Wardens Search for Missing Woman — and Support
The Maine Warden Service continues to serve all the people of Maine, while sportsmen pay all the bills. The lack of public support for this important agency continues to anger sportsmen and hamper the department.
Another good example of this problem occurred on Sunday, November 13, when the Warden Service coordinated a search in Androscoggin County for a Lewiston woman missing since July.
More than 20 game wardens joined another 40 volunteer searchers aided by 18 tracking dogs to search woods, fields and swampy areas of Lewiston, Auburn, Lisbon, and Mechanic Falls, for 22-year-old Christina Fesmire who disappeared in July.
Buddy Robinson, 30, of Lewiston, has been charged with Fesmire’s murder. No sign of Fesmire was found during the search.
We’re all glad the Warden Service has the expertise to assist with work like this. But this work limits the Service’s ability to perform its mission, protection of the state’s wildlife.
Taking 20 game wardens out of the woods during the state’s November firearms season on deer – when the largest number of hunters (175,000) is out there seeking our top game animal – is, simply stated, bad.
Game wardens are on limited time and travel budgets, so it is unlikely that those 20 wardens spent much if any time that entire week in the woods, policing the deer season.
Senate President Kevin Raye – with the strong support and encouragement of Dave Trahan, the new executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine – has sponsored legislation to provide DIF&W with some General Fund tax money – the public support the agency has – so far – been unable to obtain, despite two decades of trying.
Both Raye and Trahan are optimistic that they will succeed. I think it is very unlikely that they’ll be able to obtain any public funding for DIF&W, although their effort is appreciated.
Governor Paul LePage has expressed no support for public funding for this challenged department, even though he made that promise to the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine on his campaign candidate. The search goes on.