January 18, 2017  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Wednesday, January 18, 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
Searching Science – Tide Pools, Jan 25
Event - Posted - Wednesday, January 18, 2017 

Using this interactive traveling display, participants will dip their hands into the three zones of Maine’s rocky intertidal ecosystem and touch some of the ocean’s most magnificent species. At Patten Library, Bath, January 25, 4 pm.
Senators: Stop Scott Pruitt and Rex Tillerson
Action Alert - Tuesday, January 17, 2017 

Secretary of State nominee and former Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson is weakening because people are standing up and demanding Senators ask tough questions. Trump's EPA nominee Scott Pruitt is a fossil fuel industry puppet. He led a secret alliance with oil companies against climate action, gutted the agency responsible for oil oversight in Oklahoma and fully denies that climate change is real. A vote for Rex Tillerson or Scott Pruitt is a vote for climate denial. Maine's U.S. Senator Susan M. Collins hasn't made her position clear, and will be one of the crucial deciding votes. ~ 350.org
Association of Consulting Foresters, Jan 24
Event - Posted - Tuesday, January 17, 2017 

The Association of Consulting Foresters will tour the Advanced Structures and Composite Center at the Univertisty of Maine at Orono, January 24, 3 pm. Re-assemble at 5 pm at the Plumb Creek Room in Nutting Hall to meet with forestry students.
Climate of Change Films, Jan 23
Event - Posted - Sunday, January 15, 2017 

The Island Institute presents four short films about the future of fisheries and the changing ocean. This free screening will be followed by a Q&A with Island Institute marine scientist Susie Arnold and UMaine Ph.D. student Sam Belknap. At UMaine, Orono, January 23, 5 pm
Liberal Cup Biathlon, Jan 29
Event - Posted - Sunday, January 15, 2017 

At Hidden Valley Nature Center, Jefferson, January 29, 9 am - 2 pm, pre-register. Hosted by Midcoast Conservancy.
Portland Trails hike, Jan 21
Event - Posted - Saturday, January 14, 2017 

Hike the Fore River Sanctuary and a visit to Jewell Falls, Portland's only natural waterfall, then explore the network of Portland Trails behind the Evergreen Cemetery, January 21. Sponsored by Appalachian Mountain Club.
Cranberry Peak Snowshoe, Jan 21
Event - Posted - Saturday, January 14, 2017 

Snowshoe trek for experienced winter hikers with full winter gear to Cranberry Peak near Stratton, January 21. Sponsored by Appalachian Mountain Club.
L.L.Bean adventure lecture series, Jan-Mar
Event - Posted - Thursday, January 12, 2017 

L.L.Bean talks run every Friday evening, January through March, at the L.L.Bean Flagship store in Freeport, 7-8 pm. The line-up of guest speakers includes experienced mountaineers, endurance paddlers, long-distance hikers and adventure racers.
Climate of Change Films, Jan 19
Event - Posted - Thursday, January 12, 2017 

The Island Institute presents four short films about the future of fisheries and the changing ocean. This free screening will be followed by a Q&A with Island Institute marine scientist Susie Arnold and UMaine Ph.D. student Sam Belknap. At College of the Atlantic, Bar Harbor, January 19, 6:30 pm.
Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument – What Comes Next? Jan 17
Event - Posted - Tuesday, January 10, 2017 

Ryan Parker, Natural resources Council of Maine Environmental Policy Outreach Coordinator, will discuss Maine's new national monument. At Grace Episcopal Church, Bath, January 17, 12 pm. Sponsored by Bath Garden Club.
Canada's National Parks Free for 2017
Announcement - Monday, January 9, 2017 

Canada is celebrating its 150th Birthday by making all of its national parks completely free for the entire year of 2017. You can even have a free park pass delivered to you by Parks Canada.
Teen and Teacher Hog Island Scholarships
Announcement - Sunday, January 8, 2017 

Merrymeeting Audubon is offering summer scholarships for two programs at National Audubon’s Hog Island Camp in Bremen. One full scholarship is available for a high school student to attend “Coastal Maine Bird Studies for Teens,” a week-long program that begins June 18. A half scholarship is available for an area elementary or middle school teacher to attend “Sharing Nature: An Educator’s Week."
CREAtive walk, Jan 15
Event - Posted - Sunday, January 8, 2017 

Monthly creative walks with CREA Poet Laureate Gary Lawless and CREA Photographer Laureate James McCarthy. At Cathance River Education Alliance, Topsham, January 15, 9-11 am.
Hike Table Rock winter hike, Jan 14
Event - Posted - Saturday, January 7, 2017 

A 2.6-mile round trip snowshoe hike to Table Rock in Grafton Notch State Park, January 14. Sponsored by Appalachian Mountain Club.
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News Items
Turkeys are bigger problems than geese
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Wednesday, January 18, 2017 

