February 26, 2020

Progress On Maine Bear Bill LD1118

WildWatchMaine (WWM), an obviously dishonest “animal advocate” organization that opposes any hunting, trapping, and fishing legislation, is once again appealing for your MONEY to fight LD1118, a proposed bill that would give the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) commissioner authority to manipulate bear hunting/trapping seasons as those adjustments become necessary (in the opinion of the commissioner) to meet management goals.

This is how WWM worded their appeal for money: “This is the bill we OPPOSE for many reasons, not the least of which is that it would EXTEND THE BEAR TRAPPING SEASON…to nearly 20 weeks.”

This is NOT what LD1118 would do if it should pass the Maine Legislature. LD1118 says, “The commissioner shall by rule establish a bear trapping season beginning no earlier than August 1st and ending no later than December 15th annually.”

Conveniently, and dishonestly in my opinion, left out of the WWM’s appeal for MONEY is the Part A and Part B of the bill proposal: “A. The commissioner may shorten the open season on bear trapping in any part of the State as long as: (1) The demarcation of the areas with a shortened season follows recognizable physical boundaries such as rivers and railroad rights-of-way; and
(2) The decision is made and published prior to February 1st of any year.
B. The commissioner may terminate the open season on bear trapping at any time in any part of the State if, in the commissioner’s opinion, an immediate emergency action is necessary due to adverse weather conditions or severe hunting or trapping pressure.”

Don’t be fooled by dishonest anti-hunting groups who are, first and foremost, after your MONEY, and secondly, whose only intention is to stop hunting and trapping. This bill DOES NOT lengthen the season on bear for hunting or trapping. What it does do is give authority to the MDIFW Commissioner to adjust the length of those seasons pursuant to the needs of established management goals.

Also don’t be fooled by this bill proposal in that this bill gives the authority to the commissioner to shut down all bear hunting, baiting, trapping, etc. at the discretion of that commissioner. Hmmmm!

It is vitally important to understand who and how we are being screwed over by Environmental groups and government. Support or oppose this bill as you wish but understand the truth before you do.

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Maine Bill Proposal Would Provide Authority to Commissioner to Manipulate Bear Hunting/Trapping Seasons and Bag Limits

Maine bill proposal LD 1118 is a provision that grants authority to the commissioner of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife power to set and manipulate bear hunting and trapping seasons according to the management needs Wildlife Management Districts (WMD). Contrary to the misleading information being spread around by some anti-hunting groups, LD 1118 is NOT a bill that necessarily lengthens a bear season nor does it necessarily increase the seasonal bag limit.

According to the WildWatch Maine FARCEbook page, they are misleading their readers by presenting information contained in this bill proposal that simply is not necessarily true. The information is being presented as though this bill establishes a bear hunting season that begins August 1st and ends December 31st. The actual bill proposal amendment reads: “The commissioner shall by rule establish a bear hunting season beginning no earlier than August 1st and ending no later than December 15th annually.” Nothing more…nothing less. This simply authorizes the MDIFW commissioner flexibility to be able to adjust seasons according to management needs established under the reigning commissioner’s administration – whatever those needs might be perceived as.

Absent from the hunting haters’ misrepresentation is that this new authority given the commissioner also hands over the power to control how, if, and when bait can be used for bear hunting. This authority provides the commissioner the means to end bear baiting. Think about that for a moment.

About the only thing the group relayed that was completely accurate is that the license fees for bear hunting would be reduced.

Some might automatically assume that hunters would be eager to support this bill proposal. Not necessarily. I personally think that the MDIFW should make changes to all hunting, trapping, and fishing rules and regulations as they become necessary for the proper scientific management and control of all game species. I am not keen on handing over a blank, signed check of authority to any commissioner. This may be giving this unelected official too much power and control over the legislative mandate to provide a harvestable resource.

It has always been my bone of contention that use of the term “opportunity” when it comes to hunting, trapping, and fishing is not much for giving anyone any sort of real assurance that there will ever be sufficient game to hunt or fish. It merely provides “opportunity.”

