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Thread: MAT Valley changed its mind & more on Potlatch

  1. #1
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    Default MAT Valley changed its mind & more on Potlatch

    Interesting meeting last night, the AC did bring up and voted to allow the cow moose hunt in 14. The vote was 8-7.

    Several members changed there mind to allow the moose hunt, since stopping this hunt would not stop the Potlatch harvest and that the moose numbers are near the objectives.

    So the hunt will happen, but the issue with Potlatch will continue.

    BOG chairman Cliff gave us a brief on how the program will work. Not going to quote him, but for the most part they have authorized that the Tribal leader be the person in charge of the issuance of these permits (unlimited in number) and that they are to report back to the department with the number of moose harvested. He mentioned he would like to see that they issue one permit at a time. Once a moose is harvested they return the permit and get another.

    The department had a different look and said he thought that the each community would get permits (unlimited) and once a moose is harvested they would be required to send in the harvest data back to the department.

    Tony did mention that the Potlatch harvest numbers are a part of the formula that is used to determine how many permits are available for the draw.

    I asked the question about what are the consequences for failing to report. Couldn’t answer since they are still working out the details. The current consequences in NADA!

    Lots of unrest within our AC, when both BOG (cliff) and ADF&G (Tony) where explaining the Potlatch program. Overall very little info and what was given sounded like everything was going to be up to the native corporations will be the ones running the program. My overall opinion was that turning over this program over to the native corporations will be a big mistake.

    Time will tell. Not sure why the department has so much faith that these Potlatch harvest reports will be returned.

    Found the below is a harvest report that speaks volumes!

    http://www.subsistence.adfg.state.ak...hPap/tp215.pdf

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    Glad to hear it. I was scrambling to rearrange work/kids so I could make the Susitna AC meeting in Willow tomorrow so I could lend my support to continued cow hunts.

    Overall very little info and what was given sounded like everything was going to be up to the native corporations will be the ones running the program. My overall opinion was that turning over this program over to the native corporations will be a big mistake.
    I sure hope to see this in court some day. A Native Corp should be no different than any other corporation. None of which should have ANY right to game management. Hell, if that's the case every private land owner in the state is going to want control of the game on their land. All of which is against the state constitution.
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  3. #3

    Thumbs down

    Hate to hear they caved in, but it goes to show how little mettle today's "hunters" have (and I use the term "hunter" ins this context very loosely value the resource.

    You all were Conned, but it doesn't suprise me. Disgusted!!!
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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Thanks for the report, Troy. Glad to hear that the AC listened to the concerns of the majority of 14A hunters, especially those who had already committed their choices in the draw to the 14A cow hunts.

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    The Su Valley AC will still vote on the hunts tonight, and welcomes public participation! The information from the bio shows that the cow hunts have been working to maintain a healthy herd. Cow/bull and cow/calf ratios are great, rump fat and browse conditions indicate that the range is near carrying capacity, and the overall number is growing slightly each year. The one thing I gleaned from the conversation I had with him is that browse needs to be managed. 14A historically had higher moose numbers, but also far fewer homes and roads. The MatSu Borough grew 35% from 2000-2007. (matsugov) The current population is almost 4 times what it was in 1985. So we've lost a lot of habitat in 25 years, the remaining habitat is not regenerating food growth annually as fast as it could because it hasn't been burned, cut or scarified, and there are a lot more people hunting and driving.

    So we have the numbers of cows to justify a hunting season for them, but somehow more habitat management needs to take place if the population is to expand and make more legal bulls available to hunters.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by willphish4food View Post
    The Su Valley AC will still vote on the hunts tonight, and welcomes public participation! The information from the bio shows that the cow hunts have been working to maintain a healthy herd. Cow/bull and cow/calf ratios are great, rump fat and browse conditions indicate that the range is near carrying capacity, and the overall number is growing slightly each year. The one thing I gleaned from the conversation I had with him is that browse needs to be managed. 14A historically had higher moose numbers, but also far fewer homes and roads. The MatSu Borough grew 35% from 2000-2007. (matsugov) The current population is almost 4 times what it was in 1985. So we've lost a lot of habitat in 25 years, the remaining habitat is not regenerating food growth annually as fast as it could because it hasn't been burned, cut or scarified, and there are a lot more people hunting and driving.

