by Jeff Gross, contributing writer
Photo, top: Kylie Caruso
With this weekend’s impending winter storm there should be enough of a coating to take the youngsters out hiking and see animal tracks in the snow. The photo, above, is of one of Rhode Island’s new residents, a Bobcat. The Bobcat was caught on a trail camera. The hike could also produce some Deer, Bear Moose and possibly a Mountain Lion. The Mountain lion was released a few years ago in the Pachuag Forest in Voluntown, Connecticut. The big cat’s release was an attempt to cull the Connecticut’s Deer herd. There have been a couple of unconfirmed reports that the Mountain Lion has been in the Exeter, Rhode Island area.
The hike should easily produce Coyote tracks as the West Bay is becoming overpopulated with Coyotes. Again, I encourage all hunters and farmers to cull the Coyote population as even the state of Maine is seeing the adverse effects of too many Coyotes. In previous articles I mentioned that Grouse, aka Partridge, numbers and also Woodcock numbers are declining in Aroostock County in Maine. This wasn’t a problem until the Coyotes showed up in Maine, and are now breeding like rabbits. The same scenario can attribute the Rhode Island loss of Partridge, as well. The argument that “Grouse numbers declined as a result of habitat loss” just doesn’t hold water. The Arcadia Management area has the same habitat that it did back in the 90’s when Partridge were so abundant one almost would step on them while hunting. The key difference with the Grouse being extinct in Rhode Island is the fact there are thousands of Coyotes. Partridge chicks are considered hors d’oeuvres by Coyotes.
Shoreline Cleanup – and Shoreline Access Issues
Another Rhode Island storm in late December produced severe winds and rain that thrashed the beach fronts. ORCA (Ocean Recovery Community Alliance) and the RIDEM hosted a cleanup on Misquamicut Beach on New Year’s Eve. An exceptional job was done by the 165 Volunteers who removed 2067 lbs of trash and debris brought in by the severe storm. The 165 volunteers included a children’s organization who also did an exceptional job.
A “Karen” homeowner decided to be a spoil sport and allegedly yell at the youngsters to get off the beach as the homeowner felt the beach belongs to them, but has no legal standing to the beach. In 1982 RI State Supreme Court case State vs Ibbison ruled all US citizens have a right to the beach front in all saltwater areas including Narragansett Bay and even the Kickamuit River, which is a tidal estuary. This writer watched a Kickamuit River landowner make a fool of herself, some years ago, trying to enforce a self-imposed no trespassing order on two teenagers. The RI legislature in 2022 further codified the law by stating that citizens have access to beyond 10 feet past the seaweed line, and now known as the wrack line. In reality the saltwater shoreline is federal land.
This writer used this federal land statement to defeat a parking ticket in Westport, Massachusetts. Westport PD issued him a ticket for parking on a dirt road at the mouth of the Westport River that is under high tide, at times. The federal land statement won the case for me, a Pro Se. As a reminder to this Misquamicut “Karen”, all 165 volunteers should set up their beach chairs and beach blankets on July 4th just below the wrack line and have a celebration picnic for the good deeds done on New Year’s Eve.
Also of note is the RI Legislature passed a law mandating that the shorelines have adequate access points. Back in the day Narragansett was notorious for denying shoreline access. Later, legislators implemented access points and mandatory parking spaces such as on Hazard Avenue in Narragansett. The local landowners were furious, however, the shore front belongs to all, not just an elite few. Saltwater fishermen take note these access points are there for your use. Take advantage of them and take pictures/videos of any harassment or illegal signage done by abutters. Harassing Anglers is a criminal offense in RI. Contact RIDEM enforcement ASAP. Also please send me the information and photos to include in an article. Yes, I recognize that challenges to the shoreline are constantly being waged in Rhode Island, but so far the courts and legislature have upheld the rights of the individual.
Breaking News: In typical after Friday Outdoors submission behavior at 10 pm, Thursday night, news produces yet another victory for gun owners as new Federal District Judge Kenneth Karas denied a motion to dismiss by the State of NY in the case of Lane v Rocah which addresses NY’s AR-15 and Magazine Ban. Mark W. Smith is credited as the first to report this. Judge Karas ruled that the plaintiffs, Mark Lane and James Sears, do indeed have standing with the Heller and Bruen Decisions. Judge Karas also stated that the plaintiffs incurred constitutional injury resulting from NY’s ban infringing on the Second Amendment. (Readers – remember that sentence going into next week!)
This case looks like a summary judgement case as Judge Karas instructed plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgement is due Feb 9th, with all briefs due by the end of March. My nickel says that Judge Karas is looking to expedite this case as to protect the plaintiffs and will find in favor of the plaintiffs judging by his statements citing the Heller Decision. The Heller decision clearly states that weapons in common use cannot be banned! Then Gov. Cuomo acknowledged some years earlier that there are literally millions of AR-15 firearms possessed by private citizens. RI politicians should take note as the writing is no longer just on the wall but, in fact, in the clear blue sky. The Anti-Gun advocates at the State House Rally January 2nd on banning AR-15s and forcing gun storage clearly violates SCOTUS’s Heller and Bruen Decisions. Is the agenda worth them being incarcerated for violating 18 US Codes 241 and 242? More on that next week, like I said.
2024 is already off to a great start with a quick strike in the end zone! See you next week!
Read more articles by Jeff Gross, here: https://rinewstoday.com/jeff-gross/
Jeffrey “Jeff” Gross spent 21 years as an Analytical Chemist at the USCG R&D Center in Groton, Connecticut, Woods Hole Laboratories, and Helix Technologies. Changing careers is a “great learning experience for everyone”, Jeff says, and I’m an avid outdoorsman and conservationist, a student of the sciences, and the world. The US holds too many wonders not to take a chance and explore them”.Jeff is the Model Train and Railroad entrepreneur. Proud Golden Retriever owner. Ultra strong Second Amendment Advocate and Constitutionalist. “Determined seeker of the truth”. Jeff is a RIFGPA Legislative and Legal Officer, Freshwater Chairman, NRA Liaison.His subjects include Outdoors, Second Amendment, Model Railroading, and Whimsical.