"Friends of Animals" wants to boycott Alaskan tourism


March 9, 2003, 10:50 PM
Alaska tourism boycott threatened
Saturday, March 8, 2003 Posted: 12:17 PM EST (1717 GMT)

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -- A national animal-rights group has pledged a tourist boycott if the state kills wolves to boost moose populations for hunters in Interior Alaska. But villagers in the area say they need more moose to keep food on the table.

The Alaska Game Board is considering predator control on 520 square miles near McGrath, 200 miles northwest of Anchorage.

Predator control would help protect moose calves during their critical first two months of life, when up to 60 percent are killed by wolves and bears. The goal is to increase moose numbers so hunters can harvest 130 to 150 animals a year.

Steffen Strict, representing the McGrath Native Village Council, told the Game Board Thursday that the wolf population is out of control near the village, where a loaf of bread costs $4.50 and residents count on game for food.

"Moose meat is necessary for feeding my family," Strict said.

But Priscilla Feral of Friends of Animals, headquartered in Darien, Connecticut, said Alaska can count on a tourism boycott if the plan is approved.

"For every dollar you spend to kill a wolf, we will match in launching an offensive," she told the board Thursday. She promised high-profile advertisements in major newspapers urging tourists to avoid Alaska.

Feral said McGrath is only the first area that will be considered for predator control. She also questioned the need for harvesting more moose.

"No one is claiming that McGrath residents are beginning to starve, or anything close to that," she said.

Community leaders in McGrath and surrounding villages urged the board to follow through on previous plans to increase the moose population.

Donne Fleagle, speaking on behalf of MTNT Ltd., a village corporation representing McGrath and the neighboring communities of Takotna, Nikolai and Telida, stressed the importance of moose meat to residents.

"There is nothing more important to our people than a healthy moose harvest," Fleagle said.

She said villagers would be willing to forgo hunting in the area if they had a commitment to also remove predators and allow the moose population to build.

Fish and Game Department biologists testified that the 490 moose in the study area produce about 344 calves annually. Black bears kill 100, wolves kill 90 and grizzly bears kill 43, while fewer than a dozen die of other causes. Slightly more than 100 survive, replacing the 98 or so adult moose killed in roughly equal numbers by human hunters and predators.

Feral and independent wildlife biologist Gordon Haber said the Fish and Game Department has ignored scientific review that's skeptical of the situation at McGrath.

Board Chairman Ben Grussendorf directed two board members to work with department staffers to draft a recommendation for board consideration next week.
This came from CNN.com - I've never posted in this forum before, but I saw this article and figured that all those that frequent the hunting section might want to know about this, maybe plan to go wolf hunting up there in Alaska!

It never fails. The PETA types would rather let their own go hungry than to kill a few wolves. It's not like they plan on wiping out the wolf population, they just want to raise the moose population some. Anyway, you can make your own opinions from this article.

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March 10, 2003, 02:18 AM

You mean an upcoming tourist season without a bunch of hairy legged, Birkenstock wearing, unwashed animal lovers here...????

O my god I think Im gonna.......


Good riddance, maybe us locals will have more room on the salmon streams....

The type of tourist who would boycott are the ones we dont want any way....


Dave McCracken
March 10, 2003, 05:20 AM
I doubt Alaska will note any difference in their tourism numbers. Few AR types ever venture off pavement. The strongholds of these PETAphiles are places like NYC.

Ignorance,intolerance, fanaticism and arrogance are a hellish combination. These people have it in spades. Without knowing much if anything about real world wildlife and how species interact, they want to call the shots.

Bottom Gun
March 10, 2003, 06:01 PM
I'm thinking that if the Game Board isn't allowed to thin the wolf population, the villagers in the area will probably help out.

Now how do we get the tree huggers to boycott here too?

March 11, 2003, 12:04 PM
The villagers in the area shoot and trap all the wolves they can, which is perfectly legal in Alaska. Wolves in Alaska are just another game animal and the bag limits (especially for trappers) are quite generous.

The problem around McGrath is not really the wolves. Note that black bears kill more moose than wolves do, and grizzlies take a large amount as well. How come there is no cry to kill off the bears? The problem with McGrath is that it has turned into a hub for sport hunters. You can fly in there commercially (relatively cheap) and then hop out on a very short (cheap) charter to hundreds of small lakes in the area. The area is simply hunted too heavily and THAT is the problem.

I've been hearing about the "wolf problem" in McGrath since I first came to Alaska. And those guys up there have shot and trapped a lot of wolves since then without any growth in moose numbers. You could kill every wolf in the zone and it wouldn't make any difference. New packs would move in well before any growth in moose numbers.

In many ways, this is the cry of a few commercial hunting outfits asking the taxpayer to add stock to their moose pool for commercial purposes. The "study" is only counting moose in the immediate area of the village, animals which might be taken by subsistence hunting. What's left out is that just outside that zone, the commercial charter outfits every year are pouring in hundreds of sport hunters eager for a "cheap" Alaska hunt.

If people want to shoot wolves, let them shoot wolves. We got plenty and anybody can take wolves on a regular hunting license without any kind of tag. But, don't ask me as a taxpayer to fund an expensive air hunting blitz to aid a few charter outfits.


Bottom Gun
March 11, 2003, 02:08 PM
Gee, if that's the case, it sounds like a boycott might just help the situation for everyone except the commercial outfitters.

March 11, 2003, 02:35 PM
Well, like Wild I'd just as soon not see any animal rights fruits up here anyway.
What I'd like is a taxpayer boycott of this plan. If the charter boys in McGrath want to kill wolves, let them offer wolf hunts to their customers.


March 11, 2003, 09:59 PM
its my understanding that they want to kill the wolves, remove the bears (dart and relocate) and stop hunting for a year under this plan. I know the anti's are gunna say its because there wasnt any hunting, blah, blah, blah. I also agree that the mcgrath area is overhunted. I foresee in the future that that area will go to a tier 2 hunt or a draw hunt. Which is fine with me as long as we do something about the moose problem.

I also agree on the tourist boycott. It would be nice to drive down on the kenai without motorhomes or a trip that usually takes 2 hours takes 4-5 in the summer.

March 16, 2003, 04:20 PM
A reasonable compromise might be to just dart the wolves and ship them to these crackpots' home office. Let them take care of the wolves.

This could be a win-win situation, the wolves get a nice new home somewhere in la-la land, the crackpots get live wolves, the Alaskans get rid of the wolves and everybody is happy except for the few PETAphiles who get eaten along the way.

March 22, 2003, 11:57 AM
Tourist boycott? Does this mean I can drive the Parks without getting aggrivated at losing time being caught behind a slow moving, rubber- necking outsider in a road-turtle?
Let the boycott begin!

March 22, 2003, 02:03 PM
This animal rights nut's name is Patricia FERAL?! I wonder if she felt destined to take up this cause.

March 23, 2003, 08:27 AM

That nut had her name legally changed to FERAL some years ago when she became a high-priestess of bambism. :barf:

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