Representative Ron Mendive
Chair, House Resources & Conservation Committee
P.O. Box 83720
Boise, ID 83720-0038
Wednesday, January 24th, 2024
The Idaho Chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers (“ID BHA”) supports House Bill 404, which would exempt detailed location data of gps-collared wildlife or wildlife photographed by remote camera from public records requests. While we view the data collected from wildlife collaring and tracking efforts as a vital component of modern wildlife management, the use of the resulting detailed location information by individual members of the public is not in line with the intent of wildlife collaring and in the case of hunting may lead to a violation of fair chase principles.
Backcountry Hunters & Anglers (“BHA”) is the voice for our wild public lands, waters and wildlife. We seek to ensure North America’s outdoor heritage of hunting and fishing in a natural setting through education and work on behalf of fish, wildlife and wild places. With chapters in 48 states, Washington D.C., two Canadian provinces and one Canadian territory, as well as nearly 2,000 dues paying members in Idaho, BHA attracts sportsmen and women, as well as other public land users, from across the continent.
As technology continues to advance, regulation such as House Bill 404 is necessary and appropriate to ensure that technological capabilities – including and especially technology intended for research to benefit wildlife – is not misused by bad actors in a way that would be contrary to the principles that the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation is based upon. An exemption of the nature that House Bill 404 would create already exists for wildlife listed under the Endangered Species Act, and expanding this to include terrestrial wildlife is an appropriate step.
Idaho BHA appreciates the consideration of the House Resources & Conservation Committee on this issue and asks that the Committee sends House Bill 404 forward with a “Do Pass” recommendation.
The Idaho Chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers