For Immediate Release:
April 21, 2015
Augusta, Maine– The Maine Wildlife Conservation Council (MWCC) announced today they have reconvened to fight off another attack by the world’s largest animal rights and anti-hunting organization. MWCC, the coalition that defeated last year’s attempt to ban the majority of bear hunting in Maine, is kicking off fundraising, organizing and volunteer activities to defeat the prospective ballot issue.
For the third time in the past 11 years, the Washington D.C.-based Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) says it has plans to ask voters to once again ban bear hunting in Maine. This time, however, HSUS wants voters to ban bear hunting with dogs and bear trapping. Maine sportsmen and women, angered and upset by repeatedly having to defend their traditions are not content to simply play defense.
“Maine voters and the Maine Legislature have rejected these types of anti-hunting, proposals numerous times in my career,” explained Don Kleiner, Executive Director of the Maine Professional Guides Association and the chair of MWCC. “Fighting these issues again and again is absurd. How many times must Mainers say NO?”
As a result of the building frustrations with the decade long barrage of legislation, ballot issues, lawsuits and bureaucratic complaints, Maine’s hunters, anglers and trappers are asking, “How much is enough?” HSUS, a $200 million organization from Washington DC, wrote checks totaling $2.6 million of the $2.7 million raised to finance the attack on Maine sportsmen and women. Meanwhile Maine sportsmen were forced to run a grassroots fundraising campaign to try and keep pace. In all, sportsmen and women were outspent by nearly a half-million dollars.
“Many Mainers dug deep to defeat the anti-hunting issue last year,” explained James Cote who directed MWCC’s campaign in 2013 and 2014. “They just don’t think it right that one- $200 million, out-of-state lobby group is able to repeatedly attack our way of life, draining our bank accounts in the process. Their game plan is clear—continue to finance these attacks until Maine sportsmen can no longer raise the money necessary to keep up. Mainers sick and tired of big money politics, and want something done about it.”
MWCC is also proposing a change to Maine’s constitution that would protect Maine’s natural resources from being at the mercy of organizations willing to dump millions to force their radical agenda. The organization is working with legislators, legal experts and Maine’s outdoor community to create the best solution to remove the politics of Maine’s precious outdoor heritage.
About MWCC: The Maine Wildlife Conservation Council is comprised of the Maine Professional Guides Association, Maine Trappers Association, Maine Sporting Dog Association, Grand Lake Stream Guides Association, and the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance. MWCC will continue to recruit and build a coalition of individuals and organizations who share and support Maine’s outdoor heritage. Interested donors can find more information on the current campaign at www.mainewildlife.org.