By Joe Mullin, New England States Coordinator
On April 5, Governor Sportsmen’s Caucus Member Governor Janet Mills (ME) signed An Act to Enhance Fish and Wildlife Laws (LD 490) into law.
LD 490 provides Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Commissioner Judy Camuso with the ability to “extend any open trapping season on any game species” for up to three weeks if “weather conditions or other unforeseen factors” prevent wildlife management goals from being reached. The Commissioner’s decision must be based off of sound scientific wildlife management principles. An extended trapping season would result in greater sportsmen expenditures, further contributing towards Maine’s economy and the American System of Conservation Funding.
This legislation was introduced by Maine Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus member Senator Russell Black and was co-sponsored by fellow Caucus Members Senators Paul Davis and James Dill, as well as Representatives Michelle Dunphy, Peter Lyford, Roland Martin, and Stephen Stanley.
The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation applauds the work of the Maine Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus members who made this possible, and Gov. Mills for her work to expand access and opportunities for Maine’s sportsmen and women.
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?