January 16, 2018  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Tuesday, January 16, 2018 

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 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
Feeding Maine Photography Exhibit, thru Feb 23
Event - Posted - Tuesday, January 16, 2018 

Feeding Maine: Growing Access to Good Food is a photo exhibit by Brendan Bullock, which seeks to document the many people working to address hunger in the state. Created by Maine Farmland Trust and Good Shepherd Food Bank. At University of Southern Maine Lewiston Auburn College, Atrium Art Gallery, January 16 to February 23, opening event January 19.
February Vacation Camps, Feb 20-23
Event - Posted - Tuesday, January 16, 2018 

Maine Audubon Vacation Camps at Fields Pond in Holden and Gilsland Farm in Falmouth, February 20-23.
Nominations for Source Awards due Feb 12
Announcement - Tuesday, January 16, 2018 

Maine Sunday Telegram Source Awards recognize the individuals, nonprofits, businesses and institutions in Maine working to safeguard the state’s spectacular natural environment. Deadline for nominations is February 12.
Apprenticeships at MCHT Preserves
Announcement - Tuesday, January 16, 2018 

Maine Coast Heritage Trust has paid apprenticeships at Aldermere Farm and Ericsson Fields in Rockport. Each apprenticeship will be up to 9-months starting in March and will include a monthly stipend, benefits, shared housing, training and supervision. Applications are due Feb. 5
Land-use history of Midcoast, Jan 23
Event - Posted - Sunday, January 14, 2018 

Forestry experts Lloyd Irland and Ken Lausten will explore the land-use history of Midcoast Maine. At Camden Public Library, January 23, 7 pm.
Friends of Casco Bay Annual Members Meeting, Jan 23
Event - Posted - Sunday, January 14, 2018 

Recognition for those who help protect the health of Casco Bay, an updated Casco Bay Health Index based on data collected by volunteer Citizen Stewards over the past 25 years, and new program directions. At DiMillo's, Portland, January 23, 5:30-8 pm.
Offshore drilling public meeting, Jan 22
Action Alert - Saturday, January 13, 2018 

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will hold a public meeting on a proposal to open Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) areas to oil and gas drilling off the Atlantic (and other) coasts. At Augusta Civic Center, Jan 22, 3-7 pm.
Scouting for Mammal Tracks and Signs, Jan 20
Event - Posted - Saturday, January 13, 2018 

Sandra Mitchell will follow up on the November tracks and signs class in the field. At Northeast Penjajawoc Preserve, January 20, 10-11:30 am.
Nature Journaling, Jan 20
Event - Posted - Saturday, January 13, 2018 

Andrea Lani will lead a nature journaling workshop at Viles Arboretum, Augusta, January 20, 10 am to 2 pm, $35 for Arboretum members, $45 for nonmembers.
Prowl for Owls, Jan 19
Event - Posted - Friday, January 12, 2018 

Maine Master Naturalist Kit Pfeiffer will lead a walk scouting for owls. At Carl and Barbara Segerstrom Preserve at Squam Creek, Westport Island, January 19, 6 pm. Sponsored by Kennebec Estuary Land Trust.
Futures of the Maine Waterfront, Jan 19
Event - Posted - Friday, January 12, 2018 

This forum will feature panel discussions on the future of our coastal and island economy, presented with trends and analysis by key coastal leaders. At The Westin, Portland, January 19, 2-8:30 pm, $35-150. Sponsored by the Island Institute.
Meet the Feet: Mammal Tracks and Sign, Jan 18
Event - Posted - Thursday, January 11, 2018 

Dorcas Miller presents an evening of hands-on learning about Maine mammals. At Belfast Library, January 18, 6:30 pm. Sponsored by Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition.
Connecting rivers, people and fish - by bike, Jan 18
Event - Posted - Thursday, January 11, 2018 

Alicia Heyburn spent five weeks on a solo bicycle tour from the source of the Rhine River in the Swiss Alps to the outlet at the North Sea near Amsterdam. Learn about Europe's extensive international network of bike trails, free cultural exchange and accommodation services, the stages and benefits of re-naturalizing a river, and how to travel alone without being lonely. At Curtis Memorial Library, Brunswick, January 18, 7 pm.
Growing Farm-Friendly Communities, Jan 18
Event - Posted - Thursday, January 11, 2018 

