Maine has a new plan to manage its ‘big-game’ species. The rising bear population is a top concern.
State wildlife officials have unveiled Maine’s latest long-range management plan for four crucial “big game” species, and have invited the public to view and comment on the document for the next month.
The plan, which covers moose, deer, bear and turkeys, will guide biologists and wildlife managers in decisions for the next 10 years, and has been in the works for the past three years — ever since the previous 15-year planning document expired.
During that span, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife contracted with researchers from Responsive Management, which gauged Mainers’ opinions on wildlife issues through meetings, surveys and written comments.
“There was a tremendous effort to reach out to a broader audience than we have in the past, and I think that’s the future of wildlife management,” said Judy Camuso, the DIF&W’s wildlife director.
Camuso said department staffers went into the process with open minds.
“Sometimes, you know what the end product is going to look like when you start,” Camuso said. “We really didn’t. We went into this like, ‘We’re going to do these surveys, we’re going to hear what the public says, and we’re going to go from there.’”
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