Maine's Bear Hunting Referendum

Discussion in 'Maine Bear Hunting' started by kenton6, Jan 13, 2004.

  1. kenton6

    kenton6 Administrator

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    Go to www.mainehuntingtoday.com and click on the link about the Bear Referendum to get all the latest information concerning it.
     
  2. kenton6

    kenton6 Administrator

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    update

    A citizens advisory panel has rejected the notion of a referendum to ban bear baiting or any other form of bear harvesting. Read the whole store at Maine Hunting Today.
     

  3. Bear Hunting Ban Update:

    Campaign Email Newsletter Issue Number 2
    April 2, 2004

    A very busy week on the campaign trail, with the Maine Sportsmans Show in Augusta, Legislative Public Hearing, many speaking events and responding to the feedback to our first email newsletter.

    We received many phone calls and emails after our first newsletter was emailed last Friday – if we haven’t gotten back to you, please be patient - - we will! Thank you to all of you for your feedback, encouragement and great ideas.

    Public Events

    Thank you to all our supporters who stopped by our campaign booth at the Augusta Sportsmans Show. Special thanks to the volunteers who manned the booth throughout the weekend. The booth was a huge success, with hundreds of new supporters signed up for our Coalition – and we raised over $5,000! The raffle was won by Tony Pasquale of Freeport. Thank you to the Maine Association of Taxidermists who donated the beautiful deer head mount (by Mark Russell) valued at $400.

    Legislative Public Hearing: Skip Trask represented the Conservation Council and presented exceptional testimony before the Committee on Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. Skip is a member of the Campaign’s Advisory Committee, a veteran game warden and was Deputy Commissioner of DIF&W for 12 years.

    We encourage you to read the full text of Skip’s testimony which is posted on our website: www.samcef.org, Click on “Bear Referendum Update”, then on “Campaign News”.

    Skip’s testimony included legal analysis of the legislation, which we will discuss more in next week’s newsletter. LD 1938, “An Act Prohibiting Certain Bear Hunting Practices” is full of legal problems. Our job is to make sure all voters in Maine realize how poorly this bill is written and the legal consequences if this bill becomes law. We will have the full text of the legislation, which the problems highlighted, on our website soon.

    Speakers Training Video

    The Coalition is thankful to have dedicated volunteers who are spending many hours speaking to groups around Maine, spreading our messages.

    We have more events than we do speakers however - we need more members of our Speakers Bureau to help the campaign. We receive invitations every day to speak around the state. If you would be willing to be a public spokesperson for us, please call the campaign office. We will send you our Speakers Training Video and get you ready to hit the road defending our hunting heritage!

    There is no charge for the Video; we do ask that you watch it then mail it back to the campaign office as soon as possible.

    Quote of the Week

    Dick Goodie of Portland, who testified in favor of the referendum at the Legislative Public Hearing:

    “Hunting bears over bait represents greed, profit

    and cruelly using animals for entertainment”

    Don’t Forget

    Don’t forget to save the date of September 18 on your calendar. We hope you will attend, and bring your family, friends, neighbors and co-workers, to our largest fundraising event – it will be at the Augusta Civic Center Saturday evening, September 18. More information to follow. Invitations will be mailed out in the next few weeks.

    &&&&&

    Thank you for taking the time to read our email newsletter! For updated information, click on our link “Bear Referendum Information” on SAM’s website at www.samcef.org.

    Please forward this email to your family, friends, neighbors, co-workers – help spread the word.

    Contact us with questions and comments:
    Maine’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Council
    205 Church Hill Road
    Augusta, Maine 04330
    1-888-837-4426 or 623-3749
    Edie Leary, Campaign Manager eleary@eatonpeabody.com
    Will Gardiner, Field Director wgardiner@eatonpeabody.com


    William P. Gardiner
    Eaton Peabody
    77 Sewall Street, Suite 3000
    Augusta, ME 04330-3000
    Tel: 207-622-3747
    Fax: 207-622-9732
    Email: (WGardiner@eatonpeabody.com)
    Web address: (<http://www.eatonpeabody.com>
     
  4. kenton6

    kenton6 Administrator

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    Thanks for that update on the bear ref. I have been so busy I haven't had the time to update it.
    Appreciate it.
     
  5. Campaign Email Newsletter Issue Number 3

    April 9, 2004



    This week’s newsletter outlines two legal problems with this referendum question.



