May 2022 Newsletter from the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands

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Bureau of Parks and Lands

May 2022

In this Issue:

Director's Note: Boating Season is Here!

Maine is blessed with water. Here’s an interesting fact: with more than 5,000 lakes and ponds in our state, if you explored a different lake each day of the summer, it would take you more than 53 years to see them all! While that’s unfortunately not possible (at least not at my age), with the ice finally gone from our rivers and lakes, many of us are turning to our canoes, kayaks, outboards, and fishing rods.

Boating in Maine soared during the pandemic, like all forms of outdoor recreation. According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, in 2020 boating and fishing saw an increase of 27% in the value added to Maine’s economy. With more Maine families and visitors on the water, boating safety has never been more important.

Buoy maintenance and GPS and bathymetry technology.

The Bureau’s Navigational Aids program cooperates in a nationwide waterway marking system on approximately 40 of Maine’s most heavily used lakes. The system uses nearly 2,500 waterway markers (buoys), as recommended by the U.S. Coast Guard, to minimize hazards to navigation. These markers are skillfully maintained by Navigational Aids Supervisor Tim Thurston, Navigational Aids Crew Leader Jacob Rideout, and their seasonal assistants. Tim has also developed a sophisticated process for tracking the location and condition of these buoys, allowing the program to deploy and maintain them in a highly efficient manner. Meanwhile, Boating Facilities Maintenance Supervisor Bill Cunningham and his team effectively oversee the operations of more than 60 BPL boat launches across the state. Maintenance crews install boarding floats, mow lawns, and repair boat ramps, and in the winter months they construct new boarding floats. Overall, BPL’s Boating Program is led by Tom Linscott, (Director of Boating Facilities) with the capable assistance of Heather Seiders (Outdoor Recreation Planner). BPL also coordinates closely with the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife for boating safety and enforcement issues. The Boating Division also oversees a grant program to assist municipalities in providing public boating access.

As you launch your boat this summer, remember to be smart, safe, and respectful of others, and appreciate all those who work to make your boating experience an enjoyable one.

Photos top to bottom: Tim Thurston and Jacob Rideout collect a buoy on Sebago Lake. Bathymetry and GPS are used to map and track navigational aids.

~ Andy Cutko, Director, Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands

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Essential Places, Essential People

Essential places, essential people page of the BPL 2021 summary report showing a photo montage of people, and a word cloud.

Highlights of 2021

This beautiful and engaging report shares the highlights of our work through stunning images and concise descriptions. Get to know these essential places and essential people. We are here for you!

Familiar Faces in New Places

With the 2022 State Park season underway, several well-qualified and ambitious staff have taken on new challenges as Park Managers. Please give them a warm welcome if you cross paths this season!

  • Haylee Parsons, who most recently managed Lamoine State Park, is the new Manager of Reid State Park.
  • Chris Mains, who recently managed Rangeley Lake State Park, is the new Manager of Range Pond State Park.
  • Joe Howard, who most recently managed Roque Bluffs State Park in 2020, is the new Manager of Lamoine State Park.
  • Erica Baker, recently a Ranger at Camden Hills State Park, is the new Manager of Moose Point State Park.
  • John Burgess, who has worked as an Assistant Ranger at Eagle Island Historic Site, is the new Manager this season.
  • Casey Smedberg, former lifeguard and Park Ranger at Mount Blue State Park, is the new Manager of Ferry Beach State Park.

And Some Fond Farewells

Brooke and Adam McKay of Range Pond State Park with farewell service recognition plaques.


We bid a very fond farewell to Adam and Brooke McKay.  For the better part of two decades Adam expertly managed Range Pond State Park, and Brooke did an excellent job as Sebago Lake State Park Night Ranger.  We wish Adam and Brooke well as they move to Wyoming and Adam takes the helm of Curt Gowdy State Park. 

We also bid fond farewell to these dedicated park managers who all retired this year:

  • Lawrence ‘Terry’ Cole - Park Manager, Fort Point State Park
  • Tim Healy - Park Manager, Grafton Notch State Park
  • Robert Crocker - Park Manager, Ferry Beach State Park
  • Jon Metcalf - Park Manager, Fort Edgecomb State Historic Site

Join Our Team!

Work in a beautiful location while making a lasting impact. You'll be helping visitors enjoy and learn about the outdoors, and stewarding iconic locations so that they will retain healthy ecosystems and be healthy places to recreate for future generations.

