We would like to include a link for coverage from Channel 13KTNV regarding the important Wildlife Commission meeting that was just held last weekend. We were able to have a very successful turnout by our hunters and supporters. The petition that was put forward to end Bear Hunting with Hounds in Nevada was vetoed. Thank-you all for your comments, emails and help fighting the most recent attempt to end Bear Hunting. We appreciate the testimonies and remarks that were given on the Southern Nevada Coalition's behalf. Our own President, Mike Reese did an outstanding job answering questions for the KTNV News station. This is just a small clip from his lengthy conversation with them regarding the issues.
This is a new development we just received. The Anti-Hunting groups are proposing Senate Bill 82 Prohibits the Board of Wildlife Commissioners from authorizing the hunting of black bears.
Here is the link to the Nevada Legislature
We have more work ahead of us!!
North American Wildlife Conservation Model
By Eric Aldrich
There's nothing quite like it anywhere else in the world: a system that keeps wildlife as a public and sustainable resource, scientifically managed by professionals - thanks to hunters and hunting.
Hunting, as some folks tend to forget, has been a human activity for a long, long time…as long as there have been humans.
But something happened to hunting around the late 1800s and early 1900s that changed it forever. It became regulated. The relatively new profession of wildlife biology supported those regulations with science. License fees and excise taxes—paid for by hunters themselves - supported the enforcement and the science. Money was also set aside to protect habitat, conduct research and teach hunters to be safe and ethical. At the time, those visionary moves were essential because of the pathetic status of North America's wildlife population. In Delaware, white-tailed deer, beavers, wild turkeys and many waterfowl species were few in number at the beginning of the 20th century. Now, throughout the continent, many species are back for all to enjoy, not just hunters.
Why Do We Mention This?
Because sometimes we forget. Sometimes, we get so accustomed to the way things are that we forget how they used to be…and what it's like elsewhere in the world.
There's a fellow in Canada's Alberta Province who wants to remind us that hunting is THE reason for conservations' success in North America. He's Valerius Geist, a German native who immigrated to Canada as a young teenager in 1953 and began hunting two years later.
Geist studied wildlife biology, earned a doctorate in animal behavior and wrote several books on big game mammals of North America. By the 1980's he could see that his own co0llegues (wildlife biologists for the most part) had forgotten what their predecessors had built: a phenomenal environmental success story, the restoration of wildlife in North America.
"When I came over here from Germany, it was a real eye-opener," Geist said. "Hunting is different. Conservation is different. The whole model here that ties hunting and conservation together is unique and very successful."
It's called the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation. There's nothing like it elsewhere in the world. And hunters - whether they're in Delaware, Alberta or Oregon - are the system's backbone of success.
To remind biologists (and anyone else) about why this model is unique and successful, Geist and two colleagues presented a paper at a recent North American Wildlife Management and Research conference. The other co-authors are Shane P. Mahoney of the Newfoundland and Labrador Wildlife Division, and John F. Organ, with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Hadley, Mass.
"We wrote this for the simple reason that what is so obvious has been forgotten by many people," Geist said. "Even our own colleagues had forgotten the history of the wildlife conservation movement here."
What is the North American Model?
The North American model has endured despite widespread changes in society, technology and in the landscape of the continent. It has become a "system of sustainable development of a renewable natural resource that is without parallel in the world," Geist said. Furthermore, it has benefited not only huntable wildlife, countless species of songbirds and shorebirds are protected, becoming specifically designated as nongame species. Seven features make the North American model distinct.
Hunting is the Glue
"In much of Europe, hunting is landowner-based," Geist said. "Areas are essentially leased for hunting, and hunters are responsible for the management of species on that piece of land. It's an elitist system."
What developed in North America is what Geist calls a populous system. "It appeals to everyone, blue-collar and white-collar alike" and was championed by the likes of Theodore Roosevelt.
In Africa today, efforts to stop poaching have led to programs that direct economic returns on hunting fees to rural indigenous people. Now, they have a reason to stop poachers.
According to Geist, the glue that holds this unique North American model of wildlife conservation together is hunting.
Wildlife should be a publicly-owned resource not only as a food source but also to help foster the American "pioneer spirit," he said. "The ability for all North Americans to be able to cultivate these pioneer skills through sport hunting meant that there could be no private ownership outside of the public trust."
