A bobcat mother and her two cubs near Joshua Tree National Park. (Annica Kreuters )
Environmentalists lauded Gov. Jerry Brown on Saturday for his decision the day before to sign a bill that will prohibit commercial trapping of bobcats in California in areas adjacent to national and state parks, national monuments or wildlife refuges in which trapping is currently prohibited.
Assemblyman Richard H. Bloom (D-Santa-Monica) introduced the measure after a group of residents near Joshua Tree National Park complained about trappers killing bobcats just outside the park boundaries.
In signing AB 1213, the governor went further and asked lawmakers to work with the Department of Fish and Game to secure funding for a survey of the state’s bobcat population.
“Based on this work, the department and the [Fish and Game] commission should consider setting population thresholds and bobcat trapping tag limitations in its upcoming rulemaking,” Brown wrote in a signing message Friday.
A bobcat pelt brought trappers about $78 in 2009, but has skyrocketed to more than $700 today, resulting in much more trapping in the state, The Times recently reported.
AB 1213 was supported by the Sierra Club, the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy and the Center for Biological Diversity.
Brendan Cummings, senior counsel for the center and a neighbor of Joshua Tree, welcomed the governor’s action.
The measure, he said, “is a step toward rewriting the Fish and Game Code from something that treats wildlife as commodities to be killed and sold to something that values these animals as vital parts of a living ecosystem.”
NRA threatens lawsuits over California gun bills
Catching mistakes in bills, before they become law
Brown bans lead ammo in hunting, vetoes other gun bills