Moose, Deer, Fish, and Landowner Relations - Today at the Legislature

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The legislature’s Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee received a number of reports today on issues from moose to coldwater fisheries. Following those presentations, the committee worked on a number of bills on deer, moose, fisheries funding, and landowner relations.

Lee Kantar, deer/moose biologist for the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, presented the moose management report. The report is very interesting and I’ll write more about it later.

Preview of Coming Attractions at the Maine Legislature

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More time for writing and research this week, as the legislature’s Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee has scheduled all of it’s work on a single day, Wednesday, February 1. The entire legislature is lurching toward resolution of the supplemental budget, but you know all about that.

So let’s take a look at Wednesday’s (February 1) IFW Committee schedule. Three reports will be presented by the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, beginning at 9 am on Wednesday: one on moose management, one on cold water fisheries, and one on drinking water regulations.

Cape Elizabeth's Inn by the Sea is a Dream Destination

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Cape Elizabeth
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We could live at Cape Elizabeth’s Inn by the Sea, in a two-story suite with amazing ocean views, taking our meals at the world-class Sea Glass Restaurant, walking daily on Crescent Beach right in front of the Inn, birdwatching in the surrounding gardens, enjoying daily treatments in the luxurious spa.

 Whoops! Time to wake up from that dream!

While none of us will ever live this dream year-round, a brief visit to this dream location is possible – and we guarantee it’s an experience you will store in your memory bank and haul out often.

Read More.



Legislature Tackles Tough DIF&W Issues

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Today we heard about DIF&W’s reorganization plan, spent hours debating the needs of Maine’s Game Plan for Deer, waded through many controversial sections of DIF&W’s omnibus bill, and won support for a new landowner relations program.

John Pratte, Wildlife Planner for Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, presented a report this morning about deer population goals that was requested by the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee. It’s a sobering report, including a lengthy list of important tasks the department is currently unable to do because it doesn’t have the money.

Pratte presented the short and long-term deer population goals for each Wildlife Management District, while acknowledging, “the department can’t currently accurately assess the numbers.”

Grouse and Gill Netting - Coming Up Tomorrow

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Upland bird hunters and wild brook enthusiasts should be paying attention to this session’s DIF&W omnibus bill.

The “omnibus” bill submitted each session by the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is supposed to include only minor technical changes in laws, but it’s often used for much more than that. And I need to confess that I’ve used it in the past to make significant law changes.

So I always pay attention to the bill – largely because most other people do not. LD 1732 is this session’s omnibus bill. In its printed form, it includes only four sections, all of which seem to be minor.

DIF&W Funding Gets Batted Around

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A full morning’s work faced the legislature’s Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee as they gathered this morning at 9 am. Up first: a study group’s recommendations to reverse the state’s decline in nonresident hunters. I’ll save my report on that for my DownEast outdoor news blog tomorrow.

Apparently my news reports are aggravating to some committee members, as I was informed this morning that some members of this committee and the Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry Committee, that I also cover, instructed the committee’s clerk to inform me that I could no longer dip into the committee’s stash of candy. ARGGGHH!

I guess there’s a price to be paid for telling the truth!

Weekly Preview January 23 2012

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The legislature’s Inland Fisheries and Wildlife tackles significant issues this week, starting at 9 am on Monday (January 23) morning with a presentation of the recommendations of a study group tasked with figuring out how to reverse Maine’s decline in nonresident hunters. (See my previous January 18 blog post for more information).

Following that presentation, the committee opens public hearings on three bills. LD 1613, An Act to Strengthen the Relationship Between Land Users and Landowners” is sponsored by Rep. Andre Cushing on behalf of the Small Woodland Owners Association of Maine. Harry Vanderweide and I contracted with SWOAM last year – using a grant from the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund – to create a new landowner relations program.

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