December 9, 2023

Moneyless Maine Fish and Game Investigating Car Crashes

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I’m sure we could hear every stinking, rotten excuse in the book but it seems to me that when a department, like the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife in Maine, incessantly complains and uses as an excuse that they have no money, and then we read where the Maine Warden Service is out investigating car accidents, it’s reason enough to create little white balls of spit on the outer part of your bottom lip.

The Maine Warden Service, of which I have few complaints and this certainly is not one of them, is a division of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW). At nearly every turn of the page, sportsmen hear the excuse that MDIFW is broke. Some are out beating the bully pulpit to throw control of the MDIFW into the hands of environmentalists because the department is just so desperate for money. We even hear how certain poaching or general fish and game law enforcement can’t be carried out in the manner it should because the MDIFW is broke.

I want the Warden Service to do their job but I seriously question whether reconstructing automobile accidents is part of what I pay taxes to the department for.

With all this pleading for money, not once, by this current governor or any that have come before him, have they asked for an accounting of the money being spent. Never! But yet they plead for more of it. Hasn’t this become the American way – just throw money at it? No accounting. No transparency. Just demand and get more money.

And then we pick up the newspaper and we read about a tragic automobile accident, in which a woman loses her life. It appears there was a two-vehicle collision in which one vehicle caught fire. My sincere sympathies go out to the family.

At the very end of the news account we read this:

Wells Police and an accident reconstructionist from the Maine Warden’s Service are investigating the crash. As is usually the case in such accidents, the investigation could take months

Perhaps it was not mentioned in this report about wildlife being involved in this accident and death. Was there a moose that caused it, or a deer? Why are sportsmen’s tax dollars being used for accident investigations while at the same time there’s whining and complaining that the department is broke and the Maine Warden Service can’t do a “proper” job because of lack of funds? And please notice the report says this investigation could last for months.

And forget about the money! Why is a wildlife enforcement agency reconstructing accident scenes even if the Warden Service was flooded with money? We just finished the annual moose hunts and now are heading into deer hunting season, with archery season already underway. How many deer will get poached this fall because one of our wardens is stuck investigating a traffic accident?

Governor LePage, Chandler Woodcock and Maine sportsmen need to wake up and start making demands for answers and actions to correct these kinds of problems. Without doing so, you have no right to bitch and complain about how poorly you think the department is being run.

If the Maine Warden Service is going to be used for this kind of work, then there needs to be some kind of reimbursement program to take money from taxpayer funds, i.e. law enforcement, to give back to the Warden Service in ample enough funds where additional wardens can be hired to replace the lost work to the fish and game department.

Hey! I have an idea! Why doesn’t law enforcement just go and fund and hire their own reconstruction/instigation team?