George Smith's blog

DIF&W's Deer Task Force Hears Report

Blog Showcase Image: 

You missed the December 8 meeting of DIF&W’s Deer Task Force, but I was there to find out what has been accomplished since Governor Paul LePage announced the Maine Game Plan for Deer last spring.

I’ve written one blog post already, a brief account of the after-meeting reactions of DIF&W staff and task force members. My post disappointed John Pratte, who led the meeting and presented most of the information.

“I think you missed one of the key messages from yesterday,” Pratte emailed. “Addressing deer numbers in the north that are lower than public expectations is a long term process and commitment.”

“There are some short term projects that we are doing now to reduce winter mortality (deer/vehicle collisions, deer feeding, coyote predation, etc.) and then there are long-term projects (habitat management).

New DIFW Fisheries Director Announced

Blog Showcase Image: 

Mike Brown was announced today as the new Fisheries Division Director for the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. This is the position John Boland held until he was promoted to the top job as the leader of both the fisheries and the wildlife divisions.

Brown is switching teams after twenty years at the Department of Marine Resources where his duties included alewives, shad, and the Androscoggin River and it’s Brunswick fishway.

“He has a has a proven track record of success in his supervisory capacity and possesses high quality leadership, management, and technical skills,” Boland said of Brown. “His communication and leadership capabilities have allowed him to work effectively with stakeholders on many controversial issues in a variety of situations.”

Landowner Relations Conference Draws A Crowd

Blog Showcase Image: 

 “I don’t think the relationship between landowners and land users has ever been better.”

That comment by Tom Doak, executive director of the Small Woodland Owners Association of Maine, provided a great opening for this year’s landowner relations conference cosponsored by SWOAM and the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine.

But Doak’s comment was tempered by SAM’s executive director Dave Trahan, who said, “There has never been a strong commitment to landowner relations,” as he welcomed the group to the LL Bean Room in SAM’s Augusta conference center.

Both men are right, but Trahan aptly summarized the problem. We’ve talked about good landowner relations for decades, with little follow-up, to the point that we have jeopardized Maine’s tradition of free public access to private land. We need a little less talk, and a lot more action.

Dining in Good Company is Always a Delight

City or Town: 
Blog Showcase Image: 

We’re the fast food nation, grabbing what we can at the drive-through and eating in the car. Even many sit-down restaurants count on getting us in and out in a mere 60 minutes.

 A leisurely dinner in a comfortable relaxing setting in good company is worth savoring. And that’s just what we did at Rockland’s aptly named Main Street restaurant, In Good Company, where chef/owner Melody Wolfhertz delivers a unique and flavorful dining experience to her hometown friends, fans and visitors.

Read More.

Maine Deer Game Plan Examined by Task Force

Blog Showcase Image: 

After nearly 6 hours spent hearing a status report on the Maine Game Plan for Deer from staff of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, comments from the members of the state’s Deer Task Force were remarkably modest, if not downbeat.

“Its pretty much status quo, where we were two years ago,” said Aroostook County’s veteran DIF&W Regional Wildlife Biologist Rich Hoppe.

“I’m cautiously optimistic,” said task force member Matt Libby, a sporting camp owner, who asked some of the most pointed questions about the lack of progress in protecting deer wintering area.

“It’s coming. They’re doing something. But I know I’m too old to see it happen,” reported Don Dudley of Mattagamon, a leader of the Maine Professional Guides Association.

Here's a Toast to Geaghan's Pub and the Fireside Inn

City or Town: 
Blog Showcase Image: 

Bangor is an impressive and vibrant city, with a gorgeous riverfront, many good restaurants, and lots to do. This year we expanded beyond our traditional “go-to” eatery, the Sea Dog Tavern, to try other restaurants, including Geaghan’s Pub.

And when we travel in Maine, we always look for lodging from Bangor’s Lafayette family. They offer a range of accommodations featuring great service, plenty of amenities, and real comfort.

Read More.


This perfect ice shack could be yours!

Blog Showcase Image: 

Cianbro built the best ice shack in Maine. And you can buy it.

On November 18, The Maine Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors hosted its first annual Maine Super Shack Build at the Augusta Civic Center. I was one of the judges, along with Harry Vanderweide, editor of The Maine Sportsman, Doug Denico, Director of the Maine Forest Service, Pat Sirois, Director of the Maine Sustainable Forestry Initiative, and State Senator Tom Martin, an ABC member.

ABC Maine President James Cote escorted us through four imaginative shacks constructed by competitors RJ Grondin & Sons, IRC Industrial Roofing Companies, Cianbro, and Storey Brothers Excavation.

Site by Fieldstone Media