Down East 2013 ©
Chandler Woodcock’s nomination to be Maine’s commissioner of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife won the unanimous support of the legislature’s Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee last week.
The popular Woodcock drew support from a dozen Maine sporting and environmental groups, including the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine and Maine Audubon, as well as individual sportsmen.
“My outdoor experiences have included bird and deer hunting, a brief trapping stint, kayaking on inland waters and the Atlantic, canoeing both the Allagash and St. John rivers, an Audubon bird count and teaching our grandchildren to appreciate the woods and waters and the fine art of putting a worm on a hook to name a few,” testified Woodcock.
“It’s about protecting our resources for all people to enjoy,” he said, noting that he will be very visible throughout the state, leading the way.
IF&W Committee members peppered Woodcock with questions for more than an hour.
Rep. Steve Wood expressed concern that Woodcock’s appointment was “political,” but the nominee noted his extensive experience and interests in outdoor activities, and said he never thought his appointment was political, although he recognized the possibility that, because he ran for governor, some people would think his nomination was some kind of reward for that effort.
Rep. Herb Clark asked about Woodcock’s opinions on hunting and fishing in Baxter Park. “I strongly opposed the Katahdin Lake land swap,” reported Chandler, “It was inappropriate to take away the traditional activities that people in that area enjoyed on that land.”
Clark asked about Sunday hunting of any species. “I told George Smith when he was executive director of SAM it would be over my dead body that we’d go Sunday hunting in Maine,” said Chandler, but reported he’d heard that the governor intended to support some limited Sunday hunting opportunities. “I’m not in the ‘not over my dead body’ anymore because I’m getting older, but I’m still opposed,” he concluded.
Clark asked about coyote controls. “I believe management and control of the coyote population is extremely important,” said Chandler.
Chandler said he used to tell his children that history is a fact, not an excuse. He won’t be looking back. And he’s anxious to lead the way forward. “The department needs to revitalize a bit,” he said.
For a full account of the committee’s questions and Woodcock’s answers, visit www.georgesmithmaine.com .