Apply now at BPL's Careers and Seasonal Job webpage. Resources include brochures, videos, and a link to the applications and job descriptions.

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Interactive Map Shows Maine Locations That Have Received Land and Water Conservation Fund Support

Screen shot of the LWCF interactive map of Maine supported projects. Shows the state of Maine and project locations.

With generous support from The Nature Conservancy, the Appalachian Mountain Club, the Maine Recreation and Park Association, the Maine Department of Transportation, the Maine Office of Outdoor Recreation, and the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund, not to mention the priceless support from staff within our Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, the Maine Grants and Community Recreation Program was able to bring the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) state-side management into the twenty-first century.

Two Maine Conservation Corps Environmental Stewards were engaged for a 1,700 hour service project to secure the legacy of this fifty-seven-year-old program. They dedicated countless hours digitizing project files, building a comprehensive program database which was then connected to polygons they created for a public GIS website. With the launch of this interactive GIS map, the impacts of LWCF across the state can now be clearly seen, the value to the communities where these investments were made better appreciated, and the legacy of these investments better protected for generations to come.

~ Doug Beck, Outdoor Recreation Supervisor, Grants and Community Recreation

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Forestry in the Spotlight: Jerod McBreairty Receives Logger of the Year Award

Logging contractor of the year with his family in front of a feller buncher.

Jarod and Courtney with their children, Luke, Beau, and Drew, in front of Jarod's feller buncher.

Jerod McBreairty, owner of JMM & Sons Logging in Fort Kent, Maine takes the long view of forest health and management. As a fourth generation logger, who is raising the fifth, he understands that the health of the forest 100 years from now depends on what we do today. Jerod's commitment to long term stewardship of the forest, employee wellbeing, and the logging industry was recognized by the Certified Logging Professionals, garnering him the Logger of the Year Contractor/Supervisor Award.

Having forestry professionals like Jerod as long term committed contractors is important to the Bureau of Parks and Lands' capacity to meet our multiple use and sustainable forestry objectives. 

~ Jacob Guimond, Regional Manager, BPL Northern Public Lands

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Emerald Ash Borer Threatens Maine's Forests - You Can Help Stop the Spread

Emerald Ash Borer enlarged, life-size on a penny, and ash baskets.

Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) magnified, actual size on a penny, and ash baskets.

It may seem incredible that an insect, so tiny it can rest on a penny, can cause so much damage to ash trees and threaten the cultural lifeways of the Wabanaki, but it is here and the threat is real. Ash trees are important to forest ecology, and the  brown ash, AKA black ash, (Fraxinus nigra) is used by Wabanaki for basket making. Maine Indian Basketmakers rely on ash to make Indian ash splint and sweetgrass baskets, the oldest documented arts tradition in New England.

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Legislative Recap: Thanks to our Friends and Supporters!

A remote stretch of Wassataquoik Stream.

The passage of LD 1756 will allow BPL to convey a Public Land parcel on a remote stretch of Wassataquoik Stream to Baxter State Park.

With the legislative session now wrapped up, the Bureau is pleased to report several notable successes related to State Parks, the Land and Water Conservation Fund, Ecological Reserves, and Baxter State Park:

  • The Supplemental Budget established 18 seasonal (26-week) Assistant Park Ranger positions. With State Parks setting attendance records the last two years, these positions will be vital in managing both people and natural resources at our treasured State Parks.
  • The Supplemental Budget also created a Planning and Research Associate I position to assist with the administration and oversight of the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The LWCF has funded more than 800 state and municipal recreation sites across the state, and it is more popular than ever.
  • The passage of LD 736 enables the Bureau to designate additional areas as Maine Ecological Reserves. BPL currently manages nearly 100,000 acres of Ecological Reserves at iconic places including the Bigelow Reserve, Mahoosucs, Nahmakanta, Deboullie, and Cutler Coast. Ecological Reserves conserve old forests, safeguard biodiversity, serve as benchmarks for research, and capture and store significant volumes of carbon.
  • The passage of LD 1756 allows the Bureau convey Public Land on East Turner Mountain to Baxter State Park. The East Turner land, which abuts Wassataquoik Stream, is currently held in ‘common/undivided’ status with a private landowner just northeast of Baxter State Park. The parcel is now nearly inaccessible because of its remote location between Baxter State Park and the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, and Baxter is in a much better position to manage this parcel. 

Huge thanks to legislators and conservation advocates for your assistance with these laudable accomplishments!

