By Joe Mullin, New England States Coordinator
On January 31, Maine witnessed a historic moment when Judy Camuso was confirmed by the State Senate to serve as the first female Commissioner of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (IFW).
Prior to working with IFW in several capacities, Camuso spent 11 years working as a Naturalist and regional biologist for Maine Audubon where she frequently worked with hunters and trappers in Southern Maine.
“I coordinated and directed the 10-year update to our State Wildlife Action Plan, our Big Game Management Plan, and worked with communication staff to develop a Communication and Marketing Plan for the agency. I also developed, managed, and tracked the $12 million budget for the entire Wildlife Division,” said Camuso. “I feel I have gained the trust and respect of Maine’s hunters, trappers and the conservation community.”
Commissioner Camuso identified a handful of her priorities: a reevaluation of the Information and Education Division, aiming to better engage the community; increase Recruitment, Retention, and Reactiviation (R3) efforts; relationships and relevancy; and bolster resource enforcement, offering greater clarity into sportsmen’s laws.
The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation congratulates Commissioner Camuso on her confirmation, and will work with her to protect the interests of sportsmen and women of Maine.
Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?