January 17, 2018  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Wednesday, January 17, 2018 

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 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
Feeding Maine Photography Exhibit, thru Feb 23
Event - Posted - Tuesday, January 16, 2018 

Feeding Maine: Growing Access to Good Food is a photo exhibit by Brendan Bullock, which seeks to document the many people working to address hunger in the state. Created by Maine Farmland Trust and Good Shepherd Food Bank. At University of Southern Maine Lewiston Auburn College, Atrium Art Gallery, January 16 to February 23, opening event January 19.
February Vacation Camps, Feb 20-23
Event - Posted - Tuesday, January 16, 2018 

Maine Audubon Vacation Camps at Fields Pond in Holden and Gilsland Farm in Falmouth, February 20-23.
Nominations for Source Awards due Feb 12
Announcement - Tuesday, January 16, 2018 

Maine Sunday Telegram Source Awards recognize the individuals, nonprofits, businesses and institutions in Maine working to safeguard the state’s spectacular natural environment. Deadline for nominations is February 12.
Apprenticeships at MCHT Preserves
Announcement - Tuesday, January 16, 2018 

Maine Coast Heritage Trust has paid apprenticeships at Aldermere Farm and Ericsson Fields in Rockport. Each apprenticeship will be up to 9-months starting in March and will include a monthly stipend, benefits, shared housing, training and supervision. Applications are due Feb. 5
Public Meeting on Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument Management Plan, Jan 24
Event - Posted - Sunday, January 14, 2018 

The National Park Service will host a public meeting to discuss winter use within the monument. At Katahdin Region Higher Education Center, East Millinocket, January 24, 6-8 pm.
Land-use history of Midcoast, Jan 23
Event - Posted - Sunday, January 14, 2018 

Forestry experts Lloyd Irland and Ken Lausten will explore the land-use history of Midcoast Maine. At Camden Public Library, January 23, 7 pm.
Friends of Casco Bay Annual Members Meeting, Jan 23
Event - Posted - Sunday, January 14, 2018 

Recognition for those who help protect the health of Casco Bay, an updated Casco Bay Health Index based on data collected by volunteer Citizen Stewards over the past 25 years, and new program directions. At DiMillo's, Portland, January 23, 5:30-8 pm.
Join the REAL public hearing to stop oil drilling in Maine waters, Jan 22
Event - Posted - Saturday, January 13, 2018 

The Trump Administration is hosting a sham ‘public meeting’ on January 22 in the Augusta Civic Center to hide Mainers’ vocal opposition to their plan to open up the Atlantic Ocean, including the Maine coast, to oil and gas drilling. Conservation groups will host a "real public hearing" at the Civic Center in the Aroostook Room where there will be a microphone and videographer to capture all public comments.
Offshore drilling public meeting, Jan 22
Action Alert - Saturday, January 13, 2018 

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will hold a public meeting on a proposal to open Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) areas to oil and gas drilling off the Atlantic (and other) coasts. At Augusta Civic Center, Jan 22, 3-7 pm.
Scouting for Mammal Tracks and Signs, Jan 20
Event - Posted - Saturday, January 13, 2018 

Sandra Mitchell will follow up on the November tracks and signs class in the field. At Northeast Penjajawoc Preserve, January 20, 10-11:30 am.
Nature Journaling, Jan 20
Event - Posted - Saturday, January 13, 2018 

Andrea Lani will lead a nature journaling workshop at Viles Arboretum, Augusta, January 20, 10 am to 2 pm, $35 for Arboretum members, $45 for nonmembers.
Prowl for Owls, Jan 19
Event - Posted - Friday, January 12, 2018 

Maine Master Naturalist Kit Pfeiffer will lead a walk scouting for owls. At Carl and Barbara Segerstrom Preserve at Squam Creek, Westport Island, January 19, 6 pm. Sponsored by Kennebec Estuary Land Trust.
Futures of the Maine Waterfront, Jan 19
Event - Posted - Friday, January 12, 2018 

This forum will feature panel discussions on the future of our coastal and island economy, presented with trends and analysis by key coastal leaders. At The Westin, Portland, January 19, 2-8:30 pm, $35-150. Sponsored by the Island Institute.
Meet the Feet: Mammal Tracks and Sign, Jan 18
Event - Posted - Thursday, January 11, 2018 

Dorcas Miller presents an evening of hands-on learning about Maine mammals. At Belfast Library, January 18, 6:30 pm. Sponsored by Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition.
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News Items
Editorial: Maine should build on lead-intervention success
Portland Press Herald - Friday, December 29, 2017 

