August 17, 2017  
Announcements               
Press releases, events, publications released, etc. from Maine environmental organizations and agencies. Submit content.

Nature Detectives, Aug 24
Event - Posted - Thursday, August 17, 2017 

Join a scavenger hunt, make your own nature notebook, and learn how to use the tools of the trade. At Scarborough Marsh, Augoust 24, 1–2:30 pm; Maine Audubon Child Members $5, Child Non-members $7, pre-register.
Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Tuesday, August 15, 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
Sierra Club Maine Climate Action Conference, Sep 16
Event - Posted - Tuesday, August 15, 2017 

The theme of this year's event is "Maine Community-Based Approaches to a Clean Energy Future and Climate Change Solutions." At University of Southern Maine Lewiston Campus, September 16.
Exploring Nature Through Art, Aug 22
Event - Posted - Tuesday, August 15, 2017 

Through various art forms children (age 6-10) will discover some of the secrets of Scarborough Marsh; August 22, 10:30 am – 12 pm; Maine Audubon Child Members $5, Child Non-members $7, pre-register.
Project WILD Educator Workshop, Aug 21
Event - Posted - Monday, August 14, 2017 

This 6-hour workshop introduces educators to Project WILD materials, activities, and strategies. At Bonny Eagle Middle School, Buxton, August 21, 9 am – 3 pm; Maine Audubon Members $23, Non-members $25.
Kayak Scarborough Marsh, Aug 20
Event - Posted - Sunday, August 13, 2017 

Discover the wildlife and plants of Scarborough Marsh as you paddle the Dunstan River. At Scarborough Marsh, August 20, 1–2:30 pm; Maine Audubon Members $13, Non-members $15, deduct $1.50 if you bring your own kayak, must be 16+.
Exploring Wabanaki/Maine History, Aug 20
Event - Posted - Sunday, August 13, 2017 

Maine-Wabanaki REACH offers an interactive learning experience, "Exploring Wabanaki/Maine History," a participatory presentation for adults and teens. At Reversing Falls Sanctuary, Brooksville, August 20, 4-6 pm.
Native Plants & Wildflower Symposium, Aug 29
Event - Posted - Saturday, August 12, 2017 

Includes talks, tours of two native-plant gardens, and a chance to view an herbarium. At McLaughlin Gardens and Homestead, South Paris, August 29, 8:30 am - 3:30 pm, $20 for members, $30 for non-members, registration deadline Aug 21.
Katahdin Woods & Waters 5k Relay, Aug 19
Event - Posted - Saturday, August 12, 2017 

This race in Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument is part of the 'Wild Maine Weekend' hosted by local area businesses. August 19.
Animals, Animals, Animals, Aug 19
Event - Posted - Saturday, August 12, 2017 

International wildlife and travel photographer Gary Harmatz will share his photographs and stories of the wonderful world of exotic and highly endangered wildlife. At Blue Hill Public Library, August 19, 10 am.
Family Discovery Series, Aug 19
Event - Posted - Saturday, August 12, 2017 

Explore and identify species in their habitat and learn how to collect and record data using iNaturalist, Nature’s Notebook, and eBird. At Fields Pond, Holden, August 19, 1–2:30 pm; Maine Audubon Members $15/family, Non-members $20/family.
Live Birds of Prey, Aug 17
Event - Posted - Thursday, August 10, 2017 

Hope Douglas of Wind Over Wings will present an entertaining and inspiring evening featuring Maine raptors, including the majestic Queen Solomon, a Great Horned Owl. At Gilsland Farm, Falmouth, August 17, 7 pm, Maine Audubon members $10; non-members $15.
St. John-Allagash Region public lands plan being updated
Announcement - Wednesday, August 9, 2017 

The Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands is seeking comments on management of Public Lands in the St. John-Allagash Region, including Gero Island, Telos, Chamberlain Lake, and Round Pond Public Reserved Lands. Public scoping meeting: August 30, 6-8 pm at BPL Northern Region Office, Ashland.
2017 Maine Ag Fairs
Event - Posted - Wednesday, August 9, 2017 

