Denali National Park Should be Allowed to Return to Natural State

Letters to the Editor / Kenai Peninsula Clarion / March 16, 2004

I am writing in regard to the Game Board leaving the wolf buffer intact. First, Denali National Park should always want to expand and keep what it needs for its precious creatures to thrive. The people in and around Denali need to stand up for the park and what it represents.

I was appalled when I found out certain people could still subsistence hunt in Denali and that permits are still being given out to hunters. The numbers of caribou and Dall sheep are far from recovered. When the first explorers entered Denali, the caribou numbers were around 20,000 and even now because of man there are only 1,700 or so caribou in the park. This is not management.

Are you all blind to the past? Have you never read the history of these places? If you have you'll know that predators were there in stronger numbers when 20,000 caribou roamed through Denali and when the moose were in their peak numbers. There is no legitimate reason for predator control; fact is, people aren't doing their jobs.

I'm afraid this predator control program will become a slippery slope. People are not fair; they won't let the moose recover; we kill so many annually just from vehicle accidents. This problem is going to get worse.

We need to stand up for our resources. Denali is a national park for crying out loud. Give up the money Denali receives from the subsistence people living there. Give up the money brought in by permits and for once let Denali return to its natural state.

Rid this place of the tyranny of man and it shall recover from the blows, which we have dealt it.

-- Jesse Ward / Cooper Landing

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