April 28, 2017  
Announcements               
Press releases, events, publications released, etc. from Maine environmental organizations and agencies. Submit content.

Rally for Solar, May 4
Event - Posted - Friday, April 28, 2017 

A public hearing on LD 1373, An Act to Protect and Expand Access to Solar Power In Maine, is scheduled for May 4 at 1 pm. Join a rally of solar supporters at the State House at 12 noon before the public hearing. RSVP. Sponsored by Natural Resources Council of Maine.

Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Thursday, April 27, 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
Androscoggin River Watershed Conference, May 4
Event - Posted - Thursday, April 27, 2017 

The 2017 ARWC Conference will be at the Bethel Inn, May 4, 8:15 am - 2:30 pm.
Ocean Frontiers III, May 4
Event - Posted - Thursday, April 27, 2017 

A unique and hopeful ocean film that explores the intersection of national security, marine commerce, and conservation. At Strand Theatre, Rockland, May 4, 6 pm. Sponsored by Island Institute and Green Fire Productions.
Imagine the Maine Woods National Park exhibit, May 1-Jun 30
Announcement - Monday, April 24, 2017 

Hudson Museum at UMaine, Orono, will display a fine art photography exhibit by Thomas Mark Szelog & Lee Ann Szelog created through the Maine Woods National Park Photo-Documentation Project, May 1 – June 30.
Maine Mushrooms, May 1
Event - Posted - Monday, April 24, 2017 

Presenter: Alan Seamans. At USM, Lewiston, May 1, 6:30 pm. Sponsored by Stanton Bird Club.
Damaging Maine: The Impacts of Proposed Cuts to the EPA Budget
Publication - Sunday, April 23, 2017 

A detailed analysis by the Natural Resources Council of Maine of the widespread harm that would be caused to Maine’s environment, economy, and people if these cuts are approved by Congress.
A Plastic Ocean, Apr 29
Event - Posted - Saturday, April 22, 2017 

“A Plastic Ocean” was filmed in 20 locations around the world, documenting the global effects of plastic pollution and workable technology and policy solutions that could be implemented. Screening to be followed by a panel discussion with Upstream Executive Director Matt Prindiville and Abby Barrows, a marine research scientist who focuses on microplastics research. At Strand Theatre, Rockland, April 29, 7 pm,$10 donation suggested.

Lyme disease conference, Apr 29
Event - Posted - Saturday, April 22, 2017 

At Wiscasset Community Center, April 29, 8 am - 5 pm.
Beginning Farmers Workshops
Event - Posted - Friday, April 21, 2017 

Maine Coast Heritage Trust and Knox-Lincoln Soil & Water Conservation District are co-sponsoring a series of Beginning Farmers Workshops.
• April 23: Free Shearing and Wool Grading, 8 am-5 pm (two sessions), presented by the Midcoast Farmers Alliance. Hosted by Meadowcroft Farm in Washington.
• May 13: Free Natural Farming Practices, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, presented by Aaron Englander at Erickson Fields Preserve in Rockport.
• June 14: Cover Crops and Crop Rotation on June 14;
• July 8: Day-long Pasture Workshop in conjunction with Beef Basics at Aldermere Farm.
• July 26: Pollination Services and Community Partnership.
People’s Climate Movement, Apr 29
Action Alert - Thursday, April 20, 2017 

Join the People’s Climate Movement this April 29th in Washington, D.C. ~ 350.org
Resist: Skills to Fight Back for Maine's Environment, Apr 27
Event - Posted - Thursday, April 20, 2017 

Learn about the current threats and our efforts to protect our public lands, defend the Clean Air Act, and preserve the EPA's budget, and the skills to make a difference. At Bangor High School, April 27, 6 pm.
Boating the Bold Coast, Apr 26
Event - Posted - Wednesday, April 19, 2017 

A community dialogue around resources, opportunities, challenges and concerns co-hosted by Maine Island Trail Association and Downeast Conservation Network. At Cobscook Community Learning Center, Trescott, April 26, 3-5 pm.
Resist: Skills to Fight Back for Maine's Environment, Apr 25
Event - Posted - Tuesday, April 18, 2017 

