Monday, December 18, 2006

Anchorage Area Bear Baiting Clinics Scheduled

From ADFG Staff

Black bear baiting clinics available in Anchorage are as follows:
Feb. 7th 6:30-9pm Rabbit Creek Shooting Park
Feb. 28th 6:30-9pm Rabbit Creek Shooting Park
March 17th 9am-noon Capt. Cook Hotel
March 19th 6:30-9pm Rabbit Creek Shooting Park
April 11th 6:30-9pm Rabbit Creek Shooting Park

All classes are free and once you've been certified it's good for life. Call 267-2344 or 267-2137 to register. For info on Palmer and Valley classes call ADF&G in Palmer at 746-6321.
Classes fill up fast, so be sure to register early.

Becoming an Outdoors Woman - Late March

From an ADFG News Release

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game will host a “Becoming an Outdoors-Woman" workshop on March 24, 25 and 26, 2006, at Victory Bible Camp near Palmer.

“Becoming an Outdoors-Woman” is an international program designed to introduce people to hunting, fishing, and other outdoor activities. Over 40 hands-on sessions are scheduled, including firearm safety, bear safety, bow hunting, trapping, field dressing of fish and game, ice fishing, salmon fishing, fly tying, dog mushing, snow machining, chain saw safety, canning and smoking, and winter camping. All sessions are taught at the beginner level and no prior experience is necessary.

The fee is $200 for applications postmarked by February 10, and $225 after February 10, check or money order only. The fee includes meals and lodging as well as instruction, program materials, and use of demonstration equipment.

Registration is required. Registration forms and more information are posted on the ADFG website, or can be obtained by contacting Tracy Smith in Anchorage at 267-2896 or Kirk Lingofelt in Anchorage at 267-2534, or Patti Berkhahn in Soldotna at 260-2943.

Mail registrations to ADF&G, attention Tracy Smith, Division of Sport Fish, 333 Raspberry Road, Anchorage, Alaska, 99518. Registrations cannot be accepted over the phone or by fax.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Kodiak to Keep Federal Rural Subsistence

The Federal Subsistence Board ruled yesterday that Kodiak will keep its rural designation. This allows Kodiak residents the right to continue hunting and fishing with a subsistence priority on federal public lands. A huge portion of the Kodiak archipelago is federal.

The Kodiak Daily Mirror reported on the story:

In a unanimous decision, the Federal Subsistence Board ruled this morning that Kodiak city and the surrounding road system will maintain rural status for subsistence hunting and fishing purposes.

The decision means the subsistence rights of the roughly 13,000 people who live on the road system will be protected by the federal government.

The subsistence board met over two days, Tuesday and today, at the Egan Convention Center in Anchorage.

“Every board member spoke (during deliberations this morning) and they all concluded that Kodiak should remain rural,” board spokeswoman Maureen Clark said.

Gary Edwards, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service representative on the board, said during deliberations that Kodiak, given its economy, might be more rural today than it was 15 years ago when the board made its initial determination.


Read the entire article >>>

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Remainder of 40-Mile Winter Caribou Hunt Closes Dec 14

The last remaining open portion of winter caribou hunt RC867 closes at the end of the day on December 14, 2006, according to an Alaska Department of Fish and Game Emergency Order.

From the EO: "In March 2006, the Alaska Board of Game endorsed the Fortymile Caribou Herd Harvest Plan (harvest plan) as a means of guiding harvest of the herd from 2006 through 2012. The annual harvest quota is allocated seasonally: 75% to the fall hunt and 25%, plus any surplus from the fall quota, to the winter hunt. This winter’s quota is 372 caribou. The harvest plan also calls for a cow harvest of no more than 25%, or 164 cows. Caribou have been consistently available to hunters in areas accessible from the Taylor and Steese Highways since the beginning of the season on December 1, 2006. The winter harvest is now at 332 caribou and is expected to approach allowed quota. In addition, 170 cows have been taken and no further harvest is warranted."

Read the entire Emergency Order >>>

Tough Autumn for SE Alaska Deer

A recent story by an ADFG writer in the Juneau Empire details the tough winter being faced by SE Alaska deer. From the article:

Neil Barten, the Fish and Game area biologist for much of northern Southeast Alaska, noted that our region has experienced a series of fairly mild winters during the past five to 10 years.

Those favorable conditions have led to high deer densities, and many people came to expect that these high densities could persist indefinitely.

"Deer populations are subject to limiting factors in their environment, and here in Southeast Alaska, winter severity is the greatest limiting factor in deer survival," Barten said.

"During heavy snow winters such as this one, the carrying capacity of their habitat is only a fraction of that of a mild winter."


Read the entire story >>> (registration required)

Friday, December 08, 2006

Steese / CHS Road Closed for Winter 40Mile Caribou Hunt

The State of Alaska has closed the winter hunting season effective December 9, 2006 for the Fortymile Caribou Herd hunt RC867 in areas accessible from the Steese Highway and Chena Hot Springs Road and in the roadless areas of GMUs 20D and 20E. The winter Fortymile caribou hunt encompasses Unit 20E and portions of Units 20B, 20D, and 25C. An earlier emergency order closed the southern portion of Unit 20E on December 1. The remainder of the RC867 hunt area in northern Unit 20E is not affected by this emergency order.

According to the Emergency Order, the Alaska Board of Game endorsed the Fortymile Caribou Herd Harvest Plan (Harvest Plan) as a means of guiding harvest of the herd from 2006 through 2012. The annual harvest quota is allocated seasonally: 75% to the fall hunt and 25%, plus any surplus from the fall quota, to the winter hunt. This winter’s quota is 372 caribou. Each year the winter quota is divided between the 2 road accessible portions of the hunt area, the Steese Highway–Chena Hot Springs area and the Taylor Highway area. The quota of 223 caribou for the Steese Highway–Chena Hot Springs and roadless area is expected to be met on December 9, 2006, and no further harvest is warranted in these units. The hunt was closed in the southern portion of Unit 20E on December 1 to prevent overharvest of Nelchina caribou that moved into that area. The RC867 caribou season is scheduled to remain open in northeastern Unit 20E until February 28, 2007, but will be closed sooner if the remaining harvest quota is reached.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Federal Subsistence Board to Consider Proposed Changes to Rural/Nonrural Status Dec. 12-13

From a USFS News Release:

The Federal Subsistence Board will hold a public meeting Dec. 12-13 at the Egan Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage to consider a proposed rule that would change the rural/nonrural status of several Alaska communities and areas. The meeting will begin at 8:30 a.m. The public is welcome to attend. There will be an opportunity for public comment during the meeting.

The Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act requires that rural Alaskans be given a priority for subsistence uses of fish and wildlife on Federal public lands. Only residents of rural communities and areas are eligible for this subsistence priority. The Board initially determined which Alaska communities were rural when the Federal Subsistence Management Program began in 1990. Federal subsistence regulations require that rural/nonrural status be reviewed every 10 years, beginning with the availability of the 2000 census data. An initial staff review, completed in July 2005, recommended that the rural/nonrural status of most Alaska communities should remain unchanged for the proposed rule. However, under the proposed rule:

The Ketchikan Area is proposed to be expanded to include all areas on the road system connected to the City of Ketchikan (except Saxman, population 405 in 2005), as well as Pennock Island and an expanded portion of Gravina Island. No change is proposed in the nonrural status of the Ketchikan Area. Saxman would remain separate and rural. The population of the Ketchikan Area so identified, excluding Saxman, was an estimated 12,720 people in 2005, and the proposed rule notes that community characteristics indicate nonrural status.

Adak is proposed for change in status from nonrural to rural. Adak, a remote community in the Aleutian Islands, has undergone a substantial decrease in population (from more than 4,600 people in 1990 to less than 200 in 2005) which warrants a change in status.

Prudhoe Bay is proposed for change in status from rural to nonrural. Prudhoe Bay is an industrial enclave built for the sole purpose of extracting oil, currently with no permanent residents and none of the characteristics typical of a rural community.

Point MacKenzie is proposed to be grouped with the nonrural Wasilla/Palmer Area, and to thereby change in status from rural to nonrural. Available information indicates that Point MacKenzie is economically, socially and communally integrated with the Wasilla/Palmer Area.

Fritz Creek East (not including Voznesenka) and the North Fork Road area are proposed to be grouped with the nonrural Homer Area, and to thereby change in status from rural to nonrural. Available information indicates that these areas are economically, socially and communally integrated with the Homer Area.

Sterling is proposed to be fully included in the nonrural Kenai Area. Sterling has been part of the nonrural Kenai Area since 1990. However, for the 2000 census the Sterling census designated place was expanded, such that a significant portion now extends beyond the current boundary of the Kenai Area. This expanded portion would change in status from rural to nonrural with inclusion as proposed.

The Kodiak Area, including the City of Kodiak, the Mill Bay area, the Coast Guard Station, Women's Bay and Bells Flats, is proposed for change in status from rural to nonrural. Available information indicates that these places are economically, socially and communally integrated to an extent that warrants grouping. The population of this area is approximately 12,000 people, and the proposed rule notes that community characteristics indicate nonrural status. (Places excluded from the grouping, which would thereby remain rural in status, are Chiniak, Pasagshak, Anton Larsen, Kalsin Bay and Middle Bay, and villages and communities on the Kodiak Archipelago not connected by road to the City of Kodiak.)

Meeting materials, including the agenda, the proposed rule, the analysis used by the Board to develop the proposed rule, and the summary of Council recommendations and public comments can be found under the Federal Subsistence Board "Meeting Materials" section of the Federal Subsistence Management Program website at http://alaska.fws.gov/asm/home.html.

