Doak details landowner concerns on Wildfire

Are you currently picking a tasty crop of chanterelle mushrooms somewhere in the forest? Linda and I have found that the chanterelles are a bit late this year.

Did you find lots of fiddleheads this spring, as Linda and I did?

Well, you probably do your picking on private land. So did you ask permission to pick the landowner’s wild crops? Probably not.

And believe it or not, that was a major issue during the last legislative session, when the Agriculture, Forestry, and Conservation Committee considered legislation that would have required those who pick crops on private land to have permission. The bill did not pass, but this won’t be the last time this issue is debated in Augusta.

Beyond that, nearly everything we enjoy outdoors in Maine is enjoyed on private land. And Tom Doak, the very capable executive director of the Small Woodland Owners Association of Maine, provides some fascinating insights into the issues that concern private landowners these days, on the current episode of Wildfire.

Top of the list: littering. Tom and I tell you about a new program to keep our roadsides, fields, and forests free of trash.

Please check out the current episode of Wildfire, Maine’s only TV talk show focused on hunting, fishing, conservation, and environmental issues. You can access the show on the website of Maine Audubon, the new owner and producer of Wildfire, hosted by Harry Vanderweide and me.

Let me know how you liked the show!

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George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website,, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In the spring of 2016, Islandport Press will publish a Maine travel book by George and Linda, and Down East Books will publish a book about Maine sporting camps by George. In 2014 George won an award for the state's best sports blog, from the Maine Press Association.