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Thread: Alaska Wetlands/Refuges in Trouble

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    Default Alaska Wetlands/Refuges in Trouble

    If you have been following this story. You will know that they never intended to be transparent in letting the public know what was going on. We have talked to many that oppose this. Plan is in motion, and everyone needs to step up to the plate and get involved.

    http://www.adn.com/article/20140907/fish-and-game-habitat-division-continues-gut-alaska-refuge-management#.VA4UvZnkgms.mailto

    Then go here and read about whats going on
    http://akhabitat.com/whats-happening/

    Go here to sign
    http://org2.salsalabs.com/o/6221/p/d...tion_KEY=18000

    Thank for your time.
    President of Alaska Waterfowl Assoc.
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    AlaskaWaterfowlAssociation@gmail.com
    Gen.1:26
    And God said, let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

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    Done
    we as waterfowlers better start getting involved
    Is it opening day of duck season yet
    Member of Alaska Waterfowl Association

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    Message sent.

    Erich
    Good decisions comes from experience, experience comes from bad decisions...
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    I'm always willing to help as long as it's on my day off.

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    Can you not read.... That is one guys opinion there's already laws in place that project it Federally....


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    I just read the Order and I'm not getting where Strasenburg is coming up with all his doom and gloom.
    It's a quick read and here it is if you want to see for yourself:

    http://gov.alaska.gov/parnell_media/...iles/ao266.pdf

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    Published on Alaska Dispatch (http://www.alaskadispatch.com)
    Home > Fish and Game weakening land-use regulations for Alaska's wildlife refuges, sanctuaries, critical habitat areas
     
    Rick Sinnott[1]
    April 23, 2014
    Main Image:
    Emperor geese in flight at Izembek National Wildlife Refuge[2]
    Main Image Caption:
    Emperor geese in flight at Izembek National Wildlife Refuge.
    This is the first of a two-part series. You can read the second part here [3].
    While many Alaskans are celebrating the demise of House Bill 77 [4], a far more audacious gambit to overturn state regulations is quietly coming to fruition.
    HB 77 was Gov. Sean Parnellís recent attempt to "streamline" permitting for development proposals, primarily by denying tribes and individuals the ability to reserve enough water in rivers and streams to protect salmon and other fisheries from incompatible development. It also would have excluded project reviews and appeals by the public [5]. That bill may be dead for now; however, itís likely to be reanimated next year.
    Few people are aware of another brazen plan to "streamline" permitting because it is cloaked in secrecy. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is repealing and rewriting every management plan that regulates development in state wildlife refuges, sanctuaries and critical habitat areas. Because revoking these regulations doesnít require legislative approval, Parnellís secret move is more likely to succeed than HB 77.
    The public and other agencies are not being offered the usual opportunities to provide input. To limit public scrutiny, eight revised plans will be released for a 30-to-45-day public review in December. These include McNeil River State Game Sanctuary, Anchorage Coastal (including Potter Marsh), Mendenhall Wetlands, Izembek, Minto Flats, Yakataga, McNeil River refuges, and the Tugidak Island Critical Habitat Area.
    Many of the most controversial plans are being revised first, before anyone realizes what is going on. The remaining revisions -- including the Kachemak Bay Critical Habitat Area, Palmer Hay Flats and Creamerís Field state game refuges as well as the Walrus Islands sanctuary -- will be released in December of 2015 and 2016.
    Unprecedented assault on fish and wildlife resources
    Youíre probably already aware of the Parnell administrationís attempts to repeal regulations intended to conserve fish and wildlife -- or the publicís ability to review, comment on, and appeal permitting decisions by state agencies.

    http://www.alaskadispatch.com/print/article/20140423/fish-and-game-weakening-land-use...
     
