On October 2, twenty-five Maine legislators, including many members of the Maine Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus participated in Land for Maine’s Future’s Tour for State Legislators.
Caucus Co-Chair Representative Martin Grohman and Caucus Member Representative Patrick Corey were instrumental in organizing the event, which was held in the Sebago Lake Region.
Throughout the day, participants toured various properties that were conserved with the assistance of funds from Land for Maine’s Future, which provided a first-hand look at the benefits of this conservation program. One site was Hancock Lumber’s Jugtown Forest, a 5,000-acre working forest that provides access for hunting and fishing, among other recreational activities.
While at the Forest, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) Senior Director of Northeastern States Brent Miller provided a discussion on the importance of ensuring access for hunting and fishing. Miller touched on the trends in license sales and conservation funding in recent years, and reported on several scientific studies that stress the importance of access for recruitment, retention, and reactivation of sportsmen and women. Included in this discussion was a delineation of temporal versus spatial access, which led to a conversation on the benefits of Sunday hunting as a measure to improve temporal access in the state.
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- Lack of access (19.51%)
- Expenses (equipment and licenses/stamps/fees) (15.45%)
- Burdensome or confusing regulations (12.20%)
- Overcrowded fishing locations (5.69%)
- Poor fishing experience due to low fish populations or small fish (17.07%)
- Conflicts with other users (e.g. boaters) (2.44%)
- Lack of time (27.64%)