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Thread: NPS comment period on predator management

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    Member willphish4food's Avatar
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    Default NPS comment period on predator management

    Just a notice, that public comment is needed!

    The National Park Service will hold 17 public hearings this fall on proposed regulations and environmental assessment related to sport hunting in Alaska’s national preserves.



    The proposals include prohibitions on taking wolf and coyote pups and adults in early summer when they den and their pelts have little commercial value; the taking of brown bears over bait stations; and the use of artificial light to take black bear cubs and sows with cubs at dens. Other procedural changes and wildlife harvest related changes are also proposed.



    Recent authorizations by the State of Alaska’s Board of Game have liberalized predator hunting practices in many areas. This includes national preserves, which are managed in the same manner as national parks, but by law are open to sport hunting. Liberalized predator hunting intended to manipulate natural population dynamics conflicts with National Park Service law and policy. National park areas are managed to maintain natural ecosystems and processes, including wildlife populations and their behaviors. While sport hunting is consistent with the purposes for which national preserves were established in Alaska, NPS policies prohibit reducing native predators for the purpose of increasing numbers of harvested species.



    The proposed rule would not restrict federal subsistence hunting on NPS managed lands.



    An informational Facebook Chat will be held beginning October 20 and running through October 31. The regional Facebook address iswww.Facebok.com/AlaskaNPS. On October 21, from 10 a.m. to Noon, National Park Service staff will be available to post real-time replies to questions. On-line dialogue is not considered official public comment.



    The proposed regulations would apply in the following national preserves: Denali, Wrangell-St. Elias, Glacier Bay, Yukon-Charley Rivers, Gates of the Arctic, Noatak, Bering Land Bridge, Lake Clark, Katmai, Aniakchak, and the Alagnak Wild River.



    On October 27, the NPS will hold a phone-in hearing from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. where callers will identify themselves and can provide testimony which will be recorded. The toll-free number is 1- 888-921-5898; callers will use 5499349# as the access code and be connected to the hearing.



    The in-person public hearing schedule is as follows:



    October 21 Palmer Community Center, 610 S. Valley Way 3-7 p.m.

    October 22 Bettles, Gates of the Arctic NP Visitor Center 4:30-6 p.m.

    October 22 Denali NP, Murie Science & Learning Center, 5-6 p.m.

    October 23 Healy, Tri-Valley Community Center 6-7 p.m.

    October 27 Cantwell, Cantwell Community Hall 6-7 p.m.

    October 27 Nome, Sitnasuak Building, Front Street 6-7:30 p.m.

    October 28 Kotzebue, Northwest Arctic Heritage Center 6-7:30 p.m.

    October 28 Anchorage, Lydia Selkregg Chalet,

    Russian Jack Springs Park 3-7 p.m.

    October 30 Fairbanks, Morris Thompson Center, 7-9 p.m.

    October 30 Soldotna, Kenai Peninsula Borough Building 3-7 p.m.

    November 1 Yakutat, Yak-Tak Kwaan Office 1-4 p.m.

    November 5 Eagle, Eagle School 6-8 p.m.

    November 5 Copper Center, Wrangell-St. Elias NP Visitor Center

    (Mile 106.8 Richardson Highway) 4-6 p.m.

    November 6 Tok, Tok School 6-8 p.m.

    November 18 Port Alsworth, Lake Clark NP Visitor Center 6-8 p.m.

    November 20 Naknek, Bristol Bay Borough Assembly Chambers 7-9 p.m.




    In addition to taking public comment in person and by phone, comments may be made on line by following the links atnps.gov/akso/management/regulations.cfm or by postal mail to NPS Regulations, 240 W. 5th Avenue, Anchorage, AK 99501. A copy of the proposed rule may be requested at the same mailing address. A copy of the proposed rule, draft environmental assessment, economic analysis, news releases and other related material is available at

    nps.gov/akso/management/regulations.cfm


    It looks like the NPS' minds are already made up on this issue. "
    National park areas are managed to maintain natural ecosystems and processes, including wildlife populations and their behaviors." This statement in context is just supposed to be talking about intensive predator management. But how can this philosophy work with any hunting or other human interactions with the "natural ecosystems and processes?" The park is claiming to still allow hunting of game species, and accomodate subsistence needs, but when that happens, there is another predator in the mix. The "natural processes" either include man or they don't. If they include man, then that also must include man's taking of other predators to reduce competition for prey. I assert that man is indeed a part of earth's "natural processes," and proper management of game requires harvest of predator as well as prey species.

