students may apply for internships with area businesses throughout Maine in the fields of Advanced Technologies for Forestry and Agriculture, Aquaculture and Marine Sciences, Biotechnology, Composites and Advanced Materials Technologies, Environmental Technologies, Information Technologies, and Precision Manufacturing.
Vernal Pools: Turtles
Announcement - Thursday, May 19, 2016 

Features works of young artists up to the age of 18. At Merrymeeting Arts Center Gallery, Bowdoinham, through May 29.
Open Spaces: Reimagining Pastoral Maine Exhibition Opening
Announcement - Thursday, May 19, 2016 

Summer art exhibition at L.C. Bates Museum, Hinckley.
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News Items
Blog: Fishing for Loons Part II
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, May 21, 2016 

Loons are smart birds, and over the years certain loons on certain lakes have discovered that when an angler catches a fish, that fish is ripe for the taking. They swoop in like underwater torpedoes, stealing the trout and zooming off. While it may be a boon for the loons, it drives fishermen and women up the wall. I have always loved loons, but until my own fishing incident had only appreciated their striking appearance, not how powerful they really are. I would be absolutely terrified if one of those things jumped into a boat with me. ~ Erika Zambello
Should game wardens break the law? Mainers say no!
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Saturday, May 21, 2016 

I invited readers to answer this question: Should Maine game wardens be allowed to break the law and to encourage others to break the law, in order to arrest law breakers? The response was overwhelming. So far 703 people have answered the question. 664 (94.45%) said no, while just 28 (3.98%) said yes and 11 (1.56%) were not sure.
Blog: Five Reasons You Might Be A Thalassophile
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, May 21, 2016 

A thalassophile is a lover of the sea. There are people who enjoy the ocean, and then there are those of us who love it, and need it. Whether we depend on it for happiness, relaxation, a livelihood, a home, or for nourishment, some people simply must be near the sea. I know that I am a thalassophile. I live, work, and play on the ocean. Here’s five reasons you might be a thalassophile as well. ~ Matt Garand
Mainer caught in poaching sting acknowledges calls to undercover game warden
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, May 21, 2016 

A York County man who was ordered by Maine State Police last week to cease harassing an undercover game warden who snared him in a poaching sting investigation acknowledged Friday that he called the warden twice before being sent to jail. But Richard Sanborn Sr., 57, of Parsonsfield said that both calls were accidental misdials and he never spoke to the agent or even left a message in the calls. State police gave Sanborn a written cease harassment notice on the evening of May 13, the day he began serving a 22-day sentence. He pleaded guilty April 29 to numerous hunting and game law violations. Sanborn contends that police issued the notice to retaliate against him for speaking out to the Portland Press Herald.
Editorial: Satellites could be key tool in ensuring emissions compliance
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, May 21, 2016 

When nearly 200 countries agreed in Paris late last year to work together to reduce emissions of the greenhouse gases that cause global warming, one crucial detail was left hanging: verification. A plan by a coalition of national space agencies could offer the kind of monitoring and verification needed to ensure that the signatory countries are living up to their word. The agencies are putting together a network of satellites that will be able to map carbon dioxide emissions, the biggest contributor to global warming, and methane, which has more significant but shorter-term effects, from individual nations. Of course, such a system is contingent on government funding. Here in the United States, with climate-denying politicians both in Congress and running for president, continued support is not guaranteed. Which is yet another indicator of how crucial this fall’s election will be.
Opinion: Sportsman’s chief says gun law would be overregulation of the purest kind
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, May 21, 2016 

Earlier this year, a friend wanted to take his two young sons turkey hunting. I offered my friend one of my youth model 20-gauge shotguns as a loaner and he accepted. Months later his 9-year-old son harvested his first tom turkey, and a few days later my friend returned my firearm without incident. In our interpretation of the proposed law, the innocent scenario above – and countless others, including temporarily loaning a firearm to a friend for self-protection – will become illegal in almost all cases, unless the parties first undergo a potentially difficult and expensive background check, if Maine people pass the initiative to expand background checks for private sales, loans, gifts and other kinds of “transfers” of guns. ~ David A. Trahan, Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine
Letter: Maine lobsters deserve their premium price
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, May 21, 2016 

