Oregon Action Alert

Send your comments NOW. Deadline is JUNE 8! Below is a simple ACTION ALERT. Full information and additional alert options at www.usark.org/uncategorized/action-alert-oregon.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife plans to proceed with some unjust rule changes and was uncooperative with Oregon's herp community.

Meeting:
Thursday, June 9, 2016 – 1:00 p.m.
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
Commission Room
4034 Fairview Industrial Drive S.E.
Salem, Oregon 97302

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Your Message

Subject: NO to Division 44 rule changes

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife,

I am an experienced and responsible animal keeper who will be affected by the proposed regulations, and I oppose some of the rule changes to Division 44, Chapter 635 regarding wildlife. I'm upset to see that ODFW did not listen to the logical comments from Oregon's herp community and will move forward with this unjust regulation. I am a responsible animal keeper and find the proposed rule changes to be over-reaching and unjustifiable. Some of them even defeat the purposes they intend to serve.

I am opposed to the rule change making it illegal to keep animals listed under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA). In just the last two years, other states, including Virginia and Arizona, have realized the irrationality and unintended consequences of such action.

While I can understand the good intentions for doing so, this action will do absolutely nothing to protect these species in the wild. Actually, it will harm conservation efforts. Not only does the ESA already regulate to protect these species, but many private keepers have invested years and even decades into breeding these species and ensuring their survival while wild populations are devastated from habitat loss due to human over-population.

Also, many species listed under ESA are non-native to the United States. These species are no longer imported into the U.S. and the captive populations here allows for educational opportunities, genetic diversity among breeding groups, understanding of their biology, etc.

Non-native species are continually added to the ESA list as “enviro” groups who do nothing to help these animals constantly petition USFWS and threaten lawsuits if the species are not listed. These groups profit by fundraising on the promotion of these efforts, but rarely, if ever, do any work or contribute funds to actually help the species.

Making these species illegal to keep not only unjustly punishes responsible keepers, but many animals will be negatively affected. There are already many federally listed endangered and threatened species and their captive-produced offspring in the state. If the proposed rule is implemented, it will immediately result in legally possessed animals and their owners to be in violation of the rule. In addition, most of these species have rarely, if ever, been sterilized.

These rule changes also cast a huge blow to the education of Oregon's youth. The changes make much of a common practice, field herping, illegal. Under the proposed rules, allowing children to handle a rubber boa, for example, would be illegal. This will be a huge loss to educational efforts and the need for children to get out and experience nature. How can children learn about and truly appreciate nature if they cannot actively experience it? Even the current law should be amended to allow for responsible field herping.

I ask that you remove the proposed changes from your amendment to the rule. I implore you to at minimum hold a workshop to discuss these issues with stakeholders and experts within the state. Unfortunately, most stakeholders are unaware of what’s happening and they will be blind-sided by these new regulations. It was not even listed on the ODFW “News Releases” web page. Thank you for your time and have a good day.

Sincerely,


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