For years, biologists working out of the Enfield office of the Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife found themselves tucked into small Cape-style houses that didn’t really suit them well at all.
Three years ago, the DIF&W started to remedy that situation by building a spacious new facility.
Money was limited, but the department opted to peck away at the project, piece by piece, knowing that eventually they’d have a headquarters building that everyone could be proud of.
They did just that.
Earlier this summer, biologists moved into the facility, and on Friday, the general public is invited to tour the building during an official dedication ceremony scheduled for 2 p.m.
The dedication marks the second such event in a matter of weeks — an expansion at the DIF&W’s Ashland office was officially dedicated on Aug. 14.
“[The new building in Enfield] gives them breathing room, and it also gives them a facility to be proud of,” DIF&W spokeswoman Deborah Turcotte said on Tuesday. “A number of IF&W employees worked hard to get this facility completed.”
Over the past three years, Turcotte explained, the department tackled various parts of the project.
“We’ve been doing it when money has become available,” she said.
The department also looked for ways to save money whenever it could. One such savings was achieved when inmates pitched in to do some of the work.
“We had some help from workers from Charleston in the Department of Corrections [facility] to do some of the finishing work on the building,” Turcotte said.
Turcotte said $250,000 came from the state Bureau of General Services for building improvements, and another $500,000 came from a DIF&W carrying account. The total of $750,000 was essentially the cost of the project, she said.
The result is a post-and-beam structure that borrows a bit from Maine’s history and a bit from existing DIF&W structures.
“The building’s exterior and interior were conceptualized using blueprints of a timber-framed barn,” Turcotte said. “And we also used variations of the blueprints from the Jonesboro [DIF&W] office for the three-floor interior.”
DIF&W commissioner Roland “Dan” Martin will be on hand to officially dedicate the facility on Friday, and public tours will be given beginning at 2 p.m. Snacks will be provided.
“The people of the state can be proud of this building and how it was done, at a minimal cost,” Turcotte said.
The building is located on Cobb Road in Enfield, on the same road as the state’s fish hatchery.
Special Olympics shoot set
If you’re looking to hone your skills for bird season and help out a worthy cause at the same time, you may want to consider taking part in the third annual Sporting Clays Benefit Shoot for Special Olympics Maine.
The event will be held on Saturday at the Hermon Skeet Club on the Black Stream Road.
Shooting will begin at 9 a.m.
Last year’s event raised more than $3,000 through entry fees, raffles and station sponsorships.
The entry fee of $60 includes a meal and NSCA target registration for registered shooters. Raffles will also be held.
Organizers will stage a 100-target event on either 12 or 14 stations. Shooters will be competing in squads of no more than five.
Sponsors of shooting stations, donations, raffle prizes and shooters are all needed.
For more information, call Charlie Tappan at 645-4867 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Maine hunting book released
On Tuesday I received a copy of a book I’m looking forward to sitting down and perusing in depth.
The book, “A Maine Deer Hunter’s Logbook,” was written by Hampden outdoor writer V. Paul Reynolds, who also edits the Northwoods Sporting Journal and hosts the weekly “Maine Outdoors” radio show on WVOM-FM.
As a hunter who’s always looking to do things a bit better than he did last year, I look forward to learning some of the hard-earned lessons a veteran woodsman like Reynolds can pass along.
In a future column, I’ll tell you more about the book. For now, I’ll leave you with this: You can get your own copy, hot off the presses, by sending $14.95 (which includes shipping) to Maine Outdoor Publications, 300 Sawyer Road, Hampden, 04444.
And if you act fast, you’ll be able to put Reynolds’ tips to work in the woods this fall.