    The above statement by NPS indicates a paradigm shift from its original purpose, which is to manage for multiple uses, including hunting and fishing. Hunting and fishing, viewing, hiking, biking, vehicle use, all disrupt and change the movement and behaviors of wildlife populations. So if the management philosophy of the NPS is truly to "maintain" the natural processes, where does that leave ANY human interactions with the systems within the parks?
    Last edited by willphish4food; 10-14-2014 at 08:38. Reason: Spacing

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    I would call it a fair chase issue and protecting future breeding populations
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    The National Park Service does not manage for multiple purposes. That's the Forest Service. NPS manages their land as virtual wilderness. Ideally, humans have very little influence on the lands within a National Park. That's clearly unrealistic, but that's what they're trying to do.

    National Preserves are managed virtually the same as National Parks , except that hunting is allowed. NPS is drawing the line at the practice of manipulating predator levels (wolves, bears, etc) for the sole purpose of increasing harvestable species (moose, caribou). If the levels of predators decreases the amount of harvestable species (very likely), NPS says that predator management is not allowed. The levels of harvestable species will fluctuate as they would under wilderness conditions. If that makes hunting for moose and caribou a difficult proposition, NPS is not concerned.

    I can understand their point. If they start down the road of manipulating predator populations just to increase harvestable species, what are they setting up? Will National Preserves become virtual "game farms" where predators are eliminated, food is provided (hay, alfalfa), and habitat is altered just to feed a large and growing number of hunters? Where does it stop? Not sure. So NPS is drawing the line at predator management.

    I take no position on whether NPS is right or wrong on this issue. But I understand why they're proposing to take this action.

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    NPS treats some animals as sacred cows, and others as sacrificial cows. Wolves are a sacred cow. How dare anyone touch a wolf. Bears are nearly as sacred. Moose, caribou, fox, no worries... go ahead and hunt and trap them as people have always done. But don't dare trap, shoot, or in any other way kill a wolf; whether on park managed lands or outside park managed lands.

    Applying a double standard to wildlife makes no sense. Yet that is exactly what the NPS does, and it just gets worse as time wears on.

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    I won't argue with anyone who says NPS acts arbitrarily.....

    However, in National Parks, NPS does not allow hunting of anything. Everything is sacred. I can't even hunt mushrooms on NPS lands. National preserves are different. As are National Wildlife Refuges. Hunting is allowed on these lands. But, in most cases, the Feds defer to the State to manage hunting on these lands, although the Feds retain veto authority. NPS has done that for predator management on National preserves, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service vetoed the ADF&G on Kenai NWR for grizzly bears. In this situation, as I recall, ADF&G authorized a major bear hunt on Kenai NWR, but FWS said no. The levels of harvest were deemed to be too high for the number of bears on the refuge. It seemed like predator management, rather than a bear hunt. The Gov and Cora really didn't like the Feds stepping on their toes on this issue. As I recall, this issue was discussed elsewhere on this BB.

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    Coho I think there talking about Alaska here and area Alaskan's do hunt in some National Parks in Alaska. Thus the reason for some control of predators to provide some meat hunt opportunity's for people. There not driving to the grocery store. There is and always has been some predator control in these areas, what there trying to do is make it easier and cheaper. I have done some of this and been paid for it and I am not sure of the right way to go about it. It's always about the money.
    As far as the Kenai bear thing that whole mess is a dick measuring contest. Each guy who thinks he's something sticks his out there to see how far he can go. There's checks and balance's. I will say there's a ton of brown bears here and my boy's and there buddies have been doing excellent.

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    Exclamation If you hunt Alaskan Preserves, please weigh in

    Thanks for posting this on here. Unfortunately the NPS news release doesn't tell you the whole story.

    For those of you Alaskans that want to maintain the right to hunt and recreate in NPS Preserves (huge portions of the state), managed by NPS, it would be well worth your 5 minutes to log into the Federal Online Comment system and put forth your two cents on this one. Outside users have already posted their thoughts. This started in Alaska a few years back when NPS park specific compendiums effectively emergency closed any taking of wolves/coyotes outside the denning season, no brown bears over bait, and no black bear sows/cubs with artificial light at den sites. Now they have written these closures into the Federal Register to make them permanent law. These practices were adopted by the Alaska Board of Game for small portions of Preserve lands in the state. For these small areas, there is no threat to the predator populations whatsoever. These are all highly prolific predators. The NPS can't show you a conservation concern even if asked. They simply don't like the practices and have taken to the Federal Register to ban them forever on NPS lands.

