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INNOKO: Furbearer Management Trapping Workshop: A Cooperative Effort
Alaska Region, February 15, 2011
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Refuge Manager, Bo Sloan, demonstrating how to set a foothold trap.
Refuge Manager, Bo Sloan, demonstrating how to set a foothold trap. - Photo Credit: n/a
Workshop participants learn how to build their own snares.
Workshop participants learn how to build their own snares. - Photo Credit: n/a

During the Summer of 2010, the Innoko National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) and the Alaska Department of Fish & Game (ADF&G) began working cooperatively to develop a Furbearer Management & Trapping Workshop.  This workshop was developed primarily in response to predator control issues raised during a Alaska Fish and Game Department Advisory Committee meeting (GASH-AC) meeting held in Shageluk.  The GASH-AC serves the villages of Grayling, Anvik, Shageluk and Holy Cross.  During the meeting, local residents and the GASH-AC requested that a workshop be held in each of the GASH villages to instruct individuals on how to trap and control wolves for the protection of the local moose population.

Rather than base these workshops solely on predator control, the Innoko National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) and Alaska Department of Fish & Game (ADF&G) agreed that an overall introduction to furbearer management and instruction on a variety of trapping techniques would provide the greatest long-term benefit.  This approach would not only provide residents with the knowledge and skills required to help alleviate wolf predation, but also help to revitalize the tradition of using furbearers for subsistence uses and encourage young people to carry on their trapping heritage. 

The first Furbearer Management & Trapping Workshop was held in the village of Shageluk, February 14-15, 2011.  A comprehensive agenda was created to introduce the participants of the workshop to the many facets of trapping and furbearer management.  The Refuge Information Technician for the Innoko NWR presented a history of traditional uses for trapping in the GASH communities.  A wildlife biologist with the ADF&G discussed state game laws related to trapping and their importance in the management of furbearers for sustainable use.  An experienced trapper from McGrath, AK was generous enough to volunteer his time, experience and knowledge in leading the bulk of the instruction related to trapping techniques, fur handling and marketing, furbearer ecology, and much more.  Participants in the workshop had the opportunity to handle and learn about different types of traps, construct snares specific to their interests, and participate in a marten skinning and stretching demonstration.

The workshop was a great success with approximately 25 people attending at least some portion of the workshop.  This was an impressive turn-out considering Shageluk has little more than 100 residents!  Innoko NWR and ADF&G plan to conduct additional Furbearer Management & Trapping Workshops in the remaining GASH villages over the next year or two. 

 


Contact Info: Jerry Hill, 907-524-3251, jerry_hill@fws.gov



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