If you wanted to express your opinion about the Land For Maine’s Future bond (L.D. 1702), slated for this fall, you can’t because it’s not a bond anymore. It’s been added to the state budget (L.D. 221) and approved by the governor. The decision is no longer yours to make. What you have instead is a new form of voter suppression.

Your views don’t count, your concerns don’t matter, your voice has been silenced. The people’s traditional right to decide such measures has been subverted by an end run around the power of the ballot, and LMF now provides preferential treatment for special interests while imposing undemocratic mandates on everyone else, making a simple walk in the woods a risky venture.

Because of a hidden mandate buried in fine print, trapping must be allowed on any land conserved with LMF funds with the exception of farm protection projects and working waterfronts. So as you and your pet stroll along new LMF property, you’d better be careful because trappers are not required to post warning signs nor are they required to indicate where traps have been placed. And if your local land manager doesn’t like it, that’s too bad because traditional local control has been undermined by special interests. You may also have to dodge a bullet because hunting (including baiting and hounding) must be allowed as well.

Two questions arise: Why was all this permitted by our public servants? And, why has it never been reported in the media?

Don Loprieno

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