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DCC Comments on Draft Alaska Wildlife Action Plan

September 7, 2015

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We suggested that Dall’s Sheep be considered a sentinel species.

The Draft Plan, which seeks to list species of greatest conservation need in Alaska, and use federal funding to monitor and protect them, is available for download here.  Overall, the plan is very comprehensive and interesting, and its listings and concerns are well-presented. The problem of climate change is well-presented and actions to protect and preserve species in the face of climate change are committed to.

Public comment was solicited on the Draft Plan, with a deadline of September 4.  DCC’s comments made suggestions, asked questions and pointed out problems with the scope of this plan.  Read our comments below.

DCC Comments on Draft Wildlife Action Plan 2015-  submitted on September 4, 2015

 

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DCC Comments on Proposal to Rehabilitate 7 Mile Pit on the Park Road

September 7, 2015

Our comments asked for clarifications and modifications regarding a plan to expand the existing gravel pit at 5 Mile along the Park Road and eventually close Mile 7 pit.  The presence of wolves in a den near Mile 7 may complicate the rehabilitation project somewhat. In addition, we made suggestions regarding how to ensure that once rehabilitated this pit would be successfully re-designated wilderness.

Read our comments below:

DCC Comments on Mile 7 Pit RehabFINAL – Submitted August 10, 2015

 

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DCC News – Early Summer 2015

August 31, 2015

This edition of DCC News reviews the events of the summer such as the DCC’s panel discussion on local hydropower projects, the efforts to get the Alaska Board of Game to consider buffers to protect Denali wolves in 2016, and the frustrations of local road construction. A new Denali Borough initiative on municipal land entitlements, a look at the State of Alaska’s Wildlife Action Plan, and an interview with outgoing NPS Public Information Officer Kris Fister round out the issue.

DCC News Summer 2015

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Read DCC comments supporting ACR #7

July 30, 2015

Map of "no wolf take" area

Map of “no wolf take” area for proposal in 2016

On July 30, 2015, the Alaska Wildlife Alliance and Denali Citizens Council submitted comments in support of ACR #7, to get a wolf buffer proposal onto the Board of Game agenda in 2016.

TO READ OUR COMMENTS click the link below.

AWA-DCC comments on ACR #7

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March-April DCC News is now online

May 23, 2015

More-buses-webRead our special transportation issue, posted at the link below.

DCC News Mar-Apr 2015

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Open Letter to Alaska Director of Wildlife Conservation supports closure

May 9, 2015

From: nancy@denalicitizens.org
Sent: Saturday, May 09, 2015 12:55 PM
To: bruce.dale@alaska.gov
Subject: Denali wolves emergency closure

Dear Mr. Dale,

I spoke with you briefly at the recent Board of Game meeting regarding wolf numbers in Unit 20C overall and adjacent to Denali Park. At that time I mentioned that ADF&G had, in its most recent management report, established a density goal for wolves, and that numbers both inside the park portion of 20C and in the GMU as a whole are well below that density number.

Although it is unclear if the Department intends to adopt management practices to support that density goal, it is nevertheless in print as a goal. Despite this goal, the Board of Game recently increased the hunting bag limit from 5 to 10 wolves in 20C, next to the park, and continues to maintain a late hunting season, until May 31st.  Now, with wolf numbers lower inside Denali and packs vulnerable to hunting in the townships north of the park, the density numbers will fall again.

I, and my organization, the Denali Citizens Council, support an emergency closure of the remaining wolf hunting season on state lands northeast of Denali National Park, as a way to support wolves who den in the park and predictably venture into the Wolf Townships, and as a way for the department to manage for its stated density goals.  This pattern of wolf out-migration from Denali has been in place since the 1980s and happens whether or not the park has a “prey problem,” following late winter cyclic-migration of caribou. It is well known that the East Fork wolves denned close to the northern boundary this year, and the pack has already suffered three trapping/hunting losses, one a pregnant female. There are 22 days left in the season and no guarantee that the alpha female of the East Fork pack will not be shot.

It is well within your purview and authority to do an emergency closure now, based on Fish and Game-stated density goals and management vision for wolves. The fact that the statewide population of wolves is not threatened should not be an impediment to making this closure, as the Department often manages at the subunit level when the situation demands. Many folks have stressed to you the importance of these wolves to those who visit the Denali region. Their importance for the viewing public is not simply a National Park goal, it is a stated goal in published ADF&G documents.

In the history of this issue, there has been a tendency for the biologists to tell us that we must go the board of game and then for the board of game to send us back to the biologists. This reluctance to address the issue of Denali wolves from either side of your department has placed it in a sort of regulatory limbo for almost six years now.  Meanwhile the wolf numbers have declined inside Denali to numbers so low that every single death gains significance, especially if the wolf is pregnant.  Controlling human take at such times can be an effective tool for supporting Department goals.

