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Constitutional Amendment

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    Posted: 01 October 2018 at 9:56am
I would like to hear everyone's thoughts on the proposed amendment to the NC constitution regarding the vote on the ballot to enact as a "right" to all NC citizens the ability to hunt and fish NC wildlife.

Is this just a ploy by the republicans to insure a strong voter turnout??

Are they appealing to the commercial fisherman by insuring they will always have the argument in the courts that they have a right to their livelihood?

Other thoughts??
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ray Brown Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 October 2018 at 3:22pm
I am voting against it because we have numerous laws allowing us to fish and hunt. It potentially opens more issues than guarantees them.


Shrimp trawling never stops in Pamlico Sound. It just pauses on the weekend so crabs can remove the dead and dying from the battlefield.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote themoose Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 October 2018 at 3:49pm
I will vote against it because it originally had language that excepted commercial fishing from the language, but the commercial fishing interests lobbied to change that...

I don't want anything in the constitution that allows those greedy jackals anything that could possibly grandfather their gear in.  I want to see gill nets only in a maritime museum, right next to whale harpoons.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hghcpa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 October 2018 at 3:56pm
i too am voting against it and since it is established as the first proposed change on the ballot have to assume the pubs are using it as a voter turnout tool
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 October 2018 at 4:09pm
I'm voting against it also at this point, but would like to reconsider as I fully support anything to keep the PETA type at bay. 

While House leadership and an attorney very familiar with coastal fisheries law have both assured me that the bill only pertains to WRC controlled trapping in regard to commercial gear/harvesting "traditional measures" and all fishing references only pertain to recreational inland fishing controlled by WRC regulations, it is a lawsuit waiting for Jerry to file.

There is good advice in the following that my personal attorney sent to me today in his monthly newsletter-

But there are a few issues that you may want to consider. First, judges don’t always understand, agree on, or follow the law. On June 5, 2018, the North Carolina Court of Appeals issued opinions in 10 civil cases. In half of these 10 cases, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court with no dissent. In three cases, the Court of Appeals affirmed, but there was a dissent. In one case, the trial court judgment was vacated. And in one case, the Court of Appeals said the trial court got part of it right and part of it wrong. Three days later, the North Carolina Supreme Court issued 5 opinions in civil cases. One was reversed and remanded. Two were affirmed without dissent. And two were affirmed but had dissenting opinions. Without any knowledge of the substance of the cases, we can say that in the first half of June 2018, the North Carolina appellate courts didn’t fully approve what the lower courts did in about half of the cases, and in several they sent the case back down with instructions to do it over. No matter how good your case is, you can always lose.

I have seen a lot of things happen in court that shouldn’t have happened. Most of the time the cases don’t get appealed. The litigants get mad with their lawyers, the judge, the legal system, and the opposing party. But they don’t want to keep spending money fighting when there are no guarantees. The solution is to stay out of court. If you can’t stay out of court, you need to win at the trial level. 

Jerry is damn good at filing suit in Carteret County under a judge friendly to commercial fishing.

We have seen that the NCDMF/NCDEQ/NCMFC have no intentions of fighting lawsuits.  They capitulate to Jerry's demands without an ounce of fight.

We have also seen that the NCDMF has no qualms about setting legal policy when authority to do so was vested only in the commission or the legislature.

Jerry set the stage in his weekly comments on June 29th as to his intent to ensure "traditional methods" include commercial fishing gears.

S-677 “Protect Right to Hunt and Fish”:

 

This is a constitutional amendment that will be on the November ballot for voters to decide if they believe the right to hunt and fish should be in our state’s constitution. The original language in the bill appeared to be ok, but late last week the wording was changed that would exclude “commercial activities” from the same protections as others. In other words, our interpretation was that if approved as written and approved by the voters, it would be a constitutional RIGHT to hunt and fish, and a PRIVILEGE if you were involved in hunting or fishing commercially. Obviously that would include commercial fishing and any other fishing such as charter, headboat, guides, etc. In addition, it was our interpretation that it would also affect trappers as they sell pelts or fur and are thus commercial activities.

 

There was a flurry of activity when Rep. George Cleveland had an amendment drafted to eliminate the words “commercial activities” and the House “stood at ease” while discussions took place in the Speaker’s office, but when the dust settled, it was agreed to eliminate “commercial activities”, preventing the need for Rep. Cleveland’s amendment. The measure was approved by the House and the Senate and will be on the ballot for voters to consider in November.


As it reads-

Sec. 38. Right to hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife.

The right of the people to hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife is a valued part of the State's heritage and shall be forever preserved for the public good. The people have a right, including the right to use traditional methods, to hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife, subject only to laws enacted by the General Assembly and rules adopted pursuant to authority granted by the General Assembly to (i) promote wildlife conservation and management and (ii) preserve the future of hunting and fishing. Public hunting and fishing shall be a preferred means of managing and controlling wildlife. Nothing herein shall be construed to modify any provision of law relating to trespass, property rights, or eminent domain.


State general statute is clear in the definition of "wildlife"-

§ 113-129.  Definitions relating to resources. The following definitions and their cognates apply in the description of the various marine and estuarine and wildlife resources:

(16) Wildlife. – Wild animals; wild birds; all fish found in inland fishing waters; and inland game fish. Unless the context clearly requires otherwise, the definitions of wildlife, wildlife resources, wild animals, wild birds, fish, and the like are deemed to include species normally wild, or indistinguishable from wild species, which are raised or kept in captivity. Nothing in this definition is intended to abrogate the exclusive authority given the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to regulate the production and sale of pen-raised quail for food purposes.


...but that doesn't mean a judge in Beaufort that is a former law partner of Steve Week's will follow law and it certainly doesn't mean that anyone will step-up to the plate to appeal or file a counter suit.  That sure as heck hasn't happened for Southern flounder, turtles, sturgeon or properly defining nursery areas.



Edited by Rick - 01 October 2018 at 5:14pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kshivar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 October 2018 at 5:36pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TomM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 October 2018 at 6:13pm
I will probably vote against all of them. They should have had more discussion and be more well defined.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bread Man 1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 October 2018 at 9:30pm
Nc Sound Economy supports it..............
Pretty good comments on the NC Sound Economy Facebook page. It is all way way way too vague. There are ulterior motives. We all know it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bread Man 1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 October 2018 at 9:32pm
I am against it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote WaterDog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 October 2018 at 11:46pm
I am against it because, after many discussions, I have heard nothing but extreme concern with its potential legal ramifications. Some of the recreational “conservation groups” are more interested in schmoozing with theor big buddies in NC GOP leadership than they are actually pursuing marine conservation.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote francoind Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 October 2018 at 2:49pm
I am voting against it. just smells.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BrackishWater Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 October 2018 at 12:30pm
The latest poll I read last night showed the amendment passing with 64% voting in favor. Yes, the Republicans put the measure on the ballot to get more conservatives out to vote in a mid-term election year. And the polling is in the 70% favorable range for those identifying themselves as conservative.

CCA NC legal counsel has long advised that if it passes it will not provide any protection to commercial fishing since coastal fish stocks in non-joint, coastal waters are not wildlife by any stretch of the imagination. 

A rising tide lifts all boats...
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