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In February, despite overwhelming public opposition, the New Hampshire Fish and Game (NHFG) Commission moved forward with a proposal to re-institute a bobcat hunting and trapping season in the Granite State. For the well-being of the New Hampshire bobcat population and for the sake of the public’s support for NHFG, the Harris Center strongly opposes this proposal.
On April 1, the proposal was reviewed by the Joint Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules (JLCAR), who voted 9-1 to object to it. The grounds for this objection were the potential violation of the Endangered Species Act (arising from possible accidental trapping of endangered Canada Lynx), and the net cost of the proposed season, which was “not in the public interest.” The proposal now moves back to the NHFG Commission, who can withdraw it, amend it, or explain why they think it should remain unchanged. The Commissioners have until May 15 to file their response. Simultaneously, JLCAR referred the issue to the House Fish and Game and Marine Resources Committee and the Senate Energy and Natural Resource Committee, who have until May 1 to respond.
As these policy makers contemplate the next steps for this controversial proposal, it is important to continue making your voice heard. Comments should be directed both to the NHFG Commissioners and to the members of the House and Senate committees who are reviewing the proposal. Phone calls work best.