Important info re: the 2014 NAFHA meeting in the SW

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azatrox
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Important info re: the 2014 NAFHA meeting in the SW

Post by azatrox »

Well, we're a few short months away, so I thought I'd give everyone a sneak peek of what to expect here in Az in August/Sept. I'll write something a bit more in depth up as the time draws nearer, but this should give those that have never been here an idea of what it's like...All of this is just one man's opinion, and in no way reflects the views of NAFHA, its affiliates or this station.

1) The weather can be spotty and unpredictable. You may have torrential showers in one area and 5 miles away it's dry as a bone. As such, it's generally a good idea to chuck the carefully laid plans out the window and go where the weather tells you to go. In my experience, the only things you'll find during a rain storm are amphibians...You may find reptiles that have been flooded out of their hiding place, but reptiles are usually found preceding or after a rain. Again, that's a general rule...The second I post it someone will cruise a coral snake in the middle of a rain storm, so it's not a hard and fast rule by any means. Follow the weather. Listen to the weather.

2) We don't do much flipping here. There's almost no point to it. You'll see what I mean when you get out here. Sure you CAN flip if you like (ALWAYS returning rocks, logs, etc. EXACTLY as found), but generally speaking you're best served to cover as much ground as possible whether hiking, cruising, etc....I know this may be a departure from how herping is done in the South or Midwest, but here there are so many other places for animals to hide and hang out that flipping just winds up tiring you out and it generally is a pretty big waste of time.

3) The closed season species here in Arizona are as follows: Gila monster, Banded rock rattlesnake, Arizona ridgenosed rattlesnake, New Mexico ridgenosed rattlesnake, Desert massasauga, Twinspotted rattlesnake, any Tiger salamander, any Leopard frog, Narrowheaded Garter snake, Mexican Garter snake, Milksnake (Cochise Co. only), Desert tortoise, any Box turtle and Flat tailed Horned lizard. Any animal located in a National Park or other area designated as a "closed season" area is also considered a "closed season" animal..

In order to manipulate, pose, etc. these closed season species, one must be in the presence of someone on the Scientific Collecting permit issued by Game and Fish. As yet we do not have the permit in hand, but expect to very shortly. Game and Fish will be out there....They know about the NAFHA meeting so we can expect a presence. It's important that everyone have the appropriate licenses (Hunting for reptiles except softshell turtles) and/or fishing (for amphibians and softshell turtles). Licenses can be had at any sporting goods store/Walmart/etc. If there's a question as to the legality of posing or manipulating a particular animal and you cannot locate someone that can tell you the legal status of said animal, best to leave it alone and get in situ photos if possible. Again, one ***MUST*** be in the presence of a Scientific Collecting permit holder in order to pose, manipulate, etc. any closed season species. As with all NAFHA activities, no collection (aside from collection for photos and re-release exactly where found afterwards) will be permitted.

4) If you see an animal and it gets away into a rock pile, tree snatch, etc. PLEASE do not attempt to dig it out...I know we're all well meaning individuals, but the impulse to "catch it!" can be strong. If you found it basking and it bolted, chances are good that if you keep herping you'll run across another one. If you leave it alone and come back, there's also a good chance the animal may have come back out from hiding. Again, please don't go digging up rock piles and such because an animal dove. It happens.

5) Shining artificial lights out of a vehicle is illegal. If you see an animal in the road and want to get a closer look with your flashlight, head lamp, etc., you ***MUST*** must legally pull over (ensuring that your ENTIRE vehicle is off the roadway), exit the vehicle and inspect the animal. This is as much for public safety as anything else.

6) Have FUN! Arizona is an amazing place with amazing diversity. Respect the environment and the animals in it and have a blast while doing so. Can't wait to see ya'll there!

PS- Should anyone have any questions about Arizona law as pertains to reptiles and amphibians, I'll be happy to answer any questions I can. I can't promise I'll know the answer, but I've lived here for 20 years and am well versed in what is legal and what isn't. If I don't know the answer, I can find it.

