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
Wildlife Officials Say Annual Nuisance Bear Complaints Have Begun
Maine Public - Wednesday, May 17, 2017 

State wildlife officials say nuisance bear complaints, an annual rite of spring in Maine, have begun this year. Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife black bear biologist Jennifer Vachon says natural foods are fairly limited in the spring and that’s when people start having black bear problems. Vachon says people should consider bringing in their bird feeders, raking up any seed that’s on the ground and storing birdseed inside.
Thompson family donates $25,000 to help complete Eastern Trail in Scarborough
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, May 17, 2017 

The children of Dr. Philip Thompson, a retired rheumatologist who celebrated his 100th birthday last weekend, have donated $25,000 in his honor to the “Close the Gap” campaign of the Eastern Trail Alliance. The alliance is raising $3.8 million to complete a 1.6-mile, off-road section of the recreational trail in Scarborough, including bridges over the Nonesuch River near Eastern Road and railroad tracks near Pleasant Hill Road.
Longtime Augusta botanist honored by Augusta Nature Club
Kennebec Journal - Wednesday, May 17, 2017 

It’s been a long time since Marilyn Noyes Mollicone, 88, has helped summer campers identify the birds, bugs and plants in the woods tucked. But Mollicone still hears from the kids and counselors she worked with at Augusta Nature Camp during her many years as its resident naturalist. Just recently, Mollicone got a phone call from a former camper who had received her doctorate in environmental science. How’d that make her feel? “Great,” said Mollicone, whose contributions to the camp and its parent organization, the Augusta Nature Club, were honored Wednesday morning. “I think I changed their outlook. If more people (studied nature), I think the world would be a better place.”
Rare Birds to Be Protected on Maine Beach to Rebuild Numbers
Associated Press - Wednesday, May 17, 2017 

Maine wildlife authorities say they're taking steps to try to protect a pair of vulnerable bird populations at a popular state beach. Popham Beach State Park is home to piping plovers and least terns, which are both on Maine's endangered species list. The state Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife says habitat loss and a lack of nesting sites remain problems for the birds. The department has had success in the past by protecting nesting sites with temporary fencing. Staff and volunteers also monitor the nests to keep people and pets away.
Love the smell of spring? Here’s where the season’s odors come from
Washington Post - Wednesday, May 17, 2017 

Go outside and inhale – your nose will tell you that it’s spring. Though many springtime smells are familiar, what produces the scents of the season might surprise you. Here are a few of common odors and their unusual origins.
Blog: How to build your outside memories in one easy step
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, May 17, 2017 

I always tell my kids we are going on an adventure, not a hike. First, because “adventure” produces less whining but also because it’s true. We don’t know what we are going to find when we walk out the door. We just go. And just like that, we have another memory. ~ Cherie Galyean
Common Lead Test Can Give False Results, FDA Warns
National Public Radio - Wednesday, May 17, 2017 

Common blood tests for lead can give falsely-low results in certain cases, according to a new warning from the Food and Drug Administration. The tests, manufactured by Magellan Diagnostics, are commonly used in doctors' offices and clinics, and on its website the company calls itself "the most trusted name in lead testing." But the FDA now says that its tests can give inaccurate results when used to test blood drawn from a vein.
Rep. Pingree working on bill to expand organic research funding
Associated Press - Wednesday, May 17, 2017 

U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-1st District, is among a trio of lawmakers who want to more than double funding for a key U.S. Department of Agriculture organic research program. Pingree is working with Rep. Dan Newhouse, a Washington Republican, and Rep. Jimmy Panetta, a California Democrat, on the Organic Agriculture Research Act. The legislation increases the funding of the Organic Research and Extension Initiative from $20 million to $50 million annually.
Lewiston liquor bottler warns ending ‘nips’ sales would have ‘drastic impact’ on company
 - Wednesday, May 17, 2017 

The head of a Lewiston liquor bottler withdrew his support for a compromise on a 5-cent deposit on miniature liquor bottles after Gov. Paul LePage threatened to end sales of so-called “nips” in Maine, according to a letter sent to a legislative leader. Sazerac Co. CEO Mark Brown said removing nips from store shelves in Maine – not the imposition of a 5-cent bottle deposit – would have “a drastic impact on our company and our employees” and harm the state’s finances.
Chemical spill closes section of Congress Street in Portland
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, May 17, 2017 

