February 25, 2018  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Sunday, February 25, 2018 

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 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
Camden Wings Leopold, Mar 4
Event - Posted - Sunday, February 25, 2018 

Christine Parrish, Jim Campbell, Lois Anne and friends will do an interactive reading of Aldo Leopold’s essays on woodcock, bird behavior and wilderness, with a few dramatic turns to keep it lively. At Camden Public Library, March 4, 2-3 pm.
Lincolnville Reads Leopold, Mar 3
Event - Posted - Saturday, February 24, 2018 

Community members will read from their favorite Aldo Leopold essays and tell short personal stories related to them, punctuated by music and poems. Bring the right shoes for a nature walk. At Lincolnville Community Library, March 3, 2-4 pm.
Greenfire, Mar 2
Event - Posted - Friday, February 23, 2018 

This full-length documentary film explores Aldo Leopold’s extraordinary career and traces how he shaped the modern conservation movement and continues to inspire projects all over the country that connect people and the land. At Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center, Rockland, March 2, 4:30 pm. Hosted by The Friends of Maine Coastal Islands.
Environmental Archaeology in Casco Bay Estuary, Mar 2
Event - Posted - Friday, February 23, 2018 

Nathan Hamilton, Associate Professor of Archaeology at USM, will discuss techniques for reconstructing past environments, resource use and cultural life ways. At L.L. Bean, Freeport, March 2, 7 pm.
NRCM's 2018 Legislative Priorities for Maine’s Environment
Publication - Thursday, February 22, 2018 

NRCM is are tracking more than 40 bills this year, with top attention focused on six bills that comprise the common agenda of the Environmental Priorities Coalition, a group of 34 organizations that come together each year around a set of priority bills.
The Transformative Land, Feb 27
Event - Posted - Tuesday, February 20, 2018 

Michael Boardman, owner of Coyote Graphics, will share his experiences, photos and images of his artwork from his artist residency at Glacier Bay, Alaska. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, February 27, 7 pm. Sponsored by Merrymeeting Audubon.
Maine’s Foxes and Coyotes, Feb 26
Event - Posted - Monday, February 19, 2018 

Lynn Halsall will speak about “Maine’s Wild Dogs — Foxes and Coyotes.” At Blue Hill Public Library, February 26, 7 pm.
Wild & Scenic Film Festival, Feb 26
Event - Posted - Monday, February 19, 2018 

Wild & Scenic Film Festival on Tour. At Lincoln Theater, Damariscotta, February 26, 7 pm, free, but tickets required. Hosted by Damariscotta River Association.
Growing, Gathering and Using Plants as Medicine, Feb 25
Event - Posted - Sunday, February 18, 2018 

Workshop leader Lucretia Woodruff is a mother of four children and farmer at Milkweed Farm. She has been growing and gathering medicinal herbs and vegetables for over 20 years. At St. Paul’s Church, Brunswick, February 25, 2-3:30 pm, $5 donation. Sponsored by Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust.
The story of a company town, Feb 24
Event - Posted - Saturday, February 17, 2018 

Jamie Sayen will give a reading from his new book “You Had A Job For Life – story of a company town” about the paper mill town of Groveton, NH, a heartbreaking story of the decimation of industrial America. At Gulf of Maine Books, Brunswick, February 24, 3 pm.
History of Maine’s Forests, Mar 12
Event - Posted - Friday, February 16, 2018 

UMaine professor Richard Judd will talk about the history of Maine’s forests. At New England Region Council on Forest Engineering Workshop, University of Maine, Orono, March 12, 1 pm, $, pre-register by Feb 23.
Maple Sugaring for the Small Woodlot Owner, Feb 22
Event - Posted - Thursday, February 15, 2018 

Whether you want to tap two trees or twenty, this demonstration and tour will help get you started. At Simmons & Daughters Sugar House, Morrill, February 22, 2 pm.
Enduring Heights book talk, Feb 22
Event - Posted - Thursday, February 15, 2018 

A book talk and signing will be held for the book Enduring Heights by John and Cynthia Orcutt. At Carrabassett Valley Public Library, February 22, 4:30 pm.
Round the World Birding, Feb 22
Event - Posted - Thursday, February 15, 2018 

Becky Marvil will share her photos and stories of bird species from around the globe. At Viles Arboretum, Augusta, February 22, 7 pm. Sponsored by Augusta Bird Club.
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News Items
South Portland seeks redevelopment proposals for former public works site
Portland Press Herald - Monday, February 12, 2018 

The 6-acre parcel in the Meeting House Hill neighborhood is on the market and available for mostly residential, eco-friendly development.
President's Budget Gouges LWCF
Appalachian Mountain Club - Monday, February 12, 2018 

