Comments due by January 25 on complete repeal and replacement of Maine’s boating rules

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 If you enjoy boating in Maine, you better check out proposed new boating rules – all 25 pages of them.

Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is proposing “a complete repeal and replace of the current boating rules” to bring them into compliance with the Code of Federal Regulations regarding the safe operation of boats.

Perhaps you think you are already operating your boat safely. Maybe not!

DIF&W and the Department of Marine Resources are working together to adopt these new rules under the Federal Boating Safety Act administered by the U.S. Coast Guard. It is comforting to know that our federal officials are looking out for us.

Coyote Advocate claims coyotes are a “lot like us.”

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 Give Geri Vistein credit. She is a tireless advocate for the coyote. And with a masters degree in wildlife biology, she is articulate and focused on her mission – to be the voice for the coyote.

Ironically, at about the same time on Wednesday morning that I am speaking at the annual meeting of the Small Woodland Owners Association of Maine at the Augusta Civic Center, Vistein will be speaking about coyotes in a different room at the Civic Center. The annual Agricultural Trades Show is scheduled at the Civic Center on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. I speak at 10:20 am on Wednesday while Vistein’s talk is scheduled for 11 am.

I will be talking about my book, A Life Lived Outdoors, and the landowner relations legislation that I’ve proposed and Representative Ellie Espling has sponsored.

Vistein was profiled today in the Maine Sunday Telegram. Her remarks are stunning and provocative. Here’s a bit of what she told writer Mary Pols.

Berry Manor Inn is historic, artistic, and very welcoming

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                It has been a couple of years since we stayed at the Berry Manor Inn in Rockland, but it always feels like going home. The staff here is warm and welcoming and Cheryl Michaelsen personifies what it means to be an innkeeper. She is engaging and cheerful and her attention to detail shows from the decor to her breakfast plates.

                We visited while the stunning Christmas decorations were up, which is indeed a sight to see. Stair railings and doorways are decked out in greenery, ribbons, cones, antique items and berries. A stunningly perfect Christmas tree with a Victorian theme sits in the parlor.

George and Harry debate moose – no, not literally!

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Wildlife biologists are flying over the north woods now, counting moose. Must be fun! Recently, Harry Vanderweide, former editor of The Maine Sportsman and my co-host on the TV talk show Wildfire, and I debated moose. Well, we didn’t actually debate moose, mostly because they can’t talk. We debated moose issues. Here’s how it went.


George: Moose populations are declining rapidly.

Harry: No they are not. That’s ridiculous.

George: Last winter Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife tagged 60 moose and half of them died of ticks, including 80 percent of the calves.

Will Governor LePage keep his promises to Maine sportsmen?

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 On Friday, Governor Paul LePage will present his new two-year budget. And the big question for Maine sportsmen is this: will he keep the promises he made to us more than 4 years ago?

                In his first campaign for governor, LePage promised the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine that he would fund 20 percent of the budget of Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife with General Fund money collected from all taxpayers. That would be a simple recognition that the agency does a lot of work for the general public.

Life in Prison - Eight Hours at a Time

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                Robert Reilly was in prison in Pennsylvania and Maine for seven years. By choice. He was a prison guard. And his story, told in Life In Prison – Eight Hours at a Time, published recently by Tilbury House in Thomaston, is shocking, scary, discouraging, and disturbing.        

                This book is must-reading for each of you, because the only way this horrific situation will be corrected is if we demand it. And that won’t happen unless and until you are aware of it. Special thanks to Tilbury House for publishing this important book.

Maine must expand landowner relations programs – and it’s up to you to git-er-done!

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                Representative Ellie Espling (R-New Gloucester) is sponsoring legislation that should be of interest to private landowners and everyone who recreates on private land – and I’m sure that includes you.  An Act to Expand the Landowner Relations Program at Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife will substantially expand the landowner relations program now housed in the Maine Warden Service.

                You will need to be active in this debate, including contacting your own legislators, if this bill is to be enacted.

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