WB Twp. PubSafety
Post date: Apr 9, 2012 6:58:14 PM
This page summarizes Scott Slocum's meetings with the White Bear Township Public Safety Commission on the subject of the Petition for Protection from Trapping in White Bear, MN.
The Commission's liaison from the White Bear Township Board is Supervisor Ed Prudhon. The Commission's chairman is Stephan Lee. White Bear Township Deputy Clerk Jan Reagan manages the agenda and meeting minutes, coordinates scheduling, and distributes information.
Scott delivered a 2/5/2013 letter to summarize developments since last June when he last met with the Public Safety Commission, and to introduce Scott's proposed revision of the Township trapping Ordinance (which is attached to the Town Board page of this website). Scott developed the proposed revision to meet both the requirements of the Town Board and the request of the Petition for Protection from Trapping in White Bear, MN. Scott answered questions as Members of the Commission discussed the issues.
6/14/2012 Update from Shoreview, MN.
The City of Shoreview, MN has this all figured out. City Manager Terry Schwirm explained to Scott on the phone today how the City regulates the taking of wildlife through authorized Wildlife Management Programs (as described in the Shoreview City Code). It's not difficult, he says; the City staff just reviews the plans and puts responsible wildlife-control contractors in charge (to be transitioned during 2012 to the Ramsey County Sheriff's Department).
So that's what Scott is asking for now, on behalf of the signers of the Petition for Protection from Trapping in the White Bear Lake, MN area: let's all do what's working so well in Shoreview.
6/12/2012 News of the decision from the 6/7/2012 meeting.
Excited to share the news of the solution he had found in the Shoreview, MN City Code, Scott hand-delivered fifteen copies of his letter of 6/11/2012 to the Township offices and got the bad news that the Public Safety Commission had ended the process of hearing the Petition--before even looking for solutions. This was apparently decided after Scott had left the 6/7/2012 meeting. The Commission's recommendation to the Township Board: "no changes to Township Ordinances (we want to wait to see if the State DNR takes action)."
Next step: look for the Petition on the Township Board Meeting Agenda of 6/18/2012 and learn more there.
Minnesota Trappers Association instructors and expert trappers William Elliot and Michael Tucker presented information about the need for trapping in suburban wildlife management, and how it can be done responsibly, safely, and effectively. They answered questions on trapping and its dangers for dogs in the suburban White Bear Lake area, focusing on White Bear Township.
Scott responded to their points and those of the Commission as follows:
- Delivered a 6/7/2012 letter to add detailed information that the general Petition for Protection from Trapping in White Bear, MN had not addressed.
- Corrected misquotes: Scott had not asked White Bear Township for a total ban on trapping; only for responsible management that does not endanger people or domestic animals.
- Described the limitations of Minnesota Hunting & Trapping Regulations, including the empty fixes that were introduced in the 2012 session and the lack of safety regulations for traps of the size that killed Scott's dog, Phillip.
- Pointed out that there is no system to thoroughly record, count, or report non-target trapping incidents in Minnesota (including dogs injured or killed by traps). Until there is such a system, anyone who provides an incident count does so from personal knowledge or partial records. Scott and others have asked the Minnesota DNR for such a system, but have been told that although the DNR is interested, its resources are limited. (1/15/2013 update: MN DNR counted its reports at 9 dogs killed and 9 injured by traps so far in the trapping season).
- Pointed out that many dog owners, including himself, take their dogs out for exercise regardless of the weather.
- Pointed out that many dog owners see leash laws primarily as a way to protect others from damage their dogs might do, and to protect their dogs from known dangers including road traffic. Most dog owners do not see leash laws as a way to protect their dogs from traps that could injure or kill them.
- Acknowledged the need for suburban wildlife management using methods that do not endanger people or domestic animals.
- Acknowledged that the use of body-gripping traps in water sets is a relatively safe measure for suburban wildlife management.
- Acknowledged that the use of protected or non-lethal traps is a relatively safe measure for suburban wildlife management.
- Supported municipal Ordinances that allow responsible, safe suburban wildlife management that does not endanger people or animals on public or private lands or waters.
