February 26, 2017  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Saturday, February 25, 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
Forum on Food Security in Lincoln County, Mar 4
Event - Posted - Saturday, February 25, 2017 

Nearly half of students in the Lincoln County are eligible for free or reduced-price school lunches. The Morris Farm, a farm and education center, and Chewonki are sponsoring a forum about food security in the county. At Chewonki Center for Environmental Education, Wiscasset, March 4.
Help wanted: Environment Maine State Director
Announcement - Friday, February 24, 2017 

Coordinate advocacy, field organizing, and media communications driving campaigns to restore Maine's lakes and rivers, to bring more clean energy to Maine, to curb global warming pollution, and to protect Maine's open spaces.
Save Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument
Action Alert - Thursday, February 23, 2017 

Maine Governor Paul LePage is urging President Trump to kill the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. This makes no sense for a host of reasons. Tell President Trump and Maine's congressional representatives to oppose any effort to undo our national monument. ~ RESTORE: The North Woods
Protect Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument
Action Alert - Thursday, February 23, 2017 

Governor LePage has asked President Trump to undo the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. Ask your Senators and Representatives to do everything in their power to protect the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. ~ Natural Resources Council of Maine
Help wanted: Maine Audubon Executive Director
Announcement - Thursday, February 23, 2017 

Seeking an inspiring leader who can articulate the vision of Maine Audubon and lead, support, and galvanize the organization’s stakeholders.
RESIST: Skills to Fight Back for Maine’s Environment, Mar 8
Event - Posted - Thursday, February 23, 2017 

Learn the skills you need to be an powerful activist. At Urban Farm Fermentory, Portland, March 8, 5:30-8:30 pm. Sponsored by Natural Resources Council of Maine, Maine Conservation Voters, The Wilderness Society, Appalachian Mountain Club, and Maine Public Health Association.
The National Parks in the 21st Century, Mar 2
Event - Posted - Thursday, February 23, 2017 

Gretchen Long, a member of the National Park System Advisory Board, will present an overview of the park system. At Yarmouth History Center, March 2, 2 pm.
Lets Go Hiking, Mar 2
Event - Posted - Thursday, February 23, 2017 

Don Miskill talks about his experiences hiking and shows photos from his travels. At Orr's Island Library, Harpswell, March 2, 7 pm.
DOE Public Meetings on UMaine Ocean Wind Project, Feb 28 & Mar 1
Event - Posted - Tuesday, February 21, 2017 

U.S. Department of Energy is providing funding to UMaine to support the development of the ocean wind project, known as New England Aqua Ventus I, two turbines on floating foundations in the Gulf of Maine, about 2.5 miles south of Monhegan Island. DOE meetings provide an opportunity for the public to help define the scope of environmental impacts. At St. George Town Office, February 28, 2-4 pm and 7-9 pm; at Monhegan Island School, March 1, 5:30-7:30 pm.
Tides: The Science and Spirit of the Ocean, Feb 28
Event - Posted - Tuesday, February 21, 2017 

Jonathan White takes you on a journey spanning the globe as he examines the many dimensions of the tides, the science behind them, and how they influence culture. At Unity College Center for the Performing Arts, Unity, Feb 28, 6 pm.
Inspired by Nature, Feb 28
Event - Posted - Tuesday, February 21, 2017 

An examination of how nature inspires people in many different ways and in many different fields. At Topsham Public Library, February 28, 6 pm. Sponsored by Cathance River Education Alliance.
Mindful Meditation at Morse Pond Preserve, Feb 25
Event - Posted - Saturday, February 18, 2017 

Bobby Carnicella will lead a mindful nature walk at Morse Pond Preserve in Georgetown, February 25, 9:30 am. Sponsored by Kennebec Estuary Land Trust.
Clean Up Pence’s Dirty Coal
Action Alert - Friday, February 17, 2017 

Mike Pence may be Trump's "clean up" man, but he failed the environment. Under Pence's leadership, super polluters spewed unregulated pollution into the air, placing children at risk of disease and the world in danger of the consequences of climate change.
Owl Prowl, Feb 24
Event - Posted - Friday, February 17, 2017 