In order for the industry to capitalize on its well-deserved premium price, it must ensure that imposter lobsters are not masquerading as Mainers. While Homarus americanus from southern New England or Canada may be biologically identical to those from our own waters, Maine lobstermen have a centuries-old history of stewardship and independence that makes their product a remarkable – and in this region, a rare – example of fisheries management done right. The Obama administration is in the process of finalizing a rule to enhance the traceability of seafood and ensure that consumers can more readily understand the provenance and pedigree of their fish – from the boat to their plates – and trust the labeling is honest. ~ Industry members, elected officials and other leaders in the state’s seafood industry should support the administration’s proposals. ~ Michael Conathan, Center for American Progress, South Portland
Letter: National park history lesson
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, May 21, 2016 

Anyone who has read the history of Acadia National Park knows how fiercely the local residents opposed the idea right from the beginning. It took George Dorr’s courage and cool-headed strategy and, ultimately, the power of the federal government to see it through. If the residents of Bar Harbor and Mount Desert Island had had their way, there would have been no Acadia then or now. That took place 100 years ago, but the lessons for the present day are clear. ~ Bill Carpenter, Stockton Springs
Letter: North Woods already a monument
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, May 21, 2016 

Though proponents of the North Woods national monument are entitled to their views and opinions on the controversial plan, it appears that they are blind to the fact that, as it is, northern Maine can be described as a magnificent natural national monument — a national park, actually — that attracts tourists from across this country and beyond. So what’s wrong with leaving it as it is? Why turn it into another federally controlled farce? ~ Tom Hennessey, Hampden [Note: Hennessey was Bangor Daily News outdoors columnist 2002-2013; he has opposed a national park in the Maine Woods for decades.]
New report documents decline in land conservation funding in Maine
Maine Environmental News - Friday, May 20, 2016 

A new report prepared for the Wildlands and Woodlands Initiative, entitled "Public Conservation Funding in New England," documents trends in federal, state and local public funding available to finance land conservation in New England during the decade 2004-2014. The report shows that for land conservation in Maine:
• Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Funds dropped to zero after 2007
• Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program funding dropped to zero after 2008
• Land & Water Conservation funding for federal or state land acquisition dropped to zero after 2012
• Migratory Bird Conservation Funding dropped to zero after 2012
• Wildlife Restoration Program funding was zero during 2004-2014
• Funding from two federal programs, Forest Legacy and North American Wetlands Conservation Act, has gone up and down
• Funding from two state programs, Maine Natural Resources Conservation Program and Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund, has gone up and down
• Only one Community Forest Program project in Maine received funding
Four new Maine game wardens graduate
Portland Press Herald - Friday, May 20, 2016 

Four new Maine game wardens graduated Friday from the Basic Law Enforcement Training Program at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy in Vassalboro. The four – John Carter, 28,of Unity; Kale O’Leary, 23, of Fort Kent: Nicholas Raymond, 24, of Winslow; and Harrison Wiegman, 24, of Leeds – will now go on to a Warden Training Officer program involving field work, team-building and problem-solving, and then a 12-week Advanced Game Warden Academy program in Vassalboro.
Pollen in the river reported as suspected oil spill in Brewer
Bangor Daily News - Friday, May 20, 2016 

The 911 caller said he saw what looked like an oil spill in the Penobscot River near the High Tide restaurant and local firefighters and an ambulance crew responded in force to investigate. What they found on Friday was pollen and small plant parts coating the water surface from trees recently planted along the waterfront trail.
Maine Lawmakers to Quiz Wardens on Controversial Poaching Sting
Maine Public Broadcasting Network - Friday, May 20, 2016 

