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I have no objection to addressing all of this, but I’ll note it was an email to me (were you blind copied?) from Dave. I hope Dave gave you the go ahead to post it to the list – I assume he did, or would anyway.

 

I’ll address a couple of particular items, and then post info from my permit that should clarify most of your questions.

 

answers to which might put your comments, which suggest a level of comfort with this permitting requirement as is, in better perspective

 

I am not saying I like things the way they are. As I’ve said many times here, I am working within the system because that it what is in front of me to achieve an end. Comfort is relative. Can I work within this system? Yes. Do I like it? No, although I am satisfied that they are issuing broad-based permits.

 

How many amendments…

 

None so far. About to do the first one. The need for amendments (or lack of need, except to add people) is minimal, as you’ll see below.

 

The rest is all directly from my approved permit, which should give insight into why I’m not having the philosophical problems others seem to be having. It can be broad, and it is. You don’t have to know everything you are going to do, everywhere you are going to go, or everything you are going to collect, in a three year period. You can use lots of different collecting methods, even general ones. Etc. I will say I had many discussions with CDFW folks, and they *want* these kinds of permits (at least they did). Here is the *full text* of the approved “Permit Justification”, also noting they ask to “provide a start and end date”, and my response was “project is intended to be long-term”, and I listed no end date (although of course it has to be renewed every 3 years). The location is “Statewide”.

 

The purpose of the proposed activity is to continue the survey and inventory of the invertebrate (mainly insect) fauna and the flora of California that started in 2003 with our first State Parks permit. Although terrestrial vertebrates are in a relatively advanced state of knowledge for California (see California Department of Fish and Wildlife, 2014), the same cannot be said for terrestrial or aquatic invertebrates or plants. Survey work for vertebrates has several advantages not shared with invertebrate survey work, including the ability to make relatively accurate identifications from photographs, and the ability to make identifications on location without collecting the specimens. In addition, there are excellent resources for many terrestrial vertebrate groups in California, e.g., http://www.whatbird.com/browse/objs/All/birds_na_147/38/Location/275/California (birds), http://www.californiaherps.com/ (amphibians and reptiles), and numerous field guides. For invertebrates, and for many plants, identifications are only possible in the laboratory, including making dissections, and there is a much higher probability for discovering new species as only a small percentage of the insect fauna is described.

For California, there has never been a particular effort to survey the terrestrial and aquatic insects and other invertebrates of the State Parks and other State lands, although these lands represent areas of unique biodiversity and landscape. They represent critical areas for understanding the biodiversity of the State, as the habitats are not so severely damaged as agricultural and other lands. Having a better understanding the biodiversity of the State and its Parks provides the tools necessary for making wise decisions relative to conservation, environmental health, and land use. Our efforts are designed to incrementally address a massive invertebrate fauna, and a very large plant flora, to associate species with particular State Parks, other State lands, and their unique habitats. As such, a large group of participating scientists are involved, to try to cover an array of expertise to build these species lists. See the most recent Annual Report to the State Parks (which is cumulative) for an idea of the scope of the collecting effort, noting that specimens collected are still being sorted, identified and incorporated into research projects in taxonomy and systematics.

There is a large variety of collecting methods and techniques for insects and other invertebrates. Different taxa require different methods, so any given collector would use one or more of the following methods for their target taxa: visual searching; hand nets; beat sheets; dip nets; aquatic D-nets; rearing; emergence traps; pan traps (colored bowls filled with non-toxic liquid); dip nets; aquatic nets; pitfall traps; collecting off light sheets; light traps; bait traps (e.g., protein, banana/yeast, fruit, dung, meat); collecting and sifting leaf litter for Berlese funneling; flight intercept traps (FIT); Malaise traps. Of these, pan traps, pitfall traps, emergence traps; light traps, bait traps, FIT's and Malaise traps are passive collecting techniques that are left on location over a period of time. These passive techniques often collect taxa not otherwise seen through more active collecting methods, in the same way that many taxa collected using active techniques do not go to traps. Note also, this is a relatively comprehensive list of collecting methods - not all will be necessarily employed. Regarding plants, the most common methods for trees, shrubs and larger herbaceous plants is to take cuttings that include the plant parts necessary for identification (e.g., with flowers, fruits, leaves), while for herbaceous plants, whole plants are pulled or carefully dug out. In all cases, full locality and collection data are recorded to associate specimens with a particular place and time, as well as a variety of other biological data.

