May 22, 2018  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

Thanks for visiting Maine Environmental News, a service of RESTORE: The North Woods. MEN is the most comprehensive online source available for links conservation and natural resource news and events in Maine (and a bit beyond). We have posted summaries and links to over 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
International Day for Biological Diversity, May 22
Announcement - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

The Convention on Biological Diversity is the international legal instrument for "the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources" that has been ratified by 196 nations. The United Nations has proclaimed 22 May as the International Day for Biological Diversity.
Join the fight for Maine's clean energy future
Action Alert - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

In Maine, we are seeing the damaging effects of climate change firsthand: tick borne illnesses like Lyme disease are on the rise, the warming Gulf of Maine threatens our marine economy, air pollution drives up asthma rates for kids and adults, and extreme weather impacts our outdoor recreation and farming industries. The technology to turn off dirty fossil fuels already exists. What is standing in the way of our clean energy future? Politicians who are bought and paid for by the oil and gas industry. ~ Maine Conservation Voters
Maine Calling: The Changing North Woods, May 22
Announcement - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

UMaine experts discuss the relationship between humans and forests, including environmental attitudes and behaviors; rural communities and the forest economy; and the role of ecotourism and recreation. Maine Public Radio, May 22, 1 pm.
Defining Wilderness: Defining Maine, May 29 - Jul 24
Event - Posted - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

The Maine State Library is offering a free reading and discussion group with copies of books available through the library. The series, Defining Wilderness: Defining Maine, runs for 5 sessions, May 29 - July 24, at the State Library in Augusta. Books to be discussed include "The Maine Woods" by Henry David Thoreau.
Bats, May 29
Event - Posted - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

Biologist Trevor Peterson will speak about local species of bats. At Topsham Public Library, May 29, 6 pm. Sponsored by Cathance River Education Alliance.
Sign-Up to Count Fish at Nequasset
Announcement - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

The annual alewife count at the Nequasset Fish Ladder in Woolwich is happening. Join the fun by signing up to count during any two 10 minute blocks within a two hour period.
Wilderness Under Siege, May 30
Event - Posted - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

Nationally known author and explorer George Wuerthner will discuss the challenges facing Wilderness, how people can better protect the Wildernesses in their backyards and around the country, and organizing against efforts to weaken or repeal the Wilderness Act. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, May 30, 6:30 pm.
Field Trip: Capt. Fitzgerald Preserve and Bay Bridge, May 27
Event - Posted - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

Explore two town-owned properties in Brunswick for breeding and migrant birds: Fitzgerald Preserve and Bay Bridge Wetland Park on the Androscoggin River. May 27, 6:30 – 11 am. Sponsored by Merrymeeting Audubon.
White Mountains Centennial exhibition, May 27
Event - Posted - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

The Museums of the Bethel Historical Society host a preview reception of the new displays, “White Mountain National Forest: A Centennial Exhibition” and “The White Mountains: Alps of New England.” At Robinson House, Bethel, May 27, 2-5 pm.
Farmer Talent Show & Open Mic, May 27
Event - Posted - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

The first annual Farmer Talent Show & Open Mic will benefit the Market’s Harvest Bucks program, which increases access to fruit and vegetables for low-income households. At East Madison Grange, May 27, 5-8 pm.
Walk on the Wild Side, May 26
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 19, 2018 

Turner Public Library’s summer programming begins with a nature walk. At Androscoggin Riverlands State Park, May 26, 2 pm.
Edible (and Poisonous) Plants, May 26
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 19, 2018 

Tom Seymour, author, botanist and edible plant enthusiast, will introduce you to many of the edible and medicinal plants that can be found in Maine’s woods and fields. At Head of Tide Preserve, Belfast, May 26, 10 am - noon.
Birding Extravaganza, May 26
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 19, 2018 

Ted Allen from Merrymeeting Audubon will lead birders through the Kennebec Estuary Land Trust’s Thorne Head Preserve in Bath, May 26, 8 am.
Alewife Day, May 26
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 19, 2018 

