I've been mulling over posting this or not, but I've decided that I might as well.
I recently testified at the BOG meeting here in Nome. Just giving my two cents on a few issues (some trapping, some hunting). One of the issues was a proposed GUARANTEE for non-residents a certain number of tags for musk ox in an area. I'm all for allowing access to hunt, and currently it was a 10% maximum to non-residents. I felt that gave them a fair a chance as anyone, and if the number of permits went up, so would the availability for more non-residents to get the drawing tag.
The issue at point here is a proposal (which was accepted by the BOG) for a guarantee of 10% of the tags for non-residents. (a side note, this individual is a guide out of this area, and also put in proposals for an increase to 20% of the tags for non-residents. That was however not passed).
What gets me the most was this comment by a BOG for this reason:
"Board member Bob Bell of Anchorage noted that nonresident hunters provide a significant impact on the Department of Fish and Game's budget through license fees. 'My point is, we should quit vilifying [nonresident hunters] so much,' he said. 'I think this is a very reasonable proposition.'"
He was then disagree with by a member of the Board and followed up with:
"'I disagree. I think it's very important we fund this department. If we call it selling [game animals], we then, let's sell them."
I talked with a member of the Board (I believe it to be this Bob Bell), and he mentioned being a client of this guide, and he also mentioned that he believed pretty much everything the guide fed him (I call it "drinking the Kool-aid" as a lot of it is BS in my opinion).
I'm all for nonresidents hunting up here. I am however worried that the Board has now made a decision based on FINANCIAL reasons to guarantee our resource to nonresidents.