Important Message from GIRCom
We need your help to prevent llamas and alpacas from being banned from Alaskan parks!
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in Alaska is proposing a new policy in the region known as the Bering Sea Western Interior (BSWI) Resource Management Area. The proposed policy states: “To minimize the potential for disease transmission to wildlife, applications for the use of domestic sheep, goats, alpacas and other similar species in Dall sheep habitat will be reviewed on a project-specific basis” thus implicating llamas and alpacas as a potential disease threat to wild sheep. However, there is no scientific evidence that alpacas or llamas pose a health risk to wild sheep.
There have been similar attempts in the past to keep camelids out of parks, and the International Llama Registry (ILR) has been successful in reversing those decisions by writing letters. Packing with llamas is a growing enterprise, and there may be some who wish to take their alpacas into Alaskan parks. We don’t want this or other BLM areas to ban llamas and alpacas because of erroneous information.
There is currently an open public comment period through June 13, 2019, for the proposed policy noted above. We ask that you send a letter or email to:
- Email comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Fax comments to 907-267-1267
- Mail comments to:
BLM Anchorage Field Office
Attention — BSWI RMP
4700 BLM Road
Anchorage, AK 99507
Suggested Information to Include In Letter to BLM Anchorage Field Office
Explain that you are requesting that BLM remove the word “alpacas” and the word “llamas” from 2.7.5 Wildlife #3 (on page 2-25).
Rationale: Alpacas and llamas (camelids) are not “similar species” because they reside in very different taxonomic classifications as compared to sheep and goats. Furthermore, there is no scientific evidence that alpacas and llamas pose a health risk to wild sheep.
You may want to mention a letter from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) to the Greater Appalachian Llama and Alpaca Association dated June 11, 2018, ADF&G that states "we have no intentions to promote or support limiting the use of South American camelids on public land in the State of Alaska" and ADF&G "has no plans to change or focus our disease surveillance efforts related to camelids."
Want to do more research before commenting?
Please submit your comment before the close of business on June 13, 2019 to the BLM.