No announcement yet.

resources for letters to congress

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • resources for letters to congress

    i've noticed a few people wondering about letters to congress, and i want to put it out there that anyone is welcome to use my letters as templates for your own... here are links to the threads with them in it...

    just be aware that some are from the HR2811 campaign and need to be edited to be applicable to the S373 campaign. you will also need to add your own salutation and signature at the top and bottom (respectively)

    some other important notes to make...

    1. republicans senators will be more easily swayed, but the democrats are more important! there are more of them, and they are already predisposed to be in favor of this type of legislation!

    2. you can be assured that HSUS has been whispering in the ears of the senators something along these lines...

    "i realize the opponents of S373 have been making lots of noise lately, but they're just afraid we're going to take away their pets, that's all! well we're not. this bill will not take away their pets, so their fears are baseless. don't worry about them."

    the senators need to realize that is NOT our concern here! this bill will DECIMATE an entire INDUSTRY (a 3 billion dollar/year industry, no less!). it will destroy thousands upon thousands of small business that rely on interstate business to survive, OVERNIGHT! it will render THOUSANDS upon THOUSANDS of MORE people jobless! AND ALL BECAUSE OF SOME POORLY STUDIED, UNSCIENTIFIC, AND JUST FLAT-OUT-ERRONEOUS REPORT!

    3. the whole foundation of this bill is the USGS studies. if they want to make a truly informed decision, they need to see these reports for the falsehoods they are, and examine the MUCH MORE SCIENTIFIC and MUCH MORE ACCURATE data that is readily available!

    (i.e. the pyron report: summary article, full report)

    there's also THIS 'inconvenient' letter written by a group of biologists and other scientists who specialize in reptiles:

    "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"

    sorry for the long thread, but IT'S IMPORTANT!

  • #2
    Re: resources for letters to congress

    Thank you


    • #3
      Re: resources for letters to congress

      Let's keep those letters flowing into the senators' offices!

      Better yet, take it there in person!


      • #4
        Re: resources for letters to congress

        Seriously folks is going to take great effort to make our U.S. Senators listen

        Lar M
        Boas By Klevitz



        • #5
          Re: resources for letters to congress

          it would seem that the phone calls/faxes/emails are not having the desired effect. the senators still have barely heard of this thing.

          most of them have NO IDEA how many people HATE this bill, and how ill-advised it truly is!

          the BEST way to get their attention, is to MEET THEM IN PERSON! even if they are not in the office, you can meet with a staffer of their's. this is still better than simply sending in a letter/fax/email or making a phone call.

          it's not hard to ignore a phone message or email. it is MUCH harder to ignore a living, breathing CONSTITUENT sitting in the chair, waiting to speak with his or her senator!

          arm yourself with this information, and BE RESPECTFUL!


          • #6
            Re: resources for letters to congress



            • #7
              Re: resources for letters to congress

              Great resources make use of them

              Lar M
              Boas By Klevitz



              • #8
                Re: resources for letters to congress

                Here are some more helpful resources. the site is under development but is to be functional monday.


                National Python & Boa Ban Action Center

                Python Ban Fact Sheet


                • #9
                  Re: resources for letters to congress

                  National Python & Boa Ban Action Center

                  that is a GREAT one for those who can't do much. it's SO FREAKIN' EASY!