We thank those of you who wrote letters supporting a statewide ban on commercial bobcat trapping for the February 12, 2015 Fish and Game Commission meeting in Sacramento. Although February 12th was originally scheduled to be the date of the Fish and Game Commission’s final meeting before rulemaking, Fish and Wildlife Services still had not prepared a regulatory draft so speakers were only able to make general comments. Thirty-four people, an unusually large number, spoke on subject of bobcats. Many advocated for a statewide commercial trapping ban. However, our opposition was impressive, including pro-trapping Assembly Member Adam Gray, professional lobbyists, trappers, and bowhunters, making it very clear that continued pressure is needed. The Commission must be fully assured and continually reminded of statewide support in order for us to get the three votes needed for a ban.
So once again, please write to Fish and Game Commissioners to let them know that you support the current option of banning the pelt trapping of bobcats in the state of California, and keep in mind that pro-trapping groups are urging the Commission to rescind the ban option. Previous letters are NOT carried over into our present comment period, so it is important to write a NEW letter or re-date and resend your previous letters. Your support through this long process has been amazing, but our bobcats still need your help. As we move through the legislative process and arguments become increasingly heated, our insistence on a ban must increase in order to prevail.
Send letters, faxes, emails to:
Executive Director Sonke Mastrup
California Fish and Game Commission
P.O. Box 944209
Sacramento, CA 94244-2090
Fax: (916) 653-5040
TALKING POINTS for Statewide Ban:
- Let the Commission know that you would like to see bobcat trapping banned for anything other than rehabilitation or research.
- There are fewer than 100 commercial trappers “harvesting” bobcats and that taxpayers are essentially subsidizing these commercial trappers.
- A statewide ban is simpler and more economical than determining boundaries, methods for describing boundaries, fees, enforcement, and creating documents describing new boundaries and regulations.
- State the valuable role of bobcats in ecological system, tourism economy, rodent control, and any reasons for your opposition to the trapping of bobcats for pelts.
- Remind the Commission that natural resources and wildlife are public assets, and not for the profit of a few.
- If a ban is NOT implemented, in the next rulemaking session, the public will nominate areas of concern for inclusion as protected.
- If the Commission does not implement a ban, trapping fees must be raised substantially in order to make the trapping program fiscally self-sustaining, as mandated by law.
- If a ban is not implemented, buffer zones around protected areas must consider the territory and linkage needs of protected populations.
The next meeting will take place in Santa Rosa on April 9th, 2015. Please provide support for our speakers with your letters. The final rulemaking is currently scheduled to take place on June 9th in Mammoth, although another postponement is possible. Project Bobcat will have representatives in Santa Rosa, and in Mammoth, and we urge supporters to join us in person at either or both of these important upcoming events.
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