“We need to reduce the department’s size.” That was DIF&W Commissioner Chandler Woodcock’s response to a question asking why he was proposing cuts to the Maine Warden Service’s budget, including a decrease in positions and mileage.
Chandler presented his proposed budget recently to members of the legislature’s IFW Committee, and the Warden Service cuts were of most concern to committee members. Representative Steve Wood said flat out that he could not support those cuts, and others seemed to feel the same way.
While Chandler danced around the questions, it was obvious to most of us that these cuts were demanded by Governor Paul LePage, who made similar demands to other state agencies. Given that the agency has a healthy surplus, it’s difficult to understand why they need to reduce the department’s size.