We are extremely excited to have our revamped page back up and running. Thank You G.R. for all your hard work and dedication. We had hoped to have the page fully functioning, but a few issues arose that we simply didn’t have the funds to overcome. With luck, we will be able to raise the funds in the near future to finish our overhaul. Until then enjoy the cleaner, faster, better CHET website.
A lot has happened while we have been in maintenance mode. Our leadership is finally in place across the state now.Our structure as it stands now is as follows:
Felita Reed-Treasurer/Co-Founder/Personal assistant to President
GR Bliss-Vice President/Statewide Spokesperson
Angelia Cooper-Director of Operations/Logistics
This core group will also oversee the East Tennessee (Knoxville/Tri-Cities area) region, as this is where we all reside.
Michael Jarrell-Spokesperson/Coordinator for Southeast Tennessee (Chattanooga area)
Robert Taylor-Spokesperson/Coordinator for Middle Tennessee (Nashville area)
Chris Miller-Co-Spokesperson/Coordinator for West Tennessee (Memphis area)
Kathy Miller-Co-Spokesperson/Coordinator for West Tennessee
Christopher Richards and Allyson Cline will continue to help Admin or Facebook page and give input into group decisions.
With our solidified leadership, we hope to be able to begin organizing Regional events in the future. It will also allow CHET to have a presence at more shows without overtaxing any one Admin. We are working to get all of the new contact info updated so you will be able to contact your area coordinator soon. Feel free to hit them up and offer your support. More bodies at the shows are always a good thing, as sometimes there are larger crowds than one or two people can interact with.
I want to throw a big thank you out to Chris and Kathy for hosting the first CHET table for the Memphis area Repticon event. They generously donated an enclosure that was raffled off during the event. They are also the ones responsible for our CHET banners we have been using at various events across the state. Another notable presence at this event was young Alli who presented her My Little Python concept, which she created to spread awareness of reptiles in a cute and non-threatening manner. She is an incredible young woman.
A shout out in advance to Robert, who will be hosting CHET’s table at the upcoming Nashville/Franklin Repticon. Unfortunately, Felita and I will be unable to attend this one, but thanks to Robert, we will have a presence. He is trying to work out the details to do his own raffle.
Through the effort of different members, we have had the opportunity to make a CHET presence at several events during the past few months. Thanks to Brendan Reynolds, Michael Jarrell, Christopher Richards, Patrick Black, Lori Jennings and and any other members who have helped at these outings. Every individual we meet at these “non-reptile” events is another chance to remove a “only good snake is a dead snake” outlook. We can attend all of the reptile shows out there, but we’ll only reach individuals who are already mildly interested in reptiles and amphibians. It is through the events aimed at the general public that we will actually reach the ones that have never been exposed to these animals and don’t understand them.
As you can see, we have been active, even if our website hasn’t. As we approach our first anniversary, we were only formed this past February, we look forward to much more community outreach and an increased statewide presence. The legal scene has also had some activity while we have been down.
There has been no activity on the Lacey Act. We continue to wait on the lawsuit to advance. Hopefully USARK will be granted a trial before long. The motions on the new listings has also been quiet since the public comment period was closed back in July. We don’t know whether FWC is waiting on the lawsuit outcome or simply waiting for an opportune time to sneak it through the Committees.
West Virginia’s Dangerous Wild Animal Act has recently come under some fire. It has been disclosed that nearly 400 pages of public comments were omitted from the filing of their “all inclusive” list. This was the list that covered pretty much everything other than cats dogs and a very few species of rodents. The DWA Board acknowledges the omission of around 150 comments they claim were received after the deadline, but continue to deny that the 400 pages worth, which USARK can prove, never existed. The Board has stated they would have made no difference anyways, which would be a direct violation of West Virginia’s Ways and Means laws. There have been complaints at all levels of the state government, but as of yet, none have accepted responsibility for investigating this misstep.
Evansville, Wisconsin recently attempted to pass stricter pet laws, which included outlawing all exotics. It appears they attempted to slip this one by without a lot of public knowledge. I only became aware of it the day before the meeting. I have been told that there was a strong enough public opposition to get this thing turned down. It does show how important it is for all of us to remain aware of the actions of our local elected officials. I am a resident of Greene County in Northeast Tennessee. It would be impossible for me to remain aware of local code changes in Lawrenceburg, a small town in South Central Tennessee. Anyone who becomes aware of any suggested code changes, should immediately let one of the officers know. This will be the only way we will be able to support or oppose any potential legislation.
In closing, I want to send a shout out to Jason White. Jason is the man responsible for The Daily Reptile News. He gathers interesting reptile related pieces and presents them as a vlog each week. He just recently returned from a year+ hiatus. While his show doesn’t necessarily focus on the legal issues we face, he does give air to interesting happenings from around the world that involve reptiles. Check him out on You Tube and Facebook.
Until next time, Happy Herping