Sunday, June 6, 2010

Fish & Game: Even More Sound Science

Appearing in today's issue of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, and brought to us by the very same folks who seem to excel at shooting themselves in the foot when it comes to claiming rigorous research methods to justify "management" with a bullet. Kinda like the waltz of power between North and South Korea, but enacted instead with biologists and helicopters, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game continues their fetishistic crusade to exterminate anything that stands on four legs between the moneyed interests of big-game hunters and their prey.
Official posturing aside, stepping up the nutbag rhetoric and exemplifying the paranoid rantings from the fringe element is a truly epic Letter to the Editor by a local yokel that studiously ignores any possible alternative to his preconceived biases: 
"Enter the USFWS, land manager of the refuge area, which obviously cares little that the local caribou population has tanked. (A 75 percent drop in just eight years.) The same bureaucratic agency has stood by and witnessed an astonishing low bull-cow ratio of approximately 5 to 100, numbers never seen before in Alaska, and a ticking biological time bomb, according to just about any educated biologist you might ask."Craig Compeau
Namely some contrasting facts from an entirely different perspective:
"I should also mention that Fish & Game and the BOG insist the wolf kill is necessary because of the caribou herd’s importance as a subsistence resource. They made this determination despite the fact that only a dozen caribou have been harvested by local residents since 2000, while guided nonresident hunters killed 90 caribou between 2001 and 2008, when both the subsistence and sport hunts were shut down because someone finally recognized the herd was in trouble. [...] There’s no end in the state’s hypocrisy. Fish and Game’s own annual harvest data show that state officials allowed hunters – most of them guided nonresidents – to kill Unimak caribou even as the herd steadily declined. And nearly all of the caribou were bulls, despite a diminishing bull:cow ratio that eventually reached 5:100, reportedly the lowest ever documented in Alaska. That exceedingly low bull:cow ratio is one of the state’s strongest arguments for proceeding with the expanded wolf-kill program, but who’s to blame for it? Not the wolves, but state wildlife managers." - Bill Sherwonit, AK Voices/
Just like you don't shouldn't let just any idiot drive a car when they can't understand the basic concept of a speedometer and the relationship it has with posted speed limit signs: Fish & Game admittedly has no idea how many caribou there in fact are, or how many wolves, or what the decline is due to, or any other pesky facts that might fog up the sighting scope.


  1. Just found your blog via Fiery Blazing Handbasket. Fish and Game seem to have a crazy grudge against wolves, I didn't realize only 12 caribou were taken for subsistence on Unimak this century. WTF? I hope we can do better when the ghost governor's term is up, but I'm skeptical at best.

  2. Welcome, I'm a "Basket-Case" myself. Choice District blog for Kelly vents, which make me feel all warm & fuzzy inside (after some antacid).

    I'm actually going to start paying a bit more attention to Parnell now that he's gaining some more visibility re: recent vetoing nonsense.