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DP reply Collecting on Federal Land Alert

On 10/2/98 Dwight Moody wrote on NFC list:

>I have been concerned 
>for some time that, depending on which side of the bed a local game 
>warden got up on, he/she might conclude that one cannot collect baitfish 
>unless one plans to impale them on a hook afterwards,

I agree.  Based on my experiences with many police officer friends as well as
working with different law enforcement agencies they are human beings and
subject to those frailties.  They are all sworn to being professionals and
supposed to stand above this but don't always do so.  And there is always a
percentage that are prone to be in a bad mood most of the time.  

I gave a class to a group of contractors several years ago and some code
enforcement questions came up.  I suggested I was not the one to answer, but
to contact their local building inspector.  Then I made a couple of comments
that those guys sometimes read a chapter a night out of the code book and then
enforce those harshly the next day.  And lord help you if they had a fight
with their wife the night before.  After the class, one of the participants
came up and showed me his Building Inspector ID.  He took my comments good
naturedly and said that sometimes they were very true.  He said that just the
day before he had been in a bad mood and had written a huge list of violations
at a small commercial building site, including requiring them to install a 6'
fence around the entire area.  Enforcement of most laws is highly selective.
No disrespect meant, but it is often up to the whims and mood of the
individual officer and leaders.  And more than one has told me that.  

Someone suggested to me that you contact the local enforcement officer prior
to collecting in his/her area.  You might be told no, but it beats being
ticketed and having equipment and cars confiscated.  You might also be told to
go ahead, and many of these folks will tell help you on where to go.  I did
not do that at Muscatatuck because I wrongly felt I was 100% within the law.  

>Incidents of this nature are why we are in the process of getting 
>numerous Scientific Collection Permits, which tend to be quite 
>inexpensive.  In addition, they clear up any legal issues which could 
>potentially cause native fish collectors a lot of grief.  All of us 
>should pay attention to the differences between state law and Federal 
>law and how things are administered.  It is always better to ask up 
>front than to get a rude surprise later, especially if getting a SCP or 
>Federal permit would have allowed collecting activities.  A bit more 
>work up front, but the time and effort is a good investment.

I agree and that is why I posted.  Good luck getting a SCP in Indiana.  I was
told by someone I trust that the State refused a permit to a Ph.D. author of
"Peterson's Guide to Freshwater Fish."  I've personally been to the State
Office Building (affectionately known as the SOB) and spoke to the Assistant
Director.  They were happy to give me an application and would take my
application fee (nonrefundable, I think) but couldn't give me anything on the
parameters of who they accept and reject.  Indiana law clearly states SCP
collected species cannot be collected for a private collection.  Again I was
told by someone more experienced and involved than I
that my chances were very slim of being licensed.  

I started a thread earlier this year on the subject of aligning myself with a
scientific community and using this to legitimately obtain a state SCP.  No
one responded.  Any takers?  Free labor from me!  ;-)

Is there a Federal permit out there that would override State regulations?
How to I get one?  Tell me more about what you know about permits.

>BTW, as far as your ticket is concerned, you might want to spend some 
>time in a local law library.  There you should be able to find Federal 
>laws concerning notification/signage requirements and any cases that set 
>precedent in these matters.  Also, you might find it  
>useful to file a Freedom of Information Act request with the Federal 
>and manager for the area and ask for copies of all policies, memos, 
>etc., that relate to the authority to prohibit fishing in the area where 
>you were, authority and standards for posting/closing areas to access, 
>if any other persons were ticketed, what the resolution of their cases 
>was, and anything else that you can think of that would be helpful.  I 
>do know that FOIA requests usually get people's attention in 
>governmental offices.  In addition, internal documents may be more 
>helpful than anything in case law, as the internal documents are not 
>only more specific to the situation at hand, but they can also give you 
>good leads to follow up on, such as references to various rules, 
>regulations and legal decisions, etc. After fulfilling your request, 
>they might be more willing to discuss the matter and reach a mutually 
>acceptable conclusion. 

Great ideas.  Particularly getting internal memos.  

This is about getting things properly signed. Where they don't want folks
trespassing in the waterfowl resting area, they certainly have that well
posted.  If they don't want folks fishing, the same procedures should apply.
One must consider this might be a revenue creating system. Legal but of
questionable ethics.  I do not yet know where the money goes to.   

Thanks for your help.

Chuck Church
CEFChurch at aol_com
Indianapolis, Indiana 46206-2067

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