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Browsing the blog archivesfor the day Sunday, June 25th, 2017.

Oregon joins states where roadkill can be harvested for food

Wildlife

Some folks in Oregon might not want to ask, when served an elk burger or a venison steak, where the meat came from.

Under a roadkill bill passed overwhelmingly by the Legislature and signed by the governor, motorists who crash into the animals can now harvest the meat to eat.

It’s not as unusual as people might think. About 20 other states also allow people to take meat from animals killed by vehicles. Aficionados say roadkill can be high-quality, grass-fed grub.

“Eating roadkill is healthier for the consumer than meat laden with antibiotics, hormones and growth stimulants, as most meat is today,” noted People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA.

Washington state began allowing the salvaging of deer and elk carcasses a year ago. Pennsylvania might top the country in road kills, with Oregon wildlife officials telling lawmakers that the eastern state had over 126,000 vehicle-wildlife accidents in 2015.

“We are at or near the top of the list. We have a lot of roads and a lot of deer,” said Travis Lau, spokesman for the Pennsylvania Game Commission, though he added the total number was uncertain.

Pennsylvanians can take deer or turkeys that are killed on the road if they report the incidents to the commission within 24 hours, Lau said in a telephone interview.

Gov. Kate Brown signed Oregon’s bill last week after the Senate and House passed it without a single “nay” vote.

But a few Oregonians voiced opposition.

Vivian Kirkpatrick-Pilger, a Republican Party official in mountainous, forested Josephine County, told legislators that people have been salvaging roadkill meat in Oregon for years — since vehicles and animals have been colliding — and they’ve never needed a law or permit to do it.

Actually, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife said that before last week, the only people allowed to keep roadkill were licensed furtakers, and no one — not even licensed hunters — could keep game animals found as roadkill.

The rules were aimed at discouraging people from hitting a game animal with their vehicle to take the meat or antlers. “It’s not a legal method of hunting,” the department’s website says.

Les Helgeson, of the community of Beaver, near the northwest coast, told legislators that roadkill “would not be palatable, much less pass any sense of health standards for human consumption.”

But those who have sampled it say otherwise.

Todd Toven of Castle Rock, Colorado, posted a video on YouTube showing himself carving up a deer that had been hit by a vehicle on a highway and finished off by a deputy sheriff’s bullet. Toven made it into venison sausage.

“A lot of who people don’t hunt hear the word ‘roadkill’ and they get turned off,” Toven said. “We’re talking perfectly clean, cold meat.”

Oregon’s new law calls for the state Fish and Wildlife Commission to adopt rules for the issuance of permits for the purpose of salvaging meat for human consumption from deer or elk that have been accidentally killed in a vehicle collision.

The first permits are to be issued no later than Jan. 1, 2019. The antlers must be handed over to the state’s wildlife agency.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/latest-news/article157529324.html#storylink=cpy

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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WOLF: Oregon Cattlemen elect to sue feds

Agriculture, Lawsuits, Wolves

Western Livestock Journal

wlj, 06-19-2017 » Page 1

Oregon Cattlemen elect to sue feds

At a mid-year meeting held in Pendleton on June 2, members of the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) voted to move forward with a plan to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) over their continued failure to remove gray wolves from the federal endangered species list in portions of the state. While originally intended as a joint effort across all three West Coast states, Oregon is the only state currently moving forward with the suit.

Specifically, the planned lawsuit targets a 2013 proposed rule change by USFWS, in which they recommended removing the gray wolf from the endangered species list nationwide. While USFWS did find that wolves had recovered sufficiently in the U.S. to warrant delisting, the proposal quickly became mired in environmental lawsuits over wolves in the western Great Lakes region.

Except for Wyoming, where wolves were delisted earlier this year, wolves remain under protected status in much of the U.S., including portions of Oregon, Washington and all of California, despite the 2013 recommendation. In Oregon, wolves remain under federal protection west of Highway 395, roughly two-thirds of the state.

According to OCA Executive Director Jerome Rosa, OCA members felt that this limbo has continued for far too long. “Nobody wants to sue,” says Rosa. “Unfortunately, that’s what you have to do to get action. Our members have been living patiently with wolves for a long time. They have tried hard and abided by the law, and we felt like this was the responsible thing to do at this time.”

According to Johanna Talcott, a lawyer with the Pacific Legal Fund (PLF), which intends to represent OCA, the case, from a legal standpoint, is clear. “Under the ESA, when the service issues a proposal, they have 12 months to publish a final rule,” she explains. “To me, this is not a very complicated issue.”

For neighboring states, however, the issue is considerably less clear cut. According to Rosa, the plan to sue was originally conceived last year, through the combined efforts of members of the OCA as well as the Washington Cattlemen’s Association (WCA). However, while WCA members were present at the Oregon meeting, that group has indicated that they would rather not take part in the suit. Similarly, members of the California Cattlemen’s Association (CCA), also in attendance in Oregon, have indicated that they do not intend to take part in the suit at this time.

