Wolves kill and eat moose so they can survive as a species. Urban Alaskans kill and eat moose, not for survival, but primarily for recreational purposes. Even in Alaska's outback there are no true subsistence users that depend on moose to stay alive. Wolves are carnivores, man is an omnivore.
The longtime ADF&G official who wrote the statement in opposition to Ballot Measure 2 (the initiative to ban same day airborne shooting of wolves and grizzlies) for the Aug. 26 election pamphlet claims the initiative is "driven by out-of-state animal rights extremists and a few misguided Alaskans."
A few misguided Alaskans? An overwhelming majority of Alaskans passed similar initiatives in 1996 and 2000 only to have them overturned two years later by a Republican Legislature in lock-step with a special interest group, the Alaska Outdoor Council. Not much has changed. Politicians and a Board of Game top heavy with AOC members (six of seven) continue to direct wildlife policy in our state.
Another opposition statement: "After a winter of aggressive wolf attacks, now is ... ." Wolf attacks against what? Dogs, people, caribou? And is there such a thing as a nonaggressive wolf attack?
Again the opposition statement: "When a (wolf control) program's goals are reached, the program is stopped." Yeah, right! Wolf control has been going on ever since we colonized the western states and began raising sheep and cattle. It only stopped when the wolves were exterminated.
Finally, opposition states: "Countless dogs were stalked and killed and even people were threatened by wolves." Countless means without number and that is patently absurd. And how many people were threatened by wolves? A better question is, how many people have been mauled or killed by the dogs in our midst?
One of the nation's foremost authorities on wolves, Dr. Rolf Peterson, did five years of scientific research on wolf/moose ecology on the Kenai Peninsula in the late 1970s. Dr. Peterson and his assistants published a monograph giving us much valuable information on wolves, moose and the predator/prey dynamic.
Scientists are shy about giving opinions, but Dr. Peterson did say he has reservations about the state wolf control programs. "There is every indication that these programs become institutionalized."
"Yes" is an informed vote on Ballot Measure 2.