Re: Your March 10 profile of the new commissioner of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife:

Judy Camuso may have the ability to unify Maine’s game and nongame constituents, but does she really have the will?

As in all things, IFW officials follow the money. A quick look at IFW’s website confirms this. Note the prominent tabs for hunting, trapping, fishing, boating, ATVs and snowmobiles; these are all revenue-generating activities. Wow, do they get support! To find IFW’s endangered and threatened species responsibilities, I had to do a keyword search. Native plants? Vernal pools? Ditto and ditto.

Judy Camuso

A long time ago, there were easily identified staff members who could be contacted for significant wildlife or plant sightings for the purpose of adding valuable data to range maps. Those individuals are either gone or buried in the bureaucracy. In my experience, emails and calls pertaining to nongame issues have never been followed up, if I could even figure out whom to contact. The non-revenue-generating, now nearly invisible duties of IFW get short shrift, and that has been the norm for ages.

Non-hunters, non-trappers and non-anglers, as well as participants in non-motorized uses of our woodlands, will need a lot of convincing that a reprioritization will happen.

Camuso’s overt participation in the so-called “bear referendum” in 2014 (as IFW’s Wildlife Division director) spoke volumes. If she is truly interested in her nongame responsibilities and constituents, a great deal of time and money needs to be diverted and actually invested in the protection and public understanding of Maine’s natural resources – the ones not eaten, run over or built upon.

Susan A. Bloomfield

West Kennebunk


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