May 23, 2018  
Announcements               
Press releases, events, publications released, etc. from Maine environmental organizations and agencies. Submit content.

Drowning with Others, May 30
Event - Posted - Wednesday, May 23, 2018 

John Anderson, Professor of Ecology/Natural History at College of the Atlantic, argues for developing a broad coalition to help conserve Maine’s seabird islands from sea level rise. At Wells Reserve at Lajudholm, May 30, 6 pm.
Invasive fish, May 30
Event - Posted - Wednesday, May 23, 2018 

George Smith will discuss the impact invasive fish are having on Maine’s native fish. At Mount Vernon Community Center, May 30, 7 pm. Sponsored by 30 Mile Watershed Association.
Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

Thanks for visiting Maine Environmental News, a service of RESTORE: The North Woods. MEN is the most comprehensive online source available for links conservation and natural resource news and events in Maine (and a bit beyond). 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
Join the fight for Maine's clean energy future
Action Alert - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

In Maine, we are seeing the damaging effects of climate change firsthand: tick borne illnesses like Lyme disease are on the rise, the warming Gulf of Maine threatens our marine economy, air pollution drives up asthma rates for kids and adults, and extreme weather impacts our outdoor recreation and farming industries. The technology to turn off dirty fossil fuels already exists. What is standing in the way of our clean energy future? Politicians who are bought and paid for by the oil and gas industry. ~ Maine Conservation Voters
Defining Wilderness: Defining Maine, May 29 - Jul 24
Event - Posted - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

The Maine State Library is offering a free reading and discussion group with copies of books available through the library. The series, Defining Wilderness: Defining Maine, runs for 5 sessions, May 29 - July 24, at the State Library in Augusta. Books to be discussed include "The Maine Woods" by Henry David Thoreau.
Bats, May 29
Event - Posted - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

Biologist Trevor Peterson will speak about local species of bats. At Topsham Public Library, May 29, 6 pm. Sponsored by Cathance River Education Alliance.
“Living within Limits” Teen Environmental Poster Contest
Announcement - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

The Teen Library Council of the Patten Library in Bath and Brunswick-based Manomet are sponsoring an environmental poster contest for middle and high school students. Posters should promote actions that help sustain the planet and reduce our environmental footprint. Deadline: June 1.
Sign-Up to Count Fish at Nequasset
Announcement - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

The annual alewife count at the Nequasset Fish Ladder in Woolwich is happening. Join the fun by signing up to count during any two 10 minute blocks within a two hour period.
Wilderness Under Siege, May 30
Event - Posted - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

Nationally known author and explorer George Wuerthner will discuss the challenges facing Wilderness, how people can better protect the Wildernesses in their backyards and around the country, and organizing against efforts to weaken or repeal the Wilderness Act. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, May 30, 6:30 pm.
Field Trip: Capt. Fitzgerald Preserve and Bay Bridge, May 27
Event - Posted - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

Explore two town-owned properties in Brunswick for breeding and migrant birds: Fitzgerald Preserve and Bay Bridge Wetland Park on the Androscoggin River. May 27, 6:30 – 11 am. Sponsored by Merrymeeting Audubon.
White Mountains Centennial exhibition, May 27
Event - Posted - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

The Museums of the Bethel Historical Society host a preview reception of the new displays, “White Mountain National Forest: A Centennial Exhibition” and “The White Mountains: Alps of New England.” At Robinson House, Bethel, May 27, 2-5 pm.
Farmer Talent Show & Open Mic, May 27
Event - Posted - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

The first annual Farmer Talent Show & Open Mic will benefit the Market’s Harvest Bucks program, which increases access to fruit and vegetables for low-income households. At East Madison Grange, May 27, 5-8 pm.
Walk on the Wild Side, May 26
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 19, 2018 

Turner Public Library’s summer programming begins with a nature walk. At Androscoggin Riverlands State Park, May 26, 2 pm.
Edible (and Poisonous) Plants, May 26
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 19, 2018 

Tom Seymour, author, botanist and edible plant enthusiast, will introduce you to many of the edible and medicinal plants that can be found in Maine’s woods and fields. At Head of Tide Preserve, Belfast, May 26, 10 am - noon.
Birding Extravaganza, May 26
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 19, 2018 

