It is apparent that Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee members Reps. Mike Shaw and Jeff Evangelos have determined that the Humane Society of the United States is a threat to their public processes and bear management programs (“Maine Voices: Pick science over sensationalism for managing Maine’s bear population,” Jan. 15).

Stating, and I quote, that the HSUS is coordinating “a campaign to promote their political agenda to end the use of hunters as a tool to manage wildlife.” In addition, “If they are successful, they will destroy one of the most successful conservation models of the last half century.”

Let’s see this for what it is – sensationalism. The issue at hand is simple: Hunt bear fairly and humanely – no trapping, baiting or use of dogs.

The claim is that what animal activists want to do is irresponsible and has the potential to harm bears, private property and public safety.

Harm to bears: What more harm can be inflicted?

Private property: Bears will be ravaging the countryside?

Public safety: I suppose the reasoning here would be the possibility that to put an end to such hunting tactics will surely cause harm to life and limb. Fact: No one has ever been killed or even seriously injured by a wild Maine black bear.

Hunting is a way of life in Maine and should remain so. Let’s join the other states that have abolished the practices discussed above and not draw people to our beautiful state because we’re known to allow hunting in this unfair way.

As far as the financial gains and/or losses by abolishing these practices are concerned, historical data in other states proves that restoring fair-chase hunting is economically beneficial and the bear populations remain stable.

Mr. Shaw and Mr. Evangelos say they hope Mainers will see this referendum for what it is. Believe me, we do!

Sandra Giguere

Bremen