December 20, 2014

Maine Trappers Association Meeting on Lynx Date Set

Yesterday I posted a press release from the Maine Trappers Association with information about trapping rule changes as they pertain to trapping in Canada lynx habitat areas. In that press release, there was information about a meeting planned to discuss lynx issues.

The date of that meeting is scheduled for January 4, 2015 at 9:00 a.m. at the Bangor Motor Lodge in Bangor, Maine.

Here’s a Bear Hug for You

Check out that bear trap. It reminds me of a joke about pain and a bear trap but I guess this is not the forum to share such a story.

PetersonBearNews

Maine Trappers Association Presser About Canada Lynx

*Scroll for update on time of meeting*

Maine Trappers Association
News Release

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.

*Update* December 18, 2014 9:00 am. The meeting mentioned above will be on January 4, 2015, at 9:00 a.m. at the Bangor Motor Lodge in Bangor, Maine.

Maine IFW Adopts Emergency Trapping Rule Changes In Northern Maine

Press Release from Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife:

AUGUSTA, Maine — The Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife has implemented immediate trapping regulation changes through an emergency rule making process after two Canada lynx were killed in traps this fall.

“We are taking immediate measures to drastically decrease the probability of having another lynx killed in a trap,” said James Connolly, Director, IFW Bureau of Resource Management.

Effective immediately, lethal traps that are commonly used to catch fisher and marten are not allowed above ground or snow level in areas of the state where there are lynx, specifically Wildlife Management Districts (WMDs) 1-11, 14,18,19 (Predominantly Aroostook, northern Somerset, northern Piscataquis, northern Penobscot, northern Hancock and northern Washington counties). In WMDs 7,14,18,19, lethal traps smaller than 7 ½ inches may be used on the ground if the trap is placed within a lynx exclusion device. Additionally, the use of any foothold trap above the ground or snow level will not be allowed in these WMDs.

The new regulations were triggered by a contingency provision in the Department’s incidental take plan developed to obtain a permit under the Endangered Species Act from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for the unintended take of Canada lynx resulting from the Department’s trapping programs.

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 the likelihood of another lynx being killed.

These are the first lynx trapping deaths in six years in Maine. Statistics show that trapping is not a major factor impacting Maine’s lynx population. Since 2009, there were 26 lynx killed by vehicles, and only 2 by trapping.

“Although trapping related deaths are uncommon, we have worked diligently with Maine trappers in order to change the regulations to protect lynx,” said Connolly. “We are committed to protecting Maine’s lynx population.”

According to Laury Zicari, supervisor of the Fish and Wildlife Service’s Maine Field Office, “The incidental take permit for trapping issued to Maine accounted for the possibility of lynx deaths. It outlined what trapping restrictions would need to be implemented if lynx were killed to hopefully avoid additional deaths. We commend Maine’s swift action through these regulation changes to address this issue, demonstrating that the permit framework is working.”

The first lynx death was self-reported by the trapper to the Maine Warden Service when he checked his traps as required by Maine regulations and the conditions of the Incidental Take Permit. The second dead lynx was discovered Sunday, December 7 St. Croix Township by a Maine Game Warden conducting a routine check of traps for compliance with Maine trapping regulations. An initial inspection by the game warden showed that the trap was set in compliance with Maine’s trapping regulations. The trapper was immediately notified by the warden about the capture.

“Trapping education, outreach and compliance with Maine trapping laws are important aspect of Maine’s lynx management plan. The Maine Warden Service is in the field, working with trappers, to make sure trappers are complying with Maine’s trapping regulations to protect lynx from accidental trapping,” said Major Chris Cloutier.

Trappers are required to report all lynx captures and all lynx captures are investigated by the Maine Warden Service.

Brian Cogill, President of the Maine Trappers Association commented that “The Maine Trappers Association has always supported department efforts to protect lynx. Trappers understand and believe that these measures are currently needed, and support these immediate protections for lynx. We look forward to working with the department as they develop long-term regulations to protect lynx for the 2015 season and beyond.”

Lynx are listed as threatened under the Federal Endangered Species Act (ESA). IFW recently received an incidental take permit issued by the USFWS, which allows for the accidental trapping of Canada lynx by trappers legally pursuing furbearers in Maine. The permit outlines specific protocols and mitigation measures for the incidental take of lynx that minimizes direct impacts to lynx while providing habitat that benefits species recovery.

