The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry has published a series of essays, written by Tom Hanrahan, Master Maine Guide, writer and columnist – currently in The Northwoods Sporting Journal -- that highlights the recreational opportunities available on state-managed lands.
These unique essays run the gamut from grouse and bobcat hunting to camping and hiking to preparedness in the wilderness. They speak to the intense, wild beauty of the lands owned by the people of Maine.
As one reviewer recently wrote: "[W]hen you’re curled up in front of a roaring fire, planning your next day’s excursion, you couldn’t ask for better company than Hanrahan’s book."
"Simply put, he knows how to tell a tale … and this book is full of them," columnist John Holyoke of the Bangor Daily News writes. " ... It's not a guide book in the strictest sense, but you’ll find some guiding principles and plenty of ideas for future trips in its pages.
"Instead of using a more antiseptic guidebook format, Hanrahan treats Maine’s public lands as his own personal playground, and invites the reader along for the ride."
Over the past decade, the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry and its partners have successfully placed nearly 1 million acres of Maine land into state-managed conservation protection. This has been accomplished through outright purchase or the purchase or donation of conservation easements. State-managed lands have increased by more than 989,000 acres since 1996 – to a total of 1,559,911 acres – all of that acreage with guaranteed access for hunting and fishing. This book celebrates the joys of exploring and experiencing the fascinating beauty of our Maine lands.
Excerpt from Your Maine Lands :
"I am gliding on my snowmobile in a frozen forest of ash, oak, and maple. In the distance, I can see something few riders ever get to see from their skidoos. The boundless Atlantic Ocean. Stretching out as far as the eye can see.
I am blissfully, magnificently alone. There is a foot of fresh snow, and the temperature is in the mid 30s. Bright sunshine makes it feel even warmer. It doesn't get much better than this in mid-February in Maine.
I encounter no one all day long.
Stopping to admire the sea, I am overwhelmed. The water is the color of slate and is dotted by small islands colored a dark green."
Your Maine Lands is available for a cost of $12, which includes tax and shipping.
Checks should be made out to: Treasurer, State of Maine.
Mail your request with a check or money order to:
Maine Dept. of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry
22 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0022
Or Email: Your Maine Lands
YOUR MAINE LANDS: REFLECTIONS OF A MAINE GUIDE, by Tom Hanrahan, Polar Bear and Co., 2008. 76 pages. Tom Hanrahan isn't only one of Maine's premier outdoor writers, he's one of Maine's outstanding writers, period (if you doubt me, check out his column in the NORTHWOODS SPORTING JOURNAL). In this newly-released and widely available gem, Tom explores millions of acres of Maine's public lands. This is not a gazetteer of places to find waterfalls or good trout streams; it's a reflection on becoming a sportsman in the outdoors. If you pay attention, however, you do get some ideas on places to go, and Hanrahan's narrative makes you want to go there. The only wonder is how Hanrahan found the time to so thoroughly experience so many places in Maine's vast inventory of public lands. You find yourself heading to the door to see for yourself if you read long enough.
MATT DUNLAP, NORTHWOODS SPORTING JOURNAL