Monthly Archives: February 2017

Reduction in warden positions alarms legislators

wardens patch color

“We need to reduce the department’s size.” That was DIF&W Commissioner Chandler Woodcock’s response to a question asking why he was proposing cuts to the Maine Warden Service’s budget, including a decrease in positions and mileage. Chandler presented his proposed budget recently to members of the legislature’s IFW Committee, and the Warden Service cuts were […]

February 28 legislative hearings feature exotic animals, fish hatcheries, and more

Alligator lizard

The legislature’s Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee will host public hearings on three of my bills on Tuesday, February 28, along with three other bills. LD 305, my exotic animals bill, is sponsored by IFW Committee chair, Senator Scott Cyrway of Kennebec Country, and promises to draw a substantial crowd in opposition. This bill has […]

IFW Committee kills bill to simplify fishing rules

DSCN4010

The bill to create a commission to simplify Maine’s complicated fishing rules got a unanimous ought-not-to-pass recommendation from the legislature’s IFW Committee yesterday, even though five members of the committee had cosponsored the bill. That was a big disappointment for me, as I had proposed the bill and asked Representative Michelle Dunphy to sponsor it. […]

Anti-trapping and anti-hunting groups lose Lynx lawsuit

Canadian lynx

U.S. District Court Judge Jon Levy has ruled against a lawsuit that sought to revoke the incidental take permits that protect trappers from prosecution under the Endangered Species Act if they accidentally capture a Canadian lynx, now on the ESA protected list. Judge Levy granted a motion by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for […]

Lots of opposition to simplifying Maine’s fishing rules

Blueback - Reed Pond

The legislative hearing on my proposal to organize a Commission to simplify Maine’s complicated fishing rules drew very little support, although five members of the IFW legislative committee cosponsored the bill. Most disappointing was the opposition of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, and the “neither for nor against” testimony of the Sportsman’s Alliance […]

You must go north to find excellent brook trout fishing

Brook Trout by Nick Karas

“Brook Trout,” an amazing book written by Nick Karas and published in 1997, is an entertaining, informative, and at times discouraging book about North America’s brook trout. I recently re-read Nick’s book, to prepare for public hearings on a couple of important brook trout bills at the legislature. There’s a lot of truth in the […]

From deer antler restrictions to life jackets, lots of bills are ready for action

Kerri Bickford Capitol one

Nearly 1/3 of the legislature’s 1900 bills have been drafted, and there are lots of outdoor issues on the agenda for hearings in the next month or so. Here are a few of the more interesting bills for those of us who enjoy the outdoors in Maine. LD 61, sponsored by Rep. McCrea of Fort […]