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
Letter: Americans can make up for U.S. flub on climate change
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, June 21, 2017 

President Trump’s decision to renounce our commitment to the Paris climate accord is dangerous, reckless, irresponsible and downright stupid. It goes against the will of the American people and against an overwhelming consensus of world scientists. It also abnegates our role as a world leader in science and technology. The decision is universally condemned by everyone except for a small, loyal band of followers and certain political leaders whom he appears hell-bent on placating, regardless of the consequences. We can show the world that we Americans do care about our fragile planet and its vulnerable populations by initiating actions on the local and state levels and as families and individuals. ~ David Ramsay, South Berwick
Letter: Let’s meet obligations of Paris accord whether U.S. is on board or not
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, June 21, 2017 

Notwithstanding President Trump’s ill-considered decision to pull us out of the Paris accord, the U.S. can still meet the obligations we undertook under that agreement. So much can be done by cities, towns, companies, states, families and individuals. For example, my business partner and I recently installed a solar array on the roof of our apartment building in Portland that will generate 42,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity annually. These panels will pay for themselves in eight years and lower our electricity usage there by 65 percent. The federal government controls relatively little of our society’s energy usage. If we the people decide we want to cut our carbon emissions because it’s important for our planet’s future, we can do it! ~ Nathan Szanton, Portland
Letter: Palm oil and climate change
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, June 21, 2017 

The are numerous well-known ways to combat climate change. What most people are unaware of is that you can also make an impact by reading nutrition labels and choosing products that do not contain palm oil. Some of the world’s most ecologically diverse ecosystems are being threatened by palm oil plantation expansion. Clearing dense rainforests with fire not only wipes out necessary carbon sinks but also releases hundreds of thousands of pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, making palm oil a major contributor to human-induced climate change. Consumers can help further the cause by refusing to buy products made with palm oil. ~ Marta Denny, Rockport
Letter: Protecting Casco Bay
Times Record - Wednesday, June 21, 2017 

Casco Bay is important to our ecosystem and Maine’s economy. In 2015 alone, Maine lobster industry was valued at 510.7 million dollars. This industry, crucial to Maine's economy, can be damaged by pollution and other man-made causes. One of the most important things that you can do to protect Casco Bay is to recycle. In addition, it is very important that you don’t dump pollutants into the sewers. Whatever goes into the sewers will head straight out into the ocean. Also, you can volunteer to walk on the shorelines picking up trash because it will help Casco Bay and all of the important organisms living there. ~ Brandon Ellis and Simon Paledzki, Brunswick Junior High School students
Waterville council overrides mayor’s veto on recycling issue
Morning Sentinel - Tuesday, June 20, 2017 

The city will start collecting recyclables at the curb starting July 1, since the City Council on Tuesday voted 5-2 to override Mayor Nick Isgro’s veto of a vote the council took June 6 to take over the recycling effort. As part of the vote, councilors authorized the city to hire an additional worker for nine months, buy a new packer truck that can pick up trash and recyclables at the same time and reject bids from two companies that said they would do recycling pickup for more than $200,000 a year.
Zinke: Maine monument’s foes and fans will be ‘enthusiastic’ about recommendation
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, June 20, 2017 

Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke once again hinted Tuesday that he won’t advise President Donald Trump to get rid of Maine’s national monument. Speaking this time to U.S. Sen. Angus King of Maine during a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing, Zinke predicted that both Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument’s supporters and its opponents will be “enthusiastic” about the recommendations he will make to President Trump on Aug. 24.
Former Sen. Mitchell bemoans Trump climate decision
Morning Sentinel - Tuesday, June 20, 2017 

Former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell said Tuesday that President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the country from the Paris climate agreement is a historic mistake that will allow another major nation such as China to become dominant in innovating the growing field of clean energy. Mitchell, a Waterville native, made the comments while speaking Tuesday before the Mid-Maine Chamber’s Leadership Luncheon, where he addressed what he saw as the important economic issues facing the United States.
Palermo couple alleges American Legion post denying garden water
Morning Sentinel - Tuesday, June 20, 2017 

The people who manage the Palermo Community Center say the local American Legion post is flouting a court-backed lease that calls for water to be provided to a mobile home, which is then used at a garden that produces food for dozens of needy families. Delaying their connection to a water source is “just a ploy for them to kill the garden,” said Phil Frizzell, chief financial officer of the nonprofit community center run by the Living Communities Foundation.
Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust meeting June 22 on ‘Coastal Conservation and Community Impact’
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, June 20, 2017 

Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust will hold its annual meeting title “Coastal Conservation and Community Impact,” on Thursday, June 22, 5:30-7:30 p.m., at Topsham Public Library, featuring Dan Devereaux, Brunswick marine resource officer, and Monique Coombs, seafood program director at Maine Coast Fisherman’s Association. One of BTLT's recently acquired properties, Woodward Cove, provides access for bloodworm harvesters and clammers to valuable mudflats in upper Woodward Cove. Through an unusual partnership between Maine Coast Heritage Trust, BTLT, and the Unitarian Universalist Church, this coastal access point has now been protected for the long term.
Maine enviro group: Local action on climate change critical
Forecaster - Tuesday, June 20, 2017 

A Maine environmental group says taking action on climate change at the local level is even more important after President Donald Trump pulled the U.S. out of a global climate agreement earlier this month. With its new Climate Action Maine initiative, Maine Conservation Voters hopes to organize grassroots efforts across the state to “keep pressure on elected leaders to engage in immediate action on climate change."
Interior Secretary Hints at Maine Monument’s Future During Hearing
Maine Public - Tuesday, June 20, 2017 

At a budget hearing on the Department of the Interior, U.S. Sen. Angus King of Maine asked Secretary Ryan Zinke about his recent trip to the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument in Maine. King supports keeping the monument in place and so does Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins. Zinke said he has spoken with Gov. Paul LePage, who opposed the designation, and told LePage his recommendation will be an approach that all parties will be satisfied with. Zinke didn’t say what that recommendation will be, but during his tour of the region last week he said he had not ruled out asking for congressional approval of a national park, with the caveat that it include traditional uses such as logging and hunting, and as long as members of Maine’s congressional delegation support the idea.
Public lands bill passes Maine Legislature; LePage expected to veto
Maine Environmental News - Tuesday, June 20, 2017 

Mainers are blessed to have 600,000 acres of Public Reserved Lands are held in trust. For years, Paul LePage has tried to raid the Public Lands Fund and to increase logging on those lands. For years, legislators and the state's attorney general have said he cannot legally do that. In 2015, a legislative commission unanimously recommended against LePage's raid of the people's forests. In 2016, the commission's recommendations passed the legislature but were vetoed. Weak-kneed Republicans upheld the governor's veto. This year, on June 19, the Maine Senate voted to pass an amended version as emergency legislation. The same day the Maine House voted 136 to 8 with 7 absent to go along with the Senate. The ball is back in LePage's court. He will undoubtedly slam it into the veto wall. The only question is whether the legislature will support the public interest and override LePage's veto, or capitulate to LePage's pressure to vote against the public interest.
Tick Numbers Are High Across New England This Spring
Associated Press - Tuesday, June 20, 2017 

Tick numbers are on the rise across New England this spring, raising the prospect of an increase in Lyme and other diseases associated with the blood suckers. The region got a respite last year as the drought took a toll on ticks, whose numbers drop as the humidity falls below 85 percent. But the drought is largely gone from the region and ticks are taking advantage.
Hike: Swan Island in the Kennebec River
Aislinn Sarnacki Act Out Blog - Tuesday, June 20, 2017 

Located in the Kennebec River, between the towns of Richmond and Dresden, Swan Island was once home to a small community. Today, the 2,019-acre island is a state-owned wildlife management area that is an excellent spot for hiking, camping and wildlife watching. It’s also a place where you can walk back in time. With remains of the abandoned island town described through educational displays, it’s easy to imagine what life would have been like on the island in the 1800s. The hiking trails, which altogether total about 7 miles, are marked with painted blazes and explore the wilder areas of the island, traveling through both forests and fields.
Allagash books to be recorded for veterans
Maine Environmental News - Tuesday, June 20, 2017 

Tim Caverly, a retired Regional Supervisor for the Allagash Wilderness Waterway has self-published seven books about Maine's northern forest. On May 31, the Royal Arch Masons of Maine presented Caverly with a check for $3100 to support translating his books into recorded form. Copies of the audio books will then be presented to the veterans homes in Maine.
Maine man pleads guilty to illegal trafficking in baby eels valued at $375K
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, June 20, 2017 

A 38-year-old Woolwich man pleaded guilty on Friday to illegally trafficking in poached elvers — juvenile American eels — in 2012. Michael Squillace pleaded guilty to violating the federal Lacey Act, which prohibits interstate transport or transactions of any species of fish or wildlife illegally harvested or handled in any state. He was released on personal recognizance, according to court documents. A sentencing date was not available on Monday. He faces up to five years in prison with a maximum of 3 years supervised release.
Column: Those in power, be wise, because the tables will surely turn
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, June 20, 2017 

