May 23, 2017  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Monday, May 22, 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
Appalachian Odyssey, May 28
Event - Posted - Sunday, May 21, 2017 

Jeff Ryan will regale with tales about his 28-year odyssey hiking the Appalachian Trail. At Freeport Conservation Trust annual meeting, at the Freeport Community Center, May 28, 7 pm.
BDN Poll: Should the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument get its own signage?
Action Alert - Saturday, May 20, 2017 

Gov. Paul LePage is refusing to put signs along state roads showing the way to Maine’s national monument. Should the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument get its own signage?
Damariscotta Mills Fish Ladder Restoration Festival, May 27-28
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 20, 2017 

The towns of Nobleboro and Newcastle and the Nobleboro Historical Society present the 10th annual Damariscotta Mills Fish Ladder Restoration Festival on Memorial Day weekend, May 27-28. Witness the annual return of the alewives as they ascend the fish ladder to spawn in Damariscotta Lake.
Third Annual Freeport Birding Festival, May 26-28
Event - Posted - Friday, May 19, 2017 

Owl Prowl at Mast landing Sanctuary; birding at Florida Lake, Pettengill Farm, Wolfe’s Neck Farm, and Sayles Field; Casco Bay kayak tour; outing at Winslow Park, etc. May 26-28. Sponsored by L.L. Bean and Maine Audubon.
Saving Seabirds: New Lessons from Puffins, May 25
Event - Posted - Thursday, May 18, 2017 

60% of all seabirds have vanished in the last 60 years. Dr. Stephen Kress, Director of National Audubon’s Seabird Restoration Program, will talk about the restoration of Maine seabirds. At L.L. Bean, Freeport, May 25, 7-9 pm, Maine Audubon members $10, non-members $15.
Climate Change on the Maine Appalachian Trail, May 24
Event - Posted - Wednesday, May 17, 2017 

Simon Rucker, Executive Director of the Maine Appalachian Trail Land Trust, will present on Appalachian Trail conservation in Maine and how AT groups are factoring climate change into their work. At Portland Public Library, Rines Auditorium, May 24, 5:30-7 pm.
Little Big Day, May 23
Event - Posted - Tuesday, May 16, 2017 

Join naturalist Doug Hitchcox leads a van trip full birds. From Gilsland Farm, Falmouth, May 23, 7 am 3 pm, Maine Audubon members $50, non-members $60, space is limited.
Bradley Pond Farm , May 23
Event - Posted - Tuesday, May 16, 2017 

An easy walk through a conservation easement surrounding a privately-owned working farm. See migrating warblers, flycatchers, blackbirds, vireos, sparrows, and an occasional raptor. At Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust's Bradley Pond Farm Preserve, Topsham, May 23, 8-10 am.
Help wanted: Contract planner for Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument
Announcement - Tuesday, May 16, 2017 

The National Park Foundation, in partnership with the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, is seeking a 3-year community planner to assist with the development of a management plan for this new unit of the National Park Service. Deadline: May 26, 2017, 5 pm.
Spring Bird Walk at Fort Williams Park, May 22
Event - Posted - Monday, May 15, 2017 

Doug Hitchcox leads a spring bird walk, in collaboration with the Fort Williams Park Foundation, to look for migrants and local nesters like warblers and vireos around one of Maine’s most scenic vistas. At Portland Head Light, Cape Elizabeth, May 22, 7-9 am, Maine Audubon members $5, non-members $8.

Sewall Woods Birding & Bird Monitoring Workshop, May 20
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 13, 2017 

Join Kennebec Estuary land Trust and Maine Audubon for a morning practicing bird identification and bird monitoring methods at KELT’s demonstration forest at Sewall Woods Preserve in Bath, May 20, 7-10 am.
Pollinator Parade & Festival, May 20
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 13, 2017 

Family Festival, Pollinator Parade, and the release of "A Monarch Butterfly Story" book by Melissa Kim and Jada Fitch. At Gilsland Farm, Falmouth, May 20, 1 am – 1 pm, free but $5/car to park.
3D Experience: Sportsmen and the Maine Sporting Camp Tradition, May 20
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 13, 2017 

