Homer Alaska - Letters

Story last updated at 3:54 PM on Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Let's stop wolf control plan

The wolf control plan proposed by the Board of Game is flawed in many ways and should be rejected. Game management unit 15A (by the game board's own admission) does not have suitable habitat for moose populations to grow due to the lack of significant forest fires in the last 50 years. This is called plant progression and is a perfectly natural thing. Eventually the forest growth will decline due to fire or disease and the browse that the moose need will take over. Killing wolves in this area will just leave more moose in an area that is incapable to sustain them putting the moose in that area susceptible to die of starvation and disease. This is called the carrying capacity of the land and is nature's way of population control. In game management unit 15C the moose populations are within "intensive management objectives for population size." In other words, according to the Board of Game, the moose population in GMU 15C is OK.

The game board's objective here is an increase in the bull-to-cow ratio. This year there were more restrictive hunting regulations aimed at allowing more younger bulls to survive. Let's give these new regulations a chance and not rush in to slaughter wolves. The wolf control plan ( if approved) will begin in January 2012. Tony Kavalok, assistant director of the Division of Wildlife Conservation, has stated "the Board of Game didn't want to delay aerial wolf control because of public pressure to address declining moose population." What declining moose populations? Are they just going to shoot bull-eating wolves and let the cow-eating wolves live? Is GMU 15C awash in wolves running amok?

The 1977-78 research report found that only 6 percent of calf mortality was by wolves as opposed to 34 percent by black bears. Controlled burns in GMU 15A would increase the browse required for the moose population to increase there. Restricted hunting regulations will help the bull/cow ratio in GMU 15C.

Let's use these strategies and not resort to wolf slaughter to increase our moose populations. Let the wolves have their 6 percent. They are an integral part of the circle of life here on the peninsula and should not be artificially manipulated.

There is a Native American saying "the wolf makes the moose (deer, caribou) strong." Please contact the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, the Board of Game, state senators, representatives, etc., and see if we can stop this control plan before it starts

Scott Van Hoozer