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Thread: Upcoming BOG meeting, make your voice heard on sheep issues

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    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Default Upcoming BOG meeting, make your voice heard on sheep issues

    The Region III Board of Game meeting starts next friday, Feb. 14th. Proposals, comments by public and ACs and agencies are all at this link:
    http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm...ting=fairbanks

    AK BHA has a proposal in, #44, to put all interior nonres sheep hunts to draw only. There are other proposals asking for earlier resident-only season.

    It is really going to take the public showing up to testify at the meeting if we want to change things. The BOG is on record claiming that unlimited guides and unlimited nonres opportunity in some areas is harming the resource and causing conflicts and crowding. For years now the Board has said that the guide concession program would solve these problems. Even when the guide concession program was stalled out. We're beyond stalled out now with a guide concession program.

    A sheep working group will look at this over the next year.

    But we're well past time where we need another study or working group. It really is time for the board to act. That won't happen if enough hunters don't get involved. I urge everyone here, if you are in the Fbks area, to show up and put in your card to testify to the board in support of limiting nonres sheep opportunity in the interior to draw only. It's not just the right thing to do, it's the fair thing to do for all resident Alaskan sheep hunters.

    Public testimony will likely start on Saturday, Feb 15th. The meeting is at the Alpine Lodge. I'll be there to testify on our Proposal 44, feel free to say hi, look fwd to meeting more AOD members.

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    Member homerdave's Avatar
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    Let me share a direct quote from Tom Lohuis..."If resident hunters want the board to listen they need to show up at the meetings"
    ....because the guides and fat-cat sheep hunters are gonna have plenty of voices. (my opinion)
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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    I will be out town for the meeting, but I have submitted my written comments.
    "I refuse to let the things I can't do stop me from doing the things I can"
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    Quote Originally Posted by homerdave View Post
    Let me share a direct quote from Tom Lohuis..."If resident hunters want the board to listen they need to show up at the meetings"
    ....because the guides and fat-cat sheep hunters are gonna have plenty of voices. (my opinion)
    Sounds like great info. Because he works for dnr sounds like they want reses to have more say. great news.
    wes

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    Quote Originally Posted by wesleyM1990 View Post
    Sounds like great info. Because he works for dnr sounds like they want reses to have more say. great news.
    wes

    Not exactly. Actually, I want the public process to work.

    In order for that to happen, all interested people need to participate. During the last several BOG meetings, there has been a bit of a disconnect from what I (and several other ADF&G staff) read on the forums compared to what I(we) observe at the board meetings. Granted, I haven't attended ALL public testimony at ALL meetings but by and large, there don't appear to be a lot of resident sheep hunters that make the time to give public testimony.

    The groups that consistently have an effect on the board's decisions are the groups that consistently show up in large numbers to provide testimony.

    And, not to be snarky, but ADF&G is not part of DNR. We're our own department with a separate, constitutionally mandated, mission.

    I'm planning to attend the forum gathering on the 25th in Eagle River and will be happy to answer questions then.

    Tom Lohuis

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom L View Post
    Not exactly. Actually, I want the public process to work.

    In order for that to happen, all interested people need to participate. During the last several BOG meetings, there has been a bit of a disconnect from what I (and several other ADF&G staff) read on the forums compared to what I(we) observe at the board meetings. Granted, I haven't attended ALL public testimony at ALL meetings but by and large, there don't appear to be a lot of resident sheep hunters that make the time to give public testimony.

    The groups that consistently have an effect on the board's decisions are the groups that consistently show up in large numbers to provide testimony.