    5/19/2014
    Fish and Game weakening land-use regulations for Alaska's wildlife refuges, sanctuaries, ...
    Page 2 of 4
     
    Parnell and his commissioners advocated giving Alaskaís coastal management program back to the feds [6], which meant that Alaskans now have little or no say in conserving renewable resources, such as salmon, that residents use for commercial, sport, or subsistence activities. The program had required coordinated public and agency reviews of most projects in the coastal zone and had allowed public appeals of agency decisions. Parnell is the only governor to return a stateís coastal authority to federal control.
    Parnell supports the Pebble Project, which would auger one of the worldís largest open-pit mines into the worldís most productive salmon habitat
    [7]. Most Alaskans are opposed to the mine [8] for that reason.
     
    Echoing Parnellís preference for development at all costs, his commissioner of natural resources, Dan Sullivan, believing his departmentís mission statement -- "to develop, conserve, and enhance natural resources" -- was unconstitutional, dropped the words "conserve" and "enhance." [9]
     
    But the Alaska Department of Natural Resources has always been reluctant to conserve or enhance natural resources. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has long considered it its mission to conserve wildlife, salmon and other fish. Until now.
    Special areas
    The Alaska Legislature created 32 refuges, sanctuaries, and critical habitat areas between statehood and 1996 [10]. These units are known collectively as special areas. They range in size from the Homer Airport Critical Habitat Area (280 acres) to the Copper River Delta Critical Habitat Area (597,120 acres). Special areas total 3.2 million acres, which is considerably less than 1 percent of Alaskaís 365.5 million acres of land. Itís considerably less because about a third of the designated acres are mudflats or submerged lands that arenít normally considered land.
    Due to the fertile mud and mixing of fresh and salt water, these habitats are critical to fish and wildlife populations. Wetlands and other waterways in Alaskaís special areas provide some of the best waterfowl and salmon habitat in the state. Other species that are valuable to Alaskans -- moose, furbearers, migratory birds, shellfish -- benefit.
    Most special areas were established by grassroots efforts of local communities. Each represented a tough fight in the legislature. Extractive industries are more concerned about profits than conserving fish, wildlife, or their habitats. The public, industry, government agencies and special interests from all walks of life had an opportunity to present their cases during extended planning efforts. But in every instance, after weighing the pros and cons, the legislature elected to set aside these areas because of their value to Alaskans.
    Over the past three decades Fish and Gameís divisions of habitat and wildlife conservation have jointly written management plans for many of the special areas. Some of the earliest plans have been updated. Sometimes the legislature included little or no intent language in the enabling statute. Fish and Game was expected to hammer out the details.
     
    http://www.alaskadispatch.com/print/article/20140423/fish-and-game-weakening-land-use...
     
    5/19/2014
    Fish and Game weakening land-use regulations for Alaska's wildlife refuges, sanctuaries, ...
    Page 3 of 4
     
    This was never easy. All the forces that supported or opposed the creation of a special area sharpened their swords for the second round. Even supporters of a refuge may fight one another -- think bear hunters and bear watchers, two groups who tangled over plans for the McNeil River State Game Refuge, which abuts the sanctuary. Completing each plan often took a year or more of agency meetings and public reviews. They involved reconciling, best as possible, the competing interests of stakeholders as diverse as the oil and gas industry, local communities, hunters, anglers and birdwatchers.
    Regulations in the management plans fine tune which uses are compatible with fish and wildlife conservation in the special areas. Special areas without plans are covered under more generic statutes and regulations.
    Open for business
    Gov. Parnell likes to say "Alaska is open for business." If you look up his administrationís list of priorities on his official website [11], you can read the slogan twice on the same page. Alaskaís governor has five priorities and two of them are "Alaska is open for business." Fish and wildlife conservation is not among his priorities.
    Time after time, Parnell has expressed his desire for more flexibility in making permitting decisions, which is code for "just give them the **** permit." Habitat Division is accustomed to the scrutiny of pro-development politicians and bureaucrats. The divisionís permitters used to joke that their agencyís motto should be "hold them to what they ask for." That was in the good old days. Attempts at black humor ceased being funny shortly after former Gov. Frank Murkowski took office. Murkowski transferred most of the biologists in Habitat Division to the Alaska Department of Natural Resources, a re- education camp for those who believed their job was to protect and conserve fish and wildlife resources.
    No special areas have been established during the last three administrations. But no governor has done more to turn Habitat Division into a vestigial organ than Parnell.
    Central to Parnellís effort is Randy Bates, the division director. When Bates worked for the Department of Natural Resources, he helped dismantle Alaskaís coastal management program. Now heís determined to derail Habitat Divisionís permitting authority in special areas. Appointed director in July 2011, it didnít take Bates long to get started.
    Showdown at Dude Creek
    The first special area to experience Batesí undivided attention was Dude Creek near Gustavus in Southeast Alaska. Local residents and other stakeholders had been working together for a couple of years to fashion a management plan. Unlike many previous planning efforts, there was little disagreement. The biggest issues appear to have been whether to allow all-terrain vehicles in the wetlands or permanent tree stands for moose hunting.
    Bates found himself in charge of signing and implementing the management plan having had nothing to do with its genesis. However, his inclination to abort the plan was bolstered by another influential Parnell appointee -- Doug Vincent-Lang, Fish and Gameís director of
     