The specific numbers of specimens to be collected varies with technique. For plants, one or a few specimens of a given species at a location are sufficient, and there would be no reason to oversample a population. For insects and other invertebrates, passive techniques can take a large number of specimens, with a high level of biodiversity sampled across taxa. These techniques represent only the insects present at the particular location at a particular time, and have no impact on populations. With the purpose being to sample the great variety of habitat types represented in the California State Park system, and other State lands, we do not have particular locations in mind. These are often defined by the particular expertise of the participant.

For invertebrate and plant sampling, the disposition of the specimens is sacrifice. That is, they are killed and preserved for study and identification. After collection, curating specimens follows standard protocols for their preservation. Certain taxa and/or life stages are preserved in ethanol or are slide mounted. Most insects, though, are pinned are otherwise preserved in a dried out state. For plants, curation includes pressing, drying and mounting on herbarium sheets; seeds are dried. Plant specimens are accessioned into the CDFA Herbarium, and seeds into the CDFA Seed Herbarium. Invertebrate specimens are accessioned into the California State Collection of Arthropods, and into the collections of the participating scientists, and as otherwise distributed to other insect collections when sent to specialists for research and identification. Data will be associated with each specimen via labels, and collecting activities, species lists and other information will be given to the Department of Fish and Wildlife and to the California State Parks on yearly basis.

Sampling Marine taxa is not part of our proposed activity, although some few insects are found in intertidal areas. Regarding sensitive species, the threat to their populations is habitat destruction and degradation, not being collected by entomologists. According to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Natural Diversity Database (2015), few insects are species of concern, and only a handful have federal protection (ESA) as threatened or endangered (none are CESA listed), including one grasshopper, one fly, five beetles and 16 butterflies. Under this project, none of the listed species will be target taxa, and every effort will be made to avoid collecting them, although observations will be noted. Data from the activities under this project may add distributional and other data to enhance or better inform the conservation status for some of these species, even through observational records.

References cited:

California Department of Fish and Wildlife (2014) Complete List of Amphibian, Reptile, Bird and Mammal Species in California. 25 pp. https://nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FileHandler.ashx?DocumentID=87155.

California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Natural Diversity Database. (2015). Special Animals List. Periodic publication. 51 pp. https://www.dfg.ca.gov/biogeodata/cnddb/pdfs/spanimals.pdf.”

 

 

This next stuff is going to take some typing since I couldn’t just pull it from my application. That is, the particular conditions (I’ll only list ones that would be of interest. But good thing I can type.):

 

“If you are listed on this permit as an authorized collector and if you have any person(s) assisting with a scientific collecting project or activity, you are required to be present and overseeing the activities as described and must be in possession of a copy of your permit.”

[this indicates that you can bring your students into the field, so long as you or another permit holder, are with them]

 

“This permit does not relieve the permittee of the responsibility to obtain any other permits, or comply with other Federal, State or local laws or regulations. It is the responsibility of the permittee to know the boundaries and managing authority of State Parks, National Marine Sanctuaries, National Parks, or other specially designated protected areas”

 

“You must provide a scientific collecting permit report of specimens collected or salvaged (Form FG1379a) within 30 days of the expiration of the permit, or upon submitting an application to renew a SCP.”

 

“Collected organisms may not be used for commercial profit or personal benefit.”

 

 

The above were on the front page of the approval. There were also additional conditions on the next pages, which I will paraphrase or spell out (“quotes” will indicate exact text).

