January 27, 2023

Republican Candidate for Governor of Maine Responds to Questions in Online Interview

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The first to respond with answers to six questions posed by the Black Bear Blog and Maine Hunting Today in an online interview, is the Republican candidate for Governor Chandler Woodcock. I will post the questions exactly as they were sent to him and insert his answers at the end of each question. Comments are open and readers are encouraged to comment and leave additional questions. I will forward the questions to each of the candidates but I have no guarantee they will respond.

Chandler Woodcock Candidate for Maine Governor

Questions For Candidates For Maine Governor

1. In an effort to protect hunting and fishing heritage, some states have enacted a Constitutional Amendment protecting that heritage. Proponents of an amendment say it will reduce the millions of dollars spent on fighting groups opposed to hunting and that guaranteeing a protected industry will strengthen the Maine economy, to name some reasons. Those opposed to an amendment mostly say it is unnecessary, that existing laws protect hunting and fishing now. Would you support a Constitutional amendment that would guarantee the protection of Maine’s hunting and fishing heritage?

1. I would support the constitutional amendment after it was approved by the people of Maine.I would not initiate the process or side with those who initiate the process.That said, there are two issues being addressed: The first is the preservation of the heritage and the second is the rights of the citizens to petition the government. I do not yet believe that the first has created a need to eliminate the second.

2. Maine, not unlike many other states, struggles to fund the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. The bulk of funding comes from license fees from hunters, fishermen and trappers, etc. What are your plans to provide a budget to the MDIFW that meets the demands of sportsmen and the general public? Hunters, fishermen and trappers are interested in creative ways to enhance the budget and cut out nonsense programs (as they see them). Can you share with us any creative ideas you might have?

2. I helped negotiate the 18% funding level which was stripped by the current administration and would seek to reinstate that level of funding. The department, along with others, needs to move away from gimmicks and toward the budgetary process.

3. As governor, would you move toward changing any current laws regarding the right to keep and bear arms? Please be specific.

3.I am a supporter of 2nd Amendment rights and therefore see no need for restrictive bills.

4. Maine spends millions of dollars each year stocking many of our waters around the state. Do you believe this is a worthwhile expense? Would you reduce, increase or leave the same, the amount of stocking that is done?

4.I served on the Hatchery Committee of the legislature and we increased the stocking of Brook trout in particular for those bodies of water which are not sustainable. I want to have fewer Splake and more Landlocked Salmon and have stated such many times.

5. Maine lags far behind other states in percentage of land owned by the public trust. Those opposed to spending public dollars for the purchase of lands in Maine argue that there is ample private property available for hunting, fishing, trapping, and all forms of outdoor recreation. Do you see Maine’s private available lands shrinking and do you support the further investment of purchasing public lands?

5.I have been a supporter of public land purchases if access and traditional use are maintained for all.

6. Are you in support of or opposed to Sunday hunting in Maine? Could you please give specific reasons for your stance.

6. I am opposed to Sunday hunting. I believe that nonconsumptive users need the perception of “safe woods” and are important to future use by those of us who hunt.

General Comments:

I trutly appreciate the opportunity to answer the questions and wish to again thank you. I have been hunting and fishing in this state for nearly 50 years and love the outdoors. It generates $1 billion/year for us and needs to be better appreciated by governent for its important role and significant heritage.

Tom Remington