Even I was surprised to find myself the only one testifying in support of the new biennial budget for Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. After Commissioner Chandler Woodcock spent about 40 minutes presenting the highlights of his budget to the Appropriations Committee and Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee, Appropriations Chair Senator James Hamper made a joke that the sign-up sheet indicated a lot of folks were eager testify on the budget.
And then he called on me – telling committee members that I was the only one who was there to testify. I told the committees that the lack of visible support and testimony for the budget probably was all they needed to know about how discouraged agency advocates are in trying to advance the important work of this department.
Here’s what I had to say.