Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 43

Thread: John Schandelmeier article on overall effects of Intensive Management

  1. #1
    Member bushrat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Now residing in Fairbanks from the bush
    Posts
    4,363

    Default John Schandelmeier article on overall effects of Intensive Management

    http://www.adn.com/2012/04/30/2446727/difficult-to-gauge-wolf-control.html

    I highly recommend the above article and think it indeed makes for a good starting point for discussion on what the overall effects may be of intensive management when we bring predators like wolves to very low numbers over large areas.

    Certainly as John says, wolf management under an IM plan has done wonders for the moose population in Unit 13, but what about all these other somewhat subtle effects he mentions to other species and the negatives like an increasing coyote population?

    I hope the article and excerpt below will stimulate some good discussion. The idea of a pulse management that operates between the extremes of very high ungulates and very low predators or vice-versa is intriguing.

    "There is no magic number or formula for predator/prey ratios. Intensive Management protocol, as now structured, will continue until moose population and harvest objectives are obtained, or the wolf population in Unit 13 is at an all-time low (the number is 135).


    There are no easy answers, and indeed, there may be no definitive solution. But, those of us who utilize game resources and are interested in their management need to get involved and initiate discussions. Perhaps a starting point is some type of "pulse management." Could wolf control could be implemented in an on-and-off pattern to trigger at the midpoints of the population range instead of at the extremes? "

  2. #2

    Default

    Thanks for posting up the link - reading that over coffee this morning was a good way to begin the day!

  3. #3
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Wrangell
    Posts
    7,600

    Default

    The magic of nature is to let it take its course and things will turn out fine.If man puts man above all other we end up where we are today.Moose and wolves did fine for thousands of years before us and the first here said look how many moose and wolves.It was so wonderfull a half million folks came to live among them and millions more just to see. We now treat wildlife like a shrub in the yard and prune it to our liking
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

  4. #4

    Default

    Good article. I agree, as well as the predator control has worked in balancing the prey species, we have to know when to turn it off. Maybe a 3 year cycle of deciding if predator conrol is needed in an area, turning it on for a year if it is, rest 2 and then see where we are.
    Mike
    Mike
    www.alaskaatvclub.org
    There is a faster way off the mountain, might hurt a little though.

  5. #5
    Member AlpineEarl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Usually somewhere I don't want to be.
    Posts
    408

    Default

    It's a good article and probably the first testimony I seen that acknowleges the effect of removing wolves in large numbers. There are a bunch of studies from the Greater Yellowstone area about the way other species reacted to the removal of wolves. A dramatic increase in the coyote population was the most apparent, but a decline in available browse, the proliferation of non-native grasses, a reduction in small mammals as a result of increased coyote predation.... It definately spreads far beyond the "growing more moose" most seem to parrot.

    I'm still not an advocate of the IM mentality but do realize the need to intervene in some cases to help stimulate the recovery of some game species. The predator control efforts supporting struggling musk ox herds are a good example.

    My problem with the whole program exists because of the lack of a sound scientific and professionally managed policy to not only study the program but carry it out. It's still a group of SFW lackies and crooks, with late 1800's views of wildlife management using cronyism to advance a very narrow agenda. I've heard of the "pulse management" talk from a few others before and their idea is basically to carry out intensive wolf culling for a year or two then wait until it starts to rebound and start the process again, keeping wolf numbers far below natural levels for most years.

    Before we get too far into the weeds on the effectiveness of this program or that one we need to have a credible, professional agency managing wildlife. We are far from that. While there are still many professionals in F&G the last few administrations have essentially taken the science and professionalism out of the agency, restricted them from publishing contradictory data and prevented them from carrying out policies based on political ideology. Remember, the Director of Wildlife Conservation was poaching bears at an SFW camp!!!

    So Mark, it may be a good place to begin discussion on the issue but I would not get too hopeful for any reasonable solution. The fox is still guarding the hen house my friend. And he thinks science is voodoo.