Learn about the current threats and our efforts to protect our public lands, defend the Clean Air Act, and preserve the EPA's budget and the skills to make a difference. At Maple Hill Farm Inn and Conference Center, Hallowell, April 25, 6:30 pm.
Inspired by Nature: Kris Sader, Apr 25
Event - Posted - Tuesday, April 18, 2017 

Kris Sader, a visual artist, will show how nature inspires her creative work. At Topsham Library, April 25, 6 pm. Sponsored by Cathance River Education Alliance.
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News Items
Column: Too many turkeys is simply a perception
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, April 16, 2017 

The reintroduction of turkeys into Maine is one of the pre-eminent wildlife conservation success stories of the last century. The impetus behind a proposal to dramatically liberalize turkey seasons and bag limits was based on a perception that Maine’s turkey population had grown too large and was becoming a legitimate problem. But like a mirage, perceptions can be misleading. The legislative committee voted to amend the bill to hand authority for adjusting seasons and bag limits to Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. That means the decision-making is left up to trained professionals who are mandated to manage wildlife resources in the best interest of their constituents. ~ Bob Humphrey
Opinion: Katahdin National Monument is an outstanding gift
Sun Journal - Sunday, April 16, 2017 

If you look around the country, the history of national monuments and national parks shows a predictable arc. There is often loud opposition — at the beginning. We’ve seen it with some of this country’s greatest natural assets, including Acadia National Park, the Grand Canyon and even Yellowstone. But then things change. Today, any effort to take these lands from the American people would be met with fierce resistance. Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument is already showing the promise that led to its creation. It is time that we all work together to ensure that the monument is successful and can meet its fullest potential as a tourist destination and economic driver for all people. ~ Gabriel Perkins, Mahoosuc Pathways, Bethel
Opinion: Don’t penalize energy conservers
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, April 16, 2017 

Gov. LePage and his allies are kicking up dust on two energy issues with important economic implications for Maine’s future. The first is the governor’s contention that homeowners and businesses who invest in solar energy are not paying their fair share to maintain the electric grid because their electric bills are lower. The second assertion is that electric and hybrid car owners, who buy less gasoline, aren’t paying their fair share of fuel taxes to maintain the roads. It serves no purpose to penalize Mainers who invest in cleaner technology that benefits everyone. ~ Jake Plante, Brunswick
Letter: Painting a more complete picture of lead abatement efforts in Congress
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, April 16, 2017 

For nearly two decades, we have worked closely together to increase investments and champion policies that protect our children and families from lead poisoning. We have made great strides in reducing the lead in homes and other buildings, but much remains to be done. Last year, we secured funding to reduce lead-based hazards. The bill also included a provision we authored requiring the Department of Housing and Urban Development to lower its acceptable threshold of lead in children, allowing for an earlier lead abatement response for children living in subsidized housing. The bipartisan legislation passed the Senate with overwhelming support. ~ U.S. Sen. Susan Collin (R-ME), chairman, and U.S. Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI), ranking member, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee
Letter: Mining not only thing that threatens outdoors
Kennebec Journal - Sunday, April 16, 2017 

I am writing in response to George Smith’s April 5 column, “Mining is not Maine’s future”). Yes, blasting away our mountains to mine the precious metals that are searched for, also releases the toxic metals that do destroy our environment and fisheries with the runoff that Smith mentions. Smith is an advocate for wind power, which also blasts away our mountaintops and releases the same toxic minerals that flow into our streams and lakes, killing our valuable brook trout, not to mention the scenic views that are lost forever when the windmills replace the mountaintops. If the mining companies financially sponsored his website and outdoor news blog, as the wind companies did (First Wind), would he favor mining? ~ Richard L. Harris, Fairfield
Boothbay student calls water project empowering
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, April 15, 2017 

The 16-year-old Boothbay high school student whose honors project uncovered high lead levels in the school district’s water said the project has given her a sense of power about bringing about change in a community.
Study tracks startling salinization trend in U.S. lakes
Summit Voice - Saturday, April 15, 2017 

