I would urge my fellow citizens to really put some thought into this bear referendum and the driving force behind this question in November. The Humane Society of The United States is behind this, and they used deceptive practices and misinformation to gather the signatures from unsuspecting Mainers.

Wayne Pacelle, who is the head of the HSUS, has stated on many occasions the ultimate goal is to ban all forms of hunting, and they will do it one step at a time. Check their website out if you’re not convinced. They will lead you to believe that Mainers want this question on the ballot when that is the furthest thing from the truth.

The Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is cutting edge with its bear management program, and has three of the leading biologists in the nation who are against this referendum. Only 1 out of 4 hunters are successful, and it takes an average hunter 15 days to harvest one bear. Ninety-three percent of the harvest comes from using these methods. This state has led in black bear research programs for the past 40 years, and the data shows the practices used by hunters is an integral part of an effective bear management program.

Please, let’s not forget the economic impact of this on small businesses. A lot of these businesses are in rural Maine and support hundreds of jobs as well as other small businesses (convenience stores, restaurants, lodging etc.) as well as infuses millions of dollars into the Maine economy.

All three candidates for governor, two-thirds of the State Legislature, the Maine Tourism Association, Federation of Maine Dog Clubs & Responsible Pet Owners, Maine AFL-CIO and many other organizations support No On 1. I urge all my fellow voters to vote no, as this is bad for Maine.

Brian LaFlamme, Saco