In 2006, Maine’s lynx population was estimated at between 750 and 1,000. IFW has increased protections for lynx in those areas where lynx are now found. IFW will also be conducting a lynx population survey this winter.

Maine’s lynx population is a subset of a larger population of lynx in Canada, and Maine lynx continue to interact with a far-reaching lynx population in Canada.

As part of an extensive 12-year lynx study, the IFW radio-collared over 80 lynx and monitored their movements, and documented survival and birth rates. Although more lynx die on roads than in traps, the major source of mortality for the 85 radio-collared lynx tracked over a 12-year period in northern Maine was predation by fisher and starvation attributed to disease (i.e., lungworm).

Radio-collar research of Maine’s lynx show that Maine’s lynx travel in and out of Canada, and ear-tagged Maine lynx have also been captured in Canada. Maine’s lynx study showed that one lynx travelled a straight-line distance of 249 miles from northern Maine into the Gaspe Peninsula.

Another lynx was tracked using a Global Positioning System (GPS) collar after it was trapped and released last fall. Although the lynx was initially trapped northeast of Greenville, in May, the lynx headed east all the way to Fredericton, New Brunswick, before turning around and venturing back to the Greenville area, covering 481 miles from March through December.

Insanity and Diversions

Insanity is running rampant in our world, filling the airwaves and media platforms with tons of diversions, i.e. meaningless, nonsense. Here’s some examples:

1. Logging leads to long-term release of carbon from soils in Northeastern hardwood forests

This report is loaded with “maybes” and “mights,” all classical examples of “creating new knowledge” and “shifting paradigms.” Utter useless nonsense.

2. New Jersey bear hunt fueled by emotion over mauling death

Blow-back from the bear mauling death of a Rutgers University Student, delusional people, more interested in romantic notions of bears, blame everyone and everything for why bears attack people. In this case, let’s blame it on hunting and sound proven wildlife management. Remember, these clowns have been brainwashed into believing that “we must change the way in which we discuss wildlife management.”

3. California bans coyote hunts that offer prizes

From the article linked to above, we read: “Awarding prizes for wildlife killing contests is both unethical and inconsistent with our modern understand[ing] of natural systems.” By some totalitarian socialist it is perceived as unethical and because of intense training since birth, believe it is their appointed duty to force their ethics down the throats of other people. However, note the part of the comment that says that coyote derbies WITH PRIZES, is, “inconsistent with our modern understanding of natural systems.” (emphasis added)

This is another classic example of the ongoing effort to “create new understanding,” and “create new knowledge,” and “changing the way we discuss wildlife management.” Modern understanding is absolute post-normal, new-science, scientism at its finest. Also, utter nonsense.

4. More lynx being trapped in Maine, but reasons in dispute

Blinded by hatred of American heritage, all things normal and humans in general, in Maine, totalitarian, animal rights booger men say that because Maine was issued an Incidental Take Permit (ITP) for trapping by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, more Canada lynx are being caught in traps. The idiocy here is that the only thing, as it pertains to trapping, that has changed is that Maine designated 22,000 acres of public lands to protect the Canada lynx. None of the already strict trapping guidelines have changed from the Consent Decree that was signed and in affect until such time as an ITP could be obtained.

So, what has changed that might be causing a few more Canada lynx to be “incidentally” caught and released unharmed? How about the fact that when lynx were declared a “threatened” species in Maine, the lie was there were fewer than 500 of the animals. Today, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife guesstimate there are closer to 1,000 – 1,500. One with a brain might conclude that having 2 to 3 times the number of Canada lynx might play a role in a few more lynx being “incidentally” trapped and released unharmed. But let’s not let sensibility stand in the way of human hatred and animal perversion.

The Truth About Bear Trapping

“Maine’s nationally famous Bear Study has monitored thousands of bears since it started in 1975. During that time, using the foot snare, it has trapped and released, unharmed, more than 2,700 bears. Many bears have been caught repeatedly, and have shown no physical or behavioral trauma from the experience.

