During the last seven years, I’ve been venturing into Maine’s northern forest with my camera and journal at my side. This wilderness flows through my veins. I explore these woods to study and photograph wildlife, including the black bear, and do so without using bait, traps or dogs. I choose not to use these unethical techniques out of respect for the wildlife.

I implore you to understand the lure of the black bear and of these precious woods, and to try to realize that species of all kinds deserve to live and die. There is nothing more precious on this planet than life, human and wild. And if life must die, let it die with dignity!

There is only one thing worse than animal killers seeking a smile with blood by mercilessly massacring black bears, a profound symbol of the spirit of Maine, using snares, bait, and dogs … and that is a society that does nothing to prevent it.

Thomas Mark Szelog

co-founder, Maine Woods National Park Photo-Documentation Project

Whitefield