On Jan. 23, 2012, Sen. President Kevin Raye (R-Perry) introduced LD 1652, “An Act to Ensure a Reliable Funding Stream for the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.” A coalition comprising Maine Audubon, the Nature Conservancy, and the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine supported this bill.
In his testimony, Raye said, “Maine’s fish and wildlife are unique resources in the eastern United States. Although a majority of Maine residents participate in fish and wildlife-related activities, the financial burden of funding Maine’s wildlife agency is borne almost entirely by those who fish and hunt.”
After coalition representatives testified, representatives from the Maine League of Conservation Voters and the Natural Resources Council of Maine also spoke in support. There was no opposition.
During the Jan. 25 work session held by the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee, the coalition urged committee members to form a taskforce to work on a plan and report it to the committee on March 7. Committee members voted to do so.