Updated: Alaska 'Gunners' Wipe Out Wolf Pack From Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve

Helicopter-borne Alaskan predator control agents have killed an entire wolf pack from Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve, prompting the National Parks Conservation Association to call for "immediate suspension" of the program near the national preserve.

National Park Service officials, meanwhile, are wondering why the shooters killed two radio-collared wolves, as the Park Service had an agreement with Alaska Fish and Game officials that collared wolves would be spared as they were part of a long-term study of wolf behavior in the preserve.

“We have meetings set tomorrow with state Fish and Game officials to ask that question," John Quinley, the Park Service's assistant regional director for communications and partnerships, said Thursday evening from his Anchorage office. "Basically, 'How did this happen? You’re two days into the (predator control) program and it’s already gone against the agreement that we thought we had pretty well in place, that was easy to understand.' We’re interested in how that fell apart so fast.”

The four wolves from Yukon-Charley's Weber Creek pack were killed Wednesday in the Fortymile area on the northwest side of the national preserve, the Park Service official said.

“We’ve been studying wolf populations in Yukon-Charley for 16 years and have a long data-set to understand the population dynamics," Mr. Quinley said. "These wolves are a value scientifically and they’re a value for visitors. Our position has been that we want to do all we can to maintain the naturally functionally ecosystems, which is a value of the Alaska parklands that you don’t find everywhere else.”

NPCA officials issued a statement Thursday saying "state gunners in helicopters killed the entire Weber Creek wolf pack from Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve, including two collared wolves from a 16-year National Park Service scientific study."

"NPCA calls for the immediate suspension of the state’s wolf eradication program in and around Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve until the Park Service is fully satisfied that the biological integrity of Yukon-Charley wolf packs can be evaluated and a healthy population of wolves can be ensured," the parks advocacy group added.

The shootings of the pack came despite a Park Service request that no wolves from the nine packs denning in the preserve be shot due to this year’s high natural winter mortality, NPCA officials said. Park Service officials said the killings of the radio-collared wolves was the result of some sort of miscommunication.

“It seemed like fairly clear communication to us that they weren’t supposed to shoot wolves with collars," Mr. Quinley said. "Maybe that wasn’t as clear to somebody, but it’s definitely a concern to us.

"The number of wolves that in packs which spend considerable time in the preserve is now getting down lower than we would like it to be. I think we were at 30 (individuals), and we’re at 26," he added.

Compounding the problem is that harsh conditions this winter killed 38 percent of the preserve's wolves, a percentage that Mr. Quinley said was "on the high side of normal."

The shootings come less than two weeks after a particularly contentious Alaska Board of Game meeting when it comes to wolves and national parks. While the board was asked at one point to expand a no-take wolf buffer zone in an area surrounded on three sides by Denali National Park and Preserve, the board completely removed the buffer. And the state agency also did away with a regulation that required Alaska game officials to obtain Park Service permission before they conduct any predator control on parklands.

The second action, though, likely will have little affect on park lands, said Mr. Quinley, as the Park Service maintains authority over wildlife in those areas. "Our rules," he said, "prohibit the manipulation of one species to benefit another."

For Alaska game officials, though, the preference is to do away with predators so there is more game for hunters, said Mr. Quinley.

“They want to grow more moose and caribou," the Park Service official said. "They want to do it here in the Fortymile country, they want to do it south of Denali in those game management units. ... There’s a high interest in state Fish and Game and the Board of Game to grow moose and caribou for hunters, both local hunters or those from Anchorage, Fairbanks and the lower 48.”

Friends of Animals has called for a boycott on tourism travel to Alaska this year because of the Game Board's decision to do away with the buffer zone.

Comments

UNBELIEVEABLE, but then not really considering the subjects involved.

EXACTLY the results expected, & the reason that our month-long trip to Alaska this summer was C-A-N-C-E-L-L-E-D after the earlier policy announcement by the State of Alaska.
NEVER again will we return to where such mentality exists. Our tourist dollars will be spent elsewhere.

This is terrible news~how long will we continue to hear these reports of senseless killing of wildlife!

Mr. Hardy: I hope you let the governor and the tourism board know why.

I applaud the State of Alaska, let them manage their own wildlife.

