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Thread: All sheep hunters please read and send comments asap!

  1. #1

    Default All sheep hunters please read and send comments asap!

    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 jeff.gross@alaska.gov

    Thank you for your time,

    Mike Cronk

    PUBLIC NOTICE
    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 BLMs 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 BLMs 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: ccogley@blm.gov.
    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 ccogley@blm.gov .

  2. #2
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    yeah Northway thanks for posting this. I was notified of the proposed increase and had similar concerns. I sent them via email to the BLM. I hope others write in as well. The guy has no shame exploiting this walk in area for profit. I guess though its BLMs bad for allowing it. You cant fault the guy for wanting more $$$$$$$
    I come home with an honestly earned feeling that something good has taken place. It makes no difference whether I got anything, it has to do with how the day was spent. Fred Bear

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    Member ak_cowboy's Avatar
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    How many residents hunt this area? And what's the Sheep population estimate?

    sent from my igloo

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    Member mod elan's Avatar
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    What? Getting your foot in the door then asking for more? Who didn't see that coming

  5. #5

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    I will post on Wednesday with the info that may be of interest to people. I want to verify it all before posting.

  6. #6

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    Mike,
    I understand you don't want guides in there or anywhere for that matter. If you and others dont want this area to have any fine, propose that to F&G. I will wait for your "facts" and help ya correctly inform the public of any that may not be quite correct. I took one of the three from there last year, thats 33% not 50% and if nobody goes in this year I could possibly take 100% so that percent of take angle is not really the best way to look at take is this situation IMO. I am asking to take two total and I am giving the pubilc a five day head start. How many other guides have offered that in their permits?? How many sheep are in there Mike?? Low sheep population and difficult access? Question is how many residents am I affecting here as say opposed to moving into a easy access open area and taking as many hunters as I want? The biggest negative effect to this area in recent history is you opening your big mouth on this forum for everybody to find out about this "special area". Want me starting a thread about all the other special areas up north and how to access them cause from what I see you kill bigger rams there then this "special area" that has such difficult access...... And just so the public knows both the other rams, not my clients, were under 35" just so nobody gets to thinking its some monster ram glory hole!!! Congrats to those two fellas by the way cause its one hell of a hard trip regardless of size.
    Jeff Burwell

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    Member mod elan's Avatar
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    Will you be asking for more next year? The year after that? How many sheep can this small area keep providing every year?

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    Quote Originally Posted by hunttolive View Post
    Mike,
    I understand you don't want guides in there or anywhere for that matter. If you and others dont want this area to have any fine, propose that to F&G. I will wait for your "facts" and help ya correctly inform the public of any that may not be quite correct. I took one of the three from there last year, thats 33% not 50% and if nobody goes in this year I could possibly take 100% so that percent of take angle is not really the best way to look at take is this situation IMO. I am asking to take two total and I am giving the pubilc a five day head start. How many other guides have offered that in their permits?? How many sheep are in there Mike?? Low sheep population and difficult access? Question is how many residents am I affecting here as say opposed to moving into a easy access open area and taking as many hunters as I want? The biggest negative effect to this area in recent history is you opening your big mouth on this forum for everybody to find out about this "special area". Want me starting a thread about all the other special areas up north and how to access them cause from what I see you kill bigger rams there then this "special area" that has such difficult access...... And just so the public knows both the other rams, not my clients, were under 35" just so nobody gets to thinking its some monster ram glory hole!!! Congrats to those two fellas by the way cause its one hell of a hard trip regardless of size.
    Jeff Burwell
    i have looked at this area way before it was put on this site. I do not concider these sheep to be part of the whites/ Tanana hills and I will be making a trip in there in the next few years. Could make it a draw, then you might have 2 hunters or 0.

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    Member muzzyman87's Avatar
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    Thanks Mike!
    I am not against the flippin kenai, since I cannot but suspect it keeps armies of the unworthy from discovering every other stream... ~Paul O'Neil~/~Wyo2AK~

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    Member 907pride's Avatar
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    I agree with Northway. I would rather see these sheep harvested by residents. I am tired of guides getting "special areas". I understand that guides need to make a living, and that there are many financial benefits of having out of staters come hunting in Alaska, but as far as this special management area, there is not allot of room to allow for more pressure and more tags.

    Be happy with the one tag that you get per year. The state and feds need to stop catering so much to the guides and start catering to the people that live here and love the land. I have been seeing more and more exceptions made for guides in the past few years and I see this as a bad management practice by the state and Feds.

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    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    Thanks to the 2 "competitors" for giving us this thread. Hopefully it will be factual and give us details to use in making a decision, if we choose to do so.
    Northway, the Subsistence RACS are meeting in Feb. The RAC for this area may have already met. I would suggest you address that RAC about this issue and get them to comment.

