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ADFG Commissioner Announces Department's Opposition to Petition


November 07, 2005

Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) Commissioner McKie Campbell announced Friday the department's opposition to a petition that would prohibit the same-day airborne shooting of wolves and other predators to conduct predator management when necessary. 
"At first glance, the petition seems fairly innocuous.  However, if passed, this petition could significantly hamstring the department's predator management program," said Commissioner Campbell.  "While we are still reviewing the petition with the Department of Law, there is no question that this petition seeks to make it extremely costly and very difficult, if not impossible, for the state to actively manage its wildlife."
The interpretation of terms such as "adequate data," "biological emergency," "feasible solution," and "irreversible decline" provide opportunities for legal delays while judges, rather than those most familiar with the resource, determine if a predator management program is necessary to help rebuild a moose or caribou population.
"Alaskans depend upon the department for scientific management," said Commissioner Campbell.  "It is critical that we have a broad range of management tools at our disposal, especially in those areas of the state where Alaskans rely upon fish and game resources to feed their families."
The Murkowski administration continues to support active wildlife management to meet the mandates outlined in the state's Intensive Management Law, which requires the department to increase ungulate populations in some areas of the state where they are important for human consumption. 
Some ungulate populations have been at very low numbers for many years and predator management, in concert with changes to hunting regulations, is necessary to remedy the situation.  The department is currently conducting predator reduction programs in five areas of the state as authorized by the Alaska Board of Game. 
"I know that it is tempting to sign petitions when you are approached outside of a grocery store or at a public event," said Commissioner Campbell.  "However, I want to encourage Alaskans to read the petition, become fully informed by researching the issue, and understand the impacts before making a decision."



Source of News:

Alaska Department of Fish and Game


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