For additional information, please contact Maureen Clark or Larry Buklis with the Federal Office of Subsistence Management at (800) 478-1456 or (907) 786-3888.

Tongass & Chugach Forest Based Guides May Face Higher Fees

The US Forest Service is proposing to collect significantly higher fees from guides who bring hunters (and tourists) to the Chugach and Tongass National Forests in Alaska, the Anchorage Daily News reports.

Big game guides' fees would more than double under the proposal, which would take effect in 2008.

Read the entire story in the Anchorage Daily News >>>

Monday, November 27, 2006

Part of 40-Mile Caribou Hunt Closes Nov 30

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is closing a portion of the winter hunting season by registration permit RC867 for Fortymile caribou in Unit 20E at the end of the last day of November. The portion closed is that part south of an east-west line that passes through milepost 60 of the Taylor Highway (64°00’01’’ North latitude).

According to an ADFG Emergency Order, large numbers of Nelchina Herd caribou are present in the southern portion of Unit 20E and therefore are at risk of being harvested under registration permit RC867, which is intended for Fortymile Herd caribou. No harvest of Nelchina caribou is allocated to Unit 20E, and take of Nelchina caribou in other units during state and federal hunting seasons is expected to meet the harvest objective of 2,000 bulls and 1,000 cows.

Minimal reduction in opportunity to harvest Fortymile caribou in Unit 20E is expected from this closure. Less than 5% of the Fortymile herd is in the portion of Unit 20E where the season is being closed.

From an ADFG Emergency Order dated 27 November 2006

Deployed Soldiers Get Permit Break

Soldiers winning Alaska big game hunting permits that would be used during their deployment have been given an opportunity to use them later, thanks to a ruling earlier this month by the Alaska Board of Game.

The Anchorage Daily News reported it this way: "The board, meeting in Wrangell earlier this month, created an exemption for Alaska soldiers who won drawing permits but had deployed to the Middle East before using them. Instead of losing the permit, soldiers serving in combat zones can hunt with it after returning to Alaska.

The Game Board also agreed to let deployed soldiers transfer subsistence hunting permits to alternate hunters back home in Alaska. Those hunters can use the Tier II permit to provide meat for hunters' families, said board member Cliff Judkins."

Read the entire story >>>

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Nunatak Bench Moose Hunt Closed

ADFG recently announced a closure of the Nunatak Bench moose hunt (RM059) in a portion of GMU 5A near Yakutat. An aerial survey revealed very low moose numbers. Any hunting would be detrimental to the population, according to an ADFG news release.

This closure does not affect other GMU 5 moose hunts, including RM061 and RM062.

Read the ADFG News Release >>>

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Game Board Acts on SE Alaska Wildlife Proposals, Supports Soldiers

The Alaska Board of Game rejected a proposal by the Upper Lynn Canal Advisory Committee to lengthen the wolf season in a portion of northern SE Alaska. The Anchorage Daily News reports:

"The board, meeting this week in Wrangell, did not decide on a separate measure that would have allowed wolf hunters to fly and shoot on the same day because the proposal was withdrawn. The practice remains illegal in Southeast and is allowed only in certain areas of the state.

The Upper Lynn Canal Advisory Committee, citing concerns that wolves in the Chilkat Valley were thinning the moose population, had proposed the measures. The committee's chairman, Gary Hess, said the proposal to lengthen the season was meant to apply only to wolves in the Chilkat Valley."

The board also rejected proposals to open Swan Island and Swan Cove on Admiralty Island to brown bear hunting.

The Board did unanimously pass a proposal design to support military personnel overseas, the ADN reported: "Hunters in Alaska can now use a soldier's subsistence hunting permit and ship that meat to the soldier."

Read the entire article in the Anchorage Daily News >>>

Game Board Acts on SE Alaska Wildlife Proposals, Supports Soldiers

The Alaska Board of Game rejected a proposal by the Upper Lynn Canal Advisory Committee to lengthen the wolf season in a portion of northern SE Alaska. The Anchorage Daily News reports:

"The board, meeting this week in Wrangell, did not decide on a separate measure that would have allowed wolf hunters to fly and shoot on the same day because the proposal was withdrawn. The practice remains illegal in Southeast and is allowed only in certain areas of the state.

The Upper Lynn Canal Advisory Committee, citing concerns that wolves in the Chilkat Valley were thinning the moose population, had proposed the measures. The committee's chairman, Gary Hess, said the proposal to lengthen the season was meant to apply only to wolves in the Chilkat Valley."

The board also rejected proposals to open Swan Island and Swan Cove on Admiralty Island to brown bear hunting.

The Board did unanimously pass a proposal design to support military personnel overseas, the ADN reported: "Hunters in Alaska can now use a soldier's subsistence hunting permit and ship that meat to the soldier."

Read the entire article in the Anchorage Daily News >>>

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Federal Advisory Council Accepted

From a USFS News Release:

The Office of Subsistence Management is accepting applications and nominations to fill seats on the Regional Advisory Councils that advise the Federal Subsistence Board. The deadline for submitting applications is January 10, 2007.

The councils meet twice yearly and advise the Federal Subsistence Board on subsistence management regulations and policies. They also serve as a forum for regional public involvement in Federal subsistence management. Council members are knowledgeable about subsistence, commercial, and sport uses in their region.

For an application or additional information, please contact Ann Wilkinson at the Office of Subsistence Management at (800) 478-1456 or (907) 786-3676.

Why the Decline in Northern Alaska Caribou Herd?

From an article in the Alaska Wildlife News:

Caribou populations fluctuate naturally. But when the Northern Alaska Peninsula herd began spiraling downward more than a decade ago and not stopping, caribou hunters and Alaska Department of Fish and Game biologists became increasingly concerned.

The drop was dramatic – from more than 20,000 animals in the 1980s to about 2,000 today. Biologists were unsure what was causing the decline but guessed that predation, poor range, disease and parasites might be playing roles.

Hunting was reduced but the population continued to plummet. The population objective for the herd is about 12,000 animals.

A research project initiated by Fish and Game in 2005 aimed to collect data on the influence of nutrition, disease and predation on calf production and survival within the herd. The work is partially funded with special general funds provided by the Alaska Legislature to enhance game management efforts and is a collaborative effort by three Fish and Game biologists: caribou expert Bruce Dale, King Salmon area biologist Lem Butler and veterinarian Dr. Kimberlee Beckmen.

The Northern Alaska Peninsula herd ranges from King Salmon to Port Moeller. Butler said the herd is important for subsistence and hunters have taken a keen interest in research findings.

Read the entire article >>>

Time to Revise the Advisory Committee System

From an editorial by ADFG Deputy Commissioner Wayne Regelin in Alaska Wildlife News:

"The Local Fish and Game Advisory Committee system is an essential part of the Board of Fisheries and Board of Game process. It provides an effective mechanism for citizen involvement in the fish and game regulatory process.

The advisory committee system was established in 1959 by the First Alaska State Legislature. Over time, the number of committees has grown without limits or any overall plan. Consequently, today we have an unwieldy 81 advisory committees on the books. Some advisory committees represent numerous villages over extensive areas while others represent single small villages in close proximity to other villages that also have an advisory committee. Some small communities have a difficult time maintaining active advisory committees. Presently, 17 of the 81 committees are inactive and some have been inactive for many years."

Read the entire article >>>

Monday, November 06, 2006

Winter Drawing Application Period Open Until December 6

Hunting permit applications are being accepted now for various Alaska hunts, including Kodiak and NW Alaska brown bear, mountain goat, some western Alaska moose hunts, and sheep. The deadline is December 6. Additional drawing permit hunts will be open for application during the month of May, 2007.

A permit supplement describing these hunts is available online. More information about this drawing hunt system is also available on the ADFG website.

Board of Game to Meet in Wrangell, November 10-15

From an ADFG News Release >>>

The Alaska Board of Game will meet November 10-15 at the James and Elsie Nolan Center in Wrangell. The board will consider over 40 proposals on Southeast Region hunting and trapping regulations, as well as other topics.

Proposals have been submitted by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, advisory committees, and members of the general public seeking adjustments to hunting and trapping regulations in the Southeast region. Issues to be addressed by the board include trapping seasons and requirements, methods and means, and hunting seasons and bag limits including deer, moose, bear, goat, and waterfowl. The board will also consider proposals to open brown bear hunting in the Swan Cove area of the Seymour Canal Closed area, changes to the waterfowl hunting requirements in the Mendenhall Wetlands State Game Refuge, and modifications to the permit system to assist military personnel serving in combat zones.

The board meeting will begin with oral public testimony on Friday, November 10. Anyone wishing to testify before the board must sign up at the meeting site before the announced deadline. Public testimony will continue until everyone who has signed up has been given the opportunity to be heard. Written comments will be accepted on specific proposals up until the proposal is deliberated. Comments may be faxed to (907) 465-6094.

Deliberations on the proposals will begin following public testimony and continue through the remainder of the meeting. Copies of the proposals, the agenda, and the “roadmap” can be viewed online, or contact the Boards Support Section at (907) 465-4110.

Goat Hunting Closure Announced Near Haines

From an ADFG News Release:

The guideline harvest level for mountain goats has been reached in the portion of RG024 east of the Ferebee Glacier and River, west of Taiya Inlet, and south of West Creek. An emergency order was issued to close the season in this area on Wednesday November 1.

