The Reality of Wolf Closures in Alaska

Wolf hunting closures in Alaska.

An often heard complaint against closures to the killing of wolves by those who dislike the idea of national park lands in Alaska goes something like this: “Isn’t 6 million acres enough?”


This comment refers erroneously to Denali National Park and Preseve as closed to wolf hunting, though 4 million acres of new park and preserve are not actually closed.


Our answer to such a question, in this example the Denali closure, is: “Isn’t 350 million acres enough for you?”

Here’s why: most of Alaska’s public federal and state lands, 350 million acres, is actually open to the killing of wolves by hunting and trapping. Seasons and bag limits are set by the State of Alaska, if they even exist (bag and seasonal limits are flagrantly liberal and in some areas are purposely non existent, likely to maximize the killing of wolves). Regulations are set for state and federal lands by the state’s Alaska Board of Game.


The reality is that in Alaska, about 96.6% (or 350 million acres) is open to killing wolves.  Relatively little of it is closed, including some municipalities, the state’s only closure, the McNeil River State Game Sanctuary and pre ANILCA national Parks, (e.g.: Denali, Glacier Bay and Katmai). That is 2.4% of Alaska’s, or about 10 million acres. Keep in mind Alaska is a huge expanse more than twice the size of Texas.

See the map provided by the Alaska Dept. Of Fish & Game.


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