May 27, 2017  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Saturday, May 27, 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
Bird Walk at Erickson Fields Preserve, Jun 3
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 27, 2017 

Naturalist Kirk Gentalen will lead a group around MCHT’s Teen Ag garden and through the woods to search for migratory songbirds and discover what other feathered creatures inhabit the preserve. At Maine Coast Heritage Trust's Erickson Fields Preserve, Rockport, June 3, 8-11 am.
Making Paper, Making Maine, Jun 3
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 27, 2017 

Get an inside look at the new exhibit "Making Paper, Making Maine," which recognizes the historic shifts going on in Maine’s paper industry. Also, keynote talk by Alan Caron, author of "Maine's Next Economy." At Maine Historical Society Annual Meeting, Portland, June 3, 10 am - 2 pm, $25 MHS Members; $30 others.
Hills to Sea Trail Opens, Jun 2
Event - Posted - Friday, May 26, 2017 

All are invited to a Grand Opening Celebration for the Hills to Sea Trail, a 47-mile trail from Unity to Belfast. At Waldo County Technical Center, Belfast, June 2, 9 am - 1:30 pm.
Flying WILD and Bird Sleuth Educator Workshop, Jun 2
Event - Posted - Friday, May 26, 2017 

This 4.5 hour workshop provides activities that teach people about birds and what they can do to help birds and their habitats. At Fields Pond, Holden, Jun 2, 8:45 am – 2 pm, Maine Audubon members $23, non-members $25.
Help wanted: Conservation Policy Associate
Announcement - Wednesday, May 24, 2017 

Appalachian Mountain Club is seeking to fill this temporary position July-December 2017; there is the potential for the position to extend into 2018.
Speak up in defense of Maine’s new National Monument
Action Alert - Tuesday, May 23, 2017 

Last summer’s creation of the Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument in northern Maine was a huge victory for conservation and wildlife in our state. Today, that designation is at risk. The Trump administration is conducting a review of national monument designations, including Katahdin Woods & Waters. The Department of Interior is accepting public comments until July 10. ~ Maine Audubon
Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument is Under Attack
Action Alert - Tuesday, May 23, 2017 

The Trump Administration is threatening to overturn Maine’s new National Monument. At the request of Governor Paul LePage, the Department of Interior (DOI) included Katahdin Woods & Waters on a list of 27 monuments to be “reviewed.” DOI Secretary Ryan Zinke could recommend that Maine’s National Monument be changed, or possibly even abolished. Tell the Trump Administration to keep its hands off Katahdin Woods & Waters. ~ Natural Resources Council of Maine
Save Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument
Action Alert - Tuesday, May 23, 2017 

President Trump is considering eliminating or changing the Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument in Maine. Urge the Trump Administration and your U.S. congressional representatives to oppose any effort to eliminate or weaken Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument. Comment deadline is July 10, 2017. ~ RESTORE: The North Woods
Appalachian Odyssey, May 28
Event - Posted - Sunday, May 21, 2017 

Jeff Ryan will regale with tales about his 28-year odyssey hiking the Appalachian Trail. At Freeport Conservation Trust annual meeting, at the Freeport Community Center, May 28, 7 pm.
BDN Poll: Should the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument get its own signage?
Action Alert - Saturday, May 20, 2017 

Gov. Paul LePage is refusing to put signs along state roads showing the way to Maine’s national monument. Should the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument get its own signage?
Damariscotta Mills Fish Ladder Restoration Festival, May 27-28
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 20, 2017 

The towns of Nobleboro and Newcastle and the Nobleboro Historical Society present the 10th annual Damariscotta Mills Fish Ladder Restoration Festival on Memorial Day weekend, May 27-28. Witness the annual return of the alewives as they ascend the fish ladder to spawn in Damariscotta Lake.
Ragged Mountain Preserve Nature Walk, May 27
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 20, 2017 

Maine Master Naturalists Cloe Chunn and Roger Rittmaster will lead a general natural history walk at the peak time for spring wildflowers and songbird migration in midcoast Maine. Meet at Route 17 parking area for Georges Highland Path, May 27, 10 am - noon. Sponsored by Coastal Mountains Land Trust.
Third Annual Freeport Birding Festival, May 26-28
Event - Posted - Friday, May 19, 2017 

Owl Prowl at Mast landing Sanctuary; birding at Florida Lake, Pettengill Farm, Wolfe’s Neck Farm, and Sayles Field; Casco Bay kayak tour; outing at Winslow Park, etc. May 26-28. Sponsored by L.L. Bean and Maine Audubon.
Saving Seabirds: New Lessons from Puffins, May 25
Event - Posted - Thursday, May 18, 2017 

