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Ron Clarke
06-28-2010, 12:30 PM
As promised, here's my solo thread. I look forward to your thoughts and questions.

robruger1
06-28-2010, 08:50 PM
You have my vote......

Ron Clarke
06-29-2010, 01:34 AM
Thanks, Rob, I appreciate your support. What can NAFA do to help you practice falconry the way you want?

robruger1
06-29-2010, 07:49 AM
Recognition of falconry as a legitimate field sport. We need to get the usfw to treat us the same as other sportsman. Currently we operate under a microscope with every action scrutinized. When someone poaches an elk they have to face the consequences on their own and all the other elk hunters don't have to fear retaliation from the government for the one parties bad choices. This is not the case in falconry. As most know here in Oregon last year we had some falconers make some bad choices at a peregrine eyrie and now we are no longer allowed access to the eyries, if we want an eyass peregrine we have to get one from off a bridge. This is just one thing I'd like to see changed.

Ron Clarke
06-29-2010, 09:28 AM
Good. Thanks for the feedback. You're right on the mark. Please keep in touch.

everetkhorton
06-30-2010, 05:36 PM
Ron, Thanks for running for DAL of NAFA.

Ron Clarke
06-30-2010, 08:41 PM
Thanks, Ev. I appreciate your involvement in NAFA and your regular participation here on NAFEX.

oscarpack@yahoo.com
06-30-2010, 10:18 PM
Thanks for running Ron, I enjoyed our visits in Garden City and Woodward.
Oscar

Ron Clarke
07-01-2010, 02:18 PM
Thanks, Oscar. Good to hear from you. I enjoyed our time in KS and OK, too -- looking forward to more. How's that big catching machine doing?

oscarpack@yahoo.com
07-04-2010, 05:38 AM
She is going good, molting at a moderate rate at present, I hope my recent move doesn't slow it down
Are you flying anything new this year?
Oscar

Ron Clarke
07-04-2010, 12:25 PM
Nothing new yet. My female gyr is in a breeding project in Fairbanks, and I'm ciphering out how to deal with the big change to my hawking grounds. The local dump shut off their incinerator and has been landfilling the garbage. Result: on any given day, there are about 400 bald eagles in our little corner of the world. With no road out and no practical way to get far enough away, I'm reluctant to fly big falcons here any more. I've lost three to eagles over the past twenty years, and don't care to lose any more. Merlin? Goshawk? Maybe a passage falcon would be more eagle smart than an eyas? Haven't decided yet. I love this place, but it was already marginal for falconry. It's downright dangerous now.

Ron Clarke
07-07-2010, 03:42 PM
Hi all,

I'm soon off to Whitehorse, Yukon for the greatest softball tournament on Earth, followed by a bit of a road trip. I'll be off line until the end of the month or so, unless I can connect here and there along the way. Since the roaming charges in Canada are incredible, I'll probably be mostly unavailable by phone, too. Looking forward to renewing our conversation when I return.

Ron Clarke
07-26-2010, 02:17 PM
Hi everyone,

I'm back at the keyboard and ready to answer questions and continue the conversation.

Saluqi
07-26-2010, 02:57 PM
Hi Ron,

I'm asking questions of you and Fred to help me with my decision. I've heard rumblings from folks who say that having worked in the Alaska state government you have an insider approach to doing things, and these folks fear that you will perpetuate that approach much like recent NAFA boards have operated. How do you respond to that?

Ron Clarke
07-26-2010, 04:17 PM
Hi Ron,

I'm asking questions of you and Fred to help me with my decision. I've heard rumblings from folks who say that having worked in the Alaska state government you have an insider approach to doing things, and these folks fear that you will perpetuate that approach much like recent NAFA boards have operated. How do you respond to that?

Hi Paul,

Thanks for the question. One of my favorite maxims is "all generalizations are bad." Writing off people who have worked in government or painting them all with a broad brush as secretive insiders is a mistake. Sure, it's tempting and often justified to distrust goverment -- I tend to be skeptical of governments myself -- but people in government are just that. People. And people are all different.

People bring what they are to government jobs. Contact with government doesn't necessarily infect everyone it touches with the evil attributes of the system. People as diverse as, say, Ken Mesch and Cass Sunstein have both worked for a long time in government; I hope Ken won't recoil in horror and hold it against me for being mentioned in the same sentence as that other guy. My point is Ken is a strong advocate for falconry as a hunting sport and, well, let's just hope the other guy never hears a peep about the sport, and they're both career government guys. In Alaska, I've noticed elected officials usually undergo an amplification of their existing natural tendencies. The good-hearted, well-meaning ones become powerful and effective champions of their constituents; others become self-serving, ego-driven, crooked, or all of that and worse.

My experience in government taught me it is always preferable to operate openly and with participation by affected people and groups from the outset of any project or program. First and foremost, no one has a monopoly on good ideas. Effective government leaders avail themselves of the experience and expertise of as many knowledgeable people as possible. I lean toward drawing more people in to any situation than to deliberate internally. That always slows things down and makes the discussions more cumbersome, but it's a fair trade. Secondly, at least at the state level in Alaska, it seems everything that happens all comes out publicly in the end anyway, so you might as well get the benefit of broad participation up front.

Having been a government "insider" allowed me to learn how systems work and what it takes to move them. That's useful knowledge, even if some people have a knee-jerk aversion to what they assume is automatically tantamount to back room maneuvering, which it isn't.

Does that help? If not, give me a specific example or two of what concerns you or others about past NAFA Board actions and I'll give you my perspective.

sharptail
07-26-2010, 10:37 PM
Well, you certainly have managed to distroy Ken's image by association with a Communist like Sunstein.

How do you feel about repatriation of falconers that have let there membership lapse due to NAFA taking a stance aginst our raptors as private property, something that some feel is betrayal of basic Rights. Would you just as soon they stay gone and fight it out on there own or with the AFC?

