George's Outdoor News Blog Archive January, 2012
See a Maine black bear! Live! In her den! With her cubs! Right now!
Well, right now she’s sleeping, but the cubs are lively, the noise is amazing, and the camera takes you right into the den, a unique and exciting experience.
The Governor’s Conference on Tourism was at times interesting, entertaining, and sobering. Held yesterday at the Grand Summit Resort Hotel at Sunday River, the conference offered a mix of speeches, awards, and seminars, as well as a mixed report on the status of the state’s tourism industry.
The challenge of reversing a 60 percent decline in Maine’s nonresident hunters was tossed to a Task Force last year by the legislature, and today that Task Force reported back with a list of thoughtful recommendations.
Tenley Bennett, an Aroostook County member of the Non-Resident Hunter Task Force, presented the group’s report. Tenley, who manages a sporting camp with her husband Wayne, said, ”It has become increasingly difficult, if not impossible, to operate traditional sporting camps and lodges as a primary means of income.”
Members of Maine’s tourism industry are reeling from a proposal to overhaul the state’s tourism office and programs. The proposal was announced hastily and without consultation with the office’s Tourism Commission — which would be abolished if the proposal is enacted by the legislature.
There are over 100,000 small woodlot owners in Maine, responsible for a significant portion of the state’s wood supply and recreational property. Of special interest to all who enjoy outdoor recreation is the Maine tradition of free access to private land for hunting, fishing, hiking, and other outdoor fun. These are the folks who provide it!
Finally, we have snow! And when you get out there on your snowshoes to enjoy this abbreviated winter season, you’ll see lots of bird nests.
Avian Architecture will identify the birds that made those nests, and give you lots of fascinating insights about how those birds design, engineer, and build the nests. And I’m not exaggerating when I use the word fascinating. I found this book, written by Peter Goodfellow and published by Princeton University Press in 2011, to be amazing.
Good things are happening on two controversial issues headed to the Maine Legislature this session. One concerns waterfowl nesting habitat; the other is all about governance of the North Woods by the Land Use Regulation Commission.
A task force handed the hot LURC potato last session performed very well, diffusing this volatile issue with a sensible examination of the key issues and problems, and issuing a series of well-received recommendations, only two of which are still generating serious opposition.
From my monthly Quotable Sportsman column in The Maine Sportsman, here are some of my favorite quotes of 2011.