December 6, 2022

Maine Supreme Court Decision Against HSUS Not Necessarily a Victory for Sportsmen

Maine sportsmen shouldn’t go off half cocked and with swelled chests believing that the decision by the Maine Supreme Court to uphold Superior Court Justice Joyce Wheeler’s ruling that a lawsuit, filed by Katie Hansberry and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), declared “moot,” was some kind of major victory for sportsmen.

The Sportsmen’s Alliance put out a presser extolling the victory: “Today’s ruling just reaffirms our position and is a clear and decisive victory for sportsmen in Maine,” said Evan Heusinkveld, president and CEO of Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation. “The people of Maine deserve to hear from the experts when it comes to these issues, and today’s ruling rightfully upheld that position.”

A writer for the Bangor Daily News reports: “In March 2015, Superior Court Justice Joyce Wheeler dismissed the lawsuit, saying it was moot because the election had been decided. She also declared the department’s campaign activities were legal because restricting speech on a contested issue was not in the public’s interest.”

I think it’s imperative that readers examine the written ruling of the Maine Supreme Court on the issue, compare it with comments being made and determine that this ruling is not a huge victory for sportsmen. As well, it’s important to understand what was and what wasn’t written in the decision.

As I understand it, Katie Hansberry and HSUS filed a lawsuit to stop representatives from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) from speaking out in opposition to Question One on the Maine ballot – an initiative that would have effectively ended bear hunting and trapping in the state. From the perspective of MDIFW such a referendum, if passed, would have seriously impeded the department’s ability to responsibly manage black bears.

Maine Superior Court Justice Joyce Wheeler, at the time of review of the lawsuit, ruled the case “moot” because the referendum voting had already taken place. However, HSUS and Hansberry decided to appeal that ruling and sought from the Maine Supreme Court a clear ruling that would, in the future, prohibit state departments, and in this case MDIFW, from using what they deemed public resources against public referendum issues.

While the Maine Supreme Court upheld Wheeler’s moot ruling, in response to the appeal the justices attempted to explain why the moot decision was upheld and why the same Court could not make a blanket ruling about future campaigns that involve state departments.

The Court writes: “An issue is moot when there remains no “real and substantial controversy, admitting of specific relief through a judgment of conclusive character.”  A controversy that declares rights “upon a state of facts that may or may not arise in the future” is not justiciable.” 

HSUS was seeking a ruling that they could perhaps use that would prohibit any department from speaking out, for or against, in future referendum campaigns. The Court was not going to give them that ruling because there is no way to determine future issues and the context in which such campaign issues may arise.

The lawsuit against the MDIFW claims that employees/representatives of that department, continuing to be allowed to speak out against HSUS’ efforts “harms ongoing efforts” of HSUS. The Court thought otherwise: “This alleged harm does not present a “real and substantial controversy” that could be addressed through “specific relief.” Any relief that MFBH will obtain is theoretical, depending on whether it becomes involved in a future ballot initiative.”

The Court also explains, in depth, certain exceptions to “mootness.” (1) sufficient collateral consequences will result from the determination of the questions presented so as to justify relief; (2) the appeal contains questions of great public concern that, in the interest of providing future guidance to the bar and public we may address; or (3) the issues are capable of repetition but evade review because of their fleeting or determinate nature.

Perhaps of most importance is the following statement found in the ruling as it pertains to why “mootness” exceptions do not exist: “However, the core question at issue in this case is not a generic question; rather, the question presented is the specific agency’s authority in the context of the facts at issue. Each State agency’s authority turns on its individual enabling statute. Although the question may recur, the extent of an agency’s statutory authority, the actions taken by the agency, and the context of those actions will vary and are not predictable. An interpretation of the Department’s enabling statute in the context of this now-concluded action may have little authoritative value in future litigation.” 

Hansberry and the Humane Society of the United States did not get what they wanted but it should be understood that they also were not shut out in their efforts. What they got was a better understanding of how to go about filing the next lawsuit in order to better satisfy the demands of the Maine Court. The ruling does not declare that all of Maine’s governmental departments are free to campaign for or against public issues. Each department is different and the context of the lawsuits – circumstances involved – can and will determine the viability of a lawsuit against the state.

In this particular case, because the lawsuit never reached the Courts before the referendum voting, the case was declared moot and considerations as to future lawsuits could not be evaluated “generically.”

A victory? Perhaps. A huge victory? No. And even the so-perceived victory is in the eye of the beholder. Is it a victory to know that in the right context, the state can be sued to prevent the public from gaining knowledge about a department’s ability to do their jobs? Is it a victory that in the same or different context, that state can not be sued?

Doors always swing in two directions. What we should learn is that in this one particular case, HSUS was not able to get the Court to give them what they wanted to make their future lawsuits easier by censorship. However, they gained understanding for the next time.


Is It Appropriate to Appoint Someone to State Wildlife Committee Who Sued State?

FrustratedBearRecently I wrote about the inappropriateness, ineptitude and seriously flawed decision by someone at the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW), to appoint Katie Hansberry, the leader of the Maine Chapter of the Humane Society of the United States, to sit on a black bear management subcommittee to assist in the formation of a 15-year wildlife management plan for black bears.

