We are a non profit group that is based in Idaho. We are dedicated to the education of the public about reptiles and amphibians. Note: the address is only where we meet once a month.
Operating as usual
The Idaho Herpetological Society meeting this Sunday, July 18th at 6:30 will be on Rattlesnakes. Again the meeting will be outside at Bill Rupp’s house, 4623 ½ North Adams St. in Garden City. Hope you can make it – it should be a good meeting.
Please bring ideas for future meetings. Also keep in mind our next volunteer event of Saturday, Aug. 28th for the Snake River Raptor Fest. And the one after that will be the Kids Discovery Expo on Saturday, Sept 25th at the Expo building on Glenwood. It will be earlier this year than in past years.
[06/13/21] It’s been a long time but we’re going to have a meeting again – Sunday, June 20th at 6:30, now that the weather isn’t so iffy. The meeting will be at Bill Rupp’s house, let we did last summer. The address 4623 ½ North Adams St. in Garden City. His driveway is between 2 house and take you back behind. Bring a chair unless you want to sit on the grass. It will be a show ‘n tell meeting, getting to know each other again.
Dr. Charles Peterson will be giving a lecture on photographing the snakes of Idaho Monday evening at 6:30 at the M-K Nature center. And if you miss the lecture, there is a photo exhibit of the snakes of Idaho that will be there the whole month of June.
ALERT: Boise, ID
Local residents should be aware that Boise is currently drafting changes to the City's animal ordinance. This may affect owners of any species, including dogs as this is a large focus of the amendments.
There is not an immediate threat (for h**petoculture). We are informing our members to watch the issue as it could be amended to affect our community, too. The City is accepting input on the proposed changes until March 30, 2021.
On the reptile side, there is already a ban list under present law. Currently, there are no proposed changes to that list.
One issue with the current law is that Boise bans any species listed under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA). Unfortunately, we see this often as lawmakers do not understand ESA, nor are they aware that some ESA species have been bred under human care for many years. ESA does not ban intrastate activities with ESA-listed species, either native or non-native. It is clear that the City is not familiar with ESA as they have species redundantly listed in the actual prohibited list and then again under the blanket ESA species prohibition.
This first link is a short article on the matter. There is also a form to submit comments at this link: https://www.cityofboise.org/departments/city-council/animal-code-update/
The second link goes to the draft changes. The current law is in normal text. Text to be removed has strikethrough. New text (change) is underlined:https://www.cityofboise.org/media/11471/animal-code-update-changes-2021-002.pdf
Substantive/lengthy comments should also be sent to your City Council member. They can be found at this link. Scroll down to find the "Send Message" link. https://www.cityofboise.org/departments/city-council/
getting close to home. be involved.
Read below or at https://usark.org/alert-or-2021/
Oregon House Bill 3008 (HB3008) has been introduced by Representative Nosse. HB3008 prohibits using certain animals (list below and even includes tortoises and small monitors) in "traveling animal acts," which will include the educational outreach programs provided by many animal keepers. It authorizes forfeiture of animals used in violations. Punishment is a maximum of six months' imprisonment, a $2,500 fine, or both. HB3008 awaits committee assignment and we will add that information for sending opposition when assigned.
Regardless of what species are involved, this bill is unnecessary, redundant, and a waste of Oregon tax dollars. Animal welfare laws are already in place and measures like this bill only punish responsible citizens instead of actually penalizing criminals.
The unintended consequences are many. It is a ban on taking a Greek tortoise into a classroom for an educational program about turtles and tortoises. It is a ban on taking a dwarf monitor lizard into a library or to a Scout troop meeting for an educational show discussing reptiles.
The bill is straightforward and simply states, "A person may not use an animal described in subsection (3) of this section in a traveling animal act." That means any species below cannot be transported in any manner for any type of presentation. Essentially, animals could only leave your home for veterinary visits.
