Court Rules on State Predator Control Programs

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

The Alaska Supreme Court ruled Friday that state predator control programs conform to the sustained yield mandate for managing wildlife in Alaska’s Constitution.  Today’s decision affirms a lower court ruling in a case brought against the state by two environmental groups and an individual.  The Alaska Wildlife Alliance, Defenders of Wildlife and Ronald West contended the State Game Board failed to apply sustained yield when it approved bear and wolf control programs in 2006.

The court decision says there’s latitude in the sustained yield clause that permits wildlife managers to establish preferential uses.

The court decision cites Fish and Game biologist’s assertions that wolves and bears could recover to pre-control populations, if killing programs ceased. The decision rejected the game board’s position that consideration of sustained yield is discretionary, adding that the board must adhere to the principle.

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