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
Fireball bottler pulls support of ‘nips’ deposit bill after LePage threat
Sun Journal - Thursday, May 18, 2017 

Following a threat by Gov. Paul LePage to end the sales of tiny bottles of liquor in Maine rather than allow lawmakers to require a nickel deposit on them, a bottler that employs 130 people in Lewiston withdrew its support for the compromise measure. Mark Brown, CEO of Sazerac Co., said the governor’s position leaves his company with no option except to oppose a bill it had been more than willing to go along with until LePage stepped in.
Camden Landowners Question DOT Over Route 1 Project
Free Press - Thursday, May 18, 2017 

Camden residents with questions about rebuilding Route 1 from the state park to the Lincolnville town line wanted answers from the Maine Department of Transportation (DOT) at Tuesday’s Camden Select Board meeting. They didn’t get many. Committee members were frustrated by the partial response to their concerns over the impacts on specific trees and stone walls, overall scenic appeal, and protecting the Camden “brand.”
LePage again claims he was left out of national monument conversations
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, May 18, 2017 

Speaking on WGAN radio, Gov. Paul LePage Thursday accused Lucas St. Clair, the chief advocate for Maine’s Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, of leaving his office out of conversations and events leading up to the monument’s creation last year. “Lucas St. Clair said I have been invited by, that they had contacted my office numerous times,” LePage said. “So we have been looking through everybody’s files, and we were left completely out.” Both LePage and St. Clair, who is the son of conservationist and land donor Roxanne Quimby, testified during a congressional subcommittee hearing earlier this month on presidential authority to create national monuments. At the time, St. Clair told the congressional panel that his family’s nonprofit, Elliotsville Plantation Inc., had reached out to LePage’s office numerous times and that he met with the governor’s former senior counsel “a number of times.”
Feds Give UMaine $1M for Projects to Boost State's Rural Economy
Associated Press - Thursday, May 18, 2017 

The University of Maine is receiving more than $1 million in federal money for projects focused on improving the rural economy in the state:
• nearly $500,000 to investigate what beekeepers and maple syrup producers need to scale up
• $450,000+ to study how young people in rural areas decide whether to stay
• 75,000+ to look at how data can improve rural economic development opportunities
Letter: It takes a village to stop littering
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, May 18, 2017 

Two weeks ago, I cleaned a roadside ditch on Outer High Street in Belfast. On about 300 feet of one side of the road, I picked up enough trash to fill two overstuffed garbage bags. Ninety percent of it comes from our fast food and convenience stores. This is being thrown out of cars by our neighbors and families. The litterers should just stop, but they won’t do it easily. We can call them on it if we see them do it. We can teach kids not to litter. We can enforce littering laws. We can organize community clean ups. We should all do something to clean it up and help put a stop to it. ~ Mike Hurley, Belfast
Partners Launch ‘Nature’s Network’ to Guide Conservation from Maine to Virginia
Other - Wednesday, May 17, 2017 

The North Atlantic LCC, including members from 13 states, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, nongovernmental organizations, and universities, has launched a science-based “road map” to help inform decisions and actions for conserving lands and waters throughout the Northeast. Nature’s Network is a collaborative effort responding to a critical need identified by Northeast states for seamless, regional information to support conservation of priority species. Incorporating information on thousands of at-risk species, iconic game species, rare habitats, vital river systems, and more, Nature’s Network offers scientific consensus on some of the highest conservation priorities in the region and creates new opportunities for partners to work together.
Climate change causing Eastern U.S. trees to shift north and west, study finds
Associated Press - Wednesday, May 17, 2017 

A warmer, wetter climate is helping push dozens of Eastern U.S. trees to the north and, surprisingly, west, a new study finds. The eastern white pine is going west, more than 80 miles since the early 1980s. The eastern cottonwood has been heading 77 miles north, according to the research based on about three decades of forest data. The northward shift to get to cooler weather was expected, but lead author Songlin Fei of Purdue University and several outside experts were surprised by the move to the west, which was larger and in a majority of the species.
Wildlife Officials Say Annual Nuisance Bear Complaints Have Begun
Maine Public - Wednesday, May 17, 2017 

State wildlife officials say nuisance bear complaints, an annual rite of spring in Maine, have begun this year. Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife black bear biologist Jennifer Vachon says natural foods are fairly limited in the spring and that’s when people start having black bear problems. Vachon says people should consider bringing in their bird feeders, raking up any seed that’s on the ground and storing birdseed inside.
Thompson family donates $25,000 to help complete Eastern Trail in Scarborough
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, May 17, 2017 

