Board of Game seeks wildlife protection

Posted: Monday, April 07, 2008

FAIRBANKS - The state Board of Game is calling for stronger wildlife protection measures in the Tangle Lakes region west of Paxson.

Board chairman Cliff Judkins wrote in a letter to Gov. Sarah Palin that people support making the area a wildlife refuge. Judkins said they presented compelling testimony at a recent meeting in Fairbanks.

Judkins said the board lacks authority to preemptively protect any area.

He wants Palin to catalog the wildlife resources of the area and start discussions among state agencies about how to ensure the wildlife is protected.

Judkins said the board isn't looking to halt mining on the state-owned land, but it wants to make sure it's compatible with wildlife.

The 227,000-acre Tangle Lakes Archaeological District straddles the Denali Highway between Paxson and Cantwell. It is on the National Register of Historic Places and contains numerous archaeological sites.

The area also is along the migration route of the Nelchina Caribou Herd and is used heavily by hunters.

Wyn Menefee with the state Division of Mining, Land and Water said he hadn't yet seen the board's request. He said the state would probably be reluctant to cut off mining in the area because of its high mineral potential.

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