May 22, 2018  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

Thanks for visiting Maine Environmental News, a service of RESTORE: The North Woods. MEN is the most comprehensive online source available for links conservation and natural resource news and events in Maine (and a bit beyond). We have posted summaries and links to over 50,000 news articles and announcements. We also post breaking stories and exclusives. Be sure to check not only today's news, but take a look at the headlines from the past several days as well. Articles often come to our attention a few days after they are published. Follow us on Twitter @MaineEnviroNews. ~ Jym St. Pierre, Editor
International Day for Biological Diversity, May 22
Announcement - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

The Convention on Biological Diversity is the international legal instrument for "the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources" that has been ratified by 196 nations. The United Nations has proclaimed 22 May as the International Day for Biological Diversity.
Join the fight for Maine's clean energy future
Action Alert - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

In Maine, we are seeing the damaging effects of climate change firsthand: tick borne illnesses like Lyme disease are on the rise, the warming Gulf of Maine threatens our marine economy, air pollution drives up asthma rates for kids and adults, and extreme weather impacts our outdoor recreation and farming industries. The technology to turn off dirty fossil fuels already exists. What is standing in the way of our clean energy future? Politicians who are bought and paid for by the oil and gas industry. ~ Maine Conservation Voters
Maine Calling: The Changing North Woods, May 22
Announcement - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

UMaine experts discuss the relationship between humans and forests, including environmental attitudes and behaviors; rural communities and the forest economy; and the role of ecotourism and recreation. Maine Public Radio, May 22, 1 pm.
Defining Wilderness: Defining Maine, May 29 - Jul 24
Event - Posted - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

The Maine State Library is offering a free reading and discussion group with copies of books available through the library. The series, Defining Wilderness: Defining Maine, runs for 5 sessions, May 29 - July 24, at the State Library in Augusta. Books to be discussed include "The Maine Woods" by Henry David Thoreau.
Bats, May 29
Event - Posted - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

Biologist Trevor Peterson will speak about local species of bats. At Topsham Public Library, May 29, 6 pm. Sponsored by Cathance River Education Alliance.
Sign-Up to Count Fish at Nequasset
Announcement - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

The annual alewife count at the Nequasset Fish Ladder in Woolwich is happening. Join the fun by signing up to count during any two 10 minute blocks within a two hour period.
Wilderness Under Siege, May 30
Event - Posted - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

Nationally known author and explorer George Wuerthner will discuss the challenges facing Wilderness, how people can better protect the Wildernesses in their backyards and around the country, and organizing against efforts to weaken or repeal the Wilderness Act. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, May 30, 6:30 pm.
Field Trip: Capt. Fitzgerald Preserve and Bay Bridge, May 27
Event - Posted - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

Explore two town-owned properties in Brunswick for breeding and migrant birds: Fitzgerald Preserve and Bay Bridge Wetland Park on the Androscoggin River. May 27, 6:30 – 11 am. Sponsored by Merrymeeting Audubon.
White Mountains Centennial exhibition, May 27
Event - Posted - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

The Museums of the Bethel Historical Society host a preview reception of the new displays, “White Mountain National Forest: A Centennial Exhibition” and “The White Mountains: Alps of New England.” At Robinson House, Bethel, May 27, 2-5 pm.
Farmer Talent Show & Open Mic, May 27
Event - Posted - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

The first annual Farmer Talent Show & Open Mic will benefit the Market’s Harvest Bucks program, which increases access to fruit and vegetables for low-income households. At East Madison Grange, May 27, 5-8 pm.
Walk on the Wild Side, May 26
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 19, 2018 

Turner Public Library’s summer programming begins with a nature walk. At Androscoggin Riverlands State Park, May 26, 2 pm.
Edible (and Poisonous) Plants, May 26
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 19, 2018 

Tom Seymour, author, botanist and edible plant enthusiast, will introduce you to many of the edible and medicinal plants that can be found in Maine’s woods and fields. At Head of Tide Preserve, Belfast, May 26, 10 am - noon.
Birding Extravaganza, May 26
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 19, 2018 

Ted Allen from Merrymeeting Audubon will lead birders through the Kennebec Estuary Land Trust’s Thorne Head Preserve in Bath, May 26, 8 am.
Alewife Day, May 26
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 19, 2018 

