OQUOSSOC – The Rangeley Region Guides and Sportsman’s Association met Nov. 16 for a potluck dinner and a presentation on the Maine Guide course offered every other year at Mt. Abram High School in Salem.

In President Don Palmer’s absence, Mac Dudley convened the meeting. She announced that the club has joined the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine under a new program. As part of the membership, association members are also members of SAM and will receive the newsletters.

Dudley passed around a list of towns in which the Maine Inland Fisheries and Wildlife needed samples from harvested deer to test for chronic wasting disease. Chuck Hulsey reported that sampling efforts were going well.

Gregg Siloway reported on progress made on the club’s efforts with Maine Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to restore several area streams. Projects in 2006 addressed sections of the Cupsuptic River, South Bog Stream and the Sandy River. Club member assist with stream surveys and in the placement of structures designed to make the streams more habitable for fish.

Randy Targett spoke about the completion of a project to stabilize the sandy bank at Steep Bank Pool on the Kenebago River and to provide a safer access to the pool for fishermen and canoeists.

Cedar logs and native soils were used to create a natural stairway from the road down to the stream. The project also included construction of an outhouse nearby. The project was a joint effort of the club, the Stephen Phillips Trust, Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust, Fly Fishing in Maine and Trout Unlimited. Many volunteers worked to complete the project in early November.

After Dudley announced that the annual Christmas party would be held Thursday, Dec. 14, Heather Targett introduced the speakers, Barry London, a teacher at Mt. Abram High School, and Nick Tranten, a student who recently completed London’s Maine Guide course.

London introduced SAD 58 Superintendent Quentin Clark, who helped him integrate the program into the school curriculum. London, who has been a teacher for 18 years and a Maine Guide for eight years, described how the course was developed, how students are selected and details of the course, which runs for a full school year.

The objectives are to prepare students to pass their oral and written exams for certification as a Maine Guide. The high school property consists of 108 acres, which allows for a section of woods where there is a camp built and plenty of wooded terrain, which are used throughout the course.

London introduced Tranten, a senior, whom London described as passionate about the outdoors and enthusiastic about being a Maine Guide. Tranten described his experiences while giving a slide show, “The Final Trip.”

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