Friday, 31 May 1996 17:00

Presented to the Wildlife Commission, May 4, 1996

Written by Cecil Fredi
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My name is Cecil Fredi. I am representing HUNTER'S ALERT. At the January Wildlife Commission meeting in Henderson, Chairman Brown stated that he wanted more input on the lion issue. He also made the same statement at the February meeting in Reno. HUNTER'S ALERT in conjunction with Safari Club International Desert Chapter decided to give the chairman the input that he was seeking^ I will address this input later on but I would like to make a few points first.

At the March Wildlife Commission meeting, Stan Stiver stated that the NDOW team and Board interaction with public opinion will provide the mountain lion plan guidance. It is quite apparent that public opinion will be considered but not taken seriously because the NDOW team stated that trapping of lions had been rejected. This proves once again that public opinion and county advisory board recommendations fall on deaf ears.

I have an article from yesterday's paper that I would like to use for some comparisons. The article quoted Colin Powell who said, "Politicians aren't listening to the people." In Nevada, NDOW is not listening to the sportsmen who pay their salaries. An example is the mountain lions wiped out the sheep up on the Sheep Mountain Range. We told you about it years ago and to date you have done nothing. Colin Powell stated, "Voters want new leadership dedicated to solving the country's problems." The same holds true for the sportsmen in the State of Nevada. This is not Cecil Fredi's personal views. This is what the sportsmen are telling the organization which I represent.

Let me read a copy of a letter I received from Jack Mooney in Yerington. I don't know Mr. Mooney. I'm sure he is a fine gentleman. This letter was directed to Donald Cavin. (The letter was then read to the Wildlife Commission) Is this the way NDOW manages the number one revenue I producer in the Game Division? They let ' the predators kill their money maker and then hope the predators starve to death. This is exactly what the Nevada Division of Wildlife has done. Using their numbers

there were 790 lions in our state in 1982, and 3200 in 1996. Letting the lions increase to these numbers and having them deplete our once famous deer herds is mismanagement at its worst. And by the way, when we had 790 lions in our state, I didn't hear the antis screaming that we needed more lions.

HUNTER'S ALERT is proud to state that we took the Wildlife Commission from 2 to 5 sportsmen. Without HUNTER'S ALERT, 3 of you sportsman representatives would not be sitting there today. The sportsmen of our state ask only one thing of you. Start listening and give them the representation as your title states.

HUNTER'S ALERT believes many more lions need to be harvested and to do so, it has to be made as easy as possible. Let's talk about some of the proposals that the NDOW team has come up with. They want to go in with an initial $15 fee. This is absolutely wrong. If they are so desperate for money put the fee after the lion has been taken. NDOW is recommending to increase the current fee to harvest a lion. That's not the way you harvest more lions. There is talk about lengthening the season which is fine but basically this will let a guide harvest an additional lion or two. It certainly won't have a major impact on the lion harvest. They are going to allow more than one lion to be harvested. Never in the history

of baseball has anyone stolen second base without reaching first. The same is true here. They aren't harvesting the first lion now so again the second lion is not going to have any real impact. When you total

these three recommendations, you may increase the lion take by 10% or 19 lions. This simply is not enough to bring our deer herds back or save our sheep. As Chairman Brown stated, he wanted more public input. So HUNTER'S ALERT, in conjunction with Safari Club International Desert Chapter, sent a mailer to some of the sportsmen in our state. The response and comments were sent to Commissioner Don Cavin. HUNTER'S ALERT received over 200 calls and letters pertaining to this mailer. The majority of these opinions were similar to the letter I read to you. Yesterday, Commissioner Cavin stated that he had almost 2000 letters from sportsmen all over the state. Have any of you other commissioners ever received 2000 letters pertaining to one issue? This shows how important this is to the sportsmen in our state. At this time I request that Commissioner Cavin explain the findings and the general attitude of these sportsmen who took the time to write their concerns about the mountain lion. (At this time, Commissioner Cavin gave a report on the material he had received. He received 1945 post cards and 51 letters urging strong action on reducing lion numbers. He also received 12 "anti" letters. He represented the sportsmen very fairly. At the end of Commissioner Gavin's comments, I thanked him for being fair and told the Wildlife Commission that we did not have this kind of representation when hundreds, possibly thousands of sportsmen did not want our sheep given to Texas.)

I'm sort of a government of the people, for the people kind of person. And I can see that some counties have recommended passage of NDOW's mountain lion proposal and I will accept that. However, Clark County is uniquely different from the rest of the counties and let me explain.

We have very little deer hunting in our county and for the sake of a round number, say 200 permits. We have approximately 100 sheep permits allowed in the county. So basically, we are putting 300 big game hunters in the field during all hunting seasons. You could give every one of them a free mountain lion tag and it would not save our sheep from being wiped out. We need some type of trapping. I'm sure organizations like FNAWS would foot the bill to save these sheep. If you three Clark County commissioners do not take some drastic action, you will be responsible for the demise of our state animal.

In closing, I ask the five commissioners representing sportsmen to listen and act on the sportsmen's concerns regarding the mountain lion in Nevada. Thank you.

Last modified on Wednesday, 05 May 2010 14:42
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