This is seriously important

myrmecophile

Arachnolord
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Hey folks,

I just received this information from a friend. This is of major importance to all insect enthusiasts in California. although the wording if for scientific collecting it is going impact all insect collect, scientific and hobby. It is vital that Fish and game get a flood of protest so I encourage all members of this forum to send a letter to Calif fish and game. However any emails should be as professional as possible, no cursing or name calling as this will cause them to disregard the input and make as a group look bad.


Your email should be addressed as follows.


Subject: Scientific Collecting Permits ATTN: Ona Alminas



To: California Department of Fish and Wildlife
Regulations Unit - Scientific Collecting Permits
Attn: Ona Alminas, Environmental Scientist
1416 Ninth Street, Room 1342-A
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: 916-651-9167
Email: SCPermits@wildlife.ca.gov


Below is a good example of a professional letter sent in by Phil Ward.


You might have heard about the draconian regulations that the California Department of Fish and Wildlife is proposing regarding collection permits for insects and other terrestrial invertebrates. There is a public comment period until May 8, I would encourage others to independently protest the proposed regulations. Information about them is here: https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/Notices/Regulations/SCP. It is really hard to wade through the legalese, but the specific forms and regulations that affect insect collecting are:

Scientific Collecting Permit, General Use – Application (Terrestrial Wildlife)

Scientific Collecting – Mandatory Wildlife Report

Scientific Collecting – Notification of Field Activity

Scientific Collecting – Standard Conditions for all Permits



The inappropriateness of these regulations for insects is self-evident. Read and protest.




I write to express my concern about the broader aspects of proposed regulations of Scientific Collecting Permits (SCP). I am one of many entomologists in the state of California who conducts field work which involves sampling of insects. Such field work can include trapping of insect pests, monitoring of medically important arthropods such as mosquitos, procurement of insects for ecological and behavioral studies, collection of insects during the teaching of entomology classes, and the surveying of insects for taxonomic and biodiversity investigations. We usually cannot predict beforehand what species or quantities of insects will be encountered. Moreover, the decision to engage in field work will often be made on an ad hoc basis, depending on weather, the threat of pest outbreaks, availability of field assistants, etc. Many insect samples, particularly those collected for taxonomic purposes, will remain unsorted to species for months or even years, until taxonomic experts have an opportunity to examine the material. It should also be noted that there are literally tens of thousands of species of insects in California—the exact number is unknown but it could well exceed 50,000, and many of these are not yet described.



Under these conditions the current and proposed SCP regulations, as they concern non-endangered terrestrial invertebrates, are unjustified and intrusive, an example of inappropriate government regulation of a benign scientific activity. Of course, if collecting activity affects endangered or threatened species, or it is occurring on state or federal parklands, there is a need for oversight. But to require a state permit for scientific collection of any insects, anywhere, and to saddle this with unrealistic reporting requirements, is a misguided policy that will only serve to undermine the advancement of education and research in this state. The proposed regulations also impose a burden on California agriculture and public health programs, because comprehensive sampling and monitoring of insects is integral to the development of more sustainable and environmentally friendly pest management technology.



These arguments apply equally to other terrestrial invertebrates such as nematodes, centipedes, millipedes, mites, ticks, spiders, and many others. Collection of these organisms, as well as insects, should not require a scientific collecting permit from CDFW unless they fall under the category of threatened or endangered species, or species of special concern. Except for those species having protected status, terrestrial invertebrates should be removed from the proposed regulations, thereby eliminating an unnecessary provision that serves no useful purpose, and imposes an unjustified burden on entomologists and other scientists. This is just a matter of simple common sense.



Yours sincerely,



Philip S. Ward
 

RTTB

Arachnoprince
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Messages
1,769
As a resident of CA I was forewarned of this but I thought it was <edit>. It's true apparently and the application and permit is not cheap. Going on a casual bug hunt will be illegal without a permit? Beyond stupid.
 
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RTTB

Arachnoprince
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It doesn't list personal/hobbyist collecting so by omission it's probably illegal without a permit but is not a category for inclusion on the permit. Confusing legalese bureaucratic money grabbing <edit>.
 
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The Snark

Dumpster Fire of the Gods
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You might want to have a look at the reasons behind the draconian laws. Some 40+ years in the making, habitat destruction, predator loss, collecting, random destruction, and rampant over use of pseticides has slowly added up. About 2/3rds of the state has reached a tipping point where the habitats and natural predators are no longer able to keep up.
 

