President — Don Miller, Box 15, Loup City, NE 68853; phone: 308-745-0572; cell 308-440-2951
Vice President — Joe Jack, Box 303, Wood River, NE 68883; phone: 308-583-2720
Secretary — John Self, 2072 CO RD K, Hooper, NE 68031; phone: 402-654-2913
Treasurer — Jim Cronin, RT 1, Box 405, Loup City, NE 68853; phone: 308-754-0474
Legislative Representative — George Wagner, 201 Main Ave., Winnetoon, NE 68789; phone: 402-847-3398
Public Relations Director — Ben Walker, 73059 Rd. 436, Bertrand, NE 68972; phone: 308-472-5227
NTA Delegate — Chris Pool, 202 Alonzo St., Wilcox, NE 68982; phone: 308-478-5312
FTA Delegate — Roy Greenfield, 16535 145th Rd., Amherst, NE 68812; phone: 308-826-5155
Web Site — Tom Riblett, firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.nebraskafurharvesters.com
• Individual membership including subscription to The Trapper & Predator Caller — $25
• Junior (Rat Pack) dues (14 & under) — $16
Complete membership application on first page of
association section and send dues to:
Trompke Bookkeeping and Business Services
PO Box 89, Loup City, NE 68853
On Jan. 22, a handful of Nebraska Fur Harvesters traveled to Lincoln and testified before the Natural Resources Committee in support of LB5. LB5 is the bill replacing LB743, which was drafted last year to strike the amendment to LB299 prohibiting any trapping of wildlife in the right-of-way of a county road. If this passes, trapping on the right-of-way would be under the Game Commissions regulations. This would require adjacent landowner permission.
Testifying for Nebraska Fur Harvesters were Don Miller, Joe Jack, Jim Cronin, Brandon Drahota, John Self, Dave Kuhlman and George Wagner. I hope I didn’t miss anyone. There were, I believe, three individual trappers.
Sam Wilson and Jim Douglas supported us from Game and Parks, also Steven VanTassel from University of Nebraska Animal Damage Control. Wes Sheets, Joe Harvod and Janice Spicha of Nebraska Council of Sportsmen’s Clubs and Izaak Walton League testified on our behalf. Dave Hastings and Mike Lance had very good letters; several e-mails and letters from County Supervisors and Road Department people were entered into testimony. A lot of leg work went into getting this support and a lot of people not mentioned here also worked on this. The bill has passed out of Committee.
On that note, Tom Riblett has been posting developments on LB5 on our Web site and Trapperman.com and HuntNE.com. He also has Fall Convention contact information posted.
The Spring Meeting will be hosted by Dave Hastings of Ord. He is sure to have an interesting feature or two besides the business of Nebraska Fur Harvesters. We will be posting information on the Web sites.
Last summer during the run up to Fall Convention in my report, I made the comment of a free membership and convention t-shirt to the two highest raffle ticket sales people. These were won by Bill Bowers, of Burwell, and Jeff Martin, of Ogallala. Congratulations! Thanks for the extra effort, guys. — Don Miller
LEGISLATIVE REPRESENTATIVE’S REPORT
Fellow Fur Harvesters,
I just want to get a few quick notes in here. I would hope that by the time you are reading this LB5 will have passed into law and we have our right to trap road right-of-way restored. If LB5 has not passed yet, I urge you to call your state senator and ask your senator to support LB5. If you understand all the events surrounding LB5, then you know this is one of the most important bills that not only fur harvesters but all outdoorsmen in Nebraska will see. What is really come to light at this time is this whole thing was a local issue and should have been handled at the local level.
The correctness of the law before the ban on right-of-way trapping can not be overstated. Under the original law, which LB5 will bring back, the state sets a general law. Then a lower government such as a county cannot take away from the set law, but they can add to it. In other words, the county can outlaw right-of-way trapping if they deem it necessary. The county can not broaden the law to say landowner permission is not required.
LB5 would bring correctness back into the law and restore to the counties their ability to manage their road ditches to the benefit of their citizens. There certainly are senators who understand this if you tell them. Remember on this point anyone whether a fur harvester or not can call their senator and ask them to give their county back its ability to govern correctly. Decentralized government is what we all want when we tell big government to get off our backs. Well, here is your chance. Pick up the phone or e-mail your senator.
It was brought up at the hearing for LB5 that there are no restrictions on trapping the highway ditches, but it is illegal to trap county or township ditches. Why would the state place a law on a lower government which it does not place on itself. There is a strong indication the state overstepped its authority by banning right-of-way trapping. A simple question for your senator.
