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David Trahan is the CEO of Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine.
From less than a lifetime, white-tailed deer have been the heart and soul of Maine’s rural hunting culture. Athletes and women from all over the country traveled to the wilderness areas of northern Maine for the opportunity to harvest deer. Hunting camps, guides and families, build friendships and share stories about deer hunting adventures across generations.
Unfortunately, predation and habitat loss have led to a collapse in deer numbers in these same areas. In many regions of the states, the amount of winter habitat for deer is تكون Much less What is needed. This loss of older growth forest habitat has created a one-dimensional forest that is unable to sustain deer and the other 50 wildlife species that depend on the same forest structure.
In an effort to end this spiral of degradation and habitat loss, the Maine Institute for Legislative Action Athlete’s Alliance (SAM-ILA) has spearheaded three initiatives to: Restores Critical habitat for these special places.
First, we introduced and helped us pass legislation To change the Land for the Future’s Program to prioritize land purchases that include deer wintering areas where populations are declining and suitable winter habitats and then succeed negotiation $40 million, 4-year general fund appropriations, offset by $3 to $1 federal funds, a portion of which is earmarked for the purchase and management of deer yard.
Second, in the last legislative session, SAM-ILA successfully lobbied lawmakers Reformation We have an antler-less deer licensing system and dedicate all new money from that system to the same mission of deer recovery in northern Maine. This effort Maybe he meant Another $5 million in state and federal funds will be available annually.
Third, we cooperated with Preservation Society of Orostock County (ACCA) to create a file Orostock County cooperation white-tailed deer. The two organizations have established a small SAM leadership committee and ACCA membership to coordinate and hold annual fundraising activities, as well as determine how the money will be spent. When this new collaboration is complete, we will use it as a model for habitat conservation in the rest of the state.
The committee met in early May to announce the new collaboration on Presque Isle and met again at Brewer to plan fundraising activities for 2023. In less than a month, the association has raised more than $24,000.00. Combined with potential three-to-one matched federal funds, we already have over $80,000.00 to start this effort.
Restoring deer wintering areas in northern, eastern, and western Maine is good for deer and all other types of wildlife that rely on the same older growth wood. Many of these parcels will be over 1,000 acres, and many are in the 5,000 to 7,000 acres range. They contain recreational opportunities throughout the year and with careful planning, especially during the winter months, will become destination sites attracting visitors from all over the country. The Earth for the Future program in Maine has already announced it Buy 930 acres of deer yards in Woodland and Washburn along Caribou Stream and, more recently, 6,300 acres in Red Dead Water In the south of Orostock County.
Having Aroostook County residents and others passionate about deer involved in managing, purchasing, and protecting these plots will be critical to success. Funds raised through our efforts will be used to add small plots of land to wintering pools and when needed, used to enhance habitat and reduce predation.
For decades, people in Maine have supported land conservation as a way to conserve Maine’s wild places and public access. Our forests, rivers, and wildlife support rural economies and set our country apart from the rest of the nation. Very few people know that the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine and its members helped create the Land for Maine’s Future Program, the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund, and now, create a new Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Program to create Wildlife Management Areas Across northern, eastern, and western Maine to protect Maine’s wildlife.
Special thanks to our partners Maine Coast Heritage Trust, Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Legislative Committee and Staff with mills management. The future looks bright for Maine’s wildlife, and in time, we sincerely hope that our efforts will return wildlife to the places where they nearly disappeared.