July 23, 2017  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Friday, July 21, 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
“Bringing Nature Home” in Maine, Jul 26
Event - Posted - Wednesday, July 19, 2017 

Join Maine Audubon’s Director of Education, Eric Topper, to explore the plants, practices and perks involved in restoring native food webs in our gardens, yards and communities. At Portland Public Library, Rines Auditorium, July 26, 5:30 pm.
Little Swan Island Evening Paddle, Jul 26
Event - Posted - Wednesday, July 19, 2017 

Leader: Warren Whitney. At Richmond, July 26, 5:30-7:30 pm. Sponsored by Friends of Merrymeeting Bay.
Exploring the Night Sky, Jul 25
Event - Posted - Tuesday, July 18, 2017 

Discover the wonders of the night sky with astronomer Bernie Reim. At Scarborough Marsh, July 25, 8:30-9:30 pm, Maine Audubon members $6, non-members $8.
Recreational Fishing, Jul 24
Announcement - Monday, July 17, 2017 

Hear from experts on what fishing means to Maine's culture and economy, best places to go, ways to get started. Guests: Mac McKeever, LL Bean senior public relations representative; Bonnie Holding, Director of Information and Education, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. Maine Public Radio, July 24, 1 pm.
Summer Nature Journaling, Jul 22
Event - Posted - Saturday, July 15, 2017 

Join Master Naturalist Andrea Lani to explore the worlds of wildflowers and insects beginning with an introduction to nature journaling, then heading into the woods and fields to observe, sketch, and write about the bugs and blooms you discover. At Viles Arboretum, Augusta, July 22, 10 am - 2 pm, Arboretum members $35, others $45.

Rainbow Loop Trail Grand Opening, Jul 21-22
Event - Posted - Friday, July 14, 2017 

Celebration in Millinocket, July 21, 5-7 pm. 6-mile hike on the spectacular Rainbow Loop Trail, July 22 at 8:30 am and 9:30 am. Sponsored by The Nature Conservancy.
Native Plant Walk, Jul 20
Event - Posted - Thursday, July 13, 2017 

Explore the habitats at Fields Pond with Heather McCargo and learn to recognize some of the wildflowers, ferns, shrubs and trees native to Maine. At Fields Pond, Holden, July 20, 10-11:30 am, Maine Audubon and Wild Seed Project members $7; non-members $10.
Happy Birthday, Henry
Announcement - Wednesday, July 12, 2017 

Henry David Thoreau, American poet, author, naturalist, philosopher, abolitionist, and leading Transcendentalist, was born on July 12, 1817 in Concord, Mass.
Help wanted: NRCM Forests and Wildlife Outreach Coordinator
Announcement - Wednesday, July 12, 2017 

Works with Natural Resources Council of Maine's Forests and Wildlife Project Director to advance the goals of the Forests and Wildlife Project, and works with the Outreach Team to serve the strategic goals of the organization as a whole. Deadline Aug 7, 2017.
Help wanted: NRCM Clean Energy Policy Advocate & Staff Attorney
Announcement - Wednesday, July 12, 2017 

Helps advance Natural Resources Council of Maine initiatives by providing legal, policy and advocacy support primarily for the Climate & Clean Energy Project. Deadline Jul 24, 2017.
Time to override the governor’s solar veto
Action Alert - Monday, July 10, 2017 

We are so close to having a new solar power law. The full Maine House and Senate enacted LD 1504 (with amendments) by overwhelming majorities. However, it was vetoed by the Governor. Tell your legislators—particularly House members—how much solar matters to you and your community. ~ Maine Audubon
The Goslings, July 17
Event - Posted - Monday, July 10, 2017 

Visit The Goslings, one of the best-loved island destinations on Casco Bay. ShoreKeepers, a group of young conservation-minded donors, are hosting a free Open House with hot dogs on the beach to complete the perfect island getaway, July 17, 10 am - 2 pm. Meet at Mere Point Boat Launch, Brunswick, shuttles approximately every 15 minutes. Sponsored by Maine Coast Heritage Trust.
Thwings Point Archaeology Field School, Jul 17-28
Event - Posted - Monday, July 10, 2017 

