To the editor: Wildlife is such integral part of Alaska, I find it incredible that the body that manages it, the Board of Game, has been allowed to function as it has for so long. Its constitutional mandate is to manage wildlife in the interests of the majority of Alaskans; instead it seems to act in the interests of only a handful of trappers around Denali Park.
Perhaps this is not surprising given that for years this board has consisted entirely and solely of hunters and trappers — nonconsumptive wildlife “users” seem to be excluded. Nowhere is this more evident than the board’s continued refusal to consider a buffer zone on state land around Denali Park to help preserve what is left of a dwindling wolf population.
This past summer’s visitors to the park saw the fewest number of wolves on record. As word of this has spread, concerned citizens sent over 9,000 requests to the board asking it to convene an emergency meeting to reconsider a buffer. Trapping season opened Nov. 1, and the requests have been ignored. In fact, the board actually has a seven-year moratorium on even considering any Denali Park buffer requests.
It’s time for the Board of Game to be held accountable to its job and make management decisions accordingly.