IFW Adopts Emergency Trapping Rule Changes In Northern Maine
FEB 17, 2015
The MTA is currently working with IF&W trying to get several other trap sets that the MTA membership had discussed and voted on at the "Special MTA Members Meeting" held in Bangor on 1 February. This meeting was held with the MTA members, USFWS officials, & IF&W leadership to discuss the current situation. As a result of that meeting several trap sets and administrative steps have been drafted that the membership wanted and a meeting is scheduled for this week in Augusta between the MTA and IF&W to see if IF&W will provide testing and evaluation of the proposed trap sets and if they will support several administrative recommendations.
It is hoped (but unlikely) that if these "test trap sets" are tested ASAP that there will be enough time to provide enough data at keeping lynx out of the traps to allow their use for next season. With this said - we currently hope & pray that the "Exclusion Device" will be approved for use for the 2015 trapping season by both USFWS and IF&W in "all" the zones.
Whenever any advances are made in regards to trapping in the lynx zones and they are approved, the MTA membership will be told via their directors. Any news will also be immediately placed on the MTA web site and in the quarterly MTA Newsletter. All that can be said at this time is that your MTA officers are diligently working to not only to keep us trapping in some fashion , but are also working to get several trapper friendly trap set options tested and hopefully approved for use in the near future.
You must understand that there are three players in this mess.
#1. We the trappers; #2. IF&W; #3 USFWS
(You must also be aware that "the animal rights people have a pending law suit in motion against the USFWS" to stop trapping by having the ITP repealed)
A. We are making our pitch this week with IF&W with what the MTA membership has requested.
B. We are "hopefully" that the IF&W leadership will concur and move forward with the testing of the trap sets we have requested in a timely fashion and that they will also consider several administration recommendations we have proposed.
C. We also are hopeful that whatever IF&W test results prove effective at keeping lynx out of traps will be approved for use by the USFWS and the ITP amended to allow their use.
The Maine Trappers Association is working closely with SAM, MPGA, the US Sportsmen's Alliance and legislators to develop a strategy to proactively protect sportsmen (trappers) from abuse of frivolous ballot initiatives in the future. At this point, many bills are still in the Revisor's Office, and will likely not be scheduled for public hearing until later this month or sometime in April.
James Cote, MTAs Legislative Liasion, is watching this conversation closely. Because there are several bills that each take a different approach, it will be critical to coordinate our efforts with other groups. We should note that any effective measure will likely take weeks and months of preparation to pass, and then would require a 2/3 vote of the Legislature, and a majority vote of Maine's electorate. The timing of these bills must be carefully planned.
We will continue to keep members updated as our legislative strategy crystalizes in the following weeks. In addition, the bill to ban the use of dogs and trapping for bears has still not been scheduled. We realize these are both keystone bills for MTA and will send you more information as it becomes available. You can be sure MTA will be aggressive on these fronts. Please contact James Cote at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
In the past some trappers were told by Wardens, if they had a concealed carry weapon and wanted to use it to dispatch an animal in a trap that they had to first unload - then reload the weapon prior to shooting it.
This is one of the items that we brought up at a recent meeting (laws, regulations, and law enforcement issues) in Sidney with IF&W.
Lt. Dan Scott has said he would put the word out to his wardens and "he has approved the attached" for dissemination to all trappers and to put it on our website.