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  1. #1
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    Default NAFA: Moving into the Future

    I'm posting some of the NAFA presidents recent messages for those falconers who may not know what NAFA has been up to in the last year.


    McNeff facebook post from April 6th, 2017:

    Falconers: Join NAFA and support our board of Directors as we engage in the kind of “century planning” that will protect and perpetuate falconry in the face of a changing society that is less and less understanding of hunting pursuits (and wildlife and nature in general).

    After 55 years of successfully advocating for falconry and falconers, and securing nearly every right and privilege that our community enjoys, NAFA leadership has determined that it is time to take two more great big steps along the path to preserving our art and culture for ourselves and for future generations.

    First Step: We have begun the process of securing the protection of an official designation of falconry as “an intangible cultural heritage of mankind” under the UNESCO document that was initially introduced in the fall of 2010. Such an inscription would forever protect us from the assaults of anti-hunting organizations such as the Humane Society of the United States. We will need your support in this. Germany just joined the list of 19 nations that have achieved this goal, and PETA fought them hard throughout the process. We will have to endure similar opposition, and need strength in numbers. Our membership is on a significant upswing. Let’s keep that momentum rolling along.

    Second Step: We are taking on the task of legally incorporating a 501(c)(4) organization that will serve us as an advocacy and defense entity for our community. As a Membership (c7) organization, NAFA is significantly restricted in our political ability and reach. With the support of the Falconry Fund, which is a c3, and the upcoming c4, falconers in North America will officially have the ability and clout to lobby and advocate for the rights that we desire, and to litigate against naysayers. Lawyers and lobbyists are widely disliked, but this is the world that we are living in. We may be practitioners of one of the oldest field sports in the world, but we are not ignorant to what is going on around us. It’s time to get serious and play hard ball. We can’t just keep hoping that we miraculously survive the inevitable focus of anti-hunting organizations. Let’s be proactive.

    Do you genuinely want to protect and perpetuate falconry? Put your money where your mouth is. Join NAFA (www.n-a-f-a.com), make a tax deductible contribution to the Falconry Fund (www.falconryfund.org), and be ready to donate to the c4 when it is officially operational.

    Falconry is steeped in history and tradition and has created some of the world’s most effective conservationists and environmentalists over thousands of years. Let’s hold strong to that part of our history as a culture! We are proud of our legacy. Let’s come together and protect it.


    Excerpt from McNeff’s Presiden’t Message to the membership on December 1st, 2016;

    To expand on that “authority, experience, and influence” statement above, I’m excited to tell you about a vote that was cast by your board of Directors during our business meeting in Elk City. A decision was made to pursue the establishment of a 501(c)(4) falconry organization. As you know, the NAFA board spent the last two years establishing and incorporating a 501(c)(3) organization called the Falconry Fund which is a tax exempt fund raising organization to distribute money for falconry related causes. The board of Directors is now moving on to the work of setting up a c4 organization which will differ from the c3 significantly. In simple terms, the existing c3 will largely underwrite falconry conservation and education efforts on a continental scale. The eventual c4 will finance the advocacy, lobbying, and defense initiatives that falconers are concerned with and will eventually be challenged by.

    As a falconry community, we will have three organizations serving us, which should offer the complete array of funding, support, legal advocacy, defense, and communal organization that will solidify our foundation and give us more clout than we have ever had at any time in our history.

    This is the BIG PICTURE of what NAFA’s efforts have been dedicated to for some time. As a c7 Membership Organization, we are not legally permitted to do much in the way of advocacy and defense. Looking back over our history, it’s remarkable to note that nearly every step of forward progress gained by falconers toward protecting and perpetuating our art from a regulatory standpoint and otherwise, was achieved by our volunteers, Directors, Officers, and Committee Chairpersons. Every falconer on this continent has NAFA to thank for the rights and privileges that we enjoy while pursuing our craft. However, as the legal and sociopolitical climate changed around us over time, we’ve come to realize that these other entities were needed, and didn’t exist. This is very big picture “century planning” to assure our interests and our legal right to exist.

