These areas were negotiated between trapper groups, Nevada Board of Wildlife Commissioners (NBWC), and the Mt. Charleston Visitor Impact Task Force. They are posted online and are enrolled in Nevada Administrative Code: NAC 504.340. The Task Force did a remarkable job gaining protections for hikers, companion animals and wildlife. We look forward to the day when not only these hard-won areas are closed to trapping, but when public lands throughout Nevada are closed to trapping!
Trapping is prohibited, other than with a box or cage trap, within 1,000 feet of
each side of the following designated hiking trails, campgrounds, picnic areas and recreation areas established within that portion of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest that is located west of U.S. Highway No. 95 and north and east of State Route No. 160 in the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area:
Bristlecone Trail, United States Forest Service Trail No. 148;
Cathedral Rock Trail, United States Forest Service Trail No. 155;
Echo/Little Falls Trail, United States Forest Service Trail No. 141;
Fletcher Canyon Trail, United States Forest Service Trail No. 165;
Griffith Peak Trail, United States Forest Service Trail No. 140;
Mary Jane Falls Trail, United States Forest Service Trail No. 159;
Mummy Springs Trail, United States Forest Service Trail No. 161;
North Loop Trail, United States Forest Service Trail No. 146;
Robber’s Roost Trail, United States Forest Service Trail No. 162;
Sawmill Loop Trail, United States Forest Service Trail No. 973;
South Loop Trail, United States Forest Service Trail No. 145;
Trail Canyon Trail, United States Forest Service Trail No. 147;
Fletcher View Campground;
Kyle Canyon Campground and Picnic Area;
Mahogany Grove Group Campground;
Cathedral Rock Picnic Area;
Cathedral Rock Group Picnic Area;
Deer Creek Picnic Area;
Foxtail Group Picnic Area;
Old Mill Picnic Area;
Sawmill Picnic Area; and
Blue Tree Dispersed Recreation Area, including United States Forest Service Trail Nos. 849, 850, 851 and 852.
Trapping is prohibited, other than with a box or cage trap, within one-half mile of
any residence in the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area, T. 19 S., R. 59 E., Sections 3, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 16.
Trapping is prohibited, other than with a box or cage trap, within 200 feet of
each side of the following designated multi-use routes:
Cardamine Road, United States Forest Service Road No. 001;
Champion Road, United States Forest Service Road No. 203;
Mack’s Canyon Road, United States Forest Service Road Nos. 073, 073A and 073B;
Power Line Road, United States Forest Service Road Nos. 577, 577A, 577B, 872 and 873; and
Telephone Canyon Road, United States Forest Service Road Nos. 530 and 530A.
Dear Wildlife Watchers, our corner of the animal advocacy world can be a pretty frustrating place. We’re making progress on several fronts, but it’s a slow and sometimes imperceptible process, especially here in Nevada.
I, for one, need an infusion of hope and inspiration. The story of Chimpanzees in Need provides all that and more. It is a story of massive obstacles met and overcome, a story of boundless compassion and dedication, and ultimately, a story of success.
To fully appreciate this victory, it is helpful to know some basics about chimpanzees, specifically captive chimpanzees here in the U.S., where they have been exploited in medical research, the entertainment world, and the pet trade.
Next of Kin by Roger Fouts (book)
The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary (book) by Andrew Westoll
Chimpanzees are highly endangered. One hundred years ago, there were an estimated 1-2 million chimpanzees across twenty-five countries in Africa. Today, there are as few as 350,000 wild (high estimate) chimpanzees across Africa. https://www.worldchimpanzeeday.org/
Laboratory testing on chimpanzees, humans’ closest living relative, and other great apes was effectively banned in the United Kingdom in 1997. A number of other countries have similar bans, including New Zealand, the Netherlands, Japan, and Germany.
Chimpanzees still suffered abominable conditions in U.S. biomedical labs for many years thereafter.
At long last, June 11, 2013, the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced a proposal to classify both wild and captive chimpanzees as endangered.
September 14, 2015 the USFW proposal is enacted . “It’s hard to overstate how important this is. For nearly a hundred years, chimpanzees have suffered and died in our pursuit of scientific and medical advancements. Later this month, all invasive research on chimpanzees will, at least for a moment, come to an end.” – J.B. Mulcahy, co-director Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest
Read the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) statement.