Lee Cranmer leads an Archaeology Field School, Woolwich, July 17-28. Sponsored by Friends of Merrymeeting Bay.
Hook, Line, and Dinner, Jul 15
Event - Posted - Sunday, July 9, 2017 

Celebrate Maine fishermen and seafood under the tent, on the water, at Cook's Lobster House on Bailey Island, July 15, 6 pm, $55. Sponsored by Maine Coast Fishermen's Association.
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News Items
Paul LePage continues his ‘crusade against solar power’ with latest veto
Climate Progress - Tuesday, July 11, 2017 

After Gov. Paul LePage (R) vetoed comprehensive solar legislation in 2016, Maine lawmakers crafted a far more modest solar energy bill. And yet this year’s less ambitious bill still proved to be too pro-solar for LePage, who has consistently opposed policies that promote renewable energy in the state throughout his six years in office. On Monday, LePage vetoed L.D. 1504, a bill that directs state regulators to study how to transition away from the state’s current system for reimbursing customers who own or lease solar panels whose excess power gets sent to the grid. Solar energy proponents were not surprised.
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s Statement on the End of the Monuments Review Public Comment Period
Other - Tuesday, July 11, 2017 

Dept of Interior - On Monday, July 10, the formal public comment period closed for the review of national monuments. More than 1.2 million comments were received on Regulations.gov and thousands more were received via traditional mail. Twenty-seven national monuments designated since January 1, 1996 that are more than 100,000 acres, or that were considered to have inadequate public input are under review in accordance with President Donald J. Trump’s April 26, 2017, executive order.
Orono Bog Boardwalk nears final steps of restoration
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, July 11, 2017 

After seven years of fundraising and careful construction, the $1 million restoration of the Orono Bog Boardwalk is nearly complete, and volunteers are working hard to amp up public events and programming in support of the campaign. “We want to get it done within a year,” said Orono Bog Boardwalk Director Jim Bird on a recent visit to the popular boardwalk.
Dirt roads to Maine’s monument intended for loggers, not visitors
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, July 11, 2017 

The unpaved logging roads that lead to Maine’s national monument were never meant for tourists. Strewn with holes, rocks and ruts, the seven private roads on the National Park Service map of Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument are bumpy and sometimes narrow. Foliage blocks the view around many curves. Driving faster than 15 mph is dangerous. Loggers have the right of way, but few signs say so. Speed-limit signs also are rare. That’s why a dozen representatives of the loggers, landowners, truckers and National Park Service officials are working to prevent crashes on the roads that lead to the 87,562-acre Katahdin Woods. As of Monday, 1,747 vehicles had visited the monument: 1,042 vehicles on the Loop Road since it opened May 25, 425 on the north entrance since its May 13 opening, and 272 on Grondin Road since a traffic counter was installed there in June.
PUC commissioner’s resignation gives LePage another shot at energy priorities
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, July 11, 2017 

The recent resignation of Carlisle McLean from the Maine Public Utilities Commission gives Gov. Paul LePage another shot at nominating a regulator more in line with his priorities of lowering power costs and opposing most renewable energy incentives. The PUC announced June 30 that McLean had resigned. The commission gave no reason and she declined interview requests. McLean and her colleagues incurred the governor’s wrath in late January when they voted on a compromise rule that would phase out financial incentives for rooftop solar panels. The terms were too generous for LePage, who opposes any incentives for solar. Emily Green, staff attorney for the Conservation Law Foundation in Maine, said her group is concerned the governor will nominate someone who will take a hard line against renewable energy.
The Weird World of Lobster Sex
National Geographic - Tuesday, July 11, 2017 

