Minnesota Trappers Association December 2008 Report

President — Gary Meis, 69555 One Mile Rd., Bruno, MN 55712

Vice President — Tim Bauer, 17290 155th Ave. N.E., Foley, MN 56329

Secretary — Liz Thom, 173 Prairie Lake Rd., Wright, MN 55798 e-mail:wlthom@frontiernet.net

Treasurer — Tricia Coons, 403 Wood Ave., Bemidji, MN 56601 e-mail: MTATrish@paulbunyan.net

Membership Coordinator
— Kathy Peterson, 57124 Cty Rd., Northhome, MN 56661; e-mail:
kpeterso@paulbunyan.net

Director of Trapper Education — Deb Offerdahl, 14788 Lynx Rd., Milaca, MN 56353;

Mandatory Trappers Education Director — Kenneth Olson, 353 Stearns Ave., Paynesville, MN 56362-1211; e-mail: mta-ed@clearwire.net

Membership Options:
• Individual membership including subscription to The Trapper & Predator Caller — $20
• Junior (under 16) with subscription — $12
• Senior (over 65) with subscription — $12
• Lifetime membership with subscription — $350

Complete membership application on first page of
association section and send dues to:
MTA, Membership Coordinator
Kathy Peterson
57124 Cty Rd., Northhome, MN 56661


President’s Report
Mandatory Trappers Education Director’s Report
District 7 Report


PRESIDENT’S REPORT

I hope everyone is enjoying the much awaited trapping season. We spent the entire summer and early fall with high expectations of great prices on fur only to have the poor economy worldwide deflate our high hopes.

What else is new? As I state every year, there is always something that comes along to bring the prices tumbling down. Seems the bad news always happens after the convention and supply buying season is over.

The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) now wants to expand the “critical habitat for Lynx” from its current domain in Voyageurs National Park to the 8,000 plus square miles lying EAST of Hwy 53. Under the “critical habitat” there will be further restrictions on mining, logging and the general public. The USFWS has reopened the Public Comment Period on Lynx Critical Habitat so concerned citizens can reply.

I need everyone reading this column to write letters opposing the plan. Please get everyone and anyone who believes in trapping and consumptive use to write letters also. You can open up the entire plan at the following computer address: http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/species/mammals/lynx/criticalhabitat.htm.

Should you have difficulties opening this file, call District 1 director Ray Sogard at 218-263-3367 and Ray will assist you. I personally had problems opening it. Ray is to be commended for his help in compiling this information.

Remember, those opposed to our way of life will be writing letters in favor of the plan. We must oppose it. Do not put it off, do it today as the comment period ends soon.  Concentrate heavily on the seven examples I have printed.

Please send your comments to the following address:

Public Comments Processing
Division of Policy and Directives Management
United States Fish and Wildlife Service
4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 222
Arlington, VA. 22203

There is no scientific reason to have the lynx on the endangered species list. The core range covers Alaska, Canada and Newfoundland and there has never been a large population of lynx in the US. Lynx are nomadic and follow the snowshoe hare population, which is cyclical. The lynx needs to be delisted.

There are currently five mining companies that are performing exploration operations activities in this area. Three of these mining companies have approximately 20,000 acres of state non-ferrous mineral leases in the proposed Lynx critical habitat area. Mining of these non-ferrous minerals could result in royalty payments to the Minnesota School Trust Fund in excess of $1.4 billion during 30 years of mining at these three operations based on current metal prices.

The Duluth complex is ranked third in the world for nickel content and second for both copper content and platinum group metals content. Additionally, these deposits contain approximately 95 percent of U.S. nickel resources, 34 percent of U.S. copper resources and 75 percent of U.S. platinum group metal resources. These metals have the potential to greatly enhance the U.S. and local economies as well as enhance the national security of the U.S.

Federal law recognizes that mineral exploration and mining in the Superior National Forest is in the national interest of the U.S. Additionally, Federal law establishes that Federal agencies should not prioritize surface uses over access to minerals. Because the designation of the Superior National Forest as critical habitat for Canada Lynx will unreasonably restrict access to critical minerals, the proposed designation is inconsistent with federal law.

Twenty four communities are found within this area all with local infrastructure, schools, churches and a business district. To restrict each of these communities from expansion and restrict their tourism ability would add undue stress to cities already in peril.

Minnesota’s logging industry would suffer a crippling blow that would put an end to many of the privately owned logging businesses, as we know them today.

In 30 years of implementing the Act, the Service has found that the designation of statutory critical habitat provides little additional protection to most listed species.

I’m certain you have heard that a Federal judge has placed the Great Lakes wolf back on the protected list. Everything was working so well when the wolf responsibility was recently put in the hands of the DNR. With the wolf being back on the protected list, you can no longer kill a wolf that is molesting your pets, livestock or personal property. Let’s hope that this incorrect decision is reversed real soon.

On Oct. 11, your MTA board of directors had a typical long board meeting. I will touch on the key issues of that meeting in the upcoming MTA newsletter. I suspect other officers and committee member will cover the key issues of the meeting as well. Enjoy your trapping season and above all, be safe.

— Gary Meis

MANDATORY TRAPPERS EDUCATION DIRECTOR’S REPORT

Greetings,

Not a whole lot to report at this time. Just side note to instructors, the education department is trying to put together a calendar of the coming year for classes. So if you have sort of a time frame that you would be looking at, please let Deb or myself know. This is trying to give a better idea of the different areas of the state that we need to work a little more.

Thank you to you instructors that have been putting regular classes on over the past few years besides all you new ones.

On that note, if there is anyone out there that would like to become a part of the team of instructors, your chance is coming up again, Jan. 2, 2009. This is going to be held in Isle, starting at noon. Yes this is the day before the winter meeting.

Please RSVP with Deb Offerdahl or myself by Dec. 20, 2008. If you are thinking about and maybe have a question or two, please feel free to contact Deb or myself. We would be happy to help you with any questions you might have.

Instructors, if you’re going to be putting a class on, please let me know, even if you happen to have enough supplies on hand. You may need a supplement added to your copy of the manuals. We also are trying to work about getting them on to the Web site. Please also contact me if you’re sitting on a large supply of manuals. That way they get used up so there isn’t all those odd supplements add to getting them with the most updated printing of the manual.

Well, on that note, I’ll close this off. Please feel free to contact me anytime if you have questions dealing with the Mandatory Trappers Education program at mta-ed@clearwire.net or (320)243-4230 or Kenneth Olson, MTA  Mandatory Trappers Ed. Dir. , 353 Stearns Ave., Paynesville, MN 56362-1211.

Break from putor.

— Ken Olson

DISTRICT 7 REPORT

Hello fellow trappers. Trapping season is upon us. I am hoping that everyone is having a safe and successful season.

Oct. 11 was the board meeting up in Isle. District 7 was represented by Shannon Cohrs and me. The MTA will have a commemorative 50th Anniversary trap. It will be a gold plated MB450. It will be limited to 200 numbered traps and will be available for purchase at the summer convention. No early sales will be accepted. Trap #1 as well as some of the lower numbered traps will be auctioned off at the convention.

At the upcoming spring DNR input meetings, non-resident trapping will be on the list of topics to discuss. Times and locations of the meetings have not been announced yet. I know many of you have your own option on this subject. So if you are either against it or for it, be sure to attend to let the DNR know your concerns. Be sure to check out the DNR’s Web page for future information on the meetings.

Just a final reminder the winter meeting is Jan. 3 in Isle at the high school. If you are planning on coming there will be demos, a live auction and Fur Buyers on hand to buy fur. Also there is the Pelt Handling Contest, and some dealers will be there as well. So come on up for the day and take in the winter meeting.

Til next time.

— Leon Windschitl

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