Nature Wars is a must read book for Mainers

George’s Outdoor Picks

Blog posts labeled “George’s Outdoor Picks” will tell you about my favorite things from books to bullets to binoculars, fly rods to flashlights, focusing on what’s new. I do get a lot of products to try, some great, some good, some not so good. In these posts, I’ll only be telling you about the best. Each Pick post will include my super-large toothbrush, perfect for anyone with a big mouth!


Jim Sterba’s Nature Wars

Nature Wars will entertain and educate you. From the sad to the sensational, Jim Sterba tells us how and why burgeoning wildlife populations have “turned backyards into battlegrounds.” The book is very timely as Maine approaches its second referendum on bear hunting in a decade. In fact, Sterba presents an account on Maine’s 2004 bear referendum in his chapter on bears, appropriated titled “Teddies.”

I can’t say it any better than Tom Brocaw does on the book’s cover: “It’s a jungle out there – and we’re living in it. Jim Sterba’s Nature Wars is a smart, stylish, and altogether provocative account of how we are confounded by that which we claim to hold so dear – Mother Nature and all her creatures moving in right next door.”

Every chapter contains important lessons in how poorly we have managed wildlife populations, to the point that we are literally overrun. Its covers the entire landscape of issues from sprawl to stupidity. This is truth telling at its finest, with plenty of statistics and case studies to prove his points and leave you very alarmed.

I used up a highlighter outlining my favorite parts the book which will serve as a reference for me for many columns to come.

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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.