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Alaska Governor Signs Law Encouraging Wolf Kills

April 13, 1994

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) _ Gov. Walter J. Hickel has signed into law a plan to increase the state’s big game population by killing more wolves.

The law is meant to benefit hunters by killing off some of the predators that compete with humans for game such as caribou, moose, deer and sheep. Hickel signed the measure Tuesday. It goes into effect in July.

″You don’t manage game by sitting back and saying you wish the wolf wouldn’t eat the caribou,″ Senate Majority Leader Robin Taylor said. ″It’s like shooting rats in a dump. They’re a predator, and they’re a predator that you have to control.″

Conservationists and animal rights groups object to boosting the game population just to serve hunters.

″We don’t want to see the state of Alaska turn into a huge moose farm,″ said Richard Hellard of the Sierra Club’s Alaska chapter.

An earlier plan to shoot wolves from helicopters generated an international outcry. Hickel called it off after opponents launched a tourism boycott.

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