August 21, 2019

Department Seeks Input On Maine’s Most Popular Wildlife And Fish Species At Public Meetings And Online Town Hall Forum

Press Release from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife:

AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife wants to hear your ideas and opinions about Maine’s most popular wildlife and fish species.

Over the next month, the department will hold a series of statewide public meetings that will focus on moose, deer and turkey; bear, and freshwater fisheries. The meetings are designed to gather ideas and information from the public that will help shape management of these species over the next fifteen years.

“We want to hear from the public concerning some of Maine’s most popular species,” said Jim Connolly, IFW Director of Resource Management. “We’ve already conducted extensive public surveys, but this is your chance to provide additional input on the management of these species for years to come.

In addition to public meetings, IFW is creating a dedicated “Town Hall forum”  at www.metownhall.org to provide a further opportunity for residents to voice their opinions on big game issues specifically (the forum will cover deer, moose, turkey, and bear issues).

Starting March 1, residents will be able to access the Town Hall forum website and leave comments and suggestions at www.metownhall.org.  The website will stay live until March 31, at which point comments will be reviewed.  Residents are encouraged to log onto the website during the month of March to submit responses to prepared questions as well as interact with one another in an exchange of opinions and ideas.

Throughout March and April, there will also be a series of public meetings around the state to hear people’s thoughts and ideas regarding species management.

There will be three public meetings that will focus specifically on bear management. The dates, time and location are:

Bear Management Public Meetings

  • Wednesday, March 16 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.; Embassy Suites, 1050 Westbrook Street,Portland, ME 04102, Katahdin Room
  • Wednesday, March 16 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.; Northeastland Hotel, 436 Maine Street,Presque Isle, ME 04769, Red Room
  • Wednesday, March 30 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.; Black Bear Inn, 4 Godfrey Drive, Orono, ME04473, Blue Room

There will also be three Moose, Deer and Turkey Management public meetings that will meet on the following dates and these locations:

Moose, Deer and Turkey Management Public Meetings

  • Saturday, March 19 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.; Embassy Suites, 1050 Westbrook Street,Portland, ME 04102, Katahdin Room
  • Saturday, March 19 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.; Northeastland Hotel, 436 Maine Street, Presque Isle, ME 04769, Red Room
  • Saturday, April 2 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.; Black Bear Inn, 4 Godfrey Drive, Orono, ME 04473, Blue Room

Maine’s freshwater fisheries will be the focus at these locations on the following dates and times:

Fisheries Management Public Meetings

  • Thursday, March 17 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.; Embassy Suites, 1050 Westbrook Street,Portland, ME 04102, Katahdin Room
  • Thursday, March 17 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.; Northeastland Hotel, 436 Maine Street, Presque Isle, ME 04769, Red Room
  • Thursday, March 31 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.; Black Bear Inn, 4 Godfrey Drive, Orono, ME04473, Blue Room
  • Tuesday, April 5 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.; University of Farmington, Lincoln Auditorium, 224 Main Street, Farmington, ME 04938

The meetings and online town hall are part of a larger study designed to assess priorities for bear, other big game, and fisheries management, including the issues residents see as important; their attitudes toward the current and desired population levels of various fish and game species; management techniques for these species; and any ideas for potential changes to the current management programs.  Input from the public will help MDIFW to create the best management plans possible.

MDIFW contracted with Responsive Management, an internationally recognized public opinion research firm, to conduct the research for the state.  Responsive Management is handling the facilitation of the public meetings as well as the administration of the Town Hall web forum.  The firm has also conducted focus groups and surveys with Maine residents, hunters, anglers, and landowners as part of the research.

Maine residents may have received a call, email, or letter in recent weeks inviting them to participate in one of the scientific surveys conducted for the project.  The next phase of the project calls for a wider opportunity for residents to submit comments and suggestions in an open-ended manner via the public meetings and web forum.

For more information about Responsive Management, please visit www.ResponsiveManagement.com.

For further information about the research study, please contact Nate Webb, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, at nathan.webb@maine.gov.

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IFW Seeks Comment On Proposed Changes To State Threatened And Endangered List

Press Release from Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife:

Public hearings set for August 4 in Portland and August 5 in Farmington; written comments accepted through August 15

AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is seeking comments from the public on proposed additions and changes to the State of Maine Endangered and Threatened Species list.

The proposed changes include recognition of six new species under the Maine Endangered Species Act, including three bats and three invertebrates. Three cave bats are experiencing catastrophic declines from a prolific disease called White Nose Syndrome, first documented in 2006. Little Brown Bats and Northern Long-eared Bats are proposed for endangered status, while the Eastern Small-footed Bat would be classified as threatened.

Three new invertebrate additions to the list include a butterfly (Frigga Fritillary), a land snail (Six-whorl Vertigo) and a beetle (Cobblestone Tiger Beetle). All three are currently documented in single locations and are proposed as endangered.

Other changes include status changes for four species already listed under the Maine Endangered Species Act. Two birds, the black-crowned night heron and the great cormorant, are proposed to be upgraded from threatened to endangered. Two invertebrates, the Roaring Brook Mayfly and Clayton’s Copper Butterfly, would be downlisted from endangered to threatened.

There will be two public hearings where public comments will be taken concerning the list. The first is at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, August 4 at the Portland City Hall, 389 Congress Street; and the second is at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, August 5 at the Roberts Learning Center at University of Maine in Farmington.

Those interested in submitting public comments by writing must do so by August 15. Comments can be submitted by email to becky.orff@maine.gov or by mailing comments to Becky Orff, Inland Fisheries & Wildlife, 284 State Street, #41 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333.

This is the sixth modification of the State’s Endangered and Threatened list by the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife since the law was enacted in 1975.

There currently are 22 species designated as endangered on the State list, and 23 species are listed as threatened. For the listing of all 45 species on the Maine Endangered and Threatened Species list, please visit http://www.maine.gov/ifw/wildlife/endangered/listedspeciesme.htm.

The department is required by regulation to update the State’s Endangered and Threatened Species list at least once every eight years. The department will consider public comment received before presenting the department’s final recommendation of the list to the legislature in 2015. Any additions or subtraction to the list must be approved by the legislature and governor.

Proposed Additions To Maine’s Endangered Species List

Birds Black-crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) – currently Threatened Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo; breeding population only) – currently Threatened

Invertebrates Cobblestone Tiger Beetle (Cicindela marginipennis) – new listing Frigga Fritillary (Boloria frigga) – new listing Six-whorl Vertigo (Vertigo morsei) – new listing

Mammals Little Brown Bat (Myotis lucifugus) – new listing Northern Long-eared Bat (Myotis septentrionalis) – new listing

Proposed Additions To Maine’s Threatened Species List

Invertebrates Roaring Brook Mayfly (Epeorus frisoni) – currently Endangered Clayton’s Copper (Lycaena dorcas claytoni) – currently Endangered

Mammals Eastern Small-footed Bat (Myotis leibii) – new listing
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