Letter to the editor

Denali wolves need help

To the editor: Back off and be patient and let the process work? This was the response to requests that the Alaska Board of Game hold an emergency meeting before the start of the trapping season to fairly and objectively consider closing state lands to wolf killing on the northern boundary of Denali National Park. This after countless attempts to get the Board of Game to consider more than one petition to close this area (also known as the wolf buffer zone) where numerous park wolves have been trapped and killed in the past.

That we should be asked to be patient and that it is implied that the process works is a farce.

For 10 years, we have been trying to get the board to answer to Alaskans’ overwhelming pleas for the wolf buffer zone, sighting numerous indicators that the wolf populations in Denali are affected.

This year marks the lowest number of wolf sightings in Denali since records have been kept. Records also show that when the buffer zone was in place, it resulted in more wolf sightings.

A half a million people visited Denali this year, and that our Board of Game refuses to recognize viewing of wildlife as an asset to our state, its residents and our economy is beyond baffling.

The process is clearly not working, and we are tired of being patient while our wildlife populations suffer and the will of the majority of Alaskans is ignored.

I challenge the members of the Alaska Board of Game to do their jobs, to fairly represent all Alaskans in the course of their work to manage our wildlife. And to do this they must address the overwhelming support for the closure of the wolf buffer zone area along the northeast boundary of Denali National Park. An emergency meeting to discuss this closure before the trapping season begins is the only true course of action for the board to show its commitment to a fair and objective process.

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