Not exactly sure what people thought they were going to see. Allot of the public showed up thinking they were there to discuss all the sheep proposals before the board. The board chairman, filling in for the vice chair who was sick, moderated the event. He started the work session with the statement that there were two questions he wanted answered. One: Does the Dall sheep management plan from the 1970's need to be revisited/redone? Two: Do we need a work group to address all the Dall sheep issues?
During the meeting it was brought up several times that the Dall sheep management plan from the 1970's was only recently unearthed and addressed by F&G. So the general consensus there was yes it does need to be revisited/revised, but that this should not be a lengthy process. That there is a problem now and working over a plan for five years is unacceptable.
The work group issue was a mixed bag. Allot of the Advisory Committee (AC) people who spoke stated that is what the AC's are for so a work group is unnecessary. A lot of people spoke as to their fear of who would pick who gets put on this work group and therefore steer the direction of the work group before it even starts. A group dedicated to a specific issue with a good moderator was the best solution in my opinion. So not quite sure what is going to happen there.
There were a lot of passionate pleas from guides and non guides. Allot of people spoke of how the state constitution sets forth a resident preference. It was brought up if sheep hunting goes permit everywhere be careful because on Federal land (which a lot of sheep country is) the residents of the subsistence communities would get most of the permits. Also that there already is a limited number of guides on Federal land so then most of the over crowding would be definition be on state land if it was from guides and that it would have to be from residents only if it was on Federal land.
The guides were pushing hard to get people to contact their legislatures to get them to get the State guide concession program off the shelf and that would limit guides on state land. It was suggested that the reason only 5 or so of the over 100 sheep proposals that have been presented to the BOG over the last several years have been passed is because the BOG was waiting for the Guide Concession program to be passed by the legislature and that would address allot of these proposals.
Most of who spoke were from organizations. Not enough of Joe public got up there and spoke (myself included).
Allot of the proposals deal with allocation, which the board can do.(Resident vs Nonresident) Allot of the problems are constitutional, or legislative that need our elected officials to fix and the BOG can't touch. The biggest problems are environmental. We can't control the weather and we can't do predator control on Federal land.
Everyone who was there agreed that we needed more sheep on the mountain.
That was my take on the work session.
(You can view the the state guide concession information online at DNR's website, I have yet to do that myself)