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    2 mi east of 'Halfmoon creek"
    Posts
    831

    Default

    John has obviously put a lot of thought into his article, very well written, withsome open ended questions.

    I talked with John briefly a couple of weeks ago, couldn't get into a detailed discussion as I just returned from bear hunting and was extremely tired.

    The moose population in Unit 13 would not have crashed to such low numbers if Gov. Knowles had not ceased the predator control program, thats my opinion.

    I was a invited guest at the 1993 wolf summit, work group #4, with Ms Feral, what I seen prior to, during, and for years after the summit, was groups of mostly outside interests against any form of predator control in Alaska. They appeared to make large financial gains in behalf of Alaskan wolves. No doubt in my mind this was one of their goals. Again, my opinion.
    Also I chair the Denali AC, and was actively involved throughout the 90's-01 to get predator control going, the wolf population soared as the moose populations dropped. Nothing was being actively done after 1995 except paperwork studies, which didn't help one moose.

    The Denali AC ceased functioning around 2001, we quite en-masse. There was no use for it as the Knowles administration appeared to take side with those that were against wolf control, rendering any AC actions useless. The AC was revived after predator control was likely to begin. Its a matter of record.

    In Johns article the crux of predator/prey management revolves around timing and abilities. Its hard to be exact with timing when the biologists can't be exact with predator/prey numbers or 'tools' to control populations. Thats been a issue for a long time, and I think his views on 'pulse management' are good. However, as in the 90's, the biologists didn't have the 'tools' needed for predator control, they were stopped in their tracks from instituting the most basic predator control methods. Hopefully this doesn't happen again, and the predator/prey focus can be on such matters as John suggests. His timing is good, as moose population are stabilizing, and wolf numbers are on the low side.

  7. #7
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Wrangell
    Posts
    7,600

    Default

    I believe that if all the bear and wolf were taken out of Alaska with in ten years the moose would be gone also.There are just to many people with desire for game and nature is not able to keep up no matter how green the grass. Science is not voodoo it is people trying to learn what nature knows and all it can do is look at little pictures not the big picture.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

  8. #8
    Member bushrat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Now residing in Fairbanks from the bush
    Posts
    4,363

    Default

    Well, as far as a reasonable solution, that's the whole crux of things, what John says about trying to reliably define a balance. It could very well be that the IM population objectives are too high in some places for that balance because they entail putting wolves at such low numbers and creating these other negatives or out-of-balance situations.

    So that would be one place I think to look at for a solution, forego pinning pop. objectives to historic highs that themselves were not natural, and perhaps lower those objectives. Which would mean an admission that many would find hard to come to that...hey, we aren't going to have the number of moose we'd really like to see and the opportunities we may really want to feed more Alaskans. In order to strike a better overall balance that is good over the long term.

    In thinking about the pulse mgmt some more, it would seem that would mean an on and off control effort in perpetuity that would I'd think result in highs and lows that would not be a better benefit than a long term moderation of the initial goals we want to set.

    This balance too if we could ever achieve it, define it, would solve a lot of the social issues we now have that are wrapped around trying to achieve these high IM goals. Whether it is opposition to antlerless hunts, more crowded hunting conditions and conflicts etc.

    Ironically, I suppose, our org just put in a youth hunt proposal for 13A for a limited number of cows (only cows without calves) for early August. I am going to try to get the Paxson AC that John is on to support it, but like some other ACs they are not real fond of antlerless hunts. The only way to meet IM harvest objectives though is with antlerless hunts. And the only reason we put in this proposal is because the wolf control has resulted in a big increase in the 13A moose population to the point that now Becky believes we could probably take near 1 percent (of the cows).

    So...in the end all this wolf control could be great for a youth cow-only hunt, or antlerless hunt overall, a lot more opportunity and more meat in freezers but at what real cost over the long term. That's the question John is raising and certainly a lot of others have thought on. I've always leaned toward more moderation in how we manipulate things. Certainly a Knowles vision was not good, but neither is the other extreme Marty, which is where I think we're at now.