Ted Allen from Merrymeeting Audubon will lead birders through the Kennebec Estuary Land Trust’s Thorne Head Preserve in Bath, May 26, 8 am.
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News Items
Photos reveal multiple rare right whales off York County coast
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, May 15, 2018 

Scientists from the New England Aquarium have concluded that the endangered North Atlantic right whales spotted swimming and feeding off the coast of York County last weekend were not the same animal. Tony LaCasse, spokesman for the New England Aquarium, which catalogs all right whales, said in a telephone interview Tuesday evening that the scientists used photographs to confirm that the right whale photographed off Long Sands Beach in York was right whale No. 1409. A North Atlantic right whale spotted off the coast of Wells was a different whale, according to LaCasse.
Students Demand Maine DEP Act To Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Maine Public - Tuesday, May 15, 2018 

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection got an earful at a public hearing Tuesday from a group of high school and middle school students worried about climate change. The public hearing was prompted by a petition the students filed earlier this year about what they say is the state's failure to do its part to protect them. They're are asking the DEP to take steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. For 14-year-old Devyn Shaugnessy of Portland, climate change is "kind of sounding like a death sentence. It sounds like this inevitable world ending because of what we're doing, and there's nothing that we as kids can do about it. It's up to the adults. And it's frustrating because the adults aren't doing anything about it, because they won't be here. It's our problem."
Horticultural Research Institute announces Bigelow Scholarship winner
Other - Tuesday, May 15, 2018 

The Ohio-based Horticultural Research Institute has named Leala Machesney as the 2017-2018 recipient of Timothy S. and Palmer W. Bigelow Jr. Scholarship. Machesney is a third year undergraduate student at the University of Maine pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Horticulture with hopes to eventually attend a graduate program in horticulture.
Portland Science Center closes its doors for good after 3 years
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, May 15, 2018 

The Portland Science Center has closed after three years of bringing traveling exhibits about pirates, sharks and the human body to the city’s waterfront. The Massachusetts-based owner of the center, The Gold Group, has closed the business and will opt out of its lease, said Stephen Goodrich, owner of the building at 68 Commercial St., where the center was housed. Goodrich said Tuesday he was told that the science center’s attendance had declined recently.
Maine awarded NOAA grant to restore Atlantic salmon and river herring to Togus Stream
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, May 15, 2018 

The Maine Department of Marine Resources has been awarded $311,357 from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Species Recovery Grants to States Program to restore Atlantic salmon and river herring in Togus Stream. Togus Stream, a tributary to the Kennebec River, once supported populations of critically endangered Atlantic salmon, as well as alewives and blueback herring, collectively called river herring. However, construction of barriers has blocked these species from historical habitat for more than 200 years.
Maine is counting its eagles, which not long ago were on the brink
Associated Press - Tuesday, May 15, 2018 

Maine wildlife officials are conducting the largest statewide survey of bald eagles in the Pine Tree State in five years. Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife biologists and game warden pilots are conducting the survey of the iconic bird. The birds nearly disappeared from Maine in the 1970s, when there were only 39 pairs remaining. There were more than 634 nesting pairs in the state in 2013. Anecdotal evidence suggests the eagles might have improved even more in the last five years, said Susan Gallo, a wildlife biologist with Maine Audubon.
Opinion: Lawsuits can’t stop climate change
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, May 15, 2018 

Despite the surface appeal of lawsuits in the name of the environment, they have the potential to cause more harm than good. In my three terms as Maine’s attorney general, I found that lawsuits cannot solve all of our problems. Partnership, not reprisal, is the best way to deal with climate change. And besides, imagine the carbon footprint of all the forests that would have to be felled to make all the paper for all the briefs that Maine lawyers would have to file. ~ Andrew Letterer, Maine attorney general, 1995 - 2001
Maine’s wildlife biologists want to shrink the bear herd, but they’ll face some challenges
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, May 15, 2018 

Back in the 18th century, black bears created such a nuisance among settlers that they were widely reviled. In fact, in 1770 the state put its first bounty on bears, and it wasn’t until 1957 that the cash reward for killing bears was repealed for good. But as the state unveils its latest 10-year big game management plan, one thing is clear: Maine once again has more bears than its residents would like, and state biologists need some new options if they’re going to shrink the bear herd.
Letter: CMP now acts in its own self-interest, not for the benefit of Mainers
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, May 15, 2018 

