June 25, 2017  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Saturday, June 24, 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
Creating Backyard Habitat, Jul 1
Event - Posted - Saturday, June 24, 2017 

Hildy Ellis, district coordinator of Knox-Lincoln Soil and Water Conservation District, will talk on “Beyond the Birdfeeder, Creating Backyard Habitat.” At Rockport Opera House, July 6, 1 pm.
Save Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument
Action Alert - Thursday, June 22, 2017 

President Trump is considering eliminating the Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument in Maine or opening it to logging and mining as well as expanding areas for hunting, trapping, and off-road vehicles. Urge the Trump Administration and your U.S. congressional representatives to oppose any effort to rescind or weaken Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument. Comment deadline is July 10, 2017. ~ RESTORE: The North Woods
Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument is Under Attack
Action Alert - Thursday, June 22, 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
Stop Trump-LePage’s Monumental Betrayal
Action Alert - Thursday, June 22, 2017 

Let's tell Secretary Zinke that any attempt to revoke the Katahdin Woods and Waters and other National Monuments is an assault on our historical, cultural, and natural heritage, and that our public lands must be protected for generations to come. ~ Sierra Club
Speak up in defense of Maine’s new National Monument
Action Alert - Thursday, June 22, 2017 

Last summer’s creation of the Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument in northern Maine was a huge victory for conservation and wildlife in our state. Today, that designation is at risk. The Trump administration is conducting a review of national monument designations, including Katahdin Woods & Waters. The Department of Interior is accepting public comments until July 10. ~ Maine Audubon
Defend Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument
Action Alert - Thursday, June 22, 2017 

There was a multi-year process that incorporated public input to protect Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument, which garnered broad support in Maine and across the country. And yet the Trump administration issued an executive order that may alter the size of or even attempt to eliminate the national park site. ~ National Parks Conservation Association
Protect Our National Monuments
Action Alert - Thursday, June 22, 2017 

President Trump issued an executive order directing the Department of Interior to review – and potentially eliminate or shrink – protections of some of our nation’s most pristine national monuments, including Maine’s Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. This is a direct attack on our shared Maine history and heritage. ~ League of Conservation Voters
The Future of Maine's Fisheries: Threats Posed by Federal Budget Cuts, Jun 29
Event - Posted - Thursday, June 22, 2017 

Leaders from Maine’s marine and fisheries communities discuss how the Trump Administration’s proposed cuts to the EPA and NOAA would hurt Maine’s marine environment, economy, and research—and what you can do to help protect these important marine resources. At Univ of Southern Maine, Portland, Luther Bonney Building, Talbot Hall, June 29, 6 pm.
Family Friendly Hikes in Maine, Jun 29
Event - Posted - Thursday, June 22, 2017 

Bangor Daily News outdoor journalist Aislinn Sarnacki will present a slideshow and talk about her new book, "Family Friendly Hikes in Maine." At Blue Hill Public Library, June 29, 7 pm. Sponsored by Blue Hill Heritage Trust.
"Born to Rewild," Jun 29
Event - Posted - Thursday, June 22, 2017 

This documentary features wilderness ultratrekker John Davis who traveled 5,000 human-powered miles from Mexico to British Columbia through the Western Wildway, a mega wildlife corridor along the western spine of North America, during an epic conservation journey called TrekWest. Also, William Stolzenburg will read from his book "Heart Of A Lion." At Frontier, Brunswick, June 29, 7 pm, $5 in advance, $6 day of show.
Mountain Lions in Maine – Rewilding the Maine Woods, Jun 28
Event - Posted - Wednesday, June 21, 2017 

Panel discussion about the challenges involved in bringing large, apex predators, specifically the cougar (mountain lion, puma, panther) and other wildlife back to their native habitat in the Northeast corridor, and how human communities can adapt to co-exist with and even benefit from them. At DRA Round Top Farm, Damariscotta, June 28, 7 pm, $8.
Celebrate MITA's new home, Jun 28
Event - Posted - Wednesday, June 21, 2017 

Join Maine Island Trail Association staff, trustees and friends to help celebrate this exciting new chapter. At 100 Kensington St, 2nd Floor, Portland, June 28, 5:30-8:30 pm.
Renewable Energy Activity – Global to Regional, Jun 28
Event - Posted - Wednesday, June 21, 2017 

