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
Letter: At Maine dairies, products are truly ‘organic’
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, May 16, 2017 

A recent article underscored one of the major enforcement challenges facing the organic dairy industry and the USDA’s administration of organic certification activities. It also created the impression that consumers cannot trust any organic dairy products, and that is unfortunate because it is untrue. The organic rules are clear, and Maine’s organic dairy farmers join with organic consumers in calling for strict enforcement. Consumers can be assured that certified organic dairy products are a sound investment for their families, especially if they buy from Maine’s local and organic dairies or from the brands they have come to know and trust. ~ Chris Grigsby, Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, Unity
Outdoor training grounds: Pilot program at Acadia aims to improve science literacy in schools
Mainebiz - Monday, May 15, 2017 

Acadia National Park is often cited for its natural beauty, but a new initiative would use the park as a learning lab where teachers and students of all ages can acquire key skills to apply to STEM disciplines and ultimately, turn that knowledge into better-paying jobs and know-how to protect the environment. Called Second Century Stewardship, IDEXX Laboratories Inc. founder and Black Point Group investor David Shaw came up with the initiative last year during the centennial celebration of the National Park Service. Shaw pledged $1 million to kick off collaborative programs. The goal is to eventually use the Acadia pilot program at other national parks both for public education and environmental stewardship, especially within the parks.
More schools buying into serving Maine blueberries
Associated Press - Monday, May 15, 2017 

Maine wild blueberries are being served up in more schools. The Wild Blueberry School Foodservice Program says federal data show that more frozen Maine blueberries were sold to schools in April than in all of 2016. In the coming school year, Maine wild blueberries will be served in public school systems in 19 states. Maine’s wild blueberry industry has been looking to schools to boost sales amid recent years of surplus crop.
Students to Build Wind Turbines in Science Challenge
Associated Press - Monday, May 15, 2017 

Students in Maine are getting ready to harness the wind. More than 250 middle school and high school students are expected to participate in two science competitions involving wind at the University of Maine on May 19. The contests will feature hands-on projects created by the students. One of the competitions is the Kleinschmidt Windstorm Challenge, in which teams of high school students will design and build a scale-model floating wind turbine platform and deliver a sales pitch to a panel of judges. The other contest is the Maine Wind Blade Challenge, which the university says will connect students with composites companies to construct a functional set of wind blades. The teams will try to manufacture wind blades that generate the most energy in three minutes or less.
Trail cams capture unseen magic of wildlife in Maine’s woods
Bangor Daily News - Monday, May 15, 2017 

Cresting the wooded hill, Matt Steiner set down his heavy duffel bag and looked around, assessing his surroundings — a stump, a thick clump of firs and a break in the trees where the morning sun shone through, lighting the forest floor. “This is where I captured my first bear,” he said, crouching to unzip the bag. By capture Steiner meant photograph.
Letter: At heart, David Rockefeller was a mainstream Mainer
Portland Press Herald - Monday, May 15, 2017 

A recent letter to the editor (May 10) slandered the good works and international reputation of the recently deceased David Rockefeller. Frank Thiboutot accused Mr. Rockefeller of “dark politics.” For these “nefarious” acts, the writer rejected any recognition of Mr. Rockefeller’s bequest of $25 million to Maine organizations. David Rockefeller was a generous, kind and humble man. He did not ask for our thanks and appreciation, but we should acknowledge that he is owed them both in large measure, and we should honor his life, not slander it. ~ Tom Franklin, Portland
Letter: Collins votes for environment
Bangor Daily News - Monday, May 15, 2017 

The Trump administration is earnestly undoing many of the regulations and safeguards in place to protect the air, water and environment that we all share. We did manage to repel one such assault, thanks to Sen. Susan Collins, who voted to uphold a methane regulation passed in the Obama era. In another move, Collins wrote a letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson expressing her support for the Paris Climate Agreement. We appreciate the leadership, independence and integrity Collins demonstrates for environmental protection which is vital to the Maine economy. ~ Connie Potvin, Bangor Citizens’ Climate Lobby
Letter: America in peril
Bangor Daily News - Monday, May 15, 2017 