Read the entire ADFG news release >>>

Monday, October 30, 2006

Ak Outdoor Council Turns Thumbs Down On Fed Rural Designation Proposals

On October 26, 2006 The Alaska Outdoor Council commented on proposed federal subsistence board regulations that would make rural certain areas in Southeast and Southcentral Alaska. The comments were addressed to FSB chairman Mike Fleagle. The FSB meets in Anchorage on December 12 and 13.

As a spokesperson for the Alaska Outdoor Council (AOC) my participation in the federal public comment process has been an “exercise in futility” regarding the implementation of the federal subsistence law, Title VIII of ANILCA. Regardless of the testimony and written comment provided by AOC for many years, the Federal Subsistence Board (FSB) has consistently and repeatedly developed arbitrary determinations and regulations that have seldom been based on the board’s own criteria, but rather upon inaccurate information or statements generally unsupported by valid data. Yet I am obligated as the Executive Director of AOC to provide written comment on the Proposed Rule on the Review of Rural Determinations. The AOC is a statewide organization representing 50 clubs and 2,500 individual members totaling 10,000+ Alaskans. AOC advocates for conservation of natural resources and equality in access and use of those natural resources.

The Decennial Review of Rural Determinations, based on Alaska Communities 2000 U.S. Census Data, should be evidence enough to convince most hunters and fish harvesters that the federal rural priority won’t work for communities and areas in Southcentral Alaska (Region 2) because of proximity/road connectedness. The FSB should determine all communities and areas within the State’s Anchorage-MatSu-Kenai Nonsubsistence Area as nonrural status. The Kenai Area, Seward Area, Wasilla Area, and Homer Area all fall within the State’s Nonsubsistence Areas for good reason. The FSB should take action to stop the duplication of State Regulations that provide for reasonable harvest opportunities. The FSB’s actions in areas with competing user groups are divisive and not in Alaskans’ best interest. Considering that there were no proposed rule changes to the rural determinations for communities or areas for; Bristol Bay, the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, Western Interior Alaska, the Seward Peninsula, or the Northwest Arctic (except for the oil development community built at Prudhoe Bay), it should be evident that the federal subsistence law only works in areas with limited “cheap” access that acts as a barrier to competing user groups.

The same argument applies to the Fairbanks North Star Borough as well as the Delta Junction vicinity. The FSB should avoid actions that are costly to administer and cause divisiveness among Alaskans by adopting regulations that match federal nonrural communities and areas with the State’s Nonsubsistence Areas.

In the Kodiak/Aleutians Region 3 the FSB should group the City of Kodiak, the Mill Bay area, the Coast Guard Station, Women’s Bay and Bells Flats into a nonrural designation. That action would be consistent with federal regulations.

Adak should remain a nonrural area. If all you need to do to qualify for a federal priority to hunt and fish is to move to a remote community or area with a declining population then the federal regulation for Customary and Traditional (Criteria 50 C.F.R. 100.16 (b)) is not in the spirit, nor the intent, of Title VIII of ANILCA.

The December 7, 2005, action of the Federal Subsistence Board concluded that further analysis of Sitka was not necessary as part of the Decennial Review of Rural Determinations. Actions taken without due process based on the public testimony of a number of residents of Sitka are arbitrary and capricious. Legitimizing the federal subsistence priority found in Title VIII of ANILCA should have been pursued by the FSB going through its criteria for determining rural classifications under 50 C.F.R. 100.16.

How can the FSB justify giving a priority to the 70.1% Alaska native population of Saxman, with a Median Household Income of $44,375 for a population of 431, from the 2000 U.S. Census, while at the same time denying the same federal priority to the 22.7% of Alaska natives who live outside the city limits of Saxman in the surrounding town of Ketchikan? The Ketchikan area population was 13,639 with a Median Household Income of $45,962 in the 2000 U.S. Census. AOC’s recommendation to the Board is to adopt the State’s Ketchikan Nonsubsistence Area boundaries for the federal nonrural area.

It would have been advantageous for the FSB to compare the Interagency Staff analysis for Sitka’s Rural Determination showing a dispersed Alaska native population of 24.7% and a Median Household Income of $51,901, to the characteristics used to separate Saxman from the greater Ketchikan area. Federal regulations cite five criteria to be used when making a determination of rural or nonrural status: (i) use of fish and wildlife, (ii) development and diversity of the local economy, (iii) community infrastructure, (iv) transportation, and (v) educational institutions.Since the FSB staff analysis of communities and areas for review of rural determinations doesn’t seem to rely on a consistent evaluation of objective criteria, on what basis is the FSB making these determinations, or classifications? The FSB should also review the rural determination for Sitka.

The Alaska Outdoor Council supports the personal consumptive use of Alaska’s fish and wildlife resources. The Alaska Outdoor Council is, however, opposed to laws that give a preference to users based on criteria of residency, culture or ethnic background.

There are a number of glaring inconsistencies in the criteria used to determine rural/nonrural status by the FSB. Hopefully these will be addressed at the December 2006 Board meeting in Anchorage.

Thank you for the opportunity to submit written comment on AOC’s behalf.

Rod Arno, Executive Director
Alaska Outdoor Council

Seward Highway Sheep Poacher Sentenced

A taxidermist convicted in Anchorage Superior Court of killing two Dall sheep last winter along the Seward Highway has been sentenced. The killings were widely discussed, including on the Alaska Hunting Forum.

The sentence included a large fine, jail time and probation restrictions. The Anchorage Daily News (ADN) reported that "Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered that for the next 10 years McConnell is not allowed to own a computer or be on the Internet. He's not allowed to practice taxidermy or own guns. And if he wants to leave the road system south of Anchorage, he's got to have the permission of his probation officer."

A second shooter was also sentenced in the case, but received a lesser sentence based on a deal with prosecutors, according to the ADN.

Read the entire article in the Anchorage Daily News >>>

Anchorage Hillside Moose Hunt Goes Second Year

A small and somewhat controversial moose hunt on the heavily populated Anchorage hillside begins again on November first. The hunt is for only four cows, and is a cautious second step in the process of reducing the number of moose in the Anchorage bowl.

The Anchorage Daily News put it this way: "The hunt is small and somewhat experimental. Hunters may only use shotguns or black-powder rifles -- firearms with normal trajectories less than 300 yards -- to kill cow moose. The hunters also must pass a hunter safety course and a weapons proficiency test to help ensure moose are killed quickly and efficiently.

Other rules stipulate that the hunters must:
  • Drag moose gut piles at least 100 yards from any trail;
  • Provide the location to the state; and
  • Phone state biologists before and after the hunts.
The reason for all the precaution is the Hillside moose hunt's controversial history. Last year was the first moose hunt on the Anchorage Hillside since 1983, when a bow hunt created a public-relations nightmare."

Read the entire article in the Anchorage Daily News >>>

Friday, October 27, 2006

Initiative Petition Sponsors Try Ballot Box Biology Again

From the Anchorage Daily News:

"A group calling itself Alaskans for Wildlife is hoping that once again the will of the people will be enough to stop the aerial shooting of wolves and bears in Alaska.

Sponsors of an initiative to restrict Alaska's predator control program dropped off eight cardboard boxes Tuesday at the state Division of Elections office in Anchorage. Inside were petitions with 56,574 signatures, far more than the 31,451 required to get the initiative on the ballot in 2008. The signatures now must be verified by the election staff."

Read the entire article >>>

Trucks Still in the Tundra

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports that the two pickup trucks stuck off the Dalton Highway are still there after a failed attempt to jack them up out of the wet tundra:

"The hunters who drove a pair of pickup trucks off the Dalton Highway in early September to retrieve three caribou they shot only to get the trucks stuck up to their axles in the tundra are still trying to figure out a way to free the trucks from the muck before freezeup.

Officials with the Bureau of Land Management said the hunters were unsuccessful in their first attempt to jack up the vehicles. This week, the hunters were planning to make a second try at lifting the trucks out of the mud. They hope to drive the trucks out after the ground freezes to prevent further damage to the tundra."

Read the entire article in the News-Miner >>>

Goat hunts close near Cordova, Skagway, Juneau, Kodiak and Kenai Peninsula

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has announced closure of mountain goat hunts or non opening in several areas in southcentral and southeast Alaska. The closures are as follows (hyperlinks point to ADFG news releases in PDF format)

Thursday, October 19, 2006

USFWS Calls for Suggestions on Membership of Federal Subsistence Regional Advisory Councils

From a USFWS News Release dated 17 Oct 206:

The Federal Subsistence Board is accepting written comments and suggestions through Nov. 13, 2006 on alternative methods for assuring balanced membership on Federal subsistence regional advisory councils.

Currently, there are 10 Federal subsistence regional advisory councils around the state. The members of these councils are volunteers and also local users of fish and wildlife resources. They serve a pivotal role in the Federal subsistence program by using their local knowledge and expertise to evaluate regulatory proposals and make recommendations to the Federal Subsistence Board.

The Federal Advisory Committee Act requires that advisory committees have a balanced membership. Current Federal regulations, adopted in 2004, set a goal of 70 percent subsistence users and 30 percent sport and commercial users on the Federal subsistence regional advisory councils. The intent of this regulation was to ensure the appropriate representation and meaningful majority role for rural Alaska residents, while providing appropriate representation for the interests of consumptive users of fish and wildlife on public lands other than rural subsistence users. However, on Aug. 8, 2006 the U.S. District Court for Alaska enjoined the use of this approach, saying the Board failed to articulate its rationale in adopting the 70/30 membership goal.