Learn about native owl species, their ecology and adaptations, and meet local representatives up close. At Center For Wildlife, York, Feb 24, 5 pm, $7.
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News Items
Pond Hockey Classic highlights growth of sport among Maine adults
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, February 19, 2017 

In the past four years the number of Maine adults playing organized hockey has doubled.
Tom’s of Maine co-founder goes from toothpaste to tailoring
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, February 19, 2017 

Every committed hiker has had some frustrations with gear, be it socks that chafed or boots that started to fall apart before the summit. Not everyone follows through with resolutions made back at the trailhead to come better equipped next time. But Tom Chappell, best known (for now) as the co-founder of Tom’s of Maine? This formerly frustrated hiker built a whole company to fix that gear problem. And also, with an eye toward reinvigorating America’s flagging apparel industry, sustainably.
Geologist Brenda Hall fell for glaciers as a child
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, February 19, 2017 

University of Maine professor Brenda Hall has been on 27 polar expeditions. The teacher and researcher with UMaine’s Climate Change Institute got back just a few weeks ago from a six-week research trip in Antarctica. We talked with her about her journey from growing up in Standish to being a globe-trotting expert on glacial geology and the stability of ice sheets.
Column: To save the planet, eat more dried beans
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, February 19, 2017 

Canadian seed saver Dan Jason believes pulses – the edible seeds of plants in the legume family – can save the world. Pulses are easy to grow, store indefinitely, are simple to prepare, and are nutritionally dense and protein rich. This message is not new. People around the world have been cultivating and consuming pulses for over ten thousand years. And in the early 1970s, Frances Moore Lappe famously advocated for eating more beans (and other meat-free meals) as a way to help the earth in her best-selling “Diet for a Small Planet.” But in the age of global warming, Jason says it’s a missive that needs to be reiterated. ~ Christine Burns Rudalevige
Column: Powder aplenty at Maine ski areas
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, February 19, 2017 

Right now, skiing in Maine is as good as it’s been in years. Slammed by a series of snowstorms that buried both the coast and the mountains, all of Maine has at least two feet of snow on the ground. It’s fortuitous timing, as ski areas and winter recreation facilities head into the Presidents Day vacation week – traditionally one of the two biggest weeks of the season for most resorts. ~ Josh Christie
Column: Waxwings, finches plentiful in final Christmas counts
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, February 19, 2017 

This column concludes the overview of the National Audubon Society Christmas Bird Counts conducted in Maine between mid-December and early January. The Orono count was held Dec. 17. A gray jay was perhaps the least expected of the 44 species tallied. Tufted titmice were represented by 28 individuals. A hardy northern mockingbird was unexpected. A whopping 1,467 Bohemian waxwings were found, an excellent count for this early in the winter. Irruptive finches were well represented, with 65 pine grosbeaks, 25 purple finches, 54 common redpolls and 103 evening grosbeaks. ~ Herb Wilson
Letter: Column ignores nuances of climate change science
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, February 19, 2017 

Alan Caron addressed climate change, declaring “we” are “ill-informed.” He sees fossil fuel burning over the last 100 years as the major culprit. Evidence is that 2016 was the warmest year on record, yet the increase over 2015 was 0.04 degrees Celsius. Honest scientists will tell you that data and theories in many climate models are manipulated to produce desired results. Factual science and history confirm our planet warms and cools over cycles varying from hundreds to thousands of years, but the science behind these cycles is not simplistically centered in CO2 levels. If you want to more clearly understand why “we” are ill-informed, read “Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming." ~ Brad Kaake, Hollis Center
Could U.S. Endangered Species Rules Go Extinct?
National Geographic - Saturday, February 18, 2017 

The 1973 law currently protects more than 1,600 plant and animal species. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which oversees the Endangered Species Act’s implementation says it has been nearly 100 percent successful at preventing those species from going extinct, and it has allowed others, such as the gray wolf, bald eagle, and American crocodile, to thrive. But foes of the ESA see an opportunity to weaken it under President Donald Trump, who has said the nation’s environmental rules are “out of control.”
Column: Wildlife restoration projects: Part II
Sun Journal - Saturday, February 18, 2017 

