Saturday, November 23, 2013

Local Issues - Hunting the Brown Bear Population on the Kenai Peninsula

Testimony for USF&WS public meeting on Kenai Refuge brown bear hunting closure.

Kenai River Center   Soldotna, Alaska
November 25, 2013

We strongly support the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) emergency closure of the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge to the hunting of brown bears.  We also commend Refuge staff for their commitment to the sound science-based research which led to this action, and their adherence to modern and generally acceptable principles of wildlife management.

We believe it is the mission and mandate of federal land managers to manage wildlife in their jurisdictions at sustainable levels.  This closure confirms that the FWS is meeting these responsibilities.

Furthermore we feel the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and the Alaska Board of Game have set harvest levels for Kenai brown bears that are scientifically unjustifiable,  biologically unsustainable, and that will lead to Kenai brown bears becoming a population at risk once again.

We would prefer to have the brown bear population of the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge managed at densities and numbers similar to that of other coastal populations of brown bears.

We believe that the adoption of a management strategy which incorporates this goal will lead to a population of bears that will benefit the Kenai Peninsula ecosystem, can be enjoyed by wildlife viewers, harvested by hunters, and provide reassurance to citizens who simply want to know we are collectively managing for sustainable bear populations.

Read more on this issue here:

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