Down East 2013 ©
Spotting a road-killed grouse while driving a few years ago on Mount Vernon’s North Road a mile from the elementary school, I hopped out and bagged it.
At least one teacher drove by while I was scooping up the bird, and as soon as she got to school, informed my first-grade teaching wife that she could expect grouse for dinner.
Too late. I ate it for lunch.
Just one more reason I am fascinated by Maine Audubon’s new Wildlife Road Watch.
Road Watch is a web-based map and database where we can record our observations of roadside and road-killed wildlife.
This is important information. As the Web site reports, “information about where wildlife attempt to cross roads, what animals are involved, on what kinds of roads are collisions frequent, and other data can help inform policy, management, and financial investment in reducing road-kill and habitat fragmentation.”
Our reports will be utilized by Audubon scientists and others to learn the places where most wildlife road crossings occur and how many animals are actually killed on our roads. Then perhaps we can figure out how to reduce road-kills and increase our own safety by reducing motor vehicle collisions with animals.
Driving to church last week, I noted a road-killed porcupine on Route 41 next to my woodlot. The next day, I went to the Audubon Web site , created my account, and recorded my observance. It was quick and easy.
After you create an account, you can log on anytime and record your observations of both live animals crossing the road and dead animals that didn’t make it.
It’s fun just to log on and see the observations of others. They even have a photo section for recording those unfortunate road-killed wildlife species.
The photo section is particularly worth checking out. You might find supper!
Free Fishing Confusion
If you plan to take advantage of the free fishing days on May 29 and 30, advertised in the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife 2010 fishing rulebook, hold that rod. The dates in the rulebook are incorrect.
The department issued a correction on May 19 that the spring free family fishing days will be held June 5 and 6, not May 29 and 30 as listed in the new rulebook.
Free family fishing days are authorized by the legislature to encourage Maine people to try fishing, without the burden of purchasing a fishing license, an interesting concept.
I suppose you could try fishing for free on May 29 and 30, rulebook firmly in hand, and then get out again on June 5 and 6 sans license. After all, the rulebook is the rulebook.
Just don’t say I suggested it.
How Rods, Guns, Backpacks, and Binoculars Can Work Together
The Belgrade Regional Conservation Alliance sponsors an interesting summer lecture series open to the public.
Up first this summer, on Thursday, June 3, at 7 p.m. at the Union Church in Belgrade, I’ll be joined by my friends Ted Koffman of Maine Audubon and Peter Kallin of the BRCA for a discussion on finding common ground between organizations representing sportsmen and environmentalists.
Our theme is “Working together, rods and guns and backpacks and binoculars.”
You need not bring your rod, gun, backpack, or binoculars, in order to enjoy what promising to be a stimulating evening of discussion.