As the ADN’s Zaz Hollander says, locals are bitter about the decision:
The ban marks the latest round of tension in the push-pull between Alaskans who see Denali wolf protections as federal overreach and those who value wildlife viewing in the park. About 650,000 people visit Denali every year, many hoping to glimpse a wild wolf. Authorities say just a handful of trappers target the animals near the park.
The ban goes into effect this week and next week.
Count could rise
Park biologists say trappers or hunters killed five collared park wolves over the winter. Two died north of the Stampede corridor area, one died in the Stampede corridor and one died in Nenana Canyon, officials say. A fifth left its pack and was killed in Delta Junction.
The park count of dead wolves led the state to look more closely at other wolf kills in the Stampede corridor near the park, according to Bruce Dale, head of wildlife conservation for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
Officials discovered eight wolves killed, twice the average number, which prompted the ban, Dale said.
The state enacted the emergency ban only to make sure more wolves didn’t get killed wandering out of the park, he said. “There’s no biological population concern.”