Wolf Song of Alaska News

Feds Right to Study Unimak Herd

Letters / Anchorage Daily News / June 16, 2010


Alaskans enjoy painting the "feds" wrong. Unfortunately The Associated Press in Alaska supported that attitude in reporting Unimak Island's decline in caribou numbers, the state's proposal to kill the island's wolves, and the "feds" blocking the plan. The AP story was picked up in Alaska and nationwide.

Yet the proposal to kill island wolves lacked basis. Wolf numbers are guessed at 30. Caribou and bears number around 400 each. One could assume the state targeted wolves, because it is saving bear predators for lucrative trophy hunting. Over-hunting is one reason the caribou herd declined. Prime bulls culled by hunting resulted in numbers insufficient to serve the cows.

Volcanic effects on grazing and other issues impact the herd. Federal biologists are right in completing a mandated study to learn reasons for the herd's decline. Allowing reactive wolf killing from planes on a U.S. Wildlife preserve would be a disservice to Americans and terrible precedent.

Alaska newspapers and TV used one-sided information provided by Alaska DF&G. 

Read online for an opposing and science based view: adn.com/adn/node/151909

-- Patricia OBrien / Juneau


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