Bernard Fishman, Maine State Museum director, will present never-before-seen 3D images featuring the history of sportsmen and the sporting camp tradition in Maine. Supporting commentary from David Trahan, Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine. At Maine Elk’s Lodge, Augusta, May 20, 5-8:30 pm, $60.
Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument is Under Attack
Action Alert - Friday, May 12, 2017 

The Trump Administration is threatening to overturn Maine’s new National Monument. At the request of Governor Paul LePage, the Department of Interior (DOI) included Katahdin Woods & Waters on a list of 27 monuments to be “reviewed.” DOI Secretary Ryan Zinke could recommend that Maine’s National Monument be changed, or possibly even abolished. Tell the Trump Administration to keep its hands off Katahdin Woods & Waters. ~ Natural Resources Council of Maine
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News Items
Tardy an early favorite with GOP to replace Michaud
Other - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 

The prospect of U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, the Democrat representing Maine’s 2nd Congressional District, jumping into the 2014 gubernatorial race has a new crop of aspirants beginning to plant seeds of interest in replacing him. Here’s a look at a few of the names that are either rumored to be interested or have been identified by some Maine Republican insiders.
Column: 'Eel of Fortune,' coming to a stream near you
Working Waterfront - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 

Only in Maine could this be happening: a handful of commercial fishermen and women have struck it rich overnight (quite literally) from catching a baby fish that looks like a kid's transparent gummy worm, but which happens to be a gastronomic delicacy half way around the world to people these fishermen will never meet. This is exactly what has happened to roughly 400 men and women who happen to have the hottest commercial fishing license in Maine, which permits them to catch and sell glass eels, or elvers, the slender early juvenile stage of the American eel. ~ Philip Conkling
Letter: Stop the final run to destory the planet
Times Record - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 

Retired people have time to volunteer your vast and varied talents to combat the conglomerates’ final run to destroy our planet. Here are some critical pieces of legislation to support: Stop the East West Corridor (LDs 362, 870, 1304, 985, 1209, 1269); Stop Open Pit Mining (LD 1032); An Act To Ensure Landfill Capacity and Promote Recycling (LD 1363); An Act To Require the State To Divest Itself of Assets Invested in the Fossil Fuel Industry (LD 1461); An Act to Establish the Renewable Energy Feed in Tariff (LD 1085). So saddle up, seniors. Maine needs you in this final battle for Earth. ~ Jenny Gray, Wiscasset
Chewonki draws students outdoors
Times Record - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 

Wiscasset eighth-graders have been coming for ecology-based day programs at Chewonki for years, but only recently has it evolved into overnight experiences. A recent four-day camping and learning expedition was made possible by a grant from the Environmental Living and Learning for Maine Students Collaborative, whose long-term goal is to make residential environmental education accessible to students from all socioeconomic backgrounds in Maine.
Cianbro head to address Thomas College grads
Kennebec Journal - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 

Peter Vigue, the president of Pittsfield-based construction company Cianbro, has been chosen as the 2013 commencement speaker for Thomas College. Vigue has been the main champion of the $2 billion proposal for a 220-mile, east-west toll road from the Calais area on the New Brunswick border to the Coburn Grove area on the Quebec border. Thomas has no official position on the east-west highway.
Lawmakers Consider Bills That Could Kill East-West Highway Project
WABI-TV5 - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 

The debate over an East-West Highway is heating back up again in Augusta. This comes after six bills were presented to lawmakers today that could squash the plan before it begins. [video]
Lawmakers weigh options for lowering energy costs
Kennebec Journal - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 

Maine lawmakers Tuesday debated the best way for state government to offer Mainers some relief from high energy bills next winter. One approach maintains and expands energy-efficiency programs, steering millions of dollars to efforts that weatherize drafty homes and help businesses use less electricity. Another strategy would shift some of that efficiency money to cut home heating costs directly, and it could let Mainers decide whether to use a rebate to help buy a new heating system. Neither of these ideas, proposed in two bills that had public hearings on Tuesday, is destined to move ahead unchanged.
Opponents of Bowers Mountain wind site complain about effect on views
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 

