November 19, 2017  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Friday, November 17, 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 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
Protecting the Nature of Maine Grants for Maine Middle Schools
Announcement - Friday, November 17, 2017 

The Natural Resources Council of Maine (NRCM) has eight $500 grants available to middle school teachers and club leaders (6th, 7th, or 8th grades) in Maine for projects that educate and engage students in Maine’s environment and the value of protecting it. Deadline is November 30.
Teddy Roosevelt Maine Conservation Award
Announcement - Wednesday, November 15, 2017 

The Teddy Roosevelt Maine Conservation Award given by Maine Woods Forever recognizes young people and youth organizations whose efforts are in the spirit of Roosevelt’s conservation ethic and achievements, and recognizes what Maine’s young people are doing to conserve our forest heritage, with an eye to their potential as future conservation leaders. Deadline for Nominations: January 31, 2018.
Block Trump's dangerous climate denier from the CEQ
Action Alert - Monday, November 13, 2017 

Kathleen Hartnett White, Trump's pick to lead the Council on Environmental Quality, isn't just your run-of-the-mill, extreme right-wing climate-denier. She's a senior fellow at the Koch brothers and Exxon-funded Texas Public Policy Foundation. She believes carbon dioxide is harmless "plant food," equates belief in climate change to "paganism," calls solar and wind power "unreliable and parasitic," and asserts that coal use in the 1800s ended slavery in the United States.
AMC Maine Chapter Annual Meeting, Nov 18
Event - Posted - Saturday, November 11, 2017 

Speakers: Steve Tatko, Appalachian Mountain Club’s Land Manager, will talk on the AMC’s Maine Woods Initiative. Jed Williamson will talk on Accidents in Outdoor Pursuits - Their Causes and Cures. At Portland, November 18.
Conserving Maine’s Bats: A Workshop for Woodland Owners, Foresters and Loggers, Nov 16
Event - Posted - Thursday, November 9, 2017 

Piscataquis County Soil & Water Conservation District, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, and Maine Department of Transportation, will hold a workshop on Maine bats. At Dover-Foxcroft Congregational Church, November 16, 9-10:30 am.
Nature Based Fiction & Truth, Nov 16
Event - Posted - Thursday, November 9, 2017 

Sandra Neily will discuss novel ways to elevate conservation, nature based economics as well as outdoor-themed fiction. She will sign and read from her novel, "Deadly Trespass." At Curtis Library, Brunswick, November 16, 7 pm. Hosted by Maine Appalachian Mt. Club.
Little Long Pond: A Field Guide to Four Seasons, Nov 16
Event - Posted - Thursday, November 9, 2017 

Author talk and book signing with Samuel Eliot and John Rivers. At Jesup Memorial Library, Bar Harbor, November 16, 7 pm.
Nature Based Fiction & Truth, Nov 15
Event - Posted - Wednesday, November 8, 2017 

Sandra Neily will discuss nature-based fiction as well as sign and read from her debut novel, "Deadly Trespass." At Shaw Memorial Library, Greenville, November 15, 6 pm.
Seeing the Future Forest Through the Trees: Potential Changes and Management Responses, Nov 15
Event - Posted - Wednesday, November 8, 2017 

Dr. Nicholas Fisichelli will discuss how can forest managers can respond to ongoing and projected changes. At UMaine at Machias, November 15, 6:30 pm.
Online sustainability journal ‘Spire’ invites submissions
Announcement - Tuesday, November 7, 2017 

Spire: The Maine Journal of Conservation and Sustainability invites submissions for the second issue of the online journal, slated for release in spring 2018. Deadline: Dec 10.
Oil Drilling Means Oil Spilling
Action Alert - Tuesday, November 7, 2017 

You still have time to stop the Trump Administration from paying for tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires by opening oil drilling in the Atlantic Ocean. Mainers have nothing to gain and everything to lose from this dangerous scheme. ~ Natural Resources Council of Maine
Maine Farmland Trust Annual Meeting, Nov 14
Event - Posted - Tuesday, November 7, 2017 

Speakers: Amber Lambke, Maine Grains; Rob Tod, Allagash Brewing Co.; and Sara Williams, Aurora Mills & Farm. At United Farmers Market Building, Belfast, November 14, 5:30-8 pm.
Mushing in Maine and Beyond, Nov 14
Event - Posted - Tuesday, November 7, 2017 

Polly Mahoney of Mahoosuc Guide Service will share her dogsledding experiences from the Yukon Territory to Maine to Nunavut and northern Quebec. She will bring a couple of her friendly sled dogs. At Bangor Public Library, November 14, 6 pm.
Baxter State Park sign auction, thru Dec 6
Announcement - Monday, November 6, 2017 