60% of all seabirds have vanished in the last 60 years. Dr. Stephen Kress, Director of National Audubon’s Seabird Restoration Program, will talk about the restoration of Maine seabirds. At L.L. Bean, Freeport, May 25, 7-9 pm, Maine Audubon members $10, non-members $15.
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News Items
Public To EPA On Cutting Regulations: 'No!'
National Public Radio - Friday, May 19, 2017 

As part of President Trump's executive order to review "job-killing regulations," the Environmental Protection Agency last month asked for the public's input on what to streamline or cut. It held a series of open-mic meetings and set up a website that has received more than 28,000 comments, many of which urge the agency not to roll back environmental protections.
DIFW Promises More Protection for Native Brook Trout
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Friday, May 19, 2017 

In response to two bills that I proposed to expand protection of our native brook trout, Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife has responded with a pledge to do just that. One of my bills would extend protection of brook trout in our Heritage Waters to the tributaries of those waters, and the other would speed up and improve the process of adding waters to that protected list. Both bills were opposed by DIF&W, but the members of the legislature’s IFW Committee were very supportive and the bills got lots of support at the public hearings.
Bangor tourism board asks city to double its funding
Bangor Daily News - Friday, May 19, 2017 

The organization tasked with drawing tourists to the Bangor area says it needs twice as much money as last year to launch a new marketing and promotional campaign — but city councilors said it can raise money in other ways, and questioned why neighboring towns don’t contribute more. The Greater Bangor Convention and Visitors Bureau on Wednesday evening asked the city council to double its budget for the next fiscal year — from $60,350 to $120,000.
Opinion: Oysters can truly help save the planet, if we would only let them
Portland Press Herald - Friday, May 19, 2017 

Ironically, pollution killed off one of nature’s best pollution remedies. Filtering up to 50 gallons of water a day as they eat, oysters absorb toxins and excess algae, keeping the water clean and oxygen levels balanced for other marine life. They also prevent erosion and form barriers to storm surge. Oysters can truly help save the planet, if we let them. ~ Abigail Carroll, founder of Nonesuch Oysters, Scarborough
Letter: Poland Spring's stewardship exemplary
Sun Journal - Friday, May 19, 2017 

I am intimately acquainted with the hydro-geology of Rumford and the Ellis Aquifer. I’m the retired Maine state geologist. I directed the mapping of Maine’s water aquifer resources. I spent my entire career studying and teaching the geology of Maine, as well as working to preserve and protect Maine’s natural resources and beauty. I also pay very close attention to businesses that rely on Maine’s natural resources and their stewardship. Poland Spring’s stewardship of Maine’s natural spring water resources is exemplary. The company takes extraordinary measures — above and beyond those required by statute — to monitor its water sources and its usage. Poland Spring is a responsible, reliable good neighbor. ~ Walter Anderson, North Yarmouth
Letter: Don’t review monument designation
Bangor Daily News - Friday, May 19, 2017 

I ask that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke stop the review of the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. I ask that Rep. Bruce Poliquin join our two senators and our other representative and speak out forcefully in support of the national monument. Originally, the monument may have divided some Mainers against each other. But we now see that it is a unifier rather than a source of division. I ask my governor and all elected officials to listen to the people of Maine and to demand that the monument not be included in the review process by the Department of the Interior and that its status is maintained. ~ Andrew Eyck, Old Town
Camps and Sustainability: Practicing It, Teaching it
John Holyoke Out There Blog - Thursday, May 18, 2017 

Sustainability. As kids one camp director puts it, the term means many things to many people. But one fact is certain. Camps throughout Maine are seeking to implement and teach practices that show respect for the environment. From utilizing solar installations to planting trees to serving locally sourced foods, camps are on board when it comes to promoting sustainable living.
LePage bill to shut down Maine Turnpike Authority goes to committee
Associated Press - Thursday, May 18, 2017 

Gov. Paul LePage wants to start shutting down the state turnpike authority within the next decade. The House referred his bill Thursday to the Legislature’s Transportation Committee. The Maine Turnpike Authority would have until November 2027 to remove all toll facilities on the turnpike, except the York toll plaza. The quasi-governmental authority would also have 10 years to transfer all of its duties to the Maine Department of Transportation.
Legislative panel unanimously rejects pesticides bill proposed by LePage
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, May 18, 2017 

A legislative committee has voted unanimously to reject a bill that would have prohibited Maine cities and towns from adopting pesticides restrictions that are more stringent than the state’s. The controversial proposal from the LePage administration would have invalidated more than two dozen local pesticide ordinances and barred other municipalities from going beyond the state’s pesticide regulations. While administration officials, lawn care companies and golf courses said the measure was needed to address a confusing “patchwork” of regulations, opponents said it would undermine local control in a way that could violate the Maine Constitution. At least 27 cities and towns have adopted ordinances adding restrictions on the types of pesticides that can be applied, as well as when and under what circumstances.
‘Everything Changed’ — Millinocket-Area Businesses Tout Benefits of National Monument
Maine Public - Thursday, May 18, 2017 

