Before this dies out, there are a couple more ideas/concepts I'd like to add.


Costs: Finite vs infinite. The cost of the permit only happens once (finite), however, if you house NPS specimens they (may) ask that you confirm the existence of X number of specimens every year (infinite). We want to develop a system where collecting, housing, accountability, etc. costs are finite, otherwise the museum may obtain a too high parasite load and become unhealthy.


Rubber paper: Permits are malleable in persons and time. 10, 20, 50 year or lifetime permits are great. A permit held by an institution that can add people over time is also nice. Ideally there would be many situations where permits were not required, but the paper trail is a nasty serpent that want's to bite its own tail to create an infinite loop. We want to develop a situation where, when permits are required, it's easy to keep them, and easy to add people (imagine a museum with a life time permit that can add an entire third grade class to its permit).


Shared goals: More or less researchers and managers all want the same things: we want to be left alone and not get into trouble. Managers want to know what's on their land, researchers want to know what's where as well. The databasing tsunami that's washing back and forth within the entomological community will do a lot to change the collection/permitting landscape. Soon we'll be able to make very precise statements about specimen coverage of protected areas. My guess is that we'll find that some protected areas are considerably under-sampled compared to the surrounding land. If used properly, databases may help to significantly alter permits and requirements.


Legalese: Laws are made up, like superheroes. Who's faster, Superman or the Flash, isn't testable, it comes down to interpretations and fads.


Onions: When committing an act, few people can think beyond the first layer of consequences. No one said, let's make it impossible for a child to make an insect collection or for a homeowner to defend herself against a mosquito by slapping it. The silly unintended consequences of some of the rules are not the result of malevolence, simply the result of ignorance. Again, we the group should sit down (perhaps with professionals) and draft a nice statement that 1) helps to educate others about the entomological universe (child collectors, yellow sticky traps, long term storage of specimens, bycatch, inability to ID specimens to species in the field) and 2) helps to provide recommendations that make life easier for managers, researchers, public, etc. I'm sure that this has been done before. I'm sure this has been done 100 time before! But the action-adventure and romantic-comedy genres have taught us that humans can experience the same thing over and over again and that we need to experience the same things over and over again. Each generation needs its Casa Blanca/Star Wars.   


Rather than be angry, or declare that nothing can be done, let's consider trying to actually change something. The easiest way to get started is: 1) find examples of terrible things and calmly and rationally explain why they are sub-par (think in economic terms whenever possible); 2) find examples of great things and calmly and rationally explain why they are great (think in economic terms whenever possible); 3) begin amassing collecting/research explanations/statements so we don't have to reinvent the wheel, and can see what works and what doesn't. It seems like this would be a good project for a graduate student in environmental law…





On Sun, Feb 21, 2016 at 5:47 PM, Barry OConnor <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Good for you, Eric! This permitting situation sounds analogous to what I have to do to get chloral hydrate (a controlled substance) for making Hoyer's medium for mounting mites. I had to get a DEA license (for a fee), but in order to get that, I needed a permit from the state. The application for the state permit asked me to provide my DEA license number! When I inquired, I was told the state didn't enforce that part of the application process.
All the best! - Barry

On Sun, Feb 21, 2016 at 5:18 PM, <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Barry wrote: "Hi Eric - I trust you follow the old J.G. Franclemont rule about moths: 'You kill 'em, you spread 'em!' All the best! - Barry"

Barry, You betcha.  I adored that man, and I spent all day today spreading a couple hundred moths from last night so that I can go put out traps again tonight.

In my case however, it is Mrs. Metzler who says (as her fridge overflows with tupper ware containers full of moths) "You spread 'em or I toss 'em out."  I know from 48 years experience that she means it

We are enjoying 80 F days for the past week and into next week.  I'm seeing species not seen in the past 10 years. I'm like a kid in a candy store.

To my friends Mike and Doug, an NPS collecting permit can be issued in a couple days if the proper groundwork is laid.

And all the best to all of you who are not bored out of your tree.


-So many mites, so little time!

Barry M. OConnor                    
Professor  & Curator             
Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
University of Michigan                  phone: 734-763-4354            
1109 Geddes Ave.                          
fax: 734-763-4080
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1079          
e-mail: [log in to unmask]

Michael L. Ferro
Collection Manager, Clemson University Arthropod Collection (CUAC)
Dept. of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
MAIL: 277 Poole Agricultural Center
OFFICE: 307 Long Hall
Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634-0310
Subject Editor: The Coleopterists Bulletin; Insecta Mundi