Threatening that public trust were the markets for wildlife that were driving some species toward extinction. The strongest proponents for eliminating market hunting were the organized sportsmen and sporting publications. The Boone and Crockett Club and Forest and Stream magazine rallied against market hunting, resulting in many state and federal laws ending the practice.
Without the markets, there were game surpluses which became allocated by law. Those allocations should not jeopardize the sustainability of wildlife for future generations. Sportsmen became the biggest advocates of maintaining sustainable numbers of wildlife.
As ranching increased as a way of getting meat to the table, hunting strictly for food became less important. Thus grew hunting's emphasis on the chase, not the kill, while still retaining the need to use as much of the wildlife killed as possible.
Would Wildlife Survive Without Hunting?
One of the biggest threats to North America's model of wildlife conservation is efforts to commercialize wildlife. Those efforts take many forms, notably game ranching and fee hunting, according to Geist.
Since the days when North America's approach to wildlife conservation was developed, populations of many wildlife species (mostly game species) have gone from seriously in trouble to abundant. Now some species, such as white-tailed deer, are seriously in trouble of becoming too abundant in places. Deer are eating up farm crops and suburban gardens and shrubs all over the Eastern seaboard.
"As certain species become common enough to cause conflict with humans, will humans value them less?" wonders Geist.
Actually, hunters could play a key role in alleviating such conflicts. They can help keep wild animals wild. As fish and wildlife agencies figure out what to do about local over-abundances of deer, they can look to the public - hunters - as part of the solution.
"This may have to be combined with other management alternatives," says Geist, "but hunting and its advocates can again be the force that ensures sustainable wildlife resources are a priority for society."
Formerly with the New Hampshire Department of Fish and Game, Eric Aldrich is now Communications Director for the N.H. Chapter of the Nature Conservancy.
Contributions of Hunters by the Numbers
? Total U.S. retail purchases by hunters in one year (1996) on hunting equipment, travel, license fees, etc.: $1.725 billion. Total economic impact to U.S. of $60.9 billion and 704,601 jobs. ? Total retail purchases by Delaware hunters in one year (1996) on hunting equipment, travel, license fees, etc.: $28 million. Total economic impact to Delaware of $148.7 million and 1,607 jobs. ? Total U.S. hunters' annual dues to conservation and related organizations, such as Ducks Unlimited: $296 million. ? Total in resident and nonresident hunting license fees and permits to the Division of Fish and Wildlife in fiscal year 2002: $569,000 ? Total amount of Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration to the Division in fiscal year 2002 (from excise taxes paid by hunters/manufacturers on hunting equipment and distributed to states: $1.24 million ? Division of Fish and Wildlife management areas permanently protected for wildlife and recreation by Federal Aid dollars and hunting license revenues: 15 areas and 56,000 acres. ? Partial list of species restored to Delaware, thanks to license fees, Federal Aid dollars and good management: wild turkey, white-tailed deer, many waterfowl species. Many nongame species also have benefited from habitat protected by hunters' dollars.
In 1994, just 106 years after Theodore Roosevelt and George Bird Grinnell created the idea of fair chase, helping to change free-for-all market and subsistence hunting into a regular sport, "Teddy Roosevelt and the Hunting Heritage" author Jim Posewitz, published Beyond Fair Chase.
The former wildlife biologist and one of the founders of Orion, The Hunter's Institute, a Montana organization devoted to fostering ethical hunting, reiterated what many had said before - stalk close, shoot well, make every effort to track wounded game - but also added a new dimension to the notion of respect for wildlife. Posewitz said trophy scoring and big-game contests sometimes crossed the line of proper ethical practice. "Trying to take a trophy to get your name in a record book," he wrote, "is taking a fine animal for the wrong reason." Downplaying the idea of competition in hunting, whether for money or ego. Beyond Fair Chase is now used across North America in hunter-education classes.
