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Protect Wolves and Lynx in Skilak Recreation Area

Action needed by 16, 2013

 Skilak Wildlife Recreation Area in Alaska Board of Games Crosshairs

 

Have you driven the Skilak Loop road for a weekend of hiking, camping, or fishing?  Chances are you weren’t alone as there were not only plenty of Alaskans but also bear, moose, and lynx nearby. 

 

The Skilak Wildlife Recreation Area is just 2% of the Kenai national Wildlife Refuge, but it’s a big part of where Alaskans go to enjoy the Refuge.  However, its stunning wildlife are in the crosshairs of the Board of Game as it plans to permit hunting and trapping of wolves, coyote, and lynx within Skilak.

 

The Skilak Wildlife Recreation (SWRA) was designated by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service in 1985 and has since been managed to provide opportunities for wildlife viewing, photography, environmental education and interpretation. It contains the 19-mile Skilak Loop Road, with access to the area lakes and public use cabins and is probably the most heavily used part of the Refuge. This includes visitors of all ages from outside and throughout Alaska and numerous school groups. 

 

 The proposed hunting regulations would have many undesirable and disruptive effects contrary to the public interest and inconsistent with laws and management directives for the National Wildlife Refuge System. 

 

This area, historically off limits to hunting (except for archery and falconry hunting for small game, youth-only firearms hunting for small game and moose hunting by permit) has been widely used by the public, including many school groups, for passive use of wildlife and education/interpretation almost 30 years.

 

The Skilak Wildlife Management Area (SWRA) comprises only 2% of the magnificent Kenai NWR.  Note that there are almost 2 million other acres of the Refuge open to hunting, with hundreds of miles of roads, trails and snow machines routes that can be accessed by hunters.

Take Action:

Make your views known that you care about protecting the wildlife in the Refuge .  Tell the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service what you think at its upcoming hearing: 
  • Soldotna public hearing: Wednesday, July 31 @ 6-9 PM  in Gilman River Center, 514 Funny River Road
  • Anchorage public hearing: Thursday, August 1 @ 6-9 PM in U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Regional Office, 1011 East Tudor Road

 

Or by written comments to: Refuge Manager, P.O. Box 2139, Soldotna, AK  99669; by fax to 907-262-3599 (attention Refuge Manager), or by email to kenai@fws.gov. by August 16, 2013.

 

More Information:

lindsey.hajduk@sierraclub.org
     
     

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