The legislative committee that oversees the Maine Warden Service will hold a hearing about a poaching sting in Allagash that triggered complaints from residents and raised questions about the conduct of an undercover agent. Republican Senate President Michael Thibodeau said Inland Fisheries and Wildlife chief Chandler Woodcock and Col. Joel Wilkinson, head of the warden service, are expected to attend. The hearing follows a report by the Portland Press Herald that raised questions about the 2014 poaching raid, the conduct of an undercover agent and whether the operation was fueled by the presence of a reality TV crew. The Warden Service has sharply disputed the newspaper’s account.
Blog: What a bison calf’s euthanization has to do with Maine’s national park debate
Bangor Daily News - Friday, May 20, 2016 

The hoped-for economic benefit brought by a national park is the core “good intention” offered by supporters. The question isn’t about a park, it is about federal control. Supporters dismiss that concern as right-wing wackery. They are wrong. The reality is Washington’s commitments outpace our ability to pay. Additionally, the federal government remains a slow-moving, distant, faceless bureaucracy. ~ Michael Cianchette, former legal counsel to Gov. Paul LePage
EPA awards more than $7 million to mitigate Maine brownfields
Portland Press Herald - Friday, May 20, 2016 

More than $7 million in federal money has been awarded to 16 Maine municipalities and organizations to redevelop contaminated sites. The money is being directed to assess and clean up brownfield sites so those properties can be used for future economic investment and to mitigate environmental damage caused by past contamination. A brownfield site is property that contains a hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant, which hinders its potential reuse.
Orono couple Receives Frank Knight Community Service Award at Arbor Week Celebration
Maine Government News - Friday, May 20, 2016 

The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry recognized the importance of trees in urban settings and the dedication of Maine communities to caring for those trees during its 2016 Maine Arbor Week Celebration. Orono Tree Board members and volunteers Pat and Dave Thompson, were honored by Maine Forest Service Director Doug Denico.
Opinion: Fiberight’s proposed Hampden waste facility is just too risky
Bangor Daily News - Friday, May 20, 2016 

As a professional with over 40 years of experience in the planning, design, construction, startup, problem resolution and operation of large solid waste processing and waste-to-energy facilities, it is my opinion that critical information still needs to be provided and actions taken before an informed and fiscally responsible decision can be made regarding the planned MRC-Fiberight Hampden project. I believe that there are significant financial risks associated with the project and that the responsibilities of the parties regarding these risks have not been clearly identified nor contractually addressed. The MRC should immediately concentrate its limited resources on these activities and resolution of other issues that have been called to its attention. If such protective measures are not taken, the $70-per-ton tipping fee will be inadequate — and perhaps significantly so. ~ Kenneth A. Smith of Lamoine
Editorial: Pride and preservation: Monument proposal improved with local input
Bangor Daily News - Friday, May 20, 2016 

There’s been much written about what National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis and Sen. Angus King heard during their meetings this week with Maine people about a proposed national monument near Patten. Less attention has been focused on what Jarvis said. Jarvis listened for hours to Maine residents who adamantly oppose a monument or park and to those who eagerly await the inclusion of 87,500 acres owned by Elliotsville Plantation Inc. in the park service’s portfolio. At the end, Jarvis answered every question he heard and addressed each questioner by name. Here’s a quick summary of Jarvis’ response to questions.
Letter: Carbon fee and dividend answer to climate change
Morning Sentinel - Friday, May 20, 2016 

Everybody knows (though some don’t yet admit it) that global warming is the result of huge (40 percent) increases in concentrations of the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and methane in Earth’s atmosphere. Both are a direct result of man’s activities since the dawning of the industrial revolution. And most is due to our burning of coal, oil and natural gas. Further studies of warming or acidification in the Gulf of Maine will not tell us anything we don’t already know about what we need to do. Why not, instead, call for action to reduce our dependence on coal, oil and natural gas to power just about everything we do. We just need Congress to act. Check out citizensclimatelobby.org for further details. ~ Peter Garrett, PhD, Mid Maine Group Leader, Citizens’ Climate Lobby, Winslow
Letter: Accept the national monument gift
Bangor Daily News - Friday, May 20, 2016 