The children of Dr. Philip Thompson, a retired rheumatologist who celebrated his 100th birthday last weekend, have donated $25,000 in his honor to the “Close the Gap” campaign of the Eastern Trail Alliance. The alliance is raising $3.8 million to complete a 1.6-mile, off-road section of the recreational trail in Scarborough, including bridges over the Nonesuch River near Eastern Road and railroad tracks near Pleasant Hill Road.
Longtime Augusta botanist honored by Augusta Nature Club
Kennebec Journal - Wednesday, May 17, 2017 

It’s been a long time since Marilyn Noyes Mollicone, 88, has helped summer campers identify the birds, bugs and plants in the woods tucked. But Mollicone still hears from the kids and counselors she worked with at Augusta Nature Camp during her many years as its resident naturalist. Just recently, Mollicone got a phone call from a former camper who had received her doctorate in environmental science. How’d that make her feel? “Great,” said Mollicone, whose contributions to the camp and its parent organization, the Augusta Nature Club, were honored Wednesday morning. “I think I changed their outlook. If more people (studied nature), I think the world would be a better place.”
Rare Birds to Be Protected on Maine Beach to Rebuild Numbers
Associated Press - Wednesday, May 17, 2017 

Maine wildlife authorities say they're taking steps to try to protect a pair of vulnerable bird populations at a popular state beach. Popham Beach State Park is home to piping plovers and least terns, which are both on Maine's endangered species list. The state Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife says habitat loss and a lack of nesting sites remain problems for the birds. The department has had success in the past by protecting nesting sites with temporary fencing. Staff and volunteers also monitor the nests to keep people and pets away.
Love the smell of spring? Here’s where the season’s odors come from
Washington Post - Wednesday, May 17, 2017 

Go outside and inhale – your nose will tell you that it’s spring. Though many springtime smells are familiar, what produces the scents of the season might surprise you. Here are a few of common odors and their unusual origins.
Blog: How to build your outside memories in one easy step
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, May 17, 2017 

I always tell my kids we are going on an adventure, not a hike. First, because “adventure” produces less whining but also because it’s true. We don’t know what we are going to find when we walk out the door. We just go. And just like that, we have another memory. ~ Cherie Galyean
Common Lead Test Can Give False Results, FDA Warns
National Public Radio - Wednesday, May 17, 2017 

Common blood tests for lead can give falsely-low results in certain cases, according to a new warning from the Food and Drug Administration. The tests, manufactured by Magellan Diagnostics, are commonly used in doctors' offices and clinics, and on its website the company calls itself "the most trusted name in lead testing." But the FDA now says that its tests can give inaccurate results when used to test blood drawn from a vein.
Rep. Pingree working on bill to expand organic research funding
Associated Press - Wednesday, May 17, 2017 

U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-1st District, is among a trio of lawmakers who want to more than double funding for a key U.S. Department of Agriculture organic research program. Pingree is working with Rep. Dan Newhouse, a Washington Republican, and Rep. Jimmy Panetta, a California Democrat, on the Organic Agriculture Research Act. The legislation increases the funding of the Organic Research and Extension Initiative from $20 million to $50 million annually.
Lewiston liquor bottler warns ending ‘nips’ sales would have ‘drastic impact’ on company
 - Wednesday, May 17, 2017 

The head of a Lewiston liquor bottler withdrew his support for a compromise on a 5-cent deposit on miniature liquor bottles after Gov. Paul LePage threatened to end sales of so-called “nips” in Maine, according to a letter sent to a legislative leader. Sazerac Co. CEO Mark Brown said removing nips from store shelves in Maine – not the imposition of a 5-cent bottle deposit – would have “a drastic impact on our company and our employees” and harm the state’s finances.
Chemical spill closes section of Congress Street in Portland
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, May 17, 2017 

Portland officials say 55 gallons of a chemical used in spray foam insulation spilled on the street Wednesday morning. Assistant Fire Chief Keith Gautreau, during a press conference about 9 a.m., said the substance is a polymer that, combined with another chemical, creates spray insulation. The chemical is not hazardous except in liquid form in an enclosed space. When spilled, it dries, hardens and then evaporates. Officials in haz-mat suits were at the scene.
Dangerous hedgehogs may be in your neighborhood
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Wednesday, May 17, 2017 