Small sample from the article:
By JIM STERBA
This year, Princeton, N.J., has hired sharpshooters to cull 250 deer from the town's herd of 550 over the winter. The cost: $58,700. Columbia, S.C., is spending $1 million to rid its drainage systems of beavers and their dams. The 2009 "miracle on the Hudson," when US AirwaysLCC +0.78% flight 1549 had to make an emergency landing after its engines ingested Canada geese, saved 155 passengers and crew, but the $60 million A320 Airbus was a complete loss. In the U.S., the total cost of wildlife damage to crops, landscaping and infrastructure now exceeds $28 billion a year ($1.5 billion from deer-vehicle crashes alone), according to Michael Conover of Utah State University, who monitors conflicts between people and wildlife.
I am sending this email to the most influential group of sportsman that I know. I would appreciate if you will now do your part and forward on to everyone that you know who might help make a difference! Please help support the hunter before hunting is something we used to be able to do!
NoBearHuntNV.org will be presenting a petition to the Nevada Wildlife commission in a meeting in Reno, Dec 7, 2012 focused on preventing the use of dogs to hunt bears. Other backers of the petition are Nevada Political Action for Animals, the Bear League, the Nevada Humane Society, Humane Society for the United States and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Karen Layne, newly appointed commissioner to the Nevada Wildlife Commission is President of the Las Vegas Valley Humane Society. While it is true that Ms. Layne is a community representative there is a clear conflict of interest here since Ms. Layne works for the group presenting the petition. It is one thing to support your personal views and those of the community on the wildlife commission; it is another to support the agenda of your employer. A call needs to be made that Ms. Layne recues herself from the debate. It is a conflict of interest we cannot afford
The online world is very convenient. With a valid email address that I could create for free on many websites I could sign the NoBearHuntNV.org online petition with any name I chose an many times as I wanted to. That does not ensure I am a Nevada Resident with, for lack of a better term, a dog in this fight. In all fairness the signatures should be vetted for authenticity and residency requirements; simple due diligence. Anonymous signatures should be discounted. If you believe it, stand up and stay it.
It is time for the Hunters and interested parties in Nevada to organize and become a strong voice of reason to support our hobbies, livelihoods, passions, and way of life. I am a Hunting Professional. My peers and I engage in an honorable occupation which benefits rural economies, ecologies, traditions, as well as aiding public officials in the management and care of our wildlife herds. We are stewards of our environment. No one is more vested in the care and management of Wildlife in Nevada than hunters. The knowledge base we provide is unparalleled because we walk the land, we watch the herds, we meet as peers, and we love the outdoors.
Today the attack is on hound hunting-easy target. Very few hunters own hounds, they require a commitment to care and facilities that not everyone can provide. Vet bills, daily care, conscientious training, noise tolerance, poopscooping, etc. It’s not for everyone. It’s for a select number of committed individuals. A select number of HUNTERS-if it comes down to a numbers game, Houndmen against people who believe media propaganda presenting the sport as cruel and unfair, the Hounds bay will be overpowered in Nevada just as it was in California. It is time for HUNTERS to band together and say ENOUGH. Today it’s no hunting bears with hounds, tomorrow no hunting bears, next week no hunting cats with hounds, the day after no hunting cats. Wait, coyotes are predators too-we better protect them. The wolves want to move in from Idaho, aren’t they deserving of protection as well? Don’t these heathens use guns to hunt? We better control that too because their lifestyle isn’t one that we can understand.
Regulations on hunting are important and should be established and maintained. Banning hunting is unacceptable and we need to step up and close the door on this attack. As one voice the outdoorsmen and women of Nevada need to speak up. With our own petitions, our own display of unity at the meeting, our dollars and our SENSE. It is time to protect the Nevada way of life.
Currant Creek Outfitters
New book introduces hunters to the pursuit of Arizona’s small game
Nov. 27, 2012
Pre-orders now being taken; over-the-counter sales start Dec. 17
The Arizona Game and Fish Department is proud to announce that its latest book, “An Introduction to Hunting Arizona’s Small Game,” is now available for pre-order.
The 198-page book is a fantastic resource that provides expert tips for hunting Arizona's small game birds and mammals, from quail and doves to squirrels and rabbits. Extensively illustrated with color photos, it includes detailed descriptions of small game animals and specialized information about their behavior and habits. It will help new and experienced hunters alike select the right firearm, gear up for the hunt, succeed in the field, and care for the harvest. David Brown, author and retired chief of the department's Game Branch, calls the book "an ideal field companion."
