April 24, 2018  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Tuesday, April 24, 2018 

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 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
Portland Trails Annual Meeting & 15x15, May 1
Event - Posted - Tuesday, April 24, 2018 

Portland Trails annual meeting is a night of the best ideas in trails, transportation, conservation, and placemaking from members of our community. Presenters get 15 slides, and 15 seconds per slide, to share the story of their idea or innovation. At Space Gallery, Portland, May 1, 5:30 pm.
Trees, Trails, and Vernal Pools, Apr 28
Event - Posted - Saturday, April 21, 2018 

Arborist Doug Johnson will show how to identify trees in early spring, and Board member Roger Rittmaster will discuss the importance of vernal pools to the ecology of our forests. At Sagamore Farm, Camden, April 28, 10 am - 12 pm. Sponsored by Coastal Mountains Land Trust.
Stanton Bird Club Field Trips
Event - Posted - Saturday, April 21, 2018 

See the schedule of field trips sponsored by the Stanton Bird Club of Lewiston.
Stream Smart workshop, Apr 27
Event - Posted - Friday, April 20, 2018 

Stream Smart workshop offered for professionals who are responsible for road-stream crossings. At UMaine Hutchinson Center, Belfast, April 27, 8:30 am - 12:30 pm.
Lake Lover's Raffle
Announcement - Thursday, April 19, 2018 

Many prizes including a North Woods Dream Package. Benefits Maine Lakes Society.
Restoring Endangered Seabirds, Apr 26
Event - Posted - Thursday, April 19, 2018 

Susie Meadows, manager of Project Puffin Visitor Center, will talk about restoring endangered seabirds. At Maine Coastal Islands NWR Visitor Center, Rockland, April 26, 2 pm.
Climate Brews, Apr 25
Event - Posted - Wednesday, April 18, 2018 

A monthly get-together to discuss state and national environmental issues. At Cushnoc Brewing, Augusta, April 23, 5 pm. Sponsored by Maine Conservation Voters.
Adventures in Northern Quebec, Apr 24
Event - Posted - Tuesday, April 17, 2018 

Registered Maine Guide Polly Mahoney will talk about her adventures canoeing in northern Quebec. At Alumni Auditorium, Gould Academy, Bethel, April 24, 7 pm.
Sacred Instructions: Indigenous Wisdom for Living Spirit-Based Change, Apr 24
Event - Posted - Tuesday, April 17, 2018 

Sherri Mitchell, indigenous rights attorney, teacher and spiritual activist, will speak at Lincoln Theatre, Damariscotta, April 24, 7 pm.
Preparing for Sea Level Rise, Apr 24
Event - Posted - Tuesday, April 17, 2018 

90-minute multimedia interactive learning experience that explores the potential impact of sea level rise. At Gulf of Maine Research Institute, Portland, April 24, 6:30 pm.
Help wanted: Sierra Club Maine Chapter Director
Announcement - Monday, April 16, 2018 

The Chapter Director implements policies and programs adopted by the Sierra Club Maine Chapter Executive Committee.
DIY Adaptations & Home Energy Efficiency, Apr 23
Event - Posted - Monday, April 16, 2018 

Learn about do it yourself home weatherization projects and energy efficiency tips that will cut back on heating and energy bills and reduce your carbon footprint. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, April 23, 6:30 pm
The Changing Nature of the Maine Woods, Apr 23
Event - Posted - Monday, April 16, 2018 

Dr. Andrew Barton, UMaine Farmington, will discuss how Maine forests have changed over the past 10,000 years, their remarkable diversity across the state, and the challenges and possible solutions for the future. At Blue Hill Public Library, April 23, 7 pm. Sponsored by Blue Hill Heritage Trust.
The Birds Are Coming!, Apr 23
Event - Posted - Monday, April 16, 2018 

Veteran bird watcher Tom Hayward presents a look at what birds are returning to Maine this time of year and ways to make them feel welcome. At Auburn Public Library, April 23, 6 pm. Sponsored by Stanton Bird Club.
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News Items
Tricks and tips for enjoying mud season in Maine
Aislinn Sarnacki Act Out Blog - Tuesday, April 10, 2018 

