December 13, 2017  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Monday, December 11, 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 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
Help wanted: Visitor Center Assistant
Announcement - Monday, December 11, 2017 

Seasonal position, May 1 - October 31, 2018, representing Audubon’s Seabird Restoration Program at the Project Puffin Visitor Center in Rockland.
Free Skiing & Learn-to-Ski Clinics, Dec 16
Event - Posted - Saturday, December 9, 2017 

Waterville Parks & Rec, with support from Friends of Quarry Road, will provide free trail passes, free rentals, and free learn-to-ski clinics at Quarry Road Trails, December 16.
Meadow Brook/Hurds Pond Preserve Hike, Dec 16
Event - Posted - Saturday, December 9, 2017 

Cloe Chunn will lead a hike of Meadow Brook/Hurds Pond, a preserve of Coastal Mountains Land Trust. Meet at Swanville Transfer Station, December 16, 10 am. Sponsored by Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition.
Tax bill would slam the brakes on solar and wind energy
Action Alert - Friday, December 8, 2017 

The tax bill passed by the Senate last Friday includes an obscure provision that could pull the rug out from under solar and wind power. The House version also takes aim at renewable energy by rolling back key tax credits. These provisions "would have a devastating ... impact on wind and solar energy," according to renewable energy industry leaders. ~ Environment Maine
Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, Dec 14
Event - Posted - Thursday, December 7, 2017 

Tim Hudson, Superintendent, will take you through the landscape of Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument with pictures. At Belfast Free Library, December 14, 6:30 pm. Sponsored by Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition.
Whales of the Gulf of Maine: A Naturalist’s Report, Dec 14
Event - Posted - Thursday, December 7, 2017 

Zack Klyver, chief naturalist for the Bar Harbor Whale Watch Company and founder of Flukes whale watch ecotours, will present an engaging review of the 2017 whale watch season. At Schoodic Institute, Winter Harbor, December 14, 12 pm.
Olive oil tasting, Dec 13
Event - Posted - Wednesday, December 6, 2017 

FIORE Artisan Olive Oils & Vinegars will host an evening to support the Brunswick Topsham Land Trust at its tasting room in Brunswick, December 13, 5-7 pm.
The Arctic Needs Your Help
Action Alert - Tuesday, December 5, 2017 

Buried deep within the Senate tax bill is a provision to open the pristine Arctic Refuge, a national treasure, to oil and gas drilling, which will cause widespread pollution and harm to the wildlife and people who call this place home. Express your disappointment to Senator Susan Collins and urge her to protect our natural legacy by working to remove this damaging language before the tax bill becomes law. ~ Maine Conservation Voters
Birds from the Footbridge in Belfast, Dec 9
Event - Posted - Saturday, December 2, 2017 

Join Ron Harrell and Gary Gulezian to watch ducks, loons and other birds in the harbor. At the Belfast Footbridge, December 9, 8-10 am. Organized by Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition.
Win $1,000 L.L.Bean shopping spree and an outing with David Sibley
Announcement - Friday, December 1, 2017 

Wildlife Acoustics, makers of the Song Sleuth bird identifying app, launched the Sibley Sweepstakes on December 1. Ends March 1. No purchase necessary to enter.
Baxter State Park sign auction, ends Dec 6
Announcement - Thursday, November 30, 2017 

Auction of retired Baxter State Park signs, plus the historic dinner bell from Kidney Pond Camps. Friends Baxter State Park will donate half the proceeds to Baxter State Park, and half will support FBSP programs. Ends December 6.
Blazing Ahead: the Rivalry that Built the Appalachian Trail, Dec 7
Event - Posted - Thursday, November 30, 2017 

Jeffrey Ryan tells the story of the unlikely creation of the Appalachian Trail. At Bangor Public Library, December 7, 6 pm. Sponsored by Appalachian Mountain Club Maine Chapter.
Celebrate CREA and the Season, Dec 7
Event - Posted - Thursday, November 30, 2017 

Meet new Executive Director Wendy Van Damme, hear about new programs and plans, and contemplate the joy of winter activity at the Cathance River Education Alliance’s 235 acre nature preserve in Topsham. At Frontier Cafe, Brunswick, December 7, 4:30 to 6:30 pm, RSVP.
Land Conservation in Maine, Dec 7
Event - Posted - Tuesday, November 28, 2017 