Sounds like someone is not telling the truth. Go to Fairbanks Daily News Minor for the true story.
Most Alaskans will be glad to know Mr. Hardy and his bleeding heart, tree hugging kind won't be
coming.

DK, perhaps you could point out the differences in the stories?

Mr. Hardy, I hope you let state officials know about your decision, too. This screw-up is just the very tip of how bad wildlife management has become in Alaska recently. I'm a lifelong Alaskan and I can't tell you how frustrating is it to deal with the Board of Game up here. Hard as it is to believe, Sarah Palin turned out to be even worse than former Gov. Frank Murkowski on wildlife issues. (It's all about money--the Alaska Outdoor Council, which is pro-predator control, has a full-time lobbyist in Juneau and makes lots of campaign contributions. They usually have several members/former directors serving on the Board of Game.)

Before she quit, Palin appointed a family friend, Corey Rossi, to be in charge of "abundance management" (code for predator control) at the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Until recently, he was a board member of Sportsmen for Wildlife, too. (Google them...many decent hunters are very unhappy with their tactics, which are making headway up here.) SFW pressured the the ADF&G commissioner to replace a long-time biologist in charge of the Division of Wildlife Conservation with Rossi, who has worked at ADF&G for only a year, if that.

The other deputy is Pat Valkenberg, who was a vice president of the Alaska Outdoor Council. His big thing is making it legal to trap bears. A few years ago, before his appointment, he proposed legalizing bear trapping and suggested it would be a great experience for visitors to accompany the trapper and shoot the bear in the trap, the way they do in Maine. The board didn't approve it then, but expressed interest. Guess what? Valkenberg is now preparing a plan to allow bear trapping (brown and black) outside of predator control areas for the next board meeting this fall.

Between them, they've pushed a scheme to allow SFW to hold what's basically a private camp to kill black bears over bait in a game management unit near Anchorage. A couple of years ago, the board authorized killing up to 60 percent of black bears in that unit, so they allowed an unlimited bag there, as well as the killing of sows and cubs (actually, ESPECIALLY females), using very sketchy science as a pretext. They've also allowed bear snaring there "experimentally" with a permissible "bycatch" of 10 brown bears that could be killed if accidentally caught. (I think they killed 3 brown bears and 88 black bears in snares last year.) Hunters have killed hundreds of black bears in that unit so far.

Rossi also pushed allowing SFW to "donate" helicopter use to transport shooters (they're not hunters) to that area. This January, the board quietly reclassified black bears as furbearers rather than big game, making it legal to trap them and sell their hides. The board chair, Cliff Judkins, said this was meant as incentive for hunters to kill more bears. The travesty is that the science supposedly supporting these plans is incomplete and shoddy. Wildlife biologists have been quitting and retiring because the department doesn't really do science anymore--most resources go to predator control.

These are bad, bad times for wolves and bears in Alaska, probably the worst since the predator control days of the 1950s. Heck, the territorial Game Commission outlawed selling bear hides in 1925. Many, many Alaskans have made their opinions on these matters known at board meetings, most recently on the Denali buffer. The board members simply don't care, and they don't have to. I'm sorry to say that any Outside organization will be ignored even if they send 50,000 protest letters. The only thing that could make a difference is (A) The election of a reasonable governor, probably a Democrat (which is fairly unlikely) or (B) a HUGE national outcry and tourism boycott. And even that might not work.

I salute your principles. Please make them known to Gov. Sean Parnell, to ADF&G Commissioner Denby Lloyd, to the Anchorage Daily News, and to all of your friends. If you were planning a cruise, let that company know, too. I guarantee that only a minority of Alaskans support this scale of predator control, if at all. We have almost no real reporting left in this state, so hardly anybody knows what's going on here in depth.

You can find contact information here: http://www.adfg.state.ak.us/

Sorry for the length of this, but as you can see, it's a big disastrous mess.

DK -- like Kurt I didn't see much difference in the stories either.

The point is, they had an agreement, a lot of time and work went into putting those two collars on, a lot of work has gone into radio monitoring over the years .... and two days after the predator control kicks in, they do this? Sounds pretty testy to me, and pretty intentionally purposeful.

