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Canceled hearing on Grand Island trapping law irks supporter

While the public hearing about a controversial trapping law on Grand Island was canceled last week, the topic still came up during Monday evening’s Town Board meeting.

Bryce D. Shipman, whose son Josh is at the center of the trapping controversy on the island, expressed his displeasure with the town for canceling the hearing.

Supervisor Nathan D. McMurray said he pushed for the cancellation to allow for time to discuss the law.

“What are you guys doing?” Shipman asked. “You’re the Town Council. You make a statement that you’re going to have a meeting tonight about the trapping law, and then, a week later, you change it.”

Shipman said canceling the hearing was denying supporters of trapping on the island a chance to be heard. Addressing McMurray directly, Shipman said McMurray was listening to only the anti-trapping faction in the town.

“You made a statement at the last meeting I was at that you don’t see supporters for town trapping at all,” he said.

McMurray said he was more than happy to hear differing opinions on the topic. However, he said, he has heard “overwhelming” opposition to sport trapping on public land on Grand Island.

Shipman said the town’s Conservation Board voted, 8-1, in favor of the law without the word “nuisance” added into it, which could allow sport trapping on public land. The last two versions of the law drafted by the board have prohibited trapping on town parkland.

McMurray said the board was trying to do the “right thing” with the law, noting that it’s a complicated issue.

“No matter what happens, someone is going to be mad,” he said. “Maybe everyone will be mad.”

The board will look at the law further at the next work session and decide on the next date for a public hearing.

email: mcanfield@buffnews.com