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Here's the full story on who fought for what
Posted by bushrat on May 06 2006

ADFG asked for a license-fee increase. It was a one-page request with a second page of footnotes.

AOC indeed supported the budget increase, but with stipulations, like changes and additions to Title 16 Statutes that mandated HOW we managed our fish and wildlife. ADFG's simple license increase turned into a 30 page bill written by Senator Seekins and staff, based on the recommendations of those in the hunting community "with muscle." As you said, AOC indeed has muscle.

This 30-page bill was Senate Bill 170. I have commented at length about it here. I also posted the letter Alaska Backcountry Hunters and Anglers sent to the Senate Resources committee on it. Dave Lyon, the co-chair of ABHA, gave oral testimony opposing the bill because of all the changes and additions to our Fish and Game statutes that were biologically and scientifically unsound, if not downright absurd. ADFG had to oppose the budget bill as well, as it was written.

To say AOC fought for the budget bill is not to tell the whole story. AOC supported SB 170. THAT is what they fought for. And that is why we are so concerned about all this. They didn't fight for funding ADFG; they fought for funding ADFG ONLY IF the Department was forced by new laws to "grow more moose." This stance led to SB 170 changes to our Fish and Game statutes that would have required by law that we achieve "maximum carrying capacity of the habitat population" and "at least one-third" harvests of ungulate populations by humans annually. No wonder ADFG had to oppose a bill that would have given them the funding they needed---it would have forced them to practice wildlife management that was contrary to prudent science. We already have Intensive Management law that mandates (by legislation passed by partisan politics) the state to "grow more moose" in many areas. Why did AOC push via legislation to grow even more moose AS PART OF A BUDGET BILL? This resulted in ADFG not getting the funding they needed.

You asked whether we supported the feds and environmentalists, or our fellow hunters and anglers. This type of question is meant to deceive and mislead people. If we define "environmentalist" as one who "advocates for or works toward protecting the natural environment from destruction or pollution," then isn't every hunter supposed to be an environmentalist? I know that as a hunter and angler, as one who depends on game meat and fish to feed my family, that I'm sure concerned with protecting the Alaskan backcountry from destruction and pollution. Aren't you? Isn't AOC? And if you were to say that AOC is
indeed concerned with protecting Alaskan habitat from destruction and pollution, does that mean they are environmentalists?

ABHA supports hunting and angling and we recognize that this tradition (if it is to be passed down to future generations) requires public lands for us all that remain wild and clean and abundant. We are first and foremost dedicated hunters and anglers. We want what is best for US and our families and future generations, not what is best for the oil companies or big business. ABHA does not support drilling in ANWR.

As to predator control, no, we don't support many of the ongoing pred-control programs, as well as some others that are proposed. They go too far and they are too extreme. They aren't grounded in science and are often in direct opposition to what was recommended by area biologists. If you look at the goals of these predator control programs, at the population and harvest objectives, they are short-term gains with long-term repercussions. ABHA supports prudent wolf and bear MANAGEMENT, just like we support prudent moose and caribou management BY TRAINED PROFESSIONALS IN WILDLIFE SCIENCE. We firmly believe the Division of Wildlife Conservation should remain a Division that manages ALL wildlife on the sustained yield principle for the benefit of us all.

I hope this answers some of your questions.
Allbest, Mark Richards

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