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    2009 November - Desert Rat - The Premier Hunting and Fishing Blog of the Southwest!

    Archive for November, 2009

    AZGFD Patrols More Than Deserts and Forests

    For sure, the internet is a vast source of information. Message boards like the AHT Forums not only provide information, but entertainment as well. The problem with internet message boards however is that there is no way to verify the information as presented. The boards are full of some very knowledgeable folks; they are also full of Monday morning quarterbacks, self-appointed experts, and some who might have an axe to grind.

    This past year, I have noticed “official” posts from members of Arizona Game and Fish on a few different boards, and I must say, I think it is great. Whether you agree with their posts or not, they are tapping into what is arguably the “pulse” of the hunting community and trying to address issues directly.

    A great example of this can be found in a recent thread over at the Coueswhitetail.com Message Board. Some people had taken umbrage with some recent proposed tag allotments/numbers and there was a lot of information, conjecture and “fact” being tossed around.

    Well, along comes Jim Hinkle who is Big Game Management Supervisor the for Arizona Game and Fish Department and he makes the following, very informative post to shed some light on the conversation at hand:

    My name is Jim Hinkle and I am the Big Game Management Supervisor for the Arizona Game and Fish Department. I have twenty-five years with the department as a wildlife manager (Units 18B and 27), investigator, and law enforcement program supervisor. I moved to my current position this past summer and still am getting up to speed. I have recently started monitoring posts on this web site and feel compelled to respond on this topic.

    Firstly let me state that forums like this one are valuable venues for all of us to express our opinions regarding the wild resources we all enjoy. In responding to this post, it is not my intention to disrespect anyone’s opinion, but to simply provide the factual basis as to why recommendations were made. Given the facts, it is your purview to decide whether the recommendations were right or wrong.

    The Arizona Game and Fish Commission approve guidelines for hunting seasons which directs the department in how game species are managed. The most current guidelines call for a pre-hunt (September) bull to cow ratio of 15 to 25 bulls per 100 cows for standard elk management units. Units with bull to cow ratios higher than the guideline are directed to increase bull harvest resulting in increased permits or hunting opportunity. During the fall 2009 elk surveys, Units 5A, 5BN, 6A, 7E and 8 all had bull to cow ratios significantly higher than the Commission-directed guideline (76, 49, 31, 59, and 49 bulls per 100 cows, respectively). While an increase in permits in each of these units is clearly warranted, the wildlife managers for those units felt that adding additional tags during the November general season would result in too many hunters in the field at one time. Those managers requested a new October season to add the extra permits. December was ruled out for the extra hunt due to fears of rain, snow, mud and possible road closures. As it is our job to provide opportunities for hunters to hunt, we felt the extra season was an acceptable option, and far better than stacking too many hunters in the field at once during November. The newly recommended October season is only planned to be used in these units until the bull to cow ratios are within guidelines, and then the harvest will be reduced and the October hunts will no longer be needed. The bottom line is we have extra bulls in these units; we have thousands of hunters who want to hunt, so we are recommending the additional opportunity. Whether to offer the extra tags in November, October or December was a judgment call. We went with the recommendation of the field officers who felt the extra tags would be best offered in a new October season.

    The decision was made on the basis of what would be best for the majority of our hunters, not for monetary reasons. I can assure you that in all of the work in developing a statewide hunt recommendation packet from the district wildlife manager level all the way up to the Director’s office, revenues are never discussed. Permit increases (and decreases) are made on the basis of population parameters, previous years harvest and hunter success, as well as access issues (we are losing 40 antelope tags for 2010 simply due to the closing of the Chino Grande Ranch). Total annual revenues for the Arizona Game and Fish Department run about 90 million dollars. License and tag sales make up 28 million of that total, of which big game permit tags (including non-permit tags) account for a little over 8 million. The addition (or deletion) of 396 elk tags has no appreciable effect to our annual budget. It is only important to the 396 extra hunters who get to go hunting.

    If you still have concerns over the recommended October bull elk hunts, please consider attending the December 5, 2009 Commission meeting in Phoenix and voice your opinion. The Commission does listen. I also encourage any of you concerned with seasons, dates, target ratios, weapon types and the like to engage in the hunt guideline development process the next time around. We will begin that public scoping process during the spring of 2011.

