This an Email I sent off to the committee, I won't be able to attend the committee meeting, I used up all my bullets on the last one with work, It is convenient for them to change these things, if anyone is going and doesn't have any thing to share and feels I had something to say please feel free to use any or all these points when addressing them in person.
Effect of Hunting and Trapping on Wildlife Damage
Author(s): Michael R. Conover
Source: Wildlife Society Bulletin, Vol. 29, No. 2 (Summer, 2001), pp. 521-532 Published by: Allen Press
Courtesy of jstor
It often is in the best interest of society to main-
tain a wildlife population below the level of the
environmental carrying capacity. Reasons may include the desire to 1) reduce the frequency of massive die-offs in that species, 2) produce the maximum sustained yield of animals for harvest, 3) maximize environmental benefits for other species, 4) reduce spread of disease or parasites, and 5) reduce wildlife damage to acceptable levels. In most cases, using hunters and trappers is the only cost-effective and efficacious method available to reduce wildlife populations over large areas. Hunt- ing and trapping reduce wildlife damage by many different mechanisms, including 1) reducing a wildlife population below the environmental carry-
ing capacity, 2) removing individuals from a popu-
lation earlier in the year than would normally happen through natural causes of mortality and 3)
changing the behavior of animals so that they are
less likely to cause damage. Hunting and trapping also can increase landowner tolerance of wildlife
and wildlife damage. If hunting or trapping were to end, some wildlife populations would increase, ani- mals would become more habituated to humans, wildlife damage would increase, landowner tolerance ance for wildlife would decrease, and some rural property values would fall. Because of these events, wildlife habitat would be lost because landowners would simultaneously lose a major incentive to maintain wildlife habitat and be confronted with greater levels of wildlife damage.
Its proven over and over again to be an effective way to conserve wildlife and their habitats
It seems public safety has been brought up because a couple recent domestic animals caught in traps. Although this may be an issue in some of the populated areas of new mexico and there mountain play grounds, it is hardly an issue where i trap. South of I-40 there is a lot of land that nobody but trappers and wild animals go on. the following is a letter from the Chairman of Idaho fish and game and how they handled ďpublic safetyĒ. I would hope that New mexico follows their direction and not the direction members of this committee might like to go.
By Fred Trevey, Chairman, Idaho Fish and Game Commission
In Idaho, trapping is a constitutional right. Despite that a recent editorial in an Idaho newspaper said the Idaho Fish and Game Commission should have restricted that right based on a couple of instances last year where dogs were accidently caught and killed in body-gripping conibear traps.
Make no mistake, Fish and Game Commissioners and trappers empathize with the owners of those dogs, but we feel it is better to use education, rather than restrictions to prevent these kinds of unfortunate occurrences from happening in the future.
The Commission last month directed Fish and Game staff to work with trappers to develop a proposal requiring trapper education for all trappers in Idaho. Commissioners believe the proposed mandatory trapper education course should include instruction in ethics and best practices on how and where traps are placed on the landscape. This should help to reduce instances of dogs and other non-targeted species being caught not only in conibear-type traps, but foothold traps and snares as well.
Mandatory hunter education became a requirement in Idaho more than three decades ago, in part to stem the number of hunting-related accidents that were occurring in our state - and it worked. The accident rate has dropped significantly over the years and new hunters go afield trained to be safe, to respect the rights of others, and to conduct themselves responsibly. The vast majority of trappers conduct themselves responsibly too and the Commission is confident that like hunter education, trapper education will make a difference.
Trapping in Idaho dates back hundreds of years and continues to be a time honored tradition here today. Trappers harvest furbearers such as beaver, bobcat, otter, marten and more recently wolves have been added to the list of species that can be legally trapped.
Trapping also cultivates stewardship values and encourages another way to learn about wildlife and their habitat. It is a primary tool used to control some species of depredating wildlife that impact the agricultural and ranching communities and for biologists to capture wildlife for research and management.
It's worth noting that two years ago, 75 percent of Idaho voters approved the constitutional amendment protecting the right to hunt, fish and trap in Idaho and it is important for all of us to respect each other's rights on the land.
New Mexico has a bill that Iím sure will pass, which will make it a constitutional right to hunt trap and fish here, and I believe it is important that we all respect each others right to the land. This bill isnít about public safety, it isnít about animal welfare its about people wanting to restrict the rights of trappers. PERIOD, Id also like to remind the committee that despite what you will hear from proponents of this bill mainly people claiming to care for animals and their environment, the New Mexico Trapping laws were given a grade by the group BORN FREE, a group stemming from the ANIMAL PROTECTION AGENCY, a grade of ďCĒ for our trapping laws. A grade of ďAĒ is no trapping at all.
There is plenty of room for all of us in New Mexico.