See the alewives swim upstream. Smoked fish, kid’s games, mills running, Machinery Hall open. At Maine Forest and Logging Museum, Bradley, May 26, 10 am - 1 pm, $3 per person ages 12+.
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News Items
Migratory Bird Treaty Act at risk
Maine Environmental News - Tuesday, May 8, 2018 

The Migratory Bird Treaty Act, one of the oldest and most successful conservation laws in the United States, is at risk of being severely weakened. The Act has protected vulnerable birds for one hundred years—1,000 different species—from intentional and preventable harm, such as oil spills in coastal waters, poorly placed transmission lines, and other actions that result in bird deaths. But recently, according to the National Wildlife Federation, the Trump Administration signaled that it would no longer enforce the Act except in extremely limited cases of purposefully causing death and harm.
Selkirk caribou are quietly going extinct
Other - Tuesday, May 8, 2018 

High Country News - The end of the line seems imminent for the last caribou of the Lower 48. Woodland caribou once roamed the forested northern tier from Maine to Michigan to Washington state, as they had for centuries. One herd has struggled for decades along the border of Washington, Idaho and British Columbia, in the Selkirk Mountain Range. Biologists recently completed their winter survey of these animals and found only three individuals in the Selkirks. This is down from nearly 50 a decade ago. All three caribou are female. You don’t need a degree in biology to know how this story ends.
How to Keep Squirrels Out of Bird Feeders
Yankee Magazine - Tuesday, May 8, 2018 

Squirrels are notorious pests when it comes to stealing food that’s been put out for the birds. Here are some helpful ways to keep squirrels out of bird feeders. The most intriguing suggestion is to use a Slinky spring around the pole.
Letter: Decals on bins explaining sorting rules may fix recycling problem
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, May 8, 2018 

Re: “Public may pay a price for sloppy recycling” (May 4): In Englewood, Florida, every recycling bin has a decal on the cover that clearly explains what is and is not recyclable material. It might be a good idea to do that here in Maine. ~ Richard O’Brien, South Portland
White House plots update to NEPA guidelines
E&E/Greenwire - Monday, May 7, 2018 

The White House Council on Environmental Quality has submitted a draft advanced notice of proposed rule making indicating that it will update "the regulations for implementing the procedural provisions" of NEPA. The new guidelines could mark a major change for how agencies across the government handle permitting. CEQ guides implementation of the landmark law, and its regulations set minimum standards. Environmental groups fear the Trump administration could seek to take out NEPA's teeth.
Kelp forests make surprise comeback along Maine's coast
E&E/Greenwire - Monday, May 7, 2018 

Underwater kelp forests are dying out across the planet — but off Maine's coastline, they may be returning to their former glory.
Community Credit Union recycles thousands of pounds
Turner Publishing - Monday, May 7, 2018 

Several local organizations in the Lewiston-Auburn area joined forces to help community members do their part in celebrating Earth Day. The following was recycled as a result of the event: 10,808 pounds of electronics, 140 tires, and 1,945 pounds of paper for shredding. A truckload of items went to the ShareCenter to be repurposed.
White House Aides Are Urging President Trump to Fire Scott Pruitt, the E.P.A. Chief
New York Times - Monday, May 7, 2018 

Senior White House staff members are encouraging President Trump to fire Scott Pruitt, his embattled Environmental Protection Agency chief, according to two top administration officials. While Mr. Trump has until now championed Mr. Pruitt, the officials say the president’s enthusiasm may be cooling because of the ongoing cascade of alleged ethical and legal missteps.
Maine Seeks Monitors to Manage Piping Plovers Along Coast
Maine Public - Monday, May 7, 2018 

