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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

I did not think that New Hampshire would back off from what seemed to be a "train barreling down the tracks" to reistate a Bobcat trapping season on their recovering population...........N.H. Fish and Wildlife currently projects 1100 adult Bobcats have clawed their way back from near extirpation 25 years ago.......The Fish and Wildlife folks here have also revealed that there is 5100 square miles of available Bobcat territory within their state boundary..............Each adult male Bobcat patrols a 27 square mile home range with 2 to 3 females occupying that home range......... This would put the population prior to Spring Kitten births at 189 adult males and somewhere between 378 and 564 adult females for at most 756 adult "Bobs" and perhaps as little as 567 adult "Cats" in the Granite State...................Not all that many of these creatures to go put Trapping pressure on at this time ..............Way to go New Hampshire.............Science actually "weighing heavy" over the whims of hunters and trappers in this usually ultra conservative leaning New England State.........A "tip of the Hat" to New Hampshire lawmakers on this one!

New Hampshire bobcat hunt called off

CONCORD — The state Fish and Game Department has withdrawn its proposal to allow bobcat hunting and trapping in New Hampshire, drawing cheers from animal rights activists and jeers from trappers.

“The bottom line ... it was clear to us that it was not going anywhere, and that it was not productive to keep battling the issue,” said Glenn Normandeau, executive director of the agency.

Fish and Game does not plan to revisit the idea any time soon. “This proceeding is finished,” Normandeau said.

The department announced its decision Wednesday, two weeks after a committee of House and Senate members, known as the Joint Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules (JLCAR), objected to proposed rules for the hunt.

New Hampshire ended its bobcat season in 1989 after studies showed the population was declining. Neighboring states continued to hold hunting and trapping seasons.

But the proposed return of a limited hunting and trapping season proved controversial in New Hampshire, packing hearings with vocal opponents.

Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley, a Wolfeboro Republican, commended the decision. “Not only did we hear significant public opposition to this rule change, I believe this was flawed policy and I was prepared to propose an amendment to extend the prohibition of the bobcat hunt, if necessary,” he said

Democratic state Sen. Dan Feltes of Concord, who sponsored the motion against the hunt on the joint legislative committee, said, “Fish and Game made the right call.”

Feltes made the motion to object to the hunt on the basis that the rules would violate the federal Endangered Species Act.

The bobcat is not endangered, but the Canada lynx, which is on the endangered species list, could be caught inadvertently in bobcat traps.

Lindsay Hamrick, state director of the Humane Society of the United States, which opposed the hunt, also applauded the decision.

“Today is a true victory in the Granite State — both for its residents and its wildlife,” she said. “There was never any biological or ecological reason to open a hunt, and because bobcats are not killed for food, it would have been nothing more than a trophy hunt.”

Trappers disappointed

Paul DeBow, president of the N.H. Trappers Association, said his group faced well-financed and well-organized opposition.

“As you can imagine, we’re quite disappointed,” he said. “We were up against the animal rights activists and it’s kind of a religion to them, to come out and stop any sort of hunting and trapping. I think if we were trying to introduce a raccoon, mink or otter season, they would be doing the same thing.”

Many of those who testified against the hunt at public hearings identified themselves as hunters, but DeBow maintains that most of the opposition was from outside the community of hunters and trappers.

“It pains me that the Legislature looks at the 5,000-plus correspondences they got in opposition to this, and thinks that these people represent a true cross-section of the state,” he said. “I kept hearing that a lot of deer hunters were opposed, but I couldn’t find one.”

In the end, the opponents of the hunt “got their way,” Normandeau said.

So did the bobcat win? “That’s a good question and it’s a question that I don’t know the answer to,” Normandeau said. “The problem with all of these questions about wildlife is that the answer to whether they won or not, you find out in 20 years, not today.”

A lengthy process

The chief Fish and Game officer for the state lamented the fact that a shrinking number of hunting and fishing enthusiasts is bearing the cost of wildlife management through license fees and excise taxes, with no apparent support for spreading the burden to the “passive” outdoor enthusiasts, many of whom opposed the hunt.

No scientifc justification to be trapping Bobcats in N.H.

The decision to withdraw the proposal ends a process that began a year ago when the Fish and Game Commission, having been approached by trappers, asked the department if the state’s bobcat population could sustain a limited “harvest.”

The commission voted last October in favor of creating rules for a limited season. Fifty permits were to be issued via a lottery season.

In December, the commission approved the agency’s draft proposal for a bobcat season. Fish and Game then solicited public comments, both in writing and at public hearings, which were packed with opponents of the hunt and supporters as well.

On Feb. 17, the commission voted 5-4 to move forward on the proposal.

But on April 1, the JLCAR passed its objection with only one vote opposed, setting the stage for a legislative showdown.

With opposition mounting from lawmakers, the Fish and Game Department, in consultation with the commission, decided to withdraw the proposal.
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