Sitnews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska - Opinions


Governor Welcomes Decision on Predator Control


December 06, 2003
Saturday - 1:00 am

Friday, Alaska Governor Frank Murkowski said the court decision released Friday afternoon regarding the Board of Game's predator management program was the correct outcome, which recognized the state's right to manage its game. In the lawsuit, brought by Friends of Animals against the Department of Fish and Game, the judge ruled in favor of the board and dissolved a temporary restraining order on the board's program.

"The court's decision is important because it recognizes and respects the unique, citizen-controlled fish and game board management system we have in Alaska," Murkowski said. "This is a citizen board, which has taken public input, which has shown local support for the program. The board then authorized the local residents to carry out the predator control program. This allows rural residents to take responsibility to protect the wildlife on which they depend."

The judge's decision found that state statutes specifically allow for the control program and the evidence showed that the board had made all the necessary determinations prior to approval of the program.

"I was pleased to hear that the Superior Court had upheld the actions of the Board of Game, because this will now allow the board's predator management program to go forward," Murkowski said. "I understand that the board will continue working with local residents of the McGrath area to implement this winter's phase of predator control. I support the board's objective to allow the spring crop of moose calves a chance to grow up. The board's action is important to help citizens of the McGrath area put subsistence food on their tables."

Murkowski reiterated that the board's wolf management plan would be accomplished without the use of state employees or state equipment or aircraft. The board has authorized permits to local residents or others highly qualified and familiar with the terrain in the micro-management area, who will use their own aircraft.

Attorney General Gregg Renkes said he, too, was pleased by the outcome of the court case. "Permits, which have already been approved, may now be issued to aerial control teams to remove wolves from the small area slated for this adaptive wildlife management program," he said. "Salvage requirements similar to those required of trappers will apply to this program."



Source of News Release:

Office of the Governor
Web Site


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