May 22, 2017  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Saturday, May 20, 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
BDN Poll: Should the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument get its own signage?
Action Alert - Saturday, May 20, 2017 

Gov. Paul LePage is refusing to put signs along state roads showing the way to Maine’s national monument. Should the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument get its own signage?
Damariscotta Mills Fish Ladder Restoration Festival, May 27-28
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 20, 2017 

The towns of Nobleboro and Newcastle and the Nobleboro Historical Society present the 10th annual Damariscotta Mills Fish Ladder Restoration Festival on Memorial Day weekend, May 27-28. Witness the annual return of the alewives as they ascend the fish ladder to spawn in Damariscotta Lake.
Third Annual Freeport Birding Festival, May 26-28
Event - Posted - Friday, May 19, 2017 

Owl Prowl at Mast landing Sanctuary; birding at Florida Lake, Pettengill Farm, Wolfe’s Neck Farm, and Sayles Field; Casco Bay kayak tour; outing at Winslow Park, etc. May 26-28. Sponsored by L.L. Bean and Maine Audubon.
Saving Seabirds: New Lessons from Puffins, May 25
Event - Posted - Thursday, May 18, 2017 

60% of all seabirds have vanished in the last 60 years. Dr. Stephen Kress, Director of National Audubon’s Seabird Restoration Program, will talk about the restoration of Maine seabirds. At L.L. Bean, Freeport, May 25, 7-9 pm, Maine Audubon members $10, non-members $15.
Little Big Day, May 23
Event - Posted - Tuesday, May 16, 2017 

Join naturalist Doug Hitchcox leads a van trip full birds. From Gilsland Farm, Falmouth, May 23, 7 am 3 pm, Maine Audubon members $50, non-members $60, space is limited.
Bradley Pond Farm , May 23
Event - Posted - Tuesday, May 16, 2017 

An easy walk through a conservation easement surrounding a privately-owned working farm. See migrating warblers, flycatchers, blackbirds, vireos, sparrows, and an occasional raptor. At Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust's Bradley Pond Farm Preserve, Topsham, May 23, 8-10 am.
Help wanted: Contract planner for Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument
Announcement - Tuesday, May 16, 2017 

The National Park Foundation, in partnership with the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, is seeking a 3-year community planner to assist with the development of a management plan for this new unit of the National Park Service. Deadline: May 26, 2017, 5 pm.
Spring Bird Walk at Fort Williams Park, May 22
Event - Posted - Monday, May 15, 2017 

Doug Hitchcox leads a spring bird walk, in collaboration with the Fort Williams Park Foundation, to look for migrants and local nesters like warblers and vireos around one of Maine’s most scenic vistas. At Portland Head Light, Cape Elizabeth, May 22, 7-9 am, Maine Audubon members $5, non-members $8.

Sewall Woods Birding & Bird Monitoring Workshop, May 20
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 13, 2017 

Join Kennebec Estuary land Trust and Maine Audubon for a morning practicing bird identification and bird monitoring methods at KELT’s demonstration forest at Sewall Woods Preserve in Bath, May 20, 7-10 am.
Pollinator Parade & Festival, May 20
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 13, 2017 

Family Festival, Pollinator Parade, and the release of "A Monarch Butterfly Story" book by Melissa Kim and Jada Fitch. At Gilsland Farm, Falmouth, May 20, 1 am – 1 pm, free but $5/car to park.
3D Experience: Sportsmen and the Maine Sporting Camp Tradition, May 20
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 13, 2017 

Bernard Fishman, Maine State Museum director, will present never-before-seen 3D images featuring the history of sportsmen and the sporting camp tradition in Maine. Supporting commentary from David Trahan, Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine. At Maine Elk’s Lodge, Augusta, May 20, 5-8:30 pm, $60.
Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument is Under Attack
Action Alert - Friday, May 12, 2017 

