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A "Call for Comments" on the BLM Central Yukon Draft RMP/EIS

Attention all camelid owners and friends! 
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Central Yukon Draft Resource Management Plan (RMP) & Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is currently open for public comment ending March 10, 2021. At issue is BLM's proposal to hold camelids to a different standard than horses by allowing horses without a permit but requiring a permit for pack llamas in this BLM jurisdiction. 

The "good news" is that BLM is not banning llamas in the Central Yukon Management Area. The "not so good news" is that BLM is holding llamas to a different standard than horses. This doesn't make sense because llamas pose no more disease risk (and less environmental impact) than horses and other traditional pack stock such as mules.

The specific language we are objecting is as follows. 
Maintain effective separation between domestic animals and Dall sheep (Wild Sheep Working Group 2012; consistent with BLM Manual 1730). Domestic sheep and goats are prohibited in Dall sheep habitat. Use of camelids (including alpacas and llamas) as pack animals would be authorized as appropriate through the normal permitting process. 

Note: This language can be found in the Central Yukon Draft Resource Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement: (Volume 1)  BLM Central Yukon Planning Documents

What Can I Do?
Submit a comment of objection to BLM by March 10th. It's best to craft your own original comment but we have provided a sample comment below if you prefer to use that.

In accordance with the BLM website, you may provide comments by mail, fax, email, or in person as follows. 
  1. Mail comments to: BLM Central Yukon Field Office, Attention: Central Yukon Draft RMP/EIS, 222 University Avenue, Fairbanks, AK 99709.
  2. Fax comments to (907) 474-2282 
  3. Email comments to CentralYukon@blm.gov."
Sample Comment:
I request that the statement "Use of camelids (including alpacas and llamas) as pack animals..." (page 2-29 CY draft RMP-EIS-volume1) be removed because it holds camelids to a different standard than equids (horses, mules, etc.) and other user groups in this BLM jurisdiction. Apparently BLM is not holding equids to the same standard because no mention of equids is made in this statement and a permit is not required for equids (horses) in this BLM jurisdiction. BLM has not provided any rational or scientific evidence that camelids are a greater disease transmission risk to wild sheep than equids. Both camelids and equids enjoy wide taxonomic separation from wild sheep (bovids) with corresponding strong species barriers against disease transmission to wildlife. The lack of disease in pack llamas is well documented so there is no reason to hold camelids to a more rigid standard than equids. 
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For background and additional info go to the BLM Central Yukon website

BLM Alaska Central Yukon Map


PLEASE NOTE- This is RMP/EIS unrelated to the US Fish & Wildlife Service camelid prohibition in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

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