May 22, 2017  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Saturday, May 20, 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
BDN Poll: Should the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument get its own signage?
Action Alert - Saturday, May 20, 2017 

Gov. Paul LePage is refusing to put signs along state roads showing the way to Maine’s national monument. Should the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument get its own signage?
Damariscotta Mills Fish Ladder Restoration Festival, May 27-28
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 20, 2017 

The towns of Nobleboro and Newcastle and the Nobleboro Historical Society present the 10th annual Damariscotta Mills Fish Ladder Restoration Festival on Memorial Day weekend, May 27-28. Witness the annual return of the alewives as they ascend the fish ladder to spawn in Damariscotta Lake.
Third Annual Freeport Birding Festival, May 26-28
Event - Posted - Friday, May 19, 2017 

Owl Prowl at Mast landing Sanctuary; birding at Florida Lake, Pettengill Farm, Wolfe’s Neck Farm, and Sayles Field; Casco Bay kayak tour; outing at Winslow Park, etc. May 26-28. Sponsored by L.L. Bean and Maine Audubon.
Saving Seabirds: New Lessons from Puffins, May 25
Event - Posted - Thursday, May 18, 2017 

60% of all seabirds have vanished in the last 60 years. Dr. Stephen Kress, Director of National Audubon’s Seabird Restoration Program, will talk about the restoration of Maine seabirds. At L.L. Bean, Freeport, May 25, 7-9 pm, Maine Audubon members $10, non-members $15.
Little Big Day, May 23
Event - Posted - Tuesday, May 16, 2017 

Join naturalist Doug Hitchcox leads a van trip full birds. From Gilsland Farm, Falmouth, May 23, 7 am 3 pm, Maine Audubon members $50, non-members $60, space is limited.
Bradley Pond Farm , May 23
Event - Posted - Tuesday, May 16, 2017 

An easy walk through a conservation easement surrounding a privately-owned working farm. See migrating warblers, flycatchers, blackbirds, vireos, sparrows, and an occasional raptor. At Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust's Bradley Pond Farm Preserve, Topsham, May 23, 8-10 am.
Help wanted: Contract planner for Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument
Announcement - Tuesday, May 16, 2017 

The National Park Foundation, in partnership with the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, is seeking a 3-year community planner to assist with the development of a management plan for this new unit of the National Park Service. Deadline: May 26, 2017, 5 pm.
Spring Bird Walk at Fort Williams Park, May 22
Event - Posted - Monday, May 15, 2017 

Doug Hitchcox leads a spring bird walk, in collaboration with the Fort Williams Park Foundation, to look for migrants and local nesters like warblers and vireos around one of Maine’s most scenic vistas. At Portland Head Light, Cape Elizabeth, May 22, 7-9 am, Maine Audubon members $5, non-members $8.

Sewall Woods Birding & Bird Monitoring Workshop, May 20
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 13, 2017 

Join Kennebec Estuary land Trust and Maine Audubon for a morning practicing bird identification and bird monitoring methods at KELT’s demonstration forest at Sewall Woods Preserve in Bath, May 20, 7-10 am.
Pollinator Parade & Festival, May 20
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 13, 2017 

Family Festival, Pollinator Parade, and the release of "A Monarch Butterfly Story" book by Melissa Kim and Jada Fitch. At Gilsland Farm, Falmouth, May 20, 1 am – 1 pm, free but $5/car to park.
3D Experience: Sportsmen and the Maine Sporting Camp Tradition, May 20
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 13, 2017 

Bernard Fishman, Maine State Museum director, will present never-before-seen 3D images featuring the history of sportsmen and the sporting camp tradition in Maine. Supporting commentary from David Trahan, Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine. At Maine Elk’s Lodge, Augusta, May 20, 5-8:30 pm, $60.
Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument is Under Attack
Action Alert - Friday, May 12, 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
Save Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument
Action Alert - Friday, May 12, 2017 

President Trump is considering eliminating or changing the Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument in Maine. Urge the Trump Administration and your U.S. congressional representatives to oppose any effort to eliminate or weaken Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument. Comment deadline is July 10, 2017. ~ RESTORE: The North Woods
Help wanted: Outdoors types
Announcement - Friday, May 12, 2017 

