At the BOD meeting in October, Randy Goldenman was appointed MTA’s MOHA Liaison. Randy will work with Greg Flor of MOHA to keep the MTA informed of what MOHA is doing to help support trappers at the state legislative level. The MTA is an affiliated organization with MOHA who represents many conservation minded organizations in the state. One effort MOHA is going to be working with the MTA on this year is having a “Trappers Day at the Capitol.” This is going to be an opportunity for trappers from around the state to come to the capitol in support of trapping. Details of the day, what it will entail and how you can get involved will be forthcoming. I encourage all of you when the opportunity comes to get engaged and help support your right as a trapper in this state by participating.
The legislative session will be starting soon. We as trappers will face challenges once again at the state level regarding trapping. I have been working with our legal counsel to formulate a strategy on potential and known legislative issues that could affect trapping and how the MTA can work to make sure its members’ rights are protected. We will also be looking at non-resident trapping and determining the best options on how to move this forward. As you are aware there was a vote taken a by the membership for the MTA to work to have a non-resident trapping with some restrictions passed in Minnesota. Rest assured this has not been forgotten or dropped and as the president, I will be working to move this directive along towards a final solution.
The Budget Committee continues to work on a budget that can be presented to the BOD, for approval. The process is going well and I thank the committee for its work on this.
Recently I was contacted by Phil Manlick, a PhD student at the University of Wisconsin. He is doing research on furbearers in Minnesota, and would like to start working with trappers to potentially collect some samples for his research. He has been working with martens in Wisconsin (where they're still endangered) to see what's been limiting recovery, and has found that diet overlap with other carnivores like fishers, bobcats, and foxes could possibly be the issue. So, he is now working in other states like Minnesota to see if he observes the same patterns. He would like to collect hair samples from carnivores harvested by trappers in MN specifically in the Forest Zone to determine what food resources they use and how they compete. To date, he has worked with trappers all across the country for this work (e.g. Wisconsin, New York, Michigan, Oregon), and has had really great success. I had Phil put together a flyer on how Minnesota trappers can participate in this study by providing hair samples to him of the carnivores they have caught in the Forest Zone. It is a very easy process and will not do any type of damage to your pelts. Please see the flyer in the newsletter for more details. All it requires is for you to take a small hair sample and provide it to Phil for his research. He supplies the envelopes pre-paid to you at your request. Phil will also be attending the winter meeting in an effort to collect samples there as well. I encourage all of you who trap in the Forest Zone to support this worthwhile research and help with samples.
In ending this report I want to put this out to our membership. Recent district meetings held this fall in many cases had low attendance. While I understand fall is the time of year when we all do the things we love like trapping and hunting, all of you as members need to stay engaged in your organization. The MTA exists for you the members, it is on you to be a part of the process. Go to a district meeting and hear what is going on in your district and on a state level. All of our directors do a good job of keeping you informed of what is happening. Not only do you find out what is going on regarding trapping in Minnesota, but you also get to talk with other trappers and find out what they are seeing while out on their respective lines with regards to populations, weather, etc.… It also gives you a platform to ask questions and voice concerns you may have. The old saying is if you don’t show up then you don’t have a voice. Those who show up have a voice. So, do your part as a member and attend your meetings. They are held several times a year and the directors always inform the membership when and where they are going to be. When you go, bring another trapper with you. Only through our numbers will we stand against others who are trying to take away our ability to trap.
If you have questions or concerns, contact me. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 218-52-4050. I will do my best to answer them for you.
Thank you for your support and together we stand -