Alexander Archipelago Wolf – Fall 2020 Update

Usually Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) has completed the annual population estimate for Alexander Archipelago wolves in Game Management Unit 2 by the beginning of September. We have been extremely concerned with the tremendous loss of wolves last season, and because we have been anxiously awaiting the survey results we reached out to the Forest Service, and ADF&G.

Please note: throughout this page the word “harvest” is used. Harvest is a hideous attempt at legitimizing the slaughter of wildlife, and we find it abhorrent. Nonetheless it is taken verbatim from various reports and press releases.

As you know, under the new harvest management plan approved last year (a scheme which paved the way for the slaughter of 165 wolves from an estimated 170) when the most current population estimate is within the objective range (150-200) the trapping season may be up to two months long, and with no emergency closures.

State and federal trapping seasons will both open on Nov. 15, 2019, and close on Jan. 15, 2020 as long as the population of Alexander Archipelago wolves is within the objective range.

The federal wolf hunting season in GMU 2 normally opens on September 1st (state wolf hunting season December 1st), however the survey has not been completed yet, processing the *genetic samples used to produce the population estimate has been delayed due to pandemic precautions. Because of this delay the Forest Service (federal subsistence manager for the area) closed the season until October 30th, 2020. Consequently, there is no legal way to harvest a wolf in Unit 2 until October 31st.

Once the fall 2019 population estimate is complete, ADF&G and federal partners will consider that estimate and other information in conjunction with guidance in their new and horrific wolf management plan to develop a so-called “sustainable harvest strategy” for the 2020 season. The fall 2019 population estimate and fall 2020 “harvest strategy” will be made public through a press release.

From Tom Schumacher (SE Regional Supervisor, ADF&G) via email:

“Alaska’s hunting and trapping regulations are created and amended by the Alaska Board of Game, a seven-member regulatory commission separate from the Department of Fish and Game. The Board addresses regulations in Southeast Alaska once every three years with the next meeting scheduled for January 2022. Consequently, we do not anticipate any regulatory changes this year. However, ADF&G’s existing regulatory authority and Unit 2 Wolf Management Plan provide sufficient authority to sustainably manage that population.” (Read the management plan here, and note that we believe the GMU-2 wolf population has never been “sustainably managed.)

If in fact there are enough wolves left to kill, and the season does open, state and federal GMU 2 wolf hunting seasons will also close on Jan. 15, 2020.

And yes, again, it will be open season, i.e., no quota limit, and no emergency closures.

*Difficult to believe genetic samples were obtained with what was estimated to be possibly just 5 wolves surviving the 2019-2020 season…a genetic catastrophe.

Related content:

The Plight of the Alexander Archipelago Wolf

2019 Update Alexander Archipelago Wolves

Gone, Finished, Annihilated
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