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Board votes down proposals that would allow killing of wolf pups

Posted: Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Board of Game voted down two proposals on Monday that would have allowed people to kill wolf pups in dens.

Hunting regulations allow denning, as the practice is known, but trapping regulations prohibit it, an inconsistency the Department of Fish and Game suggested the board might address in the future.

Fish and Game recommended against the proposals, and the board agreed unanimously.

The proposals were brought by the Central Kuskokwim Advisory Committee and the Orutsararmiut Native Council.

"I feel this would be totally unnecessary," board member Ben Grussendorf said.

"It would be a real black eye to the hunters and trappers across the state if this was allowed," board member Ted Spraker said.

They maintained their support for Fish and Game biologists' authority to kill wolf pups in dens if necessary.

The context is the controversy earlier this year surrounding the state's efforts to increase caribou calf survival: The board authorized Fish and Game biologists to kill "all wolves" in an area, but many in the public were shocked to learn this included wolf pups.

The state is in the middle of a lawsuit from a wildlife activist who says the wolf pups were killed illegally. Department of Law attorney Kevin Saxby said the biologists were properly authorized by the board.

Fish and Game Wildlife Division director Doug Larsen last week released a protocol that directs biologists to look for homes for wolf pups before going into the field. Larsen also said biologists will avoid killing wolves for the predator control program during pupping season.

• Contact reporter Kate Golden at 523-2276 or kate.golden@juneauempire.com.



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