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
Blue whale seen off MDI
Mount Desert Islander - Wednesday, September 30, 2015 

A female blue whale seen on Bar Harbor Whale Watch tours last week was a first for the company in its 33-year history. Meanwhile, more sightings of the rare sperm whales seen last week added to the excitement.
E.O. Wilson explains why parks and nature are really good for your brain
Washington Post - Wednesday, September 30, 2015 

Wilson fully agrees with the modern research suggesting that it’s good for our health and well-being to spend time in natural environments — a finding that has large implications for the global trend towards urbanism, city planning, and much more. As for the science showing that this is good for you? “When people state the common belief that being in nature relaxes them, that it helps them recover from stress and tragedy, that it’s a healing process to be in nature, we now know there’s a solid basis for that,” Wilson says. “The research has been done and it is true that it’s good for the human mind to be able to live and experience in really natural situations.”
Greens' hopes for quick win on New England monument fade
E&E/Greenwire - Wednesday, September 30, 2015 

One month ago, environmental groups were strategizing over their latest bid: Get the Obama administration to create its first marine monument off New England. They had talks with fishing groups, lawmakers and think tanks. At the end of August, they exchanged emails over their progress -- and in one, the president of the Conservation Law Foundation warned everyone to keep quiet about the possibility of a breakthrough at the upcoming Our Ocean Conference in Chile. But Shelley, in an interview today, said the email was just hopeful speculation. With the conference coming up, environmental groups had hoped to convince the Obama administration that the New England marine monument was shovel-ready and ideal for a conference announcement.
Cod population on Georges Bank thinner than previously thought
Associated Press - Wednesday, September 30, 2015 

One of the two critical areas where New England fishermen search for cod may be in even worse shape than suspected. Fishing managers already knew that cod stocks on Georges Bank were thin, but new data from the Northeast Fisheries Science Center says research boats caught less of the fish this spring than in all but one spring dating back to 1968. Regulators and marine scientists have said overfishing hit the stock hard and warming oceans could be making it worse.
Brunswick, other coastal towns forming clam lobby
Forecaster - Wednesday, September 30, 2015 

After suffering several legislative defeats in Augusta, town officials charged with regulating marine resources are setting up a lobby to push their agenda through the Statehouse. Their goal is to end a power struggle between clam harvesters and marine worm harvesters over access to the town’s mud flats. Members of the Brunswick Marine Resources Committee, as well as the town’s harbor master, say that important clam conservation closures are being destroyed by worm harvesters, and they have no authority to stop it. Brunswick leaders called a meeting with elected representatives from 10 other coastal towns to discuss the issue.
GMRI gets $500,000 federal grant
Forecaster - Wednesday, September 30, 2015 

The Gulf of Maine Research Institute will be creating new digital learning opportunities about sea level rise after receiving a $500,000 grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The Institute will use the grant over the next three years to develop interactive learning platforms using NOAA data and tools to teach scientific concepts and principles behind predicted changes in sea level and storm frequency. The data and weather forecasts will be accessible to Maine communities and students.
Editorial: Key Allagash Wilderness Waterway parcel acquired
Maine Environmental News - Wednesday, September 30, 2015 

According to Don Hudson of the AWW Foundation, the Allagash Wilderness Waterway finally is complete. After 49 years, the last private inholding along the watercourse in Maine's famous wild river, the Lock Dam lot, has been acquired and given to the people of Maine. There are important lands within the AWW Mile Zone that should be acquired by the public, but at a time when most conservation deals in Maine are frozen, it is great news that the last piece of the puzzle in the Allagash Wilderness Waterway Restricted Zone has been brought into public ownership.
Watch out for turtles crossing roads on rainy autumn days
Aislinn Sarnacki Act Out Blog - Wednesday, September 30, 2015 

Maine is currently home to at least 39 species and subspecies of reptiles and amphibians. Of the seven turtle species that live in Maine (six native species and one exotic species), two species — the Blanding’s turtle and spotted turtle — are protected under Maine’s Endangered Species Act. Upon seeing the snapping turtle in the road this morning, my first instinct was to put on my hazard lights and get out of the car to hurry the turtle along. But when I approached the turtle, it froze. I got back into my car and waited. After just a couple minutes, the turtle poked its long head out of its shell, stretched its legs, lifted itself off the wet pavement and continued to cross the road, one slow step at a time.
Managers to Gauge Herring Fishing's Impact on Other Species
Associated Press - Wednesday, September 30, 2015 

Federal fishing managers are gathering information to assess the impact of the herring fishery on other species and the ecosystem. The New England Fishery Management Council is working on an amendment to the herring fishery that it says will account for the role of fishery within the ecosystem. It will also address the issue of localized depletion, which is what happens when fishing takes more fish than can be replaced locally or through migration. Atlantic herring are used as both bait and food. Federal figures say the fishery was valued at about $31.9 million in 2013.
Maine loggers unveil program to boost ranks
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, September 30, 2015 