Lawrence Mott, Director Americas of SgurrEnergy, a global renewable engineering firm, will speak on the current status of large scale wind and solar projects, technology, and policy here and abroad. At Portland Public Library, Rines Auditorium, June 28, 5:30 pm.
Solar bill
Action Alert - Tuesday, June 20, 2017 

The Maine Senate has voted unanimously to support the majority report in support of LD 1504 the solar policy bill. The House is expected to vote Wednesday on LD 1504. The bill is a step toward overturning an anti-solar PUC rule and increasing the accessibility of community solar. The governor has been bullying lawmakers into supporting his anti-renewable ideology. Email your Senator and Representative now to urge them to support this solar bill. ~ NRCM & Maine Audubon
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News Items
Column: Outposts in the fight for the ecosystem
Working Waterfront - Wednesday, July 31, 2013 

I have spent some very pleasant days during the past month as the guest of a number of island field research stations and am again overwhelmed by the number of dedicated eyes and inquiring minds monitoring the birds, beasts, fish and crustaceans which inhabit the waters and islands of the coast of Maine and the intricate ecology on which we all depend. These creatures — and their human stewards — make our lives richer in every sense of the word. The granddaddy of these island field stations is the National Audubon Society's Hog Island facility at the northwest corner of Muscongus Bay, which has been in operation for over 75 years. ~ Philip Conkling
Historic Studies Generate New Findings about Northern Conifer Growth and Yield
Other - Wednesday, July 31, 2013 

New Northeastern States Research Cooperative - Research using archived and re-measurement data from the Penobscot Experimental Forest in Maine and other plots has shown that the greatest densities of shade-tolerant conifer seedlings grow under shelterwood treatments and other treatments that leave more overstory trees. Red spruce seedlings were by far the most browsed conifer species by hare and other rodents. Northern white-cedar was the second most browsed species because of high deer populations, followed by white pine, eastern hemlock, and least browsed balsam fir. As seedling and sapling height increased, browsing was less likely to occur. Accordingly, a gradual removal of overstory trees may help to establish and release slower growing conifers.
State officials get pushback for fencing plan at Fort Knox
WCSH-TV6 - Wednesday, July 31, 2013 

The Maine Department of [Agriculture,] Conservation [and Forestry] wants to put up new fencing around parts of historic Fort Knox. Officials say the project is focused on making the site more safer for tourists especially young children. Last summer a 7-year old-child was injured after he rolled off a 20-foot-wall at the fort. The department has been working with the army corps of engineers on designs for new fencing. Some of the barriers would replace existing fences at the fort's highest points while other barricades would be added on. At a public meeting Wednesday night many people objected to the new barriers, including members of the 'Friends of Fort Knox' who run the site.
Community responds to tree theft in public park
WCSH-TV6 - Wednesday, July 31, 2013 

A public park where thieves had stolen apple trees has received generous donations after the story aired last week. Bath's South End Park had 11 apple tree saplings stolen within days of the trees being planted last month. Bath Police are still investigating. According to city arborist, Tom Hoerth, Bath Sunrise Rotary Club called him the morning after the story aired saying they would cut a check for the cost of the trees. The same day, O'Donal's Nursery and Davey Tree donated new saplings to the park.
Federal EPA supports Maine's bid to change air pollution regulation
Sun Journal - Wednesday, July 31, 2013 

A proposal by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection seeking to exempt industry from a state air-pollution regulation has the support of the federal Environmental Protection Agency. And, despite the concerns being raised by environmental advocates, the change would not mean industries in Maine would be allowed to pollute more, said Dave Conroy, chief of the Air Programs Branch of the EPA's New England Region in Boston. "The EPA favors this change and has already proposed approval of this change and is asking Maine to go through the appropriate public-comment period," Conroy said. The change would allow industries seeking to develop or expand in Maine to be treated the same as those in other states that are meeting federal air-quality standards. Specifically, it would allow industries to be exempt from purchasing emission credits for nitrous oxides and volatile organic compounds, but it would not allow Maine to backslide.
Still no sign of missing Tennessee hiker, say Maine wardens
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, July 31, 2013 

The Maine Warden Service issued a call Wednesday evening for volunteer searchers affiliated with the Maine Association for Search and Rescue in its ongoing effort to locate a Tennessee hiker who hasn’t been seen since July 21. “At this time, the Maine Warden Service seeks searchers who are only affiliated with MASAR as we move forward. So far, the search for Largay has involved a warden service aircraft, Civil Air Patrol ground searchers, Mahoosuc SAR, Franklin County SAR, members of Acadia National Park SAR, and Maine Search and Rescue canine teams, according to MacDonald. The number of searchers is expected to expand this weekend as more volunteers become available.
Fight over reopening Brunswick boat launch pits swimmers against clammers
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, July 31, 2013 