You will soon be able to fill your home with hedgehogs without a permit. Legislation to achieve this was sponsored by Senator Eric Brakey, and drew a full house of opponents and supporters at its public hearing. Currently you may possess hedgehogs in Maine with a permit from DIF&W. Katie Hansberry, state director of the Humane Society of the United States, spoke in opposition to the bill which she said “poses a threat to public health and animal welfare." Jim Connolly of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife opposed the bill because the agency is already in the process of adopting rules that would allow hedgehogs to be possessed without permits. The IFW committee killed the bill.
Opinion: Jeopardizing environmental assets makes no economic sense
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, May 17, 2017 

The Trump administration has proposed draconian cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency. The Maine Department of Environmental Protection receives a substantial portion of its operating budget from the federal agency. Reducing that funding means possible severe cutbacks for DEP staff, who are tasked with safeguarding one of our most important economic assets: our natural environment. In the business world, assets are used to ensure future economic growth. Maine’s assets are its natural resources and environmental quality. Jeopardizing them does not make economic sense. ~ Rachel Bouvier, economic and sustainability consultant, Portland
A new season of the Brook Trout Survey begins
Maine Audubon - Tuesday, May 16, 2017 

The Brook Trout Project is off to a great start in 2017. So far, almost 40 volunteer anglers have signed up to survey remote ponds and coastal streams this spring, summer, and fall – already surpassing the total number of 2016 participants..Over a dozen stream surveys have already been returned – with more coming in every day. Anglers have caught or observed brook trout in a handful of streams, including coastal streams in the Penobscot Bay area and as far inland as Augusta. Please consider joining these volunteers.
Passamaquoddy Tribe generates revenue through carbon credits
Mainebiz - Tuesday, May 16, 2017 

The Passamaquoddy Tribe recently received a "Project Developer of the Year" award from the Climate Action Reserve for generating the most carbon offset credits in 2016. The tribe uses most of the land in Maine acquired through funding from the 1980 Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act to generate the credits. In 2016, 3.2 million credits were issued. With credits recently selling in the range of $11 to $14 per credit, the 3.2 million credits could be worth between $35 million and $45 million.
LePage threatens to veto deposit on ‘nips,’ remove them from Maine stores
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, May 16, 2017 

Gov. Paul LePage vowed Tuesday to veto a bipartisan bill that would impose a 5-cent deposit on miniature liquor bottles, accusing lawmakers of passing a bill without considering its administrative costs or possible affect on companies that do business in Maine. Because the veto likely would be overridden, the governor also promised to move to end sales of so-called “nips” in Maine. LePage made the veto threat hours after the Maine Senate voted 32-3 to pass a bill that would order retailers to collect a nickel bottle deposit on 50-milliliter liquor bottles beginning in 2019. The bill, which passed the House last week on a 111-34 vote, is touted by supporters as a way to reduce roadside litter and encourage recycling of a size of a liquor bottle that is surging in popularity in Maine.
Hitting the Bottle: LePage on Bill to Require Deposit on Nips
Maine Government News - Tuesday, May 16, 2017 

“Legislators say they want to prevent the littering of empty ‘nip’ bottles, but they do not care if it cuts funding to other state programs or increases costs for companies that do business here,” said Governor LePage. “Senator Saviello said he would call my bluff that I would delist 50-millileter ‘nip’ bottles if this bill passes. A Maine legislator should know better than that. If this bill is passed, I will veto the bill, and I will instruct the Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages & Lottery Operations to begin working immediately with the Liquor and Lottery Commission to delist all nips from sale in Maine. I do so with regret, but the severe impact of this bill leaves me no choice.”
Lawmakers push question of biomass incentives to next session
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, May 16, 2017 

Efforts to help move the state’s biomass power industry onto a sustainable financial path are going to be put off, lawmakers decided on Tuesday, amid time concerns and proposals that are both complex and controversial. The Legislature’s Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee voted unanimously to carry over the measure until next session. The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Tom Saviello, R-Wilton presented recommendations based on the findings of a special study group created last year. They’re meant to improve the economics of the state’s struggling wood-fired power plants. But it was clear during a public hearing that while some of the ideas have support from the forest products industry, they will be opposed by Gov. Paul LePage and Central Maine Power Co.
Maine Island Institute Gets $240,000 to Help Prepare for Sea Level Rise
Maine Public - Tuesday, May 16, 2017 

The Island Institute is receiving $240,000 from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine to fund a project about disaster preparedness in Maine related to sea level rise. The Institute says the money will help pay for a project that benefits Maine’s island and coastal communities by addressing threats from natural disasters and environmental change stemming from rising sea levels.
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