Dan Corcoran says that a year ago, hours would sometimes pass before the phone would ring at his North Woods Real Estate Co. in Millinocket. But that was before President Barack Obama accepted more than 87,000 acres from Burt’s Bees philanthropist Roxanne Quimby as a national monument to be administered by the U.S. National Park Service. Now Corcoran says the phone rings more, and he has had to hire three people to keep up with real estate inquiries. “When the national monument was designated, everything changed — instead of us calling them, they were calling us,” he says. But Republicans in Washington, eager to undo some of the Obama legacy, continue to push. And Gov. Paul LePage has testified against the monument before the Federal Lands Subcommittee of the House Natural Resources Committee.
House Rejects Ban, Adopts Rules to Allow Mining
Maine Public - Thursday, May 18, 2017 

After first rejecting a bill that would ban all mining in Maine, the House approved a bill that would allow mining in the state with what supporters call strict environmental protections. Without the bill, supporters worry mining could be allowed under an older law that conflicts with rules developed by the Board of Environmental Protection. Opponents of the version passed by the House are not convinced the protections go far enough. They say the bill allows open-pit mining on sites of up to 3 acres and permits groundwater pollution limited to a mining area.
Lobsterman: Canada Can't Satisfy EU Demand, Despite Competitive Advantage
Maine Public - Thursday, May 18, 2017 

One of Maine's major lobster fishermen's associations is waiting to see exactly how Canadian lobster processors will deal with Maine imports once a new trade deal between Canada and the 28-nation European Union is implemented. The newly approved trade agreement between Canada and the EU eliminates tariffs on Canadian lobster exports to the EU, giving Canada a competitive edge over Maine lobster exports, which will still be subjected to a tariff. Mike Dassatt secretary-treasurer of the Downeast Lobstermen's Association, says Canada cannot satisfy the EU's demand for processed lobsters by itself and will have to continue purchasing branded Maine lobsters in order to satisfy the European market.
Maine House approves strict mining rules
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, May 18, 2017 

A bill proposing some of the nation’s strictest environmental regulations for mining operations passed the Maine House on Thursday after a lengthy debate about whether metallic mines are compatible with Maine’s nature-based tourism economy. With a lopsided 126-14 vote, the House gave initial approval to a bill that would ban most open-pit mines, prohibit mining under waterways or public lands, and require companies to set aside money to cover any environmental problems. The Senate has already given the bill initial approval, although additional votes and debate are expected on an issue that has been bouncing around the Legislature for five years without resolution.
With fire danger high in Maine, several brush fires are reported
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, May 18, 2017 

early all of Maine was placed under a high fire danger alert Thursday on a day that brush fires burned across the state. The Maine Forest Service placed six of its seven weather zones under a high fire danger alert.
Column: It’s time to play: ‘Name that warbler’
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, May 18, 2017 

There is a right way and a wrong way to learn bird songs. I know, because I tried them all. The wrong way is to listen to a CD of bird songs, trying to memorize them. After the fourth song, I’ve forgotten the first. The easiest way is to wait for mid-May to roll around, and then go watch them sing. According to my year-at-a-glance calendar, that would be right about now. ~ Bob Duchesne
Mining rule compromise sailing for passage after Maine House vote
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, May 18, 2017 

A compromise bill that would allow mining in Maine with strict environmental protections sailed easily through the state House of Representatives on Thursday, putting it on a smooth path toward final passage in the Legislature. It could end the five-year struggle over mining in Maine, prompted by a Republican-backed 2012 law aiming to allow mining at Bald Mountain in Aroostook County after a subsidiary of the Canadian industrial behemoth J.D. Irving expressed interest in it. Since 2012, draft sets of rules have so far been blocked by Democrats and assailed as weak by environmentalists. The Natural Resources Council of Maine — which spearheaded that opposition — is behind this year’s bill from Sen. Brownie Carson, D-Harpswell.
LePage Threatens to Ban Nips
Free Press - Thursday, May 18, 2017 

Gov. Paul LePage says he’ll ban 50-milliliter liquor bottles if the Legislature passes a law to place a 15-cent deposit on them. In initial votes last week, the Maine House and Senate voted 111 to 34 and 32 to 3 to require retailers to collect deposits on the little bottles known as “nips.” Sen. Tom Saviello (R-Wilton), who chairs the committee that endorsed the bill, says it will help stop the proliferation of empty nip containers littering the side of the road. But on Tuesday, the governor fired off a press release blasting Saviello. Rep. Stanley Paige Zeigler (D-Montville), who sits on the committee that passed the bill, said, “I have no idea why the governor is threatening to delist except that it appears to be a personal clash with Senator Saviello.”
BREAKING: Mining reform bill passes Maine House
Maine Environmental News - Thursday, May 18, 2017 