DKWells:
You are correct in your assumption that most Alaskans would be glad to see us tree hugging bleeding hearts from the lower 48 stay out of Alaska permanently, for one simple reason: a sizable portion of the tourism dollars go to companies, organizations and individuals that are not Alaskan. Most of the money generated by tourism does not stay in Alaska. So most Alaska residents could care less if we visit there or not. In fact, most Alaskan residents would prefer we stay away, and could we take the bothersome DOI managers and staff with us when we leave, please?
I make this bold statement having lived and worked in your state (for a federal agency), witnessing first hand the contempt that many AK residents have for the DOI and the visitors that the Federal lands attract. (A contempt that is widely shared, by the way, by the many AK residents that currently work for the DOI. Ironic, isn't it?)

Many Alaskans, still operating from the viewpoint that the Federal government stole their state away from them, will do whatever they can to ignore and thwart any national or federal agency's efforts to keep the ecosystem there in balance.
In response, I say let them manage the state's resources any way they want to. Once their wasteful hubris turns to contrite apologies (when all of their natural resources have been greedily expended) we will once again be welcome with open arms, as will all of the federal stimulus and aid they so proudly and militantly ignore now.

Now that the late Gordon Haber is no longer around to fight on the wolves' behalf, the Alaska Board of Game is going to do it's best to completely wipe out the wolf population, NOT because hunters are worried about protecting moose and caribou, but because wolf pelts are worth a lot of money. And THAT is what most Alaskans care most about: MONEY.
Shame on your hubris, shame on your greed, and shame on your state's false facade of welcome, DK.

Caveat: when I refer to Alaskans, I am referring to white Alaska residents that continue to move to the state in droves, lured by the illusion of financial wealth, and the absence of sustainable management of the wilderness.
Native Alaskan peoples I think would have a very different idea of wildlife management, if they were given the opportunity to serve in state management positions.

I have previously written formal letters (in email form) to the Governor and the Alaska Board of Game to please explain their wolf management policies and strategies. Both letters went out over two weeks ago. I have yet to receive a simple acknowledgment, let alone a substantial reply, to my questions and concerns. That should tell us all just what AK state managers feel about "outsiders" sticking our nose into their business.

But you know what, DK? Alaska doesn't belong only to the people that live there. It belongs to the entire nation, whether you like it or not. So we'll keep visiting, and we'll keep voicing our concerns about your selfish and wasteful wildlife/wilderness management decisions. I doubt our voices will be seriously considered, but we will never be silenced as long as your state management continues to operate in such a short-sighted and greed based manner.

This is so upsetting, especially since there was an agreement in place.

There's something wrong with people who kill for "fun."

The New York Times just had an article that shows evidence that people who abuse animals (and I think hunting for sport is abusing animals) often go on to attack humans. think about it. Most hunters I know tend to be bullies to begin with.

COUNT ME IN FOR BOYCOTTING TRAVEL TO ALASKA, THE LAND OF THAT NUT SARAH PALLEN.

Come on, JerseyTomato, let's be fair. Methodical slaughter conducted by paid executioners can in no way be said to resemble sport hunting.

Cowards, fun kills including collared wolves be monitored, and why? So there are more animals left to be killed by sport hunters.

[This comment was edited.]

There's a lot of difference between the "predator control" done in Alaska and the folks who go out to hunt and provide food for their families. I'm a big fan of hunters who are respectful of the animals and the environment and work to understand the natural balances required. The Alaskan DFW seems to do neither.

MB....perhaps in your comment about "letting Alaskans manage their own wildlife" you really meant to say "let the handful of wolf-haters tell the rest of Alaska to shut up". You may not have noticed but in a recent vote our (I've lived here in Fairbanks for over 40 years) Board of Game took in testimony that included a 500-signature petition from the ALASKAN residents of the Denali Park area asking the buffer zone be expanded that was NE of the park to prevent trapping of park wolves. Instead of listening to 500 ALASKANS the board voted in favor of 4 (yes, only 4) recreational (that's recreational, not subsistence) trappers to remove the buffer zones entirely.
In two votes prior to 2008 ALASKANS voted in a ban on aerial hunting. Then, in 2008 Palin approved $425k to pay for Board of Game members to travel around the state giving a highly-biased "educational" talk in favor of aerial hunting. No opposing views were allowed. Additionally, then-lt. gov. Parnell created a ballot measure so contorted in its wording that many people who thought they were voting FOR the ban actually wound up voting AGAINST the ban and so aerial hunting was allowed. It was one of the sleaziest operations yet and the Alaska Outdoor Council, whose members dominate the BOG and the Dept. of Fish and Game, were very pleased that now Alaska's wildlife can be managed for their trophy-hunting members.
Wildlife management has been hijacked here in Alaska by some of the worst of the wolf and bear haters you can imagine. Al Barrette, the most recent appointee to the BOG, is proud he holds the first aerial hunting permit. He owns a wolf trap manufacturing company and also a fur tanning company here Fairbanks. A more obvious conflict of interests could not be yet Parnell has put him in place.
Frankly, if Alaska's wildlife exists in anything approaching a normal state after the AOC gets done with it, it will be only because of federal intervention.

