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CA F&C WRC Meeting Agenda for 9/17

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By Bill Gaines
09/15/14 -- With the 2013/2014 Session of the California State Legislature now history, the focus of activity relating to wildlife conservation policy has shifted back over the California Fish and Game Commission which is currently considering several issues of interest and extreme concern to the hunting and conservation community. Gaines & Associates has compiled this “Special Report – California Fish and Game Commission/Wildlife Resources Committee Update” in order to provide MyOutdoorBuddy readers with a briefing on important agenda items to be considered at the upcoming meeting of the California Fish and Game Commission’s Wildlife Resources Committee (WRC). Like all Commission and WRC meetings, this will be a public meeting, with all who are interested invited to attend. Unlike full Commission meetings, however, WRC meetings are held in an open “interactive” forum where all in attendance have an equal voice in discussing issues. The time and location of next week’s WRC meeting is: September 17, 2014, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., Department of Consumer Affairs – Hearing Room 1747 Market Blvd., Sacramento.

Gaines & Associates will be in attendance at this meeting to protect the interests of our clients in the hunting and wildlife conservation community. For more information on any of the below issues of concern, please contact Gaines & Associates.

In 2013, in order to transition the federal falconry program to the state, California had to promulgate a full set of falconry regulations by a federally mandated January 1, 2014 deadline. Due to time constraints in the transition process, some recommended amendments had to be held for future rulemaking. This agenda item will begin the discussion of possible future changes and/or clean-up to the recently adopted regulations.

Predator Hunting Contests
This agenda item will continue the WRC public discussion of possible changes to the 2015 mammal regulations. With the possible prohibition of predator hunting contests already fast-tracked to the full Commission level, among other things, this discussion could include possible recommendations from animal-rights interests to prohibit remaining non-predator mammal hunting contests, such as “big buck” competitions.

Implementation of the Bobcat Protection Mandate of AB 1213 AB 1213, the Bobcat Protection Act, was passed into law in 2013. For starters, the bill made it illegal to trap any bobcat in the area surrounding Joshua Tree National Park. But the measure also requires the Commission to consider similar prohibitions within, and adjacent to, preserves, state conservancies, and any other public or private conservation areas. Further, the bill urged the Commission to consider additional restrictions and/or prohibitions on the taking of bobcats. This item will include discussion of possible closure areas.

Implementation of Non-Lead Ammunition Requirements
In October 2013, Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 711, legislation that outlaws the use of lead for the hunting of all species statewide. Although the bill mandates that lead ammunition be prohibited, it leaves the details of the bill’s implementation largely up to the Commission – simply calling for the non-lead requirements to be fully implemented no later than July 1, 2019. In addition, AB 711 requires the Commission to adopt regulations by July 1, 2015 that phase-in the requirements of the bill.

This agenda item will include a presentation by Scott Scherbinski of Pinnacles National Park and Ben Smith of the Institute for Wildlife Studies entitled “Reducing Impacts of Lead Ammunition: Challenges and Solutions.” To view the presentation to be given by Mr. Scherbinski and Mr. Smith, click Reducing Impacts of Lead.

Possible Changes to Predator Management Policies and Regulations
Last year, in response to severe pressure from animal-rights advocates, the Commission initiated a re-evaluation of all predator management policies and procedures. Last fall, to start the detailed review, the Commission released a summary of all existing predator management policies and asked for public input on suggested changes. Seizing the opportunity, The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and Project Coyote both submitted detailed recommendations to the WRC for consideration. Among other things, these recommendations currently call for a complete prohibition on the hunting of all wildlife by dogs. These organizations also make numerous other recommendations related to the management of bobcats, raccoons and all other predatory mammals.

Further, these groups are seeking a complete revamping of the long-standing depredation permit procedure. Lacking any common sense or on-the-ground experience in predator management, these groups are not only calling for a depredation permit to be required for the taking of each individual animal, they recommend requiring that the damage be done before the permit can be issued.

This item of concern was first discussed at the January 15 the meeting of the WRC, and again at the July 28th meeting of the WRC. On Wednesday, in addition to providing an opportunity to continue that dialogue, Commission staff will give a presentation on inconsistencies within predator management code and regulations.

If you have any questions regarding the recommendations being brought forth to the WRC by HSUS/Project Coyote or any other interests to the WRC, or those recommendations submitted by Gaines &Associates clients, please contact us at, For more information or any questions pertaining to the WRC, or the agenda for the upcoming meeting, contact Gaines & Associates at The next meeting of the full California Fish and Game Commission is scheduled for October 8th in Mount Shasta. The agenda for that meeting has not yet been released.

Gaines & Associates is active wherever decisions are being made which may impact wildlife conservation, your outdoor traditions, your outdoor investment or your rural lifestyle. Gaines and Associates keeps clients current on all issues of concern at all political levels via their “Issues and Status Reports” which are released to clients on a regular “as necessary” basis. For more information on other issues, or how Gaines and Associates can also help you protect your outdoor investment and interests, contact them at

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