January 23, 2015
The Senate Resources and Environment Committee met today to have a gubernatorial appointment hearing, as well as a report on the Rock Creek Ranch.The two candidates are Blake Fischer (Meridian) and Lane Clezie (Pocatello) who were both appointed to the Idaho Fish and Game Commission to serve a term commencing July 29, 2014 and expiring June 30, 2018.The committee was allowed to ask both candidates questions concerning Idaho Fish and Game.
The committee asked questions to both candidates about Idaho Fish and Game. The question asked by Senator Brackett (Rogerson) to both candidates was, who should be able to sell LAP tags (landowner appreciation tags), the landowners or Fish and Game? Blake Fisher responded saying that Fish and Game should be the only ones allowed to sell tags. Lane Clezie responded in the same way agreeing that landowners should not be able to sell the tags, and that Fish and Game should handle all selling of LAP tags. Another main question asked by the committee was how the candidates foresee managing the surplus of animals in Idaho. Blake Fisher responded with, it is ultimately up to the commission to manage the wildlife, when there is a surplus of animals it allows us to know the proper means for hunting in certain areas to control resources. He would be in favor of limiting hunting in order to conserve the resource. Lane Clezie is also for management of the animals in the sate, he thinks it is best for certain animals to be controlled for further conservation, and hunting purposes. The candidates had very similar opinions to the questions asked by the committee. Other questions asked were the feeling of managing wolves in Idaho as well as Sage Grouse management. Both candidates felt the current system of management from Fish and Game is sufficient.
The vote will be conducted on Monday January 26, 2015.
The Committee wanted to further review the information on the Rock Creek Ranch purchase. Jeff Gould, Chief of Wildlife from the Idaho department of Fish and Game, presented to the committee further information. The Idaho code authorizes the Idaho Fish and Game for specific purchases of land such as restoration, protection of game, or to provide public hunting, fishing, or trapping areas. The Rock Creek Ranch is a 10,400-acre parcel of land that is located in Blaine County by the Soldier Mountain foothills. The area is surrounded by BLM, and private property. The Rock Creek Ranch was purchased from the Rinker family for 2.3 million dollars. The land was estimated at 13 million dollars. There was an easement for grassland reserves to preserve and protect wildlife habitat and maintains the property as a working ranch. Idaho Fish and Game is viewed as the entity with the most appropriate resources and expertise to own and manage the property to meet these objectives. The land will be available for hunting access, and will look very similar to our other wildlife management areas. Rock Creek Ranch will take additional funds to maintain maintenance. Toni Hardesty, State Director for the Nature Conservancy, testified on the Rock Creek Ranch. The Nature Conservancy will not profit from this project, but they do help facilitate the project and are very supportive of the project.
There was no other ISCAC related business today.Post Filed Under: Elk, FG Commission, LAP, LAP tags
January 22, 2015
The Senate Agricultural Affairs Committee met today to discus Docket No. 02-0419-1401 on Domestic Cervidea, which was presented by Dr. Leibsle, Deputy Administrator and State Veterinarian. Docket No. 02-0419-1401- was implemented as a temporary rule in 2014 so that the program would not be shut down for the third consecutive year. There are three components to the change in the rules. 1. Specify the type of disease surveillance. 2. To specify the facility inspections criteria. The inspections used to be done on an annual basis, now inspections have been reduced to every five years. 3. There has been a change to the annual assessment fee from $5 a head to $10. This change reduces the surveillance for CWD to no less then 10% of the animals harvested, which is any animal that is intentionally removed for shooting purposes or meat production will be subject to the reduction. Any animal that dies for any other reason other then being harvested must be sampled at the 100% level. There has never been a positive case of CWD in the state of Idaho.
Stan Boyd- testified on behalf of the Idaho Elk Breeders Association. The Idaho Elk Breeders Association had a program that was not being adequately funded. By passing this docket we found the way to raise revenues and lower regulations. The amount of 10% of lowering the regulation does not raise any concern to the industry. The Idaho Elk Breeders Association supports these changes.
Forrest Goodrum- testified on behalf of the Ada County Fish and Game League. His concern was that the 10% testing is not an adequate amount of testing for shooter bull operations to be properly tested.