DKWells....

I've been a News-Miner reader since I got up here in 1969 and I can assure you when it comes to printing the truth about the wolf situation and game management in general, it couldn't do so to save its life.
Consider the fact some of its largest advertisers are members of the very groups (Alaska Outdoor Council, Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife, Sportsmen for Habitat) that want all the wolves exterminated. Consider that Tim Mowry, their Outdoors editor, is so buddy-buddy (if not a member) with these groups that his columns sound like they went through the AOC for approval before appearing in the NM.
Consider the fact the NM has NEVER printed a piece in any way negative about these groups but consistently refers to any conservation group as "animal rights activists" knowing full well the red button that is in Alaska.
Their editorials are so full of bias and error that frankly it is with good reason the newspaper you want people to read for "the true story" is known locally as the "News Mindless", the "News Minnow", and a few other choice names civility prevents me from mentioning.
The NM is so in-bed with the AOC et al it has long forgotten what the truth is. As someone who has hunted up here, who has friends who still hunt, I am amazed at the vast difference between the pro-AOC drivel the News-Miner turns out and the facts as many ethical hunters know them to be.
The NM may have a good cartoon section, but that's about it as far as the truth goes with that publication.

Mr. Hardy...I applaud what you have chosen to do. About the only way the wolf and bear extermination in Alaska is going to be stopped is either by economic means such as what you are doing or by federal intervention (which is so slow by the time it happens there won't be any wolves left). I urge you to contact the Alaska Tourism Board at as well as the governor at: http://gov.alaska.gov/parnell/contact/email-the-governor.html

Be sure to tell them why you are doing this, roughly how much money you will be withholding as a result, and if you plan on talking to other potential Alaskan visitors in your area to convince them not to visit.
The wallet and the voting booth about the only two places where the present Alaskan administration actually listens to people. Otherwise, our wildlife management program has been stolen by the likes of the Alaska Outdoor Council and other pro-trophy-hunting groups.

BTW, if you check the online edition of the game regulations you will find that at the same time this aerial hunting is taking place in this region, the Board of Game has been careful to still allow non-residents to hunt for trophies. Now, mind you, this whole aerial hunting program is predicated on the basis of keeping subsistence Alaskan families from starving (a characterization often used by the AOC and Palin/Parnell to justify the program) so it seems very odd to allow outsiders to come in and shoot those animals they so desperately need. Yet, this non-resident hunting has been allowed since 2006 and continues today.
Sorta puts the pious mouthings of the BOG, AOC, Palin, and Parnell in their true light.
Additionally, state law does not discriminate between the true subsistence hunter (with whom I have no argument) that actually does feed their family on what they can bring back from the bush, and the millionaire businessman sitting in his $500k+ house in the city who hires a bush pilot to take them out to the hunting camp so he can add another rack to his wall. In the eyes of Alaskan government, both are subsistence hunters.

Between the extermination of this collared pack of wolves and McCain & others introducing congressional end-runs around the EIS & planning process for managing low-altitude flights over Grand Canyon just a couple of weeks before the release of the EIS (the result of 10 years of hard, careful work), yesterday was a pretty somber & sobering day for NPS natural resource scientists. Don't expect to hear from them; NPS wants all communication through the official spokespersons not a bunch of loose cannon scientists.

