Well, the BOG passed Proposal 171 today, which authorizes the use of foot-snares in GMU 16 as part of a predation control effort. They also amended the language in order to consolidate several proposals, and to include the authorization to use helicopters to access bear baiting and foot-snaring camps. Here are the provisions contained in the amended proposal:
- Participating permittees must be residents 16 years of age or older.
- Season length would be from April 15 - August 15.
- Helicopters may be used for access only to bear baiting camps and foot-snaring camps during April 15 to August 15 provided the helicopter pilot obtains a permit and attends an orientation given by Department personnel in the Palmer office. Permits for use of helicopters will be discretionary. Helicopters may be used only for transport of people, gear, bear hides, bear skulls, and bear meat to and from bear baiting and bear foot-snaring camps. No more than 10 helicopter pilot permits will be issued.
- Up to 10 brown bears may be taken (in aggregate for all permittees) with foot-snares incidentally to the foot-snaring of black bears. Hides and skulls of brown bears will become property of the Department. Department staff will release incidentally caught brown bears if possible.
- Participants must complete a training program in the field, administered by Department staff or a Department approved contractor.
- Foot-snares may be placed on the ground or in buckets and must be checked every 24 hours.
- Participants must report all animals taken in foot snares to Department staff within 48 hours.
There was some discussion yesterday concerning people being allowed to bring along a child to participate or observe, and my understanding is that the decision was to allow children between the ages of 10-15 to accompany an adult.
It is my understanding that this amended proposal passed today. This means that we are going with foot-snaring black bears in GMU 16, and that helicopters will be used to access remote camps where snaring and / or baiting will take place from April 15 until August 15. If anyone has different info, please feel free to correct me. I was not here all day, and may have missed something.