    So we have the numbers of cows to justify a hunting season for them, but somehow more habitat management needs to take place if the population is to expand and make more legal bulls available to hunters.
    Take what you "hear" with a grain of salt. In the Willow area alone, on Willow Mountain, ten years ago you could count hundreds of moose. This year, two weeks ago, I flew it and saw about 30. The habitat has changed. It is still the best of the best. The area is no where near it's carrying capacity, and you should know this, if you spend much time in the woods.
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    Member sledhands's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Akres View Post
    Take what you "hear" with a grain of salt. In the Willow area alone, on Willow Mountain, ten years ago you could count hundreds of moose. This year, two weeks ago, I flew it and saw about 30. The habitat has changed. It is still the best of the best. The area is no where near it's carrying capacity, and you should know this, if you spend much time in the woods.
    The human population explosion in the past ten years has destroyed so much habitatat lower elevations! you can't really expect to see the same kind of popu;ations on those upper benches and where nobody lives(attempt at sarcasm)

    willphish4food The MatSu Borough grew 35% from 2000-2007. (matsugov) The current population is almost 4 times what it was in 1985.
    Does anyone Know what the actual percentage of habitat lost in 14a&b is? Population growth percentages do not coincide with habitat loss.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sledhands View Post
    Does anyone Know what the actual percentage of habitat lost in 14a&b is? Population growth percentages do not coincide with habitat loss.


    habitat is not inherently "lost"

    it changes. in many ways. a very complex variable. In the core area (a triangle roughly from sutton to willow to big lake) we have lost many of the farms which were human disturbed ground that has provided excellent habitat for many game and fish species.


    these farmlands have been and are being overrun and surrounded by housing tracts in the core area. and human access has changed dramatically in unit 14a, and this is a huge part of the equation that very few are acknowledging.

    the combination means the core habitat of 14a is nothing like it was in the 1980s.

    we reap what we sow.

  9. #9
    Member sledhands's Avatar
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    Default Habitat

    I understand the change. The old agricultural sites that were overgrown with new willows sprucwe and alders in the 70's 80's. Now have actual timber on them not to good of browse obviously. Housing tracts that have grown up in said areas are also detrimental to the amount of actual browse as well as new roads.
    But is there a number for the actual habitat lost? I know we reap what we soe. Habitat transformation be it human or natural progression has reduced the available browse some. Although the Miller reach fire helped replenish a lot of what was lost be it in a different area same vicinity.
    So my question is still the same. Is there a number (educated estimation) for the actual habitat lost?
    andweav How many of Akres questions were answered at the meeting.some have already been addressed here what about the rest? Please respond individualy to the best of your recollection.

    Akres
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    How many Moose are in Unit 14 A B & C? (barring estimates, I would like real numbers)
    When and how were the last Moose Count Survey's conducted?
    Why isn't there a Potlach Moose Hunt conducted in Anchorage Proper or in Unit 14C, Elmendorf or Ft. Richardson?
    What is the Maximum Moose Carrying Capacity of Unit 14 A B & C?
    How can this Maximum Capacity be reached?
    What is Fish & Game doing to improve Moose Habitat in Unit 14 A B & C?
    How many Potlatch Hunts are conducted each year in Unit 14 A B & C?
    Where do the majority of Potlach Hunt Requests originate? Anchorage/Wasilla/Palmer
    What is F&G's estimate of illegitimate/unrequested Potlach Hunts that result in a poached moose?
    What are F&G's estimates of the number of moose poached in Unit 14 A B & C each year?
    What is F&G doing to reduce moose road and train kills in Unit 14 A B & C?
    Wars may be fought with weapons, but they are won by men. It is the spirit of men who follow and of the man who leads that gains the victory.
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  10. #10

    Default Real Numbers?

    It has been a while since I've checked to see if F&G is getting decent (or any) moose counts in the Knik Watershed and I need to get updated. During the KRPUA process, from meeting Numeral Uno with the planning team, Knik R. Watershed Group is on record as asking F&G to assess wildlife values carefully in the Knik as part of a decent process. We were sold a 'great Planning Team'. Half way through the process a well meaning DNR employee let us know as gently as possible that, "F&G and MSB are only on the Planning Team as a courtesy." When I told that to the SC Manager he said he took that," ....as an insult!". I replied that , "So did we !!". That was , sadly, the reality.

    Here is some excerpted testimony I submitted during the process when I learned that F&G had no recent counts on Knik moose populations (hope that has changed, but am not finding it readily available this eve). The reason given was that snowfall needed to be adequate for fly over counts.Well OK, but the moose are in the area partially because of low snow cover and ease of movement. Yet we we continue to slice and dice the area dramatically. What is left of low stress corridors and undisturbed birthing areas ?? Lots of these moose seem to migrate to toward the inlet for wintering - no easy task.

