Dear Wildlife Supporter,
The Alaska Board of Game will meet in Wasilla from February 8 – 15, 2013 to vote on proposals governing wildlife management regulations for the Central and Southwest regions of Alaska.
The BOG has many, many proposals to consider at this meeting – there are many worthy proposals to support and even more that need to be opposed. However, AWA is focusing on two crucial issues: bear snaring (Proposal 105) and protecting Denali’s wolves (Proposal 86).
You may review all of the proposals online via the link below and make additional comments on as many as you choose.
E-mail comments on the proposals are due to firstname.lastname@example.org by 5:00 pm on Friday, February 1, 2013, and we will deliver them to the Board of Game prior to the start of the meeting. (The BOG does not accept comments via e-mail.)
Comments should specifically state “support” or “oppose” and the proposal number(s) on which you are commenting.
Comments also may be faxed or mailed so they are received by the Board of Game before February 7.
ATTN: Board of Game Comments
Alaska Department of Fish and Game
Boards Support Section
P.O. Box 115526
Juneau, AK 99811-5526
Fax comments to:
The current BOG proposal book is available in pdf format online at: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=gameboard.meetinginfo. Proposal numbers 45 through 126 (pages 62 – 198) are scheduled to be considered at this meeting.
We are asking you to please comment in support of the following two proposals:
Proposal 105 (page 158), submitted by AWA, would ban grizzly and black bear snaring in the Southwest and Central regions.
* Scientists overwhelmingly agree that bear snaring is indiscriminate, cruel and not biologically sustainable.
* Bear snaring is an extremely controversial method of killing animals. The BOG tarnishes Alaska’s image for residents and non-residents alike by insisting on continuing its war on predators. Bear snaring has never been allowed in Alaska since statehood until the BOG approved an experimental program in 2008.
* Because bear snaring is indiscriminate, females with dependent cubs and cubs themselves are at risk. Bears have one of the lowest reproductive rates and it is for this reason modern scientific management principles discourage the harvest of females.
* Enforcement will be a nightmare for the Alaska State Troopers, who are already stretched thin.
* There are the dangers to other consumptive users, hikers and their pets who may come upon a situation where one bear is caught while its siblings or mother remain free in the area, creating the very real possibility of severe injuries or fatalities.The baited traps also create food-conditioned bears, and animals which learn to associate food with humans are a danger to our communities.
* Bear snaring is archaic, cruel and should be banned.
* Living bears have a very high value as a tourism draw and a source of revenue. They are almost always cited as one of the “big three” species visitors come to Alaska to see.
Proposal 86 (page 126) would re-establish a no-trapping buffer zone adjacent to Denali National Park. This proposal would provide crucial protection for wolves that wander across the Park boundary onto state land in search of prey or mates, where they are targeted by several recreational trappers.
* Wolf populations (and therefore viewing opportunities) have declined significantly in the Park due in part to trapping along the east and south Park boundary. The most recent official survey (Spring 2012) found a total of only 70 wolves in nine packs in the six million acre park – one of the lowest populations in decades.
* Several hundred thousand visitors annually travel to Denali to view wolves and other wildlife. Two or three recreational trappers targeting wolves habituated to the sight and smell of humans should not be allowed to negate visitors’ viewing opportunities (nor the millions of dollars they spend in the state).
* The loss of only one wolf to these trappers can result in a huge impact on viewing opportunities in the Park. Last spring the alpha female of the Grant Creek pack was trapped and killed just outside the Park boundary. The pack produced no pups last year, and subsequently dispersed. For years the Grant Creek pack had offered hundreds of thousands of Park visitors the best, most frequent opportunities to view wild wolves.
[Note: a six year moratorium on submitting proposals to re-establish a Denali buffer zone was enacted by the BOG in 2010. A request to the BOG in January to rescind its moratorium was met with a quick, unanimous refusal to even consider the matter. It is not known how the BOG will deal with Proposal 86 at the February meeting.]
Please take the time to speak out on behalf of Alaska’s wildlife. Our bears and wolves need your support.
As ever, thank you for your support and for your commitment to Alaska’s wildlife.
Tina M. Brown
Alaska Wildlife Alliance
PS: We will of course let you know the outcome of these and other proposals after the conclusion of the BOG meeting.
Alaska Wildlife Alliance
P.O. Box 202022
Anchorage, AK 99520