The Wildlife Waystation, located in northern Los Angeles County, was a well-known 160-acre refuge for a great variety of wild and exotic animals. Under the leadership of founder Martine Colette, this was a refuge for chimpanzees released from biomedical laboratories, as well as rescues of many different species from the entertainment industry and the pet trade. After Colette’s retirement, the Waystation found itself unable to continue caring for more than 470 animals, including lions, tigers, wolves, owls, alligators and chimpanzees. The refuge unexpectedly announced its closure in August 2019, meaning the entire population needed new homes. This enormous challenge was met for other species, but 41 chimpanzees remained. There are only a handful of accredited sanctuaries able to care for chimpanzees, who are extremely strong, smart, and socially complex, and require specialized care and housing.
Chimpanzees in Need
The North American Primate Sanctuary Alliance (NAPSA) was brought in to help locate new homes and lead the campaign to save these chimpanzees in need. The campaign is fiscally sponsored by 7th Generation Advisors, and supported by California Department of Fish and Wildlife, partnering accredited sanctuaries, and remaining team members of the Wildlife Waystation. Learn more here before donating to help
Watch as the Lucky Six: Cy, Lucky, Dora, Rayne, Gordo and Terry begin their journey from southern California to central Washington state. The transport van was provided by Project Chimps, another accredited sanctuary. Ed Pert, Regional Manager, South Coast Region, CA Dept. of Fish and Wildlife describes his agency’s role and Erika Fleury, Program Director, NAPSA is on hand to explain the need for and the philosophy and advantages of accredited sanctuaries.
A touching moment briefly shows Anher Flores, Senior Manager,Wildlife Waystation, clasping the hand of a chimpanzee in a transport cage to say goodbye. Thetribute to Anher Flores was written July 16, 2021. At that time 26 chimpanzees remained at Wildlife Waystation, but since then every single chimpanzee has found a wonderful new home, though more funds are needed to transport them there.
The accredited sanctuaries identified to rescue these chimpanzees will provide them a new beginning in healthy environments where they will thrive. Click to learn more about each – and the chimps they are saving!
New home construction and long-term care is costly. Every dollar donated goes directly to the chimpanzees in need. All donations are tax deductible and will be accepted and administered by 7th Generation Advisors, a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation (Tax ID:20-8771636). The campaign is supported by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, partnering accredited sanctuaries, and the remaining team members of the Wildlife Waystation. No humans are paid. All the funds go to construction of new homes – one year of future care – and current costs at Wildlife Waystation.
California Department of Fish and Wildlife
Of the many remarkable and inspiring aspects to the story of Chimpanzees in Need, the role of California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is exceptional. I emailed Ed Pert, Regional Manager, South Coast Region, California Department of Fish and Wildlife. I had seen him in the online Chimpanzees in Need Insider Briefing May 18, 2022, where I was impressed by his openness, his concern for the animals, and the major role CDFW took on. We exchanged these emails:
Is your relationship with Wildlife Waystation unusual? Are there other instances of wildlife departments supporting sanctuaries?
That relationship is very unusual. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has never engaged in a project like this. The circumstances were so unfortunate and dire that CDFW had no real choice but to step in and rehome the 481 animals that were possibly not going to have food or water. Thankfully, the Wildlife Waystation staff stayed on to care for the animals. Without that, it would have been a real catastrophe. I am not aware of any other state wildlife departments that have taken on anything like this. CDFW staff did amazing things to find great homes for all the animals. North American Primate Sanctuary Alliance (NAPSA) and others have been incredible partners in finding homes for the chimps. This has been a gratifying ride.
The cost and responsibility are considerable! How much longer can CDFW maintain their support?
That’s a good question. The Governor’s Office has approved an allocation to CDFW to support our efforts through the end of next fiscal year (i.e. June 2023). But we believe all the chimps will be rehomed by then so this should be the last needed allocation by the state. Our fingers are crossed.
Did you have occasion to interact with the chimps?
Yes. My experience is that if you don’t get to see chimps very often, they can be scary and intimidating animals because they become very agitated at first. And I’m not one to be afraid of animals, in general. I love and respect all animals. But if you get the chance to spend more time with chimps, for me, they become incredibly sensitive beings. They can still be scary because of their physical power, but they can also be extremely gentle and caring toward one another.
I envy you the opportunity to get to know them. Do you miss those who moved on?
I don’t see them enough to miss them the way I would if I spent a lot of time with them. If I did spend a lot of time at the Wildlife Waystation, I’m sure I would miss them! Thankfully I see them on video at their new, wonderful, homes and that’s very rewarding. My job is to get them to those new homes and I’m very happy and grateful at each move. I’ve been at the facility to witness each move so far. But I know it has been very hard on the caretakers. Some of them have been caring for those chimps for more than 30 years.
Did the CA Wildlife Commission have responsibility to approve your involvement with WW? Were they supportive?
