Retired Chief Warden Parker Tripp spills his stories

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Game wardens everywhere have great stories to tell and many choose to tell them in book form.  John Ford’s books are a phenomenon – or perhaps I should say John is a phenomenon.

Now along comes Mainer Parker Tripp, retired Chief Warden, and I have to say, he’s got some wonderful stories to tell. Parker turned for help to Megan Price, an award-winning journalist and author of other books including Vermont Wild - Adventures of Fish & Game Wardens.

Maine Wild, Adventures of Fish and Game Wardens, was written by Price, but it reads as if Parker is sitting in your living room telling you his stories.

Merger of Agriculture, Forestry, Parks, and Lands questioned at legislature

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 “When the battle is over” is one of my favorite hymns. But it doesn’t apply at the Maine legislature. No battle is ever over.

Last session, over the objections of some environmental groups, the legislature merged the Department of Agriculture with the Department of Conservation, creating the Department of Agriculture, Forestry, and Conservation. And while many are unhappy about some aspects of the merger, including some who supported it, few want to re-examine the issue this year.

At least, that’s my prediction, even though two environmental groups made a pitch yesterday to review the merger. LD 39, sponsored by Representative Anthony Edgecomb, would create a task force that could, in the words of Eliza Donoghue of the Natural Resources Council of Maine, “determine whether the merged department has provided, at the same or better level, the protection and management of our natural resources and public lands formerly provided by the Department of Conservation.”

An amazing room, awesome dinner, and Maine’s best brunch

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Freeport
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 George

                Five minutes after we entered the Thomas Moser room at the Harraseeket Inn, I told Linda I was ready to write this column. While a Saturday night dinner and Sunday brunch were ahead, I could easily have written the entire column about our room that featured 14 stunningly beautiful pieces of furniture from Maine’s own Thomas Moser.

                And every piece was available for purchase! Of course, we would have had to sell our house to afford it all, and then where would we have put it? But it sure was nice to luxuriate in this beautiful room for a weekend.

Maine Warden Service strangling fisheries and wildlife management.

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It’s a roadmap to the agency’s priorities and programs. And some of the things along that road will surprise you.

I just received a financial report on the revenues and expenditures of Maine’s Fish and Wildlife Department for Fiscal Year 2014, from July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014.

The agency received $35,860,125 from 55 revenue sources and spent $37,360,309 in its 7 divisions. While it’s a bit of a mystery as to how they came to spend more than they raised, Commissioner Chandler Woodcock did disclose recently that the agency currently has a $3 million surplus.

If you don’t read any more of this report, please consider this:

Kid's book delivers important environmental message

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Gramma Golden is as interesting as her children’s book, It’s a Great Day for Pulling Weeds. A nurse and health care educator, Janet Golden, aka Gramma Golden, in her retirement, is focused on teaching young people to be good environmental stewards.

She writes a monthly newspaper column and, with her husband, maintains gardens and property as both an Audubon Bird and Butterfly Sanctuary and National Wildlife Federation certified habitats.  This is her first book, focused on how gardening practices can help or harm birds and butterflies.

Homeless Deer may be doomed in Maine's north woods

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“We’re not going to do very well as long as deer are homeless.”

Representative Bob Duchesne’s comment sums up the problem nicely. Without habitat – especially wintering yards – deer are doomed. Bob’s radio show with Erin Simons-Legaard, a research professor at the University of Maine’s Forestry School, was – well, there’s no other way to describe it – discouraging and depressing.

But you must listen to it. And you can do that here:

In about a month, the report Erin talks about on the show will be published. It’s an impressive look at wildlife habitat in Maine’s forests from 1975 to 2007. That includes the time period when the Forest Practices Act was enacted to govern forest harvesting practices (including limits on clearcuts), and the spruce budworm epidemic.

The devil is in the details of Maine’s 2015 moose management plan

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Permits to hunt moose in Maine will be reduced this year, but not nearly as sharply as they were in 2014 when we lost about 1000 permits.

However, when you get into the details of the permit proposal from the Wildlife Division professionals at Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, you will find that the only reason the total number of permits will be reduced is a significant cut in WMD 2.

In that district, the legislature directed DIF&W in 2010 to decrease the moose population to reduce motor vehicle collisions with this beast of the woods. And Judy Camuso, DIF&W’s very capable Wildlife Division Director, told me that the population has been reduced in WMD 2, the goal has been met, and consequently the recommendation for 2015 is to reduce permits in that district by 300.

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