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Petition Urges Interior Secretary To Intervene Over Killings Of Denali National Park Wolves

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A Care2 petition drive urges Interior Secretary Jewell to intervene in wolf killings near Denali National Park/Care2

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell is being urged by more than 100,000 petitioners to intervene to halt the killings of wolves that wander out of Denali National Park in Alaska.

Trappers and hunters have reduced the wolf population in and around the park and its adjacent preserve from 143 to 48 over the past seven years, according to the petition drive launched on Care2 by Marybeth Holleman, an Alaskan and author of Among Wolves. The petiton asks Secretary Jewell to see that a permanent, no-kill buffer zone is established along the park's boundary.

'œI've lived in Alaska for nearly 30 years. I saw my first wild wolves in Denali my first summer here, when I was working at the park,' Ms. Holleman told Care2. 'œI raised my son here. He saw his first wild wolf in Denali 20 years ago, and it set him on his career as a photographer. Denali was one of the best places in the world to see wolves in the wild. But not anymore.'

But five years ago Alaska'™s Board of Game removed a no-trap, no-kill buffer zone on state land adjacent to the park. Ms. Holleman believes this move is driving wolf decimation.

'œUnlike most national parks, hunting and trapping is allowed on many Alaskan national parks,' she says. 'œIn addition, as wolves and other wildlife cross invisible park boundaries onto state lands, they are hunted and trapped for 'sport' by a few local residents.'

Ms. Holleman said almost half of the park's visitors used to see wolves, but now just 6 percent of visitors catch a glimpse. The current wolf population numbers are the lowest on record since 1986, when there were an estimated 46 wolves in the park.

'œ[Wolf] family groups can be horribly disrupted by hunting and trapping, which, unlike deaths from natural causes, often [results in the killing of] alpha wolves,' said Ms. Holleman, whose 2013 book 'œAmong Wolves' explores the research of wolf advocate Gordon Haber. 'œIn 2012, the trapping of the pregnant alpha female wolf of the Grant Creek group led to the group declining from 15 wolves to only three over the course of the summer.'

Two of the nine Denali wolves that died in 2014 and 2015 were killed by hunters. In addition to allowing hunting and trapping, the state also pays Fish and Game employees to shoot wolves from helicopters as part of a program meant to increase moose populations.


"She was head of large outdoor retailer and NPS concessionare REI, then she had ties with the oil industry prior to that."

So what? She isn't the head of a large outdoor retailer now nor does she currently have ties with the oil industry. Just because you played for one team before doesn't mean you won't play your heart out for the one you are on now. Furthermore, you don't become CEO of a major corporation by being a yes-man (women). I suspect she will "stand up" to Jarvis if she thinks that is the right thing to do for her ward, the NPS.

I do not know SmokiesBackpacker, I do think Sally Jewel is well qualified for the job, she is also an avid mountaineer, very fit, quite experienced. Is she committed to the serious threats our parks face, we will see, perhaps I am wrong but I think that is your point and I think it is a valid question.

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