December 17, 2017  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Wednesday, December 13, 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
Maine Energy Planning Roadmap hearings, Dec 19, Dec 29, Jan 10
Event - Posted - Tuesday, December 12, 2017 

The Governor’s Energy Office is asking Mainers for input in developing an Energy Planning Roadmap. Public hearings:
• Dec. 19: University of Southern Maine, Portland
• Dec. 29: Energy, Utilities, & Technology Committee, Augusta
• Jan. 10: University of Maine, Presque Isle
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.
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News Items
Maine hunting seasons for fox, hare and squirrel end Saturday
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, February 28, 2015 

Maine’s annual hunting season for fox and special seasons for snowshoe hare and squirrel are ending for the year. The fox season ends on Saturday. That is also the last day of the year to hunt snowshoe hare on Vinalhaven Island and to hunt for gray squirrel via falconry. The regular gray squirrel season ended Dec. 31 while the regular snowshoe hare season goes through March 31. The hare and squirrel seasons have daily limits of four and possession limits of eight. The fox season does not have a bag or possession limit.
Letter: End fossil fuel subsidies
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, February 28, 2015 

Thank you for the excellent Feb. 19 editorial “Energy subsidies aren’t just for renewables, fossil fuels get the lion’s share.” The only thing the BDN didn’t tell readers is they have the power to do something about the exorbitant fossil fuel subsidies, direct and indirect, that our tax dollars are paying. They can urge Rep. Bruce Poliquin and Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King to sponsor legislation ending all energy subsidies and instead pay a carbon dividend to the public. ~ Judy Weiss, Brookline, MA
Letter: Maine at crossroads
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, February 28, 2015 

The Maine economy is at a crossroads. The old ways are gone. We can be bold and go for green economic growth, or we can fall back on old chestnuts such as an east-west highway, an effort that would set us back relative to the way the rest of the world is moving forward. The only thing in the way is ourselves. ~ Tod Cheney, Blue Hill
Letter: Stop mining rule change
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, February 28, 2015 

In 2012, LD 1853, a bill to weaken Maine’s metallic mineral mining rules, was approved by Maine Department of Environmental Protection and Board of Environmental Protection. Luckily, the Environmental and Natural Resources Committee rejected these weakened rules with LD 1772, directing the DEP to reformulate mining rules. LD 1772 was vetoed by Gov. Paul LePage, leaving the door open for another try. The same weak mining rules are back in the form of LD 146. Make your voice heard by sending comments to the Environmental and Natural Resources Committee. ~ Carole Boothroyd, Dover Foxcroft
Deer can survive cold, snow, but need a thaw
Mount Desert Islander - Friday, February 27, 2015 

Record snows and bitter cold temperatures pose serious survival challenges for the local deer population. But whether winter has a serious effect on the overall size of the deer herd depends in large part on another factor –spring – according to Maine state wildlife biologist Tom Schaeffer. “Winter’s a tough time, and even in a mild winter you expect some losses,” Schaeffer told the Islander this week. “But, if they break out of winter in either a normal or an early spring, they do surprisingly well.”
AG Mills orders wind power opposition group to replace leaders or disband
Bangor Daily News - Friday, February 27, 2015 

The statewide wind power opposition group Friends of Maine Mountains will have to shut down if it can’t restructure its five-member board of directors within four months, as part of a settlement with Maine’s attorney general. Chris O’Neil, public affairs director for the group, said the process of replacing board members — including himself — is under way and said the group will not shut down. In addition to replacing four of five members on its board of directors, the settlement requires the group to adopt stricter financial reporting requirements, specific conflict of interest provisions.
Price surge pushes Maine lobster catch value to all-time high
Bangor Daily News - Friday, February 27, 2015 

Maine’s lobster catch brought in an estimated $456.9 million to fishermen in 2014, an all-time high that was driven by the largest one-year increase in price per pound in more than 50 years. The Department of Marine Resources this week released preliminary catch figures, showing average prices paid to fishermen jumped more than 25 percent — to $3.69 per pound — for the 2014 season. The average statewide price in 2013 was $2.90.
SolarCity and Google partner on $750 million solar fund, largest of its kind
Other - Friday, February 27, 2015 

