March 29, 2017  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Wednesday, March 29, 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
Transform Your Community: Permablitz, Apr 5
Event - Posted - Wednesday, March 29, 2017 

Speaker: Heather Foran of The Resilience Hub. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, April 5, 6:30 pm.
Types of Gardens and Library Resources, Apr 3
Event - Posted - Monday, March 27, 2017 

Speaker: Hazel Onsrud. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, April 3, 12 pm.
Winter Gardening Workshop – Pest and Disease Control, Apr 2
Event - Posted - Sunday, March 26, 2017 

Eric Sideman, Crop Specialist, Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, will share his knowledge about the common vegetable diseases and pests in your garden, and some organic options for their management and control. At St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Brunswick, April 2, 2-3:30 pm, $5 donation.
Friends of Baxter State Park annual meeting, Apr 1
Event - Posted - Saturday, March 25, 2017 

Great food, guest speakers, the annual State of the Park Report from Director Jensen Bissell, updates on volunteer opportunities and trips for members, and some exciting news about new mountain models for Baxter State Park. At Viles Arboretum, Augusta, April 1.
Edible Ornamentals, Mar 31
Event - Posted - Friday, March 24, 2017 

Speaker: Lisa Fernandez of The Resilience Hub. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, March 31, 12 pm.
State of Maine Sportsman’s Show, Mar 31-Apr 2
Event - Posted - Friday, March 24, 2017 

At Augusta Civic Center, March 31 - April 2.
Grow Your Own Mushrooms, Mar 30
Event - Posted - Thursday, March 23, 2017 

Speaker: Ben Whatley of Whatley Farm. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, March 30, 6:30 pm.
Hiking the Appalachian Trail, Mar 30
Announcement - Thursday, March 23, 2017 

At 2190-miles, hiking the Appalachian Trail is a daunting undertaking. Hear from the two hikers selected by Maine Public to hike the A.T. this summer, and from Maine Appalachian Trail Club experts to learn about its history, its upkeep, and what casual hikers should know about the trail. Maine Public Radio, March 30, 1 pm.
2017 Maine Sustainability & Water Conference, Mar 30
Event - Posted - Thursday, March 23, 2017 

Keynote "Conserving Pools and Watersheds" by Aram Calhoun, Professor of Wetland Ecology, UMaine. At Augusta Civic Center, March 30, 7:30 am - 4 pm.
Northern Goshawks in the Northeast, Mar 30
Event - Posted - Thursday, March 23, 2017 

Speaker: David Brinker, Maryland Natural Heritage Program. At Ladd Recreation Center, Wayne, March 30, 7 pm. Sponsored by Kennebec Land Trust.
Backyard Bees, Mar 29
Event - Posted - Wednesday, March 22, 2017 

Beekeeper Mike Mcnally talks about keeping bees. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, March 29, 12 pm.
Planning a Garden for Preserving, Mar 29
Event - Posted - Wednesday, March 22, 2017 

Speaker: Kate McCarty of UMaine Cooperative Extension. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, March 29, 6:30 pm.
New interactive Androscoggin River Trail Guide
Publication - Tuesday, March 21, 2017 

The Androscoggin River Trail Guide is an interactive, mobile-friendly website describing launch site details, river mileages, points of interest, and other on-river information to help guide paddlers down the Androscoggin.
Inspired by Nature, Mar 28
Event - Posted - Tuesday, March 21, 2017 

Wildlife biologist and author of I Am Coyote, Geri will illustrate how nature inspires her. At Topsham Library, March 28, 6 pm. Sponsored by Cathance River Education Alliance.
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News Items
EPA chief says Congress should weigh whether carbon dioxide is a pollutant
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, March 9, 2017 

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said on Thursday he is not convinced that carbon dioxide from human activity is the main driver of climate change and said he wants Congress to weigh in on whether CO2 is a harmful pollutant that should be regulated. Pruitt is a climate change skeptic who sued the Environmental Protection Agency he now leads more than a dozen times. Trump campaigned on a promise to roll back environmental regulations. Scientists immediately criticized Pruitt’s statement, saying it ignores a large body of evidence collected over decades that shows fossil fuel burning as the main factor in climate change.
Column: Embracing the unexpected pleasures of stupidity while birding
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, March 9, 2017 

I’ve come to enjoy the excitement of feeling stupid. Stupidity opens up a world of pleasant surprises. For instance, I just returned from vacationing in Hilton Head, South Carolina. Although there was little likelihood of finding a bird that was new to me, I had a wonderful week encountering old friends in new ways. Nothing surprised me more than the red-throated loons. ~ Bob Duchesne
Maine’s native bees a ‘very optimistic story’
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, March 9, 2017 