A bill to revamp Maine's mineral mining law unanimously passed the House of Representatives on Thursday 126 to 14 with 11 legislators absent. The Maine Senate had voted unanimously, with one Senator absent, in favor of the bill on May 9. Some legislators apparently voted no on the bill because they believe it goes too far. Others opposed it because it does not go far enough to prevent water contamination. Grassroots activists have called for a complete ban on metal mining in Maine. Before the votes, Gov. Paul LePage reportedly told Republican lawmakers in a private session he would veto the mining ban if it passed and he might veto the compromise bill too.
Sea Grant director stepping down to take helm at nonprofit
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, May 18, 2017 

A University of Maine official who has led its Sea Grant program is stepping down to accept a chief executive position with the Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries. Paul Anderson, currently the director of the Maine Sea Grant College Program where he has been for the last 16 years, will join MCCF in September and assume the chief executive job on Jan. 1, 2018. Anderson will succeed founding Executive Director Robin Alden, who is stepping down after 14 years at the helm of MCCF, formerly known as Penobscot East Resource Center.
European Union trade pact gives Canadian lobster exports a leg up
Associated Press - Thursday, May 18, 2017 

Members of the U.S. seafood industry are fearful that Canada’s approval of a new trade deal with the European Union will cause big problems for the American lobster business, just as the catch is hitting historic highs. The Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement Implementation Act, or CETA, cleared its final hurdle in the Parliament of Canada on Tuesday. The deal gets rid of tariffs on Canadian lobster exports to the 28-nation bloc, putting Canada at a huge advantage over the U.S. The American lobster industry is based largely in Maine, which set a record for total catch in 2016 with more than 130 million pounds.
Wake-up Call at Chimney Pond
Other - Thursday, May 18, 2017 

Senior Hiker magazine - Several hikers and campers approached us with some serious concerns. Why hadn’t anyone seen posters or been warned about an aggressive cow moose at Chimney Pond? We pointed out that all moose in Baxter State Park are wild animals and as such are unpredictable. Moose and other wild animals are protected throughout the Park, even in the portions where hunting is allowed, and a high value is placed on their living lives free of interference.
A great new Maine birding guide
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Thursday, May 18, 2017 

Derek Lovitch’s new birding guide, Birdwatching in Maine, is a must-have for all who love Maine’s birds. The book is comprehensive, covering all the state’s best bird watching places. as Derek notes in the book’s introduction. “Nearly 450 species have been recorded in the 33,215 square miles, over six thousand lakes and large ponds, over three thousand coastal islands, and thirty-five hundred miles of coastline of the state of Maine.” Well, you probably aren’t going to bird in all those places, so this book will help you narrow down your choices.
Senate overrides LePage veto of Gorham turnpike spur, and it’s unanimous
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, May 18, 2017 

The Maine Senate voted 35 to 0 Thursday to override a veto by Gov. Paul LePage and pass a law that sets in motion the creation of a new spur on the Maine Turnpike connecting Gorham and Scarborough. The Maine House of Representatives on Wednesday overrode LePage’s veto of the bill, 125-18. The proposed turnpike connection is intended to ease traffic jams in the Gorham-Scarborough area. The intent is to get drivers off heavily congested roads connecting Gorham, Scarborough, Westbrook and South Portland. LePage vetoed the bill, saying he is opposed to it being operated as a toll road under the turnpike authority.
LePage veto of Gorham spur bill faces override vote
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, May 18, 2017 

The Maine Senate was expected to vote on overriding a veto by Gov. Paul LePage of a bill that would set in motion a new spur on the Maine Turnpike connecting Gorham and Scarborough. The Maine House of Representatives on Wednesday overrode LePage’s veto of the bill, 125-18. The proposed turnpike connection is intended to ease traffic jams in the Gorham-Scarborough area. LePage said he supports the idea of the connector but is opposed to it being operated as a toll road under the turnpike authority. LePage on Thursday also introduced a bill that would lead to the elimination of the Maine Turnpike Authority and the turnpike’s toll system by 2027,
Maine family-owned businesses cited as outstanding
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, May 18, 2017 

More than 350 people gathered in Portland Thursday night to honor outstanding family businesses. OceanView at Falmouth received the HUB/Norton Insurance and Financial Services Environmental Leadership Award, recognizing the many sustainable practices that make it Maine’s “greenest” retirement community. The company’s sustainable practices include recycling 95 percent of the waste they generate; a robust composting program to manage food waste; and use of solar energy.
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News Feeds

Natural Resources Council
of Maine

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