Should anyone have any questions about GENERAL animal habits or natural history, I'll be happy to answer those too. I will NOT be giving out sensitive locale info, "honey hole" info, etc. so please don't ask. We'll be smack dab in the middle of some awesome habitat, so you probably won't need much info on specific locales to find animals.

Anyone attending the NAFHA trip is welcome to PM me any questions they have.

-Kris

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ratsnakehaven
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Re: Important info re: the 2014 NAFHA meeting in AZ

Post by ratsnakehaven »

Kris, thanks for posting this. I'll see ya there... :)

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Biker Dave
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Re: Important info re: the 2014 NAFHA meeting in the SW

Post by Biker Dave »

When we get the Scientific Collecting Permit a hunting fishing license will NOT be required as long as you are with one of the named people on the permit.

I will have more details about this as I get them.

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ratsnakehaven
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Re: Important info re: the 2014 NAFHA meeting in the SW

Post by ratsnakehaven »

Thanks, Dave.

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Biker Dave
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Re: Important info re: the 2014 NAFHA meeting in the SW

Post by Biker Dave »

The SCP has been granted and issued for the event.

Verhoodled
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Re: Important info re: the 2014 NAFHA meeting in the SW

Post by Verhoodled »

Awesome work Dave! :thumb:

To AZ chapter members who are attending: Is anyone willing to ferry the DORs collected to the Tucson area? I'm more than happy meet up to make the drop-off at the U of A. I can even supply a cooler and ice packs for the occasion, if needed.

I've folks visiting from in-town that week, and can't make that trip.

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Biker Dave
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Re: Important info re: the 2014 NAFHA meeting in the SW

Post by Biker Dave »

Worst case I can meet up with you and the drop off on my way back up to Phoenix Monday.

TimCO
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Re: Important info re: the 2014 NAFHA meeting in the SW

Post by TimCO »

NAFHA National Meeting Itinerary

August 29-Sept 1 2014 Rodeo NM


Friday Aug 29 5PM

Meet at Sunny Flats Campground for pre road cruising social
http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/coronado ... 8&actid=70

Friday evening - Road cruising


Saturday Aug 30 10AM

Meet at Chiricahua Desert Museum Conference Center, 1 mile north of the Museum.
Meeting announcements

Afternoon and evening herping

Sunday Aug 31 2PM

Meet at Chiricahua Desert Museum Conference Center, 1 mile north of the Museum.
Guest speaker and announcments

Afternoon and evening herping

Monday, September 1 2PM

Meet at Chiricahua Desert Museum for tour and BBQ social. Free admission to the museum!
http://www.chiricahuadesertmuseum.com/

Evening herping

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ratsnakehaven
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Re: Important info re: the 2014 NAFHA meeting in the SW

Post by ratsnakehaven »

Thanks for the itinerary, Tim. We'll see ya there... :beer:

TimCO
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Re: Important info re: the 2014 NAFHA meeting in the SW

Post by TimCO »

NAFHA 2014 National Meeting Aug 29-Sept 1 2014 Rodeo NM

The North American Field Herping Association
National Meeting 2014

August 29- September 1
Rodeo, NM
Open to NAFHA members, NA-Herp Database Contributors and Anyone interested in learning more about the organization and its activities.

Itinerary- Scheduled Activities
All times listed are Mountain Daylight Time aka NM time

Friday Aug 29th-
5PM - Meet at Sunny Flats Campground for Meet and Greet
http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/coronado ... 8&actid=70
Evening Road Cruising

Saturday Aug 30th-
10 am Meet at Chiricahua Desert Museum Conference Center,
Guest speaker- Dirk Stevenson, Eastern Diamondback and Indigo
Afternoon and Evening Herping

Sunday Aug 31st-
2 PM BBQ and social @ Chiricahua Desert Museum please bring $8 per person
Free admission to the museum!
http://www.chiricahuadesertmuseum.com/
Evening Road Cruising

Monday Sept 1st-
12 pm meet at Chiricahua Desert Museum Conference Center - meeting wrap up









Pertinent details-
NAFHA has been issued scientific collection permits for both Arizona and New Mexico. Details are as follows-

Arizona- There are 14 listed agents on our permit. You must be in the presence of one of the listed agents to be covered under the permit.

