Blogs

Brook trout bill continues to stir debate

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The effort at the legislature to extend protection of Heritage brook trout continues to stir debate, focused on disappointment with the opposition and testimony of Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

Today I’m sharing testimony that Gary Corson provided to the IFW Committee after the hearing. Gary was listening to the hearing online and was deeply disappointed in the department’s testimony offered by Fisheries Division Director Francis Brautigam.

Gary was the driving force behind the successful effort by the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, when I was SAM’s executive director, and its Fisheries Initiative Committee to win legislative approval for SAM’s bill to name our native brook trout the state’s Heritage fish and protect them in nearly 300 waters that had never been stocked. DIF&W also opposed that bill.

Foraging Bill Angers Pickers Who Feel Entitled to Crops on Private Lands

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 My bill to require permission from landowners before we pick their mushrooms, fiddleheads, or other crops has drawn a strong and angry response from people who feel entitled to do this without permission.

Senator Tom Saviello sponsored LD 128 at my request and has taken a lot of flack for it. I have spent much of my life advocating for more respect for private landowners and better relationships between those of us who recreate on private land and the owners of that land. We’ve made a lot of progress, but still have constant complaints and problems.

It is very irritating to find that someone has grabbed the fiddleheads or mushrooms off my woodlot before I got to them. And clearly, anyone who is on my land to commercially harvest something ought to be required to have my permission.

DIFW testimony on brook trout bill was embarrassing and inaccurate

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DIFW testimony on brook trout bill was embarrassing and inaccurate

The testimony of Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife on my bill to add new protections to our Heritage native brook trout waters was embarrassing, inaccurate, and very disappointing.

Better protection for native brook trout gets lots of support at legislature

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I was really pleased by the testimony and support of my bill to expand protection of our native brook trout in Maine’s Heritage waters. But the opposition of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife was extremely disappointing.

Let’s start with the good news. LD 1018, sponsored by Representative Russell Black at my request, was supported by Maine Audubon, Trout Unlimited, the Maine Professional Guides Association, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, The Nature Conservancy, Emily Bastian who directed Maine Audubon’s remote trout pond surveys for 5 years, Bob Mallard a former fly fishing shop owner who now writes for and edits national fly fishing magazines, and other anglers who value these very special fish.

Noble House Inn is historic, elegant, and welcoming

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Bridgton
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 Linda

 

            This was the fourth time we have stayed at Bridgeton’s Noble House Inn, each time enjoying a different room. Each room has its own personality. The Rugosa room overlooked the large backyard. The Noble room had a four poster bed and was on the second floor. The Pine Forest room looked out at – of course – the forest of pine trees.

Important conference scheduled on Lyme Disease

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 An impressive list of speakers will participate in an April 29 conference on Lyme disease at the Wiscasset Community Center (242 Gardiner Road). And the really good news is that the conference is free and open to the public. All you need to do is show up for the conference which goes from 8 am to 5 pm.

My columns on Lyme draw lots of readers, so I know you are concerned about this growing problem, as I am. I encourage you to read this article from a recent edition of the Working Waterfront’s newsletter (a publication of the Island Institute) about ticks and Lyme disease on Maine’s islands.

The Wiscasset conference is sponsored by the Midcoast Lyme Support & Education group, a super-active organization that supplies me with lots of important news and information.

Sportsman’s Alliance proposes hike in fishing license fees.

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             The Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine is proposing a hike in fees for fishing licenses to fund a new “Maine Outdoor Programs and Activities Fund.”

            SAM’s bill, LD 1179, has not yet been scheduled for a public hearing by the legislature’s Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee. If the bill is enacted, resident fishing licenses will cost $26 and nonresident licenses $66. That’s a $1 increase in the resident fee and $2 in the nonresident fee.

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