As snow melts and the ground thaws throughout April and May, gravel roads and trails throughout Maine turn into a sloppy mess, a combination of mud, slush, potholes and puddles. Welcome to Maine’s infamous mud season, those few weeks each spring that tries our patience and tests our waterproof footwear. But it’s a price I’ll pay for spring having finally sprung. Don’t let the mud deter you, I say. Get outside and embrace the lengthening days. But first, here are a few things to consider, tips that might help you enjoy the season just a little bit more.
Blog: Global Warming Research in the Gulf of Maine
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, April 10, 2018 

Republican politicians in Washington are entitled to their opinions. But by ignoring the findings of scientists and the observations of fishermen, they are inventing their own facts. Since a majority of Republicans now reject evolution(it’s only a theory, after all), perhaps their representatives in Congress believe that, unlike the bugs and fish swimming in Pine Barrens streams, humans don’t need to adapt. Fortunately, scientists at places like GMRI and SWRC are working hard on solutions to the problems global warming is causing. Unfortunately, much of their funding depends on Congress. ~ James G. Blaine
UMaine picks leader of federal science agency as new president
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, April 10, 2018 

A top official at the federal agency that supports research and education initiatives across the United States will become the University of Maine’s 21st president. Joan Ferrini-Mundy, chief operating officer of the National Science Foundation, is expected to take the helm of the state’s flagship university this summer.
Why some Mainers are trading the traditional lawn for mini meadows
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, April 10, 2018 

For many people in the United States, a well-manicured lawn is a point of pride and mowing is a weekly summer chore. It’s a place where families and friends gather for picnics and games of catch. But for some, this recreational space — or at least part of it — can serve a higher purpose for nature. How? Simply, let it grow. “I call it releasing a lawn,” said Heather McCargo, executive director of the Wild Seed Project, a nonprofit organization based in Maine that works to increase the use of native plants in the landscape.
Maine to use NOAA grant to boost right whale protections
Associated Press - Monday, April 9, 2018 

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is giving the state of Maine more than $700,000 to help provide better data to try to protect endangered right whales. The Maine Department of Marine Resources says the grant funds a three-year project set to begin this summer that will support work aimed at improving and increasing the amount of data on fishing gear. The data can be used to inform future protections for the whales. Scientists say trends mean the species could be extinct in a little more than 20 years.
Judge Affirms Public Access To Kennebunkport Beach
Maine Public - Monday, April 9, 2018 

A Superior Court judge has sided with the town of Kennebunkport in its almost decadelong dispute with a number of property owners who filed suit to halt public access to Goose Rocks Beach. Attorney Amy Tchao is representing the town. She says the property owners claim they have exclusive ownership to the beach areas in front of their homes. Tchao says the court concluded that, while the property owners couldn’t prove they own the beach in front of their homes, the town demonstrated it had title back to colonial times. Tchao says the property owners can appeal.
Trump Touts Pruitt's 'Great Job,' But EPA Rollbacks Have A Long Road Ahead
National Public Radio - Monday, April 9, 2018 

As allegations mount of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt violating ethics policies and misusing taxpayer money, President Trump has repeatedly defended him. "Scott is doing a great job!" he said in one tweet. Pruitt is one of the administration's most high profile members, and is often lauded as one of its most effective. Topping that agenda are Trump's repeated claims that he will bring back coal jobs and boost fossil fuel production. But many of these rollbacks are in the midst of a long, slow-moving regulatory process.
Opinion: It’s not too late for Maine to save the solar bill
Bangor Daily News - Monday, April 9, 2018 

As legislators reconsider solar legislation early this week, the Mayors’ Coalition on Jobs and Economic Development stands with Maine people, towns and businesses that can benefit from solar power and supports overturning Gov. Paul LePage’s veto of the solar bill, LD 1444. It is discouraging that jockeying and political pressure last week impeded this modest and widely bipartisan bill. The Maine House failed to override the governor’s veto, but House Democratic leaders invoked rules that have kept the bill alive a little longer. Legislators have one last opportunity to choose to support Maine people, businesses and towns’ ability to harness solar power. ~ Samantha Paradis, mayor, Belfast
Editorial: Follow-through is key to ensuring Mainers’ highway safety
Portland Press Herald - Monday, April 9, 2018 

The death last month in Arizona of a pedestrian struck by a self-driving car made national news because the tragedy was the first of its kind. But traditional vehicles still rule our highways. And their human drivers kill 16 pedestrians each day or nearly 6,000 a year, the highest number in a quarter-century.
Legislature tables bill to open Palermo lake to migrating fish indefinitely
Kennebec Journal - Sunday, April 8, 2018 

