George's Outdoor News

George’s new outdoor issues blog. He goes all over the state. He listens. And he reports on issues of concern to sportsmen, conservationists, and environmentalists.

50 Things you must do in Maine.

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           You’ll want to check this book out. Literally. Of the 50 Things To Do In Maine Before You Die, a wonderful book by Nancy Griffin, I’ve checked off 40.

I’ll talk about my illness on Maine Calling on Friday

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On Friday, from 1 pm to 2 pm, on Maine Public Radio’s Maine Calling, I’ll be talking about my illness, ALS, with MPBN’s Jennifer Rooks. Nell Davies from the ALS Northern New England Association will join me.

If you can, please listen to the show, and consider calling in with a question.


Time to tell you about my illness

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           At first, I was devastated. After a lengthy period of constantly twitching muscles and lots of tests, my neurologist told me I have ALS, Lou Gehrig’s illness. I sat next to Linda for a minute in silence. Then I began asking a lot of questions, all of which Dr. Stephanie Lash, my neurologist at Pen Bay in Rockport, answered with kindness and concern. Dr. Lash is extraordinary and I am lucky to have her as my neurologist.

Portage Lake stocking proposal is denied

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 A contentious proposal to stock hatchery fish in Portage Lake in Aroostook County has been denied. While the proposal came from a DIFW Regional Fisheries biologist, with support from most of the agency’s other fisheries biologists, it was sharply criticized by a few biologists.

Perhaps the most significant criticism came from Merry Gallagher, the department’s lead brook trout biologist. Here’s what Merry wrote:

Take a fun ride down Route One

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 Subtitled “A quirky road trip from Maine to Connecticut,” Dan Tobyne’s book Route 1 – New England, isn’t what I would call quirky. I call it lots of fun!

Tobyne is a photographer and writer from South Hamilton, Massachusetts, who had the great idea of traveling the length of Route 1 in New England, taking pictures and writing about the places he visited.

And I have to say, as a travel writer myself, he did discover a lot of my favorite places along the way in Maine. I have traveled a lot of Route One myself from Fort Kent, Maine to Key West, Florida, and it is an adventure for sure.

Fascinating stories and stunning photos of species hundreds of millions of years old

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 Kimberly Ridley’s book, Extreme Survivors, Animals That Time Forgot, published in November by Tilbury House Publishers, is fascinating, full of stunning photos and stories about species that have somehow survived for hundreds of millions of years. I’ve poured through the book three times so far, captivated by the photos.

Did you know that some dinosaurs became birds?

I certainly wish I’d caught a Lungfish, considering that species has been on earth for 300 million years! Perhaps I should have been fishing with a velvet worm, which has been around for 500 million years. Of course Lungfish can survive for more than three years without eating, so catching them on a baited hook would be pretty darn difficult.

And I thought humans were an old species, but we’re fairly new, having been here for only 200,000 years.

Legislature tackles moose permit and comprehensive license issues

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The legislature’s Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee will work on three pieces of legislation on January 4. The work session starts at 1 PM in room 206 of the Cross Building.

LD 768, An Act to Establish Comprehensive Hunting and Hunting/Fishing Licenses, was sponsored by Representative Gary Hilliard at my request. At the end of this column I’ll give you the testimony that I presented when a public hearing on the bill was held last year.

 LD 630, An Act to Expand Opportunities for Most Permit Winners to Swap Their Permits, also sponsored by Rep. Hilliard, got a lot of discussion last year but the committee couldn’t come to agreement on the issue. The bill repeals the prohibition on including money in the swap of most moose permits. It also requires DIF W to establish an online transfer system for most permits through which transfers of designated hunting areas, zones or seasons may be accomplished.

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