The Big Game Steering Committee joins me in thinking we need to harvest a lot more turkeys. At the January 5 Steering Committee meeting, Don Kleiner of the Maine Professional Guides Associatoin said, “I worry that this (plan) is not enough – that the turkey population will continue to increase and be like the goose problem.”
Interior nominee: Warming no hoax
Associated Press - Tuesday, January 17, 2017 

Donald Trump’s choice to head the Interior Department on Tuesday rejected the president-elect’s claim that climate change is a hoax, saying it is indisputable that environmental changes are affecting the world’s temperature and human activity is a major reason. “I don’t believe it’s a hoax,” Rep. Ryan Zinke told the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee at his confirmation hearing. “The climate is changing; man is an influence,” the Montana Republican said. “I think where there’s debate is what that influence is and what can we do about it.” Zinke pledged to tackle an estimated $12 billion backlog in maintenance and repair at national parks.
LePage rebuffs environmental groups with his nominee to land board
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, January 17, 2017 

In a move described as “provocative” by an environmental representative, LePage has nominated former Republican Rep. Michael Timmons of Cumberland to serve on the Land for Maine’s Future board. Timmons lost his re-election bid in November after angering environmental groups and some constituents by voting in 2015 to sustain LePage’s veto of a bill that would have required the governor to sell voter-approved bonds for Land for Maine’s Future. Timmons’ district and hometown of Cumberland were banking on money from those bonds to complete a conservation deal to protect 215 acres around Knight’s Pond. Timmons also was pilloried by environmental groups last year for initially voting to override a LePage veto of a major solar energy policy bill but then skipping a subsequent override attempt, which failed by just two votes.
Hike: Lower Harbor Trail in Acadia National Park
Aislinn Sarnacki Act Out Blog - Tuesday, January 17, 2017 

Winding through a forest of lichens, mosses and evergreen trees, the Lower Harbor Trail is one of several hiking trails in the Schoodic Peninsula division of Acadia National Park. Measuring 1.1 miles long, the trail starts at the park’s main road — the Schoodic Loop Road — and travels downhill to the coast. From there, the trail follows the shore along an inlet by Sargents Point, north of Mosquito Harbor. Offshore, you’ll see Sargents Island (the largest) and Norris Island, and four smaller islands, all undeveloped.
Maine adds 73 moose calves to project
John Holyoke Out There Blog - Tuesday, January 17, 2017 

Back in 2014, crews began capturing and collaring Maine moose as part of a research project aimed at shedding more light on the state’s herd. Last week, another 73 moose calves were successfully added to that study group.
Spring bear hunt may be restored in Maine
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Tuesday, January 17, 2017 

There are lots of issues – and some controversial decisions – in the new management plans for deer, bear, moose, and turkeys. A Big Game Steering Committee is working actively with DIF&W’s Wildlife Division staff to complete draft plans which will then go to the public for comment. DIF&W’s Commissioner has final authority to approve the plans. Here’s a look at some of the issues with the new bear management plan discussed at the January 4 Steering Committee meeting.
Maine Environmental Priorities Coalition rolls out top legislative issues
Maine Environmental News - Tuesday, January 17, 2017 

On Tuesday, the Maine Environmental Priorities Coalition rolled out its top legislative issues for 2017:
• Ensure Safe Drinking Water for All Maine Families
• Protect Clean Water and Taxpayers from Mining Pollution
• Increase Energy Independence and Create Jobs with a Clear Solar Policy
• Maintain the High Quality of Maine’s Public Forests as a Resource for All Maine People
• Support Maine Farmers and Reduce Food Waste
Maine Pulp and Paper Association folds
Mainebiz - Tuesday, January 17, 2017 

The Maine Pulp and Paper Association has folded. Donna Cassese, chairwoman of the 50-year-old trade organization, said that members were informed Jan. 13 that the group was disbanding immediately. She said the association had taken steps to economize in response to closures of several pulp and paper companies in recent years, but those efforts proved insufficient to keep the organization going. Cassese highlighted the Maine Forest Economy Growth Initiative's nine-point strategy unveiled last week to attract capital investment and develop new opportunities that will sustain good-paying jobs in Maine's rural communities and begin to reverse the forest product industry's $1.3 billion decline in total economic impact since 2014, due largely to the closure of six mills and two biomass power generation plants in the past three years.
Opinion: Rooftop solar brings much needed competition into Maine’s electric grid
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, January 17, 2017 

