December 7, 2019

Something Maine Sportsmen Can Sink Their Whine Into

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According to George Smith, the Joint Standing Committee for Inland, Fisheries and Wildlife, voted unanimously to approve LD 1593 that was amended – I don’t have a full copy of the amendment.

Smith says the amendment goes with Maine Title 12, Section 10051 and is added (amended) to the end of the first paragraph, thus reading as follows: “The Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is established to preserve, protect and enhance the inland fisheries and wildlife resources of the State; to encourage the wise use of these resources; to ensure coordinated planning for the future use and preservation of these resources; to provide for effective management of these resources; and to use regulated hunting, fishing and trapping as the basis for the management of these resources whenever feasible.” (Amended portion underlined.)

The best argument I can offer is that it’s better than nothing…maybe, and is better than what was proposed before. It will not accomplish what some think it will accomplish – protecting hunting, trapping and fishing. What it does do is give those who think it does, something more to whine about. This is not a mandate but merely a suggestion, with no teeth. It suggests that hunting, trapping and fishing “is the basis” for management. It does NOT say that hunting, trapping and fishing WILL be used for management, nor does it mandate the fish and game department to manage game species for the purpose of surplus harvest. It might provide a thin veil of protection against forthcoming lawsuit directed at banning hunting, fishing and trapping…but don’t bet the farm on it.

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