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Lawyers for Spring Pygmy Sunfish


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Poll: NANFA money (27 member(s) have cast votes)

Should money from the NANFA treasury be used to pay Spring Pygmy Sunfish lawyers?

  1. Voted Yes. (13 votes [48.15%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 48.15%

  2. Voted Yes, an amount to show our support. (8 votes [29.63%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 29.63%

  3. I don't know. (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  4. I don't care. (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  5. Voted I think not. (3 votes [11.11%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 11.11%

  6. Voted Definitely not. (3 votes [11.11%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 11.11%

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#21 Guest_Lotsapetsgarfhts_*

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Posted 01 August 2010 - 02:03 PM

Ok I'm done, it's pretty much the way someone told me it was here. I'm aware of CITES and IUCN. Good luck! I'll go delete my vote now.

Edited by Lotsapetsgarfhts, 01 August 2010 - 02:04 PM.


#22 Guest_PhilipKukulski_*

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Posted 09 August 2010 - 07:45 AM

* 20 Replies
* 409 Views
* 18 Poll Votes

Please vote if you have not already.

#23 Guest_sschluet_*

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Posted 15 August 2010 - 07:14 AM

Yes, this is exactly what all parties to this fiasco have pretended doesn't exist, up to this point. The FWS doesn't receive the funding to do everything they're charged with, which is where federal courts enter the picture as a means of forcing the government to fund this kind of work. That's the end-all, be-all of this kind suit.



They could sell the land without any ESA issues kicking in. In addition, when a proposed road/development will impact an aquatic resource (stream/wetland) the Corps of Enginners may have jurisdicition. If the owner/developer needs a Corps permit, the Corps is required to ensure that the Section 7 (ESA) consultation with the USFWS is completed. So the Corps, if other proactive efforts fail, may be another agency for fish-centric folks to focus efforts/comments on. Unfortunately, if the fish is on the candidate species list....it is afforded no protection until it is officially listed. So it will have to be pushed through the system fast if it will do any good. Any state-listing may assist the local DNR's permiting folks some teeth to deny permit applications. Please keep us updated, I will follow with interest and will offer what I can based on my previous experiences.

#24 Guest_haruspicator_*

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Posted 15 November 2010 - 01:28 PM

Collaborate with environmental groups with legal staff?

#25 Guest_fundulus_*

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Posted 15 November 2010 - 02:48 PM

That is what happened. An attorney for a local chapter of River Keepers agreed to call up FWS officials in Atlanta on our behalf. They told him that they plan to make their ruling on the status applications by January. So, we won't file suit ourselves because the time to decision is so near. Our next move depends on the FWS status determination for the spring pygmy. At least we have a lawyer.

#26 Guest_Irate Mormon_*

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Posted 16 November 2010 - 11:53 PM

NANFA does not have the funds to pay lawyers. Leave it to professional fundraisers.

We can draft position statements, etc., but that's the extent of it.

#27 Guest_fundulus_*

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 08:04 AM

Maybe you've found a big weakness; maybe we need professional fundraisers to have any impact outside of the Forum? It depends how much one feels any kind of advocacy is important.

#28 Guest_FishheadDave_*

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 09:31 AM

Have we drafted a position statement? Who would we send it to?

I think this is something that would be worthwhile, especially since it wouldn't require a lot of financial resources and would put NANFA into the issue. I can't imagine there would be much resistance amongst the membership.

#29 Guest_fundulus_*

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 09:40 AM

Thanks Dave. I don't know if you've followed this whole thread, and a related one, but the NANFA BOD did send a letter to the Atlanta office of the FWS expressing our support and concern about the listing of the spring pygmy sunfish. That's the easy part... the challenge is how much we're willing and able to support any kind of sustained effort to argue with the FWS if they don't return a decision to our liking. The truth is that NANFA has limited resources, now and for the near future. So how do we become a big dog in this kind of action?

#30 Guest_Uland_*

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 10:20 AM

In regards to professional fund-raising...I've been hanging around with fund-raisers in recent years. No doubt when done properly, a single dinner event would double current NANFA coffers, if not triple. NANFA has a unique position of focusing like a laser beam on fishes and 100% volunteer. This should be attractive to potential sponsors since most organizations tend to be a bit more broad and pay a large portion of proceeds to salaries. Potential sponsors could be told 100% of their donation would go to projects described. All this is to the positive and there is always a down side to every position.....you need to connect with lots of people that have the available funds to toss our way and get them in the same room. This isn't always easy and it's honestly a lot of work. I'm slowly working towards learning a bit more about the process and building contacts. Sorry for the derail.

#31 Guest_Irate Mormon_*

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Posted 18 November 2010 - 11:18 PM

Not really a derail, Uland. It goes to the heart of the matter.

That said, I don't know if lawyers are the best use of $$. Seems like we could go to the heart of the matter and approach the decision makers. If we know who they are. It takes persistence and connections to get more than a boilerplate response.

