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Post Warning Signs About Mendenhall Lake Black Wolf

Letters / Juneau Empire / April 1, 2005

In the Mendenhall Lake area where the black wolf killed a beagle, there are no posted signs of warning. Not everyone is aware of the wolf, and actions need to be taken by the U.S. Forest Service to post signs.

Being a domestic pet, the beagle was trying to protect his owner, probably not intending harm to the wolf. In this case protecting the dogs had nothing to do with the situation because of failure to post signs. It is the USFS's job to protect the community. The wolf crossed his boundaries when people first saw it within the community two years ago. The USFS should have relocated the wolf then. Now it has clearly crossed its boundaries by killing a miniature beagle. Now the appropriate actions would be to kill or relocate the wolf.

An article posted January 11, 2004, states, " 'There's really nothing we can do. If it starts initiating contact with people or pets in an aggressive manner, we'll re-evaluate,' (biologist Neil) Barten said. Where it is, 'the animal is pretty safe,' he added. But there is a possibility that people and their pets getting too close could lead to a problem. If people let their dogs run up to the wolf, 'sooner or later a pet may get bitten by the animal,' Barten said. 'That wouldn't be good for the pet, and it wouldn't be good for the wolf, which would have to be killed.' "

Are the Department of Fish and Game and the USFS keeping their word about killing the wolf, which has now killed a miniature beagle? The wolf now knows that it can get away with killing dogs.

How far are the USFS and the ADF&G going to let this continue until they take the right action? Is the wolf going to have to kill another pet and destroy another family, or even worse the wolf could attack or kill a human. The USFS and the ADF&G need to re-evaluate their approach to this situation; the wolf needs to be killed or relocated. Are the USFS and ADF&G here to protect our community, or here to promote a wild animal to the tourists as an attraction?

Megan Phillips / Juneau AK


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