    http://www.alaskadispatch.com/print/article/20140423/fish-and-game-weakening-land-use...
     
    5/19/2014
    Fish and Game weakening land-use regulations for Alaska's wildlife refuges, sanctuaries, ...
    Page 4 of 4
     
    wildlife conservation -- who also believes the existing management plans for special areas are too restrictive.
    An example of what Bates considers overreach in the Dude Creek plan is a goal that references minimizing harmful disturbance to fish and wildlife. We canít have any of that in an area designated by the Legislature as critical habitat.
    Bates was handed a nearly finished draft of the Dude Creek plan in May 2013. Although it represented one of the least controversial or restrictive special area plans of the past half century, it was enough to trigger a bureaucratic reaction tantamount to anaphylactic
    shock. Following Batesí directive, his staff unilaterally cut the document in half and changed much of what remained. Then, in addition to Dude Creek, Bates suspended work on the Susitna Flats, Willow Mountain, and five Bristol Bay plans. Next he decided to rescind and revise every existing management plan.
    Rick Sinnott is a former Alaska Department of Fish and Game wildlife biologist. The views expressed here are the writer's own and are not necessarily endorsed by Alaska
    Dispatch. Contact him at
    rickjsinnott@gmail.com[12]
    Source URL: http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/20140423/fish-and-game-weakening-land-use-regulations-alaskas-wildlife-refuges-sanctuaries
    President of Alaska Waterfowl Assoc.
    http://akwaterfowl.com
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    AlaskaWaterfowlAssociation@gmail.com
    Gen.1:26
    And God said, let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

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    Published on Alaska Dispatch (http://www.alaskadispatch.com)
    Home > Will Fish and Game have any juice left to protect fish and wildlife in Alaska once Parnell is done?
     
