February 24, 2017  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Friday, February 24, 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
Help wanted: Environment Maine State Director
Announcement - Friday, February 24, 2017 

Coordinate advocacy, field organizing, and media communications driving campaigns to restore Maine's lakes and rivers, to bring more clean energy to Maine, to curb global warming pollution, and to protect Maine's open spaces.
Save Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument
Action Alert - Thursday, February 23, 2017 

Maine Governor Paul LePage is urging President Trump to kill the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. This makes no sense for a host of reasons. Tell President Trump and Maine's congressional representatives to oppose any effort to undo our national monument. ~ RESTORE: The North Woods
Protect Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument
Action Alert - Thursday, February 23, 2017 

Governor LePage has asked President Trump to undo the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. Ask your Senators and Representatives to do everything in their power to protect the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. ~ Natural Resources Council of Maine
Help wanted: Maine Audubon Executive Director
Announcement - Thursday, February 23, 2017 

Seeking an inspiring leader who can articulate the vision of Maine Audubon and lead, support, and galvanize the organization’s stakeholders.
RESIST: Skills to Fight Back for Maine’s Environment, Mar 8
Event - Posted - Thursday, February 23, 2017 

Learn the skills you need to be an powerful activist. At Urban Farm Fermentory, Portland, March 8, 5:30-8:30 pm. Sponsored by Natural Resources Council of Maine, Maine Conservation Voters, The Wilderness Society, Appalachian Mountain Club, and Maine Public Health Association.
The National Parks in the 21st Century, Mar 2
Event - Posted - Thursday, February 23, 2017 

Gretchen Long, a member of the National Park System Advisory Board, will present an overview of the park system. At Yarmouth History Center, March 2, 2 pm.
Lets Go Hiking, Mar 2
Event - Posted - Thursday, February 23, 2017 

Don Miskill talks about his experiences hiking and shows photos from his travels. At Orr's Island Library, Harpswell, March 2, 7 pm.
Tides: The Science and Spirit of the Ocean, Feb 28
Event - Posted - Tuesday, February 21, 2017 

Jonathan White takes you on a journey spanning the globe as he examines the many dimensions of the tides, the science behind them, and how they influence culture. At Unity College Center for the Performing Arts, Unity, Feb 28, 6 pm.
Inspired by Nature, Feb 28
Event - Posted - Tuesday, February 21, 2017 

An examination of how nature inspires people in many different ways and in many different fields. At Topsham Public Library, February 28, 6 pm. Sponsored by Cathance River Education Alliance.
Mindful Meditation at Morse Pond Preserve, Feb 25
Event - Posted - Saturday, February 18, 2017 

Bobby Carnicella will lead a mindful nature walk at Morse Pond Preserve in Georgetown, February 25, 9:30 am. Sponsored by Kennebec Estuary Land Trust.
Clean Up Pence’s Dirty Coal
Action Alert - Friday, February 17, 2017 

Mike Pence may be Trump's "clean up" man, but he failed the environment. Under Pence's leadership, super polluters spewed unregulated pollution into the air, placing children at risk of disease and the world in danger of the consequences of climate change.
Owl Prowl, Feb 24
Event - Posted - Friday, February 17, 2017 

Learn about native owl species, their ecology and adaptations, and meet local representatives up close. At Center For Wildlife, York, Feb 24, 5 pm, $7.
Appalachian Odyssey, Feb 23
Event - Posted - Thursday, February 16, 2017 

Maine native and insatiable (10,000 mile) hiker Jeff Ryan has just published "Appalachian Odyssey: A 28-year hike on the Appalachian Trail." For nearly 3 decades, Jeff hiked a section of the trail with the same friend (they started hiking in 1985 and completed the AT in 2013). This is a fundraiser for Teens To Trails. At Frontier, Brunswick, Feb 23, 7 pm, $5.
Malaga Island management meeting, Feb 23
Event - Posted - Thursday, February 16, 2017 

Maine Coast Heritage Trust will hold a public meeting in Phippsburg to gather input on the management of Malaga Island. At Phippsburg Town Hall, Feb 23, 6 pm.
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News Items
Mental health experts say Trump is unfit to serve
MSNBC - Tuesday, February 21, 2017 

