Cat-X Hearing and NARBC Anaheim 9/2013

NARBC Anaheim Sept. 21-22

One of the biggest and best reptile shows hits Anaheim, CA this weekend. NARBC attracts vendors and attendees worldwide. Be sure to thank Bob and Sheri Ashley, and Brian Potter for supporting USARK and the entire herp community. USARK will be there with newly-designed shirts, raffles and a new kid's activity center. Get the show details at

Sept. 21-22, 2013
Sat. 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
AUCTION: Sat. 7:00 PM

FREE to everyone
Cash Bar and Appetizers
Marriott Hotel across the street from the Convention Center
Always entertaining and an event not to miss!
Note: Auction is rated R
Sun. 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM




Cat-X Hearing

USARK will be in Washington, D.C. this week spreading awareness of the damages that would result if this categorical exclusion proposal is accepted.

Announcement: Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs Oversight Hearing Oversight Hearing on "The Department of the Interior's proposal to use a Categorical Exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for adding species to the Lacey Act's list of injurious wildlife" When: Friday, September 20, 2013 at 9:30am

Press Release

Panel to discuss plan to bypass NEPA reviews when banning animal imports

Emily Yehle, E&E reporter
Published: Monday, September 16, 2013

Lawmakers this week will debate the merits of a proposal to bypass environmental reviews when listing a species as "injurious" under the Lacey Act -- a move that has rankled zoos and pet shops because it would make it easier for the Fish and Wildlife Service to ban the importation of some exotic animals.

The Interior Department proposed the "categorical exclusion" from National Environmental Policy Act analysis earlier this year. Such an exclusion would allow FWS to put a species on a prohibited importation list without performing the reviews typically required under NEPA.

To FWS, it's a common-sense approach to a process that takes up too many resources. But some small business owners -- and Republicans -- see it as a shortcut that could be detrimental to the bottom line.

The debate will be aired Friday at an oversight hearing of the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs. Two witnesses -- one from FWS and one from the Center for Invasive Species Protection -- will likely extol the efficiencies of Interior's proposed rule change; three representing small businesses will likely push against it.

The chairman of the subcommittee, Rep. John Fleming (R-La.), has already asked Interior to withdraw the proposal, writing a letter in July with Republican Reps. Rob Bishop of Utah, Steve Southerland of Florida and Don Young of Alaska.

The lawmakers argued that small businesses "deserve a full examination of the environmental, economic and social impacts" of an injurious listing. In particular, they pointed to a 2012 proposal to list nine species of non-native constrictor snakes; two years of analysis ended with FWS listing four constrictor species.

Since then, Fleming has introduced a bill (H.R. 2158: viewable at that would remove those four from the list, despite concerns from FWS that such snakes can easily escape from their cages and prey on native species in the wild. [This bill allows for export of the large constrictor snake species listed as injurious when originating at a designated airport and stopping at an intermediate airport. It does not delist them as injurious.]

"While invasive species pose a growing challenge to the Fish and Wildlife Service ... the public has an interest in the Service continuing to conduct Environmental Assessments to determine whether a particular species or group of species merits inclusion on the 'injurious wildlife' list," they wrote. "This is particularly important in light of the fact that the Service has recently been listing species causing a major economic impact on thousands of small businesses in the United States."

In a notice in the Federal Register earlier this year, Interior argued that listing species as injurious should not require environmental review because it simply maintains the "status quo."

"The regulatory listing action places the species on a prohibited list, which prohibits their importation into the United States and interstate transportation. Thus, the activities covered under the categorical exclusion are simply to keep species out of the country that are injurious or to prevent their spread across State lines," the agency wrote.

NRAAC Legal Conference

The National Reptile & Amphibian Advisory Council (NRAAC) presents the second annual Reptile and Amphibian Law Symposium & Workshop in Washington, D.C., November 8-10, 2013 at George Washington University. Since this is a free event limited to the first 200 people, NRAAC needs funding from generous benefactors. The event is also seeking 4-8 local volunteers to assist with speakers' needs, registration desk, etc. Volunteers can request information via Get all the details at
Other News
The Miami-Dade Fire Rescue (MDFR) Venom Response Program (Venom One) is being shut down. This unit is comprised of a highly-specialized team of paramedic firefighters who are trained in response, management and treatment of envenomations. They also relocate venomous reptiles, provide ongoing education, training and awareness of venomous reptiles and promote interoperability and communication between numerous agencies, municipalities, healthcare providers and poison control centers. The Venom Response Team currently maintains the largest and only antivenom bank for public use in the United States. The Team employs the latest techniques to prevent morbidity and mortality through antivenom intervention 24 hours a day, seven days a week, locally, nationally, and internationally.
"Venom One needs your help! The mayor thanks all we do is drop off Antivenom at the hospital. We are looking for any past snake bite victims that are willing to come to the commission meeting next Thursday [Sept. 19th] and inform them of how wrong the mayor is." - Scott Mullin of Venom One

You can get more information at

Contact information for the mayor's office is below. Remember to be civil and professional if you contact the mayor or speak at the meeting. Venom One is searching for people to voice the importance of this unit.

Contact information:

Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez
Stephen P. Clark Center
111 NW 1st Street
Miami, FL 33128
Phone: 305-375-5071

Article written by USARK