    Rick Sinnott[1]
    April 24, 2014
    Main Image:
    McNeil River Katmai Bears 2[2]
    Main Image Caption:
    Brown bears fish for salmon in the McNeil River State Game Sanctuary and Refuge.
    This is the second of a two-part series. You can read the first part here [3].
    The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is repealing and rewriting every management plan that regulates development in the stateís wildlife refuges, sanctuaries, and critical habitat areas, known collectively as special areas. These areas were established by the Alaska Legislature to protect valuable concentrations of fish and wildlife and their critical habitats from incompatible land uses. Gov. Sean Parnell and his director of Habitat Division, Randy Bates, are revising the regulations in secret, with no public input.
    Fish and Game biologists issue land-use permits in accordance with the enforceable regulations in the management plans, which generally encapsulate the advice of experts and public input during the planning process.
    Unlike state or national parks, the existing management plans are rarely prohibitive. Most regulations allow activities providing they meet certain criteria, such as protecting critical habitats or avoiding disturbance during nesting or other sensitive periods. Biologists work with permit applicants and other experts to find acceptable conditions that will allow projects to be approved.
    Habitat Divisionís record is remarkable. From 2008 to 2013 the division received nearly
    700 permit applications for land-use activities in special areas. Of these, only four projects
    -- less than 1 percent -- were deemed incompatible with adopted management plans or regulations.
    Thatís not nearly permissive enough for Bates. In an October 2013 email, he told his staff to eliminate all regulations that posed "unnecessary burdens to the affected public." According to Bates, one of the affected publics is people who want to operate jet skis in the Kachemak Bay Critical Habitat Area.
    Another affected public is the oil and gas industry, which until recently was prohibited from parking jack-up oil rigs in the Kachemak Bay Critical Habitat Area. Bates believes thatís an unnecessary burden too, so heís allowing it to happen even though bad experiences with similar rigs in the 1970s, chiefly a series of oil spills, led to the establishment of the critical habitat area and subsequent prohibition of jack-up oil rigs in the bay
    [4].
     
    ttp://www.alaskadispatch.com/print/article/20140424/will-fish-and-game-have-any-juice-...
     
    5/19/2014
    ill Fish and Game have any juice left to protect fish and wildlife in Alaska once Parnell ...
    Page 2 of 4
     
    Bates likes to cite a third reason for revising management plans. The Legislature created the Redoubt Bay Critical Habitat Area "to protect and preserve habitat especially crucial to the perpetuation of fish and game, and to restrict all other uses not compatible with that primary purpose." Based on the statute, the management plan prohibited material extraction except for gravel under "extenuating circumstances" where there was a "transcending public need" for which there was "no feasible alternative."
    Despite the regulation, Fish and Gameís commissioner Cora Campbell issued a permit allowing Hilcorp Alaska LLC to extract boulders and rip-rap material to reinforce revetments surrounding its Drift River oil terminal so that it could resume storing oil in the shadow of Mount Redoubt, an active volcano. The permit allowed Hilcorp to dump fill in a salmon stream in the Redoubt Bay Critical Habitat Area and cross the stream up to 135 round trips per day with rock trucks, excavators and a front-end loader.
    In September 2012, Cook Inletkeeper appealed the decision, arguing that boulders and rip-rap were not gravel, there was no transcending public need, and the material could feasibly be brought in by barge from someplace other than the nearby critical habitat area. Campbell denied the appeal because "only the applicant has the right to appeal a permit decision."
    You read that correctly. Only a permit applicant has the right to appeal a decision. The public lost that right when Parnell axed Alaskaís coastal management program.
    Reasonable tweaks?
    Despite incontrovertible evidence to the contrary, Bates believes all special area plans are overly restrictive. Bates believes the plans should have no outright prohibitions and
    provide no guidance other than that supplied in statute, which is often limited to a brief purpose statement. He directed staff to remove any restrictive language in the regulations.
    In response to a flurry of concerns raised by staff when they were told to revise the plans, Bates concurred that the state has forfeited critical habitat to development and, as captured in the meetingís minutes, he "feels it, sees it, knows it, lives it." Bates told the biologists he was merely proposing "reasonable tweaks" to the management plans. He told his staff Vincent-Lang was "fully on board."
    When a biologist asked Bates for clarification on how to write a regulation "that would be enforceable but yet only provide guidance to a permitter," Bates opined that much of the relevant information for a permit decision could be found in the background information included in a plan. If anyone needed to ascertain the intent of a regulation, he thought it should be spelled out in the resource inventory, the portion of a plan that summarizes fish and wildlife resources in the area along with past and present human uses. But he didnít want staff to waste any time updating the resource inventories.
    Commissioner Campbell told Alaska Public Radio Network that repealing prohibitions in special areas would give more discretion to state biologists [5]. Likewise, Bates argued that management plans are restricting permitting decisions, and he would like to "retain as much authority for these decisions as possible for our division biologists." This is bureaucratic double-speak. Biologists who attempt to attach conditions to a permit in the absence of enforceable regulations will quickly find themselves without a leg to stand on.
     
    ttp://www.alaskadispatch.com/print/article/20140424/will-fish-and-game-have-any-juice-...
     