    William V. Ferdinand, an attorney with Eaton Peabody, researched the proposed referendum law and outlined two legal problems with the bill:



    The proposed law is written in such a manner that if implemented, it would be a crime to hunt using even natural bait or agricultural crops to attract bears.


    The definition of baiting in the law states: “Bait, including but not limited to, doughnuts and other pastries, grease, meat, fruits, vegetables, honey and any other food known to be attractive to bear, may not be used to hunt or attract bear.”



    What’s missing from this definition are the exemptions which are in the deer baiting statute. The prohibition of baiting of deer has the following exemptions: hunting from an observation stand or blind overlooking (1) standing crops (2) foods that are left as a result of normal agricultural operations or as a result of a natural occurrence; or (3) bear bait that is placed at a bear hunting stand or blind.



    Without those exemptions, the proposed bear baiting ban INCLUDES naturally occurring bait and agricultural crops. In essence what this means, is that this law would shut down all means to “hunt or attract bear.” Their true agenda is revealed.



    In Skip Trask’s testimony at last week’s Legislative Public Hearing, he articulated that “we are currently allowed to hunt and/or trap for 13 species of predators, including bear, and are allowed to place bait to attract every one of them. Even so, some sportsmen and women don’t personally support the idea of hunting bear with the use of bait, yet these same people are not opposed to bear hunting at locations where the animals feed on natural foods. LD 1938 (the referendum question) would make both of these activities a crime.



    The proposed law only allows state or federal officials to deal with nuisance bears.


    The proposed law prohibits bear baiting, hunting with dogs and trapping with these exceptions only (1) state and federal employees acting in official capacity to attract a specific offending bear to protect livestock, domestic animals, threatened or endangered wildlife public or private property or public safety; (2) scientific or research purposes, without killing the bear (3) timberland owners using feeding stations to prevent damage to timberland without killing the bear.



    Studies show that nuisance complaints and human/bear encounters will increase without our three traditional methods of hunting bear. We only have to look as far as New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts for that data.



    With only state and federal employees allowed to deal with nuisance bears, how quickly will those calls be answered? Who will pay for the expense of dealing with the nuisance bears? Maine’s DIF&W does not have the manpower or resources. Crops, beehives, private property the list goes on -- who will be there to help? Local municipal animal control officers? Will the towns have to pick up that tab?





    Quote of the Week



    Bill Randall of Winthrop, lead spokesperson for the referendum proponents, in an interview with a Camden reporter:



    As for the Humane Society (of the United States), Randall did have some concerns. “They want to abolish recreational hunting,” he said. “I didn’t think they would go that far.”





    &&&&&





    Thank you for taking the time to read our email newsletter! For updated information, click on our link “Bear Referendum Information” on SAM’s website at www.samcef.org.



    Please forward this email to your family, friends, neighbors, co-workers – help spread the word.



    Contact us with questions and comments:

    Maine’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Council

    205 Church Hill Road

    Augusta, Maine 04330

    1-888-837-4426 or 623-3749

    Edie Leary, Campaign Manager eleary@eatonpeabody.com

    Will Gardiner, Field Director wgardiner@eatonpeabody.com
     
  6. kenton6

    kenton6 Administrator

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    Thanks again! Looks like some people are finding out they weren't completely informed about what they were supporting. Hmmm!
     
  7. Campaign Email Newsletter Issue Number 4
    April 16, 2004

    Momentum keeps building along the campaign trail. Thank you to all of you who are out in the trenches carrying the message of how bad this referendum question is.

    PAC Reports Filed with State Ethics Commission

    Let’s look at the latest financial filings of the two sides of the anti-hunting referendum:

    Opponents – thanks to the outpouring of financial support, our two PAC reports (Conservation Council and SAM PAC) showed:

    Donations received as of March 31: $472,973.33 63 percent in-state
    Number of donors as of March 31: 4,733 65 percent in-state

    Proponents – Maine Citizens for Fair Bear Hunting:

    Donations received as of March 31: $330,788.00 91 percent out of state
    Number of donors: 30 individual donors listed on this report

    Proponents – Hunters for Fair Bear Hunting:

    Donations received as of March 31: $3,433.30
    Number of donors: 6 donors were listed on their report.

    These reports clearly demonstrate:

    1. The proponents have little financial support inside the state of Maine. 91 percent of their funding comes from out of state – either from HSUS or Fund for Animals. Their PAC report also showed that HSUS continues to send staff to Maine to consult on their campaign.