To follow up, Scott made his request more specific in his letter of 6/11/2012: please incorporate the wildlife-management provisions of the Shoreview, MN City Code (found in the following sections: animals & weapons, and nuisances) into the White Bear Township Ordinances.
Minutes #1 in need of correction:
"...[Slocum] stated that there is an open space behind his house and that he does not see any harm to let dogs run in open spaces when nobody is around. He noted that he sees other pet owners let their dogs loose in these areas. Mr. Slocum stated that he does understand that dog owners need to be responsible for their dogs when off leash."
Correction #1 to the minutes:
...[Slocum] stated that he's one of the many landowners of the suburban open space behind his home (the marshland where his dog, Phillip, was killed by an unprotected body-gripping trap this winter). He said that he and his neighbors expect the area to be safe for everyone. People use the area for recreation in the winter when the ice gets thick enough, letting their well-behaved dogs off the leash for a while to run beside them. He said that dog owners know that it's their responsibility to keep their dogs from doing damage or from approaching people uninvited, and that they accomplish that also with their dogs temporarily off leash.
Minutes #2 in need of correction:
"Mr. Slocum stated that if his trapping petition had asked for specifics, it would have asked that there be no trapping that endangers people or domestic animals; that there be no dangerous traps and unguarded equipment; no feeding of wild animals; and a trapping ban (asked for by some petition signers)."
Correction #2 to the minutes:
Mr. Slocum stated that if the Petition for Protection from Trapping in White Bear, MN (White Bear Lake, MN area) had asked for specifics, it would have asked that there be no trapping that endangers people or domestic animals, that trapping be done safely only when necessary for pest control, and that there be no feeding of wild animals except songbirds. He said that traps fit into the category of dangerous, unguarded equipment, and that dangerous, unguarded equipment is already prohibited by Township Ordinances. He said that although some petition signers had asked for a complete trapping ban, that neither he nor the group as a whole would recommend that approach because it doesn't allow for the pest control that is sometimes necessary.
Scott presented the Petition for Protection from Trapping in White Bear, MN, and answered questions on trapping and its dangers for dogs in the suburban White Bear Lake area, focusing on White Bear Township.
The Commission received the petition along with my presentation on the problems with unregulated trapping, then they asked questions and discussed the problem and some of its possible solutions.
Deputy Clerk Jan Reagan read and compared the Ordinances of White Bear Township, the adjoining City of White Bear Lake, and the Ramsey County Parks. She said that the White Bear Township Park Board had already made a recommendation: that trapping be prohibited not only in Town parks as it is now, but on all public lands and waters in the Township. The Commission considered this recommendation and its consequences including the effects on local sportsmen, pest control & wildlife management, and public safety.
The Commission decided not to make a recommendation until it hears more testimony. Town Board Supervisor Ed Prudhon will contact Bill (Will) Elliot, a trapper who teaches trapper-education classes for the Minnesota Trappers Association. (Scott is currently taking those classes at Battle Creek Park, and has been impressed by Mr. Elliot's safety-conscious approach to trapping in suburban areas).
The next Commission meeting will probably not be on the normal, monthly schedule (on the first Thursday of May), but instead will probably be postponed to June.
Need for correction: "[Slocum] stated that he thought if someone else came out to the area, that he would put his dog on a leash."
Correction: "[Slocum] stated that several neighbors have walked their dogs for many years in the area, sometimes off-leash as he had when his dog was killed."
Need for correction: "[Slocum] stated that a coyote would not have been caught in a trap like the one that was placed in the marshland."
Correction: "[Slocum] stated that a body-gripping trap like the one that killed his dog would not be effective in catching coyotes or foxes."
Need for correction: "[Slocum] stated that this type of trap is dangerous and he thinks this is the first time that something like this has happened in a long time in a residential neighborhood."
Correction: "[Slocum] stated that this type of trap is dangerous and he thinks this is the first time that something like this has happened in his neighborhood."
Need for correction: "[Slocum] stated that they are told that although [trappers] attend [trapper-education classes] they need to be responsible and ethical."
Correction: "[Slocum] stated that trapper-education classes stress the need to be responsible and ethical."