With power given to the MDIFW commissioner, in the wrong hands harvest may become a thing of the past with emphasis put more on opportunity.

Before you support or reject LD 1118, please take 10 minutes out of your life to read the proposal and try to think beyond the moment and consider possibilities and potential abuses that might happen. Remember also, you and I did NOT vote for the commissioner. Do you want that position to have that much power?

Maybe, or maybe not!

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While You Were Sleeping, Congress Further Destroyed Your Second Amendment Rights

AND YOU LOVE IT!!!!

Quietly and with little fanfare, the U.S. Congress stuck a knife in the back of all Americans, something the lying, cheating, bastards do on a regular basis, and stole away even more of your right to own a gun and buy and sell, or even loan a gun. Congress passed HR 8.

We can thank radical progressive totalitarians for this action, an action that was prompted by a government so corrupt for so long few even have enough wherewithal left in them to recognize it. But, it’s not just the progressives to blame. Blame must also be made on those fake claimers who say they are Second Amendment supporters. These are the ignorant fools who are the useless eaters who enable the far Left by supporting “reasonable” destruction of the Second Amendment. How many gun rights advocates (wink-wink) support “Universal Background Checks?” Yeah, check em off. Millions! Rome burns and your water bucket is riddled with holes.

Well, now they have those “reasonable” limits in the form of “Universal Background Checks.”

What HR 8 means in short is that nobody can buy or sell without having the mark of the beast. That’s right. The mark of the beast consists of first obtaining a background check. Keep in mind that you and I have absolutely no control over a background check or the information contained in that check that determines whether or not we “qualify” to buy or sell a gun.

Just wait!

If I want to sell a gun to someone, I must, according to the beast, pay a fee to have a government licensed, government controlled seller first run a background check on the buyer and the seller(?).

There is only one way this can be enforced. The government must keep a registration of all firearms. How else would they even know, until perhaps after a crime was committed using an illegally sold or stolen gun when they checked the serial number, that a gun had changed hands.

What most don’t know and/or choose not to believe is that the U.S. Government ALREADY has a registration of every firearm that has ever been sold by a licensed seller in recent years. What they don’t have, and what they really want, are the serial numbers attached to a person’s name of all those guns that have existed for a long, long time and have never been registered. How else can they confiscate them all when the time comes? HR 8 helps to accomplish that task. (Think about what powers the president has been given through the Defense Authorization Act when a National Emergency has been declared. Oh, wait. I forget. You’ve never read that have you. Probably never heard of it either.)

But the biggest question of all is just exactly what is this going to do to prevent all those violent crimes scared servants are fearful of? The answer is it is going to do nothing except further prohibit anyone from honestly owning a gun and having the ability to do with it as one pleases.

Supporters of these “Universal Background Checks” buy into all the lies and false promises made about how you can “gift” a gun to a family member or loan one to a friend for hunting, while choosing to disregard the fact that government, yes, your filthy, disgusting, dirty, rotten, lying, cheating, stealing, government, controls every aspect of your ability to own and/or sell a firearm. This makes them tyrants. Tyrants I said, and the very reason the Second Amendment was crafted was to make sure no tyrannical government can ever turn you and I into the slaves we have become. Too late now!

But you don’t see that do you. If you did, we wouldn’t be to the point we are now.

I hope you continue to enjoy your slavery to YOUR tyrannical fascist government. After all, this is all “reasonable” isn’t it?

Oh, by the way. The link above will take you to the text of HR 8. But I know you won’t even take 10 minutes to read it because you don’t care. You either support it blindly or reject it blindly. So, what else is new.

SHEEP! Baaaaaah…Baaaaaaah…Baaaaaaaah

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Maine Leg. Committee Up and Down of Bill Votes

I recently wrote of the Maine Legislative Joint Standing Committee on Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s unanimous vote of “ought not to pass” on a bill that would have allowed for a Spring bear hunt. The JSC has been up to more tricks.

