March 25, 2017  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Friday, March 24, 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
Edible Ornamentals, Mar 31
Event - Posted - Friday, March 24, 2017 

Speaker: Lisa Fernandez of The Resilience Hub. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, March 31, 12 pm.
State of Maine Sportsman’s Show, Mar 31-Apr 2
Event - Posted - Friday, March 24, 2017 

At Augusta Civic Center, March 31 - April 2.
Grow Your Own Mushrooms, Mar 30
Event - Posted - Thursday, March 23, 2017 

Speaker: Ben Whatley of Whatley Farm. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, March 30, 6:30 pm.
2017 Maine Sustainability & Water Conference, Mar 30
Event - Posted - Thursday, March 23, 2017 

Keynote "Conserving Pools and Watersheds" by Aram Calhoun, Professor of Wetland Ecology, UMaine. At Augusta Civic Center, March 30, 7:30 am - 4 pm.
Northern Goshawks in the Northeast, Mar 30
Event - Posted - Thursday, March 23, 2017 

Speaker: David Brinker, Maryland Natural Heritage Program. At Ladd Recreation Center, Wayne, March 30, 7 pm. Sponsored by Kennebec Land Trust.
Backyard Bees, Mar 29
Event - Posted - Wednesday, March 22, 2017 

Beekeeper Mike Mcnally talks about keeping bees. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, March 29, 12 pm.
Planning a Garden for Preserving, Mar 29
Event - Posted - Wednesday, March 22, 2017 

Speaker: Kate McCarty of UMaine Cooperative Extension. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, March 29, 6:30 pm.
New interactive Androscoggin River Trail Guide
Publication - Tuesday, March 21, 2017 

The Androscoggin River Trail Guide is an interactive, mobile-friendly website describing launch site details, river mileages, points of interest, and other on-river information to help guide paddlers down the Androscoggin.
Inspired by Nature, Mar 28
Event - Posted - Tuesday, March 21, 2017 

Wildlife biologist and author of I Am Coyote, Geri will illustrate how nature inspires her. At Topsham Library, March 28, 6 pm. Sponsored by Cathance River Education Alliance.
Waypoints: Community Indicators for Maine’s Coast and Islands
Publication - Monday, March 20, 2017 

This Island Institute publication presents economic, community and environmental indicators for Maine’s coastal and island communities as they compare to the rest of the state and the nation.
Maine Maple Sunday, Mar 26
Event - Posted - Sunday, March 19, 2017 

Maine will celebrate its 34th annual Maine Maple Sunday on March 26.
Birding at Plum Island, Mar 25
Event - Posted - Saturday, March 18, 2017 

A field trip to find special winter birds. At Plum Island, MA, March 25, 7 am - 4 pm. Sponsored by Stanton Bird Club.
Trump's "America First Budget"
Publication - Thursday, March 16, 2017 

The Office of Management and Budget today released the Trump Administration's 2018 bare-bones budget outline.
Top "Public Lands Enemies" in Congress
Publication - Thursday, March 16, 2017 

A Center for Biological Diversity report analyzed 132 bills that were introduced in Congress from 2011 to 2016, and identified the lawmakers who authored and cosponsored the greatest number of these bills. The list that emerged includes 9 members of the U.S. House of Representatives and 6 U.S. senators from 8 states.
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News Items
BREAKING: Trump's "Skinny Budget" devastates environmental and conservation programs
Maine Environmental News - Thursday, March 16, 2017 

President Trump’s 2018 proposed budget increases military spending by 10% and cuts non-defense programs from the 2017 level by 10%, including:
• Agriculture 20.7%
• Energy 5.6%
• Interior 11.7%
• EPA 31.4%
Senators' Proposal Would Make Way for Young Loggers
Maine Public - Thursday, March 16, 2017 

Senators from Maine and Idaho are introducing legislation they say would make it easier for aspiring young loggers to get into the business. Sens. Angus King, a Maine independent, and Jim Risch, an Idaho Republican, announced the bill on Thursday. They say the legislation would level the playing field with other agricultural fields by allowing family members to get experience in logging from an earlier age so they can carry on a family business. Current laws say 16- and 17-year-old are forbidden from working in logging, with some limited exceptions for apprentices and student-learners. King and Risch's bill would change that.
Trump's Budget Slashes Climate Change Funding
National Public Radio - Thursday, March 16, 2017 

