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
Key Parcel Added to Cathance River Conservation Effort
Other - Thursday, October 31, 2013 

For over 10 years, Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust has been working with many partners to conserve a recreation-conservation corridor for the public’s use along one of our region’s hidden gems — the Cathance River. The Cathance provides a very different riparian and recreational experience from the wide open Androscoggin River. It feels intimate and remote despite the relative proximity to busy neighborhoods and intersections, and includes everything from Class-4 rapids to gentle meanders along its 12 mile journey to Merrymeeting Bay. The Flannery property, a 29-acre parcel on the western shore of the Cathance River’s tidal section, adds over 900 feet of shore frontage to the Cathance Conservation corridor. The property contains hemlock forest, oak, northern hardwoods, and a small but rare hardwood seep. It is valued by US Fish and Wildlife Service and Maine Department of Inland Fisheries for providing tidal waterfowl and wading bird habitat and a large block of undeveloped forest habitat.
Scientists fear fungus poses renewed threat to white pine trees
Associated Press - Thursday, October 31, 2013 

A fungus targeting white pine forests has mutated and poses new threats more than a century after it first hit the United States, American and Canadian scientists said Thursday. A mutant form of white pine blister rust was discovered by Cornell University researcher Kerik Cox in 2011 in Connecticut. After two years of study, scientists now believe a large number of host plants, called ribes, previously thought to be immune to the fungus are susceptible. Ribes include valuable niche crops like black currants and gooseberries that are used in products from jam to vodka. Spores from infected ribes are carried by wind to the pines where the fungus invades the tree, eventually killing it.
Obama will use executive powers to conserve lands: Interior secretary
Reuters - Thursday, October 31, 2013 

President Barack Obama will use his executive powers to protect more mountains, rivers and forests from development if Congress does not act to preserve such wild spaces, the U.S. Interior Secretary said on Thursday. The 1906 Antiquities Act gives the president broad authority to put natural terrain and historic sites under federal protection. Lawmakers have proposed roughly two dozen sites for federal protection, but partisan divisions have helped stall many of those plans. Jewell said proposals that have backing in Congress — including planned designation of coastal regions of California and Maine as well as a swath of the Arizona desert — are among the first that could be considered.
Maine legislators try to end missed dam deadlines
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, October 31, 2013 

Lawmakers want to impose firmer oversight of the Department of Environmental Protection’s handling of dam relicensing after the state missed deadlines for three projects. House Democrats are advancing a bill that “would require DEP to have a plan to address dam relicensing deadlines and share it with legislative committees of jurisdiction,” said a statement they released Thursday. The measure was unanimously endorsed by the Legislative Council, so it can be introduced in the legislative session that starts in January. Under Commissioner Patricia Aho, the DEP has missed deadlines for three dam projects, irrevocably waiving the state’s authority to set terms for water levels in reservoirs and rivers that affect waterfront property owners, fish spawning and passage, and recreation for a generation.
Maine agrees to reduce lucrative elver landings
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, October 31, 2013 

Federal regulators have agreed to delay taking action on possible new management rules for the American eel fishery until next spring, which means Maine’s annual spring elver fishery will be allowed to proceed next March. In exchange for the delay, however, Maine regulators have promised the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission that it will develop a plan to reduce the 2014 statewide elver harvest by 25 to 40 percent. Elvers are juvenile American eels.
City to appeal after judge allows petition drive against Portland sale of Congress Square Plaza
Forecaster - Thursday, October 31, 2013 

A petition challenging the sale of most of Congress Square Plaza to hotel developers will be allowed to proceed, Cumberland County Superior Court Justice Joyce Wheeler ruled Thursday. Wheeler also refused to issue a stay pending appeal in the case, as sought by the city, which would have prevented petitioners from collecting signatures until the city appeals the ruling to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court. That allows the citizens group Friends of Congress Square Park to take advantage of the foot traffic at the polls on Tuesday, Election Day, in circulating petition forms. Danielle West-Chuhta, corporation counsel for Portland, Thursday afternoon said the city will appeal.
Judge allows petition drive against Portland sale of Congress Square lot to move forward
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, October 31, 2013 

A petition drive seeking to challenge the controversial sale of Portland’s Congress Square Park to hotel developers will be allowed to proceed, Cumberland County Superior Court Justice Joyce Wheeler ruled Thursday. Wheeler also refused to issue a stay pending appeal in the case, as sought by the city of Portland, which would have prevented petitioners from collecting signatures until the city appeals the ruling to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court. That allows the citizens group Friends of Congress Square Park to take advantage of the foot traffic at the polls on Tuesday, Election Day, in circulating petition forms.
Industry Reps Discuss the Future of Petroleum Use in Maine
 - Thursday, October 31, 2013 

