September 25, 2017  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Saturday, September 23, 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
Take action to protect clean water
Action Alert - Saturday, September 23, 2017 

The EPA under Trump just proposed rescinding the Clean Water Rule, threatening the health of our lakes, rivers, streams, and wetlands in Maine. Tell the EPA and Maine Congressional delegation that Mainers support this rule for the health of our neighbors, our waters, and our economy. ~ Natural Resources Council of Maine
Stop Trump's Assault On Drinking Water
Action Alert - Saturday, September 23, 2017 

The groundbreaking Clean Water Rule was adopted two years ago to help protect crucial waterways, including streams that feed the drinking water sources of more than 117 million Americans, habitat for wildlife and places where we fish, kayak, and swim with our families. But in its latest anti-environment assault, the Trump administration is irresponsibly attempting to repeal the Clean Water Rule. ~ Natural Resources Defense Council
Reject Trump’s anti-science pick to head NASA
Action Alert - Saturday, September 23, 2017 

Petition to the Senate: NASA must remain an independent scientific agency, and its critical Earth science missions must continue. Reject Trump's appointment of anti-science ideologue Rep. Jim Bridenstine for NASA head and insist on a scientist or another qualified individual for the position. ~ CREDO Action
ecomaine Recycling Open House, Sep 30
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 23, 2017 

Join ecomaine for tours, free breakfast, free electronic waste collection, fun activities for the kids and more. At 62 Blueberry Road, Portland, September 30, 8-11 am.
Midcoast Maine Tour de Farms, Sep 30
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 23, 2017 

The Midcoast Maine Tour de Farms offers rides cycling tours of 56 and 42 miles through Wiscasset, Dresden and Whitefield, as well as a 17-mile family ride, through the scenic farmland, with stops at local farms, orchards, and creameries. September 30. Sponsored by Morris Farm Trust.
National Parks Free Entrance, Sep 30
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 23, 2017 

All National Park Service sites that charge an entrance fee will offer free admission to everyone. September 30.
Great Maine Outdoor Weekend, Sep 29-Oct 1
Event - Posted - Friday, September 22, 2017 

The Great Maine Outdoor Weekend is a series of events led by outdoor oriented organizations and companies to celebrate the how, where, and what of being active outside in Maine. September 29 – October 1, 2017
Maine Outdoor Film Festival, Sep 29
Event - Posted - Friday, September 22, 2017 

At Camden Snow Bowl, September 29, 7:30 pm, free, suggested $3-5 donation for Teens To Trails.
Sustainability Success through Community Conservation, Sep 29
Event - Posted - Friday, September 22, 2017 

Anthony Charles, School of the Environment and School of Business, Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, will discuss how communities are acting as stewards of their local environments and resources, undertaking conservation initiatives that help secure local livelihoods, and contribute to larger-scale environmental improvement. At UMaine, Orono, September 29, 11 am.
Natural Gas: Powering Maine’s Future, Sep 28
Event - Posted - Thursday, September 21, 2017 

Keynote speaker: Governor Paul LePage. Lunchtime speaker: Summit Utilities President Kurt Adams. Panel discussions on commercial and industrial usage, natural gas as a transportation fuel, and natural gas in power generation. At The Woodlands in Falmouth, September 28, $179.
MDF Champion for Economic Development Awards, Sep 28
Event - Posted - Thursday, September 21, 2017 

At its annual meeting, Maine Development Foundation will present Champion for Economic Development Awards to several recipients, including Robbins Lumber. At Cross Insurance Center, Bangor, September 28.
State of Working Maine 2017
Publication - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 

The "State of Working Maine 2017," published by the Maine Center for Economic Policy, presents a comprehensive analysis of the economic, demographic, and workforce trends that impact the quality and quantity of jobs in Maine.
Alan Hutchinson memorial celebration, Sep 28
Event - Posted - Monday, September 18, 2017 

A celebration to pay tribute to the memory of the late Alan Hutchinson, executive director of the Forest Society of Maine. At Portland Country Club, Falmouth, September 28, 4:30-6:30 pm. RSVP.
BDN Poll: Should Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument be open to logging?
Action Alert - Monday, September 18, 2017 

Do you think the Katahdin Woods and Waters national monument should be opened for commercial forestry use?
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News Items
Kennebunkport Conservation Trust urges caution after reported assault
WGME-TV13 - Friday, September 22, 2017 

