The Maine Warden Service beefed up its commitment to landowner relations recently, as it promoted Dave Chabot to game warden corporal. Chabot joins Cpl. Rick LaFlamme as the second warden in the landowner relations program. Chabot will focus on small landowners, according to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.
LaFlamme has also been a warden for more than 20 years, and since June 2014, he has focused his attention on landowner relations. LaFlamme will be in charge of working with large landowners with the addition of a second member to the team.
Cpl. John MacDonald, the Maine Warden Service spokesman, said the addition of another warden to the landowners relations group reflects the wide variety of recreational activities that take place around the state. Much of that activity takes place on land that the user doesn’t own.
“The recreational vehicle activity in Maine is basically unprecedented. ATV, snowmobile use, and access on land is really at an all-time high. That, in itself, creates a lot of work for us,” MacDonald said. “In addition to that, we still have the more traditional hunting and fishing to [pay attention to]. There’s just this very small percentage of people out there who aren’t treating land the way they need to, and the quicker and better we can respond to those needs, the better off we all are.”
MacDonald said landowners who control vast tracts of land may have drastically different expectations than those who own smaller parcels. The addition of a warden and the separation of duties should help streamline the service’s landowner relations effort.
“We realized the need. You’ve got two fairly complex groups of people. You’ve got the large landowners and the small. Large landowners, the first thing that comes to mind is the paper companies and things like that. Dealing with them almost requires a totally different tool set than the small landowners,” MacDonald said.
Chabot is a 21-year veteran of the warden service, where he has served on various boards and commissions on the state, local and department level. He has been an instructor at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy, and he is an active member of the warden service K9 team.
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