By Joe Mullin, New England States Coordinator
On March 12, the bipartisan and bicameral Maine Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus gathered in Augusta for its first luncheon of 2019.
The Caucus was joined by in-state partners, as well as Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation’s (CSF) New England States Coordinator Joe Mullin.
The luncheon kicked off with an introduction of the three new Caucus Co-Chairs, Senator Matthew Pouliot and Representatives Cathy Nadeau and Trey Stewart. The bicameral and bipartisan composition of the leadership sets a standard for the Caucus’ collaborative approach to sportsmen-related policy issues. Rep. Stewart reflected his appreciation for the Caucus in stating, “It is great to have a bipartisan group of legislators committed to protecting Maine’s traditions.”
Caucus members took advantage of the luncheon as an opportunity to connect with their peers and other like-minded attendees, discussing current and upcoming sportsmen-related legislation. Members were also encouraged to attend this year’s upcoming National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses (NASC) Summit.
The Caucus then turned the discussion towards the importance of advancing pro-sportsmen legislation within the state. They highlighted House Bill 65, sponsored by Caucus member Representative Patrick Corey. This bill would protect existing firearms ranges in the state from nuisance noise complaints by permitting individuals to discharge their firearms on a shooting range within 100 yards of a building, so long as the shooting range is functioning and pre-dates the newer building. On March 5, HB 65 was voted out of the Joint Committee on Inland Fisheries and Wildlife as Ought to Pass, where it now awaits a vote by both the House of Representatives and the Senate.
Norman Hanson DeTroy, LLC sponsored this event and has continued to support the Maine Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus. CSF will continue to participate at Caucus events and work to protect and advance the interests of Maine’s hunting, angling, recreational shooting, and trapping communities.
Maine Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus Co-Chairs Rep. Stewart, Rep. Nadeau, and Sen. Pouliot.
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?