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Tuesday, July 22, 2014: Bear hunting, Brandon Berry, Searsport tests

Bear facts

Animals procreate by natural instinct, without the capability to govern their population. When particular wildlife is permitted to populate without human intervention, there will be environmental consequences. The big game animals of Maine — black bear, bobcat, deer, moose, raccoon and turkey — have controlled hunting seasons to regulate the populations and protect the environment from over foraging.

Carrying capacity of the land is determined by the number of animals the environment can tolerate year round. During late spring through early fall months the environment can afford a multitude of animals without considerable damage; mast crops are vitally important. The winter and early spring months are a time of struggle and/or death for the surplus of our big game species. If you see what looks like a high water mark along the evergreens on the back edge of a field, that shows that the deer were struggling and reaching as high up as they could to browse.

Wildlife biologists use hunting as a management tool that not only stabilizes the animal population for the winter but also supplies successful hunters with freezers full of delicious meat. The big game animal is a renewable resource that keeps Maine businesses open and Maine people employed in areas where, if hunting disappears, so will some of the rural towns.

The Maine bear biologists are some of the best in the country and are requested for consultations all over the United States. Let’s leave the Maine black bear decisions to the professionals and start treating our own Maine people with respect.

You may think baiting, trapping and using dogs to control the bear population is cruel, unethical and unsportsmanlike, but have you endured the hours of preparation and insects that are involved? Until the Humane Society of the United States got involved, did you know how bear were hunted?

Troy Frye



Muddy waters

I was one of the folks who gathered samples from the intertidal area at Kidder Point near the GAC Chemical Corp. plant in Searsport. People should understand The Friends of Penobscot Bay are dedicated to protecting and improving the living conditions in the estuary that is part of upper Penobscot Bay.

One way to do that is to urge GAC to address the issue of its potentially leaking legacy wastes. We are interested in cleaning up the bay, not going after GAC.

We asked the Maine Department of Environmental Protection to test for us. They came, looked around and left without taking any samples. So we contacted Dr. Mark Green of St. Joseph’s College in Standish, and he agreed to test the intertidal mud for us.

We carefully mapped the location of each sample and mailed them to Green. He wrote back that the test samples revealed alarmingly high levels of acid. In fact, the worst levels he said he has ever seen.

The DEP’s statement the agency “will not be further looking into” the matter because Green’s information conflicts with the state’s findings shows incredible arrogance. What if the conflicting information reveals potentially dangerous and illegal activities?

In order to be validated, an experiment must be duplicated by others. Our goal was to raise the alarm and persuade a regulatory agency to test the intertidal mud. But that hasn’t happened.

There is a problem, and we have identified it. But if people wish to turn a blind eye to our warnings and stick their head in the sand, I wouldn’t do it on GAC’s intertidal area, because that sand will burn you.

Harlan McLaughlin


Berry spectacular

As a former amateur fighter from the 1990s, I can completely appreciate why some might have a distaste for “combat sports.” That said, I’d like to commend the BDN and reporter Ernie Clark for the wonderful story on boxer Brandon Berry.

Berry is an example of someone who learned to use his fists to better himself, while giving back to his community. And whether it’s the Ultimate Fighting Championship coming to Bangor for the first time this August, students training at Team Irish, Young’s MMA in Bangor, Wyman’s Boxing Club or the fights put on by New England Fights and others, our state benefits financially from boxing and mixed martial arts. At the same time, it grows quality athletes, such as Berry.

Keep up the great work, BDN! Fight fans appreciate the continuing coverage of MMA and boxing in our state.

Chris Greeley


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