May 24, 2018  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Thursday, May 24, 2018 

Thanks for visiting Maine Environmental News, a service of RESTORE: The North Woods. MEN is the most comprehensive online source available for links conservation and natural resource news and events in Maine (and a bit beyond). 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
Defend the Migratory Bird Treaty Act
Action Alert - Thursday, May 24, 2018 

The MBTA is a century-old law utilized by Republican and Democratic administrations to protect birds as they navigate the globe. The law has been consistently interpreted to hold individuals or organizations responsible if their actions harm migratory birds. Now, under the Trump administration, MBTA violations will only be issued if the individual or organization acted purposefully to harm or kill migratory birds — rendering the Act useless. ~ Eliza Donoghue, Maine Audubon
Growth in Land-Based Salmon Production, May 31
Event - Posted - Thursday, May 24, 2018 

Joseph Hankins, Director of The Conservation Fund’s Freshwater Institute will talk about why a national land conservation organization is involved in Recirculating Aquaculture Systems. At Schoodic Institute, Winter Harbor, May 31, 7 pm.
Slaughtering grizzly bears
Action Alert - Wednesday, May 23, 2018 

On May 23, Wyoming officials approved the first hunt in decades for grizzly bears that wander out of Yellowstone National Park. As many as 22 could be shot and killed this fall, including pregnant females. Yellowstone's grizzlies, famous around the world, are national treasures. Slaughtering them is like defacing the Statue of Liberty or filling in the Grand Canyon. ~ Center for Biological Diversity
Invasive fish, May 30
Event - Posted - Wednesday, May 23, 2018 

George Smith will discuss the impact invasive fish are having on Maine’s native fish. At Mount Vernon Community Center, May 30, 7 pm. Sponsored by 30 Mile Watershed Association.
Drowning with Others, May 30
Event - Posted - Wednesday, May 23, 2018 

John Anderson, Professor of Ecology/Natural History at College of the Atlantic, argues for developing a broad coalition to help conserve Maine’s seabird islands from sea level rise. At Wells Reserve at Lajudholm, May 30, 6 pm.
Join the fight for Maine's clean energy future
Action Alert - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

In Maine, we are seeing the damaging effects of climate change firsthand: tick borne illnesses like Lyme disease are on the rise, the warming Gulf of Maine threatens our marine economy, air pollution drives up asthma rates for kids and adults, and extreme weather impacts our outdoor recreation and farming industries. The technology to turn off dirty fossil fuels already exists. What is standing in the way of our clean energy future? Politicians who are bought and paid for by the oil and gas industry. ~ Maine Conservation Voters
Defining Wilderness: Defining Maine, May 29 - Jul 24
Event - Posted - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

The Maine State Library is offering a free reading and discussion group with copies of books available through the library. The series, Defining Wilderness: Defining Maine, runs for 5 sessions, May 29 - July 24, at the State Library in Augusta. Books to be discussed include "The Maine Woods" by Henry David Thoreau.
Bats, May 29
Event - Posted - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

Biologist Trevor Peterson will speak about local species of bats. At Topsham Public Library, May 29, 6 pm. Sponsored by Cathance River Education Alliance.
“Living within Limits” Teen Environmental Poster Contest
Announcement - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

The Teen Library Council of the Patten Library in Bath and Brunswick-based Manomet are sponsoring an environmental poster contest for middle and high school students. Posters should promote actions that help sustain the planet and reduce our environmental footprint. Deadline: June 1.
Sign-Up to Count Fish at Nequasset
Announcement - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

The annual alewife count at the Nequasset Fish Ladder in Woolwich is happening. Join the fun by signing up to count during any two 10 minute blocks within a two hour period.
Wilderness Under Siege, May 30
Event - Posted - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

Nationally known author and explorer George Wuerthner will discuss the challenges facing Wilderness, how people can better protect the Wildernesses in their backyards and around the country, and organizing against efforts to weaken or repeal the Wilderness Act. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, May 30, 6:30 pm.
Farmer Talent Show & Open Mic, May 27
Event - Posted - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

The first annual Farmer Talent Show & Open Mic will benefit the Market’s Harvest Bucks program, which increases access to fruit and vegetables for low-income households. At East Madison Grange, May 27, 5-8 pm.
Field Trip: Capt. Fitzgerald Preserve and Bay Bridge, May 27
Event - Posted - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