Some psychologists and psychiatrists are speaking out about Trump because of a duty to warn. Dr. Lance Dodes and Dr. John Gartner, have an online petition of mental health professionals with more than 26,000 signatures.
The Status of Maine Fisheries
Maine Public - Tuesday, February 21, 2017 

Maine's Department of Marine Resources Commissioner, Patrick Keliher, discusses the health of Maine’s fisheries, from scallops to herring, shrimp to lobster, and measures to protect them. [audio]
Trump, GOP lawmakers scrap Stream Protection Rule
MSNBC - Tuesday, February 21, 2017 

The Stream Protection Rule sought to protect the nation’s waterways “from debris generated by a practice called surface mining. The Interior Department had said the rule would protect 6,000 miles of streams and 52,000 acres of forests.” The Congressional Research Service published a report on the Stream Protection Rule, which researchers said was an effective policy in protecting drinking water and combating climate change. Republicans made the elimination of the Stream Protection Rule one of their first big priorities. Last week, Donald Trump signed a bill killing the rule.
Opinion: It’s encouraging to see conservatives get behind a carbon tax to fight climate change
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, February 21, 2017 

There may be disagreement on climate change issues, but we can agree that a carbon fee is indispensable for reducing emissions and that using the revenue for dividends is equitable and politically prudent. The transition from fossil fuels is a difficult, long-term process. A carbon fee sends the right signal to the market about the environmental cost of carbon, and charges the polluters, while the dividend spreads the financial benefit to everyone over the entire period of the fee, rewarding most those who make energy-wise decisions. ~ Michael Howard, UMaine
We’ve put out the Wildfire
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Tuesday, February 21, 2017 

Our TV show Wildfire has been dashed. Simply put, it was too much of a time burden to raise the money to pay for production and airing, and to recruit the guests and plan the shows. I already miss the show but know it was the right decision.
Canadian company envisions Maine as site for biorefinery
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, February 21, 2017 

A Canadian company that turns leftover wood from forestry operations into heating fuel has begun supplying Bates College in Lewiston and is seeking enough customers to build a production facility in Maine. “Maine would be an ideal place to locate a facility,” Lee Torrens, president of the subsidiary Ensyn Fuels Inc., said. Torrens declined to name specific companies or institutions, but said his company had been in contact with colleges, state officials and large woodland owners in Maine.
Opinion: Aroostook County won’t necessarily strike it rich by mining
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, February 21, 2017 

There are potential benefits and costs to mining in Maine. The job of good policy is to ensure that institutions are in place to maximize the benefits and minimize the costs – and ensure an equitable distribution of costs and benefits. Only then should each proposal be evaluated on its own merits. ~ Rachel Bouvier, economic and sustainability consultant, Portland
Letter: Pressure LePage to strengthen RGGI
Kennebec Journal - Tuesday, February 21, 2017 

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, or RGGI, has offered numerous benefits to Maine, including cutting down on air pollution, lowering Maine’s fossil fuel emissions, and creating more jobs. And the program has allowed Maine to invest a great deal of money into energy efficiency. Within the next few months a decision will be made regarding whether to strengthen the program. We need to continuously pressure LePage to commit to strengthening the initiative to further cut down on carbon emissions, mitigate climate change, and protect the Maine environment we know and love. ~ Emma Rotner, Environment Maine
West Gardiner man tweaks app to help fishing community
Kennebec Journal - Monday, February 20, 2017 

Ron Cote builds apps. A year ago, the West Gardiner man launched his first app, Fish Maine, which contains all the state’s fishing regulations. Since then, he has released a Hunt Maine app, and just recently an update for the fishing app, Fish Maine 2017. New this year is the price: free.
Climber dies after losing footing, sliding 1,000 feet on Mount Katahdin
Portland Press Herald - Monday, February 20, 2017 

A 68-year-old Holden man died Saturday after sliding more than 1,000 feet while climbing at Baxter State Park. The man was not identified by park officials, but a Bangor-based funeral home posted an obituary on its website Monday for John H. Stetson that said he died “unexpectedly…on Mount Katahdin.” Stetson had been camping at Daicy Pond Campground with a large group and was attempting to climb the Abol Trail up Maine’s highest mountain with a companion when he fell after losing his footing, according to a media release from Baxter officials.
Scallops Scuffle Pitting Small Boats Against Big
Associated Press - Monday, February 20, 2017 

