June 22, 2017  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Thursday, June 22, 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
Save Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument
Action Alert - Thursday, June 22, 2017 

President Trump is considering eliminating the Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument in Maine or opening it to logging and mining as well as expanding areas for hunting, trapping, and off-road vehicles. Urge the Trump Administration and your U.S. congressional representatives to oppose any effort to rescind or weaken Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument. Comment deadline is July 10, 2017. ~ RESTORE: The North Woods
Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument is Under Attack
Action Alert - Thursday, June 22, 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
Stop Trump-LePage’s Monumental Betrayal
Action Alert - Thursday, June 22, 2017 

Let's tell Secretary Zinke that any attempt to revoke the Katahdin Woods and Waters and other National Monuments is an assault on our historical, cultural, and natural heritage, and that our public lands must be protected for generations to come. ~ Sierra Club
Speak up in defense of Maine’s new National Monument
Action Alert - Thursday, June 22, 2017 

Last summer’s creation of the Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument in northern Maine was a huge victory for conservation and wildlife in our state. Today, that designation is at risk. The Trump administration is conducting a review of national monument designations, including Katahdin Woods & Waters. The Department of Interior is accepting public comments until July 10. ~ Maine Audubon
Defend Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument
Action Alert - Thursday, June 22, 2017 

There was a multi-year process that incorporated public input to protect Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument, which garnered broad support in Maine and across the country. And yet the Trump administration issued an executive order that may alter the size of or even attempt to eliminate the national park site. ~ National Parks Conservation Association
Protect Our National Monuments
Action Alert - Thursday, June 22, 2017 

President Trump issued an executive order directing the Department of Interior to review – and potentially eliminate or shrink – protections of some of our nation’s most pristine national monuments, including Maine’s Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. This is a direct attack on our shared Maine history and heritage. ~ League of Conservation Voters
"Born to Rewild," Jun 29
Event - Posted - Thursday, June 22, 2017 

This documentary features wilderness ultratrekker John Davis who traveled 5,000 human-powered miles from Mexico to British Columbia through the Western Wildway, a mega wildlife corridor along the western spine of North America, during an epic conservation journey called TrekWest. Also, William Stolzenburg will read from his book "Heart Of A Lion." At Frontier, Brunswick, June 29, 7 pm, $5 in advance, $6 day of show.
The Future of Maine's Fisheries: Threats Posed by Federal Budget Cuts, Jun 29
Event - Posted - Thursday, June 22, 2017 

Leaders from Maine’s marine and fisheries communities discuss how the Trump Administration’s proposed cuts to the EPA and NOAA would hurt Maine’s marine environment, economy, and research—and what you can do to help protect these important marine resources. At Univ of Southern Maine, Portland, Luther Bonney Building, Talbot Hall, June 29, 6 pm.
Family Friendly Hikes in Maine, Jun 29
Event - Posted - Thursday, June 22, 2017 

Bangor Daily News outdoor journalist Aislinn Sarnacki will present a slideshow and talk about her new book, "Family Friendly Hikes in Maine." At Blue Hill Public Library, June 29, 7 pm. Sponsored by Blue Hill Heritage Trust.
Mountain Lions in Maine – Rewilding the Maine Woods, Jun 28
Event - Posted - Wednesday, June 21, 2017 

Panel discussion about the challenges involved in bringing large, apex predators, specifically the cougar (mountain lion, puma, panther) and other wildlife back to their native habitat in the Northeast corridor, and how human communities can adapt to co-exist with and even benefit from them. At DRA Round Top Farm, Damariscotta, June 28, 7 pm, $8.
Celebrate MITA's new home, Jun 28
Event - Posted - Wednesday, June 21, 2017 

Join Maine Island Trail Association staff, trustees and friends to help celebrate this exciting new chapter. At 100 Kensington St, 2nd Floor, Portland, June 28, 5:30-8:30 pm.
Renewable Energy Activity – Global to Regional, Jun 28
Event - Posted - Wednesday, June 21, 2017 