#32 Guest_fundulus_*

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Posted 19 November 2010 - 12:12 AM

The whole point of hiring a believable lawyer is to get a satisfactory response. Otherwise you can just mail off pointed letters yourself. I guess the same effect can be achieved by running a robust PAC and essentially buying attention from elected officials; within the limits of the law that's fine, too.

#33 Guest_ashtonmj_*

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Posted 19 November 2010 - 07:41 AM

Did I miss something? Where did Bruce say we have paid money for a lawyer to be put on retainer to represent us in a suit against FWS? In fact, he said the opposite would be happening. A lawyer on behalf of a well organized national environmental group made contact on our behalf because they also represent the areas in question. That is all I saw. NANFA's coffers aren't being raided to pay for billable hours. The pro's of having one are mentioned, that is about it.

#34 Guest_wargreen_*

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Posted 19 November 2010 - 09:24 AM

." A lawyer on behalf of a well organized national environmental group made contact on our behalf because they also represent the areas in question".


I personnally think thats a great idea and if put to a vote would definately vote on it.

#35 Guest_Irate Mormon_*

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Posted 20 November 2010 - 12:51 AM

The whole point of hiring a believable lawyer is to get a satisfactory response. Otherwise you can just mail off pointed letters yourself. I guess the same effect can be achieved by running a robust PAC and essentially buying attention from elected officials; within the limits of the law that's fine, too.


The whole point is that lawyers are not the answer. Lawyers have nothing to do with right or wrong or that outdated concept called "justice". It's a game to them - they serve masters called "law" and "winning". You are correct however in that money talks. My contention is that the kinds of decisions we are talking about are made neither by lawyers nor elected officials. You first need to identify who the decision makers actually are. Then you need the connections to get their ear. THEN you appeal to their self-interest. Right and Wrong don't enter into the picture.

#36 Guest_Elassoman_*

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 08:31 PM

I'm not specifically addressing any of the previous posts, but I want to express how inspired I am that this thread was started in the first place. It is good to know that so many of us would be willing to contribute to this effort if needed. Fund raising is certainly worth looking into, perhaps not necessarily for lawyers, but perhaps for field education programs in Limestone County, Alabama and similarly at risk areas.

#37 Guest_wargreen_*

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Posted 16 May 2011 - 10:07 PM

I'm not specifically addressing any of the previous posts, but I want to express how inspired I am that this thread was started in the first place. It is good to know that so many of us would be willing to contribute to this effort if needed. Fund raising is certainly worth looking into, perhaps not necessarily for lawyers, but perhaps for field education programs in Limestone County, Alabama and similarly at risk areas.



I agree, especially in these economically tough times its really telling that many members would contribute money to help save this species.

#38 Guest_exasperatus2002_*

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 07:40 AM

Oh I did know the dam was built, I know the story, but the little darter did cause a long delay. Let's face it that habitat could be gone tomorrow if the landowner wants it gone and stands to make that much money. Well I'm glad to hear that there are people and places already maintaining them. I thought I clearly stated I wasn't interested in the fish, but that I felt a group should be formed to maintain them exchange breeding stock and distribute them. I also don't really agree with gobbling up fish before they become protected but from the looks of things protection is a long way off and the bulldosers could be filling in the spring tomorrow.

Now to answer the golden question..... "What N.A. native have hobbyists saved?" Well you might have me there, but I could probably name more than a few Goodieds. Ok yes they're Mexican and they're also probably being kept by other entities as well so I guess hobbists can't take any credit. By the way I maintained Characodon lateralis for about 14 years before I was forced to shut down the fishroom. I passed them on to a friend that still has them for a combined total of 27 years. I'll be receiving some breeding stock back from him soon. I have also decided to keep Zoogoneticus tequila long term, and may include a Skiffia and the black Characodon (the species name escapes me right now) in the future. For the record I also maintained Rivulus xhipidius PK15 for the 13 years that the fishroom was shut down (I had it for about 6 years before that) and have been told I may have the only pure stock of it in the US. They may be right since I have been looking for someone to exchange some breeding stock with and have found none that anyone could positivly say was pure stock. I just for the life of me can't understand why the concept of hobbists helping out is so offensive.

I just don't think throwing money at a lawyer is the answer unless like I stated it happens to be a member with the same passion we all seem to have, and then again hopefully he'll donate some extra time to the effort. But then again I'm just 1 new member and I guess my opinion doesn't amount to much.


There is a program called C.A.R.E.S. Thats set up for hobbyists to help protect endangered species from across the world such as lake victoria & also fish from madagascar. Im sure they wont exclude North American species. Heres a link to some info about them. I wonder if anyone had communicated with them for help? There are several species of victorian cichlids that are extirpated from the lake and only exist in hobbyist tanks now because of the introduction of the nile perch & other factors.

My link



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