Speakers: Angela Twitchell, Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust; Bill Patterson, The Nature Conservancy; Warren Whitney, Maine Coast Heritage Trust. At Curtis Memorial Library, Brunswick, December 7, 7 pm. Sponsored by Appalachian Mountain Club Maine Chapter.
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News Items
‘Ecotherapy’ suggests the park over pills
Other - Thursday, November 30, 2017 

Studies show ecotherapy, a field of medicine that advises patients to spend more time outdoors, can help treat depression, attention deficit disorder and chronic diseases like diabetes.
Ecology School finalized
Biddeford-Saco-OOB Courier - Thursday, November 30, 2017 

The Saco Valley Land Trust, Thomas & Polly Merrill, and The Ecology School announce the transition of the agricultural conservation stewardship of River Bend Farm in Saco to the Maine Farmland Trust.litigation between Saco Valley Land Trust and the Merrills. The Ecology School and the Merrills have finalized the sale of the River Bend Farm property and The Ecology School looks forward to ensuring that the historic property remains in agricultural use. The Ecology School has received approvals from the city of Saco to rezone the property to allow the relocation of the The Ecology School organization from its current facility at Ferry Beach, where it has operated for 19 years, to River Bend.
Editorial: Easing pollution regulations won’t save coal; Nothing will
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, November 30, 2017 

Coal is not coming back, not matter what the Trump administration does. Sadly, we don’t expect to the EPA to listen to anyone other than industry executives. Like Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke did with public comments about the administration’s still vague plans to shrink national monuments, expect Pruitt to downplay opposition to undoing the Clean Power Plan as a concerted liberal effort, while touting industry input as genuine. Worst of all, the EPA is making false promises to justify nullifying needed pollution reduction rules.
Opinion: From rocky coast to mossy trails, Maine land trusts preserve our access to the outdoors
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, November 30, 2017 

For too long public debate on the land trust community has been plagued by speculation and misinformation. Nearly 95 percent of all land conserved by land trusts in Maine remains on the tax rolls. Hikers will find more than 1,260 miles of trails on land trust properties in Maine. Maine’s land trust lands are home to more than 275 miles of mountain bike trails, 345 miles of ATV trails, and 570 miles of snowmobile trails. Maine’s land trust properties contain more than 200 beaches, more than 60 saltwater and 140 freshwater boat launch sites, and more than 90 percent of all land conserved by Maine land trusts is open to hunting. ~ Tim Glidden, Maine Coast Heritage Trust, and Kate Dempsey, The Nature Conservancy of Maine
Rockland to Consider Ambitious Harbor Redevelopment Plan
Free Press - Thursday, November 30, 2017 

An engineer for the city and the company Yachting Solutions unveiled a draft plan to redevelop Rockland’s inner harbor at a meeting of the Rockland Harbor Management Commission last week. The proposal involves rebuilding the public landing pier, extending the harbor walk, building more transient boat slips, moving the harbor master’s office to Buoy Park, building a new city pier off of the middle pier at Buoy Park and rearranging and slightly expanding the floats in the harbor.
National monument likely to draw almost 15,000 visitors by the end of 2017
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, November 30, 2017 

Maine’s national monument will likely draw almost 15,000 visitors by the end of the year, more than four times the number of people who visited during its abbreviated first season. “It’s exactly what we were all hoping for,” Katahdin Area Chamber of Commerce President Jamie Brundrett. Monument foe and Maine Snowmobile Association president Bob Meyers called the turnout “pretty underwhelming.”
Column: Another target of Republican tax bill: donations to nonprofits
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, November 30, 2017 

The House and Senate bills hurtling through Congress like a runaway freight train would raise the standard deduction and, in the process, drastically reduce the number of taxpayers who itemize. No tax deduction means less incentive to donate, which in turn means less money for myriad organizations that strengthen our social fabric. Now let’s turn to the other edge of the tax-reform sword. Under the House bill, a 63-year-old prohibition against charitable nonprofits engaging in partisan politics would go up in smoke. Imagine a campaign pocketing massive cash infusions from, say, the Church of Freedom and Prosperity. ~ Bill Nemitz
Looking for that special gift? How about a vintage Baxter trail sign or 60-pound dinner bell?
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, November 29, 2017 

The Friends of Baxter State Park and Baxter State Park are conducting an online auction featuring 15 retired trail signs as well as the historic dinner bell from Kidney Pond Camps, and a 5-mph speed limit sign. Friends will donate 50 percent of auction proceeds to the park while the remaining 50 percent will support programs operated by the Friends of Baxter State Park. The auction will end at midnight Dec. 6.
South Portland joins the battle against winter moths in Maine
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, November 29, 2017 