Lawrence Mott, Director Americas of SgurrEnergy, a global renewable engineering firm, will speak on the current status of large scale wind and solar projects, technology, and policy here and abroad. At Portland Public Library, Rines Auditorium, June 28, 5:30 pm.
Solar bill
Action Alert - Tuesday, June 20, 2017 

The Maine Senate has voted unanimously to support the majority report in support of LD 1504 the solar policy bill. The House is expected to vote Wednesday on LD 1504. The bill is a step toward overturning an anti-solar PUC rule and increasing the accessibility of community solar. The governor has been bullying lawmakers into supporting his anti-renewable ideology. Email your Senator and Representative now to urge them to support this solar bill. ~ NRCM & Maine Audubon
Family Friendly Hikes in Maine, Jun 27
Event - Posted - Tuesday, June 20, 2017 

Bangor Daily News outdoor journalist Aislinn Sarnacki will present a slideshow and talk about her new book, "Family Friendly Hikes in Maine." At Shaw Public Library, Greenville, June 27, 5 pm.
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News Items
House overrides LePage veto of ‘nips’ liquor bill
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, June 6, 2017 

House lawmakers voted Tuesday to override Gov. Paul LePage’s veto of a bill that would impose a refundable 5-cent deposit on the miniature liquor bottles known as “nips.” Lawmakers could be calling the governor's bluff that he would end sales of single-serve, 50-milliliter liquor bottles if the Legislature insists on requiring a 5-cent deposit on every nips sale. The bill now heads over to the Republican-controlled Senate for consideration, likely later this week.
Hike: Niagara Falls in Baxter State Park
Aislinn Sarnacki Act Out Blog - Tuesday, June 6, 2017 

The Niagara Falls are among the many stunning natural landmarks in Baxter State Park, but tucked into the forest south of Kidney Pond, a small percentage of park visitors ever see these waterfalls, even though there are two established hiking trails that lead to them. The two waterfalls, known as Little and Big Niagara, are located on the Nesowadnehunk Stream just south of Lily Pad Pond.
Info sheets for Maine woodland landowners
Maine Government News - Tuesday, June 6, 2017 

The Maine Forest Service has more than two dozen information sheets about woodland management online.
Charts: How clean is that cruise ship?
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, June 6, 2017 

Cruise ships, which spend much of their time at sea and in international waters, can spend long periods of time without scrutiny from health inspectors. When these ships visit U.S. ports, they are subject to inspections from the Vessel Sanitation Program of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This program is specifically focused on preventing and controlling gastrointestinal illnesses on cruise ships, with inspections of pools, kitchens and dining areas. For most ships, these inspections occur every 3-4 months. These charts list inspection scores and outbreak incidents since 2005 for each of the federally-regulated cruise ships visiting Portland this summer and fall.
Maine House rejects LePage veto of nip bottle deposit bill
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, June 6, 2017 

The Maine House voted 114-31 Tuesday to overturn Gov. Paul LePage’s veto of a bill to add small liquor bottles known as nips to Maine’s bottle redemption program. The bill, LD 56, would add wine or spirits containers of 50 milliliters and smaller in size to the state’s bottle redemption program as of January 2019. Maine sold 8.4 million nips in the 2016 fiscal year — a number that has grown by 40 percent in each of the past five years. Consideration of LePage’s veto now goes to the Senate, where a two-thirds vote to override the veto is required to enact the bill.
Maine teacher hikes deep into Baxter State Park to create new trail guide
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, June 6, 2017 

Greg Westrich, an English teacher from Glenburn, has eaten many lunches in Baxter State Park. In recent years, over the course of numerous day trips and backpacking trips, he has hiked and mapped approximately 200 miles of the park’s 215 miles of trails while researching for his newest guidebook, “Hiking Maine’s Baxter State Park,” released by FalconGuides on June 1. The 209-page book, retailing at $18.95, features 37 day hikes in Baxter, and three suggested backpacking trips.
This Ultra-Efficient Portland Apartment Building Doesn’t Need Central Heating
Maine Public - Tuesday, June 6, 2017 