    Don't be fooled though, these are not the only changes being proposed (Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 171 / pages 52595-52602). The proposed regulations are complex, several are lumped together, and they are very difficult to sort out.

    Here's the new language I find most troubling pg 52601: "The Superintendent may prohibit or restrict the non-subsistence taking of wildlife in accordance with the provisions of 13.50 of this chapter" which read "(a) The Superintendent may close an area or restrict an activity, or terminate or relax a closure or restriction, in NPS areas in Alaska in accordance with this section. (b) In determining whether to close an area or restrict an activity, or whether to terminate or relax a closure or restriction, the Superintendent must ensure that the activity or area is managed in a manner compatible with the purposes for which the park area was established. The Superintendent's decision under this paragraph must therefore be guided by factors such as public health and safety, resource protection, protection of cultural or scientific values, subsistence uses, conservation of endangered or threatened species, protecting the integrity of naturally-functioning ecosystems, and other management considerations."

    This is troubling because until now the state of Alaska has had the right to set harvest regulation for recreational/sport hunting (aka non-subsistence) on NPS Preserve lands, in accordance with currently accepted scientific principles. If this new federal language is adopted, any individual park Superintendent can choose not to allow state authorized harvest opportunities within their NPS preserve boundaries based on some dangerously vague wording. The new regulations don't even mention currently accepted scientific principles of conservation (except in reference to endangered/threatened species). If a NPS Superintendent (or the Washington DC office) decides or believes that a state regulation in a NPS Preserve is simply incompatible with the park ideals or threatens the naturally-functioning ecosystem - gone, the harvest opportunity is gone forever.

    If you want to weigh in, please don't wait. This new federal language if adopted will forever take away the state of Alaska's opportunity to manage hunting in NPS preserves.
    https://www.federalregister.gov/arti...m_medium=email
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    Quote Originally Posted by Becky99588 View Post
    Thanks for posting this on here. Unfortunately the NPS news release doesn't tell you the whole story.

    For those of you Alaskans that want to maintain the right to hunt and recreate in NPS Preserves (huge portions of the state), managed by NPS, it would be well worth your 5 minutes to log into the Federal Online Comment system and put forth your two cents on this one. Outside users have already posted their thoughts. This started in Alaska a few years back when NPS park specific compendiums effectively emergency closed any taking of wolves/coyotes outside the denning season, no brown bears over bait, and no black bear sows/cubs with artificial light at den sites. Now they have written these closures into the Federal Register to make them permanent law. These practices were adopted by the Alaska Board of Game for small portions of Preserve lands in the state. For these small areas, there is no threat to the predator populations whatsoever. These are all highly prolific predators. The NPS can't show you a conservation concern even if asked. They simply don't like the practices and have taken to the Federal Register to ban them forever on NPS lands.

    Don't be fooled though, these are not the only changes being proposed (Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 171 / pages 52595-52602). The proposed regulations are complex, several are lumped together, and they are very difficult to sort out.

    Here's the new language I find most troubling pg 52601: "The Superintendent may prohibit or restrict the non-subsistence taking of wildlife in accordance with the provisions of 13.50 of this chapter" which read "(a) The Superintendent may close an area or restrict an activity, or terminate or relax a closure or restriction, in NPS areas in Alaska in accordance with this section. (b) In determining whether to close an area or restrict an activity, or whether to terminate or relax a closure or restriction, the Superintendent must ensure that the activity or area is managed in a manner compatible with the purposes for which the park area was established. The Superintendent's decision under this paragraph must therefore be guided by factors such as public health and safety, resource protection, protection of cultural or scientific values, subsistence uses, conservation of endangered or threatened species, protecting the integrity of naturally-functioning ecosystems, and other management considerations."

    This is troubling because until now the state of Alaska has had the right to set harvest regulation for recreational/sport hunting (aka non-subsistence) on NPS Preserve lands, in accordance with currently accepted scientific principles. If this new federal language is adopted, any individual park Superintendent can choose not to allow state authorized harvest opportunities within their NPS preserve boundaries based on some dangerously vague wording. The new regulations don't even mention currently accepted scientific principles of conservation (except in reference to endangered/threatened species). If a NPS Superintendent (or the Washington DC office) decides or believes that a state regulation in a NPS Preserve is simply incompatible with the park ideals or threatens the naturally-functioning ecosystem - gone, the harvest opportunity is gone forever.