The SCP is valid from August 28-Sept 2 in Cochise County South of I-10 from and including the Sulfur Springs Valley east to the New Mexico state line.

The SCP authorizes us to capture, hold for up to 2 hours, photograph, and release at site of capture unlimited numbers of all open season (non-protected) herps.

The SCP also allows for 1 hour hold for up to 4 lepidus, 1 pricei, 1 milk snake, 2 Gila monsters, and 10 ornate box turtles.

No lepidus or pricei may be pursued or captured from the well known talus slope.

We cannot capture Massasaugas, unless in imminent peril from road death but then all we can do is move them off the road ONLY. We can only photograph them in situ.

No capturing Yarrows Spiny Lizards or Striped Plateau Lizards along Cave Creek above the Southwest Research Station or along Turkey Creek due to an ongoing study.

We are authorized to collect DOR open season and closed season herps found dead (federally protected species require a federal permit).

The group cannot be in one area simultaneously. We must “disperse our collection activities for all species to avoid impacting wild populations”.

Destructive collecting techniques are not authorized.

Individuals wishing to hold non-protected reptiles and amphibians overnight must have an AZ hunting license.

New Mexico- The New Mexico scientific collection permit authorizes salvage of DORs only. Animals may be photographed in situ, New Mexico residents and individuals with NM hunting licenses may temporarily capture animals for educational and photographic purposes.

During this official NAHFA event the collection of reptiles and amphibians is prohibited. All attendees are expected to comply with state and federal rules and regulations.

There are limited dining and fuel options in the area, please plan accordingly.

Please anticipate being contacted by local and federal law enforcement while road cruising. Polite and courteous interaction should minimize time spent with law enforcement.

Please refrain from manipulating venomous reptiles without the proper tools and experience.

NAFHA encourages ALL reptile and amphibian sightings to be recorded.

Apple- https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/h.e.r.p ... 24972?mt=8

Android- https://play.google.com/store/apps/deta ... bile&hl=en

HerpMapper Apple- https://itunes.apple.com/app/id670772103

HerpMapper Android- https://play.google.com/store/apps/deta ... bileMapper

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Biker Dave
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Re: Important info re: the 2014 NAFHA meeting in the SW

Post by Biker Dave »

The closest reliable gas is 30 miles away from Rodeo in Animas N.M. IT will take credit debit cards 24/7 but only cash when the mercantile is open....which is a crap shoot.

Also, as I am sure everyone knows, it is considered good form to contribute to the gas fund for each vehicle you are riding in. (and to clean the windshield if you are able).

There are no major grocery type stores in the area unless you drive 50 -60 miles south to Douglas.

There are a couple of small cafes in the area (Portal Lodge and another in Rodeo.)

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Biker Dave
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Re: Important info re: the 2014 NAFHA meeting in the SW

Post by Biker Dave »

The AZ permit requires reporting of sightings. Each person named on the permit will receive a packet at the get together on Friday. The packet will include a copy of the permit, data collection sheets which MUST be returned at the end of the event on Sunday).

It might be a wise decision for each car load to assign a "data collector" for that group.

Thanks

Dave

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Re: Important info re: the 2014 NAFHA meeting in the SW

Post by hellihooks »

Since this seems to be the most active 'non-FB' thread going...and my questions pertain to AZ, as well, I'll ask here.

1st... is this a closed meeting for Nafha members only? And/or... is there a limit on 'guests'?

2) and this one may not be able to be answered here...SINCE my local FB group High Desert Wildlife Has an account at HERP... are HDW members considered Nafha members... the people in question have all contributed data to HDW, that was entered at HERP.

3) if say, 4 guys had No Bags or collecting gear, and cameras only... can we collect data and pics across AZ, without licenses?

Here's the deal... I'm going... and some young herpers from our wildlife group want to go too... not just to see herps, but to learn more about data collection and Nafha. there will be no collecting whatsoever, except voucher shots and data... :)

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Biker Dave
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Re: Important info re: the 2014 NAFHA meeting in the SW

Post by Biker Dave »

Jim ...

