The bobcat season: One more step and a chance for your comments

Monday, March 28, 2016 7:43PM

While the N.H. Fish and Game Commission has approved proposed new rules that would reinstate New Hampshire’s bobcat season for the first time in 25 years, there’s one more step before the season is decided.

The politically appointed commission approved the proposal 5-4, despite overwhelming public opposition. The proposal calls for 50 permits by lottery for trapping in December and hunting in January. The 50 permits would be distributed around the state, including 13 in southwestern New Hampshire.

The proposal is now in the hands of the N.H. Joint Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules, the joint House and Senate panel that gives final review to new state rules.

JLCAR will hold a hearing on the proposed bobcat trapping and hunting season on April 1 at 9 a.m., at Representatives Hall at the Statehouse in Concord. Only once in at least 20 years has JLCAR moved a hearing from its regular room in the Statehouse to Representatives Hall, a room large enough to hold the anticipated crowd wanting to be heard about the bobcat season.

Among JLCAR’s options is to sponsor a joint resolution to block Fish and Game’s proposed season. This rare move would essentially be a bill, with approval needed by the full House and Senate and governor’s signature.

Letters to JLCAR for or against the season will be accepted before April 1 and can be addressed to N.H. Joint Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules, Rep. Carol McGuire, Chair, and Honorable Members Office of Legislative Services, 25 Capitol Street, Room 219, Concord NH 03301-6312.

Letters can be emailed to Patty.Houde@leg.state.nh.us.