    Mr. Burwell, you say 3 were taken last season. Were they both legal rams? Since this is a difficult to access area, how did the other 2 takers get in? Were they both residents? Since you were in the area lat year, what is your take on the sheep pop. and how many can be taken sustainable, each year?
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
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    Quote Originally Posted by hunttolive View Post
    Mike,
    I understand you don't want guides in there or anywhere for that matter. If you and others dont want this area to have any fine, propose that to F&G. I will wait for your "facts" and help ya correctly inform the public of any that may not be quite correct. I took one of the three from there last year, thats 33% not 50% and if nobody goes in this year I could possibly take 100% so that percent of take angle is not really the best way to look at take is this situation IMO. I am asking to take two total and I am giving the pubilc a five day head start. How many other guides have offered that in their permits?? How many sheep are in there Mike?? Low sheep population and difficult access? Question is how many residents am I affecting here as say opposed to moving into a easy access open area and taking as many hunters as I want? The biggest negative effect to this area in recent history is you opening your big mouth on this forum for everybody to find out about this "special area". Want me starting a thread about all the other special areas up north and how to access them cause from what I see you kill bigger rams there then this "special area" that has such difficult access...... And just so the public knows both the other rams, not my clients, were under 35" just so nobody gets to thinking its some monster ram glory hole!!! Congrats to those two fellas by the way cause its one hell of a hard trip regardless of size.
    Jeff Burwell
    Jeff,

    Help me and possibly others decide by answering a simple question... Why do you want a 2nd sheep?
    I am serious... and don't call me Shirley.

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    Member TWB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hunttolive View Post
    The biggest negative effect to this area in recent history is you opening your big mouth on this forum for everybody to find out about this "special area".
    Jeff Burwell
    I tend to consider myself one that will ride the fence long enough to get a clear understanding before leaning to one side or the other. But, I have to say, if you're here (amongst many resident hunters) looking for a sympathetic ear, you're going about it the wrong way with your overall attitude. Seems more that your beef with Mike is that he publicized "your" area.

    You want people here to side with the facts or against your attitude?
    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

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by hunttolive View Post
    Mike,
    I understand you don't want guides in there or anywhere for that matter. If you and others dont want this area to have any fine, propose that to F&G. I will wait for your "facts" and help ya correctly inform the public of any that may not be quite correct. I took one of the three from there last year, thats 33% not 50% and if nobody goes in this year I could possibly take 100% so that percent of take angle is not really the best way to look at take is this situation IMO. I am asking to take two total and I am giving the pubilc a five day head start. How many other guides have offered that in their permits?? How many sheep are in there Mike?? Low sheep population and difficult access? Question is how many residents am I affecting here as say opposed to moving into a easy access open area and taking as many hunters as I want? The biggest negative effect to this area in recent history is you opening your big mouth on this forum for everybody to find out about this "special area". Want me starting a thread about all the other special areas up north and how to access them cause from what I see you kill bigger rams there then this "special area" that has such difficult access...... And just so the public knows both the other rams, not my clients, were under 35" just so nobody gets to thinking its some monster ram glory hole!!! Congrats to those two fellas by the way cause its one hell of a hard trip regardless of size.
    Jeff Burwell
    Jeff, I don't think you understand. You as a guide have "squeezed" yourself in to an area that has been free of guides in reality. Into an area that has a low sheep population and hard to access area. Into an area that has really only been hunted by a few resident hunters over the years. You will never understand that there needs to be places like the GCUA that aren't commercialized by guides and exploited to the point of no return. You will never understand us "ordinary" resident hunters that are tired of being put on the back shelf by guides who want more and more and this is a perfect example of that. I will go ahead and answer a question from post #12, your exact words, it is about money. "One sheep doesn't make this hunt feasible".

    As for the biggest negative affect on this area because I opened my big mouth, I will throw that right back at you for causing this issue. I thought about it over and over and realized the only way to make a change or difference was to bring this to the public. As far as other "special" areas that I may hunt, they are all on public land and anyone can hunt there. I choose to go to places that are difficult to hunt and offer special challenges to get there. If you want to tell everyone where I hunt, that is up to you, I'll live with it and just find another area to hunt. I will continue to move around and explore so it isn't going to affect me one bit. Plus you may have forgotten that I am a subsistence hunter, so the special rights to hunt sheep in the park in areas that are rarely ever hunted anymore. Fact is, I have shared where I hunt with a few people already and have even told them exactly where to go so they had the best chance of harvesting a ram. I have only killed "one" big ram in my entire life and doubt I will ever kill another like it and am totally fine with that, but I will never stop being an advocate for resident hunters, nor will I stop being an advocate for having places that someone who wants to bust their ass to get into can and isn't worrying about a guide and non-resident hunters shooting more animals than resident hunters. We already discussed this at the AC meeting, this is about sheep. No one gives a rats ass if you want to shoot caribou or grizzly bears. And like I said at the meeting when I shook your hand, I respect you as a person, but told you that I will fight you every step on this. I made that perfectly clear. I may lose this battle and you may get your two permits, or in my suggestion to BLM and F&G when I talked face to face with them, just issue your original request of three tags, because in reality, by the time you get in there, there may not be that many legal rams left in there when your clients arrive.

