Lawmaker still wants to regulate foraging but drops support for wild picker law
AUGUSTA, Maine — The lawmaker who introduced a controversial bill to regulate foraging in Maine said he has asked the committee of jurisdiction to effectively kill his proposal, but not because he has changed his mind about the need for restrictions on the foraging of fiddleheads, mushrooms and other wild foods on private land.
Instead, Sen. Tom Saviello (R-Wilton) said Tuesday that after reviewing state laws already on the books and learning that such harvesting already is largely prohibited, he decided that there is no need for another law. A work session was held on the bill late Tuesday afternoon by the Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, with a majority of lawmakers voting “ought not to pass.” The Senate has to accept the “ought not to pass” report before it can be called “dead.”
Saviello said earlier Tuesday that he wanted to give fellow lawmakers the opportunity to “have the bill go away.”
“It’s already illegal,” Saviello said. “I’m recommending that the bill be killed, because we don’t need the law … we already have a law on the books that says [foragers] are stealing, and can be charged with theft. I hope landowners now may realize that they can take [foragers] to court.”
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