Game Board's Wolf-Kill Decision
Only Part of its Anti-Conservation Agenda

Letters to the Editor / Anchorage Daily News / December 19, 2003

Bruce Brown ("What's Alaska Wildlife Alliance's solution to the wolf problem?" Dec. 16) claims it's true that the McGrath area moose population is depressed.

In fact, the population of 3,655 moose is not depressed and now exceeds the goal of 3,000 to 3,500 set by a planning team two years ago. McGrath residents on the team, the Department of Fish and Game and the Game Board endorsed this goal. They also endorsed the finding that if wolf control was implemented it would cease when moose numbers reached 3,000.

Why, then, did the Game Board recently approve total wolf elimination in 1,700 square miles near McGrath? Despite claims that the program is based on sound science, that moose numbers must be "rebuilt" and that moose are scarce, nothing could be further from the truth.

The Game Board acted solely on the basis of power politics. When this board was appointed by Gov. Frank Murkowski, we all knew that its main agenda would be widespread wolf control, whether or not sound science was involved. Despite the fact that most Alaskans oppose aerial wolf hunting, elimination of wolves and controversial wildlife management that will affect our economy, the board fulfilled its promise. But the worst is yet to come as the board spreads its anti-conservation agenda to the rest of the state.

-- Vic Van Ballenberghe / Former Game Board Member / Anchorage


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