December 15, 2017  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Wednesday, December 13, 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 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
Maine Energy Planning Roadmap hearings, Dec 19, Dec 29, Jan 10
Event - Posted - Tuesday, December 12, 2017 

The Governor’s Energy Office is asking Mainers for input in developing an Energy Planning Roadmap. Public hearings:
• Dec. 19: University of Southern Maine, Portland
• Dec. 29: Energy, Utilities, & Technology Committee, Augusta
• Jan. 10: University of Maine, Presque Isle
Help wanted: Visitor Center Assistant
Announcement - Monday, December 11, 2017 

Seasonal position, May 1 - October 31, 2018, representing Audubon’s Seabird Restoration Program at the Project Puffin Visitor Center in Rockland.
Free Skiing & Learn-to-Ski Clinics, Dec 16
Event - Posted - Saturday, December 9, 2017 

Waterville Parks & Rec, with support from Friends of Quarry Road, will provide free trail passes, free rentals, and free learn-to-ski clinics at Quarry Road Trails, December 16.
Meadow Brook/Hurds Pond Preserve Hike, Dec 16
Event - Posted - Saturday, December 9, 2017 

Cloe Chunn will lead a hike of Meadow Brook/Hurds Pond, a preserve of Coastal Mountains Land Trust. Meet at Swanville Transfer Station, December 16, 10 am. Sponsored by Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition.
Tax bill would slam the brakes on solar and wind energy
Action Alert - Friday, December 8, 2017 

The tax bill passed by the Senate last Friday includes an obscure provision that could pull the rug out from under solar and wind power. The House version also takes aim at renewable energy by rolling back key tax credits. These provisions "would have a devastating ... impact on wind and solar energy," according to renewable energy industry leaders. ~ Environment Maine
Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, Dec 14
Event - Posted - Thursday, December 7, 2017 

Tim Hudson, Superintendent, will take you through the landscape of Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument with pictures. At Belfast Free Library, December 14, 6:30 pm. Sponsored by Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition.
Whales of the Gulf of Maine: A Naturalist’s Report, Dec 14
Event - Posted - Thursday, December 7, 2017 

Zack Klyver, chief naturalist for the Bar Harbor Whale Watch Company and founder of Flukes whale watch ecotours, will present an engaging review of the 2017 whale watch season. At Schoodic Institute, Winter Harbor, December 14, 12 pm.
Olive oil tasting, Dec 13
Event - Posted - Wednesday, December 6, 2017 

FIORE Artisan Olive Oils & Vinegars will host an evening to support the Brunswick Topsham Land Trust at its tasting room in Brunswick, December 13, 5-7 pm.
The Arctic Needs Your Help
Action Alert - Tuesday, December 5, 2017 

Buried deep within the Senate tax bill is a provision to open the pristine Arctic Refuge, a national treasure, to oil and gas drilling, which will cause widespread pollution and harm to the wildlife and people who call this place home. Express your disappointment to Senator Susan Collins and urge her to protect our natural legacy by working to remove this damaging language before the tax bill becomes law. ~ Maine Conservation Voters
Birds from the Footbridge in Belfast, Dec 9
Event - Posted - Saturday, December 2, 2017 

Join Ron Harrell and Gary Gulezian to watch ducks, loons and other birds in the harbor. At the Belfast Footbridge, December 9, 8-10 am. Organized by Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition.
Win $1,000 L.L.Bean shopping spree and an outing with David Sibley
Announcement - Friday, December 1, 2017 

Wildlife Acoustics, makers of the Song Sleuth bird identifying app, launched the Sibley Sweepstakes on December 1. Ends March 1. No purchase necessary to enter.
Baxter State Park sign auction, ends Dec 6
Announcement - Thursday, November 30, 2017 

Auction of retired Baxter State Park signs, plus the historic dinner bell from Kidney Pond Camps. Friends Baxter State Park will donate half the proceeds to Baxter State Park, and half will support FBSP programs. Ends December 6.
Blazing Ahead: the Rivalry that Built the Appalachian Trail, Dec 7
Event - Posted - Thursday, November 30, 2017 

Jeffrey Ryan tells the story of the unlikely creation of the Appalachian Trail. At Bangor Public Library, December 7, 6 pm. Sponsored by Appalachian Mountain Club Maine Chapter.
Celebrate CREA and the Season, Dec 7
Event - Posted - Thursday, November 30, 2017 

Meet new Executive Director Wendy Van Damme, hear about new programs and plans, and contemplate the joy of winter activity at the Cathance River Education Alliance’s 235 acre nature preserve in Topsham. At Frontier Cafe, Brunswick, December 7, 4:30 to 6:30 pm, RSVP.
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News Items
Wild Safari
Maine. The Magazine - Monday, November 30, 2015 

