It’s all about water on the new edition of Wildfire

Tom BrennanWhen it comes to water, there’s a lot to talk about. And we did that on the new edition of our TV talk show Wildfire, airing for the first time tonight.

Our guest was Tom Brennan of Poland Spring, which has bottling plants in Poland Spring, Hollis, and Kingfield and employs 800 Mainers full-time or seasonally in places where jobs are hard to come by, with a $42 million annual payroll. And they’ve invested over $500 million here since 2000. They also spend $60 million each year with other Maine companies.

But what I most admire – and appreciate – is the $6 million that Poland Spring (owned by Nestle Corporation) has contributed over their years in Maine to conservation and community, supporting schools, fire and rescue services, environmental conservation and lots of causes from the local to the state level. Poland Spring has been a sponsor of my website since I started writing full-time in 2011.

I had just read in a Maine newspaper about the high lead levels found at the Benton elementary school. In the middle of the story, there was this: “I’m very appreciative that the Nestle Corporation has volunteered to donate several water coolers” said school superintendent Dean Baker. Turns out Poland Spring does a lot of that kind of thing, without much publicity.

Co-host James Cote and I talked with Tom about all of this and lots more. The impact of the current drought was a hot topic, literally, and we learned a lot about what Poland Spring had to do in response, and what it plans to do in the future.

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

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.