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Thread: HUGE Federal Overreach with Unit 23 Caribou

  1. #1

    Angry HUGE Federal Overreach with Unit 23 Caribou

    Closed to ALL Accept local 23 Hunters. 300 caribou bulls shot by non-locals I'm sure is the problem-NOT!

    Lets drive another wedge between Alaskans!

    Dam Sad Louie
    Last edited by Michael Strahan; 04-19-2016 at 17:06.

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    Where did you get this information? I've been told the meeting isnt until May 4th.

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Hi folks,

    Earlier today I received a handful of documents from Jared Cummings, owner of Golden Eagle air service in Kotzebue. These documents have to do with a federal closure on ALL non-subsistence caribou hunting on federal lands in GMU 23. This will affect all 2016 caribou hunts by nonlocal hunters on federal lands in GMU 23. This is a major federal overreach, and it is absolutely something we need to come together on. I am posting the first two documents here, and will post the next two in the next post. Please review them.

    There is a huge email campaign going on right now, but I believe with the 2.3 million readers we have on this site, we can have a significant impact on this issue. I believe there is an effort to assemble an online petition, and if anyone out there knows where that can be found, please post the link here.

    -Mike
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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Here are the remaining two documents:
    Attached Files Attached Files
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Here is the official documentation:

    ============================
    4/18/2016



    Chris McKee
    (907)786-3572 or (800)478-1456
    paul_mckee@fws.gov









    The Federal Subsistence Board (Board) has approved Temporary Special Action WSA16-01, closing Federal public lands in Unit 23 to caribou hunting by non-Federally qualified users effective July 1, 2016 and continuing through June 30, 2017.
    The Board felt that there was sufficient evidence indicating that the closure was necessary to allow for the continuation of subsistence uses and for conservation of a healthy caribou population as mandated under ANILCA Section 815.
    The public testimony expressed to the Board by residents of the area, the support of the special action request by the two affected Regional Advisory Councils, and the current status of the herd, compelled the Board to take action. A closure to all but Federally qualified subsistence users is consistent with providing a subsistence priority for use of the resource; to assure that a rural preference is provided; and recognizes the cultural and social aspects of subsistence activities, which may be hampered by direct interaction between local and non-local users.






    ============================

    Here is the link: https://www.doi.gov/subsistence/news...aribou-hunting
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
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    It's sad that our management of game animals has come to this. It's a mess and this kind of stuff is going on every where in our country. People fighting for a piece of the pie. Seams to be less come ground and our own government instigating it.

    Sad for sure

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akhunter3 View Post
    Exactly.

    Any luck with folks finding the online petition? I only did a cursory google search but nothing turned up...
    Just guessing, but I have a feeling that a flood of individual petitions might have more of an effect than one letter with a lot of names. Anyone else out there have an idea on this?

    -Mike
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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    So, what's the real point of contention here; is it that folks disagree with the biological assessment behind the closure decision, or is it just that some Anchorage residents don't agree with the ANILCA subsistence preference?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arcticwildman View Post
    Fine, if they want to preserve "cultural and social aspects" of subsistence then lets go all in and mandate no modern center fire rifles, no boats, snowmachines, airplanes, 4-wheelers, etc... Nothing that is modern can be used. Traditional weapons and traditional methods that were used before the evil white man came.


    Thats just Stupid, Arcticwildman.

    The "cultural and social aspects' are whats happening today. People are eating and living TODAY, and they want to see it stay as it is, today, based on their cultural and social aspects.
    Thankfull stupid crap as you suggest, will not be consitterd to further obstruct those who live near a resource because you cant have some now.
    Before forearms 200 years ago, Snaring along the riverside, pitfalls, drives into corrals and driving animals off cliffs would be the vogue then.....again....


    Tradition is something that is done and repeated and done again by a next generation. People develop family traditions and pass them on. The use of tools to conduct the hunt has little to do with cutting off the commercial aspects of hunting on those fed lands and making it a meat only hunt.
    If your not of a Family, atribe, or a people, how would you know what they consitter their own cultural or soil aspects? I doubt you live in unit 23, because if you did, you would see this effects everyone, and not by race.
    Cultural traditions such as celebrating Christmas would be an example, and its not null and void just because we know when it was concived or is someone else's religion.

