The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife has launched a management initiative comprised in theory of a wide perspective of Maine citizens and organizations who would confer on a broad range of issues. With bears specifically, it’s an opportunity to reach consensus that could prevent another referendum over the methods used to hunt bears that have gone before voters twice since 2004. These 'methods' include ambushing bears as they eat piles of human junk food put out to attract them, setting packs of radio-collared dogs to hound bears to exhaustion and then shooting them out of trees, trapping bears and (as much as 24 hours after they've struggled to get free) executing them at point-blank range.
But guess what? Virtually ALL the members of the initiative’s steering committee represent hunting and trapping organizations and not the general public. Why is this important? Because the vast majority of Mainers do not hunt and yet decisions are made on their behalf without their participation.
Tell the Commissioner to add animal friendly organizations and private citizens to the committee in proportion to the majority (nearly 90%) of Mainers who don’t hunt and reduce the current membership to reflect the approximately 10 % of the state’s residents who do.
Maine’s wildlife is a public resource, not a hunter’s private preserve. Like all the state’s public lakes and roads and land, it’s held in common by all who live here, and all should determine how it’s managed.