Conservation Director Report
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Hello from here in Missouri, I hope that all is well. This Season's fur has been put up and shipped to the Dealer Auction houses or sold. Another season is in the books for the most part.
I attended the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, Furbearer Conservation Technical Work Group annual meeting in January, which was held in New Orleans, LA. In attendance was Derek Broman from OR, Pat Jackson from NV, John Erb from MN, Laura Palmer from KY, Matt Peek from KA, Matt Lovallo from PA, Cory Mosby from MA, Kim Royar fromVT, Jay Butfiloski from SC, Colleen Olfenbuttel from NC, Greg Waters from GA, Tom Decker with USWS, Tom Deliberto with USDA-APHIS-WS-NWRC, Don MacLauchlan from AFRC, Tom Krause from WY with NTA, Dave Hasting with FTA, Bryant White from AFWA (staff) along with Buddy Baker from AFWA, CITES working group, and Phil Seng (DJ Case).
A wide variety of issues were discussed over the two-day meeting. There was a lengthy discussion on a variety of topics related to CITES. These included the various lynx lawsuits in western courts, the CITES Furbearer tagging lawsuit and ongoing issues with black bears.
The BMP discussion covered the recent updates to both the eastern and western coyote BMP, the testing of the Belisle 330 for efficiency/selectivity/safety/practicality/welfare and the wolverine project in Alaska. We discussed the possible future testing of bodygrip trap selectivity and field testing of other devices for various species.
On day two of the meeting we discussed the BMP Outreach with Phil Seng. He gave a PowerPoint presentation on the history of the outreach effort including the Communications Plan, outreach research, public attitudes, key messages, etc. The group participated in a discussion around updating the Communication plan and next steps.
A draft NCN proposal has been developed based on a furbearer/trapping communication initiative. The TWG needs additional funds to carry out the following: additional Trapping Matters workshops (funds will run out fall of 2018), implementation of the DJ Case plan, creation of a web-based portal, the publication of the Wildlife Monographs, the placement of advertisements in trapping journals, and/or the additional testing of key messages. We may also want to resurvey TWS and other professional organizations. The decision regarding which NCN’s make it through the process is made at the North American conference. At that point groups will make applications based on which NCN’s passed. The group agreed to move forward with a proposal.
This was a good two days of meetings, and it was great to get to work this group and talk and visit with them. This will be my last meeting with them until next year. It is good to see that we have all the right people in this group working for the betterment of trapping. Till next time, be safe, and I’ll see everyone in Escanaba MI in July!