March 6, 2015

V. Paul Reynolds: Lynx ITP “Doesn’t Pass Straight Face Test”

“If you applied the Florida panther math to the Maine lynx, trappers would be permitted to accidentally take 50 to 100 lynx a year and not impact the population appreciably. And yet, USFWS, in collaboration with Maine’s state wildlife managers, is restricting Maine’s incidental take to .006 percent of the lynx population – not over a year – but over 15 years! Really now, does this pass the straight face test?”<<<Read More>>>

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Fur Market Tanking

Five years ago, its pelt would have fetched $50. These days, it will likely yield half that.
Economic forces including market slowdowns in big fur-buying countries like Russia, China and South Korea, as well as a continuing trend toward distaste for fur as a result of animal welfare concerns, make Cogill among a dwindling number of trappers catching fur-bearing beasts in the wild.<<<Read More>>>

On Maine’s Legislative Slate: An Act to Ban Bear Trapping and Hounding

According a tidbit found in the Portland Press Herald, a bill may be proposed in the Maine Legislature that would ban bear trapping and bear hunting with dogs.

…lawmakers also are gearing up for potentially contentious policy fights over environmental and outdoor issues, including a measure to ban bear trapping and bear hunting with dogs following the failure of a referendum in November that also sought to ban bear baiting.

I’ve not researched this bill and I don’t even know what the language is contained in the proposal. It would seem that the chances of a passage of a bill of this kind should be slim to none. The people of Maine spoke quiet clearly in November at the polls and let everyone know that they really preferred for wildlife management to be handled by those at the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

I am hoping the bill never sees the floor of the Legislature.

Trapping is Cruel? Nah! Reading Drivel From the Clueless is Cruel

Some need to get a life. I’ve overused that saying, attributed to more than one person, including the Bible, that it’s better to keep your mouth shut causing people to wonder if you are stupid than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. Or, how about the comment once made by Alice von Hildebrand: “God has set limit’s on man’s intelligence, none on his stupidity.”

A letter to the editor in a Maine newspaper about trapping describes the act as such: “held there struggling in pain and fear until it dies”, “execute it at point blank range”, “an indifference to life”, “condones suffering”.

Since 1980 there have been 1.3 billion unborn babies murdered; “held there struggling in pain and fear”, “executed at point blank range”, and yes, obviously there’s an “indifference to life” and those billions of people “condone suffering.” So where’s the outrage?

Perverse!

Lynx Lawsuit: “Bureaucratic Interests, Emotions and Propaganda Fantasies

In a recent article written by James Beers, he said that one of the difficulties that exists today that seriously hampers the ability to make informed decisions about wildlife management was “a matter of bureaucratic interests, emotions and propaganda fantasies.”

Friend of Animals (FOA), another radical and perverted group that fails to have any comprehension of the realities of wild animal existence and fights with every breath to protect all animals at all costs, even the destruction of other species, having nothing but “emotions and propaganda fantasies” to operate with, has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service because the Service issued the state of Maine and Incidental Take Permit (ITP) for Canada lynx.

FOA, calling those involved in the fur bearing business, “killers involved in this murderous industry,” without providing substantiation claimed that, “Canada lynx are expected to decline by 65 percent in the next two decades.” Much like global warming models predict I would surmise.

It’s all a money making ploy by the radicals who deliberately avoid the truth in the matter as it does little to pad their bank accounts.

The ITP was issued and within two months, administration of the ITP was necessary to mitigate the loss of lynx, subsequently resulting in the closing of trapping in lynx protected habitat in Maine. The only thing not working right here is there’s no money going into the bank accounts and pockets of FOA.

ITP For Canada Lynx in Maine “Not Needed”

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.

Maine Trappers Association: News and Lynx Updates

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.

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.