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The C.A.S.H. Courier

ARTICLE from the Spring 2009 Issue

There Will Be No Trapping On Recreational Land In Woodstock, NY

By Peter Muller

On April 22nd the Woodstock, NY Environmental Commission met to discuss whether use of DEP land (Department of Environmental Preservation Land – essentially land surrounding the reservoirs that feed into the New York City water supply) in Woodstock should be open for all uses, closed, or open with limited uses, with or without permits.

The land use to be considered on the agenda for this evening was trapping.

Brian Shapiro is the representative of the Woodstock area to the Ulster County legislature; he is also the Executive Director of the Ulster County SPCA, and a strong advocate for animal protection. Brian led the charge to disallow trapping to be a permitted use.

Brian addressed the committee and pointed out that trapping on land that is also used by hikers, people walking their dogs, children and toddlers using the trails and occasionally straying from the trails to get a closer look at an object of interest – could result in death or injury.

The next group to speak against the use of the land by trappers was In the North Woods Learning Center. Catherine Sklarsky, who takes young children hiking and observing nature in Woodstock and Erik Holmlin of Dharmaware, brought several of the Center’s charges to the meeting. They very effectively demonstrated the way traps operate, and showed how easily an injury could occur should a young child’s foot end up in one of those diabolic devices.


Students from In The North Woods Learning Center

Anne Muller from Wildlife Watch. next demonstrated graphically and logically why trapping should be prohibited because of the cruelty of the devices as well as the danger to wildlife, unintended by-catch, and people who share the use of the area.


Anne Muller

Peter Muller of the League of Humane Voters spoke about how trapping is neither an economic benefit nor effective.

The effect of the presenters was totally convincing. The audience cheered as the committee voted unanimously to prohibit trapping in the area. Many in the audience vociferously demanded that hunting be banned as well.

We’re awaiting a subsequent agenda that will take up hunting as a land use with anticipation of yet another victory for our side .

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