In a bill (LD27) that will allow the use of crossbows during the bowhunting season on deer was unanimously approved. The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s (MDIFW) commissioner, Judy Camuso, argued in favor of the crossbow use and even supported its use for turkey hunting. The JSC did not vote on such a move.

LD 79 is a bill that would grandfather any shooting range that existed before a recent bill banning shooting ranges within 100 yards of any building. The JSC was unanimous in its recommendation to pass.

A bill (LD 490) to expand the trapping season up to 21 days also passed the committee, while a bill (LD 525) to raise the registration fee for snowmobiles failed.

Next week the committee will vote on a brand new proposal from the Humane Society of the United States that would require all female bears to report to MDIFW headquarters in Augusta to receive the yearly supply of birth control pills. Bears wishing to avoid ingestion of chemicals can option for an IUD. (This is a joke. Ha Ha)

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Maine Leg. Committee Nixes Bill for Spring Bear Hunt

The Maine Joint Standing Committee for Inland Fisheries and Wildlife voted 9-0 that a bill to allow for a Spring bear hunt “ought not to pass.” (Note: 4 members of the committee were absent. Were they out hunting piping plovers?)

Okay, so now we know that the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) opposes a Spring bear hunt. Does MDIFW oppose that bear hunt because the Maine Guides Association is telling them to oppose it? Hmmmm.

So, what is the MDIFW going to do? Sounding like a broken record, they keep telling us that more bears need to be taken during bear hunting season to mitigate the growth of the animals that are presenting more and more public safety issues each year. And yet, there appears to be little MDIFW is willing to do to solve the problem. Maybe if they wait long enough, Global Warming will take care of the bears.

Who knows?

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Can We Make Schools Safer By Using the Same Totalitarian Demands for More Government Control?

*Editor’s Note* – This is not an attempt at discrediting David Trahan. He does great and useful work with the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine. He is to be commended and applauded for the effort he puts in to right wrongs and carry out the wishes of the members of SAM. In my work, I work tirelessly attempting to cause people to see the wrongs, the insanity of how we have been programmed to operate. As a result, I may come across as harsh and/or unfair to some. It is not my attempt to attack the person but to reveal and address truth and to cause people to think for themselves by giving alternative or additional thoughts to a problem.

In a second effort at addressing gun control and public safety, David Trahan, executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine (SAM), pens another article to address school safety. You can read Trahan’s first editorial about “Red Flag Laws” and my comments here.

Trahan writes: “…policy makers and Americans have not focused on coming together to institute universal security changes at all schools capable of stopping or minimizing the success of future attacks.” Huh? What does that mean, if anything?

What are “universal security changes?” Are they anything like “universal background checks?” Why are they called universal? In this context is the word used as an adjective or a noun? Are these actions “universal” because any oppressive laws were devised by a group of like minded people? Or do these same laws have an effect on everybody? Perhaps both. If so, maybe it is more correct to state that we have failed to come together to “institute universal, universal security changes.”

Regardless, the statement sounds more like a politician who refuses to give an honest answer with any meaning.

In this same article, Trahan explains his previous attempts at addressing school safety by formulating groups to conduct “studies” as well as creating a task force that will listen to complaints and examine recommendations from these “study” groups.

Useless!

None of that worked and so it appears the solution is to try it again and change the name a little bit.

Isn’t it insanity to think that you can fix a rigged system by working with the rigged system to fix the rigging? A system is rigged because it doesn’t want outside interference. In order that any government entity can continue to operate within their rigging they must learn how to continue to fool the people into thinking something is being done. An example of that might be just what you are seeing here – a call for “universal” security changes. Even Trahan tells readers, “…because most of the report was made confidential in an effort to protect vulnerable schools, we have no way of knowing whether our schools are safer…” How convenient, but that’s how rigged systems continue to operate.

He also writes: “They should be directed by the Government Oversight Committee to examine statewide whether we have adequate school security.”

