Nothing is more frustrating than facing a job knowing
you lack the proper tools. Any do-it-yourselfer can relate
to that. Oh, sure, the job might get done, but it will be
a struggle getting there, it will take longer than it should
and, probably, it will cost more than it should.
can't afford such sloppiness when it comes to managing Alaska's
fish and game populations. So along comes Sen. Ralph Seekins,
R-Fairbanks, with a new set of tools for the Alaska Board
year, the senator pushed through legislation that put tools
in the hands of the board and the governor, which, in turn,
has allowed wolf control efforts to move forward in areas
where populations of those predators have depressed game populations.
there are more efficient means to do the job, the regulations
now allow skilled Alaskans to help manage the game populations
in their own back yards.
senator now seeks to add tools that would allow the board
to give residents similar ability to address bear populations
in those same areas through provisions in SB 297.
it wasn't widely known that bears are as great a factor or,
in some instances, a greater factor in depressing game populations
as are wolves, then last spring's bear relocation effort on
the part of Fish and Game should have helped spread that knowledge
by now. The relocation program was effective to a degree,
but it was costly.
by asking to modifying statutes that provide the framework
guiding fish and game regulations, is advocating for a new
set of tools the board can use in areas identified as those
in need of intensive management. The tools would allow attempts
to reduce bear populations without relying on expensive state-run
tools include removing a restriction that requires nonresidents
to hire a professional guide or to be accompanied by a family
member to hunt grizzly bears. Instead, a nonresident simply
could be accompanied by any Alaskan 19 years or older.
could be effective, allowing skilled hunters to accompany
friends or distant relatives who are interested in taking
a bear. It would allow a friend or an in-law to pick up a
bear tag before going moose or caribou hunting, adding considerably
to the pool of hunters able to take ''incidental'' bears Ð
which make up a large portion of the fall bear harvest. Other
tools include: allowing baiting of grizzly bears; allowing
same-day airborne hunting and use of motorized vehicles in
the taking of bears; allowing the kill of sows with cubs that
are 1 year of age or older and the kill of those same 1-year-olds;
and no closed season on bear.
some of the tools look a little scary, but they must be addressed
in the context that they are designed for predator control
in limited areas for limited amounts of time.
it makes sense to target wolves for population reduction in
certain areas, it logically follows that those population-reduction
strategies should extend to bears, which, in some areas, kill
as many or more moose as wolves. Decisions about which tools
are used in what area, and to what extent they are used, is
rightly left to the public process that involves the Alaska
Board of Game.
long as they are applied carefully and in limited areas for
a limited time, it only makes sense to allow the board access
to a full array of tools to do the job.