decision by Alaska's Board of Game to eliminate a wolf no-take zone on land
surrounded on three sides by Denali National Park and Preserve has
prompted an animal rights group to call for a boycott on tourism travel to
Alaska this year.
Game Board voted 4-3 last week to not only reject requests to expand the
existing buffer zone, but to eliminate it entirely.
once was a proposal to turn over to the park this rectangular block of land due
west of Healy, Alaska, that follows the Stampede Trail, but it never got off the
ground. As a result, wolves that leave the park and follow caribou to wintering
grounds on this landscape are subject to trapping in some places. There has been
a buffer zone that comprises roughly half of the rectangle on the western end in
which wolves can't be hunted or trapped.
decision to do away with the buffer zone was condemned Monday by Friends of Animals.
state decision is obnoxious,” said the group's president, Priscilla Feral. “And
it contradicts what the park authorities had asked for. Federal officials had
recommended expanding the buffer zone to protect wolves naturally wandering
outside the park’s boundaries.
long as Alaska officials thumb their noses at common sense and decency, the
public should stop supporting the state," she continued in a prepared statement.
"We understand this is not easy for businesses, but we need their public
declaration in support of the wolves and their advocates! It’s the (state)
government that’s condoning the killing of the very animals tourists go up to
existing buffer zone had covered 90 square miles, according to the National
Parks Conservation Association. Packs that frequent it and which often are
viewed by Denali visitors include the East Fork Pack, the Grant West Pack, and
the Nenana Pack. Packs that were wiped out by hunting and trapping include the
Headquarters Pack, Savage Pack, and Sanctuary Pack, according to the group's
records. Not every individual of a pack must be killed for the pack to collapse.
And in some cases, new packs have re-established themselves in similar territory
and have new names.
of Animals, a group opposed to all hunting and trapping of wolves, pressed to
reinstate a 600 sq.-mile east and northeast boundary buffer similar to that
established in November 1992. Instead, not only has that area shrunk, but the
current Board of Game went so far as to try to control federal lands proposing
wolf control inside Denali National Park.
support Alaska,” Ms. Feral said. “Alaska’s state officials have shown a
disgraceful lack of respect for nature and the ecosystem as well as the wolves
themselves. Governor Sean Parnell needs to step in and control the humans who
are paid by the state.”
to the release was a request that those upset with the Game Board's decision
write Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell to let him know they will boycott travel to
Alaska because of the state’s "wolf persecution."
P. O. Box 110001
Juneau, AK 99811-0001