March 25, 2017  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Friday, March 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
Edible Ornamentals, Mar 31
Event - Posted - Friday, March 24, 2017 

Speaker: Lisa Fernandez of The Resilience Hub. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, March 31, 12 pm.
State of Maine Sportsman’s Show, Mar 31-Apr 2
Event - Posted - Friday, March 24, 2017 

At Augusta Civic Center, March 31 - April 2.
Grow Your Own Mushrooms, Mar 30
Event - Posted - Thursday, March 23, 2017 

Speaker: Ben Whatley of Whatley Farm. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, March 30, 6:30 pm.
2017 Maine Sustainability & Water Conference, Mar 30
Event - Posted - Thursday, March 23, 2017 

Keynote "Conserving Pools and Watersheds" by Aram Calhoun, Professor of Wetland Ecology, UMaine. At Augusta Civic Center, March 30, 7:30 am - 4 pm.
Northern Goshawks in the Northeast, Mar 30
Event - Posted - Thursday, March 23, 2017 

Speaker: David Brinker, Maryland Natural Heritage Program. At Ladd Recreation Center, Wayne, March 30, 7 pm. Sponsored by Kennebec Land Trust.
Backyard Bees, Mar 29
Event - Posted - Wednesday, March 22, 2017 

Beekeeper Mike Mcnally talks about keeping bees. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, March 29, 12 pm.
Planning a Garden for Preserving, Mar 29
Event - Posted - Wednesday, March 22, 2017 

Speaker: Kate McCarty of UMaine Cooperative Extension. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, March 29, 6:30 pm.
New interactive Androscoggin River Trail Guide
Publication - Tuesday, March 21, 2017 

The Androscoggin River Trail Guide is an interactive, mobile-friendly website describing launch site details, river mileages, points of interest, and other on-river information to help guide paddlers down the Androscoggin.
Inspired by Nature, Mar 28
Event - Posted - Tuesday, March 21, 2017 

Wildlife biologist and author of I Am Coyote, Geri will illustrate how nature inspires her. At Topsham Library, March 28, 6 pm. Sponsored by Cathance River Education Alliance.
Waypoints: Community Indicators for Maine’s Coast and Islands
Publication - Monday, March 20, 2017 

This Island Institute publication presents economic, community and environmental indicators for Maine’s coastal and island communities as they compare to the rest of the state and the nation.
Maine Maple Sunday, Mar 26
Event - Posted - Sunday, March 19, 2017 

Maine will celebrate its 34th annual Maine Maple Sunday on March 26.
Birding at Plum Island, Mar 25
Event - Posted - Saturday, March 18, 2017 

A field trip to find special winter birds. At Plum Island, MA, March 25, 7 am - 4 pm. Sponsored by Stanton Bird Club.
Trump's "America First Budget"
Publication - Thursday, March 16, 2017 

The Office of Management and Budget today released the Trump Administration's 2018 bare-bones budget outline.
Top "Public Lands Enemies" in Congress
Publication - Thursday, March 16, 2017 

A Center for Biological Diversity report analyzed 132 bills that were introduced in Congress from 2011 to 2016, and identified the lawmakers who authored and cosponsored the greatest number of these bills. The list that emerged includes 9 members of the U.S. House of Representatives and 6 U.S. senators from 8 states.
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News Items
Trump aides cause friction at EPA
E&E/Greenwire - Monday, March 20, 2017 

White House political appointees are clashing with U.S. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. Staffers installed on the Trump administration's "beachhead team" at EPA have been at odds with the agency's new chief since Pruitt and his aides arrived at headquarters last month. The internal conflicts at EPA have already resulted in one high-profile departure, and the White House's liaison to the agency has been shut out of meetings by Pruitt. One source who's in touch with political employees at EPA said "things are a mess" at that agency, citing infighting among top political officials.
Pruitt's Okla. posse arrives at agency
E&E/Greenwire - Monday, March 20, 2017 

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has brought on several staffers who either worked under him when he was Oklahoma attorney general or were part of his campaign team. Sarah Greenwalt, who was general counsel for the Oklahoma Office of the Attorney General, has joined EPA as senior counsel. Lincoln Ferguson, who was press secretary for the Oklahoma attorney general's office, has joined EPA's public affairs office. Millan Hupp, a political consultant who was part of Pruitt's campaign team in Oklahoma, has joined the agency to handle advance work. Her sister, Sydney Hupp, another former Pruitt campaign aide, has joined EPA as well to work as a scheduler. All four individuals started at EPA last week.
Hunters busted for killing 87 snowshoe hares on remote Maine island
Bangor Daily News - Monday, March 20, 2017 