Senator Brackett (Brackett) moved to pass Docket No. 02-0419-1401. The motion passed with one opposed by Senator Ward-Engleking (Boise)
Docket No. 02-0421-1401-Importation of Animals with the meningeal worm Parasite was presented by Dr. Leibsle. This proposed rule is part of a petition from the Idaho Elk Breeders Association. The changes include the removal of import restrictions for domestic Cervedae to regions endemic with the meningeal warm. This docket will not allow domestic import until the Cervedea have received a de-worming treatment prior to import. The rule change would prohibit import of animals that have the worm. It would also have to include a verification statement on the health certificate, that none of the animals have been exposed to or have symptoms of the worm.
Senator Ward-Engleking (Boise) asked if it is possible to detect this parasite on a live animal. Doctor Leibsle responded that the worm is difficult to test on live animals and there is currently no test. Senator Jim Rice (Caldwell)- asked if there are other livestock that this worm is found in? Doctor Leibsle -The worm has been documented in white tail deer, elk, moose, and cattle.
Forrest Goodrum- came to testify on behalf of the Ada County Fish and Game League. Speak against the proposed rule change, with concerns about the parasite coming into Idaho
Docket No. 02-0421-1401 received a motion from Senator Mary Souza (Coeur d’Alene) to hold this docket for further information at the call of the chair. The motion passed to hold this docket for further information by the committee.
The House Agricultural Affairs Committee met today to review the dockets that were held by the Representative Steve Miller’s (Fairfield) Sub Committee Rules/ Livestock sub committees on January 20, 2015. Docket No. 02-0421-1401 Rules Governing Importation of Animals- Meningeal Worm Parasite.
Forrest Goodrum testifying on behalf of Ada County Fish and Game League was offered the opportunity to present his information to the committee first. Forrest Goodrum stands against the proposed rule change. He and the Ada County Fish and Game league believe the passing of this docket would put our domestic and wild livestock at risk. Forrest Goodrum urged the committee to reject the rule.
Dr. Leibsle, Deputy Administrator and State Veterinarian, presented to the full committee on the Docket No. 02-0421-1401 Rules Governing Importation of Animals- Meningeal Worm Parasite. Dr. Lebsle briefly reviewed that the docket will prevent the importation of cervedea that have not been properly treated with de worming medication, as well as any cervedea that have been exposed to the worm.
Stan Boyd-testified on behalf of the Idaho Elk Breeders Association, who urge the passing of this docket. The genetics of other cervedea across the nation is a main reason for bringing in breeding stock into Idaho, and this rule will allow for that.
Representative Dayley (Boise) moved to make a motion to hold the docket for one week for further information. The motion to hold the docket for more information was passed by the committee.Post Filed Under: CWD, Domestic Cervidae, Elk, Meningeal Worm
January 21, 2015
The House Resource and Environment Committee met today to discuss RS23273 Fee Provisions, which was presented by Sharon Keifer, Department of Idaho Fish and Game. This proposal amends fish and game fees that are found in Idaho code 36-416. The Idaho Fish and Game has a fee increase about every 5 years; the last fee increase was in 2005. Operation cost since then has gone up about 22%. The fee proposal primarily raises resident fees, but also raised the fees for non-resident daily fishing licenses. This is the most common item sold by the Idaho Fish and Game. By printing this RS, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game is hoping to have conversations that engage Legislators and sportsmen to talk about Price Lock. Price Lock would exempt sportsmen who purchase a license each year from the fee increase that is proposed in this RS. Price Lock is used to discover buying patterns of sportsmen and women. A majority of Idahoans consider themselves hunters, though not all of them buy a license every year, which is called churn. Roughly 60% of the licensed buyers don’t purchase every year, and roughly 30 % of total licensed buyers do. The motion to introduce RS23273 was passed by the committee. There will be a public hearing on the bill at a later date.
RS23321 Illegal Killing and Possession was next on the agenda, presented by Sharon Keifer, from Idaho Fish and Game. This RS is a technical correction to a long-standing statute which provides for enhanced penalties in situations where animals are illegally killed, possessed, or wasted. There is a statutory definition for Trophy Species. Idaho Fish and Game has enhanced penalties for when an animal is illegally killed, possessed, or wasted, that meets this statutory trophy definition. Recently, a court found legal deficiency in the overall structure of how the statute was written. This RS makes a technical correction to address the legal deficiency. In addition, it revises the reimbursement of reversible penalty downward for the Chinook salmon and wild Steelhead. The motion to introduce RS23321 was passed by the committee. There will be a public hearing on the bill at a later date.
