Quote Originally Posted by rkumetz View Post

With respect to the second point, cruise around NAFEX and you will find more than a couple of threads where falconers have used the fact that the sport is regulated both federally and at the state level to weave their way around local regulations, zoning problems and HOA rules. The same is true of the animal rights nitwits. If you are conducting your falconry within the bounds of
the regulations they can whine and "drop a dime" on you but inevitably you will be judged by the letter of the law rather than their emotional drool. You and I know that no matter how bad the
rules are (yes, I realize you think they are worse than I do [IMG]file:///C:/Users/JMGOOD~1/AppData/Local/Temp/msohtmlclip1/01/clip_image001.gif[/IMG]) but I know you are smart enough to know that you stand a better chance with the regs than defending yourself against a
posse of irrational emotionally driven nuts who think that wildlife should be "lookie no touchie".
This is a concept that critics of NAFA and government have generally overlooked. That fact that we are couched within a wildlife management paradigm means we have been given a legal open road by wildlife agencies who, by definition, support our enterprise in the face of a myriad of obstacles. It is fortuitous to say the least compared to say the British model. Overall, most of the falconers I know have had at least one unfortunate interaction with LE's but the net experience has been either benign or positive. I would have tip my hat to AFC if they were just trying to make a nuanced change to inspections - whereby the inspection to certify a new falconer's facilities (and falconers that moved to the state) was mandatory, but any re-inspection would have some more sideboards to it.

I think that once a falconer is vetted with permits and inspections, maybe it would be nice to have a slightly higher bar. As I have mentioned before, the problem is that there is a larger regulatory norm for all migratory bird permits under Subchapter B of 50CFR. So breaking into this requirement is a bigger hurdle that just falconry, and the reasoning behind MBTA regs, are, in my opinion, are not unreasonable if you have a broader view of conservation vs looking through a straw at "rights".

Furthermore - if you look into the history of the 1970's development of the federal regs between NAFA leaders and the USFWS - you will see that the reason we have legal falconry and the abundance access to wild birds is largely due to a strategic argument on the part of our forefathers. Two early leaders of our community in the US (the first NAFA president) and in Canada were raptor perpetrators straight up. THe US person was literally busted in a falcon smuggling scheme and was associated with McPartlin. No matter how much we want to feel like we are a largely victimized community, this event was a very unfortunate, damaging situation. Added to that there were a number of advocacy groups that were poised to fight legalized falconry. So these NAFA regs authors had a needle to thread and did so deftly. By the 1980's regs update, the feds even acknowledged in writing the role of falconers in conservation and our benign impact. This trend of acceptance just increased more and more....and this is directly based on the sophistication and leadership of this small group of NAFA leaders who negotiated falconry in the context of our Wildlife Model of Conservation. Its a fact.

Of course the paradigm behind PLF and their ideological funders is the opposite of our own conservation paradigm. They take a fundamental opposition to the very idea of a public resource, democratic access, and conservation in general. They fight time-tested conservation model by using "rights" arguments - suggesting it is the manifest destiny of folks (especially industry) to be able to take what they want and benefit from it financially without interference or consequence. They see mainstream conservation practices as extreme government over-reach.

Subchapter B of 50CFR Part 13 set the over-arching terms for all permits such as Taxidermy, Education, Falconry, rehab etc. In 13.47 you will see that the inspection requirement is an umbrella requirement for all permits relating to bird possession
ß 13.47 Inspection requirement.
Any person holding a permit under this subchapter B shall allow the Director's agent to enter his premises at any reasonable hour to inspect any wildlife or plant held or to inspect, audit, or copy any permits, books, or records required to be kept by regulations of this subchapter B.