    5/19/2014
    ill Fish and Game have any juice left to protect fish and wildlife in Alaska once Parnell ...
    Page 3 of 4
     
    To do a good job a biologist will have to reinvent the planning process for each application, finding and consulting with experts and weighing the needs of the applicant against the purposes for which the special area was established. It will require a disproportionate amount of time to contact people and investigate all potential concerns and affected resources in a particular area. With a heavy workload, pressure from Bates to approve projects, and every reason to believe theyíll be punished for doing a good job, itís more likely that biologists will do nothing of the kind and merely rubber-stamp all proposed projects.
    Cloaked in secrecy
    Rewriting the 17 existing special areas plans would normally be a massive undertaking. In addition to involving the public, past planning efforts have relied heavily on input from
    other state and federal agencies. Bates believes interagency coordination is largely unnecessary. In fact, in documents leaked to Alaska Public Media
    [5], Bates directed his staff to avoid involving other agencies, including other divisions of Fish and Game, as well as the public.
    In an October meeting, Bates told his staff he didnít want them to discuss incipient revisions with the public. In response to a question whether the public should be informed about the abrupt cessation of work on the four management plans, Bates said that was "certainly beyond what is necessary" although he wanted staff to conform to the letter of the law.
    Bates directed staff to immediately summarize any conversations with Wildlife Division staff, including all salient facts, and forward them for his review. Furthermore, he wanted to review any requests for information from the media, public, or other agencies before they were addressed.
    I experienced the gag order in writing this column. Biologists were unwilling to discuss what was happening and, after Bates acknowledged receipt of a list of questions, I waited more than three months for answers that never materialized.
    Protection from incompatible uses
    The Parnell administrationís effort to rewrite all special areas regulations is not only unparalleled in scope, it is unusually duplicitous. Parnell knows what to say, even when he doesnít believe a bit of it. When asked to comment on the federal Environmental
    Protection Agencyís review of the Pebble Project, Parnell claimed
    [6], "I believe that a well- managed, scientific permitting process with public input should determine whether a project moves forward. Politicians shouldn't be picking which projects get developed and which don't -- that leads to a corrupt 'buddy-buddy' system where friends are rewarded rather than science and the public dictating outcomes."
    And yet his man Bates is bent on replacing the stateís special area regulations -- which were originally developed in a careful and balanced manner using science and public input -- with a "buddy-buddy" system.
     
    ttp://www.alaskadispatch.com/print/article/20140424/will-fish-and-game-have-any-juice-...
     
    5/19/2014
    ill Fish and Game have any juice left to protect fish and wildlife in Alaska once Parnell ...
    Page 4 of 4
     
    Hereís an example of what might transpire when permitters have no recourse to goals or enforceable guidelines. According to Lance Trasky, a former regional supervisor with Habitat Division, a permit applicant in the Susitna Flats refuge wanted to prohibit all public hunting near their proposed facilities. Their wish wasnít granted, but expect more of the same nonsense when industry is allowed to dictate what is and is not allowed in the stateís refuges, sanctuaries and critical habitat areas.
    Parnell has also said
    [7], "As my record demonstrates, I will not trade one resource for another, and every permitting application -- when filed -- deserves scientific and public scrutiny based on facts, not hypotheticals." Actually, his record demonstrates no such thing, and his plan to rewrite special areas regulations is a prime case in point.
    Every sweeping change Parnell implements to make it easier to issue permits makes it more difficult to conserve fish and wildlife. After Bates gets through revising the management plans, Fish and Game will have little authority to protect fish and wildlife in special areas. In fact, its permitting authority wonít be much different from that on any other state lands. Thatís not what the Legislature intended when it created each special area.
    Legislatively designated refuges, sanctuaries, and critical habitats need protection from incompatible uses. Perhaps the same coalition of commercial fishermen, sport hunters, anglers, tribes, and environmentalists that defeated HB 77 will insist that the Parnell administration back off its effort to gut the stateís special areas management plans.
    It would be smart to begin to familiarize yourself with the plans soon because you might only get 30 days to defend the first eight special areas when their revised regulations are released in December.
    Rick Sinnott is a former Alaska Department of Fish and Game wildlife biologist. The views expressed here are the writer's own and are not necessarily endorsed by Alaska
    Dispatch. Contact him at rickjsinnott(at)gmail.com
    [8].
     