Author Randall D. Babb is a biologist, naturalist and hunter who has contributed to many scholarly and popular publications. His extensive knowledge of wildlife keeps him in demand as a writer, photographer, illustrator, speaker and tour leader. Babb started his career with the U.S. Forest Service in 1983 and moved to the Arizona Game and Fish Department in 1986. He currently manages the information and education program for Game and Fish's regional office in Mesa.
The book costs $16.95. To pre-order your copy, you can download an order form at www.azgfd.gov/publications and return the completed form by mail to the address on the form. You can also pre-order by filling out an order form at any Game and Fish office, or by calling (602) 942-3000 during business hours, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Pre-orders will be filled and the book will be available for sale over the counter starting Dec. 17.
For more information or to see an excerpt from the book, visit www.azgfd.gov/
The Arizona Game and Fish Department prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, or disability in its programs and activities. If anyone believes that they have been discriminated against in any of the AGFD’s programs or activities, including employment practices, they may file a complaint with the Director's Office, 5000 W. Carefree Highway, Phoenix, AZ 85086-5000, (602) 942-3000, or with the Fish and Wildlife Service, 4040 N. Fairfax Dr. Ste. 130, Arlington, VA 22203. Persons with a disability may request a reasonable accommodation or this document in an alternative format by contacting the Director's Office as listed above.
THIS IS IT! Take Action Now!
The Sportsmen's Act of 2012 FINAL VOTE EXPECTED MONDAY
Call your U.S. Senators 202-224-3121
All hunters, target shooters and firearms owners should call your senators on Monday and urge them to vote YES on the Sportsmen's Act (S.3525), the most important package of measures for the benefit of sportsmen in a generation.
Do not be confused by the mistaken information put out by one national gun owners organization. S.3525 does not override current laws and thereby enable the seizure of privately-held land.
This historic legislation includes the firearms industry's top legislative priority, the Hunting, Fishing and Recreational Shooting Protection Act (S. 838) that would clarify that ammunition is excluded from regulation by the Environmental Protection Agency under the Toxic Substances Control Act.
Anti-hunting groups led by the Center for Biological Diversity are suing the EPA to force a ban on traditional ammunition made with lead components that would devastate hunting and shooting sports participation, drive up ammunition prices by almost 200 percent on average and dry up conservation funding.
No less than 46 of the nation's leading sportsmen and conservation groups including NRA, Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation, Ducks Unlimited, American Sportfishing Association, International Game Fish Association, Center for Coastal Conservation, and Boone and Crockett Club are championing S.3525. This bipartisan legislation is strongly supported by the National Shooting Sports Foundation.
A similar package of bills--the Sportsmen's Heritage Act of 2012 (H.R. 4089)--was passed by the House in the spring by a bipartisan vote of 276 to 146. Passage of this pro-sportsmen's legislation will promote, protect and preserve our nation's hunting, shooting and conservation heritage for generations to come.
Call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 to urge your senators to SUPPORT the Sportsmen's Act of 2012. Find complete contact information for your elected officials here.
Visit NSSF's Government Relations site at nssf.org/GovRel
The Sportsman's Act of 2012 is quite possibly one of the most important pieces of legislation to come along in a generation. This bill which was sponsored by Sen. Tester from Montana has a very good chance of being passed into law. But we need to give Sen. Reid a little push to get this across the finish line. We need you to put in calls to Sen Reid's office today! The message is simple Here are the talking points.
*Tell Sen. Reid thank you for his work moving this bill through the senate.
*Ask Sen. Reid to make sure this bill passes out of the Senate.
Please remember this one very important point. No mater what political party you align with or whatyour opinion is of Sen. Reid , this bill is a good bill for sportsman. Sen Reid has helped to guide this bill through the senate and has kept this bill from becoming a "Christmas Tree" bill full of amendments and other extraneous non-sense. He has also been able to stave off attacks from the far left that wanted to remove language about prohibiting the EPA's regulation of lead bullets. So please take a couple of minutes to make the phone call. This is a critical moment for sportsmen to get involved!!!
It's that simple. It will take you less than two minutes to make this call but it can make all the difference in the world.