    Tom Lohuis
    I've heard this before. Becky Schwanke had this to say back on these boards back in 2008:

    Quote Originally Posted by politicalbio View Post
    Interesting thread. For those of you that don't know, I am one of the biologists that helped write the sheep proposal for the drawings in 13D and 14A. On my personal time, I urged many of you this past winter through this forum as well as other mediums to show up at the Board meeting in March to be part of the discussion on this issue regardless of your opinions, however I saw less than half dozen of you there. Yes it passed, yes it was controversial, and yes we still feel it was the right thing to do for the resource as well as the future of sheep hunting. If any of you would like to discuss the details of why we recommended what we did, please stop in or call either myself, Becky Kelleyhouse or Bob Tobey at the Glennallen F&G office 822-3461, or Tony Kavalok in the Palmer office. We do not like drawings any more than the next guy - but all options were discussed, even through an evening session, and all agreed that something should be done and nobody had any better solutions that would help change anything in short order. There are good options out there, i.e. moving back towards a limited guide situation - however this option will take time. Hunting pressure needed to be reduced. We are all 3 resident sheep hunters, and have the same concerns all of you have about the future of sheep hunting and the sheep populations. We made an unpopular decision for the long-term benefit of the resource. If you disagree with our decisions, we respect that.


    -Becky

    I'm some amazed that more people don't take advantage of the public comment process. Even if you don't or can't show up at the meeting (and that may include me), it's incredible easy to comment on the proposals via the board of game website. Despite the noise raised on this board re sheep proposals however, only a small handful of people actually take the time to do that. It's only a public process if the public participates.

    Yk

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    'Hi, I'm from the government and I'm here to help.' lol

    I would like some proof it is "a public process." If any people that get paid with our taxes are running it (they are), then a public meeting is just a formality before they do what they want. If you know how state jobs work, they do tons of pretend interviews and waste people's time while the good ole boys have their chosen candidate waiting in the wings. It's all a big scam. Since when did any government entity ever change direction because a couple of citizens stated their opinions at a meeting?

    Ask yourself why these state guys like Mr. Lohuis and Ms. Becky come on here and encourage even numbers at meetings? If they know the guides are over-represented and are only there to protect their money-making ability off of our game, then why don't they make one hunter's voice equivalent to a dozen of the money changers? It's all a scam. Apathy is not a fault, it is a statement.

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PacWestFishTaxidermy View Post
    [...]Apathy is not a fault, it is a statement.
    ....Yeah, it's a statement that you choose to be literally irrelevant to any conversation regarding decisions which may affect you, which makes it an inherently oxymoronic statement. So why bother? By taking no action whatsoever you've already achieved your goal; congratulations, you don't matter!; you can just keep your mouth shut, remain blissful in your insignificant obscurity, and get exactly what you've asked for and deserve from the process. Why bother waving your flag on the internet and shouting "I'm apathetic"?
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    Thanks for bringing the into the light Bushrat. Ill make my comments known.


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    Quote Originally Posted by iofthetaiga View Post
    ....Yeah, it's a statement that you choose to be literally irrelevant to any conversation regarding decisions which may affect you, which makes it an inherently oxymoronic statement. So why bother? By taking no action whatsoever you've already achieved your goal; congratulations, you don't matter!; you can just keep your mouth shut, remain blissful in your insignificant obscurity, and get exactly what you've asked for and deserve from the process. Why bother waving your flag on the internet and shouting "I'm apathetic"?
    Thanks for writing an entire paragraph agreeing with me. I appreciate it. Like many on here, I have faced actual bullets, bombs, rockets and mortars for something I believe in and care about, and I'm tired of facing public sector dummies. For me, apathy is truly a statement. Deal with it.

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    Not to take sides here, but I too have seen first hand what public input does when it came to the subsistence hunting meetings down here on the Kenai. Every time I went to the meetings they were packed with people. Some where standing room only. I said my part, along with most all the others, it was obvious that 95% of the room were against it. But we all know what happened in the end.

    And before you shoot me, I do realize this is an ENTIRELY different situation. But I have to say, even when there IS good public turnout, what good is it when the powers that be don't listen? Well, I shouldn't say that.....they listened alright, right up till the time they went against what the majority wanted....

