In favor of bear referendum

The article in Another View (June 19) accused the Humane Society of advancing this November's bear referendum as a prelude to ending all bear hunting. When other states prohibited hounding and baiting, interest in fair-chase bear hunting actually increased. Colorado, Washington, and Oregon all prohibited baiting and hounding more than 20 years ago, and since then the number of bear hunters has risen significantly in all three states — by an average of 289 percent. Bear take increased in these states as well. Since Oregon prohibited bear hounding and baiting in 1994, bear tag sales have tripled.

In Washington, the number of bear hunters has almost doubled; the number of bear hunters in Colorado has more than tripled. We can infer from these data that bear hunting in Maine would increase, not decrease, if the referendum passes.

Although the referendum might have been initiated by the Humane Society, countless other groups and individuals in Maine are supporting it. A long list of local advocates can be found at If the referendum were not a valid concept, it would not have garnered some 80,000 signatures from the citizens of Maine.

If bears are invading our space, it's because we have fed them and lured them into our territory. We may be hearing more about bear incursions than in the past because of the impending referendum, but none of these reports has described any injury to humans. If indeed the bear population has increased 30 percent in the past 10 years, then clearly the current methods of hunting are not controlling the population. Baiting actually increasesthe population because it fattens bears and leads to the birth of more cubs and a higher survival rate. Other, more humane, methods than hounding and trapping can be instituted, such as extending the season and increasing the bag limit.

So please join me and other concerned Maine residents in passing the bear referendum this November.

Ruth Willett



No to asphalt at Snow Bowl

Looking out the window across the valley at the Snow Bowl, I see a large gang of men installing erosion control barriers along the logging road. Whatever was done after the first silting of Hosmer Pond obviously didn't work, as the rains of this week demonstrated. Hosmer Pond again looks like Old Muddy. Landon Fake assures us it was dirt from the parking lot which has done most of the damage. This brings me back to the discussion of the larger Snow Bowl improvement project and the question of whether to pave the parking lot, or not. Members of the Hosmer Pond Association have voiced concerns about rapid drainage of automotive drippings into the pond should the parking lot become paved.

At one point the paving prospect was dropped due to the cost, and I don't know where the issue stands now. I would take the position that now that we know how effective the parking lot is as a drainage swale, the asphalt option should be shelved. There has been much talk about the Snow Bowl's natural beauty and how it's being compromised by the ongoing work. I have two comments on that: nature recovers much faster than we think. Looking at historic photos of Knox County one notices that with the exception of Camden's elms there aren't many trees in the landscape. We're living in a second growth forest. Also, if we value the Snow Bowl as a natural area, which, in spite of the skiing infrastructure we do, and considering the very obvious drainage capacity of the parking lot, then let's save a little money and leave the parking lot gravel.

Lastly, I think the place looks great. The logs are cleanly sorted and the brush is in a neat mound. Of course there's construction debris scattered about: it's a construction site. If we are worried about the image this presents to visitors, I propose that the visitors will be impressed with our industriousness. There's certainly no shortage of lovely natural areas, of which the Snow Bowl will soon become again.


Bill Buchholz



I'm supporting Jonathan Fulford

Waldo County needs a change in its State Senate representation, and – happily for us! – Jonathan Fulford is the man to carry out that change. In a meeting in Belfast last weekend, Jonathan met with scores of citizens to tell us about his plans and policies. He is firm, informed, and thoroughly progressive: he will work for fair tax policies, accessible health care for all, and a clean, sustainable environment.

As a small business owner himself, Jonathan supports small businesses and farms, and the kind of job creation that won’t run out on Maine, but will sustain the state’s resources over the long run. He respects a woman’s right to choose, and he will be a legislative ally to Wabanaki people. And, he is running a truly clean campaign.

Jonathan Fulford deserves our support! Together, we can send him to Augusta.

Diane Oltarzewski