Nevada Trappers Association June 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

Wow! What a wild spring we’ve had!

The big news is the Trailsafe legislation (SB226) appears to be pretty much defeated (fingers crossed). When the 2011 legislature convened, Senator Sheila Leslie (D-Washoe) introduced a bill that was co-sponsored by Senator Parks (D-Clark County 7) which would have done at least two things. First, it would have outlawed steel traps within 1,000 yards of any occupied dwelling in Clark and Washoe Counties. Second, it would have required mandatory trap registration for all trappers state wide. Obviously, the NVTA mobilized to defeat the measure.

On March 30, 2011 the bill was heard by the Senate Natural Resources Committee (made up of Senators Lee, Manendo, Parks, Rhoads, and Roberson). From the outset, we knew we could count on Senator Rhoads to oppose the bill, and probably Roberson. Manendo and Parks were in favor of the bill, so that left Lee as the swing vote. Both sides of the debate lobbied hard and the NVTA was assisted by many “behind-the-scenes” supporters. At the March 30 hearing, we packed the Senate Committee room in Carson City and the Grant Sawyer hearing room in Las Vegas. The Trailsafe folks presented their testimony first and all I can say is that I have never heard so much misinformation in one setting in my whole life. I didn’t know, for example, that steel traps are “roadside bombs” waiting to explode, or that kids get maimed in them all the time, not to mention the certain death that awaits any pet caught in a trap. What hogwash!

Finally, the “good guys” and girls got our turn. We had very compelling and authoritative testimony from all aspects of wildlife management – those in the pest control industry, ranchers, hunters, law enforcement, NDOW and so forth. Clearly, in a scientific debate with hard data we win every argument. But unfortunately, we often get overwhelmed with emotional and irrational arguments.

On April 15, 2011 the Senate Natural Resources Committee held a workshop meeting to discuss SB 226. Under Senate rules, April 15 was the last day that a bill could be voted out of a committee; if no action was taken on a bill by that date, it would die for lack of action.

The Committee heard a proposed amendment by Trish Swain of Trailsafe that would incorporate some technical changes that would clarify and further limit the effects of the bill. Senator Parks made a motion to approve the bill with the amendments proposed by Trailsafe, but the motion failed because no other senator would second the motion. After some discussion, the Committee considered the proposed amendment that deleted the bill entirely, and instead indicated that the Board of Wildlife Commissioners would develop regulations to provide guidance for trapping of fur-bearing mammals in specific congested areas. Under the terms of the amended bill, these regulations would be completed and sent to the Legislative Commission for review no later than December 31st, 2012. After some discussion, the Committee voted unanimously to adopt this amendment. As it stands now, the Wildlife Commission has until the end of 2012 to enact regulations to address trapping in congested areas.

In other words, the Senate Natural Resources Committee heard exactly what we as trappers, and the sporting community at large, have been saying since the bill was first introduced – the legislature is not the place to manage wildlife. This point was driven home over and over with the support of the Wildlife Coalition, NDOW, trappers, ranchers, pest control operators, hunters, Wildlife Services and others. It has been gratifying to see the vast numbers of people and industries that support trapping as an effective tool for wildlife management. That support was also evident in the legislative poll where on April 15, 2011, there were over 450 votes opposed to the bill, and only 55 votes in favor of the bill. We are a powerful contingency when we stand together.

We have more work to do, but for now we have averted the drastic impacts SB226 would have had on us as trappers, and in the larger realm, the disastrous consequences it would have had on wildlife management in Nevada. Please remain vigilant and keep in contact with your elected officials.

Thanks to all of you who have helped in any way. Joel Blakeslee has worked tirelessly on this issue, and has gotten great help from Dave Stowater in Las Vegas, as well as the Wildlife Coalition. I know that Assemblyman Ira Hansen has been instrumental in persuading key votes on the Senate Natural Resources Committee and came to testify at the hearing on SB226. And thanks to all of you that voted on the Legislative website, sent emails or letters, and made phone calls. With any luck, SB226 (as it is currently written) will pass the Assembly and the 2011 Legislature will fade quietly into the sunset so we can all go trapping next year.

Thanks again!

— Tracy Truman

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