Ah yes. That “Government Oversight Committee.” Ah yes. The insanity of it all. Government anything is a corrupt useless existence of nonsense. Let’s completely remove government interference and then maybe something constructive could happen. The insanity shows itself when people lament the curses of government and then in the next breath cry out to the same government demanding an answer. Isn’t this the product of the Hegelian Dialectic – create a problem, embellish it, and rush in with an answer? Ah, brainwashing! Isn’t it also a full display of cognitive dissonance – the inability to understand and relate rational thought in making decisions? Ah, programming!

I’ve written often about how so-called Second Amendment supporters make hypocrites of themselves when they actively seek “reasonable” restrictions to a granted right that has no restrictions. In their arguments to support the right to keep and bear arms, they always fall back on the theory that gun laws only limit the law-abiding citizen and do nothing to stop violent crime. And yet, they disregard that same philosophy when it comes to things like school safety. Are we to believe that in this instance laws designed to make schools safer, that is for the law-abiding, will only affect the violent criminals that might enter a school and do harm?

Perhaps if we exerted as much energy into addressing the real problem in this perverted, violent, immoral society to end the needless violence, violence that is grown and perpetuated in this out-of-control society of progressives who seek more decadence and immorality, then much of what totalitarians, disabled by cognitive dissonance, are now attempting to do would become unnecessary. But that’s never been the American way. The American way is to somehow try to find a cure for the symptoms so that they can continue, uninterrupted, carrying out their indecent and obscene lifestyles.

But, it will never happen that way. So, all you people who know not what you do, you keep working hard at getting those “UNIVERSAL” changes that are going to make everything better.

I think creating concentration camps was a “universal” change.

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Proposed Deer Hunting Bills for Maine

Deer hunting bill proposals are making there way before the Legislative Joint Committee on Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. Here’s a look at some, with links for you to view the text of the bills, and some comments that I may have.

LD175 – An Act to Extend the Deer Hunting Season by 2 Saturdays.

In my opinion this is not a good idea. Let me explain my position.

As I understand the bill, the intent here is to give rifle deer hunters 2 extra Saturdays to hunt. These two Saturdays would run the following two Saturdays after the last Saturday of hunting in November. This usually occurs right after Thanksgiving.

It should be noted that the two weeks following the regular firearms season is muzzleloader season. These 2 extra Saturdays being sought coincide with the muzzleloader season.

I am not a very big proponent of the muzzleloader season falling when it does. It is my opinion that running any deer hunting season that late into the season puts an added stress on the deer which are either on their way to winter yard up or are already there.

Adult male deer have undergone a great physical strain through their rutting season. They have eaten little, have lost a lot of weight and stored fat. Further stressing the animal puts it at greater risk of survival during the winter months.

Adding 2 Saturdays of rifle hunters in the woods stressing further the deer population could cause serious damage to the deer herd, of course, depending on what Wildlife Management District (WMD) we are talking about. Certain WMDs would be not under the strains of winter during that time while others, like this past season, deer would already be yarded up. Perhaps changes to this bill might specify WMDs that would not be greatly affected.

It is not that I am opposed to offering hunters extra opportunities. My concern is for the deer herd. When examining hunter opportunities, it must be considered whether the deer herd can withstand the extra strain and the resulting reduction in the herd.

LD188 – An Act To Provide for an Expanded Muzzle-loading-only Deer
Hunting Season

This proposed bill will make it mandatory that the Muzzleloader Season on deer be extended for “12 hunting days” following the close of regular firearms season.

There’s a couple of things that need to be explained here. First, the current laws regulating the muzzleloader season give the commissioner authority to close a season if conditions warrant the need.

Second, the commissioner also has authority to set the season dates. The new proposal would mandate 12 hunting days (two calendar weeks) and remove authority from the commissioner to set the dates. It would not take away the authority of the commissioner to close the season if conditions warrant.

There is little that changes here from the current conditions except taking the authority away from the commissioner to set the muzzleloader season dates and makes the season mandatory. As long as the commissioner can still close the season due to detrimental conditions, I see little difference.

Neither for nor against this bill until such time as more evidence is presented.