I must say that I have a gross mistrust of you as an elite(government) insider as well as a NAFA insider, and a MUCH worse opinion of highup government officals than you seem too.

Ron Clarke
07-26-2010, 10:49 PM
You missed my point, Jeff. I held up the example of a solid falconer and a long-time NAFA member and Director as someone who was the total opposite of "that other guy," yet both have worked for governments.

sharptail
07-26-2010, 11:48 PM
I didn't miss the point, I just think that it was a dispicable example that did harm to Ken.

Ron Clarke
07-27-2010, 12:25 AM
I didn't miss the point, I just think that it was a dispicable example that did harm to Ken.

That certainly wasn't my intent. I'm sorry yoiu took it that way and have written Ken to apologize as well.

FredFogg
07-27-2010, 11:04 PM
Ron, this has been discussed before but I really never saw a definate answer from you. Are you for non-resident take in Alaska? Yes or No! And if Yes, do you think states should have recipical fees for non-resident take? My state charges nothing, why should I have to pay $300 to trap in TX and folks from TX can come here and trap for nothing?

Ron Clarke
07-28-2010, 12:07 PM
Ron, this has been discussed before but I really never saw a definate answer from you. Are you for non-resident take in Alaska? Yes or No! And if Yes, do you think states should have recipical fees for non-resident take? My state charges nothing, why should I have to pay $300 to trap in TX and folks from TX can come here and trap for nothing?

Hi Fred,

Yes. No. Mind-numbing detail on either position available by request.

FredFogg
07-28-2010, 07:45 PM
Hi Fred,

Yes. No. Mind-numbing detail on either position available by request.

Well, I would definately like to hear your mind-numbing detail on why you don't favor reciprocal fees for non-resident take? And before you answer, the theory that my state has birds that your state doesn't have doesn't fly with me (pardon the pun). That gyr in Alaska can fly to any lower state and that state not have a fee for non-resident trapping, so why should Alaska get a fee for the same bird. The only fees should be a minimum administration fee, not $300 or some crazy high number.

Ron Clarke
07-28-2010, 08:24 PM
Well, I would definately like to hear your mind-numbing detail on why you don't favor reciprocal fees for non-resident take? And before you answer, the theory that my state has birds that your state doesn't have doesn't fly with me (pardon the pun). That gyr in Alaska can fly to any lower state and that state not have a fee for non-resident trapping, so why should Alaska get a fee for the same bird. The only fees should be a minimum administration fee, not $300 or some crazy high number.

I should have said "sure, but not due to a nationwide mandate or directive." If states want to charge reciprocal fees, that's great. But states appropriately reserve the right to levy taxes and charge user fees as they see fit. If a state wants to adopt a reciprocal arrangement with respect to other states, I'm all for it -- but they shouldn't be forced to do so.

As for species reciprocity, that gets complicated in a hurry. For example, an Alaskan who wants a wild boar can go to North Carolina and pay $60.00; a North Carolinian who wants a musk ox goes to Alaska pays $85.00 plus an $1,100.00 tag. On the other hand, a North Carolinian can come to Alaska and shoot a bear for $85.00 plus a $25.00 bear tag. I would imagine a person trying to persuade the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to drop the price of a bear by $50.00 (from $110.00 to $60.00) might succeed, but dropping musk ox by more than a thousand dollars to $60.00 would require powerful arguments indeed. There are surely a lot of other examples with other states' fees. I'm not saying it's impossible, but I'll bet plenty of states are fiercely wedded to their licensing "cash cows."

That said, raptor trapping is in a different realm from the big game hunting industry, i.e., it will never be a big money generator for states and they may well look more kindly on the idea of reciprocal fees. Have you looked into the range of fees states charge for non-resident take of raptors? If you have those data in e-mailable form, I'd love to see them.

FredFogg
07-28-2010, 08:43 PM
I should have said "sure, but not due to a nationwide mandate or directive." If states want to charge reciprocal fees, that's great. But states appropriately reserve the right to levy taxes and charge user fees as they see fit. If a state wants to adopt a reciprocal arrangement with respect to other states, I'm all for it -- but they shouldn't be forced to do so.

As for species reciprocity, that gets complicated in a hurry. For example, an Alaskan who wants a wild boar can go to North Carolina and pay $60.00; a North Carolinian who wants a musk ox goes to Alaska pays $85.00 plus an $1,100.00 tag. On the other hand, a North Carolinian can come to Alaska and shoot a bear for $85.00 plus a $25.00 bear tag. I would imagine a person trying to persuade the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to drop the price of a bear by $50.00 (from $110.00 to $60.00) might succeed, but dropping musk ox by more than a thousand dollars to $60.00 would require powerful arguments indeed. There are surely a lot of other examples with other states' fees. I'm not saying it's impossible, but I'll bet plenty of states are fiercely wedded to their licensing "cash cows."

That said, raptor trapping is in a different realm from the big game hunting industry, i.e., it will never be a big money generator for states and they may well look more kindly on the idea of reciprocal fees. Have you looked into the range of fees states charge for non-resident take of raptors? If you have those data in e-mailable form, I'd love to see them.

Ron, you still sound like a politician. LOL Why even bring up bears and musk ox when you end by saying raptor trapping is in a different realm? Yes, it is in a different realm. No state is going to make much of anything from falconers and raptor trapping, so why should any state charge any fee other than administrative cost? And I am not talking about a mandate on all states, only what as a NAFA director would you want NAFA to try and suggest the states to do. NAFA will never be able to create regulations within states, but they can help guide states. And then you end your answer with a question, wow, can you be more like a politician than that? LOL crazyy

Ron Clarke
07-28-2010, 09:17 PM
Ron, you still sound like a politician. LOL Why even bring up bears and musk ox when you end by saying raptor trapping is in a different realm? Yes, it is in a different realm. No state is going to make much of anything from falconers and raptor trapping, so why should any state charge any fee other than administrative cost? And I am not talking about a mandate on all states, only what as a NAFA director would you want NAFA to try and suggest the states to do. NAFA will never be able to create regulations within states, but they can help guide states. And then you end your answer with a question, wow, can you be more like a politician than that? LOL crazyy

Your logic is right on the mark. I'd carry it even further -- I've long maintained falconry should be regulated according to its impact on the resource, which is so negligible so as to be nonexistent or even positive when you consider the education, rehab, etc. work falconers do. That's not to say there should be no rules -- I like the apprentice system and other features of our system that look after the welfare of the birds. But logic or even biological fact doesn't often rule in political and administrative environments, especially when money is involved.

