Anchorage, Alaska - The state Board of Game is meeting in Anchorage this week, as it sets hunting and game management rule
More than 50 people showed up to testify before the group Friday. A wide range of issues faces the board, and many of them are contentious. Wolf control efforts may be expanded to five new areas of the state. A McNeil bear hunt will be considered. The board will also decide the fate of an Anchorage Hillside moose hunt.
Many of the people who showed up to testify were from rural areas of the state. By far, though, the most talked-about issue today was wolf control.
Proponents say it will increase moose and caribou numbers for the state's subsistence hunters. Those who oppose the program say it is based on bad science, and will hurt the wolf population.
"The governor and this Board of Game should respect the will of the Alaskan voters, who said no twice to aerial wolf killing by private hunters," said Karen Deatherage, the Alaska representative for the Defenders of Wildlife.
"Defenders of Wildlife are often calling it a hunt," said Steve Flory of the Anchorage Fish and Game Advisory Committee. "These are not hunts. These are designed to limit the amount of predation on already critical habitat area where animals are already in decline."
The board meets through Sunday, and people who wish to testify are urged to get there early. The board is meeting in the Coast International Inn, just east of the airport.