I think you mean the California Fish and Game Commission. They did not have any involvement, but the members have been very supportive. We are also working on an effort to ensure something like this doesn’t happen again by changing the regulations for these types of facilities. It shouldn’t be possible to create a facility for animals and then have to shut it down without enough support to care for the animals. To be fair, this was not entirely the fault of the Wildlife Waystation directors. There were mitigating circumstances. Still, we need to ensure that this does not happen elsewhere.
Update from Ed Tuesday July 5, 2022The “Sunrise Seven” go to Save the Chimps
We just moved 7 more chimps to Florida last Friday night/Saturday morning. It was a long day but in the end it all worked out great. The chimps are all doing really well in their new home. 11 more to go!
It is with very heavy hearts we [Wildlife Waystation] share the sad news that Alyse, one of our 11 remaining chimpanzees at Wildlife Waystation, passed away at age 33. Alyse and her identical twin sister, Amber, were nearly inseparable throughout their lives together. Both Alyse and Amber were rescued from a biomedical research facility. Amber is doing fine and spending time with the twin’s best friend, Mousse, to pass the time. The staff are monitoring this pair of friends closely during this sudden transition.
Now there are 10 chimpanzees remaining at Wildlife Waystation awaiting transfer to Chimp Haven by the end of the year.
Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) requests trappers fill out and return a questionnaire providing data on animals and birds trapped whether the individual was targeted by the trapper or not. The wording indicates that compliance is optional: “NDOW appreciates your participation. . . ” To make participation easier, the agency sends each licensed trapper a postage-paid, addressed envelope.
Comment: This appears absurd. Perhaps from experience a trapper can leave his deadly device where he thinks the desired species will show up. But he cannot be sure. Obviously he has no control over what species will be caught.
Is it clear to trappers that Nevada Administrative Code requires a response?
Language of the Regulation: NAC 503.160
“Failure to return the form or questionnaire within [the period designated annually by the Nevada Board of Wildlife Commissioners] or the submission of any false information on the form or questionnaire is cause for the Commission or the Department to suspend the trapping license held by the person and deny the person the right to acquire any trapping license for a period of 1 year.” Is this regulation enforced?
To find an answer about enforcement, we refer to NDOW reports on trapper numbers from 2015 and 2016 which are the most recent we could obtain. So far requests for more current data have not been fulfilled. It appears the average compliance is 19%.
In 2015 from a total of 1334 licensed trappers, only 223 (17%) handed in their end of season reports.
For 2016 we do not have the total number of trappers, but only 58 individual trappers completed their reports.
Data from NDOW Furbearer Harvest Questionnaires 2002-2013
Bird species reported trapped:
Golden Eagle, Hawks, Owl, Blue Heron, Chukar, Coot, Ducks, Geese, Magpie, Quail, Rail, Raven
Charlotte McConaghy’s book Once There were Wolves (Flatiron Publishers—2021) has been coloring my mind ever since I read it. In her novel the Australian writer imagines re-wilding the wolf population in Scotland. The book deals with domestic violence as well as violence towards wolves, horses, the earth itself. The drum beat of rapidly accelerating climate change provides the pacing for this rarely comfortable but often lyrical read.
As Inti Flynn, the novel’s central character, points out, “…the physiological response to witnessing someone’s pain is a cringe, a recoil, a wince. We are hardwired for empathy. Once upon a time I took delight in feeling what others felt. Now the constant stream of sensory information exhausts me…I can’t get lost in the wolves or I won’t survive.”
Flynn, who has been sent to Scotland to lead a team of biologists reintroducing wolves to an area of the Scottish Highlands, is affected by the violence she sees on all fronts. She is able to relate the cruelty to the wolves to the cruelty her own sister faces in a dysfunctional relationship. One can only imagine how that empathetic character would react to scrolling through the news reports of fighting in the Ukraine.
Another major theme of the novel is the thorniness of communicating when generation-held opinions clash. One poignant passage has the main character sharing a recording of wolves howling in such a way that the person she is trying to convince to listen actually does listen and begins to share her passion for wolves. As she points out, they are animals who have in their power the means to restore a degraded environment and make it sustainable again.
This book does not devastate—which is more than I can expect from tomorrow’s news—but it does present questions that are very real in our world: Will the wolves survive? Will the women? Will violence or measured communication have the upper hand?
Annoula Wylderich has been an animal advocate since 2008, campaigning for ALL animals. She is the founder of the Vegas-based grassroots organization, Animal Protection Affiliates. She has been Senior District Leader for HSUS, State Director for Animal Wellness Action, and board member of the NSPCA. She has been recognized for her advocacy by both the HSUS and PETA Here she adroitly sums up what’s wrong with trapping.