Boston-based Slate Casting will hold auditions in Augusta to cast a television commercial on May 21. The company is looking for Mainers between the ages of 30 and 70 who are active and love outdoor activities, such as hiking, skiing, kayaking, fishing, hunting, and other recreational sports from leisurely to extreme.
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News Items
LePage bill to shut down Maine Turnpike Authority goes to committee
Associated Press - Thursday, May 18, 2017 

Gov. Paul LePage wants to start shutting down the state turnpike authority within the next decade. The House referred his bill Thursday to the Legislature’s Transportation Committee. The Maine Turnpike Authority would have until November 2027 to remove all toll facilities on the turnpike, except the York toll plaza. The quasi-governmental authority would also have 10 years to transfer all of its duties to the Maine Department of Transportation.
Legislative panel unanimously rejects pesticides bill proposed by LePage
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, May 18, 2017 

A legislative committee has voted unanimously to reject a bill that would have prohibited Maine cities and towns from adopting pesticides restrictions that are more stringent than the state’s. The controversial proposal from the LePage administration would have invalidated more than two dozen local pesticide ordinances and barred other municipalities from going beyond the state’s pesticide regulations. While administration officials, lawn care companies and golf courses said the measure was needed to address a confusing “patchwork” of regulations, opponents said it would undermine local control in a way that could violate the Maine Constitution. At least 27 cities and towns have adopted ordinances adding restrictions on the types of pesticides that can be applied, as well as when and under what circumstances.
‘Everything Changed’ — Millinocket-Area Businesses Tout Benefits of National Monument
Maine Public - Thursday, May 18, 2017 

Dan Corcoran says that a year ago, hours would sometimes pass before the phone would ring at his North Woods Real Estate Co. in Millinocket. But that was before President Barack Obama accepted more than 87,000 acres from Burt’s Bees philanthropist Roxanne Quimby as a national monument to be administered by the U.S. National Park Service. Now Corcoran says the phone rings more, and he has had to hire three people to keep up with real estate inquiries. “When the national monument was designated, everything changed — instead of us calling them, they were calling us,” he says. But Republicans in Washington, eager to undo some of the Obama legacy, continue to push. And Gov. Paul LePage has testified against the monument before the Federal Lands Subcommittee of the House Natural Resources Committee.
House Rejects Ban, Adopts Rules to Allow Mining
Maine Public - Thursday, May 18, 2017 

After first rejecting a bill that would ban all mining in Maine, the House approved a bill that would allow mining in the state with what supporters call strict environmental protections. Without the bill, supporters worry mining could be allowed under an older law that conflicts with rules developed by the Board of Environmental Protection. Opponents of the version passed by the House are not convinced the protections go far enough. They say the bill allows open-pit mining on sites of up to 3 acres and permits groundwater pollution limited to a mining area.
Lobsterman: Canada Can't Satisfy EU Demand, Despite Competitive Advantage
Maine Public - Thursday, May 18, 2017 

One of Maine's major lobster fishermen's associations is waiting to see exactly how Canadian lobster processors will deal with Maine imports once a new trade deal between Canada and the 28-nation European Union is implemented. The newly approved trade agreement between Canada and the EU eliminates tariffs on Canadian lobster exports to the EU, giving Canada a competitive edge over Maine lobster exports, which will still be subjected to a tariff. Mike Dassatt secretary-treasurer of the Downeast Lobstermen's Association, says Canada cannot satisfy the EU's demand for processed lobsters by itself and will have to continue purchasing branded Maine lobsters in order to satisfy the European market.
Maine House approves strict mining rules
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, May 18, 2017 

A bill proposing some of the nation’s strictest environmental regulations for mining operations passed the Maine House on Thursday after a lengthy debate about whether metallic mines are compatible with Maine’s nature-based tourism economy. With a lopsided 126-14 vote, the House gave initial approval to a bill that would ban most open-pit mines, prohibit mining under waterways or public lands, and require companies to set aside money to cover any environmental problems. The Senate has already given the bill initial approval, although additional votes and debate are expected on an issue that has been bouncing around the Legislature for five years without resolution.
With fire danger high in Maine, several brush fires are reported
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, May 18, 2017 

early all of Maine was placed under a high fire danger alert Thursday on a day that brush fires burned across the state. The Maine Forest Service placed six of its seven weather zones under a high fire danger alert.
Column: It’s time to play: ‘Name that warbler’
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, May 18, 2017 

