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Thread: Olson, AMF, new trucks and a request for 14.5 million.

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    Member AlpineEarl's Avatar
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    Default Olson, AMF, new trucks and a request for 14.5 million.

    An updated story on the whole AMF deal. Olson pays himself 82k, buys a bunch of new toys and asks for 14.5 million of our taxpayer dollars. This whole thing smells more rotten by the day. We really need to put a stop to this crap. The "doing it for the troops" angle is something.......I'll refrain from finishing that thought. Seriously, is this what our money should go to, a private company buying ford's, skidoo's, NY life insurance agent board members and paying themselves 82k? Enough already. Olson' characterization of how some view AMF is spot on; "Lower 48 redneck hunters who just want more moose to shoot." New trucks and fat salaries are just the cherry on top.

    http://www.adn.com/2012/03/10/236424...big-boost.html



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    Member thewhop2000's Avatar
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    Ya know, asking for something is not a crime. Giving away something that really isn't your's, for frivilous programs, could be or maybe should be. I'm thinking don't blame the moose federation, blame all the yahoos that voted for it in the legislature. It took more than two sitting politicos to keep those funds in the budget that was passed. I don't blame mcguire for not returning e-mails. If I pushed for a program like this and it ended up as a topic for debate like this has, I would be hiding too.
    So many politicos feel they are not accountable. Maybe a few of you in her district should write a letter or two to the editor. Don't like the decisions being made, just turn up the heat. How people in her district keep re-electing her is what is most troubling. From the arguement over bowling scores a number of years ago when the Police had to be called (domestic squabble) to her hair brained schemes she endorses and constant travel on the state's dime, is just appalling.
    Olsen is not at fault. He is just trying to get a good grip on the money tree. Looks like the legislature is listening and agreeing with him. So who really is to blame?
    If a dipnetter dips a fish and there is no one around to see/hear it, Did he really dip?

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    I find it absolutely stunning that the legislature is willing to throw away what may amount to more $16 million dollars to AMF and this fiasco, while continualy leaving ADFG begging for research and management funds. Based on the players listed in that article it is easy for one to imagine the self interest and disingenuous intent that may be involved.

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    I am hearing that we'll be reading more down the line on some things. It's now publicly released that AMF has hired lobbyist Ted Popely in Juneau for $36K/year to lobby for them.

    It really is unbelievable to me, AMF receives monies from the legislature to lobby the legislature for more??? Has Alaska really not learned from past mistakes? Take a guess why the legislator benefactors who funneled the money to AMF won't talk or go on the record.

    No one I know at F&G approves of this. Except the leadership staff just following administration orders. You don't move moose this time of year from urban areas out to more remote deep-snow areas. The percentages as to survival are just not there. This whole thing is honestly just so ridiculous I can't believe it's going through.

    Link below to the updated lobbyist list, look on page 40:
    http://doa.alaska.gov/apoc/pdf/2012L...tDirectory.pdf

    Also something else of interest, in other docs filed with the state, there is a section where the org is required to list "business activities in Alaska." AMF answers that thusly: "Charitable, religious, educational and scientific."

    Go figure.

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    The AMF spent many years not drawing a salary. They worked hard at networking. The AMF likes meetings to show how many people they met and what promises were made. They need help with the organization that was designed to be pro-moose, pro habitat, pro-moose safety along roads. The AMF looked around for years trying to get attention to promote their program because they didn't have the skills needed to raise funds effectively or administer those funds. The AMF never learned how to do it with another org. It is a skill one learns...

    I'd like AMF to hire a biologist for moose habitat projects like RMEF or RGS has. I'd like the AMF to have a volunteer banquet chairman that was as good at banquets as the SCI or RGS or NRA or RMEF or DU or any other org that actually put money back in to enhancement programs rather than as a political group that only wants to block activity like the Sierra Club or ....

    The "person" can't do it all. AMF needs to learn to successfully delegate. They don't know how to put on a real money maker banquet or manage those funds.

    Looking for state money is risky business. Nay-sayers are a natural manifestation of receiving state funds and they act as self appointed overseers of money they don't get.

    I think the AMF should remain an unfunded NGO and find a fund raiser that knows how to do it, rather than trying to get others (RGS, RMEF or the State) to give them money to the AMF program. They should learn how to do it themselves. Anything else is risky business imo.

