Tuesday, January 17, 2006

State wolf control program halted on technicality

Alaska's wolf control program has been halted by a State Superior Court ruling which says the Alaska Board of Game did not follow its own rules in establishing the programs. According to the Anchorage Daily News, suit was brought by Friends of Animals against the state, and Judge Sharon Gleason said "the state failed to provide required justification for the program, including previous measures that failed to work."

“The ruling is a minor setback,” said Commissioner Campbell in an ADF&G news release. “The judge ruled in favor of the state on virtually all of the arguments made by the plaintiffs. The programs have been invalidated based upon the judge’s finding that the Board of Game’s regulations are ‘internally inconsistent.’ The state can make its regulations consistent.”

"The department and Board are doing everything we can to ensure that this interruption to our predator control programs is as short as possible,” said Commissioner Campbell. The Alaska Board of Game will meet in a teleconference on January 25 to deliberate on this. This is a listen-only teleconference.

This is an important program that will provide long-lasting value for Alaskans who use moose and caribou for food.

Biologists believe Alaska may have as many as 11,000 wolves, a number which has remained relatively constant even in light of a number of wolf control programs in recent decades. Taking 400 wolves will not put a long term dent into that.

Alaska state government led by Governor Murkowski and top ADFG managers have had to face into the wind of quite a bit of political correctness on this issue. I greatly appreciate their steadfastness on this, and I know that most Alaska hunters agree.

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