November 29, 2023

Maine Trappers Association: News and Lynx Updates

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Press Release from the Maine Trappers Association:

* As most all Maine trappers now know we have an Emergency Rule put in place as of 9 December 2014 to take the following actions, due to the recent taking of a second lynx.

1. The use of body grip (lethal) traps in the Lynx Zones (WMD’s 1-11, 14, 18, and 19) above ground or snow level are now no longer allowed.

2. In WMD 7, 14, 18, and 19 body grip (lethal) traps smaller than 7 ½ inches may be used on the ground – only if in a lynx exclusion device.

3. In all the above WMD’s foothold traps above the ground or snow level are no longer allowed.

* This Emergency Ruling was triggered by a contingency provision in IF&W’s Incidental Take Plan developed to obtain a permit under the Endangered Species Act from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service for the unintended take of Canadian Lynx. Under the conditions set forth in the Incidental Take Plan, if two lynx are killed by legally set traps, trapping rules will be modified to prevent another lynx being killed.

* This Emergency Ruling action was taken by IF&W after their notification of and consulting with the Maine Trappers Executive Officers on the incident. The MTA officers were in total agreement with this emergency action. Any other recommendation or action taken by the parties would have resulted in the U.S. F&WS taking some form of action.

*It should be noted that a 3rd lynx taken in “any part of the state” (no matter what WMD) will have the same results.

* IF&W and the MTA board are diligently working together to a resolution to this issue, with the end results hopefully benefiting Maine trappers being able to continue to trap in the future in the affected areas for marten and fisher in some fashion that will prevent the taking of the final 3rd lynx. Meetings have been and are being held by both parties to work towards a resolution.

* A meeting of MTA officers, directors, and any members who want to attend to talk about Lynx and what actions we need to take to help resolve this is planned to be held either the 4th or 11th of January 2015 in Bangor at the Bangor Motor Lodge. IF&W will attend this meeting so that we can all work to a resolution. The actual date and time will be determined and disseminated to MTA members as soon as possible.

Other MTA News

Mr. James Cote who led the Bear Referendum Coalition has agreed to be the MTA’s Legislative Liaison.

He is the principle consultant of JM Cote Company, a strategic government and public affairs headquartered right in Augusta.

He brings with him a wealth of experience in dealing with Maine legislator’s, Maine property owners, and others.

He has served in the following positions:

* President & CEO of the Associated Builders and Contractors of Maine

* Director of Government Relations and Communications for the Maine Forest Products Council

* Political Consultant at Eaton Peabody Consulting Group

* Managed Peter Mills 2006 campaign for governor

* Lead Consultant for the Maine Senate Republicans in 2012

* Campaign Manger for the 2013 / 2014 Bear Referendum (No on 1) Campaign

* Former monthly columnist in the Northwood’s Sporting Journal

* Served on the Governor’s Landowner-Sportsmen Relations Advisory Board in 2007 And he has many other accomplishments to his credit.

Jim attended Thomas College and the University of Maine Farmington and is a graduate of A Rising Tide campaign leadership program. He is also a former Maine Policy Scholar through the Maine Community Foundation and a recipient of the Thomas College’s Gold Key Award for Leadership Excellence. Jim as also a frequent speaker in political science courses at local universities.

With all this and more he surely will do a bang up job for the Maine Trappers Association. So a big Welcome Aboard to the MTA team is given to Jim.