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Thread: Your habitat improvement fantasy

  1. #1
    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    Default Your habitat improvement fantasy

    Let's pipedream for a moment, shall we?

    If you were offered the opportunity to be "Habitat Czar" for one project what would it be?

    We'll assume the project is on State land so no federal shenanigans to contend with, and you have:
    -A budget of 10 million dollars
    -The support of the Governor, Legislature, DNR, and ADF&G
    -Permitting has been fast tracked

    We're talking broad strokes here so can we PUH-LEEEZE keep the chicken manure to a minimum?

    I'll go first.
    I would improve the wetlands habitat on the east/north side of the Palmer Hay Flats. I've been studying it via Google Earth and despite being in the Knik watershed there is little surface water. The water table there is high and there are many low, boggy areas that could be excavated into 1-3 acre pothole ponds for waterfowl, with possibly a deeper 5-7 acre lake or two for fish. The excavated soils would be used to build a few miles of both motorized and foot-only access trails and possibly a small dam or two to create more ponds. I would solicit volunteers and input from the public and interested orgs, as well as biologists with the ultimate intent of creating/optimizing the nesting, rearing and yes, fall migration layover habitat for waterfowl with the expectation it would be open for hunting.

    As an aside, I would attempt to partner with any interested pro-conservation org such as DU.

    So what would you do?
    If cave men had been trophy hunters the Wooly Mammoth would be alive today

  2. #2
    Member Music Man's Avatar
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    Default

    Didn't Ducks Unlimited do something similar a few years ago?
    When seconds count, the cops are just minutes away.
    '08 24' HCM Granite HD "River Dog"

  3. #3
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    I would have the bios take a solid look at fry recruitment in upper parks highway streams and look at the viability of widespread beaver dam destruction and eradication.

    As far as game management I would look to opening large areas to residential firewood cutting and potentially commercial logging with the addition of a network of unmaintained improved trails. Not clear cutting mind you but a patchwork of logging areas selected to improve browse and new growth.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuJon View Post
    I would have the bios take a solid look at fry recruitment in upper parks highway streams and look at the viability of widespread beaver dam destruction and eradication.

    As far as game management I would look to opening large areas to residential firewood cutting and potentially commercial logging with the addition of a network of unmaintained improved trails. Not clear cutting mind you but a patchwork of logging areas selected to improve browse and new growth.

    I like the fry recruitment idea very much, however, the Parks Highway (itself) above the Susitna bridge and the Alaska Railroad (the tracks) cause far more small stream blockages important to salmon fry and spawning salmon than the sum total of beaver dams. Fix the culverts on the east side of the Susitna and Chulitna Rivers at the Parks and RR crossings.

    Your game management ideas of partial cutting and leading a forestry program with "personal use" is why the Mat-Su forest has the wildlife habitat problems that it has. I agree we need more access.

    Clear cutting larger meandering units (larger than in the Mat-Su but not huge) with timely scarification is the way to regenerate the forest AND create wildlife habitat diversity. Birch, aspen & willow NEED full sunlight. Small harvest units get over browsed and no forest regenerates when it is all browsed off. There is a REASON for clear cutting. Our program should be much more like what is found around Fairbanks.

    If you want more habitat and a more viable forest/wildlife program then imitate the Fairbanks/Delta/Tok forestry programs. Check out the Tanana State Forest management plan. Encourage DNR to amend their management "guidelines" in the Mat-Su to become more aligned with the Tanana State Forest Management Plan. The DNR needs to abandon their inappropriate and unscientific "guidelines" in the Mat-Su that pander to politics and are just plain poor forestry.

  5. #5

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    I would finally implement responsible care and stewardship of the Jim Swan Wetlands and Uplands in the Knik Watershed as mandated by the Susitna Plan - a project that has, so far, commanded at least 1/4 of my expected lifetime and many resources.

    knikriver.org

  6. #6

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    I would have about 50 d10's ascend on unit 16 and start clearing alder patches. It would get rid of black bear habitat and open up for more moose browse. Maybe open up state land for personal use logging, building, firewood, milling,or what ever.
    Chuck

  7. #7

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    I would burn the entire state and put the money in my coffee can.
    "96% of all Internet Quotes are suspect and the remaining 4% are fiction."
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  8. #8
    Member Matt's Avatar
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    I'd want to be in control of the predator control program and given free reign. Anything else would just be a bonus.

  9. #9

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    I would take the ten million and offer a $500.00 "Bounty" per brown bear hide harvested in Unit#7, and $300 Bounty for any Brown Bear harvested in Unit #15. Now as we all know there are NO or very few Brown Bears on the Kenai Peninsula, there will still be millions of dollars left for me to buy Lever Action "Guide Guns". Free Guide Guns for everyone.

  10. #10
    Thewolfwatching
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    LOL!! You two are frickin nuts you know that!! Yeah, you know who you are...

  11. #11
    Thewolfwatching
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    I'd buy every idiot I met a plane ticket!! But that would fall under 'people management,' which, in case you haven't heard is truly wildlife management...

  12. #12
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Clean all the snags out of clear cuts till the money was gone
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Akres View Post
    I would burn the entire state and put the money in my coffee can.
    Wouldn't the create a lot of emergencies? Hmmmmm....

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by FamilyMan View Post
    Wouldn't the create a lot of emergencies? Hmmmmm....
    I'm thinkin' it would eliminate them...
    Fire is the quickest, most effective method I have witnessed for erradicating the unwanted and making way for a re-birth of the natural world. A chance to start over...Don't we all wish for THAT at least a couple of times a day???
    "96% of all Internet Quotes are suspect and the remaining 4% are fiction."
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  15. #15
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    Default burn the state of ak?

    Quote Originally Posted by Akres View Post
    I would burn the entire state and put the money in my coffee can.
    Quote Originally Posted by FamilyMan View Post
    Wouldn't the create a lot of emergencies? Hmmmmm....
    Hey, now that I think of it, wouldn't burning the entire state as you suggest actually put a TON of money into "your coffee can", as it were?

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by FamilyMan View Post
    Hey, now that I think of it, wouldn't burning the entire state as you suggest actually put a TON of money into "your coffee can", as it were?
    Ohhh...selfish me...starting to sound like some others on here that use "habitat" as bait!!! Gotta get a bigger can...is all.
    "96% of all Internet Quotes are suspect and the remaining 4% are fiction."
    ~~Abraham Lincoln~~

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    I love the smell of drip-torch-fuel in the mid-afternoon....

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    My first thought is that I would start an investment fund with the $10 million and each year would use 6-8% to do small controlled burns in perpetuity. The areas chosen would be based on weather, browse conditions, etc., but I'd like to see a systematic approach to regular controlled burns. Ten million might not be enough to really get going, but with an adequate dedicated fund, some solid results might be possible.

  19. #19

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    I would go with Brian M if the funds accomplish a burn of 10% of state land each year.
    otherwise go with AKRES and start fresh.
    Mike
    Mike
    www.alaskaatvclub.org
    There is a faster way off the mountain, might hurt a little though.

  20. #20
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    I would move forward with this as a basis. It sheds light on past errors and future uncertainty but most importantly is highlights the fact that the current stagnant management plan is a failed policy. My view is that doing nothing is more detrimental than doing something.

    http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/la...elleyhouse.pdf

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