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Dead Denali Wolf

Letters / Fairbanks Daily News-Miner / March 9, 2005

To the editor:

This is in response to the Feb. 26 article on the death of the Toklat wolf pack's alpha female.

I am an avid lover of wolves. I have tattoos and photographs all over my home and office. I have, in fact, had many opportunities to watch and listen to the very same Toklat wolf pack while living in Alaska. The first time I saw them, they weren't 100 yards from my camp. It was an amazing site watching them leave the area up the Savage River valley back into the park.

But, like many Alaskans, I'm also a hunter. Wolf population control is necessary in order to maintain a healthy population of moose and caribou for the residents of Alaska to eat. According to Mr. Haber, the Toklat pack has existed since the late 1930s. Undoubtedly they have lost many alpha females in that time and have continued to survive. Mr. Wallace, the trapper, legally took the wolf and shouldn't be harassed for it. Congratulations, by the way; I know she's a beauty.

Since Mr. Haber's concern is maintaining tourist interests and obviously not overall game population control, perhaps Mr. Wallace did him an indirect favor. Because I know the area where the wolf was taken, I also know the tourists can't see the wolves in that area. Perhaps, now that the wolves have felt the pressure from a trapper, they will move into the park where the tourists can see them.

So what are we left with? An emergency closure to hunting and trapping and increasing an already over-inflated buffer zone due to the loss of one wolf? Yes. The loss of one wolf will spell the end of all wolves in Denali Park. And photo opportunities, slim as they are, are more important to Mr. Haber than sound game management and the livelihood of Alaskans who depend on the game in that area. Priorities. Where are Mr. Haber's? Not with Alaskans. My need to feed my family outweighs my reverence for wolves. The wolves will survive and legal trapping is necessary to keep wolf and other game populations healthy.

Nick Pedersen / Eielson Air Force Base


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