April 26, 2017  
Announcements               
Press releases, events, publications released, etc. from Maine environmental organizations and agencies. Submit content.

For Cod's Sake
Action Alert - Sunday, March 31, 2013 

The cod fishery, which for generations has supported a way of life in New England’s coastal communities, may be in complete collapse. Stand with us to tell NOAA that we need to protect cod, their habitat, and their refuges, so that they can recover to sustainable levels. ~ Conservation Law Foundation
Alpine Essay Contest
Announcement - Sunday, March 31, 2013 

The Waterman Fund announces its sixth annual essay contest with a new theme centered on the use of technology in the wild. As handheld devices such as mobile phones are used more in the woods, new questions arise about the bounds and ethics of wild places. Deadline is April 15.
Nontimber Forest Product Resources website
Announcement - Sunday, March 31, 2013 

The Institute for Culture and Ecology announces a new website to help small forestland owners develop commercial nontimber forest product resources on their land. The www.ntfpinfo.us website is free to use, requires no registration, and contains extensive public domain resources including hundreds of extension articles, thousands of photographs, dozens of videos, and a database with over 1,400 commercially harvested species in the U.S.
Finch Fest, Apr 6
Event - Posted - Sunday, March 31, 2013 

Birding trip to the Golden Road. Meet at Fields Pond Audubon Center, Holden, April 6, at 7:30 am. Sponsored by Penobscot Valley Chapter of Maine Audubon.
Northern Forest Canoe Trail Film Fest, Apr 5
Event - Posted - Friday, March 29, 2013 

At the Chewonki Foundation, Wiscasset, Apr 5, 7 pm.
Green Space Gathering, Apr 4
Event - Posted - Thursday, March 28, 2013 

Portland will host its fourth annual "Green Space Gathering," an effort aimed at introducing residents to city parks and educating them about upcoming projects. Keynote address by Eliza Townsend, former state legislator, Maine Conservation Voters executive director and Maine Conservation Commissioner. At Ocean Avenue Elementary School, April 4, 6:30-8 pm.
Trekking in the Gaspé, Apr 4
Event - Posted - Thursday, March 28, 2013 

In 2012, Carey Kish and Fran Leyman embarked on an 8-day, 70-mile trek on the International Appalachian Trail through Gaspésie National Park in Quebec. The IAT traverses the length of the park on its way from Baxter State Park to Newfoundland. At Maine Outdoor Adventure Club, Portland, April 4, 7 pm.
LePage to speak on forestry, Apr 4
Event - Posted - Thursday, March 28, 2013 

Gov. Paul LePage, just back from vacation in Jamaica, will address issues of interest to Maine’s forestry community. At Maine Industrial Forestry Forum, Jeff’s Catering, Brewer, April 4, 6:15 pm. Pre-registration required.
Marine Mammals in the Gulf of Maine, Apr 4
Event - Posted - Thursday, March 28, 2013 

Sean Todd of Allied Whale and College of the Atlantic will talk about marine mammals in the Gulf of Maine. At Jesup Memorial Library, Bar Harbor, April 4, 7 pm.
Maine’s Black Bear Monitoring Project, Apr 4
Event - Posted - Thursday, March 28, 2013 

Speaker: Randy Cross, Bear Biologist, Maine Dept of Inland Fish & Wildlife. At Ladd Recreation Center, Wayne, Apr 4, 7 pm. Sponsored by Kennebec Land Trust.
Open-Pit Mining in Maine, Apr 4
Event - Posted - Thursday, March 28, 2013 

NRCM Staff Scientist Nick Bennett and Jeff Reardon of Trout Unlimited will discuss the major issues associated with open-pit mining, focusing on lessons learned from other states and describing what's ahead in Maine. At Fields Pond Audubon Center, Holden, April 4, 7-8:30 pm. Sponsored Appalachian Mountain Club Maine Chapter.
Save Maine's Mountains from Wind Power Development
Action Alert - Tuesday, March 26, 2013 

The wind industry has launched an all out effort to get as many applications in the works as possible this year while they still have the federal Production Tax Credit subsidy. Only your action, in concert with hundreds of others can stop this. If we fail, we could see double or more the number of current industrial wind sites destroy many more miles of Maine in the next 12 months. ~ Brad Blake, Citizens Task Force on Wind Power
Protect kids from pesticides, Apr 2
Action Alert - Friday, March 22, 2013 

On April 2, the Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee will hold a public hearing on LD 961, An Act to Ensure Safe School Grounds. This bill restricts the use of pesticides on school grounds and sets stronger guidelines for spraying on athletic fields. At Cross Building, Augusta, April 2, 1 pm. ~ Tracie Konopinski, Toxics Action Center
Pharmaceutical Compounds and Ecosystem Function: An Emerging Research Challenge for Aquatic Ecologists, Apr 2
Event - Posted - Friday, March 22, 2013 