    Jim

    I say “well done” to Mr. Hinkle and I strongly encourage the Department to keep up this kind of outreach and education. Other Departments could do well to follow their lead. Some time spent perusing our hunting and fishing message boards could really reap some benefits!

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    Posted on 30th November 2009
    Under: Arizona News, General, Hunting | No Comments »

    Camo For Christmas?

    Lots of you already know that I think Cactuflage is a great product! You may want to consider visiting their online store to do some of your Christmas shopping. Me? I sent my wife a link to Ken’s site as a part of my “wish list”. Ken is running a Christmas promotion right now and you can enjoy 10-40% off of everything!

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    Posted on 29th November 2009
    Under: General, Hunting, Products | No Comments »

    Happy Thanksgiving from Desert Rat

    For those that can, please enjoy time with your families today. For everyone, reflect on what is good in your life. Take a moment to remember our soldiers, sailors and airmen who aren’t at home this holiday season.

    Eat well, drink responsibly, and get outside hunting or fishing.

    Thanks for stopping by.

    The MacFarlanes

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    Posted on 26th November 2009
    Under: General | No Comments »

    An Awesome Tale

    Arizona has several great hunting-oriented message boards, and I visit all of them. One of them, the AHT Forums, are part of this network and I am proud to say I am an Administrator of that particular message board.

    All of these boards have their own personality, but they all have great members. These boards have everything from chit chat to beautiful photos to interesting stories. That being said, I read a story the other day that is the epitome of what we try to achieve on the boards.

    Arizona Sportsmen’s Journal member Christian (nickname cdb) has crafted a tale that has it all - kids, his own thoughts, a successful hunt, and awesome photos. This thread is quite possibly the best thread I have read in years of visiting message boards.

    I encourage you to stop by that site and read this tale today: Once In A Lifetime.

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    Posted on 23rd November 2009
    Under: Arizona News, General, Hunting | No Comments »

    AGFD takes first step toward southern Arizona Gila trout fishery

    AGFD takes first step toward southern Arizona Gila trout fishery

    Airlifts fish up Mount Graham canyon for creek stocking

    The Arizona Game and Fish Department took its first step toward recovering Gila trout and establishing a Gila trout fishery in southern Arizona on Wednesday, Nov. 4 when it began stocking Frye Creek on Mount Graham in the Pinaleño Mountains.

    The fish were trucked in from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Mora National Fish Hatchery and Technology Center in New Mexico to the department’s Cluff Ranch Wildlife Area near Pima, Ariz.This morning they were transferred to transport drums, which were attached to a helicopter by long line slings, then flown to Frye Creek.

    Three crews staged on the mountain to receive the fish, hike them up to three miles into Frye Canyon along a rebuilt trail, and stock them into creek pools.

    “With a load of fish, this was physically taxing, but well worth the effort,” said Jason Kline, a department fisheries program specialist. “It’s an historic occasion, as it will provide five miles of Gila trout recovery stream and be the first fishable population of Gila trout in Arizona.”

    In addition, Kline noted that once the Gila trout population there stabilizes as early as three years from now, anglers will be able to fish for five species of trout on the same mountain, including the hybrid Apache, brown, rainbow and brook trout.

    Five miles of Frye Creek from its headwaters to the Frye Mesa Reservoir have been closed to fishing since mid-October, and will remain so until the Gila trout population there is thriving. Thereafter, “limited opportunity” fishing will be initially allowed.Fishing at the reservoir is still permitted.

    Fires in 1999 prevented efforts to stock Gila trout into Dude Creek in the White Mountains. A small but unfishable population of the trout was introduced into Raspberry Creek there in 2000.

    First described in 1950, Gila trout in Arizona were listed as an endangered species in 1967 and have been a threatened species since 2006. This will be only the third site in the state where Gila trout have been released.

    “This will create a very unique fishing experience,” noted Acting Regional Supervisor Don Mitchell of the Game and Fish Department office in Tucson.“Apache trout inhabit streams atop Mount Graham already, creating the distinct possibility of catching two native trout on the same mountain in the near future.”

    Approximately 20 state Game and Fish Department, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and U.S. Forest Service officials participated in the stocking. Also to be stocked with Gila trout as part of the project will be Grapevine Creek in Prescott.Approximately 150 trout will be stocked there.

