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Thread: Article on Delta Bison issues and conflicts

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    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Default Article on Delta Bison issues and conflicts

    http://www.newsminer.com/pages/full_...dow_left_top_4

    Worth the read; this is coming to a head!

    A snippet:
    A battle over Alaska’s biggest bison herd is brewing between hunters and farmers in Delta Junction, the latter of who contend the wild beasts are damaging agricultural crops and need to be reined in, whether it means building fences to keep them off crop lands or drastically reducing the size of the herd.

    Hunters, meanwhile, are dead set against fencing the wild herd in and/or thinning it down. If anything, hunters want to grow the herd to create more opportunity for what is Alaska’s most popular drawing permit hunt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bushrat View Post
    http://www.newsminer.com/pages/full_...dow_left_top_4

    Worth the read; this is coming to a head!

    A snippet:
    A battle over Alaska’s biggest bison herd is brewing between hunters and farmers in Delta Junction, the latter of who contend the wild beasts are damaging agricultural crops and need to be reined in, whether it means building fences to keep them off crop lands or drastically reducing the size of the herd.

    Hunters, meanwhile, are dead set against fencing the wild herd in and/or thinning it down. If anything, hunters want to grow the herd to create more opportunity for what is Alaska’s most popular drawing permit hunt.
    Interesting article - Thanks for posting.
    Joe (Ak)

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    Member Rock_skipper's Avatar
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    Mark, This has been going on for a long time here.

    The one thing that most people don't understand is that weather takes more of a toll on crops than Bison will ever do, granted put the 2 togeather and you have a worse problem.

    These critters were here long before the farmers were, and they knew when they started that project that there were going to be conflicts. At first, they were all hey its no big deal letting the bison run through there property, that was when everybody got the loans. (This did'nt even come up until a few years ago when the weather was'nt being nice)

    Since then there is a lot of unused land out there that went back to the state when people could'nt make a go of it.( I'm not sure of who it went back to to be honest)

    The thing that piss's me of the most is that most of the responsiable farmers already have the most productive land fenced in, and its the one's that don't want to that make excuse's. Last year was one of the best years to get the crop in, it was the few years before that that everything stay so wet that they could'nt do anything.

    I know some of you farmer's are on here now, and you can give me all you want, but blaming the bision for your troubles because you don't want to do anything to protect your holdings without state money, and want to get rid of the heard is just wrong.

    Years down the road what are you going to blame the crop loss on if the herd is gone and you still have loss's?

    The bison were here first, and if you get rid of them, you just threw out any other fact that the reason to live in delta is to rape the land at whatever the cost for your own personal use.

    I've lived here for 45 years now, and helped clear some of that land.

    Unlike the artical, I used to enjoy seeing the herd in my front yard.

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    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    E.S.,

    Yeah, I'm now more aware of all the issues. Attended one of the working group meetings in Fbks early November. One of the Delta farmers was there too to give his perspective. Vince was there too and has written some comments on it in other threads. It's complicated.

    I didn't agree with options like fencing in the herd on the bison range. I was astounded at how much money the state has spent in growing crops on state lands to try to keep the bison off the private farm lands longer. I was also amazed that there is a new lucrative industry for disease-free seed potatoes to China, and that some farmers want to grow seed potatoes for sale to China, but must have a consistent yield that is free of any contamination from bison feces or what have you.

    There are so many other things I didn't know about. Like how much the military dislikes having to deal with the bison on military lands. Basically, they'd like to see them gone or fenced in. I came away from the meeting thinking there weren't of course any fixes that everyone would agree with, but the most reasonable fix would be for the farmers to fence off their private lands, either solely on their own or with govt. assistance initially to put the fences up, and to not let the herd grow larger than it is now. Those that don't want govt. assistance, even for crop damage, can pay for the fences themselves.

    From the sounds of it, it's gonna turn into a court battle, with differing cases wrapped around the written caveats in the Delta 1 lands as opposed to the Delta 2 lands. From what I understand, the first land offerings had stipulations that the bison were indeed there first and farmers couldn't hold bison accountable for any damages, but the second offerings didn't stipulate that (someone please correct me on this if I'm wrong).

