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The Wolf Agenda

Letters / Fairbanks Daily News-Miner / February 28, 2005

To the editor:

After reading the piece on the trapper catching a legal wolf in a legal trapping area, I was wondering why the "sky is falling" when a trapper catches a wolf outside of Denali Park and its protective wolf "buffer zone."

As a many-decade year-round resident near the southeast corner of Denali Park and having been involved in game management for over 25 years, including sitting on the first six-person buffer zone committee, I am keenly aware that wolves die inside the park each year.

In fact, the highest mortality inflicted upon wolves is wolves killing each other, frequently in a cannibalistic way. Yet those wolf deaths are never "serious losses." I guess those wolves don't fit in the anti-hunting/trapping agenda. They don't have the sensationalism to entice a monetary donation from the uninformed tourist.

In the article, it was said that "dozens of people received a special thrill as they saw the pack kill a caribou." I assume these were tourists. Am I supposed to feel good about their "thrill" watching a caribou probably get hamstrung, gutted and more than likely its genitals ripped off before it died? Or am I supposed to feel sorry for the dead wolf? Am I supposed to feel "protective" of the wolves so Denali Park can keep its visitors entertained? I think some of these people are sick, sick, sick!

Vic Van Ballenberghe said, "It's (Denali Park, I assume) one of the few places in the world where you actually stand a good chance of seeing a wild wolf." I say it's one of the few places you can sit on your butt and stand a good chance of seeing a "habituated" wolf. Wolves from the Denali area have been caught near the west coast of Alaska and near the Brooks range also. Want to guess how big these pro-buffer zone people really want the buffer zone to be?

Marty Caress / Cantwell


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