...disparagement towards the dedicated employees of the FWS, but a censure of their policies.Elaina Spraker is a longtime Soldotna area resident and avid outdoorswoman. Her husband, Ted Spraker, is vice-chairman of the Alaska Board of Game.
Alaska Board of Game met in Anchorage recently to consider proposals from the public, Department of Fish and Game and several conservation groups concerning hunting options for the Nelchina Caribou Herd near Glennallen. Since this is a complex issue that has been changed many times in the past, a summary and explanation of laws and Board decisions may be helpful. In our final decision, the Board adopted a proposal that encompassed a combination of several proposed ideas. First, we looked at an open general hunt where permits would be issued using the standard random draw that most hunters are accustomed to. However, our state subsistence law prohibits the Board from adopting only a drawing hunt because that type of hunt does not provide a reasonable opportunity for a subsistence hunter to draw a permit. Next, the Board considered a registration type hunt, again open to all Alaskan residents. This type of hunt would be legal under the subsistence statutes, if it were the only hunt available, but it had several obvious draw backs. As an example, in 1996 a similar unlimited registration subsistence hunt was held and 50,361 permits were issued, resulting in an early closure. Board members were concerned that relying on just an unlimited registration would make it unlikely that Fish and Game could exert the necessary control to close the hunt and avoid a huge overharvest, if a comparable number of hunters signed up. Even options of a one day registration hunt were considered but the majority of the public that testified opposed such a hunt and did not consider it to be a reasonable opportunity for subsistence. The Board also investigated the option of authorizing a Tier-II hunt but since the harvestable surplus is over the number of animals necessary to satisfy subsistence needs, the Board was prohibited by law from returning to a Tier-II hunt. Finally, the board considered a combination of options to first satisfy the state subsistence mandate and also provide an open opportunity for non-subsistence hunters. Because of legal complications relating to interpretation of Alaska's subsistence law, the last general draw hunt was held in the fall of 1987 on this caribou herd.
Land and wildlife management agency representatives and Kenai Peninsula residents gathered at the Donald E. Gilman River Center on Tuesday to continue an ongoing public dialogue to assist agencies in developing a five-year action plan for reducing adverse human-bear encounters on the Russian and upper Kenai rivers. Topics discussed included fish waste management and disposal, temporal and spatial closures and bear management. The discussion was focused primarily on the first two topics, as not much is known about bear demographics on the Peninsula.
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