Portland officials say 55 gallons of a chemical used in spray foam insulation spilled on the street Wednesday morning. Assistant Fire Chief Keith Gautreau, during a press conference about 9 a.m., said the substance is a polymer that, combined with another chemical, creates spray insulation. The chemical is not hazardous except in liquid form in an enclosed space. When spilled, it dries, hardens and then evaporates. Officials in haz-mat suits were at the scene.
Dangerous hedgehogs may be in your neighborhood
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Wednesday, May 17, 2017 

You will soon be able to fill your home with hedgehogs without a permit. Legislation to achieve this was sponsored by Senator Eric Brakey, and drew a full house of opponents and supporters at its public hearing. Currently you may possess hedgehogs in Maine with a permit from DIF&W. Katie Hansberry, state director of the Humane Society of the United States, spoke in opposition to the bill which she said “poses a threat to public health and animal welfare." Jim Connolly of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife opposed the bill because the agency is already in the process of adopting rules that would allow hedgehogs to be possessed without permits. The IFW committee killed the bill.
Opinion: Jeopardizing environmental assets makes no economic sense
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, May 17, 2017 

The Trump administration has proposed draconian cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency. The Maine Department of Environmental Protection receives a substantial portion of its operating budget from the federal agency. Reducing that funding means possible severe cutbacks for DEP staff, who are tasked with safeguarding one of our most important economic assets: our natural environment. In the business world, assets are used to ensure future economic growth. Maine’s assets are its natural resources and environmental quality. Jeopardizing them does not make economic sense. ~ Rachel Bouvier, economic and sustainability consultant, Portland
Passamaquoddy Tribe generates revenue through carbon credits
Mainebiz - Tuesday, May 16, 2017 

The Passamaquoddy Tribe recently received a "Project Developer of the Year" award from the Climate Action Reserve for generating the most carbon offset credits in 2016. The tribe uses most of the land in Maine acquired through funding from the 1980 Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act to generate the credits. In 2016, 3.2 million credits were issued. With credits recently selling in the range of $11 to $14 per credit, the 3.2 million credits could be worth between $35 million and $45 million.
LePage threatens to veto deposit on ‘nips,’ remove them from Maine stores
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, May 16, 2017 

Gov. Paul LePage vowed Tuesday to veto a bipartisan bill that would impose a 5-cent deposit on miniature liquor bottles, accusing lawmakers of passing a bill without considering its administrative costs or possible affect on companies that do business in Maine. Because the veto likely would be overridden, the governor also promised to move to end sales of so-called “nips” in Maine. LePage made the veto threat hours after the Maine Senate voted 32-3 to pass a bill that would order retailers to collect a nickel bottle deposit on 50-milliliter liquor bottles beginning in 2019. The bill, which passed the House last week on a 111-34 vote, is touted by supporters as a way to reduce roadside litter and encourage recycling of a size of a liquor bottle that is surging in popularity in Maine.
Hitting the Bottle: LePage on Bill to Require Deposit on Nips
Maine Government News - Tuesday, May 16, 2017 

“Legislators say they want to prevent the littering of empty ‘nip’ bottles, but they do not care if it cuts funding to other state programs or increases costs for companies that do business here,” said Governor LePage. “Senator Saviello said he would call my bluff that I would delist 50-millileter ‘nip’ bottles if this bill passes. A Maine legislator should know better than that. If this bill is passed, I will veto the bill, and I will instruct the Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages & Lottery Operations to begin working immediately with the Liquor and Lottery Commission to delist all nips from sale in Maine. I do so with regret, but the severe impact of this bill leaves me no choice.”
Lawmakers push question of biomass incentives to next session
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, May 16, 2017 

Efforts to help move the state’s biomass power industry onto a sustainable financial path are going to be put off, lawmakers decided on Tuesday, amid time concerns and proposals that are both complex and controversial. The Legislature’s Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee voted unanimously to carry over the measure until next session. The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Tom Saviello, R-Wilton presented recommendations based on the findings of a special study group created last year. They’re meant to improve the economics of the state’s struggling wood-fired power plants. But it was clear during a public hearing that while some of the ideas have support from the forest products industry, they will be opposed by Gov. Paul LePage and Central Maine Power Co.
Maine Island Institute Gets $240,000 to Help Prepare for Sea Level Rise
Maine Public - Tuesday, May 16, 2017 

