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letter to your senator re: S373

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  • letter to your senator re: S373

    alright, folks... the battle is heating up again!


    in addition to making the calls today and sending the faxes, contact your OWN senators and let them know they may encounter this legislation in the near future and that they should vote NO! (maybe don't use those words exactly)

    here's a sample letter i wrote for my own senators. you're welcome to use it, tweak it, spread it around however you like.

    it doesn't get easier than this, and it's SOOOOO important!


    Senator ,

    I am writing you to express my firm opposition to S373 - 'The Python Ban.'

    S373 was introduced by Senator Bill Nelson of Florida in an effort to curb the spread of the Burmese Python in the Everglades. This proposed legislation is based on a report released by the USGS claiming the Burmese Python, as well as other pythons and boas 'have the potential' to spread throughout the southern 1/3 of the United States.

    Recently, this report has come under severe scrutiny by many scientists for it's reckless inaccuracy. It has been called 'bad science' written with the sole intent of influencing legislation.

    I urge you to carefully examine the evidence against this bill and vote NO on S373 if it comes to the floor for a full vote. I am confident you will find that S373 would be incredibly harmful to a thriving 3 billion dollar per year industry, and would have NO effect whatsoever on the problem Florida is having in the Everglades.

    There has not been any CREDIBLE evidence that these animals pose ANY threat at all to any ecosystems other than the Everglades, and a nationwide ban is reckless and unneeded.

    In summary, please vote NO on S373, 'The Python Ban,' if it comes to the floor for consideration. It has been criticized as being based on bad science and would only destroy jobs and livelihoods. It will not have ANY positive effect on the Burmese Python problem the Everglades National Park is experiencing.


  • #2
    Re: letter to your senator re: S373

    Thanks, I have been working on a similar letter as well and this helped tie it all up. I am said to say that my senator is actually Bill Nelson (for more than just this reason) so not sure that he will really listen seing as it is his bill but every little bit counts.
    Thanks again


    • #3
      Re: letter to your senator re: S373

      Originally posted by decimator View Post
      Thanks, I have been working on a similar letter as well and this helped tie it all up. I am said to say that my senator is actually Bill Nelson (for more than just this reason) so not sure that he will really listen seing as it is his bill but every little bit counts.
      Thanks again
      well, that's good news, in a way....

      make ABSOLUTELY SURE he sees the letter written by the group of scientists criticizing the USGS report... also make sure he gets a chance to look at the CUNY report that disproves the USGS report.


      Letter To Congress:

      24 November 2009

      U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary
      The Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism & Homeland Security
      2138 Rayburn House Office Building
      Washington, DC 20515

      Dear Chairman Bobby Scott and Ranking Member Louie Gohmert:

      We write in regard to the recent Congressional hearing on HR 2811. As scientists who have worked with reptiles including those cited in HR2811, we express our reservations regarding the document recently released by USGS as an “Open-Report”, titled Giant Constrictors: Biological and Management Profiles and an Establishment Risk Assessment for Nine Large Species of Pythons, Anacondas, and the Boa Constrictor.

      Simply put, this report is not a bona-fide “scientific” paper that has gone through external peer review. Part of this report is fact-driven, described by the authors as “traditional library scholarship.” By the authors’ admissions, there are surprisingly little data available regarding the natural history of these species. In their attempt to compile as much information as possible, the authors draw from a wide variety of references, ranging from articles published in peer-reviewed professional journals to far less authoritative hobbyist sources, including popular magazines, the internet, pet industry publications, and even various media sources.* While such an approach is inclusive, it tends to include information that is unsubstantiated and, in some cases, contradicts sound existing data.

      As scientists whose careers are focused around publishing in peer-reviewed journals and providing expert reviews of papers submitted to these journals, we feel it is a misrepresentation to call the USGS document “scientific”. In fact, much of this report is based on an unproven risk assessment model that produces results that contradict the findings presented in a recently published scientific paper that used a more complex and superior model (see: Pyron R.A., F.T. Burbrink, and T.J. Guiher. 2008. Claims of Potential Expansion throughout the U.S. by Invasive Python Species Are Contradicted by Ecological Niche Models, PLoS One 3: e2931.* doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0002931).* Unfortunately, the authors of the USGS document limit their reference to this scientific work to an unsubstantiated criticism.* To the contrary, this alternate model is validated by its relatively accurate prediction of the natural distribution of the species in question (something the USGS model does not even attempt).** Furthermore, despite its conclusion of a limited potential distribution of Burmese pythons in the United States, the model presented by Pyron et al. accurately predicts the presence of Burmese pythons in the Everglades.*

