29 May 2010, 11:21am
Latest Wildlife News
by admin

Alaska sues feds over predator control

By MARK THIESSEN, Associated Press, May 28, 2023 [here]

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The state of Alaska sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Friday, seeking a court order allowing it to go ahead with a controversial predator control program.

At issue is the state’s plan to kill wolves to preserve a caribou herd inside the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge on Unimak Island, beginning as early as Tuesday.

Last week, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced it would begin shooting some wolves on Unimak, the eastern-most island in the Aleutian chain, to protect caribou calving grounds as part of its aerial predator control program.

While the program is in place in at least six locations around Alaska, it would be the first time in recent history that aerial predator control would be used inside a national refuge in Alaska.

The department planned on using two biologists and four pilots to kill wolves.

The feds responded Monday, cautioning the state that killing the wolves without a special use permit would be considered “a trespass on the refuge” and immediately referred to the U.S. attorney.

The state has interpreted that as federal officials blocking the program. The lawsuit, which names U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Acting Director Rowan Gould, his agency and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, seeks a court order allowing the state to kill seven wolves while the litigation continues. …

Caribou are an important subsistence food for approximately 62 people living on the island, but the animal numbers have been declining. In 2002, there were more than 1,200 caribou. Last year, fewer than 300 were counted. The state has an unofficial estimate of up to 30 wolves.

The state says the killing of wolves is imperative to protect this year’s caribou calves. …

“The actions of Fish and Wildlife have set the stage for the worst possible outcome - the potential disappearance of this caribou herd and a total loss of subsistence opportunity in the area for the foreseeable future,” Alaska Fish and Game Commissioner Denby Lloyd said in a prepared statement.

“We pushed as hard as we could, recognizing that time was running out fast, but I wasn’t going to put my employees into a situation in which the federal government prosecutes them for carrying out their state responsibilities,” he said.

The lawsuit claims Fish and Wildlife is violating the Alaska National Interests Lands Conservation Act, the National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act, the Administrative Procedure Act and a memorandum of understanding with the state. … [more]

*name

*e-mail

web site

leave a comment


 
  • For the benefit of the interested general public, W.I.S.E. herein presents news clippings from other media outlets. Please be advised: a posting here does not necessarily constitute or imply W.I.S.E. agreement with or endorsement of any of the content or sources.
  • Colloquia

  • Commentary and News

  • Contact

  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Recent News Clippings

  • Recent Comments

  • Meta