  15. #15

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    Guys,
    I want a second sheep because I am using one of my three guide use areas for only one sheep hunt(not the smartest thing if I'm just all about the $$$).... Herd seems healthy currently but that can change with one bad winter or pesky wolves! Last year 4 or five would not have hurt the population even close. More then that???? If the area got popular and more started being taken it could negatively impact the population sure but I'm betting that the Bioligists will be keeping close tabs. I will defer to Northway for numbers as Im sure he is gathering survey data at the moment. And yes I know what it is too, from the ground and from the air I want two thats it! It seems to be a misconception that Feds are totally catering to guides, because in many areas they have reduced guide allocations and in some areas completely shut off certain animals to them. So I think the trend is switching. The larger problem that should be addressed is transporters. If I were to have asked BLM or any other state or federal land holder for that type of permit then guess what..NO LIMIT on allocation. This is happening and will continue to happen. In fact several areas I know that guides have left or been booted out are twice as crowded by air taxi transporters now. Sure its mostly resident pressure now but I bet the critters don't care. Speaking of residents the other thing that needs addressed is the abuse of next of kin hunting. I think there are a lot more people claimed as next of kin then legally should be. IMO it should be first degree of kindred not second by marriage. Look into that guys!! We need a trend started that State and Federal land Managers limit allocation and activity by Transporters before everybody just keeps knocking on guides at every turn. By the way who has been doing all the predator management so that we all have more moose, caribou and sheep?? Not me just saying... By the way one resident group of 2 walked in and the other resident group of 4 besides me took horses(only half that party made it all the way). None of the people were "Locals" and definitely not subsistence users.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by hunttolive View Post
    Guys,
    I want a second sheep because I am using one of my three guide use areas for only one sheep hunt(not the smartest thing if I'm just all about the $$$).... Herd seems healthy currently but that can change with one bad winter or pesky wolves! Last year 4 or five would not have hurt the population even close. More then that???? If the area got popular and more started being taken it could negatively impact the population sure but I'm betting that the Bioligists will be keeping close tabs. I will defer to Northway for numbers as Im sure he is gathering survey data at the moment. And yes I know what it is too, from the ground and from the air I want two thats it! It seems to be a misconception that Feds are totally catering to guides, because in many areas they have reduced guide allocations and in some areas completely shut off certain animals to them. So I think the trend is switching. The larger problem that should be addressed is transporters. If I were to have asked BLM or any other state or federal land holder for that type of permit then guess what..NO LIMIT on allocation. This is happening and will continue to happen. In fact several areas I know that guides have left or been booted out are twice as crowded by air taxi transporters now. Sure its mostly resident pressure now but I bet the critters don't care. Speaking of residents the other thing that needs addressed is the abuse of next of kin hunting. I think there are a lot more people claimed as next of kin then legally should be. IMO it should be first degree of kindred not second by marriage. Look into that guys!! We need a trend started that State and Federal land Managers limit allocation and activity by Transporters before everybody just keeps knocking on guides at every turn. By the way who has been doing all the predator management so that we all have more moose, caribou and sheep?? Not me just saying... By the way one resident group of 2 walked in and the other resident group of 4 besides me took horses(only half that party made it all the way). None of the people were "Locals" and definitely not subsistence users.
    Jeff,

    You made a point that both you and I do agree on is there needs to be some sort of accountability on transporters. Where as I've given examples of guides doing damage, there are transporters that have done as much or more! That is something we have common ground on and would love to address with you. Nice to agree on something.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by hunttolive View Post
    And just so the public knows both the other rams, not my clients, were under 35" just so nobody gets to thinking its some monster ram glory hole!!! Congrats to those two fellas by the way cause its one hell of a hard trip regardless of size.
    Jeff Burwell
    Why would you take clients into an really tough area if there aren't big rams in there? Surely there are easier spots with the same size sheep??

  18. #18
    Member TWB's Avatar
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    Sheep Report from 2011 indicates the the area houses very poor vegetation for sheep, hence their low elevation living areas.

    Now I am curious, if the sheep population is indeed not a very large healthy one, why leave it at a Harvest Tag??? I understand that creating a CUA creates limitation only from a motorized standpoint but that doesn't change the amount of possible rams taken.

    My perspective is it "almost" looks financial, if it isn't for economic purposes, why even mention the financial aspect?

    Question:
    What is the benefit to the sheep population by increasing the guide take?
    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

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by kusko View Post
    why would you take clients into an really tough area if there aren't big rams in there? Surely there are easier spots with the same size sheep??
    bingo!!!

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by TWB View Post
    Sheep Report from 2011 indicates the the area houses very poor vegetation for sheep, hence their low elevation living areas.

    Now I am curious, if the sheep population is indeed not a very large healthy one, why leave it at a Harvest Tag??? I understand that creating a CUA creates limitation only from a motorized standpoint but that doesn't change the amount of possible rams taken.

    My perspective is it "almost" looks financial, if it isn't for economic purposes, why even mention the financial aspect?

    Question:
    What is the benefit to the sheep population by increasing the guide take?
    Here is my take. I don't believe this was set up into a CUA with the intention of having a guide operate in it. But of course it may not be stated like that. Lots of avenues to go on this one. I guess I am one that still likes to see a few places in this great state that "every" available/harvestable animal is not SHOT just because it can be. I'll post stats, etc. tomorrow.

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