“Traveling animal act” means a performance of an animal to which the animal is transported to perform. This qualifies all outreach and educational programs that are not on-site where the animal is permanently housed. They would all be banned.
The only exemptions are facilities with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the World Association of Zoos, Aquariums (WAZA), or the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS), state-licensed wildlife rehabilitation centers, certain academic/medical/research facilities, veterinarians, and licensed falconers.
Please note that “education programs” are only exempt if you qualify with an entity included in the above exemption list. Also, while this a definition for "performance" that may seem to disqualify general educational outreach programs, there still remains much ambiguity and enforcement could certainly take place upon an unexempted person conducting a program.
Species included in the bill:
(a) Any member of the family Canidae, except the species Canis familiaris (domestic dog);
(b) Any member of the family Cetartiodactyla, except the species Bison bison (American
bison), Bos ta**us (domestic cow), Lama glama (domestic llama), Ovis aries (sheep), Rangifer
tarandus (reindeer) and Sus domesticus (domestic pig), and the subspecies Capra aegagrus
hircus (domestic goat);
(c) Any member of the order Crocodylia;
(d) Any member of the subclass Elasmobranchii;
(e) Any member of the family Elephantidae;
(f) Any member of the family Felidae, except the species Felis catus (domestic cat);
(g) Any member of the family Hyaenidae;
(h) Any member of the mammalian infraclass Marsupialia;
(i) Any member of the family Mustelidae, except the subspecies Mustela putorius furo
(j) Any nonhuman primate;
(k) Any member of the order Perissodactyla, except the subspecies Equus ferus caballus
(domestic horse), the subspecies Equus africanus asinus (donkey), a pony and a mule;
(L) A member of the clade Pinnipedia;
(m) A member of the family Procyonidae;
( n) A member of the group ratite;
(o) A member of the family Spheniscidae;
(p) A member of the family Testudinidae;
(q) A member of the family Ursidae;
(r) A member of the family Varanidae;
(s) A member of the family Viverridae; and
(t) A member of the clade Xenarthra.
Remember to be civil and professional at all times!
Email list (more added once assigned to committee): [email protected]
NO to HB3008
As a dedicated advocate for animal welfare, I implore you to pull House Bill 3008 from consideration. Oregon already has extensive animal cruelty and welfare laws including ORS Chapter 167. Enforce those current laws! HB3008 is yet another superfluous law that will not accomplish its stated purpose and is nothing more than a solution looking for a problem.
It seems HB3008 lacks research. For example, the bill would ban educational programs including any tortoise or monitor lizard. For both of these, some species weigh less than a pound as adults. Programs with the larger tortoises and monitor lizards provide education as to why certain species are not good pet choices for some people and families.
The fact is that this legislation is unnecessary. Punish the "bad actors" and the criminals. No new law is needed to protect animals as Oregon can already prosecute animal abusers.
Superfluous and redundant laws are becoming commonplace. Tax dollars and legislative resources are continually being wasted to propose duplicative laws. Even worse, collective punishment is becoming an accepted practice in our government. Instead of focusing on criminals, many new laws choose to punish good citizens.
Among other overreaching measures, this bill bans many educational outreach programs before students and Scout troops, classifying such beneficial programs as inherently cruel. Those who would travel with their animals to teach school children about tortoises or certain lizards will be made into criminals!
This bill is far-reaching and rife with unintended consequences, including making criminals out of those dedicated individuals who responsibly conduct educational programs with animals. Thank you for your time and consideration on this matter. Please realize that HB3008 is illogical and unjust. Have a good day.
What to do:
1. Call officials;
2. Email officials;
3. Fax and mail letters;
4. Attend hearings and voice opposition, if possible;
5. SHARE this and encourage others to complete the Alert!!!
You can find full contact details (phone, email, fax, etc.) for relevant legislators by clicking the links below.
