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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2009


    For those falconers following this, there is some nuance to this that goes beyond a simple Constitutional argument. As many folks know, one of the key tenets of the American conservation model (another way of saying the sum of our wildlife laws) is that wildlife is held in the public trust no mater what property it is on. This is called the Public Trust Doctrine and has been codified by case law and is easy to look up online. As a member and leader in The Wildlife Society, I will offer this link but there are many more

    IN essence wildlife cannot be privately owned just because it resides on private land - it is owned or stewarded by the States in Trust for current and future generations. If you have ever talked to hunters from other countries - or been to other countries - you know how good we have it. Thus the Pubic Trust Doctrine is a key foundation to protecting wildlife from commercial exploitation - which has proven to be the most pernicious force against sustainable management. Also privatization of wildlife can lead to the wealthy owning wildlife - which comes to another tenet of our Model : Democratic access to fishing and hunting.

    Another issue that appears to be of concern to the plaintiffs in this case is the prohibition on commercial gain a falconer can receive using migratory birds in their possession. This prohibition is, of course, a fundamental tenet of the Migratory Bird Treat Act which was created to stop the commercial exploitation of certain birds specifically, but may be allowed with special permits like abatement permits.

    I would encourage anyone here interested to do some homework on the Public Trust Doctrine, and related wildlife law in the U.S. and decide for yourself. Consider the bigger picture and who gains the most by such cases and look up who is funding the Pacific Legal Foundation (attorneys in the case). Whatever you think, the fact remains that this subject is very nuanced and there is a lot more case law behind it that the MBTA alone. I for one prefer the delicate and sometime annoying dance we have with the agencies to precedent setting changes to the protection of wildlife.

    The Pacific Legal Foundation took this case (lawyers for the plaintiffs) because they are interested in precedent setting case law advancing libertarian/conservative principles as they relate to government. They are not interested in falconry and its future and they are not interested in the implications case law may have toward wildlife conservation - as they have a history of fighting environmental regulation. they are explicitly trying to weaken conservation. They are funded by tobacco, oil/gas, Koch Brothers and similar interests and have aggressively worked to stop the Sage Grouse conservation plan among a myriad of other environmental issues. Just a message of caution. Its really important to dig into the details on this one.

    Some links to information on the PLF -
    Last edited by Montucky; 11-01-2018 at 02:56 AM.
    Bend, OR

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