    Bottom line - At the time, no 'good' numbers seemed to be available. Our questioning never rec'd a reply.
    (And you have read from me before - I am appalled at DNR shrinking the previously documented calving area and ignoring previous planning, critical habitat, etc.)

    "Moose Habitat

    Regarding the importance of the Knik Arm Wetlands, which include the 7600 acre Jim/Swan area, to the moose population:

    “The area has been identified as an important moose calving and wintering area. It can support a wintering population of up to 1,500 animals and may be important to 50% of the Matanuska Valley moose population. (Somerville 1966).”

    - Knik Arm Wetlands Study, USFWS Jan. 30, 1981



    Alaska F&G did not count moose in this area in 2003 (see document from their website, submitted in hardcopy by me). The reason given is 'inadequate snow cover'. When were the moose in Jim/Swan last counted?
    The Mat Valley Fish and Game Advisory Committee is concerned:
    “…… Kubat noted a list of concerns that the committee deals with, from predator control and declining moose numbers, to “getting more sockeye up the Yentna.” - Frontiersman Jan.27, 2006

    I submit that snow cover (lack of), open waters, and other prime habitat factors - to include freedom of movement in the Jim/Swan Uplands and Wetlands - are of high value. Existing baseline data should be incorporated and new data established, if needed - well ahead of any decision to allow motor traffic to dissect this remaining corridor further. With the area already heavily utilized by motor recreational users and easily accessible to 300,000 plus people, the value of well - planned wildlife corridors increases dramatically."

  11. #11
    Member sledhands's Avatar
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    Default Moose count

    I and my kids drove up toward the glacier several times last year going up past wolf point out on the main river. The trips were several weeks apart and the snow cover was complete both times great days with the kids. Would have been a good time for aerial counts.

    Good cover right now as I understand it. Will the count occur?
    Wars may be fought with weapons, but they are won by men. It is the spirit of men who follow and of the man who leads that gains the victory.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sledhands View Post
    I and my kids drove up toward the glacier several times last year going up past wolf point out on the main river. The trips were several weeks apart and the snow cover was complete both times great days with the kids. Would have been a good time for aerial counts.

    Good cover right now as I understand it. Will the count occur?
    as i understand the process,probably not! as the counts are done before the bulls drop their antlers, so they get a good bull /cow count, also the calf's are much larger now possibly offsetting the cow/calf ratio.

  13. #13
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    Thank you for the report, Tv321. In addition to the link you provided, all I can say is *WOW*!!! That makes for some great reading right there.

    According to the Bellingham Herald newspaper (from Washington state!), I found this interesting quote:

    "Kavalok said in the last two years, the department received 36 potlatch notices. Of those, 12 moose were reported and verified as killed."

    More info can be found here:

    http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2010...ntlerless.html

    Again, thank you for the great report.

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    I have a question, it may be stupid, but why cant they use road kill moose for potlatch. It not like the moose cant be refrigerated, right?

    Terry

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    Quote Originally Posted by tv321 View Post
    they have authorized that the Tribal leader be the person in charge of the issuance of these permits (unlimited in number) and that they are to report back to the department with the number of moose harvested. He mentioned he would like to see that they issue one permit at a time. Once a moose is harvested they return the permit and get another.

    The department had a different look and said he thought that the each community would get permits (unlimited) and once a moose is harvested they would be required to send in the harvest data back to the department.
    So the village council approves of potlatches? What constitutes a "potlatch"? Can an individual have a potlatch, invite another family or couple, and it is all good? And this includes Anchorage residents?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Terry View Post
    but why cant they use road kill moose for potlatch.
    good question. most likely "they" can...but choose not to. we all have the option to get on the roadkill moose list rather than hunting them for ourselves.

    The tradition of hunting moose (or any game) by licensed hunters during the open season is not a fundamentally different activity than the potlach hunting.

    Regulations are crafted to keep the honest people honest. The small percentage of dishonest people will continue to manipulate things to suit themselves and generally will get away with it.

  17. #17
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    [QUOTE=andweav;680504]The tradition of hunting moose (or any game) by licensed hunters during the open season is not a fundamentally different activity than the potlach hunting.QUOTE]

    Us normal people cannot get both though. They can.
    "Ya can't stop a bad guy with a middle finger and a bag of quarters!!!!"- Ted Nugent.

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