When it comes to fees collected by states, I know how jealously they guard every single one of their revenue generators, even the ones that don't bring in much money. As far as bears and musk oxen, that's the sort of thing game and fish departments will think of first. I can guarantee you the first thought in the minds of state wildlife department number crunchers and license administrators -- and they are the ones who run these systems --will be something like "If we drop raptor trapping fees, will that set a precedent whereby we might be legally required to offer the same deal to big game hunters?" If there's a hint of a possibility that a revenue source like non-resident deer hunting license fees would be jeopardized by writing off the negligible take by raptor trappers, they'll be seriously concerned. Even without that possible threat, I suspect you're going to have to have your arguments in good order if you're suggesting to a state like Texas that they reduce their raptor trapping fee from $300.00 to zero.

It should be, but this is not a black-or-white question. Sorry if my answer was too gray for you. As for asking questions, it's something I do a lot. So do you have those data or not? I'll start running them down myself if you don't. I was merely hoping you might save me some time.

As a NAFA director, I'd find out which states had implemented reciprocal fees and how they accomplished that arrangement, and then make that information part of the information available to state clubs. I suspect state clubs might have some suggestions as to how best another state might implement those regs -- advice on how to do it better, what to look out for, useful arguments to counter commonly encountered concerns, etc.

wyodjm
07-28-2010, 11:31 PM
A few years back, I had a discussion on falconry take and reciprocity with our Wyoming Game and Fish Department. Wyoming basically came to the conclusion, many years ago, that they arenít our birds. We donít own them. I think it is the correct perspective. If Wyoming falconers can take raptors here, then so can licensed nonresidents. That is Wyomingís position.

Why should raptors be any different than other migratory birds that can be legally harvested, nationwide, within sound management objectives? Even the flyway councils are debating the national passage peregrine harvests. Yet many states have this thing about a few raptors being taken for falconry purposes. I donít think there are any reciprocity restrictions addressing waterfowl hunting anywhere in the nation. Why should there be for raptors?

Reciprocity has been a topic for a long time. I think, and Iím not alone, that if the right person with deep enough pockets wanted to challenge any stateís reciprocity restriction on raptor take, in court, the state would lose. Especially when it came to trapping passage birds for falconry. And especially on federal, public lands. The right person with enough money to challenge it simply hasnít come along yet. But then, why would they? It would be cheaper to just go and buy a bird!

You want a set of model regulations to look at when it comes to nonresident raptor take for falconry? Why reinvent the wheel? Just look at and copy Wyoming's regulations. They've been in place for over 40 years. We don't care if you copy us. It's no big deal.

FredFogg
07-29-2010, 12:12 AM
A few years back, I had a discussion on falconry take and reciprocity with our Wyoming Game and Fish Department. Wyoming basically came to the conclusion, many years ago, that they arenít our birds. We donít own them. I think it is the correct perspective. If Wyoming falconers can take raptors here, then so can licensed nonresidents. That is Wyomingís position.

Why should raptors be any different than other migratory birds that can be legally harvested, nationwide, within sound management objectives? Even the flyway councils are debating the national passage peregrine harvests. Yet many states have this thing about a few raptors being taken for falconry purposes. I donít think there are any reciprocity restrictions addressing waterfowl hunting anywhere in the nation. Why should there be for raptors?

Reciprocity has been a topic for a long time. I think, and Iím not alone, that if the right person with deep enough pockets wanted to challenge any stateís reciprocity restriction on raptor take, in court, the state would lose. Especially when it came to trapping passage birds for falconry. And especially on federal, public lands. The right person with enough money to challenge it simply hasnít come along yet. But then, why would they? It would be cheaper to just go and buy a bird!

You want a set of model regulations to look at when it comes to nonresident raptor take for falconry? Why reinvent the wheel? Just look at and copy Wyoming's regulations. They've been in place for over 40 years. We don't care if you copy us. It's no big deal.

Funny point you make there Dan, but doesn't Wyoming have a nice hefty fee for non-residents to trap there? Kind of the opposite of what you just said, the birds are everyones, but hmmm, let's charge you a nice big fee to come here to trap! My whole deal isn't really with reciprocity, but more with it should be free in every state, resident or non-resident! We have ZERO impact on raptors, this isn't anything new. It just seems the states don't get that! And that is what I would want NAFA and the directors to fight for and hence, my questioning the candidates for DAL on this subject.

wyodjm
07-29-2010, 12:34 AM
Funny point you make there Dan, but doesn't Wyoming have a nice hefty fee for non-residents to trap there? Kind of the opposite of what you just said, the birds are everyones, but hmmm, let's charge you a nice big fee to come here to trap! My whole deal isn't really with reciprocity, but more with it should be free in every state, resident or non-resident! We have ZERO impact on raptors, this isn't anything new. It just seems the states don't get that! And that is what I would want NAFA and the directors to fight for and hence, my questioning the candidates for DAL on this subject.

Hi Fred:

I was going to mention the fee thing. Youíre right. Yes, Wyoming charges about $240 for a nonresident capture permit. I canít remember the exact amount. All hunting and fishing license fees are set by the state Legislature. Thereís a formula. If the fees go up for deer, elk, antelope, or whatever, all fees go up incrementally across the board.

