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News Items
Opinion: Legally unprecedented
Sierra Club - Sunday, June 25, 2017 

Donald Trump's Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has taken the legally unprecedented action of proposing to significantly scale back the borders of a national monument. And we know why: in addition to the jaw-dropping $10.7 million Big Energy dumped into Trump's carnag-uration, Zinke's taken $350k from oil and gas tycoons chomping at the bit to drill and dig into our last natural treasures. Bears Ears National Monument, the sacred ancestral homeland of 5 Tribal Nations, is the #1 target in the sights of Big Oil -- it's no surprise that Zinke proposed to eliminate much of the 1.3 million acres from protection. ~ Michael Brune, Sierra Club
Tiny houses on the rise in Maine to solve cost and environment problems
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, June 25, 2017 

As Mainers seek out ways to stretch their dollars, lighten their environmental impact and feel more connected to neighbors, the trend toward tiny home villages is growing. Midcoast Habitat for Humanity recently acquired land where it plans to construct 10 to 14 small homes primarily designed for single, middle-aged residents struggling to find year-round housing. Tia Anderson, executive director, expects to see a growing focus on building small and fostering community. “It’s really (about) creating a sustainable solution.”
Maine institutions collaborating to build a greener lobster boat
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, June 25, 2017 

Students at the Landing School have built nearly 400 boats since the school was founded in 1978. But nothing quite like the one the school is about to start on, a 21-foot, ocean-ready test model called a “proof of concept” for what the engineers call a “low-impact commercial trimaran” but which is known colloquially as a “green lobster boat.” From design to materials, this boat is intended to have a smaller carbon footprint, burning less fuel than the busy lobster boats already working in Maine’s waters.
Brad Burns of Falmouth angles for return of striper abundance
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, June 25, 2017 

Bradford Burns (he goes by Brad) is the president of a conservation group called Stripers Forever, which aims to make striped bass a strictly game fish. In case you hadn’t heard, the stripers are running, and that made us want to talk to Burns. Topics covered include why he thinks commercial fishing for striped bass (not allowed in Maine by the way) is a threat, how he learned to fish and how far he’ll go to do it (above the Arctic Circle).
Column: The fascinating hummingbird is back
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, June 25, 2017 

The hummingbirds are back! Who among us has not joyfully exclaimed when the first ruby-throated hummingbird of the year appears at our flowers or feeder? It’s hard to think of a Maine migratory breeding bird whose spring arrival is more eagerly anticipated. ~ Herb Wilson
Column: Even if you don’t have a car, you can explore trails near and far
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, June 25, 2017 

I find myself without a car. I thought it would surely make my column impossible. Rather than concede defeat – another thing intrinsically difficult for Christies – I decided to explore just how far the public transportation in the Greater Portland area could carry me. By using only local buses and ferries, could I put together a worthwhile list of destinations? The answer, thankfully, is yes. ~ Josh Christie
Letter: Maine has divine mandate to tend Katahdin ‘garden’
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, June 25, 2017 

Gov. LePage is missing an opportunity for state and future generations with his opposition to the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. I am conservative, and proud that the words “conservation” and “conservative” have the same root. I try to live that way. I also know that God intended people to care for the garden He has given to sustain us. Designation of this land as a national monument is consistent with the responsibility to tend “The Garden” as well as with conservative values. ~ George Lawson, Gorham
Column: Only so many does to go around
Sun Journal - Saturday, June 24, 2017 

Among the list of legislative documents that propose to change our deer hunting laws there are no less than seven that would significantly alter the way in which antlerless deer permits are awarded to various segments of our resident hunter population. As a rule, most of these special-interest bills are not supported by the folks that manage Maine’s deer populations. Judy Camuso, who is wildlife director for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, has a standard pitch she delivers when testifying in opposition to this annual parade of somewhat self-serving bills. She uses the pie analogy, explaining that there are only so many does to go around. ~ V. Paul Reynolds
Fishermen, regulators disagree over cause of Brunswick fish kill
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, June 24, 2017 

As a massive vacuum truck from Clean Harbors traveled along the shoreline near Simpsons Point midweek to clean up rotting pogies, local fishermen were battling what they say was a raft of misinformation put forth by the state about how and why those pogies were dumped from a local fishing vessel on June 6. On Tuesday, local lobsterman Steve Anderson posted a 10-minute video on YouTube, taking local media to task for only reporting part of the story and excoriating the Maine Department of Marine Resources for a quota system Anderson said simply doesn’t work. Jeff Nichols, spokesman for the DMR, said Friday that Anderson “got a lot of things wrong,”
Opinion: Maine’s arts and culture and its natural wonders are tied together
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, June 24, 2017 