    Glad John's piece provokes some good discussion.



  9. #9
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Wrangell
    Posts
    7,600

    Default

    Good points all around but until we also use the historic high and low for people along with the game we are fooling ourselves or at least some.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

  10. #10

    Default

    To be most effective, the predator control would have to be able to be "turned on and off" easily. With all the original and continuing efforts by outside groups, with help from their "inside groups", to stop predator control from happening at all - the process is going to have fits and starts and stops. That inability to use predator control when and where needed, at the time it is needed, is what makes the process allow big swings in populations.
    Mike
    Mike
    www.alaskaatvclub.org
    There is a faster way off the mountain, might hurt a little though.

  11. #11
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Wrangell
    Posts
    7,600

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Echo View Post
    To be most effective, the predator control would have to be able to be "turned on and off" easily. With all the original and continuing efforts by outside groups, with help from their "inside groups", to stop predator control from happening at all - the process is going to have fits and starts and stops. That inability to use predator control when and where needed, at the time it is needed, is what makes the process allow big swings in populations.
    Mike
    Mike its leaving people as predators out of the equation thats the problem. Say a area raises enough moose the brow tine rule gets removed.They is no doubt the hunting pressure in the area would increase enough that with in a year or two the area would be out of moose again.We must remember the caribou at one time moved through Anchorage by the thousands and bear/wolf are not the reason they are gone now.Hunters must be willing to put themselves in the predator numbers for meaningfull results in modern meat animal growth JMOFO
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

  12. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    2 mi east of 'Halfmoon creek"
    Posts
    831

    Default

    Bushrat, In regard to Unit 13 and ALL the combined effects on it during the past 22 years were many, and wildly variable, it was looked at by east coast city people with no outdoor knowledge whatsoever to knowledgeable generational rural subsistence users in Alaska, in between the two types were many others from all walks of life. The wolf 'wars' from the 60's came to focus in the 90's. Using Unit 13 to make 'determinations' on the IM 'strategy' or wolf control in general will only provide more questions than factual answers, thats my opinion.

    In Unit 13 by the mid-90's it was known that yearly moose losses to predation were greater than the moose's yearly population gains. Unit 13 was a biological 'predator pit'.
    Unfortunately, mostly 'outside' demands drove the miserable stake of politics into the predator/prey management and decision making by area biologists.
    One important 'bottom line' in predator control is prey food resources, which can change dramatically in a short time, to study these food resources, ongoing scientific studies would be endless and encompass huge areas, studies as such would probably be a lot more than the whole of ADF&G's budget,, each year. Where would such money come from ?
    Much is already known about wolves, studies, collaring etc has provided much insight into these predators lives.
    Same with moose,caribou, bears etc.
    Time, money and hours in the field has provided a large collection of data.

    As far as extremes go Bushrat, do you think 'we' or 'Unit 13' is now in the opposite side of what was happening and in fact did happen during the Knowles administration, are you thinking Unit 13 is now the opposite of a biological predator pit ? That the levels of moose are exceeding their available food sources ? I've seen over 100 good looking healthy moose during the past month, from the Susitna river near Devils canyon north to the Denali hwy.
    Do you seriously think Unit 13 has gone from historically high wolf levels to near decimation ? I'm sure you know how fast wolves rebound/repopulate.
    No Bushrat, I don't believe we are at the 'other' extreme.

    A quote from the "National Academy of Sciences".....

    "In short, a real understanding of predator management and its consequences in Alaska will require state-of-the-art science carried out in Alaska.
    In the end, however, perfect understanding is unattainable and we must learn to live with and base our actions on incomplete knowledge and imperfect predictive abilities".

