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Thread: latest on the wood bison

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    Member tlingitwarrior's Avatar
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    Default latest on the wood bison

    http://www.adn.com/2012/10/16/266190...ood-bison.html

    Man I sure hope for a positive development with this herd, but I fear the worst.
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    Member Gr is for Greg's Avatar
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    Funny how it reads, "...their status as an endangered species has held up the restoration program." Gotta love when a law or regulation gets in the way of exactly the purpose it is meant to uphold. It's frustrating that judgment and common sense can't be used to trump the letter of the law, but that's not a fight I think we can win until the country is completely in the toilet... Thanks for sharing. I too hope they can get their stuff together and start reintroducing those animals to the wild rather than culling the herd. - Gr
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    Member Tearbear's Avatar
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    I wouldn't mind helping cull the herd Maybe they should hold a drawing for those they need culled, that way they could make a few extra bucks.
    "Grin and Bear It"

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    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Default Politics is preventing a truly great restoration program

    Well, I sincerely hope that this isn't a precursor to no wood bison restoration at all. We always knew that AWCC could only hold so many animals. We were lucky the feds supplied monies to hold them longer.

    I'm gonna put some thoughts down here that will likely get me in some hot water, and many may disagree, but this is the way I see it. Having been involved in this issue for some time now (our org, Alaska Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, has long supported reintroduction/restoration), and heard the arguments from those who fear that reintroduction even under a 10j ruling of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) -- where these animals are listed under threatened status as experimental and non-essential -- could or would threaten, stall, or preclude oil and gas or other development on lands where these bison may roam, I am just not buying into those arguments when our legislature and governor essentially hold these wood bison hostage to the likelihood we will have to cull all of them after a decades-long ADFG project to restore them to Alaska.

    We've already lost the two best locations to relocate them, the Yukon Flats and the Minto area, due to these arguments and the vocal and strong opposition from Doyon, which as would have it go against the majority will of their own shareholders who want this reintroduction to take place on these lands. So the third option was the lower Yukon, where we don't really have much oil and gas development potential, yet still some in our legislature and our governor still say Uh-uh, no matter how these animals are listed under the ESA, no matter what agreements are made now under a 10j ruling, we do not trust the feds and will not allow it until these animals are completely delisted.

    I'm sorry but this no-compromise line-in-the-sand stance is asinine. Partisan politics is effectively curtailing the greatest conservation achievement in this century.

    I spoke with Rep. Alan Dick in Juneau about this last March. But he is adamant that there will be no compromise, the wood bison must either be completely delisted or put on some remote island with no potential for development.

    There are a host of real issues and concerns from all sides with this, I'm not saying the ESA concerns aren't valid, nor that I agree completely with how the ESA has been used in the past. For example, AK BHA has supported allowing polar bear hides from Canada to be brought to the U.S. by U.S. hunters, one issue we completely agree with Don Young on. I even spoke with Don Young in April and thanked him for trying to help with that.

    I'm just saying that the door should not be closed to some kind of compromise wherein we can get these wood bison out there and continue to work things out with the feds. This is a huge catch-22, these animals won't be delisted until there is a certain number of them in the wild. ADFG bios have spent countless hours and years, some making this their life's work, trying to make this happen. It would be a conservation milestone all hunters would be proud of. Over all these years there has been broad consensus among all kinds of groups, from hunting conservation orgs to enviro orgs, to support this. Even the notion of limited hunting once the population reaches a certain size. Those letters are all in the records.

    Partisan politics is now being introduced to stall this or stop it completely. Should we be leery of the feds on a variety of issues? Sure we should. But c'mon, let's not let that overcome what has been a decades-long process for the greater good of these animals and all peoples.

    That's my rant...felt I had to get it out <grin>.