Personally, I think the nonresident fees here are too high also. I think a cap of about $100 would be fair. But itís not my call. In the long run, your license fees to come here to take a bird will probably be the least of your expenses. I donít have a problem with a state charging a fee. I also donít have a problem with residents paying cheaper license fees and having first access to set aside permits where thereís limited quota take on certain species.

I guess if Wyomingís fees give people too much heartburn, then they can choose to go take a bird somewhere else. My point was we have nonresident take and we don't have reciprocity restrictions.

FredFogg
07-29-2010, 12:43 AM
I guess if Wyomingís fees give people too much heartburn, then they can choose to go take a bird somewhere else. My point was we have nonresident take and we don't have reciprocity restrictions.

I, too am for non-resident take but I believe in reciprocity restrictions only because some states will never revert back to charging smaller fees. The only fee we have is for the peregrine lottery, which last year was $5. If you were to come here to trap a peregrine or any raptor, I believe we should charge you $240. To me that is only fair, why should I have to pay $240 to trap in your state and you pay nothing here or just $5 to trap a peregrine. My wish would be that all states not charge anything other than a small administrative fee, definately not more than $25 or so. But the reality of that is it isn't going to happen, so reciprocity is the only fair solution in my eyes.

Ron Clarke
07-29-2010, 01:05 PM
A few years back, I had a discussion on falconry take and reciprocity with our Wyoming Game and Fish Department. Wyoming basically came to the conclusion, many years ago, that they arenít our birds. We donít own them. I think it is the correct perspective. If Wyoming falconers can take raptors here, then so can licensed nonresidents. That is Wyomingís position.

Dan, you and I have talked about this in the past. I agree, Wyoming's is an enlightened position. Do you know how that attitude came to exist as an agency policy? Was it the perspective of a single chief or director in the early days that just became entrenched after a while, or did the agency as a whole sit down and discuss it and reach that conclusion as the result of a logical exchange of views? If so, what prompted that discussion? Do you have any suggestions for how to promote that attitude in other states?


I think, and Iím not alone, that if the right person with deep enough pockets wanted to challenge any stateís reciprocity restriction on raptor take, in court, the state would lose. Especially when it came to trapping passage birds for falconry. And especially on federal, public lands.

Hmmmm, federal lands... In Alaska, managers of units of the National Wildlife Refuge system and other federal territory retain authority to allow or disallow various activities on the lands for which they are responsible. There's been a long-standing Alaska Region policy regarding take of falconry birds that says if birds are available elsewhere, federal officials disallow take on federal lands. Is that not the federal policy where you are? If that's not a nationwide federal stance, we ought to see what we can do to change that policy in Alaska. No raptor take on federal lands means 60% of Alaska is off limits to falconers.

JRedig
07-29-2010, 01:11 PM
Funny point you make there Dan, but doesn't Wyoming have a nice hefty fee for non-residents to trap there? Kind of the opposite of what you just said, the birds are everyones, but hmmm, let's charge you a nice big fee to come here to trap! My whole deal isn't really with reciprocity, but more with it should be free in every state, resident or non-resident! We have ZERO impact on raptors, this isn't anything new. It just seems the states don't get that! And that is what I would want NAFA and the directors to fight for and hence, my questioning the candidates for DAL on this subject.

Something to keep in mind, the fee may justify the expense of the paperwork etc to keep the program alive. As falconers we are a small number but the same procedures and policies must be followed to abide by regulations set at state and federal levels. These things don't pay for themselves. All of the other licenses issued in the state are cheaper due to volume discount, it's something we will always face.

Considering what breeders charge for birds, that $240 is cheap, IMO.

Here in MN, i'm involved with the Muskies Inc organization. People have lobbied for a muskie stamp for years to support stocking. The DNR did the math, the program won't pay out for what it would take to cover the costs etc.

Ron Clarke
07-29-2010, 03:32 PM
Something to keep in mind, the fee may justify the expense of the paperwork etc to keep the program alive. As falconers we are a small number but the same procedures and policies must be followed to abide by regulations set at state and federal levels. These things don't pay for themselves. All of the other licenses issued in the state are cheaper due to volume discount, it's something we will always face.

Considering what breeders charge for birds, that $240 is cheap, IMO.

Here in MN, i'm involved with the Muskies Inc organization. People have lobbied for a muskie stamp for years to support stocking. The DNR did the math, the program won't pay out for what it would take to cover the costs etc.

A lot of states have abandoned their state duck stamp print programs for the same reason. Even in the biological agencies, there are always a team of number crunchers injecting fiscal reality into everything.

And don't forget the late Minnesota artist Les Kouba's infamous "Lutefisk Stamp," which raised funds, for, well, I don't know what. The Sons of Norway? The Retired Norwegian Fishermen's Home? The Friends of Stinky Foods Foundation? Whatever -- it was a real piece of work.

Lowachi
07-29-2010, 06:15 PM
And don't forget the late Minnesota artist Les Kouba's infamous "Lutefisk Stamp," which raised funds, for, well, I don't know what. The Sons of Norway? The Retired Norwegian Fishermen's Home? The Friends of Stinky Foods Foundation? Whatever -- it was a real piece of work.

Lutefisk....Just say no!!!amennn:D

Ron Clarke
07-29-2010, 06:52 PM
Lutefisk....Just say no!!!amennn:D

I always knew you had prodigious common sense, lad.

Lowachi
07-29-2010, 07:25 PM
I always knew you had prodigious common sense, lad.


Swedish!! I know better! If Andrew Zimmer won't eat it, I sure as ....crazyy

Tom Smith
07-29-2010, 08:40 PM
Dan, you and I have talked about this in the past. I agree, Wyoming's is an enlightened position. Do you know how that attitude came to exist as an agency policy? Was it the perspective of a single chief or director in the early days that just became entrenched after a while, or did the agency as a whole sit down and discuss it and reach that conclusion as the result of a logical exchange of views? If so, what prompted that discussion? Do you have any suggestions for how to promote that attitude in other states?



