Anti-coyote/Anti-wolf Bills Scheduled for Public Hearing

Several bills intended to facilitate the killing of coyotes but which may also impact wolf recovery are scheduled to be heard before the Joint Standing Committee on Inland Fisheries and Wildlife on Wednesday, April 6 in the Cross Office Building Room 206 beginning at 1:00 P.M.  We encourage everyone to attend the hearing and express their opinions on these bills.  Those wishing to testify should make twenty copies of their testimony for each bill to give to the committee.  Providing copies is not required but is recommended.
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Legislative Update:
LD 101 which would have created a coyote snaring program was killed by unanimous vote in the legislative committee.  The bill was unanimously killed not because all committee members oppose coyote snaring, but because of a several years old consent agreement in which the State of Maine agreed not to allow coyote snaring unless the federal government issues an Incidental Take Permit for lynx.  That ITP has yet to be issued.

LD 927 would allow an expansion in night hunting for coyotes to year-round.  The committee voted Ought Not To Pass by a vote of 7-3.  The three legislators who supported the bill did so in spite of opposition from the Maine Dept. of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife due to concerns about the fact that it would make enforcement of deer night hunting laws unenforceable.  This bill will now go to the full legislature for a vote.  Because a majority of the committee voted ONTP, passage by the full legislature is unlikely.

UPDATE: LD 927 was amended and signed by the governor into law.  Instead of allowing nught hunting of coyotes year-round, it allows the MDIW Commissioner to “appoint agents to hunt for coyotes at night using artificial illumination from September 1st to December 15th.”  The concern expressed by the department during the committee dealt solely with the potential for hunting deer at night while claiming to be hunting coyotes.

LD 372 would request $200,000 from the state’s general fund for “coyote control”.  The bill was unanimously supported by the committee in spite of the fact that: (1) no amount of money will result in coyote control; and, (2) science has shown that the more coyotes are killed, the more they reproduce.  It appears doubtful that the legislature will authorize the full $200,000 due to other budget concerns.

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