 

Stating that an MOU is required to intentionally take Protected (Threatened, Endangered, or Candidate) Species, and how to do it. More stuff about Protected species…

               

“Location of research: Your research project may be located in a special status community or in an area that provides habitat for a non-target special status plant or animal. It is your responsibility to determine whether or not implementation of your research project could have potential adverse impacts to a listed or special status plant or animal, or special status natural community. To minimize potential impacts, compile relevant biological information in the general project area prior to conducting field work or research. Generally, identify vegetation and habitat types occurring in your project area based on biological and physical properties of the site and surrounding ecological subregion, unless a larger assessment area is appropriate. Conduct a Rarefind or CNDDB Quick Viewer Search [website…] and check with other reliable resources for known occurrences of special status plants, animals, or natural communities at the site before conducting your research. Contact the Wildlife Branch SCP Coordinator (email, phone…) if non-target special status plant or animal species are likely to be encountered or are being handled or disturbed. You shall check with the landowner to determine if any other researchers are permitted to work in the same site or area”

 

Sampling using appropriate methods to avoid incidental injury or mortality to federally-listed species. Cannot intentionally survey for federally-listed species, although live capture and release is ok to gather data.

 

Sacrifice is fine to fill museum collection gaps and as needed to identify species. You or someone present should have the expertise to distinguish listed species or subspecies in the field. Sacrifice should be limited to one per species per location unless deemed necessary to distinguish variation not identifiable in the field. Cannot sacrifice more than 10% of a local population.

 

May not sacrifice a species that has a federally-listed subspecies unless you have the expertise to field distinguish the listed subspecies from non-listed subspecies, or by avoiding the habitats/geographic ranges of the listed subspecies. Lethal take of bumble bees on the Special Animals list shall be reasonably avoided. Lethal traps are not authorized in the range and habitat of threatened or endangered species or subspecies.

 

Specimens should be deposited in a public scientific or educational institution in California for research or teaching collections after one month of acquisition.

[this looks scary, but if you’re working in one of these collections, it is being deposited as you’re working on them, or working off site is fine too, as indicated in the full text proposal].

 

                Stuff about proper labelling of specimens.

 

                Stuff about making a reasonable effort to coordinate with other researchers to avoid excessive duplication such that it would impact local populations.

 

                Pitfall traps are authorized (this is the only type of trap that requires authorization, stated right on the application). They shall be checked no less than once per day during sampling periods. Should be covered to prevent animal entry during non-sampling periods. Gives some particulars for what a pitfall trap is. Reasonable measures to mitigate incidental harm to small vertebrates. May not use a kill-preservative in specific habitats of threatened or endangered species. They suggest (but do not mandate) a 50/50 ration of propylene-glycol and water. Must properly flag the traps.

 

                Plants – not authorized to collect or harm a listed plant. To obtain a voucher permit for incidental collection of a listed plant species for identification purposes, you can do so through another part of CDFW.

 

                Annual report stuff, describing results and significant findings. RSCS (Report of Specimen Captured or Salvaged) form can simply reference the annual report if it will contain the same information. Provide copies of abstracts, or copies of papers you publish based on stuff under this permit. Submit occurrence/point location data at least annual for all special status species encountered to CNDDB.

 

                Term – if CDFW can’t issue a timely renewal, I can request written permission to continue while it is in process.

 

                Contact appropriate folks (as we do for State Parks) before coming – i.e., regional biologists.

 

 

Cheers,

Steve

 

From: Entomological Collections Network Listserve [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of John M Heraty
Sent: Tuesday, February 23, 2016 2:53 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Fwd: collecting permits in the U.S. or Canada

 

 

From Dave Kavanaugh.....

 

 

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Dave Kavanaugh <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Tue, Feb 23, 2016 at 2:12 PM
Subject: Re: collecting permits in the U.S. or Canada
To: "Gaimari, Stephen@CDFA" <[log in to unmask]>

So Steve, some questions, answers to which might put your comments, which suggest a level of comfort with this permitting requirement as is, in better perspective.  How broad is your CDFA "group" permit in terms of areas, taxa, numbers of each species, etc., etc. etc.? How many amendments does your group have to file and pay for per year as your research needs, interests, and opportunities change. Or maybe your plans just DON'T change. I just can't imagine what you're collecting or where that these permits can be anything but crippling; so what kinds of "projects" are you as a systematist engaged in within California that aren't heavily and expensively impacted by these requirements? How can this system possibly accommodate biodiversity prospecting, which is still sorely needed in most places throughout the state (and most other states as well)? Finally, who's paying for the permits and the amendments to same?  Is it you personally or the State (CDFA)...i.e., ultimately we state tax payers? The way most systematists doing biodiversity surveys at broad scale levels work, this could bankrupt their efforts, thereby dramatically slowing the generation of new biodiversity data.  

