Experts should make wolf decisions

Posted: Sunday, April 02, 2000

I hope everyone took the time to read Carl Rosier's My Turn column in the Empire.

If you didn't, you missed an enlightened article on our governor's political handling of the predator control problem (wolves) in game management units 13 and 19. There are other units impacted statewide as well.

If the governor would take a little time to research the problem, he would find that healthy moose populations mean far more wolves can be supported at the same time. This would make more moose available for wolves, as well as the Natives, who depend on this resource for a stable part of their diet. It also will provide adequate animals for sport hunting and other nonhunting activities such as photography.

Once moose numbers decline, wolf numbers will crash also due to starvation, disease, and yes, even cannibalism. The so-called balance of nature will work, but it is a long slow process of up and down curves that really never addresses large numbers of moose or wolves. Would it not be much better to have high numbers of moose for the hunters and large numbers of wolves for viewing if that's what the governor really wants, and I doubt this is the case. It is more pandering to the environmentalist.

We also know that huge loses of calf moose are attributed to an overabundant bear population, not just wolves. The wolves take moose all winter and the bears are largely responsible for calf loss in the spring at calving time.

Why not let the Alaska Department of Fish and Game manage the situation like they're getting paid to do, and get the governor's office and politics out of it. If Tony knows best, let's dissolve the ADFG and use this money for something more productive.

Bud Womack

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