From: Lloyd, Denby S (DFG)
Sent: Thursday, July 30, 2009 3:52 PM
To: Dane Crowley
Subject: RE: SEAN FARLEY---AUDUBON MAGAZINE--_INSUBORDINATION
Thanks for your July 14,2009 email, which outlined your disappointment with shortcomings of various employees in the Department of Fish and Game's Division of Wildlife Conservation. I won't comment here on the specifics of staff performance or professionalism that you asserted. However, regarding a major theme of your email, I do expect that f department staff feel compelled to express opinions that are contrary to existing state 0 department policy, that they
present their point of view in a respectful, professional manner 0 their own time without affiliation with the department. We are investigating the circumstances and accuracy of remarks made by a staff member in the recent article in Audubon magazine that you reference. If we find that there were violations of ethical conduct or personnel rules, we will pursue appropriate action.
Based on my association with ADF&G over the past several decades I believe that, in general, department staff are a highly motivated group of professionals. The vast majority of biologists and supervisors take their jobs and their commitment to public service very seriously. That there are occasional lapses in judgment, especially with regard to controversial issues, should not come as a surprise to anyone. Usually these cases create important learning experiences and we move on. Please consider that in the case of the Unit 16 program, and some other intensive management programs around Alaska, we made major changes in direction and priority on short notice. Based
on our experience during this first year of the accelerated bear management program in Unit 16 we anticipate making some alterations that will result in smoother operations next year.
Since your email focuses on active management of big game, and especially programs to enhance moose populations, let me share a few observations about our predator management programs in general. As you know, they are indeed controversial. While many Alaskans support these programs, many are ambivalent, and other Alaskans oppose them. In the face of this range of opinion, we have tried to design intensive management programs that are scientifically based, consistent with legislative and Board of Game (BOG) mandates, and effective in restoring moose and caribou populations so that hunters and other Alaskans will benefit from them for many years to come.
We need to take a measured approach to these programs and manage their controversial aspects so the programs are likely to persist long enough for them to be effective. The measured approach adopted by the BOG and the department has proven successful in that we have prevailed in associated litigation; we also appear to have the support of at least a majority of Alaskans, given recent initiative election results. Our programs have been fully vetted in public and they are based upon the best applied wildlife science available.
The result is that we now have the longest running and most broadly prescriptive intensive management program since statehood. Using an adaptive approach and continuing to work with the BOG, the hunting public and program participants, we are seeing increases in ungulates in many of the areas where this approach has been utilized.
Your group has generously led an effective public effort to further the moose recovery program in Unit 16. While it may be unfortunate that the department did not address the problems with declining moose populations in Southcentral Alaska sooner, we are beginning to see positive results, and we have met our wolf management objectives in Units 13 and 16 for several years. Thanks to you and other participants in the black bear management program, we hope to also meet our black bear management objective in Unit 16 soon.
I look forward to continued cooperation between ADF&G and groups such as yours in meeting the department's and the Board of Game's wildlife management objectives for Alaska.
Thanks again, and take care, DL.