 

I don't question the authority to require a permit, but I do question the need to do so for the individuals most affected, and for the exactitude of what must be specified in the permit. To me the problem is anticipating where you will want to collect over the next THREE YEARS, what you will want to collect, what you actually will have a chance to collect, what you CALL (ID) what you actually collect, what you may encounter that might be extremely important for a colleague...but isn't in your permit....and on and on and on. Without question, most of biodiversity knowledge and discovery has been the result of serendipity, not three-year plans. This system would seem to make such discovery and this whole channel for new information virtually impossible. "Hey, Steve, what's this cool fly that I just collected for you?"  That couldn't happen legally, right?  And it would cost you (or is it the taxpayers) to get the amendment so you could go out and collect more if this was something new or you just wanted to see more. This is REALLY depressing.  Glad I'm at the end of my career!

 

If these permit requirements as they stand cannot be changed, I don't see how most of us can work in the future. The argument that it's the same elsewhere doesn't particularly impress me. There are places I just don't work anymore, I would like to think that my own home state would not be among them.

 

Dave

 

On Tue, Feb 23, 2016 at 12:04 PM, Gaimari, Stephen@CDFA <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Frank - I’m not even saying I disagree! And I know you’re very much interested in insect conservation. We all are. I just see the argument that insects are killed by cars, etc., translates to not needing to regulate collection is not an argument that would support the general idea that insects are important. I think it would do quite the opposite. I don’t think collecting activities should be discouraged (and I don’t think they are being discouraged in this case, unless your position is to refuse to abide by the rules) – they should be encouraged at all levels. And the knowledge gained is worth *far more* than the $420 they get for a permit. But a government agency is not going to allow a free-for-all, and it isn’t the agency “users of the data” (i.e., the people on the ground) making the decisions regarding who gets charged a fee for what. Anyway, they just are not going to allow a free-for-all, especially when it is a source of revenue in times of budget cuts.

 

Do I think $420 is too high? Sure. But with group “entity” permits (which CDFW wants folks to do), the individual cost can be much lower. There should be a waiver system, or short-term permits that cost less (e.g., for Barry’s example of wanting to collect 2 species of mites). I think those are reasonable things to push for. And also clarification of hobbyist collecting (which is not addressed in regulation, although bringing it up does put it on the radar – so there is a risk).

 

Is paperwork a pain in the neck? Sure. But we spend far more time writing the manuscripts, and sorting and identifying the materials resulting from our collecting. The permit paperwork is just a necessary evil. I have plenty of paperwork that I would rather not have to do, but does that mean I don’t have to do it?

 

I also don’t think that regulation necessarily equals discouragement. Ultimately, whether I’ve wanted to or not, I worked within the system, and have not been discouraged to abandon collecting efforts (CDFW is very supportive – sure, they take a fee, but in no way have they done anything but encourage the process). That’s why I don’t completely understand what is being discouraged. Granted, this last permit was the first time we had to do this with CDFW, so I am speaking of a single experience, but I don’t see on the horizon that they are intending to make things worse. For what it’s worth, in the 13 years of blanket State Park permits for invertebrates and plants, it seems every time there is a change in staffing, it gives me extra work to make sure they understood what we were doing and get the permit through smoothly. This was not always easy, and these were free. The bottom line is that we are not that special, and should not feel entitled. We just have to abide by what vertebrate specialists have been dealing with for far longer. Sure there are areas we can seek improvement, but to suggest that they don’t have jurisdiction, to suggest they are robbing us in a money-making venture, and to serve them other negative rhetoric, is not going to see this improvement come to pass.

