Updated Profiles of Fish and Wildlife Committee Members

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Senator Thomas Martin of Waterville and Representative Paul Davis of Sangerville will chair the legislature’s Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee. Eleven members of the committee were endorsed or received grades of “A” from the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine in the 2010 election. That means they have already made many commitments to sportsmen. We’ll explore those commitments in a later blog.

Eight members of the IFW Committee return from last session’s committee, although the chairs are new, thanks to a Republican take-over of the Senate and House. Rep. Herb Clark, who served as the committee’s House Chair last session, returns as the Democrat’s lead (Ranking Minority Member) on the committee this session.

You can access information about legislative committee assignments and the legislators themselves at the excellent legislative website: www.maine.gov. Biographies and other information about many legislators are available at www.votesmart.org.

The two Senators pictured above, Dave Trahan (left) and Tom Saviello, are real champions for Maine sportsmen and conservationists. Both got very important committee assighments. Trahan will serve as Senate chair the Taxation Committee, and also serve on the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee. Saviello will serve as Senate chair of the Natural Resources Committee.

Here’s the complete list of the thirteen members of the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee, with brief biographies.

Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee

Senator Thomas Martin (R-Kennebec), Senate Chair, Endorsed by SAM. A general contractor and owner of Nitram Excavation and General Contractors. President of the Maine Better Transportation Association in 2010. Active in Chamber of Commerce and youth sports. Lives in Benton.

In his SAM PAC candidate survey, Martin said he enjoys hunting, fishing, shooting, snowmobiling, ATVing, hiking, canoeing, boating, and biking. He listed membership in the Maine Snowmobile Association. SAM asked each candidate to “tell us about the experiences that shaped your thinking about Maine’s outdoor heritage.” Martin wrote, “I grew up in Maine and truly enjoy everything it has to offer. I have traveled to every corner of the state and could not think of living anywhere else.”

Senator Dave Trahan (R-Lincoln), Endorsed by SAM. A champion of the sportsman’s cause during his tenure in the legislature. Served in the House from 1998 to 2006, and in the Senate last session. Veteran member of the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee. Also served on the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s Advisory Council in 1997 and 1998. Married. I have worked for many years with Dave, who is an exceptional legislator with interests all across the board including education, health, and taxes. We are currently working together on several key issues, including an initiative to rebuild and sustain Maine’s deer herd. Dave’s a regular guest on Wildfire. Dave will also serve on the important Taxation Committee, as Senate Chair.

In his SAM PAC candidate survey, Trahan said he enjoys hunting, fishing, shooting, ATVing, hiking, bird watching, canoeing, boating, and biking. He listed memberships in SAM, the NRA, and the Lincoln County Fish and Game Association where he serves as President. He wrote, “I have hunted and fished in Maine since a child. There is no one event or experience that shapes my outdoor heritage. It is all experiences and how they are part of everyday living in Maine.”

Senator John Patrick (D-Oxford), Grade of “A” from SAM. Served in the House from 2000 to 2008. Journeyman mechanic for Mead Westvaco Paper Company. Married and father of three children. Throughout his eight years in the House, John could always be counted on to support Maine sportsmen.

In his SAM PAC candidate survey, Patrick said he enjoys hunting, fishing, shooting, snowmobiling, hiking, bird watching, canoeing, biking, and gardening. He listed a life membership in SAM and membership in Web River Rod and Gun Club. He wrote, “Growing up I hunted, fishing, hiked and cut wood with my father, brothers, uncles, and cousins.”

Rep. Paul Davis (R-Sangerville), House Chair, Endorsed by SAM. Veteran legislator who served as Republican Leader in the Senate before being termed limited out of that body and getting elected to the House where he served last session. Veteran of the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee. Serves as a member of the Board and Treasurer of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine. Immediate past president of the Maine Snowmobilers Association. Married and father of two children. Paul loves to hunt and fish and generously shared a remote trout pond with me last spring.

In his SAM PAC candidate survey, Davis said he enjoys hunting, fishing, trapping, shooting, snowmobiling, and boating. He listed memberships in SAM, NRA, and Big Pine Gun Club. He wrote he’s been, “hunting and fishing all my life.”

Rep. Ralph Sarty (R-Denmark), Endorsed by SAM. Retired game warden serving his second term in the House. Chair of the Denmark Board of Selectmen. Married and father of three children. Took the lead last session on difficult ATV issues.

In his SAM PAC candidate survey, Sarty said he enjoys hunting, fishing, canoeing, and boating. He listed memberships in NRA, Ducks Unlimited, Whitetails Unlimited, Trout Unlimited, and the Ruffed Grouse Society. He wrote, “I began hunting, fishing, camping, boating, etc. since the mid-1950s and have continued ever since. Now I take my grandsons whenever possible.”

Rep. Dale Crafts (R-Lisbon), Endorsed by SAM. Returning for his second House term. Served on Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee last session where he quickly became a leader. Successful businessman with several businesses in the Lisbon area. Avid sportsman who got a moose in 2009. Divorced and father of six children.