We didn’t come to Greenville to shoot a gun, but we’re certainly on the hunt for wildlife. The aim of this trip is the adventure of seeing moose and other animals in their natural habitat— acting, well, naturally. That brings us to the misty morning of the “guided, private safari,” when Chris Young explains that the techniques are the same as traditional hunting. Everything we’ll do to get closer to the animals is what a hunterwith a gun would do, except we’ll simply observe.
Stakeholders vow to work together to lower costs for Maine's pulp and paper industry
Mainebiz - Monday, November 30, 2015 

It's been hard to find many bright spots for Maine's pulp and paper industry this year, given the steady drumbeat of headlines about mills shutting down or downsizing, worker layoffs, bankruptcy foreclosures and auctions and property tax abatement requests. But, as the industry looks to the future, at least three bright spots were indeed highlighted during the Maine Pulp & Paper Association's all-day summit on Nov. 17. Although stakeholders' views were mixed on what comes next, it was abundantly clear by the summit's closing that doing nothing is not an option.
CEI uses tax credit program to funnel capital into distressed local economies
Mainebiz - Monday, November 30, 2015 

As CEO of CEI Capital Management LLC, a subsidiary of the Brunswick-based nonprofit community development corporation Coastal Enterprises Inc., Charlie Spies says his single-minded focus is to drive capital into "very distressed" local economies, both in Maine and beyond. His primary tool is the New Markets Tax Credit, a program launched by the federal government in 2000 that's designed to stimulate investment and economic growth in low-income communities typically overlooked by conventional investors. Maine launched its own initiative in 2012, the New Markets Capital Investment program. Spies started out in forestry, worked in the woods awhile and then joined an environmental consulting company. He got his MBA by going to school a night, went to work for a bank and then became a natural resources lender for the Finance Authority of Maine, where he eventually became its executive director. He joined CEI Capital Management in 2006.
An endangered species of sturgeon may be making a comeback
Washington Post - Monday, November 30, 2015 

An endangered species of sturgeon has rediscovered habitat that could be a key to improving the fish’s reproduction, University of Maine scientists say. The shortnose sturgeon, listed as endangered for nearly 50 years, has returned to the portion of the Penobscot River that is beyond the former Veazie Dam, which was removed in 2013, the scientists said. The sturgeon had not been seen in the area for more than 100 years.
Poliquin bill would limit Obama’s power to designate national monuments
Portland Press Herald - Monday, November 30, 2015 

In the wake of a push by some for a new national park in the Katahdin region of Maine, U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin has introduced legislation that would require any national monument designation by President Obama to be approved first by the affected state’s governor and its legislature.
Madison Electric seeking bids on solar project
Morning Sentinel - Monday, November 30, 2015 

Madison Electric Works is the latest utility company to propose what would be the largest solar panel project in the state if it is built. The publicly owned utility company is seeking proposals for a 4-megawatt solar project to be located in the Madison Business Park. The company would buy power from the bid winner at a fixed price for between 20 and 30 years, eventually purchasing the solar facility. In addition to Madison, a group in Gouldsboro is working on developing solar projects that would exceed Bowdoin College’s 1.2-megawatt solar farm, which is the largest in the state. A plan for a 10- to 20-megawatt project in Winslow fell apart two weeks ago when the landowner and solar company couldn’t agree on contract terms.
World leaders tackle monumental problem: How to prevent Earth from overheating
Associated Press - Monday, November 30, 2015 

With dramatic vows to save future generations from an overheated planet, the largest gathering ever of world leaders began two weeks of talks Monday aimed at producing the most far-reaching pact yet to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and avert environmental havoc. Even before the gathering, more than 180 countries pledged to cut or curb their emissions, but scientific analyses show that much bigger reductions would be needed to limit man-made warming of the Earth to 3.8 degrees Fahrenheit over pre-industrial times, the internationally agreed-upon goal.
UNE says donated island will become ‘living laboratory’
Portland Press Herald - Monday, November 30, 2015 

The University of New England has begun using an island two miles off the coast of Saco as a “living laboratory” to study ocean life and the effects of climate change thanks to a Portland real estate developer who gave the family property to the school. “It’s kind of a marine biology dream,” Barry Costa-Pierce, chairman of the UNE marine sciences department, said of Ram Island. “We plan on being a steward of a place that’s really special.” Donated by Art Girard, the one-acre island roughly doubles in size at low tide, Costa-Pierce said. The island and its surrounding waters are home to migrating songbirds, lounging harbor seals, lots of dogfish sharks and various intertidal flora and fauna, he said. Girard, whose family bought it for $140,000 in 1999, said Monday that the gift to the local university was “a match made in heaven.”
LePage to be featured speaker at ALEC policy summit
Bangor Daily News - Monday, November 30, 2015 