 

Cheers,

Steve

 

From: Frank T. Krell [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Tuesday, February 23, 2016 11:09 AM
To: Gaimari, Stephen@CDFA <[log in to unmask]>; [log in to unmask]
Subject: RE: collecting permits in the U.S. or Canada

 

Steve,

You misunderstood me. I am very much interested in conservation of insects. This is the reason who I am against regulating collecting. Regulating and thereby discouraging an activity that creates knowledge and helps conservation is counterproductive. It becomes hypocritical if at the same time, activities that destroy insects at a massive scale are considered progress and positive (development, individual traffic).

It does not help conservation to regulate an infinitesimal fraction of human-caused insect kill, with a huge financial investment in personnel, paperwork, time, and discouragement.

And for digging: There are a few more digging animals around than entomologists (or a few more mountain bikers, for that purpose).

We concentrate our efforts on an infinitesimal portion of damage with huge negative consequences for society and our natural environment.

 

Frank

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
[log in to unmask]
Phone: (+1) (303) 370-8244
Fax: (+1) (303) 331-6492

http://www.dmns.org/science/museum-scientists/frank-krell

lab page: http://www.dmns.org/krell-lab

 

The Denver Museum of Nature & Science salutes the citizens of metro Denver for helping fund arts, culture and science through their support of the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD).

 

 

 

 

 

 

From: Entomological Collections Network Listserve [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Gaimari, Stephen@CDFA
Sent: Tuesday, February 23, 2016 11:24 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: collecting permits in the U.S. or Canada

 

Firstly, I would ask how one can regulate the collection of restricted species while at the same time having no regulations? Whether collecting can really effect the population of insects is another question that I don’t think we can answer without speculating. But species end up getting listed for a reason. In any case, there are other considerations beyond just bugs that would justify land-managing agencies to want to know what collecting activities are taking place, by whom, etc. For example, sensitive habitats of non-insect species (we’re all collectors here – we know we aren’t leaving behind only footprints – we’re in the forest cutting out or widening clearings to set up Malaise traps, we’re making new trails, etc.; sensitive archaeological sites (particularly for ground dwelling insects, we dig). So even from the standpoint of collecting activities themselves, their impact could go beyond the simple take of the insects we go home with.

 

Second, so you would claim that because cars kill lots of bugs, then there is no reason to pay attention to them in terms of regulations. So there is no sense in conservation efforts to use insects as example organisms? Or would that only be relevant to areas that aren’t near roads. Bottom line is, people kill stuff. Cars kill humongous numbers of bugs, but also vertebrates to relatively small extent. We cut down forests for agriculture. Mining destroys habitats. We do lots of things that kill wildlife. But that doesn’t mean there should be no interest in conservation. I think suggesting that because cars kill lots of bugs that they aren’t worth worrying about sends a poor message, and one that is contrary to what many feel is the importance of entomology.

 

Don’t get me wrong. I wish I could just go out collecting anywhere and everywhere, and just do it. I’ve done that for years. But I also recognize that maybe there are reasons that go beyond my desire. People *can* collect all over the state (speaking of CA). Research is not being thwarted, just because a person has to do some extra paperwork. You just need a permit. It isn’t unique to CA. It isn’t unique to the US. This is becoming the case everywhere – having collected in 7 different countries in the last 3 years, every one had permit requirements, every one cost money (mostly more than the CA permit (Ghana being an exception), not to mention having to pay a little extra to grease the wheels much of the time), and every one had bureaucratic hassles to deal with. One post in this thread mentioned we’re becoming like India with regards to collecting. I’ve heard very few things more ridiculous than that.

 

Cheers,

Steve

 

 

From: Entomological Collections Network Listserve [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Frank T. Krell
Sent: Tuesday, February 23, 2016 7:29 AM
To:
[log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: collecting permits in the U.S. or Canada

 

The general question is: Why should insect collecting regulated at all if 20 million butterflies are killed every week on Illinois roads alone by traffic (http://images.peabody.yale.edu/lepsoc/jls/2000s/2001/2001-55%282%2963-McKenna.pdf), or if trillions of insects, i.e. several  hundred tons, are killed by traffic in Austria annually (http://www.zobodat.at/pdf/nat-land_1973_5_0127-0129.pdf - what Germans and French call billions is trillions for Anglophones). This is traffic. So let’s look at development – or better not.

