Minnesota Trappers Association
District 2 Reports
Welcome to Chris Morinville as the new 2020 District Co-Director...
Director - Steve Pahlen
Spring 2021 Report
Greetings fellow trappers,
I hope this season has given you reasons to keep your knife sharp. Me personally I haven't had much opportunity to be out very much. I spent the last two and half months of 2020 in Kansa working.
If you have a child, or are an adult, that needs trapper ed, keep an eye on the website. Dana Klos has contacted me, and it looks like he will be having a class. Chris put a class on this past fall in Plummer and we are going to try to do that annually if there is interest. You can also contact Chris, or I and we'll keep anyone up to date.
The LDF banquet has been rescheduled to April 10th in Brainerd due to Covid restrictions. I encourage anyone who can to attend, in light of the situation of the world it will be understandable if anyone makes the decision not to. The banquet is an important fundraiser for the MTA and generally pays a substantial portion of the lobbyist the MTA hires to help us retain our privileges and seek new ones. If you are unable to attend the banquet maybe consider a donation to the MTA. A simple way is to become a sustaining donor.
Speaking of the capitol and trapping politics as of the writing of this report it seems to be relatively quiet, that could change by the time this newsletter is mailed out. The Environment and Natural Resource Committee in the House has had a change in leadership. In my personal opinion those leaders have been negative to trapping interests. We will need to keep a watchful eye on the process. It seems every day it's more important to have an effective engaged lobbyist and other individuals working hard to quash negative legislation. I don't expect it to ever get easier. I don't foresee us having a day at the capitol again this year, but we can all do our part by sending a respectful email or letter to our legislative officials letting them know where each of us stands on trapping and outdoor issues and encouraging them to be an ally to us. The timber wolf issue is a good place to start. I don't think it's any secret that we need to start managing the species and science says we can have a sustainable harvest. The governor has publicly stated he is not in favor of a recreational harvest as he puts it, the leadership in the house is not in favor as well.
We had a phone in board meeting January 30th, I was unable to participate but Chris was. If there was anything of interest to report I am sure Chris will although my understanding is not much outside of day-to-day business. The reason I couldn't make it was I attended the baptism of my first grandchild that day in Kansas. Hopefully someday MN will become enlightened and my new grandson will be able to purchase a license and run a line in MN with his Grandpa. Anyways.
Co-Director Chris Morinville
Spring 2021 Report
As I write this, many of us are wrapping up our trapping and snaring for the fall/winter season, but the Minnesota Legislative session is now in full swing. I’ve found that many trappers, and citizens in general, are reluctant to get involved in politics for one reason or another and may not even know their own representation. I want share with you a handy online tool that will help each of you to find your representatives by simply clicking on a map or by entering your home address. There may come a day where we need to quickly act to contact our representatives to voice our concerns over a bill or amendment. A very simple first step is for all of us to know the names of our representatives in the Minnesota House of Representatives and Senate. If you go to https://www.gis.leg.mn/iMaps/districts/ you can not only find your representatives, but also, contacting them is a click or phone call away. I hope you find this information useful. I hope for a quiet legislative session, be we need to remain vigilant right up until the session ends and for as long as the governor has his peacetime emergency powers.
In addition to your local representatives, it’s important to know a few key names. A standalone bill affecting trapping is first introduced and then typically referred to the natural resources committee in either body. It’s important to know the names on these committees and their chairs. If your representative or senator is on these committees, you’ve got a great opportunity to get to know these policy makers personally. This statement is not to discourage anyone from contacting committee members to voice your opinion regardless of your district, but to those of you in the districts of these leaders I would encourage you, especially, to form a relationship with them. We want good legislation to make it out of committee and to the floor for a vote, but we especially want poor legislation to stay off the floor. We do this by educating the members of these committees:
MN House of Representatives - Environment and Natural Resources Finance and Policy
Chair: Rep. Rick Hansen - District: 52A (DFL)
MN Senate - Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Legacy Finance Committee
Chair: Sen. Carrie Ruud - District: 10 (R)
It’s pretty quiet up here right now in terms of trapping, until spring, but a couple of people have asked about a trapping class this year. We intend to have a field day again this year, in the fall. Feel free to drop me an email if you’re interested and I’ll make sure you get the information when it becomes available. Continue to monitor our website under the training calendar and Facebook as it’ll be posted there as well.