For Immediate Release: Contact:
October 30, 2014 James Cote, Campaign Manager
Anti-Hunting Group Files Frivolous Complaint
After Frivolous Lawsuit Fails Twice
Augusta-Maine-The organization created by a Washington DC special interest group to ban 93% of Maine’s bear hunt continues to strike out in its attempts to use the courts to stop the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife from opposing Question 1. Today the a panel of six judges on the Maine Supreme Court refused to hear a request by “Mainers” for Fair Bear Hunting to overturn a lower court judge’s ruling that the agency was well within the law in its opposition to the issue. The Humane Society of the United States objects to Maine’s game wardens and biologists telling Maine citizens that Question 1 is a significant safety risk because it removes nearly all of Maine’s controls on the bear population.
Last week, Superior Court Judge Joyce Wheeler refused to put a muzzle on Maine’s wildlife experts. And many sportsmen and women thought that Supreme Court Chief Justice Leigh Saufley’s denial of the anti-hunting group’s latest request would be the end of attempts to prevent real Mainers from hearing from the professionals who actually manage black bears in the state. Instead the front group for the anti-hunting lobby filed an ethics complaint against Maine sportsmen and women alleging that the Maine Wildlife Conservation Council failed to report contributions by the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.
“Today’s ethics complaint is an attempt by proponents of Question 1 to divert attention away from their latest defeat in Maine’s courts,” explained James Cote, campaign manager for Save Maine’s Bear Hunt / Maine Wildlife Conservation Council (MWCC). “Their campaign is being run by outsiders that don’t understand Maine ethics laws any better than they can tell an actual Maine black bear from the grizzly bears they are using in their campaign literature. We have not received any funding from the Department, as it has carried out its mandate to inform the public about wildlife issues. This is nothing more than a publicity stunt.”
Cote pointed out that MWCC has disclosed all of its donors. Ironically Maine voters have no idea where the $2.5 million in contributions from the Washington DC based Humane Society of the United States, has come from. HSUS has provided more than 95% of all funds raised to ban bear hunting in Maine, and has yet to disclose where any of the money has come from.
“They want to smear the reputation of our biologists and game wardens because they know that people will Vote NO on Question 1 once they hear that Maine’s wildlife professionals oppose the issue and see it as both a threat to Maine’s bear population and a public safety risk,” said Cote. “Maine’s judges aren’t buying their arguments, and Maine voters won’t either.”