All Trapper Game Board Approves
Trapper Use of Helicopters
to Aid in Wolf Slaughter Campaign


Alaska Wildlife Alliance / March 7, 2004



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 20.

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.


Contact:
Maury Mason, 907-277-9819, maury@akwildlife.org
Paul Joslin cell 907 277 0897, paul@akwildlife.org

 


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