LD190 – An Act To Provide Antlerless Deer Permits to Senior Resident
Lifetime Hunting License Holders

The intent of this bill is within its title. It is my understanding that there are currently some 36,000 senior hunters. Many are not aware of the fact that the overwhelming majority of “Any-Deer Permits” (ADP) are already predestined to special interest groups. Adding another 36,000 ADPs to the list will effectively use up all the permits. The ADP system is a tool that is used to manipulate the deer populations per WMD. If the total number of ADPs required to be issued exceeds the biological need, then what? In addition, this bill allows for the holder of a senior ADP to use his/her tag anywhere in the state. This runs contrary to the theory behind utilizing ADPs.

Not only would I oppose this bill but I might suggest another bill that would effectively repeal the issuance of most all other special interest groups’ awards of ADPs.

LD265 – An Act To Increase Opportunities for Hunters, Anglers and
Sporting Camps by Extending the Seasons on Upland Game

The intent of this bill is to open the season on Upland Game on the last Saturday of September in order to better utilize a Saturday to coincide with fishing season. It is stated that this bill would be perhaps an economic advantage for sporting camps.

I think this bill makes sense and not only assist sporting camps but might provide better opportunities to hunt snowshoe hare, gray squirrels, ring-necked pheasants, ruffed grouse, and bobwhite quail. Provided that such a move doesn’t jeopardize the management goals of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, this bill appears reasonable.

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Maine: LD 31 has been brought back from the dead today

SAM ILA — LEGISLATIVE ALERT 

Attention! Attention! Attention!

LD 31 has been brought back from the dead today – Call Your Legislator!

The SAM ILA’s Bill, LD 31, RESOLUTION, Proposing an Amendment to the Constitution of Maine To Require That Signatures on a Direct Initiative of Legislation Come from Each Congressional District is back from the dead and could be re-voted today and tomorrow in the House and the Senate.

Democrats have offered to support LD 31 as a way to kick start negotiations and end the Legislative stalemate that is gripping Augusta.  The deal would be to place the important ballot access fairness Resolution on the 2019 fall ballot.  Finally, a chance for the “other Maine” to have a say in what appears on the ballot as an initiative.  Help us stop special interests and their money from monopolizing southern populated areas to push their agendas and divide our state into the haves and have nots!

The House Republicans have supported us time and time again in our fight to bring fairness to the initiative process!  Ask them to do it one more time by joining Senate Democrats and Senate Republicans as well as House Democrats in making LD 31 a priority in any deal to end the stalemate.

Your support is needed ASAP as time is running out!  Ask your Representative to support LD 31 as key part of a final leadership compromise that brings northern and southern Maine together.

This bill would finally bring fairness to rural and suburban Maine by giving them a voice in what appears on the ballot. If this is approved, Maine would become the 13th state of 24 states with a referendum system to adopt such a voter fairness law.

Click here to contact House members and ask them to support LD 31 as part of the leadership compromise.

Below is a little history about LD 31:

Our organization has introduced this important Constitutional change as a way to bring fairness to rural and suburban areas of Maine that are generally ignored when organizations are collecting signatures for Citizen Initiated petitions.  In nearly every campaign, mostly paid signature collectors, funded from out of state, are targeting heavily populated areas in the First Congressional District.  Simply put, it is all about the money, the more people, the more profit. 

Petition signatures are valuable, hundreds of thousands of dollars are being spent with companies and special interests to buy their way onto the ballot and their job is easier when their campaigns can concentrate their efforts in and around cities like Portland.  This may seem okay when you live in Portland and the surrounding area, but, it is blatantly unfair for the remainder of the state.  Why? You ask. Because some initiatives originating in heavily populated areas can disproportionately and negatively affect rural areas that feel powerless in the qualifying process. 

For instance, over 80 percent of the signatures to put the bear referendum question on the ballot came from the First Congressional District, yet virtually no one in that area would have been affected by its passage.  Half the states, around the nation that have referendum systems, (24) have adopted geographical distribution policies, (12) like the one proposed in LD 31 to help bring ballot access fairness to the people living in rural and suburban areas.