Maine has an opportunity to evolve its old monopoly electric grid into a new competitive smart grid made up of an interactive, bidirectional network of energy producers and consumers. Utility-scale solar will not make Maine a genuine leader on energy. Distributed solar is as economical as utility-scale. It’s hard to imagine calling ourselves leaders by pushing solar and other new technologies backward into a century-old model of monopoly ownership rather than using the opportunity to create a truly competitive and open energy marketplace. ~ William Behrens, ReVision Energy
GOP targets landmark Endangered Species Act for big changes
Other - Tuesday, January 17, 2017 

Salon -In control of Congress and soon the White House, Republicans are readying plans to roll back the influence of the Endangered Species Act, one of the government’s most powerful conservation tools. Over the past eight years, GOP lawmakers sponsored dozens of measures aimed at curtailing the landmark law or putting species such as gray wolves and sage grouse out of its reach. Almost all were blocked by Democrats and the White House or lawsuits from environmentalists. Now, with the ascension of President-elect Donald Trump, Republicans see an opportunity to advance broad changes to a law they contend has been exploited by wildlife advocates to block economic development.
Trump pledge to save coal plants could benefit Maine wood pellet industry
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, January 17, 2017 

President-elect Donald Trump could make good on his promise to rescue America’s dying coal industry, with a little help from wood pellets, a Maine-based global expert on pellet fuels is suggesting. Burning a mix of 10 percent wood pellets in coal-fired power plants is common now in Europe. Doing that in the United States could save tens of thousands of mining jobs, create a similar number of new jobs in the forestry and pellet-making sectors, spur billions of dollars in investment and improve air quality, according to William Strauss, president of FutureMetrics in Bethel.
Letter: Save the beautiful places
Sun Journal - Tuesday, January 17, 2017 

What is Maine state Rep. John Martin thinking when he seeks to change the regulations for mining metal here in Maine? The laws are there to protect the land and lakes, keeping them clean. Mining metals will cause a lot of pollution and destroy the fishing in surrounding lakes. ~ Mary Ann Michaud
Sex, Fish, and Wilderness
Mark W. Anderson's Stirring the Pot Blog - Monday, January 16, 2017 

Conservation is an ethic firmly rooted in utilitarianism. It transforms nature from something intrinsically valuable into a commodity whose value is only expressed in dollar terms. Leaving part of the natural world alone, creating wilderness areas, is a very different approach. It asserts that nature does not need us to be valuable, even while we need it to survive. By creating wilderness and walking away we are expressing our fundamental role in the universe, our part of something larger. We do not need to hunt, fish, watch birds, hike, study wildlife, manage, or interact with the natural world in any way for it to be valuable. Nature existed before we arrived on the scene and will continue after we depart.
Trade group representing Maine pulp and paper industry folds
Portland Press Herald - Monday, January 16, 2017 

A group that has represented the interests of Maine’s pulp and paper industry for 50 years has folded. In its Jan. 13 newsletter, the Maine Pulp & Paper Association announced that it is disbanding, citing the lack of financial resources to keep it going. In 2013, the organization reported $161,500 in dues. In 2015, that number had shrunk to $17,000. The dwindling membership reflects seismic changes that have affected the industry. Demand for glossy publishing paper – the kind made at several Maine mills – has declined as people’s reading habits changed. Global competition has cut Maine mills’ market share in other product lines. Paper companies employed more than 5,700 in 2011, but lost more than 2,300 jobs in five years with the closing of mills in Bucksport, Old Town, East Millinocket, Lincoln and Madison.
Editorial: Scott Pruitt is too far outside the range of acceptable cabinet nominees
Bangor Daily News - Monday, January 16, 2017 

Some nominees are so unqualified or philosophically unfit that senators should use their constitutional powers to reject them. Scott Pruitt, President-elect Donald Trump’s pick to head the Environmental Protection Agency, is one of those nominees. As attorney general of Oklahoma, Pruitt has been openly hostile to the EPA’s mission of protecting human health by regulating dangerous pollutants, such as mercury and carbon dioxide, a major contributor to climate change. Someone who has repeatedly tried to prevent the EPA from doing its job surely should be disqualified from overseeing the agency.
Visits to national parks topple record again, and that’s good news-bad news
Portland Press Herald - Monday, January 16, 2017 

Visits to U.S. national parks set a record in 2016 for the third consecutive year. Acadia National Park in Bar Habor, Maine, among the Top 10 most-visited national parks, set a record of about 3.3 million visitors, not including Decembber visits.
Fishermen to help with fish surveys
Mainebiz - Monday, January 16, 2017 

The Northeast Fisheries Science Center in Woods Hole, Mass., plans to begin outfitting commercial fishing boats with surveying equipment to gather data on the type and number of groundfish in the Gulf of Maine. The new survey approach is slated to begin next year. The data will supplement the regular trawl surveys conducted by government scientists, and will be fed into the computational process used to set catch quotas. According to NEFSC's most recent assessment report in 2014, the Gulf of Maine Atlantic cod stock is overfished; spawning stock biomass levels were the lowest ever estimated; and fishing mortality was near all-time highs despite the fact that fishery catches were at the lowest levels in the time series. But fishermen said the stock is rebuilding.
Portland-area schools receive ecomaine recycling grants
Forecaster - Monday, January 16, 2017 