South Portland city officials are developing a plan to fight destructive winter moth infestations that have begun to damage oaks, maples and other trees in neighborhoods next to Cape Elizabeth. They’re working with entomologists with the Maine Forest Service, who were here Wednesday to release parasitoid flies as part of a regional project aimed at killing the small tan moths now seen flying around street lamps and porch lights.
Maine objects, but regulators vote to keep shrimp fishery closed for 2018
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, November 29, 2017 

Regional fisheries managers voted Wednesday to keep Maine’s commercial shrimp fishery closed for another year amid assessments showing record-low numbers of shrimp in the Gulf of Maine. The northern shrimp section of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission opted to extend for a fifth year, through 2018, the moratorium on shrimp fishing in northern New England to allow depleted stocks to rebuild. Fishermen and Maine’s representatives on the shrimp panel had been pushing for a modest commercial fishery – ranging from 500 to 2,000 tons – but failed to convince their counterparts from Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
Nominee to run NOAA agrees that humans drive climate change
Washington Post - Wednesday, November 29, 2017 

In his Senate confirmation hearing Wednesday morning, Barry Myers, President Trump’s choice to run the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said he agrees humans are the primary driver of recent climate change. Myers’s unambiguous acceptance of the human role in climate change marks a clean break from other members of the Trump administration, including Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, and Trump himself – all of whom have questioned the extent of human contributions.
Land trust seeks to preserve Clark Island
Courier-Gazette - Wednesday, November 29, 2017 

Maine Coast Heritage Trust is working to assure permanent public access to the majority of 175-acre Clark Island in the town of St. George. MCHT has entered into an option agreement with the current landowners, which gives it until March of 2020 to raise the $4.8 million required to purchase and assure its long-term future as a public preserve. If successful, this effort will result in 85 percent of the island being permanently protected, with 120 acres secured for public access.
Wilton landowner receives 2018 Maine Tree Farmer of the Year
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, November 29, 2017 

Russell Black and his family at Black Acres in Wilton has been awarded the 2018 Maine Tree Farmer of the Year award. Black, his wife Susan Black and son James Black manage a 400-acre farm in Wilton. The family has been in the tree farming business since the early 1970s. Black is a member of the Farm Bureau, Maine Maple Producers, Maine Hog Growers, Maine Woodland Owners, Wilton Fish and Game, MOFGA, Director of Farmers Union, and Chairman of the legislative Task Force for Maple Syrup.
Maine to release moth-eating flies to control invasive pest
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, November 29, 2017 

Forestry officials say they will release parasitic flies in South Portland to try to help control an invasive species of moth. The Maine Forest Service says the flies will be released as part of an effort to get rid of winter moths.
Signs from Baxter State Park or Katahdin can now be yours
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, November 29, 2017 

Signs from Baxter State Park and Katahdin are being auctioned off this holiday season as a fundraiser to support Friends of Baxter State Park, a nonprofit organization that supports the park through funding, educational programming, research and volunteer work. The auction, which runs through Dec. 6, is entirely online. Friends of Baxter State Park will donate half the auction proceeds directly to Baxter State Park. The remaining proceeds will support Friends programs such as the Baxter Youth Conservation Corps.
Heritage Fund Grants Go To Great Outdoor Projects
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Wednesday, November 29, 2017 

The most recent grants awarded by Maine’s Outdoor Heritage Fund were wonderful reminders of how important this program is. Here are 4 of the 15 projects that won grants in this round of funding:
• Connecting Kids with Wildlife: $15,000 for The Wildlife Habitat Education Program
• Katahdin Tourism Partnership: $17,000 for placing interpretive signs along 5.2 miles of trails
• Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust: $10,600 for a water access trail for wormers, clammers, and a trail network on Woodward Cove property
• Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine: $8,500 to further build SAM’s Youth Conservation and Recreational Shooting Programs
Climate Scientists Watch Their Words, Hoping To Stave Off Funding Cuts
National Public Radio - Wednesday, November 29, 2017 