The Senate Resources and Environment Committee met today to cover the dockets that were presented on January 19, 2015, by Sharon Kiefer, from Idaho Fish and Game. Idaho’s Fish and Game Docket No. 13-0108-1402, on Unlimited Control Hunts, was held by the committee for 2 weeks for further information. All other dockets were adopted for Idaho Fish and Game.
There was no other ISCAC related business today.Post Filed Under: Controlled Hunts, FG Commission, Licenses
January 20, 2015
The Senate Agricultural Affairs Committee met today with a presentation from Meagan Levy from PNEWER (Pacific Northwest Economic Region) on the invasive quagga mussels. The quagga mussels are now found in several lakes that surround Idaho, such as Lake Mead, and Utah’s Dear Creak Reservoir. The economic impacts from the infestation of this muscle are clogging delivery pipes, infest hydropower infrastructures, adhering to boats and pilings, fouling recreational beaches, competing with native mussels, and disrupting the food webs and the biological functioning of aquatic habitats. They pose a significant threat to anadromous fish restoration efforts in the West. Meagan Levy covered the benefits of the reauthorization of the quagga mussel into the National Invasive Species Act. The reauthorization will help identify and implement ways to prevent the unintentional introduction and spread of invasive species into waters of the United States. The Act also works toward minimizing economic and ecological impacts that the established invasive species have. Supporting the reauthorization of the NISA will help with educating people on how to prevent the introduction and spread of the invasive species and minimize the impact of the established invasive species. Meagan Levy went on to talk about the benefit of adding the quagga mussels as “injurious species” under the Lacey Act. The Lacey Act prohibits the interstate transport or importation of the listed injurious species with penalties for the violations. Preventative action requires the efforts from federal, state, and local governments. The goal of this is early detection, control, and management, and to help people be better informed of the economic and environmental effects that these mussels can cause.
The House Agricultural Affairs Committee met today under Representative Steve Miller’s (Fairfield) Sub Committee Rules/ Livestock, upon adjournment of the full committee.
Dr. Leibsle, Deputy Administrator and a State Veterinarian presented on the docket for Domestic Cervidear.
Docket No. 02-0419-1401- was implemented as a temporary rule in 2014. There are 3 components to the change in the rules. 1. Specify the type of disease surveillance. 2. To specify the facility inspections criteria. The inspections used to be done on an annual basis, now inspections have been reduced to every 5 years. 3. There has been a change to the annual assessment fee from $5 a head to $10.
John Robinson testified on behalf of the Idaho Conservation League. The concern is that elk farms can act as incubators for the chronic wasting disease. Idaho Fish and Game’s concern was reducing the requirements, which may lead to an increase in chances of this disease occurring. The Idaho Fish and Game are concerned about the decreases in testing but are in support of the increase in fees. The committee voted to send the rules to the full committee with a recommendation to approve the rule. Passed unanimously.
There was no other ISCAC related business today.Post Filed Under: Domestic Cervidae, Elk, Invasive Species, quagga mussel
January 19, 2015
The Senate Resources and Environment met for the first time today. Vice Chairman Senator Steve Vick introduced the rules, and Sharon Keifer from Idaho Fish and Game. Chairman Vick clarified that today the committee would not make any motion on the rules. After having time to review the rules, they will be voted on at next Wednesday’s meeting for the Senate Resources and Environment.
Docket No. 13-0102-1401 was presented first.
This docket is a change to hunter education and mentored hunting programs.The change is a revision in the rules for some of the youth programs that involve the hunting of big game animals to change the age from 12 to 10.
Senator Bair (Blackfoot) asked if this was mandatory for the completion of hunter education. Sharon Keifer responded- we have updated the terminology, to be that students are not using live fire. Rather than having students get to a shooting range and conduct a live fire exercise, because of the enormous amount of students that we are working with, it was actually becoming an impediment for individuals to finalize their hunter certifications. The updated terminology is having the field exercise become mandatory, but the live fire is not. Senator Stennett (Ketchum) asked if it was still going to be required to have familiarity with weapons to get certified? Sharon Kiefer responded the field exercise is still required to get the final certification. Senator Brackett (Blackfoot)- Will hunter education instructors still have the ability to do the live fire clinics? Sharon Kiefer- Yes, we work closely with volunteers who want to be able to offer that as an opportunity.
Docket No. 13-0104-1402 was presented next.