Please Call Sen. Reid's office today. Here's the number
If your not convinced, read the two articles below.
One of the biggest bills in a generation comes up for a cloture vote in the U.S. Senate this Thursday. That means there must be 60 Senators who think that a bill widely praised by the NRA, Boone and Crockett Club, and just about every big sportsman’s organization should pass without bogging down in the time-tested stall tactics our elected officials like to engage in.
We’ve covered the details of the Sportsmen’s Act of 2012 here before, but now that the election year frivolity is over, it’s time for Congress to get back to business. Before the Senate broke in October for some much-needed time away from lobbyists to campaign, the Senate voted on another procedural motion on this bill. The motion passed 84-12. That’s a commanding margin of victory for anyone who’s worked in the politics of outdoors recreation.
Montana Sen. Jon Tester, the bill’s author, should be commended highly for his ability to work with different interest groups to get a bill that truly will increase the number of acres of public land available to hunters and anglers, as well as streamline regulation of lead shot, importation of legally harvested polar bears, and reauthorization of funding for conservation programs that ensure we have abundant game on our public land.
The fight for the Sportsmen’s Act isn’t over. The NRA, National Shooting Sports Foundation, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, and a host of other national, regional and local groups are calling all hands to lobby their senators for passage.
You should stand up and be counted as well. It’s not often that Congress can agree on anything. Let’s let them know that hunters and anglers want them to work together to solve problems, not just stare at each other and cause more.
Write your Senator, and after this passes the Senate, write your Congressman as well. Good legislation like this deserves to be passed. It helps out not only our hunting and angling today, but ensures a vibrant future that we can hand down to our children and grandchildren.
Also read this
Senate aims for post-Thanksgiving passage of sportsmen's package, sans amendments
Phil Taylor, E&E reporter
Published: Friday, November 16, 2012
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The Senate after Thanksgiving plans to finish work on a bill to improve access to public lands for hunters and anglers after leaders agreed yesterday that no amendments will be offered.
The chamber on the evening of Monday, Nov. 26, is scheduled to hold two votes on Sen. Jon Tester's (D-Mont.) "Sportsmen's Act of 2012" (S. 3525).
The first vote will be on whether to waive the Budget Control Act and will require a 60-vote threshold, according to a Democratic aide. Such a move would not be unprecedented.
The package would reduce the deficit by about $5 million over the next decade, according to the Congressional Budget Office. But Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) yesterday said he has confirmed with Budget Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) that the bill would violate budget law and said he intends to raise a budget point of order.
If the vote succeeds, a second vote will be held to pass a substitute amendment to the bill that would exclude provisions in the original bill involving billfish and a study of offshore rigs on marine life, the aide said. That vote will only require a simple majority.
Similar billfish legislation to reduce overfishing of marlins, spearfish and other species with a long, pronounced spear on their upper jaw was signed into law by President Obama last month (Greenwire, Oct. 9).
The rig study will be removed from Tester's bill at the request of Sens. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and David Vitter (R-La.), who are already working on the issue with stakeholders in the Gulf of Mexico, according to the aide.
Yesterday's agreement on a path forward sparked optimism among supporters who have called Tester's sportsmen's package the biggest in a generation. Tester first offered the bill as an amendment to the Senate farm bill this summer.
The bipartisan package of about 20 bills is endorsed by the National Rifle Association, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, Ducks Unlimited, the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership and dozens of other groups.
Some environmental groups and Democratic Sens. Barbara Boxer of California, Ben Cardin of Maryland and Jack Reed of Rhode Island remain opposed to provisions barring U.S. EPA from regulating lead ammunition under the Toxic Substances Control Act and allowing the importation of polar bear trophies harvested legally in Canada.
Major environmental groups have been silent on the overall bill, but there has been considerable internal debate.
"Environmental groups have been doing exactly what [Senate Majority Leader] Harry Reid tells them to do, even if it is anti-environmental," said one environmentalist, who opposes the bill but asked not to be named.
Tester's bill would conserve wetlands, allow funding for shooting ranges on public lands and safeguard the use of lead bullets and fishing tackle, among other provisions. It would also extend a decade-old law that allows federal agencies to conserve sensitive habitats using proceeds from the sales of lower-value federal lands.