    Source URL: http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/20140424/will-fish-and-game-have-any-juice-left-protect-fish-and-wildlife-alaska-once
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    Gen.1:26
    And God said, let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

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    ***ACTION ALERT***
    ADFG Pushing "Open to Everything" Policy in Critical Habitat Areas
    Background: An important news storyrecently told about the efforts of ADFG Habitat Division Director Randy Bates to rollback commonsense protections in some of Alaskaís most important public lands Ė our critical habitat areas, our game refuges and our wildlife sanctuaries. Follow-up information confirms a disturbing process where Bates is trying to completely re-write the rules governing our special areas without involving Alaskans in the process until it will be too late for meaningful input. If Bates has his way, there will be one limited public comment for more than a dozen critical habitat area management plans across the state by September 2014. Importantly, these rollbacks are gaining traction as Governor Parnell pushes to undermine citizen participation and strip away the rights of Alaskans to protect fish and game through the " Silencing Alaskans Act(HB 77)."
     
    Why is ADFG Trying to Undermine Habitat Protection Rules? According to ADFG internal meetingnotes, certain "controversies" have led Bates and his team to gut special area rules statewide.
    The overarching theme for these rollbacks is to ensure virtually any activity can obtain a permit in a special management area. Here are a few examples of the
    "controversies" driving these sweeping policy changes:
    Mining in the Redoubt Bay CHA: When an oil company wanted to resume storing oil at the base of an active volcano (Mt. Redoubt), it received a special area permit from ADFG Habitat to mine boulders and fill a salmon stream to reinforce revetments around its facility. Cook Inletkeeper appealed that decision, noting the management plan for the area prohibited such mining operations. ADFG denied the appeal, stating everyday Alaskans did not have standing to challenge the illegal decision Ė only the oil company could challenge it.
    Drill Rigs in Kachemak Bay: After the drill rill George Ferris plowed through crab pots and later got stuck and caused a sizable spill in Kachemak Bay in the 1970ís, local residents and state biologists agreed to prohibit the long term storage of drill rigs in the Kachemak Bay CHA.
    When an Australian company wanted to store a jack-up rig in Kachemak Bay,
    ADFG violated itsown rulesand allowed the rig to remain in the CHA for over a year. Bates & ADFG also refusedto inspectthe rig (which came from Asia), despite the presence of invasive species.
    Jetskis in Kachemak Bay: In 2001, local citizens from southcentral Alaska secured a ban on jet skis in the Kachemak Bay Critical Habitat Area. Over 1850 people testified on the issue and a super majority Ė over 70% - supported the idea of protecting Kachemak Bay from the noise, pollution, disruption and safety concerns of personal watercraft. But now Bates and ADFGís AlOtt consider this management safeguard to be "overre ach ," and they are supporting the "access everywhere" positions of the Alaska Outdoor Council, the Personal Watercraft Club of Alaska and others.
    Special areas that will likely be affected by ADFGís new "open to everything" policy direction:
     
