George Smith's blog

Culverts Matter – To Brook Trout – but the money has run out

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 A new $400,000 culvert has been installed on the Hampshire Road in Brownfield. Sebago Chapter of Trout Unlimited worked with the town to obtain a $95K grant from the Maine Water Bond Program and a $100K grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s New England Forests and Rivers Fund. Sebago TU also supplied an additional $10K grant to help pay to remove a small upstream remnant dam.

Frank Day, Public Works Director of the Town of Brownfield, offered: "The Town of Brownfield sees the grant money as a real blessing. This let us both replace the culvert and restore the stream for the fish and wildlife. Without it, we would have been eventually forced to close the road or go with a quick fix that did nothing to resolve the problems the old culvert created. We are grateful to TU, NFWF and the State for making the project possible."

The Bradley Inn is a wonderful place in a wonderful place

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 George

           I love their story. Tony and Laura Moskwa checked out more than 40 inns on the east coast before purchasing the Bradley Inn in New Harbor. And they love our state, as does their son Ross, who decided to move here with them, to serve as a chef in the Inn’s public restaurant. They are all super friendly hosts, truly enjoying visiting with each and every guest.

Maine guide still finding plastic inside his fish

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 Last year Chris Leo of Mercer, a Maine guide for 34 years, sent me a plastic worm he found inside a large brook trout he’d caught in a water holding both trout and bass. It reminded me of photos an angler submitted to the legislature’s Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee a few years ago, of the bottom of a lake covered in fishing lures. That helped get a new law enacted banning the sale and use of lead sinkers.

A few weeks ago, Leo sent me another piece of plastic (seen in the photo with this column) with this note: “Last Sunday I caught a splake from Jamie’s Pond with another plastic inside it.  It is VERY scented. The artificial was doubled up in the emaciated fish’s innards.

White-tailed deer are a threat to millions of forest acres

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 “White-tailed deer overabundance is a threat to millions of acres of forest land in the Northeastern United States.” That first sentence in a report from the U.S. Forest Service really grabbed my attention. And as I read the report, I was even more astonished.

White-tailed Deer in Northeastern Forests: Understand and Assessing Impacts, was prepared by Thomas J. Rawinski and tells a tale of massive destruction by deer in the northeastern United States. Deer have been particularly devastating to forests in Pennsylvania. “Now, because of deer, many forests are disintegrating” notes the report.

White-tailed deer are a threat to millions of forest acres

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 “White-tailed deer overabundance is a threat to millions of acres of forest land in the Northeastern United States.” That first sentence in a report from the U.S. Forest Service really grabbed my attention. And as I read the report, I was even more astonished.

White-tailed Deer in Northeastern Forests: Understand and Assessing Impacts, was prepared by Thomas J. Rawinski and tells a tale of massive destruction by deer in the northeastern United States. Deer have been particularly devastating to forests in Pennsylvania. “Now, because of deer, many forests are disintegrating” notes the report.

Two Tents by Jim Haskell

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 I finished the Appalachian Trail at the top of Mt Katahdin. Of course, I started that hike at Katahdin Stream at the bottom of the mountain, so I didn’t hike the entire AT!

Thankfully, I don’t have to hike the entire trail because I experienced that in Jim Haskell’s great book, Two Tents, published by Maine Authors Publishing. The title references a mistake Jim made on one of his hikes, lugging two tents up into the mountains.

Jim, a Maine native, was not a “through hiker.” He completed the 2200 mile hike in sections over a 21 year period. And he was inspired to do that at the age of 9, when he and his Dad and older siblings climbed Mount Katahdin. Yes, Mount Katahdin can be inspiring!

I’ll bet you don’t know what gleaning is

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You may not know what gleaning is, but you’ll want to participate in Maine gleaning day, just one of the many interesting and exciting projects in the new  fall edition of the Sustainable Maine quarterly newsletter, a project of the Natural Resources Council of Maine.

In the newsletter, which you can access here, you’ll read about the state’s effort to nip nips, and a foam and bagging initiative in Belfast. I was very impressed with the report on a group of 30 stakeholders working to reduce food waste.

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