Wolf control measure to go before voters

Posted: Wednesday, August 23, 2000

Voters will get a chance in November to overturn the Legislature's decision to roll back part of a 1996 initiative that banned land-and-shoot hunting of wolves and other predators.

Supporters of the referendum obtained 23,120 valid signatures of registered voters to get the issue on the ballot, Lt. Gov. Fran Ulmer announced Tuesday.

The initiative, which passed with 58 percent of the vote, banned same-day airborne hunting. Referendum supporters argue land-and-shoot hunting is unsportsmanlike and can lead to abuses such as the illegal shooting of wolves from airplanes.

The law passed by the Legislature this year allows such hunting in areas the Board of Game has designated for predator control efforts.

The bill's sponsor, Sen. Pete Kelly, a Fairbanks Republican, contends the initiative has let wolves run rampant, killing moose, caribou and even family pets.

Kelly said he pushed the law this year because Gov. Tony Knowles refused to allow the state Department of Fish and Game to implement the game board's recommendations for predator control.



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