*Editor’s Note* – After posting this article and rereading it the following day, I realized that when I made the statement that the reason Maine has to have a “new” 15-year plan for deer, moose, bear, turkeys, etc. was because the Legislature makes them do it. This is true but it is also a necessary evil if Maine intends to receive any Federal funding or support. In essence, the main driving factor for the 15-year plan is Federal money. (Updated 12/24/2016 10:53 a.m.)
Before getting your undies in a bunch, understand that the reason Maine formulates 15-year management plans for big game species is because the Legislature, an author and purveyor of bureaucratic nonsense, tells them they must do this. Why? Well, your guess is as good as mine.
While for most individuals and small businesses, it is important to devise plans that help to lay a path toward success, seldom are they followed – at least to the letter. If you had taken the time to read fully the existing 15-year-plan for deer management, compare it to the realities of what has taken place during that 15 years, and it makes sense that having the plan, with any detail, is a waste of time. Much of it is “copy and pasted” from the previous and then an addendum here and an addendum there. Anyone taking the time to read the plans discover that they either like it or dislike it.
According to what George Smith writes on his website, the proposed goal of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) in the new deer plan is to: “Maintain the deer population below biological carrying capacity while providing hunting and viewing opportunity.” As I see it, this should be about good enough for MDIFW’s 15-year deer management plan. It says it all and provides the best loop hole and excuse, other than Global Warming of course, when they say they intend to maintain the deer population “below biological carrying capacity.” This they have been extremely successful at doing for a couple of decades now. Why should we expect anything different? Now, they will have a written excuse to fall back on when convenient.
Some hunters get all excited when they hear that their fish and game department is going to “provide hunting opportunity,” even if it is written into a constitutional amendment. They have no idea just what that means. Here’s an example of what “opportunity” might look like if and when the MDIFW is further successful in maintaining a deer population “below biological carrying capacity.” November is approaching and MDIFW announces the winners of the 75 doe-only permits that will be issued to lottery winners of the Maine Deer Lottery that will “provide the opportunity” for winners to go onto Maine’s 110-acres of designated public land and hunt deer – with an atlatl, – void of any sharp tip in order to keep the animal rights people happy. Pretty lousy prospects wouldn’t you say, especially when you realize this is the entire “opportunity” the MDIFW is or feels obligated to provide. In short, they are fulfilling their Plan and Mission Statement.
Which now brings us to the new legislation everyone thinks is so wonderful – that added language to the “Mission Statement” of the MDIFW. Here’s what the mission statement says, with the added legislative language in bold letters. “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.”
I mean seriously! This has no teeth – for the hunter, fisherman and trapper that is! It has lots of “gumability” for the heavily dominated environmentalists who now run fish and wildlife departments across the nation…Maine is no exception. Basically it’s worthless text taking up time and space. Oh, yes, it sound really good. Some even think it guarantees a Maine citizen’s right to hunt, fish and trap. It doesn’t! All it says is that MDFIW will do the exact same things it has done for several decades and if the need exists for hunting, fishing and trapping to control numbers, then so be it. They don’t have to.
This is a mission statement – a worthless paragraph fit for anyone who gets off on feel-good crap sandwiches. There is no binding legislation that mandates that MDFIW and/or the Maine Legislature manages OUR games species for surplus harvest. No more than the new plan will guarantee enough game to harvest, especially if the social demands disagree with the pseudo-scientific management currently in place.
What is on display here is government at it routine, worthless, bureaucratic nonsensical self, wasting time, drafting documents nobody reads and, more importantly, nobody abides by or even makes an attempt to closely resemble. Again, I ask what’s the point?
Remember Maine’s Plan for Deer? A work of utter brilliance wasn’t it? Everyone sat around and sang Kumbaya…repeatedly…feeling real good that Maine was FINALLY going to do something about our lack of deer in the state. How did that work out? Oh, you forgot all about it? Maybe that was the real plan. Did that Plan for Deer include a part that when Maine had one non severe winter, everything would be coming up roses? Perhaps a better plan than the waste of time plan that was drafted.
In effect, isn’t this what the 15-year-plan is all about? The Legislature, in order to keep the microscopic number of people who actually read such a plan happy, require the Department to copy and paste, wave a magic wand, repeat “hocus-pocus” six times, release a draft, pretend anybody cares, print a final copy, file it away, and it’s forgotten, as the Department will just do as it damn well pleases and has done for like forever. When a wheel squeaks, a little oil (lies) is applied and the squeak stops until the next round.
The bottom line is that the MDIFW is going to do all that is necessary, first to ensure that salaries and retirement are fully considered and then somehow try to please the few people who want to hunt, fish and trap, the lazy slobs who want to ride around in plush SUV’s “viewing” wildlife, those who fear Lyme disease, and those who get angry because the deer are eating their shrubs, while never actually considering what was written in a Management Plan or what their mission statement is.
MDIFW has their bases covered and we the taxpayers and license buyers pay to have somebody copy and paste a plan together. But, worst of all, some of us actually believe the intent of the plan and the mission statement is real and will be used as a guideline.
There’s little point in giving the plan or the effort much attention unless you plan to read the draft, offer suggestions, changes, deletions, etc. and then spend every waking moment of your life after it passes making sure the Department adheres 100% to the Plan (ROFLMAO). But don’t forget to read the part that gives the Department the authority to change pretty much whatever they want.
Yup! Bureaucratic Nonsense…and, oh yeah –