Protecting Denali’s Wildlife at the Boundaries – Forum On June 29

Charles Sheldon Center behind McKinley Village Lodge – Tuesday, June 29, 2010 – 7:30 PM

DCC is pleased to sponsor a Forum on June 29th on the topic “Protecting Denali’s Wildlife at the Boundaries.”  The Forum will be held at the Charles Sheldon Center behind the McKinley Village Lodge just outside Denali National Park.  We’d like to thank the Denali Education Center for offering space at the Sheldon Center for this event. If you want to attend but need a ride, call 683-3396 or email me at nancy{at}denalicitizens{dot}org. Car-pooling will be available.

We’ve invited three knowledgeable presenters

  • Tom Meier, Wildlife Biologist at Denali National Park
  • David James, Interior Region Supervisor at the Alaska Department of Fish and Game
  • Wade Willis, Director of the Science Now Project and a former Fish and Game biologist

The Discussion will consider conflicts and possibilities
The varying mandates for wildlife management of the National Park Service and the State of Alaska have made communication between the agencies vital. A Memorandum of Agreement signed after Denali National Park was enlarged in 1980 stipulated that the two agencies must consult with one another about wildlife management issues they share, and must recognize each other’s varying mandates. The state recognized, for instance, the decline in the Denali caribou herd and has not authorized hunting caribou in Unit 20C (Wolf Townships area) for decades. In addition, the state sets regulations for sport hunting in Denali’s two preserves, north and southwest of the park.

However, conflicts can occur between the state and federal governments at the boundaries or within preserves when state regulations conflict with federal management guidelines. Conflicts have been numerous and at times heated over the past year, typically involving disagreements over how to treat predators as they move back and forth between state and federal lands. On state lands, wolves and bears are often the targets of predator control programs designed to reduce their numbers through aggressive procedures such as shooting wolves from helicopters, and baiting or shooting bears while in dens.  In national parks, wildlife is managed for its natural diversity, and predators are not typically targeted in this way.   Another conflict – This winter, staff from Denali National Park introduced a proposal to the State Board of Game requesting that they enlarge no wolf-hunting/trapping areas on state lands in the wolf townships. DCC introduced a proposal also. Reasons included low numbers of wolves in the park, and data showing an increased proportion of human take of wolves outside the park. The Board refused to consider enlargement of these “buffer zones,” however, and in fact removed all such closed areas from state lands at the boundaries of Denali.

We encourage our members to attend this forum, discuss the conflicts and how they affect Denali, and learn where there are potential areas of agreement and cooperation. To see and print a flier advertising this event, click here.  Call the DCC office at 683-3396 for more information or if you need car-pooling.  Hope to see you there !!


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