Hmmmm, federal lands... In Alaska, managers of units of the National Wildlife Refuge system and other federal territory retain authority to allow or disallow various activities on the lands for which they are responsible. There's been a long-standing Alaska Region policy regarding take of falconry birds that says if birds are available elsewhere, federal officials disallow take on federal lands. Is that not the federal policy where you are? If that's not a nationwide federal stance, we ought to see what we can do to change that policy in Alaska. No raptor take on federal lands means 60% of Alaska is off limits to falconers.

Ron,

I find the above statement about federal lands very disturbing. In the lower 48 we refer to federally owned lands as public lands for obvious reasons, the public pays for their management. A great many activities including hunting, cattle grazing, receational use and, of course, the routine and regulated take of falconry birds whether thay are available elsewhere or not makes no difference at least in my state which is Idaho, which by percent has a lot of public lands.
I assume the public lands in Alaska are also managed by public monies which gives us all a stake in what the regional managers do as a matter of policy.

Do they not allow other forms of wildlife and other resource usage on public lands as well? I doubt it.

wyodjm
07-29-2010, 09:09 PM
Ron,

I find the above statement about federal lands very disturbing. In the lower 48 we refer to federally owned lands as public lands for obvious reasons, the public pays for their management. A great many activities including hunting, cattle grazing, receational use and, of course, the routine and regulated take of falconry birds whether thay are available elsewhere or not makes no difference at least in my state which is Idaho, which by percent has a lot of public lands.
I assume the public lands in Alaska are also managed by public monies which gives us all a stake in what the regional managers do as a matter of policy.

Do they not allow other forms of wildlife and other resource usage on public lands as well? I doubt it.

I agree Tom. Sometimes I feel as though Mexico is more a part of the U.S. than Alaska is.

Ron Clarke
07-29-2010, 09:22 PM
Do they not allow other forms of wildlife and other resource usage on public lands as well? I doubt it.

They sure do allow other forms of resource extraction. There are mines and oil rigs and all kinds of stuff on federal lands up here. Their raptor policy has always baffled me. I can't imagine how it could be remotely valid, but folks have generally been able to find birds away from federal land. It's long past time we took a serious stab at finding out how to change that policy.

Ron Clarke
07-29-2010, 09:26 PM
Sometimes I feel as though Mexico is more a part of the U.S. than Alaska is.

Mexico? Heck, Alaska has more in common with the Russian Far East than with Washington, DC. Muy bueno, tovarich.

Tom Smith
07-29-2010, 10:34 PM
They sure do allow other forms of resource extraction. There are mines and oil rigs and all kinds of stuff on federal lands up here. Their raptor policy has always baffled me. I can't imagine how it could be remotely valid, but folks have generally been able to find birds away from federal land. It's long past time we took a serious stab at finding out how to change that policy.

I agree with that. It seems there is a very large double standard going on with this issue.
I imagine if I went to Alaska at some future date when there was a non-resident take that I could get a bird away from public lands but why, when I own at least some fraction of the 60+% of the public/federal land up there that is being sold out to other interests.

wyodjm
07-29-2010, 10:54 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by wyodjm
A few years back, I had a discussion on falconry take and reciprocity with our Wyoming Game and Fish Department. Wyoming basically came to the conclusion, many years ago, that they arenít our birds. We donít own them. I think it is the correct perspective. If Wyoming falconers can take raptors here, then so can licensed nonresidents. That is Wyomingís position.


Dan, you and I have talked about this in the past. I agree, Wyoming's is an enlightened position. Do you know how that attitude came to exist as an agency policy? Was it the perspective of a single chief or director in the early days that just became entrenched after a while, or did the agency as a whole sit down and discuss it and reach that conclusion as the result of a logical exchange of views? If so, what prompted that discussion? Do you have any suggestions for how to promote that attitude in other states?

Hi Ron:

I'm not sure Wyoming has an enlightened position. I'm not sure it is an attitude. It's more of an approach to public land use and a policy to manage a natural resource. Our nation's natural resources belong to the American public.

I originally had the discussion with our Game and Fish Director while I was serving on the state's predator board. Terry Cleveland was the acting Director back then. He had been with the Dept. close to 40 years. It had been an agency perspective for as long as he could remember.



Hmmmm, federal lands... In Alaska, managers of units of the National Wildlife Refuge system and other federal territory retain authority to allow or disallow various activities on the lands for which they are responsible. There's been a long-standing Alaska Region policy regarding take of falconry birds that says if birds are available elsewhere, federal officials disallow take on federal lands. Is that not the federal policy where you are? If that's not a nationwide federal stance, we ought to see what we can do to change that policy in Alaska. No raptor take on federal lands means 60% of Alaska is off limits to falconers.

Our federal, public lands are administered mostly by the Forest Service and the BLM. We hunt, fish, and trap on the federal public lands here. I don't need permission from the Forest Service or the BLM to fish or to hunt elk, deer, antelope, run lions with dogs, call coyotes, or trap passage goshawks or eagles.

sharptail
07-30-2010, 08:21 AM
I agree Tom. Sometimes I feel as though Mexico is more a part of the U.S. than Alaska is.Or at least it occupies the same ground.

Ron Clarke
08-02-2010, 02:03 PM
Here's a question from "sharptail" from another thread:

"By the way Ron, you have answered both yes and no to a question about Alaska take, and then said something about a private answer...what is this all about? Sounds pretty fishy to me!

"You also Ignored my prior question about bring back lost members, that would leave me to believe that you don't want them back...say it isn't soooo!"

