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JeremyKS

Black Footed Ferret Reintroduction will close Prairie Dog Hunting

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I wanted to inform everybody that Texas Parks and Wildlife is spearheading a reintroduction of the Black Footed Ferret on the Rita Blanca National Grasslands. If they do this under their current proposal it would shut down 50% of the prairie dog hunting currently available to public hunters.

We need to spread the word about this. Contact Texas State officials and TPWD personnel and voice your opinion about this.

To give you a little history about the black footed ferret; It was once thought to be extinct till a small population was discovered in Wyoming. Through a captive breeding program they started reintroducing them in 1991. In order to get them delisted they must have 3000 ferrets living in the wild. Since 2008 they have released almost 2500 ferrets.

Currently they estimate 400-500 living in the wild. They are currently spending about $44000 -$55000 per ferret with a $1,000,000 per year budget.

This project is headed by the Black-Footed Ferret Working Group, which consists of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas Wildlife Services, U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Natural Resource Conservation Service, Texas Agri-Life Extension and researchers from Texas Tech and West Texas A&M Universities.

I personally don't care if they are trying to reintroduce the ferret but do it on private land that doesn't affect the public.

 

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Find some private land that wants them and leave the grass lands alone !

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Sean Kyle sean.kyle@tpwd.state.tx.us is the Texas state biologist in charge of this.



I know he is busy with the Lesser Prairie Chicken deal and may not be aware of the concern from the public and needs to be. I encourage everybody to email him and let him know your thoughts.


sean.kyle@tpwd.state.tx.us

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I have been trying to find an article I read about the reintroduction of the Mexican Gray Wolf in southwestern New Mexico. As I remember it the state of New Mexico fought the USF&WS trying to prevent reintroduction. Arizona on the other hand went along with it and so had some say in the process. Meanwhile New Mexico eventually had it forced on them. The wolves they had forced on them were those that had been removed from other areas due to being problem animals due to things like livestock and pet depredation, and establishing their territory too close to relatively heavily populated areas (especially when they were seen too often hanging around places like public school playgrounds and public parks).

Many promises are made and plenty of misinformation is released. Affected landowners are supposed to be notified, but only landowners within a few miles ar notified, much less than the range the wolves will normally cover. While ranchers are promised indemnities for livestock depredation, the feds often stonewall such requests and require proof that the kill was by a wolf and not by some other predator or a disease and any wolf seen around the carcass wasn't just being opportunistic. One reason the area north of Silver City was chosen for the reintroduction effort is because it has a very healthy elk herd. Protests by hunters also have had no effect on the reintroduction effort. From reports I have heard and read, elk herds in the region around Yellowstone Park have been reduced to as little as twenty percent of their population before the reintroduction started. The promoters of the reintroduction efforts try to reassure everone that the wolves only pick off the old, the sick, the weak, and slow animals. They never mention nor recognize the hunters observation and protests that among the slow are pregnant cows just before calving.

 

My point is that the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish has been cut out of the wolf effort, it may be that the TPWD may be trying to get in on the inevitable so that they may have at least a little influence. The Rita Blanca, Kiowa, Comanche, and Cimmarron National Grasslands are federally owned land purchased from farmers and ranchers who were starving out in the days of the Dust Bowl and are administered by the Forest Service. It seems doubtful to me that protests to TPWD will do much good as it is a federally backed effort on federal lands. It would seem more reasonable to complain to as many Congressmen as possible.

 

HP :lol:

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From what I can find out a public information meeting will be held in Dalhart, probably June 20. Sean is supposed to help present the program.

 

There also should be an opportunity to send in comments for those unable to attend.

 

HP :lol:

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Just scutttlebutt I heard. The twentieth is the day that works best for the TPWD Biologists, Wardens, Grassland Rangers, USF&WS people, etc. but their favored locations had already been reserved. They were still looking for a suitable site.

 

HP :lol:

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The official notice is out.

 

 

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD), the US Forest Service, Texas Wildlife Services, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service would like to invite you to a meeting in Dalhart on June 20th to discuss a proposed experimental reintroduction of black-footed ferrets on the Rita Blanca National Grasslands. The meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. in the Courthouse (2nd floor) at 414 Denver Ave, Dalhart, TX. All interested parties are invited to attend.

 

The Texas Black-Footed Ferret Working Group was formed in 2009 to assess if, when, and where a black-footed ferret reintroduction might occur in Texas. Participating organizations include TPWD, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Texas Wildlife Services, West Texas A&M University, and Texas Tech University. The first scoping meeting was held in Amarillo in December 2010. In January 2011, TPWD and the U.S Forest Service discussed the possibility of a ferret reintroduction with Rita Blanca National Grassland grazing permit holders at the Cold Water Creek Community Center near Dalhart, TX. Another outreach meeting for numerous stakeholders was held in Austin in July 2012. Factors being addressed by the Working Group include public/landowner engagement in the effort, the need to control prairie dogs at the boundary of reintroduction sites, and regulatory assurances for landowners associated with experimental population status. At the meeting, we will describe the safeguards that can be put in place (prairie dog and ferret control), and will answer your questions regarding ferret reintroduction.

 

 

HP :lol:

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Guess you will attend to represent us shooters won't you Fred !! Does a Ferret blow up like a prairie dog when hit with a 55 grain bullet ??

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No, Bennie, I refuse to represent you! I want you and everybody else who is opposed to this to show up and let them know just how many people will be affected. The City of Dalhart, population of about 6,000, swells to around 15-20,000 every August. They have plenty of rooms. It is time for a road trip!

That Courtroom holds about 75 people. Lets make them move out to the Coliseum or the football field or somewhere!

 

HP :lol:

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I'll be on the Posse Bear Hunt then , but it would be interesting . I still can't understand why they can't find a land owner that would be glad to take this on .

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Another guy you should send your emails to that I forgot to tell you about is Rick Hanson. He is the wildlife biologist for the Rita Blanca Grasslands and works for US Forest Service.

 

rahanson@fs.fed.us

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In an article in today's Amarillo newspaper Mike Atkinson, the Ranger for the Rita Blanca Grasslands, said that there hasn't been a lot of opposition but they have had some questions.

 

Maybe Jeremy can get his email address, too.

 

HP :lol:

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I remember when they re-introduced the black footed ferret into Utah. I could never understand how you can re-introduce a species that was never indigenous. Many people in the Uintah basin thought it was just another way to block drilling in that oil and gas rich area. In the end it did serve to shut down new drilling and any other activity on that BLM land. You are not even allowed to go ferret watching because it might disturb them. It also made grass maggots protected in most of the state. Any time a door is opened just a little for these government toads we loose. Now the state of Utah pays people to count prairie dogs and if an area is found lacking, they are trapped in an area with plenty and relocated to sparser areas. What a waste of money. They should be counted with a rifle.

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I count them when I'm shooting , primer up is a hit , primer down is a miss !!

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