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Harassing the Wolves

Letters / Fairbanks Daily News-Miner / April 29, 2005

To the editor:

Lately, finding Cantwell the center of the continuing wolf controversy, it appears key information is lacking in the media.

In early April, a pregnant wolf was taken after an airplane was seen from Cantwell circling or "buzzing" one area for more than 20 minutes. This airplane activity was less than one mile from the northern portion of Cantwell but was visible to many homes. This pregnant wolf was accompanied by an adult collared wolf that is believed to be the one more recently taken at Pass Creek, south of Cantwell.

As most hunters, trappers and photo opportunists know, this type of airplane activity usually signals the presence of a bear or wolf. The following day the airplane returned; it was identified as the same plane flying the day before. The airplane that drew attention to the two wolves had an unobstructed clear view of wolf tracks, new snowmachine tracks and a new red stain on the snow-covered mountain, so surely those in the airplane knew that one of the wolves had been removed.

If that was documented, only the person or persons in the plane know. Cantwell is a "puddling area" for moose each winter, and many residents are very protective of its slowly recovering moose herd. In the past, dogs have been eaten right at their homes. Cantwell is not a predator-free zone. We want to see the moose herd recover; deep snow this year gives wolves and bears a huge advantage in their killing of moose.

Predictably the pregnant wolf and its collared companion would have gone about their business if the identified airplane had not spent at least 20 minutes circling them. Let's just say their chance of survival would have been much better. To give credit for the death of at least the pregnant female, and to make some Cantwell residents aware of the other collared wolf, we have to thank Gordon Haber, "employee" of Friends of Animals or someone who has an identical airplane as his right down to his "tail feather" numbers.

Marty Caress / Cantwell

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