Fights over fish and game are not new!

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Common Lands, Common People, by Richard W. Judd, is a fascinating account of the origins of conservation in Northern New England. Published by Harvard University Press in 1997, Judd’s book has been an important reference for me for the last 15 years.

There are all kinds of lessons for us in this book, on contemporary issues from commercial fishing to tourism, and of course many impacting hunting and fishing. I will share these, along with passages from the book, with you from time to time over the next few months.

Let’s start with this, from a section titled “Farmers, Fish, and Tourism,” about “a sharp debate over game and fish management in the 1890s.”

Fabulous Food in Farmington

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Farmington
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 Linda

                The Greenwood Dining Room at the Stone Hearth Cafe is Farmington’s newest eatery. Even though the Dining Room has only been open for two months, things are running smoothly and the food is creative and inviting.  Chef Doug Winslow has been in Maine’s restaurant business for decades and his expertise certainly shines through in his food.

                As you peruse the menu you can see that they offer variety - there’s something for everyone. They take advantage of fresh produce, are sure to include vegetarian and gluten free offerings, and also have a nice selection of meat and seafood entrees. You can even order their wood-fired pizza from the Stone Hearth in the same building, and it will come with a small salad. The Greenwood and the Stone Hearth share the same kitchen.

Lewiston's Forage Market will surprise you

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Lewiston
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 Linda

                Downtown Lewiston now boasts many great eateries and shops and the newest one we’ve discovered is Forage Market. We popped in for a quick look several months ago after a friend recommend it. We were impressed with their focus on locally farmed produce and dairy, not to mention the wood fired bagels and breads, (I counted 12 varieties on their website), made there. So on a recent Sunday we headed there for lunch before a visit to The Public Theater.

        One step inside told us the market has a strong following. It attracts Bates College students and patrons who look for great, freshly made food. A long line of customers were ready to place orders and all the tables were full when we arrived. They all seemed to know how to go about it. We did not, and needed to head up to the menu board to get a grasp of what was being offered that day.

Great Octoberfest celebration at Brunswick Tavern

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Brunswick
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Octoberfest’s wine and beer dinner at the Brunswick Tavern brought back fond memories.

Linda

                An invitation to The Brunswick Tavern to celebrate their 3rd annual Beer vs Wine dinner was a welcome one. But the fact that this one focused on German Food and was celebrating Octoberfest made it even better for me. Fond memories of visiting Munich, Germany many years ago during Octoberfest came back.

                I love German food and now find myself craving sauerkraut. I grew lots of cabbage this year with that in mind and have preserved a gallon of this delicious stuff for the winter ahead.

A Life Lived Outdoors is a great Christmas gift

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 I’ve been getting lots of requests for signed copies of my book, A Life Lived Outdoors, to be given as Christmas gifts. The book was published this year by Islandport Press in Yarmouth. My pastor even purchased 6 of the books for presents to her family members in Idaho.

You don’t have to contact me to buy the book. It’s in most bookstores and available online at islandportpress.com and elsewhere. But if you want a signed copy, let me know and I’ll get one to you. Email your request to georgesmithmaine@gmail.com.

Nine bills proposed for 2015 legislative session

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 I'll be proposing nine bills for consideration in the 2015 legislative session and am currently seeking sponsors for the bills. Over the next month, in this news blog, I'll tell you more about each bill and give you a chance to express your opinions through my Sportsmen Say survey on my website.

But for now, here's the list, with a brief explanation of each bill.

Enjoy an African safari – without leaving home!

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 I’ve always wanted to visit South Africa to see all the amazing animals there, and I will probably never get there, but Vonne Martin’s new book, Southern Africa Safari, published by AuthorHouse, gives me an astonishing, spectacular, close-up look at the animals I’d hoped to see in person.

Martin has been an underwater photographer for 35 years, and this book represents her first photography adventure on land. It’ll be tough to top this, an over-sized limited edition account of her month in the grasslands of South Africa, Botswana, and Zambia.

“It is my hope that the images of the magnificent creatures inspire readers to fall in love with the different species and become involved in conservation efforts,” Martin said. “This was a labor of love and it added so much meaning to my life.”

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