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    They need to prove that there efforts are helping anything. They just spent a couple days packing a trail down the Talkeetna Spur Rd. for some reason. There is a plowed bike path on the other side the moose aren't using much, and a snowmachine trail on the other side they weren't using much either. The AMF snowcats ran down the top of the snowmachine trail so we now have a nice groomed trail. That much I like, but my kid has traveled it several times in the last couple days and hasn't seen a single moose using it. I'm going to check it out today and see how many tracks are on it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bushrat View Post
    You don't move moose this time of year from urban areas out to more remote deep-snow areas. The percentages as to survival are just not there. .
    I think survival of moose darted in the winter is not more than 20% or so, and a darted moose is inedible for at least 30 days due to the chemicals in the trank.
    So, odds are they will not only kill 80% of the moose they move, but they won't be salvageable either.
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    Member AlpineEarl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by homerdave View Post
    I think survival of moose darted in the winter is not more than 20% or so, and a darted moose is inedible for at least 30 days due to the chemicals in the trank.
    So, odds are they will not only kill 80% of the moose they move, but they won't be salvageable either.
    So what Dave? There was that whole calf thing before. It has absolutely nothing to do with moose surviving. If it did, a construction contractor would not be the one in charge. This is about 82k a year, some new trucks, welders, snow machines........ It was only with this heavy snow and high road kill rate that Olson found a way to justify buying a new truck, snowmachine, that welder he always wanted...... If everyone in the da*n valley wanted to save some moose, they'd drop 20mph on the highway for starters. It's BS, plain and simple. Moose are just the heart strings and flash points he used to get a new welder, snow machine and pickup from the state.

    I'm puzzled by the welder? Could he have just not had some like minded friends weld some stuff up for him, or even hire someone to do so? He already spent half the money buying toys, I assume the rest will be paid to "staff" in salary.

    Sorry, almost forgot...this was about moose. What was that survival rate again???

  9. #9

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    AKDoug raises the important point. How is success to be measured in all these AMF projects? Miles of packed trails is not the metric to use. I fully expect to see a press release touting the number of miles of trails, or individual trails, constructed by AMF. But if the purpose of the trails is to entice moose off roads and onto the trails, then for heavens sake install cameras, count tracks (appropriately), or do something to show how many moose have moved off the roads. Are we spending 1.4Million to have a few moose use the trails? How much per moose?

    The same can be said for the moving of animals. Simply moving them is not the variable to be counted. Rather, how many of the moved animals live to reproduce, or heck, how many live period? If those metrics are not the goals of the project, and moose are to be moved to reduce car collisions, public safety and money will be conserved by simply harvesting the animals in hunts or shooting them onsite and donating the meet to charity. Realistically, how many animals are we talking about? Gary Olson liked to throw around factoids implying ADFG killed up to 200 calves a year in Anchorage, now that Olson has money he is talking less than 20.....

    Per the Anchorage Daily News article.....poor reporting indeed. How many, and what states, actually have moved ungulates for public safety? How many animals? Relocating animals is not the same as moving them for public safety (which is why the AMF changed their tune to public safety). Relocating breeding stock for population augmentation means ensuring the relocation site has good habitat and the local population is far below carrying capacity and thus can support the relocated animals. The relocation should occur when the animals and habitat are in prime condition in order to maximize the chance of success. Moving moose in late March with a record snowfall is simply irresponsible. And I maintain that if public safety is truly the issue money and time are better spent shooting the moose. Once they are darted the FDA and ADFG guidelines recommend not eating the meat for 60 days.....so any darted moose are simply unavailable to freezers.

    The whole program stinks.

    Nothing the AMF does makes much sense, and the governor's office (especially chief of staff) and Craig Fleener have upper ADFG mgmt in a wringer. It completely baffles me how the public can care so little for how money is distributed. If we are to give money to the AMF we should make sure it is well spent. Purchasing equipment is not the measure of success.

    Oh, and Medred had it right on the dead moose salvage program. That sweetheart deal for the AMF should have gone out on bid. I bet there are a lot of tow truck companies that would love to have the business, especially at the rate that would be computed by using the money AMF is getting to retrieve dead moose.

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    They have their hand in the cookie jar now, it is not coming out. Time to make more cookies, they are only gonna want more. The joke is all these "toys" are a write off, but they are a non profit anyways, can't wait for them to save all our moose.

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    Just think if the Sheep hunters were this organzied **** they have money falling out of theer asses LOL... To fund whatever heck maybe do a study on the ideal pack, or what is the best boot for a sheep hunt or better yet a new and improved dehydrated meal for the hard working sheep hunter... LOL

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    I road 65 miles on Sunday night. 15 on trails along the Talkeetn Spur Rd. (11 groomed by AMF), 5 miles of Curry Ridge Riders trail, 10 miles of parallel the AK Railroad, and the rest on the Susitna and Chulitna Rivers. The last 10 miles was in the dark. We counted ten moose. 6 were 100 yards into the powder off the Alaska Railroad, 3 were on the Chulitna River feeding on willows on a sandbar, and one was on the AMF "trail" (which was a packed snowmachine trail before they made it wider with their machine). On my way to work I saw three moose in three miles feeding on the opposite side of the highway from the AMF trail.

    I honestly don't know what that proves, but the moose aren't exactly flocking to groomed trails.

