Opinion from Alaska Dispatch News, by Bill Sherwonit
Read the original article here.
“Hiding behind science, the Alaska Board of Game continues to push an extreme agenda, one that is overwhelmingly biased toward hunters and trappers at the expense of our state’s wolves and bears, no matter the circumstances. And despite the fact that the board’s own “science” is sometimes suspect.
The most recent example of the Game Board’s narrow-minded — and, I would argue, regressive — approach to wildlife management came in Fairbanks, where in late February it unanimously rejected proposals to reinstate a no-kill wolf buffer on state lands that border Denali National Park…
…The Game Board repeatedly approved buffers of various sizes and shapes between 2000 and 2008, and some sort of zone providing additional protections to “Denali wolves” existed for a decade. And when the board voted to eliminate the buffer in 2010, it did so by the narrowest of margins, 4-3, a decision fueled not by science but anti-feds fervor.
ADN article by Zaz Hollander, February 24th, 2017.
Read the full article at Alaska Dispatch News
The Alaska Board of Game has summarily rejected a no-kill zone for wolves on state lands north and east of Denali National Park and Preserve during its first consideration of the contentious wolf buffer since 2010.
The unanimous and fairly quick vote of the seven-member board came Friday afternoon during a weeklong meeting in Fairbanks amid heavy pressure from the public, wolf advocacy groups and the National Park Service to ban hunting and trapping on state lands next to the park.
A Park Service study last year linked the presence of a buffer to more wolf sightings for Denali visitors, though dens near the park road were a bigger factor. Alaska Department of Fish and Game biologists say relatively low numbers of moose, caribou and sheep influence wolves more than any buffer.
The board’s decision marks the latest salvo in a long and recently inflamed war over predator-control policy between state and federal officials.
A Park Service proposal called on the board to close a 150-square-mile area, including the Stampede Corridor, to hunting and trapping during the spring breeding season and into the summer. Another proposal from the Denali Citizens Council and Alaska Wildlife Alliance also included Nenana Canyon and called for a year-round ban.
Worth at least a thousand words…
“…As we whittle away at what little is left of our wildlands, the value of outdoor experience only grows. Last year National Park visitorship in the United States set records, and as 2016 is the 100th anniversary of what Wallace Stegner called the United States’ “best idea,” it’s important to consider that as our society becomes more urbanized more people seek out experiences in wild places. For Denali alone, and the surrounding communities, 530,000 visitors spent $5.24 million in the park and surrounding towns, supporting almost 7,000 jobs. In contrast, only a handful of trappers are known to operate in what used to be the buffer zone, garnering a minimal income where the average value of a wolf pelt in Alaska is a meager $215…”
Read the full article at We Are Wildness.