Available today is the Maine Supreme Court’s decision in Mainers for Fair Bear Hunting, et al v. Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, et al.  in which Katie Hansberry is named, along with Mainers for Fair Bear Hunting (MFBH) as the complainant in the lawsuit.

Some history. Hansberry and her radical, animal rights organization got placed on the Maine ballot in 2015 a referendum seeking to end bear hunting and trapping. For the second time in 10 years this action was shot down by the voters of Maine.

During the campaign effort, MFBH filed a lawsuit against the MDIFW, claiming that it was against Maine law to use department money to campaign against the Humane Society of the United States’ (HSUS) campaign to end bear hunting.

By the time the case made its way to Court, the referendum was concluded and voted down by voters. The Maine Supreme Court simply ruled the case “moot.” MFBH and Katie Hansberry filed an appeal to the Court’s “moot” ruling.

The appeal upheld the moot ruling in this case. Readers can read the decision as to the reasons that the complaint against using public resource to campaign against this particular case remains moot.

The bigger point is the simple fact that this person, who sued the State of Maine, specifically the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, has now been appointed to sit on a subcommittee that will help decide bear management for the next 15 years.

Not only is this damned absurd, one wonders the depth of corruption that must exist. What else could it be?


HSUS’ Hansberry Named to Bear Management Subcommittee

More proof that fish and game management is going the way of the Environmentalists and Animal Rights extremists – Katie Hansberry, head of the Maine division of the Humane Society of the United States has been named to sit on a black bear management subcommittee for 2016. This committee is at least partly responsible for devising a 15-year management plan for black bears in Maine.

For those not exactly familiar with the name, Hansberry has headed up efforts to end bear hunting, trapping and baiting. And Maine has elected to place her on a committee that will influence the 15-year management plan for black bears, which will include recommendations in that plan for establishing bear hunting, trapping and baiting rules and regulations?

Does this make any sense?

Of course not, but Maine is also filled with fake “sportsmen” who think that we should hold hands with people like Hansberry and “work with them” in order to “compromise” on game management and natural resource uses.

Why does it make any sense that an animal pervert, who gets paid handsomely to be an animal pervert, that despises hunting, trapping, baiting and fishing, and works continuously to end it all, be placed on a committee that would not exist if not for the efforts and taxes paid by outdoor sportsmen who understand wildlife conservation? Why are and why should sportsmen agree to this? Why don’t they speak up and voice their disapproval? They must approve, don’t care, or don’t know.

I have written in the past about how all plans, nationwide in America, are geared toward the destruction of game management, including hunting, trapping and fishing. I have explained about the ongoing efforts and influences of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, who conned Congress into stealing funds from Pittman-Robertson and Dingell-Johnson, to operate their anti hunting, trapping and fishing campaigns, disguised as wildlife management. This, combined with the brain-rot garbage being taught to wildlife managers and biologists in our colleges, is the formula the Environmentalists have been waiting for in order to end hunting, trapping and fishing and lay the groundwork to shut down the forests and fields – an effort that will lead to their own destruction and yet they cannot see it.

Rome burns and idiots sleep!

I have expressed concern that Maine is going in the same direction as all the other brainwashed environmentally controlled wildlife agencies. Here is the proof.

Found HERE:




Problems With Bears

In Montana, efforts to “haze” a black bear proved futile and so authorities shot the bear instead.

Just an egg sucking bear? No not really but this now dead bear, has a hankering for killing chickens. The bear killed 40 of the feathered friends and thus had to die.

On June 10, 2013, I wrote an article about the Humane Society of the United States’ attempts ongoing to ban bear hunting in Maine. It seems the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine took issue with part or all of the OpEd published in the Bangor Daily News by Katie Hansberry. David Trahan, executive director for the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, said that the newspapers decision to publish a photo of an outdated and outlawed bear trap was intended to “sensationalize the trapping of bear.”

And it seems that even some of those who support the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) disagree in part with the tactics and use of disparaging and misleading words by Katie Hansberry, head of the Maine division of the HSUS, in efforts to ban bear hunting and trapping.

However, it is difficult to take much of anything the author of the opinion piece had to say too seriously because of statements made early in the article.: “I believe Katie Hansberry is on a personal crusade that overshadows the good that the Humane Society of the United States is known for and which most of us support.” The Humane Society of the United States does very little that is “good”; that is much of anything good for animals. HSUS is a fringe group of extremists and mostly animal perverts but the organization itself is more about bilking people for money to pay big salaries and little to do with helping animals. If people want to help animals, a better bet would be to support your local animal shelter which is NOT part of HSUS.

In addition, I don’t know who the “us” is in “most of us support”, meaning the HSUS. Most people do NOT support HSUS. It’s only enough ignorant people who have no knowledge of the truth of what HSUS does.

In the small coastal town of Wiscasset, Maine, bears are making visits to homes in search of food. Some so-called authorities will often say this is a rare occurrence, but it’s not all that rare. It might be rare that a bear comes and visits in broad daylight and the homeowner is able to get some pretty good pictures (as can be seen in the Wiscasset newspaper), but bears visiting homes is quite a bit more common than some know and those encounters and visits are bound to increase as the bear population in Maine continues to increase.