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Thread: Kenai Moose Management Article

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Default Kenai Moose Management Article

    The link below is to an excellent article from the Redoubt Reporter that the Alaska Dispatch re-published. It gets at the very basics of why restoring the Kenai Peninsula moose population to its former levels is at best a very difficult proposition. Apart from bear control, habitat issues are going to be a tough nut to crack.

    http://www.alaskadispatch.com/articl...eninsula-moose

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    Thanks for posting this Brian. I was gonna, then saw your posting.

    Again, this article points out that all the predator control (in the world won't help if there isn't enough food for the moose that are there. If the few moose that live in this area are already starving raising the moose population makes no sense. You'll end up with more starving moose competing for ever dwindling food sources and it can get to the point that the remaining food sources become so damaged it takes decades to recover.

    (“We found animals in 15A, many of them had very poor musculature, which is an indication they’ve been metabolizing protein as well as reducing their body fat,” McDonough said of moose surveys being done in a three-year project in the spring and fall. “… Many 15A cows in the fall had relatively poor musculature, indicating even though they should be at peak of condition they might not have been fully able to recover from the previous winter conditions.”)

    It's also been studied that overstressed willow fights back chemically against moose. I'll see if I can find the link on that.
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    Here it is.

    http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/sp..._fall_2011.pdf

    "Plant defense
    Many plants produce chemical compounds as a defense mechanism against getting eaten. When plants are heavily browsed they
    may produce more of these compounds making them toxic or at least less digestible. is has an impact on the nutritional value
    that animals gain from eating the plant. Heavily browsed plants also become more branched and bushy, making it more dicult
    for moose to reach the twigs they want to eat. "
    An opinion should be the result of thought, not a substitute for it.
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    need to move everyone to south of kasilof...burn the north and repeat...

    I know its come up before but really sucks that they dont do the burns like they used to..

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bear View Post
    need to move everyone to south of kasilof...burn the north and repeat...

    I know its come up before but really sucks that they dont do the burns like they used to..
    I was thinking the same thing....... They just need to figure out how to do SAFE "controlled" burns. But the beetle kill is so bad it seems they don't want to chance it. Sounds like they better learn (I mean they put a man on the moon didn't they?) if they want to have moose around.......
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    As the number of structures increases in the more rural areas of the Peninsula, doing a controlled burn of the scale that would be necessary to improve moose browse becomes less and less tenable. Folks understandably don't want to lose their cabins, houses, and outbuildings. Another issue which hasn't been mentioned here is the smoke that would potentially interfere with the approach patterns into Stevens International Airport. Anchorage is one of the most important cargo hubs in the world and the economic cost of being shut down for a few days due to a controlled burn would be huge. As much as I value healthy habitat and moose populations, in a wider view it is doubtful that such a risk to global supply chains would be counted as worth it by many decision makers.

    As people spread and priorities change, habitat issues are going to become more and more difficult.

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    Brian all that and if I recall the last controlled burn they had in the mystery creek area became not so controlled. Certainly understandable why they won't have man made burns no longer indeed.. Many years ago I guided an elk hunt in Pa and during the orientation they explained a lot of what they have done for the habitat for the elk including secluded cut areas for natural food plots and such. I wonder how if if something along those lined would help on the peninsula, of course I understand everything costs money too

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    As to burns, we went over this ad nauseum at the BOG meeting. The BIG deal breaker is that the anchorage airport is now a huge hub for international freight and air travel, and nothing that might affect it is gonna happen. Any fire that could grow big enough to smoke out Ted Stevens International is gonna be put out. Period.

    I was mystified at the meeting as to no matter how clearly the bios explained how the habitat was an issue and there was proof that the moose were nutritionally stressed, the majority of folks there just figured if they kept saying " I've been here xxx years, and the habitat is FINE!" that that would make it so.
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    We are barely on the south side of the highway. and moose cross it both ways. Have seen a brown chasing a cow by scent in the back yard of the 10 acres. Also have cows and calves feeding on the brush, which is both stunted and broomed. Evidence of poor browse.

    The Kenai is a fire ecology. It will happen when it happens. Property owners may want to consider defensible space and metal roofs.

    One option may be to open the roads and trails into the Range and encourage user groups to install the feed plots for winter range. The constraint is that the Feds tend toward preservation, no matter their public utterances.

    With little or no access, when a fire occurs it will likely be a doozy and take out much more than any planned controlled burn. The moose, the forests, and natural cycles are not timed for out convenience, but they do occur.

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    This short article's an oldie but has some surprising info: http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.230...21101958048651
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