The Trump Administration’s budget proposal for FY19 released today basically axes the Land and Water Conservation Fund in its entirety, with an overall cut of 98% from the enacted FY17 level. This is even worse than the ruinous proposal for FY18 that came out last spring, and then was promptly rejected by Congress on a bipartisan basis. It basically eliminates the entire program.
Maine environmental groups express concerns over Trump budget
Bangor Daily News - Monday, February 12, 2018 

Maine environmental groups and the state’s Congressional representatives said Monday they have serious concerns about a proposal from President Trump to cut the Environmental Protection Agency budget for next year by 34 percent. Lisa Pohlmann, executive director of the Natural Resources Council of Maine, said Monday, “This says volumes about [Trump’s] disregard for clean air and clean water, his disrespect for the bipartisan efforts that have helped to protect our environment over the past 50 years, and his lack of understanding of the irrefutable reality of climate change.”
Trump budget would kill funds for many programs in Maine
Portland Press Herald - Monday, February 12, 2018 

President Trump released a proposed budget for the next fiscal year Monday that, if enacted, would have serious consequences across Maine. The sweeping plan again proposes to stop federal funding for the University of Maine’s Sea Grant research program, and the Wells Reserve at Laudholm, which would face closure. At the Department of the Interior, the fund that helps compensate local communities for lost tax revenue from land included in National Wildlife Refuges will be closed. In northern Maine, the Northern Border Regional Commission also would be eliminated. Rep. Chellie Pingree said Trump’s proposal “spells disaster for rural states like Maine and demonstrates how out of touch his administration is with the needs of the country.” Republican Rep. Bruce Poliquin said he was pleased the budget request strengthened national security, but was opposed to eliminating Sea Grant and Wells.
Column: A lesson in political suicide
Daily Bulldog (Franklin County) - Monday, February 12, 2018 

As a legislator, Nutting earned a reputation as a staunch environmentalist and an advocate for expanded health care. But he skewed to the conservative side on labor issues. After losing the 2010 election, then- state Sen. John Nutting disparaged his victorious opponent and the people who voted for him. Not the sort of thing one does if one is holding out the prospect of ever running for office again. But here it is nearly eight years later, and Nutting, a moderate Democrat from Leeds who had served several terms in both the state House and Senate, must have come to believe everybody has forgotten about his little hissy fit. So, he’s announced he’s a candidate for his old seat as a state representative. ~ Al Diamon
Democrats target New England’s GOP House holdout
Boston Globe - Monday, February 12, 2018 

As the lone New England Republican in the House, Representative Bruce Poliquin of Maine has grown accustomed to being the last of an endangered species. Now his fight against extinction is looking more dire. Energized Democrats leaders looking to make New England a clean sweep in 2018 are training their fire on Poliquin, a former investment manager running for his third term, in a race that will test whether a national backlash against President Trump will spread to the far northeastern corner of the nation. Voters in the blue-collar Second Congressional District filled with forests, lobsters, and blueberries swung heavily for Trump in 2016. This year they could reverse course and help fuel the Democratic wave that threatens to swamp dozens of House Republicans across the country.
Woodlot Project Needs Your Support
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Monday, February 12, 2018 

My project to donate my woodlot to the Kennebec Land Trust, with a focus on using it to teach kids about wildlife habitat, is off to a great start. Thanks to many generous friends, we’ve raised $14,000 of the $20,000 needed for the project. If you have not yet donated, please consider doing that.
Opinion: Maine’s economy and land conservation are deeply intertwined
Bangor Daily News - Monday, February 12, 2018 

Mainers are surrounded by unparalleled natural resources that enrich our lives every day. Even better, Maine’s economy works together with its ecology in a way that is truly unique — an “eco/eco” partnership that sits at the heart of who we are. Maine’s legacy of land conservation is a key part of why this partnership works. Protecting our wild places has long been a core, nonpartisan value in Maine. That’s why recent political attacks taking aim at land conservation are so troubling. Critiques of land conservation that don’t account for these benefits simply aren’t telling the whole story. They misunderstand the special relationship Maine’s economy and ecology have always enjoyed, working not in opposition but in concert, each relying on and benefiting from the vitality of the other. Maine’s unique “eco/eco” partnership is something to treasure. ~ Andy Beahm, Maine Audubon.
Climate Change Could Mean Less Maple Syrup For Your Pancakes
National Public Radio - Monday, February 12, 2018 

Maple syrup might be ubiquitous in pantries and pancake houses now, but new research suggests that might not always be the case. Climate change could eventually render the sticky stuff extinct. A study published last month in the journal Ecology examined assessed how environmental conditions impacted the growth of maple trees. The findings were sobering: Climate change has led to warmer, drier growing seasons, stunting the growth of sugar maples.
Letter: Pruitt a threat to environment
Bangor Daily News - Monday, February 12, 2018 

