Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife's Randy Cross (from left), Jake Feener and Ethan Lamb get syringes ready before searching for a bear den in 2017. Credit: Ashley L. Conti

Many of us receive emails (or snail mails, for that matter) from unexpected sources and immediately file them as “trash,” without even taking time to look them over. The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is encouraging Mainers to pay close attention to a survey that may be heading their way, and hopes those surveys are filled out and returned, rather than tossed away.

“The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is working with Responsive Management, an independent research firm specializing in natural resource and outdoor recreation issues, to conduct a survey on wildlife management issues in Maine,” the department said in a recent email. “Responsive Management researchers will be distributing the survey by mail and email with a link to an online questionnaire, and interviewers will also be calling Maine residents to complete the survey by phone.”

The department says people do not need to be outdoors experts to participate. In fact, you don’t have to know about any specific outdoor issue in order to qualify for the survey. Researchers are trying to gather a true cross-section of Mainers, and the only requirement for participation is that your name was randomly selected.

So, what can you expect to be asked on the survey? Shevenell Webb, the furbearer and small mammal biologist for the DIF&W, said the results will be used to update furbearer management plans, including species management goals and objectives.

“The survey results will also help the department determine public support for trapping, extent of nuisance wildlife issues, desired population levels of species and differences in attitude by region,” Webb said.

Responsive Management is no stranger to Maine wildlife issues. In 2016, the company completed a survey that compiled the opinions of Mainers on the state’s four big game species — moose, deer, black bears and turkeys — to help the DIF&W formulate long-term management plans.

John Holyoke

John Holyoke has been enjoying himself in Maine's great outdoors since he was a kid. He spent 28 years working for the BDN, including 19 years as the paper's outdoors columnist or outdoors editor. While...