Category Archives: Bears

Former governor Tony Knowles on Alaska’s predator policies – High Country News

Krista Langlois High Country NewsSep 11, 2014

High Country News How has Alaska’s approach to wildlife management changed in the 12 years since you left office? 

Tony Knowles The most disappointing thing is that the balance of views on the Board of Game has just disappeared. I tried to work with a balanced board that reflected subsistence hunters, sport hunters, guides and conservationists, but now the Board is made up of people who want to make hunting ungulates the priority for wildlife management. There’s been a focused effort to dramatically reduce populations of wolves, coyotes and bears, and the methods and means they’ve used are both unscientific and unethical.

Read the full interview at High Country News…

Sweeping new rule for Alaska’s predator control – High Country News

Federal versus state wildlife politics get even hotter.

Krista Langlois, High Country News Sep 11, 2014 

When Jim Stratton, deputy vice president for the National Parks Conservation Association, heard last week that the National Park Service had announced a sweeping new rule banning the manipulation of predators and prey in Alaska’s national preserves, his reaction was — to put it mildly — unfettered joy. “This is totally exciting news,” he says. “I’ve only been working this for ten years. Game on.”

The reaction of the state Division of Wildlife Conservation? A little more tepid. Director Doug Vincent-Lang sees any attempt by the feds to usurp Alaska’s wildlife management authority as overreach, and this new rule — which maintains hunting rights on Alaska’s 22 million acres of national preserves but bans certain controversial practices — is overreach at its worst: “unfounded and unjust,” he told Alaska Dispatch News



Don’t shoot the golden goose of wildlife viewing – AK Dispatch

Dr. Stephen Stringham,  Alaska Dispatch, January 26, 2014

One of the Alaska’s most popular outdoor activities is watching wildlife — for instance bears, wolves, moose, Dall sheep, sea lions, or songbirds. Each year, viewers pour nearly a billion dollars into our restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores, sporting goods stores, motels, air taxi services, and many other businesses, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

 More than $365 million pours in as direct income for private business owners, as well as employee salaries and wages, from wildlife viewing. Another $164 million comes in through direct tax revenues — $90 million state and local, $74 million federal. Sightseeing adds an additional chunk of money. Each time those dollars are again spent locally, the economy gets a further boost. Taking that boost into account, total value of wildlife viewing is estimated at nearly double the above figures: $979 million, $620 million, $154 million, and $126 million, respectively. Directly or indirectly, most Alaska families benefit from ecotourism.

 Wise government would do everything possible to assure the health and growth of this golden goose. Yet I see no evidence that Juneau or the Board of Game makes any real effort to do so…

Read the full article at Alaska Dispatch

Study: Bear Viewing Generates Far More Revenue and Jobs than Hunting

From  by Martha Honey

WASHINGTON, DC— 8 January 2014: A new study released today finds that bear viewing ecotourism in British Columbia’s Great Bear Rainforest “generates far more value to the economy” in terms of revenue, taxes, and jobs than the older and more well-established trophy hunting of grizzly and black bears.  The study by the Center for Responsible Travel (CREST), Economic Impact of Bear Viewing and Bear Hunting in the Great Bear Rainforest of British Columbia, determined that in 2012, bear viewing in the Great Bear Rainforest, which has been growing rapidly over the last decade, generated 12 times more in visitor spending than bear hunting and over 11 times in direct revenue for BC’s provincial government. The study further found that bear-viewing companies directly employed an estimated 510 persons in 2012, while guide hunting outfitters generated only 11 jobs that same year.



And more at Center for Responsible Travel

Craig Medred: Some 70 Kenai Peninsula bears may die before winter snows fly

From Alaska Dispatch, October 19th, 2013

Alaska appears to be winning its war on Kenai Peninsula grizzly bears. The body count for the iconic animals now stands at 64 for the year, and area wildlife biologist Jeff Selinger said Thursday it’s possible the kill could hit 70 before the bears hibernate.

As of 2010, an estimated 624 bears inhabited the 16,000-square-mile peninsula south of Alaska’s largest city, according to a federal study [3]. Scientists familiar with the management of bear populations say that a maximum of about 8 percent of the population — or about 49 bears in this case — can be killed every year without driving the population down. Continue reading