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Denali Wolf Buffer Bill Clears House, Future Iffy in Senate

posted Jun 7, 2017, 6:41 PM by chloe owens   [ updated Jun 7, 2017, 6:42 PM ]

5/18/17, by Sam Friedman, Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

Denali wolf buffer bill clears House, future iffy in Senate

Alaska’s House of Representatives passed a bill Wednesday to stop wolf hunting and trapping around parts of Denali National Park and Preserve. The bill would make it a misdemeanor crime to use set certain large traps or snares or kill a wolf in areas along the edge of the national park. An exception exists for wolves that the Alaska Department of Fish and Game has determined are “a danger to the health or safety of local residents.” The northeast edge of Denali National Park — especially the peninsula of state land that juts into the park along Stampede Trail — has long been a battleground over wolf hunting. Opponents of hunting in the area argue a buffer was needed to protect packs of wolves that travel to Denali National Park tourists can view and photograph. “That’s what it boils down to, a few wolves taken by trappers or all the economic opportunity that comes with tourism,” Rep. David Guttenberg, a Fairbanks Democrat, said.