In his SAM PAC candidate survey, Crafts said he enjoys hunting, fishing, shooting, ATVing, and boating. He listed a membership in the NRA. He wrote, “As a family we love the outdoors and the many activities that are possible in Maine.”

Rep. Eleanor Espling (R-New Gloucester), Endorsed by SAM. Small business owner and mother of four children. First term in the legislature. Married and mother of four children. Is a member of a family of avid sportsmen and women.

In her SAM PAC candidate survey, Espling said she enjoys fishing, hiking, kayaking, canoeing, running, and trail running. She listed a membership in the NRA. She wrote, “My father has always been a hunter. He not only enjoys hunting but also watching the animals. He has passed this love of Maine’s animals on to my kids by purchasing lifetime hunting licenses for some. He also took us fishing when I was a little girl.”

Rep. Stacey Guerin (R-Glenburn). Here’s how Stacey described herself in an email response to my inquiry recently. “I'm proud of being named to the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee. I have enjoyed the rivers, fields and forests of our wonderful state my whole life. I'm an avid outdoors sport who enjoys fishing, snowshoeing, skiing, backpacking, camping, hunting, canoeing, and kayaking. I've completed a Maine Guide Course and hope to get my professional guide's license by next summer. As a certified teacher, I hope to merge my passion for the out of doors with my love for teaching. My husband and I have enjoyed teaching our five sons the joys of fly-fishing and outdoor life for many years and I am excited about the possibility of preserving and promoting these activities for all of the families of Maine through my committee assignment.”

Guerin did not complete a SAM PAC candidate survey.

Re. Stephen Wood (R-Sabattus), Grade of “A” from SAM. A registered Maine guide and small business owner. Married with 2 children and one stepchild.

In his SAM PAC candidate survey, Wood said he enjoys hunting, fishing, trapping, shooting, snowmobiling, ATVing, hiking, kayaking, canoeing, boating, biking, and recreational hunting and fishing guiding. He listed memberships in SAM and the Maine Professional Guides Association.

Rep. Herb Clark (D-Millinocket), Democratic Lead, Endorsed by SAM. State House veteran and champion for Maine sportsmen, active in many outdoor organizations in the Millinocket area. Pipefitter at Katahdin Paper. Married and father of two children. I’ve worked with Herb at the legislature for many years. He’s always been a legislator who sportsmen could count on, and a strong leader for us on the floor of the House as well as in committee.

In his SAM PAC candidate survey, Clark said he enjoys hunting, fishing, shooting, snowmobiling, ATVing, hiking, kayaking, canoeing, and boating. He listed a membership in the Millinocket Fin and Feather Club. Hr wrote that the experiences that shaped his outdoor thinking come as a “father, grandfather, and co-chair of the IFW Committee.”

Rep. Jane Eberle (D-South Portland). Environmental leader and the first nonsportsmen to ever serve on the IFW Committee. Board member of the Belgrade Regional Conservation Alliance. Exercise instructor for Cape Elizabeth Community Services and Director of Business Partnerships for South Portland School Department. Married and mother of three children. Jane distinguished herself last session on the IFW Committee. She asked probing questions and took nothing at face value. She took the lead on invasive fisheries issues, organizing a working group that brought together many disparate groups and individuals to address these contentious issues in a positive way.

Eberle did not complete a SAM PAC candidate survey.

Rep. Sheryl Briggs (D-Mexico), Endorsed by SAM. Serving second term in House and on Fish and Wildlife Committee. Executive Secretary for Town of Mexico. Married and mother of two children. Sheryl provided a lot of insight into how laws and rules impacted people and workers at the town level, during her service last session on the IFW Committee.

In her SAM PAC candidate survey, Briggs said she enjoys hunting, fishing, shooting, snowmobiling, ATVing, canoeing, and boating. She listed memberships in SAM, River Valley Riders ATV Club, Roxbury ATV Club, and the Mexico Trailblazers Snowmobile Club. She wrote, “I am an avid outdoors woman. It’s imperative to preserve our outdoor heritage. I love it all.”

Rep. Michael Shaw (D-Standish), Endorsed by SAM. Serving second term in House and on Fish and Wildlife Committee. Amtrak conductor between Portland and Boston. Avid hunter and angler. Married. I had the pleasure of hunting turkeys with Mike last spring. Harry Vanderweide and I enjoyed having Mike as a guest last year on our TV show. He’s a very thoughtful and creative legislator.

In his SAM PAC survey, Shaw said he enjoys hunting, fishing, shooting, snowmobiling, ATVing, hiking, canoeing, and boating. He listed memberships in SAM, NRA, and the Sebago Lake Anglers Association. In response to SAM’s question about experiences that shaped his thinking about Maine’s outdoor heritage, he wrote, “To many to list. Love being outdoors hunting and fishing. Love to see kids getting out enjoying the great outdoors.”

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