Alabama Trappers & Predator Control Association September 2009 Report

President — Charlie Rath, 1501 Shelby Forest Lane, Chelsea, AL 35043; phone: 205-678-6146

Vice President — Mike Flohr, 297 Kingfisher Rd., Greensboro, AL 36744; phone: 334-624-3747

Secretary/Treasurer — Gary Kramer, 5525 Pearl Dr., Bessemer, AL 35022; phone: 205-426-7045

Recording Secretary ­— Danny Foster, 315 Ross Rd., Wetumpka, AL 36092; phone: 334-391-5027

NTA Director — Jackie Malone, 11153 Crocker Dr., Tuscaloosa, AL 35405; phone: 205-366-9604

Membership Options:

• Family membership including subscription to The Trapper & Predator Caller — $20
• Lifetime membership with subscription to The Trapper & Predator Caller — $300

Complete membership application on first page of
association section and send dues to:

ATPCA, Vice President
Mike Flohr
297 Kingfisher Rd., Greensboro, AL 36744
334-624-3747

PRESIDENT’S REPORT

I am sending this report to the T&PC on July 25, 2009. The reason I mention this is that I just received my August 2009 issue on July 20th. In the August 2009 issue of the T&PC under the Association News I started talking about the ATPCA Fall Rendezvous, which is scheduled for Sept. 25 and 26, 2009, at the Elmore County Extension Services Building in Wetumpka, AL. The facility is located off Alabama 14 at 340 Queen Ann Road. This is the same location we held our 2007 rendezvous. Look for the sign on Alabama 14. Current ATPCA members will be receiving a flyer the first week of September on the rendezvous.

As of this writing, here is a tentative schedule of events. Friday is mainly devoted to set up in the a.m. and early afternoon. The Association will be providing an evening meal on Friday followed by a Board of Directors meeting at 7 p.m. All are welcome at the meeting, however, the primary emphasis will be on the BOD addressing several issues. This meeting allows the Board to prepare recommendations for the general membership on Saturday.

Jerry Lee from Alma. GA will be our vendor this year. He has requested that you call him in advance at 912-632-0473 if you want him to try to fill your shopping list. If you have specific trapping needs, please call him in advance so that he can try to fill your order.

Saturday’s schedule will include trapping demos from 9 a.m. – noon. Noon lunch will be a BBQ. At 1 p.m. will be the General Membership Meeting. At the general meeting, WE need to elect a Vice President and Recording Secretary (two year terms). In addition, the position of Treasurer (a one year term) needs to be filled. The position of Treasurer has been vacant for the last year with the resignation on Gary Kramer who accepted a new job out of state. After the general meeting, we will have our auction.

We will have new ATPCA merchandise for sale including embroidered camo hat and dark blue T-shirts. In addition, we will be offering a khaki short sleeve button down shirt with an embroidered pocket logo. This item will require payment in advance plus an S&H charge.

In closing, I would like to comment on the importance of membership participation. It is time to get off of the side line and step up to the plate and volunteer. Specifically we need candidates for the Association offices mentioned above and members to HELP. The STP (same 10 people) Club is getting older and tired of trying to keep this organization afloat. If you truly believe in traps, trappers and trapping you need to get involved.

— Charlie Rath

NTA DIRECTOR’S REPORT

I arrived in Lima, OH on Sunday the 26th of July after an 11-hour ride to attend the NTA meetings. Monday was the executive counsel meeting, which I sat in, then came the board of director meetings Tuesday and Wednesday.

The board meeting began 8 a.m. on Tuesday morning. After the usual procedures were gone through, we started off the meeting with President Kaatz welcoming everyone to the 50th annual NTA convention and introducing Glen Wilson the President of the OSTA who welcomed everyone as well and hoped we all had a enjoyable time while at the monstrous event he and his volunteers were putting on. I’d like to personally thank him and all the volunteers who helped put on this event this year as it was the biggest NTA Convention I’ve ever attended and was very well run. Couldn’t have asked for better host.