Lakes from New England to the Midwest are getting saltier from the massive use of chemicals to melt ice on roads, as well as from urban development. Under the current trend, many North American lakes will surpass EPA-recommended chloride levels in 50 years, spelling trouble for aquatic ecosystems. The majority of the lakes (284) were located in a North American Lakes Region that includes Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Ontario, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wisconsin. The findings come from the first large-scale analysis of chloride trends in freshwater lakes.
A subsidy Maine electric customers pay to encourage renewable energy is up for review
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, April 15, 2017 

A multimillion-dollar subsidy that Maine electric customers pay to encourage the use of renewable power is up for review in the Legislature next week and there are likely to be differing views on its value and its future. Even advocates agree that the Renewable Portfolio Standard, first enacted 18 years ago and updated in 2006, needs a tuneup and isn’t working as intended. But as with many energy issues, it may be hard to find common ground among Democrats, Republicans and Gov. Paul LePage.
Letter: LePage can oppose monument on own time
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, April 15, 2017 

Gov. Paul LePage’s continuing rant against the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument does not reflect the opinion of the majority of Maine residents. If the governor chooses to go to Washington to lobby against the monument, he should plan on doing that as a private citizen, not as an official representing Maine. And, he should go there on his own dime, and his own time. Maine taxpayers should not have to foot the bill for his rancor against our national monument. ~ Paul Johnson, Oakland
Letter: Praise to planet Earth
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, April 15, 2017 

Over the course of my nearly seven decades, in every moment of my living, breathing life on planet Earth, the United States has been at war in one form or another. All praise to water and land protectors. All praise to those who seek and work for genuine peace on planet Earth. ~ Byron F. Greatorex, Camden
Student project clued Boothbay schools into the high lead levels in school water
Bangor Daily News - Friday, April 14, 2017 

High lead levels in the water at Boothbay Region High School and Boothbay Region Elementary School have prompted administrators to ban consumption of all water from the schools, undertake continued testing and work with the state toxicologist for information on potential health risks. The contamination was discovered late last month after a high school student working on a project for an Advanced Placement class began investigating what she told administrators was an unpleasant taste in the school water.
‘North Woods Law’ star Kris MacCabe named Warden of the Year
Bangor Daily News - Friday, April 14, 2017 

He became the de facto face of the Maine Warden Service through his star role on the TV show “North Woods Law,” and now game warden Kris MacCabe has another accolade to add to his resume: Maine Warden of the Year.
EPA chief Scott Pruitt wants U.S. to withdraw from Paris climate agreement
Washington Post - Friday, April 14, 2017 

Trump’s top environment official called for an “exit” from the historic Paris agreement Thursday in what appeared to be the first time such a high-ranking official has so explicitly disavowed the agreement endorsed by nearly 200 countries to fight climate change. Speaking with “Fox & Friends,” Pruitt commented, “Paris is something that we need to really look at closely. It’s something we need to exit in my opinion.”
Blog: Elver fishermen getting higher prices this year (so far)
Bangor Daily News - Friday, April 14, 2017 

With about 1,000 Maine residents holding elver licenses, including members of the state’s four Indian tribes, fishermen have on average been earning about $900 per week. According to Maine Department of Marine Resources, as of the end of the day on Wednesday, April 12, nearly 1,800 pounds of the juvenile eels have been caught in Maine since the season started on March 22. With an average price of just over $1,500 per pound being offered to fishermen, that’s about $2.7 million worth of elvers that have been caught so far.
Moose bills get some traction at legislature
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Friday, April 14, 2017 

Members of the legislature’s Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Department have sent us mixed messages on the many moose hunting bills considered this session.
Offshore Wind Development Threatens Endangered Roseate Tern
American Bird Conservancy - Friday, April 14, 2017 

Anticipating increased mortality to the Endangered Roseate Tern from planned offshore wind development on the Atlantic coast, conservation groups are asking federal agencies to take steps to protect the remaining population of these already threatened birds. The Roseate Tern migrates the length of the Eastern Seaboard, which means it could be impacted by large-scale industrial offshore wind development that has been proposed by the U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management off the Atlantic coast, including Maine.
LePage nominates former Democratic lawmaker to serve as public advocate
Portland Press Herald - Friday, April 14, 2017 

