A broken, corrupt system

Dear Editor:

Thank you for the opportunity to respond to V. Paul Reynolds [“Ballot box biology,” Feb. 4].

First of all, Maine’s fish and wildlife “management” system is broken, corrupt and rigged in favor of those who kill the public’s wildlife. The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (IFW), the IFW Advisory Council, the Maine Legislature and Maine statutes related to wildlife are all stacked decks against wildlife. For example, Maine’s animal cruelty laws specifically exempt anyone who is lawfully hunting or trapping. Why would there be an exemption unless these activities are inherently cruel? 

I recently submitted three petitions to IFW and the IFW Advisory Council in accordance with Maine statute. They included: 1) phasing out Maine’s bear feeding program over a 10-year period; 2) ending coyote trapping; and 3) placing limits and requirements on coyote hunting, including ending so-called predator derbies. Mr. Reynolds falsely claimed that I proposed to ban coyote hunting. I collected more than 150 signatures for each petition as required and I spent much of last winter traveling to more than 90 town offices to have the signatures verified as required. I did this because I know Maine’s fish and wildlife “management” system is broken and neither IFW nor the Maine Legislature will enact reform. I know they won’t because I had a bill in the Maine Legislature in 2019 to “reform” this system, which was voted down unanimously by the IFW legislative committee without as much as one word of discussion. As expected, all three of my petitions were voted down unanimously by the IFW Advisory Council as IFW continues to ignore its statutory mandates.

Due to the stubborn refusals of the consumptive use extremists and their allies in the Legislature and at IFW, the public has no choice remaining but to use the ballot box. If IFW actually based its management actions on science, if Maine’s statutes provided a level playing field, and if wildlife advocates were given a seat at the table, we would be happy to let science drive fish and wildlife management, as it should.

The public is finally waking up to the fact that Maine’s fish and wildlife “management” system is broken and corrupt. The much-needed reform will occur sooner or later, and the sooner the better for the public’s wildlife and for both wildlife advocates and “sportsmen.”

John M. Glowa Sr.

South China

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