On the ballot this year is the Maine bear referendum (Question 1). Passage would end bear hunting by all reasonably effective means (with dogs, bait and trapping).
Approximately 96 percent of the money supporting Mainers For Fair Bear Hunting is coming from the Washington, D.C.-based United States Humane Society and its legislative fund.
The funding to ban Maine’s bear hunting heritage is coming from those who do not live here. They do not care about the impact on Maine’s rural economy nor the good, hard-working families who live there.
Maine is not highly industrialized. There are few options for rural families to support themselves. Bear hunting brings money into those fragile economies, for guides, motels, B&Bs, diners, gas stations and various purchases. Those areas depend on that income; there would be a substantial loss for families.
There are few places where people can find work in rural areas. To take from families who have less is wrong. Banners will not buy heating fuel, winter coats, food or pay the mortgage for families whose income source has been destroyed.
Question 1 reads: “Do you want to ban the use of bait, dogs or traps in bear hunting, except to protect property, public safety, or for research?”
Don’t be deceived. Proponents’ only desire is to end bear hunting, despite consequences to the economy.
People can do the right thing on Nov. 4 and support residents who have little luxury by voting “no” on Question 1.
Voters can support Maine values and protect the jobs of many Maine families.
Bob Dion, Bethel