There is something intrinsically different between hunting and fishing on one side and insect collecting on the other:
You can overhunt and overfish much more easily than overcollect. This is conceivable since hunting and fishing can grow into commercial operations as there is a market. This is not the case with insect collecting. The market is small, and the reproduction rate of insects is high.
Insects are not fish, even if they legally are.


Dr Frank T. Krell
Curator of Entomology 
Commissioner, International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature
Chair, ICZN ZooBank Committee
Department of Zoology 
Denver Museum of Nature & Science 
2001 Colorado Boulevard 
Denver, CO 80205-5798 USA 
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-----Original Message-----
From: Entomological Collections Network Listserve [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Ivie, Michael
Sent: Saturday, February 20, 2016 12:52 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: collecting permits in the U.S. or Canada

To answer one specific question yes the state does have jurisdiction. You cannot hunt in the national forest without a state hunting license.  You cannot fish in the national forest or BLM land without a fishing license which comes from the state. There's nothing intrinsically difference between that and the insect permit. Yes I know you can't Fish on land but you know what I mean.
From: Entomological Collections Network Listserve <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of Doug Yanega <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Saturday, February 20, 2016 12:08:43 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: collecting permits in the U.S. or Canada

I can possibly help clarify a few issues for those who have not read all the details in the regulations or know their history. Accordingly:

On 2/19/16 10:01 PM, Norm Smith wrote:
What idiot thought this up and what rational is behind it?
This set of regulations is actually quite old, now, and only a few minor changes have been recently implemented - the fees, in particular. The rationale appears to be (admittedly with only circumstantial evidence) that some people thought that State agencies needed to monitor or control the collection of invertebrates; in order to accommodate this, the original regulations were tweaked so as to classify ALL invertebrates as "fish", so all the existing regulations that applied to fish collecting permits were thereby extended to invertebrates, saving them the trouble of designing new regulations that were specifically geared for invertebrates. Again, this has been true for many years now, but it was historically nearly impossible to obtain the actual permits, in part because the staffers evidently had their hands full with OTHER permits, primarily for hunting and fishing and such. However, in the last year or so a new wrinkle was introduced by establishing a dedicated position!
  for a person to address these particular permits, and establishing fees in order to cover the administrative costs associated with this person's position.
Are they trying to discourage students or independent naturalists from engaging in studies that require them to collect specimens?
If we give them the benefit of the doubt, no, they are not trying to discourage anything, they are trying to monitor and regulate it - though why they should feel a need (or a right) to do so is not clear at all; one assumes that they see this as part of their mandate as stewards of our wildlife resources, and that they have included invertebrates under that umbrella without realizing exactly how impractical it actually is. Only in the worst-case interpretation would we consider this as deliberate obstruction, rather than acting out of sheer ignorance.
 How long is the permit effective?
I'm fairly certain they are for 5-year intervals.
Does one have to include exactly how many of each species they intend to collect?
According to the regulations, yes - number of specimens, what species, and what dates and localities you intend to be collecting. Moreover, if you want to change the number of specimens, or number of species, or dates, or anything, there is an extra administrative fee assessed every time you edit the permit.
Can one collect serendipitous specimens that happen to also get swept into the net or immersed in the water pan traps?
According to the regulations, not without editing your permit, and passive traps require explicit special permission in order to be allowed at all.
Unfortunately my insects are too small to be determined prior to collecting them in the field and must be taken back to the lab and identified under a high resolution dissecting scope. Often times my collecting is exploratory in nature - I'm trying to determine just what does occur in various habits.  Heaven forbid, I may collect a specimen that's not on my list.
Then you'd need to edit your permit, and pay an extra fee, as noted above.
 Does this also include PCA's collecting insects on their customers properties?  Or PCO's collecting specimens from their clients to have them identified by a county entomologist?
I see nothing to suggest it does not. Nothing seems to be excluded, unless it serves no scientific or educational purpose.
You can see how ridiculous this can get.
Indeed I do. It's frankly appalling. Nearly every single bit of medical or agricultural entomology being done in California is ostensibly subject to these regulations; all survey work, all monitoring. Every sticky card in every crop field or livestock yard, every pitfall trap, every malaise trap, is in direct violation of these regulations, if any of the data being gathered is used for scientific or educational purposes.
This development is very disappointing and I hope saner minds will realize that this is not rationally enforceable for invertebrates.
Saner minds have realized this, but none of those saner minds have direct control over the creation or implementation of these regulations. Thus, our dilemma.

On 2/20/16 8:02 AM, Frank T. Krell wrote:
The other problem is that law enforcement might not see the difference between fun collecting and scientific collecting. If an official catches me collecting without a permit,  to you think it helps telling  him that it was just for fun, but not scientific? And I won't learn anything  from it because it cannot be educational?
Here's the thing that is missing from the discussion so far, and very important: there is no clear mechanism for enforcement. As far as one can tell from the regulations, you cannot be arrested, or fined, or have specimens confiscated, or anything, for not having one of these permits. There is no evidence, at this point, that any state law enforcement agencies are cooperating with the CDFW in any way. Instead, the modus operandi for the enforcement of the regulations (to date) is that this one person at the CDFW (the one whose job is to review and grant these permits) personally intervenes any time someone tries to work with or through any governmental agency, such as the National Parks Service, The US Fish & Wildlife Service, or the military, either in order to obtain permission to collect invertebrates, or in order to conduct invertebrate surveys. That is, if someone applies for a permit from the NPS or USFWS, etc., it triggers a red flag at the CDFW, and the person at the!
  CDFW contacts the permitting agency and tells them not to grant any permits until the applicant FIRST obtains a CDFW permit - in essence, the CDFW is claiming prior jurisdiction, telling these other agencies that they should not issue permits without the CDFW's prior approval. It is unclear whether they do in fact have this authority. So far, these other agencies seem to be going along with this claim, though I am personally aware of at least one NPS administrator who refuses to recognize the CDFW's authority over the NPS, and is granting NPS permits anyway.

That being said, John's solicitation is an attempt to find out whether California is unique in having such a system in place, especially in regards to the assessment of fees. If we can learn from examples elsewhere, from anyone on this list, this would be instructive. But if the CDFW policies are unique, and establishing a national precedent, then that may influence how we respond - specifically, I would like, myself, to expand his solicitation to include anyone here who has good contacts within Federal agencies such as the NPS and USFWS, and can get opinions as to whether a State agency can indeed tell Federal agencies what they can and cannot do. If this is a clear-cut case of someone overstepping their authority, then the potential should exist of having higher-level administrators within the NPS and USFWS intervene, and make it explicit that (at the very least) issuing permits for work on any Federally-administered properties is the sole responsibility of Federal agencie!
 s. That would still leave State and private lands under nominal CDFW jurisdiction; but without any enforcement mechanism, they would no longer be in a position to prevent people from doing scientific or educational collecting.


Doug Yanega      Dept. of Entomology       Entomology Research Museum
Univ. of California, Riverside, CA 92521-0314     skype: dyanega
phone: (951) 827-4315 (disclaimer: opinions are mine, not UCR's)
  "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
        is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82