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.
Many Mainers will get and give Christmas gifts from L.L.Bean this week. For a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the company and all its players, turn to James Witherell’s exceptionally comprehensive book, L.L. Bean – The Man and His Company.
Published in paperback by Tilbury House of Gardiner in June of 2011, this 533-page tome is the definitive account of the rise of the nation’s favorite outdoor store, including the many stumbles along the way.
A New Hampshire lawsuit that worried Maine landowners has been dropped without a decision on the issue that concerned them.
William Jasmin of Manchester filed the lawsuit in April against Charles Corliss of Epsom, after he fell out of a tree stand on Corliss' property and was left partially paralyzed. Jasmin alleged that Corliss gave him and iRandall Howe of Manchester permission to use the tree stand.
The LePage administration has prepared a detailed plan for the governor’s proposed merger of the Departments of Agriculture and Conservation, although it has not been circulated and its existence was a surprise to some key people in those agencies whom I contacted for comments.
Born in New Sharon, Maine, close to my Mount Vernon home, Joshua Rich experienced a life I can only envy.
Rich hunted, fished, trapped, guided, and farmed. At times he owned a hotel, general store, and what may have been Maine’s first sporting camp. He served as a trial justice, pension agent, humane officer, and newspaper columnist. Well, I have that in common with Rich!
And they’re off! A flock of environmental issues are now in the air, flying toward Augusta where they will add flavor to a legislative session certain to be dominated by difficult budget issues.
Last week a task force offered up its recommendations on the Land Use Regulation Commission, falling short of what many expected to be a recommendation to abolish LURC. The proposal is thoughtful, a compromise of sorts, but still controversial and headed for a fight.