Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Group Has Filed Notice That it Will Sue The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources for Failing to Protect Lynx and Eagles from Trapping

How sick is it that the DNR actually knows that the majestic and threatened bald eagle and the threatened lynx are begin caught in traps and they do nothing about it? In addition, they are allowing the use of three kinds of traps -- leghold, conibear and snare traps. Horrible.

Consider the following sad facts:

“The Animal Protection Institute, which plans a similar suit in Maine, said records show at least 24 threatened bald eagles were accidentally trapped in Minnesota between 1990 and 2005, more than half of which died or had to be destroyed.”

“The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has confirmed that about 15 lynx have been trapped, snared or shot in Minnesota over the last three years and three have died.”

Article:

http://wcco.com/local/local_story_112170702.html

Animal Rights Group Plans To Sue MN DNR


(AP) Duluth, Minn. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is in the cross hairs of a California animal rights group, which plans to sue the state for failing to protect lynx and eagles from trapping.

The Animal Protection Institute has filed notice that it will sue unless the DNR increases efforts to protect the animals from three kinds of traps -- leghold, conibear and snare traps.

If the suit is successful, areas inhabited by lynx could be subject to tighter restrictions, or even a ban, on trapping.

Lynx are federally protected as threatened in the contiguous 48 states and it is illegal to kill them. But several lynx die each year after being caught in traps meant for foxes, bobcats and other animals.

Researchers estimate Minnesota has about 200 lynx across the northernmost counties, and monitor 32 of them with radio collars. Five of those lynx have been trapped in the last three years in Minnesota.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has confirmed that about 15 lynx have been trapped, snared or shot in Minnesota over the last three years and three have died.

Many of those incidents have occurred in Superior National Forest, and environmental groups, including the Sierra Club, have petitioned the DNR to take steps to prevent accidental lynx trapping. Suggestions include requiring smaller traps that are less likely to take lynx, and banning snares in lynx-filled areas.

The DNR and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service mailed brochures to about 6,200 of the state's licensed trappers explaining how to avoid trapping lynx by accident, but have taken no further action.

Ed Boggess, Minnesota DNR fish and wildlife policy chief, said his agency has been confiscating illegally set traps and instituting a mandatory trapper education program that will start in 2007 in an effort to reduce lynx deaths.

"We won't comment on a lawsuit notice we haven't seen," Boggess said. "But we have responded to the earlier letter from the Sierra Club. We'd already done much of what they asked for. We're working with the (Minnesota Trappers Association) and we're working where we can to reduce it."

The Animal Protection Institute, which plans a similar suit in Maine, said records show at least 24 threatened bald eagles were accidentally trapped in Minnesota between 1990 and 2005, more than half of which died or had to be destroyed.

"Trapping was the very activity that brought many species to the brink of extinction" said Michelle Thew, the group's chief executive officer, in a statement announcing the pending lawsuits. "Yet these same devices are still being allowed to capture and kill the same species our federal government has spent millions of dollars recovering."

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