November 30, 2020

Maine Fish And Game Slapped With A Lawsuit

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The Animal Protection Institute, made up of a group that finds protecting a few animals more pleasurable than the welfare of human beings, has filed a lawsuit against the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

The Animal Protection Institute (API) today filed suit against the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife (IF&W) to stop the agency from continuing to violate the Endangered Species Act (ESA) by allowing trappers to use traps that injure and sometimes kill threatened and endangered species.

In April 2006, API sent a letter of intent to sue the Maine IF&W in an effort to prompt the agency to take immediate actions to protect imperiled species from deadly body-gripping traps and snares. API and the State were unable to reach a mutually satisfactory resolution of the issue.

Through a press release of their own, the MDIFW countered the accusations of API.

“The Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife works with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to ensure that all reasonable precautions are taken to minimize the potential take of lynx and ensure that regulated trapping is no threat to lynx populations; and clearly, banning trapping in the State of Maine is not our preferred option,” said Roland D. Martin, Commissioner of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

Maine has a larger lynx population than any other eastern state, and Maine’s bald eagle population is the largest in the northeast. Maine does not have a gray wolf population.

“Trapping is an important wildlife management activity that is highly regulated to ensure that wildlife populations continue to be healthy,” said Ken Elowe, Director, Bureau of Resource Management for the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

“Maine is known nationwide as a leader in collaborative research and conservation of lynx. Currently, the department is in the midst of a 6-year lynx research project that has provided as much or more lynx habitat and status information as any other study in the lower 48 states,” said Martin. This lynx project is a collaboration between the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife, the University of Maine, Maine Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and several commercial forest landowners.

The Department continues to work with trappers to incorporate best management practices into trapping. The department also published a pamphlet for trappers entitled “How To Avoid Incidental Take of Lynx” which was written and distributed to reduce the possibility of trapping lynx while trapping other furbearers. A few lynx are killed each year by cars, predators such as bobcats and fisher, and occasionally caught incidentally during the regulated trapping season.

The API would rather spew incorrect and misleading information as part of their public relations campaign to end all forms of hunting, fishing and trapping along with a long list of other foolish measures they believe will protect animals.

Through public records requests, API discovered that species listed under the federal ESA, including Canada lynx and Bald eagles, have been captured and sometimes seriously injured or killed in body-gripping traps and snares set for other species. In Maine, a minimum of five threatened Canada lynx were caught in traps in 2005 alone; at least two of the lynx killed were kittens.

Considering the number of traps and trappers trying to eke out a living and supplementing their incomes, it is quite clear to me they are doing a pretty good job at keeping incidental occurrences to a minimum. But API doesn’t care about the welfare of Mainers who rely on trapping to live nor do they care whether trapping is an extremely important part of wildlife management to ensure a healthy bunch of animals. No, their bent is to outlaw it all and force their off-the-wall beliefs on the rest of us. They use the notion that their interest is in protecting innocent animals and it’s not. Their interest is themselves and forcing their minority ways on everyone else through lawsuits.

If I judge were to rule in favor of API’s lawsuit, it would clear the way to begin outlawing any practice in Maine and all across America that could possibly risk injury or death to any endangered species. This would include driving of cars, trucks, busses, planes, trains, boats, as all of these do and can kill or harm these animals. The point being is that the API are a bunch of fools wasting taxpayers money in order to promote personal agendas.

I am sure that API opted to sue Maine thinking that because the state is comparatively poor, it wouldn’t have the resources to fight a suit. Camilla Fox, director of API said she was disappointed that Maine didn’t want to address her concerns.

“We are extremely disappointed that the state of Maine has chosen not to address our concerns regarding this serious issue,”

What she is really saying is that because Maine wasn’t willing to cave in because of threats from a frivolous lawsuit, prompted by a bunch with a selfish and asinine agenda, she opted to carry through with the lawsuit.

API needs to get a life.

Tom Remington

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