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    Posted on 18th November 2009
    Under: Arizona News, Conservation Groups, Fishing, General | No Comments »

    Wildlife management and hunter access on Hopi Trust Lands

    I was just reading an interesting thread on this issue over on AZSJ.org. There’s something wonky about this; I can’t help but think the camel’s nose is under the tent… ~DesertRat

    Wildlife management and hunter access on Hopi Trust Lands

    Nov. 17, 2009

    The Arizona Game and Fish Department has received inquiries from constituents regarding its announcement last Friday about two agenda items that have been added to this Thursday’s (Nov. 19) meeting of the Arizona Game and Fish Commission. Those agenda items are:

    An informational briefing on a draft Cooperative Agreement with the Hopi Tribe to facilitate cooperative management and continued elk and antelope hunter access on sovereign Hopi Trust Lands in Game Management Units 4A, 5A and 5B (the agreement includes allocation of permits to Hopi tribal members based on suitable habitat).

    Consideration of proposed amendments to the hunt guidelines governing the 2010-11 and 2011-12 hunting seasons in Game Management Units 4A, 5A and 5B to reflect the proposed permit allocation in the Hopi Trust Lands Cooperative Agreement. The commission may vote to take action or provide the department direction on this item.
    (For a complete meeting agenda, visit www.azgfd.gov/commissioncam and click on the link to the Nov. 19 agenda).

    The department offers the following additional background information on this issue:

    In 1996, Congress passed the Navajo-Hopi Land Dispute Settlement Act to resolve long-standing issues regarding Navajo families living on Hopi partition lands. Among the provisions in this act was authorization for the Hopi Tribe to purchase up to 500,000 acres of ranch lands in northern Arizona and put them eventually into trust status. The act also authorized the Secretary of the Interior to, by condemnation, acquire State Lands lying within the private lands purchased by the Hopi Tribe and compensate the state at fair market value with funds provided by the tribe.

    In 1997-98, under the authority of the act, Hopi purchased five ranches (Clear Creek, Hart, 10X, Drye and Aja) in Game Management Units 4A, 5A and 5B, covering approximately 173,000 acres of deeded land with a comparable amount of interspersed “checkerboard” State Land. Up until December 2008, these ranch lands were treated as any other ranch. In December 2008, about 160,000 acres of these deeded lands were placed into federal trust status for the benefit of the Hopi Tribe. Trust status, for all practical purposes, has the effect of making the Hopi Trust Lands become part of the Hopi Reservation as sovereign land.

    There are about 157,000 acres of interspersed checkerboard State Land within the Hopi Trust Land boundaries. There has been no change in the interspersed State Lands at this time. These interspersed lands make it difficult for either Hopi or Game and Fish to independently manage habitat, wildlife and hunting on these lands. The department has been working collaboratively with the Hopi Tribe for 10 years on these issues.

    The Arizona Game and Fish Commission was briefed on this situation last spring during a public meeting. Since then, the department has continued to work with Hopi on access, habitat and wildlife management issues. The proposed Cooperative Agreement provides for a process under which Hopi will be able to issue a certain number of permits for Hopis to hunt these lands. A separate Stewardship Agreement allows continued access to these lands for elk and antelope hunters during the 2010 season.

    Keep in mind that the Hopi Trust Lands are sovereign lands, and continued hunter access is dependent on cooperative agreements such as this. Hopi has affirmed that the tribe values its relationship with the Arizona Game and Fish Department, and the tribe and department will continue to work cooperatively on access, habitat and wildlife management issues.

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    Posted on 17th November 2009
    Under: Arizona News, Conservation Groups, General, Politics and More | No Comments »

    Half-priced fishing licenses, trout stockings return

    Half-priced fishing licenses, trout stockings return

    The stars have aligned – rainbow trout are coming to a galaxy of waters close to home for millions of people, plus 2009 fishing licenses for state waters or the urban program lakes are now on sale for half price, say Arizona Game and Fish Department officials.

    “It doesn’t get much better than this, especially during these tough economic times,” said Fisheries Chief Kirk Young. “Your family can get quality outdoor recreation and delicious trout for the table, all at half price.”

    The 2009 annual state fishing license is now on sale for just $11.75 for residents and $35.13 for nonresidents, but if you plan to catch trout in state waters, don’t forget your trout stamp.

    The Urban Program Fishing License is on sale for $9.25 for both residents and nonresidents alike.

    “The month of November offers some of the best fishing available at Urban Program lakes,” said Eric Swanson, urban fishing program manager. “The lakes have been loaded with catfish all fall, stockings of bluegill sunfish took place in late October. and the first trout delivery begins November 16.”