Few things are more “Maine” than Central Maine Power. However, as a company, CMP has proven itself entirely uninterested in the needs and desires of Mainers. Rather, CMP has become like any other profit-maximizing corporation of our time: It cares more for its bottom line than it does for the ecological and economic health of Mainers. CMP serves its stockholders’ interests by blocking efforts to expand solar power in Maine. The proposed 145-mile transmission line that would connect Quebec’s hydropower to Massachusetts would be a blight on some of the best parts of Maine’s wilderness and would not benefit Mainers even a bit. What if CMP truly supported sustainable, clean-energy independence? ~ Dan White, Georgetown
Maine Officials Wrapping Up Bald Eagle Survey
Maine Public - Monday, May 14, 2018 

Maine wildlife officials say the recovery of the bald eagle is a true conservation success story. In the 1970's there were fewer than 40 nesting pairs in Maine, predominately Down East, but five years ago there were more than 600 nesting pairs of eagles scattered across the state.
EPA chief Scott Pruitt sought protection since first day in office, watchdog says
Associated Press - Monday, May 14, 2018 

An internal watchdog at the Environmental Protection Agency said Monday that Administrator Scott Pruitt demanded and received unprecedented, around-the-clock protection from armed officers on his first day – a detail that appears at odds with past claims that the stepped-up security measures came in direct response to death threats. Pruitt’s preoccupation with his safety came at a steep cost to taxpayers, as his swollen security detail blew through overtime budgets and at times diverted officers away from investigating environmental crimes.
Canadian Officials To Pay For Rail Bypass Around Lac Megantic
Maine Public - Monday, May 14, 2018 

It’s been nearly five years since a runaway oil train derailed on a curve in the downtown of Lac Megantic, Quebec, which is not far from the Maine border. Several cars ruptured, their fuel exploding in a fireball that killed 47 people. Since then, many in the town have wanted the railroad track to go away. Friday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau granted their wish.
PCES students to reveal designs for SAD 4 outdoor classroom on May 24
Piscataquis Observer - Monday, May 14, 2018 

Fifth- and sixth-grade students from Piscataquis Community Elementary School are planning to reveal their designs for SAD 4’s outdoor classroom during the early evening of Thursday, May 24. The students been working on a layout using “Design Thinking” and have designed blueprints, sketches and “gallery walks.”
Maine senators submit bill to delay newsprint tariff
Portland Press Herald - Monday, May 14, 2018 

Maine’s two U.S. senators have introduced a bill to delay final implementation of an import tax on Canadian newsprint. Federal agencies have begun imposing a tariff on imported newsprint of as much as 32 percent, and critics say it is already hurting U.S. newspapers and other print publications. Sen. Susan Collins, a Republican, said she had fought in the past to help the state’s struggling papermaking industry, but said this particular import tax, instigated by one company in Washington state with about 400 workers, doesn’t make sense because of the thousands of other workers it might harm.
‘Critically endangered’ whale species sighted off Maine coast
Bangor Daily News - Monday, May 14, 2018 

Whales seen off the coast of Wells Sunday were identified as right whales, offering a rare local opportunity to see a member of the endangered sea species.
Officials enlist Mainers’ deer knowledge to help manage the herd
Bangor Daily News - Monday, May 14, 2018 

Mainers love their deer. And according to the draft big game management plan released recently by state wildlife officials, they also say they know plenty about the species. The three stated goals of the 10-year plan: Maintain a healthy, sustainable deer population that provides opportunities for hunting and viewing with minimal negative impacts on natural ecosystems. Ensure public satisfaction with Maine’s deer population. Increase public understanding of deer biology, ecology and management. Two of those goals have a common theme, said Nathan Bieber, the state’s head deer biologist. "They’re about public satisfaction....We’re going to offer more opportunities for the public to offer input into issues like [coyote management].
How deer management has evolved overtime in Maine
Bangor Daily News - Monday, May 14, 2018 

A timeline from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife covering the years 1830 to 2002.
Opinion: How Maine can save its historic clamming industry
Bangor Daily News - Monday, May 14, 2018 

