View Full Version : Regulatory update - we are making progress!

08-03-2011, 09:19 AM
For a web version go to http://calhawkingclub.org/index.php?option=com_acymailing&ctrl=archive&task=view&mailid=19&key=616c26c9285a55465b4bd2c93d875c97.

Hello California Falconers,

Submitting updated state regulations to the federal government by September 1, 2013 to meet the January 2014 deadline is critical to the very existence of falconry in California. Many hard-working people are doing their very best to assure that our sport and passion continues unabated, but is to be expected that as individualistic as falconers are, they would not all be of one opinion on how to best proceed with the adoption process. I do not dare claim that I speak for all falconers, but I can state that the California Hawking Club shares their fervent desire to protect our ability to hunt with birds of prey. The number one priority of the CHC is getting these regulations passed. Unless they are adopted, nothing else matters.

As most of you know, the CHC offered to work with the DFG to expedite the adoption process, and they asked us to assist in the preparation of the CEQA document, an environmental impact report required by state law. Thanks to the input of club members and the outstanding editorial work of Director Kim Mauch, our part of this document has already been submitted.

In our spring, 2011 newsletter, we published the DFG timeline for completing the regulations before the deadline. For those who did not have the opportunity to review them, I am including them here. They are also posted on the DFG website: http://www.dfg.ca.gov/wildlife/falconry/

Task Estimated Completion Date
------------------ -----------------------------
Compile Data Summer 2011

Public comments Ongoing
to web page

Summarize and Winter 2011
analyze falconry
activities and impacts

Develop and Spring 2012
publish draft ED
(ED = Environmental Document)

Public comment 45 days
on draft ED

Finalize ED Summer 2012

Public comment 45 days
on draft regulations

Summarize public Summer 2012
comments and
revise regulations

Public review and 30 days
Commission action

Submit draft Summer 2012
regulations to USFWS
for review

Final Commission Spring 2013
vote on new regs

Submit to USFWS Summer 2013
for approval

This timeline was submitted last March, and to this point we are on schedule to have the regulations completed in time. DFG Raptor Biologist Carrie Battistone, who is in charge of the falconry adoption process, is keenly aware our concerns and deadlines. Currently, she is completing the CEQA document. Until it is finished, the regs can proceed no further. She is also working with the license and Revenue Branch of the DFG to have 3-186A forms on line, as is required in the new regs. As many of you know, the new regulations are not substantially different from the old ones. For the record, the CHC will ask for adoption of the regulations as they are written. Here are some of the major differences:
Areas of change:

Apprentices can be 12 years old with parental support and approval.
Apprentices can fly a large number of raptors including sharp-shins, Coopers, goshawks, merlins, and gyrs.
Apprentices can purchase their first hawk or falcon (or owl) from a captive breeder.
General falconers can fly three birds
A falconer can be general at 16 years
A general can fly all species but eagles
Master falconers can fly five wild birds including eagles
Master falconers can have an unlimited number of captive-bred birds

In addition we want to add provisions to the state regs that are not a part of federal regs, including:
Three-year license renewal
Year-round trapping of juvenile birds

If you have additions, opinions or suggestions on these or other aspects of the new laws please let us know. I have had several responses suggesting that both the variety and availability of birds to apprentices is a matter of concern. When passed, the regulations will be in place for a long time, so speak up while you can.

We look forward to hearing from you, and I want to assure you that we will do everything in our power to make New Year’s Day 2014 a great day to go out hawking.

Good hawking,
Bill Murphy
President, California Hawking Club