Auction of retired Baxter State Park signs, plus the historic dinner bell from Kidney Pond Camps. Friends Baxter State Park will donate half the proceeds to Baxter State Park, and half will support FBSP programs. Ends December 6.
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News Items
Western members of Congress to Trump: Erase Utah’s Bears Ears, 8 other monuments
Other - Friday, November 10, 2017 

A group of Republican congressional members is pressuring the White House to eliminate or shrink most of the 27 national monuments under review by the Trump administration, including Utah’s Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante. The lawmakers, led by Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona, chairman of the Congressional Western Caucus, are calling on the president “to think big and act big-league,” rescind nine of the 22 land monuments, including the Utah sites, being examined by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and make severe reductions to nine others.
Blog: Many National Parks Arose From National Monuments
Other - Friday, November 10, 2017 

The originations of 25 of our 59 national parks, totaling 39.6 million acres, were first seeded by the establishment of a presidentially proclaimed national monument. Fourteen of these monumental 25 were established from more than one national monument proclamation. Bills in Congress would eliminate the ability for a President to proclaim national monuments. The elegance of the National Monuments Act of 1906 places the national long-term interest over short-term local interests. If the legislative language modifying the National Monuments Act of 1906 had been the language enacted into law by Congress in 1906, how many national monuments (and national parks) would we have today. The answer is near zero. ~ Andy Kerr
Profound shift taking place at EPA under Pruitt’s leadership
Washington Post - Friday, November 10, 2017 

There is a profound shift unfolding in the EPA under President Trump, in which the agency has reassessed its own data and analyses at the prompting of corporations. On pesticides, chemical solvents and air pollutants, Pruitt and his deputies are using industry figures to challenge past findings and recommendations of the agency’s own scientists. Such change has drawn praise from longtime EPA critics. But environmentalists contend Pruitt is sidelining agency scientists on key decisions.
Blog: Let Us Now Praise the Birds and the Bees and the Bats and the Bugs
Bangor Daily News - Friday, November 10, 2017 

An article last year noted that “Maine’s Little Brown Bat has seen a 97 percent decline in population.” Now comes Michael McCarthy to tell us that it’s not only the bats we’re losing — it’s also the bugs. “Insect abundance has fallen by 75% over the last 27 years,” McCarthy writes, in the Guardian (of Britain). ~ Nick Mills
Ga. coast globally important for shorebirds
Other - Friday, November 10, 2017 

SavannahNow - Georgia’s 100 miles of coastline recently became the 100th region designated as a “Landscape of Hemispheric Importance” by the Western Hemispheric Shorebird Reserve Network. “Georgia’s a big deal because in other places on the Atlantic seaboard we’ve created habitat conditions that are less conducive and don’t support sea birds,” said Brad Winn, director of shorebird habitat at Manomet, a Maine-based conservation nonprofit.
Boothbay board pulls permit for botanical gardens expansion
Bangor Daily News - Friday, November 10, 2017 

Months after work commenced on a $30 million expansion of Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, the Boothbay Board of Appeals on Thursday voted to rescind a permit allowing the project. The board voted 3-2 in favor of an appeal filed by abutters of CMBG, who argued the project would further degrade the water quality of nearby Knickerbocker Lake, already listed by the state as “most at risk from new development.”
Community garden at Togus providing fresh produce to veterans
Kennebec Journal - Friday, November 10, 2017 

Harold Massey said working every day in the community garden at the federal veterans’ facility in Chelsea is his therapy. Massey, 56, is a U.S. Army veteran who came to Maine about six years ago. He’s spent most of his time the past two years tending to the VA Maine Healthcare Systems-Togus garden, which has been providing fresh fruit and produce to veterans for about five years. During this year’s growing season, Massey has harvested about 750 pounds of fresh tomatoes, kale, lettuce, green beans, spinach, cucumbers, carrots, summer squash, radishes, Swiss chard and herbs that have been used in the Togus kitchen and by health care providers on campus.
10 Senators Call for Investigation into EPA Pushing Scientists Off Advisory Boards
Inside Climate News - Friday, November 10, 2017 

A group of Senate Democrats is calling for an expanded investigation into efforts by the Trump Environmental Protection Agency to effectively push independent scientists off key EPA advisory boards and replace them with scientists from the fossil fuel and chemical industries. In a letter sent to the Government Accountability Office on Thursday, the 10 senators asked the GAO to investigate a new directive, issued by EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt on Oct. 31, that restricts any scientist who has received EPA funding from serving on the agency's scientific advisory panels. Scientific groups, academics and advocacy organizations have all pointed out that it will mean the most experienced scientists—whose qualifications earn them government grants in the first place—will no longer be able to serve in these roles.
Maine Blueberry Harvest Down As Industry Looks For Buyers
Maine Public - Friday, November 10, 2017 