    The Legal Defense Fund in our financial holdings is not adequate to effectively protect us from the kinds of attacks that are possible in today’s environment. The fact that we have been without legal access to wild-taken golden eagles for use in falconry for so long is proof of that. We are about to rectify that situation, and I’m incredibly proud to be a part of the leadership team that is taking this on. I will be one of the first falconers to financially contribute to the c3 and c4 organizations and I hope that everyone reading this message will join me.


    Excerpt from McNeff’s President’s Message on February 1st, 2017;

    Some of you may recall that about a year ago NAFA established a standing committee to work on achieving this goal for all three North American countries. Kristine Marshall, in Victoria, BC is the Chairperson of what is now the largest committee we’ve ever organized. I’ve enjoyed following along and participating in these early days of establishing the committee, identifying members to contribute, and outlining a timeline and list of goals to be addressed in order to see Mexico, Canada, and the United States achieve the protection of an official ICH label. Kristine and her husband Allan and the committee members they’ve gathered around them are really building up a head of steam and starting to make significant progress on this long-term goal.

    I want to be very clear in stating that if we are able to achieve this goal, it will be the biggest political “win” that falconry in North America has ever seen. (next to the initial legalization, which was largely won by the efforts of NAFA’s Technical Advisory Committee and organized members on the ground in their respective states and provinces)

    To illustrate the importance of achieving the goal, allow me to paraphrase Gary Timbrell and Adrian Lombard of the IAF when they announced the addition of those 5 most recent countries; The importance of being on the ICH list cannot be overemphasized: governments that list falconry are obliged to preserve it, which includes putting aside funding for that purpose. This is worth repeating in another way: not only are those governments not allowed to attack falconry, they have to ensure it is not damaged by other entities. This means the falconers are not alone in defending falconry, their governments must help them.
    Paul Domski
    New Mexico, USA

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    Paul,

    Will you please explain how our "political abilities" have been restricted in the past; in other words, what does McNeff mean when he says, "As a c7 Membership Organization, we are not legally permitted to do much in the way of advocacy and defense." Thanks.

    Also, while I am no longer a member of NAFA, from having been a participating member for many years, I can truthfully say that the cultural heritage project is the first truly proactive effort NAFA has made that I can recall. I commend them for this, and applaud their efforts. Previously all their work, some of it monumental, came after-the-fact, as a way to put out brushfires.

    Bill Boni

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrBill View Post
    Paul,

    Will you please explain how our "political abilities" have been restricted in the past; in other words, what does McNeff mean when he says, "As a c7 Membership Organization, we are not legally permitted to do much in the way of advocacy and defense." Thanks.

    Also, while I am no longer a member of NAFA, from having been a participating member for many years, I can truthfully say that the cultural heritage project is the first truly proactive effort NAFA has made that I can recall. I commend them for this, and applaud their efforts. Previously all their work, some of it monumental, came after-the-fact, as a way to put out brushfires.

    Bill Boni

    As I understand it a c7 organization is not allowed by law to lobby, or pay a lobbyist. There are a lot of restrictions placed on the various forms of non-profit organizations depending on whether they are a c3, c4, or c7. The creation of the Falconry Fund, a true non-profit where all contributions are tax deductible, is besides conservation and education, to build a large war chest which may be used by the yet to be named c4 to lobby and fight legal battles, which neither the c3 or c7 are allowed. It should be noted that the money raised by the c3 and used by the c4 can be used to fight battles for any falconry club/organization, state or otherwise, as long as the c4 organization approves. These organizations both act independently of NAFA.
    Paul Domski
    New Mexico, USA

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    Quote Originally Posted by Saluqi View Post
    As I understand it a c7 organization is not allowed by law to lobby, or pay a lobbyist. There are a lot of restrictions placed on the various forms of non-profit organizations depending on whether they are a c3, c4, or c7. The creation of the Falconry Fund, a true non-profit where all contributions are tax deductible, is besides conservation and education, to build a large war chest which may be used by the yet to be named c4 to lobby and fight legal battles, which neither the c3 or c7 are allowed. It should be noted that the money raised by the c3 and used by the c4 can be used to fight battles for any falconry club/organization, state or otherwise, as long as the c4 organization approves. These organizations both act independently of NAFA.
    Paul,

    This being the case, why is it that NAFA has not done this before now? Thanks.

