I just checked with the Alaska Wildlife Alliance, and got an update on the final results of last month’s Board of Game meeting. The news was mostly good, but as expected from such a consumptive-biased board, it wasn’t all good. Until we have a balanced board that provides equal representation to wildlife watchers and photographers, as well as trappers and hunters, problems will prevail. The following is the final report provided by the Alaska Wildlife Alliance.
Last month the Board of Game voted unanimously against Proposal 141, which would have allowed bear snaring in six large game management units bordering several interior national parks. A reprieve for those bears!
(AWA and other groups solicited comments in favor of Proposal 142, which was written to ban snaring in those areas, the opposite wording of 141.)
Unfortunately, not all bears fared as well. The BOG approved proposals that will allow baiting and airborne shooting of bears in game management units west of Anchorage, on the other side of Cook Inlet. The BOG members – all hunters and/or trappers – have consistently expanded predator control programs to increase the number of moose available to hunters.
In fact, proposal 141 was defeated in large part simply to allow the Alaska Department of Fish & Game time for further study and fine-tuning of the snaring program, which could come before the BOG again in the future. AWA will closely monitor any future bear-snaring proposals and of course continue to vigorously oppose the controversial practice.
In other good news, the BOG unanimously defeated a proposal that would have established a late-season motorized hunt for moose in the Yanert Valley, east of Denali National Park. Although non-motorized hunting will still be allowed, this is a win for residents and visitors (and wildlife!) that appreciate the area’s solitude, and means less ATV damage to the environment.
Last but not least, we owe three huge THANK YOUs to our members and supporters:
- First, you once again came through with hundreds of emails in response to our request for written comments on the bear snaring issue. We forwarded hundreds of heartfelt and insightful comments to the BOG. To those who took the time to attend the Fairbanks BOG meeting and testify, a special thank you!
- Second, many people wrote letters to the editor for their local newspaper. You helped publicize the BOG’s plans and focused public attention on the process.
- Third, thousands of people in Alaska and worldwide signed online petitions against bear snaring. AWA’s petition and a similar one posted by the Alaska Center for the Environment gathered a combined total of more than 6,000 signatures which were hand-delivered to the BOG in Fairbanks. In addition, AWA hand-delivered bound copies of our petition signatures to the Juneau offices of Gov. Sean Parnell, Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell, and Alaska Department of Fish & Game Commissioner Cora Campbell.