Bill TEXT: https://olis.oregonlegislature.gov/liz/2021R1/Downloads/MeasureDocument/HB3008/Introduced
Bill full details on CO Legislative website: https://olis.oregonlegislature.gov/liz/2021R1/Measures/Overview/HB3008
Link to Committee members and contact information (to be posted after assignment):
Link to the sponsor's info page: https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/nosse
Due to the rising numbers of covid cases we can’t find a location to have the monthly meeting indoors and it’s getting too cold to have it outside so we’re cancelling this months meeting. Hopefully November won’t end the same way.
For those of you that were planning on helping out at the Kids Discovery Expo November 14th – that has been cancelled as well.
I’m taking orders for the 2021 calendar so I know how many to get printed. Please let me know if and how many you want. They should be 10.00 each. Last call for pictures to be submitted. I will accept them through 10/31. You can email them to idahoh**[email protected]. Be sure to include species and if a pet, its name.
They are at it again. Write your representatives!
UPDATE: HEROES Act
The HEROES Act has re-emerged as a new bill and as an amendment to another bill (HR925). If you are unfamiliar with the HEROES Act and its implications, you can read that at https://usark.org/2020-disease-prevention-act/.
The House has included the hundreds of pages of the HEROES Act as an amendment to HR925 (a bill titled America's Conservation Enhancement Act). Since HR925 passed the House and the Senate (but was amended in the Senate), the House Democrats are trying to slide the HEROES back over to the Senate in hopes it will pass as HR925.
Typically, amendments are fairly minor language edits to bills or changes in line with the goal of the bill. This action strays from the norm. This replaces the text of HR925 and replaces it with the HEROES Act
HR925 was "an Act to extend the authorization of appropriations for allocation to carry out approved wetlands conservation projects under the North American Wetlands Conservation Act." A reported COVID-relief plan with hidden amendments to the Lacey Act does not fit the bill. This is yet another example of why politics is a dirty word. This is an attempt to skip some steps in the legislative process.
You can read all 2,100+ pages of this "amendment" at https://usark.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/HR925-new-HEROES-Act-2020.pdf. The problematic Lacey Act amendments appear under TRADE OF INJURIOUS SPECIES AND SPECIES THAT POSE A RISK TO HUMAN HEALTH on pages 2,151-2,153.
Also, the HEROES Act has been re-introduced as another bill (HR8406). At the very end of this 2,154-page bill are the changes to the Lacey Act that would reverse USARK's landmark federal lawsuit victory. We covered this in our newsletter linked at the beginning of this post. The bill would make the below amendments to Title 18 Section 42 subsection (a) paragraph 1 of U.S. Code (the Lacey Act):
(i) by inserting “or any interstate transport between States within the continental United States,” after “shipment between the continental United States, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or any possession of the United States,”; and
(ii) by striking “to be injurious to human beings, to the interests of agriculture” and inserting “to be injurious to or to transmit a pathogen that can cause disease in humans, to be injurious to the interests of agriculture”;
You can read HR8406 at https://usark.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/2020-HR8406-HEROES-Act.pdf.
Please note that we are not posting on Democrat vs. Republican. The fact is that the HEROES Act is a democratic bill with all democrat co-sponsors so it is the House Democrats that are pushing this.
HR8406 is sponsored by Representatives Lowey, Scott, Pallone, Waters, Grijalva, Carolyn B. Maloney, Velazquez, Takano, Neal, Lofgren, and Defazio.
Not sure how the week got away from me but it’s Friday and I haven’t sent out the notice for the meeting yet. It will be this Sunday at 6:30. It is open to the public. Mary will be showing how to be out-door cages and Harrsion will be going over building bioactive cages. The meeting will be at Bill Rupp’s house again. The address is 4623 ½ North Adams St. in Garden City. His driveway is between 2 house and take you back behind. Bring a chair unless you want to sit on the grass, masks too. There is plenty of parking in a lot he owns adjacent to his yard.
