Alaska Farm Bureau News
February 2016
Attention Members and Friends,

We just received new information about proposal 90 and wanted to keep you updated.

The Board of Game  DOES  have the authority to remove sheep and goats from the "clean list".  The Department of Fish and Game is still recommending they take no action on proposal 90 because the department does not have the authority to permit livestock.  It is strongly recommended that we all submit our comments by the  March 4th deadline opposing proposal 90.

Comments for proposal 90 and 91 can be submitted here:   http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=gameboard.main 

 Here are our comments: 
  • The health of Alaska's Dall Sheep population is important, but proposal 90 is an extreme approach to deal with something that has not become an issue in Alaska.  There is time to approach this issue in a logical manner and form a plan that fits Alaska, without harming the livestock industry.
  • Alaska is not a free grazing state.  Between fencing and natural barriers there is a low likelihood of close contact between wild sheep and domestic sheep/goats.
  • There is no documentation of Dall Sheep deaths due to contact with livestock.
  • We oppose any form of permitting for simply owning livestock - this discussion should be limited to activities in Dall Sheep habitat or near enough that there's a high probability of close contact.
  • The bacteria of concern (M. ovipneumoniae and M. haemolytica) are endemic in wild and domestic populations, disease develops when immune systems become depressed.
  • Reductions in Dall Sheep numbers due to disease should factor in multiple stressors: weather, predation, avalanches, lambing, parasite load, age and nutrition.
  • There should be a livestock-wildlife working group formed to collaboratively work on issues such as this one.
Please take the time to submit your comments on Proposal 90 and 91

Thank you,

Amy Seitz, Executive Director

37075 Nicholas View Lane
Soldotna, AK 99669 
907-252-5064 



ARE YOU A SHEEP, GOAT OR CATTLE OWNER?

Comments for Proposals 90 & 91 due March 4th

Department recommendations have come out on Board of Game proposals for their March 18-28 meeting. 
 
Proposal 90, which would remove sheep and goats from the "clean list", received a "take no action", recommendation.  This recommendation is due to the board not having the authority to regulate domestic animals.  The full recommendation can be viewed  here
 
Proposal 91 would include "cow" in the definition of feral game. The department is neutral on this proposal.  Comments can be viewed here.
 
It is still recommended to submit comments, and the Board of Game may take discussion on proposal 90, even though they will take no action. 
 
Comments for both proposals can be submitted here.
 
PROPOSAL 90 - 5 AAC 92.029. Permit for possessing live game. Eliminate domestic sheep (Ovis aries) and goats (Capra hircus) from the "Clean List" and require a permit for possession with stipulations if located within 15 air miles of all sheep habitat as follows:

(b) Domestic sheep and goats will be removed from the "Clean List" regulation.

Any person in possession of domestic sheep (ovis) or goats (capra) must obtain a permit from the department within one year of implementation of this section. Animals located within 15 air miles of Dall sheep habitat must be contained within a Department approved facility (double fence, etc.) and certified disease free when testing becomes available. Animals located more than 15 miles from Dall sheep habitat will be issued a permit without stipulation online.

What is the issue you would like the board to address and why? 

Domestic sheep and goats have been proven to carry diseases that are devastating to wild sheep populations. This proposal will be a good start to prevent the spread of disease into wild sheep populations. Hobby farming is growing rapidly in Alaska including areas that would be considered Dall sheep habitat. Entire populations of bighorn sheep are presently being eradicated due to these unintentional disease transmissions.
Justification:

#1 We have a constitutional mandate to manage for sustained yield, this includes doing what we can to maintain healthy native wildlife populations.

#2 Online permitting has become mainstream and is simple.

PROPOSED BY: Alaska Wild Sheep Foundation (HQ-C15-128)
*************************************************

PROPOSAL 91 - 5 AAC 92.029(d)(2). Permit for possessing live game. Include cow in the definition of feral game as follows:
92.029(d) Under this section, and in accordance with the definition of "game" in AS 16.05.940 (which includes feral domestic animals), a
...
(2) musk oxen, bison, cow, or reindeer that is lawfully owned, or an elk held under a valid game mammal farming license, that is not confined or is not confined under positive control is feral unless the animal is a free-ranging animal on a state or federal grazing lease; however, ...
(C) any free-ranging musk oxen, bison, cow, reindeer, or elk for which ownership cannot be demonstrates is presumed to be game;

What is the issue you would like the board to address and why? Year-round open hunt to eradicate the non-indigenous species on our lands. I would like the Board of Game to adopt regulations to allow hunting of feral cows, such as those on Baldy Mountain Unit 14A. I also would like the board to consider adding a regulation for feral cow statewide.

PROPOSED BY: Sean Lund (EG-C15-039) 


Alaska Farm Bureau
37075 Nicholas View Lane 
Soldotna, AK 99669

Call  907-252-5064 or send an  e-mail to:  amy.seitz@gmail.com
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