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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Friday, January 18, 2013

After 20 years of politics, The State of Alaska is in concert with the USFW Agency in wanting to release Wood Bison back into the wild...........Historically occupying the state(plains bison did not range this far north), the only way to get Alaska Officials to buy into the plan was to designate the bison as a "non-essential, experimental population............This sterile sounding legal designation does not require Alaska to set aside critical habitat for the animals, thus ensuring that industry can continue to go about its business wherever the Bison reside............We always seem to create a very high bar for natures creatures if they are to survive in our economic driven world

Wood bison one step closer to a return to the


Wood bison roam at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center in May 2010 in Portage. The state in 2008 imported 53 wood bison from Canada, adding to a smaller herd that was held at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center in Portage.
Erik Hill — Anchorage Daily News

Wood bison are listed as a U.S. endangered species and are found in the wild only in Canada.
The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner  reports that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the state Department of Fish and Game have drafted a special rule and would designate reintroduced wood bison as a "non-essential, experimental" population. That means the land wood bison occupy when they are set free in the wild would not be designated critical habitat, which could restrict resource development.
The draft agreement also allows the state to manage future hunting or harvest of the animals.
The rule was created under a provision of the Endangered Species Act that allows the reintroduction of a species where it used to live but has since been driven out or exterminated.
State game officials for 20 years have worked to reintroduce wood bison, which are larger subspecies of American bison than plains bison. Plains bison are not native to Alaska but were introduced to the state in 1928, according to the state wildlife website. The largest herd is near Delta Junction.
The state in 2008 imported 53 wood bison from Canada, adding to a smaller herd that was held at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center in Portage.
Two years later, state officials wanted to release wood bison in the Yukon Flats, the last place the animals had been documented. However, federal wildlife officials rejected the proposal because the area is a national wildlife refuge.
A second release site, the Minto Flats about 20 miles west of Fairbanks, drew opposition from Alaska Native regional corporation Doyon Ltd., which was considering exploration for oil and gas in the area.
The department's preferred release site currently is the Innoko Flats in southwest Alaska.
The agencies plan a news conference Thursday afternoon to announce the draft rule. The public will have 60 days to comment.
Doug Vincent-Lang, director of the state Division of Wildlife Conservation, called the draft rule "a positive step in the right direction" but warned it could be modified.
"The state is going to reserve its decision to release wood bison on the landscape pending review of the final rule," Vincent-Lang said. "Rules can change from draft version to final version."

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