The number of anthropogenic compounds that occur in aquatic ecosystems today is in the thousands, many at trace concentrations. Emma Rosi-Marshall conducts research on factors that control and influence ecosystem function in human-dominated ecosystems. At Colby College, Waterville, Olin Science Center, April 2, 7 pm.
East-West Highway Corridor, Apr 2
Event - Posted - Friday, March 22, 2013 

At the Penobscot County Commissioners meeting on April 2, 9 am to 12 pm, Darryl Brown and Peter Vigue of Cianbro Corp. are expected to give a promotional presentation in favor of the proposed East-West Highway Corridor across Maine.
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News Items
Interior secretary to review certain national monuments created since 1996
Washington Post - Wednesday, April 26, 2017 

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said Tuesday evening that President Trump has authorized him to review any national monument created since Jan. 1, 1996, that spans at least 100,000 acres “to make sure the people have a voice” in which lands receive the highest level of federal protection. Under those parameters, the review would not include the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, designated by former President Barack Obama in August. At 87,600 acres, it falls below the 100,000-acre threshold.
What You Need to Know About Trump’s National Monument Rethink
National Geographic - Wednesday, April 26, 2017 

Trump characterized the creation of national monuments by Obama as “an egregious abuse of power...It never should have happened. I am signing this order to end abuses and return control to the people.” Even in the face of Trump’s frenetic efforts to erase other parts of Obama’s legacy on multiple policy fronts, his call for “ending abuse of monument designation” stands out. No president has ever revoked a national monument named by a predecessor. No president has ever tried. Doing away with or significantly shrinking any national monument would invite a court challenge over presidential powers.
North Woods National Monument Unaffected By Trump’s Executive Order — For Now
Maine Public - Wednesday, April 26, 2017 

President Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday directing a review of national monuments created under the Antiquities Act. At the signing ceremony, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke assured that the order is limited in scope and does not seek to undo any designations by previous presidents. The order focuses on monuments created roughly over the last 20 years that exceed 100,000 acres. The Katahdin Woods and Waters monument created by President Barack Obama last summer is about 88,000 acres, and did not make the review list circulated by Zinke at a briefing for reporters. But the secretary could decide the designation was made without adequate public outreach and add it to the list under language in the executive order.
Trump’s National Monument Review List Does Not Include Maine
WABI-TV5 - Wednesday, April 26, 2017 

President Trump signed an executive order Wednesday to review 26 national monuments designated by past Presidents. Maine’s Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument is not on this list. Governor LePage was in Washington and did not comment on Maine’s newest national monument not being on the list of monuments subject to review.
You’ll continue to be nickeled and dimed to hunt in Maine
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Wednesday, April 26, 2017 

My second attempt to create an affordable comprehensive hunting license crashed at the legislature yesterday after the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife opposed it. Although it has not yet been scheduled for a work session by the legislature’s IFW Committee, it is very unlikely to win the committee’s support.
Trump order aims to allow drilling at national monuments
Reuters - Wednesday, April 26, 2017 

U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday to identify national monuments that can be rescinded or resized — part of a broader push to open up more federal lands to drilling, mining and other development. The move comes as part of Trump’s effort to reverse a slew of environmental protections ushered in by former President Barack Obama that he said were hobbling economic growth — an agenda that is cheering industry but enraging conservationists.
Massive overhaul of Maine mining regulations passes committee
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, April 26, 2017 

A legislative committee gave near-unanimous support Wednesday to a proposed overhaul of Maine’s mining regulations that has also won the support of many of the state’s environmental organizations. The proposal would ban open-pit mining as well as operations on state-owned public lands, in flood plains and under lakes, rivers or ponds. The bill would also prohibit underwater storage of mine waste and would require mining companies to create a trust fund large enough to cover the costs of cleaning up or treating any environmental contamination on a site for at least 100 years after closure of the mine.
Trump To Sign Executive Order That Could Shrink National Monuments
National Public Radio - Wednesday, April 26, 2017 

President Trump is expected to sign an executive order Wednesday that could end up shrinking — or even nullifying — some large federal national monuments on protected public lands, as established since the Clinton administration.
Environmentalists vow to fight Trump on Maine monument
Boston Globe - Wednesday, April 26, 2017 

