Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact

The following comes from The Outdoor Wire.

I feel it is time Vermont and other states that are not part of this compact get onboard. There is no excuse for not presenting a united front against poaching. Suspensions of the right to hunt and fish has always been our best deterent to those tempted to violate. But with neighboring states close by our repeat violators have no problem "legaly" hunting will waiting out their Vermont suspensions. We could also easily become a destination state for out of state violators as more states clamp down an sigh the compact.

Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe praised Gov. Edward G. Rendell for signing Senate Bill 1200 into law, which clears the way for Pennsylvania to join the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact (IWVC). 
"We are one step closer to banding with 37 other states in a united front against convicted poachers, who steal from all citizens, most especially, law-abiding hunters," Roe said. "Once we complete the administrative step to join the compact, someone who has lost his or her hunting license privileges in one state for a poaching conviction will lose those hunting license privileges in Pennsylvania, as well as in all states that are members of the compact.

"In addition, individuals convicted of poaching here in Pennsylvania will lose their ability to lawfully hunt in the 37 other states who are members of the IWVC."| For More...

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Nelson's Deer Management Plan as submitted to the Ag Dept on Sept 10th. Some very interesting stuff in it. I'd be interested in what you think...

Nelson Farm Mgmt Plan                                                            

HUNTING: In Search of the Wild Life

The following comes from the Mindful Carnivore Blog. I haven't gotten the book yet, but the chapter by former Orion board member Val Geist is very well done.

Hunting philosophy for (and by) almost everyone

A philosopher I am not.
Not in the academic sense, at least. My formal education in the subject consists of a single undergraduate class—“Reason and Argument”—which left me impressed by the contortions through which the human animal is willing to put its gray matter.
So, some fifteen months ago, when I saw a “call for abstracts” for a new anthology of philosophical essays on hunting, I had reason to doubt my suitability as a contributor. The editor welcomed abstracts from philosophy, of course, and also from a number of other disciplines—such as anthropology, political theory, and theology—in which I was equally unqualified.
Yet there was this one little phrase. They also welcomed abstracts from “thoughtful hunters.”
After a few helpful email exchanges with the editor, Nathan Kowalsky of the University of Alberta, I said, “What the heck. Why not?” and shot from the hip, firing off a 250-word description of the 4,500-word essay I would write if he and his colleagues wanted me to.
A month later, I got word that they did.
Hello. Time to step up to the plate and deliver “Hunting Like a Vegetarian: Same Ethics, Different Flavors.”
Jump a year ahead and here we are: the book, Hunting: In Search of the Wild Life, has just been released, as part of Wiley-Blackwell’s series Philosophy for Everyone.
Read More

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Who Owns North America’s Wildlife?

The following article was put together by an Orion board member:

The answer to “who owns wildlife?” differs greatly in the United States and Canada from the rest of the world. In North America wildlife does not belong to individuals. Instead it belongs to everyone with federal, state and provincial governments responsible for managing wildlife on public land. However, this bedrock principle is being tested in Vermont now.

In the final days of Vermont’s 2010 legislative session, language known as the Nelson amendment was inserted in the appropriations bill (H.789 Sec E.702.1), which changed the status of native deer and moose enclosed on a captive shooting facility from the public domain to private ownership.

This legislation was reportedly passed to save a celebrity game preserve moose known as Pete from being culled. Rules governing captive-hunting facilities were adopted by Vermont’s Fish and Wildlife Board, and stipulated game preserves could not have any moose or white-tailed deer in their enclosures as way to protect wild herds from chronic wasting disease, tuberculosis and other diseases carried by captive animals.

The Nelson Amendment of H.789 contains language that transfers regulatory authority of illegally taken native deer and moose from the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department to the Vermont Department of Agriculture and permits an individual citizen to own and profit from those wild animals that rightfully belong to all Vermont citizens.

Several groups are up in arms over this threat to public ownership of wildlife including Orion-The Hunters’ Institute, a nonprofit organization dedicated to upholding hunting by providing intellectual leadership on hunting-related issues.

 “This giveaway of public wildlife resources to a single individual for personal gain threatens wildlife management in Vermont and beyond,” said Eric Nuse, executive director of Orion - The Hunters' Institute. “To change this management system, just to solve a short-term problem without any debate or input from the public and the professionals at the Fish and Wildlife Department, is reckless governance.”

The concept of ownership by the people and management by federal, state and provincial governments is known as the public trust doctrine of wildlife. It’s one of the reasons why this country enjoys the greatest diversity, quality, and quantity of game animals and other wildlife in the world. The idea dates back to when America defeated the English during the Revolutionary War. When wildlife was transferred from the King to the new government and thus to the people, it nullified the centuries-old European model where wildlife was privately owned and hunting was reserved for the upper class.  Since then, a series of Supreme Court rulings have firmly established the public trust as it relates to this country’s wildlife.