It also would allow the Fish and Wildlife Service to raise more money from the sale of duck stamps, which fund wetlands conservation, while expanding a program that allows the stamps to be purchased online.
Oct. 24, 2012
Federal government targets sportsmen's dollars to reduce deficit Conservation of wildlife resources and your outdoor recreation heritage is at risk!
“The Greatest Story Never Told” is the mantra being extolled by the nation’s wildlife conservation community in celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Fund (WSFR). Farsighted and forward-looking sportsmen worked with Congress in 1937 to pass the Pittman-Robertson Act, whereby excise taxes on hunting equipment flow into a trust fund that is one of the most significant sources of funding for state wildlife conservation efforts. Subsequent amendments of the act and passage of the Dingell-Johnson Act and the Wallop-Breaux Act have since added excise taxes from fishing equipment, archery tackle and motorboat fuel to grow the funding available for wildlife conservation. By law, your dollars are allocated to each state to support important conservation work on the ground and to keep critical wildlife programs going. Since 1939, the State of Arizona has integrated these funds, along with dedication of license-based revenues, into the core of our financing for wildlife conservation. With these resources, the state has been able to restore elk and bighorn sheep populations, construct and operate boat ramps and shooting ranges, restore native trout species, develop a modern hatchery program and continue conservation of our wildlife heritage.
Your funds have been untouched in the 75 year history of the WSFR fund and have been used only for conservation. In order to participate in the program and receive these funds, each state and territory made legal, binding commitments that these funds (and license fees) would be used only for wildlife conservation in specific, approved programs. Ironically, the current administration’s Office of Management and Budget has decided that your funds must be withheld (sequestered) under provisions of the Budget Control Act of 2012. While this action only keeps funds from being allocated to state wildlife agencies (for now) and does not in and of itself divert your funds, it does set the stage for future Congressional action which could sweep these funds from the trust accounts into the federal treasury. The fact that this diversion is occurring during the 75th anniversary of the WSFR Act is the ultimate irony. Federal agencies charged with the fiduciary protection of this trust fund are now the architects of the only authorized diversion in the fund’s history.
Because of explicit language in the original acts, these funds are to be allocated to the states and are not subject to annual Congressional appropriation. It is difficult to understand how these funds are now subject to the provisions of the Budget Control Act of 2012. Excise taxes would still be collected from manufacturers of hunting and fishing equipment and excise taxes would be paid by hunters, anglers, archers, boaters and shooters. Interest will still accrue in the various accounts. However, the new action of the Budget Control Act automatically denies the full allocation of funds to each state for their intended purpose of fish and wildlife conservation. This should be a critical concern to all sportsmen and conservationists. Under the Department of Interior’s Fish and Wildlife Service, every state would see funding reductions in administration, multi-state grants, boating safety, wildlife and sport fish restoration (WSFR) that will directly affect the department’s ability to do on-the-ground conservation, permanent agency jobs, agency resources and agencies’ ability to provide public access for hunting, fishing, boating and shooting. Conservation of wildlife resources and your outdoor recreation heritage is at risk, no matter what your choice of hobby, sport or pursuit. For Arizona, the impact for 2013 could be as much as $3 million with cuts to Wildlife Restoration, Sport Fish Restoration, Boating Safety and other programs.
State wildlife agencies have been working diligently with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Department of Interior to exempt State Trust Funds from being sequestered, but to no avail. Remember, these are your dollars as a sportsman or as a manufacturer of hunting and fishing equipment. If you are an Arizona citizen, your dollars support wildlife-related recreation that is a $2 billion economic driver annually; more than golf, more than professional sports. The federal administration needs to know how the sequestration of these funds and the impacts on your programs here in Arizona will affect you personally (contacts listed below). You may also want to contact your Congressional Representatives on this issue.
DOI Secretary Ken Salazar
Department of the Interior
1849 C Street, N.W.
Washington DC 20240
Phone: (202) 208-3100
USFWS Director Dan Ashe
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1849 C Street, NW Washington, DC 20240
White House – Council on Environmental Quality
Council on Environmental Quality
722 Jackson Place, N.W.
Washington, DC 20503
Phone: (202) 395-5750
CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — An animal advocate has been named to the Nevada Wildlife Commission — the first such appointment in recent memory to a board that has come under fire by critics who say it's unfairly stacked with hunters.