“Trapped bears don’t struggle much, and are found sitting quietly at the trap site, often sleeping. Their physical condition is closely studied by biologists, and trap injuries have been statistically non-existent. The bears have to be released completely unharmed for the studies to be effective; foot snares would never be used if they damaged the animals even slightly.”<<<Read More>>>

Olson’s Trappers Weekend Reveals Huge Support Against Question One

“On Saturday at trapper and fur trader Neil Olson’s 38th annual New England Trappers Weekend in Bethel, large signs were just about everywhere urging the few thousand participants to defeat the referendum. Additionally, the Maine Trappers Association was holding a 50/50 raffle and auction with all proceeds going to fight the referendum.

Many trappers view the referendum as an attack on their right to hunt and on deeply steeped hunting traditions.”<<<Read More>>>

Town of Wilton Passes Resolution Opposing Bear Referendum

WILTON — The Board of Selectpersons unanimously agreed Tuesday, on behalf of the town, to sign a resolution opposing the Nov. 4 referendum question banning the use of bait, dogs and traps for bear hunting.<<<Read More>>>

WiltonBear

Maine’s Kennebec Journal Editor Corrects False Accusation About HSUS

In what can only be described as unprecedented, the editor of the Kennebec Journal corrects a statement made by a person in a Letter to the Editor promoting a “yes” vote on Question One of Maine’s upcoming November referendum vote. In that letter, the writer accuses a previous letter writer(Carroll Ware) of “made up stuff out of whole cloth” when Ware said that Wayne Pacelle, CEO of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), wanted to end all hunting.

The editor adds a correction after the Letter to the Editor that reads: “Editor’s note: In 1991, when he was CEO of the Fund for Animals, a radical anti-hunting organization, Pacelle was quoted by The Associated Press as saying, “If we could shut down all sport hunting in a moment, we would.””

The other information contained in this letter about the results of bear baiting is “made up stuff out of whole cloth.”

Maine/USFWS Plan for Canada Lynx Incidental Take Permit

Press Release from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service:

Agencies release revised plan, assessment for protecting Canada lynx affected by Maine trapping programs Maine to manage at least 4,785 acres for Canada lynx
August 5, 2014
Contacts:

USFWS, Meagan Racey, 413-253-8558
MDIFW, Mark Latti, 207-287-5216

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is one step closer to making a decision on permitting Maine’s state-regulated trapping programs for effects to the federally protected Canada lynx. The Service and Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife reviewed public comments on the necessary documents for the permit and have released revised versions for public review and comment through September 5, 2014.

The agencies previously released draft versions of MDIFW’s incidental take plan and the Service’s environmental assessment for public comment in November 2011, followed by three highly attended public information sessions. The Service received about 285 unique letters, 129 comment cards from public information sessions and 6,100 form letters commenting on issues from outreach and monitoring measures to lynx handling procedures and enforcement.

The revised plan describes measures proposed by MDIFW to minimize the effects of incidental trapping on lynx, such as increased trapper outreach, compliance monitoring by wardens and veterinary oversight, and it incorporates several new methods of trapping and new trapping regulations. MDIFW proposes to offset, or mitigate, for the effects on lynx by maintaining at least 4,785 acres of lynx habitat in the state’s Bureau of Parks and Lands Seboomook Unit in northern Maine. The agency has added the predator management and animal damage control programs as activities to be covered under the plan, but the addition has not changed the expected effect on lynx.

The Endangered Species Act makes it illegal to “take”—meaning trap, capture, collect, harass, harm, wound or kill—federally threatened or endangered wildlife, such as the threatened Canada lynx. Some activities, such as trapping for common species like bobcat or fisher, have the risk of incidentally taking protected species. An incidental take permit would allow trapping through the recreational, predator management and animal damage control programs to continue as MDIFW undertakes practical measures to avoid, minimize, and mitigate take of lynx.

Incidental take plans, known also as habitat conservation plans, identify the impacts to wildlife from a project or program; the steps the applicant will take to reduce or compensate for such impacts; what alternative actions were considered; and how conservation efforts will be funded.

