Monumental visit: Secretary of the Interior tours Katahdin Woods and Waters

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell (left) and Elliotsville Plantation Inc. president Lucas St. Clair listen as Matthew Polstein chats with them before a canoe trip in Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument on Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016. (John Holyoke | BDN)

Before U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell got down to the serious business of enjoying herself on a pair of outings in the newly formed Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, she smiled after fielding a decidedly off-beat question. “Are you going to call a moose?” I asked. “I will if you teach me,” […]

A new era begins: National monument open for business

Christina Marts, community planner for the Katahdin Woods and Waters Monument National Park Service office in Millinocket, stamps a map of the monument lands for visitor Jane Andrews, 71, of Belfast, during the office's first day open on Thursday. It was the first time the stamp, which is generally used for National Park "passports", was ever used. Micky Bedell | BDN

It was a quiet day on the lazy main drag of Millinocket on Thursday. An occasional car or truck drove past, slowly. A few diners sat down to eat at the Appalachian Trail Cafe. And along a strip of vacant storefronts, an occasional pedestrian peered into the open door of a newly occupied space. A […]

New monument a gift to the nation, worth the wait

The East Branch of the Penobscot River runs through parts of the area that President Barack Obama designated as Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument on Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016. (BDN file photo)

Twenty-two years ago, many Mainers — most Mainers, I’d wager — were shocked to hear that a Massachusetts-based group had cast an eye northward and decided to save us from ourselves. For many who grew up here, RESTORE: The North Woods was cast as evil; the mere fact that the group’s name suggested that our […]

‘Bats in belfry’ column sparks emotional response

Little brown bats that are free of white-nose syndrome hibernate while clinging to a cave wall in a tight-packed group in 2011 near Allagash Lake in Maine. (Photo courtesy of Jonathan Mays, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife biologist)

A week ago, I wrote a column about my mom’s bat problem. In that piece, I explained that my mom wasn’t excited about sharing space with a bat, and since the bat was in her actual living space, following guidance from several sources at the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, the bat was […]

Picture from the Past: Mackerel fishing in Searsport, 2007

FINE DAY FOR FISHING   Tuesday was a fine day for fishing at the Searsport public landing and three boys from Belfast made the most of it. Friends, Shawn Secotte (from left) Tyler Tran and Baxter Smith landed a bunch of mackerel and a couple of small codfish. (BANGOR DAILY NEWS PHOTO BY WALTER GRIFFIN)

Although this photo doesn’t qualify as a golden oldie — it’s not the classic black-and-white version we often share, after all — it seemed appropriate to share it today for one reason. This photo was taken on Aug. 1, 2007, nine years ago today, and shows a scene that I’d bet is being repeated in […]

My mom has bats in her belfry. What next?

Little brown bats that are free of white-nose syndrome hibernate while clinging to a cave wall in a tight-packed group in 2011 near Allagash Lake in Maine. (Photo courtesy of Jonathan Mays, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife biologist)

The call came at an inopportune time, just as I’d put about four pounds of chicken on the grill, and donned my imaginary outdoor chef hat. It was my mom. And while she wasn’t frothing at the mouth (a bit of foreshadowing), she was rather worked up. She’d found a bat. In her house. On […]

Readers report: Dogs eat the darndest things

Teddy the Dog ( scratches an itch the day he arrived at his new home. (BDN photo by John Holyoke)

Last week, after discovering a half-eaten $10 bill, I put pen to paper (who am I kidding … it’s always fingers to keyboard nowadays) and told the tale of Teddy the Ten-Spot Eating Dog. I suspected that others might have their own stories to share, and opened the floor to email and Facebook tales of […]

Picture from the Past: A see-in-the-dark shotgun

Warden trainee Lawrence Tate displays a shotgun equipped with a flashlight in this 1960 BDN file photo by Spike Webb.

Perhaps I should have labeled this photo “Poacher from the Past,” although the person holding this gun it is clearly a game warden, not the poacher the firearm was taken from. If you’ve spent any time hunting, it’s pretty clear that the shotgun pictured in this BDN file photo from 1960 had been retrofitted for […]

Bird dog in training has an appetite for money

Teddy the dog has shown an appetite for money. (BDN photo by John Holyoke)

Back in October, when we welcomed a baby bird dog into our lives, my wife and I loaded up the kids and drove to Grand Lake Stream, where we met our little bundle of joy for the first time. Teddy the Wonder Dog didn’t disappoint: He was wide-eyed and snuggle-able, and loved everyone. During our […]

Picture from the Past: Flag-raising on Katahdin

Members of the Millinocket VFW post and Boy Scouts hoisted a 49-star flag atop Mt. Katahdin at 4:42 o'clock Saturday morning at sunrise to mark adoption of the new flag honoring admission of the 49th state. The first rays of the rising sun burst from behind the group as the new flag was unfurled at Monument Peak while skies glowed with the beginning of a fine Fourth of July day.  BANGOR DAILY NEWS PHOTO BY WASHBURN

Some 57 years ago, Americans were celebrating the nation’s birthday — and the recent addition of the 49th state, Alaska. Here in Maine, a group from Millinocket marked Alaska’s statehood in style, climbing to the top of Mount Katahdin and displaying the new 49-star flag at sunrise on July 4, 1959. Alaska had actually been […]