February 24, 2017  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Friday, February 24, 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
Help wanted: Environment Maine State Director
Announcement - Friday, February 24, 2017 

Coordinate advocacy, field organizing, and media communications driving campaigns to restore Maine's lakes and rivers, to bring more clean energy to Maine, to curb global warming pollution, and to protect Maine's open spaces.
Save Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument
Action Alert - Thursday, February 23, 2017 

Maine Governor Paul LePage is urging President Trump to kill the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. This makes no sense for a host of reasons. Tell President Trump and Maine's congressional representatives to oppose any effort to undo our national monument. ~ RESTORE: The North Woods
Protect Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument
Action Alert - Thursday, February 23, 2017 

Governor LePage has asked President Trump to undo the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. Ask your Senators and Representatives to do everything in their power to protect the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. ~ Natural Resources Council of Maine
Help wanted: Maine Audubon Executive Director
Announcement - Thursday, February 23, 2017 

Seeking an inspiring leader who can articulate the vision of Maine Audubon and lead, support, and galvanize the organization’s stakeholders.
RESIST: Skills to Fight Back for Maine’s Environment, Mar 8
Event - Posted - Thursday, February 23, 2017 

Learn the skills you need to be an powerful activist. At Urban Farm Fermentory, Portland, March 8, 5:30-8:30 pm. Sponsored by Natural Resources Council of Maine, Maine Conservation Voters, The Wilderness Society, Appalachian Mountain Club, and Maine Public Health Association.
The National Parks in the 21st Century, Mar 2
Event - Posted - Thursday, February 23, 2017 

Gretchen Long, a member of the National Park System Advisory Board, will present an overview of the park system. At Yarmouth History Center, March 2, 2 pm.
Lets Go Hiking, Mar 2
Event - Posted - Thursday, February 23, 2017 

Don Miskill talks about his experiences hiking and shows photos from his travels. At Orr's Island Library, Harpswell, March 2, 7 pm.
Tides: The Science and Spirit of the Ocean, Feb 28
Event - Posted - Tuesday, February 21, 2017 

Jonathan White takes you on a journey spanning the globe as he examines the many dimensions of the tides, the science behind them, and how they influence culture. At Unity College Center for the Performing Arts, Unity, Feb 28, 6 pm.
Inspired by Nature, Feb 28
Event - Posted - Tuesday, February 21, 2017 

An examination of how nature inspires people in many different ways and in many different fields. At Topsham Public Library, February 28, 6 pm. Sponsored by Cathance River Education Alliance.
Mindful Meditation at Morse Pond Preserve, Feb 25
Event - Posted - Saturday, February 18, 2017 

Bobby Carnicella will lead a mindful nature walk at Morse Pond Preserve in Georgetown, February 25, 9:30 am. Sponsored by Kennebec Estuary Land Trust.
Clean Up Pence’s Dirty Coal
Action Alert - Friday, February 17, 2017 

Mike Pence may be Trump's "clean up" man, but he failed the environment. Under Pence's leadership, super polluters spewed unregulated pollution into the air, placing children at risk of disease and the world in danger of the consequences of climate change.
Owl Prowl, Feb 24
Event - Posted - Friday, February 17, 2017 

Learn about native owl species, their ecology and adaptations, and meet local representatives up close. At Center For Wildlife, York, Feb 24, 5 pm, $7.
Appalachian Odyssey, Feb 23
Event - Posted - Thursday, February 16, 2017 

Maine native and insatiable (10,000 mile) hiker Jeff Ryan has just published "Appalachian Odyssey: A 28-year hike on the Appalachian Trail." For nearly 3 decades, Jeff hiked a section of the trail with the same friend (they started hiking in 1985 and completed the AT in 2013). This is a fundraiser for Teens To Trails. At Frontier, Brunswick, Feb 23, 7 pm, $5.
Malaga Island management meeting, Feb 23
Event - Posted - Thursday, February 16, 2017 

Maine Coast Heritage Trust will hold a public meeting in Phippsburg to gather input on the management of Malaga Island. At Phippsburg Town Hall, Feb 23, 6 pm.
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News Items
Fuel truck crashes on I-295, spills oil into Fore River
Portland Press Herald - Monday, February 6, 2017 