Gov. Paul LePage will be a featured speaker this week at the American Legislative Exchange Council’s States and National Policy Summit in Arizona. The American Legislative Exchange Council, known by most as “ALEC,” has become increasingly influential as it has ramped up efforts to push a conservative national agenda in the states, including opposing efforts to fight climate change. The organization is funded heavily by the Koch brothers, who are among the nation’s top donors to conservative political campaigns and as such, regular targets for progressive groups and pundits.
Poliquin to submit bill limiting ability to designate national monuments
Bangor Daily News - Monday, November 30, 2015 

U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin said he will submit legislation to Congress Monday that would limit President Barack Obama’s ability to designate national monuments without first receiving approval from host governors and state legislatures. Poliquin said for the first time that he opposes granting national monument status to 87,500 acres east of Baxter State Park, a move that he believes would draw significant opposition from Katahdin region residents who oppose making a national park and recreation area of the same parcel.
Heat Pumps Catching On, Even Gov. LePage Loves Them
Maine Public Broadcasting Network - Monday, November 30, 2015 

Maine is home to lots of big, beautiful old houses, that are expensive to heat in the winter and to keep cool during the warmer months. It's a problem at the Blaine House in Augusta, the official of residence of the governors of Maine for nearly a century. But now the Blaine House has has joined a growing number of homes and businesses that are turning new technology to cut down on heating costs. "The heating system was atrocious, costing somewheres around $40,000 a year, I'm told to heat the place," says LePage. "So we have cut that down by seventy five percent." Some 11,000 units have installed in maine this past year. Mike Stoddard, Executive Director of the Efficiency Maine, says the agency is offering a $500 rebate on the cost of buying and installing a heat pump system and the program is very popular.
EPA Admin Tours Maine Farm As Backdrop For Drinking Water Rules Explanation
Maine Public Broadcasting Network - Monday, November 30, 2015 

The Environmental Protection Administration chief was in Maine this morning, trying to re-assure Maine's smaller farmers that a new, clean water rule won't affect them. But national farm groups are saying they don't buy it.
Panel won’t recommend LePage’s timber harvest plan
Bangor Daily News - Monday, November 30, 2015 

A legislative commission won’t recommend Gov. Paul LePage’s proposal to fund energy upgrades for low-income Mainers with revenue from increased timber harvesting on public land. It wasn’t among suggestions in a draft of a report to be presented to a legislative committee this month by a panel formed to study the state’s Public Reserved Lands Management Fund, making LePage’s plan unlikely to advance in 2016. The commission cited the opinion of Maine Attorney General Janet Mills, who has said that taking $5 million from the fund — which had a $7 million balance in July and contains money from sales of timber on state property — for that purpose may not hold up if challenged in court.
EPA chief meets with Maine farmers amid controversy over water quality rules
Portland Press Herald - Monday, November 30, 2015 

Gina McCarthy, the top administrator of the EPA, met with a small group of farmers and other interested parties gathered at Westbrook’s Smiling Hill Farm on Monday. McCarthy came to Maine at the invitation of U.S. Sen. Angus King less than a month after the Senate passed a resolution to scrap new rules intended to protect smaller streams, tributaries and wetlands because of concerns that the rules could subject farmers and developers to costly new permitting and regulations. While President Obama has vowed to veto the resolution, a federal court has suspended the rules as lawsuits against the EPA proceed.
Some 150 World Leaders Gather In Paris For U.N. Climate Conference
National Public Radio - Monday, November 30, 2015 

Nearly 150 world leaders are gathered near Paris for what is being billed as a last-chance summit to avoid catastrophic climate change. This is the biggest diplomatic meeting in France since 1948. During his opening speech, President Obama said that "no nation — large or small, wealthy or poor — is immune" to the effects of climate change.
Opinion: Obama’s power plan power grab
Washington Post - Monday, November 30, 2015 

It would obviously be irresponsible for an outgoing president to purport to sign the American people up to international commitments based on a domestic energy plan that is likely illegal, that half the states have sued to halt, that Congress has voted to reject and that his successor could do away with in a few months’ time. But that’s just what President Barack Obama is proposing to do at the United Nations climate conference in Paris this week. ~ Mitch McConnell (R), majority leader, U.S. Senate
Kyoto Treaty Fizzled, But Climate Talkers Insist Paris Is Different
National Public Radio - Monday, November 30, 2015 