RTTB

Arachnoprince
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Maybe they should do it like legally collecting reptiles and amphibians in CA. You need to have a fishing license and perhaps in possession limits.
 

The Snark

Dumpster Fire of the Gods
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To give an excellent example. In certain areas of N. Thailand people collect all fallen wood from the trees, essentially scouring the forest floor clean. Quite a few years down the road and some species of insects have vanished. Their habitat has been removed. The loss of these insects equates to the loss of beneficial predators. The ecosystem has been altered.

In Calif. the ecosystem has been affected and altered so many times some predator species have entirely vanished. People turn to pesticides as the alternative. This upsets the natural balance even farther. Bringing it up to the present, the loss of insects A and B have now deleteriously altered the entire ecological system where way down at the other end of the chain harmful insects Y and Z no longer have naturally occurring predators.
Thus the knee jerk draconian measures being taken until a full assessment of the ecosystem can come about and rebalancing can take place.

Also it should be kept in mind, the human population is so extensive, their actions can unknowingly predate entire species and even genus, inadvertently through collecting insects, or plowing up the habitats in RVs and so on.
For example, the Red Rock recreation area has lost over 95% of the native animals from off road RVs. That area will probably never recover. The attitude is it is only empty desert wilderness so who cares.

Then check the Calif Central valley. Instead of RVs it's intensive farming practices and pesticides. But crops don't grow without a healthy ecosystem. Alter it too far, as it is now, the predator insects, the pollinators, and support animals for these crucial species are almost wiped out in some areas.
 
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The Snark

Dumpster Fire of the Gods
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People just don't think of the broader picture. The ecosystem is a chain, not isolated islands. Certain fungi in the detritus layer is providing eagles with a sustainable environment.
 

Galapoheros

ArachnoGod
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There were similar laws passed here in Texas, I don't remember but I think it was 2008. I was stopped by a game warden, had my struck searched and he found a few scorpions I had caught that were in containers. "You have a permit for these?" "What, you need a permit for this stuff?" "Yeah it's a new law." "But people spray and smash these things under their shoe!" "Yeah I know, it's a stupid law but, it is what it is. I don't agree with it either but I have to at least give you a warning ticket." Enforcement of it here is almost nill now due to how unreasonable it is. I mean there are companies people call to kill invertebrates around their home. There just are not a lot of collectors of this stuff here, we generally aren't the problem. People here in the US run away from invertebrates if they don't spray or smash them. What does the massive damage are the other things Snark mentioned, commercial farming, pesticides, urban sprawl, manicured lawns, etc., the obvious. The collector being fined for picking up a common beetle, imo that is unreasonable. It's kind of like the guy at work getting mad at somebody at work and instead of addressing the problem, they go home and kick the dog. Well, we are the dog. What would help a lot is changing people's perspective about their yard. imo, mow half of it, leave the other half natural, make a nature trail through it if it's big enough, encourage wildlife in the yard instead of fighting and it killing everything. That's what I do and all my neighbors really like my yard. I have about 1.5 acres and one acre is left natural, well almost, the poison Ivy must go!, oh yeah, and yellow jackets, oh and I try to get rid of fire ants, and the chiggers and the mosquitos, I hate the deer and the noisy bird and.... Repeating myself here, all this comes down from the United Nations and the Agenda21 plan and the US is on board bigly, I mean, big league.

...Didn’t take long to find good examples. Using our own heads and imaginations, , look at that! Wow. Look at what the real problem is, or at least the bigger one, the elephant in the room imo. It’s not the person putting a beetle or moth in a jar, it’s THAT, in the images. There are hundreds of square miles there, see the scale, and that’s a tiny, tiny, tiny, …miniscule view of farmland on the globe. Then realize much of the 1000s and 1000s of square miles are dusted with pesticides to kill billions of invertebrates. Yet they want to fine people for picking up a beetle at night under a streetlight that’s seconds away from getting run over by a car …out of control imo, that’s crazy. I know there’s no easy answer, I know people need to eat, a lot of us could grow some of our own food though. But that’s not encouraged because there’s not much money to be made that way. Well, at least there are some little islands of wildlife areas in the middle of land like that. Those are like seeds, they have the capability to spread and repopulate indefinitely in all directions if people ever find a better way. I don't think over population is all the threat we hear about either. I remember typing this before now, if each couple had only two kids, the population would go down. Having two children is only replacing the parents, then there are mortality rates in populations, so some don't make it, the population goes down. Then believe it or not, there is worry over population “decrease” https://www.edge.org/response-detail/23722 Just type in something like, “countries worried about population decrease”. There is a lot of fear mongering out there, it’s sometimes hard to dig deeper into all that stuff because we are told to believe “the experts”, discouraged from questioning what we are told. Then the arrogant call you arrogant for doing so haha.




