There is a bill – L.D. 1702 – that has been introduced in three forms in the Legislature this year. The bill includes the famous Land for Maine’s Future component, which unfortunately continues to drag along a kill mandate: the requirement that lands acquired with the bond funding must be open to trapping and hunting. No safe spots for hikers, kayakers or the unfortunate animals who happen to call it home.

There are many who say, “Well, trapping and sport hunting are a longtime Maine tradition.” That may be. Slavery was a longtime tradition, too. Come to think of it, burning witches at the stake was also around for a couple of hundred years. Did that make it right or sensible? Times are changing, and in some ways we are getting more civilized.

Any readers who are acquainted with Albert Schweitzer or Mahatma Gandhi – or, more currently, Jane Goodall, E.O. Wilson, Richard Louv or David Attenborough – know that we can help our planet heal best by leaving the forests and jungles, and their animal inhabitants, wild and relatively undisturbed.

Hiking is fine, photography hurts no one, canoeing likewise leaves the plants and animals in peace. Please contact your legislators and ask them to simply remove the kill mandate from Land for Maine’s Future, which is included now in L.D. 1702.

Anna Weiss

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