The driver of a home delivery oil truck suffered a medical issue that likely caused him to crash and overturn the truck, spilling fuel onto Interstate 295 and into the nearby Fore River in South Portland late Monday morning. Environmental cleanup crews remained on the scene Monday evening, but travel lanes on both sides of highway were open. The delivery truck spilled its entire load of home heating oil, estimated to be about 2,900 gallons.
Maine’s coastal waters are unhealthy from carbon, acidity. Are seaweed gardens the answer?
Bangor Daily News - Monday, February 6, 2017 

Seaweed cultivation has been promoted in recent years in Maine as a way to produce local nutritious food and to boost the coastal economy. Now, seaweed harvesters say their industry provides yet another benefit: environmental protection, in the form of improving water quality. A new study from Bigelow Laboratory for Marine Sciences in Boothbay indicates growing and harvesting seaweed may be an antidote for increasing carbon and acidity levels in the ocean, which is harming a variety of marine life.
Column: Trump vs. The Regulatory State
Other - Monday, February 6, 2017 

President Donald Trump pledges to dismantle much of the regulatory state — the amalgam of federal rules, directives and warnings that, aside from advancing many well-known policy goals, are also alleged to have reduced the competitiveness of the U.S. economy. His objective is to cut government regulation by about 70 percent. The popularity of regulation is no mystery. Many regulatory goals (say, clean air and water) enjoy broad public support. It would be nice if Trump and his critics could find some common ground. ~ Robert Samuelson
Maine moose permit auction raises more than $133,000 for scholarships
Associated Press - Sunday, February 5, 2017 

Maine hunting officials say the state raised more than $133,000 for scholarships through an auction for moose hunting permits. The state Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife says the money will go to youth conservation education scholarships. It says 10 hunters bid the money in an auction for the chance to hunt moose in the state. The money will help send more than 600 Maine children to conservation camps in the state. The camps serve children ages 8 through 17 and provide outdoor and classroom experiences.
Effort To Overturn Katahdin Woods And Waters National Monument Designation Not Expected
National Parks Traveler - Sunday, February 5, 2017 

While lawmakers in Utah were hoping the Trump administration would overturn the designation of Bears Ears National Monument in their state, no such move is expected against Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument in Maine, according to Lucas St. Clair. St. Clair, whose family through its Elliotsville Plantation, Inc. arm donated the land for Katahdin Woods and Waters, said last week that opposition to the monument in Maine was dying down. "They've actually really completely turned the page and are thrilled about the direction that the community is going in and the uptick in visitation that has been experienced so far," he said. "Even the most conservative congressman whose district the monument is in is resigned to the fact that it's working."
Feds: Oceanic Whitetip Shark Warrants 'Threatened' Listing
Associated Press - Sunday, February 5, 2017 

U.S. officials say the oceanic whitetip shark's status in the wild warrants listing as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. Threats to the sharks include fishing throughout the world. Also, their fins are prized in Asian markets for use in soup. The National Marine Fisheries Service says the sharks are likely to become endangered in all or at least a significant portion of their range "within the foreseeable future.'' The conservation group, Defenders of Wildlife, called on the government to list the species. Their listing would be the most widespread shark listing in the U.S. to date.
Augusta’s Viles Arboretum serves guests hot food in the woods
Kennebec Journal - Sunday, February 5, 2017 

Whether they planned to watch the Super Bowl or spend their evening listening to classical music, more than 100 area residents came to Viles Arboretum on Sunday for an event that had little to do with the Patriots or Falcons – unless they happened to spot a peregrine stranded in central Maine for the winter. Rather, they tromped on snowshoes and glided on skis around a 2-mile loop in the Augusta wilderness, stopping at four different stations for hot chocolate, corn chowder, bratwursts, roast turkey, vegetarian lasagna, various forms of beans.
Even in Katahdin national monument, snowmobilers are welcome
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, February 5, 2017 

The Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument – 87,500 acres that make up one of the newest wilderness parks in the National Park Service system – was designated by President Obama last summer. Elliotsville Plantation Inc. transferred the land to the federal government with snowmobile trails written into the land deeds. Yet snowmobilers traveling to this region of Maine from as far away as Michigan, Pennsylvania and Ohio don’t know they’re traveling through a national monument wilderness park. Formed 30 years ago, the Bowlin, Matagamon, Shin Pond Snowmobile Club maintains 125 miles of trails in the region north of Millinocket, and now also in the monument.
The disappearance of Maine’s rusty patched bumblebee
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, February 5, 2017 

How a native Maine bee went from commonplace to landing on the federal endangered species list, and why the loss stings.
Column: Inclement weather crimps Audubon’s Christmas Bird Count totals
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, February 5, 2017 