    State Game Refuges
    Anchorage Coastal
    Cape Newenham
    Creamer's Field
     
    State Critical Habitat
    Areas
    Anchor River/Fritz Creek
    Chilkat River
     
    Port Heiden
    Port Moller
    Redoubt Bay
    Tugidak Island
     
    Goose Bay
    Mendenhall Wetlands
    Minto Flats
    Palmer Hay Flats
    Susitna Flats
    Trading Bay
    Cinder River
    Clam Gulch
    Copper River Delta
    Dude Creek
    Fox River Flats
    Homer Airport
    Kachemak Bay
    Willow MountainState Wildlife Sanctuaries
    State Ranges
    Delta Junction Bison
    Matanuska Valley Moose
     
    What YOU can do: Send an email TODAY to the decisionmakers below, and share this alert with friends and lists.
    Suggested Talking Points:
    According to state law, the purpose of our critical habitat areas is to "protect and preserve habitat areas especially crucial to the perpetuation of fish and wildlife, and to restrict all other uses not compatible with that primary purpose."
    Alaskans deserve an open and transparent process if any management plans need revision;
    Itís very discouraging to read about ADFG working to suppress public information and threaten its biologists simply to further political ends that will erode commonsense safeguards in our special areas;
    Alaskans want predictability around their special management areas, so they donít have to respond every time a new group or company wants to conduct activities that will
    harm our fish and game resources;
    Send your comments to:
    Governor Sean Parnell
    Mike Nizich, Chief of Staff to the Governor
    Cora Campbell, ADFG Commissioner Randy Bates, ADFG Habitat Director JoeBalash, DNR Commissioner

    Brent Goodrum, DNR Mining, Land & Water Director
    To send email to all above, copy and paste: sean.parnell@alaska.gov; cora.campbell@alaska.gov; mike.nizich@alaska.gov; randy.bates@alaska.gov; joe.balash@alaska.gov; brent.goodrum@alaska.gov
    President of Alaska Waterfowl Assoc.
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    AlaskaWaterfowlAssociation@gmail.com
    Gen.1:26
    And God said, let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

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    The Silencing Alaskans Act (HB 77)
    Anti-Salmon, Anti-Democracy, Anti-Alaskan
    Background: Last session, Governor Parnell introduced House Bill 77 (HB 77). The bill got rammed through the Alaska House of Representatives without serious scrutiny. Now it sits in the Alaska Senate, ready to be taken up when the Legislature reconvenes in January 2014. HB 77 will undermine fish habitat protections and cut Alaskans out of decisions affecting our water and wildlife resources.
    Whatís So Bad Ab out HB 77 ? Just about
    everything. While Governor Parnell has tried to frame the bill as way to improve our permitting system, in reality HB 77 is a gift bag full of fish and game habitat rollbacks for large mining corporations. Just a few of the worst provisions include:
    New Government Super Powers: HB 77 allows the DNR Commissioner to ignore all other laws and rules in the process of issuing general permits for mining and other activities on state lands. Equally disturbing, DNR can bypass the normal public comment process, and ignore Alaskan voices entirely. As a result, HB 77 is a massive
    concentration of power in state government at the expense of everyday Alaskans.
    Cutting Alaskans Out of Resource Decisions: HB 77 limits public participation in numerous ways, and makes it extremely difficult for Alaskans harmed by bad or illegal DNR decisions to challenge them. Large corporations, however, would retain the ability to challenge decisions they donít like.
    State Land Giveaway: HB 77 would authorize DNR to permanently give away state land to private developers, in the hope the development would somehow benefit the state. It does not, however, require any guarantee that the hoped-for benefit will actually occur.
    Strips Away Alaskansí Right to Keep Water in Salmon Streams: HB 77 would prohibit individual Alaskans and groups from filing applications to reserve water in streams to protect salmon. A state court recently found DNR violated the Alaska Constitution when it refused to allow Alaskans to keep water in their salmon streams. Now, instead of obeying the law, the Parnell Administration just wants to change it.
    President of Alaska Waterfowl Assoc.
    http://akwaterfowl.com
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Alask...78020265619952
    AlaskaWaterfowlAssociation@gmail.com
    Gen.1:26
    And God said, let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

  11. #11
    Member Sapere's Avatar
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    House Bill 77 isn't really related to this. It was a permitting efficiency measure that was killed in committee last spring and did not go to vote. FYI, it didn't apply to land designated under AS 16.20 (Fish and game habitat protection areas, wetlands, refuges, sanctuaries, etc.) anyway! That cut-and-paste from the "oppose" campaign is a bit of excessive rhetoric, but I digress.