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Maine has tried twice unsuccessfully, once in 1963 and again in 1986-1990, to reintroduce caribou to our North Woods. Does this adage apply? Did Maine give up too easily on its effort to establish a caribou population? ~ V. Paul Reynolds
Bethel couple rescues injured owl from prickly situation
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, February 18, 2017 

A couple from Bethel rescued a great horned owl from a prickly situation Friday. Maria Boschetti spotted the owl outside their store, Steam Mill Antiques in Bethel, Friday morning. “I knew his behavior was unnatural, but I was not sure why,” husband, Jay Boschetti, said. Not wanting to disturb the owl, the couple patiently observed the it throughout the morning. When they took photos of the owl with a high-power lens, they noticed he was injured from an encounter with a porcupine. Avian Haven removed a dozen quills while treating the owl.
EPA Official, After Years of Work to Thwart the Agency's Mission, Returns to Carry Out Trump Agenda
Other - Saturday, February 18, 2017 

InsideClimate News - A key member of Donald Trump's transition team, David Schnare returns to the agency where he worked for 33 years, while also striving to hamstring some of its work.
Making EPA Toxic
Other - Saturday, February 18, 2017 

In 2000, The Simpsons had an episode where Bart has a vision of the future and his sister, Lisa, is the new president of the United States. She makes a comment about how the country is broke because of her predecessor, President Donald Trump. The idea of Trump being president was supposed to be a huge joke about the stupidity of Americans…and the disaster a Trump presidency would bring. If The Simpsons’ predictions keep coming true then within the next four years the Environmental Protection Agency will enclose a toxic American city inside a giant glass bubble, not let the citizens escape, and hide it from America, which was the plot of The Simpsons Movie.
Passenger trains in Bangor: A vision of the future or a pipe dream?
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, February 18, 2017 

It was a vision that captured the audience at a City Council meeting on Wednesday enough that one councilor warned against getting starry-eyed over it: Passenger trains running from Boston to Bangor as part of a traffic hub built on Washington Street. But is that something that can happen anytime soon? Probably not, one of the state’s leading passenger train advocates said.
Opinion: We must resist attempts to roll back the EPA and the laws it enforces
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, February 18, 2017 

Threats by Donald Trump during and after his campaign echo Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan’s announced goal of reducing or eliminating the power of the Environmental Protection Agency and the laws the agency enforces. While this may save industries some costs in the short run, the long-term costs to public health and the environment are a disaster in the making. History teaches that a return to the unregulated, lax 1950s is not a direction worth seeking. ~ David Ramsay, South Berwick
Letter: Wind towers unsightly
Sun Journal - Saturday, February 18, 2017 

I am pro-environment, and I am against wind towers that are 600 feet tall. ~ Joan Kintz
Letter: LePage’s senseless opposition to solar
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, February 18, 2017 

Gov. Paul LePage said that households with solar panels get paid for putting electricity onto the grid and that “ratepayers are being charged twice” for transmission and distribution. This is untrue. When households with net metering agreements (like mine) put excess onto the grid, the meter effectively runs backward. A credit is accrued, and if it is not used within 12 months, it is lost. A minimum meter fee is always charged. Not allowing a full credit (which the governor advocates) would result in double-dipping on transmission and distribution costs. Because fuel is free, promoting renewable energy is the best way to stabilize electricity prices for Mainers. Solar is a growth industry, and it should be encouraged. Except for ideology, the governor’s opposition makes no sense. ~ Frank John, Brooklin
EPA criticizes EPA in news release hailing Pruitt's confirmation
CNN - Friday, February 17, 2017 

The Environmental Protection Agency welcomed its new leader with an unusual news release Friday that occasionally took aim at itself. Scott Pruitt, who has questioned human connectivity to climate change, was confirmed by the Senate Friday in a partisan vote. Pruitt has sued the agency repeatedly as Oklahoma attorney general for what he saw as regulatory overreach. Pruitt is not alone in President Donald Trump's Cabinet as an official who thinks the agency he oversees has drifted far from its core mission. But in a series of laudatory statements from stakeholders released by the agency on Friday, the EPA at times seemed to be offering criticism of its own purpose.
Maine lobstermen oppose increase in cost of commercial fishing licenses
Portland Press Herald - Friday, February 17, 2017 

