August 20, 2019

Continued Maine Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Meetings

Tomorrow, the second round of public meetings is sceduled to discuss bills proposed. Below is a list of them and the locations.

Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (287-1338)
1:00 PM Room 206, Cross State Office Building
L.D. 1725    An Act To Enhance the Integrity of the Moose Lottery (Emergency) (Sponsor: Rep. MOODY of Manchester)

L.D. 1895    Resolve, To Direct the Commissioner of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife To Increase the Number of Moose Permits (Sponsor: Rep. JACKSON of Fort Kent)

L.D. 1922    An Act To Amend the Laws Governing All-terrain Vehicles (Sponsor: Sen. GAGNON of Kennebec)

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Maine Warden Service Locates Two Missing Toddlers

In what appears to be a case of two absolutely stupid parents fleeing from police suspected in robberies, they abandoned their two children in the woods to fend for themselves – ages 16 months and almost 3.

Maine Wardens Find Missing Children Game Warden Kevin Anderson assists Game Warden Terry Hughes in attending to a 16-month old girl who spent the night in the woods. (IFW Photo)

Maine Wardens find Children Game Warden Kevin Anderson attends to a 16-month old toddler who suffered from frostbite on her fingers, nose and toes after spending a night in the woods. (IFW Photo)

PALERMO, Maine — Game Warden Pilot Charlie Later located two missing toddlers early Saturday morning after they had been abandoned in the woodsoff the Chisolm Pond Road in Palermo.

The young girls, ages 16 months and nearly three years old, spent the night in the woods and were located by Warden Later as they were lying next to a stonewall in the woods. Volunteer searcher Billy-Jo Sherman was the first to reach the pair.

The two girls had mild frostbite on their fingers, noses and toes, and were also hypothermic. They were treated on the scene by emergency medical personnel and transported to Maine General Hospital in Augusta.

The girls parents, Sean, 24, and Kristie Anderson, 25, of Albion are suspects in a two burglaries in the area. The Andersons fled into the woods with their children on Friday afternoon in an attempt to evade police.
Sean Anderson came out of the woods alone later that afternoon, and did not know where his wife and children were.

Game Wardens, police, search and rescue dogs, and volunteers searched the area, and continued through the night in an effort to find the mom and two children. Kristie Anderson was located and rescued at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, but her children were not with her. One hour later, the girls were found about a mile from where the mom was found.

Sean Anderson was arrested on Friday night and charged with two counts of burglary. Kristie Anderson was taken to a hospital in Belfast and has not yet been charged.

More charges against the Andersons could follow.

Thankfully, it appears the children will be fine. I hope they find a home where they will be taken care of and lock up the parents and throw away the key.

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Marketing Maine's Outdoors

George Smith, director for the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, spoke recently at a business breakfast hosted by Husson College of Maine. He said Maine needs to be more aggressive in marketing its resources of hunting and fishing. He says Maine lags far behind neighboring states in its funding and marketing plans.

The issue of declining numbers of hunters and anglers across this country is debated daily. The general consensus seems to be that in some states numbers are on the decline and others are stable. Few, if any, are increasing. The biggest discrepancy comes from how much it’s declining and what to do about it.

I agree with Smith’s assessment that Maine needs to better market its products but finding the resources to do that might be difficult. Raising fees for licensing is always a controversy. Maine already has a plan where hunters and fishers can buy “Super Licenses” to help fund the Department and its activities. Funding fish and game projects from the general taxation fund raises problems of its own but probably none that can’t be dealt with but certain legal and legislative issues need to be addressed (another story).

Perhaps we need some lawmakers that can come up with some real creative ways of generating the necessary revenues to meet demand. Levying taxes is an issue that I despise but if done correctly and by taxing the right product or service can have minimal impact.

In a previous life, I was very much involved in the hospitality business throughout Maine. At one point Maine was considering raising the lodging taxes considerably and I was staunchly opposed to it, until I learned what affect it really has on the local economy and the tourist industry – little.

