McGrath Wolf Control Boundary Expanded

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The Department of Fish and Game is expanding the boundaries of a wolf control program near McGrath in Unit 19D East from about 1,728 square miles to 3,588 square miles.

The original 1,728 square mile control zone was established to assure the control teams focused their efforts on wolves that hunt in the 528 square mile “Experimental Micro Management Area,” or EMMA, near McGrath.

Five wolf packs are known to use the EMMA, but their territorial boundaries extend far beyond the EMMA and the original 1,728 square mile control zone. Control teams recently reported that wolf packs were tracked from the EMMA and the original control zone to other areas of 19D East.

“If this program is going to succeed, the teams must be able to take wolf packs known to prey on moose in the EMMA,” said McGrath Area Biologist Toby Boudreau. “We are expanding the original control zone to allow our teams to target these packs, even if their movements take them miles away from the EMMA.”

In 1995, the Board of Game approved a predator control program in an 8,513 square mile area designated as “Unit 19D East.” Last January, ADF&G issued permits good for thirty days to three teams and limited them to a 1,728 square mile portion of the unit.

“To remove those wolves, we have to include a greater portion of their territories in the area that control teams are allowed to work,” said Boudreau.

No wolves have been taken in the area to date due to a combination of factors including challenging terrain, vegetation and light conditions. Currently permits have been issued to two teams, three more are pending, and additional applications are being considered.

People from the McGrath area have not been able to harvest enough moose for the past decade. The Board of Game initially approved predator control in the area in 1995, but the program was not put into effect until November of 2003.