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There are Options for Dealing with Wolf Populations

Letters to the Editor / Juneau Empire / November 29, 2004

This letter is in response to the My Turn submitted by Kevin Duffy of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game regarding wolf control here in Alaska.

Mr. Duffy's argument rests on the idea that we humans need to intervene to increase moose and caribou populations throughout the state. For hundreds of years, nature has done an excellent job of "curbing" wolf populations without human intervention. When wolf populations would get too high, then the wolf numbers would naturally decrease due to the lack of availability of food to sustain such a large population. College students learn this in their introductory classes in biology.

If we humans are bent on intervening, is sniping wolves in cold blood from the air the best idea we can come up with to solve this problem? If we can transplant bears, then why can't we do this with wolves? What about using other types of humane measures such as neutering or providing male wolves with a simple vasectomy? These measures are presently being utilized or at least considered to solve wolf population problems in other states.

There are plenty of people inside and outside of Alaska outraged at our state's egregious behavior and they will spend their tourist dollars elsewhere. If Alaska would implement more humane techniques, everyone would win: Animal rights activists, hunters, individuals who depend on the tourist industry, and especially the innocent wolves.

Juanita Freese-Reese / Juneau AK


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