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
Let’s welcome Interior Secretary Zinke to our National Monument
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Tuesday, June 13, 2017 

U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke should get a warm welcome to Maine when he arrives on Wednesday to visit our new Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. A year ago, I testified in favor of the designation of a national monument on land owned by Elliotsville Plantation, at a public hearing hosted by U.S. Senator Angus King and the Director of the National Park Service. Yes, we are now making the best of it. Have a great time Secretary Zinke. And please do spend some money here!
Opinion: The Katahdin region can thrive alongside the monument — if we allow it
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, June 13, 2017 

President Theodore Roosevelt, the father of American conservation, knew the beauty of Maine well. Indeed, as a young man he climbed Katahdin and spoke admirably of the very land that last year was designated as the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. Now, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, another champion of American conservation, will have the same opportunity to appreciate Maine’s beauty by exploring the monument — and it is my hope that he, like Roosevelt, will come to cherish this land as a part of our sacred heritage. ~ U.S. Senator Angus King
Editorial: Visit should convince interior secretary that monument is welcome addition to Maine, America
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, June 13, 2017 

We are pleased that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is visiting the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument and surrounding area as part of his assignment from President Donald Trump to review 27 recently created monuments. The Maine monument is under review because Gov. Paul LePage convinced Trump that there wasn’t enough public discussion of the land preservation and that local residents don’t want it. LePage is wrong on both counts. The Katahdin Woods and Waters Monument was a wonderful gift to the people of Maine and the world. LePage doesn’t recognize this, but we believe the secretary of interior will after his visit.
Lawsuit settlement clears path for sale of shuttered Great Northern Paper mill property
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, June 13, 2017 

The company seeking to build a $240 million biorefinery in East Millinocket has dismissed its lawsuit against the current owner of the shuttered mill, who it accused of backing out of a sale agreement. EMEP LLC had sued North American Recovery Management LLC, arguing it had negotiated a right to buy the property for $1.75 million. The settlement resolves that claim and NARM’s counterclaim that the lawsuit prevented it from marketing the property to other buyers. The parties filed notice of the settlement with the court Thursday, but it’s not clear if or when the land would be transferred to EMEP.
The man who may control the future of Maine’s national monument
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, June 13, 2017 

Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke’s background of moderate political conservatism — and conservative environmentalism — may prove key in understanding his actions during a review of the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. At issue is what the avid hunter and fisherman will advise President Donald Trump to do with Katahdin Woods, one of 27 federally designated sites under scrutiny. Proponents of the Maine monument say that the designation has started to revitalize the moribund Katahdin region economy, while opponents, including Gov. Paul LePage, have called it an unwelcome intrusion of federal authority into Maine.
Maine AG Challenges Trump's Authority to Abolish Monument
Associated Press - Tuesday, June 13, 2017 

Democratic Attorney General Janet Mills says she will challenge any executive branch actions by President Donald Trump's administration to abolish a national monument in northern Maine. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke this week is set to tour the wilderness that comprises a national monument that's one of more than a dozen that's under review by Trump. Mills filed comments Monday calling on the Department of Interior to terminate its review of the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. The attorney general says there was extensive public outreach concerning the monument proposal. She says under the federal Antiquities Act, only Congress and not the president has the authority to abolish a national monument.
Editorial: We support Question 1, a $50 million investment in science
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, June 13, 2017 

The Maine economy is in the middle of a historic transition. We have seen the first part in the form of mill closures and the loss of manufacturing jobs. The other part is figuring out what’s next. Growing the state’s capacity to compete in research and development in biological sciences is part of the next step. Voters should make a point of getting to their polling station and saying “yes” to an important investment in the future.
Opinion: Time for Maine lawmakers to lead the transition to a clean energy economy
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, June 13, 2017 

Maine could, and should, transition to a clean energy economy. But instead, we are falling behind almost every other state in the country by failing to give our residents the opportunity to invest in solar energy. I co-own and operate a slope-side restaurant at Sugarloaf and a snowboard manufacturing company. Both businesses generate revenue and provide jobs in our rural community. But both businesses depend on snowy winters to drive profit; therefore, they wouldn’t survive in an unstable climate. It’s time for Maine to move forward on solar. ~ Seth Wescott, two-time Olympic gold medalist, and member, U.S. Snowboard Team
Letter: Hockey pucks and climate change
Kennebec Journal - Tuesday, June 13, 2017 

