Senator Angus King defends Maine's bear management

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Statement by U.S. Senator Angus King

Received March 31, 2014

Maine Bear Referendum

 

The general debate in Maine over bear hunting, as well as the finer points of baiting, dogs, and traps, is

a state issue which does not—and should not–involve the federal government. These decisions have

always and should continue to be made by the Maine Legislature or Maine voters, through a

referendum.

Rockland culinary tour started at the Samoset

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Rockland
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Five restaurants in 41 hours - my kind of weekend! While the Samoset Resort's spectacular ice bar drew us to the Rockland area in mid-January, our culinary tour of the area added flavor to the weekend.

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You can identify wild critters by their tracks and turds

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                “When in doubt, follow it out; don’t be a nerd, find the turd.”

                This is how Susan Morse describes her method of identifying wild critters. Her description has a certain clarity, don't you think? And she is absolutely right.

                Morse is the founder of the nonprofit Keeping Track in Huntington, Vermont. She’s nationally recognized for her work on wildlife habitat.

You won’t believe these tales of the Maine woods but they are all true!

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 The head waters of the Connecticut and Magalloway Rivers have been good hunting ground for moose and caribou, but like the region about Moosehead Lake, an indiscriminate slaughter of this noble game in season and out, has made them very scarce… Until the Game Law is enforced the hunter must penetrate the wilds of New Brunswick or Cape Breton if he would kill large game.

This is the first of many sections of More Old Tales of the Maine Woods that I highlighted. While I intended to dip into the tales, compiled by Steve Pinkham in a fascinating book, over a period of time, I couldn’t stop reading, the highlighter handy in my shirt pocket.

Pinkham is an historian, Maine native now living in Massachusetts, and collector of more than 25,000 articles and stories of the Maine woods. I enjoyed a very interesting conversation with Steve at the Orono Sportsman’s Show a few weeks ago.

Fish and Wildlife Department Loses Milfoil Money

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 A hike in the milfoil sticker fee has been rejected by the Maine legislature. But that’s not the end of this particularly interesting issue. I want to credit Representative Mike Shaw for quickly answering my call to fill me in on legislative action on this bill.

The legislature found another way to expand the invasive plant eradication program by taking money from the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and giving it to the Department of Environmental Protection.

LD 1626 sponsored by Rep. Mike McClellan of Raymond, would have raised the milfoil sticker fee by $7 for Mainers and by $15 for nonresidents. This fee is now incorporated into the boat registration fee and must be paid when boats are registered. The bill – opposed by the DEP and DIF&W Commissioners – got a favorable ought-to-pass endorsement from the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, but floundered once it emerged from the committee.

Belfast has great art, shops, an awesome co-op, nice lodging and wonderful food

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Belfast
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                On a sunny (practically balmy) day in February, we strolled the main street of Belfast popping in to a variety of businesses. The previous night’s snow was melting into slushy goop on the corners of the intersections. I found myself taking special pleasure in tromping right through the messiness, which brought back satisfying memories of those same spring delights when I was a kid.

        You could see it on people’s faces... we are going to make it through this interminably long winter. In the same vein, visiting two of my favorite places in Belfast made me even happier.

        I fell in love with the Belfast Co-op on my first visit here last winter. This charming co-op is the largest and one of the oldest in Maine, with a strong commitment to Maine products. They sold $1,670,660 worth of Maine products last year.

Public Lands Director speaks with candor and courage on Governor’s timber harvest expansion

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Will Harris, one of the very few hold-overs from the Baldacci to the LePage Administration, spoke with remarkable candor and courage yesterday when questioned by legislators about the governor’s plan to harvest more timber on public lands and use the money for public heating assistance programs.

Harris serves as the Director of Maine’s Parks and Public Lands, a gubernatorially appointed position. He could be fired without reason by the governor, making his remarks all the more astonishing. I haven’t checked this morning to see if Will is still on the job!

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