Updated April 4, 2018
Please take a moment of your time to reach out to State Senators in Alaska, urge them to support legislation which would prohibit wolf hunting and trapping in two areas adjacent to Denali National Park and Preserve. House Bill 105 passed the House in 2017 and goes before the 20 members of the State Senate. Should the measure pass the Senate, it will then go to the Governor for his signature.
Please copy and paste (feel free to personalize) the following letter:
Last year, the Alaska House of Representatives passed legislation to prohibit wolf hunting and trapping in two areas adjacent to Denali National Park and Preserve. House Bill 105, sponsored by Congressman Josephson, which seeks to ensure healthy wolf population for park visitors to enjoy, is worthy of your support.
Denali is recognized as one of the best places in the world for people to see wolves in the wild. Each year, tens of thousands of visitors see wolves along Denali Park Road. More than anywhere else in Alaska, wolves in the eastern part of Denali provide significant benefits to tourism.
The “harvest” of wolves, particularly breeding animals, has the potential to drastically decrease wolf numbers, influence pack social structure and reproduction, alter wolf behavior, and decrease opportunities for wolf viewing. Thus, even if hunting/trapping of wolves occurring outside the park has little effect on large-scale wolf population dynamics, it may still have significant effects on visitors experience.
The Denali National Park and Preserve is a major tourist destination that hosts more than half a million visitors yearly, which, in turn, provides a significant boost to the local and statewide economies. Previous buffer zones have protected wildlife populations adjacent to the park from hunting and trapping. After eliminating the buffer zone in 2010, visitor wolf sightings dropped from 45% to just 6% in under four years.
The “harvest” (heartless slaughter) of Denali wolves has disrupted their society, and destabilized the packs, which, in turn, compromised not only the pack hunting capabilities, but the very survival of remaining members. Hunting and trapping most often removes key pack members, or alpha wolves, and will usually lead to the disintegration of an entire family group. For example, in 2012, the trapping of the pregnant alpha female wolf from the Grant Creek group led to the group declining from 15 wolves to only 3 that year. Then in 2016 one of the two remaining East Fork wolves was shot just outside park boundaries. Because of the shooting of the radio-collared gray male (dubbed “1508 GM” by park biologists) the East Fork pack was reduced to one lone black wolf who, at that time, had pups, and now all are presumed dead.
Recent photos posted April 3, 2018, by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) showing a man armed with an AR15 semiautomatic rifle, displaying ten wolf carcasses, confirms the urgency for a protective buffer zone. Though this incident occurred 70 miles away from the park, in GMU 13B, it could easily have taken place just outside the park, further decimating the population of beloved Denali wolf families.
Voting in favor of House Bill 105 would help prevent these tragic losses. Protect Denali Wolves.
Thank you for your time and consideration of this extremely important matter. I look forward to hearing from you.
Your name here
Send to the Senate President:
Senator.David.Wilson@akleg.gov, Senator.Bill.Wielechowski@akleg.gov, Senator.Natasha.vonImhof@akleg.gov, Senator.Gary.Stevens@akleg.gov, Senator.Bert.Stedman@akleg.gov, Senator.Donny.Olson@akleg.gov, Senator.Peter.Micciche@akleg.gov, Senator.Kevin.Meyer@akleg.gov, Senator.Anna.MacKinnon@akleg.gov, Senator.Shelley.Hughes@akleg.gov, Senator.Lyman.Hoffman@akleg.gov, Senator.Cathy.Giessel@akleg.gov, Senator.Berta.Gardner@akleg.gov, Senator.Dennis.Egan@akleg.gov, Senator.Mike.Dunleavy@akleg.gov, Senator.Mia.Costello@akleg.gov, Senator.John.Coghill@akleg.gov, Senator.Click.Bishop@akleg.gov, Senator.Tom.Begich@akleg.gov
Please share this action, the wolves need all the help we can muster as you can see from this response which I just received from Senator Berta Gardner:
Thank you for sending your comments to my office. While I would be inclined to support such a measure I do not believe that the Senate Majority will give the idea much of a chance. Just the other day they sent out a press release saying that they were “dismayed by the environmentalist agenda” being proposed by the House.
I have seen and enjoyed the Denali Park wolf pack, and been saddened by news of deaths.
Senator Berta Gardner
Anchorage District I
Spenard Midtown UMed