  13. #13
    Member bushrat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Now residing in Fairbanks from the bush
    Posts
    4,363

    Default

    Marty (Dedwuf),

    To clarify on "extremes," what I was referring to is what you brought up about the Knowles administration, which is what I'd call a no-predator-control-ever type of thinking, to the last couple administrations that seem to be in the predator-control-always camp, which is the other extreme. Both "sides" always seem to go too far imo, and I don't believe either is the right answer. Again I favor moderation in how we manage, we certainly need to manage predators and wolf control is certainly warranted at times, but again coming back to John's article...certainly there are also negative effects to the overall ecosystem, unintended consequences that can cause an imbalance of sorts if we reduce certain predator populations to very low numbers over long periods.

    Regarding prey browse and food sources, great point and ADFG is incorporating browse/habitat studies into some of the IM plans. I think those are vitally necessary, that if we're going to spend the money those should be part of what is funded. We learned that well from 20A. We're in danger of undoing that learning if we don't spend a bit more time and money on some habitat studies for the Fortymile herd and that IM program prior to trying to grow the herd much more.

    Funding to DWC is a sore spot with me, personally I don't feel resident hunters pay enough in license fees, we have virtually no tag fees, we need to pay more for what we need and expect. Having said that though, we have been getting GF monies for some of the IM programs, and certainly if the legislature and administration are going to give millions to AMF it would seem they can fund the real science we do need as part of these IM programs. When/if we can't fund what biologists and managers feel is necessary though in an IM plan, maybe we need to step back and consider how far we go so we don't get into a host of unintended consequences.

    BTW, did you ever take a look at the new ADFG IM Protocol paper I had mentioned a while back? I think is a very good approach to how we incorporate IM. Here's the link to that doc:
    http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/ho...t_protocol.pdf

    It speaks to a lot of what we're discussing.
    Cheers,


  14. #14
    Member martentrapper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Fairbanks, Ak.
    Posts
    4,191

    Default

    Anyone using the word, "balance" is uninformed on normal ecosystems. There is no such thing. The pendulum is constantly swinging and whatever balance one might think he sees is just a temporary state. Change is a constant in all environments.
    The only reason we have "predator control" is because folks the likes of Bushrat and his ABHA are dead set against the incentives that would encourage normal human hunting to be more of a factor in predator management.
    Predator seasons need to be lengthy. Methods and means need to be wide. Financial incentives need to be put in place. You can sell every single piece of a wolf, including the meat. Bears should be the same.
    Few seem to want such measures tho. We have to be "fair" as hunters. We can allow the sale of furbearer parts, but if bears were the same the mostly illegal hunters of Alaska would kill every single bear!! So when locals cry for more edible game species..........you get pred control. We now create special circumstances, for special reasons to allow the things we all know will lower pred numbers.
    I guess we can all go to bed at night feeling we are only "unfair" when we absolutely have to be!!
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
    I have less friends now!!

  15. #15
    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Tanana Valley AK
    Posts
    7,217

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by martentrapper View Post
    The only reason we have "predator control" is because folks the likes of Bushrat and his ABHA are dead set against the incentives that would encourage normal human hunting to be more of a factor in predator management.
    Seriously? Can you really propose to make such an asinine statement with a straight face?
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
    I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief. ~Gerry Spence
    The last thing Alaska needs is another bigot. ~member Catch It
    #Resist

  16. #16
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Wrangell
    Posts
    7,600

    Default

    From Martentrappers post I see no reason for F&G to just say let the moose hunters eat wolf/bear.Of course wolf/bear bring money money to the state than half the hunters but who cares.Dig for more oil and gold and lead,heck we couldd get some money for the twenty foot trees cut em
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

  17. #17
    Member AlpineEarl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Usually somewhere I don't want to be.
    Posts
    408

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bushrat View Post
    Marty (Dedwuf),

    To clarify on "extremes," what I was referring to is what you brought up about the Knowles administration, which is what I'd call a no-predator-control-ever type of thinking, to the last couple administrations that seem to be in the predator-control-always camp, which is the other extreme.