The fishway on Sheepscot Pond has been closed to migrating fish for years, and this year will be no different. A controversial bill that would have opened the fishway during the months when some species of fish migrate along the Sheepscot River in Lincoln and Waldo counties has been postponed indefinitely in the Legislature. In its place is compromise reached in March that outlines the steps that need to be taken before the fish passage can be opened.
Push underway for "Eastern Wildway" to help wildlife cross continent
Associated Press - Sunday, April 8, 2018 

A Maine environmental group is hosting a presentation about the concept of an "Eastern Wildway" to help wildlife travel across North America. Friends of Merrymeeting Bay is hosting the event on Wednesday in Brunswick. The group says Rewilding Institute executive director John Davis will speak about the proposal to help wildlife. The Eastern Wildway would be a wildlife corridor that links eastern Canada with the Gulf of Mexico. The corridor would include national parks, preserves and wild places. It would touch the Adirondack mountains, the Great Smoky Mountains and Everglades National Park. Supporters say creating the Eastern Wildway would conserve habitat and help restore populations of animals, including carnivores that are high on the food chain.
Sen. Collins says Pruitt wrong choice to head EPA
Portland Press Herald - Sunday, April 8, 2018 

Maine Sen. Susan Collins told CNN’s Jake Tapper that Scott Pruitt was the wrong choice to head the Environmental Protection Agency. “The actions taken by Scott Pruitt in the environmental arena, whether it is trying to undermine the Clean Power Plan or weaken the restrictions on lead or undermine the methane rules, are reasons enough to validate my decision to oppose his confirmation. This daily drip of accusations of excessive spending and ethical violations serve to further distract the agency from accomplishing it’s very important mission,” Collins said. Collins was the lone Republican in the Senate who voted against Pruitt’s confirmation. Maine Sen. Angus King also voted no.
Opinion: Protecting public lands gives our veterans a place to go for healing
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, April 8, 2018 

As an Army veteran, I spend most of my days enjoying the Maine outdoors. Hiking, fishing, kayaking and canoeing, and getting out on the ocean with my wife in our active fishing community is peaceful and deeply rewarding. Maine is special for many reasons, but two are especially important for me — it is a state with abundant recreation opportunities and an active and thriving veteran community. National monuments are crucial to veterans. Last year, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke initiated a review of 27 monuments, including Maine’s Katahdin Woods and Waters. Any attack on our national monuments would be a disgrace. My hope, along with many other veterans who rely on our national monuments and other protected public lands for peace and recreation, is that the President and Interior Secretary will cease this sacrilegious attack. ~ Maj. Gen. Don Edwards, South Bristol
Garrett Raymond wants to create a specialty license plate for sustainability
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, April 8, 2018 

Garrett Raymond is finishing up his master’s at the University of Maine’s School of Economics next month. But before he does, he’s making a last big push for a school project near and dear to his heart. Raymond is a member of a campus-based group called Maine Community Energy Advocates. The group’s goal is to advance community energy projects in the state, and one of the ways they want to do that is by creating a specialty license plate around the theme of sustainability, specifically in the arena of energy use and generation.
Maine Outdoor Education Program combines Nordic skiing, learning
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, April 8, 2018 

A 20-mile Nordic trail network is the home of the Maine Outdoor Education Program – part of the growing wilderness education empire that is the brainchild of New York philanthropist Gilbert Butler. In the past month the $5 million lodge funded by the Butler’s nonprofit, the Butler Conservation Fund, opened in the forest east of Millinocket. Now the campus can better serve the region’s students who travel here during their school day for an outdoor recreation lesson laced with history, science and math. In Washington County, a similar youth outdoor program will start May 21 near Lubec, where students from eight public schools will be taught similar outdoor skills and lessons.
Column: Spring skiing’s final hurrah
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, April 8, 2018 

While we’re down to just a handful of ski resorts left open, those left standing are making the most of the remaining few weeks of the season. In Maine, Sugarloaf and Sunday River have full calendars of concerts, tailgating, pond-skimming and other celebrations. ~ Josh Christie
Column: Lefty's legacy lives on
Sun Journal - Saturday, April 7, 2018 

What is it about a well cast fly line that furls out gently across a quiet trout pond or a roiling river? Done properly it is a graceful ballet. Nobody performed this like the legendary fly caster Lefty Kreh. ~ V. Paul Reynolds
Take that, Finland! Mainers create massive ice carousel on frozen lake
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, April 7, 2018 

