In January, we let you know of a major threat to designated Wilderness and wolves on Unimak Island, part of the National Wilderness Preservation System and an area in the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge. A misguided plan by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to allow lethal wolf control on the island has thankfully been shelved.
After an open comment period that included approximately 95,000 comments, many of which came from Wilderness Society supporters, the Fish and Wildlife Service has chosen the “no action” alternative and will not proceed with these plans.
This is a great win for both wilderness and wolves. Allowing such intensive population manipulation without sound scientific backing undermines what Wilderness designations are all about – allowing natural processes to play out unhindered by human intervention. And for an island that is 98% designated Wilderness, letting nature “run wild” is a good thing.
The Fish and Wildlife Service is doing the right thing here and we thank you, our supporters, for all of your comments that helped the FWS make the right decision.
Photo: Gray wolf. Photo by Gary Kramer, Courtesy USFWS.