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Thread: Ak Hunting News: AOC Backs Nonsubsistence Area Extension, Advisory Committee Particip

  1. #1

    Arrow Ak Hunting News: AOC Backs Nonsubsistence Area Extension, Advisory Committee Particip

    This news clip is from Alaska Hunting News. Discussion is welcome. This news feed is robot generated.

    The Alaska Outdoor Council is highlighting two issues that will come before the state's Joint Boards of Fisheries and Game on October 5. One would make much of GMU 13 non subsistence.

    From an AOC email alert from Rod Arno:

    Connect the Anchorage-Matsu-Kenai Nonsubsistence Area with the Fairbanks Nonsubsistence Area

    In 1992 the Alaska Legislature passed the state subsistence law which gives the Joint Board of Fisheries and Game the authority to create Nonsubsistence Areas. A Nonsubsistence Area is an area or community where subsistence is not the principal characteristic of the economy, culture, and way of life.

    New data gathered in the 2000 U.S. Census and by ADF&G Subsistence Division illustrates significant socio-economic and cultural change in the Nelchina Basin area of GMU 13.

    The Mat-Valley F&G Advisory Committee has submitted Proposal #38 (proposal text, proposal map, PDF) in an effort to update the characteristics determining the Nonsubsistence designation in GMU 13.

    Over 60% of Tier II applicants each year apply for Nelchina caribou. Competition for these permits has resulted in the Board of Game deliberating on scores of proposals over the years in addition to numerous court challenges. Tier II scoring for Nelchina caribou subsistence permits has become the single most contentious issue before the Board of Game.

    The AOC believes that it is timely and appropriate for the Joint Board to review the criteria they have relied on to make their determination of non-subsistence in GMU 13 as proposed by the Mat Valley AC in Proposal 38.
    Advisory Committee Participation During Board deliberations
    Fish & Game Advisory Committee participation is embodied in state law. Fish & Game Advisory Committee members are elected from their communities to represent the views of area residents before the boards.

    Boards often amend proposals, sometimes significantly. In the board process as currently constructed, public testimony – including input from the AC’s – is given before the board’s deliberations. As a result, local residents’ voice is never heard on the final version of the proposal – the one the Board actually votes on.

    The AOC supports Proposal #34, submitted by the Fairbanks F&G Advisory Committee, to allow the chairman of the local AC to address the Board on an amended proposal, and urge public support for this initiative. Without public support I wouldn’t imagine the Joint Boards will give this concept much consideration.
    All proposals can be seen on the ADFG/Boards website. Written comments are due 21 September. The Joint Boards meeting begins 5 October in Anchorage.


    We welcome news tips that are useful to the community. Please send tips and links to complete stories by email to webmaster@outdoorsdirectory.com.

  2. #2
    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Default I will ask again...

    Just back for a night before heading out again hunting, but want to reiterate something about this issue that was not answered on another thread:

    What type of hunt would take place if this proposal passes and the area becomes a non-subsistence area? Would it be draw hunts for moose and caribou open to all Alaska residents? Would it be a registration hunt? Would it be a hunt open to non-residents too?

    Until someone from AOC or the Mat-Su AC answers these questions, I don't see how they can ask for our support. Tell us what kind of hunts would take place if this proposal passes. If there is any chance at all, for example, that the Nelchina caribou hunt would turn into a registration hunt, let us know please so we can really make an informed decision.
    Thanks,

  3. #3

    Default

    I'm all for anything other than that dang Tier II hunt. Make it a draw for caribou for residents only and make the moose hunt a general hunt with the same restrictions as most of Alaska, 50" with 4 brows or spike fork.

  4. #4

    Default Little less of a zoo

    Those of you that do not like the idea of a unit 13 registration hunt for boo due to the "zoo" factor. Just do not allow the use of an atv and hunting the same day. That would end the "road" hunting in the woods. Hunters could get to a spot, hunt and not worry about the dudes that race around and claim to be hunting as well. Just treat them like an airplane and the "zoo factor" will drop and all Alaskans will at least have an opportunity in unit 13. Sure some people will feel as if they have been restricted, but at least they could hunt.

  5. #5

    Default BOG Options

    The Board of Game has many options on how it can allocate Nelchina caribou permits. It's up to people like AKHunter 45 and wbooth to let the Joint Boards know what they think.