 

Isn’t collecting used as a defenseless strawman so that agencies and lawmakers can say: We do something! Or is it the ownership issue? Do all insects *belong* to an agency or a park or the government (not to the people)? And if so, for what purpose? I do not see the cost of regulating insect collecting (for both the agencies and the collectors) translating into any benefits, neither for the insects nor for society. Regulating the collecting of threatened species might be justified in particular cases, but are they really threatened by collecting?

 

Frank

 

 

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
[log in to unmask]
Phone: (+1) (303) 370-8244
Fax: (+1) (303) 331-6492

http://www.dmns.org/science/museum-scientists/frank-krell

lab page: http://www.dmns.org/krell-lab

 

The Denver Museum of Nature & Science salutes the citizens of metro Denver for helping fund arts, culture and science through their support of the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD).

 

 

 

 

 

From: Entomological Collections Network Listserve [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Thomas Schultz
Sent: Tuesday, February 23, 2016 7:04 AM
To:
[log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: collecting permits in the U.S. or Canada

 

Hello,

I appreciate all of the discussion about this issue and see the pros and cons.  One issue that I haven't seen discussed is the prospect of obtaining permits for college courses in entomology or biology courses at the primary and secondary education level that involve students making an insect collection.  In my experience, this activity has had enormous impact on students in promoting appreciation for and interest in insects, both as an advocation and professionally.  While my college could easily absorb the cost of obtaining a blanket permit  for an instructor teaching our insect course, I wonder if a $420 permit might discourage other institutions and especially pre-college teachers with limited or no funding. 

Also the logistics of meeting the potential specifics requirements of such permits concerns me.  To be required to list the target species prior to collecting would be impractical and defeat the purpose of having students make a general collection.  Also, specifying the dates for collecting and resubmitting whenever plans change is impractical if there are 20+ students collecting insects outside of class time throughout a semester.

I appreciate the argument that insects are no less deserving of management that other wildlife whose taking requires permits.  I keep abreast of which species are rare or protected in my state and instruct my students to avoid them.  I also appreciate the bureaucratic hassle of obtaining permits for taking insects for research, pest control, etc.  And it is hard to imagine any practical means of enforcing such regulations.  Tiger beetles, a group with which I am familiar, include several rare and threatened species, some of which are listed at the state and federal level, and it is nearly impossible to protect them from collectors unless they occur in a National Park or Nature Preserve with an informed and alert staff. 

My point is that if proposals evolve to advise or make recommendations to agencies regarding permits to collect insects, that the issue of general collecting by students of education institutions be considered.

Tom

 

On Tue, Feb 23, 2016 at 12:48 AM, John M Heraty <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

 

Dear all,

 

I want to clarify a few points. I am trying to think of Eric Metzler's comments and not simply pursue an argumentative debate. He is absolutely right, and we need to find a common ground. However, I am having a hard time trying to find a purpose for their permitting. I intend these comments to be different from my survey results - I apologize for the length....but...

 

a) the purpose of the new CDFW enforcement is simply to raise money for their agency (see comments b, c and d from their posted powerpoint). I can't see a logical sense in one state agency (CDFA or the California University System) paying another state agency to do science. Steve thinks this is a minimal cost. Maybe this is true for a set of bona fide collectors, but it does not work well in a university system, where people (including students) and projects are ephemeral. As a point, the CDFW charges $105 for each amendment to a permit, including personnel changes. As far as I can tell from my one correspondence with CDFW, they see no limits on their permitting (agricultural or natural ecosystems and research). 