    Guns have been used 'traditionally' since they were available in the flintlock era, and center fire weapons ever since they were available, guns have been here from at least1816 to the present, as well as gasoline motors, etc. and as soon as outboards were available, and for sale here in unit 23
    Just because one race/peoples./country invents something dosent make exclusive to that races use or inclusive as a custom. 200 years of use would qualify any race to have something 'customary", and a motorized vehicle or a gun woudln't even be consitterd "Modern" at all. 20 years ='s "classic", 50 an 'antique".....
    No one in the artical says jack about race being a qualifyer, its the the Federal Gov, and it comes in all sizes and flavors.

    Subsistence is eating what you hunt. Its not the part that hangs on the wall. A subsistence lifestyle is when you do so for a living. It has more to do with everyones need to eat and less about the tools it takes to get that meat to feed people , regardless of race.

    Ill repost that In the way of Feds manage their fisherys, if a river that courses "Fed land" should have a drop in fish numbers, they will stop all commercial interests first, fishing boats, guides, etc, and make it a local personal use only fishery, and a final step is no one at all gets to fish. It has nothing to do with Race.Thats what they are trying to so with the Caribou that pass over 'fed lands'. 9,000 people in 10 villages and Kotz, 3,700 of them is a small town, and its a bit bigger than the size of Indiana, and MOST of it is federal parks, monuments, refuges and historical lands........200,000 Caribou move through twice a year, passing south in Fall, North now, in Spring. I dont frequent the Noatak area, but if the Caribou were there enmass, I probly would want too, and its not far.....so its questionable as to weather even I can hunt there (Noatak/elsewhere) now. Its questionable as to weather upper Kobuk folks and Noatak folks can now hunt them in their winter range on the southern side of unit23, if they be apon Fed lands. Its more screwed than it looks.

    Because it directly effects the people who live there, they get a big say as to how they would want to see things done. From what I hear, they will want to see things done as they were yesterday and the day before that.

    It is not like poeple are demanding these changes, its the Fed Gov. faking listening to locals before it does what it wants anyways.......from over the hill and far away....
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

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    Quote Originally Posted by iofthetaiga View Post
    So, what's the real point of contention here; is it that folks disagree with the biological assessment behind the closure decision, or is it just that some Anchorage residents don't agree with the ANILCA subsistence preference?
    Excellent question.

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    Quote Originally Posted by iofthetaiga View Post
    So, what's the real point of contention here; is it that folks disagree with the biological assessment behind the closure decision, or is it just that some Anchorage residents don't agree with the ANILCA subsistence preference?
    IMO the point of contention has more to do with the amount animals harvested by non locals (hunters outside of area res and non res). Less than 500 according to the documents Michael provided. Compared to over 10,000 by locals. Will reducing the take by 500 make a big enough difference in a herd that is over 100,000? To me the 15/5 per day needs to be reduced or possibly shorter season or something along those lines should be done first.

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    The real point of the matter here is the same old argument of State of Alaska Rules and laws for hunting and managment and the Feds having their own laws for hunting and managment of game and fish.

    The Feds say that only locals can subsitence hunt/fish/gather, and the State says that any resadent can hunt/fish/gather anywhere in the state.

    When theres plenty of a given resource, the feds/state will allow commercial and personal use, in times of lean or low populations they will stop commercial activity (logging/fishing/guiding/etc. and allow only personal use hunting/fishing/gathering.

    In times of "****!" theres not much, then whatever the resource (fill in the blank) is not allowed to be gotten by anyone.

    When it comes to a personal use fishery/timbering/hunting/gathering, the feds only aloow the locals, the state allows who ever is a resadent.

    Thats the problems with the subsistence aspect of federal laws.


    It wouldnt make sense if anyone is mad that the people who physically lived in the villages in the late 60's early 70's, , protected themselves and their ways, legally, via ANILICA, when the Feds surrounded them with parks, monuments and such.
    Imagine one day you woke up and all hunting/gathering/fishing was banned on Fed propertys,? or guns? or travel (tresspass)........they thought of that and made sure it couldnt legally happen.