Residents in a Maine town believe they’ve created the world’s largest ice carousel on a frozen lake. About 100 volunteers cut a circle in the ice that’s 427 feet in diameter, and they used four outboard boat motors to get it rotating on Saturday. It happened in Sinclair, a village in an unorganized territory in Aroostook County.
Farm CSAs struggle in Maine after years of popularity
Sun Journal - Saturday, April 7, 2018 

Prized even just a few years ago, CSAs have abruptly become hot, then not. Experts and farmers say there are a lot of reasons for the downturn. Increasing competition is a big one. So, too, is the customer’s need for convenience over a relationship with their friendly neighborhood farmer. That all leaves farmers reconsidering the future.
Harvest of clams continues to dwindle in New England
Associated Press - Saturday, April 7, 2018 

Soft-shell clams, also called “steamers” or “longnecks,” are one of the northeastern U.S.’s most beloved seafood items, delighting shoreside diners in fried clam rolls, clam strips and clam chowders. But the nationwide harvest fell to a little less than 2.8 million pounds of meat in 2016, the lowest total since 2000, and there are new signs of decline in Maine. The Pine Tree State produces more of the clams than any other, and state regulators there say clam harvesters collected a little more than 1.4 million pounds of the shellfish last year. That’s the lowest total since 1930. The clam fishery is coping with a declining number of fishermen, a warming ocean, harmful algal blooms in the marine environment and growing populations of predator species.
Some of Maine’s most reliable heat may be under our feet
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, April 7, 2018 

John Nickels, who owns Earth Heat Engineering, based in Hampden, said he has installed more than 50 geothermal units from Down East to Aroostook County. Geothermal works because the ground beneath us is warmer than the outside air in the winter and cooler in the summer. By installing a series of pipes into the ground, heat can be transferred to and from a building. “The technology I use and install allows me to track how much carbon a system is saving the planet on a yearly basis,” he said. “In my case, I am saving what 60 acres of trees contributes every year.”
Letter: Urge our two senators to keep Maine air healthy
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, April 7, 2018 

Maine is often called the “tailpipe of the nation.” Air pollution from around the country moves northeast and creates diriter air in Maine. This pollution increases health problems for Mainers, such as asthma, respiratory trouble and more unhealthy kids. The Clean Car standards have worked to alleviate the air pollution in Maine and around the country. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt is working to dismantle the Clean Car standards. Mainers need protections like these to ensure that we live in a clean and safe environment. We urge Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King to protect the Clean Car standards and keep Maine’s air healthy. ~ Jacqueline Guyol, Portland
Letter: Keep our cars clean – boycott environmentally unfriendly vehicles
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, April 7, 2018 

To my horror, the Trump administration and the Environmental Protection Agency under Administrator Scott Pruitt are expected to roll back the Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards, which were developed to lessen the impact of climate change and reduce our country’s dependence on fossil fuels. I strongly disagree with this change. People who are in favor of doing something to reduce the challenge of climate change should let their members of Congress know in the strongest possible terms. There is something else they can do: Pledge to only purchase cars that meet the original standard! I make this pledge today. ~ Peter Bridgman, Yarmouth
Millions spent on Pruitt’s security and travel
Associated Press - Friday, April 6, 2018 

Scott Pruitt’s concern 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 to protect him. The agency spent millions of dollars for a 20-member full-time security detail that is three times the size of his predecessor’s part-time security contingent. Shortly after arriving in Washington, Pruitt demoted the staff member heading his security detail and replaced him with Pasquale “Nino” Perrotta, a former Secret Service agent who operates a private security company. Perrotta oversaw a rapid expansion of the EPA chief’s security detail to guard him day and night, even on family vacations and when Pruitt was home in Oklahoma. An EPA official said there are concerns about Pruitt’s safety, given public opposition to his rollbacks of anti-pollution measures.
Puckerbrush, the outdoor experience with the strange name
Bangor Daily News - Friday, April 6, 2018 

In Columbia, Maine, there is a place that sits on 34 acres which offers members and visitors the traditional fish and game club experience and a little bit more. It is the Pleasant River Fish and Game Conservation Association (PRFGCA) and for the past three years the organization has held a Puckerbrush Primitive Gathering event.
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