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Fortymile Caribou Herd Numerous Again. Does Wolf Control Deserve Any Credit?

posted Sep 4, 2017, 9:47 PM by chloe owens

7/22/17, by Sam Friedman, Daily News-Minor

Fortymile Caribou Herd numerous again. Does wolf control deserve any credit?

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game wants more time to determine whether its largest wolf control project is working. Since 2005, state employees and private residents aboard airplanes or helicopters have killed more than 650 wolves on state lands east of Fairbanks with the goal of boosting the Fortymile Caribou Herd. It’s part of a state mandate codified in the 1994 Intensive Management Law to increase caribou and moose populations people rely on for food. The department plans to halt wolf control after one more season and see how the caribou respond to a least two years of uncontrolled predation…and is not a concession to wolf control opponents who say the program is ineffective or the Fortymile Herd can’t get much bigger than its current population of about 50,000 animals. Rick Steiner, one of the most vocal critics of Alaska’s wolf control program in general, has attacked Alaska’s wolf hunts on many fronts over the years, recently describing it as “unscientific, unnecessary, ineffective, costly, unethical, inhumane and controversial” in a petition asking Alaska Gov. Bill Walker to cut back on predator control.