How many bears are too many? We may find out soon, as Maine’s bear population is at a very high level and continuing to grow.
It’s one thing to watch bears on your computer screen, compliments of Maine’s Wildlife Research Foundation’s new bear cam. It’s another experience entirely when a bruin shows up in your backyard.
Maine’s chickadee checkoff may fly away if the legislature’s Taxation Committee flushes it off the roost in the state income tax form where it’s rested since 1984.
A bill ordered up by the Taxation Committee was printed on February 16, with the support of most committee members. It repeals the chickadee and all other voluntary donations now on the Maine income tax form.
Howard Trotzky of Bangor played an historic role in cleaning up Maine’s rivers and defining the future of the North Woods. So I wasn’t surprised when they trotted Howard out on February 16 for the legislative hearing on a bill to reform the Land Use Regulation Commission (LURC), the planning and regulatory agency for the unorganized territories.
They can’t scrape together a nickel, and now, as the state’s budget slips further and further into deficit, the prospects for Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s getting any new public support from the state’s General Fund this session appear to be long gone.
Actually, this beleaguered agency has never received the public funding it needs to fulfill its mission for all the people of Maine, even when the state budget was flush. This session, the term “flush” is only relevant to where the entire state budget is going.
Strolling around the neighborhood or the woods this time of year, you see lots of bird nests, no longer hidden by foliage.
Avian Architecture will identify the birds that made those nests and give you lots of fascinating insights about how those birds design, engineer, and build the nests. And I’m not exaggerating when I use the word fascinating. I found this book, written by Peter Goodfellow and published by Princeton University Press in 2011, to be amazing.
We’ve got a lot more of Maine’s number one tourist attraction than we thought. And I’m not talking about lobsters or lighthouses. I’m talking about moose, the ugly beast that has been the subject of controversy since the moose hunt was reestablished in 1980.
Eight years before I was born, Leon Leonwood Bean published a hunting, fishing, and camping guide, sort of an all-purpose how-to book that LL predicted would take no more than 85 minutes to read.
That book has been republished this year by Down East Books for LL Bean’s 100th anniversary, with updated information from LL’s grandson, Bill Gorman. Amazingly, given how long ago this book was published, much of it remains pertinent and helpful today.
See a Maine black bear! Live! In her den! With her cubs! Right now!
Well, right now she’s sleeping, but the cubs are lively, the noise is amazing, and the camera takes you right into the den, a unique and exciting experience.
The Governor’s Conference on Tourism was at times interesting, entertaining, and sobering. Held yesterday at the Grand Summit Resort Hotel at Sunday River, the conference offered a mix of speeches, awards, and seminars, as well as a mixed report on the status of the state’s tourism industry.
The challenge of reversing a 60 percent decline in Maine’s nonresident hunters was tossed to a Task Force last year by the legislature, and today that Task Force reported back with a list of thoughtful recommendations.
Tenley Bennett, an Aroostook County member of the Non-Resident Hunter Task Force, presented the group’s report. Tenley, who manages a sporting camp with her husband Wayne, said, ”It has become increasingly difficult, if not impossible, to operate traditional sporting camps and lodges as a primary means of income.”