Since his first day in Trump’s Cabinet, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has slashed environmental safeguards with gusto. He’s shown time and time again that he’s not loyal to the people but to the dirty energy interests that have funded his ambitions and dictated his policy. In 2016, Pruitt said then-candidate Trump would be “abusive to the Constitution” with unilateral overreach and called him an “empty vessel” on the rule of law. But now he’s the one carrying out the attacks on our environment and health. He’s the abuser. Pruitt is under three different investigations for misusing taxpayer money. He is working to advance his own career at the expense of our health and the environment. ~ Ryan Kittle, Portland
Lobster Industry Ensnared in North Atlantic Right Whale Deaths
Sierra Club - Sunday, February 11, 2018 

Last year, 17 North Atlantic right whales were discovered to have died, about 4 percent of a total population of 455. If the current trend continues, the North Atlantic right whale, one of the most endangered marine mammals in the world, could go extinct by 2040. In response, the Center for Biological Diversity, Defenders of Wildlife, and American Humane Society are suing the U.S. Department of Commerce, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association Fisheries, and the National Marine Fisheries Service. According to their complaint, entanglements from lobster trap lines and other commercial fishing gear unduly jeopardize the dwindling whale populations and breach the species’ right to protection under the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act.
Blog: What’s up with our oceans?
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, February 11, 2018 

Sea level rise is tied to global warming. We have been setting records for warm years now year after year according to the climate scientists. Because the earth is warming, our oceans are absorbing a lot of this heat. Last year our oceans were warmer than they ever have been, and the last 5 years have been the five warmest on record. When water is warmed up, it expands. There’s more. As the temperatures rise, some glaciers and ice sheets are melting into the ocean. Since the ocean’s warming, some of the sea food we love no longer thrives offshore. Gone are our sweet Maine shrimp, for example. ~ Bill Baker
Letter: Land Trusts work for Maine
Seacoast Online - Sunday, February 11, 2018 

The recent increase in scrutiny of land trusts by policy makers is an opportunity to highlight our work. As Coordinator of the Mount Agamenticus to the Sea Conservation Initiative (MtA2C) - an effort by 10 partner organizations to connect an expanse of open space in southern York County - I want those on the Seacoast who benefit to understand its value. York, Kittery, and Great Works Regional Land Trusts and other partners conserve land for community recreation and enjoyment as well as for clean water, scenery, heritage, wildlife habitat and more - all of which strengthens our communities and economy. ~ Karen Young, Kittery Land Trust
Great project working to remove barriers to fish spawning grounds
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Sunday, February 11, 2018 

The Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund has awarded a grant to Maine Audubon’s important project to remove barriers that prevent fish from moving up and down streams and getting to their spawning grounds. Maine Audubon and its partners recently completed their Stream Barrier Survey Project. The primary goal of this project was to improve the ability of Atlantic salmon, brook trout, and other aquatic fish and wildlife to move up and down streams and between streams and ponds by surveying road-stream crossings, identifying barriers, and highlighting priorities for culvert and bridge replacements.
Queen Elizabeth credited with push to cut plastic waste
Washington Post - Sunday, February 11, 2018 

Queen Elizabeth has long expressed admiration for David Attenborough, an environmentalist with a track record of creating beautiful, compelling movies about our planet. Most recently, his series “Blue Planet II” showcased the weird and wonderful species of the oceans. But it also explored the disastrous effects of waste on the world’s waters. The show spurred top officials in Britain to take a serious look at reducing plastic waste. Now, Queen Elizabeth II also is pushing for environment-friendly changes in her own back yard. She’s behind Buckingham Palace’s new waste-reduction plans, which will ban straws and bottles at all royal estates.
Is it wrong to boil lobsters alive?
The Guardian - Sunday, February 11, 2018 

The question of whether lobsters feel pain – and the way people should (or should not) treat them – has been raised again recently. “We’re now in the area where you can say there is as much evidence for pain in crustaceans as there is in many vertebrates,” says Robert Elwood, emeritus professor at the school of biological sciences at Queen’s University Belfast, referring to the work he has done for more than a decade on crustaceans and pain. Other scientists are less sure. “I’m not convinced they feel pain,” says Robert Steneck, professor of marine sciences at the University of Maine. “There is no compelling case I’ve seen that suggests they feel pain. You don’t really see this level of concern for people who eat oysters or clams – they’re certainly every bit as alive. The problem has more to do with how we anthropomorphise various critters. The fact that lobsters move and clams don’t, that they have eyes – I think that it does tend to increase our sensitivity to their end of life more than having a raw oyster.”
Robert De Niro takes aim at Trump’s climate change policy
Other - Sunday, February 11, 2018 

