April 17, 2011

Outdoors Dispatches

From staff reports

ROCKLAND

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The new book, “Best Nature Sites: Midcoast Maine,” describes 40 locations to explore varied natural settings.

Courtesy photo

Authors to read, sign new book on natural sites

Georges River Land Trust and the Rockland Public Library will host a reading at 6:30 p.m. Thursday by local authors Kyrill "Buzz" Schabert and Tony Oppersdorff from their new book, "Best Nature Sites: Midcoast Maine."

The book identifies 40 locations that offer the opportunity to explore a variety of natural settings, all within a few minutes of Route 1. Featured sites include such gems as Crystal Spring Farm Preserve in Brunswick, Wiscasset's Singing Meadows Preserve, the Damariscotta Mills Fish Ladder, Beech Hill Preserve in Rockport and the local Georges Highland Path and Weskeag Marsh.

The book will be available for purchase and signing, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the land trust.

Upcoming events include a talk entitled "Celebrating the Midcoast Hills -- history, natural features and ecology," on May 12, and an early morning bird walk at the Pleasant Point Nature Preserve in Cushing on May 14.

For more information, go online to www.grlt.org or call 594-5166.

FALMOUTH

Volunteers sought to listen to frogs around the state

Maine Amphibian Monitoring Project is entering its 15th year of surveying the state's amphibian populations. Annual spring and early summer surveys team up volunteers across Maine to document the sounds and locations of different frog species.

Their collected data helps biologists assess the status of amphibian populations, not only across Maine but nationwide as part of an effort coordinated by the U.S. Geological Survey.

MAMP was launched in 1997 by Maine Audubon and the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

The program needs volunteers to conduct two-hour roadside surveys three times throughout the spring and early summer. After listening to frog calls online, and passing a quiz on identifying the sounds of different frogs found in Maine, they conduct the surveys.

Routes that need volunteers are scattered statewide, though most are in northern Maine:

Potential volunteers should visit www.maineaudubon.org/conserve/citsci/mamp.shtml for more information. Then contact Susan Gallo at 781-2330, ext. 216, or sgallo@maineaudubon.org. Be sure to include where you are located and which routes you are most interested in monitoring.

Anyone is welcome to take the quiz on frog calls, designed by the U.S. Geological Survey, at www.pwrc.usgs.gov/frogquiz.

GRAND FALLS

Hike and raft package offers northern adventure

Northern Outdoors and Maine Huts & Trails are offering a hike and raft package this spring. The adventure begins at the Big Eddy on the Dead River below Flagstaff Lake (or choose to start at Northern Outdoors for an overnight and shuttle to the Big Eddy). You'll hike 8-plus miles along the scenic upper Dead River to Maine Huts & Trails' Grand Falls Hut.

Enjoy a home-cooked dinner served family style and then the quiet comfort of the hut, or take a short stroll down to the Dead River. You'll stay overnight in the eco-friendly hut and wake up to a hearty breakfast.

A whitewater raft guide will meet you at the hut and outfit you for your trip on the Dead River. Then it's off to raft 14 miles of the Class IV river.

After rafting there will be a barbecue cookout at Northern Outdoors Adventure Resort in the Forks and then a return shuttle to your car (about 90 minutes).

Price per person is $214, plus $12.50 river access fee. Minimum age is 15. For more information, call 663-4466 or go online to www.mainehuts.org.

POWNAL

Teens can now register to compete at Bradbury

Online registration is now open for the Teens to Trails Maine Adventure Race on May 14 at Bradbury Mountain State Park.

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