I hid in Frankie's Place during the Christmas ice storm

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When Jim Sterba handed me a copy of his autobiographical book, Frankie’s Place, shortly after we finished taping an episode of Wildfire last August, and said something modest like he hoped I’d like it – it was about their summer place on Mount Desert Island - I was skeptical. In fact, I put it aside until the Christmas ice storm when I was perusing my shelf of unread books and came across it.

Jim was a foreign correspondent for decades for the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. He was on Wildfire, the TV talk show I host with Harry Vanderweide, to discuss his terrific book, Nature Wars. You can find my review of that book in this section of my website. And you can access that Wildfire episode on Maine Audubon’s website.

Maine’s deer habitat goals are unrealistic and unattainable report forestry experts

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A new study by several forestry experts at the University of Maine is depressing for all who are counting on more deer in the northern forest.

“State-level management goals for white-tailed deer may need to be readjusted to reflect the profound habitat changes that have occurred on commercially managed forestlands in the Northern Forest Region from 1975-2007,” is just one of several discouraging recommendations and findings in this report.

Titled the “Effectiveness of State Regulations to Protect Deer Wintering Habitats in Maine,” the study focused on whether or not the designation of LURC-zoned deeryards achieved desired objectives during the period 1975-2007.

Principal investigator Daniel Harrison, a widely respected longtime professor and forestry expert at UMO’s Wildlife Ecology Department, was assisted by several co-investigators in the School of Forest Resources. The study was funded by the Maine Cooperative Forestry Research Unit at the University of Maine.

The Travelin Maine(rs) Target Tuscany

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 The Travelin Maine(rs) love to travel inside and outside Maine, and now, they’ll be telling you about their out-of-state journeys from Tuscany to Texas.



                The pace of life in Italy’s Tuscany Region brings us back often. This is not “slow travel.” This is slow living.

                Italians shop daily for food, focusing on fresh produce, pasta, meats, and cheeses. The country shuts down for 3 hours every afternoon for a leisurely lunch, nap, and relaxation. The evening meal doesn’t begin until 7:30 pm or later and lasts for hours.

Trips and Treats for 2014

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 Yesterday you distributed your gifts to others. Today it's time to plan your own trips and treats for the new year!

Read More.


Imagine getting all of Maine’s hunting seasons and bag limits for just $38!

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 It could be a belated Christmas gift from the legislature to Mainers who hunt: a comprehensive hunting license costing just $38 and offering all seasons and bag limits. But this remarkable opportunity will probably be lost if members of the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee don’t hear from you.

This morning Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife emailed a survey on this issue to licensed hunters who shared their email address with the agency. IT IS CRITICALLY IMPORTANT THAT YOU COMPLETE AND RETURN THIS SURVEY IMMEDIATELY!

The results of the survey will be reported to the IF&W Committee when it works on this bill, LD 153, on Thursday, January 9, at 1 pm in Room 206 of the Cross State Office Building. The bill was sponsored at my request by Representative Dennis Keschl and carried over from the last session.

Bill Swan

D. Dauphinee catches the big one with his novel The River Home

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 Most of us who write want to write a novel, plan to write a novel, have tried to write a novel, or have written an unpublished novel. I recently launched my third attempt at writing a novel, fervently believing the mantra: if at first you don’t succeed, try, try, again.

I am learning that it takes a great idea, a ton of effort, some real writing talent, and a lot of luck to write and publish a novel. I actually ran out of story at about 2000 words in my previous attempts, but this time, I’m already up to 6,000! Just 44,000 to go.

So let’s start by applauding Denis D Dauphinee’s perseverance in not only writing a very good novel, but in finding a publisher who believed in it.

Simpler fishing rules require book twice as thick!

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 Only the government could double the size of the fishing rule book and call it simplification.

A recent new story by the Sun Journal’s Terry Karkos reports some of the many fishing rule changes and initiatives undertaken by Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. DIF&W fisheries biologist Francis Brautigam, definitely one of the good guys at the department, outlines rule changes governing ice fishing as well as open water fishing.

Many are welcomed, including those governing the capture of live fish for bait by individuals. A lot of the rules were driven by a desire to make fishing simpler, and they will.

You can read Terry’s story here.

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