Hollywood star Robert De Niro took aim at the Trump administration’s stance on climate change, telling a packed audience in the Middle East that he was visiting from a “backward” country suffering from “temporary insanity.” He said that in the country he’s describing, the head of the EPA suggested last week that global warming may be a good thing for humanity.
After four decades in the business, the cheesemakers at York Hill Farm retire
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, February 11, 2018 

John and Penny Duncan were in the vanguard of local food producers in Maine, making award-winning goat cheese. Will anyone pick up their torch?
Andrew Bossie is the first executive director of Friends of Katahdin Woods & Waters
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, February 11, 2018 

In January, Andrew Bossie officially took on the role of running Friends of Katahdin Woods & Waters, a membership nonprofit founded just over a year ago to help Maine’s new national monument succeed. It’s got a 15-member board of directors, Bossie as executive director and so far, about 400 friends as members. We called Bossie up to talk and learned about his childhood in Caribou, how many peaks he’s climbed and what kind of help Katahdin Woods & Waters needs from its friends.
Unique state park cabin in Camden a ‘posh’ experience, campers say
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, February 11, 2018 

What is called the Ski Shelter at Camden Hills State Park is unique in Maine because it is the only cabin in the state park system – which also makes Maine unusual in New England.
Column: Caterpillars – the good, the bad and the ugly
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, February 11, 2018 

There are good caterpillars and bad caterpillars. The good caterpillars are essential parts of the natural web that keeps wild creatures alive in our increasingly urban country. The bad caterpillars are damaging some of the native trees that, among other things, provide food for the good caterpillars. Two talks at Grow Maine Green Expo give the lowdown on the hungry bugs, at once an essential part of the ecosystem and a threat to native trees. ~ Tom Attwell
Letter: The price we pay for fossil fuels
Morning Sentinel - Sunday, February 11, 2018 

The fossil fuel industry has received huge tax breaks for a century, even though U.S. tax subsidies usually expire once a developing industry is established. Wikipedia estimates annual U.S. tax subsidies for fossil fuels at $600 billion. Compare this to our 2017 federal deficit of $666 billion. We subsidize the fossil fuel industry by letting them to dump their waste product (carbon dioxide) into the atmosphere, where it drives up costs for health care, energy (air conditioning), and damage caused by extreme climate events. Charging fossil fuel companies a fee for these social costs of their fuels — a carbon fee — would make renewable energy cheaper than fossil fuels and speed our transition to renewable energy. ~ Richard Thomas, Waterville
The most peculiar job I did as a Maine wildlife biologist? Count deer dung.
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, February 10, 2018 

In 1978, as a recently hired biologist for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, I began recording the number of deer droppings on data sheets to help researchers improve estimates of Maine’s deer population. One day, we began the fieldwork by driving to Jefferson. Per instructions, I walked 1 mile following the pre-assigned compass bearing penciled on maps. Near the end of my walk in the woods, a clearing appeared in a green shaded area of the map. More unsettling, though, was the sound of music blaring from a radio, which meant that in all likelihood a house had been built where woods stood in 1958. Minutes later, the sight of a woman shocked me. She was sunbathing nude on a beach towel behind a home, radio by her side, and directly in line with my compass bearing. Head swimming and barely able to breathe, I retraced my steps several hundred feet. ~ Ron Joseph
Maine’s solar investors face ‘punitive’ local taxes
Kennebec Journal - Saturday, February 10, 2018 

Dozens of Mainers who have helped grow the state’s solar industry in recent years now face an unexpected challenge to the viability of their project: higher local taxes. Advocates for the solar industry warn that the traditional ways communities tax property could scare Mainers from making further investments in clean technology. Steve Kahl, an associate professor of science at Thomas College who has developed renewable energy projects, said that Maine’s lack of a tax exemption for residential solar projects is part of a larger neglect by the state’s leaders of a promising industry.
Opinion: Climate too hot? Pruitt thinks it’s too soon to say
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, February 10, 2018 

In an interview at the friendly venue of a Sinclair Broadcast-owned Las Vegas TV station, KSNV, Scott Pruitt, head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, conceded that climate change is a reality and that human activities have contributed to it “to a certain degree.” But then he tossed in a monkey wrench. He suggested that a warming climate is not “necessarily” a “bad thing.” Pruitt isn’t the first climate skeptic to try that particular dodge, but he’s surely the most high-ranking in the government of any industrialized nation and perhaps the one most surrounded by scientists who know better but who apparently can’t penetrate his administrative bubble.
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