Until recently, “passive housing” — residences built to achieve ultra-low energy use — has been kind of a boutique-y effort, with eco-minded homeowners making upfront investments to radically reduce their carbon footprint. But now, Maine is on the leading edge of a surge in its development, on a large scale. Last fall, the nation’s biggest passive housing complex opened in Brewer. The 48-unit Village Center, as it’s called, meets strict energy efficiency standards set by a national institute. It’s one of just 36 such buildings in the country. And now, the Bayside Anchor, a big, green, somewhat boxy looking four-story building near Portland’s Franklin Street artery, has joined the group.
LePage Proposing that State Take Over Paper Mill's Dam
Associated Press - Tuesday, June 6, 2017 

Maine's Republican governor wants the state to take over a northern Maine dam at the center of a spat among cottage owners, a pulp mill and the federal government. Gov. Paul LePage's bill, set for a Tuesday hearing, would authorize the state to own and manage the Forest City dam, which is on the St. Croix River watershed and straddles the border with Canada. The dam's owner Woodland Pulp LLC claims a new 30-year Federal Energy Regulatory Commission license will cost at least $6 million. Washington County's delegation, Republican U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin and LePage had appealed to Republican President Donald Trump and Congress to remove such requirements.
Portland joins Climate Mayors in support of Paris accord
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, June 6, 2017 

Portland Mayor Ethan Strimling announced Monday that Maine’s largest city will join the so-called Climate Mayors network in support of the Paris climate accord. Portland becomes the first city in Maine to join Climate Mayors, a large group of mayors from across the country who have sworn to adopt, honor, and uphold the goals that were included within the Paris agreement. Last week, President Trump announced that the United States will withdraw its support from the Paris climate accord. As of June 1, a total of 211 mayors representing 54 million Americans belonged to the Climate Mayors network.
Withdrawing from the Paris deal takes four years; our next president could join again in 30 days
Washington Post - Tuesday, June 6, 2017 

While President Donald Trump has vowed to formally withdraw from the Paris climate agreement, sparking international outrage, it doesn’t necessarily mean the end of U.S. involvement forever. A future president could have us back in the agreement in as little as 30 days, legal experts say. Michael Burger, executive director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School, said, “Countries don’t typically withdraw from complex international agreements that they led the way in negotiating."
Shellfish Harvest Banned in Southern Maine Due to Red Tide
Associated Press - Tuesday, June 6, 2017 

Maine fishing regulators are reminding the public that the state's southern coast is currently off limits to types of shellfishing because of possible red tide exposure. The state Department of Marine Resources says harvesting of mussels and European oysters is prohibited from the New Hampshire border to Pemaquid Point in the Bristol area. The ban also applies to all offshore islands.
Bar Harbor voters to consider competing cruise ship ballot proposals
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, June 6, 2017 

The future of the cruise ship business in the state’s busiest cruise ship port will come to a crossroads next week when local voters consider two competing proposals on the town meeting ballot. Two questions will come before local voters on June 13. Article 12 on the municipal town meeting warrant, proposed by the town, would allow for a zone change so that the former Canadian ferry terminal off Eden Street could be rebuilt to serve as a dock for cruise ships and other maritime commercial vessels. The other is by opponents who want to limit both the size of cruise ships that tie up along the waterfront and the number of cruise ship passengers who can disembark in Bar Harbor each day.
Column: Trump’s Paris decision was an accidental call to action
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, June 6, 2017 