For more information about Vermont’s public trust doctrine issues, click here (link externally to  http://fairchasehunting.blogspot.com/)

Clearinghouse Information Available on Hunting Access, Landowner Relations and Wildlife Stewardship on Private Lands

image of private lands with hunting accessNatural resource managers can now access a comprehensive clearing-house of information resources crucial to improving hunter access, landowner relations, and wildlife stewardship on private lands, reports the Wildlife Management Institute. Combining years of exhaustive research with the expertise of numerous partnering organizations, the North American Hunting Heritage Action Plan (HHAP) Website (www.huntingheritage.org) now offers a comprehensive compendium of legal information and documentation to assist administrators protect and enhance North America’s hunting heritage.
With data and research pooled from the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, Wildlife Management Institute, and Vermont Law School Land Use Institute, the online database is organized and cross-referenced according to state and/or information type. Users can view any state recreation trespass law while also examining past court cases that have challenged it.  In addition, users can peruse summaries of financial incentives each state provides landowners who agree to preserve undeveloped areas or allow public and hunting access. 
“This new web-tool will benefit many different audiences,” observed Katherine Garvey, Land Use Fellow at the Vermont Law School Land Use Institute.  “For example, landowners can find their state online to see if they are eligible for certain tax incentives for allowing recreation access to their property.  The natural resource management community can compare the conservation and recreation access-related incentives of state programs.  And state policy makers and conservation administrators can gain insights into how to protect landowners from lawsuits stemming from hunter access.”
Increasingly, legal barriers and fear of litigation have stalled or prohibited private landowners from permitting hunters to enter their property. According to numerous studies examining factors leading to dissatisfaction among active hunters, restricted access to hunting lands has consistently ranked near the top of the list. Until now, there has been very little information available to policy makers and wildlife managers on how to increase hunter access while providing legal protection to landowners.  Fortunately, the resources now available on the HHAP Website include not only a list of the ten recreation statutes most favorable to landowner protection, but also model statute language designed to shield landowners from liability for injuries sustained by recreational land users.
The new web-tool offers managers resources to explore ways that financial incentives have been and can be used to encourage landowners and land-holding corporations to participate in recreational and hunting access programs.  “Tax incentives are among the most significant motivators for conservation of natural resources on private lands,” stated Garvey. “The Land Use Institute research available on the HHAP website is the first detailed compilation of state tax incentives of all 50 states related to conservation and public access.” Similarly, the compendiums of state recreation use/recreation trespass laws and their case histories provided by the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies are exclusive to the new HHAP legal content.
To view the new HHAP website additions, please follow the links under the “Legal” tab located at the bottom left corner of the Home page

Friday, September 10, 2010

Nelson Shooting Facility Plan Due Today

Despite the headline below, this is not about Pete. This issue as regular readers of this blog know, is about keeping wildlife wild. Nearly all wildlife groups in Vermont agree the Nelson amendment needs to be repealed. This would force Nelson to negotiate with the FWD on removing all wild deer and moose from his fenced in shooting grounds and to comply with the FW Board regulations on shooting his red deer.
The odds of the plan due today being anything but a blueprint for Nelson selling "hunts" for Pete and the rest of the formerly wild life is about nil.

From WCAX TV news website: 

Irasburg, Vermont - September 10, 2010
Another page today in the drama of Pete the moose.
The animal is living on an elk hunting preserve in Irasburg after he was mauled by dogs, but the Fish and Wildlife Department planned to kill Pete. It's illegal to hold wild animals in captivity out of fear they'll spread disease.
Today is the deadline for the land owner to submit a plan to the state on turning his wildlife preserve into a wildlife farm.

This is my comment left on the website:
Eric Nuse
It is true the FWD is very concerned about the spread of disease, thus Pete could not be released in the wild and no other facilities would take Pete. However, the larger principle is wildlife is owned by all and held in trust by the State. Therefore wildlife can not be owned or held captive by any one person. Thus Pete was illegally taken and held by Mr. Nelson along with the other fenced moose and whitetail deer on his canned hunt facility. It is in the interest of everyone to keep wildlife wild.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Elk hunt-park owner fined

Now the question is will he meet the Sept 10th deadline and will he comply with all the other deadlines outlined in the law. Not to mention complying with existing Ag rules for elk farms.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Richard Nelson fills a feeding trough at Big Rack Ridge in Irasburg as an elk approaches to feed  June 14. Nelson and his father, Doug, keep a herd of 50 or more bull elks at the hunt park, where clients pay hefty sums for a guaranteed kill.

Elk hunt-park owner fined

Doug Nelson, operator of the Big Rack Ridge elk-hunting park in Irasburg, was fined $4,250 Wednesday for failing to comply with provisions of a law he himself had sought. More - 4:56 pm (14)

Read more: http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/local/#ixzz0yN4Yo1Mf