I’d like to offer a very different perspective on the fisher, colloquially called a “fisher cat,” from the one presented in the Aug. 8 Maine Observer essay (“Fisher cat a fact of life in Maine woods”).

My sightings of fishers are among my most treasured memories. Standing out among them was a fisher seen while (I was) working on a breeding bird atlas in the Adirondacks of New York.

This dark, long-furred animal stopped in the middle of the country road that I was standing on, stared placidly at me for what seemed like a long time and then disappeared into the woods.

Though I knew it as a predator, the beauty of its rounded ears, long, soft fur and dark eyes made this a very special moment.

Another treasured sighting was a fisher loping in front of me just at the edge of my headlamp as I was bicycling to work in the pre-dawn hours. Another, the paired tracks of a fisher in the freshly fallen snow that I followed up the road as I walked to work.

Most recent was the bounding streak of “liquid fur” that crossed the trail in front of me in a southern Maine park.

Because of the fears people have of these creatures, I usually don’t share these sightings.

I was once asked if I knew someone who could come and kill the fishers that were living in a tract of woods that local people had worked hard to preserve.

What good are the woods without the creatures that live in them?

Their infrequently heard screams do disturb people – I’m not sure that that is a good reason to kill them.

We have nothing to fear in the wildness of Maine, and I hope that everyone will treasure it as much as I do and one day, perhaps, get to see a fisher.

Dan Nickerson