Sunday, January 15, 2017
Oppose Alaska's Unethical and Biologically Unsound Wolf Killing Plan
Earlier this month, the Alaska Board of Game passed "Proposal 155" reauthorizing its controversial plan to kill all the wolves who live in a portion of the Kenai Peninsula (Unit 15C, southwest of Kenai National Refuge) to artificially boost numbers of moose for hunters. The board unanimously passed the proposal despite opposition from the public and the regional Fish and Game Advisory Committee (the Homer Fish and Game Advisory Committee) who objected to the proposal unanimously. This decision also flies in the face of statistics presented by biologist and former member of the Board of Game, Vic Van Ballenberghe, demonstrating that Alaska’s “Intensive Management” of wolves and bears fails to yield more moose, caribou and deer for human hunters.
The proposal gives the Board of Game the authority to allow the public to hunt and trap wolves, both from the ground and from the air via aerial gunning.
In 2012, the Alaska Board of Game passed its original Intensive Management proposal. The heavy-handed plan, however, was never implemented due to opposition from the scientific community and public outcry. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s (ADFG) division of Wildlife Conservation determined that the peninsula’s moose population decline was generally due to "overharvest" and habitat limitations, not increased predation by wolves. The agency thus tabled the plan to collect additional data to support a final management decision.
The Alaska Board of Game has repeatedly opted for intensive lethal predator control as their management tool of choice. It is time that science, not special interest groups, guide responsible wildlife management policy, especially with so much at stake in one of Alaska's most iconic wild places.
Please urge the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to reject Proposal 155.