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 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

Blog Showcase Image: 

 “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.

New Group Tackles Native Brook Trout Issues

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 The first meeting of a new group focused on protection of our native brook trout was very encouraging. The group was organized by the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife in reaction to two legislative bills that I proposed.

One bill called for protecting tributaries to brook trout waters on the state’s Heritage List, and the other bill would have placed more brook trout waters on that list. Although DIF&W originally opposed both bills, they eventually stepped up and promised to achieve those goals and report back to the legislature’s IFW Committee in January on their progress. The agency’s written memo to the IFW Committee included a promise to establish a Heritage Brook Trout and Charr Working Group.

Although the promise was made in early May, the group’s first meeting was not scheduled until August 31, leaving little time to achieve the department’s promises.

I am honored to receive this award

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 I am very honored to be receiving an award at this year’s Evening for the Environment sponsored by the Maine Conservation Voters. The award is the 2017 Harrison L. Richardson Environmental Leadership Award for “writing, speaking, advocating, and inspiring all of us to care for the nature of Maine and her wild places.”

 

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