    2. Despite their lack of support in Maine, the proponents can pick up the phone anytime and HSUS or Fund for Animals will cut them a huge check. In this past reporting period, HSUS donated another $93,000 (out of $103,000) to Maine Citizens for Fair Bear Hunting.

    3. We must continue our fundraising efforts – and the majority of our monies are safely put aside to pay for our media campaign – as we must continue to combat the deep pockets of HSUS and Fund for Animals.

    Facts on Bear Population Growth if this Referendum Passes

    **A 1999 black bear assessment, written by bear biologist Craig McLaughlin, said the population in the absence of hunting would result in the doubling of the population in five years.

    **Since bear hunting over bait and with dogs was banned in Massachusetts by way of ballot initiative in the mid-1990’s, the bear population has doubled.

    **Since baiting has been banned in New York, the bear population has grown out of control. Bear have become serious problems in some neighborhoods; in one incident, a bear took a small child from a stroller and killed him, just 70 miles from New York City.

    **New Jersey held its first bear hunt in 33 years last year in an attempt to deal with a bear population that has grown out of control. The New Jersey bear population has grown from 100 bears to around 2,500, and last summer three people were mauled by bears. New Jersey state officials reported 1,400 bear nuisance complaints last year and 58 of those complaints involved bears that had been inside peoples’ homes.

    Further research is being conducted on this issue – we will keep you updated!

    Quote of the Week

    Article by Misty Edgecomb, reporter for the Bangor Daily News, April 16, 2004:

    Members of the Maine Chapter of the Wildlife Society, a group composed primarily of professional scientists, voted Thursday to oppose the bear referendum this fall. Echoing similar arguments made by the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and the Audubon Society, the group found no biological reason to ban trapping bear and hunting bear over bait and with dogs.”

    Special thanks to Skip Trask, who represented the Conservation Council at this meeting, with Will Gardiner attending from the campaign.

    &&&&&

    Thank you for taking the time to read our email newsletter! For updated information, click on our link “Bear Referendum Information” on SAM’s website at www.samcef.org.

    Please forward this email to your family, friends, neighbors, co-workers – help spread the word.
    Contact us with questions and comments:
    Maine’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Council
    205 Church Hill Road
    Augusta, Maine 04330
    1-888-837-4426 or 623-3749
    Edie Leary, Campaign Manager eleary@eatonpeabody.com
    Will Gardiner, Field Director wgardiner@eatonpeabody.com
     
  8. Here is this weeks update.

    From the woods of Maine,
    Mark

    Maine’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Council

    Fight for Maine’s Hunting Heritage

    205 Church Hill Road Augusta, Maine 04330

    1-888-837-4426





    Campaign E-mail Newsletter Issue Number 5
    April 23, 2004



    A huge thank you this week to organizations which continue to raise money to help save Maine’s bear hunt.

    Recent banquets of the Maine Professional Guides Association, Maine Bowhunters Association and the Aroostook County Chapter of MFWCC were amazing successes – wonderful attendance, successful raffles and auctions and a demonstration of true commitment to the campaign. Thank you to all who made those events such high points of the campaign!

    If we are going to be able to fight against the deep pockets of the national animal rights groups (HSUS and Fund for Animals in particular), having the support of groups such as MPGA, MBA and the wonderful Aroostook County Coalition are critical to our success.

    It’s Not the Bears Fault

    No wonder New Jersey is having more and more problems with their bear population since baiting and trapping were banned -- we were sent this article from New Jersey, from The Trenton Times, on April 9, 2004:

    “After a hungry bear awakening from hibernation killed five goats and a pet rabbit in Warren County, having scaled a five-foot fence to reach one of the goats, Lynda Smith of the Bear Education and Resource Group, which opposes state-sanctioned bear hunts, said the owners of the livestock were at fault. “If you are not going to protect your animals, you can’t blame a bear for being a bear”, she told The Star-Ledger. “The bears are just coming out of their dens now. They are very hungry. They need to put on weight.”

    More Organizations Vote to Oppose the Anti-Hunting Referendum

    Welcome to the latest groups who have joined our Coalition:

    The Maine State Troopers Association
    Millinocket Fin and Feather Club



    Maine Chapter of The Wildlife Society Announces Opposition to the Bear Referendum

    April 15: After hearing presentations from both sides of the referendum and from evidence presented by wildlife biologists from Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire, the Maine Chapter of The Wildlife Society voted to officially oppose the bear referendum.