If there was any doubt over President Trump's views on climate change, those doubts evaporated with the unveiling of his proposed federal budget on Thursday. The budget would end programs to lower domestic greenhouse gas emissions, slash diplomatic efforts to slow climate change and cut scientific missions to study the climate.
Wilderness Society Decries Decline in Care for America’s Public Lands
Maine Environmental News - Thursday, March 16, 2017 

The fiscal year 2018 budget proposed by the Trump Administration would herald a new low for America’s shared public lands, says The Wilderness Society. Cam Witten, Government Relations and Budget Specialist at TWS, said, “This budget would decimate the very foundation of what makes America great: our parks, public lands, and historic leadership on conservation."
Maine Bill Would Take On Marine Debris
Maine Public - Thursday, March 16, 2017 

A proposal to try to address marine debris that results from commercial activities on and near the water will be the subject of a public hearing in the Maine State House before the Marine Resources Committee on March 22. Rep. Michael Devin's bill proposes to take on marine debris that results from businesses such as commercial fishing operations and aquaculture. The bill is conceptual in nature. It says it would use data from scientific publications to address debris while also attempting to protect commercial fishing and aquaculture operations.
Maine Governor Cites Concerns With Energy Efficiency Program
Maine Public - Thursday, March 16, 2017 

Republican Gov. Paul LePage's office says he didn't sign a $29 million spending package because of concerns with allocations to an energy efficiency program. Spokeswoman Adrienne Bennett said LePage is deeply concerned that Maine now is 11th highest in the nation in energy costs and says that rank has worsened in the last year. Maine's costs are the lowest in New England. The supplemental budget for the fiscal year ending June became law Wednesday. It included a $664,157 increase for the Efficiency Maine Trust program, which is the state's independent administrator for energy efficiency programs.
Blog: Birding Adventures Offered at Bradford and Claybrook Mountain Camps
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Thursday, March 16, 2017 

For the first time, Igor and Karen Sikorski are offering a birding adventure this year at Bradford Camps in the great north woods, led by retired wildlife biologist Ron Joseph. Linda and I will be participating, for the third year in a row, in a birding weekend in May at Claybrook Mountain Lodge in New Portland, where Greg Drummond and Ron Joseph are our guides.
Neighbors, land trust pan plan to dredge river for Bath Iron Works
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, March 16, 2017 

A new proposal to conduct “emergency” Kennebec River channel dredging next month to allow a Bath Iron Works destroyer to depart has prompted those who work and live on the river to voice concerns about the impact and timing of the project. The work is slated to take place just as federally protected migratory fish — notably Atlantic salmon and shortnose sturgeon — begin to spawn in the riverbed. It’s also sparked fears of contamination among riverfront property owners and shellfish harvesters. Ed Friedman, a Bowdoinham guide and president of Friends of Merrymeeting Bay, said Wednesday, “FOMB remains very concerned about the effects of dredging on migratory fish species in particular, for which the river is federally designated as a ‘significant wildlife habitat.’
Opinion: Maine can’t afford to wait to improve its critical water infrastructure
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, March 16, 2017 

Significant investment in our country’s infrastructure is critical to sustain short- and long-term growth. Maine is no exception. But when it comes to infrastructure, safe and reliable drinking water and wastewater treatment are probably the easiest to take for granted. By combining collaborative delivery approaches to construction — such as construction management at-risk and design-build — with innovative technologies, it is possible to stretch infrastructure dollars without jeopardizing quality. But it can’t happen without a national commitment to rebuilding our country’s critical infrastructure. We’ve got a lot of catching up to do. ~ Joseph Picoraro, PC Construction
Bald eagle population threatened by lead poisoning, US scientists warn
The Guardian - Thursday, March 16, 2017 

Bald eagles have rebounded across the US since 1972, when the government banned the pesticide DDT. But 10-15% of bald eagles die in the first year because of lead poisoning, Stewart said, in part because the young birds almost exclusively eat carrion. Last week, nearly 30 doctors and scientists sent a letter to the department of the interior to “strongly support” a rule that Ryan Zinke, Donald Trump’s new interior secretary, revoked on his first day in the post. The rule, enacted by the Obama administration on its last day, would have banned lead ammunition across 150m acres of national wildlife refuges.
Climate Change in Maine
Other - Thursday, March 16, 2017 