    The Caribou do not leave the state like waterfowl do, they Feds should have no say..
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arcticwildman View Post
    Fine, if they want to preserve "cultural and social aspects" of subsistence then lets go all in and mandate no modern center fire rifles, no boats, snowmachines, airplanes, 4-wheelers, etc... Nothing that is modern can be used. Traditional weapons and traditional methods that were used before the evil white man came.
    I forgot to mention this earlier, but the purpose of this thread is not to further polarize the hunting community by taking jabs at each other. The purpose of the conversation is to talk about the merits of the closure, and what appropriate action, if any, can be taken in response to the federal overreach. I realize that there are abuses on all sides here. This thread is not the place to air them.-Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rainshadow View Post
    IMO the point of contention has more to do with the amount animals harvested by non locals (hunters outside of area res and non res). Less than 500 according to the documents Michael provided. Compared to over 10,000 by locals. Will reducing the take by 500 make a big enough difference in a herd that is over 100,000? To me the 15/5 per day needs to be reduced or possibly shorter season or something along those lines should be done first.
    Its a petty ammount ofreduction, 500, and hunting has plainly not been the demise of the herd as has mid winter rains wiping out 4 or 5 years worth of young with icing the tundra thick.
    Now its low enough that alot of folks are getting back to fishing .

    The 5-15 per day is so people can get a "load" in their sled or boat as soon as they can and be done. Caribou usuall fit 5 in a sled, 15 fit a boat usually. They saw no reason to make people stay longer than necessary, because caribou travel in bands and herds, and if 5 or 15 is the goal, and it takes 2 days or 10, that boat is still gonna be filled or that sled will have that same number in it for the trip home. When you travel to a Caribou area, depending on the time of year, it usually incudes overnight camps it only makes sense to get what you came for in as short ammount of time as yo can. You have to be efficent.. There is no one out there killing 5-15 every day of the year, but there are hunters who support their family and extended family, moms, aunts, cousins kids, and others who still need to eat. I personally put 30 Caribou and a Muskox away this fall and it was all eaten by late feb, in house and via various distributions, but all eaten, none the less.
    A reduction on a years overall catch might be the better answer, if thats road we travel. We allready restricted on when and what sex, and no calfs at all. Too bad they were soft meats and made the best jackets....

    9,000 people in the region, 10,000 caribou consumed......not everyone eats Caribou.....not everyone hunts, maybe one outta 10 or less.....
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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by strangerinastrangeland View Post
    The real point of the matter here is the same old argument of State of Alaska Rules and laws for hunting and managment and the Feds having their own laws for hunting and managment of game and fish.

    The Feds say that only locals can subsitence hunt/fish/gather, and the State says that any resadent can hunt/fish/gather anywhere in the state.

    When theres plenty of a given resource, the feds/state will allow commercial and personal use, in times of lean or low populations they will stop commercial activity (logging/fishing/guiding/etc. and allow only personal use hunting/fishing/gathering.

    In times of "****!" theres not much, then whatever the resource (fill in the blank) is not allowed to be gotten by anyone.

    When it comes to a personal use fishery/timbering/hunting/gathering, the feds only aloow the locals, the state allows who ever is a resadent.

    Thats the problems with the subsistence aspect of federal laws.


    It wouldnt make sense if anyone is mad that the people who physically lived in the villages in the late 60's early 70's, , protected themselves and their ways, legally, via ANILICA, when the Feds surrounded them with parks, monuments and such.
    Imagine one day you woke up and all hunting/gathering/fishing was banned on Fed propertys,? or guns? or travel (tresspass)........they thought of that and made sure it couldnt legally happen.

    The Caribou do not leave the state like waterfowl do, they Feds should have no say..
    Chip,

    I believe this is a gross, opportunistic over-reach by the federal government. On the other hand, I would be willing to moderate my view if it was being done out of legitimate biological concerns. I agree that the WACH is declining slowly, and there seems to be some discussion that the cause might be over-grazing of lichen over a period of years. Regardless of the cause, last estimates I heard were that we have around 220,000 caribou there; more than enough to feed the locals and to support nonlocal hunting.

