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
Skowhegan bull chase an example of how not to react, experts say
Morning Sentinel - Friday, April 6, 2018 

When the Skowhegan police chief recently chased a loose bull through town and fatally shot it, angering the farmer who owned the animal and raising questions about the response, he was taking what a pair of livestock experts say was unnecessarily risky action. Even so, law enforcement officials say there are no detailed protocols for dealing with such situations involving livestock and that public safety needs to be the top priority.
Interior secretary notes strong opposition to offshore drill plan
Associated Press - Friday, April 6, 2018 

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke acknowledges there is “a lot of opposition” to President Donald Trump’s plan to open most of the nation’s coastline to oil and gas drilling. Speaking at a forum on offshore wind energy Friday, Zinke touted Trump’s “all of the above” energy menu that calls for oil and gas, as well as renewable energy projects. But he noted strong opposition to the drilling plan, adding there is little to no infrastructure in many of those areas to support drilling. Maine Gov. Paul LePage has endorsed the plan.
‘Don’t mess with the ocean’: Nature tosses boulder onto Acadia path
Bangor Daily News - Friday, April 6, 2018 

Nature, particularly at Acadia National Park, is always teaching us. About four times the size of a football, a large rock found on a walkway at the park’s Thunder Hole inlet gives ample testimony to one of nature’s most fundamental lessons – nature is a powerful force indeed.
Maine Calling: Birding in Maine
Maine Public - Friday, April 6, 2018 

Guests: Jeff Wells, author of “Birder’s Conservation Handbook;” Adrienne Leppold, project director of the Maine Bird Atlas 2018-2022; Seth Benz, bird ecology program director, Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park.
Fishermen, Environmentalists: Fight Over Monitors Not Over
Associated Press - Friday, April 6, 2018 

Commercial fishermen and environmental groups agree a longstanding dispute over the future of at-sea monitoring is far from over, despite recent funding help from Congress. Monitors are on-board workers who collect data to help inform fishing regulations. The federal government moved the cost of paying for them to fishermen in some Northeast fisheries in 2016. Last month a budget bill finalized by Congressional leaders includes $10 million to pay for the monitors. That means fishermen of valuable New England species such as cod, haddock and sole won't have to pay for monitors this year. But fishing groups, and the environmentalists who watch them, both say the government needs a long-term solution to make paying for monitoring sustainable.
One of Maine’s last great salmon clubs is going under
Bangor Daily News - Friday, April 6, 2018 

The Veazie Salmon Club, which since the 1970s has hosted anglers from around the country as they fished the productive Penobscot River pools below, will cease to exist in the coming months, according to a longtime member. Interest in the club has waned in recent years, as Atlantic salmon have been listed under the federal Endangered Species Act and no salmon fishing has been allowed on the river since a short, experimental season was staged in 2008.
Editorial: No reason to weaken fuel economy standards
Bangor Daily News - Friday, April 6, 2018 

On Monday, the Trump administration said it planned to rollback vehicle fuel-economy standards to boost the nation’s auto industry. This makes no sense. For one, the auto industry doesn’t need a jump start. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt and lobbyists for American car makers argue that the fuel economy standards are too onerous. They are not. Higher fuel economy standards save Americans money and reduce carbon pollution, a major contributor to climate change and lessen emissions of pollutants that harm human health and the environment. These standards should not be abandoned.
CMP says internal audit offers no explanation for high bills
Portland Press Herald - Friday, April 6, 2018 

Central Maine Power Co. says it has nearly completed its internal audit of complaints over high electric bills and can find no problem with its own systems. The power delivery company said it had finished assessing the performance of its new billing software and its smart meter network and could find no anomalies to explain bills that for some customers were two and three times the norm.
Retired Marine General Sees Climate Change as National Security Threat
Maine Public - Friday, April 6, 2018 

A retired Marine general and expert on national security is in Maine Thursday to discuss what he sees as one of the biggest threats to stability: climate change. General John Castellaw says there are currently 32 locations around the world where conflict, aggravated by climate change, is affecting U.S. interests, and he sees a few ways to restore order.
Climate change panel outlines national security threats posed by rising sea levels
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, April 5, 2018 