Community leaders share policy approaches and practical ideas for ways communities and farmers can benefit from working together. At Windham Town Hall, January 18, 9 – 11 am, Maine Farmland Trust or GrowSmart Maine members $15, non-members $25.
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News Items
Canada lynx may be taken off endangered species list
Bangor Daily News - Friday, January 12, 2018 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is recommending the removal of the Canada lynx from the federal Endangered Species List, where it has been listed as threatened since 2000, according to an announcement made Thursday by USFWS. This recommendation is based on a species analysis recently completed by USFWS that indicates the lynx populations within the contiguous US have recovered to the point of no longer warranting protection under the Endangered Species Act.
Opinion: Trump’s offshore oil drilling plans ignore the lessons of BP Deepwater Horizon
Bangor Daily News - Friday, January 12, 2018 

The Trump administration is proposing to ease regulations that were adopted to make offshore oil and gas drilling operations safer after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster. This event was the worst oil spill in U.S. history. Eleven workers died in the explosion and sinking of the oil rig, and more than 4 million barrels of oil were released into the Gulf of Mexico. Scientists have estimated that the spill caused more than $17 billion in damages to natural resources. The projected savings from proposals to change production safety rules are trivial compared to the $60 billion in costs that BP has incurred because of its role in the Deepwater Horizon disaster. ~ Donald Boesch, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science
Popular Maine sportsman, writer reveals ALS diagnosis
Bangor Daily News - Friday, January 12, 2018 

For 18 years, George Smith of Mount Vernon stalked the halls of the State House, where he aggressively lobbied for bills on behalf of the organization he ran, the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine. Fourteen months ago, Smith was diagnosed with ALS, also called Lou Gehrig’s Disease. His future is uncertain. But his attitude in facing the challenges ahead has already begun to inspire others.
Wood pulp and the emergence of a new industrial landscape in Maine, 1880 to 1930
Maine History - Friday, January 12, 2018 

Essay by John H. Clark and Deryck W. Holdsworth.
Editorial: Our View: Offshore drilling threatens important Maine industries
Portland Press Herald - Friday, January 12, 2018 

The Trump administration Tuesday removed the waters off Florida – and only Florida – from the list of areas newly open to offshore drilling, and in doing so made a compelling case that the Maine coast should be removed as well. Not only is Maine’s $6 billion-a-year tourism industry largely dependent on a clean and picturesque coastline, so too is the $1.7 billion-a-year lobster industry. Together, they have an economic impact far greater than the fossil fuel industry ever could here. And the greatest pathway toward energy independence and a robust energy sector lies in the development of renewable sources and technologies whose generation doesn’t degrade the environment and threaten important Maine industries.
Letter: Trump, LePage curry favor with ocean drillers, ignore risks
Portland Press Herald - Friday, January 12, 2018 

Gov. LePage is the one and only Atlantic coast governor who supports offshore drilling and offshore oil wells. You can’t really count the governor of Florida, Rick Scott, because Florida was taken off the list of opened waters by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke on Tuesday. Why Florida and not Maine? Mar-a-Largo is not in Maine, of course. LePage should use friendship with Trump to prevent oil drilling off Maine ~ Mic Harris, Kennebunkport
Letter: Maine’s fishing industry is dying, so why not drill for oil and gas?
Portland Press Herald - Friday, January 12, 2018 

By not considering oil exploration and development, Maine may, again, turn its back on an industry that would guarantee good-paying jobs and cheaper energy. The biggest reason given by both Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King for opposing offshore oil exploration is to protect our fishing industry. Are they both oblivious to the fact that our fishing industry has been in a decline for decades? Back in the early 1970s, an oil refinery was considered to revitalize the city of Eastport. Opponents cited probable damage to that area’s sardine industry as reason to stop it. So, how’s the Down East Maine sardine industry doing? We need to stop romanticizing our declining fishing industry and realize it will never again provide the growth in good-paying jobs that Maine so desperately needs. ~ Ted Sirois, Saco
Letter: LePage should use friendship with Trump to prevent oil drilling off Maine
Portland Press Herald - Friday, January 12, 2018 

Why is our Republican governor silent about Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s plan to allow drilling off all U.S. coasts (except Florida, of course)? This is one time when Gov. LePage’s so-called friendship with POTUS might actually help Mainers retain our glorious coastline and not have all of the deleterious effects of drilling impacting tourism, industry and our general way of life. ~ Carolyn Young, Portland
Letter: Wind turbines are unsightly; let’s harness tidal energy instead
Portland Press Herald - Friday, January 12, 2018 

I read with interest the Press Herald letter Tuesday by fellow Yarmouth residents Al and Lois Howlett, expressing their support for wind energy. They state that they love the wild outdoors of Maine, as do I. But do tall, noisy, spinning propellers on the hills and ridges of Maine enhance its beauty? Renewable energy is a worthwhile goal, but why not harness the tides, which occur with much more predictability than the wind and don’t detract from Maine’s unique environment? Despoiling Maine’s landscape so that southern New England can enjoy lower energy rates does not sound like a good deal to me. ~ Charles L. Sawyer, Yarmouth
Oil Giants See a Future in Offshore Wind Power. Their Suppliers Are Investing, Too.
Inside Climate News - Thursday, January 11, 2018 

