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Judge says no laws being broken with ‘Squirrel Slam’

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 19 February 2015 at 10:31 am

ALBION – Orleans County Court Judge James Punch ruled today the 9th annual Holley “Squirrel Slam” hunting contest can continue on Feb. 28.

The judge said the Holley Fire Department isn’t breaking any environmental laws with the contest, which he compared to a fishing derby that awards prizes for the heaviest fish.

Richard Brummel, an environmental activist from Long Island, filed an injunction on Tuesday on behalf of Lauren Sheive of Williamson in Wayne County. Brummel argued in the court papers that the Holley Fire Department failed to comply with the State Environmental Quality Review Act with the hunting contest by concentrating hundreds of hunters in a narrow geographic area, and killing squirrels when many are likely to be pregnant.

Judge Punch said that SEQRA, the environment law, typically is used when buildings are constructed or if the landscape is changed in some way. The squirrel hunting contest does not violate SEQRA or the state environmental laws, the judge said.

He said the argument in the case seems to “oppose hunting and a festive atmosphere of hunting.”

The judge dismissed the case “in its entirety.”

“It’s no different than a fishing derby where trophies are handed out to whoever catches the biggest fish,” Judge Punch said this morning.

Orleans Hub will have more on the case, with reaction from Brummel and the Fire Department.