ORONO- The future of Maine’s furbearers was up for discussion in Orono on Tuesday night.
“The department is undergoing a species planning process for our furbearing species. We’ve hired a company out of Virgina to do a scientific survey,” said Bob Cordes, a special projects coordinator with the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.
Furbearers include animals such as coyotes, raccoons, and muskrats, which are commonly hunted and trapped for their pelts.
The Virginia based company has been performing extensive scientific surveys of how Mainers feel about these animals.
This week, they’re hosting public hearings around the state to get in person input.
“I’m concerned about the furbearers and I‘m concerned about the direction the state is going,” said Steve Wilcox who came to the meeting from 85 miles away in Wytopitlock. “I’ve trapped since I was in grade school and I‘ve realized Maine has more limitations on trappers than about any other state east of the Mississippi.”
The information from the survey will help the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife determine how to manage these species for the next fifteen years.
“It could be policy and regulations,” said Cordes. “Could be outreach to the public about species and how they’re doing, could be population goals and objectives.”
There is a hearing in Augusta on Wednesday night and one in Presque Isle on Thursday.
If you can’t make either of those meetings, you can submit input online.