Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife must improve its communications with sportsmen, landowners, and the general public, and reinstate its marketing program. Our outdoor industry desperately needs DIF&W’s partnership and a bill endorsed unanimously by the legislature's Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee would get that partnership started. The bill, which reestablishes a marketing position and modest budget at DIF&W, was sponsored by Representative Bob Duchesne at my request.
Unfortunately, an amended version of the bill, which authorizes the marketing position for one year and takes the money out of the agency’s large surplus account, received a 7-6 ought-not-to-pass vote by the Appropriations Committee. Most Democrats supported it while most Republicans did not. The bill now goes to the full House and Senate, where – given that the governor is likely to veto the bill – it is going to take a super-human effort to win. This is very sad.