Maine Deception: The Real Agenda of HSUS

Save Maines Bear Hunt
Save Maines Bear Hunt
U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance
U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance

Columbus, OH –-( I read with amusement Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) president and CEO Wayne Pacelle’s article in the Sept. 27 2014 edition of the Bangor Daily News.

The first thing that struck me was the photo of Pacelle clad in a flannel shirt knocking on doors in Bangor to ask for support of the HSUS-led initiative to ban the most effective means of controlling the bear population in Maine.

The fact is, Mr. Pacelle’s organization and qualifications to comment on Maine’s bear issues are as genuine as his donning of a flannel shirt; they’re all a charade meant to sell residents on an agenda that will cost the state financially and environmentally.

Mr. Pacelle is a Yale-educated, suit-wearing resident of Washington D.C. who runs the world’s largest anti-hunting organization, and Mainers for Fair Bear Hunting is nothing more than an HSUS storefront. HSUS has contributed more than 97 percent of Question 1 funding. They are the ones who hired a California-based firm to gather signatures to get it on the ballot in the first place.

In other words, it’s not the people of Maine who are asking for bear management to change, rather, it’s a predictable HSUS strategy to further their radical agenda, one they’ve used in other states – including Maine in 2004. Having pumped more than $2.5 million into the campaign, Mr. Pacelle and HSUS believe they can buy Maine’s voters, and buy their way closer to stopping all forms of hunting across the country – their ultimate goal.

I was also amused by Mr. Pacelle’s quote in an August 11 Bangor Daily News article where he stated, “This time, we have seen some of the dirty tricks already, and I think we’ll be ready for them.” As the CEO of HSUS, Mr. Pacelle is certainly qualified to talk about “dirty tricks.”

Deception has landed his organization in hot water during the last year; a few examples:

  • HSUS and their co-defendants were required to pay a $15.75 million settlement after losing a federal racketeering, fraud and bribery lawsuit stemming from a 2000 lawsuit filed against Feld Entertainment, Inc., the operator of Ringling Brothers Circus.
  • An investigation was opened by the Oklahoma Attorney General to look deeper into deceptive fundraising practices implemented by the organization. The investigation is continuing.
  • Charity Navigator, the nation’s largest evaluator of charities, issued a Donor Advisory warning and revoked its rating of HSUS.

Deception is also part of the Question 1 campaign. Mainers for Fair Bear Hunting sued to keep Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife biologists from voicing professional and expert opinions on the matter in television commercials, while flooding the airwaves with a rash of emotional, yet baseless, ads of their own – facts and science are not on the side of HSUS/Mainers for Fair Bear Hunting. When they suffered a resounding court loss, they appealed – saddling Maine residents once again with court costs and attorney fees.

They’re also not being forthright with the long-term costs to citizens – a potential $53 million economic shortfall that will be felt throughout Maine if Question 1 passes. This doesn’t even touch on property damage, as well as inevitable increases in human-bear conflicts (and the resources required to resolve them), as proven in other states where similar HSUS proposals have passed.

Ultimately, Maine residents will decide the future of bear management in the state. As you head to the ballot box, simply ask yourself: “Who am I going to trust?”

Do you trust an anti-hunting special-interest group from Washington, D.C., with a shameful record of behavior? Or do you trust Maine’s bear biologists, who lead a nationally recognized bear management program guided by sound science?

Nick Pinizzotto
USSA/USSAF President & CEO

About:The U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance is a national association of sportsmen and sportsmen’s organizations that protects the rights of hunters, anglers and trappers in the courts, legislatures, at the ballot, in Congress and through public education programs. Visit