Explore two town-owned properties in Brunswick for breeding and migrant birds: Fitzgerald Preserve and Bay Bridge Wetland Park on the Androscoggin River. May 27, 6:30 – 11 am. Sponsored by Merrymeeting Audubon.
White Mountains Centennial exhibition, May 27
Event - Posted - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

The Museums of the Bethel Historical Society host a preview reception of the new displays, “White Mountain National Forest: A Centennial Exhibition” and “The White Mountains: Alps of New England.” At Robinson House, Bethel, May 27, 2-5 pm.
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News Items
Column: Open Season
Ellsworth American - Wednesday, May 31, 2017 

Daren Worcester has written a wonderfully authentic book that is anything but a recycle of warden stories that we have already seen on TV or read before. “Open Season” contains 20 real-life stories as told to Worcester by 12 different wardens, most of them retired. Published by Downeast Books, “Open Season” is a must read for anyone who likes warden stories, or for that matter, anyone curious about what it is exactly that game wardens do, especially when things don’t go as planned. ~ V. Paul Reynolds
Kennebec Messalonskee Trails walk organizers want to send a message
Morning Sentinel - Wednesday, May 31, 2017 

Kennebec Messalonskee Trails has been conducting community walks on first weekend in June to celebrate National Trails Day since 2000. But this year, the organization wanted the walk to send a message. Peter Garrett, past president of group and board members said the goal of the walk is to bring people together, to put aside their differences – whether they be political, religious or social – and talk to each other.
KELT awarded grant to help monitor bird habitat
Maine Environmental News - Wednesday, May 31, 2017 

The Kennebec Estuary Land Trust in Bath will use a $5,000 grant to expand bird monitoring programs in the region. The land trust, based in Bath, has earmarked grant funds to expand and strengthen a bird monitoring program on its preserves in the region.
Climate change, the Paris agreement and the U.S.: The facts
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, May 31, 2017 

A guide to what's in the Paris agreement, what's going on with global warming, and what might happen if the rest of the world keeps fighting man-made climate change with the U.S. on the sidelines.
Trump Administration Aims to Open More Arctic Areas for Oil
Bloomberg News - Wednesday, May 31, 2017 

U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has issued a directive aimed at spurring oil and natural gas development in Alaska. Zinke’s order compels a rewrite of a 2013 plan that limited oil and natural gas development in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska. President Donald Trump already has proposed raising $1.8 billion over the next decade by opening up parts of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for oil and gas development.
Mainers want signs for national monument
Maine Environmental News - Wednesday, May 31, 2017 

Gov. Paul LePage has blocked signs along Interstate 95 and Maine Routes 11, 157, and 159 directing visitors to the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. On May 20, the Bangor Daily News posted an online poll. As of May 31, at 4 p.m., the response was a resounding yes, the State should put up directional signs for the national monument. Out of 1,417 respondents, more than three-quarters (76.71%) said yes.
New England’s last big coal plant is shutting down
Associated Press - Wednesday, May 31, 2017 

New England’s largest – and one of its last – coal-fired power plants is shutting down permanently. The owner of the Brayton Point Power Station says it will cease operating Wednesday. The plant has generated electricity since the 1960s along Mount Hope Bay in Somerset, Massachusetts, near the Rhode Island border. It’s been cited by federal regulators as one of the region’s heaviest polluters.
Maine lawmakers Consider Copyrighting Public Meeting Audio
Associated Press - Wednesday, May 31, 2017 

A little-known group of legislators in Maine is fearful of political groups twisting statements that lawmakers and the public make in committee hearings. The lawmakers have spent the last year mulling what to do with mounting requests for audio recordings of such hearings. Republican Sen. Garrett Mason says it's not appropriate for members of the public to have their testimony recorded forever. A Legislative Council committee is currently considering adding a copyright or disclaimer to the recordings to keep them from being used out of context. But critics called the idea self-serving and unprecedented.
ExxonMobil fails to fend off shareholder rebellion over climate change
Washington Post - Wednesday, May 31, 2017 