A curious thing happened on President Trump’s way out of the Paris climate accord. American mayors, governors, corporate leaders and others immediately committed to meeting the agreement’s terms, anyway. Trump has signaled in the starkest terms yet that he’s not interested in continuing America’s historical leadership role in the world. The irony is that Trump, out of sheer political stubbornness, may have inadvertently reignited the spirit that made the nation great in the first place. ~ Kathleen Parker
Column: The secular progressives reveal (again) why they are not fit to lead anything
Fox News - Tuesday, June 6, 2017 

The central argument supporting “climate change” has been that a “scientific consensus” exists on the subject. First, climate scientists who disagree on that consensus have been largely shutout of the debate. Their papers and ideas are blocked from mainstream scientific journals and, thus, are not subject to peer review. Politics appears to have overshadowed science. Second, there have been numerous cases in the not too distant past where an empirical conclusion among scientists was touted as rock-solid truth, but which later proved to be dead wrong. As with climate change, politicians and editorialists told us we had to accept the conclusions, related costs and possibly even diminished lifestyles in order to save the planet. President Trump should counter his critics by convening a White House conference on climate. Let’s have a high-level debate on this issue and settle it once and for all. ~ Cal Thomas
Opinion: Trump should focus on priorities, not Katahdin monument
Morning Sentinel - Tuesday, June 6, 2017 

The Republican Party has a proud tradition of creating and protecting public lands. Not only am I a proud conservationist and Republican, I was and am an enthusiastic supporter of Donald Trump. At the end of April President Trump issued an executive order that instructed the secretary to conduct a review of all presidential designations or expansions of national monuments. At jeopardy is the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument here in Maine — along with dozens of other irreplaceable national monuments across the country. It is an unnecessary distraction. President Trump should stay focused on the big challenges facing our country — defeating radical Islamic terrorism, stopping the tide of illegal immigration, repealing Obamacare and rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure. ~ Chris Barron, born in Waterville, organizer of LGBT for Trump
Column: What Really Happened To Coal?
Other - Tuesday, June 6, 2017 

The coal-mining jobs that President Trump thinks were destroyed by government regulation — adopted to combat air pollution and global warming — were actually lost to old-fashioned competition from other American firms and workers. Eastern coal mines lost market share to Western coal, which was cheaper. And natural gas grew at coal's expense because it had low costs and lower greenhouse gas emissions. That's the conclusion of a new study. It mirrors the finding of Glenn Kessler — The Washington Post's "Fact Checker" — who disputed the claim by Scott Pruitt, administrator of the EPA, that Trump's policies had increased coal employment by nearly 50,000. Even if environmental regulation and climate change didn't exist, the coal industry would have faced intense pressures to change and adapt. ~ Robert J. Samuelson
Letter: Maine legislators missing big picture on benefits of solar energy
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, June 6, 2017 

It’s reassuring to see that Maine businesses are forging ahead with solar projects in spite of the myopic stance that some Republicans in the Maine Legislature still cling to. We don’t know yet the fate of the three bills currently being worked on by the energy committee in Augusta (L.D. 1373, L.D. 1444 and L.D. 1504), but what we do know for sure is that if the new Maine PUC ruling, scheduled to go into effect in 2018, is left in place, all ratepayers will be on the hook for at least $2 million over three years because of new billing systems and extra meters. And the existing solar industry in Maine will be in jeopardy. ~ Mary Ann Larson, Portland
Letter: Trump’s budget jeopardizes children, recreational areas
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, June 6, 2017 

President Trump’s budget proposes funding cuts that would be detrimental to countless environmental research programs and be devastating to Maine’s ecosystems. It would terminate the Casco Bay Partnership, among other significant programs, which would cease the environmental monitoring of Casco Bay’s beaches and waters. Without safeguards, our children could be exposed to harmful air and water pollutants without us even knowing. In addition, Trump’s proposed budged underfunds action on environmental issues that matter to millions of Americans – like climate action, clean energy and our national parks. ~ Julia Gesensway, Environment Maine, Portland
Letter: Take care of the planet
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, June 6, 2017 

