On 15 Feb 17 US District Judge John Levy just issued a ruling that will have far reaching influence in protecting our hunting and fishing rights. The case in question dealt with the incidental catch of endangered lynx by trappers in Maine. It may not seem like that big of a case, but if it fell the other way it would give animal rights activists a weapon that they would undoubtedly use against hunters, anglers and trappers.
The Sportsmen’s Alliance, one of the main players in the case, breaks down the lawsuit in their press release.
The case, filed by the anti-hunting and anti-trapping groups Center for Biological Diversity, the Wildlife Alliance of Maine, the Animal Welfare Institute and Friends of Animals, was essentially a backdoor attempt to use the Endangered Species Act to stop trapping in the state. At the heart of the legal battle were Incidental Take Permits, which are granted under the ESA and provide for limited, incidental taking of federally protected species. Without such protection, individual trappers and state wildlife agencies could be held liable for ESA violations every time a lynx was accidentally caught in a legal trap.
“We are extremely pleased that District Court Judge Levy has sided with reasonable and responsible management,” said Evan Heusinkveld, Sportsmen’s Alliance president and CEO. “Today’s clear ruling is nothing short of a full victory for trappers, but also hunters and anglers, too. This case had far-reaching implications for how Endangered Species Act policies would be implemented. If anti-hunting organizations can ban all trapping in the areas where protected lynx are found, what would stop them from banning fishing in streams or rivers that contain endangered fish species?”
I would like to thank The Sportsmen’s Alliance who worked alongside the Maine Trappers Association and the National Trappers Association for helping with this case and protecting the rights of all sportsmen.
To read the complete Press release CLICK HERE