Animal rights activists have lost their latest battle to stop hunting and trapping in Maine. On October 20 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Boston affirmed a 2009 decision by Judge John Woodcock, Jr., dismissing the animal rights groups’ Canada lynx lawsuit.
This decision provides a very important national precedent. It’s been a long trail getting to this point, but here’s a quick summary:
The state’s primary vehicle for buying conservation lands and easements, the Land for Maine’s Future Fund, is broke. To make matters worse, federal conservation dollars that have fueled much of our state’s two decades of conservation projects are scheduled for significant reductions over the next several years.
That makes the decision of Maine’s voters on an LMF bond issue on the November 2 ballot particularly important.
They’re fishing in different pools, but sometimes they still catch the same fish.
The Maine League of Conservation Voters is the primary political action group for the state’s environmentalists, while the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine’s political action committee, SAM PAC, serves the same purpose for hunters, anglers, trappers, and gun enthusiasts.
As the new executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine moved into my Augusta office yesterday and I packed out my prints, photographs, buck deer mount, commendations, and personal stuff, it was time to reflect on my eighteen years in this job. Here are a few things I learned, some the hard way.
The Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine (SAM) asked Maine’s gubernatorial candidates twenty-five probing questions in a lengthy questionnaire. In previous blog entries we’ve been reporting the candidate’s answers, to help inform your vote on November 2.
Here’s what the candidates said on key hunting and fishing issues:
Four of the five candidates for governor have pledged to support a Constitutional amendment that would provide a guaranteed source of public funding to Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.
Most Mainers list outdoor activities as major contributors to their quality of life, but few will vote on November 2 with much understanding of what the gubernatorial candidates will do to protect and enhance our outdoor heritage.
Everyone likes to get good grades. That’s one reason the Environmental Scorecard issued by the Maine League of Conservation Voters (MLCV) has been generating news, comments, and controversy, since it began rating legislators in 1986.
The Scorecard has been a political football, too, because Democrats generally get good grades while Republicans anchor the bottom of the grading scale. That infuriates GOP legislators who believe the scorecard is biased.
The face of Maine conservation could change dramatically if federal officials embrace a proposal embodied in the Keeping Maine’s Forests initiative. The initiative was created by a Steering Committee of 23 individuals representing state agencies, landowners, and conservation groups and submitted to federal officials on August 18.
For at least a decade ecotourism has been touted as the future of Maine’s tourist-based economy. But the delivery on that promise has fallen far short of predictions.
A new report issued by the Maine Center for Economic Policy (MECEP) once again touts ecotourism as the road to prosperity for rural Maine. The report takes a swipe at traditional outdoor activities while suggesting that an investment of $100 million in “new destination development” will be needed to serve what it calls “experiential tourists.”