I dont want to give the impression that I am trying to validate the comments that Paul posted. Despite seeing some merit in a few of the points he raised, I think the comments are best ignored.

Quote Originally Posted by JRedig View Post
1. Not true, we have non native raptors. Tons of them. Why would the North American falconers association be interested in non native raptors anyway? That is not relevant to continuing North American falconry, which at the core is about the wild take of raptors and pursuing quarry.

I think that is a very curious response. I wont rehash my earlier comments, but are you saying NAFA should not be representing the interests of NA falconers who want to work with non native raptors? Why not? There is a lot of interest from North American falconers in non native raptors for a variety of reasons. Prior to WBCA going in place, bringing them into the US was as simple as satsifying the CITIES concerns, if any, and arranging quarantine. NAFA was interested in non native raptors enough in the late 80s and very early 90s when the WBCA was being put in place to monitor it. Why not enough interest to fix it?

It is true, that birds can still be imported but the level of red tape is, in a word, ludicrous. I have been through the process. And all without any real valid reason. There really are not any raptor populations that fall in line with the WBCA goals - protecting wild bird populations throughout the world from illegal and corrupt legal trade to the US markets.

There has been enough interest to make it worth while for some of the breeders to go through that process, thankfully. Some of the birds being brought in are "native" anyway - aplomados, peregrines, gys, goshawks, European kestrels, and Harris' hawks have all been imported after the WBCA went in place.

There were NAFA representatives following up with every state to help, but ultimately it was up to each state. NAFA wasn't going to do it for anyone, and they shouldn't.

I was very actively involved with the reg change in my state, and I could not really say that NAFA was very helpful in the process. The "help" we received from NAFA was a two page letter that could best be described as a beginners guide to working state politics. No follow up, no offers to support us through the process through communication with our state. Maybe the guys who were helping the state had already been told that the Washington folks can handle it on their own, which was absolutely true. There is a good pool of politically saavy talent in the falconry community here, and we know quite well how to work both the legislative and regulatory process.

2. & 4. Deal with falconry at state levels. NAFA is a federal organization, the states didn’t ask for help, why would they inject themselves when not asked?
I do not see why you think issue 2 was a state issue that NAFA should not have been involved in. It was the US FWS that spearheaded that action, as I recall, as a way to justify the "jail" that they had built to house up to 9 raptors during enforcement seizures. Colorado state Fish and Game was involved, but they were just along for the ride. Regardless, it was pretty clear early on that this was a fishing expedition by the agencies involved. All of the citations were dropped within a year for lack of a case. I know for sure one of the seized hawks died in custody, and as I recall there were several of them if not all that died. That is not something NAFA should care about? The USFWS abused their power, rail roaded some falconers, and killed birds through neglecting to care for them properly. By your logic, should a state stay out of the case if some bonehead county Sheriff is persecuting people without cause?

I know this reads like I am coming down hard on your statement, but really, I am just trying to understand where you are coming from because I am honestly baffled by it.

Non resident take is, by its very nature, not a sate level issue. If the falconers in one state are being selfish with "their" falconry take, I cannot even begin to wrap my mind around why anyone can say with a straight face that the national organization needs to stay out of it until invited by the state. Now, that being said, I know you are correct with what you said about the individual being drug through the mud.

Apart from that, it is not legal for a state that offers take to its residents to discriminate against the residents of another state. There are clear cut supreme court decisions addressing that matter. NAFA should have been the first one to have been pushing on this, if possible with co-operation with the state residents but definately with respect for the effect on the state residents (something that other group still needs to get their head wrapped around).