President — Bruce Vandervort, 5338 US Hwy 101, Humptulips, WA 98552; phone: 360-288-2466; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Vice President West — John Consolini, 17030 Marmount ST SE, Monroe WA 98272; e-mail: email@example.com
Vice President East — George Brady, P.O. Box 535, Pateros, WA 98846; phone: 509-923-2326;
Executive Secretary — Ralph Dobson, 711 196th Street NW, Arlington, WA 98223; phone: 360-652-2132; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Treasurer — BJ Thornily; 63 Redmond Rd., Republic, WA 99166; phone: 509-775-2936;
NTA Director — Bob Maier, 38 Francis Dr., Walla Walla, WA 99362; phone: 509-529-9568;
The month started off slow but made up for it in the last week.
We had the Fur Sale on the 20th and by happy coincidence it came the day after Fur Harvesters auction was completed. We gained a buyer from Oregon that was on his way back and stopped off to attend. Prices at FHA showed substantial increases and we benefitted from that with better prices then I had hoped for. I don’t have any figures, but prices were up from previous forecasts. I have to say I was surprised by the amount of fur too. George Sovie said there seems to be a little more every year. I figured there would be a drop this year, but that was not the case.
Katie Garfield, the new Miss Rodeo Washington, was there to accept her fur vest. As you probably know, we make a fur garment for Miss Rodeo WA every year and present it at the fur sale. The one perk of being President is I get my picture taken with her and I’m sure the pleasure is all mine. In all seriousness though, she seemed like real fine young lady and was quite interested in the furs and trapping and, of course, her new vest. She was sporting a knee brace courtesy of a mishap with her horse.
The auction went well and we raised some money for the association thanks to the generous donations of some very nice auction items. My thanks to all of you who donated and also those who bid. One note to Dave Vinke, you didn’t show so we sold the fleshing beam that I made for you. Thanks for the donation Dave!
Ralph Dobson and Steve Brownell deserve a lot of praise for arranging a smooth-running sale. I’m probably forgetting some people that helped out, but I did want to mention Karen Parker. Lately she seems to always be there helping out. I know I saw her sitting there helping Bobbie the whole time. Thanks!
On the legislative front, as I said in the newsletter, nothing happening this year trapping related, but there was a bill, SB6813, that would have merged Fish and Wildlife with the Department of Natural Resources and the Parks Department. It didn’t really look like anything good could come of this so we were opposed. Just when the darn thing looked like it was dead, it looked like it could be resurrected in the Senate Ways and Means Committee as a budgetary item. We scurried around and got off an alert to our members with an e-mail and at this time it looks like the danger of that happening has passed. As a result of killing it though, the WDFW took a $6.5 million budget cut on top of the previous cuts. This will result in 60 to 70 position cuts. I doubt that will effect trapping much as the furbearer program is practically non-existent already.
One thing I wish people would take seriously is contacting us when their contact information changes. This is a real problem when we want to contact you.
I traveled to Ellensburg this last Saturday to meet with the Director of WDFW Phil Anderson. Can’t say much came out of the meeting. They did promise to “Talk with us in good faith about reforming the trapping laws” no promises so you can take that for what it’s worth. I have to say though Phil Anderson did seem like he was interested in listening so I’ll be optimistic and say I was encouraged. Others brought up the problems with predators and how they are impacting our big-game herds. I did not like what I heard in that respect. It seems they are beginning to admit there is a problem but lack the will to do anything about it.
I know in my area the cougars are taking a terrible toll on deer, elk and even beavers. Looks to me like this was HSUS’s strategy when they passed Initiative 655 and it seems to be working. Eliminate the game and eliminate the need for hunting and trapping. Luckily for us, the beavers still seem to be thick along the I-5 corridor and of course no shortage of moles.
Before I close, I want to mention David McCauly. David is from Astoria, but every year when he brings his furs up to George, he donates $50 to the association. Thanks David!
Until next month.
— Bruce Vandervort