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.

Maine’s native brook trout lose legislative battle

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Maine’s native brook trout lose legislative battle

 

               An attempt to protect the tributaries to Heritage waters, where Maine’s precious native brook trout are protected, has failed. This is a long story but I will give you a short version.

 

Birds Need Lots Of Different Forest Habitats

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In the recent edition of the Maine Woodland Owners’ newsletter, Bob Duchesne published a very informative column about the different forest habitats needed by our birds.

 

Bob is our state’s best birding guide and has published Maine birding guides. He’s also a longtime legislator – for sure, one of our best.

 

I got permission from Bob and MWO to share that column with you. Here it is.

 

Bob’s column

 

Please help us keep Maine clean

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I hope you will join us in a project called Keep Maine Clean, created to remove litter from our waterways, woods, and roadsides.

 

 

A couple years ago the legislature, in response to legislation I proposed, expanded the landowner relations program at the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, by including the Keep Maine Clean project. Unfortunately, the agency only agreed to do the project in the woods, not along roadsides.

 

 

Woodlot Project Needs Your Support

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My project to donate my woodlot to the Kennebec Land Trust, with a focus on using it to teach kids about wildlife habitat, is off to a great start. Thanks to many generous friends, we’ve raised $14,000 of the $20,000 needed for the project.

If you have not yet donated, please consider doing that. Your check should be payable to Kennebec Land Trust, specifying that it is for the Ezra Smith Wildlife Conservation Area. Mail your check to KLT, 331 Main Street, Winthrop, ME 04352.

Years ago, I dedicated my woodlot to my dad, Ezra Smith, and it sports a sign: Ezra Smith Wildlife Conservation Area. Now that designation will be permanent.

Follow me to Isle au Haut

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When I saw the title of this book, The Lighthouse & Me, I was hooked. After all, my great grandfather was the keeper at the West Quoddy Head Lighthouse for 32 years, and Linda and I love that very beautiful and special place in Lubec.

 

Jeffrey Burke fell in love with the lighthouse on Isle au Haut when he and his wife visited there, and he knew, immediately, that this place should be his home. They purchased the keeper’s house and turned it into an inn. And later, they led a drive to save the lighthouse.

 

Trout poster honors me – a big surprise!

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I was surprised and very honored when the Maine chapter of Native Fish Coalition dedicated their State Heritage Fish Water sign project to me.

I am pleased to be a member of NFC's Maine Advisory Council, and of course have been a long time advocate for Maine's wild native brook trout and Arctic charr. But I did not expect this wonderful recognition of my work.

Legislature fishes for brook trout protection

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On Tuesday (February 6), the legislature’s Fish and Wildlife Committee will tackle the issue of adding new protections for our native brook trout.

 

Last year in response to a bill that Representative Russell Black sponsored my request, the department promised the IFW committee that it would work to achieve the goals of that bill, including speeding up the official listing of trout waters for protection, and new protections for the tributaries to our Heritage waters where  native brookies are protected.

 

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