Complete, Truthful Information About Predator Control Needed

Letters to the Editor / Anchorage Daily News / April 3, 2004

The misleading and alarming information being published by Defenders of Wildlife to gain support and financial aid is reprehensible. Allow me to provide a factual perspective on Alaska's predator control.

Moose calf harvest is not allowed where predator control is authorized. Moose calves and cows are protected from hunting in most of Alaska. Hunter harvest of calves occurs rarely, and only where moose are so abundant that they negatively impact their habitat. We made regulation changes providing greater protection for calves in most of the state, while allowing their harvest only where needed. This legitimate management tool is widely used in the Lower 48, Canada and Scandinavia.

The use of helicopters is not allowed for conducting wolf control.

Wolf reduction programs are approved only in focused locations where predators prevent moose herds from achieving abundance objectives. A limited number of special permits are authorized for taking wolves using airplanes in these programs. Two programs are under way and others may occur in the future.

Alaska manages all wildlife species, including our large and healthy wolf population, to ensure sustainability.

Hunters in Alaska are not allowed to harvest female bears with cubs. Our recently adopted bear management policy contains potential bear population reduction techniques but none are in effect at this time.

All Alaskans, whether opposing or supporting predator management, deserve more complete and truthful information.

-- Mike Fleagle, chairman Alaska Board of Game / McGrath

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