Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Protecting Alaska's Cook Inlet watershed and the life it sustains since 1995.
Sign up for email updates
Sections
You are here: Home Blog BOG Needs to Hear Support for Critical Habitat Areas

BOG Needs to Hear Support for Critical Habitat Areas

Posted by Bob Shavelson at Mar 09, 2016 02:44 PM |
The Board of Game will soon consider a management plan for the Dude Creek Critical Habitat Area which will shape the future of Alaska’s critical habitat areas, fish and game refuges and wildlife sanctuaries for years to come. And we need you to weigh-in by March 16….
BOG Needs to Hear Support for Critical Habitat Areas

The Board of Game will soon consider a management plan for the Dude Creek Critical Habitat Area which will shape the future of Alaska’s critical habitat areas, fish and game refuges and wildlife sanctuaries for years to come.  And we need you to weigh-in by March 16….

In 2013, Governor Parnell issued Administrative Order 266, to “streamline” agency rules and improve “efficiencies.” While on the surface such mandates appeared sound, their real intent was to gut substantive protections and pave the way for easier resource development.

Randy Bates, then-Director of ADFG’s Habitat Division, relied on AO 266 to embark on an ambitious agenda to rollback a host of common-sense protections in Alaska’s critical habitats, refuges and sanctuaries.

Bates started with the Dude Creek Critical Habitat Area, and planned to use changes to its management plan as a template for similar plans across the state.  Among other things, Bates sought to dismiss the hard work and important input from local citizens in shaping the Dude Creek plan, and instead pushed ahead with various provisions that diluted the plan’s habitat protection provisions.

But Bates and the Parnell Administration underestimated the strong support Alaskans have for their special habitat areas, and a groundswell of opposition from across the state emerged to stymy the ill-advised plan.

Now, the Walker Administration is going back to the original Dude Creek Management plan – the one that included local knowledge and input.  The Board of Game will meet Thursday, March 17, in Fairbanks to hear an update on the planning process. It’s important for the BOG to hear why local participation and input are vital to ensuring sound management strategies for our special habitat areas across the state.

Please drop a quick note to the Board of Game by March 16:

Email: dfg.bog.comments@alaska.gov

Mail: ADF&G Boards Support Section, P.O. Box 115526, Juneau, AK 99811-5526.

Talking Points:

  • Thank you Governor Walker for restoring balance to the process for managing Alaska’s critical habitat areas, fish and game refuges and wildlife sanctuaries.
  • The Dude Creek Management Plan went through an extensive public process, and includes sound management provisions based on local knowledge and input.
  • The process used for the Dude Creek Management Plan should be an example for special area management plans across the state.
  • Local Alaskans are best suited to shape the management policies for the special habitat areas that support sport, personal use, subsistence, recreation and commercial uses.