The Board is seeking written comments and suggestions at this time to consider alternatives that would provide balanced membership on the regional advisory councils. Written comments and suggestions will be accepted through Nov. 13, 2006 and can be sent by e-mail to subsistence@fws.gov, by fax at (907) 786-3898, or by mail to:

Federal Subsistence Board Attn: Theo Matuskowitz
Office of Subsistence Management
3601 C Street, Suite 1030
Anchorage, AK 99503

For additional information, please contact Ann Wilkinson at (800) 478-1456 or (907) 786-3676 or by e-mail, ann_wilkinson@fws.gov.

Monday, October 16, 2006

No Skilak Gun Hunt: Preferred Alternative

From an Anchorage Daily News Article:

"Federal wildlife managers are planning to upgrade animal-viewing opportunities north of the Kenai Peninsula's Skilak Lake, according to a plan released this week.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's preferred option in the Skilak Wildlife Recreation Area plan would add a nature center at Pack Lake, more ranger- led environmental education, a self-guided interpretive drive, a wheelchair-accessible trail and more camp sites, among other upgrades. Perhaps most noticeable would be the pavement it would lay on Skilak Lake Loop, currently a dirt road.

The agency would not open the area to rifle and shotgun hunting for small game, as the Alaska Board of Game has requested."

Read the entire article >>>

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Hunting Buffer Zone Around Mat-Su Schools?

The Anchorage Daily News reports that "For the second time in less than a week, Meadow Lakes Elementary School went into lockdown Tuesday after school personnel heard gunshots in the distance."

Fish & Wildlife officers believe the gunshots were from hunters. At least one parent is calling for buffer zones, an idea that Borough Manager John Duffy did not apparently disagree with.

"We have the authority to ensure that our children are safe within our schools," Duffy said. "I think creating a safe zone around schools is certainly prudent. I think the Board of Game would support that."

Read the entire Anchorage Daily News article >>>

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

BLM May Take Action on Tundra Trucks

The two truck owners stuck in the tundra off the Haul Road may face legal as well as financial problems as a result of driving their pickup trucks off the road in September in order to retrieve downed caribou, according to the Anchorage Daily News.

"I'm investigating it with the intent that (legal) action will be taken against the violators," said Bureau of Land Management ranger Ed Lee of Fairbanks.

"The hunters last week received permission from the BLM to jack the trucks up and put them on plastic blocks in hopes they will be able to drive them out when the ground freezes this winter. The trucks are on BLM land about 370 miles north of Fairbanks."

Read the entire article >>>

The issue was discussed extensively in at least one Alaska Hunting Forum thread.

Stikine Moose Hunt Closed Early

From an ADFG News Release >>>

The Alaska Department of Fish & Game is announcing the early closure of the RM038
registration moose hunting season in the drainages of the Stikine River in Game Management Unit 1(B).

An Emergency Order has been issued (#01-03-06) closing the RM038 moose season in the
drainages of the Stikine River effective at 11:59 pm on Friday, 6 October 2006
By Thursday, 5 October 2006, the reported harvest of bull moose in the Stikine River drainages had reached 31 animals. This represents the highest moose harvest on the river since 1990. In addition, a growing problem of noncompliance with the existing antler regulations has resulted in unacceptably high harvest of bull moose that were intended to be protected by existing regulations. Any additional harvest of bull moose in the Stikine River drainage may jeopardize the future productivity of this moose population.

All other moose hunting regulations in Unit 1B, including the DM033 moose drawing permit
hunt, remain unchanged and are not affected by this Emergency Order.

Hunters with questions about moose hunting in Game Management Unit 1(B) can contact the
Petersburg Area Office of the Alaska Department of Fish & Game @ 907-772-3801.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Game Board Adds New Nelchina Subsistence Rules

The Alaska Board of Game changed the rules slightly in the high profile Nelchina caribou Tier II hunt, according to the Anchorage Daily News. The board rejected so-called "super exclusive" subsistence areas, but did reduce the household bag from three to two, and voted to require salvage of head and hide.

Read the entire Anchorage Daily News article >>>

Monday, October 09, 2006

Game Board Axes Proposals; Considering Other Subsistence Changes

From the Anchorage Daily News (2 stories):

Many, mostly Alaskans from rural parts of the state, told the Alaska Board of Game on Saturday not to change the way the regulations worked:

"More than 50 Alaska Natives carried signs and walked the sidewalks through an early-morning drizzle Saturday in downtown Anchorage, protesting Board of Game proposals that would radically overhaul the popular Nelchina caribou hunt.

Later, the wet-haired marchers shed rain jackets and stuffed themselves into a warm hotel conference room, testifying before the board that the proposals would take meat from their tables.

The Game Board, in a special meeting expected to last through Monday, might end the controversial and highly restricted Tier II subsistence hunt in the Nelchina basin north and east of Anchorage."

Read the entire story in the Anchorage Daily News >>>

The following day, the Board rejected two proposals that would have changed the way the program worked:

"The Board of Game on Sunday rejected two proposals that would alter the state subsistence program, said Kristy Tibbles, executive director.

But board members today will take up other proposals that could give every Alaskan a shot at participating in the highly restricted Nelchina caribou hunt, she said.

Board members, meeting in Anchorage today, have said they want to address complaints that the hunt restricts people younger than 38 and encourages applicants to lie to win permits. Many hunters also complain that not enough permits are awarded to meet demand."

Read the entire story in the Anchorage Daily News >>>

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Controversial Nelchina Proposals to be Aired This Weekend

From the Anchorage Daily News:

"Hunters can weigh in this weekend on controversial Board of Game proposals that may dramatically overhaul the popular Nelchina caribou hunt.

In the special meeting, game board members will consider changes to the highway-accessible hunt as well as to the state's Tier II hunting system.

The meeting begins with public testimony at the Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel in downtown Anchorage at 8:30 a.m. today. The meeting is expected to end Monday with a vote by the Game Board."

Read the entire article >>>

Friday, October 06, 2006

Comments Sought on Kenai Refuge's Skilak Wildlife Recreation Area Plan

From a USFWS News Release:

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking public comments on its recently completed Draft Management Plan and Environmental Assessment for Kenai National Wildlife Refuge's Skilak Wildlife Recreation Area. This Draft Plan is available on CD-ROM from Rob Campellone (see address below), or can be found at: http://alaska.fws.gov/nwr/planning/kenpol.htm, under the category, Step-down Management Plans.

The Draft Plan identifies three alternatives for public use of the 44,000-acre Skilak Wildlife Recreation Area. It also presents the Service's evaluation of the environmental consequences associated with implementing each of the alternatives. The final version of this plan, which will be completed following consideration of all public comments, will guide future management of the Skilak Wildlife Recreation Area.

The Service is inviting comment on this draft document because public involvement in the planning process is essential for development of an effective plan, and will accept such comments until November 17, 2006.
Comments should be specific, addressing merits of the alternatives and adequacy of the environmental analysis.

All public comments received, including the names and addresses of those commenting, will be included in the planning record, which will be available for public review. However, if any individual wishes to withhold his or her name or address, the Service requests that he or she state this prominently at the beginning of any comments. We will honor such requests to the extent allowed by law.

All comments from organizations and businesses, and from individuals identifying themselves as representatives or officials of organizations or businesses, will be available for public inspection. Anonymous comments will not be considered. Comments can be mailed, e-mailed, or provided orally by November 17, 2006, to: Rob Campellone, Planning Team Leader; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 1011 East Tudor Road - MS 231; Anchorage, AK 99503-6199. Rob Campellone can be reached by telephone at (907) 786-3982, or by email at: fw7_kenai_planning@fws.gov.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

One Bear, Two Bears, Three Bears… Counting Bears You Can Not See

From an Alaska Wildlife News article by Mike Taras:

Al Keech slung the shotgun over his shoulder as he strolled through the woods towards the grizzly bear lure site. I stayed close, trying to make noise as we approached the blood-and-fish soaked lure. I knew hundreds of these sites had been checked over the summer without any encounters with bears but still, it was a grizzly bear lure site, and it was the first I was checking.

It wasn’t bears we were looking for, but evidence of bears. “We got one,” I said to Keech, peering at the clump of grizzly hair stuck to the hair snare – a strand of barbed wire encircling the lure.

Estimating bear numbers is no easy task. They can’t be counted like moose, which are active all year and are relatively easy to see from an airplane when snow covers the ground.

Bears are almost impossible to count accurately from an airplane in wooded country, as they often spend the daylight hours in thick cover. In the winter, when they would stand out against the snow, they are hidden away in their dens hibernating.

With these challenges Fish and Game biologist Craig Gardner set out to design a bear population estimate in the 40-mile country north of Tok and west of Chicken. This area is part of ongoing Intensive Management efforts to increase moose and caribou numbers and managers wanted more data on the grizzly bear population in the area. Working with a limited budget and limited staff, Gardner’s task was to determine how many bears are living in an area almost 3,000 square miles.

Read the entire article in Alaska Wildlife News >>>

More on Wood Bison Restoration in Alaska

From an Alaska Wildlife News article by Riley Woodford:

A few hundred years ago, massive wood bison and musk oxen roamed the meadows of Interior Alaska. Steller sea cows and spectacled cormorants inhabited Aleutian waters. But by 1900, these animals were gone.

It’s too late to bring back the Steller sea cow and the spectacled cormorant – these animals are extinct. And while musk oxen and wood bison were extirpated from Alaska, populations survived in Greenland and Canada. In the 1930s, musk oxen were reintroduced to Alaska, and now several thousand animals inhabit about six different regions of the state.

