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Rick Sinnott

Dall sheep populations have been shrinking across Alaska for two decades.

No one knows that better than sheep hunters -- one reason why the Alaska Board of Game has fielded more than 110 proposals to change sheep hunting regulations the past five years.

Most of the proposals are designed to handicap the other guy. In general, Alaska hunters would like to restrict nonresidents and guides, while the guides want the state to maintain or provide more opportunities for nonresidents, who make up the bulk of their clients. It’s the Board of Game’s job to sort out competing claims, always putting the resource, the sheep, first...

Rick Sinnott

The largest city in Alaska, my hometown, is finally 100 years old. For much of its history, Anchorage has been a city in search of a slogan.

Its first slogan is virtually unknown. On a photograph of Anchorage snapped in 1915 by Alberta Pyatt , someone, probably Pyatt, scrawled “Anchorage, Alaska, The White City.” The nascent settlement, clustered between wooded bluffs near the mouth of Ship Creek, amounted to more than 1,000 white canvas tents ...

Rick Sinnott

In an incongruous twist, a proposal to conduct a cow moose hunt in Kincaid Park won the support of the Anchorage Fish and Game Advisory Committee in the same meeting where members demonstrated their reluctance to support any existing antlerless moose hunts in the Anchorage area.

The Anchorage advisory committee decided Tuesday to support the proposed hunt in Kincaid Park, but voted to not reauthorize a popular antlerless hunt at the head of Turnagain Arm. Members once again postponed a decision on whether to reauthorize all other antlerless moose hunts in Unit 14C, a management area stretching from the Knik River to the Portage River...

Rick Sinnott

Moose have long felt at ease in Anchorage’s Kincaid Park because it was far from the madding crowd. But the bustle of civilization has overrun the 1,550-acre park, once semi-isolated on the western tip of Alaska’s largest city. Nowadays the park crawls with people most of the year.

Moose are no longer as welcome as they used to be, due to an upsurge of mostly defensive attacks on bikers, skiers and hikers over the last couple of years. Some park users have pulled a shotgun out of their vehicle or a handgun out of their waistband and stopped the troublemaker in its tracks.

Taking a different tack, Ira Edwards has asked the Alaska Board of Game to authorize a Kincaid Park moose hunt...

Rick Sinnott

I’m excited about sending Dan Sullivan to Washington, D.C., as Alaska’s new junior senator. Alaskans of any political persuasion can agree that we should get to name our own state’s highest mountain, currently misnamed Mount McKinley. And Sullivan is uniquely positioned to do something about it.

Mount McKinley was named after Ohio Gov. William McKinley, who subsequently became the 25th president of the United States. Most Alaskans still prefer Denali, the name given by the Koyukon Athabaskan people living north of the mountain. Denali means “the high one” or “the great one.”...

Rick Sinnott

The status of seven Anchorage-area moose hunts is still uncertain after the Anchorage Fish and Game Advisory Committee voted Tuesday to reconsider a previous vote to cancel the hunts. The committee then twice tabled motions to vote on reauthorizing the antlerless and “either-sex” hunts until its Jan. 6 meeting.

By that time at least 2,000 hunters are expected to have applied for permits for the hunts and the application period will be closed...

Rick Sinnott

As Alaskans debated legalizing pot in the recent election, Chugach State Park was already reeling from too many hits of bad weed.

A year after the completion of a new parking area at the Glen Alps trailhead, at least 10 species of invasive weeds have sprouted from compost spread by a subcontractor, Signature Land Services...

Rick Sinnott

Seven Anchorage-area moose hunts scheduled for next fall and winter are canceled after the Anchorage Fish and Game Advisory Committee withdrew its authorization of the hunts in Game Management Unit 14C, which includes Anchorage, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson and Chugach State Park.

The decision wipes out 76 permits for restricted weapons hunts available to archers as well as hunters using black powder or shotguns with slugs. These hunts in and near Alaska’s biggest city are prized by thousands of hunters. Two of the canceled hunts are limited to disabled veterans...

Rick Sinnott

I haven’t talked to anyone who didn’t hear enough political ads in October. Everyone, regardless of their political persuasion, complained about the avalanche of political ads, particularly attack ads, during this election cycle.

Nationally, nearly $4 billion was spent, a record amount for a midterm election . The New York Times reports that considerably more money was spent, but those figures are largely undisclosed ...

Rick Sinnott

I wouldn’t want to be Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan’s dog.

Sullivan recently vetoed a common-sense amendment to Anchorage’s municipal code that would have prohibited new metal palisade fences, the spear-tipped fences associated with horror movie mansions. Several moose are impaled on the fences annually. His reasons for vetoing the ordinance were consistent with his conservative values.

Nevertheless, there is something fundamentally wrong with ignoring the gut-wrenching pain and unnecessary deaths caused by these fences...

Rick Sinnott

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