My mother taught me to take care of my things and to take care of other people’s things even better. That includes the world around us. This wonderful planet that we inhabit is not ours. It’s borrowed from our children’s children, and we ought to take care of it and leave it in better condition than we found it. We know how, and we know why. It’s not OK that this great country of ours is abandoning its effort to help curb the impacts of living on this planet. We need to do everything we can to stop Donald Trump from making America and the planet worse. ~ Paul Anderson, Winterport
Report: Fewer baby lobsters in the Gulf of Maine
Mainebiz - Monday, June 5, 2017 

The latest findings of an international monitoring program of American lobsters indicate that the number of young lobsters in the Gulf of Maine continues to fall. The 2016 update from the American Lobster Settlement Index, an international monitoring program founded in 1989 by UMaine marine scientist Rick Wahle, noted that the decline in baby lobsters has been occurring since 2007, despite an abundance of egg-bearing adult lobsters and record-breaking harvests. "If we were to see a collapse in the lobster catch, it would mean that we're already seven to eight years into a decline in the population," Wahle said. He is co-chairman of the 11th International Conference & Workshop on Lobster Biology and Management taking place this week in Portland.
Blog: Restoring a fishery, one click at a time
Bangor Daily News - Monday, June 5, 2017 

I’ve never been a fish counter, or fish watcher, or fish appreciator of any sort, until now. What I didn’t expect was the personal impact this had on me. Counting these fish turns out to be a form of mediation. Most of us spend time in nature in an effort to be awed, one way or another. These sea run fish link the ocean to the land in a fundamental way, a way that inspires awe. ~ Sarah O'Malley
Kennebunk electric utility to develop large solar array
Portland Press Herald - Monday, June 5, 2017 

The Kennebunk Light & Power District has entered into a 20-year agreement to support development of a large solar array on district property. The power purchase agreement calls for DG Maine Solar LLC to design, permit, construct, operate and own the 2.9-megawatt solar array, which will be constructed adjacent to the district’s West Kennebunk substation. The district’s board of trustees said commercial operation of the array could begin as soon as the fall of 2018.
LePage vetoes bill on mining
Portland Press Herald - Monday, June 5, 2017 

Gov. Paul LePage has vetoed a bill that would overhaul Maine’s environmental regulation of metallic mines. L.D. 820 would ban most open-pit mines, prohibit mining under waterways or public lands, and require companies to set aside money to cover any environmental problems. In his veto letter, LePage suggested the bill contained “unnecessary prohibitions based on fear, not science” that would prevent job creation in Maine. Mining opponents have argued that the pollution potential from large-scale mines would jeopardize the healthy environmental conditions that are central to the major drivers of Maine’s economy. The bill passed the Senate on a vote of 34-1 and the House by a vote of 126-14.
Sen. King tells researchers that data is the key to protecting lobster industry
Portland Press Herald - Monday, June 5, 2017 

Calling proposed cuts in federal science funding “unacceptable,” U.S. Sen. Angus King told lobster researchers Monday that data is the key to protecting Maine’s most valuable fishery. Maine’s independent senator asked the 250 biologists, oceanographers and fishery managers at a global conference on lobster biology in Portland this week to give him data on the impact of the changing sea environment on lobster, including temperature, salinity and acidification, and whether that is prompting a migration of Maine’s $533.1 million a year fishery to Canada.
Sprawling solar array taking shape at Colby College in Waterville
Morning Sentinel - Monday, June 5, 2017 

Monday afternoon, work steadily progressed on Colby College’s 5,300-panel solar array as the college looks to launch a 1.8 megawatt photovoltaic energy project. Colby’s trustees entered into an agreement to lease NRG Energy Inc., a solar energy company based in New Jersey and Texas, about 9 acres of college-owned land along Washington Street for 27 years. The college will purchase 100 percent of the power the array produces, which will enable it to cover 16 percent of its energy consumption with the 2.5 million kilowatt hours of electricity the solar power will generate. Colby later would have the option to buy the system outright.
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