The Denali Citizens Council is composed of close to 300 members, most of whom have lived or now live in communities around the park. Many of our members recently wrote to the Commissioner asking for this closure.  Please don’t hand this closure off to the Board of Game.  They will not be able to handle it before the end of the season. If you or the Commissioner do not perform this closure, it will not happen.

 

Respectfully,

Nancy Bale
Denali Citizens Council

 

 

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DCC joins others in asking for Emergency Wolf Hunting Closure

May 9, 2015

wolfAfter the loss of three individuals, one a pregnant female, to the East Fork pack, which last year denned very close to the northern boundary of the park, DCC joined a number of local and regional voices in requesting an Emergency Closure to wolf hunting of state lands adjacent to the northeast corner of Denali National Park, for the rest of the season, which ends May 31st.  Although time is ticking along and we’ve heard nothing yet from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, we are watching carefully for word.

 

Dan Bross of KUAC radio has done an excellent series of broadcasts on this topic. See his latest one at http://fm.kuac.org/post/denali-wolf-shootings-add-population-decline

 

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Wolf Monitoring report details three human-caused deaths this spring

May 6, 2015

Denali wolves remained highly vulnerable this spring, with two dens east of the Savage River and one pack, East Fork,  subject to attrition through both hunting and trapping. A report detailing the situation of Denali wolves was made available this week. Read it below.

Denali Wolf Monitoring 2015 – 5-5-2015 Update

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Jan-Feb DCC News now online

April 28, 2015

Cover page DCC NewsRead why we supported a recent emergency petition for wolf buffers, information on small hydro in the Denali Borough, the Community debate on coal, and updated news on the Stampede State SRA proposal. This is a large file, and will take a little time to download.

Jan-Feb DCC News 2015

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Read DCC comments urging Board of Game to establish Denali buffer

March 10, 2015

NPS photo

NPS photo

DCC just faxed comments urging the Alaska Board of Game to establish a “no take” area on state lands bordering the national park. The petition making this request was recently filed with the board and will be considered when the board meets on Friday March 13, 2015.

An agenda for the meeting is available here:  Board of Game agenda – March 13-20

To listen in, go to the Board of Game website on the day of the meeting at the link below:
http://www.boardofgame.adfg.alaska.gov/

To read the comments DCC just submitted, click below:
DCC comments to the Board of Game-3-10-15

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DCC signs Emergency Petition to Protect Denali Wolves

March 4, 2015

2012-Emergency-Wolf-Buffer-The eight-member DCC Board voted unanimously at its February 2nd teleconference to support an Emergency Petition to establish a “no wolf take” area on state lands adjacent to Denali National Park, similar to one brought to the Alaska Board of Game in 2010 and in petitions filed over the past few years by the Alaska Wildlife Alliance, NPCA, and several individuals.   NPS fall 2014 wolf counts show no rebound from low numbers (approximately 50 wolves) in the spring, a serious finding.  Low numbers of wolves throughout the state Game Management Unit 20C, which includes most of Denali wolf habitat and state lands stretching north, are a recognized situation. No doubt there are a number of influences upon low numbers, among them weather and prey availability.  However, the situation is now severe enough for the Board of Game to consider hunting and trapping closures, allowing time for the wolf population to recover to sustainable numbers in this area.

The petition urges the Board of Game to look beyond overall, GMU-wide wolf population health and focus in on this specific area. Wolves tend to use the eastern Stampede lands preferentially in winter because of prey and habitat characteristics. Two active dens in the eastern areas of the national park are within a day’s walk of state lands where predator hunting and trapping are legal. The unlimited trapping and the 10 wolf hunting bag limit on these state lands make it possible for an entire pack to be taken. Even the loss of one breeder can be quite damaging to pack integrity, according to a recent analysis by NPS.

Read a copy of the Emergency Petition sent to the Board of Game at the following link;
2015 Emergency PetitionFINAL.

Although the Board of Game has been historically unresponsive to calls for closures, we are hoping for a new spirit of compromise as we support this Emergency Petition at the BoG March 2015 meeting in Anchorage. We invite you to sign DCC’s informal petition, in which we hope to gather the names of Alaskans who support this closure. Visit the link below or on the front page of our website.

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/restore-protections-for-denali-wolves-on-state?

 

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DCC submits comments on Preliminary Permit request for a Hydroelectric project on Carlo Creek

March 1, 2015

CarloOn February 6, 2015, DCC submitted comments to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on a Preliminary Permit to establish a hydroelectric project on upper Carlo Creek, in an area where a number of local individuals hold private property.  A number of locals have objected to the construction of this project.  The Preliminary Permit will almost certainly be granted, and will authorize studies only, to be conducted over the next two to three years by project sponsors.  DCC is carefully following this proposal. We submitted comments and a motion to intervene, which can be viewed at the links below.

DCC Carlo Creek Comments P-14645 2.6.15

DCC Carlo Creek Motion to Intervene P-14645 2.6.15

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