Hope all is well here. Please follow this link and read this lawsuit.
I don't know where the appropriate place for this post is but please move it if need be. (I posted this on another forum as well)
Share on other forums as well if you'd like as it is super important!
https://pacificlegal.org/case/peter-sta ... -wildlife/
I had a dream of one day becoming a falconer. I was fortunate enough to secure a really good sponsor who's been flying birds for over 30 years and is consistently taking duck with his peregrine falcons among other raptors. I found that falconry is the most regulated ZERO IMPACT activity there is based on multiple biological studies across the board. It is actually beneficial to raptor populations I learned. About 70% of all raptors perish before they reach age 1. From those another 50%-70% perish before they reach age 5 or so. Falconers in ways ensure that a lot of these birds make it over that 1st years hurdle when they trap what are called "passage" birds (1st year immature birds"). They condition them, feed a healthy diet, medical attention if necessary and train them. As the bird hunts it gains experience (never in danger of starvation as in the wild) and confidence. After one or two seasons they are then released back into the wild as adults and enter the breeding population. At this point the “Haggard” adults are off limits to falconers because they are considered part of the reproduction pool. (Rightfully so). To become a falconer you must first take and pass a hundred question written exam then secure another falconer to sponsor you for 2 years for free, before getting a bird you have to build a Mews (Hawk house) which is to be inspected by the department of fish and wild life along with your gear for the bird then if you pass that inspection they will issue you a falconry license and that is when you are able to go out and trap a bird. In California an apprentice has a choice of 2 birds, a Red Tail Hawk or an American Kestrel. During this time you are an apprentice. After your 2 year apprenticeship you then graduate to “general” class falconer and more species of raptors are available to you including some Owls. This is a brief description of falconry and why I have been doing.
The catch here is that when you sign up for this, the department of fish and wildlife makes you sign over your 4th amendment rights of “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures”. So at this point they make you sign off that you acknowledge that fish and wildlife and USFW armed agents will come to do surprise inspections. They are not a surprise, and they are not inspections. The inspection was for the Mews which I paid for. They are warrant less searches. They basically come in to your home, and this has happened to my sponsor, and many other falconers I know. It’s pretty bad. Another point of this lawsuit. 1st amendment of free speech. It is illegal for falconers to basically take a picture of their bird then decide that “hey this is a cool picture and can be a good poster” and then sell it. That sale will open a falconer up to arrest, fines and loss of their birds to confiscation and probably destruction of the birds as the department of fish and wildlife and USFW have done in the past. It’s really a mess and a complete violation of Citizens Constitutional Rights.
Please read this over. How this affects fishing? Well, over the past decade I have seen the California fish and game department take a different route. I believe that they no longer advocate for the sportsman (Fishermen/women and hunters) they have now become more of an environmental group. Not one of the commissioners is a hunter or fisherman/woman and when the department changed its name to Fish and Wildlife was part of the change in focus of moving in the direction of allowing animal rights groups to have more power in the department who don’t agree with fishing and hunting. They have started to demonize us in a way. Recent rules with all these closures, triploid stocking as well as picking the yellow legged frog as a means of shutting down fisheries where in the past they have lived together for ages. This direction makes it more difficult for the fishermen/women and hunters to pursue their love of whichever sport they enjoy and it will make it more so for our children. This lawsuit may be the beginning to check the department and the USFW. It is important. Please read it and be aware. If you are able make your voice heard to the commission please do so. Things in the department are not good. They have moved to become anti-hunting and fishing in a sense. Although I agree with a conservation minded hunting and fishing agenda, I do disagree with conservation minded agenda that in some ways mirror what the sierra club would like to see the non use of our back country as well as peta who would like to see zero hunting and fishing.
I used to love this state. Not so much in recent years.
Thanks for reading!