 
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SolFeliz

Arachnosquire
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100
As a resident of CA I was forewarned of this but I thought it was <edit>. It's true apparently and the application and permit is not cheap. Going on a casual bug hunt will be illegal without a permit? Beyond stupid.
I agree. I go on bug hunts all the time and simply enjoy it. For you to need a permit is stupid beyond words.
 

The Snark

Dumpster Fire of the Gods
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@Galapoheros Very true. Monsanto and friends kill more beneficial invertebrates each day than all the bug hunters predation in a decade or two. But this is exactly what Americans want at this present state of affairs. The individual states reacting to the Wash DC removal of environmental protections.

Sorry for bringing it up and mixing hemlock in your Orange Pekoe but it is all about Making America Great Again right now. Remove all the checks and controls from the major environmental enemies and let corporate greed sternly run everything. The EPA is dead in the water. National monuments on down to designated primitive wildlife areas are being opened for resource plundering.

Until the blind led-by-the-nose electorate quits putting their own selfish interests first and cranks up the critical thinking faculties, the only controls in place in this new planetary rape scheme are the grass roots slaps in the face to people like the invertebrate collectors. Kick it back and enjoy. Genghis Khan's little assault on Europe is going to be peanuts compared to the 100% pro corporate interests now in total control of the country and Trump khan at the wheel.

And before considering voicing a dispute, would you consider a go fund me for me? The new health care plan has me facing a $186,000 up front out of pocket payment before my insurance will kick in. Pesky pre existing conditions only the fantastically wealthy can side step.
 

G. pulchra

ArachnoGod
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@Galapoheros Very true. Monsanto and friends kill more beneficial invertebrates each day than all the bug hunters predation in a decade or two. But this is exactly what Americans want at this present state of affairs. The individual states reacting to the Wash DC removal of environmental protections.

Sorry for bringing it up and mixing hemlock in your Orange Pekoe but it is all about Making America Great Again right now. Remove all the checks and controls from the major environmental enemies and let corporate greed sternly run everything. The EPA is dead in the water. National monuments on down to designated primitive wildlife areas are being opened for resource plundering.

Until the blind led-by-the-nose electorate quits putting their own selfish interests first and cranks up the critical thinking faculties, the only controls in place in this new planetary rape scheme are the grass roots slaps in the face to people like the invertebrate collectors. Kick it back and enjoy. Genghis Khan's little assault on Europe is going to be peanuts compared to the 100% pro corporate interests now in total control of the country and Trump khan at the wheel.

And before considering voicing a dispute, would you consider a go fund me for me? The new health care plan has me facing a $186,000 up front out of pocket payment before my insurance will kick in. Pesky pre existing conditions only the fantastically wealthy can side step.
Please stay on topic and try to keep your personal politics in the watering hole where they belong.
 

The Snark

Dumpster Fire of the Gods
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Please stay on topic and try to keep your personal politics in the watering hole where they belong.
Staying strictly on topic. "My bug hunting is trivial compared to...." (Comparison forbidden. Off topic)
 

The Snark

Dumpster Fire of the Gods
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My sis pointed something out. Don't take anything for granted. Be it environmental protection or your right to hunt bugs. The government can take it away on a whim. Welcome to the world of the natives. She is forbidden to hunt for food on her own land but safari hunters can trespass on the same land and hunt for trophys legally.
 

The Snark

Dumpster Fire of the Gods
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Hey. Bear with me for a moment here. As the OP states, THIS IS SERIOUSLY IMPORTANT.

These laws, these draconian measures, didn't make themselves. The unalterable fact of the matter is, the government is a runaway machine that is going to keep right on down the tracks it is on.

Right now you have the Make America Great Again stuff. The premise of the republican party that controlled the elections this time around, is a smaller less intrusive government. That is utter and complete BULLFEATHERS. The machine isn't going anywhere. The authority isn't going anywhere. It is going to keep right on cranking. The only say people have in the matter is how it is directed.

You have the same draconian authority right now you had a year, five years, ten years ago. The only difference is who is handing out the orders. Want absolute proof. Check the taxes the Average citizen pays. It has stayed the basically same, a modest increase relative to the increase in income, for 50 years. Employment, ditto. It fluctuates, but barring anomalies, incidentals like the great Bush give aways, it has stayed basically the same.