In the last 120 years, average temperatures in Maine have increased by three degrees Fahrenheit. Scientists predict the state will heat up another three to ten degrees by the end of the century. Some call it “climate change,” while others prefer the term “odd weather.” Many have been aware of these shifts for decades, but many more are still holding out, not yet ready to diagnose these erratic weather patterns as indicative of a larger transformation. This immersive map of climate change testimonials by Mainers was created by Bates College students.
Opinion: When climate change affects livelihood, adapting trumps ‘believing’
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, March 16, 2017 

In Maine, many of those directly affected by climate change – lobstermen, maple syrup farmers, indigenous peoples, timber workers – are reticent to use the terms dictated by national discourse. But they will happily relate the very specific ways in which their industry has been transformed by the recent string of abnormally warm winters. In Jay, a forester described how warmer winters were costing the lumber industry money because removing trees over half-thawed, muddy ground requires that new roadways be built. In Phippsburg, a lobsterman spoke of how warming in the Gulf was pushing lobster offshore into colder water, causing him to spend more time away from home. And in Mechanic Falls, a local farmer spoke of the negative impact erratic winter temperatures were having on his peers throughout the valley. ~ Elizabeth Rush, Bates College, Lewiston
Americans Tilt Toward Protecting Environment, Alternative Fuels
Other - Wednesday, March 15, 2017 

Given a choice, the majority of Americans think protecting the environment should take precedence over developing more energy supplies, even at the risk of limiting the amount of traditional supplies the U.S. produces. An even larger majority would prioritize developing alternative energy sources such as wind and solar power over the production of oil, gas and coal. Although these have been Americans' preferences for some time, support in the past two years has been at record highs.
Two-year study to assess microfibers’ threat to the oceans
Associated Press - Wednesday, March 15, 2017 

Comfortable clothes are emerging as a source of plastic that’s increasingly ending up in the oceans and potentially contaminating seafood, according to Gulf Coast researchers who are launching a two-year study of microscopic plastics.
Congressional panel says New England marine monument hurts fishing communities
Associated Press - Wednesday, March 15, 2017 

Members of subcommittee of the House Natural Resources Committee are objecting to the way President Barack Obama created a national marine monument off the coast of New England last year. Republicans say the creation of the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument lacked significant local input and scientific scrutiny. The subcommittee is chaired by Doug Lamborn, a Colorado Republican.
Editorial: Downsizing Maine’s bottle redemption program would be a recycling disaster
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, March 15, 2017 

Two years ago, Maine lawmakers were asked to scale back the state’s nearly four-decade-old beverage bottle redemption program. Wisely, they chose not to. This year in the Maine Legislature, lawmakers face the same choice. For nearly four decades, Maine’s beverage distributors have successfully prevented a large portion of their products from ending up in the landfill, and Maine residents have been committed to helping. There’s no reason to let up on this commitment now.
Judge upholds state permits for Hampden waste-to-energy plant
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, March 15, 2017 

In a decision that affects trash disposal for more than a hundred Maine communities, a Superior Court judge has denied a competing solid waste disposal group’s arguments and upheld state permits for a new waste-to-energy plant by Fiberight LLC in Hampden. Justice Michaela Murphy, in a 30-page decision issued Wednesday, affirmed the Maine Department of Environmental Protection’s decision to issue permits to Maryland-based Fiberight for air emissions, solid waste processing, stormwater management and compliance with the Natural Resources Protection Act for the $69 million waste processing and recycling facility.
Lawmakers, Businesses Say Worker Visa Restrictions Will Harm Maine Tourism Industry
Maine Public - Wednesday, March 15, 2017 

Summer resorts around the nation are bracing for a tough season — not because the tourists won’t come, but because the workers might not. The reinstatement of a cap on visas for temporary workers has some in the hospitality industry predicting catastrophe. Those concerns have caught the attention of a bipartisan coalition of U.S. senators, including Maine Republican Susan Collins, that wants an audit of the H-2B program to ensure all available visas are issued.
Maine keeps attracting visitors in steadily growing numbers – nearly 36 million
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, March 15, 2017 