Last week representatives from the oil and gas industry gathered in Portland for a forum on the economics, technology and infrastructure of Maine's petroleum market sponsored by the Maine Energy Marketers Association and the Environmental and Energy Technology Council of Maine (E2 Tech). Maine is currently the least densely populated state east of the Mississippi River, with over 95 percent of the passenger movement by road. With 68 percent of all homes heated with oil (the national average being just 6 percent), Maine is particularly vulnerable to the volatility of oil markets.
Deer projections good around the state
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, October 31, 2013 

Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife biologists are preparing reports that may help hunters in the weeks ahead. Here’s the most recent report.
Opinion: Good news in Maine points to a brighter future on several fronts
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, October 31, 2013 

We’ve had some terrific good news in Maine over the last few weeks. In the Katahdin region of the North Woods, a breakthrough is occurring in what has long been a region conflicted about its future and given little to cheer about. The Katahdin area, like most of western and northern Maine, has been hard hit by steady declines in jobs in the rural and forest economy and the devastating loss of paper mills in Millinocket. Divisions over how the next economy of the region will be built, and what it will include, have been deep and oftentimes angry. A new and important conversation has begun in the region, in which all the options are on the table, including ones that have been long resisted. One idea that seems to be gaining traction is a new national park and recreation area that would utilize the area’s abundant natural resources in new ways, and perhaps become a foundation block of the region’s future economy. ~ Alan Caron
Maine moose herd ‘robust’ while population falls elsewhere
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, October 30, 2013 

Maine’s moose population is healthy and not experiencing the same conditions that are causing problems with moose herds in other states, according to a state wildlife biologist. Lee Kantar, a wildlife biologist and moose specialist with the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, said Maine’s moose population is “healthy and robust” with plenty of habitat on commercial forestlands. There are about 70,000 moose in Maine, one of the highest densities in the lower 48 states, he said. Despite the trend in Maine, moose in other parts of the northern United States are dying in what some scientists say may be the start of climate shock to the world’s boreal forests.
As natural gas companies snatch up customers, oil providers offer ways to reduce bills
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, October 30, 2013 

With the winter freeze approaching, natural gas companies are scrambling to hook up their last new customers of 2013, while Maine oil and propane dealers are trying to give their users money-saving options in hopes they won’t convert.
Skowhegan’s Whitten Brook cleanup underway
Morning Sentinel - Wednesday, October 30, 2013 

By the time a Portland environmental group and the town’s economic development officials are done with the restoration of Whitten Brook watershed, the water will be clean enough to support a threatened brook trout population — right in the middle of town. Whitten Brook, which flows from Russell Road, through neighborhoods, under streets and back yards and finally into the Kennebec River at Elm Street, is one of only two or three urban wild brook trout streams in Maine.
Bill threatening national park in the Katahdin region rejected
Maine Environmental News - Wednesday, October 30, 2013 

The Maine Legislative Council today rejected a bill proposed for the 2014 regular session of the Maine Legislature by Rep. Steve Stanley (D-Medway), which could threaten the establishment of a new national park in northern Maine. The bill title suggests that it may be intended to stymie efforts by Elliotsville Plantation Inc. (EPI) to donate lands along the East Branch of the Penobscot River for a national park and national recreation area. Stanley’s proposed bill failed 4 to 6 to get approval by the Legislative Council on Wednesday. There will be an opportunity on November 21 for legislators to appeal rejected bills.
Maine elver fishery to face harvest cuts in 2014
Associated Press - Wednesday, October 30, 2013 

Maine’s lucrative glass eel fishery will be allowed to remain open next year as long as state officials devise a plan to cut its 2014 catch by at least 25 percent, regulators agreed Wednesday. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s eel management board voted to postpone passing new regulations that would go into effect in 2014, opting instead to vote on new rules next spring that would be effective in 2015. In the interim, state officials will work with eel fishermen and dealers in Maine to create a plan that results in next spring’s catch being 25 percent to 40 percent smaller than this year’s spring harvest.
Judge will rule on lawsuit over Portland’s Congress Square Park by noon Thursday
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, October 30, 2013 

A Cumberland County Superior Court justice said she will rule by midday Thursday whether she’ll allow the advancement of a petition effort seeking to, as the city of Portland contends, “nullify” the controversial sale of Congress Square Park to a private hotel developer. The City Council voted 6-3 on Sept. 16 to sell 9,500 square feet of the publicly owned park to RockBridge Capital LLC. The proposed sale touched off a firestorm of debate, with supporters saying the project would revitalize a long underused part of the city downtown. But opponents said the deal sets a bad precedent of selling public space to private entities and that the park was only underused because the city let it fall into disrepair.
Hike: Hogback Mountain, Montville
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, October 30, 2013 

Hogback Mountain rises 1,115 feet above sea level in Montville, Maine, just west of Frye Mountain (1,139 feet in elevation), the more popular of the two for hiking. The long ridgelines of these mountains, oriented from southwest to northeast, offer several outlooks for hikers. The trail that climbs both of these mountains is a part of the Georges Highland Path, 40 miles of connected, low-impact hiking trails in Midcoast Maine.
Chesterville voters to consider water protection ordinance
Sun Journal - Wednesday, October 30, 2013 

