New Hampshire Trappers Association Advocacy Position for Furbearing Species
The NHTA Advocacy Committee met on this subject July 28, 2005 and presented a proposed draft of this position at the Board meeting on August 2, 2005. Deliberation of the Officers and Directors produced the final draft, which was approved by New Hampshire Trappers Association Board of Directors at the September 6, 2005 monthly meeting.
The New Hampshire Trappers Association wishes to state and establish it’s position as a thoughtful and concerned advocate for the mammal species generally referred to as furbearers and more specifically those found within the State of New Hampshire and managed by the NH Fish & Game Department. The NHTA considers its member’s activity of harvesting a portion of the annual overabundance of certain species during regulated seasons while utilizing legal technology and technique to be a necessary component of population management, and therefore totally in synergy with our concern for the furbearer species and their specific habitat requirements. It is the goal of wildlife managers to encourage maximum biodiversity within the available habitat and their success is often defined by meeting potential population levels which may be sustained by the habitat and are in relation to an overall management plan. Once a dynamic furbearer population level is approaching its habitat potential it is beneficial to harvest a portion of the population to insure that a variety of negative consequences do not develop as a result of over population, or due to an isolated or stagnant genetic pool for that species. It is beneficial and appropriate that society should place a utility value on the organic and renewable natural resource of fur as it insures a continuing interest by trappers to provide this necessary service that makes furbearer population management possible and affordable. Information from the annual harvest provides a significant amount of data that wildlife biologists and managers utilize to monitor the condition and health of the various species. Without the highly controlled and regulated annual harvest, biologists would be at a significant loss to; #1 collect statistical data utilized to monitor populations and their changing dynamics, #2 manage furbearer populations to prevent negative interaction with human activities, #3 manage furbearer populations to prevent significant harm to themselves, other species, or habitat, #4 remain fully cognizant of significant signals alerting to important changes within the environment. The NHTA is in favor of diversity in available habitat that will encourage maximum diversity of furbearer species and opportunities for significant populations with dynamic gene pool potential. The NHTA is generally in favor of the Biodiversity concept, however there are many examples of introduced plant and animal species that are considered invasive or otherwise nonbeneficial to the desired management plan, therefore any proposals of introductions or reintroductions would be considered cautiously. The NHTA is also increasingly concerned about environmental pollutants that compromise the potential of habitat and threaten the reproductive or survival capabilities of various species. As a result of our intimate contact with and specific knowledge of local furbearer populations, the NHTA is in a unique position of stewardship toward and for the benefit of the furbearer species.