Nevada Trappers Association April 2011 Report

President — Joel Blakeslee (Sherri), 4905 Jackrabbit Rd, Reno, NV 89510; ph: 775-742-1308

Vice President — Tracy Truman, 3654 N Rancho Dr., Las Vegas, NV 89130; ph: 702-658-8927

Secretary/Treasurer — Judi Curran, 4170 St. Clair Rd., Fallon, NV 89406; ph: 775- 867-2239

Fur Manager — Jim Curran, 4170 St. Clair Rd., Fallon, NV 89406; ph: 775-867-2239

Membership Options:

• Individual membership including subscription to T&PC — $20
• Husband & wife with subscription — $22
• Junior (under 16) with subcription — $10

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

NTA, Secretary/Treasurer
Judi Curran
4170 St. Clair Rd., Fallon, NV 89406

http://www.nvtrappers.com

VICE PRESIDENT’S REPORT

Nevada Trappers:

Well, another trapping season has flown by. The Fallon sale is just a memory. The weather is starting to warm up a bit and kids are starting to play baseball. While you might think its time to relax, its actually time to roll up our sleeves and do some work.

First, a big thanks to Jim and Judi Curran and their able fur sale staff for another outstanding sale. It was a very productive, well run sale and most of the trappers that I saw were smiling when it was all over. Cat prices were up, as were fox and coyote. I’m sure Jim will give us the full break down (you can also get it on the NVTA website at www.nvtrappers.org).

There were two other events that occurred at the sale worth mentioning here. The first was the fund raising that was conducted on behalf of the Mike Miller family. As many of you know, long-time NVTA and Board member Mike Miller from Tonopah passed away recently due to cancer. Throughout the 3-day Fallon sale, Jim Curran and his staff conducted raffles and other activities to raise money for the Miller family. The traditional Saturday lunch garnered donations for everything from soda pop to helpings of apple cobbler. It was good to see generous trappers helping one of their own.

The second item was the annual membership meeting. Prior to the meeting, many trappers received a letter from State Assemblyman Ira Hansen requesting assistance in defeating a measure put forth by a group called Trailsafe that would limit trapping. In fact, the letter essentially blamed the NVTA leadership for negotiating with Trailsafe about the matter, and several other issues. Mr. Hansen came to the Saturday membership meeting and was given the first 30-40 minutes of the meeting. During his presentation, Assemblyman Hansen again attacked the NVTA leadership about a broad range of issues, ranging from his objection that Jim and Judi Curran receive compensation for running the fur sale, to allegations that the NVTA provided financial support to his opponent in the recent campaign (which is false).

Following Assemblyman Hansen’s speech, NVTA President Joel Blakeslee took the floor to respond to each of Mr. Hansen’s allegations, and frankly, dismantled each one like a $2 watch. I commend Joel for not only encouraging Mr. Hansen to come to the meeting and air his views, but for his professionalism and outstanding command of the issues he has acquired over 30 plus years of working with Nevada trappers, NDOW, the Nevada Wildlife Commission, the Washoe County Advisory Board for Wildlife, the Wildlife Coalition and numerous other groups and agencies. As a summary of the issues discussed at the membership meeting, I jotted down a few mental notes:

*Contrary to Assemblyman Hansen’s claim, Trailsafe has not proposed legislation trying to restrict trapping “within a mile” of any trail or road. In fact, Trailsafe has not yet completed drafting its proposed legislation at this time. Rather, because of the past relationship Trailsafe has had with NVTA leadership, Trailsafe has sought the input of the NVTA before it finalizes its proposed bill. To be clear, the NVTA has serious differences with the ideology and goals of the folks at Trailsafe, but that doesn’t mean the best way to deal with them is to simply “declare war” with them. Instead, we have been successful at educating some of their members, creating a dialogue with Trailsafe, and achieving a workable solution to difficult problems. We have also been successful in keeping their proposals in front of the Wildlife Commission (where we have much greater sympathy and support for trapping-related matters) and out of the legislature (where we do not enjoy such an advantage).

* Contrary to Assemblyman Hansen’s claims, NVTA leadership has worked with Trailsafe, NDOW and several other agencies to limit the Trailsafe petition to a small urban area of Washoe County. In fact, the petition would only limit trapping with steel traps within 1,000 yards of an occupied dwelling (a house, not a commercial or industrial building) to an area Washoe County has already designated as a “no shooting zone” in a congested area.

* When the Trailsafe representatives advised Assemblyman Hansen they would be forced to take their petition to the legislature, Assemblyman Hansen boasted, “bring it on!” Well, that’s exactly what Trailsafe has done. Unfortunately, we are advised the proposed legislation will be much broader in its application (to include Clark County) and may affect the areas where you trap. NVTA leadership will now be forced to dedicate significant time and resources in working to defeat this measure (or to at least significantly reduce the area it tries to eliminate from trapping), when those resources could be better spent on more productive issues. It is unfortunate that Assemblyman Hansen, who could be such a great ally and resource for the trappers of Nevada, has chosen instead to throw us into such a hostile and potentially dangerous legislative battle where we could stand to lose significant trapping rights. We will need your help to defeat that measure in the legislature. Since these issues develop rapidly, please send an email to Joel Blakeslee so he has your contact information and provide immediate updates. Joel’s email is lobonevada@gmail.com.

* Several years ago the NVTA Board of Directors authorized the NVTA to charge fur buyers at the Fallon sale a 1% fee to sell at the sale. The Board also agreed that the 1% fee would go to Jim & Judi Curran for organizing and running the fur sale since the money didn’t come from the pockets of trappers in the Association. Bear in mind Jim & Judi ran the fur sale for nearly 30 years with no compensation so it seems a small pittance to now pay for organizing and running the three day sale, contacting and negotiating with buyers for months before the sale, answering the hundreds of phone calls from curious trappers months before, during and after the sale, packing and shipping fur after the sale, and generally dealing with an intense amount of pressure created by a thankless task of putting on what has come to be known as the premier western fur sale in the United States. Personally, the trappers of Nevada have made a lot of money at the fur sale over the years and I’m only too happy to see Jim and Judi be paid for their services.

OK, enough politics.

One other issue that came up at our membership meeting was the subject of next year’s bobcat season. The harvest data from the past two years is probably going to justify an increase in the length of the season. We would like to hear your input on what the proposed season dates should be. Some suggestions are that the season go back to November 1 through February 28 (like the fox season), while others suggest starting in mid-November. Please contact your NVTA representatives to give your input.

Well, that’s it for now. Stay tuned for updates on legislative matters.

— Tracy Truman

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