Aerial wolf hunting is at the center of debate again. Today the Board of Game met to discuss what steps to take next after a judge ruled to halt the program, saying the agency exceeded its own regulations.
It's still on hold, but the Alaska Board of Game is trying to change that. It held an emergency teleconference today in response to Judge Sharon Gleason's court ruling. The summary ruling pertained to the state's predator control programs. The eight board members voted unanimously today for a finding of emergency.
Board members from across the state were called in to come up with a plan of action to present to the court. It was not open for public testimony, but the public was welcome to listen in. Some at the meeting said that Judge Gleason's ruling didn't say their predator control system was wrong, but that they needed to have better documentation than before to justify the program.
"What it says was that we hadn't crossed all the t's and dotted all the i's. Basically it was just a technical finding and this was just to fix the technical record," said Steve Flory, Chair, Anchorage Fish & Game Advisory Committee.
The Alaska Wildlife Alliance attended the teleconference today. They are not a plaintiff in the case, but say they have a deep interest in this issue. They feel that Judge Gleason based her findings on sound facts and hope that the Board of Game will examine their situation with more scientific data.
"That allows a balance of nature that is consistent with the long-term health and well-being of the moose and caribou in this state and not just an artificial inflation of those numbers to pacify special interests," said John Toppenberg, Executive Director, Alaska Wildlife Alliance.
To contact Ali, call 907-273-3137