Scientists appear to be self-censoring by omitting the term "climate change" in public grant summaries. The change in language appears to be driven in part by the Trump administration's open hostility to the topic of climate change. President Trump pulled the U.S. out of the Paris climate accord, and the President's 2018 budget proposal singled out climate change research programs for elimination. The Environmental Protection Agency has been systematically removing references to climate change from its official website. Both the EPA's leader, Scott Pruitt, and Secretary of Energy Rick Perry have said they do not accept the scientific consensus that humans are causing the planet to get warmer. As a result, many scientists are caught between environmental advocates looking to recruit allies and right-wing activists who demonize researchers and denigrate their work.
Maine lobster industry braces for impact of Canada’s sweet EU deal
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, November 29, 2017 

Canada's new agreement with the European Union eliminates an 8% tariff on Canadian lobster sales in Europe, putting lobster suppliers in Maine and Massachusetts at a big disadvantage. It’s clear that there is a lot of money to be made. In 2016, the EU imported almost $300 million worth of lobsters from North America, with a little more than half of the imports coming from the U.S.
Opinion: Administration’s attempt to repeal Clean Power Plan needs to be stopped
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, November 29, 2017 

Warming ocean water, increasing acidity and rising sea levels will have a significant adverse effect on Maine’s culture and economy unless we act. All of us tied to the Gulf of Maine by location or employment have a vital stake in the EPA proceedings designed to do away with the Clean Power Plan. We need to stand up and speak out against the Trump administration’s attempt to eliminate it. ~ Tom Allen, Portland, Ocean Conservancy Board of Directors
Letter: There’s more to do to have clean water for all Mainers
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, November 29, 2017 

Earlier this year, the Legislature passed L.D. 454, which establishes a water fund to be used for outreach and education. The Legislature also passed L.D. 1263, which provides $500,000 to be used for treatment systems for low-income families. Yet more needs to be done. More funding is needed into the future to expand both treatment systems and testing for vulnerable families. Everyone fundamentally deserves safe drinking water, and we cannot stop until we see that realized in Maine. ~ Samantha Schildroth, Hollis
Letter: Don’t drill in Arctic refuge
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, November 29, 2017 

Is the degradation of America’s protected lands worth a small increase in our already abundant oil resources? Many in Congress who are allied to the oil industry think so, and they are willing to put legislation into the proposed tax bill that would allow drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. I am urging Sen. Susan Collins to reject this bill that would compromise the important tradition of American land conservation in exchange for a nominal increase in the oil reserves and a quick pay-out for corporate interests. ~ Patricia Turcotte, Lisbon Falls
Proposed trail along unused tracks would connect Portland, Falmouth, Cumberland, Yarmouth
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, November 28, 2017 

A 9-mile section of unused railroad between Portland and Yarmouth could become the region’s newest multi-use trail. A proposal envisions a trail for walking, cycling and running in the right of way alongside the tracks, instead of replacing the rail line. Regional planners are drafting a trail feasibility assessment. A public meeting about the proposal will be held at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 13 at Lunt Auditorium in Falmouth.
Drop in number of quahogs spurs Maine to ban winter harvesting in New Meadows
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, November 28, 2017 

The New Meadows Lakes along the Brunswick border will be closed to quahog harvesting for the first three months of 2018, and on Sundays the rest of the year, in an effort to reduce mortality associated with winter fishing. The Maine Department of Marine Resources instituted the rule, which prohibits fishing in New Meadows Lakes beginning at sunset on Dec. 31. It also prohibits harvesting quahogs on Sundays, a closure that will continue through April 2019. Recent surveys of the lakes by DMR staff have shown a decline in the quahog population.
Island Institute Holds Forum On Protecting Maine Coast From Effects Of Climate Change
Maine Public - Tuesday, November 28, 2017 

Scientists, municipal and state officials, consultants and concerned citizens gathered in Portland Tuesday to consider ways to protect against rising sea-levels and intense storms. Sponsored by the Rockland-based Island Institute, the daylong forum highlighted work up and down the coast documenting the dangers sea-level rise and other climate-change-driven events pose for vulnerable ecosystems and infrastructure.
Maine Group Decries Single Hearing On Proposal To Scrap Clean Power Plan
Maine Public - Tuesday, November 28, 2017 

Environmentalists, health groups and others are calling the Trump administration’s single public hearing on abolishment of the Clean Power Plan in West Virginia Tuesday “a sham.” The plan to require power plants to cut carbon emissions was a centerpiece of the Obama administration’s effort address climate change. But utilities don’t like it, and the coal industry says it will result in job losses. Lisa Pohlmann of the Natural Resources Council of Maine says the hearing’s location and limited public input make clear where the administration’s priorities are.
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