    I have to say, I truly want to believe that the public process works, but these days, I have my doubts.....
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yellowknife View Post
    I'm some amazed that more people don't take advantage of the public comment process. Even if you don't or can't show up at the meeting (and that may include me), it's incredible easy to comment on the proposals via the board of game website. Despite the noise raised on this board re sheep proposals however, only a small handful of people actually take the time to do that. It's only a public process if the public participates.
    Yk
    Comments are great, but public testimony carries the mail... so to speak.

    Online comments were due last week, but can still be faxed or mailed, I believe for the Region III meeting.

    PLEASE SHOW UP AT THE MEETING! Take a couple hours out of your weekend and be heard and seen! A warm body in the room is worth 10 written comments... as proof that a few people that show up usually get what they want... see links below.

    HUNDREDS of regulation changes are made through this public process, many times by only a handful of people showing up, and a few written comments. The public comments, testimony and findings from past few BOG meetings are easy to find on the ADF&G web page. Here's a link to make it easier to find.

    http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm...gameboard.main
    http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm...board.findings

    If 20 people showed up to testify, it would be about 15 more than have ever showed before for a sheep proposal. That is dam sad...considering how passionate sheep hunters are. For as many sheep hunters as there are in Fairbanks, (and the state) there is absolutely no reason for at least a dozen of you to show up at the meeting.

    The NR sheep allocation change is very controversial, and one that is going to take a lot of careful consideration, deliberation, and motivated individuals to get it passed through the BOG. I believe the vast majority of resident sheep hunters want a change, but the vocal minority has the reins because they have more at stake than a free permit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    But I have to say, even when there IS good public turnout, what good is it when the powers that be don't listen? Well, I shouldn't say that.....they listened alright, right up till the time they went against what the majority wanted....

    I have to say, I truly want to believe that the public process works, but these days, I have my doubts.....
    Excellent point.

    The Board of Game consists of seven members serving three-year terms. Members are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the legislature. Members are appointed on the basis of interest in public affairs, good judgment, knowledge, and ability in the field of action of the board, with a view to providing diversity of interest and points of view in the membership (see Alaska Statute 16.05.221).
    Spend a few moments to call/write your legislator and do some research on who you want on the BOG. Another process that many don't care to be involved with... and understandable, its time consuming and cumbersome. Hence the reason we elect people to do whats in our best interests.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PacWestFishTaxidermy View Post
    Thanks for writing an entire paragraph agreeing with me.
    I don't agree with you. I'm just scratching my head at the contradictions in your statements is all. You say you fought for something you "believe in and care about"... but you don't want to "face public sector dummies"... and your complaint is that you think the public process is weighted to the advantage of the "money changers", because they are the only ones who participate... because no one is attending the meetings to speak on your behalf... but you don't care ("apathy"), so you refuse to participate ... so the only ones left participating are "the money changers", so the system is weighted to them... Is that correct? I guess that makes sense if what you "believe in and care about" and "fought for" was the freedom to not participate and complain about the results.

    If you don't care ("apathy" being your "statement"), and your willing to let "the money changers" dictate what you get in life, what exactly did you fight for?
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
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    Member homerdave's Avatar
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    "The rules are made by those that show up"
    This adage is true, and starts at the local level. Go to your AC meetings, speak your piece. It all goes into the minutes and the board does give weight to public testimony at meetings.
    The next Homer AC meeting is Tuesday at 6 pm at the NERRS building on kachemak drive. We will be addressing upcoming statewide regs for BOG, as well as discussing possible proposals to be put in for the next board cycle. We are there for public input, and happy to help with the writing and submission of proposals.
    We always have a bio in attendance, fisheries for fish issues and game bios for game. It is rare when our wildlife troopers are not there also.
    The point is, if you can't make a regional meeting, you CAN attend a local AC meeting and voice your concerns, and the board will know you did.
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  16. #16

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    Sorry about the dnr reference. will you be attending any other gatherings of sheep hunters besides the pizza night? great to see wildlife experts such as you participating in the discussion.
    wes
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom L View Post
    Not exactly. Actually, I want the public process to work.