The Kennebunkport Conservation Trust is urging visitors to take safety precautions after a reported assault and theft on one of its trails. Officials said the incident happened on Gravelly Brook Road near the head of Jeremy's trail around noon last Wednesday.
U.S. trade commission ruling could impede solar sales
Associated Press - Friday, September 22, 2017 

Low-cost solar panels imported from China and other countries have caused serious injury to American manufacturers, a U.S. trade commission ruled Friday, raising the possibility of the Trump administration imposing tariffs that could double the price of solar panels from abroad. A group of former U.S. military officials also urged the Trump administration to reject solar tariffs, noting that the Defense Department is the nation’s largest energy consumer and follows a federal law calling for the Pentagon to procure 25 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2025.
Chellie Pingree Calls For Improved Inspections On Organic Imports
Bangor Daily News - Friday, September 22, 2017 

Consumers in the U.S. are buying more organic products than ever before — organic food sales now make up more than 5 percent of the total market, and the industry continues to see record growth. But Democratic U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree of Maine’s 1st District is worried about what she said are inadequate standards and inspections by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for organic imports. Speaking to a crowd at the Common Ground Country Fair on Friday in Unity, Pingree said she’ll be meeting with the USDA next week to make sure there’s adequate funding to do inspections, but she said she also wants to ensure that the Trump administration is committed to upholding the organic label.
Imported Solar Panels Could Face Tariff, Increasing Costs To Consumers
Maine Public - Friday, September 22, 2017 

The International Trade Commission ruled Friday that inexpensive, imported solar panels have harmed U.S.-based panel manufacturers. The ITC supported a complaint by bankrupt U.S. solar panel maker Suniva and another company, calling for tariff charges on imported solar panels. Cheap panels, made mostly in China, have helped to fuel a surge in solar installations at all levels in the U.S. Vaughn Woodruff, founder of Pittsfield, Maine-based InSource Renewables, says utility- and commercial-scale solar installers for months have been buying up panels as they become available, and he’s followed suit — now carrying about 15 times his usual inventory.
Conservation projects compete for $4.5 million in Land for Maine’s Future funding
Portland Press Herald - Friday, September 22, 2017 

More than two dozen land conservation projects will compete for more than $4.5 million in Land for Maine’s Future funding during the program’s first open application process in three years. However, the precise location of the projects and amount of money being sought by each application was not disclosed by the program. In 2015, Gov. Paul LePage, a vocal critic of conservation programs, sought to use bonds for the LMF program as a bargaining chip with lawmakers to increase logging on state-owned lands. There has not been an LMF bond measure since 2012.
Lawmaker’s party switch gives Greens a seat in the Maine House
Bangor Daily News - Friday, September 22, 2017 

A Maine House of Representatives Democrat who quit the party earlier this year has announced that he has enrolled in the Maine Green Independent Party. That makes Rep. Ralph Chapman of Brooksville the second Green Independent to serve in the Legislature’s history. Chapman sparred with Democratic leaders over several issues, including a bill that creates new mineral mining rules.
Blog: Puffins, Politics, and Joyful Doggedness in Maine
Other - Friday, September 22, 2017 

Union of Concerned Scientists - On this seemingly inconspicuous speck in Maine waters, Eastern Egg Rock, Steve Kress, began restoring puffins in 1973. He was part of the world’s first successful effort to restore a seabird to an island where they had been killed off by human activity. ~ Derrick Z. Jackson
Portland ad agency shines with new L.L. Bean ‘invisible ink’ ad
Portland Press Herald - Friday, September 22, 2017 

When exposed to sunlight, the ad’s missing text appears in sky blue ink in a manner similar to a Polaroid photo developing, but faster. It begins, “Welcome to the outside. Where there are no strangers. Only friends we haven’t met yet.” The ad goes on to extol the virtues of an outdoor life, and it encourages readers to explore the outdoors. It does not specifically mention L.L. Bean or its products. Once the ad is taken back indoors, the text quickly disappears.
Maine turnpike project could help save dwindling turtle population
Bangor Daily News - Friday, September 22, 2017 

Endangered turtles in York County are getting a new tunnel to safety thanks to the Maine Turnpike Authority. Derek Yorks, a biologist with Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, said Route 236 in Eliot is the deadliest in Maine for turtles. Funding to solve this kind of problem can be hard to come by. Because building a new toll plaza in York will disrupt some wetlands, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection said the Maine Turnpike Authority has to do something to mitigate the impact to the environment and certain endangered species. The MTA will give the state $170,000 to be used in Eliot, where the populations of Blanding’s and Spotted turtles are dwindling.
Letter: Time to talk climate change
Bangor Daily News - Friday, September 22, 2017 

