Several types of traps sit on display for trapping hopefuls during a class for people seeking permits to trap on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge on Saturday Oct. 25, 2014 in Soldotna, Alaska.

Several types of traps sit on display for trapping hopefuls during a class for people seeking permits to trap on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge on Saturday Oct. 25, 2014 in Soldotna, Alaska.

Game board spikes Kenai Peninsula trapping restrictions

  • By Rashah McChesney
  • Wednesday, March 18, 2015 2:47pm
  • News

After facing a series of restrictions that could have virtually eliminated trapping in certain areas of the central Kenai Peninsula, trappers were told by the Alaska Board of Game to trap responsibly, but freely.

On Wednesday, board members briefly discussed the proposals — which would have restricted trapping near trails and campgrounds in Cooper Landing, Seward and Moose Pass — before voting them down unanimously.

While supporters of the proposal testified that trapping near trails was a threat to children, dogs and others on the trail, Alaska Department of Fish and Game Area Management Biologist Jeff Selinger said his office does not often hear about accidents with traps.

“Historically there have been user conflicts in this area with local residents and trappers and pets getting caught in traps,” he said. “It’s an issue that’s talked about a lot, but the reality is that we do not hear about a lot of animals getting caught in traps directly and the department level.”

Several board members said that though they were dog owners, they could not support the restrictions to trapping that did not also place an onus on dog owners to be responsible with their pets.

“The trappers do have some rights on their part,” said Board Chairman Ted Spraker, who traps on some areas of the Kenai Peninsula. “We hear the same thing in the (Mat-Su Valley) where there have been some problems … the people with dogs, some of them very vociferously think that there should be no containment of their dogs.”

The Cooper Landing based group that submitted the proposals, the Committee for Safe Public Lands and Trails, testified to board members that it was primarily interested in developing a working relationship with the Alaska Trappers Association.

Board members chided the group for failing to come to an agreement with the trappers before approaching the board with a regulatory proposal.

During public testimony Ken Green, who spoke for the committee, told board members that he had been unable to get the trapper’s association to cooperate in negotiations after he refused to withdraw his proposal from the Board of Game agenda.

In February, Green said, the trapper’s association posted several signs in Cooper Landing. The signs caution trappers to avoid conflict by not trapping near trails, turnouts and other populated areas. The signs also caution pet owners to be responsible for their pets and avoid going off-leash.

Alaska Trappers Association President Randall Zarnke disagreed with Green’s characterization of the negotiations and said the signs were an effort to resolve the issue without regulatory involvement.

“I was disappointed … to see what I saw was a good faith effort by the trapping community to find a way to compromise and work with people, really seemed to end in an impasse,” said vice-chairman Nate Turner, who traps near Nenana. “I think this could have been resolved at a more local level and that’s something that we always encourage.”

Both Spraker and Turner cited other places in the state near Juneau and in Fairbanks, when trappers and recreational users came to agreements about trail use without going through the regulatory process.

“This is an important issue to the authors,” Turner said. “I would just encourage them to continue to take the hand that’s been offered and … find some ways to resolve local concerns.”


Reach Rashah McChesney at or follow her on Twitter @litmuslens.

More in News

Alaska Department of Fish and Game logo. (Graphic by Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Board of Fisheries approves Kenai River king salmon action plan

The plan adds bait restrictions for in-river fisheries, doubles the sport bag limit for sockeye salmon, and adds a swath of restrictions to the commercial setnet fishery

The Kenai Municipal Airport is seen on Friday, Oct. 6, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
New Grant Aviation planes to double service’s flight capacity

The first of two Cessna 208B EX Grand Caravans will start transporting passengers on Monday

Stickers are available for voters at the Kenai No. 1 precinct for Election Day on Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna to hold ‘I Voted’ sticker design contest

City council members approved the program during their Wednesday night meeting

Rep. Justin Ruffridge, R-Soldotna, speaks in support of a bill increasing state funds for public education in the Alaska House of Representatives on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024 in Juneau, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Bill seeking to bump use of Alaska Performance Scholarship clears the House with unanimous support

The money is awarded to high-performing high school graduates to help pay for postsecondary education at participating institutions in Alaska

Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities Commissioner Ryan Anderson answers questions from state senators during a Senate Finance Committee hearing on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024 in Juneau, Alaska. (Mark Sabbatini/Juneau Empire)
State officials working to meet Friday deadline for revised transportation plan

The federal government rejected the plan on Feb. 9, citing numerous deficiencies

Travis Every, top left, speaks in support of fishing opportunity for the east side setnet fishery before the State Board of Fisheries at the Egan Convention Center in Anchorage, Alaska, on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Local fishers talk conservation, opportunity before Board of Fisheries in Anchorage

Local fishers from the Kenai Peninsula traveled to Anchorage this weekend to… Continue reading

Sen. Jesse Bjorkman, R-Nikiski, presents information on a bill establishing a voluntary buyback program for Cook Inlet’s east side setnet fishery on Monday, Feb. 19, 2024, in Juneau, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Bjorkman bill would pay bonuses to nationally certified teachers

The Alaska Department of Education and Early Development estimates that the bonus program would apply to about 215 of Alaska’s estimated 7,315 teachers — about 3%

Alaska senators meet with members of the media to discuss education legislation after a press conference by Gov. Mike Dunleavy on the topic on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024, in Juneau, Alaska. (Mark Sabbatini/Juneau Empire)
Dunleavy threatens veto of education bill if more of his priorities aren’t added

It is not certain there would be the 40 votes necessary to override a veto by the governor

A map displays a wide-ranging special weather statement, published Tuesday by the National Weather Service, covering Southcentral Alaska. (Map courtesy of National Weather Service)
Strong winds, low wind chills forecast through Friday

Wind chills over night may reach as low as -20 to -40 degrees in much of Southcentral

Most Read