Chesterville residents will consider adopting an ordinance to protect water quality in the town in a referendum Tuesday, Nov. 5. The town’s Water Resources Protection Committee developed a proposed ordinance that sets guidelines on commercial water extraction and mineral extraction but does not prohibit them.
EXCLUSIVE: Irving spends more than $226,000 on lobbying to facilitate mining
Maine Environmental News - Wednesday, October 30, 2013 

J.D. Irving Ltd., Maine's largest landowner, has spent well over $200,000 on corporate lobbyists to push for changes to Maine's mining laws, according to state lobbyist disclosure records. Three lobbyists — Tom Doyle of the Pierce Atwood law firm, Jim Mitchell of the Mitchell Tardy lobbing firm, and Anthony Hourihan of Irving — collectively were paid or reimbursed $226,691 for working in behalf of Aroostook Timberlands LLC to successfully pass LD 1853 during Maine’s regular legislative session last year and to fend off an effort to amend that bill this year. Aroostook Timberlands is a subsidiary of J.D. Irving, which was set up to pursue development of a large-scale open-pit mine at Bald Mountain in Aroostook County.
Maine biologist: State’s moose herd is thriving, national population concerns complex
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, October 30, 2013 

A recent story in the Washington Post story said, “Moose in the northern United States are dying in what scientists say may be the start of climate shock to the world’s boreal forests.” The report goes on to mention parasitic worms that seem to be laying Minnesota moose low. In Wyoming, an artery-blocking worm is the culprit. In New Hampshire, tick infestations are suspected. Lee Kantar, the moose biologist for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, said, “The whole issue with moose populations across the lower 48 is complex, and you have to look at it state by state [to understand] what’s going on. Maine’s northern forests are essentially perfect for moose, thanks to the timber industry, according to Kantar.
Plantings protect South Portland park pond
Forecaster - Wednesday, October 30, 2013 

Greater Portland Christian School fourth-graders planted vegetation at Hinckley Park in South Portland on Wednesday morning as part of the Trout Brook watershed improvement program. Students, school staff and volunteers joined city Stormwater Program Coordinator Fred Dillon and Jon Dore of the South Portland Land Trust to plant vegetation at the lower end of the park pond to help stabilize the shore and reduce erosion into Kimball Brook, a Trout Brook tributary. Contractors earlier built a cement stairway to the pond and installed a split rail fence. The work project was funded with a $20,000 grant from Royal Bank of Canada’s Blue Water Project.
How Much Water Actually Goes Into Making A Bottle Of Water?
National Public Radio - Wednesday, October 30, 2013 

Environmental activists have long claimed that bottled water is wasteful. Usually, they point to the roughly 50 billion (mostly plastic) bottles we throw away every year. The International Bottled Water Association, ever sensitive to criticism that it's wasting precious resources, has commissioned its first ever study to figure out how much water goes into producing one liter. The results, released this month, show that for North American companies, it takes 1.39 liters to make one liter of water. Activists say the IBWA study highlights a problem throughout the beverage industry: Few companies take the whole water-use picture into account when calculating their water use.
Maine Audubon plans next-generation solar energy array in Falmouth
Forecaster - Wednesday, October 30, 2013 

Ted Koffman, the executive director of Maine Audubon, stood in the shadow of a 150-year-old apple tree and pointed toward the nonprofit group's headquarters – a passive-solar building constructed at Gilsland Farm in 1976. The stark, angular structure was state of the art at the time, but now it shows its age. "It's kind of like the Model-T of solar," Koffman said. "It works, but we can do better." Someday soon, perhaps, the pastoral setting will be home to the next generation of solar power. Maine Audubon plans to install eight solar panels, including half a dozen 18-foot-tall freestanding arrays. The panels will cost an estimated $225,000 and may produce 70 percent of the facility's energy.
North Yarmouth selectmen uphold limited hunting in town park
Forecaster - Wednesday, October 30, 2013 

The North Yarmouth Board of Selectmen voted 3-1 Tuesday to keep a limited hunting and trapping policy in Old Town House Park. The vote came despite a Recreation Commission recommendation that hunting be prohibited in the park.
Maine’s scallop season to open Dec. 2
Associated Press - Wednesday, October 30, 2013 

Maine fishermen are being given a 70-day scallop season along most of the coast. Regulators say the upcoming season will begin Dec. 2 and continue through late March from Kittery to Lubec. Fishermen in the scallop-rich waters of Cobscook Bay along the Canadian border in far eastern Maine have been given a 50-day season. Fishermen last year hauled in 2.4 million pounds, the best harvest in a decade. The catch was worth $3.2 million.
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