There is a right way and a wrong way to learn bird songs. I know, because I tried them all. The wrong way is to listen to a CD of bird songs, trying to memorize them. After the fourth song, I’ve forgotten the first. The easiest way is to wait for mid-May to roll around, and then go watch them sing. According to my year-at-a-glance calendar, that would be right about now. ~ Bob Duchesne
Mining rule compromise sailing for passage after Maine House vote
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, May 18, 2017 

A compromise bill that would allow mining in Maine with strict environmental protections sailed easily through the state House of Representatives on Thursday, putting it on a smooth path toward final passage in the Legislature. It could end the five-year struggle over mining in Maine, prompted by a Republican-backed 2012 law aiming to allow mining at Bald Mountain in Aroostook County after a subsidiary of the Canadian industrial behemoth J.D. Irving expressed interest in it. Since 2012, draft sets of rules have so far been blocked by Democrats and assailed as weak by environmentalists. The Natural Resources Council of Maine — which spearheaded that opposition — is behind this year’s bill from Sen. Brownie Carson, D-Harpswell.
LePage Threatens to Ban Nips
Free Press - Thursday, May 18, 2017 

Gov. Paul LePage says he’ll ban 50-milliliter liquor bottles if the Legislature passes a law to place a 15-cent deposit on them. In initial votes last week, the Maine House and Senate voted 111 to 34 and 32 to 3 to require retailers to collect deposits on the little bottles known as “nips.” Sen. Tom Saviello (R-Wilton), who chairs the committee that endorsed the bill, says it will help stop the proliferation of empty nip containers littering the side of the road. But on Tuesday, the governor fired off a press release blasting Saviello. Rep. Stanley Paige Zeigler (D-Montville), who sits on the committee that passed the bill, said, “I have no idea why the governor is threatening to delist except that it appears to be a personal clash with Senator Saviello.”
BREAKING: Mining reform bill passes Maine House
Maine Environmental News - Thursday, May 18, 2017 

A bill to revamp Maine's mineral mining law unanimously passed the House of Representatives on Thursday 126 to 14 with 11 legislators absent. The Maine Senate had voted unanimously, with one Senator absent, in favor of the bill on May 9. Some legislators apparently voted no on the bill because they believe it goes too far. Others opposed it because it does not go far enough to prevent water contamination. Grassroots activists have called for a complete ban on metal mining in Maine. Before the votes, Gov. Paul LePage reportedly told Republican lawmakers in a private session he would veto the mining ban if it passed and he might veto the compromise bill too.
Sea Grant director stepping down to take helm at nonprofit
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, May 18, 2017 

A University of Maine official who has led its Sea Grant program is stepping down to accept a chief executive position with the Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries. Paul Anderson, currently the director of the Maine Sea Grant College Program where he has been for the last 16 years, will join MCCF in September and assume the chief executive job on Jan. 1, 2018. Anderson will succeed founding Executive Director Robin Alden, who is stepping down after 14 years at the helm of MCCF, formerly known as Penobscot East Resource Center.
European Union trade pact gives Canadian lobster exports a leg up
Associated Press - Thursday, May 18, 2017 

Members of the U.S. seafood industry are fearful that Canada’s approval of a new trade deal with the European Union will cause big problems for the American lobster business, just as the catch is hitting historic highs. The Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement Implementation Act, or CETA, cleared its final hurdle in the Parliament of Canada on Tuesday. The deal gets rid of tariffs on Canadian lobster exports to the 28-nation bloc, putting Canada at a huge advantage over the U.S. The American lobster industry is based largely in Maine, which set a record for total catch in 2016 with more than 130 million pounds.
Wake-up Call at Chimney Pond
Other - Thursday, May 18, 2017 

