Wolf Predation Continues to Affect Moose, Sheep, Caribou Populations

Letters to the Editor / Anchorage Daily News / March 12, 2004

I take exception to Vic Van Ballenberghe's opinion on what the majority of hunters think of the state wolf control program ("Wolf debates subject to distortion," March 3). His comments are presumptive. Many Alaskans understand our current wolf situation is the limiting factor affecting populations of wildlife at this time.

The previous administration had the ability to implement effective management but refused to do anything substantive. Sterilizing wolves was a political project designed to control public opinion and very secondarily wolves. In the meantime, in the last 10 years, wolf predation continues to affect many populations of moose, Dall sheep and caribou, with marked declines in several areas of Alaska. Other factors do apply but are not now as significant as wolf predation. Limiting big game hunting has not solved the problem.

I am pleased with the current Board of Game wolf control program in selected areas. This Board of Game has proven to have courage and to understand the various biological complexities. It has acted decisively. The Knowles administration spent too much time working toward emotional consensus and too little looking at facts. Wolf control is not hunting, but it can be a legitimate tool of wildlife management. Predator control has shown itself historically to be effective.

-- Glen Holt / Big Lake --

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