The Island Institute is receiving $240,000 from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine to fund a project about disaster preparedness in Maine related to sea level rise. The Institute says the money will help pay for a project that benefits Maine’s island and coastal communities by addressing threats from natural disasters and environmental change stemming from rising sea levels.
Moose Healthy in Maine Despite Struggles in Recent Years
Associated Press - Tuesday, May 16, 2017 

Despite struggles in recent years, Maine's state animal had a high survival rate over the winter. State moose biologist Lee Kantar says state data show about half of moose calves studied in western Maine have survived this year. That's much better than last year. Moose calves studied in northern Maine also did well, and survival rates were improved for adult moose. Moose populations have fallen in the northern New England states in recent years. The animals have struggled with parasites such as winter ticks.
Sappi restructures business units to boost profits
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, May 16, 2017 

Paper producer Sappi North America has combined two key business units to increase profits and spur investment in a more diverse product portfolio, according to the company. Sappi, which operates mills in Westbrook and Skowhegan, said the decision to combine its packaging and release paper units will better position the company for future growth and innovation. Release papers are embossed or coated papers that mimic the look of leather, exotic skins and other textures used in the apparel and automotive industries, among others.
Politician, author, philanthropist Neil Rolde dies at 85
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, May 16, 2017 

Former Democratic politician, author and philanthropist Neil Rolde died Sunday at the age of 85, according to news reports. Rolde represented York from 1974 to 1990 in the Maine House of Representatives, serving as his party’s majority leader from 1975 to ‘77. In 1990, he lost to William S. Cohen in a race for the U.S. Senate in which Rolde advocated for universal health care coverage. After the 1990 race, he devoted his time to writing. Rolde authored more than a dozen books, including a biography on the Baxter family.
Penalties increased for bad exotic animal owners
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Tuesday, May 16, 2017 

Exotic animal owners will pay much stiffer penalties in the future, if they fail to obey Maine’s exotic animal laws and rules, thanks to the Maine legislature and Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.
Hike: Great Pond Mountain in Orland
Aislinn Sarnacki Act Out Blog - Tuesday, May 16, 2017 

Topping off at 1,020 feet above sea level, Great Pond Mountain is the tallest and most prominent mountain in the 4,300-acre Great Pond Mountain Wildlands in Orland. With open ledges near its summit that offer great views of the region, this mountain features the most popular hike in the Wildlands, which is home to a vast network of hiking and multi-use trails.
Opinion: Trump’s fight against environmental protection is a threat to Maine’s economy and health
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, May 16, 2017 

The global average temperature is now higher than it has been for most of the last 11,300 years. The effects of the heat-trapping blanket over our atmosphere are already marked in Maine and beyond. Yet, the Trump administration is pushing to roll back environmental protections. The good news is that U.S. Sens. Collins and Angus King, along with U.S Rep. Chellie Pingree have taken a stand for Maine’s future by opposing the proposed cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget. ~ Sharon S. Tisher, UMaine, and Harold W. Borns Jr., Climate Change Institute at UMaine
Experts fear ‘quiet springs’ as songbirds can’t keep up with climate change
Washington Post - Tuesday, May 16, 2017 

In 1962, Rachel Carson warned that pesticides, particularly DDT, would lead to springs without birdsong, as she wrote in her book “Silent Spring.” Carson’s forecast kick-started an environmental movement and was instrumental in the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to ban the pesticides 10 years later, so her descriptions of deathly quiet did not come to pass. But the danger of a silent spring, according to ecologists who study birds, did not evaporate with DDT. The looming threat is not chemical but a changing climate, in which spring begins increasingly earlier — or in rare cases, later — each year.
Letter: Mining inevitably pollutes our water
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, May 16, 2017 

I am among many Maine residents who feel betrayed by environmental groups who have rallied around a mining bill, LD 820, that would allow the pollution of groundwater, inevitably leading to pollution of surface water. LD 820 would allow shaft mining with monitoring wells 100 feet away so when the inevitable contamination occurs it will be too late. This does not prevent arsenic in our water, it only lets us know when it has occurred. And there is no fix when it happens. ~ Kathy Cerick, Atkinson
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