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Just Knowing that Some Shy Wildlife is There Can be Enrichment Enough

Letters / Anchorage Daily News / March 28, 2007

The Board of Game's decision to allow wolverine trapping in Chugach State Park is another example of how the board ignores the recommendations of the state's own biologists as well as the requests of nonconsumptive users of the state's wildlife resources. Board member Bob Bell comments that secretive wolverines are OK to be trapped because they are not viewable wildlife. However, even wildlife that we cannot view adds greatly to the park experience.

The decision to allow wolverine trapping against the advice of area biologists who warn that their numbers have already been depleted by trapping pressure outside the park is irresponsible and benefits only a small minority. With the wolverine's small population size in Unit 14C, any harvest will deplete the population to an unsustainable level.

The decision to allow lethal steel traps in the park also strikes a personal chord with me because I frequently recreate in this area with my dogs. Skiers and backcountry hikers beware; these steel traps may end up harming or killing your dog.

The Board of Game has become a closed system representing limited interests. I strongly encourage Gov. Sarah Palin to bring balance to the board by appointing new members who will listen to the advice of state biologists and provide balanced representation for a diverse group of Alaskans, consumptive and nonconsumptive users alike.

-- Sirena T. Brownlee, Biologist / Anchorage

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