Barry Hobbins, a Saco attorney, would represent Maine ratepayers before the Maine Public Utilities Commission in matters including electricity and natural gas prices.
What birds are serenading you this spring? The red-winged blackbird, for one
Aislinn Sarnacki Act Out Blog - Thursday, April 13, 2017 

Birdsong announces spring, sure. But what exactly are you hearing? Who makes up the chorus? I’m only starting to learn, but it’s pretty cool when you can actually picture the birds serenading you. And it’s even better when that knowledge helps you spot the birds, and in my case, photograph them. Here are a few birds I heard (and photographed) recently.
Maine House passes bill to discourage use of plastic bags
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, April 13, 2017 

House lawmakers passed a bill Thursday that aims to decrease the use of disposable plastic bags and foam food containers but that opponents dismissed as unnecessary. As originally introduced, the bill would have prohibited retailers from bagging products in single-use plastic bags starting in September 2020. But the bill was watered-down during the committee process in the face of opposition from grocery stores, retailers and the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. Instead, the new version of the bill, L.D. 57, would establish a statewide policy “to promote the use of reusable bags and locally recyclable alternatives to disposable polystyrene foam food service containers” by encouraging municipal-level regulations.
Maine House Approves Watered-Down Bill Aimed at Discouraging Plastic Bag Use
Associated Press - Thursday, April 13, 2017 

The Maine House has approved a bill aimed at reducing the number of single-use plastic shopping bags in the waste stream. But the measure is a watered-down version of the original, which would have banned single-use plastic bags. Nonetheless, Brunswick Rep. Ralph Tucker, a Democrat, says it’s an important step. “This bill declares as a matter of state policy that we should try to use reusable bags to avoid getting the plastics into our waste stream.” The bill was altered in committee, and critics now question what it will accomplish. Local cities and towns, they point out, can already ban the use of plastic bags if they want to, and there are no extra incentives in the legislation to encourage local ordinances.
‘Molded By the Flow’ Explores Maine's Waterways in Collaborative Performance
Maine Public - Thursday, April 13, 2017 

Students of theater, music, and art at the University of Southern Maine have been collaborating on a theater production that explores how Maine’s waterways have shaped its history. The show, “Molded by the Flow,” opens Friday in Lewiston. The name not only reflects the content of the show, it’s also a metaphor for how it was created.
Colby Students Awarded Projects for Peace Grant to Explore Environmental Activism in China
Maine Environmental News - Thursday, April 13, 2017 

Two Colby College sophomores have been awarded a prestigious Davis Projects for Peace grant to create a documentary about environmental activism in China. Lijie (Reggie) Huang '19 and Long Yung (Grace) Yu '19 will spend this summer exploring the conflicts and challenges of a Chinese organization opposing government land reclamation efforts.
Battered but Still Standing, Land for Maine’s Future Turns 30
Free Press - Thursday, April 13, 2017 

Since 1987, when Maine voters approved the first Land for Maine’s Future (LMF) bond, the program has been working to help protect land of statewide significance from development. Now 30 years old, the LMF program, by most measures, is a success. As of this year, LMF has helped save over 600,000 acres from being developed — into private marinas, house lots and shopping malls — including 40 farms, 1,200 miles of shoreline, and 24 commercial working waterfront properties. The program has also secured public access to 54 ponds, lakes, streams and rivers and helped turn 158 miles of former railroad tracks into recreational trails.
PCHS environmental science class receives Maine Woods Forever Teddy Roosevelt Maine
Piscataquis Observer - Thursday, April 13, 2017 

PCHS environmental science class receives Maine Woods Forever Teddy Roosevelt Maine...
Investors say proposed energy park at former mill site won’t require more state aid
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, April 13, 2017 

Investors hoping to revitalize Maine’s forest products and wood-to-energy industries say their vision won’t involve asking for more financial help from state or local governments. Stored Solar plans to put together its latest Maine investment with a blend of private money and a federally backed loan for energy projects to get a $240 million biorefinery off the ground in East Millinocket. “We will not be asking for any assistance from state or local taxpayers,” Dan Cashman, a spokesman for Stored Solar, wrote in an email.
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