11/13/2013 2:00:00 PM Opposed to hunting as a management tool
To the Editor:
Last week, Don Loprieno wrote another in a long list of columns promoting the recently announced efforts to ban bear baiting, hounding and trapping. He continued to repeat the emotionally charged talking points likely extracted from polling conducted by the Humane Society of the United States. In the column he chastised the Sportsman's Alliance of Maine, SAM.
This is what he said: "I vividly recall how in 2004, the Sportsman's Alliance of Maine proclaimed on its bumper stickers that passing the bear referendum then would mean an end to hunting in Maine." He went on, "We can expect this spurious claim to be made again."
First, SAM didn't have bumper stickers. The coalition called The Maine Wildlife Conservation Council is the organization that opposed the referendum. We were just a member of the group. He obviously is trying to pick a name calling tit for tat fight with us and we are not interested.
Mr. Loprieno's memory isn't so good. The bumper stickers said, "I can't 'Bear' to Ban Hunting" and next to the phrase was a large picture of a black bear with the phrase- "Vote No on Two".
Mr. Loprieno goes on to try and convince readers the Humane Society of the United States is not opposed to hunting. Let me end any reader confusion related to Mr. Loprieno's claims about the HSUS position on hunting. This is their official policy position:
"As a matter of principle, The HSUS opposes the hunting of any living creature for fun, trophy, or sport." (http://www.humanesociety.org/about/policy_statements/statement_wild_animals.html#Hunting)
In order to learn the true motives of a national organization like The Humane Society of the United States, you must look at their history and priorities across the country.
From my research what I have found is HSUS is not opposed to the killing of animals, they are opposed to the killing of animals by hunters as a management tool to control wildlife. Furthermore, their long term strategy is to replace hunters as a conservation tool with paid animal damage control, (ADC) agents and wildlife management with large predators like bears and wolves. They do it incrementally using their vast resources. (Last year they raised $150 million).
Last year I wrote a newspaper column describing the ruthless tactics of Mr. Loprieno's HSUS allies, "Bear Knuckled Politics Come to Maine." I hope you will read it. It might change your mind if you believe Mr. Loprieno. (http://bangordailynews.com/2013/06/05/opinion/contributors/bear-knuckled-politics-come-to-maine/)
Mr. Loprieno is a regular at the state house and knows political tactics and it is obvious to me he plans to repeat emotional buzz words and use personal attacks to make his case.
Our organization refuses to engage Mr. Loprieno; instead, we will use easily verifiable facts and experienced professional biologists who actually manage bears to make our case for effective and reasonable wildlife management. We will also show that what HSUS is proposing is dangerous to property, pets, domesticated animals, wildlife and Mainers and unlike Mr. Loprieno we will do it without name calling or misinformation.
(David Trahan is Executive Director of the Sportsman's Alliance of Maine.)