    If you want to weigh in, please don't wait. This new federal language if adopted will forever take away the state of Alaska's opportunity to manage hunting in NPS preserves.
    https://www.federalregister.gov/arti...m_medium=email
    This really knocks it out of the park. If you look back at the history of the compendiums and the justifications for the prior temporary closures, it changes over time. It starts out as "to not take animals in a vulnerable state" and "taking wolves coyotes when the pelt has no value" to what it is now in "protecting naturally-fuctioning ecosystems", ect. The NPS is working to further restrict hunters and access. The FWS is going to pull the same move for refuges in the very near future. Please make official comments on this issue!
    "The North wind is cold no matter what direction it's blowing"

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    Becky - Thanks for posting this, and for your input. I hope you feel welcome here.

    I found it strange that the language you noted is new, since it seems to be standard protocol for a Park Superintendent.
    But I accept that the language is new. So that prompted me to ask: Why is this new language necessary?

    It didn’t take me long to find an answer. It was spelled out very clearly in the notice. The NPS outlined the issues with predator control, and their objections. And then they provided this somewhat shocking statement:

    “While the NPS prefers a State solution to these conflicts, the State of Alaska has been mostly unwilling to accommodate the different management directives for NPS areas. In the last 10 years, the NPS has objected to more than 50 proposals to liberalize predator harvest in areas that included National Preserves and each time the BOG has been unwilling to exclude National Preserves from state regulations designed to manipulate predator/prey dynamics for human consumptive use goals. Had these requests been accommodated, this proposed rule would not be necessary."

    "In deciding not to treat NPS lands different from state and other lands, the BOG suggested the NPS is responsible for ensuring that taking wildlife complies with federal laws and policies applicable to NPS areas, and that the NPS should use its own authority to ensure National Preserves are managed in a manner consistent with federal law and NPS policy. Statement of BOG Chairman Judkins to Superintendent Dudgeon, BOG Public Meeting in Fairbanks, Alaska (February 27, 2010) (NPS was testifying in opposition to allowing the take of black bear cubs and sows with artificial light in National Preserves). In the absence of state action excluding preserves, this rulemaking is required to make the temporary restrictions permanent. 36 CFR 13.50(d). This rule would also respond to the BOG's suggestion by promulgating NPS regulations to ensure preserves are managed consistent with federal law and policy and prevent historically illegal sport hunting practices from being authorized in National Preserves.” (emphasis added)

    So, there it is, in black and white. State vs Feds. Utilitarian vs Preservation. Us vs Them. A more glaring example of differing philosophies of wildlife management would be hard to find.

    One could suggest that since the BoG made this somewhat puzzling suggestion to NPS, one could also ask why they did so. Accommodating the caretaker of those lands (NPS) seems like a better solution than telling them to “take a hike”. Personally, I take no position on this issue, but given the statements above, I hope nobody is surprised by the actions NPS is proposing.

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Protecting naturally-fuctioning ecosystems needs doing on some scale for that remember when effect. The only way to do that is to remove the human hunter somewhat. As long as human growth goes without restrictions we must remove them from some eco systems to remain. Remember at one time Bison out numbered people in America,not so much now.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    http://www.idahoforwildlife.com/file...Nov%202009.pdf. Interesting article on predator/prey dynamics.

    The state and feds have radically different philosophies on game management. Unimak Island and Yukon Charley preserve are two of the recent fronts in this philosophical battle. Following is an article about Unimak Island:

    PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE - SUMMER 2010

    | |
    SFW Alaska President’s Message
    Summer 2010Feds vs. StateBy Ralph Seekins - PresidentThe Alaska Department of Fish and Game (“ADF&G) has been monitoring the caribou population on Unimak Island in the Aleutian Chain. Their biologists reported a drop in population from more than 1200 animals in 2002 to about 400 this year and also reported the bull/cow ratio at a dangerously low 5 bulls per 100 cows. After being made aware of the disastrous decline, the Board of Game had already closed the caribou hunting season.ADF&G biologists didn’t have to look too hard to pinpoint the problem. They estimated the wolf population on the island had grown to about 30 animals – a number that could wipe out every caribou on the Island in just one more year. Solid evidence clearly demonstrated that these wolf packs were already killing 99.9% of the baby caribou before they could even reach 1 month of age. The decimation was so bad that immediate action was called for to protect this important herd from further slaughter and to allow it to recover. ADF&G planned to reduce the wolf population by seven animals using helicopters manned by two ADF&G biologists and four pilots. The planned reduction would take place only on the caribou calving grounds.The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the managing federal agency for most of the land on the Island since it is in the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge. Their immediate response to the state’s plan was a threat to charge any ADF&G personnel taking part in an aerial wolf control action on Refuge lands with criminal trespass. The Service said they were not convinced that aerial predator control (the most effective, efficient and humane method) is appropriate at this time given that one of the agency’s mandates is to manage for “natural diversity” – whatever that means. POPPYCOCK!!!This is a perfect example of Federal “political intervention” in the state’s clear legal authority to manage its wildlife assets on a sound scientific basis. And, the Fed’s motivation for their foot dragging became very clear when the Service’s Assistant Regional Director in Anchorage (721 air miles from Unimak) said the control effort “could create considerable public controversy.” Studying the matter while this year’s meager calf crop is ripped apart on the calving grounds is more appealing to them than being branded as the first Federal Agency to agree in any way to predator control within a Federal enclave. Once again, we see the Feds standing in the way of totally appropriate State of Alaska management of the animals that clearly belong collectively to the people of Alaska.Federal intervention into management of state-owned resources is totally out of bounds. And it is even more so when their intervention is merely to avoid “public controversy” rather than allowing state management to meet the nutritional needs of the families living on the island. Alaska’s political leaders should not cave in to this totally unconstitutional power grab by the Federal Government.



    SOURCE

    National Parks also showed its disdain for the State of Alaska when it arbitrarily closed all Federal lands to hunting during the recent government shutdown. Letting the parks and preserves remain open to hunting was not a budget issue, until they chose to make it one. People who contracted with the government to operate commercially on these lands were not compensated for their loss of revenue caused by the breach of contract. When our governor sued, the court ruled that it needed not rule, as the parks were open again by the time the case was heard. Federal overreach in this state is bad, and getting incrementally worse every year. Hope everyone who enjoys hunting, trapping, fishing or otherwise appreciating the game in the state of Alaska will weigh in on this!

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    Kick the bums out. Use the lands as Alaskans should be able to.

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    Cohoangler, thank-you for your welcome and your perceptive insights on this Alaskan issue. Many on this forum know my history. For those who don't, I was born and raised in this state, and I will forever be supportive of state's rights. Regardless of the specific issue or regulation, distasteful or not, I believe limited federal involvement in resource management is key to our long term success as a state. NPS regulations are often different in Alaska from other regions, because of our (public and state) involvement in the regulation process to date. I was at the Board of Game meeting when Mr. Judkins made the statement you mentioned, and I think it's important to understand that the comment was made by an individual, not the Board as a whole. His perception I believe was born of frustration. The Board has a responsibility to Alaska's resource users to manage based on science as well as public desire/perception. In their recent votes/actions (against NPS proposals), they repeatedly stated that the NPS proposed restrictions (and their 'sky is falling' conclusions) were not supported by scientific evidence, and they were accurate in this. In many instances, liberalized predator harvest regulations illicit initial concerns, though most often the practices are sustainable. Of course we know this all boils down to policy differences, therefore it will forever be a tug of war as you so eloquently stated between Utilitarian and Preservation perspectives. People are a part of every ecosystem on earth and we need to be conservation minded with every action. Putting something in a jar of formaldehyde for preservation is only recommended when the system is dying a rapid and inevitable death. I'ld like to believe we aren't there yet.
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    Let me make something clear about myself. The hunting of bear and wolves is my favorite thing to do fair chase. I figure I'm at five to one on preditors over meat animals. If even 25% of hunters took this tact we could keep the state and feds out of it.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amigo Will View Post
    Let me make something clear about myself. The hunting of bear and wolves is my favorite thing to do fair chase. I figure I'm at five to one on preditors over meat animals. If even 25% of hunters took this tact we could keep the state and feds out of it.
    Very true, amigo. And that is a big reason we are where we are today; federal regulations haven't allowed hunters to do very much of that, and we now have the predator pits that we have, and the state has to resort to extreme measures to try to let prey populations rebound.