Maine game wardens have busted a group of hunters who killed 87 snowshoe hares, 67 over the legal limit, on a remote island. The Nature Conservancy owns 245 acres or about 90 percent of Great Duck Island. TNC does allow hunting on its land on the island, provided all state and federal regulations are followed, but it has little information about the size of the island’s hare population. College of the Atlantic has a summer research program on Great Duck Island, where students study the island’s seabird colonies and other natural phenomena.
Proposed Maine Mining Rules Draw Criticism, Support at Hearing
Maine Public - Monday, March 20, 2017 

Environmentalists and residents of Aroostook County converged on the State House Monday to testify on a slate of bills designed to allow, limit or ban metal mining in Maine. Lawmakers are reviewing seven different proposals. One is a bill that contains the mining rules unanimously adopted by the Board of Environmental Protection that would allow mining operators to apply for a permit. Other proposals would either limit or ban metal mining altogether. One proposal, by Democratic Sen. Brownie Carson, would allow mining but alter the rules approved by the BEP. Carson's proposal would also prohibit mining in or under lakes, rivers, wetlands, state parks and the Allagash Wilderness Waterway.
Opinion: Acadia is a national treasure; harvesting clams, worms will only hurt the park
Bangor Daily News - Monday, March 20, 2017 

Many Americans have just participated in celebrating 100 years of success in protecting and enjoying Acadia National Park and the National Park System. So it is disconcerting to see momentum behind a new law to end Acadia’s jurisdiction over its intertidal lands. U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin and U.S. Sen. Angus King recently introduced a bill that would open Acadia’s intertidal lands to “traditional uses,” including commercial harvests of rockweed, clams and worms. ~ Dr. Michael Soukup, National Park Service retired chief scientist, Blue Hill, and Dr. Mary Foley, retired National Park Service regional chief scientist, Carrabassett Valley
David Rockefeller, Acadia benefactor with deep ties to Maine, remembered for conservation efforts
Portland Press Herald - Monday, March 20, 2017 

David Rockefeller, the billionaire businessman and philanthropist who was dedicated to preserving the beauty of Acadia National Park and the Maine coast, died Monday. He was 101. David MacDonald, president of Friends of Acadia, worked with Rockefeller for more than 20 years. “He was a great sailor who loved Maine coast islands well beyond Acadia National Park,” MacDonald said Monday. “He had a generosity, commitment and thoughtfulness about preserving this area of Maine that was profound." Rockefeller remained active in preservation efforts in Maine through last year, serving as honorary chairman of the 2014-16 Second Century Campaign for Friends of Acadia, which raised $25 million for future park maintenance and improvements.
Amish hunters may get to wear red instead of orange
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Monday, March 20, 2017 

Because their religion forbids wearing flashy clothes, the Amish are asking for permission to wear red when hunting instead of the required fluorescent orange. LD 426, introduced by Representative McCrea of Fort Fairfield, resulted in an interesting public hearing last week. McCrea presented a good case for his bill, and three young Amish men testified too.
Maine Legislature takes up mining debate
E&E/Greenwire - Monday, March 20, 2017 

The Maine Legislature will again consider this week whether to OK rules that would jump-start mining of copper, zinc, gold and silver deposits in the state. Officials approved a law in 2012 that called for an overhaul of mining rules, but companies say they still can't mine in Maine because lawmakers have failed twice to agree on rules put forward by the state Department of Environmental Protection. One proposed bill set to be discussed this week would repeal the mining law and create an advisory panel to set a framework for mining. Another would ban mining on public and protected lands and require permit applicants to provide financial assurance for catastrophes.
It’s mining bill day in Augusta
Bangor Daily News - Monday, March 20, 2017 

