Aerial Predator Control Works Best
to Keep Game Populations High

Letters to the Editor / Anchorage Daily News / December 8, 2003

Thirty years of personal observation have shown me the devastating results of deferred predator control in game management Unit 13. Once plentiful game populations have been decimated to a point near extinction. As affected user groups came to feel the pain of drastically reduced adult game populations, it became obvious that calves were not surviving to adulthood and something other than man was responsible. Evidence rules out weather, disease and starvation. Man does not kill the young of a game species, but wolves do. Unit 13 is overrun with them.

By the cessation of airborne predator control (the only effective type), we have relegated the predator/prey cycle to an extreme pattern of alternating highs and lows, each lasting potentially for generations. This preventable tragedy harms all people dependent on the resource as well as the animals, both predator and prey.

The current Alaska Board of Game, backed by Gov. Murkowski, is striving to restore balance to the predator/prey ratio through professionally managed aerial wolf control. They are trying to undo the harm done by recent state administrations that caved in to political pressure from arguably well-intentioned but overzealous wolf proponents. I would like to thank them for their efforts and urge them to stay the course. Let science and sustained yield guide their actions rather than uninformed emotional hyperbole.

-- Timothy Shine / Wasilla


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