Here is the heart of the Introducer’s Statement of Intent (Senator Christensen): It is the intent of LB5 to undo the negative consequences of the prohibition that were not fully taken into consideration when it was put into place. Some of these consequences are the difficulty for counties to trap animals that are damaging county roads, the difficulty of adequately managing certain animals that damage crops and livestock, and the economic hit to individuals and businesses dependent on fur harvesting. These are real increased costs to county budgets, businesses and individual incomes.
To many of the senators, this bill is not where their focus is at and so they will not be concerned about LB5 unless you tell them. If you have to, highlight the facts here and read them to your senator over the phone or copy them onto your e-mail. Have your neighbor next door do the same thing even if they have never trapped in their life. Among other things, we are trying to make a government function correctly here.
When you call your senator’s office make sure you tell them to put your position on file so your senator will have it available when LB5 comes up. Tell your senator to keep you informed on LB5 and to let you know the outcome.
If you are standing up for correct government, which you are, what does that tell you about the people and organizations that oppose LB5? The long range-implications cannot be ignored here. Those who oppose LB5 will be back. The stronger this bill passes the better for all who want a correct government.
— George Wagner
FTA DELEGATE’S REPORT
As I write these lines, LB 5 is waiting to be debated on the Nebraska Legislative floor. The trappers within our state must thank Senator Christensen for the mission he is on to return right-of-way trapping to this state. I was not able to attend the committee meeting or the FTA officers meeting in Iowa due to questions on the future of my day job. Don Miller and George Wagoner along with many other dedicated persons made a favorable impression on the members of the Natural Resource committee for LB 5 was passed from committee with only one no vote.
This Nay was from the Senator who replaced Senator Hudkins who introduced the original bill to stop ROW trapping. Regretfully the animal rights activists are now flooding the NE senators with e-mails attempting to kill LB 5. At this time, the bill is scheduled to be debated for the first hearing this next Monday (Feb. 2). It is imperative that the NFH continue to build associations districts into a viable communications network. This will be a prime subject for the spring meeting.
Dave Hastings has offered to host the spring meeting in Ord this year. He will be submitting information to this news list announcing the date and location. Plan to attend this centrally located meeting and be an active member of your association. It is of, by and for the trappers in Nebraska.
The FTA has been extremely busy this winter. Watch the Fur Taker magazine for the latest details involving the Maine law suit, BMP’s and many other subjects. The FTA Web site continues to update fur harvesters at http://www.furtakersofamerica.com. It is now possible to join the association and purchase items with a credit card. Anyone who has questions or wishes a membership application can feel free to contact me at any time.
I hope to see all of you at the spring meeting in Ord.
— Roy Greenfield
SPRING MEETING REPORT
Hello NFH members. The Spring Nebraska Fur Harvesters meeting will be held in Ord, Sunday, April 19, at the Karp & Krow grounds, on Springdale Road, east of Ord. Traditionally we have demos in the morning, a free-will donation lunch and a meeting in the afternoon. I am interested in what anyone might like for demo presentations. I have also felt like it would be a good time to bring used traps and equipment if you have something that you might want to sell; maybe the other members are looking for it.
If you have raw skins that you might want to donate to the tanned fur project, please bring them to the meeting.
Directions: Take highway 70 to the northeast corner of town and follow the highway as if you were going to Erickson. After you cross the North Loup River on the edge of Ord, you will take the county road that is on your right, headed East. The Karp & Krow grounds are a couple of miles on this road, on the right side. We will have signs or flourescent tap flags, etc.)
This is later in April than is traditional. The weekend before the 17th is Easter. Two weeks before that I assume that some of you are like me and will be finishing fur for shipment.
I am certain that we will have discussion of LB 5 which, hopefully by then, will be the end of our troubles with right-of-way trapping issues. I sure hope you contacted your senator on this one.
In my conversations with trappers across the country, most of us found the weather to be very problematic. Coupled with expectations of very low prices, I expect this season to be one of quite limited fur harvest. The eternal optimist can now figure that a limited harvest will increase demand, and by next December, our furs will be a sought-after commodity.
Gary Jepson and I attended the Association of Fish & Wildlife Furbearer Technical Work Group meeting in New Orleans near the end of January. If you are interested in the meeting, let me know and I can give you the particulars. In a nutshell, a few highlights would be that the last few BMPs are being finished up; the group is preparing a national “white paper” intended to clarify, define and make more standardized language for snares and snaring systems. The end of federal requirements for tagging of otter and bobcat may be on the horizon for 2010. The AFWA is producing a national Trapper Education curriculum.
The Fur Takers National Rendezvous will be in East Central Arkansas this June. It will be a good chance to see some different country and meet some trappers from Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas and the area. Think about a family vacation!
Please send an e-mail at email@example.com or give me a call at 308-728-7780 if you have a request or an idea about what we might have to share the morning of April 17, as we get ready for the spring meeting.
— Dave Hastings