Now that the U.S. has been hit by back-to-back strong hurricanes, I would like to ask our elected officials, “Now can we talk about climate change and sea level rise?” Scott Pruitt, head of the EPA, said, “The time to talk climate change isn’t now.” Really? Climate change is accepted science by the majority of climate scientists. And these same climate scientists agree that humans are having a significant impact on the changing climate. They predicted that hurricanes would be stronger, and more damaging. The president has called climate change a Chinese hoax and has said the United States will withdraw from the Paris climate agreement. We need to insist that our elected representatives address climate change in an open, honest and practical way. We shouldn’t wait for the next major storm. ~ Jenni Casale, Surry
Madison sues closed paper mill over property value data
Morning Sentinel - Thursday, September 21, 2017 

The town of Madison has filed a lawsuit against the owners of the community’s former landmark paper mill, ratcheting up a dispute over property values and access to assessment information. At stake are thousands of dollars in property taxes as the town struggles in the wake of the mill’s 2016 closure and the loss of more than 200 local jobs. The town of Madison says it is taking owners of the shuttered Madison Paper Industries to court to allow access by town officials and their attorneys to information, which currently is confidential, regarding the town’s assessment of the mill’s real estate and personal property.
Maine Ag Department Moves To Acquire Conservation Easement for State's Largest Sugarbush
Maine Public - Thursday, September 21, 2017 

The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry is moving to acquire a $1.2 million conservation easement to protect a remote plantation of sugar maples — meaning it could soon become a stakeholder in Maine’s maple syrup industry. The department has confirmed that it is the lead applicant for a 23,600-acre swath of timberland in Somerset County — also known as Big Six — which accounts for about a quarter of the state’s maple syrup output. The department is seeking public funding to purchase the easement through the Land for Maine’s Future program, a program that it also oversees. State agencies have previously been co-applicants on LMF projects. In this instance, however, the department could effectively become the steward of a sugarbush parcel, where most of the production is done by Canadian companies.
Feds send Maine $916,888 for Parks and Outdoor Recreation
Maine Environmental News - Thursday, September 21, 2017 

The Department of Interior today announced that $916,888 will be distributed to the state of Maine for outdoor recreation and conservation projects from the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), which is funded through offshore oil and gas leasing. These funds are awarded through federal matching grants that leverage public and private investment in America’s state and local public parks. “The Land and Water Conservation Fund state grant program has been a resounding success that makes physical investments in our communities,” Secretary Zinke said. “From Detroit, Michigan, to Augusta, Maine, the program benefits citizens across the nation."
Seal pups rescued in Maine among those released off Rhode Island
Associated Press - Thursday, September 21, 2017 

Three seal pups that were apparently abandoned by their parents after birth have been released into the waters off Rhode Island. Connecticut’s Mystic Aquarium says one of the seals was rescued in Harpswell, Maine, and brought to the aquarium in June. Another was found in East Boothbay Harbor, Maine, and arrived at the aquarium in July. The aquarium says the three seals are now healthy enough to survive on their own.
Editorial: Trump administration monument recommendations favor extraction over conservation
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, September 21, 2017 

Interior Secretary Ryan Zink's recommendations for the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument say it should allow the same activities on the protected land as are taking place outside their boundaries. This is less a thoughtful analysis and more the imposition of a mindset that nothing should be off limits to extraction, whether it be logs, fish, oil or coal. This totally undermines the point of conservation. His recommendations leave an unnecessary cloud of uncertainty over Maine’s only national monument, which already has become a tourism draw for a region hard hit by the loss of mill and logging jobs.
U.S. will now be 1 of only 2 countries out of the Paris climate accord
Washington Post - Thursday, September 21, 2017 

This week, Nicaragua, one of the few holdouts from the Paris climate accords, did an about-face and said it will sign the agreement. After President Barack Obama, who orchestrated the pact bringing together more than 190 nations, only two nations had yet to sign the agreement in April of this year. One was Syria, which was and still is in the middle of a bloody civil war. The other was Nicaragua. Nicaragua had declined to participate because they felt the agreement did not go far enough. According to Andrew Light, a senior fellow at the World Resources Institute, Nicaragua’s decision is “further demonstration that the [Trump] administration is isolated on this issue.”
Hunters will deal with hot weather when moose season begins Monday
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, September 21, 2017 