The Trump administration is on the verge of wiping out a half-century of America’s hard work. Decades ago, many U.S. rivers were cesspools, our air was badly polluted, and industries could dump all the poisons it wanted in our backyards and then have the taxpayer clean it up when it became a Superfund site. Citizens and their representatives fought hard, year after year, to counter the immense lobbying power of those who poisoned this magnificent planet. The agency Americans have counted on to safeguard us, the Environmental Protection Agency, is being stripped. The fox is guarding the henhouse. ~ Chris Wright, Belfast
Letter: Climate change cheers
Bangor Daily News - Monday, May 15, 2017 

Recently, a seven-person delegation from Maine met with Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King to discuss the local need for federally funded scientific research and the necessary collective response to climate change. We thanked our senators for opposing the proposed 17 percent cut to NOAA and for expressing serious concerns over the proposed 31 percent cut to the EPA budget. We also met with Rep. Bruce Poliquin’s staff and were pleased to learn he had joined the new House Estuary Caucus. These meetings made clear that bipartisan solutions exist and will require continued dialogue among Maine scientists, citizens and policy makers. ~ Andrew Barton, Farmington, and Amanda Moeser, Scarborough
Acadia among 200 federal advisory committees abruptly suspended by Trump Administration
Acadia On My Mind Blog - Sunday, May 14, 2017 

The Trump administration has abruptly suspended the meetings of the Acadia National Park Advisory Commission and that of about 200 other federal advisory committees. That means cancellation of a June 5 Acadia advisory commission meeting at park headquarters to tackle some of the most substantial issues facing the commission since its inception in 1986. For Interior to be reviewing the creation of Katahdin Woods and Waters for adequate public comment on the one hand, and for it to be “cancelling meetings that are designed to provide local input to the National Park Service” on the other, is “inconsistency at the very least,” said said longtime commission member Ben Emory.
Maine’s richest source of maple sugar faces uncertain future
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, May 14, 2017 

Big Six is the largest U.S. sugarbush, comprising 340,000 taps and a quarter of Maine’s syrup production. But it’s tied up with landowner Paul Fortin’s bottom line, which has created uncertainty about the heritage crop, leaving leaseholders and Maine’s maple industry to hover somewhere between eternal preservation and a devastating blow. Fortin threatens to cut the trees unless he is paid millions of dollars for an easement. “What other industry would put up with being threatened to have 25 percent of its output eliminated? Nobody would. There would be outcry everywhere,” said Kathryn Hopkins, a maple expert at the University of Maine’s Cooperative Extension.
Here’s an interesting article on Maine’s native brook trout
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Sunday, May 14, 2017 

I’ve been an advocate for our native brook trout for more than 25 years. This year I proposed legislative bills to extend our protection of them. So I found this article by DIF&W Fisheries Biologist Tim Obrey very interesting.
Islesboro’s deer problem puts residents ‘in limbo’
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, May 14, 2017 

Early this decade, concerns over a large deer population – and the spread of Lyme disease from deer ticks – helped to unite residents of Islesboro. But a special shotgun hunt for three years did little to thin the whitetail herd. And today, the island’s 650 year-rounds residents are divided over how – or even whether – to reduce it.
When Peter Taggart renovates an old Maine building, it also gets greener
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, May 14, 2017 

Peter Taggart runs a successful, Freeport-based construction company that specializes in green building; the self-made man has a serious interest in sustainability. We talked to him about his electric truck, how he uses solar power as a landlord and how renovating a bed and breakfast changed his life.
Maine-made beauty products creating a buzz
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, May 14, 2017 

In kitchens and small-batch workshops around Maine, farmers and foragers are getting into the beauty and skincare business.
The U.S. barely regulates personal care products, despite the many chemicals they contain
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, May 14, 2017 

Each day, the typical American woman slathers on a dozen lotions, creams, gels and cosmetics – exposing her body to an estimated 168 unique chemical ingredients, according to the Environmental Working Group. Men tend to use about half as many products with roughly half as many ingredients. People assume these products are subject to governmental scrutiny, but what we routinely pour into our pores undergoes no systematic safety assessment. The personal care product industry is allowed to “self-regulate,” even though scientific research confirms that many of its product ingredients pose health risks.
Here are some chemicals to watch out for
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, May 14, 2017 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has made it clear that when it comes to policing ingredients, you’re on your own. Labeling loopholes have also allowed companies to avoid disclosing ingredients. Be wary of marketing that tries to “greenwash” products by using meaningless words such as “natural.” Here are the top ingredients to watch out for on beauty product labels, according to the Breast Cancer Prevention Partners and the Maine Environmental Health Strategy Center.
Column: A turkey hunter or just hunting turkeys?
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, May 14, 2017 

