Game Board Creates New Wolf Control Area


Alaska Wildlife Alliance / March 8, 2004


Yesterday the Board of Game approved its third wolf control program.  It singled out in its entirety the 10,000 square mile Game Management Unit 19A, known locally as the Central Kuskokwim.  Up to 80 percent of the existing wolf population is slated to be destroyed.  Individuals will be granted permits to shoot wolves from airplanes and/or from the ground after running them to exhaustion.  Trappers will be given permits that will allow them to use helicopters to gain access to the most inaccessible areas where they can saturate wolf travel corridors with snares.  Hunters will be allowed to chase and shoot wolves with snowmobiles.

The Board also boosted the bag limit of ten wolves per year to ten wolves per day for the entire 36,000 square mile area that makes up the whole of Game Management Unit 19.  This area is ten times the size of Yellowstone National Park.  The Board also increased the wolf hunting season to ten months (August 1st to May 31st).  Killing wolf pups is legal even if they should only be a couple of months old.

"This Board of Game, composed only of people with a trapping background, is out of control", said Dr. Paul Joslin, Wildlife Director with the Alaska Wildlife Alliance.  "Polling surveys indicate that 83 percent of Alaskan voters want the Board of Game replaced with a Board of Wildlife made up of people with a diversity of backgrounds that truly represents the wildlife values held by Alaskans as a whole."

"As stewards appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the State Legislature, the duty of the Board should be to ensure that all of Alaska's wildlife species are maintained in sustainable numbers equivalent to what exists in nature.  Instead it has focused on maximizing moose and caribou numbers for hunters at the expense of other species.  This is not right, especially when one realizes that Alaska has over a million moose and caribou, and they have successfully co-existed with wolves and other predators for tens of thousands of years."

Contact:  Maury Mason, 907 277 9819  maury@akwildlife.org
Paul Joslin cell 907 250 5944, email Paul@akwildlife.org


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