At Maine's agricultural fairs, you can eat, drink, see livestock demonstrations, and experience live entertainment.
Creating a Seashell Wreath, Aug 16
Event - Posted - Wednesday, August 9, 2017 

An evening of creativity and sculpture making wreaths out of seashells and sea glass. At Scarborough Marsh, August 16, 5:30–7 pm; Maine Audubon Members $17, Non-members $20.
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News Items
If Trump topples designations, lawsuits, confusion may reign
E&E/Greenwire - Friday, July 28, 2017 

Critics of the Antiquities Act like to argue that presidents can effectively lock up millions of acres of land or ocean into national monuments with the stroke of a pen — but what exactly will happen if President Trump attempts to erase the work of his predecessors? The answer is complex and dependent on a range of factors, including whether Trump will move to eradicate any of the 27 national monuments included in a review underway by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. A final report is not due until Aug. 24, although Zinke has already dismissed three monuments from any changes, suggested he will leave a fourth unaltered and stated recently that he plans to cull from the list before the final deadline.
Schoodic Institute’s CEO to leave for new post with Nature Conservancy
Mainebiz - Friday, July 28, 2017 

Schoodic Institute, a public-private partnership with Acadia National Park that focuses on research and education, is looking for a new leader. The nonprofit organization said President and CEO Mark Berry will step down Aug. 15 to join The Nature Conservancy as forest program director, leading that nonprofit's forest conservation initiatives in Maine.
Interior secretary Zinke reportedly warns senators on health care votes
Associated Press - Friday, July 28, 2017 

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke called Alaska’s two Republican senators to warn them of repercussions for the nation’s largest state if they failed to toe the Trump administration line on health care, according to a published report. The notion of a Cabinet official warning senators of retribution over health care is highly unusual, even as Trump has lashed out at GOP members of Congress for balking at his policies. [Ed: The Trump Administration is desperate. Is Maine's national monument next?]
Bankrupt Lincoln mill claims Woodland Pulp, other Maine firms owe it $1.1 million
Bangor Daily News - Friday, July 28, 2017 

The bankrupt Lincoln Paper and Tissue mill plans to file $1.1 million in claims against Maine-based suppliers and others that it paid before filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The mill on Thursday detailed the amounts it will seek from vendors it claims should instead be part of the company’s bankruptcy case and be distributed to all similarly situated creditors.
Longtime MDI newspaper editor to leave for PR job
Bangor Daily News - Friday, July 28, 2017 

The founding editor of the weekly Mount Desert Islander newspaper is leaving for a communications post at an Acadia National Park-focused nonprofit. Earl Brechlin founded the paper in 2001 alongside publisher Alan Baker, who also publishes The Ellsworth American. After 16 years at the helm of the Islander and 30 years in the newspaper industry, Brechlin will leave to become communications director at Friends of Acadia at the end of August.
Column: Birds silent now, but action will pick up soon
Bangor Daily News - Friday, July 28, 2017 

It’s dead quiet, save for a few red-eyed vireos who never seem to know when to shut up, and the cooing of a few mourning doves who never seem to know when to stop making babies. We’ve reached that point in summer when birds see no point in singing anymore. Mating is over. Nestlings have fledged. My backyard birds will be invisible for the next several weeks, but I know their behavior will change again soon. Finches with their babies will again be mobbing my feeders. Hummingbird youngsters will slurp nectar. A few adult warblers will sing again just to give their fledglings an inkling of the songs they will need to know as grownups next year. Hark: I just heard a pine warbler and blue-headed vireo, doing exactly that. All is not lost. ~ Bob Duchesne
Series of mild winters leads to major increase in any-deer permits
Bangor Daily News - Friday, July 28, 2017 

If the winter is mild, more deer — especially young, vulnerable deer — survive. And in Maine, when that happens, hunters receive more any-deer permits from the state. With one of those permits in hand, a hunter is allowed to target a doe or fawn during hunting season. Without it, that hunter has to target deer sporting antlers, which are typically bucks. This year, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife has put 66,050 of the coveted permits up for grabs via a lottery. That’s a drastic increase over the 2016 permit allocation of 45,755. Just two years ago, in 2015, the state allotted just 28,770 permits — 44 percent of this year’s total.
Rumford mill owner taps tax credit program to help finance $56 million expansion
Portland Press Herald - Friday, July 28, 2017 