Here is an overview of the National Audubon Society’s Christmas Bird Counts conducted in central Maine between mid-December and early January. Freezing rain and snow for the central Maine counts results in fewer sightings than usual. ~ Herb Wilson
Opinion: A small, sickly porcupine takes up residence in Wells
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, February 5, 2017 

My neighborhood is replete with foxes, turkeys, a vast variety of birds – just the things that make my life the way I want it to be. But a porcupine at my front door was a surprise, especially when my hound walked right up to it in the dark before I noticed it. It seems that Needles the porcupine had taken up semi-permanent residence in the front yard! He (she?) appeared to be uninterested in dogs or people. Needles was small for a porcupine, and was too busy foraging for whatever food he could find to think about quilling anyone. This was a good thing, for quills were not part of my dream of the way life should be. A communal decision was made not to attempt trapping him in a Havahart trap, and so he became the neighborhood mascot of sorts. ~ Charlotte Hendee, Wells
The time a 50-ton whale drove along the streets of Portland, Maine
Washington Post - Saturday, February 4, 2017 

In the wee hours of Sunday, Sept. 25, a handful of people on the streets of Portland, Maine, were treated to a sight that they may have had a hard time explaining when the sun came up: Around 3 a.m., a 43-foot, 50-ton whale drove by. The chance to study a critically endangered North Atlantic right whale up close is a rare opportunity. When the carcass of a big female was spotted floating off Boothbay Harbor, Lynda Doughty, executive director of Marine Mammals of Maine, was willing to go to any length to recover it. So she arranged to have the remains towed by a Coast Guard cutter for more than 20 miles, hefted onto a flatbed truck and driven inland, where they would be examined, then composted.
USDA removes animal welfare information from its website
Washington Post - Saturday, February 4, 2017 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Friday abruptly removed inspection reports and other information from its website about the treatment of animals at thousands of research laboratories, zoos, dog breeding operations and other facilities. The records that had been available were frequently used by animal welfare advocates to monitor government regulation of animal treatment at circuses, scientific labs and zoos.
Midcoast company to build prototype turbine engines
Lincoln County News - Saturday, February 4, 2017 

A Wiscasset company plans to build two prototype turbine engines in the former maintenance building at Mason Station, which it has agreed to purchase from the town for $18,000. With recently awarded funds from the Maine Technology Institute and the U.S. Department of Defense, Peregrine Turbine Technologies is moving forward with the construction of a high-powered turbine engine that CEO David Stapp projects will break records for efficiency.
Select potato growers trying soil fumigation for McCain Foods
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, February 4, 2017 

The largest buyer of potatoes in Aroostook County, McCain Foods, has started trials examining soil fumigation with several of its growers. More common in western states, fumigating soil to fight nematodes and soil-borne diseases is “not something we’ve done in Maine,” Erica Fitzpatrick-Peabody, an agronomist with McCain Foods, said during the Maine Potato Conference in Caribou in January. In an effort to boost yields with its contract growers of russet processing potatoes, McCain Foods has been conducting trials of fumigation on a small number of acres with farmers who have had yield problems with nematodes, verticillium wilt and other fungal soil pests.
Oil and gas drilling in National Parks?
Sierra Club - Saturday, February 4, 2017 

Donald Trump's Republican Congress wants our National Parks to become a drilling and fracking free-for-all. House Republicans have introduced a bill that would allow oil and gas drilling in more than 40 National Parks. It's insane. Canoe past an oil rig. Hike around a fracking well. And WHEN a spill happens, they destroy the habitats of endangered animals already on the brink. They don't care — they'll do anything to line big oil's pockets.
Weyerhaeuser reports 2016 results
Other - Friday, February 3, 2017 

For the year 2016, Weyerhaeuser reported net earnings attributable to common shareholders of $1.005 billion on net sales of $6.4 billion. This compares with net earnings of $462 million on net sales of $5.2 billion for the same period last year. "2016 was a transformational year for Weyerhaeuser. Through our merger with Plum Creek and the $2.5 billion divestiture of our Cellulose Fibers business, we became a focused timber, land and forest products company and nearly doubled the size of our timberland holdings,” said Doyle R. Simons, president and chief executive officer.
South Portland conservation commission plans public forum
Other - Friday, February 3, 2017 