See the alewives swim upstream. Smoked fish, kid’s games, mills running, Machinery Hall open. At Maine Forest and Logging Museum, Bradley, May 26, 10 am - 1 pm, $3 per person ages 12+.
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News Items
Letter: CMP now acts in its own self-interest, not for the benefit of Mainers
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, May 15, 2018 

Few things are more “Maine” than Central Maine Power. However, as a company, CMP has proven itself entirely uninterested in the needs and desires of Mainers. Rather, CMP has become like any other profit-maximizing corporation of our time: It cares more for its bottom line than it does for the ecological and economic health of Mainers. CMP serves its stockholders’ interests by blocking efforts to expand solar power in Maine. The proposed 145-mile transmission line that would connect Quebec’s hydropower to Massachusetts would be a blight on some of the best parts of Maine’s wilderness and would not benefit Mainers even a bit. What if CMP truly supported sustainable, clean-energy independence? ~ Dan White, Georgetown
Maine Officials Wrapping Up Bald Eagle Survey
Maine Public - Monday, May 14, 2018 

Maine wildlife officials say the recovery of the bald eagle is a true conservation success story. In the 1970's there were fewer than 40 nesting pairs in Maine, predominately Down East, but five years ago there were more than 600 nesting pairs of eagles scattered across the state.
EPA chief Scott Pruitt sought protection since first day in office, watchdog says
Associated Press - Monday, May 14, 2018 

An internal watchdog at the Environmental Protection Agency said Monday that Administrator Scott Pruitt demanded and received unprecedented, around-the-clock protection from armed officers on his first day – a detail that appears at odds with past claims that the stepped-up security measures came in direct response to death threats. Pruitt’s preoccupation with his safety came at a steep cost to taxpayers, as his swollen security detail blew through overtime budgets and at times diverted officers away from investigating environmental crimes.
Canadian Officials To Pay For Rail Bypass Around Lac Megantic
Maine Public - Monday, May 14, 2018 

It’s been nearly five years since a runaway oil train derailed on a curve in the downtown of Lac Megantic, Quebec, which is not far from the Maine border. Several cars ruptured, their fuel exploding in a fireball that killed 47 people. Since then, many in the town have wanted the railroad track to go away. Friday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau granted their wish.
PCES students to reveal designs for SAD 4 outdoor classroom on May 24
Piscataquis Observer - Monday, May 14, 2018 

Fifth- and sixth-grade students from Piscataquis Community Elementary School are planning to reveal their designs for SAD 4’s outdoor classroom during the early evening of Thursday, May 24. The students been working on a layout using “Design Thinking” and have designed blueprints, sketches and “gallery walks.”
Maine senators submit bill to delay newsprint tariff
Portland Press Herald - Monday, May 14, 2018 

Maine’s two U.S. senators have introduced a bill to delay final implementation of an import tax on Canadian newsprint. Federal agencies have begun imposing a tariff on imported newsprint of as much as 32 percent, and critics say it is already hurting U.S. newspapers and other print publications. Sen. Susan Collins, a Republican, said she had fought in the past to help the state’s struggling papermaking industry, but said this particular import tax, instigated by one company in Washington state with about 400 workers, doesn’t make sense because of the thousands of other workers it might harm.
‘Critically endangered’ whale species sighted off Maine coast
Bangor Daily News - Monday, May 14, 2018 

Whales seen off the coast of Wells Sunday were identified as right whales, offering a rare local opportunity to see a member of the endangered sea species.
Officials enlist Mainers’ deer knowledge to help manage the herd
Bangor Daily News - Monday, May 14, 2018 

Mainers love their deer. And according to the draft big game management plan released recently by state wildlife officials, they also say they know plenty about the species. The three stated goals of the 10-year plan: Maintain a healthy, sustainable deer population that provides opportunities for hunting and viewing with minimal negative impacts on natural ecosystems. Ensure public satisfaction with Maine’s deer population. Increase public understanding of deer biology, ecology and management. Two of those goals have a common theme, said Nathan Bieber, the state’s head deer biologist. "They’re about public satisfaction....We’re going to offer more opportunities for the public to offer input into issues like [coyote management].
How deer management has evolved overtime in Maine
Bangor Daily News - Monday, May 14, 2018 

