As most of you know by now, the National Convention will be held in Escanaba, Michigan from July 24th to the 27th. Not a bad drive for trappers in Minnesota.
There is a tentative demo schedule on nationaltrappers.com for those interesting in attending particular events.
The Lynx case in Montana is proceeding where Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks been sued. NTA has intervened, as well as the Montana Trappers Association. The case is currently in discovery phase, which means that it is essentially in the middle of the case.
Idaho is in the 60 day notice period, where notice to file suit has been given to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. A claim has been made that the Endangered Species Act has been violated related to the incidental trapping of Lynx. This matters to all trappers, of course, because it is the type of case law that can be replicated in other states with a Lynx population, and spread to other fur bearing species and trapping in general.
In Minnesota, a law was passed that will require the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to report wolf deaths quarterly. Not an issue, but always potential cannon fodder for the anti-wolf hunting/trapping folks. There was also a bill proposed that would stop wolf trapping and snaring, and all snaring, but that bill never got a hearing.
The current session ends by the 19th of May. It is never impossible for unfavorable language to pop up at the last minute, but so far, it is quiet. Special thanks again to Gary Leistico who spent a lot of time at the Capitol, with cooperation from Shawn Johnson and MOHA. It appears that for this legislative session, they have repelled language that would be harmful to trappers and sportsmen.
It happens every year, and this will be the new normal. You have to show up and fight. Our job is to get the word out to others who enjoy trapping who have no idea how much work goes into preserving trapping rights. I have spoken with non-MTA members who have no clue that we almost lose some right to trap every year. It is very important to get those folks involved.
David M. Chmielewski
NTA Director - Minnesota