June 23, 2018
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Campfire safety, road caution urged in North Maine Woods

By John Holyoke, BDN Staff

Thanks to the cooperative effort of many of Maine’s large landowners that have banded together under the North Maine Woods umbrella, outdoors enthusiasts are allowed to recreate on hundreds of thousands of acres in the state’s working forests.

The key word there, however, is “working.” Logging crews make their livings there, and the landowners depend upon that work being done as cost-effectively as possible.

Al Cowperthwaite, the executive director of North Maine Woods, is asking for help from during the upcoming moose- and bird-hunting seasons. The first traditional week of moose season begins on Monday, and bird season starts on Oct. 1.

“Despite all of the rain that we experienced in June and July, the woods of northern Maine are extremely dry right now,” Cowperthwaite wrote in an e-mail. “We’ve enjoyed a great stretch of good weather since the first of August. While the forecast calls for possible showers, Regional Forest Ranger Bill Greaves tells us it would take a good day of heavy rainfall to reduce the forest fire danger.”

The crux of the message: Put out your campfires (and make sure they’re out) before leaving them untended.

Another concern for Cowperthwaite is safety on the roads.

He explained that a slow economy during the past several months led to a poor market for woods products recently, but woods crews are now back at work after a late start.

“If a worker or log truck comes up behind their vehicle, pull over and let them pass,” Cowperthwaite advises readers. “Do not try to speed up and stay ahead of a logging truck driver. This will be very frustrating for you and the other driver.”

And if you do see a moose or a partridge and decide to hop out and take a second look, make sure you do so in a safe manner.

“Please pull off the main road before leaving your vehicle,” Cowperthwaite wrote. “It is still too common for people to jump out of their vehicle, leaving it in the middle of the road with doors wide open so no one else can pass.”



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