    In order for that to happen, all interested people need to participate. During the last several BOG meetings, there has been a bit of a disconnect from what I (and several other ADF&G staff) read on the forums compared to what I(we) observe at the board meetings. Granted, I haven't attended ALL public testimony at ALL meetings but by and large, there don't appear to be a lot of resident sheep hunters that make the time to give public testimony.

    The groups that consistently have an effect on the board's decisions are the groups that consistently show up in large numbers to provide testimony.

    And, not to be snarky, but ADF&G is not part of DNR. We're our own department with a separate, constitutionally mandated, mission.

    I'm planning to attend the forum gathering on the 25th in Eagle River and will be happy to answer questions then.

    Tom Lohuis

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    Not to take sides here, but I too have seen first hand what public input does when it came to the subsistence hunting meetings down here on the Kenai. Every time I went to the meetings they were packed with people. Some where standing room only. I said my part, along with most all the others, it was obvious that 95% of the room were against it. But we all know what happened in the end.

    And before you shoot me, I do realize this is an ENTIRELY different situation. But I have to say, even when there IS good public turnout, what good is it when the powers that be don't listen? Well, I shouldn't say that.....they listened alright, right up till the time they went against what the majority wanted....

    I have to say, I truly want to believe that the public process works, but these days, I have my doubts.....
    I have been part of the pubic process for years.. having written and gotten passed seven different proposals on Bear regs.. i know it work.. HOWEVER there is some question as 4mer raises here. .. and its agenda..

    it takes a TON of public testimony to over ride an agenda already in place prior to the meetings beginning.. the Nelchina caribou meeting is a PRIME example. and While Mark and i dont always see Eye to Eye on some issues.. we have both done our damdest to get folks to show up at meetings. and say their piece.. and then they dont.. less then 1% of those that say they will .. have ever shown up.. mean while.. Ahtna and other groups bring folks in by the bus load to get their part stated. and they win.. Guides/out fitters, too. in the last 15 years i have seen more closures to resident hunters because of their own apathy then for any other reason.

    and yet sheep hunters numbering 1/20 of moose hunters are ready to cut their own throats and do it again.. you didnt learn in 09..

    props like this will be opposed by a larger numbe then those who suppor them.. and Mark already knows he wont win one.. he'd like to, but its not going to happen.. to many wont show up.. but then its the wrong battle to take anyway.
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

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    Member homerdave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vince View Post
    I have been part of the pubic process for years....
    Must.... Resist..
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    Maybe stating the obvious but this is a prime example of where a state sheep organization might be of value.

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    I'm not involved with any hunting or guiding business. I have hunted the Eastern Brooks for over thirty years. The pressure on the sheep there has exploded over this period of time. Who is looking at this problem? Obviously AK Dept of F&G is not. The person representing a hunting group above is recommending a guide in that area, to an out-of-State hunter. Who is actually looking out for the Alaska residents who hunt up there? There is in my mind, absolutely no reason why there should be guides up there bringing in out-of-State hunters. The resident hunters are harvesting too many sheep, the area is in a free-for-all type atmosphere. Our State wildlife management is a joke as is the Federal subsistence programs. It appears as if we are just going to let the population crash and then go to the dreaded (corrupt) drawing system. Maybe we can get some predator control thrown in after F&G blames it all (population crash) on four legged predators. There are out-of-State sheep organizations that want to see this State go to the drawing permit 100% everywhere. They see it as a guaranteed number of permits for their members to get non-res slots. The guides see it as an advantage to have a guaranteed income source for their exclusive areas. Who is looking out for the resident hunters interest here? We all spend money in this State year round. We buy fuel and hunting supplies, hunting licenses and support our local and State economies year round. Yet we appear to be at the bottom of the pecking order when it comes to sheep management policies. Is anybody organizing a group to represent resident sheep hunters? If so, publish the contact info here. If not, let's start a thread to get one going before it is too late.

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