      The USGS model likely provides a gross overestimate of potential habitat for these snake species.* People throughout the United States keep pythons as pets, yet the only known breeding populations in the United States are in the Everglades.* Such a wide distribution of potential sources of invasion, but only a localized invasive event, suggests that factors beyond those used in the USGS model are critical to limiting the suitability of habitat for pythons.* The authors even state that climate is only one factor of several that affect the distribution of an animal, yet they develop a model that only uses overly simplistic climatic data (e.g., the climatic data did not take seasonality into consideration).

      We are further concerned by the pervasive bias throughout this report. There is an obvious effort to emphasize the size, fecundity and dangers posed by each species; no chance is missed to speculate on negative scenarios. The report appears designed to promote the tenuous concept that invasive giant snakes are a national threat. However, throughout the report there is a preponderance of grammatical qualifiers that serve to weaken many, if not most, statements that are made.

      We fully recognize the serious concerns associated with the presence of persistent python populations in southern Florida.* As top predators, these animals can and will have a dramatic impact on the community of wildlife that lives in the Everglades.* Inaccurately extending this threat to a much large geographic area is not only inappropriate, but likely takes needed focus away from the real problem in the Everglades.**

      In conclusion, as written, this document is not suitable as the basis for legislative or regulatory policies, as its content is not based on best science practices, it has not gone through external peer-review, and it diverts attention away from the primary concern. We encourage the USFWS and USGS to submit this document to an independent body for proper and legitimate peer review.* Additionally, we encourage the Committee to review this document, not as an authoritative scientific publication, but rather as a report currently drafted to support a predetermined policy.


      Elliott Jacobson, MS, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACZM
      Professor of Zoological Medicine
      University of Florida

      Dale DeNardo, DVM, PhD
      Associate Professor School of Life Sciences
      Arizona State University

      Paul M. Gibbons, DVM, MS, Dipl. ABVP (Avian)
      President-Elect, Association of Reptilian and Amphibian Veterinarians
      Interim Regent, Reptiles & Amphibians, American Board of Veterinary Practitioners
      Director, Exotic Species Specialty Service
      Animal Emergency Center and Specialty Services

      Chris Griffin, DVM, Dipl. ABVP (Avian)
      President, Association of Reptilian and Amphibian Veterinarians
      Owner and Medical Director
      Griffin Avian and Exotic Veterinary Hospital

      Brady Barr, PhD
      Resident Herpetologist
      National Geographic Society
      Endangered Species Coalition of the Council of State Governments
      Crocodilian Specialist Group

      Warren Booth, PhD
      Invasive Species Biologist
      Research Associate
      North Carolina State University
      Director of Science
      United States Association of Reptile Keepers

      Ray E. Ashton, Jr.
      Ashton Biodiversity Research & Preservation Institute

      Robert Herrington, PhD
      Professor of Biology
      Georgia Southwestern State University

      Douglas L. Hotle
      Curator of Herpetology/Conservation/Research
      Natural Toxins Research Center
      Texas A&M University

      Francis L. Rose (Retired) , B.S., M.S.* (Zoology), PhD (Zoology)
      Professor Emeritus
      Texas State University

      Edward J. Wozniak DVM, PhD
      Regional Veterinarian
      Zoonosis Control Division
      Texas Department of State Health Services


      CUNY report:

      PLoS ONE: Claims of Potential Expansion throughout the U.S. by Invasive Python Species Are Contradicted by Ecological Niche Models


      it would be REALLY helpful if you could get AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE who live in your area to voice their opposition to this! let him know that there are a SIGNIFICANT number of VOTERS who OPPOSE this bill and his involvement in it!

      go to your local pet stores and give them the information i just gave you.

      you can also put together a petition of some sort about the issue.

      the more people in his state who oppose this the better! let him know that his constituents WON'T STAND FOR THIS KIND OF RECKLESSNESS!

      you have an opportunity here to really ruffle some feathers! USE IT

      GOOD LUCK!