June 22, 2017  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Thursday, June 22, 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
Save Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument
Action Alert - Thursday, June 22, 2017 

President Trump is considering eliminating the Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument in Maine or opening it to logging and mining as well as expanding areas for hunting, trapping, and off-road vehicles. Urge the Trump Administration and your U.S. congressional representatives to oppose any effort to rescind or weaken Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument. Comment deadline is July 10, 2017. ~ RESTORE: The North Woods
Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument is Under Attack
Action Alert - Thursday, June 22, 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
Stop Trump-LePage’s Monumental Betrayal
Action Alert - Thursday, June 22, 2017 

Let's tell Secretary Zinke that any attempt to revoke the Katahdin Woods and Waters and other National Monuments is an assault on our historical, cultural, and natural heritage, and that our public lands must be protected for generations to come. ~ Sierra Club
Speak up in defense of Maine’s new National Monument
Action Alert - Thursday, June 22, 2017 

Last summer’s creation of the Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument in northern Maine was a huge victory for conservation and wildlife in our state. Today, that designation is at risk. The Trump administration is conducting a review of national monument designations, including Katahdin Woods & Waters. The Department of Interior is accepting public comments until July 10. ~ Maine Audubon
Defend Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument
Action Alert - Thursday, June 22, 2017 

There was a multi-year process that incorporated public input to protect Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument, which garnered broad support in Maine and across the country. And yet the Trump administration issued an executive order that may alter the size of or even attempt to eliminate the national park site. ~ National Parks Conservation Association
Protect Our National Monuments
Action Alert - Thursday, June 22, 2017 

President Trump issued an executive order directing the Department of Interior to review – and potentially eliminate or shrink – protections of some of our nation’s most pristine national monuments, including Maine’s Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. This is a direct attack on our shared Maine history and heritage. ~ League of Conservation Voters
"Born to Rewild," Jun 29
Event - Posted - Thursday, June 22, 2017 

This documentary features wilderness ultratrekker John Davis who traveled 5,000 human-powered miles from Mexico to British Columbia through the Western Wildway, a mega wildlife corridor along the western spine of North America, during an epic conservation journey called TrekWest. Also, William Stolzenburg will read from his book "Heart Of A Lion." At Frontier, Brunswick, June 29, 7 pm, $5 in advance, $6 day of show.
The Future of Maine's Fisheries: Threats Posed by Federal Budget Cuts, Jun 29
Event - Posted - Thursday, June 22, 2017 

Leaders from Maine’s marine and fisheries communities discuss how the Trump Administration’s proposed cuts to the EPA and NOAA would hurt Maine’s marine environment, economy, and research—and what you can do to help protect these important marine resources. At Univ of Southern Maine, Portland, Luther Bonney Building, Talbot Hall, June 29, 6 pm.
Family Friendly Hikes in Maine, Jun 29
Event - Posted - Thursday, June 22, 2017 

Bangor Daily News outdoor journalist Aislinn Sarnacki will present a slideshow and talk about her new book, "Family Friendly Hikes in Maine." At Blue Hill Public Library, June 29, 7 pm. Sponsored by Blue Hill Heritage Trust.
Mountain Lions in Maine – Rewilding the Maine Woods, Jun 28
Event - Posted - Wednesday, June 21, 2017 

Panel discussion about the challenges involved in bringing large, apex predators, specifically the cougar (mountain lion, puma, panther) and other wildlife back to their native habitat in the Northeast corridor, and how human communities can adapt to co-exist with and even benefit from them. At DRA Round Top Farm, Damariscotta, June 28, 7 pm, $8.
Celebrate MITA's new home, Jun 28
Event - Posted - Wednesday, June 21, 2017 

Join Maine Island Trail Association staff, trustees and friends to help celebrate this exciting new chapter. At 100 Kensington St, 2nd Floor, Portland, June 28, 5:30-8:30 pm.
Renewable Energy Activity – Global to Regional, Jun 28
Event - Posted - Wednesday, June 21, 2017 

