Feds are @ it again...

martentrapper

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maintaining healthy ecosystems.

Cormit,
a few questions:
1. How large is an "ecosystem"?
2. How many "ecosystems" are on the Kenai?
3. How do you determine if an "ecosystem" is healthy?
4. How many bears are there in these "ecosystems"?
5. How many bears can be harvested and still have that "healthy ecosystem"?
Finally, are there factual answers to the above questions? I'll answer that one........................NO, the healthy ecosystem BS is just a talking point to blow smoke over any discussion about a species harvest level.

The Kenai has excellent bear habitat. The numerous salmon streams, berries, game, den sites, etc. etc. along with relatively mild winters and long foraging season make for plenty of bears. While logging may temporarily move bears and other species off of an area, brush re-growth will provide new habitat and food for bears and other species. No one really knows how many bears are residing on the Kenai. I doubt, Amigo Will, that any entity has been accurately able to determine there is less than one bear per sq. mi.!!

As a former member and former chair of a RAC and from attending past Fed Subsistence Board meetings, I know that rural residents WANT more game and less preds. There is nothing wrong with this desire and certainly nothing UNHEALTHY about it. It is a logical desire for people who use game species as food and have to compete with other predators for that food.

Bear harvests are mostly determined by 3 factors, hunter participation, bear numbers, and weather. Weather has significant effect on access to hunting areas. By monitoring participation, weather, and harvest, managers can get a good idea on if a current harvest level is sustainable.
Example:
For over 20 years, unit 22 had distinct fall and spring bear seasons. Bag limit was 1 in 4 and there was a 25 buck tag fee. The average harvest for all of unit 22 during those years was 60 bears. In the 90s, the tag fee was dropped, the season became a long, aug. 1 to may 31, and the limit was 1 per year, except in sub unit 22c. The first year of this change the harvest jumped to around 90. Since that time, about another 20 years, the yearly harvest has been from a high of 100 or so, to a low in the 80s. The 90 bear average has been sustainable for over 20 years. It is quite possible the average could go higher if more hunters participated.

Few folks eat Browns. Since you can't sell any part of them, harvest is also effected by each hunters desire to deal with an expensive skin.

All in all, the likelihood of "over harvesting" kenai Brown Bear populations is extremely small. If your really enamored of this "erring on the side of caution" idea, Cormit, maybe the state should just CLOSE all Brown hunting.................just in case!!
 

iofthetaiga

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No one really knows how many bears are residing on the Kenai.... By monitoring participation, weather, and harvest, managers can get a good idea on if a current harvest level is sustainable.
No one knows how many bears there are, yet the sustainability of the harvest rate of an unknown population can be determined by monitoring the weather?:think:
 

Amigo Will

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We still pay twenty five bucks for a real short spring season even though we know the snows is to deep to get to them. We still put value on the great bear and F&G has made thousands on us for a half dozen bears in eight years. Lucky unit 1 is just across the water a half mile so we can get them there.
You will needd to have 15,600 brown bears on Kpen to have one per square mile. Has a count ever even show 10% of that number.Now Haines has five browies killed in town this week with two arrest on folks for the killing of four of them.Of course all year moose are also all over town but wolves mostly three miles out.
 

martentrapper

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No one knows how many bears there are, yet the sustainability of the harvest rate of an unknown population can be determined by monitoring the weather?:think:

I know Taiga.............just doesn't make sense to you if it doesn't come from a govt person. If a harvest level exists for a number of years, then can't we safely deduce that that level is sustainable? Even if we don't know how many individuals exist?
If the harvest level is falling over a period of years, with the same participation, can't we deduce that that level is NOT sustainable?
Here, I know...........call Steve Machida in Anch. He is the region 5 supervisor. He works for the govt so I am sure he would be more believeable for you. He was the unit 22 bio when the changes were made.
 

kasilofchrisn

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A study was done 2 or 3 years ago using bait stations with game camers and barb wire. The barbed wire was for collecting hair samples for DNA analysis.
Previous estimates on KP brown bears was in the range of 330 bears.
They did flyovers and counted bears then multiplied by some random magical number to get an estimate of the bear population.
The new study found evidence that there was at least 1,000 different brown bears on the Peninsula.
I know some people who's friends worked on the study maintaining the bait stations. I'm not sure if there has been a full report on this or not,but I'll try to look it up.
My personal opinion is we still have plenty of bears. Whether or not they are responsible for our poor moose population is up for debate. I do know they are only part of the equation. I also believe there are plenty of bears out there and we can sustain this level of hunting for now anyways.
 

limon32

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Part of the reason I argue the Kenai brown bears aren't being over hunted is because so much of the peninsula is completely un-accessible and most of that area is essentially un-huntable even if you do get there. They simply have too much advantage over humans in their world.

Baiting has clearly turned those odds a bit, but the baitable area is so small on the peninsula I suspect that won't change things too much in the heart of the refuge as USFWS is predicting.
 

limon32

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A study was done 2 or 3 years ago using bait stations with game camers and barb wire. The barbed wire was for collecting hair samples for DNA analysis.
Previous estimates on KP brown bears was in the range of 330 bears.
They did flyovers and counted bears then multiplied by some random magical number to get an estimate of the bear population.
The new study found evidence that there was at least 1,000 different brown bears on the Peninsula.
I know some people who's friends worked on the study maintaining the bait stations. I'm not sure if there has been a full report on this or not,but I'll try to look it up.
My personal opinion is we still have plenty of bears. Whether or not they are responsible for our poor moose population is up for debate. I do know they are only part of the equation. I also believe there are plenty of bears out there and we can sustain this level of hunting for now anyways.

The study was released to the state a year or so ago, I don't believe it was ever released in full to the public. I believe the adjusted numbers were somewhat lower, 650 or so sticks out in my mind. Several news releases from the refuge cite the study but I don't believe the provide it. I think several of them are still available on their website.
 

Amigo Will

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If Kpen has a thousand bears that one bear for 15.6 square miles. You can take one a year. Admiralty has 1,600 bears,one per square mile.We can hunt them one every four years. There is no logic
 

limon32

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Good to see another discussion about hunting turn into a political squabble...


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twodux

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No one knows how many bears there are, yet the sustainability of the harvest rate of an unknown population can be determined by monitoring the weather?:think:

I think he was blaming bears for global warming????
 

bmunsell

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Before you get to excited about the per capita federal dollars coming to Alaska, look at how total federal dollars are divided up between the states. Last time I checked Alaska got about $11 billion while California got over $200 billion.
 

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