Because of the bedrock upon which much of Maine rests, well water in the state is particularly susceptible to arsenic infiltration. More than half of Maine wells have not been tested. After a bill to promote well testing was vetoed, and the veto upheld, in 2015, an almost identical bill was passed this year, over the objections of Gov. LePage. The bill, L.D. 454, applies a $10 fee for every test done at the state water-testing lab and uses it for outreach and education. If this can be paired with a program that helps low-income Mainers pay for items such as filters for their water systems, it – like the lead testing bill before it – can make a great deal of difference.
Commentary: The 10 best things Trump has done during his first year in office
Washington Post - Friday, December 29, 2017 

#7. He withdrew from the Paris climate agreement. After George W. Bush pulled out of the disastrous Kyoto treaty, U.S. emissions went down faster than much of Europe. The same will be true for Trump’s departure from the Paris accord. Combined with his approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, and opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to exploration, Trump is helping usher in a new age of American energy development. The record of achievement suggests that, despite the noxious tweets and self-inflicted wounds emanating from the White House, Trump has the potential to become one of the most consequential conservative presidents in modern American history. ~ Marc Thiessen
Private-Public Partnership for Conservation: Examples From...Maine
Other - Thursday, December 28, 2017 

The Atlantic - One thing that makes Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust a little unusual is that we put an emphasis on conserving farmland. About two decades ago we bought—through a broad-based community effort—Crystal Spring Farm, a centrally-located farm in our this area that seemed to the many who participated in the effort to keep it a working farm an essential property to preserve the character of our community. Today it is a working farm leased to a farm family through an innovative, longterm lease. It is the site of our farmer’s market (largest in Maine), the site of a community garden that includes a section that provides food to a food pantry. There’s even an outdoor labyrinth.
Column: Trees can teach us to value a world of connection
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, December 28, 2017 

I thought growing older would take longer. I find that I am ill-equipped to function in the modern world, in that I can’t type with my thumbs and I don’t own any electronic devices that start with an ‘i.’ So I am already dreading my New Year’s resolution. This will be the year I commit to using eBird. I made the same resolution last year. ~ Bob Duchesne
Retiring Baxter State Park Director Reflects On 30-Year Career
Maine Public - Thursday, December 28, 2017 

Jensen Bissell plans to retire this week as director of Baxter State Park, named for the former Maine governor who was the moving force behind it and who ordered that it be kept “forever wild.” As Bissell prepares to leave the park after 30 years, the last 12 as director, he reflects upon the written words of a complicated man and true visionary who seemed to understand that the public’s proposed uses of the 210,000-acre park would evolve over time.
Accidentally Killing Birds Isn't A Crime, Says Trump Administration
National Public Radio - Thursday, December 28, 2017 

The Trump administration says it will no longer criminally prosecute companies that accidentally kill migratory birds. A legal memo from the Department of the Interior posted Friday declares that the Migratory Bird Treaty Act applies only to purposeful actions that kill migratory birds, and not to energy companies and other businesses that kill birds incidentally. The memo is written by Daniel Jorjani, Interior's principal deputy solicitor, a longtime adviser to libertarian billionaire Charles Koch. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates more than 30 million birds die each year in collisions with power lines and communications towers, and hundreds of thousands more in oil pits and wind turbines.
It’s time to use all your senses to explore the natural world
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Thursday, December 28, 2017 

Karen Zimmermann’s book, Nightwalk, opened my eyes and my other senses to the natural world where I spend so much of my time. Nightwalk tells us a lot about how wild critters from bears to bats and mosquitoes to Luna moths, use their senses to find food and shelter.
Kelp Economy to Make a Big Splash in 2018
Free Press - Thursday, December 28, 2017 

Farmed seaweed is about to go from being a poor cousin to a rising star in the Maine seafood industry, according to Trey Angera, one of the founders of the new Maine Seaweed Exchange. The Exchange will develop high standards for the best practices in organic seaweed farming, help new farmers get started growing seaweed, test the product for safety and quality, develop markets and products, and help coordinate processing, packaging and distribution. Standardization will open the pathway from seaweed being sold as a specialty product to growers being able to sell farmed seaweed in quantity to large companies that produce everyday grocery items.
Letter: Stop bear baiting
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, December 28, 2017 

One of the worst things that can be done to manage a bear population is to artificially increase the amount of available food in the environment and accustom them to human food and smells, which is exactly what happens when mounds of doughnuts, pizza, candy, popcorn and grease are dumped into the woods to attract bears for an easy trophy kill. Wildlife biologists and management professionals warn that baiting alters bear behavior by habituating bears to human food, which increases the likelihood of conflicts. It’s time to stop doing the same thing over and over and expect a different result. It’s time to stop feeding the bears. ~ Kathleen Waugh, Newport
Letter: Acadia park fee increase
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, December 28, 2017 

