In an encouraging development for California trappers, a proposed bill that would ban bobcat trapping in the Golden State has been put on hold. The California State Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee discussed Bill AB 1213, which is also known as The Bobcat Protection Act of 2013, on Tuesday and decided to not go forward with it at this time.
The fight is not over for California trappers though. The committee urged AB 1213’s author, Assemblyman Richard Bloom, D-Santa Monica, to meet with opponents of the bill and consider modifications. He can bring back a modified bill for a vote later this year.
Bloom argued at the hearing that increased bobcat trapping pressure in recent years due to rising fur prices could have a detrimental effect on the state’s bobcat populations. California trappers harvested about 1,500 bobcats last year, which is “significantly more than the average take in recent years,” according to a Ventura County Star article. But trappers harvested between 6,000 and 7,000 bobcats annually as recently as the 1970s and early ’80s. And the California bobcat harvest has been sustainable for decades.
“There is no shortage of bobcats, I can assure you that,” Los Angeles furrier Michael Pappas told the committee, according to the Ventura County Star.
A flood of phone calls, emails and faxes to committee members from trappers from California and across the country helped to stall the bill. The grassroots effort will likely be needed again when the committee reconsiders the proposal later this year.
The California Trappers Association will also continue seeking donations to help pay for the costs of their work to defeat the bill. If you are interested in donating, the CTA accepts donations via PayPal on their website or checks or money orders via mail. Please make payments payable to the California Trappers Association. In the Memo section, write “Fight AB1213.” Check or money orders can be sent to:
PO Box 1339
Blue Lake, CA 95525