It will be interesting to see how hard Jarvis pushes on both of these issues, although the pushing might be invisible to the rank and file as well as the public. We hear about forthcoming science initiatives and science-based management and making NPS a better place to work and acknowledging that most folks work for NPS because they are dedicated to the mission, not just for the paycheck. Some indication of standing with the scientists could be an important sign that things really have changed.

captcha is relevant: "banding found"

The Governor was, in fact, notified of the decision regarding our trip cancellation.
And to those who term our views as those of "bleeding heart Liberals", thank you. I will not protest the labeling; rather I proudly accept it. Someone has to arise & declare the views of those who refuse to accept the value of nature as short-sighted.
Perhaps more of our bleeding-heart views would have prevented the extinction of other species under the guise of "management", as well as the wholesale slaughteer of the American Bison in the 1800's to near extinction.

And the "captcha" of island states is an odd quirk of fate in this case.......

I also canceled my alaskan summer vacation! I will be spending my tax refund in Las Vegas...just like Obama told me not to.

Does anyone really think that this was an accident? They will say, "Gee, oops," look at the floor and make empty promises that it won't happen again. Then, as soon as the NPS officials walk away, they will congratulate themselves on a job well done and make preparations to do it all over again. My tourist dollars will be spent in Yellowstone National Park where you can see the wolves playing, hunting, and if you're lucky, you'll hear them howling at night.

Our Dept. of Fish and Game is taking bids to produce a series of short videos "explaining" the virtues and necessities of aerial hunting. (riiight...)
One of the claims they intend to counter is that they are calling for total extermination of packs in some areas. Well, beside the fact there are numerous articles in the papers up here quoting them at saying they want 80% to 100% kill rates in certain areas, let's examine that 80% figure a bit more.
If you have a pack of 10 wolves (which is a bit larger than usual but not uncommon) and you eliminate 80%, that leaves 2 wolves. If two males, the pack is essentially finished but they can still claim they only killed 80%. If two females, same thing. In fact, the chances of two wolves holding a territory are just about nil. So 80% may sound semi-acceptable but it is still 100% in effect.
Too, F&G estimates the state population at 7000 - 11000 wolves. The anti-wolf bunch likes the higher figure for the obvious reason that if they can then call for killing off 80% of 11000 wolves (and the genuine figure is anything below about 8800) they have effectively killed all the wolves. Oops! We didn't know it was the smaller number. Our bad!

I think that it is good and a fair decision that you cancelled your plans to vacation in Alaska! I just hope that you also e-mail or write: the Alakan Senators, House Reps & the Visitors Bureau as well.
Thank you for acting upon this.
=^..^=
We need to preserve the wealth and health of our Nation for ALL populations! Not just HUMANS!

@Art Greenwalt:

I kind of like your hard-a$$ed approach!

Most of all, your last post, about the numbers, really hit home. The biologists will tell us that for a pack to really succeed, there needs to be an alpha male and an alpha female. If both of those are gone, then you have a family of pups who haven't been trained and will probably have a hard time surviving.

Wolf families are complicated, endearing, and dedicated to each other -- much like our own families. Why would we want to kill them? I just can't understand that.

They don't kill for fun. They kill to survive -- much like we humans do.

Leave them alone, and let them survive to keep our world healthy. It's so tenuous now. We don't need to make it worse.

@Anonymous 3/19:
"...yesterday was a pretty somber & sobering day for NPS natural resource scientists. Don't expect to hear from them; NPS wants all communication through the official spokespersons not a bunch of loose cannon scientists.

"It will be interesting to see how hard Jarvis pushes on both of these issues, although the pushing might be invisible to the rank and file as well as the public. We hear about forthcoming science initiatives and science-based management and making NPS a better place to work and acknowledging that most folks work for NPS because they are dedicated to the mission, not just for the paycheck. Some indication of standing with the scientists could be an important sign that things really have changed.
-------------------

I know a number of those Natural Resource folks. And let me tell ya, when I heard about this, they were my first concern. My only hope is that someone stands up for what is right!
Yeah, me too -- I want to hear something positive. If that doesn't happen, we need to carry it on ..........

I will be calling the governor of Alaska in the next few days to voice my outrage regarding these precious wolves. They will pay dearly with their karma.

I find it encouraging that most of the comments are questioning the "rightness" of how the Dept. of the Interior, which does set the policy that FWS/FGS must follow. I have talked with Federal officials and Idaho state officials before the wolves lost their protection, i.e Endangered Species List early last year, in what is esssentially all of the lower 48 states, with a few exceptions. Alaskan wolves have not had any Federal protection and is somehow off by itself, and has few rules to protect the wildlife there, which btw is as much our responsibility in the lower 48 as it is in Alaska.