A proposal to increase the cost of commercial fishing licenses to fund scientific research in a lean budget year is drawing fire from Maine lobstermen. Julie Eaton, a 30-year lobster boat captain from Deer Isle, told a legislative panel at the State House on Friday that a 30 percent increase in lobster license fees would be too much on top of all the other costs of doing business, ranging from $125 to replace lost traps to $185 for monthly oil changes to bait bills that have doubled in the last year alone.
Trails group co-founder David Burwell dies at 69
Washington Post - Friday, February 17, 2017 

David Burwell, the co-founder and first president of the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, an organization that has led nationwide efforts to convert thousands of miles of unused railroad corridors to trails and parklands, died Feb. 1 at his home in Bethesda, Maryland. In 1991, the conservancy won a major battle with the passage of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act, which mandated that a small portion of federal highway funds be reserved for projects other than paved roads.
New England ski areas have a season to celebrate
Associated Press - Friday, February 17, 2017 

The gods have answered the call of skiers, snowmobilers and dog mushers, dumping mounds of snow in northern New England following little snow last season during the warmest winter on record in some spots. The biggest snowstorms of this season, followed by days of flurries, have unloaded more than 2 feet of snow – higher amounts in the mountains – in the past week across Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.
Climate skeptic now head of EPA
Other - Friday, February 17, 2017 

This afternoon the U.S. Senate confirmed Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt as EPA Administrator. He was voted in less than 24 hours after an Oklahoma judge ordered him to disclose more than 3,000 secret emails between him and his pals in the fossil fuel industry. We now have an EPA administrator who disdains the very mission of the agency (he sued to block basic health and environmental standards more than a dozen times) working under a president who said he wanted to abolish the EPA. We have very little hope that Pruitt will act in good faith to protect Creation and our air, water, and land. ~ Susan Stephenson, Interfaith Power & Light
Poland Spring Looks to Open New Bottling Plant
Maine Public - Friday, February 17, 2017 

Poland Spring is looking to expand. A continuing surge in the sale of bottled water has the company looking for two new sources of spring water and making plans for a fourth bottling facility somewhere in western Maine or northeast of Bangor. That’s a concern for some Maine residents like Nickie Sekera of the group Community Water Justice. “With Nestle looking to expand their business in Maine, I think it would be timely for us to put Mainers first and put our local economy and environment first before we bypass the sole benefit of our water to local communities,” she says.
Environmental Groups Decry Confirmation of Scott Pruitt to Lead EPA
Maine Public - Friday, February 17, 2017 

The U.S. Senate has voted to confirm Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt as head of the Environmental Protection Agency. Environmental activists are upset that the vote was allowed to happen before next week’s public release of emails between Pruitt and energy company executives. The Senate voted 52-46 to confirm Pruitt after failed attempts to delay action on the vote. Maureen Drouin, executive director of Maine Conservation Voters, says having Pruitt leading the EPA will hurt efforts to protect the environment, both in Maine and across the nation. Maine’s two senators, Republican Susan Collins and independent Angus King, voted against confirmation. But Collins did join with other Republicans in forcing the vote. King supported the delay, and warned colleagues that they will have to explain their vote to future generations.
Scott Pruitt, climate denier, new head of EPA
Other - Friday, February 17, 2017 

Today, Republicans in Congress have voted to have Scott Pruitt run the Environmental Protection Agency. This is disgraceful. Scott Pruitt has made it clear he wants to dismantle the EPA, and now Trump and the Republicans in Congress have put him in charge. ~ Greenpeace
NRCM “Deeply Dismayed” by Senate Vote Confirming Pruitt to Head EPA
Natural Resources Council of Maine - Friday, February 17, 2017 

Statement of Lisa Pohlmann, Executive Director, Natural Resources Council of Maine: We are deeply dismayed that the U.S. Senate has voted to confirm Scott Pruitt as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. This is bad news for Maine, because we depend on clean air, clean water, and a healthy environment as a foundation of our economy. Scott Pruitt is hostile toward the mission of EPA and has spent much of his career suing the EPA to block clean air and clean water standards that protect the health of Maine people and all Americans.
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