As the president chopped the legs out from under U.S. participation in the Paris Climate Accords, I thought of the great Canadian hockey player Wayne Gretzky. When asked what was the secret to his outstanding offensive and defensive play, he replied, “I skate to where the puck is going to be next, not to where it has been.” In other words, see the future based upon experience and vision. It is so obvious from scientific research that climate change threats are real and need to be dealt with universally and collectively, and the sooner the better. We know where we need to point the needle on our energy future mix; we know where that puck has just got to be going next. ~ Robert G. Birk, Washington
Acadia National Park trails work takes a crew with special skills
Acadia On My Mind Blog - Monday, June 12, 2017 

When the National Park Service needed people with special masonry skills to replace the steps on the acclaimed North Portico of the White House, the agency picked two top trail builders from Maine’s national park and sent them to Washington to do the work. After all, who better to replace the famed staircase at the White House than two people experienced at building stone steps and repairing historic masonry on the Acadia National Park trails?
UMaine System says more than $25 million in funding at risk in Trump budget plan
Portland Press Herald - Monday, June 12, 2017 

Reimbursements mean that federal grants don’t “cost” a university money – they are revenue neutral. If those reimbursements are cut, then every federal grant will wind up costing the college almost half the amount of the grant, officials said. For example, UMaine has been competing for years on wind technology and last year was named a finalist for a $40 million grant. But could the system, still trying to recover from years of financial crisis, afford to “accept” a $40 million grant if it would cost the system $20 million? Could universities recruit faculty if there was a question about the ability of the system to support their grant-funded research?
Madison Paper Equipment up for Auction
WABI-TV5 - Monday, June 12, 2017 

Equipment from the former Madison paper mill will be auctioned off starting Tuesday. Included in the three-day online sale is equipment, including log grinders, pumps, and pulpers. Madison paper shut down in May, putting about 200 people out of work. It was sold in December to a buyer that expressed a desire to put the property back in use as an industrial site. 3,000 pieces of equipment and the real estate are up for grabs.
Maine’s Attorney General Says She’s Prepared to Defend National Monument
Maine Public - Monday, June 12, 2017 

Maine Attorney General Janet Mills says her office is prepared to challenge any unlawful action by the Trump administration to abolish or reduce the Katadhin Woods and Waters National Monument. U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is scheduled to visit Katahdin Woods and Waters on Wednesday as part of a review of more than two-dozen national monuments singled out by the Trump administration. In comments, Mills questions whether the Interior Department has effectively predetermined the outcome of its own inquiry. Further, she argues that, while the law allows presidents to create national monuments, the executive branch has no authority to abolish or reduce one. In addition, Mills writes that there was extensive public outreach preceding the national monument’s designation, and that public support for the national monument has continued to increase since.
Mills threatens to sue Trump administration if it rescinds monument
Bangor Daily News - Monday, June 12, 2017 

Maine Attorney General Janet Mills threatened to sue the Trump administration if it decides to reverse the presidential order that created Maine’s national monument. Mills on Monday issued a news release and a copy of the comments filed with the Department of Interior about the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, less than 36 hours before Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke’s Wednesday visit to Maine, as part of a federal review of whether it was created legally. Any action President Donald Trump might take to undo the creation of the monument would be unlawful, Mills said.
Maine attorney general vows to challenge any attempt to undo Katahdin-area monument
Portland Press Herald - Monday, June 12, 2017 

Attorney General Janet Mills called the Trump administration’s review of the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument “fundamentally flawed” and vowed Monday to “challenge any unlawful executive branch action” regarding the monument’s designation. Mills commented on the same day that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke recommended scaling back the controversial Bears Ears National Monument in Utah and two days before Zinke visits Maine to tour the Katahdin Woods monument. The Democratic attorney general’s statements supporting the 87,500-acre monument also puts her squarely at odds with Republican Gov. Paul LePage, who successfully lobbied the Trump administration to review the designation.
Maine Forest Service bumps out 2 companies that issue burn permits
Portland Press Herald - Monday, June 12, 2017 

More than 70 Maine municipalities and thousands of residents no longer have access to free open burn permits online now that the Maine Forest Service has decided such permits are invalid. Fire chiefs in central Maine said the Forest Service is likely taking on the state’s entire fire service by eliminating access to a service they find more useful than the state’s online permit system, which charges $7 per permit.
The Antiquities Act, which grants presidents the ability to create national parks, explained in an infographic
Bangor Daily News - Monday, June 12, 2017 