    It is no secret that some of the locals have long wanted to keep nonlocal hunters out of the area altogether. That's exactly how we ended up with the no-fly zone on the Noatak River. Some of these folks are on the WACH Working Group, and some are on the local AC. The arguments that the migration is being stalled out by nonlocal hunters somewhere, is a tired old argument that cannot be reasonably, consistently supported. No doubt there are isolated cases, but this is not a rule.

    I completely agree that when there are resource concerns, commercial interests should be curtailed first, then nonlocal hunters, and the locals last. But I don't believe we are in that situation with the WACH. What I am hearing is that most of the animals are hanging out farther north than normal, and not crossing the Brooks Range until later in the year. THAT is why, for example, the folks in Noatak village are not seeing many caribou during the normal times. It has nothing to do with nonlocal hunting pressure.

    Are you hearing anything on this, and what is your take on it?

    -Mike
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    I agree Mike.
    The Feds are knee jerk in this action.

    The local 'word' is that Caribou hate bugs and stay up on the ridges and further north due to the long summers were experiancing, and now are nearly on the verge of rut when they finally do get to my section of GMU23. We didnt freeze again untill mid oct this year, a few weeks late
    I have seen and posted here when we found hundreds of calfs that were Raven food after icing events, and those Ive seen a few times, and thank God not this year. An inch of icing on the tundra is all it takes to weaken or outright kill a plant eating animal on the Tundra.Weak calfs cant keep up with a hungry herd moving on and cant keep ahead of Wolves that follow the herds...... Then the Wolf hunting gos to squat because food is everwhere.....
    Definitly th emisuse of aircraft and overhunting or hunters intercepting them more north have anything to do with the decline.


    As well, Mike, There's Brodacious Idjits EVERYWHERE, certainly around my neck of the woods....shuks, 24/7, all over the internet and through out our Federal Govornment....well, no, actually, the Feds are just criminals, not Brodacious at all......No doubt at all..........
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

