Alaskan voters have expressed their opposition to aerial hunting of wolves on several occasions. If passed into law, new proposed legislation (HB 256 and SB 176) would greatly increase killing of wolves statewide under the Board of Game. This would be done without requirement to consider any scientific evidence or even a review by Alaska Department of Fish and Game biologists. These bills will only make a bad law worse!
Alaska's already excessive, expensive predator control program would be expanded regardless of rationale or scientific review. On the contrary, all decisions regarding increased, extreme predator control would be made solely by the Board of Game.
Brown bears and wolverines would be added to the list of species that may be shot by aerial gunners. The proposed bills would destroy the intention of the voter-enacted ban on same-day airborne shooting of wolves, grizzly bears, and wolverines, making it much easier to increase this aerial killing. Also, the use of airplanes to track and shoot down wolves, grizzly bears and wolverines would be encouraged without requiring any comprehensive "game management plan" to be in place beforehand.
Alaska's wildlife deserve the best possible wildlife management -- not mindless increase in extreme predator control! I urge the House Resources Committee to decline passage of HB 256 today.
-- Walter A. Glooschenko