The Trump Administration is threatening to overturn Maine’s new National Monument. At the request of Governor Paul LePage, the Department of Interior (DOI) included Katahdin Woods & Waters on a list of 27 monuments to be “reviewed.” DOI Secretary Ryan Zinke could recommend that Maine’s National Monument be changed, or possibly even abolished. Tell the Trump Administration to keep its hands off Katahdin Woods & Waters. ~ Natural Resources Council of Maine
Save Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument
Action Alert - Friday, May 12, 2017 

President Trump is considering eliminating or changing the Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument in Maine. Urge the Trump Administration and your U.S. congressional representatives to oppose any effort to eliminate or weaken Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument. Comment deadline is July 10, 2017. ~ RESTORE: The North Woods
Help wanted: Outdoors types
Announcement - Friday, May 12, 2017 

Boston-based Slate Casting will hold auditions in Augusta to cast a television commercial on May 21. The company is looking for Mainers between the ages of 30 and 70 who are active and love outdoor activities, such as hiking, skiing, kayaking, fishing, hunting, and other recreational sports from leisurely to extreme.
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News Items
Putting fish where the people are: Trout stocked at UMaine and in Kenduskeag Stream
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, May 4, 2017 

While many of their fellow students were attending a few last classes before next week’s final exams, some members of the University of Maine Fishing Club spent part of Tuesday on the banks of the Stillwater River, tossing brook trout into the chilly water. “It’s awesome that [the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife] is willing to [stock fish] this close to campus,” said Chris Pullano, a club member who is a junior. “I’m sure we’ll have some kids out here trying to catch brook trout tomorrow.”
Lifting H-2B Visa Cap May Ease Struggle to Find Summer Workers
Free Press - Thursday, May 4, 2017 

The number of seasonal guest worker visas could double this year if the federal budget deal brokered on Monday is signed into law before the end of the week, as expected. Technically, that could make an additional 60,000 or more seasonal non-farm workers available nationwide between now and the end of September if the Secretary of Homeland Security agrees to raise the cap after consulting the Department of Labor. The annual quota for H-2B temporary worker visas, which was capped at 60,000 for 2017, was reached in March. It is not yet clear how much lifting the visa cap will help Maine employers struggling to find summer help for the season that starts in just over three weeks, since processing foreign worker visas can take weeks. Some fear visas will not be approved by July 4.
LePage Warns of Catastrophic Fires if National Monument Designation Remains
Free Press - Thursday, May 4, 2017 

On Tuesday Gov. Paul LePage issued a dire warning to Congress that if the federal government doesn’t rescind the designation of 87,500 acres of forest land in the North Woods as a National Monument, there will be “catastrophic” wildfires. “I fear that the visitors of Mount Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument [sic] will become uninspired by this portion of cut-over forest land,” said LePage. “There will be an unmanageable surge of demand to Baxter State Park....” The governor argued that most of the 40 million visitors Maine receives will go to the coast and not the “mosquito area.” He added that preserving forest is “devastating” because “a forest is like a garden” and if “not properly managed” it’ll get weeds, blowdowns and deadwood, which could cause wildfires. The governor said “good stewardship” of a forest should include logging, hunting, fishing and snowmobiling — in fact, hunting, fishing and snowmobiling are actually allowed in parts of the monument’s former timberland.
Opinion: Why Down East Maine is the ultimate marine tourism destination
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, May 4, 2017 

Shared Passamaquoddy Bay is one reason why Maine and New Brunswick promote the “Two Nation Vacation” for our region in its entirety. Visitors find an international tapestry of cities, towns and villages linked by history and culture, but each with its own distinct flavor. One can experience breathtaking scenery, the best seafood in the world and warm hospitality on both sides of the border. I hope the growth in marine and general tourism will be judicious and that on both sides of the border we will highlight and protect the qualities of the bay we love. ~ John Ames, minister of tourism, heritage and culture, New Brunswick
Column: LePage just can’t get over Katahdin national monument
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, May 4, 2017 

