The California Fish and Game Commission voted 3-2 Wednesday to ban bobcat trapping everywhere in California. The vote, which took place at the Commission’s regular meeting in Fortuna, caps a controversy that started when a Joshua Tree resident found traps illegally placed on his land less than a mile from the National Park.
Concern over the threat to bobcats in Joshua Tree and elsewhere in the state prompted the California Legislature to pass AB1213, the Bobcat Protection Act of 2013, which directed the Fish and Game Commission to establish trapping-free buffer zones around national parks, wildlife preserves, and other areas where trapping is already prohibited.
After studying a pair of proposals for those buffer zones’ boundaries, the Commission voted in a narrow majority to adopt so-called “Option 2,” which essentially declared the entire state a buffer zone in which trapping is prohibited.
The whole damn state! Not too shabby.
Chris is pretending to be miffed because he never got around to getting this printed up:
California bobcats had come under increasing pressure from trappers in recent years as acombination of fashion trends and illegality of other cat furs increased the global price for bobcat pelts.
“The vote today is historic and shows California’s national leadership in wildlife protection,” said Camilla Fox of the group Project Coyote, which had worked to promote both the Bobcat Protection Act and the more extensive buffer zone proposal. “This victory will help protect California’s native bobcats from the insatiable international fur market where individual bobcat pelts can sell for as much as $1,000 per pelt.”
High five! No Cecil the bobcat, thanks.