Recreational users of Simpson’s Point may confront fishermen and clammers head-on next week, when Brunswick’s Marine Resources Committee is expected to discuss reopening the boat launch. The Rev. Frank Strasburger, who lives adjacent to the Middle Bay landing, said he and others will oppose town efforts to reopen Simpson’s Point, because it would clash with the area’s recreational use. Simpson’s Point was closed to motorized boats in 2008 as one of the conditions from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection for opening the larger Mere Point boat launch, almost 6 miles away. The restriction came after state and local officials determined boats were having a negative effect on eelgrass, a marine plant considered integral to the habitat. But a recent study by MER Assessment Corp. suggests motorized boats might have not been causing the eelgrass decline.
Maine's pulp, paper industry supports DEP proposal to relax anti-smog regulations
Kennebec Journal - Wednesday, July 31, 2013 

Maine’s pulp and paper industry is strongly supporting a LePage administration proposal to reduce some anti-smog regulations affecting new and newly refitted industrial plants. The Maine Pulp and Paper Association says its members strongly oppose the existing rules because they “will not address an environmental problem.” The Department of Environmental Protection is seeking federal approval to change Maine’s air pollution plan under the federal Clean Air Act — a move that critics say would undermine a 13-state agreement credited with achieving smog reductions in the Northeast. The DEP’s proposal would end a requirement that new or refitted plants must meet the most stringent emission standards, known as the “lowest achievable emission rate.” Also, the proposal would end a requirement that such plants have to compensate for their emissions by buying “offsets” on a regulated market.
Sold! First Parcels Auctioned For Future Offshore Wind Farms
National Public Radio - Wednesday, July 31, 2013 

A Rhode Island company was the highest bidder in the federal government's first-ever auction for the right to build an offshore wind farm. After 11 rounds, Deepwater Wind outbid two other companies for two patches of ocean off the coasts of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The winning bid was $3.8 million. The United States has no offshore wind farms, but industry experts say the fact that there was competition for these leases shows that despite all the setbacks, the offshore wind industry might soon take off. Another auction is scheduled for Sept. 4 for a possible wind project off the coast of Virginia, and more auctions are in the works for patches of ocean off the coasts of of Maryland, Massachusetts and New Jersey. "Responsibly harnessing the power of the wind blowing off our coasts is critical for cutting pollution and re-powering America with clean, renewable energy," said Courtney Abrams of Environment America.
Belgrade mother, Alliance for a Clean and Healthy Maine protest LePage’s BPA veto
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, July 31, 2013 

Belgrade mother Megan Rice said she was very upset when she found out that the baby food she was feeding her two infant daughters came in packaging that contained bisphenol A, commonly known as BPA. “I was irate,” she said after a Wednesday press conference held downtown to urge Gov. Paul LePage to ask the 10 biggest food and beverage manufacturers to disclose if their products arrive in Maine in packages made with BPA. “I was buying the expensive, organic baby food and to find it had toxic chemicals — it made me mad.” LePage on July 8 vetoed LD 1181, known as the Healthy Kids Bill, which passed unanimously through the House and Senate and would have required more stringent labeling of potentially harmful chemicals in food packaging.
Maine wardens in need of professionals experienced in search, rescue to help locate hiker
Morning Sentinel - Wednesday, July 31, 2013 

The Maine Warden Service has “taken all leads to this point as far as we can go” in the disappearance of Appalachian Trail hiker Geraldine Largay. While the search for the missing Tennessee woman continues, the Maine Warden Service needs more formally trained searchers because of the difficult terrain in the area, said Cpl. John MacDonald, spokesman for the service. The Warden Service continued to use volunteer searchers on Wednesday, but Wednesday night announced it is now seeking only searchers who are affiliated with the Maine Association of Search and Rescue.
Governor Responds: Balancing Economic Prosperity and Environmental Protection is Possible
Maine Government News - Wednesday, July 31, 2013 

