Wolf Song of Alaska News

Writer's Bid to Characterize Moose, Wildlife Group a Smear Campaign

Letters / Anchorage Daily News / August 4, 2006


Marty Caress' recent letter implied John Toppenberg ("Blame Outsiders for missing moose," July 18), executive director of the Alaska Wildlife Alliance, was wrong in his claims about ungulate populations prior to the advent of aircraft in Alaska. Caress states the 1927 rules and regulations for Mount McKinley National Park say nothing about moose or wolves, thereby suggesting they were absent.

Had Mr. Caress done some research (it took three minutes to find the following data), he would have found on Page 184 of the 1971 reprint of Adolph Murie's classic, "The Wolves of Mount McKinley," the following: "Moose are said to have been plentiful in the park prior to the period (about 1920) when the Alaska Railroad was being constructed." Murie cites market hunting as a cause of their later decline. On page 13 Murie also notes: "Charles Sheldon (1930) found wolves in the Mt. McKinley region in 1907 and 1908. ..."

So much for Mr. Caress' credibility.

Additionally, he notes this is an election year as he refers to the Alaska Wildlife Alliance. The Alliance has always made its positions clear on Alaska wildlife issues regardless of political events. The innuendo Mr. Caress seeks to employ in place of fact falls flat.

Mr. Caress has again tried to discredit others with his own brand of smear campaign only to fail when presented documentation to the opposite of what he claims.

---- Nancy Wallace / Anchorage
EDITOR'S NOTE: The writer is a consultant for the Alaska Wildlife Alliance.

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