Forty five voting members of the board of directors were present for the beginning of the meeting. We began our meeting discussing the different regional convention’s and the pro’s and con’s of continuing them as some have lost substantial amounts of money and very few new members are signed up at these events. After much discussion, new criteria was discussed so in the future these events will have a better chance to produce a profit or at the least break even. The next SE NTA Regional Convention will be held in Calhoun, Ga. in April of next year, hope to see you there.

It was also agreed upon to give back the 50 percent NTA usually keeps from the auction proceeds at the Western NTA Regional Convention to be held in September in Lewiston, MT. to the Montana Trappers Association to help with their fight against an anti group currently gearing up to attempt to ban trapping in the state of Montana.

Once again, Charlie Rath our finance committee chairman and Dave Roberts our office manager joined force’s to come up with our 2010 budget for the next year. Each year they seem to get better and better at making these budgets easier for us directors to understand since I doubt very few of us are actually accountants. As many of you can guess, finances were down the last year like in most every other business because of the economic turmoil we’re currently going through.

Thanks to strict budget planning and our EC and staff sticking to this budget, we were able to coast along to the convention without any major disruptions or money crunches. Another factor was the huge success the “Wake Up Call” fundraiser was, the one that had the nice commemorative travel mug with the 50th anniversary logo on the side. Many thanks to all of you who participated in this fundraiser and made it such a huge success.

Dave Roberts gave a very detailed report in his report to the board and it is nice to have such information on all the aspects of running the office and overseeing all the different projects and tasks he is asked to do each year. I think it’s easy for many of us to overlook all the work that goes into running the NTA in the background since Dave and the office staff are pretty much “out of sight, out of mind” the entire year between conventions. I’d like to personally say THANK YOU to all of them for their hard work.

I have a full report from him on the going’s on in the office, I’ll not print them here as they are very long and would take up this entire report column, I’ll just say if you have any question’s drop me a line or look me up at the upcoming convention we’re having in Wetumpka, Al. on Sept. the 25-26th.

One item of importance Dave and Charlie did bring up though was one of our investment accounts where part of our Lifetime Members investment is located. Our financial advisors gave us advice to move that fund to a different fund or stock as the fund it was in had dropped in its ratings and we needed to reinvest in better stock. The board agreed with this move and that fund has been transferred into a different stock.

The office has also purchased a tandem axle trailer that has the NTA 50th logo on the side as well as some sponsor’s emblems on the back. This trailer can be stored with the many items the office staff has to bring each year to the convention and cuts down on the amount of loading and unloading they all have to do annually before and after the convention. The Iowa Trappers Association stepped up to help with this project and many thanks to them as this investment will last NTA many many years.

On the legal side of things, Gary Leistico our legal counsel gave us an update on the Maine Lawsuit that has kept him very busy this past year. While things appear to be going in a good direction so far, he explained we’re not out of the woods just yet with this issue. Anti’s are basically using the endangered species act as a weapon against sportsmen and I suspect this action will continue until someone in congress decides to take on this issue and change the wording in it. As it is written right now, catching and releasing a lynx is still considered a “take” according to the way the act was written.

Gary did explain however there is a lot of data that was used during the court hearing showing that lynx released from traps show no long-term negative effect from the experience and this information carried a lot of weight with the judge who was hearing the case. At any rate, NTA is well represented by Gary Leistico and we’re very lucky to have him as our legal counsel. He’s also a trapper, by the way, as well as a life member of NTA.

Other legislative issues were gone over also and it appears it was a busy year for the anti’s. From Maryland to Kansas, many issues arose that needed trappers’ attention and money. These battles seem to never end. Also coming up as I spoke of before was the “Footloose In Montana” group that is going to be pushing for a ballot initiative to stop trapping on public lands in that state. Montana trappers have already contracted some major groups that have experience in fighting and winning these types of battles, but they’ll need money to do it so I’ll be requesting a donation from our state association at the upcoming meeting we have in September.

NTA is also on the board of a group called Ballot Initiative Coalition (BIC) and they have donated major funds in the past in such battles so hopefully NTA will be able to get them on board in this fight also. At any rate, ALL of us need to pull together and defeat this measure.

