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
"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."
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