    Bill Boni

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrBill View Post
    Paul,

    This being the case, why is it that NAFA has not done this before now? Thanks.

    Bill Boni
    All right, but apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, a fresh water system, and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?

    Regards,

    Tony.

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    So Bill, can we count on you to re-join?
    Michael Gregston

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    I see the creation of the c3, the Falconry Fund, and the unnamed c4 organization as the most important actions that NAFA has ever taken. This is the same way that the NRA and the Sportman's Alliance are structured and it gives them a powerful voice.

    The falconry community needs to come together and end the divisiveness that some groups on Facebook and elsewhere like to foment. We don't all have to like one another, but we all do have to work together to preserve and grow falconry. Falconers need to step up and take responsibility and volunteer and work for NAFA, and these other organizations, rather than standing by and complaining how things should have been done in the past and carrying grudges into the future. Don't point fingers, take action, get involved, run for director, and volunteer otherwise there may be a day when there is no organization paying attention and standing up for you.

    I'm in my 7th year as a NAFA director, and in my opinion one of the biggest threats to the future of falconry is lack of people willing to give their time to volunteer for leadership roles in NAFA and in state clubs. Without people to pay attention and take action the future of falconry is surely doomed, so please put your personal feelings aside and get involved, falconry needs you.
    Paul Domski
    New Mexico, USA

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    Well said Paul!
    Fred
    "Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

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    We need to make the smile.amazon.com part of the c4 desingnation of the Falconry Fund. I've suggested it to Matthew. He thought it a good idea. Those who use smile.amazon.com can donate everytime they make a purchase. I've added them to my designated charities.
    Kitty Carroll -- The Hawk of May

    ~~ The essence of falconry is not in the flight or the kill,
    but man's relationship with his hawk --- Terance Hanbury White~~

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawkmom View Post
    We need to make the smile.amazon.com part of the c4 desingnation of the Falconry Fund. I've suggested it to Matthew. He thought it a good idea. Those who use smile.amazon.com can donate everytime they make a purchase. I've added them to my designated charities.
    I hope someone from NAFA picks up on this post. I spend quite a few thousand dollars a year on Amazon for work and had tried in the past to find the Falconry Fund or Peregrine Fund on it.
    Gregory E. Miller
    "Hunt hard, kill swiftly, waste nothing, offer no apologies." - Teddy Moritz/Unknown Origin

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    Quote Originally Posted by Saluqi View Post
    The falconry community needs to come together and end the divisiveness that some groups on Facebook and elsewhere like to foment. We don't all have to like one another, but we all do have to work together to preserve and grow falconry. Falconers need to step up and take responsibility and volunteer and work for NAFA, and these other organizations, rather than standing by and complaining how things should have been done in the past and carrying grudges into the future. Don't point fingers, take action, get involved, run for director, and volunteer otherwise there may be a day when there is no organization paying attention and standing up for you.
    OMG, Paul, personal grudges are held on both sides of the aisle, and it often times doesn't have a damn thing to do with NAFA, but it gets mixed in, unfortunately, which precludes participation by individuals who have a lot to offer. I think you know this very well. One of the things I liked about Larry Dickerson when he was President of NAFA was his ability to rise above the fray; but he was only one person.

