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
Moose Healthy in Maine Despite Struggles in Recent Years
Associated Press - Tuesday, May 16, 2017 

Despite struggles in recent years, Maine's state animal had a high survival rate over the winter. State moose biologist Lee Kantar says state data show about half of moose calves studied in western Maine have survived this year. That's much better than last year. Moose calves studied in northern Maine also did well, and survival rates were improved for adult moose. Moose populations have fallen in the northern New England states in recent years. The animals have struggled with parasites such as winter ticks.
Sappi restructures business units to boost profits
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, May 16, 2017 

Paper producer Sappi North America has combined two key business units to increase profits and spur investment in a more diverse product portfolio, according to the company. Sappi, which operates mills in Westbrook and Skowhegan, said the decision to combine its packaging and release paper units will better position the company for future growth and innovation. Release papers are embossed or coated papers that mimic the look of leather, exotic skins and other textures used in the apparel and automotive industries, among others.
Politician, author, philanthropist Neil Rolde dies at 85
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, May 16, 2017 

Former Democratic politician, author and philanthropist Neil Rolde died Sunday at the age of 85, according to news reports. Rolde represented York from 1974 to 1990 in the Maine House of Representatives, serving as his party’s majority leader from 1975 to ‘77. In 1990, he lost to William S. Cohen in a race for the U.S. Senate in which Rolde advocated for universal health care coverage. After the 1990 race, he devoted his time to writing. Rolde authored more than a dozen books, including a biography on the Baxter family.
Penalties increased for bad exotic animal owners
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Tuesday, May 16, 2017 

Exotic animal owners will pay much stiffer penalties in the future, if they fail to obey Maine’s exotic animal laws and rules, thanks to the Maine legislature and Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.
Hike: Great Pond Mountain in Orland
Aislinn Sarnacki Act Out Blog - Tuesday, May 16, 2017 

Topping off at 1,020 feet above sea level, Great Pond Mountain is the tallest and most prominent mountain in the 4,300-acre Great Pond Mountain Wildlands in Orland. With open ledges near its summit that offer great views of the region, this mountain features the most popular hike in the Wildlands, which is home to a vast network of hiking and multi-use trails.
Opinion: Trump’s fight against environmental protection is a threat to Maine’s economy and health
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, May 16, 2017 

The global average temperature is now higher than it has been for most of the last 11,300 years. The effects of the heat-trapping blanket over our atmosphere are already marked in Maine and beyond. Yet, the Trump administration is pushing to roll back environmental protections. The good news is that U.S. Sens. Collins and Angus King, along with U.S Rep. Chellie Pingree have taken a stand for Maine’s future by opposing the proposed cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget. ~ Sharon S. Tisher, UMaine, and Harold W. Borns Jr., Climate Change Institute at UMaine
Experts fear ‘quiet springs’ as songbirds can’t keep up with climate change
Washington Post - Tuesday, May 16, 2017 

In 1962, Rachel Carson warned that pesticides, particularly DDT, would lead to springs without birdsong, as she wrote in her book “Silent Spring.” Carson’s forecast kick-started an environmental movement and was instrumental in the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to ban the pesticides 10 years later, so her descriptions of deathly quiet did not come to pass. But the danger of a silent spring, according to ecologists who study birds, did not evaporate with DDT. The looming threat is not chemical but a changing climate, in which spring begins increasingly earlier — or in rare cases, later — each year.
Letter: Mining inevitably pollutes our water
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, May 16, 2017 

I am among many Maine residents who feel betrayed by environmental groups who have rallied around a mining bill, LD 820, that would allow the pollution of groundwater, inevitably leading to pollution of surface water. LD 820 would allow shaft mining with monitoring wells 100 feet away so when the inevitable contamination occurs it will be too late. This does not prevent arsenic in our water, it only lets us know when it has occurred. And there is no fix when it happens. ~ Kathy Cerick, Atkinson
Letter: At Maine dairies, products are truly ‘organic’
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, May 16, 2017 

