Happy birthday America! As you celebrate America's Independence Day this week I hope you all get a chance to spend time some quality time with your loved ones (fur and feathered included), grill some burgers, enjoy a few fireworks, and take a moment to unwind. Summer is, after all, typically vacation time.
It never seems to slow down around here and last month was another busy one. Early June we asked you to head to the Federal Register and make comments in support of expanding access to our National Wildlife Refuges for falconers. I can't thank you all enough, you did awesome! I'm going start this month with another ask. There's a bill currently being considered that I'd like to ask you to reach out to your U.S. Representative and ask them to consider co-sponsoring, or when the time comes, vote in favor of it.
The bill, H.R. 4647 Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (RAWA), amends the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act to make supplemental funds available for management of fish and wildlife species of greatest conservation need as determined by State fish and wildlife agencies, and for other purposes. RAWA is bipartisan legislation that would redirect $1.3 billion in existing revenue from the development of energy and mineral resources on federal lands and waters and dedicate it to the Wildlife Conservation Restoration Program to conserve a full array of fish and wildlife.This bipartisan bill was introduced in last December and has since been referred to the House Natural Resources Committee for consideration. Use this link CLICK HERE to find out who your representative is and to contact them.
EAGLES FOR FALCONRY UPDATE
It wouldn't be a President's message if we didn't talk about eagles. NAFA continues working toward gaining access to eagles. Part of that effort included collecting some basic information to provide a rough estimate of how many falconers across the country are interested in getting an eagle. Without a federal falconry permit there is no single way to identify how many falconers are properly licensed to permit an eagle. By the way, it looks like there are almost 40 licensed falconers around the country waiting to acquire an eagle.
As you've heard, the baseline number, using historic take for eagle take, will be six eagles annually (we're working on that). In February the USFWS sent a request to the Flyways for assistance in developing and managing an eagle allocation process. The request dictated the means and the limit saying that falconers could acquire wild golden eagles taken under a depredation permit and releaseable golden eagles from permitted wildlife rehabilitators. "Via these two means, falconers could possibly obtain up to six eagles (in aggregate) per year." We have voiced our concern in several discussions over the last few months about including rehabilitation birds in the allocation limit. The issue, problematic language in the falconry standards that was intended to limit individual access to wild raptors annually is being used to limit the community as a whole.With the help and guidance of the NAFA TAC, Eagle Committee, and General Counsel, we made a formal request for clarification. See that HERE.
While we continue to work with the Service, state agencies, USDA Wildlife Services, and land owners we continue to be hopeful that well get eagle take this year, however, time isn't on our side. The Service has helped pave the way, the rest is up to nature, the USDA WS, Regional FWS, and the state where depredation occurs to allocate take permits. On the brightside, the process being developed by the Flyway Council will provide a long term solution to a problem that has haunted North American falconry for decades. Couple that with the ongoing work to decouple the depredation language from the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, we will continue to work on increasing falconers access to eagles.
If you are interested in eagle falconry and want to see eagles in action, learn more about the process, and discuss eagle falconry, consider attending the NAFA Eagle Falconry Meet this October.
Speaking of field meets, if you're trying to decide on something to do this fall, this email has all the information you need and links to NAFA Eagle Falconry Meet, the Saskatchewan Falconry Association 60th Anniversary Field Meet, the first ACCAPP International Falconry Meet, and the annual 2018 NAFA Field Meet. Beside these meets, there are dozens of state and provincial field meets all over the North America providing falconers ample opportunity to get out and make new friends, renew old friendships, and, most importantly, hunt your birds. Start making plans to attend some of these events today, you won't be sorry!
DO YOU HAVE A STATE CLUB PICNIC APPROACHING?
The NAFA membership continues to grow, in large part because of you. As a member you are the best ambassador for who NAFA is and what NAFA is about. Do us a favor, and find someone there who isn't a NAFA member. Tell them about NAFA, what it means to you, the social aspect of who and what NAFA is, and of course there's all the hard work NAFA has invested in a variety of initiatives to protect and perpetuate falconry around the continent. Show them a copy of one our Hawk Chalk magazines - the best falconry publication currently available anywhere.
Let us know about those club picnics. In an attempt to make it easier for folks to find and learn more about scheduled events NAFA has created a page to list state falconry clubs events, see HERE . If you have an upcoming event scheduled, let us know so we can list it and help share the details. It's very simple, send an email to NAFA Webmaster Fred Fogg. (*If you are planning a summer picnic raffle or your winter field meet raffle, don't forget to reach out to NAFA Sales Coordinator Cathy Tintinger for a NAFA donation.)
Communication and sharing information or details is important. We get countless emails from falconers, members, and the public looking for more information on falconry, falconry vendors, education providers, breeders, and abatement companies. In the same vein as the Club Events page previously mentioned, we've also created a Raptor Breeders web page that will list current NAFA members who currently breed raptors for the falconry community. The third page page lists NAFA members who are in the business of providing Falconry Based Bird Abatement. We also created a Falconry Equipment page to list of all current NAFA members who are in the business of providing falconry equipment and furniture. Lastly, we created a page the lists NAFA Members that provide raptor Education Services. Help us point customers your way!