Simply raising a tax on lodging isn’t going to cut it, no more than raising the fee for licensing. People are willing to pay dollars for perceived good value. If Maine were to levy a tax of 10% on its lodging, then Maine better be prepared to convince the tourist it’s worth the extra.

In Florida, the lodging tax is what many consider astronomically high, yet tourism is at an all-time high. Why? Value! Florida has something nobody else does and they market that aggressively.

Maine may be facing the same situation in dealing with funding of our outdoor recreation and wildlife. There are many aspects to dealing with protecting our hunting and fishing heritage and finding monies is only a part of it.

The first thing we need to do is stop taxing the general public. Maine citizens are way over taxed now. A program needs to be implemented to tax the tourist, which will include outdoor recreationist, and aggressively work to presenting Maine for the natural resources it offers. In conjunction, an education program needs to be started to teach businesses across the state what it is that tourists and those seeking an outdoor adventure expect when they arrive at their destination. This is one aspect that is in desparate need of attention.

If, as George Smith says, people looking for an adventure in big game hunting can find it in Maine, Maine needs to understand who those people are and what they expect. My experiences say they are wealthy and expect upscale accommodations and dining. Give them what they want in that aspect and they will pay the bill.

As we all debate the issues of our hunting and fishing heritage and how to fund our Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, let’s not get scared that we might drive a tourist or a hunter from another state away because they have to pay more money. It’s expected. We just need to make sure we compete with others for a quality experience.

Tom Remington

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David Robert Crews Joins Writing Staff at Maine Outdoors Today

David Robert Crews has joined the staff of writers at Maine Outdoors Today – our sister site. A registered Maine Guide, David tells of his experiences as a Maine Guide in northern Maine.From his journeys to Vietnam, falling in love with Patten, Maine, David tells his tales. He also shares with us some of his many photos collected over the years. Some of my favorite are the shots on the “69 Ski-Doo and the old Moto-Ski.Help us welcome David to our staff and stop over and read some of his eight stories published at his site.

Tom Remington

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Press Conference With The Maine Warden Service

What: Press Conference with Maine Warden Service Colonel Tom Santaguida and Bob Meyers of the Maine Snowmobile Association

When: 11:00 a.m., December 29, 2005

Where: Second Floor Conference Room
Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Headquarters
284 State Street
Augusta, ME 04333

Directions: Route 95, Exit 109 (Western Ave.) Head towards city. At rotary, exit onto State Street (Route 27 south). Follow State Street south towards Hallowell. Look for the large white building on the right with the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife logo about ¾ mile past Capitol Building. We are on the corner of King and State Street, next to Pat’s Pizza.

For More Information, Contact Mark Latti, 287-6008 or Bob Meyers, 622-
6983

The focus of this press conference is to draw attention to snowmobile safety. With snow on the ground, many are out and about with their machines and the Maine Warden Service, in conjunction with the Maine Snowmobile Association, wants to let everyone know about new laws in affect and to promote a safe snowmobile season.

Last year there were 241 snowmobile accidents of which 7 resulted in deaths. There will be stricter enforcement of operating a snowmobile under the influence of alcohol.

At this press conference, Bob Myers of the Maine Snowmobile Assn. will talk about the new “Left of Center” law that the MSA sponsored. The new law makes it unlawful to ride to the left of the center of a trail when cornering or entering places where the view is blinded. This new law is intended to decrease the number of collisions.

Tom Remington

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Blogging the Outdoors

If you’re looking for more information, stories, links, anything to do with the outdoors, Maine Outdoors Today and Blogging the Outdoors will probably have it.

The Black Bear Blog is geared to hunting and fishing and the outdoors, but Blogging the Outdoors covers a much wider spectrum of outdoor activities. I hope you will visit us over there and see what’s up.

