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Deer Planning Subcommittee To Meet In Ketchikan


April 07, 2005

Ketchikan, Alaska - The Unit 2 Deer Planning Subcommittee is slated to meet in Ketchikan April 19th and 20th. The subcommittee is a 12-member group of hunters and wildlife managers who are working together to address deer management issues in Game Management Unit 2, including Prince of Wales Island. The group is a subcommittee of the Southeast Alaska Regional Advisory Council. The Federal Subsistence Board established the subcommittee in 2004. It includes residents of Craig, Hydaburg, Ketchikan, Petersburg, Point Baker and Wrangell, as well as representatives from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and the Forest Service.

The subcommittee is developing a subsistence-based, publicly supported management approach for deer in Unit 2 that allows subsistence users to meet their needs as required by the Alaska National Interest Lands and Conservation Act, or ANILCA. The subcommittee also aims to minimize adverse effects on non-subsistence hunters and account for change in deer population, access and other factors that may affect the hunt.

The Subcommittee will meet from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.on April 19 and 20 at the Discovery Center, 50 Main Street, in Ketchikan. The public is welcome to attend both sessions. A specific time for public comment has been set for 4:30 to 6 p.m. on April 19.

During the meeting, subcommittee members will address potential future scenarios related to deer supply and hunting demand on Prince of Wales Island.

During its previous four meetings, the subcommittee formulated several recommendations in an interim report for the Southeast Alaska Regional Advisory Council.

The subcommittee determined a need for better data on which to base management decisions, including better information about deer harvesting, subsistence use of and need for deer, and deer population levels and trends on Prince of Wales Island. The subcommittee also discussed the importance of effective road access management to improve deer supply on the island.

The management of second-growth stands for deer benefit is another item included in the interim report. According to the subcommittee, there may be declines in deer productivity on Prince of Wales Island as the regenerating forests provide less productive habitat for deer.

The Forest Service has already begun tackling this particular issue.

The Tongass National Forest has several projects in the works to evaluate the effectiveness of second-growth thinning to improve wildlife habitat and biodiversity on Prince of Wales Island.

According to the Forest Service, habitat improvement projects can enhance the health of the land, benefit subsistence users, increase recreational opportunities and help local economies.

The subcommittee will issue their final report in June.


Source of News:

USFS - Tongass National Forest
Web Site

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