In late May, when it’s time to pollinate the state’s blueberry barrens, millions of tiny migrant workers will arrive on trucks from warmer southern climes and get right to work zooming from blossom to blossom in Down East Maine. While on the job, those migrant honeybees, which blueberry growers depend on to increase annual yields of the sweet blue fruit, are likely to brush wings with Maine’s own pollinator workforce of native bees. And while lots of people have read the dire headlines about the country’s dramatically declining honeybee population, they may not know that Maine’s native bees are largely bucking that trend, according to a University of Maine bee expert who is happy to share some positive buzz.
Maine’s 2016 Lobster Fishery Sets Records
Free Press - Thursday, March 9, 2017 

Maine’s commercially harvested marine resources topped $700 million in overall value in 2016, according to preliminary data from the Maine Department of Marine Resources. The total reflects an all-time high and an increase of nearly $100 million in value over 2015. For the second straight year, the largest single increase in value was in Maine’s lobster fishery. When factoring in bonuses paid to harvesters as reported by 14 of Maine’s 19 lobster co-ops, the overall landed value of Maine’s lobster fishery reached $547,249,010.
EPA Chief Scott Pruitt Questions Basic Facts About Climate Change
National Public Radio - Thursday, March 9, 2017 

President Trump's head of the Environmental Protection Agency says he does not believe that carbon dioxide is a major cause of global warming. "I would not agree that [CO2] is a primary contributor to the global warming that we see," Scott Pruitt said Thursday in an interview with CNBC's Joe Kernen. That statement is at odds with an overwhelming body of scientific evidence showing that humans are causing the climate to warm by releasing CO2 into the atmosphere.
Maine Lawmakers Put Off Decision on Baby Eel Lottery System
Associated Press - Thursday, March 9, 2017 

Maine lawmakers put off a vote on a proposal to create a lottery system for permits to fish for baby eels, which are used in the global sushi market. The Marine Resources Committee is considering creating such a system to replace fishermen who leave the elver fishery. The committee decided to table its vote on the issue on Wednesday. The proposal appears to have the support of state leaders and members of the industry.
Blog: Can Maine position itself as a 2017 tourism destination?
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, March 9, 2017 

The Governor’s Conference on Tourism will focus on important issues of workforce development and visitor experience. There are several issues that need to be considered for 2017. Here are some things I am watching and trying to plan for in the 2017 Maine tourism season.
Another Stab at the Bottle Bill
Free Press - Thursday, March 9, 2017 

On March 13, the Environment and Natural Resources Committee will consider yet another bill to weaken the bottle deposit law. LD 683, sponsored by Rep. Wayne Parry (R-Arundel), would phase out beverage containers 46 ounces and greater in capacity from the bottle redemption laws starting in December. The measure would also require manufacturers of certain refillable containers and distributors of certain nonrefillable containers to pay a [Summary].005 fee per beverage container delivered for sale or distribution during any month until 2022. All of the revenue from the fee would be deposited into the Maine Solid Waste Management Fund for use by the Maine Solid Waste Diversion Grant Program.
Wild Game Dinners, Sunday Hunting, Amish Hunters
Free Press - Thursday, March 9, 2017 

Under current law, military veterans with a service-connected disability can obtain a complimentary license to fish, trap and hunt. On March 16, the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee will consider a bill (LD 275) that would provide free hunting, trapping and fishing licenses to nonresident disabled veterans who hold hunting and fishing licenses in other states. For about the billionth time, IF&W will also consider yet another Sunday hunting bill. LD 424, sponsored by Rep. Jeffrey Pierce (R-Dresden), would allow hunting on five Sundays for each of the seasons for bear, moose, deer and wild turkey in coastal wildlife management areas, on public land, and on private land of 5 acres or more with the landowner’s permission. Senate President Mike Thibodeau (R-Waldo Cty.) is once again backing a measure (LD 426) to allow Amish hunters to wear red because their religion forbids them to wear blaze orange.
‘Gross negligence’: Patagonia founder, Maine native calls out LePage for anti-monument stance
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, March 9, 2017 

The founder of a California-based outdoor clothing retailer fighting to save a national monument in Utah has slammed Gov. Paul LePage as part of extending his company’s efforts to protect Maine’s national monument. Patagonia founder and Lisbon, Maine, native Yvon Chouinard mentions LePage in a Los Angeles Times op-ed piece as among “top executives” whose “gross negligence” in opposing the monuments threatens the future of the nation’s 640 million acres of federal public lands.
Maine’s North Woods Will Move to Canada Under Current Climate Models
Free Press - Thursday, March 9, 2017 

The iconic Maine north woods, which foresters refer to as the spruce/fir forest, is among the forest types most vulnerable to a changing climate, according to researchers at the U.S. Forest Service. That provides both opportunities and challenges, according to Maria Janowiak of the Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science. Some forest managers are focusing on increasing forest complexity. One thing is clear, said Janowiak: the more types of trees and associated plants, the more diverse their ages, the healthier the individual trees, and the more genetic variability in the soil — basically, the more complex a forest stand is — the more resilient it will be.
Maine Public Lands Back in the Spotlight
Free Press - Thursday, March 9, 2017 

