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Unimak Island [Alaska]: FoA's Public Comment on Aerial Wolf-Killing

January 29, 2011 | Wolves

Subject: NO ACTION ALTERNATIVE to Aerial Wolf-Killing on Unimak Island

On behalf of Friends of Animals' 200,000 members across North America, we offer our vigorous opposition to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's environmental assessment (EA) regarding the State of Alaska's scheme to aerially assault wolves under the guise of protecting caribou on Unimak Island. No National Wildlife Refuge should permit such a predator control program, especially in a congressionally designated wilderness area.

The EA says that the main goal of wolf control is to keep a healthy population of caribou to make subsistence hunting more convenient; however, that's faulty logic. Brown bears also prey on caribou. Also, the community of 50 humans, residents in the fish-catching village False Pass on Unimak Island, have food other than Unimak Island's caribou to sustain their lives. When False Pass residents are inclined to hunt caribou, they've hunted them on the Alaska Peninsula, not on Unimak Island, so the predator control scheme for Unimak Island is illogical, scientifically flawed, and unjustified.

Friends of Animals objects to the general caribou hunt initiated in 2001on Unimak Island, yet the upshot of that slaughter is telling: Non-local Alaska residents along with non-resident hunters shot caribou -- the majority lead by two commercial hunting guides, who sadly are permitted to operate in the Refuge. These hunters likely shot bull caribou as trophies, so an analysis about the ratio of bulls to cows can't possibly be meaningful when hunters, not wolves (nor bears) are responsible for removing bull caribou in numbers significant enough to impact the reproductive potential of caribou.

Moreover, Unimak Island should be managed with integrity -- as a natural system -- so that this important wilderness area is protected for the interests of hundreds of caribou, wolves, bears and other animals already challenged by having to eke out a living there. When the quality of grasses declines on Unimak, the survival of caribou calves is impacted. The EA fails to address the issues of habitat quality or weather on the Refuge's caribou.

Icing makes it difficult for caribou to find lichens - their winter food, which threatens the survival of all caribou, including the health and birth weight of calves born in late May and June.

In closing, Friends of Animals favors a No Action Alternative wherein the Service would monitor caribou, but initiate no actions to shoot wolves, or radio collar calves.

Thank you.

Priscilla Feral
President
Friends of Animals

Comments

I totally oppose any wolf hunting and will not spend my tourism dollars in your state if wolf hunts continue.

I agree with Sandra. "How (screwed) up this aerial wolf killing—mostly guys with little …… who think it’s some macho “cool” novelty thing to do"!

Please don't hunt down wolves from helicopters and shoot them to death under the guise of protecting caribou. This is a horrendous and unnecessary cruelty. No one in their right mind is in favor of it.

In addition to agreeing totally with Sandra Gardner, there really are no words to describe how reprehensible, how sick, this is. Has the Fish and Wildlife Service EVER really given a damn about animals? Not really. They "service" those who like to kill animals.

Please do what you can to stop this cruel torture so inhumane!,and uncalled for

Taxpayer-funded agencies (such as DFW) fail at every turn to work on behalf of the non-hunting population - who actually make up the majority of those paying taxes. If the majority could choose not to pay wages based on lack of representation, DFW would close down.

How (screwed) up this aerial wolf killing--mostly guys with little ...... who think it's some macho "cool" novelty thing to do!

How appalling,do they REALLY consider themselves hunters? SAD,SAD,SAD

this so called predator control is a crime against humanity you get nothing good from something bad iris s carr

Horrible, horrible idea ... I fail to understand that wolves in Alaska pose a problem to anyone. It's Alaska for God's sake ... not Manhattan! Is there not enough wasteland in that state that wolves can't live without being slaughtered in this barbaric manner? What "sportsmen" these people are that would participate in this inhumane treatment of any wild animal. What's next .... helicopter target practice on pet cats and dogs? Be sure to tell your children how you killed the Big Bad Wolf when you read them their bedtime story.

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