With global demand for wind power growing, major oil and gas companies like Shell and Statoil are diversifying their portfolios by developing offshore wind, and the companies that provide services to offshore fossil fuel platforms are seeing a new market rising in their wake. Globally, 17.6 gigawatts of wind power capacity have been installed offshore, with most of it in Europe, and the industry is growing with an expectation that it will reach 115 gigawatts worldwide by 2030. Along the East Coast, fishermen groups are fighting plans for offshore wind projects.
As ash borer barrels through North American forests, scientists and tribes team up to make a stand
Other - Thursday, January 11, 2018 

Phys.org - Emerald ash borer, an insect native to Asia, has barreled through ash stands in at least 31 states and three Canadian provinces since 2002. Black ash, the species basket-tree harvesters target, is especially susceptible to the invasive insect that has already decimated millions of North American ash trees, and will soon arrive in Maine. A combination of traditional knowledge and the latest scientific tools is helping identify ecological variables that are likely to support basket-quality black ash trees. "Even after the emerald ash borer becomes established in Maine, the black ash tree will not disappear," said William Livingston, associate director of UMaine's School of Forest Resources.
Forest Society of Maine completes 100-Mile Wilderness conservation project
Mainebiz - Thursday, January 11, 2018 

White Cap Mountain in Maine's North Woods has long been revered by hikers such as Karin Tilberg, the new executive director of the Forest Society of Maine. "It's breathtaking," she said about a milestone conservation project near Gulf Hagas and White Cap that has just been completed. It permanently conserves thousands of acres of productive forestland and public access to popular recreation spots for hiking, fishing and hunting. To complete the project, the Forest Society of Maine raised $4.4 million and Pine State Timberlands donated the high-elevation lands. Tilberg said the organization has a "full plate" for 2018 and looks forward to closing on a number of other long-term projects.
Forest Society of Maine completes Gulf Hagas–Whitecap conservation project
Piscataquis Observer - Thursday, January 11, 2018 

The Forest Society of Maine and partners have completed the conservation of thousands of acres of productive forest land and access to popular recreation lands near Gulf Hagas and Whitecap Mountain in Maine’s North Woods. The project includes: conserved views from 11 miles of the Appalachian Trail in the 100-Mile Wilderness; enhanced public access to key popular recreational amenities, including campsites, hiking trails, Gulf Hagas, the Katahdin Iron Works State Historic Site, and the Interconnected Trail System for snowmobiles; protected Eastern brook trout and Atlantic salmon habitat by conserving five miles of frontage on the Pleasant River and 24.5 miles of cold water brooks and streams; and maintained productive forest land.
Canada lynx to be removed from ‘threatened’ species list in United States
Associated Press - Thursday, January 11, 2018 

Wildlife officials in the United States declared Canada lynx recovered Thursday and said the snow-loving wild cats no longer need special protections after steps to preserve their habitat. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said it will begin drafting a rule to revoke the lynx’s “threatened” listing across the Lower 48 states under the Endangered Species Act. Wildlife advocates said they would challenge the move in court.
New England congressional delegations submit bill to ban offshore drilling
Associated Press - Thursday, January 11, 2018 

A bipartisan group of U.S. senators and representatives from New England has introduced a bill to prohibit oil and gas drilling off the New England coast. It’s a response to the Trump administration’s plan to open nearly all U.S. coastlines to offshore oil and gas drilling. Maine’s Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King issued a statement Thursday saying, in part, “With our environment so closely tied to the vitality of Maine’s economy, we cannot risk the health of our ocean on a shortsighted proposal that could impact Maine people for generations.” Maine Gov. Paul LePage supports the proposal to examine offshore energy opportunities all along the Outer Continental Shelf.
Feds Recommend Removing Canada Lynx From Endangered Species List
Maine Public - Thursday, January 11, 2018 

Federal wildlife officials say the nation’s once-threatened population of Canada lynx is in recovery, and can be taken off the endangered species list. The move caps years of controversy over the species’ health in Maine. Daryl Dejoy directs the Wildlife Alliance of Maine, and he has been battling federal and state wildlife officials over a policy that has permitted a small number of lynx to be killed in traps set for other fur-bearing animals. “One-thousand or 1,200 animals is not a particularly high bar to set for a high population of a wildlife species. I believe the lynx definitely merits continued protection. I believe they really didn’t feel they had to take climate change into consideration almost at all,” he says.
Column: Bird species define ‘south’ in different ways
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, January 11, 2018 

