May 26, 2018  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Saturday, May 26, 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
Head of Tide Park Grand Opening, Jun 2
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 26, 2018 

After over a decade in the making, Head of Tide Park is now permanently conserved and will provide river and trail access, picnicking, watershed protection, and a beautiful scenic vista for the residents and visitors of Maine’s midcoast forever. At Head of Tide Park, Topsham, June 2, 12-4 pm.
Lady slipper walk, Jun 2
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 26, 2018 

Meet at Walden-Parke Preserve’s kiosk at the end of Tamarack Trail, June 2, 10 am, for a mile-long wildflower walk. Sponsored by Bangor Land Trust.
Field Trip: Hidden Valley Nature Center, Jun 2
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 26, 2018 

Explore this “Gem of Wilderness,” including Kettle Hole Bog (with boardwalk) and Little Dyer Pond. To carpool, meet at Bath Shopping Center, June 2, 6:30 am; or at Hidden Valley, Jefferson, 7:15 am. Sponsored by Merrymeeting Audubon.
Celebration of spring and fish passage, Jun 2
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 26, 2018 

Join the celebration of two key first steps in the fish passage restoration efforts in the Bagaduce River Watershed — the new fishways at Pierce’s Pond and Wight’s Pond, June 2, 11 am - 3 pm.
Defend the Migratory Bird Treaty Act
Action Alert - Thursday, May 24, 2018 

The MBTA is a century-old law utilized by Republican and Democratic administrations to protect birds as they navigate the globe. The law has been consistently interpreted to hold individuals or organizations responsible if their actions harm migratory birds. Now, under the Trump administration, MBTA violations will only be issued if the individual or organization acted purposefully to harm or kill migratory birds — rendering the Act useless. ~ Eliza Donoghue, Maine Audubon
Growth in Land-Based Salmon Production, May 31
Event - Posted - Thursday, May 24, 2018 

Joseph Hankins, Director of The Conservation Fund’s Freshwater Institute will talk about why a national land conservation organization is involved in Recirculating Aquaculture Systems. At Schoodic Institute, Winter Harbor, May 31, 7 pm.
Slaughtering grizzly bears
Action Alert - Wednesday, May 23, 2018 

On May 23, Wyoming officials approved the first hunt in decades for grizzly bears that wander out of Yellowstone National Park. As many as 22 could be shot and killed this fall, including pregnant females. Yellowstone's grizzlies, famous around the world, are national treasures. Slaughtering them is like defacing the Statue of Liberty or filling in the Grand Canyon. ~ Center for Biological Diversity
Invasive fish, May 30
Event - Posted - Wednesday, May 23, 2018 

George Smith will discuss the impact invasive fish are having on Maine’s native fish. At Mount Vernon Community Center, May 30, 7 pm. Sponsored by 30 Mile Watershed Association.
Drowning with Others, May 30
Event - Posted - Wednesday, May 23, 2018 

John Anderson, Professor of Ecology/Natural History at College of the Atlantic, argues for developing a broad coalition to help conserve Maine’s seabird islands from sea level rise. At Wells Reserve at Lajudholm, May 30, 6 pm.
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
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.
“Living within Limits” Teen Environmental Poster Contest
Announcement - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

The Teen Library Council of the Patten Library in Bath and Brunswick-based Manomet are sponsoring an environmental poster contest for middle and high school students. Posters should promote actions that help sustain the planet and reduce our environmental footprint. Deadline: June 1.
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.
Wabanaki Traditions, May 29
Event - Posted - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

Learn about the restoration of Indigenous Three Sisters gardens on the traditional planting fields along the Sandy River in Maine. At Curtis Memorial Library, Brunswick, May 29, 6:30 - 8 pm.
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News Items
Democratic congressional primary begins to heat up
Sun Journal - Tuesday, May 8, 2018 

Thanks to some mostly innocuous television advertisements from an outside group, things are heating up among the three candidates in the June 12 Democratic congressional primary for Maine’s 2nd District seat. The commercials, from a nonprofit social welfare group called the Maine Outdoor Alliance, tout the wonders of the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, and call on viewers to help protect it. But some see an ulterior motive behind the $300,000 advertising campaign.
Fiberight CEO says Hampden waste processing facility ‘will work’
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, May 8, 2018 

About a month after the Municipal Review Committee announced the new Fiberight waste processing facility wouldn’t be ready by its April deadline — temporarily pushing waste from 115 communities to landfills — company officials say they want member communities to trust that they aren’t going anywhere. Fiberight CEO Craig Stuart-Paul and colleagues held what they described as the “first in a series” of town hall meetings on Tuesday at the Bangor Public Library to talk about the delays in constructing the Hampden waste processing facility. “It will work,” Stuart-Paul said of the unfinished waste-to-biofuel facility, which will eventually process solid waste from 115 municipalities.
Wildfire danger moderate to high across northern Maine
Fiddlehead Focus (St. John Valley, Aroostook County) - Tuesday, May 8, 2018 

Despite much rain and flooding in parts of Aroostook County over the past two weeks, the wildfire danger for much of northern Maine is at moderate to high levels. John Bott, director of communications for the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, said Tuesday that firefighters across the state have been “really active in the last few weeks.”
Hike: Schoodic Mountain near Sullivan
Aislinn Sarnacki Act Out Blog - Tuesday, May 8, 2018 

Rising 1,069 feet above sea level in eastern Maine, Schoodic Mountain is a popular hiking destination. A 2.8-mile loop trail on the mountain travels through a mossy forest filled with boulders and up rocky slopes to the mountain’s bald summit, which offers a 360-degree view of the region. The hike also visits the beautiful, sandy shore of Donnell Pond, a location known as Schoodic Beach.
Rockland considers referendum ban on large cruise ships
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, May 8, 2018 

In response to residents calling for a moratorium on large cruise ships coming into Rockland Harbor, the Rockland City Council is considering placing an advisory referendum on the November ballot. The referendum would seek to gauge Rockland residents’ feelings about large cruise ships, and how they believe the ships should be regulated, if at all. Councilor Ed Glaser suggested the referendum at Monday’s city council meeting. At the meeting, city councilors received a petition signed by about 100 Rockland residents that asked the city to place a moratorium on allowing cruise ships with more than 250 passengers from coming into port.
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.
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