A majority of Alaskans place high value on opportunities to experience living watchable wildlife; they implicitly suggest so by results of a statewide telephone poll calling landline and cell phone users. The poll, sponsored by the Humane Society US, was conducted mid 2018 by the Remington Research Group, a leading national Republican polling enterprise. Results are ignored in state Wildlife policy, and implications for those policies must be recognized. The poll was initiated after a proposed federal rule change was made to lower standards of stewardship in Alaska’s national park preserves to the lowest denominator so as to match state hunting regulations and egregious killing practices promulgated by the State of Alaska as permitted on state lands surrounding the park preserves. A race to the bottom.
The questions taken from the proposed changes, and unofficial results:
** Should hibernating black bear sows and cubs be hunted (killed) in their dens using artificial light?: Opposed 71%; Support 22%; Unsure 7%
** Should dogs be used to pursue and corner bears to shoot them in a hunt? Opposed 69%; Support 26%; Unsure 5%
** Should caribou be hunted while swimming including from powerboats? Opposed 75%; Support 22%; Unsure 3%
** Should trapping and hunting of bears be prohibited using bait stations? Support 60%; Opposed prohibiting (supporting baiting) 34%; Unsure 6%
** Should bear baiting be allowed? Oppose 50%; Support 39%; Unsure 11%
** Should hunting, killing wolves and coyotes with pups in dens be allowed? Oppose 57%; Support 34%; Unsure 8%
** Should a no kill buffer be established in the Stampede Trail area to protect Denali National Park wolves? Support 54%; Oppose 37%; Unsure 6%
The results of this poll must not be dismissed. They are a significant indicator as to the collective Alaska mind. Alaska wildlife policy should reflect majority Alaskan values regarding wildlife, questions about methodology and sponsorship notwithstanding.
The federally proposed changes which initiated this poll are reportedly soon to be published in the Federal Register for a public comment period. Stay tuned.