The legislature has added 19 important words to the mission of the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Department that significantly strengthens the role that hunting, fishing, and trapping plays in the management of Maine’s fish and wildlife.
In mid-March I told you this story, which began with a proposal from the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine designed to discourage wildlife ballot initiatives like the 2014 bear referendum. DIF&W raised concerns about SAM’s proposal and it was set aside by the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee.
Don Kleiner, lobbyist for the Maine Professional Guides, created new language that SAM endorsed, and the IFW Committee amended that language down to the 19 words that won the unanimous support of committee members and ultimately, the support of the entire legislature.
Here is the first paragraph In Title 12, Section 10051, titled “Department established,” with the new language underlined:
The Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is established to preserve, protect and enhance the inland fisheries and wildlife resources of the State; to encourage the wise use of these resources; to ensure coordinated planning for the future use and preservation of these resources; to provide for effective management of these resources; and to use regulated hunting, fishing and trapping as the basis for the management of these resources whenever feasible.