Mike (Buddy) Marysada, our editor of the American Trapper, discussed the issues he has had this past year as our editor and learning the ropes so to speak. His greatest challenge seems to be getting enough material to print each issue. Id like to ask each of you to jot down some lines about your experiences out on the trapline and send them off to him, you could be a star so to speak.

The EC determined not to fill the contract for the position of Director of National and International Affairs (DNIA). Sam Smith has been fulfilling this role since Dave Miller was let go in March so the EC decided to continue with this role for the time being. Sam will continue to represent NTA at the Fur Wraps The Hill and other industry related organizations for the next year. I’d like to thank Sam for going the extra mile for all of us and have total faith in him doing a good job for all of us at these meetings and functions.

We had some elections also this year for the different positions within the board, these are board elected positions and the results are as follows:

Regional Director — Midwest: John Irving
Regional Director — Northeast- David Shuttlesworth
Regional Director — Southeast- Sam Smith
Regional Director — Southwest- Mark Davis
Board Rep to the EC — Chris McAllister
Directors at Large — Stan Berkbuegler and Don Aycock

Also of importance was the election for officers of the NTA this year and after the results were read, Kraig Kaatz won to serve another term as our President of NTA. Todd Roggencamp resigned as General Organizer and the EC will be appointing a new General Organizer soon. I wish Todd well and hope the best for him and his family and look forward to working with whoever the new general organizer might be.

Frank Price from USSA once again gave a good presentation and discussed the many legislative issue’s sportsmen are facing in several states. NTA has a great working relationship with USSA and I feel this has benefited all trappers and sportsmen across the country.

The 2011 NTA convention will be held in Columbia, MO. Pending successful negotiations so mark your calendars now for early August of 2011 as the Missouri trappers always put on a great convention.

Joel Freeman from the Freeman Institute presented a media training seminar for our last day of meetings. I will be honest and admit freely that I didn’t attend as I’ve been through more media training seminars than I can count with my work with USDA. If you wish to fire me for this, just let me know where to send the 2 tons of NTA documents I currently have. All kidding aside, this is a great seminar for those who, unlike me, haven’t had this type of training before, and I heard several comments from those who did attend that is was very well worth their time to sit through it.

I guess last but not least I should mention that last year I was elected to the Hall of Fame committee by the board and sat in on my first committee meeting this year. It was held after the normal board meeting at 7 p.m. that night and I found the process of selecting someone to enter into the hall of fame a very honoring experience. Those that get in are not just thrown in I can assure you. It’s a very difficult award to win and it should be as it’s the highest honor that can be bestowed upon any of our peers.

Attending the awards banquet this year however one such very deserving person did enter into the Hall of Fame though. Her name is very familiar to all of you who attend or have attended conventions in the past. Her list of accomplishments in fighting for trappers rights would fill up this entire magazine.

Though me and her sometimes butt heads, like families do, from time to time for the past several years, I’ve considered her one of my closest friends and it’s been an honor to know her. Cindy Seff is without a doubt the hardest working advocate for trappers I have known and the best person I can think of to enter into the NTA Trappers Hall of Fame! Congratulations Cindy.

A hometown boy also won an award this year. Mike Sievering of the Alabama Dept. of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries won the Leadership award for all his hard work in educating our youth as well as the general public about trapping in our state. Mike was in attendance to be presented this very deserving award.

Sadly, Mike has had some health problems right after the convention and as I write this report is recovering from heart surgery in Ohio. While this isn’t good news, it is good in the fact that his condition ended up being much less severe than he had originally been told. Wish Mike a speedy recovery; we need him back on his feet as our kids’ workshops will soon take place this winter.

And yes, I’m afraid I too was knocked off my feet when my name was called for an award. I won the Director of the Year award. This award goes to all of you, however, who continue to support our association and make it possible for me to represent each of you at these functions. My personal thank you to each of you for your support and advice through the years. You all know who you are and without your help, my job would have been much tougher. It was a very humbling experience to receive this award as I could look around that room and see several just as, if not more, deserving of it than I am.

As always, if you have any questions or problems with your NTA membership, give me a call or e-mail. I’ll see you in Wetumpka Sept. 25-26. Be sure to swing by the NTA booth while there and join or renew your NTA membership.

— Jackie Malone

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