Predator control is being proposed for two areas of the Kenai Peninsula and it’s proving to be a contentious issue for residents there. Tuesday on the statewide call in program Talk of Alaska, members of wildlife advocacy organizations debated the issue with a state fish and game biologist and a member of the state board of game. The basic issue in 15A- on the northern Kenai- is low browse opportunities for moose and in 15C- in the south-, there are not enough large bulls. In both areas, everyone agrees there are numerous problems contributing to the lack of moose on the Kenai including highway kills, black bear predation and lack of food. Ted Spraker is a retired biologist and has been a member of the board of game for four terms. He lives on the Kenai and says in the 80s, trappers were able to take a high number of wolves.
“But since the trappers are so restricted, their harvest is dropped down, I think the harvest right now is 8 to 10 wolves taken annually compared to 20, one year there was 32 taken in 15a alone and that kept the lid on the number of wolves in 15a and that option is off the table now,” Spraker said.
But Alaska Wildlife Alliance director John Toppenberg also lives on the Kenai and says wolf control there is wasted effort because there’s just not enough food to support high moose populations.
“There is an answer to all this, small controlled burns, I know they’re difficult but they’ll do our moose good and I think the department of Fish and Wildlife would find the US fish and wildlife would work with them on small controlled burns. And as far as 15 c is they’re at population goals and what more can you ask for realistically,” Toppenberg said.
The proposals for both areas will be up for a vote during the Board of Game’s Barrow meetings Nov. 11-14. Written comments can be submitted on the proposal and the meeting audio will be streamed online.
Send written comments here:
ATTN: Board of Game Comments
Alaska Department of Fish and Game
Boards Support Section
P.O. Box 115526
Juneau, AK 99811-5526
Click here to find the live stream of the meeting.
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