SolarCity and Google liked their partnership that funded residential solar installations so much they’re doing it again — only bigger. The two Silicon Valley companies are teaming up on a fund expected to finance $750 million in residential solar projects across 14 states and the District of Columbia, which the companies say would be the largest nest egg of its kind. Google will put in $300 million, which the search giant said was its largest renewable-energy investment yet, topping the $280 million invested in a similar SolarCity fund in 2011.
Cate Street, GNP owe Millinocket $1.49 million in taxes
Bangor Daily News - Friday, February 27, 2015 

The corporations that bought and sold the last paper machine in Millinocket owe $1.49 million in late tax payments to the town and are seeking a $380,000 tax break, officials said this week. Town Manager Peggy Daigle said the nonpayment makes it “hard for us to operate as a town because we anticipate getting $1.3 million. Anything short of that will hurt us and our way to operate. We have to curtail spending to make up for this.”
Letter: Mining is destructive
Bangor Daily News - Friday, February 27, 2015 

Metallic mining will create an environmental disaster that will pose a major threat to Maine’s clean water. Last year, the Legislature overwhelmly defeated the proposed mining rules. Why is the same mining bill being considered again? The North Woods of Maine are a national treasure and are far more valuable to the people of Maine than any minerals beneath the mountains. It is the duty of Maine’s legislators to preserve Maine’s environment for future generations. ~ David Wood, Hallowell
Senator Collins Questions Secretary Pritzker, Maine Delegation Responds to Coalition for Fair Paper Imports' Petition
Other - Thursday, February 26, 2015 

In a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing today, Senator Susan Collins questioned Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker regarding the ongoing, unfair subsidies received by the Port Hawkesbury paper mill in Canada. In response to Senator Collins’ questions, Secretary Pritzker reaffirmed her commitment to enforcing international trade obligations and committed to keeping the Maine delegation updated about their investigations into the matter.
Warden apprehends cat-eating Orono bobcat
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, February 26, 2015 

The hungry bobcat that became the subject of a trap and relocation effort was captured Thursday night and was being taken to a more suitable location by a game warden, a Maine State Police dispatcher confirmed. State wildlife officials had been trying to trap and relocate it to a more suitable location after it ate at least one neighborhood pet.
Millinocket hires new town manager
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, February 26, 2015 

The Town Council voted 5-1 on Thursday to hire Millinocket native John Davis as the new town manager. The 59-year-old Davis will leave his job as Frenchville’s town manager on March 31 to succeed retiring Town Manager Peggy Daigle on April 3. Daigle has held the job for almost two years. Millinocket’s economy has suffered for the last 20 years from the contraction of the state’s papermaking industry, a decline exacerbated by the closure of a Katahdin Avenue paper mill in 2008 and the East Millinocket mill last year. Davis served as Millinocket’s Town Council chairman from November 2004 until taking the Frenchville position. He was re-elected to the council in 2009.
Maine lobster fishermen hauled record catch in 2014
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, February 26, 2015 

Last year represented another year of historic landings and improved value for lobster caught by Maine fishermen, the Maine Department of Marine Resources says. Maine lobster fishermen landed over 120 million pounds with a record overall value of $456 million, according to preliminary landings data compiled by the department. The 123,676,100 pounds of lobster that were landed represented an improvement of 79 cents per pound over 2013 lobster prices, which were $2.90 per pound.
Medway leaders to endorse national park plan with letter to congressional delegates
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, February 26, 2015 

Town leaders will draft a letter to Maine’s congressional delegation endorsing the 150,000-acre North Woods national park and recreation area proposed by Lucas St. Clair. The Board of Selectmen voted 4-0 on Monday to draft the endorsement letter, saying that the park would be a tonic for the struggling Katahdin region economy. Selectman Rob Farrington was absent. “You have to do something for the area. It is not getting any businesses,” Selectman Darrell Lyons said Thursday. “Tourism is the only thing that will create jobs.”
Column: Dreaming of a white…birding fest?
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, February 26, 2015 

At the rate winter is going, this year’s Down East Spring Birding Festival may be conducted on snowshoes. Washington County has had so much snow, residents are leaving the house through the second-floor window. Nonetheless, festival season has already started, and the early bird gets the worm. Registration is open for Maine’s three premier festivals. ~ Bob Duchesne
Let’s make sure Maine’s citizen initiatives really come from Maine citizens
George Smith's Outdoor News Blog - Thursday, February 26, 2015 