    Bill Boni

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrBill View Post
    OMG, Paul, personal grudges are held on both sides of the aisle, and it often times doesn't have a damn thing to do with NAFA, but it gets mixed in, unfortunately, which precludes participation by individuals who have a lot to offer. I think you know this very well. One of the things I liked about Larry Dickerson when he was President of NAFA was his ability to rise above the fray; but he was only one person.

    Bill Boni
    What are you talking about Bill? I don't know this very well, tell me. You left NAFA for some reason which I am not privy to, I'm guessing that's what you're eluding to, correct?

    Was it because NAFA didn't move fast enough on peregrine take?

    That NAFA has not delivered golden eagles yet?

    What? What was your reason?
    Paul Domski
    New Mexico, USA

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    Quote Originally Posted by Saluqi View Post
    What are you talking about Bill? I don't know this very well, tell me. You left NAFA for some reason which I am not privy to, I'm guessing that's what you're eluding to, correct?

    Was it because NAFA didn't move fast enough on peregrine take?

    That NAFA has not delivered golden eagles yet?

    What? What was your reason?
    It isn't NAFA's fault that we don't have a passage eagle take. We had it once, and we lost it. And NAFA wasn't responsible for losing it.

    Best,
    Dan McCarron
    John 3: 16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Saluqi View Post
    We don't all have to like one another, but we all do have to work together to preserve and grow falconry.
    Well said!

    From my perspective, every practicing falconer should belong to both their local/state club/association as well as National Association, and anyone not belonging because of personality issue should seriously rethink their position.

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    Quote Originally Posted by joekoz View Post
    Well said!

    From my perspective, every practicing falconer should belong to both their local/state club/association as well as National Association, and anyone not belonging because of personality issue should seriously rethink their position.
    Joe, I don't understand--why would anyone not join an organization because of a personality issue?

    Bill Boni

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    Oh Lordy, Bill, you are the biggest whining cry baby I have ever seen! I am so sick of your crap. Please air your dirty laundry so we all can have a laugh. You try and attack Paul and turn it around that he has attacked you. Are you in the 6th grade or what? GROW UP!!!!!!
    Fred
    "Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

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    Paul,

    The NAFA world does not revolve around Bill Boni, so I am kind of curious as to why you have singled me out based upon what I posted. I was simply responding to what you said about grudges. As I said, grudges are held on both sides of the fence. Yet, you did not address this statement. Somehow you want people to think that the problem with membership is all the result of these crazed anti-NAFA people. I am sorry, I don't think so; in fact, I know better. It has a lot to do with what NAFA has to offer, relative to what is available. What's in it for them, aside from a free membership. Unlike my day, falconers don't need NAFA to acquire relative information regarding their passion, as it is everywhere. So, NAFA is no longer the focal point when it comes to falconry, as has not been for a long time. And, simply saying that NAFA is working hard to save the world for falconry is not enough because falconry is not threatened, and falconers these days live in the here and now, not unlike NAFA in years gone by.

    Now, as to my reason(s) for leaving NAFA--do you really want me to put this out here? I really don't think it will in any way contribute to your original post; that is why I did not go into detail. It would not contribute in any way to what you were saying about NAFA's efforts in the two areas you have described. But, if you, as a director of NAFA, want me to explain the reasons why I have not renewed my membership I will, but I caution you that it will be a long post, which may take some time, as I refresh my memory, which isn't easy to do at my age.

    Bill Boni

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    Let the mount begin!!!
    Derek
    Apprentice for life

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    On my count. 16 paces, turn and ��
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    “Joe, I don't understand--why would anyone not join an organization because of a personality issue?”

    Bill:

    I belong to 11 local/state falconry clubs/associations as well as NAFA and the AFC. My experience has been, especially at the local level, that all too often when I discuss membership with fellow falconers I hear “I won’t join because I don’t like or want to be associated with (fill in the blank) falconer”. In my opinion, some people use these “personality issues” as an excuse to not join/support the organizations that are working on their behalf and looking out their interests. From my perspective, this view is very short sighted and selfish. All of these clubs are run by volunteers, and their efforts on behalf of fellow falconers, no matter how small someone may perceive them to be, should be recognized and supported by all of us.

