A thoughtful and provocative book about Maine

Jim Korsschell’s book, One Man’s Maine, is both thoughtful and provocative. Published by Green Writers Press, a Vermont based publisher whose mission is to spread a message of hope and renewal, the book is all of that.

Jim’s “from away” with a home in Owls Head, and he’s a very strong environmentalist. I most enjoyed his chapters on Maine’s wild critters, from moose and deer to yellow finches and crabs. While he is critical of moose hunters, I forgive him for that. Having never hunted, he doesn’t really understand that hunting is not all about killing.

Jim has a unique way of expressing his appreciation for our state, from moss and lichen on a mountaintop to rockweed in the ocean, and he has strong feelings for our wild places.

Here’s a good example from his chapter titled “Human Natures.”

“Land (and sea) is not just a vast therapist’s couch. We crave wild land. Wildness is a mother, the original gene pool. We attempt to co-opt wild experiences – RVs, zip lines, parasailing, glam-camping – at our peril; Mother Nature sees right through these propitiations. Only in preserving and feeling wilderness are we stating that we understand the worst of human nature, and embrace it.”

And later, at the end of that chapter, is this: “How desperately important it is, then, to bring together  people and nature, to take a kid to a vernal pool deep in the woods where she learns what a frog is and must be, let alone how it feels to hold one in her hand, in her wild, untamed, and mortal heart.”

Boy, he got that right.

I also appreciated his chapter on trash. Like me, Jim picks up roadside trash. I’ve written a lot about road slobs, and helped create a new project called Keep Maine Clean, at the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and the Resource Recovery Association. The Association is about to launch its project, which will build an army of those of us who pick up roadside trash, and encourage others to join us.

I expect Jim Korsschell will be joining us, because he describes our motivation very well: “He does it mostly in gratitude to the place, to keep it good looking, to remove evidence of disrespect, to belong to it, and if a passerby notices and nods, or feels shame and doesn’t litter the next time, then that’s a bonus. Besides, a trash-picker would surely be considered an integral part of the community.”

You got that right too Jim! Perhaps you’ll allow us to include your Trash story in one of our Keep Maine Clean newsletters.

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, georgesmithmaine.com, 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.