|ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- A judge denied the state of Alaska's request for a restraining order and preliminary junction to shoot wolves on Unimak Island Monday.
U.S. District Judge H. Russell Holland seemed to agree that something should be done on Unimak Island, but said that the Department of Fish and Game didn't make enough of a legal argument and that he didn't have enough jurisdiction to allow them to shoot the wolves.
The state's Department of Fish and Game argues that the wolves on Unimak Island are decimating the population and that immediate action is necessary to protect this year's calves.
The state argued that immediately killing seven wolves would help the caribou population stay at its low numbers for now, while the lawsuit is hashed out in court.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which controls the wildlife refuge covering most of the island, says a thorough study is needed before such drastic action can be taken.
The state says that the caribou herd is the primary source of red meat for the area, including the community of False Pass, where hunters had to go without caribou meat last year when the state closed the subsistence hunt.
Fish and Game biologists are on Unimak Island collaring caribou calves, and say that they are seeing wolves around.
Wolf Song of Alaska
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Web Site: http://www.wolfsongalaska.org
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