October 24, 2018

Irony: Freeport, Maine Fights Predator (green crab) Invasion

Hat tip to reader “Bonedog”!

Will this irony also become hypocrisy?

From the Portland Press Herald, we find an article stating the woes of the Maine coastal town of Freeport, creating a plan to control a predator, the green crab, from decimating the town’s shellfish population.

There’s an army of green crabs hunkered down in the channels of the Harraseeket River and Recompence Cove, and every night they skitter up onto the mud flats to feast on whatever shellfish they can find.

They’ve munched their way through most of the wild mussels, scallops and snails along the town’s 27-mile coast, and now they’re working on wiping out one of Maine’s prime soft-shell clam populations.

To combat this small but destructive creature, the Freeport Shellfish Commission is launching the first municipal shellfish conservation program in Maine. Its goal is to reduce predators, protect and enhance existing shellfish beds and diversify the bivalve species growing in nearly 180 acres of mud flats, more than half of which are currently unproductive.

Surely any reader could substitute “green crabs” for say, coyotes, and the stories are just about identical. Will there be outrage and opposition from environmentalists and animal rights groups because the Town of Freeport feels the need to control (kill) predators to save they shellfish industry?

Just yesterday, Governor Paul LePage signed an appropriations bill, LD372, that would earmark $100,000 to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to kill predators, mainly coyotes, that are destroying the deer hunting industry. From the very beginning, and is still ongoing, coyote lovers, environmentalists and animal rights organizations, are putting up a stink in opposition to the killing of any predators. They are predator preservationists……well, at least when it comes to hunting and trapping them.

So, will there be the same outrage from the same groups of people over Freeport killing green crabs? The article says the crabs will be trapped and hauled to the landfill and composted. One would think that these environmentalists would be outraged, first at needlessly killing a living creature, a predator, and secondly wasting it by tossing it in the landfill.

Don’t get me wrong. I take no issue with Freeport killing predators to save their shellfish industry. I’m playing a bit of devil’s advocate here. But surely, cannot we see the hypocrisy?

Certainly there is no difference between the needs of the Town of Freeport to kill predators and the State of Maine needing to kill predators. So why then do the coyotes get the attention of the environmentalists and the green crabs don’t? (at least to this point in time). Do coyotes have more rights than green crabs?

Tom Remington

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My Letter to Governor LePage – Re: LD372 and Bond Issues

Governor Paul Lepage – Thank you for signing LD372 and other bills to appropriate money and further your commitment to control predators that are seriously harming the state’s deer herd and other species. I hope you will also join other sportsmen in keeping a watchful eye on the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to ensure that they will use the funds as mandated by the Legislature and use it effectively.

I hope that you will consider not signing the Bond issues for mostly economic reasons. You’re doing a great job working to get Maine out of debt, we don’t need millions in bond debt piled on now. In particular the bond that would provide money to Land for Maine’s Future, is a proposal that comes premature. It is one thing to seek funding for this program, some of which through wording of the bond proposal, would earmark money to be spent on saving deer wintering areas. This effort may sound good and is certainly well intentioned but, it is quite another to appropriate this money without a real plan. Millions of dollars should not be appropriated to a program that has no viable plan on how it is going to use that money.

Some in Maine, have said that this money to save deer yards is critical and yet they also state that no landowner is going to sell the state a stand-alone deer yard. Where is the plan? Until Maine produces a workable plan that is agreeable to landowners, appropriating money, particularly through a bond is irresponsible…at best.

Thank you again for your efforts and considerations on the upcoming bond issues.

Tom Remington

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Maine Gov. LePage Signs Bill To Appropriate Money for Predator Control

I had reported on Maine’s efforts to pass appropriations legislation for predator control to help rebuild a seriously depleted deer herd. The linked-to article questioned Maine’s full commitment to saving the herd and thus saving the hunting industry.

According George Smith, blogger and former executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, Governor Paul LePage has signed LD 372 that would add another $100,000 to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) budget to be used for predator control. In addition to this bill, the governor signed other MDIFW related bills appropriating funds for fish stocking, increased tagging agents’ fees and adding a “check-off” on the licensing application for sportsmen to donate money toward predator control.

I applaud Governor LePage’s signing of LD 372 as it seems to indicate more of a commitment to save the deer herd. He promised during his campaign he would and while it has taken 2 years, this is certainly better than nothing. However, Maine still lacks real commitment from all stake holders to make this happen.

