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This is seriously important


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#1 Offline gcsnelling - Posted May 2 2017 - 3:12 PM

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Hey folks,

 I just received this information from a friend. This is of major importance to all insect enthusiasts in California. although the wording if for scientific collecting it is going impact all insect collect, scientific and hobby. It is vital that Fish and game get a flood of protest so I encourage all members of this forum to send a letter to Calif fish and game. However any emails should be as professional as possible, no cursing or name calling as this will cause them to disregard the input and make as a group look bad.Your email should be addressed as follows.

 

Subject: Scientific Collecting Permits ATTN: Ona Alminas

 

To:  California Department of Fish and Wildlife
Regulations Unit - Scientific Collecting Permits
Attn: Ona Alminas, Environmental Scientist

1416 Ninth Street, Room 1342-A
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: 916-651-9167
Email:
SCPermits@wildlife.ca.gov

 

You might have heard about the draconian regulations that the California Department of Fish and Wildlife is proposing regarding collection permits for insects and other terrestrial invertebrates. There is a public comment period until May 8,  I would encourage others to independently protest the proposed regulations. Information about them is here: https://www.wildlife...Regulations/SCP. It is really hard to wade through the legalese, but the specific forms and regulations that affect insect collecting are:

Scientific Collecting Permit, General Use – Application (Terrestrial Wildlife)

Scientific Collecting – Mandatory Wildlife Report

Scientific Collecting – Notification of Field Activity

Scientific Collecting – Standard Conditions for all Permits

 

The inappropriateness of these regulations for insects is self-evident. Read and protest. 

 

Below is a good example of a professional letter sent in by Phil Ward.

 

I write to express my concern about the broader aspects of proposed regulations of Scientific Collecting Permits (SCP). I am one of many entomologists in the state of California who conducts field work which involves sampling of insects. Such field work can include trapping of insect pests, monitoring of medically important arthropods such as mosquitos, procurement of insects for ecological and behavioral studies, collection of insects during the teaching of entomology classes, and the surveying of insects for taxonomic and biodiversity investigations. We usually cannot predict beforehand what species or quantities of insects will be encountered. Moreover, the decision to engage in field work will often be made on an ad hoc basis, depending on weather, the threat of pest outbreaks, availability of field assistants, etc. Many insect samples, particularly those collected for taxonomic purposes, will remain unsorted to species for months or even years, until taxonomic experts have an opportunity to examine the material. It should also be noted that there are literally tens of thousands of species of insects in California—the exact number is unknown but it could well exceed 50,000, and many of these are not yet described.

 

Under these conditions the current and proposed SCP regulations, as they concern non-endangered terrestrial invertebrates, are unjustified and intrusive, an example of inappropriate government regulation of a benign scientific activity. Of course, if collecting activity affects endangered or threatened species, or it is occurring on state or federal parklands, there is a need for oversight. But to require a state permit for scientific collection of any insects, anywhere, and to saddle this with unrealistic reporting requirements, is a misguided policy that will only serve to undermine the advancement of education and research in this state. The proposed regulations also impose a burden on California agriculture and public health programs, because comprehensive sampling and monitoring of insects is integral to the development of more sustainable and environmentally friendly pest management technology.

 

These arguments apply equally to other terrestrial invertebrates such as nematodes, centipedes, millipedes, mites, ticks, spiders, and many others. Collection of these organisms, as well as insects, should not require a scientific collecting permit from CDFW unless they fall under the category of threatened or endangered species, or species of special concern. Except for those species having protected status, terrestrial invertebrates should be removed from the proposed regulations, thereby eliminating an unnecessary provision that serves no useful purpose, and imposes an unjustified burden on entomologists and other scientists. This is just a matter of simple common sense.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Philip S. Ward

 


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#2 Offline Subverted - Posted May 2 2017 - 4:30 PM

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At first the wording of the regulations seems to be restricted to only activities done "for scientific, educational, or propagation purposes" which would allow hobby collecting until you continue reading and see how they defined propagation this:

“Propagation" means captive breeding, captive rearing, and other activities that help sustain or increase wildlife populations for scientific, conservation, management, or educational purposes.


Just great...more laws. How about they actually do some research and designate things that are definitely endangered species like Lutica species spiders (coastal dune tube web builders) and Apomastus as such instead of further restricting how research is conducted. This is just insanity.

I will try to write up a nice email of concern about how overreaching these regulations are.

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#3 Offline dspdrew - Posted May 2 2017 - 4:45 PM

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Who exactly are these people consulting?



#4 Offline gcsnelling - Posted May 2 2017 - 4:58 PM

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No telling but as is usually the case, not anyone that has a real clue.


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#5 Offline Klassien - Posted May 2 2017 - 5:36 PM

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Lawmakers have to keep their jobs somehow when they run out of "real issues" to make laws over. That application/permit fee is absolutely horrid; wonder where that money goes..


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#6 Offline Miles - Posted May 2 2017 - 5:49 PM

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Take some time and write an articulate and passionate note to them. This would be a ridiculous anti-science and anti-conservation policy. 