    There is one step further than "extreme" Mark. Far past "predator control always"camp. It's the bounty, eradicate, shoot on sight commercial hunting thinkers that are leftovers from the 1800's-1920's. The ones who almost wiped out a large portion of the game we enjoy hunting today. And succeeded in a few cases. Luckily they are a miniscule minority, though they speak as if they are the mainstream with lots of supporters. Assigning a moniker beyond "extreme" is not easy and sure to offend, so it's best left at the beyond extreme depiction. Some modern day speech from one of those types is posted below.

    Quote Originally Posted by martentrapper View Post
    Anyone using the word, "balance" is uninformed on normal ecosystems. There is no such thing. The pendulum is constantly swinging and whatever balance one might think he sees is just a temporary state. Change is a constant in all environments.
    The only reason we have "predator control" is because folks the likes of Bushrat and his ABHA are dead set against the incentives that would encourage normal human hunting to be more of a factor in predator management.
    Predator seasons need to be lengthy. Methods and means need to be wide. Financial incentives need to be put in place. You can sell every single piece of a wolf, including the meat. Bears should be the same.
    Few seem to want such measures tho. We have to be "fair" as hunters. We can allow the sale of furbearer parts, but if bears were the same the mostly illegal hunters of Alaska would kill every single bear!! So when locals cry for more edible game species..........you get pred control. We now create special circumstances, for special reasons to allow the things we all know will lower pred numbers.
    I guess we can all go to bed at night feeling we are only "unfair" when we absolutely have to be!!

  18. #18

    Default

    The assumption that the possible increase in the coyote population is due to lower wolf densities ignores the fact that the Nelchina Basin is just coming off a very high cycle of snowshoe hares which are excellent coyote prey. I bet there has been an increase in fox and lynx too, not to mention owls and hawks.
    Martentrapper makes some excellent points including the mistaken notion of balance in nature. He is correct when he says the only constant is change.

  19. #19

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AlpineEarl View Post
    There is one step further than "extreme" Mark. Far past "predator control always"camp. It's the bounty, eradicate, shoot on sight commercial hunting thinkers that are leftovers from the 1800's-1920's. The ones who almost wiped out a large portion of the game we enjoy hunting today. And succeeded in a few cases. Luckily they are a miniscule minority, though they speak as if they are the mainstream with lots of supporters. Assigning a moniker beyond "extreme" is not easy and sure to offend, so it's best left at the beyond extreme depiction. Some modern day speech from one of those types is posted below.
    Earl rhetoric like this conveniently ignores the fact that the time period you reference was totally unregulated. No seasons, no bag limits, no sealing requirements, no gmu's, no limits, no methods and means, no anything.
    Your comparison is not valid.

  20. #20
    Member AlpineEarl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Usually somewhere I don't want to be.
    Posts
    408

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by extrema View Post
    Earl rhetoric like this conveniently ignores the fact that the time period you reference was totally unregulated. No seasons, no bag limits, no sealing requirements, no gmu's, no limits, no methods and means, no anything.
    Your comparison is not valid.
    That's simply not true. Your rhetort conveniently ignores fact, and history. Alaska did, in point of fact, have game laws, bag limits and seasons around the turn of the 20th century. A brief search of the history of Alaska territorial game laws will fix your misconception.

    William Temple Hornady was one of the hunters and conservationists that was pushing for more strict regulation of Alaska's game laws. One quote from his book "Our Vanishing Wild Life": "Thanks to the game law, and five wardens, the number of big game animals killed last year in Alaska by sportsman was reasonably small-just as it should have been." He wrote this in a response to what he believed were "fatal defects" that allowed for an exemption from game law by First Nation Tribes who were, at the time, still slaughtering caribou and only salvaging the tounge to sell in markets on the Kenai Peninsula. That was 1913.


    Try the book "The Quiet World" by Douglas Brinkley. It will fill the holes in your understanding of the history of game and resource management in Alaska"s history.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •