Senate Bill to Relocate City Moose Better Thought Out Than Critics Think

Letters to the Editor / Anchorage Daily News / April 29, 2004

Senate bill 329, the bill concerning the relocation of moose, is better thought out than its opponents would have you believe.

SB 329 says the Department of Fish and Game may authorize a private group to relocate nuisance moose if the group is qualified and their plan is approved and can be accomplished without undue danger to the public, themselves or the moose. The authorized group shall pay all costs. Only moose posing a significant risk to the health, safety or economic well-being of people would be relocated.

Only trained and certified people will be allowed to dart moose. Every dart will have to be recovered. As Fish and Game does with bears, moose would be tagged to inform hunters about the tranquilizer, including the date the meat is again safe.

Biologists accept a standard loss of 5 percent when relocating animals. Even if the ambitious goal of 250 moose were moved, 5 percent equals 13 moose -- far fewer than the hundreds killed by vehicles each year.

Some say Anchorage citizens have adopted a plan to deal with wildlife. They have. It states in part, "wildlife management is the responsibility of the Dept. of Fish and Game ... the Municipality's efforts focus on habitat protection and design issues. ..."

SB 329 will result in Anchorage citizens being safer while still being able to enjoy the moose.

-- Sen. Con Bunde / Anchorage

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