One would assume that if you are going to end the life of an animal, for whatever reason, that you would do it mercifully. Even hunters have certain ethics which they follow, if they pursue their activities with any integrity.
However, trapping seems to be in a category all its own and among the cruelest of sportsmen activities. It constitutes a small percentage of the hunting population (thankfully), but renders so much suffering, that over 120 countries have banned or curtailed trapping. That sends a significant message to the rest of the world, which the U.S. would be wise to note.
Traps cause unimaginable suffering to both intended and unintended victims, including endangered species and pets. They have resulted in orphaned cubs and pups, in animals suffering prolonged deaths or maiming, and in animals experiencing pain, fear, hunger, thirst, exposure and attacks by predators as they lie helpless and unable to defend themselves. While it’s incomprehensible that their torture could last the typical 36 hours that most jurisdictions stipulate for trap-check time, Nevada still permits a 96-hour timeframe – IF trappers even abide by this regulation. We have no way of knowing and requests for any significant data on trapping in our state have produced disappointing results.
This is an outdated, archaic activity that needs to be re-visited by our leaders if we truly value our ecosystem and the proliferation of eco tourists to our state. Those tourists are not paying to have their safety compromised nor to come across animals in various stages of suffering. It’s time, Nevada. For anyone who may be interested in updates or opportunities to help advance more compassion in trapping, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Concerned residents can also contact the Governor’s office to express their opposition to trapping. In Southern Nevada, call: 702-486-2500; in Carson City, call: 775-684-5670. Let him know you consider trapping devices to be cruel to animals and unsafe for the public and our pets and that you wish to see them banned.
Lately Nevada wildlife watchers seek solutions to so many issues: Wildlife killing contests; lack of representation on local or state wildlife boards; hunting black bears; hunting with hounds; persecution of predators. In the mix is the outcry against cruel trapping. With no apologies, this newsletter will keep up the fight for an end to commercial and “recreational” trapping on our public lands.
To most wildlife watchers, trapping is arguably the most abhorrent, repulsive, ethically bankrupt torment that can be visited upon animals.
From Time To End a Twisted Tradition by Jim Robertson: “Unless a severe blow to the head or some psychopathic disorder has rendered them incapable of feeling empathy for others, anyone who witnesses the harrowing ordeal suffered by an animal caught in a leghold trap should be appalled and outraged that trapping is still legal in a society that considers itself civilized. The continuation of this horrid, outdated practice in a country governed by the people suggests that either most folks have brain damage, or they are simply unaware of the terrible anguish and desperation a trapped animal goes through.”
The cruelty argument is frequently dismissed as “unscientific” Thousands of people who write to TrailSafe and to similar groups around the USA, are not concerned with being “scientific” and object to trapping because of its extreme cruelty. Are they all wrong? Is trapping harmless recreation like birdwatching? (As one member of the Washoe County Advisory Board to Manage Wildlife declared to the media) Did over 100 countries worldwide ban or severely restrict trapping for any other reason? Why do all the major animal advocacy groups in the USA call for an end to commercial trapping? Or, better yet, all trapping.
The cruelty argument is the elephant in the living room in any discussion of trapping.
Society presumably advances through time. Cruelty to pets is increasingly penalized. Cooney’s Law, SB223 passed in the 2011 Nevada Legislature, makes heinous cruelty to pets a felony. Yet the agony inflicted on trapped animals is still legal. Why does a dog have more protection than a coyote?
Nevada does not require any courses or training to get a trapping license, whereas, if you were born after Jan. 1, 1960, you need to provide proof of hunter education to purchase a Nevada hunting license. A trapping license is required to: take furbearers by any legal method, take unprotected mammals by trapping, or sell raw furs for profit. $42.00. Persons 15 years of age and under pay only $14.00. That’s it. You pay the fee and you have a trapping license.
Hunter Education Online Study Guide
For the benefit of prospective hunters, Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) provides an online study guide. And thrown in, a trapping code of ethics for anybody who wants to trap, regardless of age. This section needs a 21st Century overhaul, fact check and debunking.
The Study Guideintroduction: “Trapping furbearing animals was once a full-time occupation. Today, regulated trapping is an important tool for managing our nation’s natural resources”.
Trapping is not resource management. Trapping is indiscriminate. Trappers conduct no surveys to determine species populations. There is no upward limit on numbers of animals Nevada permits trappers to kill.
