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News Items
Bucksport salmon farm hires shipbuilder to run operations
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

The company planning a large-scale salmon farm at the former Bucksport paper mill site has hired an executive with 15 years of experience at Bath Iron Works to lead the aquaculture site’s daily operations. Jason Mitchell, most recently director of ground assembly at Bath Iron Works, will be the salmon farm’s first chief operating officer, Whole Oceans announced Tuesday. Mitchell also founded a San Diego brewery, Helms Brewing Co., which he sold in 2017. He and his wife own Yarmouth-based Delany Arts, a community arts space in a former fire station.
Oil residue likely set massive pile of junk cars on fire
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

A massive fire at a Carmel recycling plant Monday started when a car burst into flames as a crane dropped it on the facility’s junkyard pile, the local fire chief said. The vehicle likely contained flammable oil residue that caught fire as it crashed down on the 30-feet tall, 100-feet wide pile of recycled cars, tires, and debris at Ideal Recycling, Inc. Carmel Fire Chief Ralph Shaw has asked the recycling company to reduce the size of their junk piles to avoid another fire of Monday’s magnitude, but there is no law or town ordinances to force the company to comply with the request.
The Changing North Woods
Maine Public - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

UMaine experts discuss the relationship between humans and forests, including environmental attitudes and behaviors; rural communities and the forest economy; and the role of ecotourism and recreation.
Maine wildlife biologists recommend record number of any-deer permits in 2018
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

State biologists on Tuesday recommended issuing 84,745 any-deer permits for this fall’s hunt – an increase of 28 percent from last year and the highest total since Maine launched its permit system in 1986.
Governor LePage Seeks Input on a New Era in Maine Energy
Maine Government News - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

As Governor Paul R. LePage described in his Weekly Radio Address for the week of May 13, he is asking for input from experts regarding how Maine can benefit from the changing energy environment. As states to our south increasingly look to Maine and Canada to meet their renewable energy and low carbon needs, Maine's opportunities and responsibilities increase.
Take Time Out for Trees this Arbor Week
Maine Government News - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

This week, Maine celebrates Arbor Week. Trees and forests contribute in many ways to communities throughout Maine. During Arbor Week, the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry encourages residents to take time out for trees.
Hike: Noyes Mountain Preserve
Aislinn Sarnacki Act Out Blog - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

Rising 1,503 feet above sea level, Noyes Mountain features a 2.5-mile hike that visits the mountain’s wooded summit and ends at a wide open view southwest of the summit at a cliff above Harvard Mine, a privately-owned site that produces tourmaline and other iconic Maine gems. The 286-acre Noyes Mountain Preserve was purchased by the Western Foothills Land Trust for $270,000 in February 2017, and it already features hiking trails that are marked and easy to follow, with signs and maps posted at trail intersections.
Maine Tourism Prepares for Busy Summer Season
Maine Government News - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

With Memorial Day and the summer travel season just around the corner, the Maine Office of Tourism looks forward to another good year for the tourism industry in Maine, amid national reports of optimism for U.S. domestic leisure travel. Over 36 million travelers from the U.S. and Canada visited Maine on tourism-related trips in 2017, an increase in annual visitation of 2.5 percent over 2016. Maine tourism visitation increased for the fifth consecutive year in 2017, averaging more than five percent growth each year since 2012.
Interior Department wants to expand hunting and fishing on 3 wildlife refuges in Maine
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

The Trump Administration wants to expand access to hunting and fishing on 30 national wildlife refuges, including three in Maine: the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge in York and Cumberland counties, Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge in Washington County, and Lake Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge, which straddles the New Hampshire/Maine border. U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced Monday the proposal that would open up nearly 250,000 acres to new or expanded hunting and fishing opportunities nationwide.
Environmental groups ask to be taken out of Cote attack ad on Mills
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