Why, with all the challenges facing this state, this country, this entire planet, are we still having this discussion over the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument? Because Gov. LePage’s perpetual anger requires constant fueling, that’s why. He’s the grumpy old neighbor screaming at the kids to stay out of his backyard – only it’s not really his yard and the kids are full-grown tourists with adventure in their souls and money in their wallets. This week’s long-anticipated showdown stems from President Trump’s recently ordered review of 26 monuments established by Obama and other past presidents. Ironically, Kathadin is not on the list because it’s too small. Nevertheless, for two-and-a-half hours, this politically charged piece of real estate occupied center stage. Simultaneously, lawmakers saw Maine at its best and its worst. ~ Bill Nemitz
Some People Have Always Hated National Monuments—Until They Love Them
Sierra Club - Thursday, May 4, 2017 

Last week, President Trump launched an unprecedented assault on America’s public lands when he ordered Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to evaluate whether dozens of national monuments should be rescinded or reduced in size. The long-running campaign against the Antiquities Act comes with a lot of red-hot rhetoric. If all this talk sounds predictable, that’s because you’ve heard it before. The anger directed at national monuments is history repeating itself. For more than a hundred years, there have been voices railing against “overreach” by distant authorities. But the predicted calamities almost never materialize.
Letter: National monuments a gift; we need more of them, not fewer
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, May 4, 2017 

President Trump’s order to review the last 20 years of actions taken under the Antiquities Act is yet another block in the wall his administration is building between those who would profit by exploiting federal lands, and the majority of Americans who say they want public lands and national monuments and parks protected for future generations’ use and enjoyment. National monuments are owned by all, for the enjoyment of all, rather than leased by the federal government to the highest bidders – generally those who would dig, drill, extract and pollute. Let your politicians know that national monuments are one of the perks of being a citizen in this great country, and we want more, not fewer. ~ Robert H. Hamblen, Saco
Blog: Mr. LePage goes to Washington, embarrasses Maine
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, May 3, 2017 

On Tuesday, LePage testified before the Federal Lands Subcommittee of the House Natural Resources Committee. His stated purpose was to educate the committee about the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. LePage was poorly prepared, managed to mangle even his small list of pre-approved talking points and largely embarrassed himself. There’s no question that his trips to Washington are an ongoing audition for a job in the Trump administration. I don’t think he’s going to get a call back. LePage bungled basic facts about the state, while managing to insult the Katahdin region, disregard community leaders who were in the audience watching his performance and even bad mouth Acadia National Park, one of the most visited and beautiful national parks in the country. ~ David Farmer
Blog: Fooling a turkey is EASY!
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, May 3, 2017 

Since it is turkey hunting season here in Maine, I seized an opportuity to show up the turkey hunters when I saw a turkey eating last year’s corn across the street from my house. I wanted to prove just how stupid these birds really are by calling it into shooting range from my front yard. I don’t have anything against turkey hunters. But if you wanna get decked out in expensive camo clothing with a camo shotgun and sit in a blind over decoys while clucking like a lonely hen looking for the perfect mate, don't pretend that is the only way you are going to succeed. It just isn’t that hard to get into range of a wild turkey! ~ Doug Alley
Harsher penalties for lobstermen who cheat get legislative support
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, May 3, 2017 

A legislative committee voted unanimously Wednesday to toughen penalties on lobstermen who fish too many traps or use “sunken trawls,” as part of an industry-supported effort to crack down on lawbreakers. “I do think this is going to get people’s attention and will hopefully make people realize that it doesn’t pay to cheat,” said Patrice McCarron, executive director of the Maine Lobstermen’s Association.
Old Town mill eyed for full-scale plant to turn wood pulp into ingredient for diesel, jet fuel
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, May 3, 2017 