On Monday, supporters of the proposed national monument in the Katahdin region came from all over Maine to ensure Sen. Angus King and the Obama administration understand how much Maine wants to accept this incredible gift. With all the speeches, economic data and the long list of reasons to conserve this incredible place, one thing missing is the fact that this is a gift. Not only does this proposal include about 87,000 acres along the East Branch of the Penobscot River but it also includes a multimillion-dollar endowment to help pay for monument operations. King must show leadership now and express his full support. ~ William Wood, Bangor
New Report Highlights 10 Wild Places Saved by Endangered Species Protections
Center for Biological Diversity - Thursday, May 19, 2016 

In celebration of the country’s 11th annual Endangered Species Day, the Center for Biological Diversity today released a new report highlighting 10 of the most unique and beautiful wild places saved by the presence of endangered species. Among the areas highlighted in the report, "Saving Species and Wild Spaces, 10 Extraordinary Places Saved by the Endangered Species Act," is the Penobscot river. Endangered Species Act protections for Atlantic salmon, shortnose sturgeon and Atlantic sturgeon spurred dam removals that helped restore the health of Maine’s longest river, which not only provides a home to birds, mammals and 11 fish species but is a popular recreation and fishing spot.
State to use sonar to locate submerged power cables in Saco River
Maine Government News - Thursday, May 19, 2016 

The Maine Coastal Mapping Initiative (MCMI) is teaming up with the cities of Biddeford and Saco to find several abandoned submerged power cables and other marine debris that threatens to impede plans to dredge the upper portion of the Saco River. Beginning next week, the MCMI survey vessel Amy Gale will use state-of-the art sonar technology in an attempt find the cables which got tangled with dredging equipment when the Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) last dredged this section of the Saco River in the 1990’s. “The Saco River is economically important,” said Commissioner Walt Whitcomb. “The Saco River contributes more than $53 Million annually in economic impact to Saco and Biddeford and is home to more than 40 commercial fishing vessels. The State of Maine is providing sonar capabilities in support of their effort to maintain the navigability of the river and help boost their coastal economies.”
Fish Friends say ‘bye, guys’ to small fry salmon
Morning Sentinel - Thursday, May 19, 2016 

Thursday marked the final day of a months-long project for the fifth-graders, who began raising salmon in February. “It’s the last final hurrah,” said Patricia Dunphy, a fifth-grade science teacher. “We’ve studied them for the last three months, and now it’s time to release them.” The project is part of the Atlantic Salmon Federation’s Fish Friends program, an educational program that teaches students about the salmon and how to care for them. The students learn about the life cycle of the fish, migration, the effects of river pollution and dams and other factors affecting their population.
Congress agrees on chemical law overhaul
Washington Post - Thursday, May 19, 2016 

Congress has reached agreement on the most sweeping overhaul of U.S. chemical safety laws in 40 years, a rare bipartisan accord that has won the backing of both industry officials and some of Capitol Hill’s most liberal lawmakers. The compromise, which lawmakers unveiled Thursday, will provide the industry with greater certainty while empowering the Environmental Protection Agency to obtain more information about a chemical before approving its use. And because the laws involved regulate thousands of chemicals in products as diverse as detergents, paint thinners and permanent-press clothing, the result also will have a profound effect on Americans’ everyday lives. Maine and seven other states have placed their own restrictions on some chemicals in the face of federal regulatory inaction.
Trash cleanup at Long Creek has an added purpose
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, May 19, 2016 

Volunteers spent part of Thursday pulling 40 large bags of litter and trash out of a tributary of Long Creek, a stream that flows near heavily built-up areas near the Maine Mall. Springtime river cleanups are common, but this trash may be used to help design new ways to keep waste from getting into Long Creek, as well as other threatened watersheds in Maine and around the world. A private environmental firm is using Long Creek to study ways of keeping litter out of waterways.
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Natural Resources Council
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