On Monday, gubernatorial candidate Adam Cote released a 32-second TV ad with about 10 seconds dedicated to attacking Attorney General Janet Mills. In the ad, Cote says Mills was “wrong to join Gov. [Paul] LePage in refusing to strengthen water protections” and pointing to six groups who he says “disagree with Janet, too.” But two of the groups that signed the letter — the Natural Resources Council of Maine and Maine Conservation Voters — asked to be removed from the ad quickly after its release on Monday. Pete Didisheim, NRCM’s advocacy director, said the group “was never asked for authorization and would never have provided it.” Maureen Drouin, Maine Conservation Voters’ executive director, said an endorsement could be construed from it. Both said Cote’s campaign quickly agreed.
Exemplary Forestry: A New Paradigm for the Northeast's Woodlands?
Forests for Maine's Future - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

The New England Forestry Foundation is working with the Maine Mountain Collaborative, a consortium of conservation and forestry organizations, to bring together philanthropists and investors as part of a new economic calculus intended to promote long-term investing with clear timber production and forest health goals. Investors would be partly reimbursed for the costs of forestland by the sale of “exemplary forestry” easements on the property to a land trust funded by donations from philanthropists.
New Collections Manager-Outreach Specialist at Viles Arboretum
Maine Environmental News - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

Kyra Danielowski will serve as Collections Manager – Outreach Specialist at the Viles Arboretum in Augusta for the summer of 2018.
New Report Analyzes Exposure to Climate Hazards in U.S. Muni Market
Other - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

Four Twenty Seven, the leading provider of climate risk intelligence for financial markets, today releases its research findings on modeling the exposure of U.S. municipalities and their financial instruments to climate risks. Muni bond investors and credit rating agencies are increasingly considering climate change and past extreme weather events as part of their evaluation of U.S. cities. While this consideration is an important step, their evaluations could be better informed by incorporating forward-looking comparable data on the climate risks that impact these municipalities.
Pruitt censoring science
Sierra Club - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

Scott Pruitt is attempting to censor science in EPA rule-making. Emails released this past week revealed that polluting industries had pitched this idea to the EPA last year. And now Pruitt's following through on the polluters' bidding. Fifteen medical and public health organizations have voiced concern about this proposal. And over 35,000 Sierra Club activists who have submitted a comment in opposition.
Trump administration moves to lift rules on hunting Alaska bears, wolves
Associated Press - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

The Trump administration is moving to reverse rules barring hunters on national preserves in Alaska from baiting brown bears with bacon and doughnuts and using spotlights to shoot mother black bears and cubs hibernating in their dens. Under the proposed changes, hunters would also be allowed to hunt black bears with dogs, kill wolves and pups in their dens, and use motor boats to shoot swimming caribou. Expanding hunting rights on federal lands has been a priority for Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, who displays mounted heads in his Washington office. President Donald Trump's sons are also avid trophy hunters who have made past excursions to Alaska.

UNE Launches New Institute Dedicated To Northern Regions
Associated Press - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

Officials announced Monday that the Institute for North Atlantic Studies of the University of New England will be based in Portland. The first students for UNE North will be accepted this summer and classes will begin in summer 2019. Among the inaugural programs at the institute is a one-year professional science master’s degree in Ocean Food Systems, created in partnership with two Icelandic universities.
Opinion: Landfilling tons of municipal waste is an environmental tragedy
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

Tens of thousands of tons of municipal solid waste from all over eastern Maine are now heading directly to landfills. This is a monumental tragedy for Maine’s environment, and it is sad that state officials charged with protecting Maine’s environment seem to be looking the other way. This mess didn’t have to happen. It was a very bad choice by the Municipal Review Committee, the organization representing the more than 100 communities. Maine’s environment and future generations will pay the price. ~ Harry Sunburn, Alton
New turkey management plan calls for killing more turkeys
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife's new big game management plans say, “The Department feels that the wild turkey population can support additional harvest in both the spring and fall in certain WMDs and would like to increase hunter participation in both seasons… Increasing hunter participation will be required before harvest can be used as a tool to effectively control or reduce the wild turkey population in WMDs where that may be desirable.” Time to get rid of the permit and fee and increase the bag limit!
While Electricity Maine overcharged customers millions, it was still losing money
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