“At this time, we are not contemplating joining the suit,” says CCA director of government affairs Kirk Wilbur. While strongly in favor of delisting wolves, Wilbur indicates that CCA prefers to give the fledgling Trump administration a chance to address the issue on their own.

“We know that we have a sympathetic administration,” he says. “We want to give them time to act to delist the wolf in accordance with the proposed rulemaking that began in 2013. If they ultimately fail to move forward on that, then maybe down the line, litigation is an option. But I don’t think that right now is the appropriate time to employ that strategy.”

Additionally, says Wilbur, his organization is already involved in a similar lawsuit to delist wolves at the state level, as a hedge against the expected federal delisting. “We suspect that, ultimately, the gray wolf will be delisted federally,” he says. “The issue then is that wolves are still completely protected within California. We’re focusing our efforts there.”

Ethan Lane, executive director of the Public Lands Council, has also expressed concerns regarding the timing of the suit. “We like what we’ve heard from (USFWS) on their path forward for delisting so far,” Lane says of the PLC. “Given the fact that there is not a new director or any senior staff in place yet, we’re inclined to let that play out before we go to the legal system.”

“However, we always want to be careful to respect the decision of any of our state affiliates to choose the path that is best for them,” he adds.

Citing the recent delisting of wolves in Wyoming as an encouraging sign, Lane indicates that much is resting on the pending court decision in the upper Great Lakes, where wolves were returned to the ESA list following a court order in 2014.

“The court case that is pending there is really the lynchpin of the whole issue,” says Lane. “I think that everyone is waiting with baited breath for the appeals court to rule on that.”

WCA president Tyler Cox also does not think that USFWS is likely to move prior to the great lakes decision, pointing out further cause for his state to question the timing of the suit.

“Once that 60 day notice is filed, that tool is done,” he says. “To me, that’s using up one of our major pieces of ammunition before we’re in range of anything.”

Ironically, a potentially favorable administration is also a major factor in OCA’s decision to go ahead with the lawsuit.

“We are obviously concerned that, following the 2018 elections, the political atmosphere may change,” says Rosa. “It takes a while for this process to move forward. To take advantage of the current favorable atmosphere, we felt like we should go ahead and move at this time.”

In order to start the process, a 60-day notice of intent to sue must be filed with the federal government, a step that Talcott says will occur sometime this week. According to Talcott, PLF feels that USFWS is unlikely to move soon without some pressure. “We have to initiate these lawsuits to get them to move,” she says. “They don’t act without a little bit of prodding.”

“There’s several different strategies in place here,” says Rosa. “Different folks have different thoughts and ideas on what the best time is. We felt like the pros outweighed the cons, and that’s why we decided to move forward at this time.” — Jason Campbell, WLJ correspondent

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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NRA — California: Anti-Gun Bills to be Heard in Committee on Tuesday, June 27.

2nd Amendment rights

On Tuesday June 27, the Assembly and Senate Public Safety Committees will be hearing anti-gun bills SB 464, SB 497 and AB 424. Please use our TAKE ACTION button below to email members of the Assembly Public Safety Committee and urge them to OPPOSE SB 464 and SB 497 and the Senate Public Safety Committee to OPPOSE AB 424. 

In the Assembly Public Safety Committee:

Senate Bill 464, sponsored by Senator Jerry Hill (D-13) would further increase the mandatory storage and security requirements for licensed firearms dealers. California already has some of the strictest laws in the country regarding how dealers must store and secure firearms.  This bill simply places more costs and mandates on law-abiding business owners.

Senate Bill 497, sponsored by Senator Anthony Portantino (D-25), would extend California’s one-handgun-a-month limitation to all guns.  It is obvious this legislation is another attempt to place more barriers on those exercising their rights and does nothing to address the criminal misuse of firearms or firearm trafficking. Criminals who generally acquire their firearms through illicit means will continue to ignore California’s stringent laws including limitations on the number of firearms that can be acquired within a 30 day time period.

The following Assembly Public Safety Committee Members need to hear from you! 

AssemblyMember Reginald Jones-Sawyer (Chair) – (916) 319-2059

AssemblyMember Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher – (916) 319-2080

AssemblyMember Bill Quirk – (916) 319-2020

AssemblyMember Blanca Rubio – (916) 319-2048

AssemblyMember Miguel Santiago – (916) 319-2053

In the Senate Public Safety Committee:

Assembly Bill 424, sponsored by Kevin McCarty (D-7), would remove the authority of a school district superintendent, his or her designee, or equivalent school authority to provide written permission for a person to possess a firearm within a school zone, absent very limited exceptions.

The following Senate Public Safety Committee Members need to hear from you! 

Senator Nancy Skinner (Chair) – (916) 651-4009
Senator Steven Bradford – (916) 651-4035
Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson – (916) 651-4019
Senator Holly J. Mitchell – (916) 651-4030
Senator Scott D. Wiener – (916) 651-4011

Please continue to check your inbox and the California Stand and Fight webpage for updates on issues impacting your Second Amendment rights and hunting heritage in California.

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