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Hi, I'm Miles! I'm an aspiring biologist, public servant, and undergraduate student at Montana State University (College of Agriculture) as an Honors Scholar studying environmental science and entomology. I have been keeping and researching ants for around eight years and I am deeply passionate about nature! Ants rule!

 


#7 Offline FSTP - Posted May 2 2017 - 5:51 PM

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Welcome to Califoristan....

 

 

I'll be writing to them as well. Thanks for this very important post.


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#8 Offline Klassien - Posted May 2 2017 - 6:52 PM

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Take some time and write an articulate and passionate note to them. This would be a ridiculous anti-science and anti-conservation policy. 

I wholeheartedly agree with this.

 

"...if this is the case and the capture of non-endangered terrestrial invertebrates must abide by the current/proposed conditions of the SCP, then one could assume that killing a mosquito is punishable by law...I can imagine a police officer pulling over upon seeing a kid pick up an ant or cricket and asking him for a permit and valid identification..." --a little blip from my (what I think is a) well-crafted email

 

I live in Indiana and believe this very important...this could happen anywhere, not just California.


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#9 Offline fortysixandtwo - Posted May 2 2017 - 9:21 PM

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Ok, its good to be concerned. And we should all know these regulations anyway. However, having done scientific collecting at the University level (with Dr. Ward noless), it is clear this is a drive to increase funding, plain and simple, and my understanding of the legaleeze is that:

“Propagation" means captive breeding, captive rearing, and other activities that help sustain or increase wildlife populations for scientific, conservation, management, or educational purposes."

 

This would not apply to the hobbiest much like collecting permits did not apply to us before in most instances. The rules are built around people collecting things, be it specimens, rocks, whatever, and profiting or conducting research at UCs without the .Gov stamp of approval. Previously restricted areas aside (Preserves, Sanctuaries, etc).

 

It is absolutely BS the .Gov is doing this to people like him, but I think we should relax a little in regards to the implications for us, and make sure we all understand what changes are being made in the overall picture. 

 

I would like clarification on this, so I will go to meeting and read through all this stuff again beforehand to make sure I understand it all.

 

That said, it would behoove us to write letters in support of what Dr. Ward said from a scientific research standpoint. These types of overzealous regulations are the exact reason that Trump gutted the EPA - Give the .Gov an inch and they will take it to the moon. This doesn't actually protect or preserve anything, it just makes people like Phil's life more difficult and generates more money for the .Gov. He is absolutely right, however about where permits should be logically required. Sadly, knowing the motives there may be little we can do. Worth trying though. Having public support for an otherwise obscure scientific problem might change some minds.

 

So be careful in your letter writing, because a flood of people who do not fully understand the implications of the new legislation writing in could actually backfire on us (and scientific collecting in general). If officials in CA realize they have been missing out on any potential revenue from the small guy, they will surely jump on it as well. Best bet is to echo what Dr. Ward speaks of above in your own words IMO. A letter supporting the things Ward wrote above will have more impact overall than expressing concerns about what it means for the hobby collectors. Stopping these regs for scientists will go a lot further than trying to stop what could potentially trickle down to us.

 

Again, I will need some time to pour this over (new vs old) and I will attend the public comment next week and report back.
 


Edited by fortysixandtwo, May 3 2017 - 1:06 AM.

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#10 Offline Martialis - Posted May 3 2017 - 3:26 AM

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If you don't mind, I'm going to repost this on another forum.



#11 Offline FSTP - Posted May 3 2017 - 1:52 PM

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I live in Indiana and believe this very important...this could happen anywhere, not just California.

 

 

 

 

Exactly. Often times were California leads other states follow with zeal.


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#12 Offline gcsnelling - Posted May 3 2017 - 3:09 PM

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Yes by all means share it.


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#13 Offline AnthonyP163 - Posted May 3 2017 - 4:36 PM

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I plan to write to them. Although I'm in Wisconsin, I feel I can be pretty convincing and reasonable.


Edited by AnthonyP163, May 3 2017 - 4:37 PM.


#14 Offline Miles - Posted May 7 2017 - 12:26 PM

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Reminder to do this!


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Hi, I'm Miles! I'm an aspiring biologist, public servant, and undergraduate student at Montana State University (College of Agriculture) as an Honors Scholar studying environmental science and entomology. I have been keeping and researching ants for around eight years and I am deeply passionate about nature! Ants rule!

 


#15 Offline gcsnelling - Posted June 8 2017 - 2:16 AM

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An update on the situation.

 

http://www.capitalpr...-new-insect-fee



#16 Offline dspdrew - Posted June 8 2017 - 3:45 AM

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Wow California law-makers are actually going to consider doing a little more work to create something other than more blanket legislation?


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#17 Offline gcsnelling - Posted June 8 2017 - 3:05 PM

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So it would appear, we shall see.



#18 Offline AntsOnTheCoast - Posted June 14 2017 - 2:15 AM

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Truly glad I'm living in Australia. Best of luck to the ant lovers in the States.


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