It was shared yesterday that FWS was re-opening the comment period as it pertains to the addition of Boas, Retics, Green Anacondas, DeSchauensee’s Anaconda and Beni Anaconda. Coming from the US Herpetology Society, I was initially skeptical. USHerp has, in the past, republished old stories as new developments. I assume they do this in order to raise more donations, even though they admittedly have withdrawn from legislative battles. I remember a period last year when the comments board was reopened and it came with a similar announcement.
I have just finished reading a post from USARK explaining where the lawsuit stands. USARK’s latest answer is due June the 11th, which will make FWS’s response due by the 23rd. Along with this, FWS has actually announced their intent to finalize the “constrictor rule”. There is no indication as to whether this will be as the rule stands now, include the addition of some of the other 5 species or include all 5 of them. Part of this action might possibly include a re-opening of the public comment phase but no definite announcement has been made. This is, more than likely, a reaction to the pressure that USARK’s lawsuit is applying to them.
Other news from USARK includes news that the anti-reptile legislation in both Louisiana and South Carolina has died on the legislative floors. Both sessions have ended with no action being taken. A large assist goes to our friends at Repticon in these states. The organizers were able to distribute USARK authored information and collect over 1000 signatures and signed letters in each state. The quick response to the introduction of these bills went a long way to showing that we will not stand by quietly while our animals are taken from us. It also shows the need to watch for new legislation coming down the road.
USARK’s announcement also includes a link to a blog by Diana Culp, a former Director of Education from HSUS, explaining the internal attitude of this lobbying giant. It enforces my belief that donations to local shelters and SPCA’s are the best way to help neglected and abused animals. It’s really an interesting read. http://nypost.com/2014/06/03/to-help-our-furry-friends-dont-give-nationally/
In closing, I would like to thank CHET member, Lisa Powers, for granting me permission to use her incredible photos to assemble an album to help identify snakes for curious people in my area. Until next time, Happy Herping