This is also the time of year where we take pictures for the calendar. I will bring my camera if you want to bring an animal but given this is outside, I thought this year we will encourage members to send in their submission for the calendar. Only requirement is that it is in focus enough it can be greatly enlarged. Please email them to either idahoh**[email protected] or [email protected]. Please include the common name and morph and if the animal has name, send that too.
[08/13/20] Good Evening. The Idaho Herpetological Society is having a meeting this Sunday but are limiting it to members only. Any member that missed getting the email about the meeting and location who wants to attend, please email idahoh**[email protected]. Thank you.
We are going to have a meeting this Sunday, July 19th. It will be outside, in Kristin Armstrong Municipal Park on Walnut St in Boise. It’s the park next to the old Idaho Fish & Game office we used to meet at. We’ll be at one of the sites near the bathrooms in the park. Even if it’s warm there is lots of shade. Charlie Justus with Idaho Fish & Game will be our guest speaker so bring any questions you have on Idaho laws or any other topic you’d like. Because of covid restrictions, please bring a mask to wear. If you’re far enough away from others you don’t need to have it on but if you want to be close or pet any animals, you’ll need it on. The meeting will be at 6:30. Hope to see you there.
[06/25/20] Well no meeting again this month. We can't meet at the Fish & Game in Nampa until phase 4 done. And the weather looked iffy for Sunday to have it in the park. Everyone stay well so we can resume regular meetings next month - July 19th. We have Charlie Justus with Idaho Fish & Game on tap for the next meeting.
[05/17/20] No meeting this month. We are planning for a June meeting. New location. Charlie Justus with Idaho Fish and Game will be our guest speaker. No decision yet on a field trip. We’ll keep you posted. Stay safe and healthy everyone.
More sneaky legislation. Never let a crisis go to waste. Please read and act.
USARK Newsletter from 5/14/20
ALERTS: Federal (Lacey Act amendments), State, & Local
Read below or at https://mailchi.mp/usark/alerts_5_14_20
ALERT: Wildlife-Borne Disease Prevention Act (Federal)
Buried on pages 1,628-1,635 of the latest 1,815-page House democratic draft of a COVID-19 relief bill known as the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act (HEROES Act) is the text of the Wildlife-Borne Disease Prevention Act (the Act). In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and utilizing this crisis as a springboard, the Act has surfaced as activists try to conflate the issue of legal and legitimate trade with substandard wet markets and other unregulated potential vectors for zoonotic disease transmission.
Most troubling of all, the Act contains language that would reverse the USARK federal lawsuit victory by reinstating the ban on interstate transportation of species listed as injurious under the Lacey Act.
In that landmark decision, four federal judges agreed that USARK was correct and that the Lacey Act did not ban interstate transportation of injurious species based on the original language of the Lacey Act and the intent of Congress. As a result of this fight for our members and the h**petocultural community, this meant animals domestically bred under human care could be moved and sold across state lines (within the continental United States). For h**petoculturists’ concerns, this included a few species of constrictors snakes and a long list of salamanders. However, that ruling was made on the current Lacey Act language.
Unfortunately, the proposed law now included in the COVID relief bill would overturn that decision. Specifically, the Act would add this language to the Lacey Act (Title 18 Section 42): “or any interstate transport between States within the continental United States.”
Not only will it ban interstate transportation, but it will expand what is considered an injurious species. In addition to the above amendment, it alters the definition of an injurious species: “to be injurious to or to transmit a pathogen that can cause disease in humans…”
The Act has some other consequences:
1. Creates a new route to petition for listing injurious species (with 90 days for the government to respond);
2. Requires a list of species “that could pose a biohazard risk to human health” be compiled by the government and determine if those species may be injurious. The list is to be finalized within one year after passage of the Act;
3. Creates a new electronic permitting system;
4. Creates new monitoring, research, management, and database frameworks (Wildlife Disease Surveillance through the United States Geological Survey’s National Wildlife Health Center).