A disagreement over the right to fish for scallops off of New England is pitting small boats against big boats in one of the most lucrative fisheries in the U.S. The federal government maintains different rules for the small- and big-boat fisheries, though they work some of the same areas. The U.S. sea scallop fishery has been worth more than $400 million every year since 2010.
Climber, 68, dies in 1,000 foot fall in Baxter State Park
Bangor Daily News - Monday, February 20, 2017 

A 68-year-old Holden man died Saturday after falling more than 1,000 feet down the icy surface of the Abol Slide in the park, according to a press release issued Monday. Though Park Director Jenson Bissell said it is park policy not to release the name of the deceased, Brookings-Smith Funeral Home in Bangor confirmed Monday that it is handling arrangements for John H. Stetson. A 1966 graduate of Bangor High School, Stetson attended UMaine, where he studied civil engineering. He was founder of Stetson and Watson Co. and owned a small transport company. He routinely enjoyed outdoor activities, including iceboating, skiing, running and hiking.
Have You Seen This Rabbit? Endangered Cottontail Needs Help
Associated Press - Monday, February 20, 2017 

Biologists want Mainers to report if they see brown rabbits this winter. Fewer than 300 New England cottontail rabbits live in Maine, and they are an endangered species in the state. Each winter, biologists from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife partner up with conservation groups to survey sites known to have cottontails. The rabbits look similar to snowshoe hares most of the year, but remain brown in winter when the hares turn white. New England cottontails were once seen up and down much of the Maine coast but have diminished in numbers as they have lost their dense, shrubby habitat.
Bill to protect Monhegan's iconic scenery would effectively 'kill' offshore wind pilot project
Mainebiz - Monday, February 20, 2017 

Legislation proposed by Maine Sen. Dana Dow, R-Waldoboro, to prohibit The New England Aqua Ventus 1 project from building two 6-megawatt wind turbines two-and-a-half miles off Monhegan Island could kill the University of Maine-led effort. For now, it is now one of only two projects still in the running for Department of Energy funding. Dow says the measure is critical to safeguard the iconic island's scenery as well as protect the population of migratory birds that use the island as an important landfall along the North Atlantic Flyway.
This farm encourages weed growth
Mainebiz - Monday, February 20, 2017 

On a dank Maine winter's afternoon, a guard escorts me into a nondescript boxy building, then takes my driver's license for the duration of my stay. She ushers me to a dressing area, where I slide booties over my shoes, don a blue lab coat and follow her down a long corridor to a warm room with bright grow lamps. Inside, Patricia Rosi, the petite CEO of Wellness Connection of Maine, smiles and looks almost lovingly across rows of lush, green cannabis mother plants that resemble a tropical forest. The stringent regulations and safety standards for drugs that go through U.S. Food and Drug Administration testing don't exist yet for marijuana. Outside labs can't test the product, partly because it's still illegal on a federal level.
Lead Ammunition Poisons Wildlife But Too Expensive To Change, Hunters Say
Maine Public - Monday, February 20, 2017 

On the day before President Trump's inauguration, the outgoing Obama administration passed a last-minute directive, banning the use of lead ammunition and fishing sinkers on federal land. Recently, the deteriorating health of a bald eagle showed the effects of lead poisoning. Obama's regulation is intended to protect wildlife from exactly that. But hunters are hoping Trump will soon overturn it.
They’ll be hunting deer on March 2 at the legislature
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Monday, February 20, 2017 

Let’s call this Deer Day. The legislature’s IFW Committee has scheduled hearings on 8 deer bills for 1 pm, March 2, in Room 206 in the Cross Building next to the Capitol. The Committee has already killed one deer bill which would have allowed senior hunters to shoot does anytime during the hunting season without an any-deer permit.
Scientists Rally in Boston to Protest Perceived Threats to Science and Research
Associated Press - Monday, February 20, 2017 

