Wolf Song of Alaska News

Defenders Pleased as Alaska's Wolf Bounty Ends, Expresses Concern as State Targets Black Bears

Tom Banks /Defenders of Wildlife / April 16, 2007

Anchorage, AK -- In a status report filed by the state with the court on April 6 and received by Defenders of Wildlife and the other plaintiffs earlier this week, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) stated it had immediately terminated the bounty program in response to the temporary restraining order and had decided not to pursue any further "incentive- type" payments such as aviation fuel for the remainder of this predator control season. The report also stated that the Board of Game has given no indication that it intends to meet to adopt emergency regulations to allow bounties. Following is a statement from Tom Banks, Defenders of Wildlife Alaska associate.

"Defenders of Wildlife is very pleased to learn of the state's action. The Commissioner of ADF&G and the Governor violated the law in implementing the bounty program. While we are pleased with this victory, we are deeply troubled by the recent expansion of the predator control program in Unit 16B, an 11,000 square mile area north and northwest of Anchorage, to allow hunters to kill up to 1,400 of the estimated 1,500 to 2,000 black bears in this area. Most troubling is that sows and cubs are being targeted for the first time and the timing of the hunts could mean that cubs born this year could be left to starve if their mothers are killed. Lastly, airplane use is already outrageous. It'll be even more so if this expansion goes forward."

For a summary of the proposals:
http://www.boards.adfg.state.ak.us/gameinfo/meetsum/2006-2007/2007sum.pdf

For a summary of the state's status report:
http://www.defenders.org/wildlife/wolf/alaska/4-6-07StatesStatusReport.pdf

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