April 3, 2013
Dear Chairman Carillo and Committee members,
Backcountry Hunters and Anglers is a national non-profit conservation organization of outdoor enthusiasts who prize the tradition, challenge and solitude of America's backcountry. We believe the backcountry is the most valuable and healthy wildlife habitat, thus also the best hunter/angler habitat.
NV BHA Board members participated in the many years of contentious deliberations it required to finally come to a consensus with all stakeholders and get the OHV registration bill passed. I'm sure a number of you remember those deliberations all too well. AB 293 will negate much of the hard work to establish the current OHV registration regulation.
NV BHA has a vested interest in the effectiveness of the OHV registration legislation. Many of our members own and use OHVs to access the boundaries of our unroaded wildlands to recreate in a traditional non-motor-focus fashion. Yet our recreation experience is impacted by irresponsible and even illegal ORV use. Traditional hunts and the wildlife are disrupted by irresponsible OHV use. Key wildlife habitat suffers negative impacts from OHVs that spread weeds, create unauthorized routes and increase incidence of fire.
To the Nevada State Assembly Committee on Natural Resources, Agriculture and Mining:
Assembly members Daly, Aizley, Carrillo, Cohen, Healy, Swank, Anderson, Ellison, Hansen,
Livermore and Wheeler
Re: AB 396 (Stream/lake public recreation access)
From: Karen Boeger, Board member, NV Chapter Backcountry Hunters and Anglers (BHA)
March 27, 2013
Dear committee members,
I am writing to express my unqualified support for AB 396 because it will strengthen and clarify public trust law concerning the right to access navigable waters (at or below high water lines) in Nevada for recreation purposes.
Nevada is blessed with more public land than any other state outside of Alaska. Our Backcountry Hunters and Anglers members recognize, value and work to protect the opportunities public lands provide for our traditional forms of recreation and for healthy wildlife habitat.
Sadly, Nevada has very few rivers, lakes and streams to provide opportunities for our angler members and families who enjoy recreating on or beside water. The passage of this bill will assure the protection of these treasured scarce opportunities, long into the future, while protecting private property rights above the high water line.
The following is testimony given by NV BHA in defense of legal, scientifically-led trapping regulations in Nevada.
To the Nevada State Senate Natural Resources Committee: March 27, 2013
Senators Ford, Manendo, Segerblom, Settelmeyer and Goicoechea
Re: SB 213 (proposed trapping regulations)
From: Karen Boeger, Board member, Nevada chapter, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers
Please oppose SB 213 as currently written. Were you not a trapper, the proposed regulations seem a reasonable way to avoid unintended harm from traps. I am not a trapper, yet have friends on both sides of this emotional issue. After long study, inquiry and discussion, I must conclude this bill is flawed by the ambiguity of the language and impracticality of the regulatory proposals. The result if passed: unintended negative consequences, rather than increased safety and, for trappers, opportunities to practice an historic traditional skill and profession will be further diminished.
The Trappers Association has enumerated very logical reasons why each proposed change to existing regulation (registration, flagging traps, moving traps and shortened check-time) is impractical and will not result in the intended objective. Please give these serious consideration.
The reality of burgeoning populations and increasing numbers of people seeking recreation on our public lands has resulted in incremental limits on trapping opportunities. Existing regulations setting trap distance from congested areas, county roads and heavily used trails can go a long way toward increasing public safety. Sportsman's dollars fund enforcement, which, given the vastness of our Nevada public lands, is never adequate. Those ofus non-sportsmen who love both wildlife and outdoor recreation must devise a means to contribute to management and enforcement.
To the Nevada State Senate Natural Resources Committee:
Senators Ford, Manendo, Segerblom, Settelmeyer and Goicoechea
Re: Senate Joint Resolution #1 (wild horses)
From: Karen Boeger, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers
March 11, 2013
I am writing to express my concern about the Senate Joint Resolution #1 as currently written and the unintended consequences should it actually come to pass that the public land agencies cease gathers of wild horses. I assume the crafters of the resolution have the welfare of wild horses as their goal. However, if that indeed is the intent of the resolution, to enact it's prohibition would actually result in exponentially diminishing the health of existing wild horse herds.
My concerns are as follows:
1.The health of wild horse herds, all native wildlife and public range livestock depends upon the health and sustainability of the habitat. The Appropriate Management Levels (AMLs) for each Herd Management Area (HMAs) are set by rigorous science and in a prescribed balance with the needs of native wildlife and range livestock as required by the Multiple Use Sustained Yield portion of FLPMA (Federal Land Policy Management Act) in order to maintain habitat health.
2.Federal law (1971 Wild Horse and Burro Act / WHBA and amendments) mandates that excess horses be removed as needed to maintain ecological health of the land and balance with all other uses of the public lands.
3.The BLM and USFS have been working hard to address the many concerns of wild horse groups. They are currently administering various forms of birth control and re-releasing some of the gathered horses. This is not a total solution yet; the science is still not conclusive as to the efficacy and the cost effectiveness of this approach. (Among other reservations, I have heard anecdotes that a mare's fertility increases after the birth control effect subsides.) The effect-iveness of a wild horse sanctuary in Elko Co. is currently a test model. These tests will all require time and science-based scrutiny.