I was told the wolf population in Idaho was @ 500-800 by one State offcial and 800-1200 by another Idaho State official. I was/am very concerned about the hatred of the wolf in the midwest, where most of them are in the lower 48. I contacted Mr. Salazar, on many occasions, and never received the responce I was promised. I find it very dangerous to have a hunter, cattleman, and big oil concerns, which all are part of Ken Salazar, as head of The Dept. of the Inerior. As a veteran, I know he has done some good things for veterans, and that I do appreciate. However, to place the TOP man responsible for all wildlife in the US that has these interests is at best irresponsible and a direct conflict of interest.

Once the killing was scheduled for last fall as a "citizen hunt" in Idaho, I knew the wolves were in trouble. Particularly having 10,000 permits/tickets that they were allowing to be bought, even though I believe about 4500 have been purchased so far, that number could well be larger now for the up coming fall hunt. I shared my concern with Federal and state oficial and got the "talking points" that we have it under control. I asked how are you going to have it under control when so many wolf hunters will be out there for the first time "legally" killing wolves. They won't be able to supervise, even a fraction of the hunters and the number of "real" kills, as oppossed to what they may tell you. I'm not impling all the wolf hunters would kill more than there alloted 1 wolf per "ticket", but I know for a fact some significant number will see this as "revenge" and break the law. As we all know, the law is broken all the time in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming and certainly other states as well. They don't hide it, they are proud to go out and kill as many wolves as they can. The term " Shoot, shovel and shutup", is more than words it is a code some of these people have lived by for years. I also know there are many good people who (don't want the wolves to be killed). that live in these states. So at this point in time fall of 2009, the wolf hunt begins and we hear numbers ranging from 250-600 wolves killed, that the officials know about. I promise you that no one knows the real number killed, not even close. Yet, they now have a "Predator Derby" which includes wolves, coyotes, fox, and a few others. Based on how many of each of these animals one kills they receive points, 3 for wolves, 2 for coyotes,etc. The one with the most points wins. Now the States are asking for help from the feds to help kill more wolves, and Federal sharpshooters who are going to kill even more wolves.

I fully believe that the extermination of the wolves for a third time in this nations history is already set into place. First, being the later part of the 1800's, by the Biological Survey that had as it's official mission to conduct scientific studies and surveys throughout the country. That proved to be a front for hired killers and federal officals to exterminate the wolves completely from the lower 48. They did in fact accomplish this goal. In the mid to late 1930's the wolves were making a small comeback on their own, with @ 650 wolves nationwide. Once again the Federal Government, sent out Interior Dept. employees and paid killers, and the result was not unexpected; all wolves killed.

Having this as our legacy, does not bode well for the wolves this time around. The attitude towards wolves are very polorized and passionate to say the least. The hunters who what the wolves eliminated, the inceasing need for more "public lands" for cattle, and an administration that has totally turned their back on the protection of wolves. They have their nice talking points down, but the reality is many, many wolves are being killed as we speak, and no one knows, as I said earlier what the number of "actual" wolves still living is. It takes months if not a year or more to get a rough idea how many wolves are out there, yet the killing continues.

As many of you know an entire wolf pack was killed within in the Yellowstone National Park ecological border, just a few weeks back. The wolves simply have no where to go, without facing death, and a rocket scientist, I am not, but I do see the writing on the wall. Consider the lame rational of the Wild Horses and Burro round-ups recently, that are in direct violation of the heart and intent of the 1971 Wild Horses and Burro Act. Many of these wild horses will be sold, and there is no way to prevent the buyers from taking the captured animals to Mexico or Canada for certain death (slaughterhouses), the government wil lie and mislead all of us to achieve their #1 goal, and again that is land for the cattle, because so much of public lands has already been destroyed for decades to come by over grazing by the cattle. The buffalo has such a restricted area to live in that out of @ 5,000 buffalo in this country, @ 1500 were recently killed "to manage them". At their peck in the early 1800's there was @ 20,000,000 with a "M" million, and like the wolf was completely exterminated. Now 5000 is too many? I hope all of you, if so inclined will check me on all of this and please bring to my attention if you disagee with all or part of what I have said here today.

Thank you for reading!