    This week (Wednesday, Nov. 4), the Lower Salt River near Phoenix is being stocked with feisty rainbow trout.

    “This fishery is just minutes away from Tempe and Mesa and has become extremely popular with winter trout anglers. Where else can you catch trout in a scenic desert river adjacent to a major metropolitan area? The answer – only here,” Young said.

    Trout are also being stocked this week at Dead Horse Ranch State Park in Cottonwood, Fain and Lynx lakes in the Prescott area, Wet Beaver Creek in the Verde Valley, plus Parker Canyon and Patagonia lakes in southern Arizona.

    The following week, trout are being stocked in Saguaro Lake near Phoenix, Francis Short Pond in Flagstaff, Oak Creek, the Verde River (between Cottonwood and Camp Verde), Cluff Pond and Roper Lake near Safford, and in Rose Canyon on Mount Lemon near Tucson.

    The week of Nov. 16, trout will also be stocked in Canyon Lake and Tempe Town Lake. Be sure to mark Nov. 24 on your calendar – that is the Welcome Back the Trout Celebration at Tempe Town Lake with a fishing clinic starting at 3 p.m.

    “This has become an annual tradition in Arizona to kick-off the holidays,” said Young. “So come fish with us and catch some holiday cheer.”

    For the weekly fishing report, and to learn more about the great fishing opportunities in Arizona visit, www.azgfd.gov/fishing.

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    Posted on 17th November 2009
    Under: Arizona News, Fishing | No Comments »

    Commission to consider proposed amendments to hunt guidelines at public meeting on Nov. 19

    Commission to consider proposed amendments to hunt guidelines at public meeting on Nov. 19

    The Arizona Game and Fish Commission’s work session scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 19, will be expanded to include commission consideration of two additional agenda items.

    The commission will receive an informational briefing on a draft Cooperative Agreement with the Hopi Tribe to facilitate cooperative management and continued elk and antelope hunter access on sovereign Hopi Trust Lands in Game Management Units 4A, 5A and 5B. This agreement includes allocation of permits to Hopi tribal members based on suitable habitat.

    The commission will then consider proposed amendments to the hunt guidelines governing the 2010-11 and 2011-12 hunting seasons in Game Management Units 4A, 5A and 5B to reflect the proposed permit allocation in the Hopi Trust Lands Cooperative Agreement. The commission may vote to take action or provide the department direction on this item.

    The meeting, held at the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s headquarters at 5000 W. Carefree Highway in Phoenix, begins at 8 a.m. with an executive session, followed by the public session beginning with the two items above. The public is invited to attend the meeting in person or can view it over the Web at www.azgfd.gov/commissioncam.

    In keeping with current department practice for commission workshops (as opposed to regularly scheduled commission meetings), those wishing to submit “blue slips” to present oral comment must attend the meeting in Phoenix.

    The remainder of the agenda consists of the commission work session. The public is invited to attend the work session, but it will not be Webcast. Work session agenda items are:

    *Budget/planning update, including preparation and planning for development of the 2012/2013 biennial budget process.
    *Proposed director’s goals and objectives for 2010.
    *Demonstration for the commission of an approach to allow for the development and future use of paperless commission meeting books.

    For a complete agenda, visit www.azgfd.gov/commission and click on the commission agenda link and the link for the Nov. 19 agenda.

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    Posted on 17th November 2009
    Under: Arizona News, Conservation Groups, Events, General, Press Releases | No Comments »

    My Radio Debut

    Well, I survived my radio debut last Sunday morning. Jim Solomon from Xplor The Outdoors invited me on his show which airs every Sunday morning on KDUS 1060AM.

    I was a bit nervous, but Jim made it enjoyable. You can listen to the broadcast HERE. If you want to get right to my portion it is right around the 1/3 point.

    Thanks again Jim!

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    Posted on 16th November 2009
    Under: General | No Comments »

    Grants available for public shooting ranges in Arizona

    Grants available for public shooting ranges in Arizona

    PHOENIX — The Arizona Game and Fish Department wants to continue to improve and expand public shooting ranges across the state by providing grant funding to qualified applicants involved in the development, improvement or maintenance of public shooting and archery ranges.