A timeline from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife covering the years 1830 to 2002.
Opinion: How Maine can save its historic clamming industry
Bangor Daily News - Monday, May 14, 2018 

Maine’s clamming industry, typically the second or third most economically important marine resource, saw landings fall to an 87-year low in 2017. Today, about 1,500 state-licensed clammers ply their trade in the soft-bottom intertidal zone whereas in 1973 that number was nearly 5,925. The major culprits are invasive European green crabs and native milky ribbon worms. Populations of both predators are exploding, coinciding with steadily increasing seawater temperatures in the Gulf of Maine. We must adapt the fishery to the changed environmental and biological conditions. This will require extraordinary measures. Unlike every other commercially important marine fishery in Maine, the soft-shell clam fishery has no fund for applied research. This is a critical time for Maine’s Legislature to put a clam fund in place. ~ Brian Beal, UMaine at Machias, and Chad Coffin, Maine Clammers Association
Big game management plan includes lots of issues and strategies
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Monday, May 14, 2018 

Management of wildlife habitats is mostly left to the discretion of private landowners, which makes management of our big game animals a challenge for Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. The agency’s new big game management plan notes that white-tailed deer are the only species that receives habitat protection. 200,000 acres of Maine forest is zoned as deer wintering area. Unfortunately that wasn’t enough to prevent the crash of our deer herd in northern and western sections of Maine during two severe winters.
As Gulf of Maine warms, will black sea bass make up for declines in lobster?
Mainebiz - Monday, May 14, 2018 

The Gulf of Maine's warming waters could mean that new fisheries are coming to Maine. Many lobster fishermen, concerned about a possible drop-off in the lobster resource, are looking at other species like Jonah crab and black sea bass. According to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, black sea bass is highly sought by both commercial and recreational fishermen throughout the Mid-Atlantic. Since 2013, commercial landings have remained above 2.5 million pounds per year, and the resource is in good shape. The distribution of black sea bass continues to expand northward into the Gulf of Maine.
How do you count cottontail rabbits when it’s hard to even find them?
Other - Monday, May 14, 2018 

Concord Monitor (NH) - Scientists at the University of New Hampshire have developed a method to estimate the abundance of New England cottontail populations. The noninvasive method provides an important tool in the effort to conserve this region’s only native rabbit, a state-endangered species in Maine and New Hampshire.
Front Street Shipyard begins long-awaited expansion
Mainebiz - Monday, May 14, 2018 

Front Street Shipyard in Belfast announced Friday that it has finalized the financing it needed to begin construction of a new facility adjacent to its existing yard on the Belfast waterfront. With the combined support of the City of Belfast, regional banks and state and federal organizations, Front Street Shipyard completed the purchase of a city-owned parking lot and secured a loan to construct a 22,500-square foot building on the property. The new facility will accommodate large yacht refits and commercial vessel construction projects while adding approximately 40 more full-time jobs at Front Street Shipyard.
Irving’s plan for Aroostook lakes region includes commercial, residential development
Mainebiz - Monday, May 14, 2018 

J.D. Irving's proposed concept plan for 51,000 acres in Aroostook County asks the Maine Land Use Planning Commission to allow new commercial and residential development around the Fish River Lakes chain, in addition to conservation plans and continued logging operations. In its pre-filed testimony, the Natural Resources Council of Maine said it could not support the application as proposed.
Maine markets arts and culture in bid to entice visitors to look beyond lobsters and lighthouses
Mainebiz - Monday, May 14, 2018 

Tourism in the state has steadily risen to 26.2 million in 2017. While the top visitor attractions are related to food, shopping and sightseeing, according to the Maine Office of Tourism, there's an increasing effort to market arts and culture as part of the state's appeal.
Opinion: Trump gives Americans the gift of high lumber prices
Bloomberg News - Monday, May 14, 2018 

futures contract for the softwood two-by-fours used in framing houses closed at its highest price ever on Tuesday. Every time the U.S. picks a fight with Canada over its alleged subsidies of softwood lumber U.S. lumber prices go up. Donald Trump started doing that soon after taking office, and now the average duties on Canadian lumber are up to 21 percent. It’s worth asking whether it makes any sense. I have trouble with the notion that Canada is somehow cheating by selling its softwood lumber at a lower price than U.S. timber owners think it should. Maybe it’s just cheaper to grow pine trees in Canada. ~ Justin Fox
Right whale spotted off coast in Wells
Portland Press Herald - Monday, May 14, 2018 