The former Old Town Fuel and Fiber mill here could become the site of a $60 million production facility making a raw material that can help turn wood fiber into jet fuel, the president of a Massachusetts biotech company said Wednesday. “The Old Town mill is one of the sites we’re looking at, but I think we can build several plants,” said Stephen Fitzpatrick, president of Biofine Technology LLC in Framingham, Massachusetts. Fitzpatrick said he thinks development has reached a point where his company could build a plant that takes at least 200 tons a day of biomass feedstock and convert it into 12,000 tons of crude oil a year. “The biggest obstacle now is financing,” he said.
Biorefinery firm eyes plant in new industrial complex at former Old Town mill
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, May 3, 2017 

A Massachusetts company focused on making liquid fuel, chemicals and other advanced materials from wood intends to build its first major project in a new industrial complex planned for the former Old Town Fuel and Fiber. The Framingham, Massachusetts-based Biofine Technology has plans for its first large-scale project in Old Town, where on Wednesday it held a public demonstration of its pilot project to break down wood into intermediate chemicals that can be made into other things.
What it takes to become a game warden in Maine
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, May 3, 2017 

There will be 10 new game wardens heading into the field this spring and scattering across the state to learn from their colleagues about the art of protecting Maine’s natural resources. After months of arduous training and tests, the newest wardens — all Maine natives — graduated last week from the Maine Criminal Justice Academy in Vassalboro. An 18-week Basic Law Enforcement Training Program, which is required of all full-time Maine police officers, is followed by a 12-week advanced academy, created specifically for Maine game wardens.
Maine sporting camps are full of great memories
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Wednesday, May 3, 2017 

Last year Down East Books published my book, Maine Sporting Camps, a bit of history, lots of information about each camp, and great stories from longtime guests and customers. One of my favorite stories came from Dick Mosher, a master guide for 54 years. I had a fascinating telephone conversation with Dick, and he followed up by sending me a great story which I will share with you today.
Letter: Ban metal mining in Maine
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, May 3, 2017 

Bald Mountain would devastate the Allagash Wilderness Waterway. But it’s not just there that mining could destroy Maine’s waters and all they support. There are a number of significant metal deposits in eastern, coastal, central and northern Maine, any of which would likely result in disaster if mined. Mining is the ultimate boom-and-bust industry. Whatever the promises made, mines often close precipitously when world metal prices fall, leaving the state and communities holding the bag. Mainers are still paying for the Callahan Mine cleanup in Brooksville. We can’t afford another such site. Surely, it’s time to ban metal mining in Maine once and for all. ~ Alan Brooks, Lubec
Maine DOT wants to know: What’s the oddest place you’ve seen a moose?
John Holyoke Out There Blog - Tuesday, May 2, 2017 

As we head into the time of year when moose are apt to start heading out on our roadways, the Maine Department of Transportation is urging motorists to use caution and to look out for moose. Working toward that goal, the DOT asked a question on its Twitter account. That post: “In #Maine, wildlife crashes can happen anywhere, anytime. Be Alert! Where’s the most unexpected place you’ve seen a #moose?” The most unexpected place I ever saw a moose was in a water hazard at Mount Kineo Golf Course in Rockwood.
Blog: Teaching environmentalism to my kids, one hike at a time
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, May 2, 2017 

When my kids were still pretty little, a section about teaching environmentalism in Richard Louv’s book Last Child in the Woods really struck me. When we teach children to worry about the environment before we teach them to love it, Louv thought, we paralyze them. If you want to teach kids to care about the earth, Louv says, teach them about their own backyard. Teach them to find the beauty that surrounds them. Teach them to care about it. Then teach them to save it. ~ Cherie Galyean
Bill to move Monhegan wind power project draws crowd to legislative hearing
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, May 2, 2017 

Lawmakers heard passionate, conflicting testimony Tuesday from dozens of people on a bill aimed at moving a nationally significant wind energy test site farther from Monhegan Island. Supporters say the legislation is necessary to protect the island's lobstering and tourism, but opponents say it would kill a UMaine project that could spark a new industry built around deep-water turbines.
A short history of the Maine Aqua Ventus project
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, May 2, 2017 

