NPS comment period on predator management

extrema

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Clearly, killing bear cubs or wolf pups in their dens would create a firestorm of controversy and protest if that happened in, say, Yellowstone, or Smoky Mountains, or Isle Royal NP. But in Alaska, the BoG considers it necessary on National Preserve lands. BoG is supposed to represent the State's interests, so I assume they do. Fair enough. But those lands do not belong to the State of Alaska. They belong to everyone in the United States. All of us. As we all know, the United States bought the entire territory from Russia, with Congressionally-appropriated taxpayer dollars. So those lands don't belong just to the residents of the Great Land.

Killing bears in dens is a customary and traditional food gathering activity practiced by countless generations of Alaska Natives; an activity that was occurring long before any Russians arrived. NPS should be ashamed of themselves for trampling on this sustainable tradition in the name of ignorant PC policies.
 

Cohoangler

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Killing bears in dens is a customary and traditional food gathering activity practiced by countless generations of Alaska Natives; an activity that was occurring long before any Russians arrived. NPS should be ashamed of themselves for trampling on this sustainable tradition in the name of ignorant PC policies.

This may be true. However, as I understand it, food gathering is not the point of killing bears/wolves and cubs in their dens. The purpose is predator control. Bears and wolves are at their most vulnerable when they're denning, so they're easier to kill. That's why it's done. Nobody would object if the activity was to put meat on the table. But the purpose is to kill the predators while they're small so they don't grow up to eat things like caribou and moose.
 

extrema

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No maybe about it Coho:

Updated Dec 26, 2012The bear hunting regulation adopted by the state Board of Game allowed anyone with a license to kill sows and cubs in their dens. The state emphasized, though, that the new rule accommodates a “customary and traditional practice” used by subsistence hunters.
“These means and methods, allowed by the Board of Game, recognize Alaska Native traditions and were justified because of the abundance of bear populations,” Craig Fleener, division of subsistence director, stated in the state’s news release.

Bottom Line Coho: Bear dens are hard to find. Please show us the numbers indicating that this method is resulting in an increased, much less unsustainable harvest.
Also, where do you see that wolf denning is allowed?
 

Cohoangler

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See the first post in this thread:

"The proposals include prohibitions on taking wolf and coyote pups and adults in early summer when they den and their pelts have little commercial value; the taking of brown bears over bait stations; and the use of artificial light to take black bear cubs and sows with cubs at dens. Other procedural changes and wildlife harvest related changes are also proposed. "

Again, the purpose of the proposed rule is clear. I'm not making it up. NPS appears to be drawing the line at predator control on National preserves. The discussion centers on whether this is appropriate. Again, I take no position on this rule.
 

extrema

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I think Becky nailed it early on in this discussion:

"The NPS can't show you a conservation concern even if asked. They simply don't like the practices and have taken to the Federal Register to ban them forever on NPS lands."

For those interested, Shadows on the Koyukuk is a very interesting and well written book that will give you insights into some of the things being discussed here.
 

Cohoangler

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Agree. 100%. NPS doesn't like the practice of predator control, in whatever form, for the purpose of increasing the numbers of harvestable wildlife, such as caribou and moose. They make this abundantly clear.
 

willphish4food

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Agree. 100%. NPS doesn't like the practice of predator control, in whatever form, for the purpose of increasing the numbers of harvestable wildlife, such as caribou and moose. They make this abundantly clear.
Only partly right, coho. They don't like predator control, period. They don't like the taking of wolves, under any management strategy, period. They do not like the taking of bears, period. They emphasize the point that harvesting predators will increase other game populations "for hunters to kill," because it helps sell their anti hunting agenda. Just look at all the comments from NPS regarding the brown bear hunts on the Kenai Pen, NPS comments regarding killing wolves on Unimak Island, NPS outrage at Alaska for killing Yukon Charley wolves outside the Yukon Charley preserve, and NPS comments on trappers killing wolves outside Denali National park, etc, to see their true values on display. NPS does not approve of hunting, especially for wolves and bears, as many of their employees and brass idolize the wolf and think it sacrilege to kill any wolf.
 

DannerAK

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The comment deadline is quickly approaching. I hope people take the time to read the proposed rule, the EA, and let your thoughts be known to the NPS, especially if you or anyone you know hunts or traps on preserve land either sport or subsistence for any species.
 
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