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E-M:/ falconry

Enviro-Mich message from "Matthew Johnstone" <johnstom@state.mi.us>

On it's face, falconry seems like just another way for human beings to enjoy themselves at the expense of wildlife.  I believe the issue is more involved.  The Peregrine Falcon recovery was greatly assisted, perhaps made possible, by the work of falconers.  The Aplomado Falcon recovery program is going more slowly, but without trained falconers, it may be a lost cause.
Certainly, falconry and falconers must be very tightly regulated to minimize abuses and prevent damage to both individual birds and wild bird populations.  If well-regulated falconry is a potential benefit to wild bird populations, the question is whether Michigan should participate fully, ban it and let other states do it, or allow falconry but rely on birds acquired in other states for Michigan falconers.
I am an avid birder, not a falconer, but I am leaning toward supporting a very well-regulated and complete (i.e., allowing taking of birds other than sp.conc., thr., or end.) falconry program in Michigan.  There must absolutely be a "birds first" outlook in its regulation.

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