ExxonMobil failed to fend off a shareholder rebellion over climate change, as investors with 62.3 percent of shares voted to instruct the oil giant to report on the impact of global measures designed to keep climate change to 2 degrees centigrade.
Tick-borne Powassan virus sickens two residents in midcoast Maine
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, May 31, 2017 

Two residents of midcoast Maine are recovering from the Powassan virus, a life-threatening but rare illness spread by a tick bite. The two infections bring Maine’s case count for Powassan to nine since 2000. The virus claimed the life of a Rockland-area artist in late 2013. Powassan is spread by the bite of an infected deer or woodchuck tick. In addition to the potentially debilitating symptoms, Powassan has been shown to spread from tick to human in under an hour.
Trump Has Multiple Escape Routes From Paris Climate Accord
National Public Radio - Wednesday, May 31, 2017 

President Trump is nearing a decision on whether to formally withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement — a landmark deal in which nearly every country volunteered to curb its greenhouse gas emissions in an effort to limit global warming. Various news outlets have reported that Trump has already made the decision to withdraw. But the president is doing his best to maintain suspense. For all its symbolic importance, the decision may have little practical effect on U.S. carbon emissions. Trump has already taken steps to reverse many of the Obama administration's rules designed to cut carbon pollution. Those moves make it unlikely the U.S. will meet its Paris commitment in any case. If Trump does decide to pull out, he has a number of options.
Meet the people telling Trump to ditch our last, best hope at avoiding climate catastrophe
Climate Progress - Wednesday, May 31, 2017 

President Donald Trump will reportedly soon announce he plans to exit the Paris climate agreement, humanity’s last, best hope of avoiding catastrophic climate change. Leaving the Paris climate deal could be Trump’s biggest blunder to date, from a historical and personal perspective. It would simultaneously weaken his presidency and ruin his brand. It would give him a Neville Chamberlain or Richard Nixon level of historical notoriety — all to destroy a global deal that requires minimal effort by us to fulfill.
Things to do in Acadia if you have knee problems?
Acadia On My Mind Blog - Wednesday, May 31, 2017 

The highlight of any trip to Bar Harbor has to be a tour of Acadia National Park. The 27-mile scenic Park Loop Road includes stops at the top of Cadillac Mountain, Sand Beach, Thunder Hole, Otter Point, Jordan Pond, Wild Gardens of Acadia, and other places to take in the views. You don’t need to do much hiking to enjoy these spots, as there are short easy walkways and plenty of roadside pullouts with explanatory wayside exhibits.
Opinion: Finding freedom in the mountains of Maine
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, May 31, 2017 

We need to remove the barriers so everyone can live in freedom. By “freedom,” I mean freedom from disease and oppression, freedom to experience nature as we know it (which requires acknowledging and ending global warming), freedom to live and love and learn without fear of state-sanctioned violence, among many other expansive and empowering freedoms. As I do what I can to work for not only equality, or even simply for j ustice, but for liberation, I’m fueled by the belief that everyone should get to feel as free as I do when I spend time in the mountains of Maine. ~ Heather Denkmire, Portland
Trump plans to pull U.S. out of Paris climate deal, White House official says
Associated Press - Wednesday, May 31, 2017 

President Trump is expected to pull the United States from a landmark global climate agreement, a White House official said Wednesday, though there could be “caveats in the language." Exiting the deal would be certain to anger allies that spent years negotiating the accord to reduce carbon emissions. Nearly 200 nations, including the U.S., agreed to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions in an effort to combat climate change. Withdrawing would leave the U.S. aligned only with Russia among the world’s industrialized economies in rejecting action to combat climate change. The U.S. is the world’s second largest emitter of carbon, following China. Beijing, however, has reaffirmed its commitment to meeting its targets under the Paris accord, canceling construction of about 100 coal-fired power plants and investing billions in massive wind and solar projects.
Trump pulling U.S. out of Paris climate deal
Reuters - Wednesday, May 31, 2017 

U.S. President Donald Trump has decided to withdraw from the Paris climate accord, Fox News and other news outlets reported Wednesday. Trump, who has previously called global warming a hoax, refused to endorse the landmark climate change accord at a summit of the G7 group of wealthy nations on Saturday. The decision could have sweeping implications for the deal, which relies heavily on the commitment of big polluter nations to reduce emissions of gases scientists blame for sea level rise, droughts and more frequent violent storms.
Boating season is here
Maine Government News - Wednesday, May 31, 2017 

The Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands has been working hard to prepare for the upcoming boating season. Maintenance crew members have been putting out floats and completing spring clean-up at boat launches, while crews from the Navigational Aids program are checking the condition and location of hundreds of navigational markers and bouys across the state. For more information on the location of public boat launches and navigation aids see the bureau's website.
Legislature kills lots of deer bills
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Wednesday, May 31, 2017 

Legislators had lots of ideas about how to improve deer hunting, from allowing baiting to letting kids shoot does anywhere anytime to protecting small bucks. But the bills didn’t get much support from the legislature’s Fish and Wildlife Committee and they were all killed by the House and Senate.
Letter: Juniper Ridge hearing
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, May 31, 2017 

On June 1, the Board of Environmental Protection will make its final decision on the expansion of the Juniper Ridge Landfill. This would be the first standalone expansion permit to be granted to this landfill. Until now, this already gigantic facility has been operated solely under the original permit that was given to the Old Town paper mill in 1993. After June 1, either the state will begin to get a grip on its waste problems or it will be open to filling this landfill to a 30-million cubic yard capacity over 30 years. The public is welcome to attend the meeting on June 1 in Augusta. ~ Paul Schroeder, Orono, and Ed Spencer, Old Town
Letter: Plenty of reasons to support solar
Morning Sentinel - Wednesday, May 31, 2017 

I am writing to ask our community to support L.D. 1373. There are so many reasons to support the development of solar energy: 1. It’s the future of energy globally and Maine should be on the cutting edge. 2. It could become an economic driver in Maine. 3. What is a better form of this than citizens having more control over their energy source? 4. L.D. 1373 has a fee to solar users to defray the cost of maintaining the power lines. ~ Emanuel Pariser, Waterville
With Trump, A Full-Scale Assault on Protections for U.S. Public Lands
Other - Tuesday, May 30, 2017 

Yale e360 - With a series of actions – including proposals to de-authorize recently created national monuments and open environmentally sensitive lands to fossil-fuel development – the Trump administration is moving to overturn long-standing U.S. policies on protecting the nation’s public lands.
Even as Wind Power Rises, It Falls Under a Political Cloud
New York Times - Tuesday, May 30, 2017 

Wind farms, with their rapid geographic spread and technological advances, are reshaping the electric system, defying skepticism that they are steady or reliable enough to displace conventional power plants. Now politics, not skepticism, may be wind power’s biggest barrier. Under new leadership with ties to conventional energy interests, the Energy Department is scrambling to complete an internal study in the next month that could lead to an upending of the policies that fostered the rapid spread of solar and wind.
Trump could deal fatal blow to climate deal
Washington Post - Tuesday, May 30, 2017 

Donald Trump wasn’t exaggerating when he said during his election campaign that the U.S. could “cancel” the Paris Accord on climate change. A decision due from the president this week on whether to pull the U.S. out of the deal involving almost 200 nations could have a domino effect on the participation of other countries in limiting fossil-fuel pollution, making it almost impossible and extremely expensive to stop catastrophic climate change. That’s the conclusion of researchers and scientists evaluating the impact of Trump on the health of the climate.
Appalachian Trail Hikers After 500 Miles: 'We Feel Great'
Maine Public - Tuesday, May 30, 2017 

Since April, Maine Public has been following the journey of two Mainers thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail — Danny Moody of Winthrop, and Dan Giguere of Manchester, Maine. Danny, trail name "Bubba," and Dan, trail name "Lieutenant," are hiking the trail with Danny’s dog Daisy, no trail name, from its origin in Georgia to its end, at Mount Katahdin. They’ve traveled about 500 miles, and are about a quarter of the way to Katahdin. Danny and Dan are expecting to reach Katahdin in mid-September. But, Danny says, “You get there when you get there.”
‘I Give the Governor Credit’ — LePage Lauded for Prisoner Commutations
Maine Public - Tuesday, May 30, 2017 

Gov. Paul LePage took to the airwaves of WVOM Tuesday morning to defend his decision to release 17 nonviolent male prisoners deemed to be at low risk of re-offending. LePage said he commuted their sentences as a way to help address the state’s growing labor shortage.
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