Wolf-related research

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Posted by Ballpark Frank ( on 10:05:45 04/29/16

Sorry for the cryptic subject, but the title of the subject research is way too long for insertion.

The essence of it is that the NPS commissioned a piece of research on the impact of hunting and trapping of wolves outside the boundary of two national parks (Denali and Yellowstone)on wolf-watching opportunities in those national parks.

Most folks that frequent this page are well familiar with the issue relative to wolf-hunting just outside Yellowstone. Even though it has impacted wolf-watching in Yellowstone, particularly along the Northern Range, the impact pales in comparison to what has been going on relative to Denali. Denali's superintendent has labored long and hard to get the State of Alaska to prevent wolf hunting and trapping in one relatively small (particularly by Alaska standards) piece of geography just outside Denali. The hunting/trapping has been high impact on a particular wolf pack that has accounted for a majority of wolf sightings by park visitors in recent years.

Unlike Yellowstone, where you have halfway decent wolf habitat widespread, due to the relative abundance and geographic spread of prey animals, and a road system that features the grand loop and 5 entrance roads, Denali has but one road.

Given the chronic complaining about federal overreach in Alaska and political climate, I doubt this research is going to have any impact on improving wolf-watching in Denali, unless the global price of oil stays depressed for another 5-10 years, which would force the State of Alaska to embrace alternate forms of financing (like tourism). The state relies on the oil and gas industry for 90% of its state government revenue. Cheap oil has resulted in a $4 billion, possibly larger, deficit in an annual budget of $5.5 billion.


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