To a lobster couple, this is normal sex: For days the female squirts urine into the den of her desired mate. Beguiled, he lets her move in. Foreplay—stroking each other with antennae and with feet covered in taste receptors—lasts several days. Once she’s convinced he’ll protect her, the female disrobes, slowly shedding both her hard shell and the pouch where she had banked sperm from a prior mate. He stands guard for the half hour it takes to harden. Then he suspends himself above her and lifts her to face him, cradling her in his legs. Her new shell has a new sperm pouch; he thrusts a packet of sperm into it using appendages called gonopods. The deed is done. But climate change is threatening this babymaking process, says Diane Cowan, founder of the Lobster Conservancy based in Friendship, Maine.
34th annual Maine Audubon Loon Count happening statewide Saturday
Maine Audubon - Tuesday, July 11, 2017 

On Saturday, July 15, Maine Audubon will conduct its 34th annual Loon Count. That morning, over 850 volunteers will survey lakes and ponds across the state, counting loons and collecting valuable scientific data that informs and supports conservation efforts. “Loons are one of the best indicators of lake health, because they depend on lakes with clean, clear water and lots of fish,” said Susan Gallo, director of the Maine Loon Project. “This annual count has helped build public awareness about the important role these iconic birds play in Maine,” Gallo said. “The data it yields has also built critical support for laws that keep our lakes and loons healthy."
Al Franken, David Letterman collaborate on climate change video series
Washington Post - Tuesday, July 11, 2017 

Longtime late-night host David Letterman hit pause on his retirement. He joined Sen. Al Franken for several videos on climate change that debuted Monday. The bearded funnyman and the Minnesota Democrat, who was a “Saturday Night Live” writer before getting into politics, co-star in “Boiling the Frog,” six five-minute videos in which they jaw about the politics and science of the global phenomenon — and crack a few jokes, obviously.
Public Comment Period Over for Review of Katahdin Monument
Associated Press - Tuesday, July 11, 2017 

The public comment period is over for a federal review of more than two dozen national monuments, including Maine's new monument in the Katahdin region. President Donald Trump ordered Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to conduct the review of monuments. Among the monuments Trump wants to review is Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, which President Barack Obama designed as a monument last summer. Zinke visited the Katahdin monument in June and signaled that he felt federal ownership of the 87,500 acre site was settled. Conservationists say the land should remain a monument and possibly be elevated to a national park someday. Zinke is expected to submit a report about the monuments to Trump by late August.
Fireball Bottler Fights Against Proposed Ban on 'Nips' sales
Associated Press - Tuesday, July 11, 2017 

The Louisiana-based producer of the zippy Fireball cinnamon whiskey is fighting against the Republican governor's proposed ban on in-state sales of tiny alcohol bottles. The future of the popular, shot-sized "nips'' in Maine is in the hands of a state liquor bureau set to vote Tuesday. The alcohol company Sazerac calls the proposed ban politically motivated, anti-business and unsupported by direct evidence. The fight began when Gov. Paul LePage opposed a Democrat's bill to reduce littering by adding a bottle deposit to the tiny liquor bottles.
Opinion: Maine lawmakers siding with passing responsible energy policy
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, July 11, 2017 

In the past six years, we’ve heard some absurd energy policy positions and hypocrisy from Gov. LePage. The absurdity continued this year as LePage introduced a last-minute bill that would make specific biomass projects eligible for contracts above wholesale electricity rates. Based on history, Maine legislators should be wary of putting much trust in LePage’s motivations as they relate to solar energy policy. While this year’s solar bill fails to set forward-thinking solar policy, it represents an opportunity for Augusta to get out of the way of progress and important economic development for Maine. ~ Vaughan Woodruff, Insource Renewables, Pittsfield
Gov. LePage vetoes solar ‘net metering’ bill, again
Portland Press Herald - Monday, July 10, 2017 

