An Act To Recognize and Provide for the Right To Hunt for Sustenance in Aroostook County for Maliseet and Micmac Tribal Members and Disabled Veterans
Sec. 1. 12 MRSA c. 915, sub-c. 16 is enacted to read:
§ 12171. Definitions
As used in this subchapter, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.
§ 12172. Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians and Aroostook Band of Micmacs
Except for moose or bear, notwithstanding any provision of this Part regarding licensure, season, day, time, hunter age, wild animal or bird sex or other characteristics or bag limits, an enrolled member of the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians or the Aroostook Band of Micmacs may hunt for, take and possess any wild animal or bird at any time in Aroostook County for sustenance use only. This section does not apply to a species identified as endangered under state or federal law.
§ 12173. Moose and bear allocations for the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians, Aroostook Band of Micmacs and disabled veterans in Aroostook County
Hunting with a permit issued under this section must occur in Aroostook County and must be for sustenance use only. A permit issued under this section is not subject to a fee. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, a disabled veteran hunting with a sustenance moose permit or bear permit pursuant to this section may hunt from a motor vehicle, as defined in Title 29-A, section 101, subsection 42. An enrolled member of the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians or the Aroostook Band of Micmacs may hunt notwithstanding section 11651-A and any provision of this Part regarding licensure, season, day, time, hunter age or wild animal or bird sex or other characteristics.
§ 12174. Rules
The commissioner may adopt rules to implement this subchapter. Rules adopted pursuant to this section are routine technical rules as defined in Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2-A.
This bill provides that members of the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians and the Aroostook Band of Micmacs may hunt for any wild animal or bird at any time in Aroostook County for sustenance use. Tribal members engaging in this sustenance hunting are largely exempt from general wild game laws, except that moose and bear hunting must be done by special permits issued by the Commissioner of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. The commissioner is required to annually issue 33 moose permits and 33 bear permits to members of each respective tribe. The commissioner is also directed to annually issue 33 moose permits and 33 bear permits for sustenance hunting in Aroostook County to 100% disabled United States veterans residing in Aroostook County, who are bound by the general wild game laws except that they may hunt from a motor vehicle.