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Posted by Dale Burton on February 19, 2002 at 18:16:05:
In Reply to: Re: TPWD Gassing Regulations posted by Carl Franklin on February 19, 2002 at 10:47:28:
This was a letter to the editor last year about the gassing issue, TPWD, and TNRCC. Thought I'd share it with you if you didn't see it last year. Mr. Herron and I have gone laps on this issue and he has never come up with a sound reasonable answer to gasoline usage that I've ever been happy with.
Anyway, I care back here in Arizona and wish all of you good people the best with this problem. I lived in Lubbock for a number of years if any one wants to know.
: DALLAS MORNING NEWS (Texas) 16 March 01 Letter: Our nation deserves better
I enjoy hunting when safe and sporting-like methods and proper wildlife management are in place. Gassing rattlesnakes out of a den is neither. The Sweetwater Jaycees openly brag about this to the press and public during their rattlesnake roundup.
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department officials have the authority to prohibit gasoline usage in rattlesnake dens as a means of protecting non-target wildlife. Have they ever used their authority in the 43 years of the Sweetwater roundup? Sadly, the answer is no because if they ever did, the Sweetwater Jaycees and every other roundup hack would scream! It's so absurd that people like this will gas rattlesnakes in the name of hunting, and dismiss out of hand the toxic, dangerous and deadly end from gasoline usage on animals. They believe that gassing is benign to wildlife. It shows the lack of common sense when these groups will continue to use gasoline until something better comes along or an alternative is found. What intelligent reasoning.
What will happen when TPWD has to make gasoline as a method of take in the codebook illegal? Trust me on this, it's coming. I smell bootleg gas in the future of this mess. The Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission mandate of enforcement for 210 gallons of gasoline being used in this manner as well as dumping or spilling, will have to change to zero tolerance.
It's sad that wildlife management and humane treatment of harvesting the western diamondback rattlesnake is null and void for Sweetwater, roundup organizers and TPWD. Shame on TPWD for its lack of wisdom and common sense while letting a tradition run wild on gasoline. It leaves us all choking in the fumes. We as a nation deserve better than this.
Dale Burton, Director, Rattlesnake Awareness Programs of Arizona, Glendale, Ariz.