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.
You might say the ducks are flying under the radar right now, at least when it comes to a proposal to sharply diminish the protection for their nesting habitat.
But Augusta insiders are paying attention and the battle lines are being drawn on another important environmental issue that could break out into a high flying affair.
Representative Bob Duchesne offers a good history of the issue in his Bangor Daily News birding column on November 25.
The Maine Warden Service continues to serve all the people of Maine, while sportsmen pay all the bills. The lack of public support for this important agency continues to anger sportsmen and hamper the department.
Another good example of this problem occurred on Sunday, November 13, when the Warden Service coordinated a search in Androscoggin County for a Lewiston woman missing since July.
They’ve invaded your yard, your favorite fishing water, your fields and forests. It’s long since past the time for you to take up your swords – and fishing rods – and become a warrior against these invaders.
Or perhaps it’s too late.
Credit goes today to our friends at the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge for their new Weed Warriors Program. In addition to battling invasive plants on the refuge, they’ve taken their campaign outside to the public to encourage refuge neighbors to join the fight.