    “The Referendum subverts the species planning process that has been successfully used to balance scientific management and societal goals for 25 years,” the Society’s position statement reads.

    Scientists agreed that while baiting does not harm the bear population, many feared that a lack of baiting could result in a booming population that the state would be ill equipped to manage.”

    Quote of the Week

    Letter to the Editor in last week’s Kennebec Journal, sent in by referendum supporter Ryan Fleury of Winthrop:

    On the topic of bear baiting, Mr. Fleury writes, “Bears instinctively eat the food and are often ambushed by enthused hunters…

    “When you vote on November 2, remember to consider the bears’ perspective. They deserve respect, just like all other animals.”

    &&&&&

    Thank you for taking the time to read our email newsletter! For updated information, click on our link “Bear Referendum Information” on SAM’s website at www.samcef.org.

    Please forward this email to your family, friends, neighbors, co-workers – help spread the word.
    Contact us with questions and comments:
    Maine’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Council
    205 Church Hill Road
    Augusta, Maine 04330
    1-888-837-4426 or 623-3749
    Edie Leary, Campaign Manager eleary@eatonpeabody.com
    Will Gardiner, Field Director wgardiner@eatonpeabody.com
     
  9. Campaign Email Newsletter Issue Number 6
    April 30, 2004

    Television Ads Sending Out Important Messages

    Prior to the campaign’s statewide fall television and radio campaign, we are solidifying our messages and our base of support within the outdoor community by showcasing factual and informational television ads produced by URSUS in Waterville.

    Tenley Meara, a Maine Master Guide from Brunswick and Ron Cooper, a Maine Game Warden from York County are the spokespersons in our first ads. Tenley discusses the out of state influences pushing this referendum onto the people of the state of Maine; Ron points out what a good job DIF&W does in controlling our bear population at about a 23,000 bear level, and how Maine needs the traditional methods of hunting to maintain that control.

    The ads are currently showing on Northeast Journal, Maine Outdoorsman and Wildfire.

    Special thanks to Andy Collar of URSUS Productions for his talents in putting the ads together.

    Shortly, the ads will also begin airing on Northwoods Sporting Journal and Woods n’ Waters. Special thanks to Paul Reynolds and Maynard Stanley for those efforts.

    Volunteers Needed: First Organizational Meeting for our September 18 Banquet

    We have told you about our Extraordinary Banquet which will be Maine’s largest fundraising event – September 18 at the Augusta Civic Center. This will be a HUGE event for our campaign and all monies raised will go directly to our statewide fall television advertising.

    The evening will include a reception, silent and live auctions, a terrific dinner, raffle, comedians, celebrities and guest speakers. It will be a wonderful opportunity to celebrate Maine’s outdoor heritage.

    Our first campaign meeting to begin working on the details of the Banquet will be on May 10th – anyone who would like to help work on this crucial event – please join us at our meeting!

    Monday, May 10, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM, Monmouth Fish and Game Club, Route 202 in Monmouth. Refreshments will be served.

    There will be plenty of work for everyone – we will be forming special committees and working with all volunteers to make sure all tasks are appropriately assigned.

    If you would like to attend the May 10th meeting, please call 1-888-837-4426 or email Edie Leary at eleary@eatonpeabody.com to RSVP. Thank you very much and we hope to see you on the 10th!

    Quote of the Week

    Remember last week we told you how one of the proponents, Ryan Fleury of Winthrop, stated “when you vote on November 2, remember to consider the bears’ perspective.” (That leads to the question of what will be on next year’s ballot – giving bears the right to vote??)

    Now, this week, another anti-hunting referendum proponent, Cindy Lowry of Hallowell, “a long-time environmentalist and Humane Society activist”, according to the Portland Phoenix, stated her thoughts on baiting:

    “…I find the Governor’s use of the wildlife department to oppose the referendum galling. This is not what a state agency should be doing…here’s a wildlife agency supporting feeding bears! It’s neanderthal management of wildlife.”

    &&&&&

    Thank you for taking the time to read our email newsletter! For updated information, click on our link “Bear Referendum Information” on SAM’s website at www.samcef.org.

