Not As It Should Be…… The right of citizens to demand science and animal welfare to be part of Maine’s wildlife management practices as part of our democratic government legislative processes! (see button below, “not as it should be”)

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  1. January 2, 2019 at 1:36 am

    From legislative activist and wildlife advocate, John Glowa: Senator Dill, Representative Nadeau and committee members:

    Welcome to the Joint Standing Committee on Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. Maine’s fish and wildlife management system is broken, corrupt and rigged in favor of those who kill wildlife. All fifty states are in great need of fish and wildlife management system reform. There is a budding national effort called the Wildlife for All Coalition which held its inaugural meeting this year in Albuquerque, New Mexico which I attended. Although the attached article deals largely with issues in the western U.S., two key issues: (1) the fact that MDIFW is a “captured” agency which shuts out most Mainers from the process of fish and wildlife management; and, (2) the lack of mandatory broad-based funding which prevents the vast majority of Maine people from contributing significantly towards the cost of paying for fish and wildlife management, are very pertinent to Maine. https://rewilding.org/wildlife-governance-reform-where-to-begin/

    Here is a partial list of examples which document the extent to which Maine’s system of fish and wildlife management is broken:

    1) The mission of MDIFW does not include the words “science”, “sportsmanship”, “ethics”, or “animal cruelty”.

    2) The mission of MDIFW was recently amended to include language promoted by the NRA. The language change unanimously approved by the Maine legislature requires MDIFW “…to use regulated hunting, fishing and trapping as THE basis for…management.” There is no statutory requirement that science even be considered in management decisions.

    3) Hunters, trappers and fishermen are exempt from Maine’s animal cruelty laws.

    4) Maine’s most recent State Wildlife Action Plan contained no mention of wolves, despite both physical and circumstantial evidence of their presence in Maine.

    5) Shortly after the 2014 bear referendum was announced, MDIFW held a press conference opposing the referendum, with no consultation of, or input from, wildlife advocates.

    6) When the USFWS was considering listing the lynx under the ESA, the commissioner of MDIFW testified against the listing citing a lack of evidence of its presence in Maine before even attempting to determine its population.

    7) The State of Maine implicitly encourages the killing of federally endangered wolves by encouraging the killing of coyote/wolf hybrids.

    8) A review of Maine fish and wildlife related statutes shows that those that promote killing wildlife overwhelmingly outnumber those that promote conserving wildlife and nonconsumptive use.

    9) The State of Maine has ignored requests to phase out the use of lead ammunition for hunting, despite evidence of growing numbers of bald eagle deaths and the potential for harm to Maine’s children through the ingestion of lead bullet fragments.

    10) The MDIFW for years sought an Incidental Take Permit to allow the legal killing of lynx by Maine trappers.

    11) Land For Maine’s Future bond issues have for years, mandated that lands for which any public monies are used be open to hunting, fishing and trapping. No such requirement is contained in the LMF enabling legislation.

    12) The State of Maine continues to pay tens of thousands of dollars annually for the Coyote Control Program, despite the lack of any scientific evidence that the program has had any benefit to Maine’s deer herd or that coyotes are negatively impacting Maine’s deer herd.

    13) The State of Maine supports a bear feeding program which feeds millions of pounds of food to thousands of bears at thousands of feeding stations. The State of Maine falsely claims that feeding bears is necessary to control their population, when feeding bears actually causes an increase in cub production and survival. Since the 2004 bear referendum, the bear population has increased by some 60% to an estimated nearly 40,000 animals. The State of Maine has known for decades that cub production has increased since the bear feeding program became widespread. https://www.systemdynamics.org/assets/conferences/2015/proceed/papers/P1018.pdf?fbclid=IwAR2fHL3HTXLk8kK0tevq_TW3O31qbjyjrYlFUFn-lEg0J7AXEcSGsXbQXBU https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/wildlifedamage/sa_program_overview/ct_dontfeedwildlife https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1020&context=icwdmccwhcnews https://www.facebook.com/johnglowamainefishandwildlifenews/posts/1968390883197471?__tn__=K-R

    14) The State of Maine is, I believe, promoting the growth of Maine’s bear population to socially unacceptable and ecologically unsustainable levels in order to promote the bear hunting industry and increase hunting license revenue.

    15) Maine’s IFW Advisory Council has no non-consumptive user representation and serves as a rubber stamp for the Commissioner and department.

    16) IFW’s stakeholder and planning groups have historically been stacked with consumptive use advocates.

    17) The State of Maine continues to ignore the fact that wildlife watching generates nearly double the economic activity ($1.3 billion) of hunting and fishing combined.

    In 2016 and again in 2018 I ran unsuccessfully for the Maine legislature. Attached to this email is an email that contains a partial list of the wildlife related bills I would have submitted had I been elected. I have been told by Sen. Pouliot that he will submit the bill to reform Maine’s system of fish and wildlife management “By Request”. Maine’s system of fish and wildlife management is in dire need of reform. Maine wildlife advocates are tired of being shut out of the process and of having to resort to citizen’s referenda in order to bring about needed reform. It appears as though once again this session, Maine’s wildlife advocates will be put on the defensive by proponents of consumptive use due to the continued reluctance of most legislators to sponsor pro-wildlife legislation. This must change.

    Sincerely,

    John M. Glowa, Sr.


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