Dave Trahan, executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, led the way in support of a bill he drafted. The SAM bill includes a number of new steps petition gatherers would have to take, including posting a $2000 bond for each circulator receiving over $2500 in compensation. The bill would also require circulators to register with the Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices and to disclose to the commission information regarding the person’s place of residence, employment history, compensation, number of signatures gathered in a month and petitions circulated and to wear an identification bade when collecting signatures.
Irving-owned companies at odds over Canada pipeline plan
Reuters - Thursday, February 26, 2015 

Two companies owned by the billionaire Irving family in eastern Canada appear at odds over some of the details of the country’s largest oil pipeline project, which one of them backs. Forestry company J.D. Irving filed a notice with Canadian regulators this week, saying it was “vitally concerned” about how TransCanada Corp’s proposed Alberta-to-New Brunswick pipeline would affect its operations. J.D. Irving is owned by the same family as Irving Oil, which is a key backer of the Energy East pipeline. The massive project is seen as Canada’s best hope of exporting its vast oil sands reserves to overseas markets. J.D. Irving is one of North America’s largest landholders, with more than 5 million acres in New Brunswick and Maine.
Opinion: We’re forcing the Penobscot Nation to fight for ‘home’
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, February 26, 2015 

The five-plus-century-old practice of state and federal encroachment and entitlement to the Penobscot River and all Native-reserved territory made me stop and contemplate, seriously, on what it must feel like to lose my home — and it feels like abject sadness. Ours is also a mobile society. We are immigrants. The Penobscot Nation understands “home” on a much deeper level. It is not just the living family that reflects home; home includes family who have crossed over. Home means rites and rituals, ceremony, stories, language, culture maintained and passed down. Home means the grounds and waters and trees and mountains where past, present and future intersect. ~ Dr. Cheryl Robertson, Orono
Ocean scientists report ‘unprecedented’ spike in sea level off Portland several years ago
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, February 26, 2015 

Sea levels off Portland rose by 5 inches during 2009 and 2010 as part of what researchers called an “unprecedented” two-year spike resulting from changes in ocean circulation that are tied to rising carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. They said extreme fluctuations in sea level are likely to occur more frequently, given the rate of climate change, which raises the threat of more frequent flooding, erosion and damage to homes and property along the coast.
Response from Dept. of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry to Article on Changes in Maine's Forestry Practices
Free Press - Thursday, February 26, 2015 

This paper's recent piece, "Maine's Top Forestry Expert Debunks the Claim That It's Good Forestry to Overcut for 20 Years," takes a chainsaw to the highly technical and complicated subject of how Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF) experts apply forest practices to promote the long-term health and vibrancy of Maine forests. Rather than present readers with balanced information to further a valuable public discussion, the writer ignored virtually all of the data, reports and perspective DACF professionals provided her regarding the 2014 harvest on Public Lands under the DACF's Annual Allowable Cut.
Officials trying to trap, relocate cat-eating Orono bobcat
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, February 26, 2015 

A hungry bobcat that’s eaten at least one neighborhood pet has drawn the attention of state wildlife officials, who are trying to trap and relocate it to a more suitable location. Maine Game Warden Jim Fahey said he heard reports of a bobcat in the area of North Main Avenue, Crosby Street and Park Street, not far from the back entrance to the University of Maine campus.
South Portland may preserve controversial lot as open space
Forecaster - Thursday, February 26, 2015 

City councilors and citizens took the first steps Monday night toward deciding what to do with the 2.3-acre parcel of city land at the corner of Main and Westbrook Streets. Most options they discussed, including creation of a conservation easement, eventually would preserve the property as open space.
NOAA, fishing industry find rare common ground on cod actions
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, February 26, 2015 

Gloucester Daily Times- The period for public comment ends Monday on the fishing sectors’ proposal to trade cod allocation for the elimination of some restrictive elements of the emergency cod measures NOAA Fisheries instituted last November in the Gulf of Maine. Barring comment that will sway NOAA to a different conclusion, a coalition of industry stakeholders and sector managers seem to have done something extraordinary: convince the federal fisheries management regulator to reconsider a policy deemed by fishermen to be overly restrictive, dangerous and economically unfair.
Spanish company that owns CMP buying another utility serving Northeast
Associated Press - Thursday, February 26, 2015 

Spain’s leading electricity and natural gas company, Iberdrola, will buy the northeastern U.S. utility UIL Holdings Corp. in a deal valued at about $3 billion, the companies said Thursday. The combined company will serve 3.1 million electric and natural gas customers in Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York.
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