Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Where's Dave? Director of HSUS NRRO

Here's Dave Pauli's latest update. In his own words:

" Wow.... for the first time in months I have spent most of my time in Billings!!! And with that slow down came a flu bug that knocked me down for 3-4 of those days!!! But it was great planning time as we have issues jumping up in each of my eight states- But first a few updates:

The Swift Foxes captured in Kansas as part of a Tribal endangered species project in SD are all out of the prairie in South Dakota. They were put as pairs in temporary "acclimation" or soft release pens to give them some time and some groceries to allow them to establish and orient themselves to their new short grass prairie home and they are now released and being electronically tracked via their radio collar to see if they will den up close to the release site or travel immediately to a den site of their choice.

Frogs: We only have two tadpoles left...the rest have morphed into either bullfrogs or spring peeper frogs. The Peepers will be released this spring in suitable habitat...but the bull frogs will need to be shipped to the south or east to native bullfrog range to be released as they are not native in Montana ( most likely brought here as aquarium pets and released when they outgrew the tank.)

The next three months Legislation will dominate my life as we have active session in six of my eight states and the legislative issues and ballot initiative issues are rapidly piling up. Here's just a sampling of what we are working on in the next 90 days. ( these are JUST the proactive bills...not the bad bills we have to fight)

AK: Felony Animal Cruelty Bill and Ballot Initiative to prohibit aerial shooting of Wolves
CO: Student Choice, Canned Hunting and Ag Confinement & and a possible Ag confinement Ballot Initiative
ID: Felony Dog Fighting
ND: Canned Hunting Ballot Initiative
SD: Felony Animal Cruelty Bill
UT: Felony Animal Cruelty Bill
WY: Potential Animal Fighting Felony Bill ( but it is a fiscal only session- so may not happen)

Whew... this array plus another ten proactive bills and probably a dozen reactive bills ( like SD attempt to lower the hunting age to ten) will really test our mettle. It will be a draining period of testimony, travel, email and lobbying... but if we get even a quarter of these bills passed every year things are improved for many animals!

We also have a half dozen projects in the works... most of these will be supported in some way by the AHAT fund and the Artists for Animals project!

CO: -Received word that St. Anthony hospital project at Federal Center will relocate 300-600 pdogs with our help (after 4 months of HSUS and PDC pressuring them to make this decision) This is an urban p-dog rescue project that will help develop cold weather relocation protocols and help to get a fair sized colony of p-dogs from certain death.

SD: We are planning a multi-faceted program to help captive wild horses with both a trapping program ( to capture the last 35 still loose on a huge tribal tract and rehome them) and an animal health week where we will assist a large national sanctuary with the gelding, vaccination and farrier work on a captive herd of about 500 wild horses.

WY: Habitat Day on the McCollough Peaks wild horse range. Using volunteers and the Montana Conservation Corp Kids we hope to hold this second annual habitat and wild horse day on this WY Wild Horse Range.

MT: Grizzly Bears, Wolves, Bison, Wolverine projects... To many projects to list ...but between research projects, community activism, and public education I will have a very busy team of four working on all the above for the foreseeable future. It will be a crazy, draining wild emotional ride as legislation can be sailing through one day and then killed the next. But such is the nature of that beast... and then when spring rolls in we will start working with the four legged beasts which we all would rather work with.

Here's hoping each of you have an excellent first quarter of 2008!"


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