Category Archives: Trapping

More HB 490 Efforts

Also coming to light last week was an amendment to the omnibus legislation HB 490 that is intended to define the meaning of “adverse impact” in such a way that likely threatens both the health of Lake Erie’s waters and the implementation of the Great Lakes Compact.  Time for another letter, the text of which is below:

Ohio House Committee on Agriculture & Natural Resources

Opponent Testimony

SUB. H.B. 490

November 14, 2014

Chairman Hall, Vice Chair Thompson, Ranking Member Cera, and Members of the Committee: My name is Matt Misicka and I am the Vice President of the Ohio Conservation Federation.

On behalf of the Ohio Conservation Federation (OCF) and the thousands of Ohio sportsmen and women that its members Buckeye Big Bucks Club, Buckeye Firearms Association, Ducks Unlimited, Lake Erie Charter Boat Association, National Wildlife Federation, National Wild Turkey Federation, Ohio State Trappers Association, and Pheasants Forever represent, I am writing to you today to express our concerns regarding proposed amendments to HB 490 that define “significant adverse impact” in such a way that threatens the productivity of Lake Erie, the safety of public drinking water, and the validity of the Great Lakes Compact approved by Ohio and ratified by Congress in 2008.

Maintaining the health of Lake Erie is vital to Ohio’s economy.  Whether it is safe guarding the walleye and perch that so many of us love to pursue and the livelihoods of charter boat captains and crews, or protecting the western basin’s marshes that provide essential habitat for the ducks that waterfowlers and their guides hunt from one end of the state to the other.

The new proposed language is in direct conflict with the compact requirements in that it measures only the physical impact of withdraws without considering impacts to water chemistry (concentration of pollutants such as phosphorus) or wildlife.

OCF is supportive of the changes recommended by a diverse group of conservation-minded organizations including Ducks Unlimited and National Wildlife Federation. These groups have suggested the following language intended to scientifically evaluate the impacts of withdraws: striking lines 4524-4537 and 4557-4576 and replacing lines 4557-4576 with the following language:

(a) Significant impacts to an important function of the ecosystem of the source watershed shall include, but not limited to, the following:


(i) Interruption of a primary spawning area of a threatened or endangered species of fish;

(ii) Significant loss of productivity or habitat of a characteristic sport fish or commercial fish species in a direct tributary;

(iii) Impairment of the chemistry, sediment, temperature, or flow dynamics in the river mouth of a tributary such that one or more of the significant habitat functions of habitats on or near the lake shore are materially impaired;


(iv) Lowering of water levels in a tributary to a point that interferes with commercial navigation in a port.

Thank you for the opportunity to submit testimony regarding our concerns with HB 490 and the future of Lake Erie.  The Ohio Conservation Federation stands ready to assist Members of this Committee, the Department of Natural Resources, the Governor, and related stakeholders in finding common ground on these issues.  Protecting Lake Erie, its tributaries, and surrounding communities is essential to the health of our wildlife, economy, and hunting, angling, and trapping heritage.

Sincerely,

Matt Misicka

Vice President

Ohio Conservation Federation

 

OCF Welcomes the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation’s New Midwestern States Coordinator: Kyle Rorah

20 September, 2014

This past Friday and Saturday, Kyle Rorah, the new Midwestern States Coordinator for the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, met with OCF members, DOW brass, and Ohio Sportsmen’s Caucus Chair Senator Joe Uecker.

Founded in 1989, CSF’s mission is to, “work with Congress, governors, and state legislatures to protect and advance hunting, angling, recreational shooting and trapping.” 

As part of this mission, Kyle will be working closely with sportsmen, conservationists, industry, ODNR staff, and elected officials to promote lines of communication, build momentum, and establish more regular interactions between stakeholders.

To get him started, OCF Vice President Matt Misicka and Kyle met with DOW Chief Scott Zody for an hour on Friday afternoon.  Afterwards, Kyle went on to meet with representatives of the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance and ended the day with a conference call with Senator Joe Uecker.

On Saturday, Kyle joined OCF’s Policy Director Steve Gray and representatives of Pheasants Forever, Ducks Unlimited, Ohio State Trappers, the Ohio Wildlife Council, and the Land and Water Conservation Fund Coalition at the USSA’s 2014 Rally at the Aladdin Shrine Temple.  Good conversation followed good food and an opportunity to meet allies like the Mitchells from the League of Ohio Sportsmen, DOW Asst Chief Dave Lane and District Manager Korey Brown, and fellow sportsmen like Central Ohio Anglers & Hunters Club President Bill Otis and Past-President Scott Popplewell, to name just a few.

Today, more than 300 U.S. Senators and Representatives are caucus members. Our very own Congressman Bob Latta is a Co-Chair of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus.  Ohio’s members include: John Boehner (R, Dist-8), Bob Gibbs (R, Dist-7), Bill Johnson (R, Dist-6), Jim Jordan (R, Dist-4), David Joyce (R, Dist-14), Tim Ryan (D, Dist-13), Steve Stivers (R, Dist-15), Pat Tiberi (R, Dist-12), Brad Wenstrup (R, Dist-2), and Senator Rob Portman (R).

Ohio’s Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus leadership includes Chair Senator Joe Uecker (R, Dist-14), Senator Lou Gentile (D, Dist-30), Representative Nick Barborak (D, Dist-5), and Representative Dorothy Pelanda (R, Dist-86).

You can learn much more about the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation at: http://www.sportsmenslink.org.

Kyle, born and raised in that-state-up-north and a graduate of the same, is an avid hunter and angler.  After graduate school at Bards College in New York, he set his sights on tackling the best hunting, fishing and trapping states in America: Ohio, Indiana, Iowa, Wisconsin, M!ch!gan, Minnesota, North and South Dakota.

We wish Kyle great success in his important endeavors and look forward to working with him and the CSF on behalf of hunters, anglers, and trappers in the future!