Wolf Song of Alaska News

North Buffer Zone at Denali Might Work to Protect Wildlife

Letters / Anchorage Daily News / May 24, 2008

Before we question the money spent saving the snared Denali wolf ("Park Service spends nearly $4,000 to rid wolf of snare," May 11), consider what we spend to annihilate him. The state wastes hundreds of thousands of dollars trapping and killing predators from helicopters and planes. Private pilots are encouraged to do the same.

A dollar value cannot be placed on the Denali wolf, seen and enjoyed by thousands of visitors each summer.

I wonder, however, if the National Park Service's quest to capture the suffering animal was only to create the illusion that it is the compassionate protector of the park's wildlife. Summer visitors obviously would be appalled to see a wolf with a snare slicing through its neck. Questions would be asked and the Park Service would be forced to answer them. Would it tell the public that trappers need to use thicker wire? Would it condone the practice and admit some of its own employees are trappers?

The National Park Service, instead of promoting the education of trappers and encouraging the use of stronger snares, should be vocal in its opposition and strongly advocate establishing a north buffer zone that is needed to protect the wolf packs and other wildlife that stray outside the national park.

-- Tom Roberts
Denali Park

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