Many Alaskans hope the same thing can happen with wood bison. These oversize cousins to the plains bison are the largest land animal in North America and still inhabit a few areas in western Canada. Bob Stephenson, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game Yukon Flats area biologist, began work on wood bison reintroduction in the early 1990s, in partnership with tribal councils and others. ADFG has found that wood bison restoration has broad appeal and is supported by Native groups, hunters, conservation organizations and biologists outside the department of Fish and Game. But times have changed since the days of the musk oxen restoration, and reintroducing wood bison to Alaska has met some surprising hurdles.

Read the entire article on Alaska Wildlife News >>>

Regional Advisory Council Meetings Homer, Delta, Ruby, Kotzebue, Sitka

The Southcentral Alaska Federal Subsistence Regional Advisory Council will meet October 17-19 at the Islands and Ocean Visitor Center in Homer. The meeting will begin at 9 a.m. each day. The public is welcome at this meeting. There will be opportunities for public comment. For more information read the USFWS News Release >>>

The Eastern Interior Federal Subsistence Regional Advisory Council will meet Tuesday and Wednesday, Oct. 17-18, in Delta Junction. The meeting will be held at the Delta Junction Community Hall and will begin at 10 a.m. Tuesday and at 9 a.m. Wednesday. For more information read the USFWS News Release >>>

The Western Interior Federal Subsistence Regional Advisory Council will meet Wednesday and Thursday, Oct. 11-12, in Ruby. The meeting will be held at the Ruby Community Hall and will begin at 9 a.m. For more information read the USFWS News Release >>>

The Northwest Arctic Federal Subsistence Regional Advisory Council will meet Friday, Oct. 13, in Kotzebue. The meeting will be held at the Nullagvik Hotel Meeting Room and will begin at 8:30 a.m. For more information read the USFWS News Release >>>

The Southeast Federal Subsistence Regional Advisory Council will meet Wednesday through Friday, Oct. 11-13, in Sitka. The meeting will be held at the Sitka Community House, Sheetka Kwaan Naa Kahidi, and will begin at 9 a.m. For more information read the USFWS News Release >>>

All USFWS subsistence news releases can be found here: http://alaska.fws.gov/asm/news.cfm?gnr=1

Monday, October 02, 2006

Veterans Group Helps Make Disabled Moose Hunt a Reality

"Ron Hoskins looked pretty much like any other moose hunter in Alaska.

Dressed in camouflage from head to toe, he sat in a hunting blind at the edge of the woods on a seepage channel within the Chena River Lakes Flood Control Project, waiting for a bull moose to appear.

For Hoskins, who has been confined to a wheelchair for 30 years as a result of a car accident, it was therapeutic. The birds and squirrels didn't know he was paralyzed and neither would a bull moose if it happened to show up within shooting distance. The fact he was in a wheelchair didn't matter. He was a hunter in the woods."

Read entire Fairbanks Daily News-Miner article >>>

Should Skilak Lake Area Remain Closed to Hunting?

"This sliver of the federal refuge, just north of Skilak Lake, has been mostly set aside for wildlife viewing and other "take only pictures" recreation for two decades. The Alaska Board of Game wants to change that by allowing hunters with guns to chase small game each fall, the way many Kenai Peninsula residents remember doing when they were young.

The proposal could lead to a showdown with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which so far has favored expanding wildlife watching along Skilak Lake Road, and keeping current hunting restrictions."

Read the entire Anchorage Daily News article >>>

Monday, September 25, 2006

ADFG Asking For Deer & Elk Hunter Help Detecting CWD

Taken from a recent ADFG web page:

Deer and elk hunters in the Kodiak area (GMU 8), Prince of Wales Island area (GMU2), and elk hunters in Southeast Alaska are asked to donate the heads from your hunts in 2006. Many samples are needed to determine if our deer and elk populations in these areas are free of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD).

To test for CWD, samples are taken from the brain stem through the hole at the back of the skull, lymph nodes near the larynx, and tonsils. Samples can be taken with no damage to the skull.

Results take many months to get back, and hunters will only be notified individually if there is a positive result. Total numbers and results will be put on the website on the Chronic Wasting Disease page.

Read the entire ADFG web page >>>

Alaska Protests Federal Subsistence Board Allowing Bear Claws Sale

The Federal Subsistence Board recently took action that allows commercial sales of bear claws and other parts of bears taken for subsistence to continue, despite the State of Alaska's protest. By retaining rules that allow unconstrained sales of bear parts, the Board undermines state, national, and international wildlife protection and enforcement efforts. The State of Alaska filed an appeal with the Federal Subsistence Board:

Read the entire ADFG page with links >>>

Board of Game Hearing in Juneau October 19 on SE Reg Changes

The Alaska Board of Game is holding a public hearing in Juneau on October 19. The purpose of the meeting is to "gather information and listen to public comment" about issues relating to proposed changes in hunting and trapping regulations proposed for Southeast Alaska.

Read the entire ADFG notice >>>

Bristol Bay, Y-K, & Seward Peninsula Federal Subsistence Advisory Councils to Meet

The USFWS Federal Subsistence Management Program announced the meeting of Regional Advisory Councils in Western Alaska:

  • The Bristol Bay Federal Subsistence Regional Advisory Council will meet October 2-3 at the Dillingham City Assembly Chambers. The meeting will begin at 8:30 a.m.
  • The Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta Federal Subsistence Regional Advisory Council will meet October 5-6 in Bethel. The meeting will be held at the Long House Bethel Inn, 751 3rd Ave., and will begin at 9 a.m.
  • The Seward Peninsula Federal Subsistence Regional Advisory Council will meet Friday, October 6 in Nome. The meeting will be held at the Aurora Inn Conference Room and will begin at 8:30 a.m.
The councils will consider subsistence hunting, fishing and trapping regulation changes. For additional information see the news releases >>>

Thursday, September 21, 2006

GMU 20A Antlerless Hunt RM764/Zone 2 Closes

From an ADFG News Release:

The Department of Fish and Game is closing antlerless moose hunting in part of Unit 20A south of Fairbanks.

The season in Zone 2 will close at 11:59 pm on Sunday, September 24th, 2006.

The quota of 175 antlerless moose for Zone 2 is projected to be reached by Sunday night. Allowing the hunt to continue would likely result in the harvest quotas being exceeded.

“Excellent weather and strong interest in the antlerless hunt has resulted in achieving our harvest objective rather quickly in Zone 2,” said Fairbanks Area Biologist Don Young. “

The Board of Game authorized registration permit hunt RM764 for antlerless moose in Unit 20A between August 25 and February 28, unless closed earlier by emergency order.

The quota for antlerless moose in all of Unit 20A is 700, but to distribute the harvest more evenly, the Department divided the unit into seven hunting zones and established individual quotas for each zone based on estimated moose abundance. A zone map is printed on the back of the hunt permits.

Hunters with RM764 permits may continue to hunt in Zones 3, 4, and 5 of Unit 20A. Zones 1 and 6 are closed and Zone 7 does not open until October 4th. Successful hunters must report their harvest to the Fairbanks ADF&G office (459-7272) within 2 days of kill for Zone 3 and 5 days of kill for Zones 2, 4, or 5. Reporting online is available. Unsuccessful hunters must report to the Fairbanks ADF&G office within 15 days of the end of the season.

For recorded hunt information call the Unit 20A antlerless moose hunting hotline at 459–7386. Hunters with questions can call 459-7206 or 459-7233 for more information.

GMU 20A Antlerless Hunt RM764/Zone 2 Closes

From an ADFG News Release:

The Department of Fish and Game is closing antlerless moose hunting in part of Unit 20A south of Fairbanks.

The season in Zone 2 will close at 11:59 pm on Sunday, September 24th, 2006.

The quota of 175 antlerless moose for Zone 2 is projected to be reached by Sunday night. Allowing the hunt to continue would likely result in the harvest quotas being exceeded.

“Excellent weather and strong interest in the antlerless hunt has resulted in achieving our harvest objective rather quickly in Zone 2,” said Fairbanks Area Biologist Don Young. “

The Board of Game authorized registration permit hunt RM764 for antlerless moose in Unit 20A between August 25 and February 28, unless closed earlier by emergency order.

The quota for antlerless moose in all of Unit 20A is 700, but to distribute the harvest more evenly, the Department divided the unit into seven hunting zones and established individual quotas for each zone based on estimated moose abundance. A zone map is printed on the back of the hunt permits.

Hunters with RM764 permits may continue to hunt in Zones 3, 4, and 5 of Unit 20A. Zones 1 and 6 are closed and Zone 7 does not open until October 4th. Successful hunters must report their harvest to the Fairbanks ADF&G office (459-7272) within 2 days of kill for Zone 3 and 5 days of kill for Zones 2, 4, or 5. Reporting online is available. Unsuccessful hunters must report to the Fairbanks ADF&G office within 15 days of the end of the season.

For recorded hunt information call the Unit 20A antlerless moose hunting hotline at 459–7386. Hunters with questions can call 459-7206 or 459-7233 for more information.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Portion of Haines Area Closed to Goat Hunting

ADFG has closed a portion of the Takshankuk mountains near Haines to goat hunting. Most of the remainder of GMU 1D is still open.

Read the entire ADFG News Release (with map) >>>

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Kodiak Canada Goose Season Reopens After 20 Years

Waterfowlers will be able to take Canada geese in the Kodiak Archipelago for the first time since the season was closed in 1987, an ADFG press release reports.

The season is possible because of a translocation of 200 Vancouver Canada geese from Southeast Alaska in 1987. Kodiak had no resident Canadas at the time, and the Vancouvers were brought in to establish a population.

The translocated population is now at a level that can support hunting. The season will be October 8 - January 22 with a bag of 1 Canada, and 2 in possession. Some parts of Kodiak are closed to hunting.