The 2009 law that designated the site off Monhegan includes a test period of up to 20 years, two turbines with a maximum capacity of 25 megawatts and a transmission cable to the mainland.
LePage, Quimby heir take monument fight to Capitol Hill
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, May 2, 2017 

Gov. Paul LePage and Lucas St. Clair painted starkly differing portraits of Maine’s national monument as they took one of the north woods’ most divisive issues before its most influential audience yet — Congress — on Tuesday. In testimony to a House Committee on Natural Resources subcommittee, St. Clair said the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument already was having a positive impact on northern Maine despite being only eight months old. LePage said he didn’t expect that the monument would ever benefit northern Maine. “Not in this area, not in my lifetime,” LePage said Tuesday, predicting that “very few [visitors] will be in the mosquito area” of the monument this summer, instead preferring to go to Maine’s coast. St. Clair’s family donated to the federal government 87,563 acres of family-owned land east of Baxter State Park. President Barack Obama created the monument from those lands in August 2016.
LePage, St. Clair Clash in Hearing on Maine's New National Monument
Maine Public - Tuesday, May 2, 2017 

A congressional subcommittee heard two starkly contrasting views about the recent designation of the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument in northern Maine. Gov. Paul LePage, an outspoken opponent, and Lucas St. Clair, its chief supporter, were among four panelists invited to speak to the Subcommittee on Federal Lands about past use of the Antiquities Act to create national monuments like the one in Maine. Republican committee members made it clear that they’d like to see the act and the monuments dismantled.
Elver lottery plan wins approval from key committee
Associated Press - Tuesday, May 2, 2017 

A key committee of the Maine Legislature says it’s time for the state to institute a lottery system to bring new people into the baby eel fishery. The Committee on Marine Resource voted Tuesday in favor of creation of the lottery system, which will provide permits to fish for baby eels, also called elvers. The fishery is closed to new people.
LePage testifies in D.C. against Katahdin area national monument
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, May 2, 2017 

Maine’s Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument took center stage Tuesday in the political debate over national monuments when Gov. Paul LePage and the land’s chief advocate offered dueling testimony on the monument’s creation and economic potential. Appearing before a congressional committee, LePage referred to the 87,500-acre monument as “cutover” forest lands while raising concerns about “uninspired” visitors causing an “unmanageable surge in demand” in neighboring Baxter State Park. The governor also repeated his contention that the National Park Service ignored local and state opposition when designating the national monument last August. But Lucas St. Clair said his family engaged in extensive public outreach before donating the land to the National Park Service and noted that some Katahdin-area businesses are already seeing positive impacts.
Column: Approach taken by Our Katahdin may show the way to prosperity
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, May 2, 2017 

For at least a generation, economic development in the great North Woods of Maine had to be one of two things – either revitalization of forestry and logging and the industrial mill jobs they supported, or creation of parks and tourist attractions that would provide the economic base of the future. It couldn’t be both, proponents of each side argued. It has been fascinating in this setting to watch the progress of Our Katahdin. The local nonprofit economic development organization, based in Millinocket, was founded in December 2014, largely by current and former residents of the Katahdin region, many of whom left years ago, achieved great success outside of Maine but remained committed to the well-being of their hometowns. The group and its hundreds of volunteers dedicated themselves to the revitalization of their region. And, most importantly, they began with no predetermined agenda for what that revitalization would be. ~ Charles Lawton
Letter: Push for H-2B visa expansion
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, May 2, 2017 

Gov. Paul LePage goes to Washington, D.C., to speak against the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. If the monument status is reversed as a result of his efforts, it will cost the North Woods area visitors and jobs. Instead, the governor might try something constructive, such as advocating for expansion of the H-2B visa program to allow willing workers from other countries to help our motels, restaurants, hospitals and other businesses during the busy summer season. Maine may be “open for business” as he used to say, but it seems like he’s picketing on the sidewalk in front of those businesses with a sign which says to visitors, customers and workers, “go away.” ~ David P. Frasz, Dover-Foxcroft
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