    How do you accommodate century old hunting traditions and allow new entry into hunting wild game along the road connected areas of Southcentral and Central Alaska? How do you regulate methods and means of hunting to accommodate every type of hunter? How do you separate those who get the hunting and fishing priority from those who don't, by the characteristics of 2 families who live year around in Funter Bay? These are the type of questions that will be raised at the Joint Boards meeting next month.

    The Joint Boards will be looking at 2 proposals regarding current Subsistence and Nonsubsistence Areas; 1) wanting to be excluded from an existing nonsubsistence area in Southeast Alaska and 2) wanting to turn a subsistence are, GMU 13, into a nonsubsistence area for the range of the Nelchina caribou herd.

    When you look at data gathered by the Subsistence Division of ADF&G for 2006 you see that 277 Nelchina Basin residents hunted for caribou in GMU 13A, B, and E. 3,463 non-Nelchina Basin Alaskan residents did the rest of the hunting for Nelchina caribou. If the 12 criteria that determines whether an area of Alaska is a subsistence area or not is determined by local Alaska native use and current traditions and the majority of hunt permits are going to Alaskans who don't live in the Nelchina Basin then it is time for the Joint Boards to look at the Subsistence-Nonsubsistence statues of the area. A current evaluation of the subsistence area containing the range of the Nelchina caribou herd is timely and appropriate. A legislative review of the 12 criteria to determine whether you are in or out as far a getting a priority to hunt and fish isn't a bad idea either.

  6. #6
    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Default Rod, please just answer the question

    Rod, just about to take off here, so won't have time to respond for a bit. With all due respect, you keep giving no answer to the questions I raised. How about I put it another way: What kind of hunting system is AOC advocating for, or will be advocating for, if the subsistence classification is changed to non-subsistence? Does AOC favor a general draw for all, a registration hunt, what?

    I want to know what the Mat-Su AC and AOC want, what they will advocate for before the board in future about allocation and hunt system (draw, registration, open to non-residents etc) if this area goes to non-subsistence classification. I believe this is a valid question and deserves an answer. Surely when AOC or an AC advocate for a change, they also must have in mind what type of hunt they'd like to see take place under this change...so please tell us what you would like to see.
    Respectfully,

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Default

    I would support moving to a resident-only draw hunt.

    I would not support moving to a registration or general season hunt.

  8. #8

    Default why Brian?

    What reason would there be to not let all Alaskans hunt? If you do not go to preference points a draw could also be a very long wait to get to hunt as well. Again there are ways to limit the "Zoo" factor. Limit atv use day to day, report kills in 3 days, longer season, shorter season, I am sure there are others as well. How many people are still looking to draw their first tag? Just let every Alaskan hunt. I just want to hunt with my boy when we can both be hunting and not one hunting and the other camping.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Default

    First of all, there is no way that the atv restriction could be enforced. If it were a complete ban on atv use, perhaps...but if it was a "same day" restriction as mentioned above, enforcement would be impossible. Creating laws that are impossible to enforce is pure folly.

    The draw would likely not be that hard to win. They have been giving away 3,000-6,000+ permits a year. How many would apply...20,000 at most? I don't have any data to back my opinion, but I'd guess we'd be looking at a 20% or greater draw rate if it went straight resident-only draw.

    It's just not worth the damage to the habitat (and thus its ability to support caribou and moose in harvestable numbers) to open this up to a registration or general season hunt. A draw is completely fair to everyone and effectively spreads the pressure out over a longer period of time, thus reducing the pressure on the habitat. Putting everyone into the field in a short period of time because they're racing to fill the harvest quota is a recipe for habitat and herd damage.

    Every Alaskan can hunt. There are many, many areas available to general season hunters. Sometimes restrictions are necessary, and we should be thankful that thus far our game has been managed with enough foresight to ensure healthy populations.

  10. #10
    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    "Just let every Alaskan hunt. I just want to hunt with my boy when we can both be hunting and not one hunting and the other camping."

    whooaaaaa, gotta slow down here and look at long term results of doing something like this in an area like nelchina, the zoo factor as you refer to it, would be horrendous, kinda like my spelling, lol, if your not advocating for some sort of control restricions for nelchina then you should apply that same principle accross the board, unresitricted Tok managment area sheep, kodiak island brown bears, chugach state park, teir II muskox hunts, just imagine opening those up to "every alaskan", but add cheap and easy access....kinda see the picture.
    A resident draw system would work great, just like the rest of them do, but we have a handfull of alaskans trying to hold on to their gravy by pushing for teir II, yet they won't actually revert to traditional styles of hunting, at the BOG meeting one elderly native guy was ok with teir II closing to airplanes, but he didn't want to loose his four wheeler access...am i the only one that sees an issue there?
    Like Brian mentioned there are ALOT of areas you can take your boy hunting AND camping and still have great chances at dumping some game, how picky you are will dictate what you can and cannot do.
    Can you image what 10,000 people would do to unit 13 in a month??
    Www.blackriverhunting.com
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  11. #11

