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Showing posts from September, 2020

Final Rule by the USFWS banning pack llamas in ANWR

In April 2020, the US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) announced a proposal to prohibit the use of pack llamas in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) as part of a proposed regulation package. The rationale for this ban was based on a perceived camelid "disease risk" which is not supported by science. (For background on the proposal go to this blog post - USFWS Attempting to Ban Pack Llamas in ANWR)The llama user group made extensive comments during the open pubic comment period which closed June 8, 2020 and also participated in a public meeting held via teleconference due to the pandemic.  Public comment and public testimony clearly demonstrated the USFWS camelid "disease risk" hypothesis was indefensible. Furthermore multiple procedural violations by USFWS were noted. (Go to this link for more on procedural violations - NEPA Violations)In spite of the llama community's gallant effort, USFWS ignored science and came out with a final rule effective Aug…

Pack Llamas Under Siege on Alaska's Public Lands (Updated)

Pack llamas have historically played an important role on our public lands. They are sure-footed pack animals used both recreationally and commercially . They are also used by public agencies for trail and park maintenance as they do in Rocky Mountain National Park.  However, there have been proposals by government agencies to ban llamas from our public lands based on a perceived "disease threat" to wildlife that is not scientifically defensible.

I.    Proposed Llama Bans in Alaska by Agency (Past and Present)
Alaska Board of Game (BOG): In 2012, the Alaska Board of Game (BOG) took action to ban domestic goats, sheep, and llamas for use in hunting wild goats and sheep. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) reviewed the science behind the BOG action and recommended against inclusion of llamas. The BOG agreed with ADF&G and removed llamas from that regulation. To this day, pack llamas (camelids) are allowed on all state of Alaska public lands without restriction…