A scenic impact expert testifying before the state’s top environmental agency on Tuesday said First Wind’s proposed wind project “comes as close as being unreasonably adverse” in its potential impact on Bowers Mountain as any he has seen. First Wind project director Neil Kiely said the project enjoyed support from several snowmobile, ATV, fishermen and Appalachian Trail groups, plus tourism and economic development groups. Surveys the company conducted showed that the project’s opponents vastly overstated the project’s impact on recreation, he said.
Maine businesses speak out against east-west highway plan
Associated Press - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 

More than 100 small Maine businesses are speaking out against the proposed east-west highway, saying the toll road would siphon away cross-state traffic that serves as their lifeblood. A list of 125 businesses that oppose the highway was presented Tuesday in advance of a legislative hearing on six bills to slow down or kill the project.
In the Northeast, Forests With Entirely Native Flora Are Not the Norm
ScienceDaily - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 

Two-thirds of all forest inventory plots in the Northeast and Midwestern United States contain at least one non-native plant species, a new U.S. Forest Service study found. The study across two dozen states from North Dakota to Maine can help land managers pinpoint areas on the landscape where invasive plants might take root.
Elver fishermen urge regulators not to tighten restrictions
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 

Elver fishermen urged regulators Tuesday not to increase restrictions on the state’s newly lucrative elver fishery. More than 100 people attended a public hearing held Tuesday afternoon by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. The hearing was held so the commission could gather public comment on potential changes to the commission’s multistate fishery management plan for American eels. Elvers are juvenile American eels that each spring swim from the Atlantic Ocean into fresh streams, rivers and lakes along the East Coast. The commission has made a finding that the eels’ population in American waters is depleted.
Column: Are beavers a nuisance animal?
Penobscot Bay Pilot - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 

Of all the wildlife I dealt with during my 33-year career, beavers generated more phone calls from angry citizens than any other animal. Mainers either admire beavers for their work ethic and ponds they create or despise them for occasionally flooding roads. It made little difference when I explained that the road should never have been built in a wetland in the first place. Of all the letters I’ve written or read regarding beavers, the correspondence below is a classic in the annals of wildlife biology. ~ Ron Joseph
Portland area funeral homes go green with biodegradable caskets, non-toxic embalming fluids
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 

New England Green Funerals began offering environmentally sustainable services in February. They include burial in caskets made from biodegradable materials, embalming without the use of toxic chemicals, and coordinating with cemeteries that deliberately minimize their impact on the land.
Maine Small Business Owners Criticize East-West Highway Plan
Maine Public Broadcasting Network - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 

Maine lawmakers heard public testimony this afternoon on bills that would slow down or put a stop to plans for an east-west highway across Maine. Four measures before the Legislature's Transportation Committee would prohibit the use of state money to study the feasibility of building the privately-funded tollway. A coalition of small business owners along the proposed route spoke out against the project before the afternoon hearing.
College students learning lessons from farm to table
WLBZ-TV2 - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 

Before it became a school with a focus on environmental professions, Unity College was a chicken hatchery known as Constable Farm. Now, chickens are making a comeback on campus, being bred to teach lessons and provide sustenance for the less fortunate.
NextEra to sell its oil-fired power plants in Maine
Reuters - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 

NextEra Energy Resources said Tuesday it will sell its oil-fired power plants in Maine, which have a generating capacity of 796 megawatts. The company decided to sell the plants to reduce its exposure to merchant pricing and recognized a charge of roughly $41 million, NextEra said in its first quarter earnings release. The Maine plants include the company’s stake in the 822-megawatt Wyman power plant on Cousins Island in Yarmouth and the 18-megawatt Cape Gas Turbine in South Portland. In March, NextEra sold 351 megawatts of hydropower assets in Maine and New Hampshire to a unit of Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners LP.
Maine Audubon seeks anglers for Brook Trout Survey Project
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 

Maine Audubon, Trout Unlimited and the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (IFW) are seeking volunteer anglers to survey remote ponds in western and northern Maine for brook trout this coming fishing season. Survey information collected by anglers will be used by the nonprofit organizations and IFW to help identify populations of brook trout to be eligible for conservation management practices.
Small business owners voice concerns over east west highway
WCSH-TV6 - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 

Small business owners expressed their concerns on Tuesday about the proposed east-west highway just hours before the transportation committee took on 6 bills regarding the project. The plan calls for a 220-mile highway connecting Calais to Coburn Gore. Other business owners worry the new highway would take traffic away from Routes like 201, 2, even Route 1; hurting businesses already thriving. [video]
Maine needs to catch up, take advantage of natural gas, officials say
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 