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    We have plenty of those islands so why not use them and keep up the fight for the Yukon?
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    Member TWB's Avatar
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    Default latest on the wood bison

    How many islands can support a bison herd without demise from predation?
    We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed

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    Member highestview's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tearbear View Post
    I wouldn't mind helping cull the herd Maybe they should hold a drawing for those they need culled, that way they could make a few extra bucks.
    That was my thought immediately. $50 for a lottery draw, they would have thousands of people throw in, including me. They're missing an oppurtunity to make a wad of cash that could be further used to help manage the herd.
    Born in Alaska: The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. Psalm 16:6

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    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    The thing about the remote island notion is there just aren't many possibilities there and it's a lot more expensive all the way around to do it. It also doesn't allow for viewing wood bison in the wild that was always to be a benefit to the overall public. The Minto area actually was one of the better locales in that regard.

    If anyone out there hasn't seen these animals yet, stop in at the AWCC next time you are driving out that way, they are really something else, larger than plains bison, bigger hump, man I'd love to see them back in the wild before I die.

    Regarding hunters "culling" wood bison at the AWCC, lottery draw etc, that is not something that as far as I understand can happen. I do wonder what they did with the hides, will have to check on that.

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    Member tlingitwarrior's Avatar
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    I used to commercial fish out of Sand Point when I was a very young man. I recall spending time on Unga, which is a very good sized Island. Used to hold a bunch of cattle way back in the day. The bison on Popoff Island have done extremely well. I'm sure Unga's 170 square miles could hold a nice herd of Wood Bison.
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    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    I hate the Catch-22 part. In order to get them delisted they need to be released into the wild and become sustainable. They cannot be delisted through the shuffling of paperwork.

    The animals won't do the public any good on an island. That is just silly.

  11. #11
    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlingitwarrior
    I'm sure Unga's 170 square miles could hold a nice herd of Wood Bison.


    Yes, but do you think Infinity Gold Mining Inc., which has bought up properties there and is expanding operations, along with our legislature and governor, is going to support that? <grin - do I need to say they won't?>

    Again, with the remote island notion, there are just not that many possibilities I'm afraid.


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    Member tlingitwarrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AK Ray View Post
    I hate the Catch-22 part. In order to get them delisted they need to be released into the wild and become sustainable. They cannot be delisted through the shuffling of paperwork.

    The animals won't do the public any good on an island. That is just silly.
    You can hunt them on an Island, just as easy as you can hunt them on the mainland.

    Are you saying the introduction of Elk to Etolin and other islands throughout Alaska was silly as well?
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    Default Wood Bison Draw Permit

    Quote Originally Posted by highestview View Post
    That was my thought immediately. $50 for a lottery draw, they would have thousands of people throw in, including me. They're missing an opportunity to make a wad of cash that could be further used to help manage the herd.
    I was thinking more in the $10 dollar range...the going rate for a chance at a bison draw permit. More participants that way, and most hunters would jump on the chance to get a nice tasty bison for their freezer! If they have 4 big-uns they need to cull this time, just think of all the revenue they could make to help maintain the herd till they figure out what to do with them, they could just include it in the regular hunting draw permits every year like they do for the other established bison. Probably would want to separate them from the main herd first though. It was kinda funny the way that guy on channel 2 news got tossed through the air! Those bison are pretty unpredictable.
    "Grin and Bear It"

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    Mark,

    Thanks for your efforts regarding Wood Bison.
    The bureaucrats can sure complicate an issue!

    Vern

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    Member Tearbear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bushrat View Post
    Regarding hunters "culling" wood bison at the AWCC, lottery draw etc, that is not something that as far as I understand can happen. I do wonder what they did with the hides, will have to check on that.
    The hides & skulls will be donated to scientific & educational institutions where possible.
    "Grin and Bear It"

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VernAK View Post
    The bureaucrats can sure complicate an issue!
    There is a distinction to be made between 'bureaucrats' and a sometimes inefficient bureaucratic process, and partisan obstructionism by slimy politicians who whore themselves to oil and mining companies. This is a case of the latter, plain and simple.
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
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