Tom Doak gets caught in the Wildfire

TomDoakFrom Sunday hunting to picking edible crops on private land, my Wildlife co-host James Cote and I covered lots of hot topics with Tom Doak of the Small Woodland Owners Association, on the new edition of our TV talk show that kicks off tonight.

Each edition of Wildlife is aired on Time Warner cable station 9 on Tuesdays at 7 pm, Thursdays at 6:30 pm, and Sundays at 9:30 am. Each edition airs for two weeks. You can also access the show, including previous shows, online at

One major topic was discontinued roads, which many Mainers use to get into the woods to hunt, fish, hike, bird watch, and enjoy other outdoor experiences. Tom and SWOAM have been working on this issue for many years, and won a major victory at the legislature this year. He tells you all about it on Wildfire.

One topic that always interests me, when talking about SWOAM, is their effort to require permission from landowners before we pick crops on their land like fiddleheads and mushrooms.  It seems to me that, at the least, those who pick these crops and sell them ought to get permission from those who own the land where they harvest those commercial crops. But the legislature, so far, hasn’t agreed. Tom talks with us about this topic as well.

At the end of each episode of Wildlife, we invite you to share your opinion on one of the show’s topics. You can access the question in the Sportsmen Say Survey section of my website,  The question we posed on the show with Tom Doak is: Should landowner permission be required to pick edible crops like mushrooms and fiddleheads?

Hope you enjoy the show, and please be sure to answer the question. Thanks!

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 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.