On visits to Denali National Park I was thrilled to see wild wolves. For many, seeing a wolf in the wild is an exciting experience.
Alaska's Board of Game just ended the buffer zone around part of the park that helped protect Denali wolves from being killed outside park boundaries. Like McNeil River bears, these wolves have been viewed by thousands of visitors and are an economic asset for tourism. Rather than taking a contentious and controversial stand against the buffer, the Board of Game should work with the Park Service because these wolves are so valuable in attracting visitors and in park research. This adversarial attitude against federal management is not productive for making decisions that best serve wildlife and the public interest. In my mind, a decision that primarily benefits less than a handful of trappers over thousands of visitors to Denali National Park is misguided.
The Board of Game should reconsider this issue and act in the same fashion that it did for the McNeil River bears — reinstate the park buffer to protect the wolves.