Governor Janet Mills Earns “A” Grade & Thumbs Up from Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine-ILA

SAM-ILA applauds Governor Mills’ work to replenish LMF, protect and expand outdoor opportunities for sportsmen, and collaborate on key issues

AUGUSTA – The Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine – Institute for Legislative Action (SAM-ILA) has given Governor Janet Mills an “A” grade and thumbs up in its 2022 Election Guide, applauding her collaborative approach to governing and her strong work to protect and expand opportunities for sportsmen, including replenishing the Land for Maine’s Future Program, improving Maine’s fish hatcheries, and addressing PFAS contamination. 

Republican candidate for Governor Paul LePage was given a grade of “incomplete” and withdrew his questionnaire following his interview with SAM-ILA.

“The Maine outdoors is central to our economy and to who we are as a people – and whether it’s fishing, hiking, or skeet shooting, it’s also my favorite place in the world to be,” said Governor Mills. “I have fought hard to make sure that we are preserving and protecting our lands, creating more opportunities for hunting, fishing, and ATVing, and – most importantly – making sure that future generations will be able to enjoy our state in the same way we do today. That’s what I am going to do for the next four years as well.”

“It would have been easy for Governor Mills to say, ‘Forget the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine-ILA; they endorsed my opponent, Shawn Moody.’ And she would have been justified; elections have consequences. But that is not what happened,” reads SAM-ILA’s 2022 Election Guide. “Just after her election as Maine’s new Governor, we received calls from her office asking us if we had an interest in talking about firearm and outdoor recreation policy. From the early moments of the Mills administration a positive tone was set, and we built a trusted relationship with the Governor and her staff through the next four years.”

Governor Mills also scored an “A+” on SAM-ILA’s questionnaire. 

Governor Mills has worked in a bipartisan manner with the Legislature to expand opportunities for outdoorsmen across Maine, including:

  • Replenishing the Land for Maine’s Future Program with $40 million in state funding, representing the first time since 2009 that LMF has received funding. The program helps conserve land and protect fishing and hunting opportunities. Paul LePage vigorously opposed LMF and held up bonds to fund the program. 
  • Improving Maine’s Fish Stocking Program by dedicating $20 million through her Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan to improve infrastructure at Maine’s fish hatcheries. The funds will allow the hatcheries to increase fish production, contributing to more fish being stocked in lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams across the state. 
  • Upgrading Maine State Parks by dedicating $50 million to Maine’s state park system to improve and modernize the parks, which provide many opportunities for hunting and fishing and other outdoor activities.
  • Preserving Deer Yards by signing into law a new antlerless deer permit system that provides more opportunities for hunters and ensures funds generated through the permits to manage and protect deer yards.
  • Expanding IFW’s Landowner Relations Program to provide landowners with more resources and support if they encounter problems with public use of their land.
  • Modernizing the IFW Information and Education Division to enhance marketing and communications and create new partnerships with the Maine Professional Guides Association and the Office of Tourism, reaching new markets and increasing license sales.
  • Removing barriers to getting outside during the pandemic by implementing an online hunter safety course that led to a surge in the number of people taking hunter safety and purchasing hunting and fishing licenses.

Governor Mills has accomplished all of this work without raising taxes or the cost of licenses.