Read the entire ADFG press release >>>

Martin River bull moose hunt closed near Cordova

An ADFG press release indicates that resident Alaskan registration permit hunt RM164 for antlered bull moose in the Martin River area of GMU6 closed on 16 September. Hunters are being asked to return their permit reports to the Cordova Office.

The agency reported that at least 19 bulls were taken.

Read the entire ADFG news release >>>

Monday, September 18, 2006

Hunters? A biologist confronts the issue of slobs

Alaska wildlife biologist Jack Whitman is a long time hunter. He writes: "I’m intimately involved in hunting, both professionally (for 35 years a biologist) and personally in my everyday life. I’m proud of that heritage which has been handed down through the generations. I’ll do what I can to maintain it for my children and for their children."

But two things happened recently to Whitman which caused him to become acutely aware of the issue of slobs in our ranks: the senseless killing of two animals: an owl sitting on its eggs, and his own hunting dog.

"Is this the wave of the future on a grand scale, or is this just a select few Fairbanks “hunters” that I’ve had the recent misfortune to encounter?," he writes.

Read the entire article on the Alaska Outdoors Supersite >>>

No 2006 Fall Kenai Brown Bear Hunting Season

The brown bear registration hunt (RB160) scheduled for October 15-31 in GMU 7 & 15, will not open because the total human-caused mortality of brown bears is at the management limit. Human-caused mortality includes defense of life and property kills, automobile collisions, illegally taken brown bears, and hunter kills.

Read the entire ADFG news release (PDF format) here >>>

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Kodiak/Aleutians Federal Subsistence Regional Advisory Council to Meet

The Kodiak/Aleutians Federal Subsistence Regional Advisory Council will meet Friday, Sept. 22, at 9 a.m. at the Comfort Inn in Kodiak.

The Council will call for proposals to change subsistence hunting and trapping regulations, hear updates on Fisheries Resource Monitoring Program projects and discuss current issues affecting subsistence in the Kodiak/Aleutians region.

The meeting will also provide an additional opportunity for the public to comment on the Federal Subsistence Board's rural review process. Rural status determines eligibility for the Federal subsistence priority. Kodiak has been proposed for a change in status.

This meeting is open to the public.

For additional information, special accommodations or an agenda for the meeting, contact Council Coordinator Michelle Chivers at least 72 hours prior to the meeting at (800) 478-1456 or (907) 786-3877 or by e-mail at michelle_chivers@fws.gov. Additional information on the Federal Subsistence Management Program can be found on the web.

From a USFWS News Release dated 12 September 2006

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Moose Hunt in western Alaska GMU 22B Closes

ADF&G has closed western Alaska moose permit hunt RM840 by emergency order as of September 11. This closes the state and federal moose hunt for this area.

GMU 22B located on the SE Seward Peninsula, east of Nome.

Read the complete news release >>>

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Proposals for SE Alaska Game Regulation Changes Published

The Alaska Board of Game has published the book of proposals for changes to the Alaska hunting regulations to be considered at its November 10-15, 2006 meeting to be held in Wrangell.

You can see the proposals online here. Proposals must be received by October 27th to be included in board members' workbooks.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Anchorage Hillside Moose Hunt Back in Business

A second Anchorage Hillside moose hunt is scheduled to start in early November. The hunt is controversial in Anchorage, but according to biologists, something must be done to reduce the area moose population.

Only four moose will be taken this year, according to KTVA News. Last year's hunt was the second hunt in this area in recent years.

Read the entire story >>>

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Yukon Flats Athabascans Working Towards Bison Reintroduction

Yukon Flats Athabascan Indians are working steadily towards reintroduction of bison to their part of Alaska. Oral tradition indicates that wood bison lived in Alaska until recent times, but before western civilization came to Alaska. Stevens Village has established a bison ranch in Delta Junction as part of this overall push to bring bison back.

The Fairbanks Daily News Miner reports that "The idea to reintroduce bison to the Yukon Flats first surfaced about 15 years ago. Bison lived in the area until quite recently, but once theyƂ’d been gone for a few generations, people stopped talking about them, and there was little written record. "“There were no pencils back then,"” said Craig Fleener of Fort Yukon, a wildlife biologist pushing for the reintroduction as executive director of the Council of Athabascan Tribal Governments."

Read the entire story >>>

Saturday, September 02, 2006

ADFG Details NW Alaska Hunting Competition Problems

From Alaska Wildlife News:

"A yearly problem is about to unfold again in Game Management Unit 23; the Kotzebue region of northwestern Alaska. And the hunting and wilderness experience of a variety of user groups hangs in the balance.

Broadly, the problem is about what happens when different perspectives on hunting collide and access to wilderness, wildlife, and hunting opportunity is insufficient to meet everyone’s needs. More specifically, it is about the increasing number of guides, transporters and visiting hunters converging on northwestern Alaska during the short fall hunting season — at the same time that local subsistence users (who have hunted in the region for generations) are getting their winter meat. The problem also embraces the issue of wasted meat, and the fear that too many people can love a very special place into ruin."

Read the entire article >>>

Groups, Retailer Help Burned Out Village Hunters

Hooper Bay hunters, whose village was burned out by a fire in August, are receiving help from other Alaska hunters, according to KTVA News in Anchorage. In addition to Salvation Army and Red Cross, NRA Alaska, the Alaska Hunter Heritage Foundation, and Safari Club International are helping with hunting equipment.

Read the entire story on KTVA >>>

Friday, September 01, 2006

F&G Boards Call for Advisory Committee Improvement Ideas

The Alaska Boards of Fisheries and Game are soliciting proposals for improvements in the local fish and game advisory committee system. They also want to see proposals for identifying state "nonsubsistence" areas.

The Boards particularly want to hear proposals on enhancing the effectiveness of the advisory committee system. Proposals are due in December and will be considered the following year.

Read the entire news release >>>

Thursday, August 31, 2006

GMU 20A Antlerless Moose Hunt Zone 6 Closes

From an ADF&G News Release dated 31 August 2006: The Department of Fish and Game is closing antlerless moose hunting in the eastern part of Unit 20A. The season in Zone 6, the area east of Delta Creek, will close at 11:59 pm on Monday, September 4th, 2006.

“A combination of high hunter participation and good weather resulted in high hunter success rates,” said Fairbanks Area Biologist Don Young.

The Board of Game authorized registration permit hunt RM764 for antlerless moose in 20A between August 25 and February 10, unless closed earlier by emergency order.

The quota for antlerless moose in all of Unit 20A is 700, but to distribute the harvest more evenly, the Department divided the unit into seven hunting zones and established individual quotas for each zone based on estimated moose abundance. A zone map is printed on the back of the hunt permits.

The quota of 20 antlerless moose for Zone 6 will likely be reached by Monday night.

Hunters with RM764 permits may continue to hunt in zones 2, 3, 4 and 5 of Unit 20A. Zone 1 is closed and Zone 7 does not open until October 4th. Successful hunters must report their harvest to the Fairbanks ADF&G office (459-7272) within 2 days of the kill for Zones 3 and 6 and within 5 days of the kill for Zones 2, 4, and 5. Reporting online is available at http://hunt.alaska.gov Unsuccessful hunters must report to the Fairbanks ADF&G office within 15 days of the end of the season.

For recorded hunt information call the Unit 20A antlerless moose hunting hotline at 459–7386. Hunters with questions can call 459-7206 or 459-7233 for more information.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Alaska's Wolf Management Program Back In Court

Alaska's wolf management program has landed back in court with another challenge from the Defenders of Wildlife and the Alaska Wildlife Alliance.

The Anchorage Daily News reports that groups "asked the court last week to halt the program authorized in 2003 by the state Board of Game. A similar court challenge launched by the Connecticut-based group Friends of Animals was not successful in putting an end to the program."

Read the entire Anchorage Daily News article >>>

OPINION: In their usual tiresome refrain, the litigants claim that Alaska does not have the science and the information needed to justify wolf control programs. It is almost as if decades of Alaska's investigation of predator prey interactions counts for nothing. It makes me wonder if what is really happening is that the "wolf control card" is just a sexy way of raising funds.

Managing wolves in Alaska is done at very little environmental cost and returns benefits to Alaskans and others. When compared to the very real issues of global warming, depletion of ocean resources by over fishing and habitat damaging gear, rain forest loss and much more, wolf management ranks very low on the threat scale. There are only so many dollars in the hands of Americans concerned about conservation issues. Why waste them on legal fights over issues that have negligible environmental consequence?

David Johnson

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Federal Subsistence Board News

In recent news the Federal Subsistence Board is extending the deadline for public comment on the proposed formation of a new Federal subsistence regional advisory council to address subsistence uses of fish and wildlife on Federal public lands and waters of the Kenai Peninsula. Public comment will now be accepted through September 18, 2006.

The Board will also be holding hearings in SE Alaska on rural/non-rural designations for the Ketchikan area in late September.

ADFG Publishes SE Alaska Deer Harvest and Management Reports

Hunters interested in SE Alaska deer will be interested in a report issued recently detailing harvest statistics for the Panhandle. The report covers the 2004-2005 regulatory year.

Deer population trends are the subject of another ADFG report issued not long ago. This one covers survey / inventory activities for the 2002 - 2004 time period, and is the most recent released.

Monday, August 28, 2006

McNeil Bears: To Hunt or not to Hunt

CBS news posted a story recently, Alaskan Bears: To Be Seen, Or Shot?

"Brown bears have become symbols of a bitter culture war in the last frontier state of Alaska. The iconic animals, reports CBS News correspondent Jerry Bowen, are caught between those who believe the bears should be hunted and killed, and those who believe some are better left alone.