While we do not believe that the HEROES Act as passed by the House will be supported by the Senate, we do have reasonable concerns that the language on the wildlife trade will find its way into a subsequent bill that could pass the Congress.
For this reason, we are alerting our membership and other animal interests to this threat while working to prevent the inclusion of the Act into a Senate bill. We are engaged, as always, and will keep the community apprised. If action is needed from membership, we will issue an alert and steps to take.
We hope everyone is safe and healthy during this time. Be responsible! Protect your health and the health of others. Always represent h**petoculture in a professional manner.
You can find the full HEROES Act at this link. See page 1,628 for the Wildlife-Borne Disease Prevention Act: https://docs.house.gov/billsthisweek/20200511/BILLS-116hr6800ih.pdf.
ALERT: California SB1175
California Senate Bill 1175 (SB1175) was introduced in 2019 as the Iconic African Species Protection Act with a stated purpose of banning sales and certain possession of listed live animals or any parts (i.e. taxidermied animals, ivory, etc.). Yesterday, SB1175 was amended (as expected following media statements a few weeks ago).
The amendments to SB1175 include:
1. Requiring the Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) to ban the importation of certain species that may transmit diseases to humans;
2. Prohibiting the operation of a live animal market (definition does not include reptile shows).
3. Per the bill, DFW would be required “to immediately suspend any authorization to import a wild animal species into the state when the evidence suggests zoonotic transmission from this species, or a closely related species, could be responsible for a novel, readily transmissible human disease in order to protect the public health.”
“Live animal market” means a retail food market where, in the regular course of business, animals are stored alive and sold to consumers for the purpose of human consumption. “Animal” means frogs, turtles, and birds sold for the purpose of human consumption, with the exception of poultry.
We will have more details posted soon. Briefly, this bill should not affect h**petoculture but the risk of overreach lies within.
Read the bill at http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201920200SB1175.
Louisiana Representative Neil Riser has introduced House Concurrent Resolution 61 (HCR61). HCR61 urges the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (DWF) to review the regulation governing the possession and ownership of certain non-native species and potentially prohibit additional species. This may cover all types of animals, not just reptiles. Specifically, HCR61 calls for a review of monitor lizards, other lizard species, and "any other potentially invasive species."
HCR61 means that we may be seeing proposed regulations and/or bans by DWF. This would be a regulatory action meaning it would go through the DWF rulemaking process and not through the legislature (legislative process).
Get more details at www.facebook.com/UnitedStatesAssociationOfReptileKeepers/photos/a.398227663592526/2913132235435377.
ALERT: Oak Grove, Kentucky
UPDATE from 5/6/20: Keep contacting officials! They are listening. "Prior to the second reading, the council along with the mayor and City Attorney Mark Gilbert will do additional research regarding laws surrounding exotic pets and vicious dogs and animals to be added to the ordinance."
The council will hear a second reading on May 19.
Oak Grove has proposed a blanket ban on all "exotic animals." Council Member Leavell stated the ban will include, "Anything that could be considered exotic." This would be a ban on h**ps, birds, mammals, and maybe even some fish. Essentially, this would be an open door for fines or seizures of any animal that is not a dog, cat, or within the City's definition of "livestock."
Get full details, sample messaging, and more at www.facebook.com/UnitedStatesAssociationOfReptileKeepers/photos/a.2656047597810510/2897432030338731.
House Bill 2450 (HB2450) was introduced on April 27 and amends (changes) Title 34 (Game) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes. The main scope of the bill is to redefine "exotic wildlife." This bill actually removes several species from the current exotic wildlife designation meaning some species which are currently wrongfully banned will be legal to keep. This bill applies to mammals and birds only. See the link below for information.
Get full details at www.facebook.com/UnitedStatesAssociationOfReptileKeepers/photos/a.2656047597810510/2890563311025603.