Maine’s clamming industry, typically the second or third most economically important marine resource, saw landings fall to an 87-year low in 2017. Today, about 1,500 state-licensed clammers ply their trade in the soft-bottom intertidal zone whereas in 1973 that number was nearly 5,925. The major culprits are invasive European green crabs and native milky ribbon worms. Populations of both predators are exploding, coinciding with steadily increasing seawater temperatures in the Gulf of Maine. We must adapt the fishery to the changed environmental and biological conditions. This will require extraordinary measures. Unlike every other commercially important marine fishery in Maine, the soft-shell clam fishery has no fund for applied research. This is a critical time for Maine’s Legislature to put a clam fund in place. ~ Brian Beal, UMaine at Machias, and Chad Coffin, Maine Clammers Association
Big game management plan includes lots of issues and strategies
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Monday, May 14, 2018 

Management of wildlife habitats is mostly left to the discretion of private landowners, which makes management of our big game animals a challenge for Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. The agency’s new big game management plan notes that white-tailed deer are the only species that receives habitat protection. 200,000 acres of Maine forest is zoned as deer wintering area. Unfortunately that wasn’t enough to prevent the crash of our deer herd in northern and western sections of Maine during two severe winters.
As Gulf of Maine warms, will black sea bass make up for declines in lobster?
Mainebiz - Monday, May 14, 2018 

The Gulf of Maine's warming waters could mean that new fisheries are coming to Maine. Many lobster fishermen, concerned about a possible drop-off in the lobster resource, are looking at other species like Jonah crab and black sea bass. According to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, black sea bass is highly sought by both commercial and recreational fishermen throughout the Mid-Atlantic. Since 2013, commercial landings have remained above 2.5 million pounds per year, and the resource is in good shape. The distribution of black sea bass continues to expand northward into the Gulf of Maine.
How do you count cottontail rabbits when it’s hard to even find them?
Other - Monday, May 14, 2018 

Concord Monitor (NH) - Scientists at the University of New Hampshire have developed a method to estimate the abundance of New England cottontail populations. The noninvasive method provides an important tool in the effort to conserve this region’s only native rabbit, a state-endangered species in Maine and New Hampshire.
Front Street Shipyard begins long-awaited expansion
Mainebiz - Monday, May 14, 2018 

Front Street Shipyard in Belfast announced Friday that it has finalized the financing it needed to begin construction of a new facility adjacent to its existing yard on the Belfast waterfront. With the combined support of the City of Belfast, regional banks and state and federal organizations, Front Street Shipyard completed the purchase of a city-owned parking lot and secured a loan to construct a 22,500-square foot building on the property. The new facility will accommodate large yacht refits and commercial vessel construction projects while adding approximately 40 more full-time jobs at Front Street Shipyard.
Irving’s plan for Aroostook lakes region includes commercial, residential development
Mainebiz - Monday, May 14, 2018 

J.D. Irving's proposed concept plan for 51,000 acres in Aroostook County asks the Maine Land Use Planning Commission to allow new commercial and residential development around the Fish River Lakes chain, in addition to conservation plans and continued logging operations. In its pre-filed testimony, the Natural Resources Council of Maine said it could not support the application as proposed.
Maine markets arts and culture in bid to entice visitors to look beyond lobsters and lighthouses
Mainebiz - Monday, May 14, 2018 

Tourism in the state has steadily risen to 26.2 million in 2017. While the top visitor attractions are related to food, shopping and sightseeing, according to the Maine Office of Tourism, there's an increasing effort to market arts and culture as part of the state's appeal.
Opinion: Trump gives Americans the gift of high lumber prices
Bloomberg News - Monday, May 14, 2018 

futures contract for the softwood two-by-fours used in framing houses closed at its highest price ever on Tuesday. Every time the U.S. picks a fight with Canada over its alleged subsidies of softwood lumber U.S. lumber prices go up. Donald Trump started doing that soon after taking office, and now the average duties on Canadian lumber are up to 21 percent. It’s worth asking whether it makes any sense. I have trouble with the notion that Canada is somehow cheating by selling its softwood lumber at a lower price than U.S. timber owners think it should. Maybe it’s just cheaper to grow pine trees in Canada. ~ Justin Fox
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