I think I know why birds go south for the winter. This revelation came to me after two weeks of hostile, frigid weather, not to mention a bomb cyclone nor’easter. But south is a big place. ~ Bob Duchesne
Maine’s congressional delegation unites against drilling off New England coast
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, January 11, 2018 

U.S. Reps. Bruce Poliquin and Chellie Pingree of Maine are among the co-sponsors of a bill that would prohibit gas drilling off the coast of New England. Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King on Thursday signed on to a similar measure introduced in the Senate.
Skowhegan to host 2018 Maine Moose Permit Lottery
Morning Sentinel - Thursday, January 11, 2018 

The nonprofit Main Street Skowhegan will host the first ever Skowhegan Moose Festival in June in conjunction with the annual Maine Moose Permit Lottery. Events are scheduled over three days at the Skowhegan State Fairgrounds. Main Street Skowhegan has been awarded a $9,500 tourism enterprise grant from the Maine Office of Tourism to promote the 2018 Maine Moose Permit Lottery and the festival in its inaugural year.
Farewell to Byron, a famous Maine owl
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, January 11, 2018 

Chewonki has lost a legend: Byron the Barred Owl (Strix varia) whose dignity, serenity, and beauty riveted more than 80,000 Maine school children in live classroom visits over the years, died peacefully on Jan. 6 of natural causes. Byron’s fame as a wildlife ambassador was only exceeded by her exceedingly long life –barred owls in captivity generally live to the age of 23 years; Byron was 27.
Offshore Drilling Plan Under Fire: Zinke May Have Violated Law, Senator Says
Inside Climate News - Thursday, January 11, 2018 

On Tuesday evening—five days after releasing a draft five-year leasing plan that is unprecedented in scale—Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced on Twitter that he was removing Florida from the plan. That decision set off an uproar along the coasts—and it could open Zinke's plan to legal challenges, as well as political ones. Ten U.S. Senators from New England also introduced legislation Thursday to bar offshore drilling along their stretch of the East Coast. Maine's U.S. Sens. Susan Collins (R) and Angus King (I), wrote, "The waters off Maine's coast provide a healthy ecosystem for our state's fisheries and support a vigorous tourism industry, both of which support thousands of jobs and generate billions of dollars in revenue for Maine each year...We cannot risk the health of our ocean on a shortsighted proposal that could impact Maine people for generations."
Feds Hold Public Hearing in Augusta on Oil Drilling in North Atlantic
Free Press - Thursday, January 11, 2018 

The federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will hold a public hearing in Augusta on Monday, January 22, on plans to open up the nation’s coasts to oil and gas drilling — including two sites in the North Atlantic that would be available for lease to oil companies starting in 2021. The hearing is scheduled for 3 to 7 p.m. at the Augusta Civic Center. There have been no sales of oil and gas drilling leases in the Atlantic since 1983 and there are no existing leases. It is the largest proposed sale of oil and gas leases in U.S. history. Currently, 94 percent of the ocean continental shelf is off limits to offshore drilling. This new Outer Continental Shelf proposal flips that, potentially opening up over 90 percent of the nation’s coasts.
170 Million Americans Drink Radioactive Tap Water
Other - Thursday, January 11, 2018 

Drinking water for more than 170 million Americans in all 50 states contains radioactive elements that may increase the risk of cancer, according to an Environmental Working Group investigation released today. But while President Trump’s nominee to head the White House Council on Environmental Quality, or CEQ, was Texas’s top environmental regulator, the state regularly and deliberately lowered the levels of radiation in tap water it reported to the EPA.
Turning power over to states won’t improve protection for endangered species
Other - Thursday, January 11, 2018 

Since the Endangered Species Act became law in 1973, the U.S. government has played a critical role in protecting endangered and threatened species. But while the law is overwhelmingly popular with the American public, critics in Congress are proposing to significantly reduce federal authority to manage endangered species and delegate much of this role to state governments. We analyzed state endangered species laws and state funding to implement the Endangered Species Act. We concluded that relevant laws in most states are much weaker and less comprehensive than the federal Endangered Species Act. We also found that, in general, states contribute only a small fraction of total resources currently spent to implement the law.
Lobstermen speak out against proposal to have Maine’s entire fleet report data
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, January 11, 2018 

Maine doesn’t require all of its lobstermen to share their fishing data, and they say reporting even 10 percent of the country’s largest lobster fishery is enough to give state and federal regulators statistically valid data. That’s the argument advanced by lobstermen, the Maine Lobstermen’s Association and the state Department of Marine Resources against a proposal for 100 percent reporting, at a hearing held Wednesday by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission.
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