George's Outdoor News Blog Archive 2009
After ending the last fiscal year on June 30, 2009, with a $450,000 deficit, the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is off to a disastrous start in the first two months of the state’s new fiscal year.
A report provided to the legislature’s Fish and Wildlife Committee by Gilbert Bilodeau, deputy director of the Natural Resources Service Center, disclosed that the department fell $637,581 short of budgeted revenues in July and August.
Maine has done an outstanding job of buying the rights and opportunities enjoyed by the public on private lands. Through an astonishingly successful collaborative effort by state and federal agencies, the nonprofit conservation community, and advocacy groups representing environmentalists, sportsmen, and other outdoor recreationists, Maine’s outdoor heritage is being secured for future generations.
The achievement includes both fee ownership purchases of land and the less traditional purchase of conservation easements.
Ecological reserves may not be a hot topic in your household, but in Maine’s conservation, recreation, and landowner communities, they get a lot of attention.
On September 17, the Conservation Recreation Forum received a status report on the designation, monitoring, and uses of eco reserves in Maine from Andy Cutko of the Department of Conservation.
Hunting is the safest thing you can do outdoors in Maine. A lot of people don’t believe that, including hunters. But it’s true.
Hunters are justifiably proud of the work we’ve done to make hunting safe, particularly for nonparticipants. In my fifty years of hunting in Maine, hunters have killed only two nonhunters.
Each of those deaths shook us to the very core of our hunting heritage, and reminded us of the tremendous responsibility each of us carries into the woods each fall to hunt safely.
I am very pleased to announce that Wildfire will be back on the air and the Web beginning Saturday, September 26.
Wildfire is the only TV talk show focused on hunting, fishing, conservation, and environmental issues, hosted by Harry Vanderweide, editor of The Maine Sportsman, and me. It enjoyed a ten-year run on Maine commercial and cable TV stations before going off the air last fall due to a drop in advertising revenue.
The enemy can be a beautiful temptress. But shame on you for bringing it into your neighborhood.
Yes, that tall magenta-colored perennial dresses up your stream, but purple loosestrife is a bad invasive species.
“The problem is that it is very aggressive in wetlands and out-competes and replaces native species like cattails and native grasses,” reported Lois Stack of the University of Maine Cooperative Extension. “It is changing the whole system because it doesn’t just co-exist. It takes over.”
Have you shared a significant portion of your vegetable garden with a fat and sassy woodchuck? Did you look out the kitchen window one morning recently and think a howitzer had hit the lawn? Has your attic been invaded by red squirrels and your basement by field mice?
Is a very fat raccoon knocking down your bird feeders and feasting on those expensive sunflower seeds?
It is the biggest battle you never heard of. At least it’s the biggest battle if you believe Maine’s Land Use Regulation Commission (LURC) has any control over what happens in the “North Woods.”
On September 12 Maine game wardens will be prohibited by law from stopping ATV riders without “reasonable and articulable suspicion” that a violation of law has occurred.
Linda and I were exploring the south end of Lubec, as far Down East as you can go in this country, on the sunny morning of August 10, one of those rare gems when the fog has taken a day off, and we stumbled onto something amazing behind the town’s water treatment plant: a boardwalk and beach trail provided by the Land for Maine’s Future program.
I’ve been a very active supporter of LMF but didn’t know this particular trail was available. It took us out onto an immense sand bar and all through an adjacent wetland. The trail ended at a school.