If you're interested in getting your company listed please send your name or company name, phone number, email address, website (if you have one) and, if you make equipment, the type of equipment? Please send this information or any questions to NAFA Webmaster Fred Fogg at NAFAWebmaster@n-a-f-a.com
This year the following positions are up Director-at-Large, Canadian Director, South Pacific Director, Great Lakes Dirctor, and Mountain Director. In all but the Mountain Directorate, the candidates are running unopposed. I want to thank everyone who expressed interest and is willing to serve. I can say this for a certainty, we'll have a new South Pacific Director and a new Canadian Director. Great Lakes Director Borquist and Director at Large Chavez will be returning. The Mountain Directorate elections will be conducted online with the bios and ballots being emailed and available online no later than July 13th.
PARAGUAY FALCONRY MEET - THIS MONTH!
When the summer heat is unbearable and you need your falconry fix you might want to consider Paraguay. As a member organization to the IAF, NAFA members received and invitation to attend the ACCAPP first international falconry meet this July 9th thru the 16th.
Below is the link to the invitation from the Paraguayan falconers, ACCAPP, for IAF members to attend their first ever international falconry field meet. This is a unique opportunity to escape the summer's heat and head back to a winter climate to experience Paraguayan falconry.
For more information see: http://preview.mailerlite.com/f4j2s6
SASKATCHEWAN FALCONRY ASSOCIATION FIELD MEET
It's online!!! Time to start registering for the 60th Anniversary Saskatchewan Falconry Association Field Meetscheduled for October 1 thru October 7, 2018 in the beautiful prairie town of Swift Current, Saskatchewan. Ever need an excuse to take a bird north of the board to go hunt ducks? Here's your chance!! Start making plans today to attend today!!
NAFA, VP Geleynse, has negotiated a process with USFWS LE to reduce the financial burden of exporting/importing your birds to and from Canada to attend the field meet. There are some specific conditions, see here, that are required of falconers heading north of the border. One example is we are required to meet on a certain day and time at a designated exit or entry port.
Folks, this is your chance to experience an unparalleled duck hawking opportunity. Don't let this opportunity slip away. If no one takes advantage of the agreement with USFWS LE we may not get another chance. REGISTER TODAY!
2018 NAFA EAGLE FALCONRY MEET
If you have a few open days in your schedule this October, I still recommend this year's Eagle Falconry Meet. It will be based at the Outlaw Inn in Rock Springs, Wyoming from October 8 - 13. Even if you can only make one or two days, it is worth it. Hunting with eagles is planned every day. Speakers and a group buffet dinner are planned each evening. Invited speakers include; Brian Millsap, National Raptor Coordinator with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Chris Parish, Director for Global Conservation with The Peregrine Fund, and Andrew Knowles-Brown, Founder of the Scottish Eagle Centre. Bob Collins, Curator of the Archives of Falconry is planning a special exhibit. Anne Price is planning a spectacular silent auction for Thursday, October 11, featuring many great items. Last year's Meet raised more than $5000 for The Falconry Fund and the meet Committee has added the CMA Fund and Talon Trust to the list of beneficiaries. You can register for the Meet by going to this site: https://www.n-a-f-a.com/event/2018EagleMeet
2018 NAFA FIELD MEET
Quick reminder and update. Last month we announced that NAFA will once again be returning to the great state of Texas for the 2018 NAFA Meet. We will also be returning to Lubbock and the MCM Elegante. Planning has been ongoing for several months and we're pleased to have commitments from some incredible and engaging nightly speakers. We will again be celebrating our incredible supporters and vendors with our, now annual, Vendor Appreciation Night. Hopefully game populations remain above average, 2014 proved to be a historic year for NAFA members. Things are lining up for another incredible NAFA Meet!
December 2 - 7, 2018
MCM Eleganté Hotel and Suites
801 Ave Q
Lubbock, Texas 79401
To make reservations online:
$85.00 per night (King or Doubles room) or $115.00 per night (Suite)
(*Price includes breakfast for up to 4 people per day per room.)
To register and current meet information please refer to: http://www.n-a-f-a.com/event/2018NAFAMeet or on the NAFA Field Meet Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/2018NAFAMeet
If you need to reach us, Brandi can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 940-507-0333 and Corey at email@example.com or 817-575-7256.
Remember...... "Our differences as falconers make us stronger, and falconry is what unites us! Falconry helps us reach our full potential! Falconry makes us family!""
Thank you all for your continued support!
CALL TO ACTION
Call you State Representative and ask them to support the Recovering America's Wildlife Act (RAWA). RAWA would indeed mean transformative change for people and wildlife, the kind of breakthrough that comes once in a generation. But it won’t happen unless people who care get informed, get involved and work together. CLICK HERE to learn more.