Lawrence Mott, Director Americas of SgurrEnergy, a global renewable engineering firm, will speak on the current status of large scale wind and solar projects, technology, and policy here and abroad. At Portland Public Library, Rines Auditorium, June 28, 5:30 pm.
Solar bill
Action Alert - Tuesday, June 20, 2017 

The Maine Senate has voted unanimously to support the majority report in support of LD 1504 the solar policy bill. The House is expected to vote Wednesday on LD 1504. The bill is a step toward overturning an anti-solar PUC rule and increasing the accessibility of community solar. The governor has been bullying lawmakers into supporting his anti-renewable ideology. Email your Senator and Representative now to urge them to support this solar bill. ~ NRCM & Maine Audubon
Family Friendly Hikes in Maine, Jun 27
Event - Posted - Tuesday, June 20, 2017 

Bangor Daily News outdoor journalist Aislinn Sarnacki will present a slideshow and talk about her new book, "Family Friendly Hikes in Maine." At Shaw Public Library, Greenville, June 27, 5 pm.
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News Items
Interior secretary completes fact-finding tour of Katahdin national monument
Mainebiz - Friday, June 16, 2017 

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke wrapped up a fact-finding tour of the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument on Thursday expressing appreciation for its natural beauty and hinting at an openness to consider upgrading the 87,500-acre monument into a national park. During his visit to the Katahdin region — which is driven by President Trump's April 26 executive order calling for a review of 27 national monuments created since 1996 — Zinke met with Katahdin area political and business leaders, as well as representatives of the Penobscot Nation, the logging and forest products industry and others, including those still opposed to the monument designation.
Hundreds of dead fish prompt call for changes at Ellsworth dam
Bangor Daily News - Friday, June 16, 2017 

River herring are dying in droves this month in Ellsworth after passing through Leonard Lake Dam, according to a Maine conservation group calling for safer passage for the fish. “Community members have reported seeing hundreds of dead fish floating down stream below the dam and the Route 1 bridge on multiple occasions over the past 12 days,” said Brett Ciccotelli of the Downeast Salmon Federation. Some of those fish appeared to have parts chopped off, while others suffered slashes across their sides or were missing eyes, indicating they struck turbines in the dam, according to the group.
Two electric car charging stations installed at Augusta’s State House parking garage
Kennebec Journal - Friday, June 16, 2017 

A charity associated with CMP’s parent company, the Avangrid Foundation, has provided $50,000 to Maine Clean Communities to install 18 charging stations around the southern half of the state, including a pair that went online in Augusta Friday. The two public chargers that were unveiled join about 120 others that are available around the state, mostly along the coast and in metropolitan areas. Of the 850,000 passenger vehicles registered in Maine, about 400 are fully electric — up from 150 in 2015 — and another 400 are plug-in electrics.
Fox bites truck tire in West Bath, prompting new rabies concerns
Bangor Daily News - Friday, June 16, 2017 

The West Bath town clerk on Friday alerted residents to be on the lookout for “suspicious acting wildlife” after a fox jumped at a moving pickup truck and bit the tire Friday morning. David Hennessey said his brother, Jim Hennessey, was driving a pickup truck on the family farm on Hennessey Drive when the fox “attacked the pickup.” Brunswick Animal Control Officer Heidi Nelson said she was called to Country Lane earlier this week for a raccoon that was acting strangely, but she didn’t find it. Sagadahoc County Lt. Brian Quinn said the Maine Warden Service had been called to a number of similar incidents throughout the county during the past few days.
Former public advocate who irked LePage lands job with national IT firm
Bangor Daily News - Friday, June 16, 2017 

Tim Schneider, Maine’s recently departed advocate for utility customers, has taken a job as general counsel for the national information technology firm Tilson, which consults on and manages buildout of telecommunications networks. LePage opted not to reappoint Schneider, apparently a result of Schneider’s work on a solar energy policy compromise between utilities, solar installers, environmental groups and others. His advocacy for the bill that emerged from that process sparked LePage’s ire.
Powerful Interests Shaping Fate of Maine's Solar Industry
Maine Public - Friday, June 16, 2017 

