FAIRBANKS -- Legal shortfalls identified recently by a judge in the state's aerial wolf control program have been fixed and the programs are active again, according to Cathie Harms, spokeswoman for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
At an emergency meeting Friday, the Alaska Board of Game made changes to parts of two predator control plans that were added to the original control areas in 2006. It was the expansion of the program, in part, that prompted a lawsuit by several groups opposed to the killing of wolves.
The two areas where the extensions occurred were in the Fortymile region north and east of Fairbanks and Unit 16A, across Cook Inlet from Anchorage.
The state has approved aerial predator control in five areas of Alaska to boost moose and caribou numbers. So far this winter, pilot-gunner teams have reported taking 81 wolves in the five control areas.
Priscilla Feral, executive director for Friends of Animals, called the board's latest action a sham.
"When the courts have ruled that the state's aerial wolf-shooting schemes are breaking the law, within days, the Board of Game concocts new rules," Feral said in an e-mail.
Superior Court Judge William F. Morse found that the program was legal, apart from the two areas where it was extended without first providing required information.