I live down Funny River Road. The tree line in my back yard marks the edge of the National Wildlife Refuge. A doctoral student from Ohio, attending UAF, is conducting an interesting recording dissertation on anthropogenic (manmade/mechanical) noises that may permeate or penetrate the refuge. Tim Mullet wants to find out if moose have higher stress levels in areas of higher anthrophony. I would like to point out to Mr. Mullet that the moose inhabit my back yard between the house and greenhouse (and not the other half bordering the refuge) quite heavily – springtime, fall and winter. We own an auto repair shop. My family rides year-round in our back yard. We race stock cars and live next door to an RV park. Lots of opportunity to create anthropogenic cacophony there.
But I do know why the moose frequent my back yard again and again, pressed up against the back of my house: because of the bears that come around and around again. From a moose’s viewpoint, maybe we’re the lesser of two evils. I really can’t say because I don’t know how to define any kind of stress level they may have or give them any kind of test that might show such information, because they look pretty well relaxed whenever I view them lounging out back. And by all means check out Anchorage’s bountiful moose population. You can’t really believe the moose live there because they ran out of room in the woods. Your statement that the information you collect is not to block snowmachine use in the refuge, but that it could be used for the effort to make sure that the 1.3 million acres (out of 2 million) fit a specific description mandated by Congress. Don’t fool yourself, indeed it will be used as a template. So you be fair, Mr. Mullet. A lot of gray areas from different angles to consider for your report that will be used against snowmachine use in 1.3 million acres because sound may stress the moose.