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Board of Game delisting domestic sheep and goats

 
Marilynn Methven
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Location: Wasilla, Alaska
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Up here in Alaska we are having some problems with the Board of Game wanting to remove sheep and goats from the clean list to stop any possible contact with the wild sheep to prevent spread of disease. They have all their science and are certain we should give up our sheep and goats so they can continue to do their hunts. I spoke before the board as well as several other farmers up here. Has anyone else had trouble with this. We are being told sheep are dying all over the place down there in the lower forty-eight. Many people use these animals for meat, milk and improving soil... clearing brush and keeping it clear. Also for fiber. We have some pretty upset and discouraged people here. Please think of us as you go through out your day. If you are the praying type, please pray they dont take our animals away from us.
 
kadence blevins
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I have seen someone on a facebook group posting about this. I believe they had some sort of petition or funds raising etc online. sorry it was more than a week ago but I cant remember specifically.

it's really terrible ): I know in 2010-ish years around there the same thing was being tossed around with the national parks. all the pack and cart goat people were being told they couldn't pack on the park land or soon wouldn't be able to. I know there was several petitions and things going on at the time about it and groups forming to compile information and show them that they aren't the reason for the wild ones dying. if I remember right at least a few of the parks that had plenty of pack goat people hiking backed off and didn't go through with the ban.
 
Dale Hodgins
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Here in British Columbia, we have had issues with domestic herds of elk infecting wild herds and visa versa. Similar problems have come up with wild and domestic bison. Salmon raised in sea pens are hot beds of disease and those that escape and spawn, produce offspring that don't have the same survival rate as their wild cousins.

I hope that this issue is settled by the science, and not by public opinion or petitions. When there is an outbreak, it can often be traced back to the source. If it becomes pretty certain that domestic stock threatens wild stock, I would expect and hope that the government intervenes on behalf of the wild ones. Am I correct in assuming that the wild animals are of much greater economic value to the state, than domestic herds are? If so, that along with endangered species legislation, will make it an expensive fight.
 
Travis Johnson
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It is one of those things where someone proposed that domestic sheep are spreading disease to wild sheep, but according to the US Sheep Breeder's Association there just isn't data to back that up. It is almost an out of control witch hunt at this point; no politician wants to go on record and back up sheep farmers because even by USDA standards we are considered a "minor livestock group." And it is to their best interest if they want to get voted in again, and remain mum, and not be considered a wild sheep killer.

This is one of the drivers that is causing the militia uprisings out west. I do not condone such behavior at all, however I can understand the passion and fear when a place you have ranched for years suddenly says you cannot and their reasons for saying so are debunked by your own experts. That is frustration and it is boiling over.

Good for you for standing up and defending your way of life. Pointing fingers and assigning blame is a common tactic of politics, but it has no room even on the vast acreages of the open plains (and the Alaskan Bush). Give me hard science that cannot be easily disputed. Basing something upon fear (all wild sheep will die) is down right silly.
 
Dan Boone
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I went looking for specific information and did not find a lot. But this link has a brief summary.

To me it's significant that the proposal would apparently not affect anybody who does not live within 15 miles of wild sheep habitat. In the part of Alaska I come from at least, the sheep habitat is very small and constrained very much to high-elevation areas. Still sucks if you happen to live too close, but a lot of would-be farmers in Alaska won't need to worry about this.

The Alaska Board of Game will consider a proposal that would require goat and sheep owners to have permits in order to prevent the unintentional spread of disease into wild sheep populations.

The proposal sets to eliminate domestic sheep and goats from the "Clean List" and any person in possession of those animals must obtain a permit from the department with stipulations if they are located within 15 air miles of Dall sheep habitat. Those animals within the set distance must bve contained within a department-approved facility, and certified disease free upon availability of testing.

This aims to address the issue concerning domestic sheep proven to carry a disease that is transmissible, and devastating to wild sheep populations. Particularly, with the rapid growth of hobby farming in Alaska in areas considered Dall sheep habitats.
 
Marilynn Methven
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Location: Wasilla, Alaska
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Our "herds" are small and mostly backyards that do not touch wild sheep ranges. We do not have shared grazing grounds like some places and no cases of domestic animals causing problems with them. They are having issues with herd size due to predators and harsh winters and so numbers being down they want to head off perceived problems before one happens. Seems like destruction of private property without any proof our animals are causing problems. Any way. I figured people on here were for people not big government and big money. Delisting would hurt a lot of people in hay, raising grains and straw, let alone people who depend on the animals for food and fiber. They should just fence in the wild sheep and make sure they cannot wander into areas the guides dont want them to go. Like we fence our critters from predators. We are trying to figure out how to be much more self sufficient up here since we rely so heavily on trucking food up from the lower forty-eight. This would certainly not help local food at all.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Marilynn Methven wrote:They should just fence in the wild sheep and make sure they cannot wander into areas the guides dont want them to go.


I'm not convinced that fencing wild animals is the way to move toward a permacultural world. Seems like we'd be wanting to extend wild nature, not constrain it.

"...the end result of the adoption of permaculture strategies in any country or region will be to dramatically reduce the area of the agricultural environment needed by the households and the settlements of people, and to release much of the landscape for the sole use of wildlife and for re-occupation by endemic flora." - Bill Mollison

I guess I just wonder where the wild animals are supposed to live, if we take up all the space.

 
Jd Gonzalez
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Marilynn Methven wrote:Up here in Alaska we are having some problems with the Board of Game wanting to remove sheep and goats from the clean list to stop any possible contact with the wild sheep to prevent spread of disease. They have all their science and are certain we should give up our sheep and goats so they can continue to do their hunts. I spoke before the board as well as several other farmers up here. Has anyone else had trouble with this. We are being told sheep are dying all over the place down there in the lower forty-eight. Many people use these animals for meat, milk and improving soil... clearing brush and keeping it clear. Also for fiber. We have some pretty upset and discouraged people here. Please think of us as you go through out your day. If you are the praying type, please pray they dont take our animals away from us.


The proposal would remove sheep and goats from the state’s “clean list” of animal species that can be owned without a permit. Goat and sheep owners who are within 15 miles of wild sheep habitat would need to get a permit that certifies the animals are disease-free and that the sheep and goats are contained behind appropriate fences.

Because it regulates domestic animals, not wild or feral animals, the Alaska Board of Game may not have authority to create this regulation. Staff of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game recommended that the board take no action because the regulation relates to domestic animals.

http://www.newsminer.com/features/outdoors/issues-at-a-glance-board-of-game-meets-in-fairbanks/article_be393372-ecb6-11e5-b3bd-43f9b7566dd1.html
 
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