Hopefully all of you will read this and respond with comments ASAP. Guide Jeff Burwell (guide) has asked the BLM to UP his sheep quota from 1 sheep a year to two in the Glacier Mountain controlled use area. This area has had an annual harvest of slightly over 1 sheep per year and Burwell NOW has now upped that to over 2 per year with his sheep from last year. This area is a very hard area to access and has has not had any guide operating in it with horses. This area was set aside because of access and low sheep populations. Mr. Burwell has now turned this into a $$ maker. He got his foot in the door and we all know what happen now. With his one sheep harvested by his client last year, he has now made the annual harvest an 50% harvest by non residents and is now asking for it to be upped to a 66.6% harvest by non-residents. This area is a unique area and really needs to be protected from guides in general. Our current process of having things changes doesn't allow for an immediate fix to this solution so our only hope as sheep hunters is to get as many comments submitted and make sure they are all meaningful and legitimate reasons. I am going to be writing my letter and will be attaching a copy of it to this thread when I am ready to submit. We only have until about Feb. 28 to submit comments. Please make an effort to get this out to as many people as you can. We need your support to keep this from happening. Here is a copy of the BLM release.
As an addition, I would cc any email response you send to BLM also to email@example.com
Thank you for your time,
BLM Seeks Public Input for Proposed Guided Hunting Operation in the Glacier Mountain Area
January 28, 2013
Alaska Peak Air Adventures/Jeff Burwell has applied for a Special Recreation Permit (SRP) to continue big game guiding activities for another year, 2013, in the Glacier Mountain Area SW of Eagle, Alaska on BLM-managed lands. Alaska Peak Air Adventures (APAA) was authorized for limited guided hunts in the area in 2012 and all permit requirements were successfully met. In analyzing the 2012 APAA proposed big game guiding application, the BLM received nearly 30 public comments. These comments were sorted into nine issues or concerns and addressed as follows:
1. Will the proposed action allow for a sustainable sheep harvest in this area? This issue is outside of the BLM’s jurisdiction. Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) manages wildlife and sets harvest limits. The BLM and the applicant met with Jeff Gross of ADF&G to discuss possible resolution of this issue. The applicant agreed to limit his clients to harvest of one Dall sheep within the Controlled Use Area (CUA). An additional two sheep may be harvested outside the CUA. This change is reflected in the Record of Decision.
2. Shouldguidingbeallowedinthisarea? The BLM’s current land use plan for the area does not limit the number of
guides allowed in this area. Setting a guide use allocation for this area is outside
the scope of this EA and is not addressed any further. 3. Whataircraftusewillbeallowedandwhatimpactwillithav e?
Limitations on aircraft use within the CUA are the jurisdiction of the state. The applicant is required to comply with all applicable state laws. An ADF&G Trooper was involved in discussions for the permit and provided the applicant and agency with a letter covering what is allowed and not allowed within the CUA.
4. Will user conflict occur due to the nature and small size of the area? There is limited potential for user conflict in the area. Changes in the proposed action and Decision Record reflect that only one sheep hunt will be allowed in the CUA and no sheep hunting will begin before August 15th, five days after the season opening. These changes should further mitigate user conflict in the area.
5. Will there be a loss of the unique hunting qualities of the area? There is potential for the loss of some of the unique hunting qualities of the area. Changes in the proposed action and Decision Record reflect that only one sheep
hunt will be allowed in the CUA and no sheep hunting will begin before August 15th, five days after the season opening. These changes should mitigate loss of the unique hunting qualities of the area.
6. Are there issues with the applicant? The State of Alaska is responsible for licensing guides and outfitters. The
applicant is a licensed guide. 7. Willhorseuseincreasethespreadofinvasiveplants?
There is a potential for the spread of invasive plants. These impacts are discussed in Section VI of this document. Mitigation measures are proposed and carried forward as Stipulations in the Record of Decision.
8. Willvegetationbedamagedwiththelevelofhorseusepropo sed? Some possible short term vegetation damage may occur along the trail and at holding areas. Much of the trail access route is outside of BLM management. The proposed action is well within the acceptable uses of two easements along the trail and still within anticipated use levels on BLM-managed lands. Discussions with the applicant state that he will attempt to minimize travel in and out of the area and time at staging areas where the livestock will be held. No further mitigation has been proposed.
9. Howmanyguideswillbeallowedovertime? Setting a guide use allocation for this area is outside the scope of this EA.
The new APAA application for 2013 remains the same as 2012 with one exception; APAA would like to be allowed to guide for up to two sheep hunters within the Glacier Mountain CUA. APAA was only authorized one sheep hunting client during the 2012 season.
The BLM has also developed an alternative action for review that would delay guided sheep hunts by the applicant until August 25 thus allowing roughly a two week window of specifically non-guided sheep hunting in the area.
The BLM is evaluating possible impacts of this proposal in an Environmental Assessment (EA) in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Public comments on the proposal are welcome for 30 days starting Monday, January 28, 2013. After evaluating impacts of the proposed action, alternatives, and issues, the BLM will issue a decision whether or not to re-issue an SRP to APAA.
Comments concerning the proposal may be mailed to: BLM Eastern Interior Field Office (Attn: Collin Cogley), 1150 University Avenue, Fairbanks, Alaska 99709; or sent by e- mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information including a map about the proposal is available at the office address above and may be accessed via the project web page online at:
https://www.blm.gov/epl-front- office/eplanning/projectSummary.do?methodName=renderDefaultProjectS ummary&projectId=35867
For additional information about the proposal, you may also contact Outdoor Recreation Planner Collin Cogley at (907) 474-2382 or email@example.com .