 

b) From the F&W site: Purpose [and bounds]: Bona Fide Science: Includes basic or applied research with direct application to conservation or management of wildlife resources, natural history studies, inventory or monitoring to evaluate impacts involving data reporting." Education: "Formal instruction or educational display requiring the possession or take of the State's natural resources." One has to ask the question - WHY? It is easy to see the need for revenue from hunting or fishing licenses, these go directly back to the consumer. There is no posting anywhere on what the CDFW is doing with the information from permits on insect collecting or education.

 

c) From the F&W site: [reason for new enforcement] "For the last 7 or so years, CDFW reviewed 1,200 to 1,500 SCPs or amendments/ year, while spending approximately $6 for every $1 of fee revenue" [if they had an interactive website, instead of pdf form submission, to do this, there would be minimal to no cost]. In fact, if there were a website, there would not have to be a cost at all. They are now trying to more broadly enforce permits so that they can increase their workload and their revenue. How does this make sense? If they provided a waiver for collecting insects, arachnids, mites and nematodes, there would be no cost at all!

 

d) From the F&W site: [Goal] FGC 1002(i): fee adjustment to recover costs (not to exceed implementation costs). Fund permanent, dedicated staff.

 

e) are they entitled to regulate invertebrates? What is the "law" versus interpretation:

 

F&W Website: "A permit is required to take, collect, capture, mark, or salvage, for scientific, educational, and non-commercial propagation purposes, mammals, birds and their nests and eggs, reptiles, amphibians, fishes, and invertebrates (Fish and Game Code Section 1002 and Title 14 Sections 650 and 670.7)."

 

Fish and Game Code Section 1002: "General. Except as otherwise provided, it is unlawful to take or possess marine plants, live or dead birds, mammals, fishes, amphibians, or reptiles for scientific, educational, or propagation purposes except as authorized by a permit issued by the department.

Notwithstanding Fish and Game Code Section 86, take includes capturing, marking, and releasing any animal."

 

I can find no reference to "invertebrates" anywhere in the   650. Scientific Collecting Permits documents, or in their posted FG1379d.pdf. Of course in the latter document, there may be more ambiguity in the interpretation of "wildlife": "to collect specimens used in laboratory work in the school under supervision and in connection with a course in wildlife research or in the conduct of wildlife investigations and studies on behalf of the public."  There is no use in their legal documents of "invertebrate", this only appears in their permit. Does this all come down to a personal interpretation of "wildlife"?

 

Of course, there may be a "law" that details these changes to the rules that I have not found, but they are certainly not what is posted. If there is no law, do they have appropriate jurisdiction?

 

f) State Permits require collectors to "notify the local Department office of the event and location of your activities prior to collecting. Notification must be made during normal business hours, at least 24 hours prior to collecting". You can also fill out their detailed form that is online.  [Ann Ray already commented on this]. I have always complied with these same requirements when I collect in California State Parks and it makes logical sense - they want to know where you are and what you are doing so that they know you are legal when they see you from a distance. F&W can do no such similar regulation - nor do they care. Steve has told me that they have negotiated not to have to file this information - so what is the point of the requirement?

 

g) plants are not included: "The collection, possession, transplantation or propagation of rare, threatened or endangered plants or manipulation of their habitat requires a Rare, Threatened or Endangered Plant Collecting Permit or Plant Research Permit. These permits are free and are required for activities conducted on both private and public land." This is an extremely appropriate and well thought out permit process that applies only to protected species - why can't it be the same for insects?

 

h) my request for information to the person in charge of wildlife permitting: "Do researchers need permits to conduct research in agricultural field plots? Do researchers need permits to take students into the field to make an insect collection for a class? What you are proposing will take an immense amount of time and effort to control, audit and oversee. I am not sure that you understand the overwhelming diversity of native (non-protected) insects in California. Please understand that these are not vertebrates. My wasps are on average 2-3 mm in size and in a single sweep net, we can collect hundreds of specimens, most of which are new to science (no scientific names). [maybe this is antagonistic, but I think not, I was only asking for their stance]

 

i) insects are not vertebrates. Entomology is an enterprise that spans urban entomology, pest control, agricultural entomology, biodiversity studies, education (general collecting), invasive species monitoring, ecology studies that involve thousands of people in California alone. To enforce the CDFW rules on all of these enterprises is simply impossible and illogical. Note that I am fully supportive of their efforts in monitoring protected and endangered species.