President Trump on Wednesday will issue a sweeping executive order to review as many as 40 national monument designations made by his three predecessors, an unprecedented move that could curtail or rescind their protected status. It was unclear which areas would come under review, but the list could include monuments designated last year by President Barack Obama, including thousands of acres of pristine woods in northern Maine. Environmental groups immediately questioned the president’s legal authority to reverse a previous president’s designation.
Trump calls for review of national monuments
Mainebiz - Wednesday, April 26, 2017 

President Donald Trump signed an executive order today directing the U.S. Department of the Interior to review designations of land and marine national monuments stretching back over 20 years, but it's unclear whether the directive will include President Barack Obama's designation of the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument last August. In a Feb. 14 letter, LePage urged the president to rescind Obama's designation "and return the land to private ownership before economic damage occurs and traditional recreational pursuits are diminished."
Scientists keep increasing their projections for how much the oceans will rise
Washington Post - Wednesday, April 26, 2017 

A report by a leading research body monitoring the Arctic has found that previous projections of global sea level rise for the end of the century could be too low, thanks in part to the pace of ice loss of Arctic glaciers and the vast ice sheet of Greenland. It’s just the latest in a string of cases in which scientists have published numbers that suggest a grimmer picture than the one presented in 2013 by an influential United Nations body, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Maine sawmill owners welcome Trump’s tariff on Canadian softwood lumber
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, April 26, 2017 

Maine sawmill owners are welcoming the Trump administration’s announcement that it is imposing stiff duties on imports of Canadian softwood lumber, intensifying a longstanding trade dispute with the United States’ largest trading partner. President Trump revealed the decision to a gathering of conservative journalists Monday night, pre-empting the Commerce Department. Starting next week, the department will impose duties of 3 percent to 24 percent on softwood 2-by-4s, planks and other lumber arriving from Canada. The punitive duties are retaliation for Canadian provincial governments allegedly providing unfair subsidies to their industry. While the softwood tariffs please Maine-owned sawmills, the state’s forest products industry as a whole is divided on the issue.
LePage joins Trump for signing of order to review designations of national monuments
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, April 26, 2017 

Gov. Paul LePage joined President Trump in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday as he signed an executive order to review national monuments that are part of the National Park Service system. The order provides for a review if the Secretary of the Interior determines that a monuments designation or expansion “was made without adequate public outreach and coordination with relevant stakeholders.” LePage’s communication’s director, Peter Steele, said in an email that “The Executive Order covers a review of Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument in northern Penobscot County because at least two local referendums and the Maine State Legislature voted against it.”
Gulf of Maine institute drops annual lobster forecast after dealers complain
Associated Press - Wednesday, April 26, 2017 

The Gulf of Maine Research Institute in Portland is dropping its annual lobster forecast after criticism from the seafood industry about the report’s timing, accuracy and effect on prices. Maine Lobster Dealers’ Association executive director Annie Tselikis says the predictions added unneeded complexity to the lobster supply chain, including with international customers.
With tourist season around the corner, Maine’s hospitality industry is facing a crisis
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, April 26, 2017 

As the summer of 2017 approaches, a perfect storm for the seasonal hospitality industry is gathering over Vacationland. Maine is experiencing record low unemployment rates. At the same time, a hospitality boom is ushering in new hotels and restaurants all along the coast. A change in the rules for hiring foreign seasonal workers through H-2B visa program has prevented many hoteliers from rehiring skilled help from places such as Jamaica this summer.
Letter: March for the climate
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, April 26, 2017 

On April 29, Mainers will be marching in Washington, D.C., Augusta and Bar Harbor to raise awareness of climate change and the actions that must be taken to slow the dangerous effects we are already experiencing here in Maine and around the world. In Bar Harbor, we are marching at home instead of Washington, to reduce our carbon footprint at the same time as we make our voices heard locally. We have invited Rep. Bruce Poliquin to participate in the March, either here or in Augusta. His participation would send a strong message to his constituents about his commitment to addressing the serious impacts of climate change. ~ Dixie Hathaway, Bar Harbor
Letter: Climate change is a reality that needs to be faced today
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, April 26, 2017 

A “House Republican Office Weekly Update” identified April as “National Child Abuse Prevention Month.” I call on all Maine Republicans and all legislators and constituents to take practical action in support of this critical matter. Climate change is the ethical, moral, economic, environmental, political, social and spiritual crisis of our time. Denial of such reality leads to direct responsibility for the related harm to all. This risk will dramatically escalate over time, particularly for future generations. The protection of our children and the only true “home” that we have — planet Earth — requires legislative action today. ~ Bob Klotz, South Portland
Have bottle deposit programs like Maine’s become obsolete?
Associated Press - Tuesday, April 25, 2017 