A new state bill proposes how timber revenue from Maine Public Lands can be spent and requirements that must be met before timber harvesting can be increased, again. The bill favors timber over other uses and values. For example, LD 586 lacks language that would require a professional recreation manager to identify and implement recreation projects, does not promote outreach education, nor propose funding seasonal recreation staff on high-use properties with known problems. The governor’s proposed budget seeks to further neuter the fiscal autonomy and multiple-use approach of Maine Public Lands while setting up another attempt to untie the purse strings of the revenue account.
“Friends” Group Forms to Help Katahdin Area National Monument
Free Press - Thursday, March 9, 2017 

A new citizen group officially formed last week to help develop and protect the new Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument located just east of Baxter State Park. The Friends of Katahdin Woods and Waters, a nonprofit group, will work with the National Park Service to help raise money to provide education programs and fund specific projects at the new 87,500-acre park that was designated as a national monument by President Obama last August.
Opinion: If America’s public lands were a business, the GOP would be bungling the balance sheet
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, March 9, 2017 

American politicians have always been obsessed with running government “like a business.” If America’s public lands were a business, shareholders would be shocked by the gross negligence of some of their top executives. Every American citizen owns stock in 640 million acres of federal public lands. Rather than harness the power of public lands for maximum benefit, some politicians on the right — including Maine Gov. Paul LePage — are trying to repeal laws that safeguard ecologically vulnerable landscapes. They’re working to roll back protections on some of our most special wild places, including the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument in my home state of Maine. Let’s drop the discord, start acting like owners and demand that our elected representatives start delivering the value we deserve. ~ Yvon Chouinard, founder, Patagonia
Opinion: Maine deserves a chance to capitalize on the North Woods monument
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, March 9, 2017 

Gov. Paul LePage’s latest political attack on the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument is a colossal blunder. On Feb. 14, he sent a letter to President Donald Trump asking him to rescind the executive order that created the national monument. For a governor who touts his pro-economy and pro-business approach to governing, he sure finds a way to undermine these on a regular basis. What he doesn’t seems to understand is that national monuments and parks provide tremendous, long-term economic benefits for the communities around them and the states where they’re located. ~ Zack Klyver, Bar Harbor
Maine’s monument fight is nothing compared to Utah’s
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, March 9, 2017 

Lucas St. Clair, president of Friends of Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, applauds Patagonia for opposing Utah Republican Gov. Gary Herbert’s signing of a bill urging Trump to rescind the Bears Ears National Monument. St. Clair led the campaign that culminated with President Barack Obama’s executive order creating the 87,563-acre monument east of Baxter State Park on Aug. 24. Obama signed an order creating the 1.35 million-acre Utah monument on Dec. 28. The Bears Ears designation is opposed by the Utah Legislature, which wrote the resolution Herbert signed. Maine Gov. Paul LePage’s effort, a letter to Trump seeking to have him reverse Obama’s order creating the monument in Maine, is opposed by most of the state’s federal delegation and has seemingly drawn little support, St. Clair said.
Trump’s proposed NOAA cuts imperil Wells Reserve in Maine
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, March 9, 2017 

The Wells Reserve at Laudholm could become a casualty of a Trump administration plan to slash the budget of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The proposed cuts – which would scrap the Sea Grant program and cut funding for fisheries management, weather prediction and satellite operations – also would eliminate funding for the nation’s 29 National Estuarine Research Reserves, including Wells Reserve in southern Maine and the Great Bay National Estuarine Reserve in southern New Hampshire.
Governing is hard, the methane edition
Bloomberg News - Wednesday, March 8, 2017 

Republicans in Congress are learning the difficult truth that legislating is different when you have your fingers on the controls. Consider the Congressional Review Act vote to repeal BLM’s venting and flaring rule. The oil and gas industry hates it, the House passed it and President Trump would love to sign it. So what’s the hold up? The measure is facing push back from moderate Republicans, including Maine’s Susan Collins. “I do not,” she said, when asked if she supported the measure.
New bill proposes contractor training, certifications to reduce lead poisoning
Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting - Wednesday, March 8, 2017 

Seeking to reduce the instances of Mainers getting lead poisoning due to careless renovations, a lawmaker introduced a proposal on Tuesday to require EPA training and certification in lead-safe removal methods for contractors working on older buildings. Sen. Nathan Libby, a Democrat from Lewiston — which has the most severe lead paint problem in the state — introduced his bill to make renovations in Maine safer. His legislation requires EPA training and certification in lead-safe removal methods for at least one person on contracting crews that perform maintenance or renovation work on buildings built before 1978, when lead paint was still legal to use.
Climate change goosed odds of freakishly hot February
Associated Press - Wednesday, March 8, 2017 

A freakishly balmy February broke more than 11,700 local daily records for warmth in the United States, but it didn’t quite beat 1954 for the warmest February on record, climate scientists said. The average temperature last month was 41.2 degrees – 7.3 degrees warmer than normal but three-tenths a degree behind the record, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported Wednesday.
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.
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
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