A recent article underscored one of the major enforcement challenges facing the organic dairy industry and the USDA’s administration of organic certification activities. It also created the impression that consumers cannot trust any organic dairy products, and that is unfortunate because it is untrue. The organic rules are clear, and Maine’s organic dairy farmers join with organic consumers in calling for strict enforcement. Consumers can be assured that certified organic dairy products are a sound investment for their families, especially if they buy from Maine’s local and organic dairies or from the brands they have come to know and trust. ~ Chris Grigsby, Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, Unity
Outdoor training grounds: Pilot program at Acadia aims to improve science literacy in schools
Mainebiz - Monday, May 15, 2017 

Acadia National Park is often cited for its natural beauty, but a new initiative would use the park as a learning lab where teachers and students of all ages can acquire key skills to apply to STEM disciplines and ultimately, turn that knowledge into better-paying jobs and know-how to protect the environment. Called Second Century Stewardship, IDEXX Laboratories Inc. founder and Black Point Group investor David Shaw came up with the initiative last year during the centennial celebration of the National Park Service. Shaw pledged $1 million to kick off collaborative programs. The goal is to eventually use the Acadia pilot program at other national parks both for public education and environmental stewardship, especially within the parks.
More schools buying into serving Maine blueberries
Associated Press - Monday, May 15, 2017 

Maine wild blueberries are being served up in more schools. The Wild Blueberry School Foodservice Program says federal data show that more frozen Maine blueberries were sold to schools in April than in all of 2016. In the coming school year, Maine wild blueberries will be served in public school systems in 19 states. Maine’s wild blueberry industry has been looking to schools to boost sales amid recent years of surplus crop.
Students to Build Wind Turbines in Science Challenge
Associated Press - Monday, May 15, 2017 

Students in Maine are getting ready to harness the wind. More than 250 middle school and high school students are expected to participate in two science competitions involving wind at the University of Maine on May 19. The contests will feature hands-on projects created by the students. One of the competitions is the Kleinschmidt Windstorm Challenge, in which teams of high school students will design and build a scale-model floating wind turbine platform and deliver a sales pitch to a panel of judges. The other contest is the Maine Wind Blade Challenge, which the university says will connect students with composites companies to construct a functional set of wind blades. The teams will try to manufacture wind blades that generate the most energy in three minutes or less.
Trail cams capture unseen magic of wildlife in Maine’s woods
Bangor Daily News - Monday, May 15, 2017 

Cresting the wooded hill, Matt Steiner set down his heavy duffel bag and looked around, assessing his surroundings — a stump, a thick clump of firs and a break in the trees where the morning sun shone through, lighting the forest floor. “This is where I captured my first bear,” he said, crouching to unzip the bag. By capture Steiner meant photograph.
Letter: At heart, David Rockefeller was a mainstream Mainer
Portland Press Herald - Monday, May 15, 2017 

A recent letter to the editor (May 10) slandered the good works and international reputation of the recently deceased David Rockefeller. Frank Thiboutot accused Mr. Rockefeller of “dark politics.” For these “nefarious” acts, the writer rejected any recognition of Mr. Rockefeller’s bequest of $25 million to Maine organizations. David Rockefeller was a generous, kind and humble man. He did not ask for our thanks and appreciation, but we should acknowledge that he is owed them both in large measure, and we should honor his life, not slander it. ~ Tom Franklin, Portland
Letter: Collins votes for environment
Bangor Daily News - Monday, May 15, 2017 

The Trump administration is earnestly undoing many of the regulations and safeguards in place to protect the air, water and environment that we all share. We did manage to repel one such assault, thanks to Sen. Susan Collins, who voted to uphold a methane regulation passed in the Obama era. In another move, Collins wrote a letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson expressing her support for the Paris Climate Agreement. We appreciate the leadership, independence and integrity Collins demonstrates for environmental protection which is vital to the Maine economy. ~ Connie Potvin, Bangor Citizens’ Climate Lobby
Letter: America in peril
Bangor Daily News - Monday, May 15, 2017 