A trade group says Maine’s wild blueberry crop fell sharply this summer to below 100 million pounds for the first time in four years. Wild Blueberry Commission of Maine Executive Director Nancy McBrady says preliminary industry figures show the crop coming in at about 65 million pounds. Among factors for the decline were bad growing conditions. Surplus supplies of blueberries from recent years have motivated some growers to scale back. Prices are also down.
Maine’s Forest Products Industry Is Not Dead
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Friday, November 10, 2017 

Maine’s forest products industry is not dead, and you don’t have to take my word for it. An excellent report on our state’s secondary wood manufacturing economy is now available. The subtitle of the report says it all: $1.8 billion industry is ‘almost invisible.’
Letter: Unchecked immigration policies bad for Maine’s resources, environment
Portland Press Herald - Friday, November 10, 2017 

Maine would have stable and healthy demographics if it weren’t for immigration. All population growth in Maine is driven by Third World immigration, whether legal or illegal. Maine’s unique rural character, with its open beaches, quaint coastal villages, quiet woodlands, historic farmlands and verdant mountains, is increasingly threatened by commercial interests and governmental policies that advocate importation of masses of cheap foreign labor and welfare clients to drive growth. This insatiable appetite for growth and for More – more money, more power – consumes businessmen and bureaucrats. The Earth can’t sustain More. ~ Charles Day, Arundel
Oakland Town Council accepts safety grant, discusses potential multi-use trail
Morning Sentinel - Thursday, November 9, 2017 

The Oakland Town Council discussed a proposal to turn the railroad tracks in Oakland into a multi-use trail that would continue up to Embden. The Land for Maine’s Future Program, part of the state Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, received a proposal for the Madison Branch Multi-Use Trail Project. This project would remove the railroad tracks to create a multi-use track that would begin in Oakland and pass through Fairfield, Norridgewock, Madison, Anson and Embden. It would be open for use by snowmobilers, runners and bikers.
Veteran-owned farming collective proposed for 1,000 acres in Auburn
Sun Journal - Thursday, November 9, 2017 

A statewide group is working to organize a veteran-owned farming collective in the New Auburn area of the city. The plan is ambitious: Organize veterans-turned-farmers on 1,000 acres around the area of Fox Ridge Golf Club, setting them up to share resources, grow crops and raise livestock in consultation with each other and bring value-added goods to market. According to Jerry Ireland, president of United Farmer Veterans of Maine, Maine has 265 veteran-owned farms, and the number is growing every week.
Bill to resolve problems in and around Acadia advances on Capitol Hill
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, November 9, 2017 

For more than a year, the Acadia region has been awaiting a congressional fix for a series of territorial and jurisdictional problems in and around New England’s only national park. Maine’s four-member congressional delegation submitted identical, revised versions of a bill in the Senate and House on Thursday to resolve rules about how and where the park can expand, whether clammers and wormers can work tidal flats next to park land, and whether the park should subsidize local trash collection. The House Natural Resources Committee has finally scheduled a hearing on the bill for Nov. 15.
Maine’s Largest Sugarbush Fails To Win Conservation Funding
Maine Public - Thursday, November 9, 2017 

The state has lost its bid to purchase a $1.2 million conservation easement to protect a remote plantation of sugar maples in Somerset County. The 23,600-acre project, known as Big Six, was competing with two-dozen other funding requests from the Land for Maine’s Future program. But on Thursday, the LMF board scratched it from the list of finalists. Of the two dozen projects scored by the board Thursday, Big Six scored dead last. It’s the one project supported by Gov. Paul LePage, who has called the LMF program “corrupt.” The landowner has donated to the governor’s election campaigns and a political action committee he controls.
North Woods ‘sugarbush’ to get no funding from Land for Maine’s Future
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, November 9, 2017 

The Land for Maine’s Future board passed over a controversial proposal to protect 23,000 acres along the Maine-Quebec border when it allocated $3.2 million to 15 conservation projects statewide Thursday. In the first competition for LMF funding in three years, board members selected projects ranging from a new boat landing in Lubec to a new, multi-use rail trail stretching for 32 miles in central Maine. But board members opted not to fund the largest and highest-profile project – a proposal to protect one of the nation’s largest maple “sugarbushes” – because of concerns about permanent, guaranteed road access to the remote Big Six Forest north of Jackman.
Recycling energy and creating power at Hancock’s Bethel Sawmill
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, November 9, 2017 