As curbside recycling has grown, environmentalists around the United States find themselves fighting to protect decades-old bottle recycling programs that critics say are becoming obsolete. In some states bills have been proposed to replace the bottle deposits with a tax. Supporters say the tax revenue could support recycling efforts that did not exist when the bottle redemption systems were introduced. The so-called “bottle bills” remain in place in 10 states, including Maine. Typically, consumers pay an extra few cents when they buy certain beverages, a deposit they get back when they bring their cans or bottles to a redemption center or grocery store. Some fear people will be more likely to toss their empties if they’re no longer worth cash.
St. Clair to testify before Congress in support of Maine’s national monument
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, April 25, 2017 

The son of Burt’s Bees entrepreneur Roxanne Quimby said he will defend Maine’s new national monument when he testifies before Congress next week. Lucas St. Clair said he welcomed the chance to tell a House Committee on Natural Resources subcommittee about the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. He will speak on May 2, as will Maine Gov. Paul LePage, who opposes the monument. St. Clair called the consequences of the creation of Maine’s monument “incredibly positive. Businesses are expanding and reinvesting in themselves. Philanthropy dollars are coming in that have never come in before. It’s all very exciting.”
Maine needs expanded, higher-level energy office, Republican leader says
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, April 25, 2017 

Mainers spent $7.6 billion on energy in 2015, but the state does energy planning and policy work with only two full-time positions that are part of the governor’s office, some part-time temporary help and a bare-bones budget. Maine would be better served by having a Cabinet-level energy agency, with a commissioner and adequate staff, to handle complex issues that affect the state but are national and regional in scope. That view was expressed Tuesday not by environmental advocates, but by House Minority Leader Ken Fredette, R-Newport.
Barbara Vickery receives 2017 Land Heritage Award
Maine Coast Heritage Trust - Tuesday, April 25, 2017 

At the annual Maine Land Conservation Conference, Maine Coast Heritage Trust named Barbara Vickery as recipient of the 2017 Espy Land Heritage Award for her exemplary conservation efforts in Maine. “Barbara Vickery set the gold standard for using science to inform conservation work in Maine,” remarked MCHT President Tim Glidden at the ceremony. Barbara, who recently retired after a distinguished 33-year career at the Maine chapter of the Nature Conservancy (holding positions as Director of Stewardship and Director of Conservation Programs), played an instrumental role in several high-profile conservation projects and initiatives all throughout Maine.
Hike: Cox Pinnacle in Brunswick
Aislinn Sarnacki Act Out Blog - Tuesday, April 25, 2017 

Cox Pinnacle, reaching about 350 above sea level, is Brunswick’s highest point and is located in a town-owned, forested park that covers 103 acres. This park features a simple trail network, which forms a loop around Cox Pinnacle, with a side trail leading to the hill’s summit, which is a patch of bare bedrock adorned by a large cairn.
Portland real estate developer buys historic lobster wharf on Bailey Island
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, April 25, 2017 

A Portland real estate developer outbid the owners of Cook’s Lobster & Ale House on Tuesday to purchase the Bailey Island wharf adjacent to the restaurant for $510,000. Arthur Girard, who in 2015 donated Ram Island in Saco Bay to the University of New England, said he’s not sure what he’ll do with the property, which for decades has operated as a commercial fishing wharf for local lobstermen. “I have no plans for it,” he said. “That’s how I get inspired.”
LePage should see national monument land he criticized, donor’s son says
Associated Press - Tuesday, April 25, 2017 

A key proponent of a national monument in Maine is challenging Republican Gov. Paul LePage to spend some time on the land before criticizing it. The governor described the land as “cut over” on Monday and said it’ll take decades for the land to recover. He plans to testify against the monument created by former Democratic President Obama at a House subcommittee hearing next week. Lucas St. Clair, son of entrepreneur Roxanne Quimby, who acquired the land, said Tuesday that the governor should see Katahdin Waters and Waters National Monument before criticizing it. He called the 87,500 acres of donated forestland “an amazingly beautiful place.” Republican President Trump is expected to announce a review of monument designations on Wednesday. But it’s unclear if Trump can undo any monuments.
New Management Could be Coming to East Coast Herring Fishery
Associated Press - Tuesday, April 25, 2017 

Atlantic herring is a major industrial fishery on the East Coast, with fishermen frequently bringing more than 200 million pounds of the little fish to shore every year. Herring are used as human food and bait for other fisheries, such as lobsters. The catch of herring off of New England has been inconsistent in recent years, leading to volatility in the lobster bait market. The New England Fishery Management Council is considering nine alternatives about how to manage the fishery. The options would allow for measures such as area closures and restrictions on types of gear. The council could pick its preferred options for public hearing in September.
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