OK, it isn't so. And if you look at my posts on this forum you'll see that. Going back more than a year on NAFEX, I have repeatedly said NAFA should periodically contact lapsed or resigned members to find out why they left and find out what the club could do to bring them back. NAFA's first duty is, of course, to its active members, but we'd benefit (and so would all falconers) if every falconer on the continent were a member.

As for non-resident take, again, I've said on several occasions I support it and believe the local falconers are necessarily the driving force in each state. No one knows the local situation better than the locals, and pursuing any sort of change without their leadership is a wasted effort. In any such instance, someone is going to have to do the work, whether with state agencies, legislatures, or both. Local people will always be the best situated for that work -- so any change demands not just concurrence of the locals, but their active participation and leadership. locals, and pursuing any sort of change without their leadership is a wasted effort destined for failure.

Sorry, you lost me on the private message comment. As I have said several times on this forum, I'll always show you the respect of using my full name, give several different ways to contact me, and answer your questions. If participants prefer, I'll communicate individually via PM, but my default response mode is always in public on the open forum.

I hope this is decipherable -- I'm writing from my phone's tiny keyboard. I apologize in advance for any typos or odd leaps in word strings.

robruger1
08-02-2010, 03:29 PM
Hi Fred,

Yes. No. Mind-numbing detail on either position available by request.

Ron, I think Sharptail was referring to this. Got to admit, I found it odd too.confusedd

bluejack
08-02-2010, 03:48 PM
Hi Ron,
Out of curiosity, just how many licensed falconers does Alaska have anyways, and out of that number how many guys actively fly?

Eragon
08-02-2010, 03:50 PM
Ron, I think Sharptail was referring to this. Got to admit, I found it odd too.confusedd

Whoever asked the question (Fred I think) asked 2 questions and got two answers and an offer for more info. Nothing odd about that...

Here is what was asked: "
Ron, this has been discussed before but I really never saw a definate answer from you. Are you for non-resident take in Alaska? Yes or No! And if Yes, do you think states should have recipical fees for non-resident take? My state charges nothing, why should I have to pay $300 to trap in TX and folks from TX can come here and trap for nothing?"


I read it as a Yes, Ron supports Non-resident take, but does not support reciprical fees.

Tom Smith
08-02-2010, 05:15 PM
Here's a question from "sharptail" from another thread:

.As for non-resident take, again, I've said on several occasions I support it and believe the local falconers are necessarily the driving force in each state. No one knows the local situation better than the locals, and pursuing any sort of change without their leadership is a wasted effort. In any such instance, someone is going to have to do the work, whether with state agencies, legislatures, or both. Local people will always be the best situated for that work -- so any change demands not just concurrence of the locals, but their active participation and leadership. locals, and pursuing any sort of change without their leadership is a wasted effort destined for failure.


Ron, I would agree with you if you were talking about any other state in the union but I see Alaska as different. It is a huge area with over 60% federally owned public lands in which we have all have a stake. Alaska has a population of less than or around 1 million people most of who live around Anchorage. Alaska has about 50 falconers who have prabably a lot to do besides taking up the cause for the rest of us citizens in seeking a reasonable non-resident take and why would they go to bat for us?

They have what they want so a non-resident take is up to us and the skillful tactful leadership from a national club that represents the national falconer would seem to me the way to do it. It need not be such a struggle as to undermine what the Alaska falconers have already accomplished and of course if the Alaska falconers want to lead the effort so much the better but we could do it on our own with the right people at the helm.

Nearly every single species of wildlife in Alaska appear to be available to the non-resident. Is it such a far cry to expect a few raptors would be available to the non-resident also?

Ron Clarke
08-02-2010, 09:20 PM
Ron, I think Sharptail was referring to this. Got to admit, I found it odd too.confusedd

Thanks, Rob (and Ryan, too):

For some reason, I was thinking the second question was "should states be mandated to charge reciprocal fees?" I tried to clear that up in post #23 and subsequent comments in this thread, but apparently have not succeeded.

If states want to charge fees commensurate with what other states charge, more power to them, but they shouldn't be forced to. States do and deserve to retain the authority to levy taxes and set user fees as they see fit.

Ron Clarke
08-02-2010, 09:24 PM
Hi Ron,
Out of curiosity, just how many licensed falconers does Alaska have anyways, and out of that number how many guys actively fly?

In any given year, there are about fifty licensed falconers in Alaska, of which I believe the majority actively hunt with birds. Let me look at the latest list and I'll see if I can find a more precise answer for you.

Ron Clarke
08-03-2010, 12:47 PM
Ron, I would agree with you if you were talking about any other state in the union but I see Alaska as different. It is a huge area with over 60% federally owned public lands in which we have all have a stake. Alaska has a population of less than or around 1 million people most of who live around Anchorage. Alaska has about 50 falconers who have prabably a lot to do besides taking up the cause for the rest of us citizens in seeking a reasonable non-resident take and why would they go to bat for us?

They have what they want so a non-resident take is up to us and the skillful tactful leadership from a national club that represents the national falconer would seem to me the way to do it. It need not be such a struggle as to undermine what the Alaska falconers have already accomplished and of course if the Alaska falconers want to lead the effort so much the better but we could do it on our own with the right people at the helm.

Nearly every single species of wildlife in Alaska appear to be available to the non-resident. Is it such a far cry to expect a few raptors would be available to the non-resident also?

Biologically, it's not a far cry at all. More birds are killed on the highways in Alaska than could ever be taken by falconers. Thousands of Alaska birds migrate out of the state every year (without benefit of CITES paperwork or certificates of being WNV-free!), never to return. Some of the passage merlins, redtails, sharp-shins, peregrines, and gyrs taken in Canada and the Lower 48 each year are no doubt from Alaska stock. There's almost no way to know or to measure the impact or lack of impact of these facts, but it's safe to say falconry take under any scenario is biologically insignificant.