It is all about who is running the shows behind the scenes. There won't be a power vacuum, something is going to fill it. And the fact of the matter is, if the working stiffs, the proletariat if you will, doesn't stridently demand controls, constantly and continuously, big business, corporate interests, are going to run everything. Right now, they do run everything.

So back to the original topic, draconian laws are infringing on our rights to collect animals. This is on the state level. It's a knee jerk reaction in the face of the federal government handing out the shaft to any and all. Don't collect animals but go ahead and remove the mountaintops. Permit the pipe line for oil that will never enter the US market. Pure crap sand laden acidic crude coming from the tar sands of Canada, going to the refineries, then shipped overseas. It will be our wilderness, our environment that takes it in the arse when it leaks. But like collecting animals, either the grass roots seizes and keeps control of the government and works things out for the greater good, or the corporations take it all, toss a few meaningless bones our way and feel free to smooch their hineys.

But for craps sake, quit the knee jerk reactions to the knee jerk reactions. The environment is in deadly peril right now and collecting invertebrates is one tiny tip of one of numerous massive icebergs. Open your eyes and take in the bigger picture.
 

TheSpiderChick

Arachnopeon
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FYI, there is a public hearing about this issue - tomorrow, Monday, May 8, in Sacramento. (See below.) Also, the deadline for written comment is Monday (May 8) at 5pm (also see below) These changes have been in the works to varying degrees since 2012, and the current review was announced 45 days ago.

PUBLIC HEARING The Department will hold a public hearing on Monday, May 8, 2017, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Natural Resources Building, Resources Auditorium, 1416 9th Street, Sacramento, California. The Resources Auditorium is wheelchair accessible. At the public hearing, any person may present statements or arguments orally or in writing relevant to the proposed action described in the Informative Digest. The Department requests, but does not require, that the persons who make oral comments at the hearing also submit a written copy of their testimony at the hearing.

WRITTEN COMMENT PERIOD Any interested person, or his or her authorized representative, may submit written comments on the proposed action to the Department. All written comments must be received by the Department via mail, or e-mail, no later than 5:00 p.m. on May 8, 2017, to the contact as follows: California Department of Fish and Wildlife Regulations Unit - Scientific Collecting Permits Attn: Ona Alminas, Environmental Scientist 1416 Ninth Street, Room 1342-A Sacramento, CA 95814 Phone: 916-651-9167 Email: SCPermits@wildlife.ca.gov

I got the above info here: https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/Notices/Regulations/SCP
 

RTTB

Arachnoprince
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I just sent an email. Thanks for providing the info.
 

TheSpiderChick

Arachnopeon
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My brain is close to exploding from trying to decipher the regulatory language and legalese in order to understand these changes. What I am really trying to figure out is exactly what is CHANGING when these regs go into place.

Moreover, the decision to engage in field work will often be made on an ad hoc basis, depending on weather, the threat of pest outbreaks, availability of field assistants, etc.
So Myrmecophile, do you have additional knowledge about this issue?
For example, re the requirement to NOTIFY the dept before collecting on a specific date - is that totally new, or is it just altered?
"You must notify the Department of Fish and Wildlife regional office by noon one (1) business day prior to scientific collecting activity authorized, and no more than two weeks in advance or your activity."

Many insect samples, particularly those collected for taxonomic purposes, will remain unsorted to species for months or even years, until taxonomic experts have an opportunity to examine the material....
Is the requirement to REPORT every specimen collected (and to specify each species, etc) with GPS coordinates and details- is that totally new? Was there no reporting (of individuals collected) required prior to these regs?
"this Mandatory Wildlife Report ("Report," or MWR) is required to be filled out completely and submitted for any wildlife taken or possessed via a Scientific Collecting Permit (SCP). "

Also, do you (or anyone) have any knowledge of how the fees will change with the new regs? Is there a dramatic increase?

But to require a state permit for scientific collection of any insects, anywhere, and to saddle this with unrealistic reporting requirements, is a misguided policy that will only serve to undermine the advancement of education and research in this state.
The above quote from Philip's letter is spot-on. Some of the requirements, as stated in the new regs, are just really outrageous in regards to collection of invertebrates. They make much more sense when dealing with mammals or reptiles, but it doesn't appear it was thought through in terms of how scientific research of inverts works.

Thanks for any insight you can provide.
 
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