Wolf Song of Alaska News

'Look But Don't Touch' a Poor Way to Manage Wolverines, Other Wildlife

Letters / Anchorage Daily News / April 21, 2007

Kudos to the Board of Game for looking beyond the emotionally charged theatrics of a small group of park users, and realizing that wildlife resources cannot be effectively or responsibly managed by enshrining animals in "look but don't touch" policies.

I've viewed many wolverine within Chugach, and these sightings have noticeably increased recently. If one wolverine observation in decades constitutes a remarkable event, then what is encountering four different wolverines, in the same area, over three recent weeks considered? I'd consider it a robustly healthy wolverine community, trending toward overpopulation. Overpopulation brings starvation, diseases and population collapses. Ironically, those who seem to care about wolverines unwittingly subject them to this horrid end.

State biologist Rick Sinnott only conducted a single survey in 12 years on an animal he says could face extinction. Why? Perhaps that study, however outdated and inaccurate, serves his purposes.

What about those traps Sinnott and others insist will annihilate anything that twitches within the park? They're the very same kind I've been using in the park for 30-plus years already. I've never caught anyone's wife, children, family pets or wayward husband while trapping in Chugach. I assure you it will continue to be just as safe for all to enjoy Chugach in the future as it has been in the past, in spite of minor changes to trapping regulations.

---- Grant Worley / Eagle River

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