The influence of art on conservation efforts and our national parks cannot be overstated. We have several works in the PMA collection representing Maine’s own Acadia National Park, by everyone from Ansel Adams to painter Richard Estes, and I return to these artworks often, contemplating how fortunate we are to live near such inspiring natural beauty, and how important it is to keep these places pristine and accessible. For these reasons and many more, the PMA supports the mission of our national parks. ~ Mark Bessire, Portland Museum of Art
Opinion: Ideology shouldn’t trump practical solutions, LePage energy adviser says
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, June 24, 2017 

Solar, in addition to its lack of cost-effectiveness, is an unreliable energy source for Maine. One of the LePage administration’s proposed alternatives to subsidized solar in reducing cost, pollution and oil is lifting the Quebec hydropower restriction, a restriction supported by the solar, wind and fossil fuel industries. Hydropower produces no carbon, nor any of the other byproducts of burning heating oil. For every clean watt of hydropower feeding an electric heat pump, the heat pump produces three units of “ultra clean” carbon-free heat. Buy one, get two free – you can’t beat that! ~ James C. LaBrecque, technical adviser on energy to Gov. LePage
Letter: Monument support
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, June 24, 2017 

Our governor shouldn’t be able to take the great gift of the the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument away from everyone else just because he can’t appreciate the incredible beauty of this area. Let him stay away from the “mosquito area,” but don’t try to stop the rest of the world from going there. Thanks to the BDN’s guide to the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument printed earlier this spring, some friends and I will be visiting both the south and north areas three times this summer. I’m hoping that a lot of people come to see this part of our state that has so much to offer those who do appreciate natural beauty. ~ Shirley Smith, Ellsworth
Eco-group billboard blitz to greet Zinke
Other - Friday, June 23, 2017 

Independent Record (MT) - Environmental groups plan to crash the homecoming in Montana next week of President Donald Trump's Interior Department secretary with billboards, television ads and speeches to pressure him on issues from national monuments to endangered species. Zinke is reviewing monuments in a report that will recommend whether they should be resized or eliminated. Opponents say the review is a waste of taxpayer money by rehashing already settled arguments. [Zinke toured the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument in Maine on June 14.]
Acadia National Park Advisory Commission To Meet Again After Being Suspended
Maine Public - Friday, June 23, 2017 

A commission set up to advise the U.S. secretary of the interior on matters related to management and development of Acadia National Park will be able to meet again in September after being suspended in May. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke suspended all 220 federal advisory boards across the country. During a hearing of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Zinke told U.S. Sen. Angus King, that he suspended the advisory groups to learn more about the panels' memberships, budgets, accomplishments and goals. King told Zinke that the Acadia National Park Advisory Commission is very important and makes a great contribution.
LGBT farmers find opportunity, adversity in rural Maine
Bangor Daily News - Friday, June 23, 2017 

Things have changed profoundly and positively for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in Maine and the rest of the country. June is LGBT Pride Month, celebrated annually to honor the 1969 Stonewall Riots in New York City. The riots marked the beginning of the modern fight for LGBT rights in the United States. Less than a half-century later, the movement has taken root across the nation, making it possible for two married gay farmers in rural Waldo County to be more concerned with their crops than with their safety or acceptance in their community.
Acadia National Park committee suspension lifted by Interior Secretary
Acadia On My Mind Blog - Friday, June 23, 2017 

The Acadia National Park Advisory Commission is planning to resume meetings, following a sudden suspension of their meetings by the Trump administration in May. Ryan Zinke, the secretary of interior, had suspended the meetings of the Acadia commission and more than 200 other federal advisory committees to give his department time to review the “charter and charge” of the panels. In a press release Thursday, U.S. Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King of Maine announced that the Acadia National Park Advisory Commission will be able to resume its meetings after September 1st and can now begin communicating accordingly.
Caterpillars taking toll on trees in Cape Elizabeth, and crossing town lines
Portland Press Herald - Friday, June 23, 2017 

Todd Robbins, Cape Elizabeth's new tree warden raises alarm about winter moth caterpillars, while a state forest entomologist is optimistic that efforts to curb the insect's range will be successful. An aerial survey last year found 300 acres of oak mortality in Cape Elizabeth, an area encompassing 2,000 to 3,000 dead trees and the only place in Maine where winter moths are known to have killed trees, said Charlene Donahue, a state forest entomologist. Donahue said homeowners who suspect they have a winter moth infestation needn’t worry about their trees until they lose half of their foliage.
Letter: Clean energy voice drowned out by money
Kennebec Journal - Friday, June 23, 2017 

