FWS Takes No Action on Unimak Wolves

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After an initial environmental assessment looked to favor a wolf hunt on Unimak Island in Alaska, the FWS has reversed course and decided to not support a wolf hunt. Unimak Island is the largest island in the Aleutian island chain. Alaska Fish and Game biologists have supported a wolf hunt to stop or slow strong predation on the island's resident caribou herd. The Alaska Dispatch has a write up on the situation in Unimak.

After hearing from 95,000 Americans largely unhappy about a plan to kill wolves on Unimak Island, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has abandoned an earlier recommendation that action be taken to try to limit predation on the Unimak Island caribou herd in Western Alaska. The agency announced in a press release Monday that is has decided "that the 'No Action' alternative is warranted at this time."

By some estimates the Unimak caribou herd has declined from 1200 animals in 2002 to around 300 in 2010.

Comments

hunter25's picture

This is another case of game

This is another case of game management that needs to be left up to the state that holds them and knows what is going on there. I bet not one of the 95,000 people in question could even tell you where Unimak Island is let alone the need for managing the animals that live there.

It's amazing the status that the wolves have been given but if you actually talk to people around here about it you will find that most truly believe that they are endangered throughout their range. The only information they get is on tv and they just blindly believe and never look into it themselves.

This also shows how effective making phone calls and sending emails can be for a cause. I keep preaching that sportsmen need to spend a little more time making their voices heard also.

WishIWasHunting's picture

"Good" Politics

It would be interesting to find out more about the 95,000 people who spoke out against the plan to kill wolves on this island.  Since there are only about 50 people on the island as the article stated, it is nearly guaranteed that 94,950 (probably all 95,000) of these people are not directly affected by the plan.  I would guess that it was simply an email campaign by PETA, or some similar organization, that prompted these individuals to sound off on a topic they know little to nothing about and having nothing to do with the situation.  It sounds like an unfortunate decision was made out of political convenience.

jaybe's picture

Polls Determine Policy Again

It's a sad situation when government agencies determine what they should do by the amount of people who voice an opinion. We see this in almost every area of our society these days. Whatever the issue, the noisy crowd - (sometimes made up of people who actually have little knowledge about the issue, only that "they don't like it") - will convince legislators which way to jump. In this case, it was 95,000 Americans who were "largely unhappy" about the prospects of allowing some of the wolves to be killed to protect the caribou herd on the island.

The wolf has become the sacred cow of our day. Although the FWS claims to be relying on "the science" (that's a catch-all phrase these days, too) I suspect that it has much more to do with political correctness than true science.

We need to get back to allowing the states to have more to say about issues like this that affect their resources, their economy and their people, rather than those who sit in Washington D.C. who can't even run their own house efficiently.