As the new executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine moved into my Augusta office yesterday and I packed out my prints, photographs, buck deer mount, commendations, and personal stuff, it was time to reflect on my eighteen years in this job. Here are a few things I learned, some the hard way.
The Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine (SAM) asked Maine’s gubernatorial candidates twenty-five probing questions in a lengthy questionnaire. In previous blog entries we’ve been reporting the candidate’s answers, to help inform your vote on November 2.
Here’s what the candidates said on key hunting and fishing issues:
Four of the five candidates for governor have pledged to support a Constitutional amendment that would provide a guaranteed source of public funding to Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.
Most Mainers list outdoor activities as major contributors to their quality of life, but few will vote on November 2 with much understanding of what the gubernatorial candidates will do to protect and enhance our outdoor heritage.
Everyone likes to get good grades. That’s one reason the Environmental Scorecard issued by the Maine League of Conservation Voters (MLCV) has been generating news, comments, and controversy, since it began rating legislators in 1986.
The Scorecard has been a political football, too, because Democrats generally get good grades while Republicans anchor the bottom of the grading scale. That infuriates GOP legislators who believe the scorecard is biased.
The face of Maine conservation could change dramatically if federal officials embrace a proposal embodied in the Keeping Maine’s Forests initiative. The initiative was created by a Steering Committee of 23 individuals representing state agencies, landowners, and conservation groups and submitted to federal officials on August 18.
For at least a decade ecotourism has been touted as the future of Maine’s tourist-based economy. But the delivery on that promise has fallen far short of predictions.
A new report issued by the Maine Center for Economic Policy (MECEP) once again touts ecotourism as the road to prosperity for rural Maine. The report takes a swipe at traditional outdoor activities while suggesting that an investment of $100 million in “new destination development” will be needed to serve what it calls “experiential tourists.”
They’ve caught a big one in Oquossoc and put their catch on display for all of us to enjoy. You’ll want to get up there and see this.
The catch of a lifetime is the Rangeley Outdoor Sporting Heritage Museum, constructed in the small village of Oquossoc just ten minutes west of Rangeley. It’s an astonishing collection that celebrates the region’s fly fishing history.
Conservation license plates play an important role in funding key projects at the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and the Bureau of Parks and Lands. In these days of diminished General Fund support for these programs, those who, literally, step up to the plate, are making significant contributions.
Colonel Joel Wilkinson of the Maine Warden Service recently acted quickly to turn a bad situation into a good learning opportunity, heading off an escalating cascade of angry emails by calling in all interests for a discussion and resolution of the issues.
In the process, Wilkinson changed the topic from “invasive wardens” to “invasive plants,” while demonstrating some flexibility in fixing a few glitches and misunderstandings.