The proposed Constitutional Amendment in Maine, LD 11, the right to hunt, fish and harvest game and fish, may provide the best language so far of any proposed amendments. Passage of this amendment would be good for everyone and for the management of fish and wildlife, although opponents cannot and will never see it that way.
The amendment, often only seen from one side as providing protection to kill animals, not only would help in protecting the long-held heritage of hunting, trapping and fishing in Maine, but will help to insure that hunting, trapping and fishing are used as tools to manage and perpetuate healthy game and other wildlife populations.
The North American Model of Wildlife Conservation is a proven method of conserving and perpetuating healthy numbers of wild animal species. That model calls for the employment of hunting, trapping and fishing as a means of controlling and perpetuating the species but also provides millions of dollars in revenue needed to continue the responsible management of wild animals.
While this amendment may not be the absolute best, it is one that I can at least support. I hope readers will as well.
Below is Section 26 of the proposed amendment. That is followed by the complete proposal as is currently written.
Section 26. Right to hunt, fish and harvest game and fish. The right of the 6 people of this State to hunt, fish and harvest game and fish, including by the use of 7 traditional methods, may not be infringed, subject to reasonable laws enacted by the 8 Legislature and reasonable rules adopted by the state agency designated for fish and 9 wildlife management to promote wildlife conservation and management, to maintain 10 natural resources in trust for public use and to preserve the future of hunting and fishing. 11 Public hunting and fishing are a preferred means of managing and controlling wildlife. 12 This section may not be construed to modify any provision of law relating to eminent 13 domain, trespass or property rights.Maine 128 - HP 12 item 1