November 15, 2019
MDIFW NEWS: Department Seeks Public Input On Maine's Furbearers At Public Meetings And Online Forum
For Immediate Release: November 15, 2019
Department Seeks Public Input On Maine's Furbearers At Public Meetings And Online Forum
AUGUSTA, Maine -- The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife wants to hear your ideas and opinions about the management of Maines furbearers - a diverse group of mammals that includes coyote, red and gray fox, bobcat, fisher, marten, raccoon, skunk, short and long-tailed weasels, mink, otter, beaver, muskrat, and opossum.
During the first week of December, the Department will hold a series of statewide public meetings that will focus on furbearers. The meetings are designed to gather ideas and information from the public that will help shape management of these species over the next fifteen years.
"We are looking for input from the public that will help guide our furbearer management efforts over the next fifteen years," said Nate Webb, Weve already conducted extensive public surveys, but this is your chance to provide additional input on the management of these species for years to come.
In addition to public meetings, IFW is creating a dedicated online forum at https://www.mainefurbearerforum.org/ to provide a further opportunity for residents to voice their opinions on furbearer issues.
Starting November 7, residents will be able to access the online forum website and leave comments and suggestions at https://www.mainefurbearerforum.org/. The website will stay live until December 7, at which point comments will be reviewed. Residents are encouraged to log onto the website during the month of November to submit responses to prepared questions as well as interact with one another in an exchange of opinions and ideas.
There will also be a series of public meetings around the state to hear peoples thoughts and ideas regarding species management. A list of locations and time and date are listed below.
Furbearer Management Public Meetings
Portland: Tuesday, December 3 at 6:30 p.m.; Fireside Inn and Suites 81 Riverside Street, Portland, ME 04103
Orono: Tuesday, December 3 at 6:30 p.m; Black Bear Inn, 4 Godfrey Drive, Orono, ME 04473
Augusta: Wednesday, December 4 at 6:30 p.m.; Augusta Civic Center, 76 Community Drive, Augusta, ME 04330
Presque Isle: Thursday, December 5 at 6:30 p.m.; Northeastland Hotel, 436 Maine Street, Presque Isle, ME 04769
The meetings and online forum are part of a larger study designed to assess priorities for furbearer management, including the issues residents see as important; their attitudes toward the current and desired population levels of various species; management techniques for these species; and any ideas for potential changes to the current management programs. Input from the public will help MDIFW create the best management plans possible.
MDIFW contracted with Responsive Management, an internationally recognized public opinion research firm, to conduct the research for the state. Responsive Management is handling the facilitation of the public meetings as well as the administration of the online forum. The firm has also conducted focus groups and surveys with Maine residents, hunters, trappers, and landowners as part of the research.
Maine residents may have received a call, email, or letter in recent weeks inviting them to participate in one of the scientific surveys conducted for the project. The next phase of the project calls for a wider opportunity for residents to submit comments and suggestions in an open-ended manner via the public meetings and online forum. For more information about Responsive Management, please visit www.ResponsiveManagement.com.
For further information about the research study, please contact Nate Webb, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, at firstname.lastname@example.org.