August 6, 2020

Anti-bear baiting group files appeal to Maine Law Court, continues battle against DIFW

Political group Mainers for Fair Bear Hunting has filed an appeal to the Maine Law Court after the group’s lawsuit against the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife was dismissed by a Maine Superior Court justice last month.

The lawsuit, filed last year, attempted to stop the MDIF&W from spending taxpayer dollars to oppose the referendum that sought to ban bear baiting and other practices.

Source: Anti-bear baiting group files appeal to Maine Law Court, continues battle against DIFW | State & Capitol

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Maine Supreme Court Arguments Over Windmills

Information provided by a member of the Partnership for the Preservation of the Downeast Lakes:

Dear PPDLW member,

Today the Maine Supreme Court heard oral arguments from Juliet Browne (for Champlain Wind) and Peggy Bensinger (Asst AG representing BEP/DEP). Neither PPDLW now Conservation Law Foundation were allowed to address the Court and neither of us were asked any questions.

Champlain Wind presented an argument that I thought was weaker than previous ones. Juliet was interrupted and was asked some difficult questions. At one point she seemed a bit flustered.
AAG Bensinger attacked firmly and quickly but when she was asked questions she faltered a bit. She did a fine job of explaining that this project is unique in the number of lakes affected, the fact that the lakes form a large system and that they are enjoyed as a system.

I won’t go into the details of exactly what was asked nor will I paraphrase the responses. You have to understand that the Justices have been studying this massive written record for nine months. They have most likely formed opinions already but wanted to hear each party expound on the key issues. They often ask questions to which they have the answers. They will play devil’s advocate to test the parties’ positions. We shouldn’t read much into the questions that are asked. They are not a good indication of the judge’s position.

The Court always give a huge benefit of the doubt to decisions made by a State agency. It take an enormous amount of compelling evidence to get the Court to overturn an agency decision. One of Judges asked Juliet if she realized that. I think for the Court to overturn the BEP’s affirmation of the DEP denial, Juliet would have had to hit the ball out of the park. I don’t think she did. If the Court is not willing to outright overturn the DEP/BEP denial, they have two options. One, they could say they don’t see enough convincing evidence of a legal error and therefore deny Champlain’s appeal and the Bowers project will remain dead. Two, the Court could remand the decision back to BEP so they can address the concerns raised by the Court and write a new decision document. In that case I’m fairly certain BEP can address those concerns and still affirm the DEP denial.

I’m not a lawyer so this is all speculation but I’m cautiously optimistic about the outcome. Obviously I’ll let you know the decision as soon as I hear.

The Board and Officers of PPDLW thank all of you who attended the Court today. As always, there were more of our supporters than Champlain’s.

Have a great mud season!

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USSA Files Great Lakes Wolf Appeal

From the United States Sportsman’s Alliance:

The U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation has filed an appeal of the ruling handed down by U.S. District Court Judge Beryl A. Howell on Dec. 20 concerning management of gray wolves in the western Great Lakes area.

The Feb. 13 notice of appeal seeks to overturn the ruling that forced the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to return a population of wolves found in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan to the protections afforded by the Endangered Species Act – with ramifications that affect the entire scope of managing the apex predator. The decision stemmed from a lawsuit brought by Humane Society of the United States; Born Free, USA; Help Our Wolves Live; and Friends of Animals and Their Environment.

“It’s unfortunate that we have to continue to fight this legal battle,” said Evan Heusinkveld, USSA’s vice president of government affairs. “There is no doubt that wolves in the region have recovered, but to hold their management in those states hostage until wolves are reestablished in Central Park in New York City is ludicrous and we will continue to fight it.”

The U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation and our partners, collectively known as the “Hunter Conservation Coalition,” will fight for sportsmen’s rights, as well as for a state’s right to scientifically manage wildlife found within their borders.

The Hunter Conservation Coalition consists of the following organizations: U.S. Sportsmen Alliance Foundation, Safari Club International, National Rifle Association of America, Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association, Michigan United Conservation Clubs, Wisconsin Bowhunters Association, Upper Peninsula Bear Houndsmen Association, Michigan Hunting Dog Federation and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

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Groups Want Sen. Franken to Help in Court Appeal on Wolf Ruling

Several organizations, including the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association and Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, have signed a letter urging Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., to encourage Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell to appeal a federal judge’s ruling that returned gray wolves in Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin to protected status under the Endangered Species Act.<<<Read More>>>

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RMEF Joins Wyoming, Feds in Next Step toward Possible Wolf Appeal

Press Release from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

MISSOULA, Mont.-The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, along with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the State of Wyoming, filed a notice of appeal in the Wyoming wolf case issued by the District Court of the District of Columbia. In essence, the legal move preserves RMEF’s ability to go forward with an appeal, if it is decided to do so.

