Big Bend Conservancy
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The scariest part for me is that stopping to photograph (or even just look at) an animal could be probable cause for a search and (at least according to the account of what the ranger stated) confiscation of photographic equipment.
I guess this is what makes me worry about this whole affair...Say I stop to photograph an animal if the occasion arrises. No stalking...no harrasment...no goading into baring fangs...etc. If a Ranger decides that my actions, no matter that I feel that I am not doing any harm to the animal, are indeed harming the animal...they can arrbitrarily confiscate my camera. What if I were to stop with a sketch pad and do the same thing? Would I be treated differently? If the Ranger in the above scenario asks to search my vehicle and I refuse, what happens? Too many gray areas...maybe I'll just quit taking pictures of animals.....not!
Understood Daryl.Why are the BB Rangers so up tight about herpetologists? Bad experiences in the past?
Any way of finding out why the original thread on the kingsnake.com forum was removed? Perhaps there's more to the story than the original poster led on? It sure would be nice to hear the other side of the story....
IT IS THE POLICY OF THIS BOARD SINCE THE BEGINNING TO ALLOW THE FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION ABOUT BIBE. RICHARD, THE MODERATOR, AND I NEVER DELETE OR ALTER ANYONE'S POST BECAUSE WE DON'T LIKE THEIR OPINION OR THINK IT TO BE TOO CONTROVERSIAL. THE ONLY EXCEPTION IS WHEN PERSONAL ATTACKS HAVE BEEN MADE PUBLIC ON A PERSON'S CHARACTER. IT IS ENTIRELY POSSIBLE FOR THE RANGER IN QUESTION OR A REPRESENTATIVE OF TO POST ENTIRELY ANONYMOUSLY REGARDING THIS THREAD. THIS POLICY IS TO MAINTAIN THE LEGITIMACY AND INTEGRITY OF THE BOARD.
Further, Daryl, I think your title: Caution: DO NOT observe the wildlife -It may be illegal is an exaggeration of the facts that you presented and is only intended to fan the flames.
Well, I have been known to change the title of a controversial thread to better reflect the content. I might even do it for this thread if I think of a better one.
I'm still hoping for a post (anonymous or not) from someone recounting the ranger’s version of events. Until I see such a post, I will assume the ranger does not disagree with the version put forth by the accused.
Understanding is a three-edged sword. Your side, their side, and the truth somewhere in between.
I’m also holding my breath for BBNP to pull the “200 snakes a day” lie down from their official website. That figure has long since been discredited but is still being used as justification for profiling anyone with an interest in reptiles.
http://www.nps.gov/bibe/naturescience/poaching.htm[/url]"]Operation "Rockcut" ... reported that on some nights possibly as many as 200 snakes were leaving the National Park. Whether or not this is the truth we may never know, many of the charges were dropped and the case has become somewhat of a misunderstood and little talked about issue.
As I understand the above paragraph, they're not claiming that the "200 snakes a day" is or was ever accurate. No lie there that I can see. They are merely stating that the operation once made that claim. I agree that 200 snakes a day is extremely far-fetched, but they are not stating that as a fact.
I think I am with the rangers on this one. The guy was a snake collector with snake collecting equipment and dead specimens in his car and was circling around to look at a snake in the road. Even if he was not intending to poach snakes it certainly looks very suspicous to me and sometimes temptation gets the better of even honest herpers when they see a rare or valuable snake. He may have had a valid "state" permit to collect snakes and just "happened" to have come into the Park with all his equipment at the ready but it sounds like an amazing amount of coincidence to me. Kind of like a hunter who just happens to have a loaded gun and spotlight in the Park as he just happens to be passing through in the middle of the night and just happens to stop near some wildlife... TWWG
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