True Facts Eclipse Writer's One-Sided Defense of State Wolf Control Efforts

Letters to the Editor / Anchorage Daily News / April 9, 2004

Kevin Duffy's recent Compass piece ("Learn the true facts of wolf control," March 20) omitted several important facts. The Board of Game approved wolf control at McGrath last November despite attainment of the moose population objective set in 2001. Contrary to Mr. Duffy's assertion that moose are very scarce there, moose census data show enough moose to meet local needs. Also contrary to assertions, the board approved elimination of wolves at McGrath and recently doubled the size of the control area there.

Mr. Duffy fails to mention that Alaskans twice voted in statewide ballot initiatives to ban airplane hunting of wolves and to restrict wolf control. Polls consistently show most residents continue to oppose these practices, yet the board and Mr. Duffy's department still promote them.

Finally, Mr. Duffy's own department biologists recently warned the board that wolf control in Upper Cook Inlet, Game Management Unit 16B, lacked sound science and should not proceed, yet the board ignored their advice and approved a control plan.

I think most Alaskans know that the "true facts" must include more than a one-sided defense of a very controversial program that sacrifices science standards and conservation principles in the name of intensive management.

-- Margaret A. Warnke / Anchorage

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