The battleground is the renowned McNeil River State Game Sanctuary, site of the world's largest concentration of brown bears. Hunting was banned at the sanctuary a half-century ago to allow the animals to get their annual fill of salmon in safety."

Read the entire story, with a/v components >>>

Interview: Taking the Subsistence Suit to the Supreme Court

Warren Olson is a long time Alaskan deeply involved in a lawsuit intended to force the federal government to manage hunting and fishing on its lands based on equal protection.

The suit was dismissed in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals earlier this month. In this interview, Olson talks about the suit and how it could provide all Americans equal access to the resources on all the lands of Alaska.



For more information about this issue, Warren Olson can be contacted at 1.907.346.4440 in Anchorage. Olson reports that it is possible to contribute to this cause with a tax deductible donation to the Alaska Constitutional Legal Defense Conservation Fund, PO Box 110551, Anchorage, AK 99511.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Feds Open Brooks Range Sheep Hunting Area to Non Rural Hunters

The Federal Subsistence Board has approved a temporary Special Action, to open sheep hunting in the Red Sheep Creek and Cane Creek drainages of the Arctic Village Sheep Management Area to non-Federally qualified hunters from August 10 to September 20. This area has been closed to nonrural hunters since 1995. The Board approved lifting the closure at a public work session in Anchorage on Tuesday, July 18. The remainder of the Arctic Village Sheep Management Area remains closed to nonrural hunters.

Read the entire USFWS news release >>>

Fed Subsistence Board Accepting Kenai Proposals

The Federal Subsistence Board is accepting proposals through October 20, 2006 to change subsistence hunting and trapping regulations on Federal public lands and waters on the Kenai Peninsula for the 2007-2008 regulatory year. In addition, at the request of the Southcentral Alaska Subsistence Regional Advisory Council, the Board is extending the deadline for proposals to change Federal subsistence fishing regulations on the Kenai Peninsula through October 20.

Read the entire news release >>>

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Alaska State Parks Improves River Access Sites

Just in time for hunting season, Alaska State Parks has improved four river access sites in two of the nearby state parks used for hunting access. Visitors to any of the four sites will find the roads graded and leveled, parking space expanded, and new directional signs in place.

Three locations along Chena Hot Springs Road now provide improved access to Chena River gravel bars where trailered boat launching is allowed in the Chena River State Recreation Area. These three sites are strategically located at mileposts 27.9 (the west end), 37.8 (the middle), and 44.1 (the east end of the recreation area). At MP 27.9, the two-mile access road has been graded and leveled in the worst spots and a parking area cleared near the gravel bar. At MP 37.8, also called the First Bridge, the short road to the gravel bar has been graded and leveled and widened along one side for extra parking. At MP 44.1, also known as Third Bridge, the small parking area has been graded and leveled and brush cleared to make more room for vehicles with trailers to park. By providing more parking away from the river access point, State Parks hopes visitors will keep the access to the river open for others to launch. All boat launching, trailered or hand-carry, is allowed at these three sites. Trailered boat launching should occur only at these three sites to protect the Chena River salmon spawning habitat.

The other river access improvements have occurred at the Salcha River State Recreation Site, on the Richardson Highway at Mile 321.4. The rutted roadway has been graded and several new parking spots have been added along the exit road. We expect overcrowding again this hunting season at this parking lot and barrier rocks have been added to protect the grassy mounds from damage. Signs were added to clarify where parking is allowed. Overflow parking is also encouraged on the gravel bar, water level permitting. If there are questions or problems, the volunteer campground host will be available at their campsite near the parking lot entrance.

From Alaska State Parks Current News

Alphabet Hills Prescribed Fire Produces Results For Wildlife

Like the Interior Alaska ecosystem, the boreal forest in the Copper River Basin in Southcentral Alaska is adapted to periodic wildfires. But wet weather conditions and years of fire suppression have deprived many areas of the natural burns that benefit wildlife and the forest. Land managers set a fire in one of these areas, in the Alphabet Hills northwest of Glennallen in August 2004, and biologists are excited to see the benefits of that prescribed burn.

“Prescribed burns are a wonderful tool to turn back the clock on years and years of fire suppression,” said wildlife biologist Becky Kelleyhouse. “A lot of natural fires have been put out in the last several decades, to the detriment of the ecosystem. Though prescribed burns mimic natural processes, prescribed burning is an expensive tool, and these projects are very difficult to pull off.”

It is well known that moose thrive in the early successional stages of the boreal forest, where willows are dominant. The new growth is beneficial to many wildlife species. In addition to the new shrub sprouts, fire promotes the growth of forbs and sedges, which are also used by caribou and grizzly bears during the summer.

Read more in Alaska Wildlife News>>>

Big Game Tag Auction and Raffle Program Applications Accepted Now

The Division of Wildlife Conservation is accepting proposals from qualified non profit organizations to auction or raffle big game harvest permits for the 2006-2007 season. The auctions or raffles benefit wildlife conservation and the organization.

Applications must be submitted by September 29, 2006, and results will be announced by November 1, 2006.

Alaska Game Board asks GMU 11 & 13 subsistence comments

The Board of Game is requesting comments on subsistence proposals to be considered at a special meeting in Anchorage on October 7-9, 2006. The focus is moose and caribou hunting in units 11 and 13.

The agenda for the meeting indicates the meeting starts at 8.30 AM at the Howard Johnson Hotel in Anchorage.

Friday, August 25, 2006

New Alaska hunting forums online, already popular

There are now three new forums on the Alaska Outdoors Supersite just for hunters and a fourth for trappers.

The new hunting forums are Alaska Muzzleloader Hunting, Alaska Small Game Hunting, and Alaska Waterfowl Hunting. In the first few days of operation, the new forums have already logged well over 100 posts.

The Alaska Hunting Forum was one of the Alaska Outdoors Supersite's first two forums (hunting and fishing). This year, a bowhunting forum was suggested by users and it was added when the new forum software was put into use. All of the new forums are a result of user suggestions as well.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Hot threads from the Alaska Hunting Forum

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Governor's task force to investigate wildlife enforcement

Governor Frank Murkowski will bring together top officials from the Alaska State Troopers, the Department of Fish and Game and possibly representatives from the Alaska Boards of Fisheries and Game to review Board allegations of impaired wildlife enforcement.

Read the entire Anchorage Daily News article >>>

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Wildlife enforcement lax, Fish and Game boards tell governor

The Alaska Boards of Fisheries and Game have written the governor to ask him to overrule the way the troopers operate the Alaska Bureau of Wildlife Enforcement. The Anchorage Daily News reported recently that "the state Board of Game has written the governor a letter asking him to overrule one of his Cabinet members.

The governor-appointed board wants to stop wildlife enforcement officers from regularly assisting Alaska state troopers, because the double duty is jeopardizing protection of the state's fields and streams, the July 11 letter says."

Read the entire story >>>

Monday, July 10, 2006

2006 Drawing, Tier II permit hunt results online now

All of the 2006 Spring Draw and Tier II application hunt results are now available. Permits for these hunts are now scheduled to be printed and in the mail by July 20, 2006, the Division of Wildlife Conservation says.

You can lookup your permit results online at the ADFG website.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Duck Numbers Up Overall

The US Fish & Wildlife Service has released a preliminary report indicating that western breeding duck numbers are up overall based on May surveys. Read the entire story >>

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Fed Subsistence Board Proposes Change In Rural / NonRural

ANCHORAGE -- The Federal Subsistence Board is seeking public comments through Oct. 27, 2006 on a proposed rule that would change the rural or nonrural status of several Alaska communities and areas. The Board will make a decision on a final rule in December 2006.

The Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act requires that rural Alaskans be given a priority for subsistence uses of fish and wildlife on Federal public lands. Only residents of rural communities and areas are eligible for this subsistence priority. The Board initially determined which Alaska communities were rural when the Federal Subsistence Management Program began in 1990. Federal subsistence regulations require that rural/nonrural status be reviewed every 10 years, beginning with the availability of the 2000 census data. An initial staff review, completed in July 2005, recommended that the rural/nonrural status of most Alaska communities should remain unchanged for the proposed rule. However, comments are sought on the following proposed changes:

Adak would change from nonrural to rural. Adak has undergone substantial change that warrants a change in status. Specifically, the population of Adak decreased by 94% from 1990 to 2000, bringing it well below the presumptive rural 2,500 population threshold. It is an extremely remote island community accessible only by boat or plane.

Prudhoe Bay would change from rural to nonrural. The Board has come to the preliminary conclusion that Prudhoe Bay is an industrial enclave built for the sole purpose of extracting oil, with no permanent residents and none of the characteristics typical of a rural community.

Point MacKenzie would be grouped with the nonrural Wasilla area and would change from rural to nonrural. Available information suggests that Point MacKenzie is economically, socially and communally integrated with the Wasilla area. Point MacKenzie is in proximity and road accessible to the Wasilla area, its students attend Wasilla High school and 50 percent of Point MacKenzie workers commute to the Wasilla area for employment.

Fritz Creek East (not including Voznesenka) and the North Fork Road area would be grouped with the nonrural Homer area and would change from rural to nonrural. Available information suggests that these areas are economically, socially and communally integrated with the Homer area. They are in proximity and road-connected with Homer, more than 40 percent of workers commute to the Homer area and most students from these areas attend Homer High School.

