Jan.20.2010 :: Public Hearing Re: Cumberland Mills Dam :: Westbrook
Jan.28.2010 :: Public Information Meeting Re: Deer Population :: Fort Kent
Feb.11.2010 :: Public Hearing Re: St. John River Fishing Regulations :: Madawaska
In 1880 the Legislature made the two Maine Fisheries Commissioners responsible for enforcing the laws that had been enacted to control the taking of important game species. The uncontrolled taking of moose, caribou, and deer during the 1800s had contributed to a serious depletion of big game populations. This early enforcement effort represented the beginning of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. At the time, game wardens were appointed to patrol the State's woods and waters and bring poaching under control. They did not receive a salary, but instead received half the amount of the fines paid by violators they apprehended.
The mission of the Department was soon expanded to include the propagation of game fish. Thousands of trout, salmon, and bass were stocked annually across the state to support a rapidly growing tourist industry. Through the early 1900's, many new hunting and fishing laws were enacted to conserve fish and wildlife. Hunting and fishing licenses were established to pay for fish and wildlife conservation programs. Detailed studies of the status and needs of wildlife began in the 1940's to guide the management of these resources. Statewide fisheries management programs were initiated in the 1950's. Today, the Department carries out a wide variety of fish and wildlife conservation programs. These programs focus on maintaining abundant game resources, as well as managing non-game wildlife and restoring endangered species, such as the bald eagle. The Department's mission has also been significantly broadened with responsibilities for white-water rafting; registration of watercraft; snowmobiles; ATVs; hunter, trapper and recreational vehicle safety; conservation education; and other matters.
Although the Department's mission has been steadily expanded, it remains focused on the protection and enhancement of the state's inland fisheries and wildlife, while at the same time providing for the wise use of these resources. Assuring the conservation and use of these resources is vital to the state's economy. Fish and wildlife continue to be highly valued by Maine people and hundreds of thousands of people who come to Maine each year. Direct economic impacts directly attributable to the use of these resources amount to over 1/2 billion dollars annually. These expenditures play a major role in the State's economy.
The Department is dedicated to assuring these highly valued resources are available for the use and enjoyment of future generations.
Vision & Values
A Department Vision and Values statement was developed through the TQM process and incorporated into the Strategic Plan specifying that Maine should offer all people the opportunity to enjoy a unique diversity of fish and wildlife resources. The Vision is of an IF&W that:
- conserves, protects, and enhances the inland fisheries and wildlife resources;
- increases opportunities for the use of these resources by all people;
- responds to the needs of the people by providing services of the highest quality;
- fosters public awareness and involvement;
- merits public confidence, respect, and support; and
- promotes efficiency in program management through employee involvement, initiative, innovation, and teamwork.
Specific values were set forth as follows: We in the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Value:
- Stewardship. We take pride in providing the highest level of stewardship for our fish and wildlife resources.
- Pride in Work. We will make every effort to provide the highest level of customer service and satisfaction.
- Quality in Our Service. We hold our work to the highest standards of quality.
- Personal Responsibility. We take responsibility for personal integrity, individual contribution and the highest level of performance in our service.
- Continuous Improvement. We vigorously strive for excellence, and continuously seek to improve our performance.
- Diversity. We encourage mutual respect and recognize the contributions diversity brings to job performance and creativity.
- Empowerment. We will participate fully in decisions and explore innovative solutions.
- Teamwork. We promote teamwork by providing a cooperative work environment that fosters open and honest communication, personal and professional growth, and the best use of our resources.
Living with Wildlife
Encounters between humans and wildlife are becoming more and more frequent. For most people, observing wildlife in their backyard is a thrilling experience, but when an animal causes damage or attempts to occupy the same living space, conflicts occur.
MDIFW is currently assembling helpful information about common Maine wildlife that may be causing conflicts with humans. In the meantime, if you are experiencing a conflict with a wild animal, check out these sites Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife - Living with Wildlife
and Mass Audubon - Living with Wildlife
for good information about ways to remedy the problem.
Public Information and Education
The Division of Public Information and Education is established within the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and is responsible for the administration of programs to increase the public's knowledge and understanding of inland fisheries and wildlife resources and the management of these resources, including the administration of education programs for hunter safety and for the safe operation of snowmobiles, watercraft and all-terrain vehicles. The division's responsibilities include public education, promotion of inland fisheries and wildlife resources and the dissemination of information.
The major function of the Public Information and Education Division is to create and maintain public understanding and support for Departmental objectives and programs.
The Division was created in 1952, as the Information and Education Division, under authorization granted by the 96th Legislature in 1951. It was reorganized into the Public Information Division, effective July 1980; it was again reorganized, as the Division of Public Information and Education under the Office of the Commissioner, effective April 24, 1984. Another reorganization effective July 1, 1993, established the Division of Public Information and Education as it's own unit.
In addition, the Gray Game Farm and Visitors Center now the Maine Wildlife Park was removed from the Division of Wildlife, Bureau of Resource Management, and placed within the Division of Public Information and Education.
The major programs of the Public Information and Education Division are:
The Information Center, serving as the Augusta headquarters call center, provides a knowledgeable staff responding to telephone inquiries and directing calls to appropriate Department Divisions from 8-5, Monday through Friday. The Information Center also mails and distributes printed materials, develops and maintains the Department's web site.
Media relations provides press releases about the Department and it's programs to newspapers, radio and television in both written and electronic formats. The photography and video production facility produces a variety of slides, prints and video documenting current Department projects and to supplement stories released to the media.
Education efforts include the Maine Wildlife Park, which hosted over 100,000 visitors last year. A variety of wildlife and conservation school programs and tours are offered here, reaching well over 5,000 of Maine's school children annually. Teacher workshops are offered statewide using Project WILD, an award-winning national wildlife and conservation education program, to assist classroom teachers and other educators to become more informed about Maine wildlife and conservation.
Anyone who received a mandatory license revocation after June 10, 1997 must successfully complete the 8-hour outdoor ethics course before the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife can reissue the revoked license. Completion of this course with a passing grade does not reduce the length of the license revocation. The course fee is $100.00 and must be paid in advance.
The Division provides scholarships for the popular Maine Conservation School and the 'Becoming an Outdoors-Woman' workshops.
Public relations and promotion included nine outdoor shows last year and a variety of advertising intended to promote outdoor recreation in the state, safety, and our landowner relations program. The Division also organizes the Maine Migratory Waterfowl Stamp Art Contest and many other events such as Fur Fin and Feather Day at the Legislature.
Public Information and Education also provides support to other divisions for video, photography, displays, presentations, and the design, development, and distribution of a great deal of printed material about the department and its programs.