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC) had its first reading of the proposed captive wildlife regulations. A new public comment period is now open. The Commission is expected to vote on these regulations at its May 21 meeting. Additional comments to each proposal can be made at https://apps.agfc.com/regulations/out-for-comment/.
Get more details at www.facebook.com/UnitedStatesAssociationOfReptileKeepers/posts/2888310364584231.
More on Arkansas
As a very quick review, this overhaul of the Arkansas captive wildlife regulations began back in mid-2018. There are many issues with the current regulations and this proposal does resolve some problems but there are still troubles with the proposal. We appreciate the members of AGFC staff who have taken the time to listen and those who understand the factual information provided by dedicated stakeholders and USARK. Hopefully, we can see more collaboration rather than bans.
Essentially, AGFC is creating a three-tier system (three lists of species):
1. unrestricted list: exempt from Codes 09.02 (Possession Of Non-Native Wildlife In Captivity Restricted), 09.07 (Wildlife Breeder/Dealer Permit Required), and 09.10 (Wildlife Importation Permit Required)
2. permitted list: Permits for breeding, sale, and importation may be issued for the following species in accordance with Codes 09.07 (Wildlife Breeder/Dealer Permit Required) and 09.10 (Wildlife Importation Permit Required). This list also includes venomous and there is a new Venomous Reptile Possession Permit (F1.08 on pages 149-151 of the linked document).
3. prohibited list: The Commission will not issue permits for breeding, sale, or importation of the following species other than in accordance with the exceptions listed in Codes 09.07, 09.10, 09.11 and Addendum F1.03 (possession of some species may be allowed in accordance with Codes 09.02, 09.05, 09.13, and 09.14)
Rattlesnake Conservation Fundraiser
The Rattlesnake Conservancy (www.savethebuzztails.org) is holding a charity auction with proceeds benefitting rattlesnake conservation! The group recently announced plans for a new facility which will educate visitors about rattlesnakes and their importance in our world.
The auction will run for two weeks, ending on May 15th at 8:00 PM EST. In addition to the auction, you can support by donating or buying a commemorative 2020 Get Buzzed for Buzztails pint glass for only $20 shipped.
Join the group and bid at www.facebook.com/groups/351759402446410.
Find A Vet
Need a good h**p veterinarian? The Association of Reptilian and Amphibian Veterinarians (ARAV) can help. ARAV provides a free Find-A-Vet service at http://arav.site-ym.com/search/custom.asp?id=3661.
Reptile Shows and Related Events
Visit our show page at www.usark.org/list-of-reptile-shows.
Please note that our website is still undergoing work to resolve several issues. Thanks for your understanding and support! If you like to make a donation at this time, you may still do so. Send donations to [email protected] via PayPal.
Photo: Reticulated python © Jeremy Wrede
Using the book, "7 Habits of Highly Efficient Teens", our goal is too collaborate with Idaho's based youth-centric organizations to provide basic life leadership skills training in class room and non-classroom environments throughout the entire year.
CFMA Idaho Chapter News and Updates
We at Full Spectrum Support are committed to helping individuals on the Autism Spectrum realize their dreams.
Bridging the gap between what you know and where you want your music to go. http:// www.dulcimercrossing.com
Like Project ECHO programs everywhere, ECHO Idaho uses video conferencing over lunchbreaks to connect physicians, nurses, counselors, pharmacists and other professionals with specialists in regular, real-time collaborative sessions.
Learn, Explore, Experience, Enjoy!
A Cannabis Education Event
Preschool the Idaho Way is a project of the Idaho Association for the Education of Young Children. Our goal is to help more families access high-quality, affordable early learning opportunities.
Specializing in Dumbo and Fancy Colored Pet Rats
Home of the Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial
The Cool Teacher Show on YouTube. Watch it.
We are an association of water and wastewater systems in Idaho that serve populations of 10,000 or less. In addition to system members, IRWA is supported by larger municipalities, solid waste systems and industry vendors.