In the midst of a bad week for Maine’s pulp and paper mills, logging industry leaders on Wednesday announced a new community college program aimed at attracting new workers for their businesses. The Professional Logging Contractors of Maine has joined forces with three Maine community colleges to create a Mechanized Logging Operations Training Program, which is expected to start in early 2016 with about 36 students, according to Dana Doran, the logging organization’s executive director. The announcement came the day after the owner of a pulp mill in Old Town announced it would close by the end of the year, and two days after a tissue mill in Lincoln filed for bankruptcy.
Brunswick selects ReVision Energy for solar energy program
Forecaster - Wednesday, September 30, 2015 

Brunswick has selected ReVision Energy of Portland as its partner for the Solarize Brunswick program. The Solarize program, which was launched this summer, is a way for residential and commercial customers to purchase solar energy equipment at a lower cost through a town-facilitated bulk purchase. The discount through the Solarize program makes buying a solar array “a little more attractive.” What really makes the purchase competitive is the 30 percent federal tax credit customers are eligible for to cover the upfront costs of buying solar equipment. That tax credit expires in December 2016.
Editorial: Organic farming: Maine’s small economic bright spot
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, September 30, 2015 

For many sectors of the Maine economy, the story is one of decline and stagnation. But for Maine’s organic farms, growth is the theme. Maine added the most new organic farms — 139 — of any state in the nation between 2008 and 2014, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s 2014 Organic Survey found. Maine had 517 organic farms last year. Maine’s organic farm growth shows there is no one answer to drawing people to Maine or to a specific industry. By working together to provide training, financing, land, market access and technical and moral support, Maine’s farm sector offers one model for success.
Becoming a certified Mainer
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Wednesday, September 30, 2015 

Good news. Maine comedian Gary Crocker and I are working on a Community College course that “people from away” can take to be certified as Mainers. I will let you know when it is available.
Moose hunting memories, meat part of a Maine tradition
John Holyoke Out There Blog - Wednesday, September 30, 2015 

Last week Lee Kantar, the moose biologist for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, sat down to talk about the state’s largest land mammal. Kantar said the animal’s iconic status in Maine contributes to its popularity, whether it’s being watched by photographers, pursued by hunters, or ogled at a tagging station. For those who annually apply to win an opportunity to hunt a moose, the excitement takes on another dimension when the hunt — often their first — finally takes place.
Lincoln mill to continue operating until bankruptcy auction
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, September 30, 2015 

The Lincoln Paper and Tissue mill will continue operating under a $2.3 million extension of its credit line and has lined up an initial bidder for a sale it hopes to close by the end of November, according to the mill’s CEO and court documents. A bankruptcy judge on Tuesday approved the extended credit line, which mill CEO Keith Van Scotter said means it’s business as usual for employees, customers and vendors, as the specialty tissue mill moves toward an auction. The mill filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Monday.
State of the Trout
Maine Environmental News - Wednesday, September 30, 2015 

According to a new report from Trout Unlimited, native trout historically occurred in 38 of the 50 United States stretching in the East from the southern tip of the Appalachian Mountains to Maine. These fish are prized for their beauty, ecological role in the broader ecosystem, spiritual and recreational value, and the economic stimulus that anglers bring to many communities. Unfortunately, neither the status of native trout nor their habitat is secure. Trout have declined as a result of land development, overfishing, water pollution, poor timber and livestock grazing practices and the introduction of non-native species. In Maine, Trout Unlimited has worked with a collation of conservation groups, state and federal agencies, tribes and utility companies to come to an agreement that led to the removal of three dams and restoration that will re-open over 1,200 miles of habitat.
Congressman Vows to Kill America’s Top Conservation Program
Climate Progress - Wednesday, September 30, 2015 

Barely 24 hours after Pope Francis appealed to U.S. lawmakers to help protect “our common home,” Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT) announced that he intends this week to kill the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), which is known as America’s best parks program. The move, which is expected to succeed, places dozens of U.S. national parks at heightened risk of commercial development. In addition to helping create national parks, LWCF has funded tens of thousands of local parks and outdoor recreation projects. While there appears to be support for reauthorizing LWCF, Bishop’s statements make it unlikely that the program will be renewed by Wednesday as part of an agreement to prevent a government shutdown.
Howland Dam Bypass Construction Progresses
Maine Environmental News - Wednesday, September 30, 2015 