    The department is accepting grant applications now through Jan. 15 by 5 p.m. (MST). Shooting clubs, sportsmen’s groups and government agencies operating public shooting ranges are encouraged to apply. Privately owned for-profit ranges are not eligible for this program.

    “This program has been instrumental in the vitality of shooting ranges across the state,” said Game and Fish Shooting Ranges Administrator, Anthony Chavez. “It has afforded ranges the opportunity to expand safety barriers; add capabilities to include clay target shooting and archery shooting; improve ADA accessibility; as well as update and modernize these facilities.”

    Examples of projects that could be eligible for funds include shooting range development and redevelopment, construction of noise abatement structures and safety berms, installation of shooting pads and stations, and construction or improvement of access roads and parking lots.

    Grants are available through a competitive application process each year. The Arizona Game and Fish Commission determines how much money is available, but generally the total is about $100,000. The maximum grant award is $50,000 per project.

    Application packets are available online at www.azgfd.gov/shootingsports (select “range development grants” link on the left side of the page), or contact Anthony Chavez, statewide shooting ranges administrator, at (623) 236-7395 or aechavez@azgfd.gov.

    Chavez added, “Public shooting ranges are critical in the preservation of recreational and competitive shooting, they support hunter education and youth programs, and facilitate law enforcement training.”

    The Arizona Game and Fish Department does not receive general funds from the State of Arizona. Most department funding results from user-pays user-benefits sources of funding including sales of hunting and fishing licenses, stamps and tags. The benefit for allocating revenue for this grant is it supports the department’s hunter education, hunter recruitment and shooting sports programs, and it promotes and provides Arizona residents with safe shooting areas – all important elements of the department’s mission.

    Note to media: Shooting sports and hunting are rated among the safest forms of recreation. Some 40 million people of all ages safely participate in these activities. However, research shows there are nearly 48 million men and women who are interested in shooting sports and are simply waiting for an invitation. Grants of this kind will assist the department’s already successful shooting and hunter education programs.

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    Posted on 16th November 2009
    Under: Arizona News, Conservation Groups, General, Press Releases | No Comments »

    Urban Fishing Bulletin

    Urban Fishing Bulletin
    For the weeks of Nov. 1-14, 2009

    Manager: Eric Swanson (623) 236-7263
    Specialist: Joann Hill (623) 236-7268

    Call 1-800-352-0700 to report fishing violations

    CATFISH SEASON TO END, TROUT STOCKINGS START NOVEMBER 16
    The fall catfish stocking season wraps up the week of November 2-7 with another 14,000 pounds of fish delivered to the 20 Urban Fishing Program waters in the Phoenix and Tucson areas. Starting in a couple weeks, fish stocking trucks change from delivering channel catfish to rainbow trout. Lake temperatures are within five degrees of the 65 degree target for trout. The winter trout stocking season is scheduled to begin Monday, November 16. Trout ranging from 10-12 inches will be stocked at two-week intervals throughout the winter. Over 100,000 trout from Colorado have been ordered for delivery to Urban waters during the four month stocking season. With the colder temperatures at Payson’s Green Valley Lakes, trout stockings already started on October 20 and will continue every other week for the next eight months at this forest location.

    LAKES RECEIVE SUNFISH STOCKINGS, BASS COMING SOON
    Urban waters were stocked with 5-6 inch bluegill sunfish on October 28-29. Bluegills are stocked twice a year (fall and spring) to provide fishing fun for kids and families. Fish sizes ran on the smaller side this last delivery, but our productive lakes should support rapid growth. A truckload of over 22,000 fish were delivered from Arkansas, with each lake receiving 110-160 fish per surface acre. Some of the bluegills are expected to last until the spring when they will reproduce in the lakes and provide more fish for the future. Sunfish will bite all day long for anglers using small pieces of worms or mealworms on small hooks fished under a thin bobber and 2-4 lb. leaders. Daily bag limits for bluegill/sunfish are 10 fish per person at Urban Lakes and 5 fish per day at Urban Ponds.

    The annual stocking of largemouth bass is scheduled to occur in November with over 8,000 fish on order. Bass will be from 6-9 inches in length—below the 13-inch minimum legal size. Younger bass are stocked to help rebuild the resident bass populations in our lakes. They are not stocked for anglers to catch and keep like catfish, bluegill or trout. Regulations require that anglers carefully release these juvenile bass unharmed back into the water so they can grow to catchable size in the future.