Maine’s tourism industry saw its revenue increase for the fourth straight year in 2016, growing to $6 billion, a 6 percent bump over 2015. The 35.8 million visitors who fueled the growth included a resurgence of Canadian vacationers, according to the annual report from the Maine Office of Tourism delivered Wednesday during the Governor’s Conference on Tourism in Augusta. Tourism is one of Maine’s largest industries, employing about 106,000 people, or one out of every six jobs in the state. The total economic impact is estimated at $9 billion, and last year tourists paid $596 million in taxes to the state.
Proposed NOAA cuts are alarming
Times Record - Wednesday, March 15, 2017 

Maine’s fishing communities are concerned over cuts to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, including the elimination of the Sea Grant program, proposed in a budget memo by the Trump administration. “Here in Maine, we get $1.2 million of that money from NOAA each year, and I match that with at least $600,000 of non-federal support,” said Paul Anderson, director of the Maine Sea Grant College Program. “Our return on investment here at the university is around 7 to 1.
Poliquin supports, Pingree opposes bill to allow killing of denning wolves and bears in Alaska refuges
Maine Environmental News - Wednesday, March 15, 2017 

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a joint resolution that would allow the killing of wolf pups and bear cubs, and their mothers, in their dens on National Wildlife Refuge lands in Alaska. Rep. Chellie Pingree (D) voted to oppose the legislation. Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R) voted to support the resolution.
CEI presents 'Opportunity Award' to St. Croix Tissue
Mainebiz - Wednesday, March 15, 2017 

Braving Tuesday's nor'easter to attend CEI's annual meeting in Brunswick, St. Croix Tissue Inc., was awarded CEI's "2017 Award for Expanding Economic Opportunity" for its $120 million paper mill that has created more than 80 jobs. St. Croix was founded in Baileyville in 1904 to provide newsprint to the Boston Globe. It added two paper machines and two hydroelectric generation stations from 1906 to 1915. In 1963 Georgia-Pacific bought it and it was resold again in 2001 to Canadian paper company Domtar, which closed it in 2007, ending 100 years of papermaking. IGIC, a U.S.-based company for a Chinese investment firm, bought the mill in 2010 and converted it to natural gas in 2011. The expansion in Baileyville makes paper towels, facial and other tissues.
Editorial: This is no time to sow doubt about climate change
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, March 15, 2017 

If there is anything leaders should agree on, it’s the need for empirical evidence. It was unsettling, to say the least, for the nation’s top environmental official to question the science of climate change, signaling a future of polluting policies and aversion to research. Anyone interested in a Mainer’s understanding of climate change should read a recent piece by Sen. Angus King, published in the Maine Policy Review. This is not a time to sow doubt about climate change. It’s a time to figure out how to make substantial, long-term reductions in greenhouse gas emissions while also preparing for a time of rising temperatures and sea levels. Scott Pruitt’s tenure at the EPA could set America on a dangerous course backward.
Hawkwatching season is here
Maine Government News - Wednesday, March 15, 2017 

Hawkwatching season is here. Freeport Wild Bird Supply will once again sponsor the Spring Hawkwatch at Bradbury Mountain State Park in Pownal, beginning on March 15th. 2017 marks the eleventh consecutive season for this project through which valuable data is collected while providing an enjoyable and educational experience for visitors. Zane Baker will be stationed at the summit from 9 am to 5 pm daily from March 15th to May 15th.
Trump Rollback of CAFE Standards will Accelerate Climate Change
Other - Wednesday, March 15, 2017 

During a meeting with auto industry executives today in Ypsilanti, Mich., Donald Trump is expected to announce a weakening of the Corporate Average Fuel Economy Standards. Known as the CAFE standards, the regulations govern fuel efficiency for new cars and trucks sold in the United States. Friends of the Earth Legal Director Marcie Keever offered the following response: Rolling back fuel economy standards will accelerate climate change and increase American’s addiction to oil. Donald Trump wants to go back to the 1970s, when weak emission controls choked our skies with smog from cars and trucks.
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