Sunday, June 16, 2013

Project Bobcat

You'll notice that I have a new "Take Action to Protect Bobcats" page listed on the tabs underneath the banner photo of this blog.  Residents in Joshua Tree recently became aware that bobcats were being trapped and killed across much of California's deserts for their furs, which are then sold to markets in Russia and China.  The same market forces that lead to ruthless poaching for ivory in other countries is now impacting our deserts by removing a key predator from the ecosystem.  However, in California it is legal to kill as many bobcats as you would like.  This is an outdated policy that could have serious ecological repercussions.

Bobcat in the Mojave. Photo by David McChessney.
The folks organizing to protect these wonderful animals have started Project Bobcat, and they are supporting the Bobcat Protection Act (Assembly Bill 1213) in the California legislature.  This bill, as it currently reads, would make it unlawful to kill bobcats in the area around Joshua Tree National Park,  propose rulemaking to limit bobcat trapping around other refuges and parks, raise licensing fees for bobcat trapping so that such practice is no longer subsidized by the state, and make it unlawful to trap bobcats on private land without the landowners permission.

This bill is up before the Committee on Natural Resources and Water on June 25.  Please call or e-mail the Committee members before June 25 and urge them to support A.B. 1213, the Bobcat Protection Act.  You can visit the Project Bobcat website for more information.


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