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

Post by Fundad »

Kris,

Very well put, and thank you for putting this together for everyone. :thumb:


I would like to add, everyone will be required to sign a release of liability waiver to participate in the official event, as NAFHA and its members are not responsible if someone gets hurt. Everyone herps at their own risk.

I would also like to add, anyone that does any of the following; breaks any state, or federal herping law, collects any species (this includes keeping overnight to photo the next day btw), doesn't replace any ground cover back to its original position, Any egregious actions that infringes upon or compromises the quality or integrity of HERP or its affiliates, Knowingly disturbs known research sites and animals, or engages in any other activity that is illegal or in violation of a state or federal regulation and considered by the International Board to be detrimental to the interests or reputation of NAFHA, its chapters and/or members will but put up for immediate termination from NAFHA and moreover if requested we will corporate with all official agencies to peruse prosecution.

BTW everyone New Mexico is were this is going to be, so New Mexico laws will need to be followed while on the New Mexico side.

Now that the formalities are out of the way, it is indeed a beautiful place of the world and for those that have never visited the area it will be a trip of a lifetime. Besides the cool herping there is a ton of awesome wildlife to photo..

Leave only footprints and bring back only photos and memories.

It will be extremely fun and exciting

Brian Hinds
International Coordinator (Pro Tem)

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

Post by nightdriver »

Lot's of great birds. Especially the hummingbirds for all you "BIRPers" out there. One of the top birding destinations in the country. If you want info on birding spots or are after a specific bird target, PM me and I can try to steer you right.

And by the way, I've got 8 acres near Portal for sale if you're interested :thumb: Just ask for the NAFHA discount :beer:

Nightdriver

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

Post by klawnskale »

nightdriver wrote:Lot's of great birds. Especially the hummingbirds for all you "BIRPers" out there. One of the top birding destinations in the country. If you want info on birding spots or are after a specific bird target, PM me and I can try to steer you right.

Nightdriver
Never mind the hummers. The Holy Grail for most birders visiting SE AZ and the keyword here would be TROGON ;)

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

Post by hellihooks »

Fundad wrote: I would also like to add, anyone that does any of the following; breaks any state, or federal herping law, collects any species (this includes keeping overnight to photo the next day btw), doesn't replace any ground cover back to its original position, Any egregious actions that infringes upon or compromises the quality or integrity of HERP or its affiliates, Knowingly disturbs known research sites and animals, or engages in any other activity that is illegal or in violation of a state or federal regulation and considered by the International Board to be detrimental to the interests or reputation of NAFHA, its chapters and/or members will but put up for immediate termination from NAFHA and moreover if requested we will corporate with all official agencies to peruse prosecution.Brian Hinds
International Coordinator (Pro Tem)
I'm confused... are these going to be the new HERP standards... and will Nafha be going by these, as an 'Affiliate'? Or will the Meet follow Nafha bylaws, (since it's a Nafha outing) where egregious actions can result in suspensions up to and including termination, to be determined by the Board (the one thing the Board actually has the power to decide) The 'immediate termination' and 'with all official agencies to peruse prosecution.' seems new... are these changes to Nafha's bylaws, I somehow missed? :shock: jim

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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