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    So far unit three has taken 100 moose in our little area and probably 200 deer. We also have lots of bears and wolves and we shoot them and don't feel it screwed up our deer hunt. Not many hunters on Etolin island and the north end is full of bears and wolves deer and a few moose. The logging roads are full of dead fawns killed by black bears mostly and I'm sure the wolves get them in the forrest. Sooner of later the bears and wolves will move to the south end and the Elk hunters will want the government to fix it. Locals could fix the problem but they need to draw like everyone else. If the new law comes in where SE gets first dibs on se draws then the elk will do fine and locals will control the bears and wolves.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    I realize this is an Alaska issue, and since I'm not from the Great Land, I tread lightly when discussing the pro's and con's of issues such as predator control. However, the NPS is a Federal agency within the Department of the Interior. Their perspectives are shaped by forces far beyond Alaska. Indeed, very few folks who manage NPS are from the 49th State, so they may not fully appreciate the difficulties of living and working in rural Alaska. I certainly don't since I've never lived there. But that doesn't stop me from having an opinion. And it doesn't stop NPS from managing National Park lands consistent with national policy.

    Clearly, killing bear cubs or wolf pups in their dens would create a firestorm of controversy and protest if that happened in, say, Yellowstone, or Smoky Mountains, or Isle Royal NP. But in Alaska, the BoG considers it necessary on National Preserve lands. BoG is supposed to represent the State's interests, so I assume they do. Fair enough. But those lands do not belong to the State of Alaska. They belong to everyone in the United States. All of us. As we all know, the United States bought the entire territory from Russia, with Congressionally-appropriated taxpayer dollars. So those lands don't belong just to the residents of the Great Land.

    I realize this is a sensitive issue, so I won't go too far down the road of "States rights" vs Federal obligations. But I will say that, in the long term, cooperation between the State and the Feds will be more productive than what we're seeing now.

    One more issue that should be mentioned, although perhaps it requires it's own thread. That is, at what point does the growing population in rural Alaska exceed the carrying capacity of the land? Clearly, the State needs to reduce the number of predators just to sustain the number of harvestable species (e.g., moose, caribou) so that rural residents can sustain themselves. Given that, it appears that the number of folks living in rural areas is high enough such that finding enough meat is a challenge during the normal ups and downs of fluctuating wildlife populations. As I see it, that is a sign that rural Alaska putting a strain on its natural resources. At some point, the State needs to decide how they are going to feed those folks, if the fish/wildlife populations can't. Maybe that's not an issue now, but at some point it will be.

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    What I see is rural areas do fine. Its the hundred mile circle around Anchorage that can not support prefered meat needs and the circle is expanding into once rural villages/towns.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amigo Will View Post
    What I see is rural areas do fine. Its the hundred mile circle around Anchorage that can not support prefered meat needs and the circle is expanding into once rural villages/towns.
    This is true. More and more folks from the road system going up on the Yukon/Koyukuk, Tanana, etc. Not making a value judgement, just saying. The folks in villages on those rivers, and a bunch others including the Nushagak and Kuskokwim and tribs are feeling a lot of competition. I will avoid the politics here, but it is a major problem arising.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amigo Will View Post
    Locals could fix the problem but they need to draw like everyone else. If the new law comes in where SE gets first dibs on se draws then the elk will do fine and locals will control the bears and wolves.
    Amigo Will, I think you are spot on for hard to get to areas such as your small SE remote communities. Human interest in keeping things balanced grows immensely when one has direct involvement in all aspects of the system. Interestingly our current Board of Game has a history of adopting small registration hunts in rural areas (as opposed to a sole limited drawing hunt), along with conditions such as having to pick up the permit locally, often before the hunt opens. Unfortunately, while this makes it easier for rural folks to get permits, it makes it more difficult for the masses of urban folks, hence deepening the urban/rural divide.

    Consider for a moment other interior and southcentral rural areas that lie just outside large urban areas, connected by a road system. In these areas the situation is a little different. While there are local trappers and bear hunters, there are a large number of urban trappers and hunters that take predators out in these areas too. In some of these areas where rural locals get more harvest opportunity for meat animals (through state and federal subsistence regulations for moose and caribou), sometimes locals get complacent, and they don't even consider helping with the predator/prey balance. Unfortunately this scenario can also discourage the urban predator trappers/hunters in the future. It's somewhat of an ugly conundrum.

    I guess this is why I always come back to state's rights, because then we can decide what works best for individual areas around the state. Cohoangler, not to say we don't comprehend the reality of nationally owned lands such as Preserves, but it's important to understand that these areas were set up for everyone, locals included. If harvest regulations are consistently made based on scientific principles and real empirical data, then we can say we did our best for current and future generations. At the same time, while fair chase will always be the center line we should shoot for, there will be times when we need to deviate somewhat. Hopefully our diversity of opinions on individual ideas won't keep us from working together on the best solution for Alaskans.
    Hunt with your kids, not for your kids

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