The Federal Ninth Circuit Court ruled that this policy is fair and reasonable, http://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2012/03/14/10-16707.pdf

NCSL Report-Geographical Requirements

http://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/signature-requirements.aspx#Geo

I encourage you to read the Appeals Court ruling at the above link, it is very enlightening and should help answer any questions or doubts you may have about supporting this policy change.

There are some organizations that are opposed to this change, I understand they use the referendum system to promote their organization’s agenda and it is easier to leave the status quo.  I find their opposition stunningly hypocritical.  Your vote on this bill is not to adopt this proposed change, but to allow Maine people an opportunity to vote on the issue.

The opposition argument is: we want Maine people to have the ability to vote on the referendum questions of our choosing, but, we don’t want them to have an opportunity to vote on a policy that makes that system fair for all Mainers.  Do they trust Maine people to do the right thing or not?

I encourage you to read this important Appeals Court ruling, LD 31 is fair and reasonable and I hope you will support allowing Maine people to hear the debate and make up their own mind.

Click here to contact House members and ask them to support LD 31 as part of the leadership compromise.

Please share this with your friends and family!

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Secretary Zinke Proposes Expansion of Hunting and Fishing Opportunities at 30 of America’s National Wildlife Refuges

Press Release from the Department of Interior:

WASHINGTON – Continuing his efforts to increase access to public lands, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke today announced a proposal to open more than 248,000 acres to new or expanded hunting and fishing opportunities at 30 national wildlife refuges.

Opportunities include places like Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge in Illinois and Wisconsin, and deer hunting in Philadelphia at John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge being proposed for the first time. The proposal also outlines expanded hunting and fishing opportunities at 136 national wildlife refuges. If finalized, this would bring the number of units of the National Wildlife Refuge System where the public may hunt to 377, and the number where fishing would be permitted to 312.

“As stewards of our public lands, Interior is committed to opening access wherever possible for hunting and fishing so that more families have the opportunity to pass down this American heritage,” Zinke said. “These 30 refuges will provide incredible opportunities for American sportsmen and women across the country to access the land and connect with wildlife.”

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (Service) proposal would open more new acres to hunting and fishing than in the past and takes steps to simplify regulations to more closely match state hunting and fishing regulations. The changes would be implemented in time for the upcoming 2018-2019 hunting seasons.

Hunting, fishing and other outdoor activities contributed more than $156 billion in economic activity in communities across the United States in 2016 according to the Service’s National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, published every five years. More than 101 million Americans – 40 percent of the U.S. population 16 and older – pursue wildlife-related recreation – such as hunting, fishing and birding.

“Ensuring public lands are open for multiple uses supports local economies and provides important opportunities for recreation. Further, this proposal means that families and individuals across our nation will be better able to participate in our nation’s tradition of hunting and fishing. We appreciate Secretary Zinke and the Interior Department for advancing this priority, and we will continue to work to improve access to public lands for our sportsmen,” said Senator John Hoeven.

“Public lands should be open for the public to enjoy,” said Chairman Rob Bishop of Utah. “The Department of the Interior’s latest decision to expand acreage and access for hunting and fishing on wildlife refuges was the right move. Secretary Zinke’s decision will help our economy grow and enable those who hunt and fish to spend more time catching game and less time caught in red tape.”

“North Dakota is a sportsman’s paradise. The decision to expand access to public lands by opening more than 248,000 acres across the nation to hunting and fishing will provide new economic opportunities for local communities as well as open up new areas for anglers and hunters,” said Congressman Kevin Cramer. “For the first time, the J. Clark Salyer and Lostwood National Wildlife Refuges will be open to moose hunting. I commend the Secretary’s decision and look forward to working with the department.”

“Hunters, anglers and shooting sports enthusiasts play a crucial role in funding the management and conservation of North America’s wildlife,” said Service Principal Deputy Director Greg Sheehan. “We are providing sportsmen and women with more access to our national wildlife refuges and streamlining regulations to more closely align with our state partners. And that’s good news for our customers.”