So there I am, pumping gas in Poughkeepsie, about to wet myself, all because of big government, and it dawns on me that back in my boyhood days, patient and practical-minded men and women got into politics and formed a strong bipartisan bloc that worked for decent mental health facilities and prisons, made higher education available to children of mail clerks and waitresses, created parks and protected wilderness — all the basic stuff of government. That bloc seems to have evaporated and now we are locked in bitter conflict about which way is up and whether the earth is round. Crankiness is in the driver’s seat. ~ Garrison Keillor
Opinion: The big spenders in Augusta are throwing fiscal sanity out the door
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, June 20, 2017 

Once again, the big spenders in Augusta have hauled the shutdown bogeyman out of the storage closet to roam the halls of the Colosseum. This biennial ritual is meant to spook legislators into accepting a budget that grows government faster than Maine taxpayers’ ability to pay for it. We cannot afford to undo LePage-era fiscal reforms that have right-sized government and put Maine on a path to move from poverty to prosperity. Rep. Lawrence Lockman, R-Amherst
LePage says he’ll direct state agencies to prepare for shutdown
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, June 20, 2017 

Gov. Paul LePage said he will direct agencies on Tuesday to begin preparing for a partial shutdown of state government in case legislative leaders are unable to strike a budget deal before the month’s end. But the governor predicted a shutdown won’t happen because Democrats will fear the political consequences.
LePage’s leverage grows with each day Maine gets closer to government shutdown
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, June 20, 2017 

With every passing day, the prospect of a state government shutdown on July 1 becomes more probable. In 1991, during a 16-day shutdown, state parks and other public lands closed — disrupting the tourist trade through the Fourth of July holiday and beyond. Sen. Michael Carpenter, D-Houlton, was attorney general during the 1991 shutdown. He said, "Gov. LePage will not agree to allow anybody or any agency to check him. He will make the decisions and, candidly, I don’t think any court is going to step in and say no to him because it’s a political question.” With the termed-out governor more focused on his legacy than keeping government open and the political damage the 1991 shutdown left in its wake a distant memory, the current impasse could stretch well into July and necessitate court intervention if the continuing resolution becomes a legal sticking point.
Law change enacted regarding shooting from a motor vehicle
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Tuesday, June 20, 2017 

The law prohibiting shooting a gun that’s resting on a motor vehicle – or even resting the gun up against a motor vehicle – has been changed. The change allows a hunter to rest a loaded firearm or crossbow on a motor vehicle that is not an ATV or snowmobile. It also allows you to shoot from the vehicle at a fixed target (such as at a shooting range) as long as you are not within the enclosed area or passenger compartment of a motor vehicle.
LePage signs food sovereignty law, the first of its kind in the nation
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, June 20, 2017 

Gov. Paul LePage last Firday signed LD 725, An Act to Recognize Local Control Regarding Food Systems, legitimizing the authority of towns and communities to enact ordinances regulating local food distribution free from state regulatory control. Rep. Craig Hickman, D-Winthrop, said, “The Governor has signed into law a first-in-the-nation piece of landmark legislation [and] the state of Maine will [now] recognize, at last, the right of municipalities to regulate local food systems as they see fit.”
Opinion: No country for dictators: Why Trump will have to govern, not rule by threats and tweets
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, June 20, 2017 

Can citizens of a modern, representative democracy elect an autocratic character like Trump to the highest office in the land and continue to call their country democratic? Thus far, the judiciary, the media and civil servants in our intelligence agencies, have played their roles as political counterweights to this administration. Indeed, they’ve responded to Trump’s autocratic posturing with firmness and professionalism. Trump simply lacks the power within our political system to be a dictator; he may have no choice but to become a president. ~ Jeffrey S. Selinger, associate professor of government and legal studies, Bowdoin College
Auburn council opposes amending goats ordinance
Sun Journal - Tuesday, June 20, 2017 

City councilors on Monday were not in favor of amending Auburn's zoning rules regarding farm animals, despite a recent city mistake that could lead to a family on Merrow Road losing its two pet goats.
Editorial: Restore online burn permits
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, June 20, 2017 

If the state of Maine wanted to create the perfect website for issuing open burn permits, it would be easy, convenient and inexpensive, both to residents and municipalities. It would be a lot like WardensReport.com. But after years of serving residents and local fire departments well and without incident, WardensReport.com and another site like it, BurningPermit.com, are offline for now, under orders from the Maine Forest Service. The Legislature should act quickly to allow these proven tools for fire safety back in service.
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