The Trump administration is on the verge of wiping out a half-century of America’s hard work. Decades ago, many U.S. rivers were cesspools, our air was badly polluted, and industries could dump all the poisons it wanted in our backyards and then have the taxpayer clean it up when it became a Superfund site. Citizens and their representatives fought hard, year after year, to counter the immense lobbying power of those who poisoned this magnificent planet. The agency Americans have counted on to safeguard us, the Environmental Protection Agency, is being stripped. The fox is guarding the henhouse. ~ Chris Wright, Belfast
Letter: Climate change cheers
Bangor Daily News - Monday, May 15, 2017 

Recently, a seven-person delegation from Maine met with Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King to discuss the local need for federally funded scientific research and the necessary collective response to climate change. We thanked our senators for opposing the proposed 17 percent cut to NOAA and for expressing serious concerns over the proposed 31 percent cut to the EPA budget. We also met with Rep. Bruce Poliquin’s staff and were pleased to learn he had joined the new House Estuary Caucus. These meetings made clear that bipartisan solutions exist and will require continued dialogue among Maine scientists, citizens and policy makers. ~ Andrew Barton, Farmington, and Amanda Moeser, Scarborough
National Parks Traveler Is Now A Nonprofit Media Organization
National Parks Traveler - Sunday, May 14, 2017 

To ensure its future and continued coverage of the national parks, National Parks Traveler has transitioned to a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) media organization.
Acadia among 200 federal advisory committees abruptly suspended by Trump Administration
Acadia On My Mind Blog - Sunday, May 14, 2017 

The Trump administration has abruptly suspended the meetings of the Acadia National Park Advisory Commission and that of about 200 other federal advisory committees. That means cancellation of a June 5 Acadia advisory commission meeting at park headquarters to tackle some of the most substantial issues facing the commission since its inception in 1986. For Interior to be reviewing the creation of Katahdin Woods and Waters for adequate public comment on the one hand, and for it to be “cancelling meetings that are designed to provide local input to the National Park Service” on the other, is “inconsistency at the very least,” said said longtime commission member Ben Emory.
Maine’s richest source of maple sugar faces uncertain future
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, May 14, 2017 

Big Six is the largest U.S. sugarbush, comprising 340,000 taps and a quarter of Maine’s syrup production. But it’s tied up with landowner Paul Fortin’s bottom line, which has created uncertainty about the heritage crop, leaving leaseholders and Maine’s maple industry to hover somewhere between eternal preservation and a devastating blow. Fortin threatens to cut the trees unless he is paid millions of dollars for an easement. “What other industry would put up with being threatened to have 25 percent of its output eliminated? Nobody would. There would be outcry everywhere,” said Kathryn Hopkins, a maple expert at the University of Maine’s Cooperative Extension.
Here’s an interesting article on Maine’s native brook trout
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Sunday, May 14, 2017 

I’ve been an advocate for our native brook trout for more than 25 years. This year I proposed legislative bills to extend our protection of them. So I found this article by DIF&W Fisheries Biologist Tim Obrey very interesting.
Islesboro’s deer problem puts residents ‘in limbo’
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, May 14, 2017 

Early this decade, concerns over a large deer population – and the spread of Lyme disease from deer ticks – helped to unite residents of Islesboro. But a special shotgun hunt for three years did little to thin the whitetail herd. And today, the island’s 650 year-rounds residents are divided over how – or even whether – to reduce it.
When Peter Taggart renovates an old Maine building, it also gets greener
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, May 14, 2017 

Peter Taggart runs a successful, Freeport-based construction company that specializes in green building; the self-made man has a serious interest in sustainability. We talked to him about his electric truck, how he uses solar power as a landlord and how renovating a bed and breakfast changed his life.
Maine-made beauty products creating a buzz
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, May 14, 2017 

In kitchens and small-batch workshops around Maine, farmers and foragers are getting into the beauty and skincare business.
The U.S. barely regulates personal care products, despite the many chemicals they contain
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, May 14, 2017 

Each day, the typical American woman slathers on a dozen lotions, creams, gels and cosmetics – exposing her body to an estimated 168 unique chemical ingredients, according to the Environmental Working Group. Men tend to use about half as many products with roughly half as many ingredients. People assume these products are subject to governmental scrutiny, but what we routinely pour into our pores undergoes no systematic safety assessment. The personal care product industry is allowed to “self-regulate,” even though scientific research confirms that many of its product ingredients pose health risks.
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