    Default

    While I will admit both of you have made some great points, that unit 13 hunt still has me tied in knots. I would like to think preference points can work and would make people happy. As far as rules that can not be enforced, there are tons of them out there -simply do to man power and the size of our state. At some point you have to have faith in people doing the right thing. Those who do not follow the rules would still cross the line no matter where it was drawn.

  12. #12
    Member Matt's Avatar
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    Default

    If the Nelchina caribou herd was open to all Alaskan residents, then I can easily say in that one hunting season, about 15,000+ caribou would be killed. A 1/3 of the herd.

    I agree with Brian on going with a draw hunt.

  13. #13
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    Default First Things First

    Some good points, but none of it matters until we GET RID OF TIER II.

    Guys, let's raise the bar. The Dept. of Fish and Game has numbed us into settling for low numbers of moose and caribou. Why have we let them turn GMU 16 into a waste land? (Or maybe a bear smorgasborg would be a better description) People go to Nelchina because thats where the animals are. If we demanded better management, meaning more animals, people would be more dispersed and the herds and habitat would be better off for it.

    Let's support changing Nelchina to a Nonsubsistence area and demand more animals from ADF&G. And everyone with access to the Susitna Drainage needs to go shoot a bear.

  14. #14
    Member tccak71's Avatar
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    Default Draw

    I think a draw would be the best way to dole out the permits. 3,000-6,000 permits is a lot. ATV's and Nelchina go hand in hand. I wouldn't want to see any vehicle restrictions in this area and maybe the only way to achieve that is with a draw. A registration hunt would turn it into Chicken II. A lot of hunters and a quick closure. Not the way to go imho. General season would most likely lead to an overharvest possibly.

    I would hope that they would leave the moose season alone; leave it a general hunt with s/f/50/4.

    I too am eagerly awaiting a response to Bushrat's question.

    Tim

  15. #15
    Member Gr is for Greg's Avatar
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    Default Preference points?

    On the one hand, I can see why people that have the Unit 13 Tier II "in" want to safeguard it as long as possible. I know of a lady who grew up in Glennallen, and she draws a permit every year. She has been harvesting from the Nelchina Herd all her life, so I can see the value in allowing that to continue. I would be a little miffed if I had been hunting in some spot all my life, and all of a sudden the rules change, and now Joe Schmoe gets a permit to hunt the land and I don't. On the other hand, their whole family lives in Anchorage, and I certainly would not consider the taking of their caribou as part of any subsistence cycle.

    So we enter into a gray area. I think most people would agree that this herd is largely not hunted for subsistence use. The numbers tell the story, with 2/3 of those pulling permits living out of the area. What you have is a population of game that is not vast enough for everyone to hunt, and those that have been hunting it all along are not eager to share the rights to it. Is that fair? That's a heck of a loaded question.

    I, personally, would love to be able to get in on the Unit 13 caribou hunting. I got a caribou this year, but I had to drive 750 miles north and hike on foot a total of 25 soggy miles to get him. It sure would be nice to have such a close, road-accessible area open to hunting. On the other hand, I don't necessarily have a problem with giving those that have traditionally hunted that herd a better chance at drawing a permit.

    Is there any talk of revamping the preference point system for this unit? Perhaps some of the preference points can stay, but others go away, and new ones can be introduced. For instance, you still get preference points for having a tradition of hunting the herd, but you also get preference points for things like several years of applying for the permit without being awarded one or for having taken a bear in that unit over the past year. Maybe those who have hunted these caribou for decades would only get a permit every other year or so, but it would partially open things up for some new people to get in on this great area, especially those that take a hand in predator control. Maybe some of this is already in effect; I really don't know what the preference point system currently involves.

    In response to some earlier posts on this thread, I am not in the know, but I would be really surprised if the Board were considering anything other than a drawing hunt for Unit 13. I think most of us agree that the herd does not have the numbers to support a general open season, and there would be too much pressure and overcrowding to effectively run a registration hunt. Still, enough people have brought it up that Rod should either confirm or deny that the Tier II would be replaced with a drawing hunt.