Maine officials are looking to hire scientists to manage and monitor endangered birds that nest along the state’s coast. Documents say the management and monitoring of piping plovers and least terns will cost about $178,000. The two birds are listed as endangered in Maine and considered by state authorities to be at risk of localized extinction. The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife says it would need four to six biologists to monitor and manage the birds on 25 beaches between Ogunquit and Georgetown.
PUC rebuffs public advocate’s request to elevate inquiry into CMP billing problems
Portland Press Herald - Monday, May 7, 2018 

The Maine Public Utilities Commission on Monday rebuffed the public advocate’s call for an elevated investigation into hundreds of inexplicably high Central Maine Power Co. bills. The PUC said it will continue its deliberative examination process and not elevate the case at this time.
Maine farmer charged with animal cruelty after alleged ‘mass execution’
Bangor Daily News - Monday, May 7, 2018 

A Swanville farmer is now facing animal cruelty charges after state officials uncovered the bodies of five pigs that he allegedly killed and buried a day before animal welfare agents were scheduled to inspect the farm and check on the animals. Maine Animal Welfare Program agents descended on Ireland Hill Farms with shovels and a backhoe on March 28, the day after a neighbor and a local animal control officer called to report that Jerry Ireland was allegedly shooting his animals.
Investing in Collaborative Conservation
Other - Monday, May 7, 2018 

Video about a model from New England.
Golden: 2nd District Rival St. Clair Should Get 'Issue Ad' Group To Disclose Donors
Maine Public - Monday, May 7, 2018 

Democratic congressional candidate Jared Golden says rival candidate Lucas St. Clair should tell the secretive group running ads on his behalf to disclose its donors. St. Clair's campaign has said it doesn't know who's behind the Maine Outdoor Alliance, which has booked television ad time to run spots that feature St. Clair's work to create the Katahdin Woods and Waters national monument. But Golden says St. Clair can persuade the group to reveal its funders because incorporation documents show the group is run by the best man at his wedding.
Editorial: Maine can’t afford to give up its offshore wind power leadership
Bangor Daily News - Monday, May 7, 2018 

More than four years ago, Maine utility regulators approved a contract that was essential to the development of an offshore wind project that has the potential to lower the state’s energy costs and to create much-needed jobs. But, in January, the Maine Public Utilities Commission balked at the contract’s terms, which include higher than market electricity rates during the project’s demonstration phase. The utilities commission will soon consider whether to reopen the contract. It shouldn’t. A contract is a business agreement that shouldn’t be changed without urgent reason. There are urgent reasons — climate change, high electricity rates, UMaine’s wind power leadership — for Maine to move ahead with Aqua Ventus. There is no reason to delay it.
Editorial: Ask candidates what they will do for conservation in Maine
Maine Environmental News - Monday, May 7, 2018 

Acadia National Park is one of Maine’s biggest job creators. The latest statistics show that Acadia supports nearly 4,200 jobs and has an annual economic impact of $338 million. According to the Maine Department of Labor, only half a dozen private companies operating in the state employ more than 4,000 workers. Maine ought to better capitalize on one of its greatest assets—its landscape. At every opportunity candidates running for governor, Congress, and the Maine Legislature should be talking about what will they do to protect more land and to build on Maine’s largest economic sector, tourism. And voters should be asking the candidates about precisely that question.
Acadia National Park tourism in 2017 created $338 million in economic benefits, supported 4,163 jobs
Other - Monday, May 7, 2018 

A new National Park Service report shows that Acadia National Park’s 3.5 million visits in 2017 resulted in $284 million spent in total visitor spending in the local region. That spending supported about 4,163 jobs and had a cumulative benefit to the local economy of $338 million.
Maine's Consumer Advocate Calling For Investigation Into 'Outrageous' Power Bills
Maine Public - Monday, May 7, 2018 

Maine's Public Advocate is calling for a more comprehensive investigation of whether Central Maine Power overbilled customers in the early months of this year and whether it covered up ongoing problems it knew were an issue.
Acadia National Park: Things to Do & See
Yankee Magazine - Monday, May 7, 2018 