After years of admittedly sputtering along with a merry-go-round membership, South Portland Conservation Commission members say not only is it now leaner, meaner and greener, it’s ready to tackle its mission head on. The commission has scheduled a community forum for April 19 at the high school to share information in the five streams running through South Portland that have been classified by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection as “urban-impaired” water bodies.
$5 Million Trail Network Planned for Katahdin Region
Maine Public - Friday, February 3, 2017 

A $5 million outdoor education facility and trail system near Baxter State Park and the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument could be open by fall, pending the approval of state permits. The money for the Maine Waterside Trails project has been donated by millionaire philanthropist Gilbert Butler, founder of the New York-based Butler Conservation Fund. Carl Carlson, a spokesman for the organization, says the new outdoors education center, with about eight miles of trails and two buildings, will be located on the East Branch of the Penobscot River off Route 11 on the foundation’s nearly 4,000 acres in the Katahdin region.
Vandal who torched Ellsworth homestead, injuring firefighter, gets 3 years
Bangor Daily News - Friday, February 3, 2017 

A man who set fire to a homestead at a bird sanctuary three years ago has been sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty this week to multiple charges. Christopher Kidder, 33, received an overall sentence of 10 years in prison with all but three years suspended for setting fire to the Cordelia Stanwood homestead at Birdsacre in Ellsworth on March 2, 2014. Kidder was sentenced Tuesday after pleading guilty in Hancock County Unified Criminal Court to felony charges of arson, aggravated assault and burglary. Kidder also was ordered to serve six years of probation upon his release. He was not ordered to pay restitution because the chances he would be able to make any significant payment are extremely low.
Offshore Wind Farms See Promise in Platforms That Float
New York Times - Thursday, September 29, 2016 

The University of Maine is undertaking an elaborate physics experiment meant to simulate conditions that full-scale floating wind turbines could face at an installation being planned about 10 miles off the Maine coast in up to 360 feet of water near tiny Monhegan Island. For nearly 18 months in 2013 and 2014, an operating version of the apparatus — one-eighth of scale — sat in the waters off Castine sending electricity to the grid. That proved the technology fundamentally worked and guided refinements to the design. Now, the UMaine team is using the data collected at the lab to confirm the final form, a crucial next step in bringing the technology to market.
Blog: Singing is an act of territorialism for birds
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, April 7, 2016 

Birds don’t think about much, mostly just food and sex. Despite the simplicity of such a life, bird communication can be quite complex. Birds are renowned for their vocal abilities, but they use lots of visual cues, too. Perhaps nothing is more obvious than the crests sported by many species.
Marco Rubio Finds Common Ground With Armed Militia In Oregon
Climate Progress - Thursday, January 7, 2016 

Republican presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio (R) doesn’t like that militants are currently occupying a federal wildlife facility in Oregon. But he does like the militia’s main idea: Seizing and selling off America’s public lands. Rubio explained his position on the controversial occupation at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, now entering its fifth day. Rubio said that while he doesn’t support “lawless” activity, he does agree with the militia on its main point that federal public lands should be transferred to private ownership for activities like logging, coal mining, oil drilling, and farming. Rubio’s plan would essentially cause a free-for-all, where states can devastate national forests, parks, and other important wildlife and plantlife zones for temporary economic gain.
Editorial: Conflict over land preservation confirms where the public stands
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, December 16, 2015 

If Gov. Paul LePage’s yearslong barricade of Land for Maine’s Future has proven anything, it’s how popular the conservation program is among a broad cross-section of the state. When the governor held hostage the voter-approved bonds that fund the program, residents from across the political divide responded with one voice, united in their support for an initiative that has protected more than 550,000 acres for a variety of economic and recreational uses. That response should make it clear that the focus should be on strengthening and tightening the program, not obstructing or trying to dismantle it, as LePage has done for most of his time in office. The governor, not corruption or mismanagement, is the program’s true problem.
Opinion: This is Bar Harbor’s chance to become a solar success and example
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, May 19, 2015 

On June 2, Bar Harbor voters have an exciting opportunity to take a step toward putting the brakes on climate change. Article T on the town meeting agenda authorizes leasing town land and roofs as part of Community Solar Farms and Power Purchase Agreements for the purpose of providing power to the municipality. The change starts here and now. With our prominence as a popular tourist destination, Bar Harbor has an outsize influence on the rest of the state and the nation. By voting for this article we are saying that we care, that we can make a collective difference. ~ Gary Friedmann, Bar Harbor Town Council
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News Feeds

Natural Resources Council
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