So the major concerns with any proposed non-resident take are political and/or administrative. Change in Alaska would necessarily come through the Alaska Board of Game and, depending on the specifics of any scheme, the Alaska State Legislature. As in any political environment, there are a lot of arcane nuances to understand and a successful effort would require a lot of legwork up front and near-constant presence through one or more regulatory and/or legislative sessions. A proposal would have to be very carefully crafted so as to not diminish the situation Alaska falconers enjoy now. For example, do proponents envision quotas and fees for non-residents? If so, might a non-resident take with quotas and fees also necessitate resident quotas and fees? One school of legal thought suggests a state may charge more for non-residents, but if there's a non-resident fee, residents can't pay zero. There are presently no fees for resident falconers, and, in the last round of regulatory review, Alaskans finally eliminated all raptor take quotas. How eager are Alaskans to go back to quotas and/or pay new fees? That single question alone could occupy a debate floor for an evening, and there are lots more details like that lurking in the weeds. I'm not saying it couldn't be done. Nothing is insurmountable. But the volume and nature of the pesky details make this an energy- and money-intensive proposition Alaskans have not had the wherewithal or desire to tackle. I can't speak for the Alaska Falconers Association or Alaska falconers in general. I do know there are a lot of aspects of this concept to understand and consider.

jfseaman
08-03-2010, 01:57 PM
Biologically, it's not a far cry at all. More birds are killed on the highways in Alaska than could ever be taken by falconers. Thousands of Alaska birds migrate out of the state every year (without benefit of CITES paperwork or certificates of being WNV-free!), never to return. Some of the passage merlins, redtails, sharp-shins, peregrines, and gyrs taken in Canada and the Lower 48 each year are no doubt from Alaska stock. There's almost no way to know or to measure the impact or lack of impact of these facts, but it's safe to say falconry take under any scenario is biologically insignificant.

So the major concerns with any proposed non-resident take are political and/or administrative. Change in Alaska would necessarily come through the Alaska Board of Game and, depending on the specifics of any scheme, the Alaska State Legislature. As in any political environment, there are a lot of arcane nuances to understand and a successful effort would require a lot of legwork up front and near-constant presence through one or more regulatory and/or legislative sessions. A proposal would have to be very carefully crafted so as to not diminish the situation Alaska falconers enjoy now. For example, do proponents envision quotas and fees for non-residents? If so, might a non-resident take with quotas and fees also necessitate resident quotas and fees? One school of legal thought suggests a state may charge more for non-residents, but if there's a non-resident fee, residents can't pay zero. There are presently no fees for resident falconers, and, in the last round of regulatory review, Alaskans finally eliminated all raptor take quotas. How eager are Alaskans to go back to quotas and/or pay new fees? That single question alone could occupy a debate floor for an evening, and there are lots more details like that lurking in the weeds. I'm not saying it couldn't be done. Nothing is insurmountable. But the volume and nature of the pesky details make this an energy- and money-intensive proposition Alaskans have not had the wherewithal or desire to tackle. I can't speak for the Alaska Falconers Association or Alaska falconers in general. I do know there are a lot of aspects of this concept to understand and consider.
2014;);)
2014;);)

Tom Smith
08-03-2010, 04:13 PM
Biologically, it's not a far cry at all. More birds are killed on the highways in Alaska than could ever be taken by falconers. Thousands of Alaska birds migrate out of the state every year (without benefit of CITES paperwork or certificates of being WNV-free!), never to return. Some of the passage merlins, redtails, sharp-shins, peregrines, and gyrs taken in Canada and the Lower 48 each year are no doubt from Alaska stock. There's almost no way to know or to measure the impact or lack of impact of these facts, but it's safe to say falconry take under any scenario is biologically insignificant.

So the major concerns with any proposed non-resident take are political and/or administrative. Change in Alaska would necessarily come through the Alaska Board of Game and, depending on the specifics of any scheme, the Alaska State Legislature. As in any political environment, there are a lot of arcane nuances to understand and a successful effort would require a lot of legwork up front and near-constant presence through one or more regulatory and/or legislative sessions. A proposal would have to be very carefully crafted so as to not diminish the situation Alaska falconers enjoy now. For example, do proponents envision quotas and fees for non-residents? If so, might a non-resident take with quotas and fees also necessitate resident quotas and fees? One school of legal thought suggests a state may charge more for non-residents, but if there's a non-resident fee, residents can't pay zero. There are presently no fees for resident falconers, and, in the last round of regulatory review, Alaskans finally eliminated all raptor take quotas. How eager are Alaskans to go back to quotas and/or pay new fees? That single question alone could occupy a debate floor for an evening, and there are lots more details like that lurking in the weeds. I'm not saying it couldn't be done. Nothing is insurmountable. But the volume and nature of the pesky details make this an energy- and money-intensive proposition Alaskans have not had the wherewithal or desire to tackle. I can't speak for the Alaska Falconers Association or Alaska falconers in general. I do know there are a lot of aspects of this concept to understand and consider.

Ron, thanks for your response and comments on this. I realize the truth of what you say but I'm deciding on my vote for DAL hence my comments. A former DAL protected his home state from a non-resident take for some time. I suspect you may be cut from the same bolt of cloth. You come across as a friendly articulate intelligent guy with many fine qualities. But I sense an exclusionary attitude with you and the Alaska situation and you are running for a somewhat prestigious position in a national organization and I need to know who you will really represent. I think I have made my decision.

Ron Clarke
08-04-2010, 12:45 PM
Ron, thanks for your response and comments on this. I realize the truth of what you say but I'm deciding on my vote for DAL hence my comments. A former DAL protected his home state from a non-resident take for some time. I suspect you may be cut from the same bolt of cloth. You come across as a friendly articulate intelligent guy with many fine qualities. But I sense an exclusionary attitude with you and the Alaska situation and you are running for a somewhat prestigious position in a national organization and I need to know who you will really represent. I think I have made my decision.