It’s cheap, it’s proven, it’s under U.S. soil and there’s a lot of it, but Maine has fallen well behind in the natural gas business, state and industry officials said Tuesday. “We are literally a baby in the natural gas businesses,” Jerry Livengood, general manager of Bangor Natural Gas, said during an Action Committee of 50 event held at Husson University. Nationally, about 60 percent of U.S. households are heated with natural gas, while oil still dominates the Maine heating market, according to Patrick Woodcock, director of Gov. Paul LePage’s energy office. Just 5 percent of Mainers use natural gas to heat their homes.
Maine DEP holds first public hearing for Bowers Mountain wind project
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 

Opponents and proponents have begun two days of public hearings before the state’s top environmental agency arguing the merits and problems with an industrial wind site proposed for Bowers Mountain. Project intervenors will have two full days of testimony and cross examination followed by night sessions for more public comment on Tuesday, April 30, and Wednesday, May 1. The Maine Department of Environmental Protection is giving the public a full opportunity to contribute to the process by which First Wind of Massachusetts’ project will be approved or denied, a DEP spokeswoman has said. The public hearing is DEP’s first for a proposed wind project.
East-west highway foes say project would hurt businesses, environment
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 

A proposed 220-mile east-highway across Maine will hurt local businesses and destroy wildlife habitat, opponents of the project said at a State House event Tuesday. Patrick McGowan, a former Route 2 business owner, Maine conservation commissioner, legislator and Democratic candidate for governor, said Tuesday that “people in this Capitol have rejected the notion of an east-west highway since 1937.” He called the proposal “the single largest destruction of fisheries and wildlife habitat in the history of this state by a private entity.”
Clinton farmer faces DEP penalties after constructing trout pond out of ‘interim stream’
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 

Richard Lary says he always wanted a trout pond on his Clinton farm. Lary eventually built that pond by damming what he says is a temporary stream that exists only during periods of high water. But all is not perfect on the shores of Lary’s quarter-acre pond. The farmer has also aggravated a neighbor and caught the attention of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. The neighbor is frustrated that the dam that Lary built causes water to back up and cover a farm road that allows access to wooded land beyond a pasture. The DEP says Lary filled a wetland, altered a stream and discharged soil into water — all against the law — and the agency wants the pond removed and Lary to face monetary penalties.
NOAA Fisheries announces catch limits for 2013-2014 Northeast groundfish stocks
Other - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 

Based largely on advice from the New England Fishery Management Council, NOAA Fisheries announced today final management measures for the Northeast groundfish fishery, including much lower quotas for some key groundfish stocks, and actions that will help fishermen better manage and adjust to these quotas.
Testimony: East West Highway
Natural Resources Council of Maine - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 

We oppose the current concept of a private, controlled-access highway from Calais to Coburn Gore. We have three recommendations: First, rescind the East-West corridor study authorized last year. Second, require that any documents related to an East-West corridor project that are viewed by state personnel be made available to the public and not kept confidential. Third, direct the Department of Transportation to remain focused on cost-effective upgrades to existing roadways and rail assets to enhance east-west transit, and do not provide any assistance—in terms of public funding or access to public property—for any proposed private highway. We encourage the Committee to develop a bill that addresses these issues, but in a way that does not give the private East-West corridor concept more credence than it deserves. ~ Lisa Pohlmann, NRCM Executive Director
Testimony: East-West Highway/Corridor a Bad Idea for Maine
Maine Environmental News - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 

Cianbro officials have been unwilling to reveal the precise route, but it appears that the proposed East-West Corridor would cross, come perilously close to, or be in the viewshed of more than five dozen significant conservation and recreation areas. The road and pipelines would impede the movement of wide-ranging animals, threaten wild brook trout waters, and jeopardize rivers where millions of dollars have been spent on Atlantic salmon restoration. Central and northern Maine are not “hollow” places on the map. They are places where people live, farm, and recreate. Some are pastoral; some are wild. They deserve better than to be to be filled with more industrial developments. The East-West Highway/Corridor is a bad idea. ~ Jym St. Pierre, RESTORE: The North Woods
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