    I also asked about moose, and other animals that can impact crops, specifically as it related to this disease-free seed-potato thing to China...didn't really get any answers other than the bison were the main problem, weren't herds of moose trampling farms before harvest and contaminating anything.

    I have to say, the argument to fence off the bison, or cull the herd way down, in order to sell seed potatoes to China...isn't one I'd be using if I were a Delta farmer. Just another aspect of it that likely won't see print <grin>.

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    move the farmers!


    as a buisness owner i must protect / insure my own products.. let the farmers fence his crops like those in the states are required to...
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

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    Member Rock_skipper's Avatar
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    The one thing about the military is that they don't want them on the shooting range, that being said there were talks with them about an alt. spot down the road a bit, but they did'nt want to spend the money on it, from what I got from the meeting I went to.

    The military has land from Delta to Black Rapids, and it was discussed to put in another range for the bison, but they wanted to see what the local people could do before they got involved.

    We have to wait and see what come's about, but I would tell all you hunters that if you want to have a chance at this hunt, you'd better get involved.

    All it will take is one final vote, and this herd will be all but a viewing thing for tourist with less than a 100 left.

    I know they say cut it in half, but you just watch and see what happens.

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    IMO, the best way to resolve the matter is for the state to buy back those farms for the purchase price paid, plus interest.

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    Then what would the state do with them Vern?

    I take it you are talking about all the farms.

    There are those that went in there with big dreams knowing the obsticals in front of them, for some it was to much and they ended up killing themselfs. Other's prospered while the weather was right and knew what to do.

    Back to the org? What would the state do with the land? Build a solar field, or a wind field out of it?

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    as for the herd trim down the plan started out to reduce the size to 240 animals and give it a few years to see if that made a difference. if not then they would once again try to grow the herd back up by 2017 and try a different route.

    i am not sure why they would even consider this after the failed 92 93 herd reduction of the caribou down in 20A to keep them from mingling with the park herd. that herd has not recovered and is still in moderate decline, with giving its members to the Nelchina herd. it would make more sense to move a portion of the herd of Bison and start a second....
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

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    Member Rock_skipper's Avatar
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    You're fishing Vince. Hmm a herd of 300 bison in the Clear area, nice try, but that in itself would cost more to move them than the fence would.

    If it would save them from being extermenated, I'm all for it, and it would still be on the road system so people could hunt them, of course you'd have to give them a few years to get to where you would have a healthy pop.

    Of couse you have the Military there also to deal with.

    Its just hard on some of us that grew up here and to have a few come in and want to get rid of them. Half of this town has a bison logo for a reason.

    Delta is known for a lot of thing's, the wind is a major, but it's also known for the birds that flock in here ever year,( you don't here about that damage)( I know that is supposed to be after the crops are in, bull) the monster Grayling in the Clearwater, the access to more rivers than most places in alaska, and to the hospitality to most that visit.

    The bison belong here, if you want to take a couple of hundred head off to another place, fine, but at the same time close the season here. This town has it's pride, even if it does'nt show here on the forum.

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    Bushrat could you pm me that part about the potato thing, after thinking about this you've got my interest up?

    Really tho you could put it on here for all to see, thats the first I've heard about it, and I live right here.

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    Thanks Milo.

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Rock that it bushrat was discussing about the spuds was at the meeting in Fairbanks we attended... i discussed that very thing with your buddy Don... man did i get an ear full
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    holy ****!
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

    meet on face book here

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    Smiles for you Vince.

    You can't hide a paper trail.

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    You think drawing a delta Bison tag is hard now, let them reduce the herd. Then you can waste money on a draw you may never win and bonus points that will never help you draw.
    An opinion should be the result of thought, not a substitute for it.
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    By my figures, we spend about $1.2 million taxpayer's, subsidy dollars to raise $900K in crops in Delta.

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