    Also, in response to Brian, it may be difficult to say how many people would apply for this hunt if it went to a drawing. Keep in mind that you cannot base an estimate on the number of people that currently apply for the Tier II permit. You have to remember all of those (myself included) that feel that they have no chance of pulling a Tier II, and therefore currently do not apply at all. If it went to an open draw, or if it were some type of Tier II system I thought I could actually get, you bet your behind I would apply.

    -Gr

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    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    Default

    I'd like to have a chance to hunt unit 13 caribou some day and have it be a quality hunt. If they change to a draw I might actually get a chance at a permit.
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  17. #17

    Default

    The only way to be fair is to make it a resident only draw hunt but maybe allocate some of the tags for those that actually reside and hunt in that area. If they can prove that they depend on caribou meat to help their household survive then they should get permits. I am all for a draw in unit 13 for caribou but leave the moose a general season. Tier II is and always has been a terrible system and something needs to change. I've never hunted that area because I know I could never draw a tag under the current system, but a draw would at least give me a chance and thats all I ask.

  18. #18
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AkHunter45 View Post
    The only way to be fair is to make it a resident only draw hunt but maybe allocate some of the tags for those that actually reside and hunt in that area. If they can prove that they depend on caribou meat to help their household survive then they should get permits. I am all for a draw in unit 13 for caribou but leave the moose a general season. Tier II is and always has been a terrible system and something needs to change. I've never hunted that area because I know I could never draw a tag under the current system, but a draw would at least give me a chance and thats all I ask.
    I agree but allocating by residence location is illegal in this state.
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  19. #19
    Member Kurt S's Avatar
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    Default Brian, Greg

    Brian, although they give out X number of permits in the TII process, they cut the hunt off when they reach a certain predetermined harvest number. Example, 3000 permits with a harvest goal of 2400. Thus, the high number of unsuccesful percentages in this hunt.

    Greg, rather than complete change in designation of the hunt, I would propose a phase out of the traditional and customary. Example; those here before and at statehood with a provable customary and traditional use would be given points. Permits would be issued to those and any left overs would go to draw. Time will phase out those with priority, and fairly quickly as they die off, move, or just give it up. I think this would address both camps fairly.

    Keep in mind, in a draw, all those with tags are entitled to fill them and the number of tags would drop from what is issued now.

    Kurt

  20. #20

    Default Cart before the horse.

    [quote=Gr is for Greg;146710]
    In response to some earlier posts on this thread, I am not in the know, but I would be really surprised if the Board were considering anything other than a drawing hunt for Unit 13. I think most of us agree that the herd does not have the numbers to support a general open season, and there would be too much pressure and overcrowding to effectively run a registration hunt. Still, enough people have brought it up that Rod should either confirm or deny that the Tier II would be replaced with a drawing hunt.

    The Joint Boards is not going to be deliberating on what kind of permit system they would like to adopt for Nelchina caribou. The Joint Boards will be determining if there is enough change in the socioeconomic characteristics to warrant a review of the Subsistence Area in GMU 13. ADF&G and the Division of Subsistence have stated that they believe there has been significant changes to some of the 12 characteristics, as well as missing critical data, that would justify further department data collection and analysis before regulatory action is taken by the Joint Boards in 2008.

    There is no question that Division of Subsistence anthropologists have established subsistences uses of fish and game in GMU 13 by Ahtna Athabascans that continues today. There is no place in Alaska, other then areas covered by glacier ice, that weren't used for subsistence food gathering at one time or another in the last 10,000-14,000 years. What the Joint Boards will have to evaluate is whether or not 446,000 Alaskans with road connected accessibility to GMU 13 changes the socioeconomic characteristics of the area.

    Currently under the determination by the BOG all of the harvestable caribou from the Nelchina herd must go to subsistence permits. As far as what AOC would like to see in the future for who gets the opportunity to harvest Nelchina caribou; all Alaskans who would choose to. Nelchina caribou are a public resource, and the State's Constitutions says all Alaskans share common use of game.

    In 1996, 50,361 Alaskans were issued permits to hunt Nelchina caribou. Obviously the demand to hunt Nelchina caribou far out weighs the harvestable surplus. A general hunt would be out of the question. A preference system that would allow a limited number of permits on a rotation bases makes sense to me.

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