~ Andy Cutko, Director, Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands

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Pollinator Gardens at Maine State Parks

Students from Casco Bay Highschool planta pollinator gardens at at Kettle Cove and Crescent Beach State Parks.

Casco Bay High School students, with leadership from Maine Audubon, plant native plants to create pollinator gardens at Maine State Parks.

Maine Audubon Education Director Eric Topper spent a week in April with students at Portland's Casco Bay High School for a week-long intensive (mini-expedition) focused on native plants. As the culmination to the week, the students got to put plants in the ground, planting native plants at Kettle Cove and Crescent Beach State Park as part of Maine Audubon's ongoing Pollinators in Parks project in partnership with Maine State Parks and US Fish & Wildlife Gulf of Maine Coastal Program. The project kicked off in late fall of 2021 at Kettle Cove and Crescent Beach, Lamoine, and Range Pond State Parks. Native plant species were chosen  to grow in Maine State Parks based on documented benefits to wildlife and habitat, but also for their beauty, adaptability, and commercial availability. 

Kurt Shoener, Manager of Two Lights, Kettle Cove, and Crescent Beach State Parks reported that,  "The park's winter volunteers were thrilled to see their cleared sites planted with pollinator gardens," and that "the high school students' signs and plantings lend our work context, replacing invasive species with plants that belong here, including Bayberry, Service Berry and Beach Plum."

Learn more about pollinator gardens at :

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Feathers Over Freeport is this Weekend! - April 30 & May 1

The Hawk Watch on Bradbury Mtn.

Hawk watching atop Bradbury Mountain with birding experts.

Join us for two days of bird watching and nature discovery for all ages!

Read all the details, watch webcams, and download birding materials at

  • On Saturday, April 30 Bradbury Mt. State Park in Pownal hosts the event. The line up includes a morning bird walk*, the on-going hawk watch at the summit, a hawk watch workshop*, self-guided walks and take-and-make crafts for children, a presentation by Center for Wildlife and their ambassador birds, and educational displays and games.
  • On Sunday, May 1 Wolfe's Neck Woods State Park in Freeport hosts the event. It includes a morning bird walk*, an osprey watch, self-guided walks and take-and-make crafts for children, a presentation about the Owls of Maine by Chewonki, and educational displays and games.

* Pre-registration is required for the morning bird walk and the hawk watch workshop so we can assure small groups and enough leaders. To pre-register for these programs at Bradbury Mt., call (207) 688-4712. To pre-register for the morning bird walk at Wolfe's Neck Woods, call (207) 865-4465.

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Mark Your Calendars - Maine Residents' Day is June 19

Boardwalk through a forest.

All Maine residents receive free day-use admission to Maine State Parks and Historic Sites* from 9:00 a.m. to closing on Maine Residents' Day, June 19, 2022.

*Please Note:

  • No rain date available; day-use only.
  • Free admission does not apply to: Acadia National Park, the Allagash Wilderness Waterway, Baxter State Park, Peacock Beach, the Maine Wildlife Park, Scarborough Beach State Park, Swan Island, the Penobscot River Corridor, or the Penobscot Narrows Observatory in Prospect, though admission to Fort Knox Historic Site will be free that day.

Where will your adventure lead?

Recommended Read - "Still They Remember Me"

Book cover of "Still They Remember Me" Penobscot Transformer Tales Volume 1 by Carol A. Dana, Margo Lukens and Conor M. Quinn.

"Still They Remember Me" Penobscot Transformer Tales, Volume 1 by Carol A. Dana, Margo Lukens, and Conor M. Quinn

“Still they Remember Me” is a collection of thirteen stories that follow the journeys of the young Gluskabe as he grows and learns from the teachings of his grandmother, Woodchuck. These traditional stories are told in a way that bring balance to the landscape and communicate the values of the Penobscot Nation for generations past, present, and future. The stories were first published in 1918 by anthropologist Frank Speck as told by Penobscot elder Newell Lyon. Together, they worked to develop the earliest writing system for the Penobscot language, a language that was being lost to forced assimilation, displacement, and discrimination. Authors Carol A. Dana, Margo Lukens, and Conor M. Quinn transcribed the stories into current Penobscot orthography and present them in both the Penobscot language and English, side-by-side, with individual words and phrases translated in a way that makes the reader consider their emphasis and meaning from the Penobscot perspective, rather than an English interpretation.

~ Joe Anderson, BPL Stewardship Specialist

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Send article suggestions or newsletter comments to Jocelyn Hubbell, Interpretive Specialist, webmaster, and newsletter editor for the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands.