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UPDATE: Wolf Control Program Back Up

March 28, 2008 | Wolves

Alaska Newsreader / Anchorage Daily News / March 25, 2008

Dead olf
Hunter retrieves the body of a wolf shot from a plane. (Photo courtesy Wolf)

Down for a week after a judge's ruling, the state's predator-control program is back at "full throttle," according to a Fairbanks Daily News-Miner story. The Board of Game met in an emergency session to look at legal problems cited in the judge's decision and made adjustments, according to the story.

Pilot-gunner teams have reported killing 81 wolves in five control areas this winter, according to the story. The decision to go ahead with the program drew quick criticism from critics, including this from Priscilla Feral, executive director of Friends of Animals, which sued to stop the program:

"The (Game Board) and their apologists in the bureaucracy have a reputation as a nursery for nitwit schemes. When the courts have ruled that the state's aerial wolf-shooting schemes are breaking the law, within days, the Board of Game concocts new rules. Clearly, they make stuff up, their process is a sham and they just want to shoot wolves everywhere in Alaska. This is an abuse of power."

Alaska Judge Upholds Aerial Wolf Killing But Limits Extent

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Environmental News Service) March 18, 2008- A federal judge on Friday invalidated the aerial gunning of wolves in several areas of Alaska in a case brought by four conservation groups challenging the state's wolf control program.

At the same time, Superior Court Judge William Morse upheld the practice of shooting wolves from planes and helicopters.

"¦In his decision, Judge Morse examined the entire history of Alaska's wolf control programs. His ruling upholds the aerial gunning program as a whole, while banning the practice in four areas covering up to 15,000 of the total of about 60,000 square miles covered by the program.

The areas where the judge banned aerial gunning are the areas into which the Game Board extended it in 2006, notably covering the entire Forty Mile caribou herd near Tok and also in an area across Cook Inlet from Anchorage.

"¦From her office in Darien, Connecticut, Priscilla Feral, president of Friends of Animals, said, "Our efforts in the lawsuit stopped aerial wolf control in 12,000 - 15,000 square miles of Alaska - that's four regions into which the state had expanded their reckless killing schemes in 2006. They've opened 60,000 square miles to aircraft and helicopter-assisted shooting as the bureaucracy is hell bent on killing wolves all across the state."

"These ghastly forays must be halted by public publicy, a majority of voters on a ballot initiative in August, and through other reforms and legal challenges," said Feral. "Alaska's mean-spirited predator control programs are a blight on the continent. Friends of Animals is committed to holding the Board of Game's feet to the fire; their process is a sham."

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Comments

I can´t believe these people are killing the wolves. They are extraordinary creatures. They are even shy to humans. I can´t believe bad hearted people kill them just for their fur. Then in the future we will be sorry because they became extinct.

... I will never go to Alaska as long as they kill wolves like this. Humans are not humane, humans are not kind. Humans are the cause of everything bad in the world. Humans kill everything just like Lewis and Clark did, just like Hitler did. It is so typical of humans to kill. You all need to write and call the Alaskan Tourism Board to tell them you are boycotting all things Alaska. Alaska, Montana, Wyoming and Idaho are in it together. Do not buy Idaho potatoes, do not go to Yellowstone, do not travel to any of these states.

Response to Elaine. Governor Palin is Alaska's Governor - not anybody else's. She has Alaska's best interests in mind, not anybody else's. This is perfect example of "Outside Interest's" trying to tell Alaska what to do. FoA comments: Clearly. she does not have the wolves' best interests at heart. And as the public has in the past voted an end to the aerial-gunning of wolves, it's clear she does not have the voter's interests at heart.

Murder in the wilderness continues! Yukon killers also want to murder more wolves. I wonder: when will all the killing end??!! Below is a article on why the need to murder more wolves--Government style!! Many thanks for all the good you all do for the lives of another...Peace and Health to all Life. **************************************** 'Wolf bag-limit more than doubles' Tristin Hopper, Yukon News - August 13th, 2008 The wolf bag-limit for Yukon resident hunters has been increased from three to seven. It's necessary to control wolf populations in the absence of trapping, say proponents. The change was proposed in mid-2007 by both the Teslin and Alsek Renewable Resource Councils, with the goal of seeing "wolf-hunting opportunities enhanced." On the official proposal drafted by Environment Yukon it was estimated that given the small number of wolf hunters in the Yukon, the change would enhance the capabilities of the wolf-hunter minority, yet leave the wolf population relatively untouched. Between 2001 and 2005, only nine out of a total of 74 resident hunters took the maximum bag-limit of two wolves, said the proposal. Allowing hunters to bag more wolves is essential for Champagne-Aishihik's caribou and moose recovery progam, said a statement by Alsek Renewable Resources Council executive director Susan Desjardins. "In the past, predators were controlled through trapping," said the statement. Now, with fewer trappers, increased bag-limits are required for the few existing wolf hunters, wrote Desjardins. "Wolves are not hunted by many people; this regulation change offers an opportunity to the few who do harvest them and use their pelts, while helping to keep the wolf population in check," she wrote. "The majority of people aren't into hunting wolves," said Gord Zealand, executive director of the Yukon Fish and Game Association. "You would have to be a very good hunter to be able to (take more than three wolves)," he said. The proposal was initially brought before the Yukon Fish and Wildlife Management Board, which conducted public consultation in communities throughout the territory. Following a final public meeting in Whitehorse, incorporating all the Yukon's renewable resource councils, an official recommendation was passed by the board to the Minister of Environment. Public consultations were host to some opposition, including the Yukon Conservation Society. "There's no information provided to justify increasing the limit from an ecological point of view," said a comment submitted to the board by the society. "More information on wolf populations in the current management zones is needed." "If the only reason for the changes is that wolves are perceived to reduce game animal populations in some zones, then what we would have liked is studies on the impact of wolf predation to be provided," said Karen Baltgailis, executive director of the Yukon Conservation Society. "We didn't feel there was enough information to justify (the change)," she said. Environment estimates that 40 per cent of the wolf population dies of natural causes in the Yukon wilderness each year. The territory's wolf population stands at 4,500, according to the department. Graham Van Tighem, executive director of the Yukon Fish and Wildlife Management Board refused to comment on the record. Members of the Teslin Renewable Resources Council could not be reached for comment.

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