On August 9, the Alaska Board of Game met and refused a written request from the Chugach State Park Citizen's Advisory Board to reconsider their decision on wolverine trapping at Chugach State Park. This followed a meeting on May 8, when over 100 people gathered at a citizen's advisory board meeting and overwhelmingly expressed their opposition to the revised trapping regulations which would allow the trapping of wolverines -- about nine of which live in the half-million acre park. The obvious public safety hazard of large traps in the park, not the mention the greater value of the park for hiking and wildlife viewing rather than trapping a rare species, were all issues raised at the meeting.
Board of Game member Bob Bell, at the center of this controversy, suggested at that meeting that the advisory board make a formal request to the Board of Game to reconsider the decision on trapping. When they did as he asked, he voted against them. It's really unfortunate when a democratic process that is set up for citizens to express their views is ignored. We need a different Board of Game, one that listens and responds to citizens calling for change.
---- Tom Banks, Alaska Associate
Defenders of Wildlife / Anchorage