August 17, 2018

ITP For Canada Lynx in Maine “Not Needed”

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V. Paul Reynolds’ weekly article in the Sun Journal states: “The hard facts suggest that there is no need for either this state-mandated trapping hiatus or even federal protection of the Canada lynx, in Maine at least.

The state-mandated trapping hiatus is action taken by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) after two Canada lynx were “incidentally” trapped and killed shortly after the signing of the Incidental Take Permit (ITP).

I would suppose the take away lesson here might be that people should be careful what they wish for. Or, as the old saying goes, better the devil that you know than the devil you don’t. And hind site is always 20/20.

Having said all that, were things all that bad BEFORE the negotiated ITP? Maine was regulated by trapping in Canada lynx territories under a consent agreement from a previous court ruling. That ruling stated that Maine would abide by this agreement until such time as the state had negotiated an ITP that would help in protecting it from lawsuits from accidentally “taking” a lynx. And so, how did that work out?

Reynolds says an ITP isn’t needed but says so in that the lynx population in Maine is sufficiently high enough – perhaps too high – that the animal doesn’t need the kinds of protections being thrust upon it and the draconian limitations put on outdoor sportsmen. But that is rational talk. We can’t have none of that.

The Courts don’t help. When we thought some sort of progress was being made in dealing with endangered species, once again we find an ignorant and agenda-driven judge who ruled on gray wolves in the Western Great Lakes region saying that wolves cannot be taken off the Endangered Species Act list of protected animals until wolves have fully recovered throughout all of its historic range. So, substitute Canada lynx where the word wolf is found and you see why Canada lynx in Maine will likely not be “delisted” until lynx are prevalent across all of the historic range in the Lower 48 states – and that will never happened.

We are now back to a point of asking ourselves why a state should even bother to work with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service about issues such as the Canada lynx? Everyone makes all these claims about how we need to avoid lawsuits because they cost so much money. How much money do you think it cost the state of Maine and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to hammer out a faulty agreement, the result of which has effectively shut down trapping in the state of Maine? Perhaps Maine should have been more aggressive to fight against the original proposal to list the Canada lynx as a threatened species. We’re supposed to learn from history.

Maybe Maine doesn’t need an Incidental Take Permit. Maybe it never should have taken the time to get one. Maybe we sportsmen should never have pressured MDIFW to get a permit, thinking it would somehow bring trapping back to “normal.” There were even those who believed an ITP would restore snaring. All utter nonsense – some of which could easily have been predicted and others not.

Maine received word recently that the Feds are going to look into the status of the lynx in Maine and then make a decision to either, do nothing, increase protections or decrease protections. Any bets? Mostly Kabuki Theater. If the USFWS doesn’t have the resources to draft a lynx recovery plan, why should we think they have the resources to effectively evaluate the realities of lynx in Maine? If the USFWS decides to decrease lynx protections, lawsuits will follow, and as usual USFWS will not appeal them because they know they can’t win an appeal and/or they don’t want to win.

And, if the USFWS should even take steps to delist the lynx, 15 years from now, as that is how long the process will take, lawsuits will prevent this action. This has been the modus operandi over the past 40 years with endangered species, to such a point that now the push back has resulted in acts of Congress to effect any change from such nonsense.

It would appear that if this is how the environmentalists want to conduct business then states and sportsmen who believe in responsible, scientific wildlife management will have to take up the same reins as the environmentalists and demand Congressional action to do what the Endangered Species Act fails miserably in doing.

V. Paul Reynolds is correct. Maine doesn’t need an ITP and it doesn’t need the Feds, forced by environmentalists, destroying all things normal and endangering other species by falsely listing the Canada lynx in Maine as a threatened species. But the process will not accomplish what is needed. Maine might as well start now and start banging on their Congressional representatives’ doors demanding action to resolve this issue.

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