Since it’s founding in 1975, the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine has achieved a lot for those who hunt, fish, and trap, and for all the wild critters in our state.
Today I want to take a look back and share some of the group’s early achievements. But first, let me tell you how I got involved in SAM. Dr. Alonzo Garcelon, a founder of SAM, encouraged me to join in 1977, which I did.
In 1978, I attended SAM’s annual meeting, and after board members were elected to fill out the 12-member board of directors, Doc decided I should be on the board. So they immediately voted to expand the board to 13 members and elected me to the board. In 1982 I actually served a term as president of SAM.
And I’ve always been proud of our many achievements during SAM’s first 20 years. It was 1991 when the board contracted with me to resolve some serious problems, and I enjoyed working there so much that I agreed to serve as executive director and lobbyist, working for SAM for 18 years.
Now here’s some of the major achievements in SAM’s first 20 years.
1983 saved Maine’s moose hunt by defeating anti-hunt referendum.
1984 Sam PAC founded, a political action committee to endorse and help elect pro-sportsman legislators
1984 SAM Conservation and Education Fund established
1986 sponsored and successfully championed a $5 million wildlife habitat bond
1987 leading supporter of a $35 million bond for the Land for Maine’s Future
1988 led successful campaign for a constitutional amendment to strengthen firearms rights in Maine
1989 spearheaded a state firearms preemption law to prevent anti-firearms local ordinances
1993 led successful constitutional amendment campaign to protect the funds of the Department of Inland
Fisheries and Wildlife
1994 defeated an attempt to abolish the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife
1994 championed legislation to increase most hunting permits, hire more game wardens, and simplified fishing rules
1994 developed ongoing fishing initiative to improve fishery resources and expand opportunities to fish
1994 led campaign for $10 million hatchery bond
1995 championed legislation to toughen poaching laws, expand landowner relations programs, and provide more funds for conservation
1995 expended scholarships to conservation school to honor Gene Letourneau and Bud Leavitt
1995 won important new protections for shooting ranges