James Kaiser, a 39-year-old travel writer and photographer, Maine native and part-time Ellsworth resident, has traveled much of the world and written guidebooks to Acadia, Grand Canyon, Joshua Tree and Yosemite national parks, all former national monuments. His work has given him insight into the Antiquities Act of 1906, the law at the center of the controversy over Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument and the visit to Maine this week by Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke. Kaiser created an infographic that provides a snapshot of the breadth of the law and how it has helped shape the United States since President Theodore Roosevelt first used it.
Interior Secretary Zinke suggests reducing size of Utah national monument
Associated Press - Monday, June 12, 2017 

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke on Monday recommended that the new Bears Ears National Monument in Utah be reduced in size and said Congress should step in to designate how selected areas of the 1.3 million-acre site are managed. Trump signed an executive order in April directing Zinke to review the designation of dozens of national monuments on federal lands, calling the protection efforts “a massive federal land grab” by previous administrations. Included in the order is the Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monumentin Maine.
Maine elver fishermen caught $12 million worth of eels this season
Bangor Daily News - Monday, June 12, 2017 

Maine elver fishermen netted more than $12 million in baby eels in the season that ended last week — the fourth-highest grossing year since 1994, officials said. The season came to a close last week with 9,282 pounds of elvers caught in Maine, which is 334 pounds shy of the statewide catch limit, according to Maine Department of Marine Resources.
Interior chief recommends shrinking Utah’s Bears Ears monument: document
Reuters - Monday, June 12, 2017 

U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has recommended to President Donald Trump reducing the size of the Bears Ears National Monument in Utah. It is the first of 27 national monuments to be reviewed by the Trump administration as part of a plan to increase development on federal lands. Zinke is scheduled to tour the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument in Maine on Wednesday.
Blog: What Zinke should learn from his visit to the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument
Bangor Daily News - Monday, June 12, 2017 

Inland Maine remains largely unknown to the rest of the world. That’s why the creation of the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument is such a positive development. Unfortunately, Gov. Paul LePage wants the federal government to repeal the land’s monument designation. A so-called fiscal conservative, LePage wants to throw away a $40 million endowment and a priceless economic driver for rural Maine. The governor’s position is ill-conceived, at odds with his alleged Republican ideology, driven by tribal malice and fueled by deep-seated paranoia about the role of the federal government in our state. Here’s hoping Zinke sees for himself that this land is a treasure that deserves to be preserved and shared with our entire nation. ~ Lance Dutson, Republican communications consultant
Maine Lawmakers Put Biomass On Hold; Solar Inches Forward
Other - Monday, June 12, 2017 

Faced with key decisions on the best way to proceed on energy sources for Maine, state legislators have put off a bill to promote biomass, and moved forward on a measure to support solar power. The Joint Energy and Utilities Committee voted 8-5 to move the solar bill forward. Gov. LePage opposed it; he supports the biomass bill that was put on hold.
Opinion: This is Collins’ chance to be our climate champion again
Bangor Daily News - Monday, June 12, 2017 

Susan Collins of Maine, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, and John McCain of Arizona were once champions on climate change. With Trump’s announcement to withdraw from the Paris accord, it’s time for them to reassert their leadership on this issue by introducing and fighting for a revenue-neutral fee on carbon. They were ahead of their time years ago, but it appears their time has come. ~ Mark Reynolds, Citizens’ Climate Lobby
Help or harm? Maine's June 13 bond issue
Maine Environmental News - Monday, June 12, 2017 

On Tuesday, June 13, Mainers will vote on Question 1, a $50 million bond measure. Proponents say the funds will support job growth in Maine’s high tech industries, forest products, agriculture, marine resources, and information technologies. Wind power opponents say the bond would be used, in part, to help fund the Aqua Ventus offshore wind project, which endangers migrating birds, marine wildlife, and tourism. Conservationists say funds could be used to promote the harmful chipping and biomass burning of Maine forests, and fish farming, which in the past has damaged the state's native fisheries.
Maine wind power’s next phase will be strange for firms used to competing
Bangor Daily News - Monday, June 12, 2017 

Maine wind power is a rural business. That fact provides a conflict point for advocates who say it’s a boost to those rural economies and detractors who argue wind farms mar the landscape. It also frames a point both sides can agree on: Without new power lines, Maine wind power development is at a standstill. The distance between major power demand and Maine’s rural wind resource has prompted the ISO to study a way for wind power developers to cooperatively fund power lines they need to connect to the grid.
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