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COMMITTEE for RESPONSIBLE WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT

~Committed to Conservation, Education and the Preservation of our Natural Resources~

"Promoting Science Based Wildlife Management Decisions for a Better Massachusetts"

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The formation of the Committee for Responsible Wildlife Management (CRWM) was proposed by concerned citizens of Massachusetts who believe that in recent years, there has been an urgent need for people to be reintroduced to and reconnected with the true meaning of conservation and the proper management of our resident furbearing wildlife.  In 1996, Massachusetts lost the ability to properly regulate and manage furbearer populations using the most effective and efficient tools available.  Since that time furbearers have experienced wide swings in population densities, rampant disease outbreaks, imbalances in predator/prey relationships, sharp increases in human/animal conflicts and property damage.  The goals of the CRWM are to disseminate factual information supported by decades of research on proper furbearer wildlife management, explain why it is essential on today’s landscape, and begin to build a network of citizens willing to take the next step in rectifying the current situation by getting involved.

 As a group, we believe in the “responsible use” of our natural resources for the benefit of both wildlife and society.  Not only do we believe this to be appropriate, but essential for the continued, healthy co-existence between modern society and the natural world.  Aldo Leopold once described conservation as “the state of harmony between man and the land”.  He went on to write “the real substance of conservation does not lie in the physical projects of governments, but the mental processes of citizens”.  Aldo Leopold, one of the great founding fathers of the modern conservation movement was saying that each of us are responsible for the health of our natural world around us, which means we must participate in it, not just be a spectator of it.  This participation takes on many forms in our society today.   Some open their wallets and give money, others volunteer in environmental programs, while others become intimately involved in utilizing wildlife’s bounty through hunting, fishing and trapping.  This last group, the ones who have decided to use wildlife, many through traditions past down through generations have become the most misunderstood in our increasingly urbanized society.  How could someone willing to take the life of an animal, still have respect for it - isn’t killing wrong?   This question gets at the heart of the current debate as to whether hunting or trapping is an acceptable activity or even needed today.  It also underscores the disconnect many people have with natures order and our natural position in it.  We believe this position is one where we are intimately interconnected with the natural world and its entire cycle of life - in which we are inescapably forever intertwined.  It is this understanding and participation in the entire cycle that creates deep lasting ties and tremendous respect for the land and its wild inhabitants that span all positions in society.  Attempts to break this bond, by portraying these people as blood thirsty killers not only needlessly degrades respect for fellow citizens, but undermines the corner stone of modern North American wildlife management initiated by President Theodore Roosevelt over 100 years ago.

While for some, all this talk about about death being part of life makes them a bit queasy.  But it is still critical that we as a society understand that this is the world we live in and position we have.  However, with that unique and powerful position comes with it a tremendous responsibility for not only us, but for our environment and all living things.  With that being said, animal welfare is extremely important and of the highest priority for the CRWM, as well as for every state agency tasked to manage wild populations.  Since the general trapping ban went into effect in 1996 here in Massachusetts there have been significant advances in the design of live restraint and kill devices to capture furbearing wildlife, making them much more efficient and extremely humane.  While examining the act of managing wildlife, one must not equate ‘death with cruelty’ – for death is an inescapable result of life.  However, the welfare of animals and compassion for them is not only desirable, but essential for our humanity.  These technological advances have been documented in the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies (AFWA) “Best Management Practices for Trapping in North America” (BMP’s).  Please review all the materials provided, and join us in reestablishing trapping as a responsible, humane and effective furbearer management tool in Massachusetts.

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Last modified: June 30, 2012