Three years after a controversial tax break program failed to prevent a paper mill in Northern Maine from closing, another paper company is using the program to lure investment for mill improvements projected to create and sustain jobs in Oxford County. Catalyst Paper has lined up $12.7 million in state tax credits to leverage a $31 million investment to add a new tissue paper machine at its Rumford mill through a subsidiary called Pacific Falcon Corp. Catalyst also is seeking a $25 million loan that would bring the total investment in the mill to at least $56 million.
Fox News host calls story about giant Maine lobster, $42,000 tab ‘fake news’
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, July 27, 2017 

Air-lifting a behemoth lobster hundreds of miles is a sure way to run up your dinner bill. That’s part of how Sean Hannity allegedly spent tens of thousands of dollars at the restaurant of the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. On the weekend of President Donald Trump’s inauguration, the Fox News host “ran up a $42,000 tab in the [hotel] restaurant, which included the cost of flying in an eight-pound 70-year-old lobster from Maine,” GQ magazine reported in June. Fox News denied the story at the time. And after the GQ article resurfaced Thursday on Twitter, Hannity tweeted “FAKE NEWS!! Ridiculous Fake News!! NEVER HAPPENED.”
Maine town has regulated lake levels for 300 years. Will state take over now?
Journal Tribune - Thursday, July 27, 2017 

Waterboro selectmen on Tuesday unanimously approved an ordinance designed to keep water levels at Little Ossipee Pond under local control. Folks in the audience applauded the vote. It’s unknown whether the new ordinance will head off an Aug. 21 public hearing by the Department of Environmental Protection, along with a DEP ruling about lake levels in response to a decade-old petition to lower them. The town has controlled the level of Little Ossipee Pond since the 1700s, and through policy since 1969, when the summer level was set at 6 feet, 6 inches. But a petition filed in August 2007 asked the state to lower the lake level to try and head off an erosion problem.
Do we have too many national monuments? 4 essential reads
Other - Thursday, July 27, 2017 

The Conversation - Under an order from President Trump, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is reviewing the status of national monuments that were designated or expanded by presidents as far back as 1996, using authority under the Antiquities Act. Conservation groups and Native American tribes strongly support creating national monuments to protect sensitive lands and public resources from development or exploitation. But other stakeholders often view these as federal land grabs. Zinke is scheduled to issue recommendations for the remaining 24 sites by August 24. They could include rescinding some national monument designations or altering boundaries. Can the Trump administration do that, and what’s at stake? Our experts offer some answers.
Maine beach shuts down after portable toilets were tipped over
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, July 27, 2017 

A beach in Gray has been closed for most of the week after a group of teenagers allegedly tipped over portable toilets. Officials shut down Wilkies Beach on Saturday. Teenagers were spotted knocking the toilets over, spilling their contents. The toilets had been emptied the day before, so most of what spilled was the chemicals. “The weather, as it is in the summer, generates a higher bacteria count, so anything like this happening increases the odds of the bacteria, and we don’t want to pass that on to the swimmers,” Dean Bennett of the Gray Recreation Department told the news station. The beach is expected to reopen Thursday after the cleanup is finished.
CMP unveils plan that could quench LePage’s thirst for Quebec hydropower
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, July 27, 2017 

Central Maine Power Co. and Hydro Quebec jointly filed a proposal Thursday with regulators to build 145 miles of new transmission lines that would bring a massive amount of hydropower across Maine from Canada onto New England’s regional grid. CMP also filed a second bid with NextEra, which would serve up a mix of Maine-based wind power, solar power and energy storage using a transmission line in the same right-of-way. Competing proposals likely will include a 900-megawatt underwater line connecting New Brunswick to Boston proposed by Emera, a 449-megawatt Aroostook County wind project proposed by NRG, and a 252-megawatt Washington County wind project proposed by EverPower Wind Holdings. The company estimates the project would have the effect of lowering power prices for Maine, as Massachusetts would pay for the new transmission lines.
CMP bids for project that would create 145-mile transmission line
Sun Journal - Thursday, July 27, 2017 