The future of solar power in Maine is once again up for grabs in the state Legislature. And powerful interests from Maine and around the country are trying to shape the outcome. With so many interests working the bill, it's difficult to predict which, if any, version will make it through the Legislature, and what might survive the governor's veto pen. The bill could be debated as early as Friday. If nothing new is enacted, protracted legal fights over the regulators’ solar power proposal, and continued uncertainty about Maine's solar marketplace, will be the likely result.
Opinion: Keep America Wild
New York Times - Friday, June 16, 2017 

In 1846, Henry David Thoreau tried to climb to the top of Mount Katahdin in Maine. Living in Massachusetts, where the virgin forest was long since cut down, Thoreau had never seen true wilderness, and the sheer power of the wild Maine woods sent him into an ecstasy of spiritual overload. Last year, President Obama designated 87,563 acres of the land that so moved Thoreau as the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument — a win for the solid earth, the actual world. In a few weeks, Thoreau will turn 200, giving the nation a cause for celebrating. But just in time for the bicentennial, the Trump administration is considering stripping Katahdin Woods and Waters of its new designation. For Thoreau’s 200th birthday, let’s let the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument — and all those other deeply treasured, absurdly beautiful American vistas — alone. ~ Richard Powers
What It Means When Humans Impoverish Nature
Mark W. Anderson's Stirring the Pot Blog - Friday, June 16, 2017 

The declines in a given species should be a concern simply because that species has intrinsic value, value without reference to any aspect of human existence. Why is it that we get to choose that a species we domesticated is more important than wild birds? The ethics of concern for nature as something intrinsically valuable are rooted in humility. The least that we can do is to set aside some parts of the natural world where we do not tread. We have the power to destroy. The question is whether we also have the humility, wisdom, and insight to get out of the way.
Blog: Monumental thoughts from the deep Maine woods
John Holyoke Out There Blog - Friday, June 16, 2017 

On Wednesday, as many of my journalistic brethren were packing themselves into the designated press vans for U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke’s visit, I took a different approach, going on my own. I saw a bit of evidence that some locals will never let go, nor accept the presence of a national monument. And I saw plenty more evidence that it really doesn’t matter…so long as the federal government doesn’t do something incredibly rash, like remove that official “monument” status. People seem to love the place. It was another great day in one of Maine’s truly special places. No matter what a few naysayers might tell you.
Subsidies Encourage Maine Farmers to Keep Growing Too Many Blueberries
Other - Friday, June 16, 2017 

reason.com - During a multi-year wild blueberry glut, government agencies have been using subsidies and grants to encourage Maine farmers to keep growing the crop. Too bad no one seems to want them. Maine has a glut of the berries, and now the governor of Maine hopes to help sell them off by spending $2.5 million on agricultural marketing.
A surprising number of American adults think chocolate milk comes from brown cows
Washington Post - Friday, June 16, 2017 

16.4 million American adults believe chocolate milk comes from brown cows, according to a nationally representative online survey commissioned by the Innovation Center of U.S. Dairy. But while the survey has attracted snorts and jeers from some corners the most surprising thing about this figure may actually be that it isn’t higher. For decades, observers in agriculture, nutrition and education have griped that many Americans are basically agriculturally illiterate. Farm groups argue the lack of basic food knowledge can lead to poor policy decisions. A 2012 white paper from the National Institute for Animal Agriculture blamed consumers for what it considers bad farm regulations: “One factor driving today’s regulatory environment…is pressure applied by consumers," the authors wrote.
We won some and lost some at the legislature
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Friday, June 16, 2017 

