by Ashton Goodell
Thursday, May 27, 2010
ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- The state Board of Game has extended wolf hunting and trapping on the western side of Unimak Island in an effort they say will keep caribou in the area from going extinct.
In an emergency meeting Wednesday, the board voted 4-1 to extend the hunting season.
The board chairman says the decision won't stop the herd's decline, but that it will slow it down.
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game claims that caribou have a difficult time breeding because of the dwindling numbers.
The federal government says there's time to do a thorough environmental assessment before taking management action.
"We do believe it is an urgent situation, but we at the Fish and Wildlife Service are not as convinced as the state that it's such an emergency that something must be done immediately, so we are trying to carefully analyze the caribou population," said Larry Bell with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.