According to the Penobscot River Restoration Trust, the Piscataquis River is now flowing through the bypass past the Howland Dam as initial testing of watering the Howland bypass channel took place this week. Although there remains work to be done, the bypass is well on the way to being fully operational for the spring migrations. The PRRT purchased the Howland Dam in 2010 along with the Great Works Dam (removed in 2012) and the Veazie Dam (removed in 2013). Construction of a fish bypass at the Howland Dam is a key element of the Penobscot River restoration, which aims to significantly improve access to nearly 1,000 miles of historic habitat for 11 species of native sea-run fish while maintaining or increasing energy generation on Maine's Penobscot River system.
Opinion: LePage’s plan to use timber resources to lower heating costs based on sound science
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, September 30, 2015 

Gov. Paul LePage continues to propose better utilization of Maine’s renewable timber resources to effectively lower the energy bills of low-income households. The LePage administration is able to achieve this goal by harvesting timber at a rate that is well under its annual growth rate, in a manner that is Forest Stewardship Council- and Sustainable Forestry Initiative-certified and based on sound science and proper forest management practices. The recent BDN editorial, “Reason, science and the law: Where LePage’s public forest plans fall short,” on Sept. 25 fails to share the facts of the governor’s comprehensive plan, which provides significant opportunity to lower energy costs through modern heating systems and increased efficiency. The Maine people own this land, and they should benefit from increased timber revenue. ~ Doug Denico, Maine State Forester
Award spotlights solar efforts
Keep Me Current - Wednesday, September 30, 2015 

Maine Beer Co., which is generating half its energy from solar power, and the town of Freeport, which has helped residents with the price of installing solar panels, both received awards Monday for their leadership and achievements in solar energy. The Maine Conservation Alliance presented Maine Beer Co. and the town with its Community Climate Champion Awards during a late-morning ceremony. Daniel Kleban, co-founder, represented Maine Beer Co., while Planner Donna Larson accepted the award for the town. State Rep. Sara Gideon, D-Freeport, who has championed solar energy in the Legislature, also was on hand. Beth Ahearn, program director of the Maine Conservation Alliance, made the presentations.
Awards Presented at Sierra Club Maine annual dinner
Sierra Club - Wednesday, September 30, 2015 

Award presented at the recent Sierra Club Maine annual dinner included: Business Leaders for the Environment: Daniel and David Kleban, owners Maine Beer Company; Public Service for the Environment: David Littell, former DEP Commissioner and PUC Commissioner; and Leadership from a Local Grassroots Group: Stephen Miller, Islesboro Islands Trust. Volunteers awards went to: Outstanding Chapter Volunteer: Tara Hollander; Chapter Volunteer of the Year: Miriam Rubin; and Excellence in Environmental Reporting: Jim Frick.
Opinion: We’re not giving them smallpox blankets, but we’re taking Penobscots’ river
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, September 30, 2015 

When I was growing up, manifest destiny was a concept we learned about with pride. The Americans — which meant white Europeans — bravely made their way across the continent, turning this wild land into a great country. We learned about agreements made between the people who lived here and the new people. On the other hand, we also were taught that white people came to this land and rounded up the native people and made them live on “reservations.” We learned about smallpox blankets killing many native people, and we knew the white Europeans did things that were unfair. Maybe we’re a little bit more informed. But, what I didn’t realize was that the people of the state of Maine are still trying to take territory away from the people whose families have lived here for more than 10,000 years. We should let our elected officials know that we non-Penobscots don’t want steal the river of the Penobscot people. ~ Heather Denkmire, Portland
Arundel aims to become seasonal destination with cottage project
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, September 30, 2015 

The development of 259 cottages at Cape Arundel Cottage Preserve is expected to bring in hundreds of part-time residents to the town, which is mostly rural and residential. Cape Arundel seeks to emulate the seasonal housing developments often seen in beach towns but despite its name, Cape Arundel isn’t on the shore. It sits atop a forested hill of about 200 acres, which is being sculpted into clusters of small homes of roughly 900 square feet with amenities like a clubhouse and pool. The ocean is at least 3 miles away as the crow flies.
This year, it’s an apple bonanza at Maine orchards
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, September 30, 2015 

Maine’s apple crop is so good this year that at some orchards the trees can’t even keep their branches off the ground. Experts and apple orchard owners say a combination of factors is likely behind this year’s bumper crop. Apple trees tend to be cyclical, so this year’s higher yield follows a lighter harvest last year. Good spring and summer weather also played a role, although the warm late-summer conditions have pushed back the ripening for some popular varieties by a week or two.
Editorial: Use heating oil savings to keep winter outside
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, September 30, 2015 

The statewide average price for heating oil is the lowest it’s been in more than 10 years, which should save Maine residents and businesses more than $300 million from just two years ago. When oil prices rise yet again – as they always do – Mainers will return to spending an outsized portion of their paychecks on staying warm, unless more is done to prepare their homes for cold weather. To make this time of low costs count, then, residents should take the long view. The savings should be used to weatherize homes and replace old heating systems, projects that pay out year after year for the life of a home, and help cut down on the use of fossil fuels as well.
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