PRNewswire / Defenders of Wildlife / March 2, 2005
Anchorage, Alaska -- The Alaska Board of Game will meet this weekend in Anchorage to consider a number of proposals that include plans to more than double the number of aerial wolf killing programs, allow or land and shoot hunting of bears, and significantly increase the area where snow machine wolf hunting is allowed. The Board's decisions will considerably alter the way the state manages its natural predators and its landscape.
"This weekend's meeting is a chance for Board of Game members to right a wrong in the way they manage Alaska's wolves and bears," said Karen Deatherage, Alaska Program Associate for Defenders of Wildlife. "As it stands now, decisions on how to manage Alaska's wildlife are based on anecdotal guesses and not on factual, scientific data. Thousands of scientists, conservationists and concerned citizens have submitted comments and adamantly oppose any wolf or bear killing program that does not adhere to sound, scientific practices."
The Board is considering proposals to:
* Allow same-day airborne (land and shoot) hunting of black bears
throughout southcentral and southwestern Alaska.
* Expand the area where hunters can pursue wolves on snowmachines
* Increase aerial and same-day airborne wolf killing programs throughout
southcentral, interior and southwestern Alaska.
* Consider opening areas currently closed to hunting in southcentral
Alaska, including the McNeil River Bear Sanctuary.
* Allow brown bear hunting on state lands bordering Katmai National Park
and McNeil River State Game Sanctuary.
Proposals submitted by Defenders of Wildlife are also under consideration, which would cancel aerial wolf killing programs in the Glenallen and Kuskokwim regions of Alaska. Defenders presented the option because there is currently not enough scientific data to evaluate the two programs' effectiveness.
"As Alaskans we value, cherish and admire our wildlife heritage." Deatherage added, "The Board of Game must use its authority to set wildlife regulations that accurately reflect a scientifically balanced and comprehensive approach to managing our state's natural predators. Arbitrary and capricious aerial killing programs that target wolves and bears is simply not the way to do it."
To see a complete list of all the proposals, visit the Alaska Board of Game Website:
Defenders of Wildlife is one of the nation's most progressive advocates for wildlife and habitat, and was named as one of America's Top 100 Charities by Worth magazine. With more than 480,000 members and supporters, Defenders is an effective voice for wildlife and habitat.
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