“We maintain that state agencies, not the federal government, are in the best position to manage our wildlife-that includes wolves in Wyoming,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO. “The judge removed that responsibility from Wyoming wildlife managers on a technicality that has since been addressed.”

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson recently disagreed with most of the environmentalists’ claims. She ruled that wolves in Wyoming are not endangered, are recovered as a species and that there is plenty of genetic connectivity. However, she rejected Wyoming’s wolf management plan that took effect in 2012 by stating the USFWS should not have accepted Wyoming’s nonbinding promise to maintain a population of at least 100 wolves and 10 breeding pairs outside Yellowstone Park and the Wind River Indian Reservation.

The latest wolf count as of December 31, 2013, indicates a minimum of 306 wolves in 43 packs in Wyoming, and a minimum of 320 packs and 1,691 wolves in the Northern Rockies.

Almost immediately after Judge Jackson’s ruling, Wyoming Governor Matt Mead addressed the technicality by signing and filing an emergency rule that established his state’s commitment to the management plan as legally enforceable.

“Going forward, we will continue to monitor the situation and explore all avenues that return management of wolves to the state of Wyoming,” added Allen.

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Ninth Circuit Rules in Firearms Freedom Act Case

NEWS RELEASE
(August 23, 2013 – for immediate release)

Ninth Circuit Rules in Firearms Freedom Act Case

MISSOULA, MONT. – The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals released its opinion today in MSSA v. Holder, the lawsuit brought in federal court to validate the principles of the Montana Firearms Freedom Act (MFFA). The MFFA was enacted by the Montana Legislature and signed into law by then Governor Brian Schweitzer in 2009. The MFFA declares that any firearms made and retained in Montana are not subject to any federal regulation under the power given to Congress in the U.S. Constitution to “regulate commerce … among the states.” The MFFA uses firearms as a vehicle to challenge federal commerce clause power.

Plaintiffs in MSSA v. Holder are the Montana Shooting Sports Association (MSSA), the Second Amendment Foundation, and Gary Marbut, President of MSSA. To set up the legal challenge, Marbut determined to manufacture a youth-model, .22 caliber, bolt-action rifle called the “Montana Buckaroo.” The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms informed Marbut that any such unlicensed manufacture would be illegal under federal law.

Despite Marbut’s BATF-prohibited plans to make the Montana Buckaroo, the federal District Court ruled that the plaintiffs lacked “standing” to bring the lawsuit, and dismissed the lawsuit. MSSA appealed this dismissal to the Ninth Circuit.

In its long-awaited ruling today, the Ninth Circuit reversed the federal District Court on the standing issue, saying that Marbut has standing to bring the challenge, but held that existing Supreme Court precedent was against plaintiffs on the merits of the lawsuit.

Marbut commented, “This was about as good of a ruling as we could have expected from the Ninth Circuit. We must get to the U.S. Supreme Court to accomplish our goal of overturning 70 years of flawed Supreme Court rulings on the interstate commerce clause. We knew that the Ninth Circuit couldn’t help us with that. Only the Supreme Court can overturn Supreme Court precedent. However, now that the standing question is resolved in our favor, we have the green light to appeal to the Supreme Court.”

Marbut says the attorneys involved are already beginning to work on the appeal process.

Marbut continued, “The time is ripe in America for states to challenge federal power, from Obamacare to indefinite detention, to illegal spying on U.S. Citizens and media, to IRS abuses of power, and more. It was the states which created this federal government that has grown to become such a monster. It’s time for the states to get their creature back on a leash. With MSSA v. Holder, we will offer the Supreme Court a chance to do just that.”

Since the MFFA was initially enacted in Montana in 2009, nine other states have enacted clones of the MFFA, and 20-some additional states have introduced MFFA-clone bills. The lawsuit to validate the MFFA principles, MSSA v. Holder, has attracted many intervenors and amicus curiae parties. These include the State of Montana, the attorneys general of eight other states, Montana legislators, legislators from other states, the Goldwater Institute, Gun Owners Foundation, the Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence, the CATO Institute, the Weapons Collectors Society of Montana, the Pacific Legal Foundation, and others.

More information about the Firearms Freedom Act movement and lawsuit is available at:
http://www.FirearmsFreedomAct.com

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