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February 2, 2017

Bill seeks to resolve intertidal harvesting disputes on Mount Desert Island

Clam and worm harvesters around Acadia National Park have been arguing with the National Park Service about unpredictable enforcement in the intertidal zone in and around the park that is threatening their livelihoods.

Now U.S. Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, and U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin, R-2nd District, have introduced a bill to help the harvesters settle the disputes, Fox Bangor reported.

“The people of Maine own the land between the high water and low water," Poliquin said at a Jan. 30 information meeting in Ellsworth.

The bill would protect traditional harvesting practices in the intertidal zone.

Last August, Poliquin hosted a roundtable in Ellsworth with these local clammers and wormers to learn about the challenges their industry is facing, according to a statement from his office.

According to the statement, Poliquin received input from local, state and federal organizations and individuals in crafting the legislation, including the Maine Department of Marine Resources; Maine Clammers Association; Independent Maine Marine Worm Harvesters Association; the towns of Cranberry Isles, Mount Desert and Tremont; Acadia National Park; Acadia Disposal District; Alewife Harvesters of Maine; Maine Elver Fishermen Association; local bait shops; and several individual clam, worm, mussel and periwinkle harvesters.

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