    Please forward this email to your family, friends, neighbors, co-workers – help spread the word.
    Contact us with questions and comments:
    Maine’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Council
    205 Church Hill Road
    Augusta, Maine 04330
    1-888-837-4426 or 623-3749
    Edie Leary, Campaign Manager eleary@eatonpeabody.com
    Will Gardiner, Field Director wgardiner@eatonpeabody.com
     
  10. Campaign Email Newsletter Issue Number 7
    May 7, 2004

    Tickets For September 18 Campaign Banquet Now Available on Line

    We will be mailing out announcements and invitations to our fundraising banquet “Extravaganza!” in the next few weeks. For those of you who want to get ahead of the pack, you can order your tickets on line. Go to the SAM website www.samcef.org, click on “Bear Referendum Information”, then on the ticket order link. Reserve your tickets now – they will go fast!! September 18 – Augusta Civic Center – a wonderful evening celebrating Maine’s outdoor heritage.

    Getting the Message Out During Election Season

    Now that the Legislative session is over (well, kind of) more attention will be paid to what is coming up on the June and November ballots. It is critical that we all remind our Legislators and candidates for legislative office on the importance of the anti-hunting referendum and how we need their help as they go door-to-door to spread the message of how horrible this question is.

    It is an issue that crosses party lines – it is an issue that has dire implications for our state – it is a question which must be defeated. Remind them of the strong opposition to the question from our Governor and our Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. As Governor Baldacci has stated,

    Governor John Baldacci’s Statement

    “In November 2004, this state will also face a very unique referendum concerning bear hunting. Groups, funded by out of state organizations committed to ending hunting, are backing a referendum that would make it illegal to hunt bear with dogs, to hunt bears with bait or to trap bears. They believe they know better than the State’s biologists and animal management professionals how Maine should manage our wildlife resources. They have gotten out early to tell their story to Maine voters. We need to tell our story.

    Here are the facts. The Department’s biologists have been studying Maine’s bear population for more than two decades, a research project unequaled by any other state in the country. We know that the bear population is increasing in Maine. These scientists know best how to care for and manage the bear population, and a limited hunting season for bear is one of those tools. Bear hunting has allowed us to control the growth of the bear population so the population pressure doesn’t force bears into areas with high human populations. I oppose the referendum in part because it would take away the tools these scientists need to do their jobs as resource managers.

    IF&W and I are opposed to this referendum for an additional reason. The loss of these forms of bear hunting will economically impact not only the department, but also hundreds of guides and businesses throughout Maine that cater to all types of hunters from August through December. Many of these people and businesses are located in parts of the state where there isn’t as much economic activity as we would like to see. The jobs provided by bear hunting are important to the communities in these areas, and we need to do what we can to preserve them.”

    Reminder: First Organizational Meeting for our September 18 Banquet

    The response to our May 10th meeting, to get the ball rolling for our Sept. 18 Banquet, has been terrific – thank you! We still have room, however, if other volunteers would like to attend:

    Monday, May 10, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM, Monmouth Fish and Game Club, Route 202 in Monmouth. Refreshments will be served.

    If you would like to attend the May 10th meeting, please call 1-888-837-4426 or email Edie Leary at eleary@eatonpeabody.com to RSVP.

    Quote of the Week

    91 percent of the funding for this referendum question comes from two sources – HSUS (Humane Society of the United States) and Fund for Animals. They are the two leading national animal rights groups pushing their anti-hunting agendas in states throughout the country.

    HSUS Spokesperson Nicholas Braden stated to the Associated Press in Toronto just last month:

    “The group (HSUS) is opposed to any hunting of wildlife for commercial purposes and also opposes hunting for sports and recreation.”

    &&&&&

    Thank you for taking the time to read our email newsletter! For updated information, click on our link “Bear Referendum Information” on SAM’s website at www.samcef.org.

    Please forward this email to your family, friends, neighbors, co-workers – help spread the word.
    Contact us with questions and comments:
    Maine’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Council
    205 Church Hill Road
    Augusta, Maine 04330
    1-888-837-4426 or 623-3749
    Edie Leary, Campaign Manager eleary@eatonpeabody.com
    Will Gardiner, Field Director wgardiner@eatonpeabody.com

    William P. Gardiner
    Eaton Peabody
    77 Sewall Street, Suite 3000
    Augusta, ME 04330-3000
    Tel: 207-622-3747
    Fax: 207-622-9732
    Email: (WGardiner@eatonpeabody.com)
    Web address: (<http://www.eatonpeabody.com>)