Governor Paul R. LePage sent a letter today to Senate President Justin Alfond and House Speaker Mark Eves claiming Democrats have distributed inaccurate information regarding the LePage Administration's ongoing efforts to protect Maine's environment. LePage insisted that his administration is "pursuing regulatory reforms...similar to those undertaken by both my predecessors, Governors King and Baldacci." LePage said the rhetoric from Alfond and Eves implies that balancing economic prosperity and environmental protection is an "either/or" choice. "For me and my administration, it is ‘both/and'," said LePage. "We will continue to both protect our environment and grow our economy."
New England Fishing Industry Grapples with Changing Climate
Maine Public Broadcasting Network - Wednesday, July 31, 2013 

Scientists, fishermen, fisheries regulators and environmental advocates from across the nation are meeting in Portland this week to discuss how climate change is affecting New England's waters, and how best to manage those changes. The bottom line, says University of Maine Marine Science Professor Bob Steneck, is that new species are moving into the Gulf of Maine, species like black sea bass, red hake, and blue crab, which he says have a lot of economic value. "So how do we deal with that?...Maine has no plan to manage black sea bass," Steneck says. Which brings us to the question of how to manage the ocean under changing conditions. Steneck says, "Maybe we have to be thinking about working in small communities. The way Maine starts off with their town meetings, maybe we should be working on local ecosystems that can detect change and respond to it locally — it's a very different way of thinking about how we manage our fisheries moving forward."
Michaud, Pingree push for Lac-Megantic tanker redesign
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, July 31, 2013 

The state’s congressional leaders are pushing federal authorities to require rail shippers to correct design flaws in oil tankers that exploded in a Quebec town on July 6, killing 47 people, they said Wednesday. U.S. Reps. Mike Michaud and Chellie Pingree encouraged Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration chief Cynthia Quarterman during a meeting Wednesday to authorize improvements to the 40,000 flawed DOT-111 tanker cars in service now. “It is still too early in the investigation to determine exactly how this tragedy could have been prevented, [but] the design flaws of DOT-111 tank cars are well documented,” Michaud and Pingree said in a joint statement, calling the rulemaking process “frustratingly slow.”
Marine experts: Gulf of Maine has become a cod-forsaken place, endangering all fisheries
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, July 31, 2013 

Researchers converged Wednesday on Portland for a two-day conference hosted by Island Institute with academics, fishermen, government officials and lawmakers to discuss climate change and its effect on New England fisheries. The takeaway message from the conference’s initial presentations: As tempting as lobster is, fishermen must diversify their catches. In 2011 and 2012, the statewide lobster catch hit successive record highs. Those numbers carried some bad financial news, however, as the great supply pushed down prices and left lobstermen earning less per pound while still facing rising fuel and overhead costs. But Bob Steneck, UMaine marine sciences professor, pointed out an additional downside to the lobster abundance. “The question is: Is this a socio-economic time bomb?” posed Steneck, who delivered the morning keynote address at the conference. “If this lobster population declines or even catches a cold, how long until we lose our remaining fishing communities to wealthy people who want to live on the coast?”
Michaud, Pingree push for better tanker rail car safety
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, July 31, 2013 

Maine Reps. Mike Michaud and Chellie Pingree continued to press Wednesday for stronger safety standards for tanker rail cars during a meeting with the head of an agency that oversees the transportation of hazardous materials. The meeting with Cynthia Quarterman, the administrator of the Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, was the third meeting between the representatives and top federal transportation officials this month. Pingree and Michaud, both Democrats, requested the meetings soon after the derailment and explosion of a crude oil train killed 47 people in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, a town not far from Maine’s border. The pair had previously met with Deborah Hersman, chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, and Joseph Szabo, administration of the Federal Railroad Administration. The two Maine representatives discussed the “frustratingly slow” process of updating safety requirements for widely used rail tank cars such as those involved in the Quebec disaster.
‘Backtrack’ will appeal to outdoorsy readers
John Holyoke Out There Blog - Wednesday, July 31, 2013 

You might want to get your hands on V. Paul Reynolds’s latest book, “Backtrack” (Islandport Press). Reynolds, a Hampden outdoorsman, writer, publisher and radio host, explains in the book’s introduction that a backtrack “is, quite simply, going back where you came from. I picked ‘Backtrack’ as the title for this book because it seemed to fit my plan — to go back along the path of my life’s journey and revisit some vivid outdoor experiences.” Reynolds succeeds in his effort, sharing more than 50 short tales that document a life spent appreciating the outdoors.
Rabies confirmed in fox that attacked five people in South Portland
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, July 31, 2013 

