For Immediate Release: Contact:
March 5, 2014 James Cote, Campaign Manager
Maine Group Ready to Defend Science and Economy of Bear Hunting Methods
Augusta, Maine- Today, Maine’s Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap announced the certification of signatures submitted to place a question on November 2014 ballot that would ban the three most effective methods of controlling Maine’s bear population.
“This initiative is an affront to four decades of scientific bear management and research by our nationally recognized bear biologists at the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife,” said James Cote, Campaign Manager for the Maine Wildlife Conservation Council.
The question would make it illegal to use trapping, bait or dogs to hunt bears in Maine. These three methods account for approximately 93% of the total annual bear harvest. The annual bear harvest objectives are designed in order to keep the bear population at a healthy level and reduce human-bear conflicts. Maine has the healthiest bear population in the country at over 30,000.
The Maine Wildlife Conservation Council, which is opposing the initiative is proud to have the support of a large and diverse coalition of people and organizations including sportsmen, guides, labor unions, business organizations, all three major candidates for governor, 80+ legislators, private landowners, responsible pet owners, veterinarians, environmentalists and many others. In addition, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife also opposes this initiative. “We will be the voice of reason in this debate. This is not a Republican or Democrat issue, this is not a north or south issue. This is an issue where Mainers of all political, geographic, and cultural stripes are banning together to defend the integrity of our bear and other wildlife management programs at MEDIFW,” said James Cote.
“Maine people must now decide who they trust more to manage our public wildlife resources- our biologists at MEDIFW who have performed decades of scientific management and research and are responsible for an extremely healthy bear population, or one interest group in Washington, D.C. who is bankrolling this initiative in order to advance an anti-hunting, anti-science political agenda at the expense of Maine people. We are proud to stand behind the work of Maine’s biologists and game wardens,” said James Cote.
Questions can be directed to campaign manager James Cote at (207) 860-6600. See more at savemainesbearhunt.com.