As expected, Gov. Paul LePage has vetoed a solar energy bill strongly supported by environmental groups and solar installation companies. The bill, L.D. 1504, would direct the Maine Public Utilities Commission to adopt new rules that would keep so-called “net metering” solar energy incentives in place but would reduce them over time. But in his veto letter, LePage repeated his contention that net metering “subsidizes the cost of solar panels at the expense of the elderly and poor who can least afford it.” Supporters, who will need to maintain the two-thirds majorities they had in both chambers to override the veto, countered by accusing LePage of blatantly misrepresenting the bill’s intentions in order to turn Republican votes.
As expected, LePage vetoes latest Maine solar energy bill
Bangor Daily News - Monday, July 10, 2017 

Gov. Paul LePage surprised virtually no one Monday afternoon when he vetoed a bill watering down solar policy rules that advocates say would slow solar power development in Maine. The bill, LD 1504, would have directed regulators to return to the drawing board and take the lead on a long-term solar energy policy for the state.
LePage vetoes solar bill
Maine Environmental News - Monday, July 10, 2017 

On July 10, Governor Paul LePage vetoed LD 1504 according to Maine Conservation Voters. The bill would delay new solar energy “net metering” rules and instruct public utility regulators to conduct a cost-benefit analysis of the policy. On June 28, the solar bill passed the Maine House 105 to 41 and the Maine Senate 29 to 6. July 20 been set for the legislature to reconvene to take up several LePage vetoes, including the solar bill.
Electricity seller gives Maine government a deal while small customers pay above-market rates
Bangor Daily News - Monday, July 10, 2017 

The electricity seller that’s charged Maine households at least $36 million above the standard rate is, at the same time, saving Maine government hundreds of thousands of dollars. Electricity Maine since January has supplied a range of state government offices with power at 6.1 cents per kilowatt-hour, lower than the standard rates for customers of the state’s two major utilities. A Bangor Daily News investigation found residential customers have paid about $50 million more than they needed to by signing supply contracts with companies such as Electricity Maine.
Maine Attorney General Janet Mills will run for governor as Democrat
Bangor Daily News - Monday, July 10, 2017 

Maine Attorney General Janet Mills ended months of speculation when she announced Monday that she will run for governor in 2018. As attorney general, Mills has been involved in a number of high-profile cases. This year, she joined a lawsuit against President Donald Trump’s administration over some of its environmental proposals and in June, threatened to sue the administration if it revokes the national monument designation made by President Barack Obama in the Katahdin region.
Maine Attorney General Janet Mills enters 2018 race for governor
Portland Press Herald - Monday, July 10, 2017 

Maine Attorney General Janet Mills announced Monday that she will seek the Democratic Party’s nomination for governor in 2018. “I’m not campaigning against anybody else in particular. I’m campaigning for the job on the basis of my own record and experience and on the basis of what people tell me across the state of what they want to see,” Mills said. “They don’t want a governor who disparages the state. They don’t want somebody who calls it mosquitoland – I want to be the biggest cheerleader for the state.” LePage referred to the area near Baxter State Park as the “mosquito area” during testimony before a congressional subcommittee considering Katahdin Woods and Waters’ designation as a national monument.
Video on YouTube claims to show large shark off Scarborough beach
Portland Press Herald - Monday, July 10, 2017 

The shark, shown swimming next to a small boat, was believed by the narrator to be a great white, but is later identified as a common basking shark.
KELT wins ‘Best of Maine’ Award- Chosen by Readers of Down East magazine
Bangor Daily News - Monday, July 10, 2017 

The Kennebec Estuary Land Trust (KELT), headquartered in Bath, has won Down East magazine’s 2017 “Readers’ Choice” award as “Best Land Trust” in Maine. A member-supported organization, the land trust was founded 28 years ago and now protects over 3,500 acres of significant wild, scenic, cultural, historic, and agricultural resources within the Kennebec Estuary. In addition, KELT makes 23 miles of trails and eleven preserves available for public enjoyment. Its nature-based education programs reach more than 1200 local students, from pre-kindergarten to high school.
Blog: Whither Wiscasset? To Bypass, or Not?
Bangor Daily News - Monday, July 10, 2017 