    “Unlike my day, falconers don't need NAFA to acquire relative information regarding their passion, as it is everywhere. So, NAFA is no longer the focal point when it comes to falconry, as has not been for a long time. And, simply saying that NAFA is working hard to save the world for falconry is not enough because falconry is not threatened, and falconers these days live in the here and now, not unlike NAFA in years gone by.”

    Bill:

    Given the world we live in today, I have to disagree with your view that “Falconry is not threatened”. Today, more than ever with the internet, and an ever-increasing number of well-funded Activist Groups, sooner or later Falconry will find itself in the cross hairs of some ill-informed self-righteous organization.

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    Joe,

    I am sorry that you interpreted what I said as relating to "personality issues." I was talking about the club as a whole; in fact, I really feel that a career in the Marine Corps really gave me a leg up on this business of overlooking personalities because in that environment, in order to accomplish the mission, you must get beyond personalities and whether you like someone or not. But (since you brought it up), I see the civilian community as much different, at least based upon my experiences. Outside of the military, it seems (to me) that a person's personality does factor in in determining their value to a particular organization, and for good reason. The civilian community is not governed by rigid standards like the military, therefore, they have got to take into consideration people's personalities, as they definitely don't want any lose cannons, etc., regardless of abilities, rocking the boat. So, basically, you either play by the rules, or you don't play.

    As to what you said regarding activist groups, if it is true what you say, then I would have to agree with you (and Paul) on this point, and again applaud NAFA for moving in a proactive direction.

    Bill Boni

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    Well,
    as an overseas falconer and non-member, let me congratulate the NAFA president and board, for being so proactive and forward looking, and for ignoring the ridiculous efforts to undermine what you're doing.
    This, coming so shortly after the recent successes with the passage peregrine take, should, you would hope, have the naysayers eating humble pie. But no, naysayers thrive on making snide, underhanded comments, to no good purpose.
    Well done NAFA, and all the best for continued success.
    Best wishes,
    Tony.

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    Paul,

    I apologize if you felt I was "attacking" you; that certainly was not my intent.

    Fred, whether you have anger issues or not, your ranting about me does not contribute to the discussion in any meaningful way. So, please keep me out of whatever it happens to be that is going on in your mind. Thanks (from all of us).

    Bill Boni

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrBill View Post
    Paul,

    Fred, whether you have anger issues or not, your ranting about me does not contribute to the discussion in any meaningful way. So, please keep me out of whatever it happens to be that is going on in your mind. Thanks (from all of us).

    Bill Boni
    I beg to differ Bill, my so called ranting gives others a perspective of your input to this discussion. And speaking of the others, did I miss the election or poll on NAFEX that you won to be able to speak for "all of us"?
    Fred
    "Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

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    I think these are wise proposals.
    Anthony Scott - Apprentice -"My Lord Protector's hawks do tower so well; They know their master loves to be aloft And bears his thoughts above his falcon's pitch.”

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    Dan,

    Thanks for all you and others have done in terms of the eagle, at least we had access to it for awhile, although I sure would never fly one, as I am too cavalier of a falconer, and would surely get hurt. But, more power to those who do.

    I hear you on the age thing, and life being short. I'm soon to be 72 and recently had cataract surgery as well as a hip replacement, and now I'm having to deal with prostate cancer, so I am firmly committed to enjoying myself as much as I can, as it appears you are also; in fact, I have decided to not wait for my wife to retire to move back to Arizona where I can fish in the Colorado River as well as Lake Mohave, and do some serious hawking in wide open spaces. I'm excited!

    I certainly want NAFA to succeed in their efforts for falconers to have access to the GE again. I hope you don't think otherwise, as I know they are near and dear to you and others. To be honest, the evolution of this thread has amazed me to some extent. But, life goes on :-)

    Bill Boni

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