Delegates from nearly 200 nations are in Paris to negotiate a new agreement to curb global warming. The first such meeting took place 18 years ago in Kyoto, Japan — a conference that produced the first international treaty aimed at slowing climate change. That attempt failed. Scientists say the planet is closer than ever to a climate catastrophe. So this time, the climatocracy has devised a radically new approach, requesting all countries to come up with voluntary limits on greenhouse gasses. The new plan also offers poorer countries cash to help offset their costs.
Leaders of warming Earth meet in Paris to cut emissions
Associated Press - Monday, November 30, 2015 

Addressing the twin threats of global warming and extremist violence, 151 world leaders kicked off two weeks of high-stakes climate talks outside Paris on Monday, saying that by striking an ambitious deal to cut emissions that are warming the planet they can show terrorists what countries can do when they stand together.
Editorial: Weyco-Plum Creek merger will cement arrogance
Other - Monday, November 30, 2015 

The Daily Astorian (WA) - Studying a map of Weyerhaeuser and Plum Creek’s timberland ownership is like trying to read tea leaves in an effort to discern the future of forest communities. Across large swaths of rural America, the proposed merger of these huge landowners will have very tangible consequences. Post-merger, the combined company will be the nation’s largest private landowner. Weyerhaeuser is already so big it effectively doesn’t care what anybody thinks. The long history of concentrating land ownership in fewer hands strongly suggests that such arrogance will be further cemented by this marriage between two giants of America’s corporate “landed gentry.” There will a relentless focus on the bottom line, forest access will be restricted, workers will be squeezed and state legislatures will comply with what Weyco wants.
Letter: Maine would benefit from reduction in carbon emissions
Kennebec Journal - Monday, November 30, 2015 

U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree’s Nov. 12 column, “Pingree: We can’t afford to be blindsided by ocean acidification,” concerning acidification’s current and future effect on the Gulf of Maine, was insightful and thought provoking. She called for more study of the problem. While I agree that more study of the impacts and of potential remedies is justified, there is more we can and should do. Ocean acidification is the direct result of carbon emissions from fossil fuel. A carbon fee and dividend program would send a clear economic message that other forms of energy are preferable and less damaging to the gulf, as well as to public health and the climate. ~ Andrews Tolman, Readfield
The Forks hopes a rebound in the deer population brings in the big bucks
Morning Sentinel - Sunday, November 29, 2015 

Call it luck. Or maybe it’s back-to-back mild winters a few years ago after several brutal ones. Maybe it’s the large, organized coyote kill. Or the local deer-feeding program. Or a change in forest practices. Maybe it’s all of the above, but one thing appears to be true: The deer herd in The Forks region, where the Kennebec River meets the Dead River in northern Somerset County, appears to be rebounding, locals say. The rebound is not only in deer numbers, but also in an increase of mature, big deer.
New initiative will allot billions to pursuing clean energy innovations
Associated Press - Sunday, November 29, 2015 

Government and business leaders are banking on clean energy technology to fight global warming, kicking off this week’s high-stakes climate change negotiations by pledging tens of billions of dollars for research and development. The “ambitious” multibillion-dollar effort to develop clean energies initially involves eight countries: France, the U.S., India, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Canada and Norway. These countries would pledge to double their spending on low or no-carbon energy.
‘No Planet B,’ marchers worldwide tell leaders before UN climate summit
Reuters - Sunday, November 29, 2015 

More than half a million people from Australia to Paraguay joined the biggest day of climate change activism in history Sunday, telling world leaders gathering for a summit in Paris there is “No Planet B” in the fight against global warming. An estimated 10,000 people joined arms to form a human chain through Paris along the 2-mile route of the banned march. About 683,000 people attended more than 2,000 rallies around the world. All sides say pledges made in Paris will be insufficient to limit a rise in global temperatures to 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit above pre-industrial levels, widely viewed as a threshold for dangerous changes in the planet’s climate system.
Worldwide climate rallies draw tens of thousands
Associated Press - Sunday, November 29, 2015 

Tens of thousands of people have taken part in rallies around the world on Sunday, calling on leaders to halt climate change on the eve of a major conference in Paris. Because of a state of emergency in France imposed after the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, many of the rallies are taking place outside the country.
Chatting About the Ethics of Wildlife Management
Mark W. Anderson's Stirring the Pot Blog - Sunday, November 29, 2015 

After my recent blog on the ethics of wildlife management, I got a call from Bob Duchesne. Bob is a birding tour guide, Legislator, and host of the weekly radio show Bob Duchesne’s Wild Maine. Bob suggested that we sit down and discuss some of the issues that my blog raised for him. I think we both had an enjoyable time and I am happy to share with you the show that ran on Saturday morning November 28. You can listen to our chat.
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