    Administrative Order 266 has pretty straight forward agency directives if you read it.

  12. #12
    Sponsor Duckhunter01's Avatar
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    OK..I'll except that... so that being said. Yes it was allot and the PDF documents I was provided were not able to upload. So it was easier to cut and paste.

    We were glad to see HB77 not go forward. At the same time there is still a movement toward allowing permits to be obtained through the State of Alaska for exploration. Not to mention the idea to remove the management from the refuges. Simply providing informaiton...

    HB 77 was Gov. Sean Parnellís recent attempt to "streamline" permitting for development proposals, primarily by denying tribes and individuals the ability to reserve enough water in rivers and streams to protect salmon and other fisheries from incompatible development. It also would have excluded project reviews and appeals by the public. That bill may be dead for now; however, itís likely to be reanimated next year.
    Few people are aware of another brazen plan to "streamline" permitting because it is cloaked in secrecy. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is repealing and rewriting every management plan that regulates development in state wildlife refuges, sanctuaries and critical habitat areas. Because revoking these regulations doesnít require legislative approval, Parnellís secret move is more likely to succeed than HB 77.
    President of Alaska Waterfowl Assoc.
    http://akwaterfowl.com
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Alask...78020265619952
    AlaskaWaterfowlAssociation@gmail.com
    Gen.1:26
    And God said, let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

  13. #13

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    DH01 Thanks for posting those Sinnott pieces I read through all of it.
    It is apparent that past Legislatures created these refuges, critical habitat areas etc with little to no direction. Which left management to develop willy-nilly from one unit to the next subject to the vagaries of one manager to the next to the local greenies or other activists who showed up and pushed their little agendas.
    And so with little to no enforceable roadmap, a single administration is able to dismantle the piecemeal, willy-nilly rules that have been implemented in the various units over time.
    Seems to me scrutiny should be directed to the incomplete job of implementing directives on the part of past legislatures, not on Parnell.
    In fact, rather than doom and gloom, I see this as an excellent opportunity for the legislature to finish their job and instate lawful directives rather than leaving management direction twisting in the breeze.

  14. #14
    Sponsor Duckhunter01's Avatar
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    Very well stated...I might add that if the State is going to take the time to call it a wetland or refuge that it be managed as such by competent managers and left exempt from such legislature. I have been a part of many wetland and refuge management programs in the Midwest. We never had this problem, probably didnít have the oil or gas sitting under it either..
    We cant lose focus of how important they are to the wildlife and ecosystem. Yes, Alaska is the land or a million lakes, although we must hold on to as many as can while encroaching on our wilderness.
    Quote Originally Posted by extrema View Post
    DH01 Thanks for posting those Sinnott pieces I read through all of it.
    It is apparent that past Legislatures created these refuges, critical habitat areas etc with little to no direction. Which left management to develop willy-nilly from one unit to the next subject to the vagaries of one manager to the next to the local greenies or other activists who showed up and pushed their little agendas.
    And so with little to no enforceable roadmap, a single administration is able to dismantle the piecemeal, willy-nilly rules that have been implemented in the various units over time.
    Seems to me scrutiny should be directed to the incomplete job of implementing directives on the part of past legislatures, not on Parnell.
    In fact, rather than doom and gloom, I see this as an excellent opportunity for the legislature to finish their job and instate lawful directives rather than leaving management direction twisting in the breeze.
    President of Alaska Waterfowl Assoc.
    http://akwaterfowl.com
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Alask...78020265619952
    AlaskaWaterfowlAssociation@gmail.com
    Gen.1:26
    And God said, let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

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