Alaska didn’t come close to killing the number of wolves it wanted. What a pity.

Weather, fuel costs favored the lives of hundreds of wolves. FEWER KILLS: State’s goal was 664 dead; reports put number at less than a third. By Alex deMarban. Anchorage Daily News.

At our North American wolf conference recently in Flagstaff, the Keynote Speaker was Dr. Victor Van Ballenberghe, a professor in Biology and Wildlife at the Univ. of Alaska. He has twice served on Alaska’s Board of Game. He explained the fundamental problem with the Board is their belief that the historical high populations of moose, caribou, etc. recorded in many areas of Alaska are the normal, usual and expected number. This problem is compounded by 1990s state legislation that mandates “intensive management” for certain “depleted” populations of ungulates deemed important for consumptive use by humans.

What the Board does is play on the natural sympathy for Native consumptive use in setting ungulate population targets, and then adds another generous portion for non-Native hunters.

These ungulate population targets are impossible to obtain. In an effort to do it anyway, the Board is now not only targeting wolves but black bears and brown bears over an increasing portion of Alaska (now 60,000 square miles).

Despite the reprieve for wolves this winter, the Alaskan campaign against all large predators is only going to get worse.

 
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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

One Response to Weather, fuel costs favored the lives of hundreds of wolves in Alaska

  1. avatar chris says:

    FYI, here’s a link to an interesting article about a grizzly killing a moose in a couple’s driveway:

    http://www.homernews.com/stories/050707/news_bear_001.shtml

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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