Reports of hunter with semiautomatic killing 10 wolves at Denali Park

The State of Alaska Fish & Game revised an emergency order on Tuesday to stop the hunting and trapping season on state land along the Denali National Park and Reserve. Photos of an unidentified hunter with a semiautomatic AR-style rifle, leaning on a snow machine pictured with ten dead wolves, has caused outrage across the nation.

“Hunting seasons for wolves in Game Management Unit 20C within the townships in the Stampede corridor area bounded by Denali National Park and Preserve will close on Monday, April 2, 2018. Trapping seasons for wolves in Game Management Unit 20C within the townships in the Stampede corridor area bounded by Denali National Park and Preserve will close on Monday, April 9, 2018,” the state said in an emergency closure order.

According to AlaskaPublic, Bruce Dale, director of the State Division of Wildlife Conservation, had been notified of the kill where the wolf hunting limit is ten and that the killings had been reported were legal. Biologists and wildlife advocates, however disagree and state the mass killing of wolves by military assault rifles have no place in modern Alaska.

Denali is Alaska’s top tourist attraction, and more than half-a-million visitors come to the area to view the wildlife – including getting an occasional view of the wolves bears and other natural denizens. At the Yukon-Charles Rivers National Preserve, hunting has destroyed the balance of predator-prey relationships with the wolf population dying out and other species unable to sustain their survival. The state agency admits it has no idea how many wolves have been killed this season.

The National Park Traveler Organization states the hunting program is clearly out of control. Alaska citizens are calling the Governor to establish a no-kill zone to be managed along the boundary of Denali protecting park predators which include wolves, bears, lynx and wolverines.

Read more about the rifle assault on the Denali wolves here.

(Photos of Denali wolves killed via PEER)

 

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U.S. House sanctions the killing of hibernating bears and wolf puppies in dens

The United States House of Representatives overturned an Alaska-specific wildlife regulation on Thursday previously issued by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service which protected shooting and trapping wolves with cubs, shooting grizzly bears from airplanes, luring grizzly bears with food to kill them and using inhumane steel leg hold traps and snares to trap animals.Hibernating bear bear.org

Proposed by Alaska Republican Representative Don Young, shortly before President Obama’s term ended and using the Congressional Review Act which allows Congress to revoke a regulation within 60 days of its passage with a simple majority vote, the measure passed 225 to 193 along party lines. The Obama administration called it a “withering attack on bears and wolves entirely at odds with America’s long tradition of ethical, sportsmanlike, fair-chase hunting.” Young, however has been a constant foe of the regulations saying it will “fundamentally alter not only how national wildlife refuges and the fish, wildlife, and habitats on them will be managed” but also affects the state and federal relationships. According to the Humane Society of the United States, president and CEO Wayne Pacelle calls the action shocking:

“What the House did today should shock the conscience of every animal lover in America. If the Senate and President concur, we’ll see wolf families killed in their dens, bears chased down by planes or suffering for hours in barbaric steel-jawed traps or snares.”

Affected by this ruling are federally managed lands, and the Alaska Board of Game has launched an attack on bears and wolves contending they want to increase the populations of caribou and moose. Somehow the age old natural predator and prey animal rules of the wild have now been deemed the responsibility of man.  Pacelle states the practices in question are disallowed in almost every state, however the House is seeking to revive such animal cruelty on federal lands specifically created to protect wildlife and promote the diversity of species.

“While the backers of the measure claimed this was a state’s rights issue, a recent poll by Remington Research Group found that Alaska voters oppose these inhumane and unsporting methods by a 2-1 margin, and many Alaskans voiced support for the rule during the extensive public comment period.  Alaska’s inhumane and unsporting predator control practices have been roundly condemned by state and federal wildlife scientists” stated Pacelle on the organization’s press release.

Alaskans for Wildlife, Alaska Wildlife Alliance, Friends of Alaska Wildlife Refuges, Lynn Canal Conservation, Northern Alaska Environmental Center, Oasis Earth, Resurrection Bay Conservation Alliance, Sierra Club – Alaska Chapter and the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council joined The HSUS in opposing H.J. Res. 69. Last year, a group of more than 50 scientists sent a letter to Congress in support of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service rule. The full roll call can be found here. The HSUS expresses its gratitude to the lawmakers who voted “no” on this misguided resolution.

Weigh in on this ruling please. Is this a foreshadowing of what is to become of our wildlife for hunters having fun?

(Photos of bears via Bear.org. Photo of wolf pups via takepart.com)

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