At least one North Atlantic right whale has been seen swimming near the coast of York County, providing some beachgoers a glimpse of one of the rarest large whales in the world. Wells police issued an alert warning boaters to stay clear and not to interfere with the whale, which appeared to be taking a food break on its slow migration north to Canadian waters.
Boaters spot rare right whale off York County, and others see whales from shore
Bangor Daily News - Monday, May 14, 2018 

At least one North Atlantic right whale has been seen swimming near the coast of York County in the past few days, providing some Mainers with a glimpse of one of the rarest large whales in the world. Wells police issued alerts warning boaters to stay clear and not to interfere with the whale, which appeared to be taking a meal break on its slow migration north to Canadian waters.
Exploring Prouts Neck in Scarborough; What Winslow (Homer) Saw
Yankee Magazine - Monday, May 14, 2018 

More than just the former home of American landscape painter Winslow Homer, Prouts Neck in Scarborough is the quintessential coastal peninsula.
Celebrating Acadia birds amid Year of the Bird, climate change worries
Acadia On My Mind Blog - Monday, May 14, 2018 

Since the late 1990s, enthusiastic birders have been flocking to Mount Desert Island every year, to celebrate the diversity of songbirds, seabirds and raptors found in Acadia National Park and surrounding areas. Now, as the Acadia Birding Festival marks its 20th anniversary from May 31 to June 3, the gathering comes at a time of urgency, as a new Audubon and National Park Service study identifies as many as 66 species of Acadia birds that could become locally extinct by the year 2050, if nothing is done to reduce the impacts of climate change.
Millions of bees arrive to replace winter losses
Bangor Daily News - Monday, May 14, 2018 

We are just entering, by far, the busiest time of year for beekeepers. This is especially true for me as I prepare for the arrival of hundreds of packages of bees for my customers — more than 4 million bees. I’ve been travelling all over Maine teaching beginner classes to give prospective beekeepers an idea what to expect and how to look after their bees. This is also the time of year where I prepare hives to head out to the blueberries for pollination. If you should see a swarm, give a beekeeper a call as soon as possible. We can then come out and capture the bees before they move on to their permanent home. The swarm can then be placed into a new hive that the beekeeper can care for and protect from mites. Bees which have moved into the wild will usually die from mites within a year. ~ Peter Cowin
Maine hunter returns to what he loves at 86 – it just took a few surgeries
Portland Press Herald - Monday, May 14, 2018 

Daybreak is a sliver on the dark horizon when Lou Haskell parks his pickup truck on a rise and starts unloading his gear. It’s 4:59 a.m. Maine’s spring turkey hunting season opens with civil twilight, the half-hour before sunrise in Bangor. Which means technically, Haskell, 86, could have been hunting two minutes ago. He’s not exactly impatient, but he’s eager. He has two new knees to try out.
Column: Do the right thing
Forecaster - Monday, May 14, 2018 

Though I would like to see Democratic candidate Lucas St. Clair replace Bruce Poliquin as Maine’s Second District congressman, I fear he and/or some supporters may have undermined his candidacy by running ethically questionable television ads. When I first saw the Maine Outdoor Alliance ad about Lucas St. Clair and creation of the Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument I assumed it was a campaign ad. But then the final pitch was “Call the Trump administration and tell them to leave our Katahdin Monument alone.” The trouble is Trump is already leaving the Katahdin Monument alone. One of the people associated with Maine Outdoor Alliance was the best man at St. Clair’s wedding. The only way St. Clair’s candidacy survives this ethical lapse is for him to admit that someone made a bad mistake.
Letter: Attack on endangered species
Bangor Daily News - Monday, May 14, 2018 

The Endangered Species Act has faced dozens of legislative attacks in Congress recently, with the most recent one showing up in this year’s version of the farm bill. The latest proposal would allow pesticides to be approved without considering the harm they pose to endangered species, essentially making it legal to kill an endangered species with a pesticide. Having worked as an endangered species conservation scientist for 15 years, I know that unregulated pesticides pose significant threats to populations of fish, bees, birds and other wildlife. ~ Gail Presley, Rockland
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