Hi Tom,

Thanks for the compliments and for giving your decision serious thought.

I don't believe I'm exclusionary or unduly protective, but I do understand the concerns of Alaska falconers and recognize the extent of the work it would take to secure a non-resident take here. I've got some ideas for how it might work to everyone's satisfaction, but I don't claim to have all the answers. Several aspects of that prospect that remain intractable. Even if all the concerns are adequately addressed and Alaskans are involved and supportive, passing the proposals and legislation to create a non-resident take would be a long, expensive, uphill battle. On the other hand, if Alaskans aren't on board or oppose such a scheme, chances of its passage are slim, at best. If this issue is the tipping point for you, and you think another candidate has a more thorough understanding of Alaskans' concerns and stronger prospects of persuading them to your point of view, you ought to vote for that person. I doubt any single person will make or break this situation, and the next opportunity to even address it in the Alaska regulatory cycle is a couple of years away, so the next NAFA Director At Large won't have much of a role to play in his or her first term.

Whether or not I'm the next NAFA Director At Large, I plan to take up non-resident take with my fellow Alaskans as we work to adopt the new federal rules. There are lots of changes being discussed -- we'll see what comes out. Likewise, whether I'm elected or not, I'll continue my work with the NAFA Conservation and Technical Advisory Committees; projects on the table now include helping states adopt the new federal regs and developing materials to help states establish or upgrade their apprenticeship programs. I've also lent a hand with the Queen Charlotte goshawk situation, passage peregrine take, and have an abiding interest in golden eagles for falconry and all the ramifications of what's going on with the USFWS's recent handling (mishandling?) of that species. All of us can contribute something and each of us should try.

Tom Smith
08-04-2010, 03:49 PM
Hi Ron,

Thanks, for the additional comments.

I'm sure you understand the concerns of the Alaskan falconer. My concerns are whether you understand the concerns of the rest of us also falconers in our similar struggles across the continent. One, but not the only one, which is how to claim our piece of the pie whether in Alaska or on the beaches of Padre Island. We all have contributed in some way to the pie and now most of us are excluded even a tiny sliver for what ever reasons that need to be addressed by those that we put our faith in (and vote)to do that job.

I will thank you and Fred for running for the position of DAL for whatever your personal reasons and motivations for doing so.

.

Ron Clarke
08-04-2010, 04:23 PM
Hi Ron,

Thanks, for the additional comments.

I'm sure you understand the concerns of the Alaskan falconer. My concerns are whether you understand the concerns of the rest of us also falconers in our similar struggles across the continent. One, but not the only one, which is how to claim our piece of the pie whether in Alaska or on the beaches of Padre Island. We all have contributed in some way to the pie and now most of us are excluded even a tiny sliver for what ever reasons that need to be addressed by those that we put our faith in (and vote)to do that job.

I will thank you and Fred for running for the position of DAL for whatever your personal reasons and motivations for doing so.

.

Thanks, Tom. I hear what you're saying.

Concerns over federal lands and the agencies that manage them are complex and frequently difficult. In Alaska, we have an often contentious relationship with the federal government (when was the last time you saw a U.S. President burned in effigy in your home town? It's a memorable sight, to be sure.), so I think I can readily understand falconers' concerns in that regard. What to do about each situation is going to require our best thinking, a lot of energy, and input from falconers all over the continent. If elected, I would intend to do my level best to represent the entire membership and help marshal the resources and people needed to solve our problems.

As for why I'm running, some days I am certain it is because I have completely lost my mind!

Best wishes.

Tom Smith
08-05-2010, 12:23 PM
Ron,
I not up to snuff on this but what do you know and feel about getting the peregrine delisted in western Canada? What I have heard is that when they are delisted and there is no reason not to delist them, we could have a genuine passage take in the western US.

What are your thoughts on this?

I haven't heard much on this for a while. Maybe they are closer to being delisted than what I know, but I fear I'm only being optimistic.

Ron Clarke
08-05-2010, 02:56 PM
Ron,
I not up to snuff on this but what do you know and feel about getting the peregrine delisted in western Canada? What I have heard is that when they are delisted and there is no reason not to delist them, we could have a genuine passage take in the western US.

What are your thoughts on this?

I haven't heard much on this for a while. Maybe they are closer to being delisted than what I know, but I fear I'm only being optimistic.

If I recall correctly (I don't profess to enjoy a thorough working knowledge of the Canadian system of classification), all three peregrine subspecies are listed in Canada as species of "special concern," having been downgraded from endangered and/or threatened a few years ago.

Biologically speaking, peregrines should have been available to falconers years ago, but the Canadian officials' approach to peregrine take has been, to put it gently, remarkably conservative. I'll admit to being baffled by their resistance even in the face of overwhelming biological evidence.

Since Alaska is geographically "upstream" of much of Canada, there is little chance (never say "never" in a biological situation, eh?) a Canadian passage peregrine would be taken in Alaska, and I've thought it might be a useful start to somehow implement a passage take in this state. All three subspecies breed here, all are available as eyasses for falconry take, and there's strong biological evidence suggesting passage take would constitute no threat to wild populations. But logic frequently does not prevail, and it has not done so in this case.

Thinking back to the process that resulted in the present take, I believe it was instigated by a request from the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies to the USFWS to analyze and implement an eastern U.S. falconry take of passage peregrines. The Service undertook a National Environmental Policy Act analysis, concluded it was a reasonable course of action, and created the scheme for the take we have now. As with all NEPA documents, the analysis and subsequent plan are strictly defined and narrowly applicable, i.e., one couldn't just add the western U.S. to the existing document -- an entirely new NEPA analysis would be required. I suspect another request from AFWA and/or the flyway councils (preferably the full National Flyway Council) would be necessary to trigger the process on a western passage take. Baffling as it is, expect resistance from south (well, for you, north) of the border.

Sounds like a good project.