There are people who hunt turkeys, and then there are turkey hunters. And there’s a big difference between the two, though it may not be instantly recognizable. The difference is based on things like experience, expertise and attitude. If you’re not sure how to tell the difference, here are a few helpful hints. ~ Bob Humphrey
Column: Make plans for a Big Day this spring, and see all you can see
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, May 14, 2017 

Spring migration is in full swing. Excitement among birders is at fever pitch. Each day has the potential to bring in a new species. Try to get out each morning for the next week or so to experience the spectacle of the spring migration. Birds will be in full breeding plumage and song will be in the air. When weather conditions are right, hordes of migrating birds may descend shortly before dawn. A fallout occurs and birds seem to be dripping from the trees and bushes. ~ Herb Wilson
Editorial: Catching ‘The Codfather’ should just be first step
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, May 14, 2017 

On March 30, Rafael pleaded guilty in federal court to a 28-count indictment that included charges of tax evasion, falsifying fishing quotas and conspiracy. The New Bedford-based fishing fishing mogul was able to falsify records to get around both tax law and fishing regulations, netting him millions of dollars in unreported income derived from systematically violating conservation limits. The fishing communities from Down East Maine to Rhode Island had to suffer as the regulatory burden on fishing got heavier, while key groundfish stocks like cod did not respond to their conservation efforts. Catching “The Codfather” was an important event in the attempt to save this struggling industry. But what regulators do next will matter just as much.
Maine Observer: Careless driver causes immense pain
Portland Press Herald - Sunday, May 14, 2017 

I was looking for my cat when I spotted a furry creature lying, stretched out in the sun in the side yard. As I approached it, it looked up at me and, when our eyes met, my heart melted at the pain it eyes revealed. It was a young fox that had been run over. I could see where a tire had crushed its rear, just above its tail. Its hind legs stretched out behind it, where it lay, in pain. Being an 87-year-old veteran, crippled in both hands and my left leg, I could instantly feel intense sympathy. ~ George Eaton, South Portland
Letter: Katahdin should remain a national monument
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, May 14, 2017 

Twenty-seven national monuments are being reviewed by the Trump administration, including our Katahdin Woods and Waters. There is no reason whatsoever for this amazing place to not be a national monument. It will bring tourists to the area: people who want to spend the night at a cabin or motel, buy meals, hire a guide, etc. It won’t be a huge flood of people – just an increase in the awareness of the area and utilization of the services provided by the locals. That real estate brokers have seen an increase in interest in the area already. Why would anybody want to have the national monument reversed? ~ Caroline Knight, Rockland
Letter: Just banning open pit mining is not sufficient
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, May 14, 2017 

I am among many Maine’s citizens who feel betrayed by enviro-groups, who have rallied around a mining bill, LD 820, simply because it bans open pit mining. What LD 820 does allow is shaft mining with monitoring wells 100′ away so that 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. LD 820 does nothing at all to address public health. The financial assurances in LD 820 only cover property damage, not sickness caused by the water and air pollution from an inevitable mining disaster. We need to stand up to the mining interests and the legislators who back them and say NO. ~ Kathy Cerick, Atkinson
Editorial: Three Republicans stopped a methane rule rollback; they must continue to buck Trump
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, May 13, 2017 

A measure to nullify a rule from the Obama administration that sought to reduce methane emissions was expected to pass the Senate on Wednesday. Instead, the measure failed when three Republicans, including Sen. Susan Collins, voted against it. This surprise vote highlights the importance of lawmakers, particularly Republicans, standing up to the Trump administration as it seeks to weaken U.S. laws and to circumvent oversight and scrutiny of its actions. It also shows that the Trump administration’s plan to gut dozens of environmental protection and climate change measures can be slowed by lawmakers who put the wellbeing of Americans ahead of party loyalty.
Many Mainers rallying to support our National Monument
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Saturday, May 13, 2017 

Lots of Mainers are speaking up for the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, and you also have an opportunity to do that. Now that President Trump has put the Monument on his “Review” list, at the request of our bombastic governor, it’s important that we all step up and express our support for the Monument. I was a strong opponent at one time, but became a supporter.
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