Tom Remington

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Cabela's Still Eyeing Maine For New Store Location

Cabela’s has been looking for new store locations in the New England area. So far they seemed to have settled on opening up a store in East Hartford, Connecticut in the fall of 2007. Aside from that, no decisions have been made on another site or if there will be another site, according to Jim Aterburn, spokesman for the Nebraska based company Cabela’s.Aterburn says they base their decisions on where a good market is for stand alone stores and Internet buyers as well. Cabela’s has shown an interest in the southern Maine town of Scarborough.

Here is a link to Jamie McLeod’s article in the Forcaster about Cabela’s strategies.

Here are a few highlights of the story.

Jim Arterburn, spokesman for the Sidney, Neb.-based company, said he is not certain when a decision will be made, but said Cabela’s has a strong interest in southern Maine.

That should be an exciting prospect for Mainers and in particular southern Mainers but will it be? Here’s more.

“There are a lot of good Cabela’s customers in Maine. That’s how we site our stores, by looking at where our core catalog and Internet customers are,” Arterburn said.

Oh, yes! More good news.

He said he is not personally familiar with the proposed site for the store and won’t have more details until an official decision is made. Town Manager Ron Owen confirmed that the company has identified a specific site, but said he is not at liberty to reveal the location.

Hmmm! A bit iffy? Not familiar with the site? Town Manager is not at liberty? What kind of liberties does he have?

He acknowledged Cabela’s reputation for aggressively seeking tax incentives when it builds a new store, but said the company has placed stores in areas where no tax incentives were offered and would likely do so again, given the right location.

“We like to get tax incentives when we can, absolutely,” Arterburn said.

But Owen said the town has no intention of offering Cabela’s any kind of tax incentives.

“We do not currently offer tax incentives to anyone,” Owen said.

Well, now, that is certainly encouraging! And the Town Manager’s attitude seems to come shining through just a tad more here.

Owen said he can think of only one instance in which lack of tax incentives may have cost the town a commercial development

Seems like reason enough for me to sit smugly by and watch what could be a few nice jobs go to some other town – or state.

Owen said Scarborough remains an attractive area for development mainly due to its location, easy access to major highways and its low overall tax rate, which can serve, over time, to balance the benefits of a tax incentive elsewhere.

Owen also said he recently received correspondence from a national competitor of Cabela’s, also based in the Midwest, urging the town not to offer the store a tax break.

Now this sounds like sound business practices. I’m sure the Town Manager didn’t heed the advice of a “national competitor”. Yikes!

Arterburn said Cabela’s hasn’t given much thought to L.L. Bean’s presence in Maine.

“We make our retail siting decisions based on the facts before us and our marketing resources. We don’t worry too much about competition. Each store has its own customer base and traditions, and I think we’ll coexist fine,” he said.

This has to be the telltale sign of what is to come. Aterburn says he hasn’t given much thought to L.L. Beans being nearby. Are you kidding me? Beans isn’t Cabela’s but it isn’t Joe’s Bait Shop either.

This all pretty much tells me that Aterburn is politicking with the public and stroking them pretty good to make sure Mainers will continue to be good Cabela’s customers when they locate a new store in southern New Hampshire – or somewhere else where there are better tax incentives. Then what will be Town Manager Ron Owen’s excuse?

Maine is one of those states that has a pretty high unemployment rate compared to other states and provides few jobs with chances for promotion and benefits. But I guess where Scarborough hasn’t given any tax breaks before, that’s reason enough for the rest of the residents of Scarborough to keep on paying those taxes.

I guess it isn’t really that far a drive from Scarborough over to Concord or Manchester, New Hampshire.

Tom Remington

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Maine's Outdoor Report for December 21, 2005

This week’s outdoor report from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is a bit different than ones we have had of recent. This report details the successes they have had with the protection and management of endangered species of wildlife including non-game wildlife. I found it extraordinarily interesting.

Tom Remington

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