This docket is another revision of rules to reflect the changes in law. Last year senate bill 1278 was passed by this committee, which allows a non- resident American Veteran to get reduced fee license and tags. As a result in the change, there had to be revision to reflect the change in law.
Senator Cameron (Rupert) Asked for further explanation of the difference in the rules. Sharon Kiefer- the first part is not specific to the disabled veteran program, this is the straight disability license, and clarifies what forms need to be provided. The other portion goes into more detail for someone who is seeking the license and needs to obtain a doctor’s certification. Senator Cameron (Rupert) Is the intention of the rule to allow eligibility to fall under the different sections? Sharon Kiefer- Yes, there are now more avenues of receiving a disability license, and only the Veterans can receive the disabled American Veteran License. Senator Cameron (Rupert)- Are non-resident veterans now able to meet the same requirements as a resident veteran? Sharon Kiefer- Yes, the only change is the price difference between resident and non-resident. Senator Stennett (Ketchum) asked if we eliminated the portion that allows for outside parties to help as guides? Sharon-Kiefer responded we created latitude; prior to that it was mandatory. Now, non-resident disabled American Veterans are able to work with any organization.
Docket No. 13-0104-1403 was next on the agenda.
Update for rules to be revised to comply with law. The Idaho Fish and Game has a special disabled American hunt tag program. A qualified organization must be used to acquire the tag on behalf of an individual. When this law was first passed it had to be a non-profit. Through time, there are now organizations that Veterans fall under. Those laws have been passed, and the rules changed to reflect the law.
Senator Cameron (Rupert), and Senator Stennett (Ketchum) Wanted further clarification of what organizations this entails. Sharon Kiefer responded that it is an organization that meets assisting Veterans and has it included in their mission statement.
Docket No. 13-0104-1404 was next. – These are a change to rules governing licensing that were passed last year. The change is adding the eligibility for turkey and black bear to existing LAP landowner appreciation hunt tags. The only change is adding black bear to the existing rules. The commission has not yet decided on the rules for turkey.
Docket No. 13-0108-1402- This is a change in the taking of big game animals. The change is made to Unlimited Control hunts where there is no limit to a number of tags that are sold for a specific hunt. It does allow Fish and Game to monitor how many individuals are participating in that hunt. The concern is for individuals who do not select Unlimited Control hunt as their first choice on a control hunt application. Many put Unlimited Control hunts as their second choice. The Commission adopted a rule that says if you want to put down an unlimited hunt as a controlled hunt choice it must be your first choice and you must draw that.
Senator Cameron (Rupert) asked how many limited control hunts there are, and what is the number of people affected? Sharon Kiefer responded that it’s the trends that raise concern. In 2014, there were only unlimited control hunts for deer. 4 out of 51 hunts were unlimited control hunts. There were 2,433 first choice applications that requested this as their first choice. There were 1,889 who had this option listed as their second choice. These individuals would need to make a decision if that is what they want as their first choice, or listing their second choice as something other then the unlimited control hunt.
Docket No. 13-0108-1403 was presented next.
This docket is to change the rules to lower the age to hunting and taking of big game from age 12 to 10.
Docket No. 13-0108-1404 – This is a change in the elk management plan, that the elk zones needed some realignment for better management and hunting opportunities.
Senator Brackett (Blackfoot) wished to make a statement on record, suggesting the South Hill Zone for further refinement. Sharon Kiefer responded it is an ongoing refinement that changes with management and hunting.
Docket No. 13-0109-1401- This docket is an adopted rule from the commission that manages the shooting hours in the designated pheasant hunting areas. It addresses human safety concerns, and further distribution of the docket pheasants. This will also help reduce the conflict between the two types of hunters using the grounds.
Senator Bair (Blackfoot) asked to be provided with examples of the change in hours. Sharon Kiefer responded with saying the commission would designate it by a proclamation, and will also be posted at the specific areas.
The Senate Health and Welfare Committee met today with information pertinent to ISCAC. It covered having big game donated to food shelters. This allows donations of big game to be accepted. There were some questions about safety of product. The food bank would now be required to have specific labels that show the game has been inspected and properly cared for. This docket was accepted.
There was no other ISCAC related businessPost Filed Under: Bears, Big Game, Controlled Hunts, Disabled Hunting, Elk, FG Commission, Game Birds, Hunter's Ed, Private Property, Sage Grouse
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