Central Maine Power is submitting two bids today for a massive clean energy project in Massachusetts that could trigger the construction of a 145-mile transmission line from Lewiston to the Canadian border. "Massachusetts ratepayers pay for this; this is how this bid is set up," CMP President and CEO Sara Burns said. "(Maine) will get all the construction jobs." Construction would start in 2019 and the new line would be in service by the end of 2022.
Changes in Lobster Land
Free Press - Thursday, July 27, 2017 

It’s rare that there are direct links between cause and effect, as there are between kelp, crab, and urchin. What is known is that the Gulf of Maine is shifting, some species moving in, others moving out, water warming and growing acidic, one species replacing another. When research funding is available, scientists look at underwater data, chemical data, data from NASA satellites, and data from all the varied creatures of the deep to fill in the picture of what the lobstermen see. “Oceans aren’t simple,” says Robert Steneck, a marine scientist at the University of Maine Darling Marine Center. “Nobody thinks the lobster boom will go on forever. Nobody knows when it could change.”
Republican Legislators Oppose R&D Bond
Free Press - Thursday, July 27, 2017 

The Maine Legislature fell short of the 2/3 necessary to pass a $55 million bond to fund technological innovation in the state. LD 1613 would create a new fund called the Baxter Innovation Challenge Fund, which would focus on funding innovation initiatives that address challenges facing traditional industries such as forest products, agriculture and fisheries. The proposal would also leverage $30 million in other funds to repurpose and use existing infrastructure to “facilitate the continued growth of businesses and commercial enterprises that grow the State’s economy and create new jobs.” Lawmakers will get another chance to find agreement on the bonds when they return for “Veto Day” on August 2.
Vote on Solar Bill Veto Coming Up
Free Press - Thursday, July 27, 2017 

Governor LePage vetoed a bill that would overturn a controversial decision by the Maine Public Utilities Commission to increase the cost of installing rooftop solar panels. Gov. LePage despises solar incentives. Lawmakers will get another chance to find agreement on the bonds when they return for “Veto Day” on August 2. Although more than two-thirds of the Legislature voted to support the amended bill, LePage and Central Maine Power are lobbying a number of Republicans hard to change their votes.
Legislature Overrides Veto of Bill to Extend RPS
Free Press - Thursday, July 27, 2017 

The Maine Legislature managed to override Gov. LePage’s veto of a bill (LD 1147) that would preserve incentives for renewable power like wind, hydro and biomass. Under Maine’s Renewable Portfolio Standard, utilities are required to purchase increasing amounts of electricity from qualified new renewable capacity resources, beginning in 2008 at a 1-percent requirement and ending in 2017 as a 10-percent requirement. LD 1147 would expand the 10-percent renewable energy mandate over the next five years. In his veto message, LePage argued that the RPS is a subsidy for renewable energy.
CMP wants to build 145-mile transmission line through western Maine
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, July 27, 2017 

Central Maine Power Co. submitted a plan Thursday to build a 145-mile high-voltage transmission line through western Maine to bring large amounts of hydroelectricity from Quebec to Massachusetts, joining a multibillion-dollar regional competition to develop the next phase of clean-energy projects in New England and eastern Canada. It’s also possible a similar line proposed by CMP and a partner could carry power from new solar and energy-storage projects in western Maine, as well as wind turbines on both sides of the border. For this to happen, Massachusetts and its utilities will have to select at least one of the bids from CMP and its partners to provide the commonwealth with massive amounts of electricity from those energy sources.
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
Opinion: A new set of bold predictions
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, January 4, 2015 

In 2015, LePage will reduce the size of state government by 5 percent, he will succeed in further reducing municipal revenue sharing and he will change state law to permit municipalities to tax nonprofits. The Legislature will pass major welfare reform and reduce energy costs by welcoming in more natural gas and hydro. ~ Phil Harriman
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