Ecomaine announced the winners of more than $16,000 in grants awarded to 12 Maine schools as part of the company’s 2017 school Recycling Grants Program. The nonprofit regional waste management organization invited schools in its 58 member communities to apply for grants up to $5,000 in value for waste reduction initiatives.
On eve of MLK Day, Obama calls for diversity in Acadia, other parks
Acadia On My Mind Blog - Monday, January 16, 2017 

On the eve of Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, in one of his last official acts, President Barack Obama directed the Department of the Interior and other top agencies to hire a more diverse workforce, and attract broader segments of the US population to federal public lands. Obama issued the edict in the form of a Presidential Memorandum, which is as binding as an Executive Order, according to legal specialists. The memo aims for greater diversity in Acadia and other national parks, national forests and other public lands and waters.
Trump's Interior Secretary Choice is a Fraud
Other - Monday, January 16, 2017 

According to John Horning, Executive Director of WildEarth Guardians, Donald Trump’s nominee to run the Interior Department, Congressman Ryan Zinke of Montana, is making a habit of defrauding the American people. First Congressman Zinke defrauded the military by using public money to pay for personal trips. Most recently he voted to allow our public lands to be given away scot-free to the fossil fuel industry and other developers. Even though Zinke’s says he supports public lands, he just voted to allow the House of Representatives to support public lands transfers without considering the cost to the American people.
Opinion: How Bangor and Portland are taking meaningful action against climate change
Bangor Daily News - Monday, January 16, 2017 

Climate change cannot be ignored. It is an environmental concern and an economic issue. Extreme weather and sea level rise fueled by climate change threaten businesses and homes in our communities, and it has a dramatic impact on outdoor tourism, which provides more than $5 billion in economic benefit to Maine every year. It is local governments that are on the front lines of recovery after extreme weather, straining local resources and costing taxpayers billions, and it is local governments that will take the leadership reigns to spur climate action. As mayor of Portland and as the former mayor in Bangor, we have made important steps forward on climate change and energy in 2016 and commit to do even more in 2017 and beyond. ~ Sean Faircloth, Bangor City Council, and Ethan Strimling, Portland mayor
Fisheries Steering Committee frustrated with process to date
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Monday, January 16, 2017 

Members of DIF&W’s Fisheries Steering Committee are frustrated with the lack of progress in preparation of new fisheries management plans. While the new big game management plans are nearing completion, the Fisheries Division staff has not even completed the initial assessments of each species, never mind the new 15-year management plans. From my point of view, the fisheries planning process is deeply flawed.
Fishermen and scientists are trying something new to resolve quota dispute
Bangor Daily News - Monday, January 16, 2017 

Seeking to end a long-running disagreement about exactly how many cod are left in the Gulf of Maine, federal scientists plan to outfit commercial fishermen with equipment used to establish ground fish quotas. The fishermen tend to argue that there are more cod than the government realizes; therefore, the number they may legally catch should be higher. Government scientists counter that fishermen’s natural tendency to fish where they are most likely to catch large numbers leads them to overestimate the cod pollution in the entire Gulf of Maine. By next year, the Northeast Fisheries Science Center hopes to begin outfitting commercial boats with surveying equipment and paying fishermen to pull in catches that will supplement the regular trawl surveys conducted by government scientists.
Column: Sharing enriches the American Dream
Forecaster - Monday, January 16, 2017 

When you look at the current crop of cabinet nominees, all you see are people who do not believe in the missions of the departments they will head. Environmental protection? Justice? National parks? Fair housing? Health and human services? National security? Fair labor practices? Economic regulation? Public education? All threatened by the prospect of being led by people who either have no experience or who have no commitment to these ideals. The very air we all breathe is threatened when the desires of the few are placed ahead of the needs of the many. ~ Edgar Allen Beem
Letter: Tillerson no climate advocate
Bangor Daily News - Monday, January 16, 2017 

Exxon Mobil knew about human induced climate change as far back as 1977. It not only kept that information secret, but embarked on a decades-long campaign to deny climate change. Exxon Mobil is currently being investigated for its role in misleading the public. It appears that Rex Tillerson, the former CEO of Exxon Mobil and President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of state has had little or no concern for the health and safety of our citizens and the environment on which we depend during his years at the helm of Exxon Mobil. Despite Tillerson’s claims to support a revenue neutral carbon fee, he has stated he will not advocate for one if he is secretary of state. We could hardly find a worse person to confront climate change on our behalf. ~ Karen Marysdaughter, Bangor
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