Washington Trappers Association January 2009 Report

President — Bruce Vandervort, 5338 US Hwy 101, Humptulips, WA 98552; phone: 360-288-2466; e-mail: brucevandervort@hotmail.com

Vice President West — John Consolini, 17030 Marmount ST SE, Monroe WA 98272; e-mail: itrap4you@yahoo.com

Vice President East
­— George Brady, P.O. Box 535, Pateros, WA 98846; phone: 509-923-2326;   e-mail: cascadeb@televar.com

Executive Secretary — Ralph Dobson, 13723 Heatherwood Dr., Mill Creek, WA 98012;
phone: 425-530-2124; e-mail: ralph.dobson@verizon.com

Treasurer — BJ Thornily; 63 Redmond Rd., Republic, WA 99166; phone: 509-775-2936;
e-mail: bobbiemike@yahoo.com

NTA Director — Bob Maier, 38 Francis Dr., Walla Walla, WA 99362; phone: 509-529-9568; e-mail: bob_maier@hotmail.com

Membership options:
• Individual membership including subscription to The Trapper & Predator Caller — $30
• Junior (under 18) with subscription to The Trapper & Predator Caller — $15.50
• Associate (non-trapper) including subscription to The Trapper & Predator Caller— $15.50
• Senior Citizen (over 70) including subscription to The Trapper & Predator Caller — $10.50
• Lifetime membership — $250
• Lifetimer subscription to The Trapper Predator Caller — $10.50

Dues entitles members to all newsletters, meeting notices, discount entry to workshops and the annual rendezvous. All monies are used to protect your right to trap.

Complete membership application on first page of
association section and send dues to:
WSTA
(A non-profit organization.)
P.O. Box 12669
Mill Creek, WA 98082

PRESIDENT’S REPORT

Hello all,

Hope you had a good holiday season.

I thought I would say a few words about fisher in Washington. A partnership of government agencies released fisher into the Olympic National Park in early 2008 as the first phase of a recovery effort for fisher in Washington. There will be more releases in 2009 and possibly more beyond that. If you have a computer, you can take a look at the fisher recovery Web site at http://wdfw.wa.gov/wlm/diversty/soc/fisher/updates.htm. It is very interesting to see the tracking data. Man, those fishers are real travelers. If you look at the maps on the Web site, you will see they have traveled as far as Ocean Shores, Lake Cushman and the Makah Reservation at the very northwestern tip of the peninsula.

I find this to be worrisome. I’d like to see them do well, but it is pretty obvious that they are liable to show up anywhere on the peninsula and if more are introduced, they are apt to be found even farther afield.

The reason it worries me is because they are listed as a state endangered species. Fishers are small enough to be caught in any trap set for raccoon, bobcat or coyote. At the present time, of course, we are limited to cage traps for fur trapping, but there are traps being set under permit that could catch and possibly injure a fisher. This could open up a huge can of worms that I don’t want to think about. Also, and I hesitate to even mention this, but there could be someone out there skirting the edge of the law. All these fishers have radios and are monitored. We do not want to anyone to catch one of these. Please, before you trap on the Olympic Peninsula, think about your sets and be careful. It would be best to take a look at the locations of the fishers too.

In the future, if the introductions are successful, it could prove to be a problem for us on a larger scale. If you look at the fisher recovery plan at http://wdfw.wa.gov/wlm/diversty/soc/recovery/fisher/fisher_final_recovery.pdf, you will see what worries me.

Fisher have been determined to be warranted for federal endangered species listing. Hasn’t happened because basically they feel they have better things to do. It looks to me like it is ripe for a lawsuit especially if we were to make some gains in the legislature on trapping.

In order for the fisher to be de-listed there would have to be a stable breeding population in the Olympics, the South Cascades and the North Cascades. I don’t look for that to happen in my lifetime.

Right now it’s mostly potential problems. I hope I’m concerned over nothing.

I remember when the department came to the rendezvous and asked for our blessing on this. I didn’t like it then and it looks like it is following the course I was afraid of.

From what I read, the fur market could tank. I’m hoping the economy recovers a bit in the new year. If it does, maybe the late auctons will pick up some. If not, it might be a tough year to sell fur. No matter if you have fur to sell or not come to the fur sale on Feb. 21 at Borst Park. Social event of the winter, at least for me.

— Bruce Vandervort

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