Members of a climate change panel told an audience of about 500 Thursday night that U.S. military bases are vulnerable to climate change, posing a threat to national security. Independent Maine Sen. Angus King, who moderated the discussion and was joined by a retired Marine lieutenant general and a film producer who documented the vulnerability of military bases in Virginia to rising sea levels, said the Pentagon has been asked by Congress to report on the long-term cost of relocating or fortifying coastal military bases in the United States and around the world.
Tons of trash going to landfills due to Hampden waste facility delay
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, April 5, 2018 

The solid waste processing and recycling facility that was slated to open April 1 in Hampden could take months longer to be operational, meaning that trash from 115 municipalities will meanwhile be dumped in landfills. Construction of the $69 million Fiberight facility off Coldbrook Road has taken longer to finish because of winter storms, Maryland-based Fiberight CEO Craig Stuart-Paul said Thursday.
Maine solar advocates powerless again as House upholds LePage’s veto by 3 votes
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, April 5, 2018 

The Maine House upheld Gov. Paul LePage’s veto of a bill on solar energy, potentially marking the third straight year of defeat for solar advocates in the Legislature. In what appears to be an annual tradition at the State House, a bill to change Maine’s solar energy policies passed both legislative chambers by healthy margins only to lose votes in the House when LePage remanded it back to the Legislature. In the most recent example, supporters fell three votes short of overriding LePage’s veto of a bill that would have prohibited utilities from requiring that solar energy users install a second meter to monitor their electricity generation.
Maine AG joins coalition suing Trump EPA for failing to control methane pollution
Maine Government News - Thursday, April 5, 2018 

Attorney General Janet Mills today joined a coalition of 15 Attorneys General and the City of Chicago in suing the Trump administration for ignoring its legal duty to control emissions of methane – an extremely potent greenhouse gas – from existing oil and gas operations. Specifically, the suit charges that Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt has violated the federal Clean Air Act by “unreasonably delaying” its obligation under the Act to control methane emissions from these operations.
St. George voters consider $2.6 million Port Clyde waterfront project
Mainebiz - Thursday, April 5, 2018 

On May 14, residents of St. George will be asked to vote on a $2.64 million rehabilitation and development project at the former St. George Marine property at 10 Cold Storage Road, in Port Clyde.

The first phase of the project was completed in 2015 when the town purchased the property which adjoins the existing town landing. The second phase has been to develop a construction plan to repair, improve and expand the property into a facility that has adequate infrastructure to adapt and support a wide range of future commercial and recreational activities.
Madawaska paper company acquires Arkansas mill as part of buying spree
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, April 5, 2018 

Twin Rivers Paper Co., a specialty paper company based in Madawaska, said Wednesday it will buy an Arkansas paper mill that makes unbleached kraft papers. The move comes after the company bought four mills, three in New York and one in Mississippi, in December 2016. Twin Rivers CEO Bob Snyder said the acquisitions are part of the paper company’s strategy to reinvent its product mix, stay profitable and keep jobs, notably in Maine, where six other paper mills went under in recent years.
Business Implications of Water Conservation Efforts: Q&A with Tom’s of Maine
Other - Thursday, April 5, 2018 

environmental Leader - Earlier this week, we published an article about Tom’s of Maine’s million-dollar spend on national water conservation projects. We touched base with the company’s senior shopper Andy Brown to talk about the business implications of the initiative.
Hancock County residents protest Brookfield’s dam operations
Mainebiz - Thursday, April 5, 2018 

Brookfield Renewable Energy Group's operation of the Union River Dam is drawing fire from Ellsworth residents and conservationists. Residents and conservation groups said dropped water levels in lakes along the river are affecting native fish. Brookfield is in the process of renewing its license with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to operate its power plant for another 30 years.
Amid Uncertainty, Acadia National Park Prepares For New Season
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, April 5, 2018 