Maine may be famous for its delicious lobster rolls and plentiful moose, but if the state’s name doesn’t also inspire you with thoughts of its rugged coastline and majestic, granite-tipped mountains, it most definitely will after a visit to Acadia National Park.
Lyme Disease Is On The Rise Again. Here's How To Prevent It
National Public Radio - Monday, May 7, 2018 

Not everyone with a Lyme infection develops a rash. And other symptoms, such as fatigue and aches, overlap with common illnesses. Some people don't realize they're infected, and don't seek medical treatment. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates the prevalence of Lyme disease infections is 10 times higher than the number of reported cases. "Tick-borne diseases are going up year after year as the diseases expand to new areas around the country," Lyle Peterson of the CDC said. Lyme disease accounts for about 80 percent of the tick-borne illnesses in the U.S. Barbara Thorne, an entomologist at the University of Maryland, has compiled personal protection tips.
Here’s an early look at what a giant Belfast salmon farm could look like
Bangor Daily News - Monday, May 7, 2018 

The Norwegian aquaculture firm planning one of the world’s largest salmon farms in Belfast unveiled the first peek at what the facility might look like in advance of an update meeting planned for Wednesday. Nordic Aquafarms will host an informational meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Hutchinson Center in Belfast. “Since we are building our brand on sustainability, this is a high priority for our company,” Nordic CEO Eric Heim said. Nordic is in the midst of getting together permit applications from multiple state, federal and local entities. That process will last through the rest of the year.
Guests work to protect Cobb’s Pierce Pond Camps
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Monday, May 7, 2018 

Cobb’s Pierce Pond Camps is a wonderful place and not just because the camps are in a beautiful place and the Cobb family are great hosts. They are blessed by guests who love the camps so much that they’ve stepped up to protect the camps and the entire watershed. So far the Maine Wilderness Watershed Trust has safeguarded more than 7200 acres, purchased nearly 2000 acres of forest and shoreland, and signed agreements with Cobb’s Camps and Harrison’s Camps to ensure they will always be open to the public.
Poem Card Project aims to give tourists a special feel for Maine
Portland Press Herald - Monday, May 7, 2018 

Some visitors coming to Maine this summer will get an unexpected gift. Poet laureate Stuart Kestenbaum is working with the Maine Office of Tourism to place poems by Mainers about Maine in hotels across the state. The Poem Card Project began last week as a small pilot project involving 10 hotels and lodges from Ogunquit to Madawaska.
Winter moth threat in South Portland halts home-grown plant sale
Portland Press Herald - Monday, May 7, 2018 

Fear of spreading the tree-killing winter moth has forced the South Portland Land Trust and the Community Garden Collective to scale back their popular spring plant sale this year. The May 19 event won’t offer its usual array of favorite and unique plants culled from local gardens because experts say transferring garden materials from one yard to another is a primary way to spread the invasive and destructive insect.
Letter: Kick Pruitt out
Bangor Daily News - Monday, May 7, 2018 

With EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt under investigation for 11 different situations now, let’s be firm about getting him out of his position. We put a fox in charge of the hen house. Let’s do our research and nominate someone who actually cares what the cause is about. The EPA stands for environmental protection; I don’t know how Pruitt got that confused with his plans. Andrew Wheeler, the deputy administrator of the agency, is not a good candidate either. ~ Sydney Shields, Lyman
Maine Lawmakers Signal Opposition to NECEC
Other - Sunday, May 6, 2018 

RTO [Regional Transmission Organization] Insider - The leaders of two key Maine legislative committees told Massachusetts regulators Friday that they oppose a proposed transmission project that would cross Maine to deliver a large amount of Canadian hydropower to Massachusetts. In a letter to the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities, the chairmen of Maine’s joint Environment and Natural Resources Committee and Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee objected to Central Maine Power’s New England Clean Energy Connect (NECEC) project on economic and environmental grounds.
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