The nonrural Ketchikan area would be expanded to include all those living on the road system connected to the City of Ketchikan (except Saxman), as well as Pennock Island, and parts of Gravina Island and the entire area would be considered nonrural. However, Saxman would remain separate and rural. With the exception of Saxman, the Board has come to the preliminary conclusion that these areas are economically, socially and communally integrated with the Ketchikan area. In addition, the population of the Ketchikan area, excluding Saxman, is 12,720, which is well above the population threshold in Federal subsistence regulations of 7,000 at which a community or area is presumed to be nonrural.

The Kodiak area, including the City of Kodiak, the Mill Bay area, the Coast Guard Station, Women's Bay and Bells Flats, would be grouped and would change from rural to nonrural. The population of this area is approximately 12,000, well above the population threshold in Federal subsistence regulations of 7,000 at which a community or area is presumed to be nonrural. (Places excluded from this nonrural grouping are Chiniak, Pasagshak, Anton Larsen, Kalsin Bay and Middle Bay, as well as villages and communities on the Kodiak Archipelago not connected by road to the Kodiak area. These places would remain rural.)

The analysis used by the Board in developing the proposed rule can be found under the "Issues in Depth" section of the Federal Subsistence Management Program website at http://alaska.fws.gov/asm/home.html. The proposed rule will be published in the Federal Register.

Written comments on this issue will be accepted through Oct. 27, 2006 and can be sent by e-mail to subsistence@fws.gov, by fax at (907) 786-3898, or by mail to:


Federal Subsistence Board Attn: Theo Matuskowitz
Office of Subsistence Management
3601 C Street, Suite 1030
Anchorage, AK 99503

Federal Subsistence Board members intend to hold public hearings in Kodiak and Ketchikan in the fall. Additional hearings in communities affected may be scheduled as needed. The Board will also be accepting recommendations on this issue from Federal Subsistence Regional Advisory Councils during their fall meetings. In addition, the Board will meet Dec.12-13 at the Egan Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage to hear public comment and to draft a final rule.

For additional information, please contact Maureen Clark or Larry Buklis with the Federal Office of Subsistence Management at (800) 478-1456 or (907) 786-3888.

-FSB-

North Slope Muskox Herd In Mysterious Decline

Muskox numbers are falling on the North Slope, and state biologists have not yet been able to determine why the decline, according to the Anchorage Daily News.

Hunting has not played a substantial role in the decline, biologists say. Subsistence hunting is closed. Grizzly bear mortality seems to be one major issue in the North Slope herds, but not elsewhere in the state.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Tularemia Hot Spot Noted in Interior

Tests have confirmed that a snowshoe hare from the North Pole area died of Tularemia last week, according to an ADF&G news release.

“Hares die of this infection every spring and summer in the Interior,” said wildlife veterinarian Dr. Kimberlee Beckmen. “This is the first hare we’ve found this year, but we expect to see more.”

A local resident of the Pheasant Road area reported to the Alaska State Troopers dispatch that there were a number of dead hares in the area. Personnel from the ADFG Regional Office investigated and collected a freshly dead hare for postmortem examination. Lab tests returned today confirmed the presence of Franciella tularensis, the bacteria that causes the disease known as Tularemia.

Tularemia is a bacterial disease that typically affects hares, beavers and muskrats. Predators and scavengers including dogs and cats that bite into a sick or dead hare as well as people who handle infected hares can become infected. Ticks, which are common on hares, and water contaminated with a dead animal can also spread the bacteria to animals and people. The most common symptoms in people include skin ulcers, swollen and painful lymph glands, inflamed eyes, sore throat, mouth sores, fever, flu-like illness, diarrhea or pneumonia. Tularemia can be fatal if the person is not treated with appropriate antibiotics. However, human cases in Alaska are rare and one case is reported about every two years.

Beckmen encouraged people to contact ADF&G at 459-7206 if they notice hares that appear to be ill. Signs that a hare is infected include lack of fear of people, “tameness,” lethargy, and sudden death. People can protect themselves by using gloves or a plastic bag if they have to touch a dead hare, and washing their hands afterwards. Don’t drink untreated water from areas where muskrats and beavers occur. Double bag and dispose of dead hares in trash or bury where dogs and scavengers can not get to them.

Dog and cat owners can protect their pets by keeping them away from snowshoe hares. Dogs or cats that become infected may show fever, lethargy, lack of appetite and swollen lymph nodes. Infected animals can be successfully treated by veterinarians with antibiotics. It is important to treat pets promptly not only for their sake, but because tularemia can be contracted though the bite of an infected pet.

For more information about Tularemia see the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services Division of Epidemiology Website.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Montana Outdoors Directory online

While not specifically Alaska hunting news, this is an important announcement for the Outdoors Supersite (tm) network, now grown to three states.

Aaron and Jill Bork have been working hard for months now to prepare an outdoors website
for Montana. While they would be first to say that there is much yet to do, I think you'll find that there is a LOT of quality information on
Montana Outdoors Directory about Treasure State hunting and fishing even at this early stage in the website's development. Subject areas right now include hunting, fishing, forums (they use the same vBulletin software that Alaska Outdoors Directory uses), services, and bookstore. They plan to continue adding quality information about Montana hunting and fishing, but also expanding to other outdoor activities in "Big Sky Country." Take a look at Montana Outdoors Directory today. If you're quick, you can take first post on the new forums.

Meanwhile, Dan Schwartz at Colorado Outdoors Directory continues to work on his website, announced earlier here. His next move is to add vBulletin forums too. We'll announce that here as soon as the new forums are online.

We look forward to continuing to work together with the Borks and Dan as they develop their Outdoors Supersites™ websites.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Kenai Grizzlies On The Increase

Kenai Peninsula brown bear populations seem to be increasing, and as a result more homeowners, hikers, anglers and outdoor people are running into the bruins. Not everyone is happy with the increasing numbers of bear encounters, and defense of life and property bear killings - reported and unreported - seem to be growing.

Read the entire Anchorage Daily News story >>>

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Predator War Foe Jim Brooks Died

Former ADF&G Commissioner and ardent foe of indiscriminate wolf killing Jim Brooks died May 19 in Juneau.

In Territorial days, wolves were killed indiscriminately statewide, using traps, snares, poison and aerial gunning. When Alaska became a state, those practices were ended, and Brooks was an important part of this.

But later, as commissioner of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Brooks permitted selective wolf control.

Anchorage Daily News writer Craig Medred tells the story in the June 11, 2003 edition.

Brooks' book "North to Wolf Country - Stories of an Alaska conservationist" tells more about the former ADFG commissioner's life.

Alaska Challenges Feds Over Subsistence Process In Court

The State of Alaska is challenging a US Government decision to extend subsistence priviledges over a broad area where no subsistence history is found. The ADFG press release put it this way:

On May 3, 2005, the Federal Board expanded the customary and traditional use determination for residents of Chistochina for moose to include all 10,000 square miles of Game Management Unit 12. The decision was made despite harvest data that provided evidence of customary use of only a very small portion of the unit (approximately 206 square miles). The State had requested the Board extend the determination to only those parts of the unit where customary use was documented.

“This lawsuit is neither pro nor anti subsistence. We are not challenging the federal government’s responsibility for implementing a rural subsistence priority on federal lands,” said McKie Campbell, Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. “This lawsuit is about the need for the Federal Board to follow its own regulations, to develop written policies, and to use data to make decisions.”


Read the entire press release >>>

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Recent Threads on the Alaska Hunting Forum

Friday, June 02, 2006

Managers Crush Copper Valley Trees For Moose

State, Federal and Native managers in March cooperated to crush 50+ acres of moose habitat in the Chistochina area. According to the Alaska Wildlife News, "willow, aspen and poplar are nutritious, high-quality forage for moose. These plants can regenerate and thrive after certain kinds of physical trauma, such as fire or crushing. Lush sprouts emerge from the ground level – gardeners refer to them as suckers – and quickly grow."

The project may be repeated in future years to provided staggered areas of regrowth for moose.

Read the entire article >>>

Monday, May 29, 2006

Federal Subsistence Wildlife Regulations Approved

The Federal Subsistence Board approved changes in wildlife regulations at a mid-May meeting in Anchorage. The regulations are for the 2006/2007 regulatory year and apply on federal public lands. Among the changes:
  • # The Board adopted a proposal to provide for the sale of handicrafts made from the nonedible byproducts of most wildlife harvested for subsistence uses from Federal public lands. The change was made to accommodate existing subsistence uses and to align Federal regulations with State regulations.
  • # The Board adopted a proposal to remove the two-week closure to non-Federally qualified users in the southeast portion of Prince of Wales Island for the harvest of deer. The change will allow non-Federally qualified deer hunters additional opportunities to harvest deer without impacting Federally qualified subsistence users.
  • # The Board closed that portion of Unit 7 near Seward, draining into Kings Bay, to moose hunting for all hunters, due to extremely low moose numbers. Another moose survey is planned for the fall. If the numbers are considerably higher the Federal season could be reopened.
  • # The Board adopted a proposal to provide for a late-season moose hunt for Federally qualified hunters, from Oct. 20 to Nov. 10, in Units 15B and 15C on the Kenai Peninsula. This proposal provides additional subsistence opportunities when the weather is cooler and the meat is less likely to spoil.
  • # The Board eliminated the caribou cow hunt in Unit 9D on the Alaska Peninsula. The change is expected to help slow the population decline of the Southern Alaska Peninsula caribou herd.
  • # The Board adopted a proposal to broaden the eligibility for moose hunting in portions of Unit 12 in the Eastern Interior. The change recognizes the customary and traditional use of moose in Unit 12 by those living in Unit 13C.
Read the entire US Fish & Wildlife Service news release >>>