    One thing I did see that I haven't seen in a while was wolf tracks. They were a pair coming off the Susitna River onto the R.R. tracks 1/2 mile south of Talkeetna. The unintended consequences of providing easier travel for moose also provides wolves a chance to move around easier.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKDoug View Post
    The unintended consequences of providing easier travel for moose also provides wolves a chance to move around easier.
    I personally believe that the advent of an extensive network of trails in the caribou hills has contributed greatly to wolf predation on moose in 15C. When a pack can run on hard trail that goes right up the river bottoms where the moose are they have pretty easy hunting.
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    Instead of spending 14.5 million on hairbrained schemes, why not have the state use that money to build fences and moose underpasses under roads in areas of high moose traffic such as the Palmer Hay Flats? That way moose can move around and migrate without having to cross major highways. Use barriers to direct the flow of moose where you want them. Build something like this once instead of spending the money every year on moving moose by tranquilizing them and driving them in trucks. Of course then you wouldn't have a large stream of money moving through a private organization every year.
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    From my recent inquiries, the Moose federation has been thru all that with the DOT, years ago, ask the DOT, my quess is not enough people have been killed by moose/vehicule collisions.

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    Death isn't the only bad thing that happens when you hit a moose. There is injury and property loss.

    http://peninsulaclarion.com/outdoors...on-kenai-moose

    This article quotes a 1996 study that puts the overall average cost of hitting a moose at $28,100. Not to mention the toll it takes on breeding capacity of the herd. The cost is obviously higher today.

    "What is remarkably constant over this period is that about a third (30 percent) of moose killed by humans every year is a result of vehicle collisions. For every two moose killed by a hunter on the Kenai, one is killed by a car or truck."

    "a 1991 study by Gino Del Frate and Ted Spraker found that most vehicle-killed moose on the Kenai are calves (55 percent) and cows (38 percent), a significant bite out of the annual reproductive cohort. And calves in that study were killed by vehicles at three times the proportion found in the general moose population in GMU 15A."

    (That means 94% of the moose killed by auto on the Kenai are either calves or cows)

    "To make matters worse, vehicles kill more adult female moose than any other source of mortality. Ed Bangs and his colleagues tracked 51 adult female moose in the Kenai Lowlands between 1980 and 1986. Fifteen of his collared cows died from vehicles, translating to a mortality rate of 4 percent per year, the same rate as accidents, predation, hunting, and old age combined during their study."

    So you'd think insurance companies would be all over a way to keep costs down. They usually end up paying for most damage, being it auto or human. Take an average year with around 300 dead moose in the valley, at $28,000 per moose and you get $8.4million. And a year like this one easily tops $10 million. So you'd think insurance companies would be happy to chip in for the long term saving, not to mention the good publicity. Hunters could probably be lured to kick in labor for the project with the idea of saving more animals and some tangible reward such as an "earn a moose" program. The state could use some of the drawing tags in the area and give them to volunteers for a certain amount of hours donated to construction. Something like that could help keep overall costs down.
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    I've seen first hand was a moose/vehicule can do, its been 20 years or better when we pull a musher out of his pickup, dead, the moose came out 1st. Upon impacting the moose it came over the hood and thru the windshield, and still alive, its thrashing around is what killed the musher, couldn't get his seat belt off or get his door opened, thing happened too fast.. another very good friend had every bone in his head broke, orbitals, nose jaws, skull, all. The moose landed on top of their car,driving the roof down on his head, pinning it between the seat and roof, it was dark, around Mp 140 parks, lucklily his wife was/is our local Cantwell paramedic, and a young miltarty fella stopped and was able to stand on the hood and he pulled the roof up enough to get him out, just gurgling, hes still going after many head surgeries.
    Your right Twodux, one would think the insurance companies would put more money to prevent accidents in the high risk areas. But when alaskan state officals don't think its necessary, or do, but just 'punt' improvements to the next adminastration, well not much get done by the State of AK, they need more phone calls/wake up calls.

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    I'd love to know the real number of road killed moose on the Palmer Hay flats. The 3 to 400 moose killed in the Valley over an average year are spread out over a road system of hundreds of miles. There is NO way you can fence all those roads and maintain anything resembling the Alaska we want.

    Dedwuf, you and I both know that your friend hit the bad luck lottery in his accident. There are hardly any moose at mile 140 on the Parks. Would anyone want the entire Parks Hwy fenced in?

    Fences are not the answer.
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    AKDoug, your right about the 'lottery', it was simply amazing for him to survive. This was a easy 20 years ago. I've been on a couple dozen moose/vehiclue collisions, only one fatality fortunatley.

    Hopefully I didn't imply by saying "HIGH RISK AREAS", some would take it as fencing the the entire Parks highway in.

    And unfortunately there is many places along the Parks and other roads where theres hardly any moose, doesn't stop vehicules traveling on the road to occasionally find them, dusk & dawn are bad times.

    IMO the most 'dangerous' area would be the hay flats, at night, or dusk& dawn.

    I think the fencing near the bases works well.

  20. #20

    Default 1.6 million in capital budget

    Gary didn't get everything he asked for.

    Certainly enough for another year of the experiment to continue.......and,..... oh, never mind.

    Anyone on here running for Lesil's seat in South Anchorage?

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