IFW Council will consider bear-feeding proposal Aug. 12

After an online public hearing and the end of the comment period July 20, the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Advisory Council will discuss the rule-making proposal at its Aug. 12 online meeting.
 
Including the petitioner, John Glowa, president of the Maine Wolf Coalition, 17 people testified at the virtual public hearing July 8, according to Becky Orff, IFW Commissioner’s Office. In addition, Orff said, “I have received just over 250 public comments on the rule proposal.
 
“The Council will be discussing the rule proposal and public comment that was received, which is Step 2 of the process,” Orff said. “After the Aug. 12 meeting, IFW Commissioner Judy Camuso will make the determination whether or not the rule change moves forward for a vote before the Council at Step 3 at its September meeting.”
 
The proposal would amend Chapter 16 rules to establish a bear-feeding season, create a bear-feeding permit and set limits on the number of bear feeding permits issued annually. See Beer feeding rule-making proposal and fact sheet.
 
MFPC opposes the proposed bear-feeding rule because:
  • The proposed bear-feeding rule would reduce bear-feeding permits annually until they are extinguished in 2029. This is arbitrary and removes IFW experts from bear management.
  • The state counts on professional wildlife biologists to maintain species populations.They have considered this argument several times before and determined it inappropriate.This is a complex issue and requires expertise. Let state biologists do their jobs. 
  • This rule would set a dangerous precedent, undermine the state’s rigorous permitting procedures and add another level of risk to investing in the state. Regardless of intent, this isn’t good policy. “Ballot box biology” sums it up well.