Upon reading this, I saw that this is a matter that deals with a Federal Agency. If folks do not feel that their concerns are being heard, might I remind people there are elected officials we put in place to represent individuals in such cases. It seems to me that this may be such an instance, especially where there are other nations involved. I suggest using Google to find out who your elected Federal official is and then start asking questions. There might be good reasons for what is going on, but you might also discover there is an opportunity to educate. I don’t know if this was much help, but it is a place to start.
Peter W. Gothro, MS
Entomologist & Sensory Analyst
22201 23rd Dr SE
Bothell, WA 98021-4421
425/487-5373 - Voice
425/487-5496 - Fax
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I tried to follow up with USFWS about the issues at the Houston International Airport because I have a group coming through in July. This is the response I got from them. Not very helpful I'm afraid.
From: Land, Phillip <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wednesday, May 11, 2016 10:42 AM
To: Lynn Kimsey
Cc: FW2 RD Tuggle
Subject: Re: issue with insect specimens at Houston airport
Your email was forwarded to the appropriate law enforcement office for review. Thank you for your inquiry. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's mission is, working with others, to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.
Wildlife Inspectors are stationed at International Airports and our Border Ports across the United States. Wildlife Inspectors work to prevent the unlawful import/export and interstate commerce of foreign fish, wildlife, and plants and to facilitate the expeditious movement of legal wildlife. There are many regulations and laws pertaining to the import and export of wildlife. If individuals or companies do not know what is needed to import wildlife, it is always best to contact the local office upon where the import will occur. A list of local offices for Region 2 (Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas) can be found here http://www.fws.gov/southwest/lawenforcement/statecontacts.html.
Arizona: Report Federal Wildlife violations to the Arizon Law Enforcement Offices. Contact via E-mail to report violations. Special Agent. Chandler
Thank you for your interest in our regulations that help protect fish, wildlife, and plants and their habitats.
Please feel free to contact me at the telephone number listed below with any further inquiries that you may have regarding this matter.
On Tue, May 3, 2016 at 9:06 AM, RD Tuggle, FW2 <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Lynn Kimsey <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Sun, Apr 24, 2016 at 11:35 AM
Subject: issue with insect specimens at Houston airport
To: "[log in to unmask]" <[log in to unmask]>
Dear Dr. Tuggle,
I recently heard from some colleagues that problems have developed with bringing insect specimens through Houston International Airport, even specimens with permits or that belong to and are being returned to American collections. Here is what was said two weeks ago via our professional listserve:
"I don’t know if you guys have heard – but don’t try to bring specimens into the country through Houston. The guy that replaced Ron in Honduras was recently
stopped and all his material confiscated even though he had permits and even though much of it was American material he was returning. The new F&WS inspector, Amy Bailey is a self appointed protector of insects.
She confiscates everything regardless of permits and her attitude is “tell it to the judge.”
The USDA inspectors are referring all imports to her."
If this is indeed happening I would like an explanation for why permits and ownership are being ignored. I have a group returning from Belize through Houston in June. They are participating in an insect survey in collaboration with Belize authorities, with the appropriate permits, and will be bringing specimens back for identification. It is impossible to identify the majority of non-listed insect species in the field. We work very hard to move insect specimens according to legal requirements.
Lynn S. Kimsey
Director, Bohart Museum of Entomology
Professor of Entomology
Phillip A. Land
Assistant Special Agent in Charge
U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Office of Law Enforcement
Southwest Region (Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas)
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