Over the past 10 years, Hancock Lumber has worked hard to successfully reduce its consumption of electricity by installing energy efficient LED lighting and high efficiency electrical motors. They are making more lumber than ever—however, they are using much less electricity to do it. As of Saturday, October 21, Hancock Lumber’s Bethel Sawmill is generating its own power with a newly installed steam turbine generator. The project, years in the making, includes a new system that converts energy waste into high-value electricity. Hancock leveraged Efficiency Maine and applied for rebate money to offset the capital-intensive project’s costs by nearly 50%.
Saddleback sits idle for 3rd straight year as ski season begins
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, November 9, 2017 

The ski season kicks off this weekend at Sunday River and Sugarloaf, but Maine’s third-largest ski area – Saddleback – could sit idle for the third consecutive winter. Saddleback owners Bill and Irene Berry of Farmington announced on June 28 that they would sell the Rangeley ski area to the Australia-based Majella Group. Majella CEO Sebastian Monsour said at that time that the company would purchase Saddleback by the end of the summer and turn it into the “premier ski area in North America.” But the sale has not been completed.
Column: Peaceful day in a wildlife refuge turns into birder bonanza
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, November 9, 2017 

Deep down inside, hardcore birders are crazy. I had a first-hand encounter with crazy hardcore birders a couple of weeks ago, while exercising my own brand of crazy. National Wildlife Refuges are way-cool places to go birding. As enlightened rangers will tell you: National Parks are for people; Refuges are for critters. Some of the best birding in America takes place in NWRs. Maine has some great ones. There’s Moosehorn in Baring and Edmunds. There’s Sunkhaze Meadows in Milford. There’s Rachel Carson in York County. And many of our puffins nest within the Maine Coastal Islands NWR. You don’t have to go far from home to go crazy. ~ Bob Duchesne
Maine biologists team up to create ‘The Naturalist’s Notebook’
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, November 9, 2017 

“The Naturalist’s Notebook” was co-authored by Bowdoin professor and biologist Nathaniel Wheelwright and best-selling author Bernd Heinrich. Published in September by Storey Publishing, the 208-page hardcover book includes six instructive chapters on how to record nature observations, as well as a blank five-year calendar journal for the reader to try their hand at the practice. In addition, the book is filled with illustrative art by Heinrich including vivid watercolor depictions of plants, fungi and animals of the Northeast.
Column: NIMBYs
Free Press - Thursday, November 9, 2017 

Most folks are probably familiar with the acronym NIMBY, standing for “not in my back yard.” For us humans, opposition to potentially controversial projects close to our homes, like proposals for hazardous waste facilities, power plants, landfills or electricity corridors, may elicit NIMBY responses. The possible list of issues leading to such opposition is linked to our personal perspectives and priorities. But NIMBY conditions aren’t limited to human endeavors alone. Birds possess similar tendencies to evaluate and react negatively toward certain types of actions within their localities. ~ Don Reimer
Cape Elizabeth becomes latest town to adopt bag fee, ban foam containers
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, November 8, 2017 

Next month, food sellers in Cape Elizabeth will begin charging 5 cents for single-use carry-out bags and will no longer be allowed to use plastic foam food containers. The Town Council approved the environmentally motivated ordinances this week, following South Portland, Portland, Falmouth, Freeport and other Maine communities. Also taking effect will be a ban on polystyrene foam containers used to serve prepared foods.
Augusta’s Colonial Theatre restoration leaders seek cash for environmental cleanup
Kennebec Journal - Wednesday, November 8, 2017 

Colonial Theatre supporters plan to ask city councilors Thursday to speed up the release of $300,000 Augusta has committed to the project, including turning over $30,000 as soon as possible to help solve environmental problems that are preventing the repair of a gaping hole in the floor. The nonprofit group seeking to restore and reopen the downtown Augusta theater received a $100,000 donation from Kennebec Savings Bank in August. But that funding is designated specifically to fix the theater’s floor, which has a huge hole in it in front of the stage, and structural damage to the floor support beams. To replace the floor, a combination of coal ash and asbestos in the basement needs to be cleaned up.
Pagans and Heathens in elected office
Other - Wednesday, November 8, 2017 

Currently, there are three Pagans holding elected office in the U.S, including Thaum Gordon, Supervisor for Cumberland Soil and Water Conservation District in Maine. Mr. Gordon, who is an eclectic Druid, was also first elected in 2011 and reelected in 2015. Gordon says although he plans to continue in public service, he’s not sure what his specific plans are. His seat is up election in 2018. Gordon’s advice to aspiring Pagans considering running for office is to be a Pagan, but run as a citizen.
Two children sue over Trump effort to roll back Clean Power Plan
Reuters - Wednesday, November 8, 2017 

Two children, backed by the Clean Air Council environmental group, sued U.S. President Donald Trump and two of his Cabinet members on Monday to try to stop them from scrapping a package of pollution-reduction rules known as the Clean Power Plan.
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