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.
A legislative working group is about to launch a torpedo that could explode when it hits the legislature in January.
LD 1477, The Real Property Protection Bill, could not muster enough votes for enactment in 2011, but it was sent to a special “Regulatory Takings Subcommittee” for more work.
From landowner relations to fish hatcheries to funding and reorganization of Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, the 2012 legislative session will tackle a lot of issues of interest to sportsmen and conservationists.
Commissioner Chandler Woodcock of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife has completed work on a major reorganization of his agency. His plan awaits approval of Governor Paul LePage and is sure to be a major topic during the upcoming legislative session.
This could have been predicted.
Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and Maine Legislators targeted coyotes as a major culprit in the devastating decrease in the state’s deer population.
The department created an ambitious Maine Game Plan for Deer, designed to rebuild the herd. It too targets coyotes for intensive hunting and trapping. The legislature enacted sweeping legislation to beef up the game plan, even going so far as to extend the coyote night-hunting season.
The message could not be clearer: hunters must kill more coyotes.
Apparently Maine isn’t the only place where deer are not seen as much as they have been in the past – at least on the roadways.
State Farm Insurance recently reported that deer-vehicle collisions in the United States decreased for the third consecutive year. And the downturn is accelerating, declining in 2010 at a rate that was three times as large as during the previous two years combined.
Of course we’re still colliding with the nation’s number one game animal an awful lot.
The trees may be leafless and the temperature a bit chilly, but Maine mushrooms – at least some of them – haven’t gotten the message yet that winter is approaching.
There is still time to gather and preserve some of our tastiest mushrooms, including matsutake and maitake (Hen of the Woods).
Our Mount Vernon friend and mushroom expert, Barbara Skapa, called my wife Linda a short while ago and took her to a spot close to our home to identify and pick matsutake and maitake mushrooms.
Mix a room full of Italian wines, savory seafood dishes, fabulous chefs, commercial fishermen and members of Maine’s growing aquaculture industry, lots of media, a good band, and the paying public, and you get a seafood stew worthy of Maine’s food and foodie capitol: Portland.
Down East is a “presenting sponsor” of Harvest on the Harbor, a major food and wine experience spread over three days, October 20 – 22, at Ocean Gateway in Portland.
Every Maine citizen – from kids to seniors – should be familiar with firearms. Our state may have the highest per capita ownership of firearms in the nation.
You are going to encounter guns sometime in your life if you live here. Rather than fear them, you should fire them.
Getting to know guns will be good for you, and fun. The best approach is to take a lesson from an expert. It’s the safest way to shoot and a great learning experience.