To learn more and comment on the documents:

Visit the Maine Field Office website, http://www.fws.gov/mainefieldoffice/, for questions and answers about the revised documents, species information and an archive of the draft documents.
Visit www.regulations.gov and enter docket FWS-R5-ES-2014-0020 to review comments submitted during the 2011-2012 comment period, the Service’s response to comments, and the revised plan and assessment.
Submit comments at www.regulations.gov or by hard copy to: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS-R5-ES-2014-0020; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters, MS: BPHC; 5275 Leesburg Pike; Falls Church, VA 22041–3803. Please reference the docket number for this notice.

After the comment period ends, the Service will determine whether the application meets the permit issuance requirements.

Copy of an email sent to various recipients from Mark McCollough of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service:

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has updated its draft Environmental Assessment (DEA) for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s (MDIFW) revised incidental take plan (ITP) for incidental trapping threatened Canada lynx. The agencies will make both available for a 30-day supplemental public comment period. They will be published in the Federal Register on Wednesday, August 6. There will be a 30-day comment period ending September 5, 2014. No public meetings are planned.

In summary, from 1999 to 2013, 84 lynx have been reported incidentally trapped in Maine (seven were caught in killer-type traps and 77 in foothold traps). Under the revised plan, the MDIFW anticipates that up to 13 lynx per year, or 195 total, might be incidentally trapped in restraining traps (e.g., foothold, cage traps and cable restraints) following issuance of the 15-year permit. The MDIFW expects that the majority of lynx caught in these traps will be released with little to no injury. They are requesting the permit to allow for up to three lynx fatalities as the result of incidental trapping. The MDIFW does not anticipate take in killer-type traps and take of orphaned kittens. The MDIFW seeks incidental take coverage for lynx that might be trapped in fur trapping, predator management (coyote control), and animal damage control programs. The agency proposes to phase in cable restraints, a new form of trapping for Maine, rescind regulations governing the size of foothold traps, and resume use of cage traps in northern Maine. The MDIFW will conduct a number of minimization measures that include increasing trapper education; a trapper hotline; biologists responding to lynx trapping incidents; assessing, classifying, and treating injures; rehabilitating injured lynx; and a protocol to care for kittens in situations where a female is trapped and injured and must be removed from the wild for rehabilitation. To mitigate for potential lynx mortalities, the MDIFW will maintain and enhance at least 4,785 acres of lynx habitat on a 10,411-acre area in the Maine Department of Agriculture Conservation and Forestry, Bureau of Parks and Lands Seboomook Unit in northern Maine.

The documents are available for review today at the Federal Register Reading Room at https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2014/08/06/2014-18548/incidental-take-plan-maine-department-of-inland-fisheries-and-wildlifes-trapping-program. The Service is releasing the revised versions of the plan and the Environmental Assessment for a 30-day supplemental public comment period. We encourage you to submit comments. Written comments may be submitted electronically by September 5, 2014, via the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov, or in hard copy, via U.S. mail, to: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS–R5–ES–2014–0020; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters, MS: BPHC; 5275 Leesburg Pike; Falls Church, VA 22041-3803. The docket number for this notice is FWS–R5–ES–2014–0020.

Following this comment period, the Service will evaluate the revised plan and comments we receive to determine whether the permit application meets the requirements of section 10(a) of the Endangered Species Act (ESA)(16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). We will also evaluate whether issuance of a section 10(a)(1)(B) permit complies with ESA section 7 by conducting an intra-Service consultation and biological opinion.

All documents associated with MDIFW’s 2008 and 2014 incidental take permit applications (including the Service’s draft Environmental Assessments) will also be posted at the Service’s Maine Field Office website Canada lynx page: http://www.fws.gov/mainefieldoffice/Canada_lynx.html. We are also posting public comments that we received during our 2011-2012 90-day public comment period. Responses to these public comments are appended to our 2014 draft Environmental Assessment.

The Service issued the attached press release and question-and-answer documents this afternoon.

Please contact Laury Zicari, field office supervisor (207 866-3344 x111, Laury_Zicari@fws.gov), or myself (contact information below) if you have any questions. We encourage you to comment through www.regulations.gov.

Please distribute to others who may be interested in this issue.

Sincerely, Mark McCollough

Mark McCollough, Ph.D.
Endangered Species Specialist
Maine Field Office
U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Canada Lynx Incidental Take Plan and Permit Application for Maine Trapping Program
Questions and Answers