 

j) insects are not vertebrates. We have a tremendous untouched biodiversity that needs to be discovered. We have normal processes to monitor collecting in reserves, state parks and other protected lands. I have worked for over 20 years in California with managers to control catch, areas where I collect, and provide them with the information they need to consider further conservation efforts (for free). I have not heard anything from CDFW about their intent to use the information collected from insect collecting in any way. No other state agency in California (that I know of) charges a fee for permitting or has such onerous permitting requirements. Why CDFW?

 

From your general ECN correspondence, this is not just an issue in California. Overall I see this as an impossible battle. It would be easier if this were a federal regulation and we could focus on one agency. Rather we have different rules and protocols, some reasonable and some not, in every state. I don't know how to address this. Ideas are welcomed.

 

Steve did mention the extreme effort he went through to develop a broad collecting permit through the CDFW. This comes at a cost to all of us.

 

Many of my questions may be inappropriate. I have tried to contact Justin Garcia at CDFW, but after his first reply that I had to get a permit (January 5), I have not been able to get a further response to my queries (other than Feb 11 apologizing for not replying because he was too busy, but he promised an answer soon....). I simply want a waiver so that I can get a State Park Permit .... and follow their rules.

 

I look forward to your comments. 

 

Sincerely,

 

John Heraty 

 

 

P.S. To address a few of Steve's concerns.

 

1)   Should an environmentally-focused state (any state) department *not* express a vested interest in their invertebrate fauna? Frankly, they will not (or should not) have any intervention on what we do in agricultural plots, reserves or State Parks - this is entirely up to the local permitting agencies. They understand what is best, and they do not charge. Will CDFW regulations have no impact? We generally can, and likely will, ignore the rules (especially agricultural researchers). However, I do know on someone (my daughter) being told by her PI that she could not pursue an entomological experiment on the UC Davis campus because, after contacting CDFW, she would need a permit that was beyond the costs of the project. This is scientific infringement.

 

2)   Given that we entomologists try to sell the importance of invertebrates (which of course they are!), why would we expect or want them to be ignored from this perspective? Insects are not mammals or vertebrates. You (or I) cannot supply CDFW with species names or even reasonable numbers of what we collect. We could certainly do this with vertebrates. So... what is the point? I have my own ways of promoting biodiversity studies, and it is not filling out endless, meaningless reports.

 

3)  Given that an entity permit can have as many participants as you want, is it unreasonable to charge a $420 fee to cover the entire group for three years? Is $100 unreasonable to make changes within that three year timeframe? It is not just the cost, it is the time and wasted effort to no end. IF CDFW could explain in any way a purpose to the regulations, permitting and cost of licensing collecting permits, I would be glad to do so. In other countries (and I wish there were more like this), I am providing funds for agencies and countries that are generally not very well funded. California instead is taking the approach of India, in which collecting is essentially dead. Why are they, and we, not promoting the collection and archiving of our unique faunas for posterity. This is about reason - if they did not try to actively pursue getting permits to collect insects, they could be more active in doing what they should be doing, which involved the illegal hunting and fishing of those damn things with a spine.

 

Please.... supply me a reason for what they are doing that makes sense.

 

 

 

 




--

Tom D. Schultz. Ph.D.

Department of Biology

Denison University

Granville, OH 43023

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--

David H. Kavanaugh, Ph.D.

Curator Emeritus

Department of Entomology

California Academy of Sciences

55 Music Concourse Drive

San Francisco, CA 94118 U.S.A.
415.379.5315 phone

415.379.5715 FAX
[log in to unmask]
www.calacademy.org




--

David H. Kavanaugh, Ph.D.

Curator Emeritus

Department of Entomology

California Academy of Sciences

55 Music Concourse Drive

San Francisco, CA 94118 U.S.A.
415.379.5315 phone

415.379.5715 FAX
[log in to unmask]
www.calacademy.org