The other issue is that Maine sportsmen are now left wondering if the money will actually be spent on killing predators that kill deer, i.e. coyotes/wolves, bears, and bobcats. Last winter MDIFW had $50,000 budgeted for coyote control and only used $15,000, in a piddling effort in only 9 deer yards scattered across the state, to kill coyotes. The excuse was it was a poor winter to kill coyotes in deer yards.

Time will reveal now whether MDIFW has the stomach and determination to kill predators to save a dying species. Sportsmen should keep a watchful eye on MDIFW to make sure this money gets spent on what it was legislated for and that real effort is made to reduce the number of predators that kill deer.

In addition, email the Governor’s office and thank him for signing these bills and remind him to make sure MDIFW does what it has been commissioned by the Legislature to do. Governor@maine.gov

Tom Remington

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Open Thread – May 22, 2012

Please use this open thread to post your ideas, comments and information about issues not relevant to the content of articles published on this blog. Thank you.

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Maine Fish and Game Will Train….Butterfly Surveyors?

I think the title speaks for itself but if you want a bit more detail, see the Bangor Daily News.

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Three Maine Moose Bag Out of State Hunter


Photo by Unidentified Fourth Moose

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Four Two-Lips


Photo by Al Remington

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Open Thread – May 21, 2012

Please use this open thread to post your ideas, comments and information about issues not related to the content of articles published on this blog. Thank you.

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Open Thread – May 19, 2012

Please use this open thread to post your ideas, comments and information about issues not related to the content of articles published on this blog. Thank you.

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Maine Not “All In” In Commitment To Restore Deer Herd But We Should be Encouraged

According to George Smith, blogger and former executive director for the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, the Maine Legislative Appropriations Committee, approved a supplemental spending budget for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) for $350,000, of which $100,000 is supposed to be used for “LD 372, An Act to Reduce Deer Predation”.

On January 24, 2012, in an article comparing efforts by outdoor sportsmen groups from Maine and Utah, I seriously questioned whether or not promises made by Maine’s Governor Paul LePage, during his gubernatorial campaign, was all talk and no action.

If Maine and the governor honestly are committed to the rebuilding of the deer herd to keep a vibrant industry providing jobs and upholding traditions and heritage, the value of investment would be realized and the Governor and Legislature would find the money to kill a lot of coyotes, reduce bear populations, protect wintering habitat, etc.

To continue my expounding on the doubts of Maine’s total commitment to deer hunting as a necessary part of that state’s economy, along with the long and storied heritage that has been a part of what makes Maine great, on March 15, 2012, I exposed MDIFW’s sparce commitment due to it’s lack of a publicly written and easily accessed “mission statement.

In all honesty, how can the people of Maine feel any kind of certainty that MDIFW is committed to managing it’s game population for surplus harvest, if they cannot publicly state that? Not doing so only leads us to believe that is NOT their goal and as such, why throw away tax dollars for MDIFW’s wildlife hobbies?

On March 28, 2012, I wrote an article in which I questioned whether Maine was “all in” when it comes to this commitment to rebuild a deer herd. I asked many questions.

So, where is Maine’s commitment? What has IFW done? Are there studies that could be done with a commitment of money? Who is finding that money? What has the governor done? When was the last time that senators Snowe and Collins got involved in Maine’s commitment to restore the deer herd? If Sen. Reid can find millions of dollars, can we assume that Snowe and/or Collins could as well? Have all Maine’s hunters and trappers and outdoor sportsman’s groups anted up?

If the commitment is lacking, then perhaps there is also lacking a firm belief in the seriousness of the problem. Or, the belief exists but a poor job of selling and recruiting all influential people stands in the way.

On May 1, 2012, I wrote:

I am assuming, which might be a mistake, that before the Governor and MDIFW made a public announcement of their commitment to rebuild Maine’s deer herd, they crunched some numbers and explored all aspects of the hunting industry in order to decide whether or not declaring “all in” was an investment that was responsible and in the best interest of the people of Maine.

Surprising many, the Maine Appropriations Committee has coughed up $138,000 on two programs to be used to directly or indirectly help the deer herd. It’s now up to the Governor to sign these bills. Will he?

If Gov. LePage signs these bills, it will be far from “all in” but it would be far more encouraging than the crickets we were hearing prior to this and no positive words that any money would be available.

I suggest sportsmen get on the phone and email and let the governor’s office know you urge him to sign these bills.

Tom Remington

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