Karen Summers Layne is president of the Las Vegas Valley Humane Society. She was appointed to the nine-member policy board by Gov. Brian Sandoval on Oct. 3. Her appointment follows that of former Clark County Sheriff Bill Young in July.
"It's going to be an interesting position," Layne told The Associated Press.
Layne, 65, spoke against hunting black bears when the commission held hearings on instituting Nevada's inaugural bear season in 2010. The hunting season was ultimately approved and continues.
"I'm not a fan of bear hunting. That's not going to be a surprise to anybody," she said.
She also has worked on trapping regulations for the Mount Charleston region outside Las Vegas, an effort she said helped forge a working relationship with other members of the commission.
Commission Chairman Jack Robb said Layne and Young "bring a breadth of experience and knowledge" to the board.
"The wildlife issues we face today are not like those faced by our predecessors," Robb said. "The commission needs a diversity of perspectives to help address the unique and complex wildlife issues in Nevada."
But the news didn't go over well with some hunters.
Andrew Williams, 49, a sportsman from Fernley, said an animal advocate has no place on the commission that sets policy on how elk, mule deer and other big game species are managed — a task that includes setting annual quotas on how many tags are issued to hunters who want to kill them for meat or trophy antlers.
"Putting someone like that on the board is just a slap in the face to people who hunt and fish in this state," he said.
As a public representative on the commission, Layne said she hopes her involvement will bring greater awareness of public opinion when it comes to managing wildlife.
"I think you always have to temper what you want to do given the long history of the commission," she said. "I think the fact that the governor put me on the commission says a lot."
Trish Swain, founder of TrailSafe Nevada, a group seeking tougher trapping regulations, hailed Layne's appointment as "absolutely groundbreaking," but added the commission's newest member won't bring an immediate shift in wildlife management.
"I can't image how one new person will change the nature of the board," she said.
Kathryn Bricker, executive director of NoBearHuntNV, a group formed to oppose bear hunting, agreed.
"This is a token gesture but is one that is appreciated," Bricker said "There's going to be a lot of 8-1 votes." she said.
Dennis Wilson, president of Nevada Bighorns Unlimited, conceded that Layne's appointment has caused a lot of angst among sportsmen.
"There are a number of members who are not happy," he said.
But Wilson said he knows Layne and spoke with her Wednesday.
"I know her and respect her," he said. "She is intelligent, passionate and professional. She is willing to listen, to carefully consider every angle.
"We are not going to always agree," Wilson said. "But our goal ... is to keep an open and communicative relationship with her so we can work together for the betterment of Nevada's wildlife."
Layne holds a doctorate degree in public administration, and is retired both from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and the Las Vegas Police Department, where she worked as planning director.
She becomes only the sixth woman to serve on the commission.
During an interim legislative subcommittee hearing earlier this, critics argued for the dissolution of the commission or the restructuring of the Department of Wildlife — the agency that implements wildlife management — to give "non-consumptive" animal lovers a greater say on wildlife issues.
"Our wildlife is a treasure," Swain said during a March hearing. "Today's tourist wants their wildlife alive."
Department of Wildlife officials and sportsmen groups said federal money along with fees paid by sportsmen fund most of the agency's budget. Groups such as Nevada Bighorns Unlimited and others also contribute big dollars for conservation efforts.
But some lawmakers said that doesn't mean hunters should dictate wildlife management.
Assemblywoman Maggie Carlton, D-Las Vegas, at the time said it was a "cultural problem" that hunters and trappers feel the agency's job to protect their interests.
Carlton said Tuesday that she welcomed Layne's appointment.
"I'm glad the governor has picked her and she will bring a good voice and work hard on the issues," she said.
Open letter to Nevada' Republican Leadership
- LV City Councilman Bob Beers questions Handgun Registration
- Second Outdoor Marijuana Grow Removed from Mt. Charleston
- METRO Handgun Registration Program
- SCI Seeks Members Who Hunt in the Kaibab National Forest
- Attention Gun Owners in Clark County Nevada, Immediate assistance requested
- Petition to Clark County Commission