Study Guide Trapper’s Code of Ethics:
1. Obtain the landowner’s permission.
This was hardly the case when traps showed up on the Sturgis family ranch. The family dog, Beowulf, was trapped and injured. In efforts to free him, Judy Sturgis suffered hand injuries which required stitches and also a bite from the panic-stricken animal. Later trespassers denied the traps were theirs. Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) game warden and the police were of limited help. The entire story was published in the January 15, 2014 Minden Record Courier. https://trailsafe.org/beowulf-trapped-on-his-own-ranch-three-trespassers-deny-involvement/
2. Avoid setting traps in areas where domestic animals may be caught.
Domestic animals are caught in a variety of settings including residential neighborhoods, hiking trails and equestrian trails. NDOW lists of non-target animals trapped are obtained from trappers’ self-reports. Here is the astonishing variety of species:
3.Set traps to capture the target animal in the most humane way possible.
There is no humane way to set leghold, snare or Conibear-type traps.
4. Check traps at least once every 24 hours, preferably in the early morning.
We spent a year 2013-14 testifying to the Wildlife Commission making the case for daily trap inspection. But Nevada statute gives trappers 96 hours, i.e. four days, to let animals suffer unspeakable pain, fear, thirst, hunger, exposure to predators, exposure to elements. With only 31 law enforcement officers to cover 110,567 vast, mostly empty, square miles, enforcement is chancy at best. So many animals probably suffer even longer. 33 states have 24-hour visitation law. This includes large Western states such as CO,AZ,NM,WA which are comparable in size to Nevada. And, each of these states have placed limits or bans upon public lands trapping. Again, Nevada lags way behind.
5. Record trap locations accurately.
Maybe trappers do this for themselves . Their traplines can be miles long, so a reminder would be helpful. As for telling the public where their beloved pet might be likely to have body parts mauled or broken and scream out in pain and terror, well that’s a joke to trappers. When we asked for trap markers, we met derision. What if somebody would steal a precious trap? Traps cost between $5 and $20. What if a tree hugging bandit messes with one? The public now has the right to move or disable a trap that poses risk, thanks to our successful bill, SB364. But this fine point of ethics remains a joke to trappers.
6. Identify all traps with waterproof name and address tags.
When our campaign began, traps had no ID, no way to hold trappers accountable. It took ten years of legislative wrangling, finally we succeeded in 2017. Every trap, snare or similar device used in commercial and/or recreational trapping on public land has to have eitherthe trapper’s name and address, or else a registration number issued by NDOW.
7. Use as much of the animal as possible before disposing of remains.
8. Dispose of animal carcasses properly so as not to offend others.
We try to spare you the worst photos, so be forewarned if you follow this link from our colleagues at Trapfree New Mexico: https://trapfreenm.org/carcass-pile-dumped-trapper/ Evidently some New Mexico trappers don’t mind offending others. We suspect it’s the same in Nevada, but don’t have photos.
9. Make an effort to trap in areas with a surplus of animals.
This data is not readily available. Most wildlife watchers do not believe that animal populations need to be controlled by lethal means. Wildlife find the balance when living according to Nature’s plan in their habitat. We have not seen any data to indicate “areas with surplus of animals”.
10. Promptly report the presence of diseased animals to wildlife authorities.
At a 2014 Wildlife Commission meeting, trappers discussed creating a course similar to the hunter ed course. To date, there is no official course. Trappers are well organized: they are a presence at sportsmens’ meetings and social events, and are effective lobbyists. No question they are supportive of each other. That’s how they’ve gained so much influence in our state.
12. Know and follow all trapping regulations.
NDOW has a system of penalties and demerits for violations. With traplines covering miles, with traps so well camouflaged, it’s no easy task to enforce regulations. We are currently seeking data on numbers of violators.
13. Support enforcement of all regulations
The most basic regulations had to be established when we entered the arena in 2007. At that time trappers believed they didn’t need any identification or registration on traps; that they could trap in residential neighborhoods; that any ignorant soul daring to touch one of their traps owed a $100 fine; and that no wildlife advocates deserved a seat on the trapping committee. They believed the only possible objection to trapping was when one’s dog was trapped. Humane arguments were shrugged off. Whether trappers “support enforcement of all regulations” is dubious in the extreme. We have to be on guard because any regulations we managed to push through can be overturned in future Legislative sessions.
14. Dispatch trapped furbearers in a humane manner.
There are those who think shooting or drowning or strangling or beating a helpless animal while it’s trapped and has spent at least four days in terror and pain is humane. Those should never be in a position to make decisions about the wildlife that by law belongs to all the citizens of this state.
The Study Guide provides a Glossary which defines one word: “Dispatch”: “To put to death quickly” Be aware of other euphemisms for cold-blooded, heartless, grotesque killing: “harvest”; “take”; “cull”