Deer and Fisheries Habitat Need LMF Boost

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Maine’s conservation stream of habitat projects will dry up if the legislature fails to support a new bond issue for the Land for Maine’s Future today. The modest $5 million bond isn’t enough, but it will keep this program – immensely popular with the people of Maine and important to our outdoor economy, especially in rural Maine – in business.

At the same time the legislature is acting on the LMF bond today, in Bangor the Forest Legacy Advisory Committee will hear about an exciting new project that focuses on critical habitat for Whitetailed deer and native brook trout – precisely what we hope LMF will do over the next few years, if it has any funding.

This project, now in negotiations between the Trust for Public Land and the Maine landowner, may be jeopardized without LMF money to provide necessary matching funds for the federal Forest Legacy funding TPL hopes to use to purchase this land.

My Plea for Rural Maine

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Today in a speech to the Rockland Kiwanis, at a luncheon at the Samoset Resort (pictured above), I presented a plea for rural Maine. Here's the speech.

Thanks to Gordon Page for inviting me and to all of you who showed up even though you knew I was your speaker. I’m going to leave time for questions, so get them ready. If you don’t ask questions, I can and will just keep on talking!

 How many of you were in the Rockland area in the early 1970s? I was here too, as a management trainee for Depositor’s Trust Company. The bank was in the beautiful old corner building that now houses an art gallery, and moved up and across the street while I was working there.

Maine legislature tackles key issues this week

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While most observers will be focused on this week’s difficult debate over a proposed supplemental state budget, I’ll be there to follow other issues. Some are related to the budget. Awaiting action are four fish and wildlife bills that need funding.

Previously, the legislature’s Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee informed the Appropriations Committee that its highest priority of the four bills is LD 372, An Act to Reduce Deer Predation. That bill calls for $100,000 each year for three years for the agency’s predator control program.

The other three bills that will fail if not funded are these.

LD 637 is a resolve that increases the amount of money tagging agents receive from $1 to $2 for each $5 tag purchased by a hunter. That will result in the loss of $30,000 a year for DIF&W, which supports the bill.

East Wind Inn is a Summer Pleasure

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Tenants Harbor
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We’ve been “summering” at the East Wind Inn in Tenants Harbor for many years, spending a couple of days pretending to be wealthy summer visitors to Maine, luxuriating in the simple pleasures of the sea.

Innkeeper Tim Watts keeps it simple. He once told a Down East writer, “I want this to be as unlike a hotel or motel as it can be. There isn’t someone in your face all the time, turning down your sheets or following you around.”

He’s telling the truth. On our most recent visit last October, we didn’t even see Tim, although he was there!

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It's Getting Tougher To Own Wolf Hybrids in Maine

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He came from the left, parallel to the stone wall, head down, eyes focused intently on my turkey decoys. He didn’t see me hiding behind the stonewall. About 10 feet from the decoys, he decided they weren’t real turkeys, and without breaking stride, he did a U-turn and reversed course.

The coyote’s coat was a beautiful golden color. I know some readers will ask why I didn’t shoot him. There are several reasons, including the fact I had only #4 shot in my gun, and I was working on Tom turkeys that were gobbling both in back and in front of me. And truthfully, I didn’t want to.

I understand the terrible impact the animal that Gene LeTourneau always insisted should have been called a brush wolf has had on Maine’s Whitetail deer population. But I choose not to demonize the beast, just as I choose not to demonize black bears that also have a significantly negative impact on the deer herd.

Controversy Brewing About Youth Deer Hunt Proposal

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In a shocking development, the Fish and Wildlife Department is advertising a rule change to allow Youth Day hunters to shoot does in Wildlife Management Districts that have no any-deer permits.

This has been a constant and controversial issue for years. Leo Kieffer of Caribou quit his position on the Fish and Wildlife Advisory Council in 2010 when he became irate that DIF&W abandoned it’s support for a proposal to allow Youth Day hunters to shoot does in WMD’s without any-deer permits.

At that time I wrote a SAM News article announcing Kieffer’s resignation and exploring his complaint, and even my article turned out to be controversial!

Historic Hallowell Has It All

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Our 24-hour vacation in historic Hallowell had it all: elegant lodging at Maple Hill Farm Bed & Breakfast Inn, a superb dinner at the Liberal Cup (pictured above), and a morning spent in the town’s many interesting shops.

If you haven’t spent any time lately in Hallowell, you may be unaware of just how much Maine’s smallest city has to offer.

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