The Legislature’s Environment and Natural Resources Committee will hear testimony on seven bills on mining in Maine, a cause that has stalled since LePage and legislative Republicans made changes to mining laws in 2012 in an aim to allow mining at Bald Mountain in Aroostook County. Different sets of rules drafted by the Maine Board of Environmental Protection have been blocked by Democrats ever since and have been regularly assailed by environmentalists as “weak.” A bill from Sen. Brownie Carson (D) would amend the law to require stricter standards against pollution. Carson served for more than two decades as executive director of the Natural Resources Council. The divided Legislature could lead this fight to another stalemate, but Rep. John Martin (D) is a big mining supporter, signaling that this conflict could be more than a standard party-line tussle.
Enforcement would end under Trump plan — former EPA chief
E&E/Greenwire - Monday, March 20, 2017 

The Trump administration budget would end environmental enforcement, not just severely restrict it, says the former U.S. EPA enforcement chief under President Obama. "This would not cut enforcement by 25 percent," said Cynthia Giles, the former assistant administrator for enforcement and compliance assurance. "It would stop it altogether." She also said that settlements negotiated from EPA enforcement actions — such as Volkswagen AG and the BP PLC spill — have resulted in money flowing to states and communities. "Billions of dollars are going to states and communities because of these settlements," she said.
James Phinney Baxter’s generosity started at home in Portland
Bangor Daily News - Monday, March 20, 2017 

James Phinney Baxter spent the first half of his life making money and gaining power. He spent the second half spending both for the public good. Portland has him to thank for both the Western and Eastern Proms, not to mention the boulevard that bears his name. He presented the city with its first public library, too. Along with his wife, Hetty, he produced a son, Percival, who gave Mt. Katahdin to us all.
Global CO2 emissions are flat, but it's not all good news
E&E/Greenwire - Monday, March 20, 2017 

For the third year in a row, the carbon dioxide emissions that drive climate change worldwide have been level. The pause in emissions growth is positive for air pollution, but still not enough to keep global temperatures from rising 2 degrees Celsius. Indeed, February 2017 was the second-hottest in 137 years of record keeping, only falling behind last year. This winter overall is also the second-warmest on record, behind last year. Meanwhile, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere continues to rise at unprecedented pace.
It just got easier for Mainers to get food from local farmers
Bangor Daily News - Monday, March 20, 2017 

David Stone’s startup, Forager1 LLC, launched this week in Maine and New York after gathering about $1 million in investment to complete a pilot program connecting independent markets or cooperatives with the small farmers who supply them. Stone’s company aims to improve transactions between small farmers and grocery stores or cooperatives, mostly by taking manual paperwork out of the equation.
Meet the satellite Trump's budget didn't kill
E&E/Greenwire - Monday, March 20, 2017 

While many federal agencies overseeing climate change programs braced last week for the Trump administration's proposed budget to slash or eliminate their funding, the Department of the Interior's science agency breathed one sign of relief. The Landsat 9 ground system was specifically named as one of the U.S. Geological Survey's "essential science programs" and deemed investment-worthy. Landsat data plays a key role in studying how climate change is affecting the Earth.
Mining-related proposals face public hearings at State House today
Associated Press - Monday, March 20, 2017 

Legislators are set to consider once again whether to approve rules to jumpstart mining of Maine’s deposits of copper, zinc, gold and silver. Officials approved a law in 2012 calling for an overhaul of mining rules. But companies like J.D. Irving say they can’t mine in Maine because lawmakers have twice failed to approve rules proposed by the Department of Environmental Protection. Rep. Ralph Chapman wants to repeal the mining law and create an advisory panel that would create a framework for mining. Sen. Brownie Carson is proposing a ban on mining on public and protected lands and require mining permit applicants to provide financial assurance for a worst-case catastrophe.
Bills to expand solar incentives in Maine ready to launch
Portland Press Herald - Monday, March 20, 2017 

The near-term future of rooftop solar energy in Maine is likely to be decided this spring, as lawmakers consider changes to a widely criticized rule approved in January by the Public Utilities Commission. Two major bills are pending that would supersede the PUC’s approach to compensating homeowners for the solar power they generate, an incentive called net energy billing or net metering. If nothing happens, the PUC rule goes into force in 2018.
Saco council to gather public’s views on plan to ban single-use plastic bags
Portland Press Herald - Monday, March 20, 2017 

The Saco City Council will hold a public hearing Monday on a proposal to ban all single-use plastic shopping bags in an effort to protect the environment and encourage shoppers to use reusable bags. If approved, Saco will join three other Maine communities—York, Freeport and Kennebunk—in banning single-use plastic bags altogether.
Column: Give the credit where it’s due
Daily Bulldog (Franklin County) - Monday, March 20, 2017 