In the same year power seller Electricity Maine charged Maine customers $30 million over the standard rate, the company was leaking millions. Kevin Dean, one of the company’s co-founders, said in court documents that, in 2015, Electricity Maine and its smaller operations in other New England states “had losses of over [$14 million] and were in trouble.” Meanwhile, Electricity Maine, whose co-founder Emile Clavet promised in 2011 to “always beat the standard offer,” kept losing money and charging customers prices 60 percent higher than the going rate. The company and founders face a potential class-action lawsuit that alleges customers were lured by false advertising into electricity contracts for their homes.
Surprise! The Park Service Can Say “Climate Change” After All
Other - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

Mother Jones - Backing away from attempts at censorship by the Trump Administration, the National Park Service on Friday released a report charting the risks to national parks from sea level rise and storms. Drafts of the report obtained earlier this year showed park service officials had deleted every mention of humans causing climate change. But the long-delayed report, published Friday without fanfare on the agency’s website, restored those references. “It’s different kinds of bullying and pressure from different people,” said Maria Caffrey, the study’s lead scientist. “After awhile it starts to build up, and it becomes an absolute mountain.”
EPA blocks CNN, AP from covering water summit, forcibly ejecting reporter
Associated Press - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

The Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday blocked the Associated Press and at least two other news organizations from attending a national summit on harmful water contaminants. The meeting, convened in Washington by EPA chief Scott Pruitt, was open to invited media only. An AP reporter attempted to attend the meeting but was told she was not on the invitation list. When the reporter asked to speak to an EPA public affairs person, security guards grabbed her by the shoulders and pushed her out of the EPA building.
Budget typo holding up millions in Maine ‘clean election’ funds
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

Maine lawmakers failed to pass a routine “errors and inconsistencies” bill to correct unintended budget language that prevents the Maine Ethics Commission from disbursing additional money to so-called “clean election” candidates starting on July 1. The Clean Elections issue comes three years after a one-word clerical error – a missing “and” – in a bill passed in the final hours of a legislative session almost cost the Efficiency Maine energy conservation program nearly $38 million. The Legislature eventually fixed the error, but not until after Republican Gov. Paul LePage tried to use the issue as leverage to get other political concessions.
New UMaine energy proposal calls for biomass, solar
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

The University of Maine in Orono would get much of its heat and electricity from an on-campus Renewable Energy Center fueled by locally harvested wood and a huge solar array, according to a plan being negotiated by the university system and Honeywell International. The cost of the power contract has been estimated to be worth more than $100 million.
Letter: Golden looks out for environment
Morning Sentinel - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

As a state representative, Jared Golden worked hard on measures to reduce lead, championing a bill to fund lead abatement programs for families who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford them. Jared saw how badly this problem was affecting Lewiston-Auburn families and took action. His record on the environment is stellar regarding other problems, too, from keeping litter off our streets to protecting firefighters from harmful chemicals, to supporting the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, to protecting Maine from damaging mining practices. ~ William F. Reid Jr., Skowhegan
Letter: Scott Pruitt needs to resign
Morning Sentinel - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

The American people and Mainers specifically deserve better than Scott Pruitt. Pruitt’s tenure as U.S. Environmental Protection Agency administrator has been an unmitigated disaster. He’s spent more than $150,000 of taxpayer dollars on luxury travel, exploited the Safe Drinking Water Act to give personal friends extraordinary raises, and secured a sweetheart deal to stay in a luxury D.C. condo co-owned by the wife of an energy lobbyist for $50 per night. Pruitt’s been rolling back life-saving regulations to benefit his dirty energy benefactors. His actions are in direct contradiction with what the EPA stands for. Scott Pruitt needs to resign so that we can have a competent EPA leader who takes a stand for Maine’s all important wilderness and eco-tourism. ~ Neshamah Stearns, Unity
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