    2009 URBAN FISHING LICENSES 50% OFF SALE
    If you recently found out about the great fishing in the urban lakes and the start of the trout stocking season, we have a deal for you. The 2009 Class U, Urban Fishing, license is now 50% off for the last two months of the year. Stop by a Game and Fish office or any of our sporting goods or retail license dealers and ask for your 2009 discount Urban license for $9.25. Fishing is excellent this time of year at all Urban Program lakes for trout, bluegill and catfish.

    URBAN FISHING REPORT
    The month of November offers some of the best fishing available at Urban Program lakes. The lakes have been loaded with catfish all fall with one last stocking the week of Nov. 2-7. Stockings of bluegill sunfish took place October 28-29 at all lakes. The first trout delivery for the winter season begins November 16. Finally, juvenile largemouth bass under the 13-inch legal length are being stocked during November.

    Top baits for catfish are shrimp, stink baits and hot dogs with fish biting throughout the day. Bluegill are biting well on a variety of baits (mealworms, bread, hot dogs) and are ready to take wet flies in the late mornings and afternoon. Using light tackle with small hooks and bobbers will keep you and the kids busy catching bluegill. The Green Valley Lakes (Payson) were stocked with rainbow trout on October 20, kicking off an eight month stocking season. Fishing is excellent for the 11-14 inch trout. Best trout baits include Powerbait, worms and small spinners and lures.

    STOCKING SCHEDULE

    All UFP waters in Phoenix area and Tucson area - Last stocked catfish Oct. 22, bluegill Oct. 28-29. Next stocking, catfish the week of November 2-7 and bass in Nov.
    Green Valley Lakes (Payson) - Last stocked trout Oct. 20 (season opening). Next stocking, trout the week of Nov. 2-7.

    View the Urban Fishing Bulletin on our web site.

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    Posted on 16th November 2009
    Under: Arizona News, Fishing, General, Press Releases | No Comments »

    Arizona Game and Fish response to court settlement agreement on Mexican wolf management

    Arizona Game and Fish response to court settlement agreement on Mexican wolf management

    Nov. 13, 2009

    In a news release distributed today (Nov. 13), the Center for Biological Diversity announced a settlement agreement between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and several environmental advocacy groups concerning Mexican wolf management.

    The Arizona Game and Fish Department offers the following response:

    In its role as the state’s wildlife management authority, the Arizona Game and Fish Department has a vested interest in continuing its participation and leadership in Mexican wolf conservation.

    The department has actively participated in wolf recovery going back more than 30 years. Since 1977, the department has spent an estimated $5.3 million for wolf recovery efforts.

    The department advocates that Mexican wolf management decisions will continue to be based on sound science and to provide opportunities for participation by local and tribal governments, nongovernmental organizations and individuals from all segments of the public. The department looks forward to redefining how it can best participate in wolf management, to represent the state’s interests based on state statutory authority as well as its authority granted under the federal Endangered Species Act.

    Consistent with previous Arizona Game and Fish Commission guidance, the department supports the development of an updated Mexican wolf recovery plan with measurable recovery goals based on science. The current plan was completed in 1982 and the department has asserted for more than 10 years that failure to revise the plan has been a considerable impediment to wolf conservation.

    The department believes that the development of a mechanism for addressing financial impacts of wolf depredation on private interests is an important step in addressing long-standing social challenges associated with wolf recovery and may in fact be a crucial component in ensuring that the program moves forward in full compliance with the impacts and management commitments identified in the original (1996) environmental impact statement and final 1998 rule on Mexican wolf reintroduction.

    The department’s endangered species coordinator, Terry Johnson, currently chairs the Mexican Wolf Adaptive Management Oversight Committee (AMOC). The press release sent by the plaintiff organizations is misleading in that AMOC is not and never has been the deciding authority on whether or not a wolf stays in the wild. AMOC reviews situations in which management response is needed and when removal is one of the options considered makes recommendations based on an approved procedure and forwards those recommendations to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). Prior to 2008 the USFWS Mexican Wolf Recovery Coordinator, per the 1998 final rule, made the final decision on removal. Since then, the Region 2 director of the USFWS has consulted on such recommendations with the directors of the other five lead agencies participating in AMOC, but ultimately is the sole deciding authority on wolf removal.

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    Posted on 15th November 2009
    Under: Arizona News, Conservation Groups, General, Politics and More, Press Releases | No Comments »