The Service manages hunting and fishing programs to ensure sustainable wildlife populations while also offering other traditional wildlife-dependent recreation on public lands, such as wildlife watching and photography. The Refuge System is an unparalleled network of 566 national wildlife refuges and 38 wetland management districts. There is a national wildlife refuge within an hour’s drive of most major metropolitan areas.

“The proposed expansion of hunting and fishing opportunities through working partnership with the states is a demonstration of Secretary Zinke’s commitment to our nation’s outdoor heritage and the conservation community,” said Virgil Moore, President of the Association of the Fish and Wildlife Agencies and Director of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. “These efforts reaffirm the tremendous value of quality wildlife habitat and outdoor recreational opportunities, including hunting and fishing, in connecting millions of Americans to the outdoors.”

“We applaud Secretary Zinke and the Fish and Wildlife Service for their continued commitment to increasing opportunities for hunting and fishing within the National Wildlife Refuge System,” said Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation President Jeff Crane. “We look forward to continuing to work with the Department of Interior on increasing access for sportsmen and women.”

Hunting and/or fishing will expand or be opened on the following refuges:

Arkansas

California

Florida

Illinois

Illinois and Missouri

Illinois and Wisconsin

Indiana

Maine

Maine and New Hampshire

Maryland

Michigan

Minnesota

Montana

New Jersey

New Jersey and New York

New Mexico

North Dakota

Ohio

Oregon

Pennsylvania

Utah

Wisconsin

  • Trempealeau National Wildlife Refuge: Open hunting of certain gamebirds, small mammals and furbearers for the first time, and expand existing migratory game bird and big game hunting.

The Service will seek comments from the public on the proposed rule for 30 days, beginning with publication in the Federal Register in coming days. The notice will be available at www.regulations.gov, docket no. FWS-HQ-NWRS-2018-0020, and will include details on how to submit your comments. An interim copy of the proposed rule is now available at https://www.fws.gov/home/pdfs/Proposed_2018-2019_Hunt_Fish_Rule_signed.pdf.

More than 53 million Americans visit refuges every year. National wildlife refuges provide vital habitat for thousands of species and access to world-class recreation, from fishing, hunting and boating to nature watching, photography and environmental education. In doing so, they support regional economies to the tune of $2.4 billion dollars per year and support more than 35,000 jobs.

Under the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997, the Service permits hunting and fishing along with four other types of wildlife-dependent recreation, including wildlife photography, environmental education, wildlife observation and interpretation, when they are compatible with an individual refuge’s purpose and mission. Hunting, within specified limits, is currently permitted on 337 wildlife refuges and 37 wetland management districts. Fishing is currently permitted on 277 wildlife refuges and 34 wetland management districts.

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What’s This? Wolves to be Removed From Protection Nationwide?

*Editor’s Note and Update* (5/21/18) The below link to the Appropriation Committee’s Draft Bill does not work at this time. I was able to track down a copy of that Draft at this link. Once reaching the PDF of the Draft Bill, scroll down to “Gray Wolves Range-Wide” 

Appropriations Committee Releases the Draft Fiscal Year 2019 Interior and Environment Bill

GRAY WOLVES RANGE-WIDE – SEC. 117

(a) Not later than the end of fiscal year 2019, and except as provided in subsection (b), the Secretary of the Interior shall issue a rule to remove the gray wolf (Canis lupus) in each of the 48 contiguous States of the United States and the District of Columbia from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife in section 17.11 of title 50, Code of Federal Regulations, without regard to any other provision of statute or regulation that applies to issuance of such rule.

(b) Such issuance (including this shall not be subject to judicial review; and shall not affect the inclusion of the subspecies classified as the Mexican gray wolf (Canis lupus baileyi) of the species gray wolf (Canis lupus) in such list.

 

Draft bill:

https://docs.house.gov/meetings/AP/AP06/20180515/108314/BILLS-115HR-SC-AP-FY2019-Interior-SubcommitteeDraft.pdf

 

Press release:

https://appropriations.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=395297

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