Bypasses were built in the 1960s around Belfast and Damariscotta, when it was cheaper to do, and the results, fifty years later, are evident. Both towns have thriving centers where people can walk and bicycle comfortably, while the through traffic stays on the highway. Places where bypasses weren’t built have become bottlenecks, like Wiscasset and Camden, or garish commercial strips, like Ellsworth. But the battle to build a bypass around Wiscasset, pitting the interests of local businesses against those of through-drivers, never seems to end. Fifty years ago, back in the Middle Automobile Age, it might have worked. Gas was cheap and the car was king. Fifty years from now, in the year 2067, will Americans still be driving the way we do? Will we still be addicted to ours cars, no matter the cost? ~ Hank Garfield
Penobscot Nation, allies protest federal ruling on river rights
Bangor Daily News - Monday, July 10, 2017 

A little more than a week after a federal appeals court ruled that the Penobscot Indian Reservation includes Indian Island and all the islands north of it but not the river itself, an estimated 200 tribal members and elders and their supporters gathered at the Bangor Waterfront to say their fight for sovereignty is not over.
Beyond mushroom soup: Maine growers cultivate gourmet mushrooms
Mainebiz - Monday, July 10, 2017 

Maine's specialty and cultivated mushroom market essentially began with Oyster Creek Mushroom Co. of Damariscotta in 1989. The company both grew its own mushrooms on logs to sell fresh seasonally, plus sold wild fresh mushrooms from as many as 60 foragers. Oyster Creek owner Candice Haydon thinks the influx of newer growers, like North Spore of Westbrook, Maine Cap N' Stem of Gardiner and Farming Fungi (which sells under the Mousam Valley Mushrooms brand) of Springvale, is a good thing to keep the industry growing. But some are concerned about a potential five-acre indoor mushroom farm on 15 acres in Auburn.
Q & A with Sen. Angus King
Mainebiz - Monday, July 10, 2017 

"We are sitting on a goldmine of fiber in Maine. Maine is the most heavily forested state in the United States. [U.S. Sen.] Susan Collins and [U.S. Rep.] Bruce Poliquin and I sponsored a program called the Economic Development Assessment Team, or EDAT, where we brought seven agencies form the federal government together last summer to help us think through how we can revitalize the forest economy, for example by finding new uses for forest products....I love the idea of Maine wood being the structural building material for tall buildings in Maine and in the U.S. Another example is using fiber-based material as the feedstock for 3D printing. That's something the University of Maine is working on with Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and that grew directly out of the EDAT process. We need to strengthen and support the paper industry that we have, but we also need to think about what is the industry in the future based upon this enormous fiber resource that we have."
Bike-share program gears up for 2018 Portland debut
Portland Press Herald - Monday, July 10, 2017 

A Portland nonprofit wants to make it easier for residents, commuters and tourists to get around the city on two wheels. Portland Bike Share intends to launch in the spring of 2018 with 50 bicycles at four stations. The group is lining up private partners and raising $400,000 to cover startup costs and the first year of operations.
Opinion: Judge’s dissent in ruling on Penobscot River sets vital legal precedents
Portland Press Herald - Monday, July 10, 2017 

I am grateful to Judge Juan Torruella for his eloquent dissent in Penobscot Nation v. Mills, in which the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the state of Maine has the right to regulate hunters, fishermen and paddlers on the Penobscot River. Torruella establishes the many clear and compelling legal precedents – both in Maine law and at the level of the U.S. Supreme Court – that recognize and affirm that the traditional territory of the Penobscot Nation includes both land and waters. Mainers are paying attention, and in growing numbers trust the stewardship of the Penobscot Nation over the state’s capacity to protect our environment. ~ Diane Oltarzewski, Belfast
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Art and Land Conservation Symposium
at Colby College, August 3-4

Frederic E. Church, 
Mount Katahdin from Millinocket Camp, 1895, 
Portland Museum of Art

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