I look forward to visiting Acadia National Park each summer and enjoying the various scenes and activities it provides. As a lover of the park, the price increase in passes for entrance to Acadia upsets me and will likely sadden many frequent visitors of the breathtaking park. Instead of raising the weekly vehicle pass from $25 to $70 at Acadia, for example, the cost could increase less radically and would allow for the country as a whole to solve the maintenance backlog in the park system. ~ Lauren Ismail, Glenburn
More farmland protected as 2017 comes to a close
Maine Farmland Trust - Wednesday, December 27, 2017 

In the final weeks of 2017, Maine Farmland Trust worked with farmers to protect six more Maine farm properties with agricultural easements:
• Ecko Farms in Corinna and St. Albans
• Bo Lait Farm in Washington
• Sunkhaze Wild Blueberry Farm in Township 23
• Metcalf-Ferguson Farm in Northport
• Curran Farm in Sabattus
• Chellis Brook Farm in Newfield
Meteor flashes through Maine sky, lights up social media
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, December 27, 2017 

Social media was lighting up Tuesday night with reports of a meteor seen across the Northeast. A bright bluish streak creased the sky around 5:52 p.m. Tuesday, caught on the Mount Agamenticus Conservation Program web camera located on Mount Agamenticus in York County.
Lawmaker to Propose Bill Reducing All Liquor Bottle Deposits from 15 to 5 Cents
Maine Public - Wednesday, December 27, 2017 

Advocates of Maine’s 40-year-old bottle deposit law are concerned about a proposal to lower the deposit on liquor bottles from 15 cents down to five cents. The lawmaker behind the bill, Rep. Ellie Espying (R) of New Gloucester, says she’s simply trying to make the state law more consistant and fair. “It seems to be an onslaught of attacks year after year,” says Sarah Lakeman, Director of the Sustainability Project at the Natural Resources Council of Maine. “You know I am glad that this one isn’t trying to remove containers from the bottle bill but I definitely see it as another attempt to weaken it.”
Man gets prison time for illegally harvesting Virginia eels
Associated Press - Monday, November 6, 2017 

A New York seafood dealer has been sentenced to 1 ½ years behind bars for illegally trafficking more than $150,000 worth of baby eels from Virginia. Tommy Zhou was sentenced Friday in a federal Virginia court after he pleaded guilty in April. Prosecutors say Zhou obtained a Maine elver dealer license in 2013 and then used it to cover his illegal operation.
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. ~ Bob Duchesne
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
Letter: Give deer the food they need and they will flourish
Kennebec Journal - Monday, April 28, 2014 

I read with interest the April 13 article about whitetail deer, “In northern Maine, deer herd shrinks despite efforts to rebuild it.” Anyone can look at Google satellite maps and know that very little of the Maine woods is untouched. The deer are being squeezed out of their natural habitat searching for food. They are vulnerable to predators and starvation because of the condition of the forest. The state cannot save the deer herd by pumping money into various programs. We just need to let some of the forest grow back, and the animals will survive on their own. ~ Betsy Laney, West Gardiner
Letter: Gubernatorial climate
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, December 10, 2013 

As we approach the gubernatorial election year in Maine, and in light of the “interesting” comments made by our governor on Dec. 5 regarding the profit potential in climate change, I am reminded of the election that put such a person into office. From all early indications, LePage’s tea party supporters will hold about the same sway next November, and with Eliot Cutler again as a wild card in the race, the potential for Maine to have another four years with a governor who has squeaked into office with a minority of the state’s voters behind him is not small. We have had three years to try to correct this significant weakness in our election system, and yet we will be going to the polls in November 2014 faced with the same problem. This is unpardonable. ~ Dana Williams, Belfast
Fabulous Find assists Great Works land trust
Seacoast Online - Monday, October 28, 2013 

Fabulous Find thrift store in Kittery gave a boost to conservation recently with proceeds from September sales. Store staff presented a check for $4,332 to Great Works Regional Land Trust to assist the trust's conservation projects and ongoing operations.
Diehard Mainers take advantage of extended woodcock season
John Holyoke Out There Blog - Wednesday, October 10, 2012 

For years, Maine bird hunters in search of woodcock had just 30 days — generally the month of October — to do so. After years of study and discussion, that all changed in 2011. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service extended the woodcock season from 30 to 45 days.
Opinion: Save the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund
Other - Friday, July 22, 2011 

The U.S. House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee has passed a bill devastating the crown jewel conservation program for America's public lands and waters — the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Created in 1965 to offset the environmental risks from offshore oil and gas development, the conservation fund uses money from federal oil and gas leases to protect environmentally sensitive lands and watersheds. Over the years, the fund has paid for the expansion of national, state and local parks as well as conservation easements. All of this is accomplished without spending any federal tax dollars. President Obama's budget for 2012 provided $900 million for the fund. Regrettably, the bill passed by the subcommittee cuts the budget figure by more than 93 percent to the lowest funding level in the program's 45-year history.
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