The Supreme Court passed Citizens United, and an ocean of anonymous money was allowed to overwhelm the democratic process. Ultra-libertarian billionaires heavily invested in fossil fuels, and hidden behind the Heritage Foundation and the American Legislative Exchange Council, have made sure that any Republican in office who backed a carbon tax or encouraged renewable energy would face a very well-resourced opponent. Fortunately, in Maine we have conscientious Republicans like Sen. Roger Katz and Rep. Matt Pouliot who have steadfastly supported reasonable solar energy legislation, and Sen. Tom Saviello who is sponsoring a bipartisan solar energy bill, L.D. 1504. Please tell your legislators to vote for L.D. 1504, and show the Koch brothers that our voices won’t be drowned out. ~ Melanie Lanctot, Maine Unitarian Universalist State Advocacy Network, Readfield
Letter: Protect the North Woods monument
Bangor Daily News - Friday, June 23, 2017 

Despite denunciations, President Barack Obama used the Antiquities Act to designate the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. The region began to look for ways to capitalize on its new recreational destination and people began making capital investments and improvements where there had been none for many years. However, our governor decided that the revitalization of the depressed local economies should not be realized, so he contrived to get the monument on the list of those under review by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. That Zinke sees no wisdom in reducing the size of the monument or removing ownership from the federal government is cause for exhaling — slightly. All of us should to continue to make our voices heard in support of the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument heard. ~ Maj. Gen. Don Edwards, retired, Bristol
Regulators Ban Most Fishing Around Coral Canyons in Gulf of Maine
Maine Public - Thursday, June 22, 2017 

Federal regulators decided Thursday to recommend barring most fishing around two deep-sea coral canyons off the coast of Maine — although they gave lobstermen an exemption. The coral canyons of Outer Schoodic Ridge and Mt. Desert Rock lie about 25 miles off Hancock County. Scientists and fishermen recognize their ecological value, and fisheries regulators want to protect them from damage. At a Portland meeting, the New England Fisheries Management Council voted to bar most fishing in those areas, but made an exception for lobstering.
Column: Look up, listen and enjoy the amazing chimney swift
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, June 22, 2017 

Years ago, right at sunset, I marveled at a huge cloud of swifts disappearing down the chimney at the consolidated school in Greenville. It looked like a swirling vortex of smoke being sucked back down the chimney. That’s a phenomenon that is less likely these days. Chimney swift populations have declined by 75 percent since studies began in the 1960s. Many large chimneys have been demolished and small chimneys are usually capped. In the woods, forestry operations have curtailed the number of standing dead trees. ~ Bob Duchesne
Lobstermen win concession to fish in coral protection zone
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, June 22, 2017 

The New England Fisheries Management Council adopted a plan Thursday to protect fragile, slow-growing coral gardens near Mount Desert Rock and Outer Schoodic Ridge. Under this plan, only the lobster fleet could continue to fish there. Department of Marine Resources Commissioner Pat Keliher called the coral protection plan a good compromise. “We want to protect corals, but we know you can do it and not hurt our most valuable fishery,” said Keliher. “Lobstermen don’t want to bother corals because that stuff tears up their gear. So if you’re limiting it to lobstering, the corals should be safe.”
Maine Kayaker Swam to Island After Being Hit By Wave
Maine Public - Thursday, June 22, 2017 

The Coast Guard says a kayaker who was knocked out of his boat by a wave in the ocean south of Milbridge Wednesday morning was found safe on Thursday after a search for him had been suspended. The Coast Guard says that Cerezo was able to swim to a nearby island with his kayak, get back into it, and paddle over to Petit Manan, from where he had set out.
Former Clinton campaign staffer and Brunswick grad to host advocacy training
Times Record - Thursday, June 22, 2017 

Brunswick High School graduate Pearson Cost has returned to Maine to intern with the Maine Conservation Voters following a post with the Hillary Clinton campaign in Virginia. Cost, a political science major at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania, will be leading a resistance training in Brunswick at Curtis Memorial Library this evening at 6 p.m.
Dead fish cleanup cost: $1,800
Times Record - Thursday, June 22, 2017 

The cost of cleaning up decaying pogie fish littering nearly four miles of shoreline in Brunswick is estimated at $1,800, said Town Manager John Eldridge on Wednesday. Clean Harbors, a Massachusetts-based environmental cleanup company, has been hired to use a special vacuum to remove the remaining fish along parts of the shore. Eldridge said the entire affected area will not be cleaned. The cost is $300 an hour, and the town has decided to use the service for six hours, Eldridge said. A large volunteer effort cleared away a lot of the fish that washed up in the marsh grass. The Department of Marine Resources said it has no plans to assist in the cleanup.
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