Over the last few decades, the state has granted nonsensical tax breaks to all kinds of businesses. According to Republican state Sen. Eric Brakey of Auburn, there are at least 47 of these credits or exemptions for corporations that cost the taxpayers around $225 million a year. Brakey originally introduced a bill to do away with the entire lot them – he’s since scaled it back to remove only the largest and most abused ones – and use the savings to eliminate the corporate income tax. In other words, every corporate entity would pay lower taxes, not just a privileged few. Naturally, the business community is opposed. ~ Al Diamon
Letter: Pruitt putting a torch to the environment
Portland Press Herald - Monday, March 20, 2017 

On June 22, 1969, the Cuyahoga River caught fire. This dramatic display of environmental disregard became the bedrock for combating water and air pollution, not just in Ohio, but on a national level under President Nixon. The spectacular failure of a states-only approach to environmental regulation had become too much to bear. One year later, the Environmental Protection Agency was formed and tasked with the management, regulation and remediation of risks to public health and our environment. Since inauguration, the Trump administration has begun an aggressive campaign to dismantle and eviscerate the regulatory powers of the EPA, and agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has become their champion. ~ Andrew Hikade, Portland
Letter: Monument good for Maine
Bangor Daily News - Monday, March 20, 2017 

Why would our governor take it upon himself to ask the president to do away with our national monument? The monument already is helping Maine, even though the governor doesn’t think so. Rep. Bruce Poliquin hasn’t taken a position on whether he thinks the monument is good or bad for Maine. At least, our U.S. senators can see the good that will come out of the monument. ~ Arden Carlisle, Surry
Letter: People want food sovereignty
Bangor Daily News - Monday, March 20, 2017 

In his March 11 BDN column about food sovereignty Michael Cianchette repeatedly commits one of the hallmarks of Bizarro World: doublespeak. Cianchette misses the point of food sovereignty. Worse, he misleads through doublespeak. Maine law grants municipalities all powers necessary to protect the health, safety and welfare of their residents. So, yes, power is inherent to people, and the people are speaking. Listen. ~ John Welton, Old Town
Letter: Stand up to Trump
Bangor Daily News - Monday, March 20, 2017 

Sen. Angus King should directly confront President Donald Trump’s dysfunctional governing style. It’s better to acknowledge that the emperor has no clothes and say no. Rick Perry did not have the best interests of U.S. citizens in mind when he contemplated getting rid of the Department of Energy, which he now oversees. Jeff Session’s never should have been considered for attorney general. Ben Carson, who heads the Department of Housing and Urban Development, doesn’t know enough about government to work in it. Scott Pruitt, who heads the Environmental Protection Agency, is a climate change denier. The president should not nominate agency heads who oppose the will of the majority of voters, and King should not enable his efforts to do that. ~ Thomas Adelman, West Baldwin
Letter: Promote food sovereignty
Bangor Daily News - Monday, March 20, 2017 

I agree with Michael Cianchette that food sovereignty should be addressed at the state level. But I have problems with several of his points. Yes, address food sovereignty at the state level but without more bureaucracy and regulation. ~ Richard King, Liberty
Sewall Woods Preserve Demonstration Forest
Maine Environmental News - Sunday, March 19, 2017 

During spring 2017, the Kennebec Estuary Land Trust is planning a timber harvest at Sewall Woods Preserve in Bath as part of a larger demonstration forest project to showcase sustainable forestry practices to the public. William D. Sewall generously donated the majority of the 91 acre preserve to KELT to guarantee future generations’ access to the land, to see the forest managed in an ecologically sensitive manner, and to protect wildlife habitat.
Nips and tucks to the Maine Bottle Bill
Maine Environmental News - Sunday, March 19, 2017 

On March 16, the Maine Legislature's Environment and Natural Resources Committee voted 12-0 to reject LD 683, this year’s version of the bottling industry’s proposed rollback of the state's returnable bottle law. This was the third time in recent years that the industry has tried to remove large containers from the bottle bill. The committee also voted 9-4 for LD 56, which would add bottles 50 ml and smaller to the bottle bill, with a 15 cent deposit. Eight million of these so-called nips are sold annually in Maine, and the number is increasing.
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