George's Outdoor News Blog Archive 2010
Everyone likes to get good grades. That’s one reason the Environmental Scorecard issued by the Maine League of Conservation Voters (MLCV) has been generating news, comments, and controversy, since it began rating legislators in 1986.
The Scorecard has been a political football, too, because Democrats generally get good grades while Republicans anchor the bottom of the grading scale. That infuriates GOP legislators who believe the scorecard is biased.
The face of Maine conservation could change dramatically if federal officials embrace a proposal embodied in the Keeping Maine’s Forests initiative. The initiative was created by a Steering Committee of 23 individuals representing state agencies, landowners, and conservation groups and submitted to federal officials on August 18.
For at least a decade ecotourism has been touted as the future of Maine’s tourist-based economy. But the delivery on that promise has fallen far short of predictions.
A new report issued by the Maine Center for Economic Policy (MECEP) once again touts ecotourism as the road to prosperity for rural Maine. The report takes a swipe at traditional outdoor activities while suggesting that an investment of $100 million in “new destination development” will be needed to serve what it calls “experiential tourists.”
They’ve caught a big one in Oquossoc and put their catch on display for all of us to enjoy. You’ll want to get up there and see this.
The catch of a lifetime is the Rangeley Outdoor Sporting Heritage Museum, constructed in the small village of Oquossoc just ten minutes west of Rangeley. It’s an astonishing collection that celebrates the region’s fly fishing history.
Conservation license plates play an important role in funding key projects at the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and the Bureau of Parks and Lands. In these days of diminished General Fund support for these programs, those who, literally, step up to the plate, are making significant contributions.
Colonel Joel Wilkinson of the Maine Warden Service recently acted quickly to turn a bad situation into a good learning opportunity, heading off an escalating cascade of angry emails by calling in all interests for a discussion and resolution of the issues.
In the process, Wilkinson changed the topic from “invasive wardens” to “invasive plants,” while demonstrating some flexibility in fixing a few glitches and misunderstandings.
Once a prime destination for the nation’s sportsmen who flocked here for huge whitetail deer and wild native brook trout, Maine has lost its reputation as a sportsman’s paradise.
We still have world-class black bear hunting, a quality (but limited) moose hunt, and great coastal duck hunting, along with most of the nation’s remaining wild native brook trout, but that’s apparently not enough to turn around a declining outdoor industry or attract the notice of one of the nation’s top sporting publications.
Political leaders may need more than DeLorme’s new technologically sophisticated PN-40 GPS to follow the “Trail Map to Prosperity” provided recently by the Maine Conservation Voters Education Fund. They’ll have to carry courage, wisdom, and a very high level of persuasiveness in their political backpacks.
Governor Establishes New ATV Working Group: Governor John Baldacci signed an executive order on June 15 establishing a new ATV working group to “review standards by which state law enforcement officers may stop all-terrain vehicles.”
The governor’s order responds to a legislative decision last year to require law enforcement officers to suspect a violation of law is occurring before stopping ATV riders on public or private land.
While volunteer boat launch monitors continue to stop invasive plants from entering Maine waters, game wardens have issued only three citations for illegal transportation of these plants since 2002.
In that time, the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife has received almost $3.5 million dollars from sale of milfoil stickers to those who own motorized boats. Most of the money is targeted for enforcement of invasive plant laws and rules.
Each of those three citations cost boaters more than a million dollars!