My Turn: Your opportunity to address trapping rules

  • By MICHELLE ANDERSON
  • Thursday, November 12, 2015 1:02am
  • Opinion

Trapping season has officially begun in Alaska. The recent trapping case in Juneau, involving a hiker releasing a bald eagle and springing other traps to protect her dogs and hikers, sparked quite the debate over the struggle of trappers versus hikers, their pets and wildlife. It is certainly a complicated issue, and there is no easy way to solve it. The good thing about this case, though, is that issues surrounding trapping are getting exposure and opening up a community-wide discussion on how to better balance the conflict.

One way of getting involved in this issue, regardless of what side of the coin you may sit on, is to offer feedback to those who decide the rules and regulations in regard to trapping, the Alaska Board of Game (BoG). Next March, the BoG is meeting to discuss the 2016 statewide proposals submitted by people from all over Alaska. I, along with another Juneau resident, Pat O’Brien, have submitted two proposals on trapping. Our proposals are numbers 79 and 80.

Proposal 79 (page 65) proposes a 24-hour check requirement for traps and snares. Currently, there is no set time limit, except for a very small portion of Alaska. Many states already require a 24-hour check or once every calendar day. Our proposal does allow for a longer time frame in the event of documented severe weather. Animals are not always instantly killed when trapped. Providing a statewide time check would reduce suffering and better ensure hides are not ruined by other animals feeding on the trapped animal.

Proposal 80 (page 66) asks for statewide movement of traps and snares from populated areas with populations of 1,000 or more, unless a more restrictive city ordinance is already in place. It would require traps and snares to be 200 feet from an established trail, ¼ mile away from publicly maintained roads and 1 mile away from schools, businesses, homes, developed campground or recreational facilities. It does allow for traps and snares within 1 mile for cabins on the opposite side of a major river system, or owned by a trapper for use as a trapping cabin.

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game regulation booklet for trapping, page 6, contains this advice: Act responsibly as a trapper and conservationist by trapping in ways to minimize conflict between trapping and other users, e.g. avoid high recreational use areas. Avoid situations where you might catch a domestic dog or cat, such as near homes, or trails frequently used by hikers, skijorers, dog mushers, or other people.” This proposal asks for these guidelines to be upheld by statewide regulations and enforcement, rather than suggested advice. It offers increased safety for people, pets and domestic animals statewide.

Two other trapping proposals are also available in the proposal book: Proposal 78 (page 64) proposes removing all requirements for identification tags on traps and snares, and Proposal 81 (page 68) proposes defining the term “underwater” for the purposes of allowing furbearers to be harvested with underwater traps or snares.

The proposal book is available online here: www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=gameboard.proposalbook

The website allows you the opportunity to submit written comments online any time before the deadline (usually two weeks before the meeting, March 4, 2016). You may also attend your local BoG Advisory Committee meetings to comment on proposed regulations.

It is helpful to read the introductory section of the proposal book which offers instruction for written comments.

Here’s the contact information for written comments:

• Online: www.boardofgame.adfg.alaska.gov

• Fax: 907-465-6094

• Mail: ATTN: Board of Game Comments, Alaska Department of Fish and Game Boards Support Section, P.O. Box 115526 Juneau, AK 99811-5526.

This is your opportunity to get involved and have your voice heard. Proposals 79 and 80 offer reasonable regulations to safeguard people and pets, as well as reducing wildlife suffering. I hope you will consider them.

• Michelle Anderson is a Juneau resident.

More in Opinion

Web
Have something to say?

Here’s how to add your voice to the conversation.

A memorial on Front Street for Steven Kissack on Thursday, July 18, 2024. (Jasz Garrett / Juneau Empire file photo)
My Turn: A ‘homeless’ man’s death, charity and justice

Steven Kissack’s presence with his dog Juno in downtown Juneau gave a… Continue reading

A return envelope for the 2022 special primary election in Alaska. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire file photo)
My Turn: Repealing ranked choice voting a chance to restore fair play and transparent government

I usually ignore Rich Moniak’s excursions into misdirection, although most are written… Continue reading

Dancers rehearsed in front of “Tahku,” the whale sculpture ahead of the Climate Fair for a Cool Planet in 2021. (Courtesy of Mike Tobin)
My Turn: Thank the cool, rainy heavens we live in Juneau

Thank heavens we don’t live in Houston, oil capital of the U.S.,… Continue reading

Gov. Bill Walker, left, and Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott are seen at their 2014 inauguration in Centennial Hall. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Opinion: The election fantasy of a hopeful fool

“We have an opportunity now to lower the volume of this race,”… Continue reading

Letter: Full investigation by city into Steven Kissack’s death is needed

The CBJ must conduct a thorough and public investigation into the fatal… Continue reading

(Juneau Empire file photo)
Letter: You don’t deal with mentally ill people by killing them

We had just finished afternoon Macha green tea at Heritage coffee house… Continue reading

A sign on the Douglas Highway advertises a home for sale on Thursday, June 2, 2022. Home prices in Alaska have been increasing for the past two years but an expected increase to interest rates might cool off the market. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file photo)
Opinion: Juneau’s high cost of living persists, let’s connect the dots

Alaska’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development (DOL) released its annual Cost… Continue reading

Most Read