Project Bobcat would like to thank every single one of you who participated, the California Fish and Wildlife Commission received over 25,000 comments, letters, and signatures urging for a statewide ban on the trapping of bobcats. The landslide number of ban supporters had a major impact on the outcome of this groundbreaking 3-2 decision, which took place on August 5th in Fortuna. Each of your actions counted.
The trapping ban adopted by the Commission will take effect once it is officially published by the state agency in charge of processing all new regulations. That process should take just over a month, meaning the ban will be in effect prior to what would have been the beginning of the next bobcat trapping season in November.
Standing ovations go to Assembly Member Richard Bloom for introducing The Bobcat Protection Act and shepherding it through the legislature, remaining true to the end, and to counsel from the Center for Biological Diversity for taking time away from global environmental issues to guide the direction of AB1213 and rocking the house with their presentations. Mr. Bloom’s Legislative Director Guy Strahl for his commitment to the bill and to its supporters. The Humane Society of the US for their huge presence in lobbying and petitioning. Project Coyote, always at the top of their game with a fierce pack in tow. The Natural Resources Defense Council and the Sierra Club of California for climbing on board with their expansive member and supporter bases of over 600,000 Californians. The Mountain Lion Foundation for advising, tabling, leafleting, and dramatically waving over five hundred hand-written support letters in the air at Mammoth. To the Fairfax Elementary School fourth graders who shook the meeting venue in Santa Rosa: you gave us hope! Friends of Griffith Park, Morongo Basin Conservation Association, Mojave Desert Land Trust, Native American Land Conservancy, National Parks Conservation Association, and the Joshua Tree National Park Supervisor for providing heavy artillery in the form of incredibly strong and wide-ranging letters that laid the groundwork for our citizen pleas. Friends of the Inyo, Mono Lake Committee, and Action for Animals for making the road their lives until meetings were done. The California Council of Wildlife Rehabilitators alerted us at a pivotal moment. Moving Pictures for their generous filmmaking contribution. When we were tired and worn, EPIC and Bird Ally X mobilized their communities to pack the room for the final meeting while Social Compassion in Legislation launched an 11th hour billboard and twitter campaign. And although they were first to receive protections, the citizens of Joshua Tree stayed fast in the trenches for over two years…you know who you are by the hope in your hearts that you might now be seeing your bobcats again. Last but not least, tremendous gratitude goes to the individual who took a single trap and turned it into a movement.
We acknowledge the hours and hours of thoughtful consideration that were given to The Bobcat Protection Act by California Fish and Wildlife Commissioners, present and past. Additionally, we appreciate the tremendous amount of work that was undertaken by the California Fish and Wildlife Department in assessing the adoption of new bobcat regulations. Confronting wildlife management in a time of shifting environmental conditions and diverse stakeholder values is a difficult task that we thank you for undertaking.
To read about the Fortuna meeting, go to: http://www.times-standard.com/20150805/fish-and-game-commission-votes-to-ban-bobcat-trapping-statewide
Link to the full archived video/audio of the Aug 5, 2015 commission meeting in Fortuna, CA on CAL-Span’s website: www.cal-span.org/cgi-bin/archive.php?owner=CFG&date=2015-08-05