One of the most effective ways to kill large numbers of wolves
is to use helicopters as an aid in landing in remote regions
inaccessible by airplane and saturate brushy areas along stream
banks with large numbers of snares. The Board of game has
just approved the use of helicopters by trappers under permit
to do just that in an area roughly five times the size of
Yellowstone National Park in Game Management Units 19 and
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game used this technique
in the early 1990's to slaughter large numbers of wolves in
an area a fraction the size. The program was stopped when
the public saw on television the images of dead and dying
wolves caught in snares. Among the dead were also two caribou.
Between 40 and 50 percent of the animals caught in the department's
800 plus "wolf" snares were moose, caribou, fox,
eagles and other wildlife. The unintended catch serves as
carrion that attracts wolves.
"It is an outrage that the Board of Game should have
passed such a despicable law", said Dr. Paul Joslin,
Wildlife Director with the Alaska Wildlife Alliance. "On
the other hand I am not surprised, given that the past president
of the Alaska Trapper's Association sits on the Board of Game
and every member of the Board is or has been a trapper at
some point in their past."
The lack of diversity on the Board of Game was recently recognized
in the State Legislature when Minority Leader Senator Ellis
introduced Senate Bill 343, calling for the Game Board to
be replaced by a Board of Wildlife composed of people representing
sport and subsistence hunting, trapping, and non-consumptive
uses such as wildlife viewing, tourism and scientific study.
The bill would require that each interest be represented in
a comprehensive and fair manner. Seventy-five percent of Alaskans
do not hunt or trap, preferring to enjoy wildlife in other
ways. Only two percent of Alaskans hold a trappers license.
Maury Mason, 907-277-9819, firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul Joslin cell 907 277 0897, email@example.com