Senior Hiker magazine - Several hikers and campers approached us with some serious concerns. Why hadn’t anyone seen posters or been warned about an aggressive cow moose at Chimney Pond? We pointed out that all moose in Baxter State Park are wild animals and as such are unpredictable. Moose and other wild animals are protected throughout the Park, even in the portions where hunting is allowed, and a high value is placed on their living lives free of interference.
A great new Maine birding guide
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Thursday, May 18, 2017 

Derek Lovitch’s new birding guide, Birdwatching in Maine, is a must-have for all who love Maine’s birds. The book is comprehensive, covering all the state’s best bird watching places. as Derek notes in the book’s introduction. “Nearly 450 species have been recorded in the 33,215 square miles, over six thousand lakes and large ponds, over three thousand coastal islands, and thirty-five hundred miles of coastline of the state of Maine.” Well, you probably aren’t going to bird in all those places, so this book will help you narrow down your choices.
Senate overrides LePage veto of Gorham turnpike spur, and it’s unanimous
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, May 18, 2017 

The Maine Senate voted 35 to 0 Thursday to override a veto by Gov. Paul LePage and pass a law that sets in motion the creation of a new spur on the Maine Turnpike connecting Gorham and Scarborough. The Maine House of Representatives on Wednesday overrode LePage’s veto of the bill, 125-18. The proposed turnpike connection is intended to ease traffic jams in the Gorham-Scarborough area. The intent is to get drivers off heavily congested roads connecting Gorham, Scarborough, Westbrook and South Portland. LePage vetoed the bill, saying he is opposed to it being operated as a toll road under the turnpike authority.
LePage veto of Gorham spur bill faces override vote
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, May 18, 2017 

The Maine Senate was expected to vote on overriding a veto by Gov. Paul LePage of a bill that would set in motion a new spur on the Maine Turnpike connecting Gorham and Scarborough. The Maine House of Representatives on Wednesday overrode LePage’s veto of the bill, 125-18. The proposed turnpike connection is intended to ease traffic jams in the Gorham-Scarborough area. LePage said he supports the idea of the connector but is opposed to it being operated as a toll road under the turnpike authority. LePage on Thursday also introduced a bill that would lead to the elimination of the Maine Turnpike Authority and the turnpike’s toll system by 2027,
Maine family-owned businesses cited as outstanding
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, May 18, 2017 

More than 350 people gathered in Portland Thursday night to honor outstanding family businesses. OceanView at Falmouth received the HUB/Norton Insurance and Financial Services Environmental Leadership Award, recognizing the many sustainable practices that make it Maine’s “greenest” retirement community. The company’s sustainable practices include recycling 95 percent of the waste they generate; a robust composting program to manage food waste; and use of solar energy.
Fireball bottler pulls support of ‘nips’ deposit bill after LePage threat
Sun Journal - Thursday, May 18, 2017 

Following a threat by Gov. Paul LePage to end the sales of tiny bottles of liquor in Maine rather than allow lawmakers to require a nickel deposit on them, a bottler that employs 130 people in Lewiston withdrew its support for the compromise measure. Mark Brown, CEO of Sazerac Co., said the governor’s position leaves his company with no option except to oppose a bill it had been more than willing to go along with until LePage stepped in.
Camden Landowners Question DOT Over Route 1 Project
Free Press - Thursday, May 18, 2017 

Camden residents with questions about rebuilding Route 1 from the state park to the Lincolnville town line wanted answers from the Maine Department of Transportation (DOT) at Tuesday’s Camden Select Board meeting. They didn’t get many. Committee members were frustrated by the partial response to their concerns over the impacts on specific trees and stone walls, overall scenic appeal, and protecting the Camden “brand.”
LePage again claims he was left out of national monument conversations
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, May 18, 2017 

Speaking on WGAN radio, Gov. Paul LePage Thursday accused Lucas St. Clair, the chief advocate for Maine’s Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, of leaving his office out of conversations and events leading up to the monument’s creation last year. “Lucas St. Clair said I have been invited by, that they had contacted my office numerous times,” LePage said. “So we have been looking through everybody’s files, and we were left completely out.” Both LePage and St. Clair, who is the son of conservationist and land donor Roxanne Quimby, testified during a congressional subcommittee hearing earlier this month on presidential authority to create national monuments. At the time, St. Clair told the congressional panel that his family’s nonprofit, Elliotsville Plantation Inc., had reached out to LePage’s office numerous times and that he met with the governor’s former senior counsel “a number of times.”
Feds Give UMaine $1M for Projects to Boost State's Rural Economy
Associated Press - Thursday, May 18, 2017 