Acadia National Park is preparing for what could be one of its biggest seasons with the opening of its main Loop Road on April 15. Workers will be preparing the road, Hulls Cove Visitor Center, Echo Lake Beach Road and Thompson Island Picnic Area for their tentative April 15 openings while the Sand Beach Entrance Station opens May 1. This could be a critical year for the park, which attracted a record 3,509,271 visitations in 2017. Park officials are due to unveil a new traffic plan in early May as the town of Bar Harbor proceeds with plans to better control its tourism impacts.
Opinion: Tariffs on newsprint from Canada put U.S. newspapers in jeopardy
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, April 5, 2018 

Every day at the News Media Alliance headquarters, a stack of newspapers arrives for myself and the staff. But with the Department of Commerce and the International Trade Commission currently considering tariffs on Canadian newsprint, those days of screen-free reading could be coming to an end. The fact that newsprint is being threatened is the work of one newsprint mill, Norpac. In August 2017, Norpac petitioned the U.S. Department of Commerce to begin applying tariffs to newsprint imported from Canada, claiming the imported paper was harming the U.S. newsprint industry. But Norpac is not acting in the best interests of newsprint consumers or the U.S. paper industry at large – it is acting in its own interest and no one else’s. ~ David Cavern, News Media Alliance
Letter: Boothbay garden expansion unnecessary
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, April 5, 2018 

Bad news for lovers of Maine’s coast and for any Mainer, inland or coastal, urban or rural, who believes that bigger is not necessarily better: The $30 million expansion of Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay will apparently go forward. This gem is fine just as it is, and facilities for visitors are entirely adequate. The expansion will enlarge the visitors’ center and gift shop, add gardens, trails and a six-story conservatory. Ill-advised and grandiose. The botanical gardens is a garden, not a mall. Environmental damage is likely to result. ~ Peg Cruikshank, Corea
Maine Calling: Green Building
Maine Public - Wednesday, April 4, 2018 

Maine has a tradition of using sustainable materials and energy-efficient measures in home construction and design. Now, more homeowners are looking for green design and more builders are incorporating environmentally conscious approaches.
First Maine reindeer in 20 years born in Winslow on Easter morning
Morning Sentinel - Wednesday, April 4, 2018 

It was a Christmas miracle, one that just so happened on Easter Sunday this year. And it happened at a petting zoo. “It was kind of a surprise,” said Ed Papsis, a co-owner of the Pony X-Press traveling petting zoo. The surprise came in the form of an unexpected birth at the farm. Specifically, a new reindeer, a dark brown female calf, the first such birth in the state in over 20 years.
Former forestry professor to lead UMaine Machias
Morning Sentinel - Wednesday, April 4, 2018 

A former University of Maine forestry faculty member and higher education administrator is the new campus leader of University of Maine at Machias, which is in its first year as a regional campus of the flagship University of Maine in Orono. Andrew Egan will start his role as the Machias vice president of academic affairs/head of campus on Aug. 13, after finishing up a one-year Peace Corps assignment teaching at a forestry college in Liberia.
Blog: Rewilding Maine’s Southern Beaches
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, April 4, 2018 

Despite many acres of wetland and estuary landscapes preserved as part of the Rachel Carson Wildlife Refuge, many of the barrier beaches in southern Maine are filled with houses, lined up cheek to jowl. The few public access points have no parking, and signs warn non-residents that “loading and unloading” are prohibited. Also remarkable were the busy construction crews building new homes and renovating others, including some that appear to have been damaged by Maine’s March Nor’easters. The landscape represents a failure in public policy: State and local government encouraging inappropriate development and using public dollars to subsidize continued use of dwellings in places increasingly vulnerable to storms and sea level rise generated by global change. It is time to begin a long and expensive process of rewilding Maine’s southern beaches. ~ Mark W. Anderson
Maine regulators approve partial subsidy to keep alive biomass power plants
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, April 4, 2018 

In a decision important to Maine’s forest and wood-energy industries, the Public Utilities Commission voted Wednesday to approve a portion of a subsidy meant to keep two stand-alone biomass power plants alive, along with the jobs linked to them. In making the determination, the three commissioners agreed with staff findings that Stored Solar LLC failed to meet all the performance metrics required to get the full subsidy, but had provided enough benefits to get 25 percent of what was possible, or roughly $1.2 million.
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