Press Release

August 14, 2014

IFW Enhances Website With Information Concerning Bear Referendum

AUGUSTA, Maine -- Voters who want to learn more about Maine’s black bears and Question 1 on the November ballot should visit the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife web page, which features a new section designed to inform citizens about the upcoming bear referendum and why the department is opposed to Question 1. You can visit the website at www.mefishwildlife.com.

“No one care’s more about Maine’s black bears than Maine’s bear biologists—they have dedicated their careers to protecting Maine’s bear population,” said IFW Wildlife Division Director Judy Camuso. “They are hired by the state to protect and care for Maine’s bear population, and we want to let voters know what we have learned from over 40 years of research and why we are opposed to the referendum.”

The site includes research authored by Maine’s bear biologists, videos focused on Maine’s black bear management and bear biology, infographics, biographic summaries, pictures of field research, a presentation on Maine’s bear management program and other information regarding the upcoming referendum.

The site is full of information about Maine’s black bears. For instance, just over 50 years ago, black bears were relegated to no more than a nuisance animal, with the state paying a bounty to those who killed black bears. Now bears are a valued game animal to hunters and non-hunters alike.

“We want to provide Maine’s voters with facts about Maine black bears so they have the information they need before they cast their vote,” said Camuso. “Maine’s biologists are some of the most experienced and respected in North America. Their research has been utilized in bear management programs throughout the continent.”

Web users should visit the site often, as it will be updated with new videos and infographics about Maine’s black bears on a weekly basis. The videos feature Maine wildlife biologists and game wardens and focus on information learned from Maine’s long-running research program, why the department opposes the referendum and why these hunting methods are important to control the bear population.

“We felt it was important that voters understand the ramifications of this referendum,” said Camuso. “Maine’s biologists and game wardens are opposed to this referendum, and this website clearly shows why we are opposed and why this referendum is bad for Maine.”

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