Who's The Turkey

Two years ago, the threat of lawsuits from organizations like the California Native Plant Society caused the California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) to halt its aggressive turkey relocation program.

While California's mostly private, low-elevation oak woodland areas have good populations of Rio Grande turkeys, the vast public, higher-elevation national forests lack meaningful turkey populations.

The growing demand for more turkey hunting opportunities on public land had the DFG ramping up to relocate large numbers of the Merriam's turkeys from out-of-state trapping efforts to these public lands. This effort hit a brickwall with the lawsuit threat because the DFG did not have an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) on file.

Over the last two years, however, the DFG has been working on a draft Environmental Impact Report for a project to plant Merriam's in Northern California's national forests. The good news is that the draft is now ready for public comment. Hunters have until April 15, 2002 to send their comments to the Fish and Game. After the comment period it will be up to the Director of Fish and Game to proceed with a final EIR so that fall turkey relocations can begin once again.

It is extremely important for hunters to comment and encourage the DFG to move forward with this project. We need to let the DFG know that our hunting opportunities should not be held hostage by groups which threaten lawsuits at every corner. Let the Director know we want this project to move forward and if they have to, we want him to use our license fees to fight these threats. It is not acceptable to just sit on this report and do nothing.

Jerry Springer

View Draft EIR at:

To Comment on Draft EIR:
Mail To:
Turkey DEIR Comments
Department of Fish and Game
Wildlife Programs Branch
1812 9th Street
Sacramento, CA 95814

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