Regards,

Paul Hester

"The wolves simply have no where to go....."

Thank you, Paul Hester. That about sums it up.

Biologists seek ouster of new wildlife chief

By MARY PEMBERTON
The Associated Press

(03/22/10 12:04:33)
Dozens of former Alaska Department of Fish and Game biologists and supervisors have signed a letter requesting that Corey Rossi be replaced as the head of the Division of Wildlife Conservation.

The letter, signed by 39 former Fish and Game biologists and supervisors, was sent to Commissioner Denby Lloyd late Sunday and to Gov. Sean Parnell on Monday.

The letter says Rossi lacks the academic and professional experience for an entry-level biologist position with the agency because he has no college degree.

It says Rossi also lacks the training to ensure that wildlife management in Alaska will be based on sound science in the future. His choice, they say, indicates that professional wildlife management is being replaced by a model to maximize production of wild game meat.

Some background here..

I don't think any wolves should be killed because they are on the brink of extinction anyways. That is all I have to say.

I live in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and we now have a thriving wolf population and cougar seem to be doing pretty good too. I'm a woman who has always utilized the woods and what it had to offer. Yes, I hunt, but never violate; I fish, kayak, camp and have a great love of the outdoors. Everything has it's place. While I was growing up we never had wolves or cougar, so I never had to feel the need to arm myself going out in the woods, because most of the time I'm out there by myself. Times have changed here. This is how I look at things. If you go out in the woods and there are these types of predators you have to make a conscious decision if you want to take a walk alone, or take your kids out picking berries, or fishing from a shoreline. People just need to be open their eyes and use common sense. Don't believe what everyone is saying and check things out for yourself. Now if I see sign that there are a lot of predators in a certain area, I'll go somewhere else and do what I like to do. We have a lot of lakes and rivers here. I don't feel the need to wipe out the whole population. I certainly don't applaud any hunter that hunts from the air. You call that hunting, not me, I call that slaughter. Where's the game in that? Do I think there needs to be a balance, sure, but that should be for the people who live in the area to decide that. What would you do if you were in that situation and it was your backyard? Hey, what do I know, I'm just the average person who tries to do what's right. Do you? What if you had a cougar looking in your patio door eyeing up your child? What if you were out for a walk with your dog and wolves attacked and kill it? Things are not always black and white, there's a gray area too. I don't want any species wiped out, but I want my family to be safe too. Makes for quite the controversy doesn't it?

You folks are a bit scary - to tell you the truth. I see no retractions here, noting that after the Park Service and AK dept. of Fish and Game looked into the problem, that the wrong radio tracking frequencies were issued to the helicopter crews.You seem to take joy in religiously ranting , rather than researching your facts.
There is no wolf or bear eradication policy, nor plan to have one, in the entire State. Yes, there are plans for intensive management, but the end result of these plans lead to higher levels of both prey and predator species. I know you are unwilling to accept this as fact, but the numbers are hard to ignore, as is already proven in the areas where these programs have been in place for several years.

I'm sincerely sorry I wasted a part of my short life reading this drivel...

For the record, "Read a Book," we ran a story detailing the miscommunication that was attributed for the shooting of the collared wolves.

http://www.nationalparkstraveler.com/2010/03/national-park-service-alaska-game-officials-publicly-settle-differences-over-wolf-killings5613

For the record, the pilots and "gunners" were not given that particular pack's frequencies. In addition to that this particular pack had their collars for less than a year and were well outside of the park's boundaries. It was a screw up by a bunch or parties and the NPS and AKFG should hold equal responsibility.

Alaskan wilderness should be expanded.
NATIONAL parks belong to the nation....

This comment was edited. -- Ed.

Hunters dont take sickly animals . Most want a trophy to hang up, who cares. I can see having to hunt to eat what you hunt ,but to take game and leave most of the carcass there is stupid. Also animals hunt to survive do we?

Wolves. weird creatures huh? They are omnivorous, like us. they hunt whent they need to, and even though some might not eat all the kill, or kill for fun, whats to say they aren't like us? We do so much of the same things. So wheres the difference? They need to eat, so they hunt. Is it their fault when they come near our pets and livestock? Nope. We are the ones to put food so close, and pen it up so it can't get away.If i was a hungry wolf, and I saw an animal easy picken', I'd take it to.