Regulations are being promulgated as a result of the signing of the Bobcat Protection Act of 2013, a bill composed of watered-down legislation originally proposed by Democratic Assemblyman Richard Bloom of Santa Monica.
When Gov. Jerry Brown signed the bill back in 2013, he encouraged the legislature to work with the Department of Fish and Wildlife to secure funding to take inventory of the state’s bobcat population for future management decisions. Neither the legislature nor the Department has made an attempt to fulfill the request.
Both ban options are riddled with flawed logic – a clear indication of the commission’s lack of interest in conducting new studies, as suggested by Brown, that would help the state formulate a scientific management strategy that fits the current bobcat population’s needs.
“The consideration of a partial or outright ban on bobcat trapping is entirely inappropriate and unwarranted,” said Josh Brones, Coordinator of Government Affairs for western operations for the Sportsman’s Alliance. “Either option is inconsistent with the intent and mandate of the legislature, the intent of the governor, the availability of technology to ensure compliance with the law, and the value of science to inform the commission’s responsibility to conserve our natural resources and provide recreational opportunities for all Californians.”
Although advocates for the ban are expected to be present in strong numbers at tomorrow’s meeting in Fortuna, Sportsmen’s Alliance and the Al Taucher Conservation Coalition, which was reconvened by the Alliance last year, are striving to ensure that trappers’ voices are heard.
“Both bobcats and bobcat trappers lose should the commission approve a statewide ban on trapping bobcats,” said Brones. “We will be asking the commission to postpone making an ill-conceived piecemeal decision on bobcat trapping in favor of moving forward with an effort to develop a comprehensive predator management plan.”
About the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation
The U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation (USSAF) is a 501(c)3 organization and protects and defends America’s wildlife conservation programs and the pursuits – hunting, fishing and trapping – that generate the money to pay for them. The USSAF is responsible for public education, legal defense and research. Its mission is accomplished through several distinct programs coordinated to provide the most complete defense capability possible.