Hundreds of scientists, environmental advocates and their supporters rallied Sunday in Boston to protest what they see as increasing threats to science and research in the U.S. The scientists say they want President Donald Trump's administration to recognize evidence of climate change and take action on various environmental issues.
Eimskip shipping company adding 4 more port calls to Portland this year
Portland Press Herald - Monday, February 20, 2017 

Eimskip has increased port calls to Portland from 26 in 2013 to 35 planned for this year. The increased visits are being driven by a 20 percent growth in shipping volume. More shipments show the Icelandic company's confidence in the port's connection to international shipping lanes and that a cold-storage warehouse will be completed on the waterfront, the director of the Maine Port Authority says.
Letter to the editor: Sen. Collins commended for support of renewable energy
Portland Press Herald - Monday, February 20, 2017 

Sen. Susan Collins deserves to be recognized for her actions that support renewable energy in Maine. In the 2017 appropriations for the Department of Energy, Sen. Collins was a lead sponsor of an amendment to advance clean energy solutions, increase federal energy research and development investments, and support efforts to preserve our air and climate. Mainers should expect Sen. Collins to prioritize Maine values over Washington politics and continue to support common-sense renewable-energy policies that protect our environment for future generations. ~ Ryan Grogan, South Berwick
Letter: Dakota Access pipeline must remain in forefront of public mind
Portland Press Herald - Monday, February 20, 2017 

The Dakota Access pipeline is not about oil. It’s not about energy independence. It’s not about jobs, and it’s not about Native Americans. It’s about money. The $3.8 billion project would stand to make a lot of money for Energy Transfer Partners, the company building the pipeline, and the big banks funding it. Turns out we don’t even know what all the environmental risks are, because the project has never undergone a sufficient environmental impact study. The Trump administration has signed an order to move forward without it. What we know for sure is that Sunoco, the company scheduled to operate the pipeline, has seen more than 200 spills since 2010, more than any other pipeline operator in the country. ~ Isabella Pardales, Yarmouth
Letter: PUC decision cripples Maine solar industry
Morning Sentinel - Monday, February 20, 2017 

Gov. Paul LePage’s PUC commissioners have just crippled the solar industry in Maine and stolen as much as half of all future electric power from Maine people who generate power from their home-based solar systems. While everyone’s eyes were on the thievery and deceit in D.C., these commissioners struck like thieves in the night by changing PUC’s Chapter 313 regulation to create a new term called “nettable energy,” which effectively poses as much as a 50 percent tax on Maine solar systems energy production over the next 15 years. People will have to “give away” almost half of the energy they generate to electric companies. They’ve also jeopardized the 300 existing solar jobs in Maine. ~ Deborah Avalone-King, Brooks
Trump's next move to dismantle the EPA
Maine Environmental News - Sunday, February 19, 2017 

Last week, the U.S. Senate confirmed Scott Pruitt for EPA Administrator. It gave President Donald Trump the green light to unleash his extreme anti-environmental agenda. Trump is reportedly poised to sign a series of Executive Orders to dismantle the EPA. The orders could gut our protections for clean water, clean air and the climate. And they could come out as soon as this week.
New Documentary on Traditional Winter Travel
Other - Sunday, February 19, 2017 

A journey by snowshoe and toboggan in the wilds of northern Ontario in 2013 marked the changing of the guard. That winter, upstart Sudbury, Ontario-based outfitters David and Kielyn Marrone, the owners of Lure of the North, invited veteran Maine guide Garrett Conover to join them on a two-week expedition down the Missinaibi River. “The form of travel is not about the old-style materials and skills, it’s about what they represent,” notes filmmaker David Hartman.
For fisheries regulations, a Trump edict signals uncertainty
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, February 19, 2017 

New England fishermen and conservationists fear one of President Trump’s executive orders will have disruptive effects on fisheries management, although it will not affect routine seasonal fisheries regulation, as some had initially feared. The ambiguously worded Jan. 30 order requires that two regulations be effectively eliminated for each new one promulgated by most federal agencies. “Effectively what it means is that nobody can do anything because agencies will have to stop doing major regulatory actions because you can’t comply with this order, which may be the point,” says a former top federal fisheries management official.
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