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    I am concerned lifelong Alaskan Resident whose livelihood is bound to the land and the wildlife that inhabit it. Growing up in remote AK, MY FAMILY lived off the land eating caribou, moose, sheep, bear, all kinds of fish from the rivers and lakes and vegetables FROM our garden. I know what a valuable resource our wildlife is NOT ONLY for FOOD,but also AS an income from trapping the fur bearers during the winter months. I have been in North Western Alaska for the last decade and have very close friends that have been here for upwards of 40 years in the hunting and guiding industry as well as elders that have lived their entore lives here. FROM My experience and from listening to the ones who have been here much longer I realize that this so called “ user conflict” problem is non-existent. We would be much further ahead if we all accepted that and focused on what is really going on with the caribou herd form very irregular weather patterns , substantially high predator numbers, many cases of caribou being shot in mass numbers and left to rot, natural cycle of the herd due to what the migration route can support as lichen can take half a century to regrow; to me it seems these are the things we should focus our efforts on.
    This letter is to address the issue of WSA16-01 closing federa lands and Western Arctic Caribou Herd’s declining/stabalizing numbers, according to last year’s census. As you are probably aware from the statements and presentations given at recent meetings, people want an answer. I have listened to much conversation and read recent articles about this issue. I believe that the solutions to the problem that educated people are coming up with are not based on facts or biology of wildlife, but are based on the emotional opinions of local people that are understandably concerned about the future of their resource—the caribou.
    Instead of relying solely on the observations of the local people, we need our educated biologists and representatives of The Alaska Department of Fish and Game to stand up and remind those that may not be aware of the fact that caribou herds fluctuate and are cyclic. The complexity that characterizes the ecology of caribou includes their extreme intercon*nectedness with other ecosystem components, including thousands of years of interactions with humans. Numbers of caribou naturally oscillate in dramatic fashion on the time-scale of decades. Key influences driving population dynamics include climate, habitat, predation, parasites, insects and diseases, human influences, invasive species, competition, stochastic events, and the caribou themselves.” Letting the transporters and guides in the area take the blame for the declining numbers is wrong! In a published article, area biologist Jim Dau states that non-resident hunters have taken less than 800 caribou per year for many years. As an air taxi operator in the area, I can attest to the fact that an overwhelming majority of these animals are bulls. On the other hand, Dau also says that the subsistence harvest has been between 14,000 and 16,000 caribou for a long time. Many of these caribou are cows, and many are even harvested while carrying unborn calves in the spring. I have heard talk about increasing herd numbers by eliminating the cow tags for non-residents and possibly reducing the number of bulls that non-residents can take as well. I am not a biologist, but I know that neither of these proposed solutions would significantly affect the number of animals in the herd because the number of caribou taken by non-residents per year is a mere 300-800 animals.
    A more common sense solution that would make a larger impact would be to reduce the number of subsistence cows and calves that are being taken. Does a Unit 23 resident really need to have a limit of 5 caribou per day, year round? Another option IS TO CONCENTRATE ON PREDATOR CONTROL IN UNIT 23 IN AN ATTEMPT to assist the herd to stabalize or rebound if needed. THE DEFINTION OF PREDATOR CONTROL ACCORDING TO ADFG IS THAT “Predator control is typically undertaken to benefit people (to maintain or increase the harvest of caribou and moose by people for food), not necessarily because it is needed to benefit moose, caribou, or deer populations. Predator control can be used to 1) allow prey populations to increase, 2) reallocate the harvest of prey by predators to people, 3) stabilize or prevent growth of predator populations, or 4) halt or reverse prey population declines due to hunting or other events
    I speak for many lifelong Alaskan residents who have made a living through sharing our resources with residents and non-residents alike; we of all people have the utmost respect for this state and the land and animals that inhabit it. So with that said I urge you and your constituents to use a common sense approach to managing this issue. These animals that call our state home have been well managed by our state for decades and in my opinion Alaska Department of Fish and Game has done a stand-up job AND I HOPE THEY CONTINUE TO DO SO BY UTILIZING PREDATOR CONTROL TECHNIQUES AND REDUCING THE NUMBER OF CARIBOU TAKEN BY RESIDENTS AND NON-RESIDENTS ALIKE.

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    The Feds are gonna do what they want. Writing and attending meetings when ever possible is the most effective start we have, at least in the Kotzebue area.

    I havent heard anyone in unit 23 outside of the parkservice that says outsider hunters are effecting the Caribou numbers. On the ADN Artical, most people who I know and posted about the Fed rules for 'locals' to GMU23 were kinda mad that was implied. Theres alotta NWAB folks that live out of the unit, say Anchorage that want to fly up each season and get some Caribou for their freezer. No matter where they are from, where they are now would disqualify them to hunt apon lands they are no longer 'local' to.

    Above, I miss wrote "Definitly th emisuse of aircraft and overhunting or hunters intercepting them more north have anything to do with the decline." when I should have wrote "Definitely the misuse of aircraft and overhunting or hunters intercepting them more north have'nt anything to do with the decline."
    .
    Its mostly weather effecting Caribou numbers, from my observation, but an argumet about climate change and its effects is really going down the internet squirrel hole. Cycles of growth and decline are well documented, and so are their economic effects here.
    The days of 475,000 Caribou walking around my tent in spring are gone, but the'll likely come back again, as they cycle.
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arcticwildman View Post
    Fine, if they want to preserve "cultural and social aspects" of subsistence then lets go all in and mandate no modern center fire rifles, no boats, snowmachines, airplanes, 4-wheelers, etc... Nothing that is modern can be used. Traditional weapons and traditional methods that were used before the evil white man came.
    Which brings me back to my post on another thread, whereas Arno and I concluded that toilet paper and the use thereof should differentiate between who qualifies and who does not qualify.

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    Are you bleeping kidding me? We've got deposits down for this year out of Kotzebue. Taking a couple of 70 year old family friends on their bucket list hunt. Too late to scramble and arrange something else. Time to call out the dogs on these officious bureaucrats.

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