The University of Maine is receiving more than $1 million in federal money for projects focused on improving the rural economy in the state:
• nearly $500,000 to investigate what beekeepers and maple syrup producers need to scale up
• $450,000+ to study how young people in rural areas decide whether to stay
• 75,000+ to look at how data can improve rural economic development opportunities
Letter: It takes a village to stop littering
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, May 18, 2017 

Two weeks ago, I cleaned a roadside ditch on Outer High Street in Belfast. On about 300 feet of one side of the road, I picked up enough trash to fill two overstuffed garbage bags. Ninety percent of it comes from our fast food and convenience stores. This is being thrown out of cars by our neighbors and families. The litterers should just stop, but they won’t do it easily. We can call them on it if we see them do it. We can teach kids not to litter. We can enforce littering laws. We can organize community clean ups. We should all do something to clean it up and help put a stop to it. ~ Mike Hurley, Belfast
Partners Launch ‘Nature’s Network’ to Guide Conservation from Maine to Virginia
Other - Wednesday, May 17, 2017 

The North Atlantic LCC, including members from 13 states, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, nongovernmental organizations, and universities, has launched a science-based “road map” to help inform decisions and actions for conserving lands and waters throughout the Northeast. Nature’s Network is a collaborative effort responding to a critical need identified by Northeast states for seamless, regional information to support conservation of priority species. Incorporating information on thousands of at-risk species, iconic game species, rare habitats, vital river systems, and more, Nature’s Network offers scientific consensus on some of the highest conservation priorities in the region and creates new opportunities for partners to work together.
Climate change causing Eastern U.S. trees to shift north and west, study finds
Associated Press - Wednesday, May 17, 2017 

A warmer, wetter climate is helping push dozens of Eastern U.S. trees to the north and, surprisingly, west, a new study finds. The eastern white pine is going west, more than 80 miles since the early 1980s. The eastern cottonwood has been heading 77 miles north, according to the research based on about three decades of forest data. The northward shift to get to cooler weather was expected, but lead author Songlin Fei of Purdue University and several outside experts were surprised by the move to the west, which was larger and in a majority of the species.
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News Feeds

Natural Resources Council
of Maine

LePage Refuses to Put Up Road Signs for North Woods National Monument

By Nick Sambides Jr., BDN Staff Bangor Daily News news story Gov. Paul LePage is refusing to put signs alon...

5/22/2017 1:21:17 PM

St. George Students Get Hands-on Experience in the Marsh

The St. George science students have been very busy this spring. By participating in a number of hands-on e...

5/22/2017 1:11:21 PM

Gorham Middle School Weeds Out Invasive Species – Part I

As a continuation of their grant project last year, Gorham Middle School science classes are working to era...

5/22/2017 12:22:45 PM

Maine’s National Monument Protects Ponds, Streams Where Our Iconic Fish Swim

By Kathy Scott, Special to the BDN Bangor Daily News op-ed Picture fishing in the woods of northern Maine. ...

5/22/2017 8:58:36 AM

Turn in Your Old Thermostat

Replace your old mercury-containing thermostat and bring it to a hardware store for a $5 coupon. Mercury th...

5/22/2017 4:00:09 AM

In Gov. LePage’s View, No One Has Right Answers but Him

His resistance to a legislative deal on ‘nips’ deposits is just the latest in a long list of po...

5/21/2017 11:09:35 AM

“Spiteful and Petty”: Maine Governor Bans Signs to Obama-designated Monument

As Trump administration reviews 27 national monuments, conservationists fear a federally mandated effort to...

5/21/2017 8:46:01 AM

Gulf of Maine Will Become Too Warm for Many Key Fish, Report Says

Cod and haddock will see prime habitat areas vanish this century, but lobsters will find new spaces to grow...

5/21/2017 8:11:19 AM
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