December 12, 2017

The Secret Society of MDIFW

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Today I was reading a blog in the Bangor Daily News, and it mentioned a report published by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW). That report, according to the author of the blog, is called, “Wildlife Division Research & Management Report.”

I’ve been doing this writing for many years now, with a focus at times on MDIFW. I’ve never heard of or seen such a report. The author of the blog provides his readers with a link to the Maine Government website where such a report exists. Hmmmm! (And thank you.)

Of course, I clicked the link and began looking around. Then I went back and opened the MDIFW website to see if I could find this report linked from anywhere on this brand new, environmentalist-laden website.

Yes, we have no bananas… The only way I was able to find it, I had to know the title of the report and enter it into the “Search” box. Of course, all Mainers have memorized this report title and know how to use the “Search” box to retrieve it.

There was something also quite laughable that I read on the blog: “What caught my attention in this year’s report was the effort made to educate the general public about how the department is funded and the costs associated with MDIFW’s mission.”

How can one imagine that there is an “effort to educate” when nobody in the public even knows this report exists or how to find it? No wonder three-quarters of Maine residents don’t know how the department is funded. Are they supposed to guess?

MDIFW is more and more coming off like a secret society where only the select few are granted permission to receive information. I have previously asked exactly what it was that the staff of the Division of Information and Education does. It would seem that if the Wildlife Division Director states: “…the majority (74%) of Maine residents do not understand how the Department is funded,” then keeping this information a secret by hiding somewhere deep in the bowels of web pages is not conducive to educating the public.

How difficult is it to at least put out a press release saying the report is available for the public to read along with an easy way to locate it? MDIFW quickly notifies the mainstream press when bats, plovers or loons are being counted. Is there something in this Research and Management Report that needs to be kept under wraps?

Now that I have downloaded a copy, I will be reading through it to see what kind of real “gems” I can find.

Reports to follow.

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