Monday, January 29, 2007

Aerial Wolf Shooting Ban to be on 2008 Ballot

In the here we go again department, initiative petition sponsors have collected enough signatures to put yet another aerial wolf shooting ban ballot measure before voters in the August 2008 elections, according to the Anchorage Daily News:

"According to co-sponsor Joel Bennett of Juneau, a former member of the Board of Game, the initiative is basically the same one Alaska voters passed twice before in 1996 and 2000 banning land-and-shoot hunting of wolves.

Both times, the Alaska Legislature gave the game board authority to develop the programs after the two-year initiatives had expired.

Read the entire story in the Anchorage Daily News >>>

Thursday, January 25, 2007

State Must Pay Friends of Animals Legal Fees

In a bizarre decision, an Anchorage superior court judge has decided that the state of Alaska must pay $95,000 in attorney fees for a recent Friends of Animals wolf control lawsuit.

The Anchorage Daily News reported "The state must pay $95,000 in attorney fees to Connecticut-based Friends of Animals, according to a decision by Anchorage Superior Court Judge Sharon Gleason last week. Friends of Animals was entitled to a full reimbursement because it had no financial incentives in filing the suit, said Kevin Saxby with the Department of Law."

In case your playbook on this is missing, this is for the 2003 lawsuit filed by FOA. One wonders if the missing financial incentives could be located by a casual look at FOA's promotional materials.

Read the entire story in the Anchorage Daily News >>>

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Answers for Poor GMU 16B Moose Survival Emerging

Alaska Department of Fish and Game studies are confirming earlier suspicions that predator numbers are limiting moose numbers in Game Management Unit 16B north of Anchorage.

Alaska Wildlife News put it this way: "Following the fate of all the calves born to radiocollared mothers is providing some answers. Studies so far indicate very few calves are surviving their first year in Unit 16B, most likely because they are being killed by bears and wolves.

Fewer than 10 percent of the calves are surviving to five months old, Crouse said. There are a lot of calves being born. They're just not surviving very long.

Recruitment is barely keeping up with the death rate of older animals, he noted. "“The low density population appears to be due to predation, Kavalok concluded. Habitat is not limiting at all in the area. Everything is pointing towards predators."

Read the entire story >>>

Alaska 2007 Wolf Control Starts Slow

Alaska's wolf management program designed to boost prey numbers in various parts of the state has started slowly, but ADF&G officials report that most wolves are taken in late winter, so consider the pace about right.

Wolves are being taken by air or land and shoot to reduce wolf populations in five areas of Southcentral Alaska. State wildlife managers use selective wolf reduction programs to reduce the pressure on depressed prey populations to provide benefits for Alaskans.

Read Wolf control starting slow in the Anchorage Daily News >>>

Proposals for Hunting Regulation Changes Available

Proposals for changes to the 2007/2008 Alaska Hunting Regulations to be considered at the Board of Game's March 2007 meeting are now available online from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

View the proposals (PDF file) >>>

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Supreme Court Rejects Subsistence Lawsuit

The United States Supreme Court has rejected a lawsuit that claimed the federal government has favored rural residents of Alaska in an unconstitutional manner. The Anchorage Daily News reported, "The lawsuit was brought by a group of urban Alaska residents and several non-Alaska hunters and fishermen who objected to federal regulations stemming from the 1980 Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. The group lost in federal district and appeals courts and the Supreme Court rejected the appeal on Monday without comment."

Read the entire story in the Anchorage Daily News >>>

Friday, January 12, 2007

Idaho Also Wants to Manage Wolves

Alaska's state and federal governments have suppressed wolf populations in certain areas of the state for decades to improve prey species survival rates and benefits for hunters and the economy. The programs have been controversial since the 1970's, but have continued in fits and starts depending on Alaska's governors and their willingness to take the political heat.

Now, a northern tier US state with a recently burgeoning wolf population wants to do the same. Idaho's governor has announced plans to remove up to 550 wolves from the state, as soon as the wolf is delisted as an endangered species.

The Associated Press wrote the following (as reported in "Idaho's governor said Thursday he will support public hunts to kill all but 100 of the state's gray wolves after the federal government strips them of protection under the Endangered Species Act.

Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter told The Associated Press that he wants hunters to kill about 550 gray wolves. That would leave about 100 wolves, or 10 packs, according to a population estimate by state wildlife officials."

Read the entire story >>>