Aroostook County hunt aims to manage moose

The Maine fish and game department will conduct a controlled moose hunt in Aroostook County for the third consecutive year, from Aug. 15-Sept. 24.

The hunt is in response to farmers’ concerns about crop damage and high incidences of moose-vehicle collisions along routes 1 and 161. The hunt is not recreational, but rather a targeted and focused effort to effectively manage moose in an area that would not normally attract recreational hunters.

The Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife will issue 100 permits to eligible landowners and registered Maine Guides, with up to 60 percent of the permits going to landowners and up to 30 percent to guides. Ten permits will be allocated to disabled veterans.

Measure seeks to bolster Maine’s deer population

A bill to bolster Maine’s deer population is moving forward in committee, setting the stage for final passage.

Severe winters, attacks by coyotes and human causes such as poaching and highway collisions have contributed to a loss of deer that’s especially serious in northern, eastern and western Maine. Rebuilding the deer herd is a priority of Gov. Paul LePage’s administration.

Last Wednesday, a multipronged bill won the strong support of the Legislature’s Committee on Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, increasing its chances of passage by the House and Senate.

Supporters say the bill makes the conservation and protection of deer wintering areas a priority in Land for Maine’s Future acquisitions, requires the state game department to set five-year benchmarks for deer population goals, and establishes a Predator Control and Deer Habitat Fund.

Political parties get in gear for 2012 nomination process

Maine political parties are starting to make plans for next year’s presidential nomination process.

The Maine Democratic Party’s State Committee has approved a delegate selection plan for the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. Maine Democrats will send 40 delegates, who will be selected in a process reflecting Democratic National Committee rules.

The state party says 37 delegates and three alternates will be selected at caucuses on March 11, 2012. Maine Democrats wishing to be delegates to the 2012 Democratic National Convention must attend these caucuses.


Historic schooner Bowdoin readies for sailing season

Maine Maritime Academy’s historic schooner Bowdoin is gearing up for a busy summer sailing season.

Capt. Eric Jergensen, the small-vessel master at the Castine academy, says the Bowdoin will mostly sail along the coast of Maine for appearances at traditional sail and community festivals. The ship also will host a number of youth sailing excursions.

The Bowdoin will provide a welcome escort to the training ship State of Maine upon its arrival in Portland on June 25.

The official vessel of the State of Maine, the Bowdoin has had a long and illustrious career, sailing on 25 scientific expeditions to the Arctic Circle. Bowdoin sent the first shortwave communications from the region in 1923 while wintering in Refuge Harbor, Greenland.