In his Dec. 4 column, “Lessons of the bear referendum from someone actually on the front lines,” David Trahan continues the falsehoods perpetrated by opponents of Question 1.

His statement, “Complicated wildlife management decisions are best made by trained professionals” is a prime example. The No on 1 campaign was based largely on a “Trust our wildlife biologists” mantra. Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s biologists do not set wildlife management policy; politicians in the Legislature and in the Blaine House do. Economics and politics, not science, are the driving forces behind IFW’s management policies.

Trahan said, “The Humane Society of the United States is ruthless and willing to deceive the public.” Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. An issue of SAM News falsely claimed that HSUS “is on a mission to end all forms of hunting, trapping and fishing,” and Trahan said, “They (HSUS) have come to Maine to crush our traditions.”

Trahan falsely claimed that it is illegal for hunting dogs to tear a bear cub apart. In fact, Maine’s animal cruelty laws provide no protection for the bear while it is being hunted.

Trahan lists three options for controlling Maine’s bear population, all of which involve killing more bears. He ignores the most obvious solution and that is to simply stop feeding them. The No on 1 campaign was rife with deception, from the 30-second bear attack ads and referring to HSUS’ involvement as “like an invasion by a foreign army” to the implication that bear baiting, hounding and trapping are founded on “trust” and “decisions…by trained professionals”.

Maine’s system of fish and wildlife management is broken. The spending of tens of thousands of public dollars by IFW to influence the public’s vote, and the manner in which it did so, were a public disgrace.

John Glowa

South China

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