September 12, 2019

MDIFW NEWS: MDIFW Honors Charlie Mann, George Smith For A lifetime Of Outdoor Achievement

AUGUSTA, Maine - Charlie Mann of Winthrop and George Smith of Mount Vernon were honored this past weekend with the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife's 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award. MDIFW Commissioner Judy Camuso presented the award to Smith and Elaine Mann, Charlies widow, at the annual Sportsmans Alliance of Maine banquet this past Saturday. The award, one of the departments highest honors, celebrates a lifetime of achievement and mentoring in Maines outdoors.

Smith, a lifelong hunter and angler, grew up in Winthrop. Smith turned his passion for Maines outdoors into a career, becoming the executive director of the Sportsmans Alliance of Maine for 18 years, host of the TV show Wildfire, a 30-year columnist for the Kennebec Journal, and outdoor blogger for the Bangor Daily News.

Smith was instrumental in establishing the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund, which has provided millions of dollars to protect and enhance Maines fish and wildlife resources, the Departments outdoor license plates, and ensured hunting and fishing were an integral part of the land for Maines future program. He also led successful efforts to revive Maines moose hunt, defend Maines bear hunt, simplify Maines hunting and fishing laws, and expand opportunities for hunters, trappers and anglers.

Charlie Mann was honored posthumously, but learned of his selection prior to passing away on September 4. Charlie founded the Departments Hooked On Fishing, Not On Drugs Program over 25 years ago, and served as the departments volunteer coordinator, scheduling programs and getting volunteers to assist in those programs.

Mann was also a well-known and avid fly tier, tying at many national shows, and in recent years, devoted much of his time to "Back In The Maine Stream" where he taught disabled veterans how to tie flies. He also he also created and tied commemorative flies including the Governor Angus King Streamer, the Maine Warden Service Streamer, the Maine Guide Fly, and other streamers commemorating individuals throughout the state.

The Departments Lifetime Achievement Awards, which is presented by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, honors individuals who are dedicated to the use and stewardship of Maines natural resources, and have a passion for Maines rich outdoor heritage. This award celebrates the achievements of an individual who has shared their experiences with future generations. Nominations are accepted starting in June of each year, and award winners are notified by the end of August.

George Smith, center, is pictured with MDIFW Commissioner Judy Camuso and MDIFW Deputy Commissioner Tim Peabody after being honored with a Department Lifetime Achievement Award. (Photo Courtesy MDIFW)