It was probably a bit ambitious for me to propose eleven bills at this year’s legislative session. It turned out to be a very tough year there. As usual, most of the 1800 or so bills that were introduced were killed. I’m actually happy with the results for my bills, although most were not enacted. I often propose bills in order to provoke the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife into acting, and I had some very good luck with that this session. Here is a run-down on what happened to each of my bills.
UMaine Hosting "Art of Climate Science" Exhibit
Associated Press - Friday, June 16, 2017 

The University of Maine is hosting an art exhibit called "The Art of Climate Science'' featuring works by faculty, staff and students at its Climate Change Institute. The work will be on display from Friday to Sept. 29 at UMaine's Hutchinson Center in Belfast. The university says the exhibit includes 88 photographs and works of art of "landscapes, environments and methods researchers use to understand the past, current and future of Earth's climate system.''
Maine jogger who killed rabid raccoon becomes overnight media sensation
Bangor Daily News - Friday, June 16, 2017 

Rachel Borch could not have predicted her story would spark a media frenzy. Borch, 21, made famous virtually overnight after the Bangor Daily News published an article Wednesday about her heroic face-off with a rabid forest animal that she eventually drowned in a puddle in an act of dire self-defense, has become a sensation. Borch said she hopes the media storm dies down soon. On Saturday, she is scheduled to receive her last injection for the bites she suffered in the attack.
Appreciating nature through a newcomer’s eyes
Bangor Daily News - Friday, June 16, 2017 

Perhaps it was serendipity, but other forces also were at work to bind together a group of University of Maine at Presque Isle students in just a week last month. Seven students had signed up to take an intensive canoeing and camping course led by Amanda Baker of Presque Isle and Traci Halvorson of Easton from May 15 to 21. Offered every other year, the weeklong, four-credit course begins with two days of packing and paddling in the Presque Isle area to practice the fundamentals of canoeing. “Then we head into the woods and load our boats onto the Allagash River at Bissonette Bridge,” said Baker, recreation program coordinator at UMPI. “We are on the water four days and three nights, experiencing the sights, sounds and beauty of this wilderness waterway in Maine.”
As Maine’s moose herd declines, so do moose-vehicle collisions
Portland Press Herald - Friday, June 16, 2017 

Collisions between vehicles and moose have dropped 55 percent in Maine over the past decade, in part because of efforts by state officials to alert drivers to the danger of the crashes. Statewide, moose-vehicle collisions were down from 646 in 2007 to 289 last year. Fatalities in those crashes were down from five in 2007 to no more than one in each of the past four years. Maine’s moose population has been declining, largely because of the winter tick parasite.
Letter: National monument protects Maine’s native brook trout
Portland Press Herald - Friday, June 16, 2017 

One of America’s greatest treasures is our system of protected public lands. Our system is a model to the world. Gov. LePage’s efforts to fight the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument are nothing new in the history of the designation of our public lands. Great ideas engender resistance but eventually win out. Maine is home to most of the remaining native wild brook trout in the United States. They are under increasing threat from the warming climate, development that fragments their habitat, pollution and other factors. The National Monument will permanently protect four heritage brook trout ponds, key habitat in rivers and many miles of tributaries that the fish need for spawning and for cold-water refuge from the summer’s heat. ~ David Miller, Sebago Chapter, Trout Unlimited, Portland
Letter: Solar energy smart move for Maine
Kennebec Journal - Friday, June 16, 2017 

Among the bills legislators must consider are two focused on solar energy. One of the bills (L.D. 1504) would keep financial incentives for residential rooftop solar in place into 2021, while the other bill (L.D. 1444) would support expanded use of solar energy by large users such as municipalities and businesses. Supporting solar energy means decreasing electricity bills and increasing job opportunities in Maine’s solar industry. Investing in solar energy also supports the health of our planet and therefore our health. Anyone who tells you supporting solar is too expensive simply has the facts wrong. I urge you to call or email your state senator and representative and ask them to move Maine forward by voting yes on L.D.s 1504 and 1444. ~ Amanda Meader, Winthrop
Maine's New Public Advocate is On The Job
Associated Press - Thursday, June 15, 2017 

Maine's new public advocate is on the job. Barry Hobbins, who was nominated by Gov. Paul LePage, sailed through the energy committee and received Senate approval last month. He went to work on Monday. Hobbins is a lawyer, top Democratic fundraiser and former legislative leader with 26 years of experience. He also has a history of ties with the wireless and telecommunications industry. Hobbins says his ties to the telecommunications industry won't influence him in his role as chief advocate for utility customers. He plans to divest investments like wind company stock.
Relieving Scarborough-Falmouth turnpike congestion could involve widening to 6 lanes
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, June 15, 2017 

The Maine Turnpike Authority has started a process to relieve congestion between Scarborough and Falmouth that could include widening that section of the highway to six lanes. The action follows a record year for turnpike traffic, which reached an all-time high of 83.6 million vehicles in 2016, a 10 percent increase over two years. Since 2014, traffic in the Portland area has grown 3 to 5 percent annually, increasing “to the point where safety and mobility is becoming compromised,” the authority said.
Day 3 of Secretary Zinke’s Trip to New England
Other - Thursday, June 15, 2017 

US Dept of Interior - Today, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke spent day three of a four-day trip throughout New England by meeting with a variety of stakeholders in Maine, following yesterday’s tour of Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. Secretary Zinke started the morning by participating in a meeting with the Katahdin Chamber of Commerce and several local officials at the New England Outdoor Center in Millinocket, Maine. The Secretary then proceeded to Indian Island, Maine, where he met with leaders and representatives of the Penobscot Nation, as well as local officials. Secretary Zinke was greeted by Kirk Francis, Chief of the Penobscot Nation, and the meeting included conversations relating to monument designations, veterans issues, presentations of Interior-Funded programs, and the importance of the Department of the Interior as a Trustee to the group. Secretary Zinke then traveled from Indian Island, Maine, to Augusta, Maine, to participate in a roundtable with the Maine Woods Coalition.
Chellie Pingree Decries Deep Cuts In EPA Budget
Maine Public - Thursday, June 15, 2017 

Democratic U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree of Maine’s 1st District criticized EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt at a meeting of the House Appropriations Committee for his budget, which cuts agency funding by a third. She said the Maine Department of Environmental Protection uses EPA grants to pay for 100 staffers. She also criticized Pruitt for his comments on global warming and climate change, and said many lawmakers will not support policies that undercut environmental polices aimed at addressing climate change.
Interior Secretary Hints Maine's Monument Could Become Park Instead
Maine Public - Thursday, June 15, 2017 

On the second day of his visit to the Millinocket region, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke offered some encouragement to local supporters of the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. He says he hasn’t ruled out the recommendation that Congress go a step further and establish it as a national park instead. But he offered a hint of what might be in store. “We have an opportunity to do something different here. And you can harvest timber. You can hunt. You can respect traditional uses in the confines of a monument or a park, and so we’re looking at the appropriateness of a monument versus a park and looking at how would we do that,” he says.
Zinke: Maine Monument a 'Beautiful and Special Place'
Maine Public - Thursday, June 15, 2017 

U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said Thursday that supporters of the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument would likely be pleased with the recommendation he plans to make to President Trump on the monument's future. That assessment comes a day after the interior chief got a whirlwind tour of the property that was a little bit like a speed date. If appearance means everything, the date was a success. The weather was perfect and Zinke described the property as a "beautiful and special place." But Zinke has more to consider before he decides whether its designation should remain intact.
Maine National Monument To Be Reviewed
NECN - Thursday, June 15, 2017 

Members of the Trump administration are in northern Maine this week, touring a newly formed national monument near Mount Katahdin. President Donald Trump has directed Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke to review 27 national monuments, including the Katahdin Woods and Waters, to determine if former presidents followed the Antiquities Act when they made those designations. In August, Secretary Zinke will submit a recommendation for the monuments, and has signaled that he supports keeping the Katahdin Woods and Waters publicly owned. He said Thursday he may even recommend Congress take steps to make it a National Park.
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