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Showing posts from August, 2021

The Canadian Papers - "Smoke and Mirrors?"

Canadian hypothetical risk assessments have been and are being used as a basis for banning pack llamas on public lands by various government agencies. Do they "pass muster" and are they based on science? Let's take a closer look. It was stated during the August 5, 2021 BLM Virtual Meeting by BLM biologist (Jim Herriges) that BLM’s decision to prohibit pack llamas is based on Canadian hypothetical “Risk Assessments.”  I’d like to point out that the authors of these Canadian papers state (1) “…there is insufficient data available to clearly assess the role of camelids as a source of disease at this time…..” and (2) “Risks from camelids to wildlife in British Columbia remain hypothetical after this risk assessment, as no direct evidence was found to implicate camelids as sources of significant diseases in wildlife in BC or elsewhere.”  So by their own admission, the authors conclude camelid disease transmission is hypothetical and based on conjecture (not science) Furthermor

Lower Eagle River or River Woods Trail (All Season Hike)

The Lower Eagle River trail (also called the River Woods Trail) runs along the Eagle River in Chugach State Park and it's just minutes from downtown Eagle River. Why I Like This Hike:  This is truly an all-season trail that can be hiked all times of the year including winter.  It's an easy walk that offers convenient access with intermittent views of surrounding mountains and opportunity for wildlife viewing. Due to the flat terrain and accessibility, it's a pleasant hike in any season and suitable for all skill levels including kids and elderly.  How to Get There: The trailhead can be accessed from the south side of the Briggs Bridge off the Eagle River Loop Road where there is pubic parking and a boat launch. Google Maps - Briggs Bridge Access The Nitty-Gritty:  From the Briggs Bridge access, the lower Eagle River trail goes east through birch and spruce forest over relatively flat terrain.  Sections of this trail can be very muddy during spring or early summer so waterpr

Attention Llama Owners & Supporters - Comments Needed!

The comment period ended August 20, 2021. Check back here for updates.  ***Thanks to all who made comments!*** The Alaska Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is proposing to restrict/prohibit the use of pack llamas in the Eastern Interior Resource Management Area (EI–RMA) based on a perceived disease threat to wild sheep through their Travel Management Plans (TMPs) for the Steese and White Mountain subunits which are currently open for public comment. The TMPs are part of the proposed rule making process that take their direction from a planning document BLM approved in 2016 called the Eastern Interior-Resource Management Plan (EI-RMP). This EI-RMP (planning document) prohibits/restricts pack llamas in the Steese and White Mountains subunits of the BLM-Eastern Interior Management Area based on an unsubstantiated disease threat to wild sheep. Consequently, we are asking for an amendment to the 2016 BLM approved Eastern Interior RMP (planning document) because this will also be necessary to