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Wolf control effort fails to hit target

May 03, 2006 | Wolves / Alaska Boycott
By Tim Mowry, published in Fairbanks Daily News-Miner on May 3, 2006

The high price of fuel is just one reason the number of wolves taken in the state's aerial wolf-control program this winter was lower than expected, according to state wildlife officials.

While they still have two days to report wolves taken before the program ended on April 30, aerial gunners had reported taking 153 wolves in five areas of the state this winter as of Tuesday. State wildlife officials were aiming for a harvest of up to 400 wolves.

Bad weather, a court ruling that halted the entire program for a week in January and a closure in Game Management Unit 16B west of Anchorage during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race also conspired against aerial wolf hunters.

...

It didn't help that hunters lost two prime weeks to suspensions in the program in Unit 16B. The program was shut down for a week in January as a result of a court ruling in a lawsuit by Connecticut-based animal rights group Friends of Animals and it was halted for another week in early March for the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, which runs through Unit 16B.

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Friends of Animals, which has led the attack against the state's predator control program, will keep up the fight, executive director Priscilla Feral said.

The group is considering another lawsuit depending on what the state Board of Game does in a special meeting May 12-14 in Anchorage. The Game Board will be taking up several proposals it tabled during a March meeting in Fairbanks that would expand or add areas to its current wolf-control program.

"We will continue to intervene," Feral said.

Friends of Animals has been running ads in several major magazines, as well as the nation's largest newspaper, USA Today, to bring attention to Alaska's wolf-killing program, Feral said.

"If you shoot wolves to save moose and then you shoot the moose, you're either out of your mind or in Alaska," the ad says above a pack of wolves in a snowfield.

(Full story: http://www.news-miner.com/Stories/0,1413,113~7244~3303253,00.html)

Comments

I just don't understand why its ok to kill an innocent animal like a wolf. Wolves have never attacked or killed a person! Sure they eat moose, but do you expect them not to eat? They can't eat moose, and they can't eat livestock, so what can they eat? Wolves have never done anything wrong but try to live!

Danielle and all, As an Alaskan, I can tell you that, outside of very old articles in hunting magazines (several generations ago), I have never heard someone up here justify hunting or culling wolves as retribution for their evil nature or because they did something wrong. I suspect there is still some of that sentiment but it certainly is not the prevalent view. The wolf didn't do anything "wrong." Just like the cow i ate last night never harmed anything and the moose i ate the night before or the salmon the night before that and so on. The things they ate may have a different perspective but we don't want this to devolve into an absurdity. To suggest the strawman if "killing innocents" misdirects the debate. The core debate is why do people eat meat, whether domestic or game? If you don't believe in eating meat, then any game management designed to maximize meat resources will naturally seem ridiculous. I understand that FOA is a vegan group. If people choose to be vegans, that's fine by me. I won't start a blog proclaiming vegetable rights and having all my like-minded supporters saying how sick and twisted vegans are and how i hope they die, etc. That is a courtesy that Fpro-FOA bloggers do not extend. However, you need to understand that this same philosophical distiction is at the center of this debate. To those of us that eat meat, It is "ok" to kill these innocent animals because they either taste good or because they compete with us for animals that taste good. This is pretty simple competition between species for food resources. It has gone on since there was life on this planet. Admittedly, we have to be more careful about it since we got so efficient at hunting about 40,000 years ago. I'm not trying to convince anyone that one view or the other is "right." That sort of label doesn't fit easily in a philosopical or moral debate. Absent a major paradigm shift in how game resources are viewed by the law, Alaska will continue to manage it's resources to the best of it's ability.

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