When 720 hunters and their friends and families head afield early Monday morning on the opening day of this year’s first moose-hunting season, they’ll have a formidable foe to overcome in order to fill their tags. No, not the moose. Mother Nature. Temperatures across the northern tier of the state, where the bulk of the hunting will take place, are expected to reach the upper 70s. According to the state’s moose biologist, those conditions will present a challenging scenario for hunters.
Tourism office aims survey at Mainers
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, September 21, 2017 

The Maine Office of Tourism is asking for more input from Mainers to evaluate the state’s tourism marketing campaigns. “This isn’t going to be an economic impact survey, or how many visitors you are getting,” said Steve Lyons, interim director of the Maine Office of Tourism. “We are trying to find out what is the most effective way to do regional marketing for the state of Maine.” Input from local businesses, governments, nonprofits, tourism entrepreneurs and residents will give the state, and local tourism marketers, a better idea of the strengths and weaknesses of each region, he added.
Letter: Selfish bikers
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, September 21, 2017 

There is one thing that I can barely tolerate. The selfish disregard most Harley-Davidson owners have for the rest of us, specifically those who illegally remove the mufflers from their bikes. It reminds me of those who bring a boombox to the beach and turn up the volume as if everyone else on the beach wants to hear their music. Is it possible that motorcycle owners imagine that they are doing others a similar favor by making all that noise? Or are they just plain selfish? ~ Ray Clemons, Hermon
Letter: Head of EPA gutting agency while threats from climate change worsen
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, September 21, 2017 

While Texas and Florida suffer in the wake of two deadly hurricanes, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt is busy undermining the agency that could help them recover. Hamstringing the EPA will only serve to hurt us more when we are tasked with cleaning up the harmful toxins and other pollution following these disasters. ~ Saif Pratt, Portland
Blog: A Day Out at the Bates- Morse Mountain
Other - Wednesday, September 20, 2017 

This past Saturday, my friends and I decided to go to the Bates-Morse Mountain Conservation. This pleasant sunny day bore no trace of a winter to come – it was the perfect day to explore. “The Maine coast has this Spartan, chill beauty to it that is really just a sight to behold,” mentioned one Bates College student. Sometimes we just need to see the rush of the ocean breeze in the fall to understand that life is worth living. ~ Ariel Abonizio [Editor: Bates-Morse Mountain, in Phippsburg, is a 600-acre conservation area of salt marshes and coastal uplands and beaches owned by the Bates-Morse Mountain Conservation Area Corporation. The beaches are privately owned but are used, with permission, by the public for research, and recreation.]
Our Favorite Fall Trails: Western Maine Highlights
Down East - Wednesday, September 20, 2017 

Though they may not rise as high as their cousins, the Presidentials, across the border in New Hampshire, the Mahoosucs of Western Maine are a mountain range every bit as dramatic — and the trails that navigate them are as varied and challenging. Whether you’re a hiker, a trail runner, or a mountain biker, there’s a path in the mountains, foothills, and forests surrounding Bethel that’ll have you eagerly grabbing your daypack. And if there’s a drive-up vantage point that rivals any of these four trails for fall color, we haven’t found it. Lace up your boots and check out one of these classic Maine trails.
Mathematics predicts a sixth mass extinction
Other - Wednesday, September 20, 2017 

In the past 540 million years, the Earth has endured five mass extinction events, each involving processes that upended the normal cycling of carbon through the atmosphere and oceans. These globally fatal perturbations in carbon each unfolded over thousands to millions of years, and are coincident with the widespread extermination of marine species around the world. Now Daniel Rothman, professor of geophysics in the MIT Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, has analyzed significant changes in the carbon cycle over the last 540 million years. He has identified “thresholds of catastrophe” in the carbon cycle that, if exceeded, would lead to an unstable environment, and ultimately, mass extinction.
Common Ground Country Fair to open Friday with updated infrastructure
Morning Sentinel - Wednesday, September 20, 2017 

The annual country fair, which kicks off its 41st year this weekend, received upgrades from solar power to a recontoured amphitheater.
Mountie who smuggled narwhal tusks into Maine faces sentencing today
Associated Press - Wednesday, September 20, 2017 

A retired Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer accused of smuggling narwhal tusks across the border at Calais is due to be sentenced for money laundering. Prosecutors say Gregory Logan, of St. John, New Brunswick, smuggled 250 tusks valued at $1.5 million to $3 million into Maine in false compartments in his vehicle. Narwhals are medium-sized whales known for spiral tusks that can grow longer than 8 feet. They are protected by the U.S. and Canada.
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