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Wildlife Groups Ask BOG for Reconsideration of Wolf Management Decision

National Park Service

Fairbanks, AK - A group of wildlife conservation organizations filed a petition for reconsideration Wednesday with the Alaska Board of Game that requests the adoption of an emergency regulation to prohibit trapping and hunting of wolves along the eastern border of Denali National Park and Preserve.  Tina Brown is the President of the Alaska Wildlife Alliance. “The board made errors in its interpretation of the criteria," she says.

The original petition, filed last month, asked the board to reestablish an emergency no hunting zone to protect wolves in the Grant Creek Pack.  Biologists believe that pack abandoned its historic den site and dispersed this summer after a local trapper took one breeding female, a second died and no wolf pups survived this year.  
The Board did not have any biological concerns and rejected the petition.  Brown says there are errors in the board’s interpretation of criteria required for the adoption of an emergency no-hunting zone. “Emergency doesn’t only apply in biological emergency in an entire population.  In this case, we’re not referring to the entire population of wolves, we’re referring to wolves in this one specific area.”

In 2010, the Board of Game canceled two buffer zones that protected wolves outside the park, because they considered the wolf population to be healthy.  The Board has placed a moratorium on any reconsideration of the issue until 2016.

The National Park Service is counting wolves that live in and around Denali National Park this month to get a better idea of how the population has changed.