A fox that attacked at least five people in South Portland Tuesday morning before police caught and killed it tested positive for rabies, Lt. Todd Bernard of the South Portland Police Department confirmed Wednesday. Bernard said police have concerns that the fox, which was aggressive toward humans during an active six-hour period Tuesday, may have infected other animals in the area during its rampage.
Expert: Maine fishermen must adapt quickly as climate changes
Kennebec Journal - Wednesday, July 31, 2013 

The Gulf of Maine is warming 10 times faster since 2004. Maine’s fishermen must be better informed, more communicative about conditions on the water and responsive to change to survive the constant shifts brought by a warming climate and water that is growing warmer and saltier. That was the message from about 100 marine biologists, fisheries managers, commercial fishermen and others who shared both scientific findings and anecdotal observations on the changes that are occurring in the Gulf of Maine. The fisheries participants gathered Wednesday in Portland at a two-day Island Institute symposium on climate change and its impact on fisheries in the Gulf of Maine.
Chewonki installs electric car charging station
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, July 31, 2013 

Chewonki has installed one of the first electric car charging stations in midcoast Maine. The unit, installed in July by sustainability officer Tom Twist, facilities manager Carob Arnold, and technician Jamie Kane, sits in a handsome new post-and-beam kiosk that was custom built for this purpose outside Chewonki’s Center for Environmental Education. The charger is powered by 100 percent green energy. The expected cost for filling up the battery bank of an electric car is about $1 for a 100-mile trip. Chewonki is making the charging station available to all staff and Chewonki guests free of charge.
Biologists tracking Maine seabirds in advance of offshore power
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, July 31, 2013 

Razorbills, puffins, terns, guillemots — thousands of seabirds flock to Maine islands each summer. They socialize, lay eggs, feed their chicks, and as the summer cools into autumn, they depart. Biologists have witnessed this natural cycle for decades as they’ve worked to restore seabird colonies off the east coast. Yet little is known about what happens when the birds leave the islands, in the hours that they forage for their chicks and during the winter months, when they migrate. This lack of information about seabird flight patterns has become a concern to biologists as plans for offshore wind energy development come closer to fruition. In response, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has recently begun using a combination of radio and satellite telemetry to trace seabird migration patterns and pinpoint crucial foraging and nesting areas.
Editorial: Solar project is good fit for Sanford landfill site
Journal Tribune - Wednesday, July 31, 2013 

A proposed solar array that would power both the Sanford municipal and Waban buildings is a very exciting possibility, and one that we hope is realized. In an effort to save on electricity costs, Waban Executive Director Neal Meltzer was looking into options to provide electricity to the organization’s buildings. Waban, which provides services for developmentally disabled children and adults. Meltzer came upon the idea of solar arrays. City officials stepped in with the idea of locating an array on the Rushton Street landfill site. The city and school district also want in on the project. The parties are pursuing a 5-megawatt solar array, which would be the largest solar farm in Maine. Now a feasibility study is under way.
Opinion: LePage’s one-stop permit shopping is nothing new
Maine Environmental News - Wednesday, July 31, 2013 

The LePage Administration announced today the launch of a new “Business Answers” online portal, so that “job creators have access to a one-stop repository of information about starting a business in Maine.” Reading the news release brought on an overpowering sense of déjà vu all over again. Every administration in Maine in the past four decades from Curtis to Longley to Brennan to McKernan to King to Baldacci has promoted a variation on one-stop permitting information to facilitate business. Even the first Gov. King, in 1820, used the office to push regulatory reform to promote business, especially his own. So, it is great that the LePage Administration is touting their efforts to streamline the permitting information process with online tools. But no one should think that LePage is the first politician in Maine to advocate making the rules of the game “easy to be understood.” William King is grinning from on high. ~ Jym St. Pierre
Bagaduce oyster lease earns DMR approval
Ellsworth American - Wednesday, July 31, 2013 

The Department of Marine Resources (DMR) has approved a three-year experimental lease to grow oysters on a 2.5-acre site off Bear Head in the Bagaduce River. Frank and Tonyia Peasley plan to raise as many as 1 million oysters on three sites using seed taken from their existing lease operation.
Another step taken by the LePage Administration to make Maine more business friendly
Maine Government News - Wednesday, July 31, 2013 

The days of searching for the various licenses and permits required for new and existing businesses are over. With the official launch today of the new “Business Answers” online portal, job creators have access to a one-stop repository of information about starting a business in Maine. The site is hosted by the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development and developed by the state’s content partner, InforME.
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