Minnesota Trappers Association
8100 Shady Trail
Breezy Point, MN 56472
MTA President’s Report
Members of the MTA:
As I write this, winter finally has arrived with brutal cold temperatures. Even though we are getting a stretch of cold weather we have had a very seasonable winter and I hope all of you took the opportunity to do some type of winter trapping. While it is a tougher go, the quality of the pelts is at their best this time of year for most species. If you haven’t gotten out, I hope you plan to get out this spring for some beaver or possibly a spring turkey!
With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing, unfortunately the winter meeting had to be canceled. Plans are in progress to hold the MTA summer convention up in Barnum this summer July 29-Aug.1, 2021. Put it on your calendar and plan to attend. I know for many it will be the first opportunity to catch up in person with their trapping families. District 1 is working to have a good show for all who attend. Look in this newsletter and the next to find out more information or contact District 1 Director John Backman for more information.
We were able to postpone the 11th annual Legal Defense Fund Banquet until Saturday April 10th, 2021. I would encourage all of you to come out and join us this year for this great worthwhile event. LDF chair Dale Jindra and his committee are getting ready to put on another great one for you all. Tickets are still available to purchase. Look further in the magazine for all the information on how to do so. Rooms are blocked out and available to rent out if you want to make a weekend of it up in the Brainerd Lakes area by doing some early spring fishing or some shopping in the area.
The MTA Raffle tickets have now been sent out to all the members and you should have received them in the mail. Due to the cancellation of the Winter meeting, the MTA had to mail all of them to its members. If you would like more tickets to sell, please contact our MTA Raffle Chair Tom Boser and he will get them shipped out to you. I ask that all of you get out and help sell tickets to benefit our youth education programs that include the mandatory trapper education program we oversee and provide for the state of MN. If nothing else, please purchase your 10 tickets and the money and stubs back to Tom. Everyone’s support is appreciated by the MTA!
The BOD had a recent BOD meeting via conference call. They approved a budget for FY 2021. I want to thank Treasurer Brenda Jindra and the Budget Committee for the work they did on this. In addition, the BOD covered a variety of other topics on the call and this can be seen in the draft minutes provided in the newsletter. One topic that was discussed was how the MTA can increase revenue in needed areas. The MTA fundraising committee gave the BOD a good report and have some great ideas. Chair Brian Fischer has shared these in this issue and is looking to get support and help from MTA members to put some of these ideas in motion. If you are interested in helping out with any of the projects he has listed, please contact him directly and discuss it further with him. This increased funding will help offset expenses on the general expense side of the MTA budget.
Due to the MN state capitol buildings, be shut down for COVID-19, the MTA will not be able to hold a Trappers Day at the Capitol. With the buildings being shut down, and no access to the legislators, the legislative session will be a more challenging one than in years past. Without having access to the legislators, it will be more difficult to educate them on the danger of potential bills introduced to limit or restrict trapping in our state. Our lobbyist Tim Spreck can be present and will provide the MTA with updates about potential bills so we can in turn get information out to you the member to contact your legislator via email or phone. Many of the legislators are not even having office hours so email this year could be the primary way we get our voices heard to them about bills in need of being opposed or supported. The MTA will work with its lobbyist and legal counsel to make sure we are kept informed of any legislation that could be damaging to trapping in MN.
In other legislative news a recent bill SF600 has been introduced to require the DNR to set a hunting and trapping season for wolves now they have been removed from the endangered species list by the USFWS. Currently there is not a House companion bill. The DNR commissioner has stated they will not move forward with any type of season setting until a final plan is brought forth by the DNR wolf roundtable which the MTA has a representative on. The Governor has also publicly stated in the past he is not in favor of a season to take wolves in MN, so it remains to be seen how this will all play out. The MTA will continue to promote and support a legalized wolf season in MN that includes a trapping season. We will alert the membership if there needs to be a call to action to contact legislators.
As you may recall, I had previously reported the Center for Biological Diversity they plan to sue the state of Minnesota and the DNR for not meeting all the requirements set forth by the Judge in a 2008 court decision on the lynx. At this writing, the Center did not sue the DNR so, the standing case still is in place. If anything changes related to this, I will let the membership know.
In other business, the MTA is still looking for a Secretary. If you are interested or know someone that is, please contact me. This is a paid position, and the MTA does provide a computer for this position to take minutes and keep records for the MTA.
I want to remind all this is an election year for President and Vice President. If you are going to nominate someone please submit your nomination letter to Shawn Johnson, MTA Editor so it can be published in the newsletter.
Our current membership is slightly up, and I encourage all you to help us build our membership further by recruiting one or more to become members of the MTA. The cost of our membership is a small price to pay to protect your right to trap in this state. To all of you who are current members, I want to say thank you for your continued support. Without you, the MTA does not exist. This is your organization and the BOD and I work for you. If you have questions or concerns about what is going on in the MTA or just need more information, please contact your district director or your officers. We are all here to serve you the member and we will do our best to answer your questions or get the answers if we don’t have them when you ask. The organization is only as strong as it members and I encourage all of you to engage by attending district meetings, summer convention and other events put on by the organization.
Thank you for your support and remember Together we stand- Todd