To answer your questions ....
Answer to Question #1 -
Open to NAFHA members, NA-Herp Database Contributors and Anyone interested in learning more about the organization and its activities.
#2 If they are signed up on the nafha website, they are members. If they are not, they are not.

#3 That would be up to the "agent's" discretion, however, according to the law, you must have a valid AZ Hunting (for reptiles) or fishing (for amphibians) license ( Or combo license for both ) because you are in "pursuit" of said wildlife.

Dave

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Re: Important info re: the 2014 NAFHA meeting in the SW

Post by hellihooks »

Ones actually an AZ resident (Golden Valley)... if he had his license and all we had were cameras??? I'm sure all AZ wardens will know about the event... you think they'll be 'nice' or hard-core? :? :beer:

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Fundad
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Re: Important info re: the 2014 NAFHA meeting in the SW

Post by Fundad »

Also anyone attending this event must sign a NAFHA liability waiver. Anyone who does not sign the waiver can NOT participate in the NAFHA event, this includes parents signing for minors.

If anyone is taking a minor that you are not the legal guardian of, please contact me for special instructions.

Thank You
Brian Hinds
International Coordinator

Aaron
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Re: Important info re: the 2014 NAFHA meeting in the SW

Post by Aaron »

The only problematic thing I can see is road cruising. There's only 14 permit holders and at best only one permit holder can be in any given vehicle at a time. If nobody buys licenses it could be pretty hard to fit 90+ people into just 14 cars, ie 6 to 7 people(or more) per car.

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Biker Dave
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Re: Important info re: the 2014 NAFHA meeting in the SW

Post by Biker Dave »

Anyone not with a permittee will need to have a valid AZ Hunting or Fishing or Combo license.

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Re: Important info re: the 2014 NAFHA meeting in the SW

Post by hellihooks »

Has anyone (from AZ) asked anyone from AZ F&G, if any leniency will be extended (Given & Knowing We're a DATA Collecting group) or... if they plan on being very 'strict'? broke members want to know.... :roll: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Aaron
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Re: Important info re: the 2014 NAFHA meeting in the SW

Post by Aaron »

No leniency will be extended.

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Biker Dave
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Re: Important info re: the 2014 NAFHA meeting in the SW

Post by Biker Dave »

Jim

Its follow the rules or find another place to herp. We will be following the rules.

Dave

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Re: Important info re: the 2014 NAFHA meeting in the SW

Post by hellihooks »

Biker Dave wrote:Jim

Its follow the rules or find another place to herp. We will be following the rules.

Dave
Good enough... just trying to plan our week. I was gonna get mine, no matter what the answer...the older i get, the less tolerance for risk I seem to have...Ahhhh... life in the slow lane... :roll: :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Fundad
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Re: Important info re: the 2014 NAFHA meeting in the SW

Post by Fundad »

I will be focusing on NM (rocky mtn chapter trip) just bought my NM hunting license (out of state license was only 75 bucks).

Fundad

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Re: Important info re: the 2014 NAFHA meeting in the SW

Post by Aaron »

I won't be able to go 'cause I have to work. I sure would like to see a big group picture if you could post one after.

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Re: Important info re: the 2014 NAFHA meeting in the SW

Post by SurfinHerp »

Hey Guys,

Chris P. (chrispherp) and I are planning to attend the Meeting together. We'll be leaving San Diego, CA on Saturday morning and heading back towards home on Tuesday morning. We will probably make it to the border of AZ/NM around 7 PM on Sat. evening. Hopefully we'll run into at least a few of you before the BBQ on Sunday, but if not, we'll see you there.

The forecast is looking hot and sunny, so we're planning to spend much of the day up at high elevations. I imagine that the heat will make for good night herping, at least in some lower elevation areas.

What do you guys make of the forecast??

Regards,

Jeff N.

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ratsnakehaven
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Re: Important info re: the 2014 NAFHA meeting in the SW

Post by ratsnakehaven »

Soil should be moist and air dry and warm. Pretty good herping conditions, but maybe not so much midday.

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Re: Important info re: the 2014 NAFHA meeting in the SW

Post by SurfinHerp »

Thanks Terry! That's what I wanted to hear 8-)

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